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About Alastair Revell
Alastair Revell is the Managing Consultant of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I understand from IT Week (21st August 2006) that there has been an 8% drop from last year in the number of FE students taking IT or Computing A-levels. Apparently only 20,000 students took IT-related A-levels this year in comparison to some 28,000 in 2003.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006 5:43:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Comments [0] General | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Saturday, August 12, 2006
I couldn't really let 12th August 2006 pass without noting it to be 25th Birthday of the original IBM PC, which arguably kicked off the PC revolution in business.
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Saturday, August 12, 2006 5:55:33 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Friday, August 11, 2006
I was interested to read the BBC article highlighting the concerns of Professor Antonia Jones and her team at Cardiff University regarding the security of the HSBC Online Banking Web Site, particularly in light of my earlier blog entry.
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Friday, August 11, 2006 5:07:06 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Comments [0] Security | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The announcement this week by Intel of their new multi-core processor technology is clearly the beginning of the end for the venerable Pentium processor, which was introduced as far back as 1993.

Multi-core processors offer a considerable leap in power and it will be interesting to see how software developers take advantage of this new power in the future.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006 2:55:08 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I have been very concerned for sometime about the rather blasé attitude that banks sometimes take towards security when dealing with their customers.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:05:29 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Comments [0] Security | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Thursday, July 13, 2006
I believe that a really useful administrative facility that should be built into Microsoft Windows is the ability to login as a user by using an administrator's credentials.
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Thursday, July 13, 2006 10:50:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Comments [0] Security | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Register recently reported that Bexley Care Trust had lost a considerable amount of Microsoft Exchange Data. One of the Register's sources asserts that this was due to "primitive backup procedures". Another anonymous source interviewed by them suggested the server was six years old and that the tape heads were badly worn. They also suggested that the trust had been warned over six months ago that the UPS battery needed replacing.

I doubt Bexley Care Trust will be the only organisation to suffer such problems.

I think many organisations have come to assume that their systems will run and run. They have done so for years, so why assume they won't continue to do so? The reality is that sooner or later disaster will strike. Many organisations are loathed to properly fund their information technology (IT) infrastructure, simply increasing the risk of a disaster occurring. Indeed, some organisations seem to feel so immune from disaster that they fail in the most basic areas of disaster recovery, namely in backing up properly.

If reported accurately, it is clear that the warning signs were there at Bexley Care Trust: UPS battery on the blink and an old server.

Sloppy backup procedures are far too common. Very few organisations test and in many SME firms the attitude towards this important procedure is completely blasé. Did no one check the backup logs on a regular basis at Bexley Care Trust? I fear not otherwise someone would have noticed that backups were failing (assuming they were being done!)

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006 10:16:56 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Sunday, June 18, 2006

I note from Somasegar's blog that Microsoft are to rebrand their forthcoming WinFX technologies as .NET Framework 3.0. (S Somasegar is Microsoft's Corporate Vice-President of the Developer Division.)

This is essentially the existing .NET 2.0 Framework combined with the new WinFX technologies. The new technologies are Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and Windows Card Space (WCS), together with some supporting new base class libraries.

It is apparent that this name change has not met with universal approval from the developer community.

However, it is equally clear that many people were finding it difficult to understand exactly how WinFX fitted in with Microsoft's overall strategy. In particular, a number of people seem to believe that WinFX was to replace the .NET Framework. In technical terms, WinFX has only ever been an extension of the existing .NET Framework 2.0.

I actually think that in some respects WinFX is a better name for the .NET Framework, since it is clear that the .NET Framework is destined to be the new way of programming Windows. WinFX is really the next step in the Win16 and Win32 series...

Ultimately, I'm happy with Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 (WinFX).

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Sunday, June 18, 2006 12:01:41 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Comments [0] .NET | Coding | Trackback

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