Professions ‘reserved for rich’?

Warning! Potential political points may be made!

Young Doctor

The BBC recently published an article suggesting that Professions ‘reserved for rich’ discussing the fact that top professions such as law and medicine are in fact being reserved for a smaller rather than large pool of people. And then you read about the government’s threat to independent schools through the reappraising of their charitable status and gradual destruction and removal of grammar schools and you have to ask – WHY? Surely looking at this new report it is obvious that both wide access to grammar schools and schemes like assisted places were the route to giving people equal access to top professions and universities.

Trying to make everyone have the same education experience is never ever going to work since not everyone learns the same way, has the same skills, etc. We need to ensure that everyone gets access to the best education for them and destroying academic excellence, however divisive it can seem, is not the way to do this. We need to improve the access to academic excellence not remove it all together and then we stand a chance of both improving our standing in the world league and giving everyone a fair chance at the best professions. Currently the government’s stance is that now we have all but eradicated grammar school options for everyone, now let’s kill the independent option for all but the rich, firstly through the killing of the assisted places scheme and now through the potential of increasing fees at the more affordable schools such that those that can afford fund a new assisted places distorting the whole market once more.


Google Chrome and IE – is it war?

While catching up on news over the weekend I came across Boagworld’s well reasoned post “Can Google Chrome topple IE?”. He asks “The question is whether we will need to start testing our sites in Chrome? Well, take has been strong with figures rising up from 1% to over 6% shortly after launch. But is Chrome going to finally overcome the dominance of Internet Explorer or just cannibalise the market share of IE’s rivals? That is harder to judge.”

I would have to say – NO! Having the benefit of dealing with quite a few members of both my immediate family and circle of friends in, as in normal with being into technology, helping them sort of computer problems, etc. As has been said elsewhere (most) everyone associated the internet with that little blue ‘E’ on their computer. So I believe Chrome will hit Firefox rather than IE since it is the tech savvy people who have moved to Firefox and it is those very same people who may consider moving to Chrome if it answers their needs, for the rest of the population this will be a small sideshow and IE will rumble on.

You only have to look at the usage stats for the major sites out there to see that it is the sites frequented by the tech savvy which have most Firefox visits and it will be those very same sites that see Chrome usage creep up (to the detriment of Firefox).

Join In – Save Jodrell Bank

Again we have the problem of the UK missing the point in putting Science development on the Agenda with the plan to remove critical funding for Jodrell Bank’s future in being able to make new discoveries. For the sake of £2.5m funding the whole future of not only Jodrell but the whole of the UK being at the forefront of astronomical research is being put at risk. We are continually implored to get more kids studying science and technology, and yet we continually loose key parts of our scientific past and future. Jodrell Bank stands out for all to see, lets keep it going.

Our local radio station has put together a song and video to add to the campaign. Join in, watch the video and spread the word, the blogosphere can and does make a difference to public and, even more importantly, government opinion.

Good Installation Errors & Visual Studio 2008

Have spent the last 2 days trying to get the RTM version of Visual Studio 2008 to install and what an experience that has been. Kept getting an error during the overall install process with the Web Authoring Component and the error given was:-

setup.exe: [2] ISetupComponent::Pre/Post/Install() failed in
ISetupManager::InternalInstallManager() with HRESULT -2147023293.

Now the googling started as I tried to work out what the problem was, all sorts of offerings were made and I tried most of them. Finally settling on extracting the web authoring component to a temp directory and running its setup out of the combined Visual Studio installer. This indicated that some Office 2007 Beta component was installed which was hindering the installation. So working through the various Office add-ons I had installed, previously I have had this error due to the PDF/XPS add-on and the Expression Blend betas. Well the PDF add-on is now the release version and I had already removed Expression Blend. After a few attempts it turned out that the Outlook 2007 Calendar Printing Assistant was the culprit, and once removed the install proceeded to complete.

Now I ask why couldn’t the combination installer tell me that in the first place, without trying to install it manually I would still be looking for a solution. If you are going to create combination installers which roll-up a whole host of components and install them together then you need to make sure that decent error messages are either passed back to the main installer or at least logged somewhere for further diagnosis.

The MacBook Air – The Missing Link?

Lots of articles around on the MacBook Air including The Fishbowl: Heavier than Air. But what is the Air really missing?

Well to my mind the real missing link here is a 3G cellular solution just like the iPhone – what’s up with Steve? I see the main problem is Apple’s intense focus on the US market, time after time Apple adds product features which only make sense, or can be used, in the US. If Apple really wants to take on Nokia or Sony then it needs to get a real global view, and for both the iPhone & Air this is having true wireless capability no matter where you are, I don’t want wifi in a product like this, I want true wireless freedom and that means using the cellular networks. Just take a look at Europe and the Far Eastern companies and you will see that using the mobile network for internet access is fast becoming normal.

So there is the challenge to Apple, to really make a difference look globally, I mean with the financial meltdowns in the US it may be the only place to sell such a high-end product.

Oracle’s VM – Does it really matter?

Oracle have now jumped on the virtualization bandwagon and launched their own VMM based on the Open Source XEN hypervisor. There seems to be a fair amount of confusion around Oracle’s support policy running within a VM environment as noted here Oracle (further) clarifies its support policy for VMware.

But does it really matter?

Well I guess it depends on what you are doing with your Oracle databases. In the course of my technology journey most Oracle databases I have come across are large enterprise class databases which typically require as much hardware as you can throw at them so in this case does the Oracle VM simply provide a better failover option using Live Migration?

Where you would want to run multiple databases on a single host then it is likely these would be SQL Server, mySQL, etc based systems as they offer a much lower cost point for these type of small database systems. Have you seen how many products come with a low-cost (or free) database engine these days. These are exactly the database instances that you want to consolidate and in this case product like VMware or SmartPeak WLM offer a fully supportable solution for the consolidation exercise.

So really I guess the answer is not really, Oracles VM will just end up being part of their database stack. It is even listed under their database product group on their website.

Thoughts anyone?

ESX 3i hosted in vmware workstation

Well thanks to all those articles out the net I now have my ESX3i server picked up at vmworld running nicely inside vmware workstation. Next step is to get even more esoteric and load up a VM within a VM, that really makes you want to step back and reassess what you are doing – but it is a far easier way to try out 3i without the need to procure a box of the HCL list.

Wacky, but cool !