February, 2009

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.

(2013)

Activity
  • ConfigMgr: Site backup task failing due to VSS - SMS Writer issue

    • 1 Comments
    Had a problem pop up on a down-level ConfigMgr Primary site server yesterday ... the backup was failing to complete successfully. To drill in to this problem, first I got SMSBKUP.LOG in to trace and tracked through the most recent backup until I could...
  • WMUG Event - 19th of March (London, UK)

    • 2 Comments
    The WMUG team have brought together the next event, and it's set for the 19th of March at Cardinal Place, London. Split in to the usual two session format, with a talk on System Centre Data Protection Manager by Stephen Porter (Storage Partner...
  • UK ConfigMgr Contractors

    • 0 Comments
    I personally know it can be hard to line up the next contract, and sometimes you can sit on the sidelines for several weeks\months while waiting for something to come along. So, if you are a contracting SMS\ConfigMgr admin, with a good track record...
  • Windows Mobile 6.5 coming to a hand near you

    • 1 Comments
    I've not seen it yet, just reading stuff on the world wide wait ... Microsoft on Monday made its latest bid to stem share loses in the mobile sector with a new version of its Windows Mobile software that includes an online store for third-party...
  • Microsoft retail stores ...

    • 0 Comments
    Bit of news on the Microsoft Retail Stores that will start springing up on the high street. And, a bit of tongue in cheek humour at how it will all work
  • Example of tracing a Collection Evaluator error

    • 0 Comments
    Every working day, first thing in the morning, I have to deal with a bucket load of hierarchy checks to make sure all is well. Sometimes you turn away from SMS and when you look back, its pretending to be dead! So, regular daily checks bring good Karma...
  • Happy Valentines weekend

    • 0 Comments
    Well, its quickly approaching ... Have a happy Valentines weekend folks! Noticed on the way in to work that the price of roses has almost quadrupled!
  • Purple since 1998

    • 0 Comments
    Any of you seen www.purple.com in your travels around the internet? Visit it for a laugh, it's safe for work, and it's something I like to show folks once in a while as they just don't get it initially ... The Internet Archives way back...
  • Microsoft: Conficker hacker, wanted Dead or Alive - Preferably alive, or you'll end up in court!

    • 0 Comments
    Microsoft are fronting some $$$ to anyone that can point out who the Conficker worm creator is. Don't think bounty hunters around the world are going to rise to this, but maybe that one from the states, you know, Duane Chapman AKA The Dog could...
  • Apple OS patch release on the 12th of Feb filled in some Arbitrary code execution holes

    • 0 Comments
    On the 12th of Feb 2009 Apple released a slew of patches . Dotted in amongst the list are patches for issues that look very similiar to Windows bugs, such as "arbitrary code execution". I only blog about this to add another pebble to the...
  • Windows 7 up for release at the end of 2009?

    • 0 Comments
    It looks like Windows 7 will RTM this side of Xmas! No one has officially said this, but Mark Russinovich dropped a huge hint in a webcast he did recently in reference to the technical aspects (Kernel ...) of Windows 7. Do hope the OS does go RTM...
  • ConfigMgr KB's for Jan 2009

    • 1 Comments
    Here's the list of KB's that were released in Jan 2009 for ConfigMgr The SMS_Executive service process crashes on a Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 site server when you use Intel WS-MAN Translator to provision computers that are equipped...
  • Most users only have 2 applications open?

    • 0 Comments
    Microsoft is preparing us for the Slice and Dice of Windows 7 ... Here's some chatter about the Starter Edition, sigh! Obviously Windows 7 is going to get the same treatment as Vista, whereby they (MS) slice up the product in to different versions...
  • A politically blurred line on drug use in the UK ...

    • 0 Comments
    Here's an article with the catchy title: Alcohol our favourite drug A quick sound bite from that site "Alcohol is our favourite drug. Most of us use it for enjoyment, but for some of us, drinking can become a serious problem. In fact, alcohol...
  • A Windows 7 Experience on MONSTER

    • 5 Comments
    A few weeks back I invested in a new machine for home use. It's called Monster. I thought the name was appropriate considering that it's not made by a box-shifter (Dell, HP, IBM Et al, AlienWare), but by me using some of the latest...
  • Microsoft fix-it button spreads across the Microsoft web domain

    • 2 Comments
    Interesting tool from Microsoft: Common Windows problems could soon be solved by clicking a "Fix It" button. Microsoft has started putting the button on its web-based support pages that detail the most common problems hitting PC and Windows...
  • Microsoft Surface and iPhone mashup

    • 0 Comments
    Stimulant has created an interesting mashup between the iPhone and the Microsoft Surface , though the technology works with any phone. Source: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/02/cool-video-iphone-and-microsoft-surface-mashup.ars I love...
  • Replacing Notepad for collecting those temporary snippets of info

    • 1 Comments
    I've been using Notepad for many a task over the years, one of which is a place to dump bits of info I collect across the day, or while i'm performing a task. Now, I've never used this replacement before, and am truely gobsmacked at how...
  • Snowing in London!

    • 0 Comments
    When I woke this morning, there was an unusual silence in the air, no cars or buses passing by my house, streets almost empty of people, no birds singing ... Da Daaaah! The 3 inch snow-o-death had settled overnight, you know, the type of destructive...