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Black Marble Technical Update 2009

Posted by Chalky on Feb 7, 2009 in Computer, Technology, Work

I really need to get into the habit of finishing writing entries, rather than starting them and leaving them for weeks where they’re not really relevant anymore!

Black MarbleA few weeks, I attended the Black Marble Technical Update for 2009. It was held at the Leeds/Bradford Holiday Inn. The Hotel itself is in a nice setting, outside both Leeds and Bradford surrounded by trees and fields. I think that if I go to the Conference again next year (which I’m hoping to) then I might treat myself to a night there!

A big thumbs up to the Black Marble team and the Holiday Inn who put on a great spread for the Delegates. A large selection of cake, chocolate bars, Seabrooks Crisps and sandwiches. It is also one of the few events that I have been to that actually catered for people who don’t drink tea or coffee with a wide range of soft drinks and fresh fruit juice.

The first part of the event, was mainly for Business Management and the tools Microsoft provide to facilitate this. As me and Mark weren’t really interested in this, we didn’t go in favour of staying at home!

Windows 7The second half was the bulk of the Technical Update. We got to have a sneak peak of the latest Windows 7 BETA which I was pleased to see was running on a couple of DELL Mini Netbooks. It was great to see it running on generally low powered Hardware that I knew from experience wouldn’t run Vista. As a result of the event, I have installed Windows 7 on my work HP Compaq nx6310 which has also failed to run Vista in the past. I am hoping to finish writing up an entry for that soon. We got to see some of the features that will be included in Windows Server 2008 R2 which gave me and Mark a renewed interest in the Server Operating System after our initial enthusiasm had been wiped out! The Black Marble team walked us through the Road Map for these and other Microsoft Products including a very brief look at Microsoft Office 14. There was also a look at Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s rival project to Amazon’s EC2.

Ed Gibson - Chief Security Advisor (Microsoft UK)The evening session was a talk from Microsoft’s Chief Security Advisor for the UK, Ed Gibson. This was by far the highlight of the day. Being an ex-FBI Agent, you’d expect a very serious presentation. However, Ed presents himself in an amusing way but still get’s his point across very well. He presents his information is a story-like fashion and makesman links between different subjects that you would never normally link but leaves the impression behind that makes you wonder why you never did in the first place. The fact that he doesn’t use technical jargon nor any equipment, not even a microphone makes this man even the more interesting when he speaks. He doesn’t hide behind PowerPoint Presentations and booming speakers. Just him and his thoughts. A truly great speaker.

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