data-ad-format="horizontal">

7 Essential Travel Tips for Everyone

Wingshot Showing Mountains
Whether for business or pleasure, you won’t be short of travel tips. But, often the really important “in-transit” knowledge is skipped because we’re resigned to it being painful. I’ve probably travelled more than a million miles to some amazing places in all kinds of vehicles, and no matter how or where I go, I’ve learned there are always some basic things that would improve a trip. I want to share these 7 tips with you. These are distilled from a wealth of mistakes and a desire to learn and be better. 

Airlines Are About to Make Flying Even More Painful

United Airlines LogoThe long waits. The difficult and intrusive security. The cramped feeling on flights. The nickle-and-diming checked bags and food items. Over-priced everything at airports. Now, this insanity is going to ratchet up to a new class of ticket below economy named “basic economy“. This new class of ticket appears to be finding widespread adoption among airlines, with United Airlines setting incredible new lows. If your last class ticket is with United expect no chance at seat selection, no access to the overhead bin, and be forced to board the plane last (and look like a cheapskate).

We’re Doing it Wrong: Creating an Active Directory Domain

Windows Server Logo 2015

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

It can be hard to admit that.We’re naming the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of an Active Directory domain either a valid name,  or using .local TLD and these are both incorrect. Recently, when I was again tasked to build a small (200-ish user) Active Directory domain from scratch, I was again confronted about how wrong those of us in this industry have been. What’s even worse is that Microsoft has been recommending the “Right” way for 14 years! 

The New Macbook Pros (and Old Apple Problem)

Apple's Macbook Pro 2016By now you may have heard the Apple has announced new iterations of the Macbook Pro laptop line. These new models are causing a bit of a shitstorm for Apple on a number of fronts. The new laptop models include a touchbar, USB-C ports, a thinner design and various updated hardware parts. These changes have also removed important ports and functions under the guise of an “upgrade”. As a current Macbook model user, I have some thoughts about this.

Apple’s September 7, 2016 iPhone 7 Event

Apple Event Invite Sept 7 2016

I’m a big Apple product user. Currently, I regularly use a Macbook Pro for administration duties, a Magic Mouse v2, an Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Watch  1, and an iPhone 6s Plus. For the most part, I think these products are rock-solid and reliable (for what I do). Given this, every Apple announcement is generally met with great interest for me, mainly because I’ll probably be in there at 3am Eastern Time buying the next iPhone on Friday like many of you.

I Struggle With How Badly Technology People are Represented Online

Head in Hands

What has this all come to? Regularly, I read articles and blog posts, but I also see a good deal from people who represent my industry, namely the Computer Technical Service or MSP folks. What I’ve encountered, however, has me incredibly troubled. A number of folks online are purporting to represent us, when in fact they aren’t doing it well at all. This hit the tipping point when two of these people came together to make an insanely bad webcast, that I had to share it with you.

And naturally, I don’t see every webcast, hear every podcast or know about all those who are out publicly talking about the industry. One of the biggest truisms is that if you devote your time to work, you can’t make and edit three massively long videos, podcasts or blogs a week. So, many of these super prolific people are probably not actually out there in the industry doing what I’m doing.

Exchange 2016 and Reducing Disk Usage on the Server’s Boot Drive

Microsoft Exchange 2016 Logo

Every new version of Exchange Server seems to need more space on a server’s boot drive. Given that, you may be faced with building an Exchange Server and wish you had made the boot partition larger. Once it’s done, though, you can’t always take it back and reconfigure everything. Here, I have some strategies for redirecting drive use from an Exchange Server installed on C: to another, larger data drive.

Note: This article is focused on Exchange Server 2016 on-premise. Newer and older versions of Exchange may act differently.

Highlighting the Good: Teksavvy

Teksavvy Logo

One familiar refrain amongst all Canadian Internet users when talking about service levels is “There’s nothing we can do”. We’re resigned to bad connections, routing devices that appear untested, over-priced services, phone systems that are truly hellish, and big companies that operate as if they were monopolies. In fact, you don’t have to go far to find horror stories. If you even look at the history of my blog, you’ll see that I write much more about negative topics than positive. The challenge, I find, is surfacing the good stories, so they can also compete for attention just as much. This is a story about Teksavvy.

Reviewing the PeakDesign Messenger Bag

PeakDesign's Everyday Messenger Bag

As someone who works in I.T. on a daily basis, but is also into photography, I rely on bags for more than I like. Most cheap bags (hasn’t everyone had a APC bag in I.T.?) are great for storing laptops, but aren’t so great at photography gear. Many camera bags are clearly not meant for computer gear. Well, thanks to some good fortune, I came across PeakDesign and their EveryDay Messenger bag. Frankly, it was a challenge to tell if this was going to be great at what I needed until I bought the thing, so hopefully if this is on your mind, I can help. Here are my thoughts on this bag.