I’m nominated for IT Pro Blogger of the Year

I got a complete surprise this morning when I found out my blog was shortlisted for the IT Blog Awards 2010: Individual IT Professional Male. I’m a bit gobsmacked that out of the 1000s of IT Pro blogs I was shortlisted as one of the final 17. I guess I must be doing something right after all!

Good Luck to all the other bloggers involved, you can see the list here.

If you enjoy reading my blog I’d really appreciate your vote. Go to the voting page for the IT blog awards and I’m listed in category 3,  Individual IT professional male.

I’m off to buy a tuxedo.

P.S. ComputerWeekly.com are also running a charity challenge for Computers for Schools Kenya. It’s a great charity that can put a refurbished PC on a school desk in Kenya for only £50. You can donate from as little as £3 on the justgiving page


Unfortunately, I didn’t win first place. That honour went to Mark Wilson. Not too disappointed, Mark has a great blog over at markwilson.it and is also worth following on twitter @markwilson.it.

It was a great awards cereomony. Lots of champagne quaffed, nibbles noshed and good to meet up with fellow bloggers. Here’s looking forward to an even better chance in 2011!

For a full list of the night’s winners head over to Computer Weekly

Trouble downloading Amazon MP3s after a browser crash

KoL-Come-around-sundownAfter hearing a BBC Newsbeat article on Radio 1, Digital Albums ‘Getting Cheaper’, I decided to see what Amazon’s £3.99 single was this week. I was pleased to find it was the newly released Kings of Leon album, Come Around Sundown.

I had heard a bit of the album on Spotify and thought it sounded pretty good so I decided to purchase it. Amazon MP3s are DRM free so I knew I’d have no problem burning it to a CD-R or adding it to a USB stick to play on my car stereo.

However, due to a crash I lost the chance to download. Read on to see how I fixed it  Continue reading

Zune – The iTunes alternative

Update: Zune is dead 😦

Well it’s actually regenerated into Xbox Music. A lot of the content on here is still valid but the links may not work. Go to music.xbox.com for full details

Don’t you just hate the fact that sometimes you need to install bloated, slow iTunes to download and organise your music collection? Well stress no more, coinciding with the release of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft have opened up Zune to international waters.

Zune goes where you go. Whether on your PC, Xbox 360, or Windows Phone 7 you can enjoy, discover, and share your entertainment anytime you want. zune.net

What’s a Zune?

The Zune software is a media player, originally designed to manage Microsoft’s own mp3 player (iPod competitor) the Zune. You would use the Zune app to sync your music to your device or download new music from the online marketplace. It is very similar in functionality to how iTunes works with iPods. However, it differs dramatically in it’s design. You can’t help but be impressed with how the software works. I installed it a couple of years ago, even though I didn’t have a Zune (as I’m in the UK) purely because it looks so good. I could also use it to download podcasts so I could sync them with my generic mp3 player.

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UK Tech Days Event Review, Transitioning to the Cloud

steve ballmer on stageI spent the day at the latest UK Tech Day, a free event provided by Microsoft for IT Pros and Developers. This one was titled “Transitioning to the Cloud”. Wanting to get my head into the Cloud (and more specifically what it actually means) I took the trip down to see Steve Ballmer & Co at the London ICC

Covering Windows Azure, Windows 7 and the soon-to-be-released Windows Phone 7 and IE9, we’ll show you how multiple screens and a cloud will change the way you think about development

The event was aimed more at developers but there was still a lot of good info for IT Pros. I was hoping to do a bit of a live blog/twitter but due to no free wi-fi (shame on you Microsoft) I was stuck to taking a few notes an my netbook

Ballmer’s Keynote

Steve Ballmer discusses new opportunities for developers

Steve Ballmer took to the stage looking very well, if a little bit tired from his current European tour. He didn’t reveal much in the way of any upcoming secrets but he did give an honest and inspiring look at the future of Microsoft

He believes we are at a transition point in terms of software. Not only how it is developed but how it is being consumed. Microsoft learnt a lot from developing Bing about how Azure needs to work. They realised that one needs to build solutions with the cloud in mind from the get go. In fact, they are going through the process themselves transitioning, or, repurposing their own systems to live in the cloud (i.e. SharePoint).

Read more on Ballmer and about each of the sessions after the jump

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