Friday, November 07, 2008

System Center Virtual User Group meeting on November 13th

I'm going to be presenting at the upcoming System Center Virtual User Group meeting on November 13th. This will be my first User Group presentation, luckily it's virtual so they won;t be able to see me sweat.

I'll be presenting content from my recently published document covering how to deploy FCS agents with SCCM, how to maintain FCS signature updates with your existing SCCM WSUS infrastructure and monitoring FCS configurations via DCM. It'll be a brisk 30 minutes with a bunch of technical content. Hopefully brisk enough to keep me from realizing it's happening!

This should also be a good warmup for my presentation at the Jacksonville, Fl System Center Users Group on the 19th. More on that later.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wings Over Houston 2008

Very early October 24th I drove down I-45 though Houston on my now annual trip to spend a weekend at Ellington field. This year was a bit different as I was working Friday as well as Saturday and Sunday. Once again I would be working with the most excellent and insane crew at the show's Motorpool. Having been there before, it was rather easy to navigate my way around the field and sneak over to park by the Motorpool rather than the normal Participant Parking. This was helpful since we're first in and last out in Motorpool.

Early Friday made for a bit of a false start, as my wife had locked her keys in her car. at $250 per key we only have the 2, so I had to drive back to home and unlock her car and turn around and drive back to Ellington. Not my idea of an enjoyable morning since it was now about 7am and rush hour traffic was in full swing. I was however lucky enough to be able to avoid most of the traffic. I had Kelly check the Transtar Traffic maps and decided to run east around the city on the 610 loop. Brillian choice if I do say so myself, the traffic was nearly non-existant and I maintained fast highway speeds the entire time. Everybody back at the field figured they woudln't see me again until Saturday Morning. Boy did I prove them wrong. An hour and 15 mintues later I walked back into the Motorpool smiling. Traffic was really running well for me (it helped that I checked the maps and took a few alternate paths and stayed with the fastest flow of traffic I could).

Once back at the Motorpool, things we proceeding calmly. Most of the hectic work had been done but there was more to be done.

The Motorpool at the Airshow "owns" all of the golf carts that the show staff uses to get around the field to do their jobs. This ranges from the carts the Programs group uses to distribute programs to the people hawking them, to the carts that drive around with Water and Poweraid coolers strapped to the back to make sure everyone at the show remains hydrated. This is why we have to be in before everyone else. The carts are checked out and back in on a daily basis so that we can make sure none are lost and take are of any matinenance and get them ready for the next day. This year was far easier than in the past since of the 155 carts, only 9 were electric. In past year's we've had to spend a lot of time getting all the carts plugged in so they could charge and drag the charging stuff off the carts in the morning.

Checking the carts out in the moring leads to a severe case of Wet Butt but that's a small price to pay for a fun weekend (and somewhat avoidable if I could rememebr to bring a pair of shorts to change into when it warms up).

The show this year seemed to run even more smoothly than past years. The core staff has been doing this a long time and seems very committed to learning something from every year to make future shows better. Don't get me wrong, things do go wrong and there are problems but nothing major and it was all handled very well by all parties.

I was a bit disappointed by the Ham community this year as we were significanlty short on operators. I'm sure this has largely to do with Ike but it's still unfortunate.

The Thunderbirds performed excelently as always as did all of the other performers. This year feature even more "Pyro Goodness" from the Tora Tora Tora pyro crew which was very cool. They do an excelent job of setting off car alarms every year (with explosives mind you, not by breaking into them!).

I want to thank the entire Motorpool crew for another great year. I'd especially like to thank Tom and Cory for stepping up to cover for some last minute cancelations on Sunday. As well as Bryan for letting me stay on the Katie Girl (It's a boat.. don't get any bad ideas) down in Seabrook which made the 0500 start times far easier!

I now realize that I should work on shorter blogs instead of writing a novel each time. Maybe I'd actually blog more that way!