June, 2007

About Robs Blog

I'm Robert Marshall, director and principle consultant at SMSMarshall Ltd, who's specialism is in the Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager product and all of its dependent products, covering all aspects from Architecture, Implementation, Migration to Break-Fix.

I've been in front of computers for over 30 years now, with my roots in programming 8 bit computers, I've taken an often exciting journey which has led to becoming an expert in an enterprise product. I consider my career as starting 17 years ago, when I began my first serious role as a deployment engineer. I've seen 8 bit through to 64 bit, the rise and refinement of the interface we take for granted now, the rise of the Internet from land-line based modem access for the few, to the powerful broadband connections we have today for the masses, I saw mobile phones come into existence, and I've seen Microsoft evolve from more than a handful of employees to the company it is now, while pretty much tinkering with every OS they have released, as well as seeing an industry that has evolved around those humble beginnings to become what we have today. I'm a keen technical puzzle solver, I love to solve gnarly problems around my area of specialism. And, I love to share when I have time. I hope you enjoy the blog.


  • How the mouse cursor works ...

    Had to laugh at this! The Japanese have finally revealed a mystery for you. Haven't you wondered how the arrow on your computer monitor works when we move the mouse? Now, through the miracle of high technology, we can see how it is done. With...
  • How hard is it to remember this?!

    Aid Memoir for myself :> Example SMS CCR file structure, [NT Client Configuration Request] Machine Name=<JUSTDOIT> [IDENT] TYPE=Client Config Request File
  • Softgrid version gets bumped and given a new home ...

    Microsoft Softgrid version gets bumped up to 4.1 SP1, and there is a new website under the microsoft.com namespace for the product. Oh look! It sits under the System Center banner! http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/softgrid/default.mspx
  • SMS2003 SP3 Webcast - Wally Mead

    Good webcast, seemed to be focused on people with no SP3 exposure to date. The webcast, I took away the following: The SMS2003 ICP packs for SP3 will be released at the end of this month SMS2003 SP3 now supports SQL2005 (RTM, sp1, sp2) ...
  • Star Trek XI

    Cor another Trekky (XI) movie set for release 2008! Check out this WikiPedia link for the movie ...
  • OpMgr2007 Design Guide released

    Microsoft has just released the Operations Manager 2007 Design Guide to their download website. This is really worth the read. The paper has good information about sizing, especially hardware requirements versus number of agents, which can be a real pain...
  • Starwars Celebration Europe

    To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars , Lucasfilm Ltd. and The Cards Inc. Group will throw Europe's largest Star Wars party ever! Taking over London's Earls Court Exhibition Centre for three days in July 2007, Star Wars Celebration Europe...
  • Gordon Mckenna interviews Kelly Altom about Opmgr2007

    It's not a recent article , but makes for a good read. Gordon interviews Kelly Altom the Microsoft Group Program Manager for MOM and talks about MOM V3 (OpMgr2007)
  • System Center Trial Software

    Just noticed this link on the Microsoft Systems Center homepage for 90-120 day product evaluation yummyness, check it out here System Center Operations Manager 2007 Trial Software System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Beta 2 Software System...
  • System Center Service Manager Beta 1 released

    Folks, This product gets me well excited! I'm going to be spending a LOT of time looking at this puppy, and i'll try to wittle out some articles on what I discover along the way. System Center Service Manager - Beta 1 Features and functionality...
  • Microsoft VHD Downloads

    More content available on the Microsoft VHD website. Check it out here You might not know, but you can swing back and forth between VMWare VMDK file format to Microsoft Virtual Server VHD format using the following tools: Virtual Server Migration...
  • UK User Groups meeting - 21st June 2007

    The folks at the UK User Groups are hosting an epic get-together of UK talent on the 21st June 2007, at the Microsoft Campus in Reading. It's called EVO Community day, and they will be presenting Exchange, Vista and Office amongst many other subjects...
  • Notice the date? - Part 2

    Noticed that today is the day of Beelzebub? 6 6 6 baby! 06 06 06, even in UK\US format it translates to 666! Right i'll get the lamb, just need a few robes and we'll bring on the second coming! ---- How many of you actually realised it...
  • SMS2003: Problem with Installing SMS2003 AdvCli from SMS2003 Secondary Site server

    This problem is probably documented somewhere, I stumbled in to it recently in a production environment and thought i'd write about it! We have a custom executable that clients run at logon, that pretty much emulates CAPINST.EXE. It determines from...