Cricket World Cup 2019 Games Venues Tickets & More

The CWC2019 comes to these shores (well England and Wales) next year from 30th May to the final on 14th July 2019, so it’s coming home anyway and by our recent performances against the Aussies and Indians this ones in the bag already (yes, I know about the Scotland game but let’s just try and forget about it yeah?).

So, a quick word on tickets, games and venues. Below I’ve included a master table of all games and also (further below) a mini table for each nations games (and each grounds games too). Might be helpful when figuring out which matches to book. How to book?

  1. Booking ‘registration’ opened yesterday. You MUST register at BEFORE the 1st August 2018 to be able to book via the Public Ballot. So go and do that right now.
  2. The actual booking of tickets (the Public Ballot) is open from 10AM 1ST AUGUST 2018 – this is when you can login with your registered account and select the games and type of ticket you’d like to purchase.

Maybe it’s a coincidence that England’s first Test match in a series of 5 against India begins at 11AM on the 1st of August!!!

So set a reminder on your phone for 1st of August 2018, and use the tables below to help you decide which game is best. Enjoy

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Continuous Learning – how to guide

The Information Technology landscape I work in has changed rapidly, and continues to evolve at pace. The common challenge I find now is that many in the IT field are finding it difficult to keep up with the learning needed to remain relevant in the job marketplace. Before I dive into new posts on the technology areas I’m most enthusiastic about I think it’s important to explain fundamental learning principles, how to remember content and how to remain motivated to learn.

[Credit for content: “Developing a Learning Mindset” by Gary Bolles, find it at]

How we Learn.

There are 3 essential elements to learning, they are:

  • Knowledge – cold hard facts that you know e.g. knowing how Active Directory works
  • Transferable Skills – skills you learn that can apply to multiple disciplines e.g. learning Python
  • Traits – your personality in essence e.g. completing tasks, time keeping

When you learn something, anything, it involves one or more of the above. For future learning (e.g. a textbook you want to read, a course you want to take) try to break down the learning goals into the above 3 elements.

  • What new knowledge will you gain?
  • What transferable skill will you learn?
  • What traits will you continue to develop?

So instead of just cramming information into your head you can focus on the development of all 3 elements as part of one overall task.

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Office 365 and the backup/data loss conundrum

With GDPR on the horizon and many organisations rapidly moving to Office 365, Azure services, Skype for Business and SharePoint online it seems many are not 100% clear on the distinction of responsiblities between their organisation and Microsoft themselves.

The plain bare fact is that YOU and your organisation are responsible for your data. All of it. Not Microsoft, sure they provide the service and there are SLA’s associated with those services – but those SLA’s can still be met if even if all your data was maliciously or accidentally erased i.e. the service is still running (even though all your data is gone!).

Microsoft are not responsible for backup or restore of your data.

Again, you might say there is 30 days backup for Office365 and 14 days for SharePoint online – but this only provides a limited amount of protection against data loss. Believe it or not any restore requirements are on a best effort from Microsoft as oppsed to tied to a distinct SLA. As with all cloud services, functionality and features continually change and evolve, a good thing generally BUT when talking about backup/restore and data loss this uncertainty around continual change represents a significant risk to your critical data.

Granular restore of a specific document in SharePoint online? Forget it, it’s either the whole Site Collection (yes, everything!) or nothing.

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Azure VM, Active Directory and a Dedicated Disk

Installing the AD DS role onto a Azure virtual machine? Creating a Domain Controller in the cloud? Are you sure you want to do this?

For all Domain Controllers you create on an Azure virtual machine, in addition to the system OS disk (C:\) you MUST add a dedicated disk and ensure thatyour AD DS install wizard or script uses this dedicated disk as the location for both the Active Directory database (NTDS) and the replicated system volume (SYSVOL) during the Role installation.

IMPORTANT: For this dedicated disk ensure that the ‘Azure Disk Host Cache’ is set to NONE

Failure to do this risks the corruption of your Active Directory database.

The relevant Microsoft documentation can be found here

I’ve extracted the exact section below, saves you going through the whole web page above:

“Data disk drives do not cache writes by default. Data disk drives that are attached to a VM use write-through caching. Write-through caching makes sure the write is committed to durable Azure storage before the transaction is complete from the perspective of the VM’s operating system. It provides durability, at the expense of slightly slower writes.

This is important for Windows Server AD DS because write-behind disk-caching invalidates assumptions made by the DC. Windows Server AD DS attempts to disable write caching but it is up to the disk IO system to honor it. Failure to disable write caching may, under certain circumstances, introduce USN rollback resulting in lingering objects and other problems.

As a best practice for virtual DCs, do the following:

  • Set the Host Cache Preference setting on the Azure data disk for NONE. This prevents issues with write caching for AD DS operations.
  • Store the database, logs, and SYSVOL on the either same data disk or separate data disks. Typically, this is a separate disk from the disk used for the operating system itself. The key takeaway is that the Windows Server AD DS database and SYSVOL must not be stored on an Azure Operating System disk type. By default, the AD DS installation process installs these components in %systemroot% folder, which is NOT recommended for Azure.”

Did Microsoft Decode the Future in 2016? Not really

Microsoft Future Encoded

Microsoft Future Encoded

Billed as an event where the future direction of Microsoft (and its partner network) would head in the next 3-5 years I thought it worth heading to London for the ‘Technical’ Day. It was a 2 day event but day 1 on Tue 1st November 2016 was billed as ‘Business Day’, so of course I booked in for the geek chic on the 2nd Nov.

It was a well organised event at the Excel centre, smooth check-in & badge print out and well staffed. A little crowded outside the single escalator everyone was trying to use straight after lunch to get up to Levels 1 through to 3, which is where the breakout session were held in various meeting/seminar rooms. You are suposed to use the ‘Future Encoded’ app to set a schedule and browse the timetable/sessions – the app was pretty rubbish, it kept showing me day 1 (no way to change it) and didn’t work properly until day 2 actually arrived. Without the app you are stuck – no printed copies just dashboard screens outside each meeting/seminar room with the schedule for the remainder of that day for that room only. Continue reading