It's not Change I fear, but Change Management itself.

It’s not change that I fear, but the Change Management process itself.

Change Management is intended to reduce risk by encouraging responsibility and planning.

Change Management is often staffed by semi-retired technical types who know enough to be dangerous, and not enough to be wildly misinformed of anything new. A change reviewer has already seen the change hundred times before. A change creator is mired in a ton of pointless questions to create the simplest change. Big changes are so complex

In most organisations, Change Management just lets you know who to blame faster and more accurately.

Overcoming human nature is difficult. Overcoming the natural instinct to blame, or feel blamed, after a failed change requires a new approach to people management and team building that is rare. Really rare.

As a team leader, who has several executives who constantly speak trite phrases like

“risk is to be managed & accepted”, “we want to improve the process” “failure is not acceptable”, “we need to put resources into solving those problems”

When I face them down in a the blamestorming session after a major outage, they just want someone to victimise. They all know it isn’t going to fix anything. They all know that blaming a long serving employee who has taken years to develop those skills is counter productive.

And then refuse to sign off reasonable training budgets, practical lab environments, or professional learning time because Change Management has controlled the risk.

It’s not change that I fear, but the Change Management process itself.

The difference between training and professional development

Accountant: “What happens if we invest in developing our people & they leave?”

Leader: ‘What happens if we don’t invest in our people and they stay?"

SizeUp - still rocking my keyboard 2 years later

With SizeUp I can drive the window size and placement on OSX completely by keyboard. Still astonished by this 2 years after I bought the software.

Sizeup still loving 1

I wrote a long review about it OSX:Sizeup Review if you are interested.

Burning Bandwidth

So yeah, I like to clip my phone to dashboard of my car when I’m driving and put Google Maps on the screen. Not because I use Google Maps (because it’s just not that great compared to a SatNav in the car) , but just to use up bandwidth on my account on my iPhone.

Why ? Because its disgusting thats carriers who steal charge thirty quid for 500 Megabytes of data per month which I never use. So I’m going to use it, just to get my own back. I hardly use it as a telephone, sometimes I wonder why I’m even bothering.

Petty ? Heck yeah.

Are we being gouged by carriers? Yep.

Am I kinda pissed about that ? Dur.

Rant: Microsoft Loathing - Nine Ways to Hate Their Products

Over the last twenty years, I’ve become more and more disenchanted with Microsoft as a vendor / supplier, especially Windows.

Loathing 1 - It's still not secure

Frankly, after eight major versions, hundreds of patches, multiple billions of dollars of investment and development (or so they say) we still don't have a secure operating system. Why can I never feel confident that my Windows desktop is safe for my personal data.

Worse: It is effectively compulsory to pay another company to provide with extra software that protects against any security (virus / malware) problems. Why do I have to pay protection money to fix a faulty product ? Why has Microsoft not bothered to develop secure, well written, well maintained software that is not vulnerable ?

Even more maddening, why does the IT Industry continue let this happen ? How can we accept and use an insecure product that hasn’t been fixed in the last decade ? If all Corporate Security take the default view that MS Windows products are inherently insecure, why are we still buying them at all ?

Then we spend even more money to recover from that bad decision.

Loathing 2 - It still crashes

Even when running in an emulator, or a certified desktop, and using mainstream devices my Windows desktops crash. Big stinky, dead stop, complete lockups and BSOD and data loss. I mean really, once a month maybe, once a week even possibly, but couple of times a week or daily (in my case) isn't acceptable.

Loathing 3 - Blaming Device Drivers

Microsoft always blames the device drivers for crashes and lockups. I blame Microsoft for allowing bad software drivers to break their operating system. Surely, it should be possible to write interfaces and APIs that are secure and maintain operational integrity. (See Loathing 1).

Loathing 4 - It has no class

Alright, this is a personal choice. Windows still has no aesthetic sense of use interaction that appeals to me. I still find the interface confusing and always have to go looking for programs and utilities in places that are not obvious. The idea of hiding menu options in recursive and contextual menus is a game I don't want to play.

And those people who say Aero is good…. you have no class either. It makes my eyes bleed.

Loathing 5 - The Microsoft Office Ribbon

The Microsoft ribbon is a huge insult to user intelligence. Obviously, users are incapable of moving beyond some predefined interface, therefore all users are forced to use the ribbon. . I _hate_ the Ribbon. I really, really, really hate the stupid, insulting, not my way of working, changing, irrelevant to my style, cant-find-anything-because-its-always-changing ribbon which uses the badly organised keyboard shortcuts.

I want to set it up MY WAY, give me a customisation option at least. The ribbon is either on or off, and no customisation is possible. Bah, stuff that.

Loathing 6 - Steve Ballmer

One look at this guy presenting and you get creeped out. Him and Eric Schmidt from Google - creepy. Right ? Shivers up the spine kind of creepy. Walk to the other side of the road to avoid creepy.

You don’t want to do business with Steve Ballmer. You don’t want to give him money.

Loathing 7 - Expensive

Windows Server is worth how much ? And Microsoft Office costs as much as typical pay rise for user or employee. Microsoft maintenance contracts - how much value are you getting from Microsoft for support ? When was the last time you called Microsoft and got a worthy, valuable answer to a question ?

Not worth it.

Loathing 8 - Reboot after patch.

I hate that Microsoft requires a reboot for every patch update. I know it's because virus, malware, and applications can lock libraries and thus a reboot is a "just to be safe", but why haven't Microsoft designed the operating system to stop this from happening at least some of the time.

Nine - Cost

And for all this, we pay a seriously overpriced amount of money. With licensing terms that are deeply onerous.


The whole ethic of mediocrity and customer loathing exists in Microsoft other products as well. Sharepoint, HyperV, .Net, IE9, etc are all products afflicted with the same disease. Constant patches and insecurities, poor performance and poor freedom of choices.

I tend to be a user of Apple products because Microsoft is bad, not specifically because Apple is better, that’s what drive me to the change. Even so, I’m hoping that Microsoft can return to prominence. Once they achieved great things in changing the IT industry by introducing PC desktops, producing best in class software such as MS Word 2.0 in its day. But right now, the less I can partner with Microsoft the better my professional life is.

CCIE - perspective


Design Motto

Design is the art of going from the whole to the part

Turbo Encabulator

Turbo Encabulator



Found via @matthewnorwood

On Choosing Blog Software

When I set out to write for the web, it took me a long time (read: couple of years) to decide how to present my writing. I’m going to be putting my name to it, and identifying myself by it’s very nature. So one criteria was to present my content in a way that I can live with. (Hence why this blog is titled “Notational Stigma”.

On the other hand, I want people to read what I’m writing. I’m not obsessive about getting the maximum numbers of views for a given topic, but I would like to think that people are reading what I’ve laboured to prepare and publish. This means it needs to be presented in a way that people understand.

And while I would love to build a completely minimalist website based on some of the more funky toolkits / CMS’s such as jekyll they take a certain level of Linux software competence to make them run. Although they are stripped down and simplistic, this throws much of the administration onto myself which, much to my own disappointment, I don’t have time or motivation to learn. Ok, I have some Linux competency, but my time is better spent learning Wave Division Multiplexing or whatever the current technology is rather than focussing on the intricacies of Apache and file permissions.

My first choice was to use Joomla / Mambo, but I spent more than six months trying to make the software run and look nice before I eventually gave up. I looked at Drupal before deciding that it was too complicated for a simple blog setup. I took the view that what I really wanted to do was to write, therefore the blogging software should focus on that. And only that.

Hence, I use WordPress. Just blogging. Enough administration tools to make it simple enough to run, but scalable enough for some heavy-duty work.

You can choose to run WordPress from for free. I did this for a couple of months before I moved to hosting my own site on a ten-dollar a month plan. My only advice is to purchase your own domain name from day one.

When choosing a domain name don’t use a vendor name, anything else that is copyrighted. The guy who owned couldn’t complain when Cisco sent the lawyers in to stop him using their name.

I got more into blogging at this point and started to implement more features, and have been increasing my hosting plans to larger hosting plans over time. The real hosting problems are CPU & memory related since delivering HTML doesn’t use that much bandwidth. But by this point, I more or less knew what I needed and have been handling & management of Wordpress.

Shopping in London Dec 2010

[gallery link=“file” columns=“2”]I went shopping with the family in London. We went through a part of Selfridges that I’ve never seen before which has some unusual items. Check out this book: