Tag Archives: MimboloveOthers

New Blogger in the Family

Written by Tao Yang

I have been blogging for six and half years and to this moment, I’m still enjoying it. Few months ago my better half has decided to start blogging as well. Although my partner also works in IT as a project manager, her real passions are photography and cooking. She has decided to start a blog focused on food and recipes. By doing this, not only she gets to create her favorite dishes, she also gets to take pictures too.

Then there was a lot of preparation to get her started. I helped her registered her chosen domain name, got a WordPress site hosted on the same hoster as my blog and company website, and also bought a lot of cooking, photo and recording equipment. Now her site is up, and she has already posted 4 recipes. You can check it out on http://www.lemontaste.com.au

You can also follow her on the social media:

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lemontasteblog/

Twitter: @Lemontaste_blog

Instagram: @Lemontaste_blog

Please feel free to share the links with your friends and family, it will be much appreciated!

For those who know me and my partner well on a personal level, hopefully you all agree that she is amazing when comes to cooking. Even my 4 year old daughter said to me that “Daddy is a cook, Mummy is a chef!” Together, we have already come up with over 20 recipes that she can blog about. However, given the time and effort required for each blog post, unlike my blog articles, she won’t be able to blog as fast as me. But I promise that I’ll keep reminding her and help her to get them published one at a time. At the end of the day, I really enjoy these blog posts too because I get to eat the leftover from her blog posts – after the photos been taken, then it’s all mine!

Here are some of her most recent dishes (all photos were taken by herself), there are few more on her blog:

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Lastly, if you have any questions, feel free to contact her directly. She will be more than happy to answer them.

Blog Site Recovered–Finally

Written by Tao Yang

If you are a regular visitor of this blog, you may have noticed that this blog has been down since last Thursday, and I’ve only been able to get it back online few hours ago (Monday afternoon my time). The downtime was caused by the server which is hosting my blog. My hoster couldn’t recover the sever, and ended up restored my site from the backup (that they took  on 24th April, which was 3 weeks ago).

Due to the hoster’s lack of ability to maintain my site, I have lost 3 weeks of data (2 most recent blog posts, comments, etc.). Only until today after I talked to their technical support people on the phone, I found out that they only backup my site once a week (and the recent backups were corrupted).

Putting my emotion aside, I have managed to find the Windows Live Writer’s drafts for the 2 blog posts that I lost, and I have just re-published them. I made sure the URLs are still the same as the original ones, but you may see them appear in your RSS feeds again (as duplicate feeds). Also, if you have left any comments on my blog over the last 3 weeks, they are probably gone now.

I apologise for any inconvenience this outage may have caused. I am looking into my own WordPress backup solutions now.

Also, my hosting plan is due for renewal in about a month time, I think I’ve got do something about it Smile.

Spend Your Money Wisely

Written by Tao Yang

spendingAs what I’d like to consider myself as – a seasoned System Center specialist, I have benefitted from many awesome resources from the community during my career in System Center. These resources consist of blogs, whitepapers, training videos, management packs and various tools and utilities. Although some of them are not free (and in my opinion, they are not free for a good reason), but large percentage of these resources I value the most are all free of charge.

This is what I like the most about the System Center community. Over the last few years, I got to know many unselfish people and organisations in the System Center space, who have made their valuable work completely free and open source for the broader community. Due to what I am going to talk about in this post, I am not going to mention any names in this post (unless I absolutely have to) . But if anyone is interested t know my opinion, I’m happy to write a separate post introducing what I believe are valuable resources.

First of all, I’m just going to put it out there, I am not upset, and this is not going to be a rant and I’m trying to stay positive.

I started working on System Center around 2007-2008 (ConfigMgr and OpsMgr at that time) . I started working on OpsMgr because my then colleague and now fellow SCCDM MVP (like I mentioned, not going to mention names) has left the company we were working for and I had to pick up the MOM 2005 to OpsMgr 2007 project he left behind. The very first task for me was to figure out a way to pass the server’s NetBIOS name to the help desk ticketing system and I managed to achieve this by creating a PowerShell script and utilised the command notification channel to execute the script when alerts were raised. I then used the same concept and developed a PowerShell script to be used in the command notification to send content rich notification emails which covered many information not available from native email notification channel.

When I started blogging 5 years ago, this script was one of the very first posts I published here. I named this solution “Enhanced SCOM Alert Notification Emails”. Since it was published, it has received many positive feedbacks and recommendations. I have since published the updated version (2.0) here:

http://blog.tyang.org/2012/08/16/scom-enhanced-email-notification-script-version-2/

After version 2.0 was published, a fellow member in the System Center community, Mr. Tyson Paul has contacted me, told me he has updated my script. I was really happy to see my work got carried on by other members in the community and since then, Tyson has already made several updates to this script and published it on his blog (for free of course):

Version 2.1: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/tysonpaul/archive/2014/08/04/scom-enhanced-email-notification-script-version-2-1.aspx

Version 2.2: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/tysonpaul/archive/2015/01/30/scom-enhanced-email-notification-script-version-2-2.aspx

This morning, I have received an email from a person I have never heard of. This person told me his organisation has developed a commercial solution called “Enhanced Notification Service for SCOM” and I can request a NFR by filling out a form from his website. As the name suggests (and I had a look on the website), it does exactly what mine and Tyson’s script does – sending HTML based notification emails which include content rich information including associated knowledge articles.

Well, to be fair, on their website, they did mention a limitation of running command notifications that you have a AsyncProcessLimit of 5. But, there is a way to increase this limit and if your environment is still hitting the limit after you’ve increased it, I believe you have a more serious issue to fix (i.e. alert storm) rather than enjoying reading those “sexy” notification emails. Anyways, I don’t want to get into technical argument here, it’s not the intention of this post.

So, do I think someone took my idea and work from Tyson and myself? It is pretty obvious, make your own judgement. Am I upset? not really. If I want to make a profit from this solution, I wouldn’t have published out on my blog in the first place. And believe me, there are many solutions and proof-of-concepts I have developed in the past that I sincerely hope some software vendors can pickup and develop a commercial solution for the community – simply I don’t have the time and resources to do all these by myself (i.e. my recently published post on managing ConfigMgr log files using OMS would be a good commercial solution).

In the past, I have also seen people took scripts I published on my blog, replaced my name with theirs from the comment section and published it on social media without mentioning me whatsoever. I knew it was my script because other comments in the script are identical to my initial version. When I saw it, I have decided not to let these kind behaviour get under my skin, and I believe the best way to handle it is to let it go. So, I am not upset when I read this email today. Instead, I laughed! Hey, if this organisation can make people to pay $2 per OpsMgr agent per year (which means for a fully loaded OpsMgr management group would cost $30k per year for “sexy” notification emails), all I’m going to say is:

good for  you

However, I do want to advise the broader System Center community: Please spend your money wisely!

There is only so much honey in the pot. You all have a budget. This is what the economist would call Opportunity Cost. If you have a certain needs or requirement and you can satisfy your requirement using free solutions, you can spend your budget on something that has a higher Price-Performance Ratio. If you think there’s a gap between the free and paid solution, please ask your self these questions:

  • Are these gaps really cost me this much?
  • Are there any ways to overcome this gap?
  • Have I reached out the the SMEs and confirm if this is a reasonable price?
  • How much would it cost me if I develop an in-house solution?

Lastly, I receive many emails from people in the community asking me for advise, and providing feedback to the tools I have published. I am trying my best to make sure I answer all the emails (and apologies if I have missed). So if you have any doubts in the future that you’d like to know my opinion, please feel free to contact me. And I am certain, not only myself, but other SMEs and activists in the System Center community would also love to help a fellow community member.

Visual Studio 2012 on Microsoft App Store

Written by Tao Yang

Just noticed that on my Windows 8 laptop, the Visual Studio 2012 Express is available in the Microsoft App Store:

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Looks like Microsoft expects anyone over 3 years old to be able to write codes in Visual Studio??? It makes me feel like a noob 🙁

This Blog Has Been Hacked! But Should Be OK Now…

Written by Tao Yang

 

Over the last few days, it seems my blog has been hacked. some suspicious malware codes have been injected into the WordPress PHP pages.

I have just reinstalled WordPress, changed all the passwords and ran another scan. it came out clean. I have manually checked infected pages, the suspicious codes have bee removed.

If you are using Google Chrome and saw the warning page when trying to access my blog:

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I have requested Google to review my site again. Hopefully I’ll get my site removed from the blacklist within few days.