From the category archives:
AuTechHeads is 3 years old .. and the website is now at v3.0!
Some of our members may have already noticed that the website has had a fairly significant upgrade and refresh. This has been a labour of love over the past few days (along with preparatory work for months beforehand), and we hope you all like it. I do apologise for inadvertently causing an email to be sent to members during the process - it was caused by a migration process. There was a major version upgrade to the site software and some of the modules, so the upgrade was tricky in places, but overall it went quite well.
There are still some kinks to work out, and we're still working through the update of content and functionality .. but the major parts are in place. We'll keep an eye out for any breakage, but please let us know if you see something out of place. There's plenty to be done, but we hope you'll find the site easier to navigate and use.
We'll be making some changes to make it easier to contribute in future. Rather than the current moderation regime, there will be a validation ...
A new friend in the System Center MVP stable!
While AuTechHeads isn't focused specifically on Microsoft technologies,
it's certainly a big part of the IT landscape in the ANZ region, and we do have our share of Microsoft experts around the joint. I didn't get around to posting this earlier, but I was privileged earlier this month to be introduced to a new MVP for System Center Cloud and Datacenter Mangagement, Rob Ford!
In line with the System Center 2012 release, Microsoft recently rolled the various MVP areas for System Center up to just two - System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management, and System Center Client Management and Security. Client Management and Security covers Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection, while Cloud and Datacenter Management covers the rest of the System Center suite. My own MVP award for Data Protection Manager was therefore rolled up into the Cloud and Datacenter Management area, and until now I was the only one in Australia and New Zealand.
I don't have a full bio for him, but Rob specialises in S ...
One of our own most beloved members has a damn good reason to be proud of herself!
Our very own Simone "Kitty" Bennett - @kittenstix on Twitter - who's one of our awesome Core Team members, was the runner up in Microsoft's Women in IT Community Contributor of the Year Awards held on Wednesday 2nd September 2011, at Tech.Ed Australia!
Simone is a smart, intelligent, and knowledgeable woman that truly shows many of the qualities that women can bring to the IT industry, and I can't express just how deserving she is of this kind of recognition. I've gladly talked before about my own support for women in IT, but nothing could be better than seeing one of our own both nominated and recognised!
While she's hardly the type to put herself forward when it comes to community recognition, Simone easily wins the respect and admiration of many that know her. I'm very proud to call her a friend, but far more thrilled to see her lauded for her efforts!
Unfortunately I didn't catch the name of the winner, and I'd be happy to update with this - congratulations! I think the recognit ...
Exciting to see so many new people! Stick around and help us grow! Oh, and info on the TechQuest badge!
Hi to all our new Tech.Ed 2011 TechQuest, and Party 2011, signups!
I'm sorry we've not had much chance to directly acknowledge you on the site as yet - we're thrilled to see you, truly! Tech.Ed is, of course, taking a lot of our time and effort in itself (since we're a purely community run group) and I know I've been flat out making sure I'm ready for the sessions I'm presenting! We also had the AuTechHeads Party, so it's been a busy few days!
I'm sure a lot of you have an idea of the AuTechHeads concepts - that we're here as a group that transcends geographical boundaries, bringing together IT Pros and Developers from across Australia and the surrounds. We work to keep it free, and it's all entirely volunteer run. One of the key things for us is for people to get involved - by posting their own blog posts, getting involved in the forums, posting their own events in the calendar, and more!
The overarching basis for the group is that we all benefit by sharing with one another - whet ...
Showing once again what a community group can do, the AuTechHeads Party 2011 rocked! Thanks everyone!
Wow. What a night the AuTechHeads Party turned out to be. No less than 300 people came along on Tuesday night for free food and drink, networking, fun, and prizes! The buzz and atmosphere was fantastic, laughs were had by all, and boy did we demolish that drinks budget (twice)!
I'd particularly like to congratulate the winners of our various prizes:
@JinOhChoi - winner of the 5 day DDLS Microsoft course
@MikeRedden - winner of the Telerik Ultimate Collection for .NET
@OrinThomas - winner of the iPad 2, courtesy of Vonage Time To Call
Brenton Smith - TechSmith Snagit and Camtasia!
I'll be making sure Orin, Brenton, and Mike get their prizes ASAP!
Thanks once again to all those who came along, and to our awesome sponsors - we couldn't possibly have done it without you! And we hope to do it again next year ... bigger and better yet again!
I've had some great feedback and stories already from people, I have some hilarious video t ...
More? You want more? Are you sure you can handle more?!?!
"So, how do you improve on giving away an iPad 2, a 5 day Microsoft course, and the Telerik Ultimate Collection?" That was the question that Betsy Weber, Chief Evangelist from our latest sponsor TechSmith, posed to me today. "That's easy, Betsy!" I answered, "Give away your awesome products!"
And so it came to pass. TechSmith have very kindly added copies of Snagit and Camtasia to our awesome list of prizes!
Snagit and Camtasia are legendary products. From screen captures to recording, they can help you to make awesomely professional presentations, handouts, and video. Whether it's technical documentation, training materials, or even sales info, they'll make you look good!
Betsy will be at the AuTechHeads Party herself to help us give them away - it's her first time in Australia, and what better introduction to the locals than taking part in our 2nd annual event! Say hi to her and make her feel welcome!
You must, of course, be at the AuTechHeads Party 2011 ...
What, you want more prizes? Well ... okay!
So we've told you of the pre-party competition to win an iPad 2.
We've told you about the opportunity to win a 5 day Microsoft course from DDLS.
What more could you possibly want??? Okay, what about one for the developers among you?
Our returning sponsor Telerik has generously thrown us a license for the Telerik Ultimate Collection for .NET! An award winning package with best-of-breed UI and productivity controls from Telerik, one of the masters of rapid application development! It retails for $1,999 USD on their website, with around $8,000 worth of value!
We use the Ultimate Collection at my work, and it was an essential part of our open source Snomtastic project. Telerik controls are used throughout the AuTechHeads site, too. There's simply no doubt that Telerik know their stuff, that they really deliver solutions that simplify application deployment, and that this is a seriously awesome prize!
To win, you must be at the AuTechHeads Pa ...
iPad 2 not enough? Here's another prize - and this one's exclusive to the party!
So we've already kicked off the season of giveaways with a bang, with the pre-party competition to win an iPad 2.
"But Matt," I hear you ask. "That competition allows people who won't be at the party to win - what of those who are coming along? Will we be left out in the cold, doomed to enjoy free drinks, food, networking, and to listen to the terrible wonderful jokes to select the winner of the iPad 2?"
Well, do we have the prize for you! DDLS have generously offered a 5-day Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) course, valued at $3,400 inc GST, for one lucky party goer. DDLS is the trusted learning solutions partner for Australian organisations, and a proud sponsor of the AuTechHeads Party!
We'll be sure to concoct a means to give this baby away at the party - in the meantime, make sure you RSVP! We're fast heading toward capacity and we'd love to see you there!
To win, you must be at the AuTechHeads Party 2011 by T ...
As if it weren't enough that we're holding an awesome free party, now we're giving away an iPad 2!!!
In ze build-up to zer party, ve vill be giffink avay einer iPad Zwei, zanks to..*thwack*
I'm sorry, I'll read that again.
In the build-up to the AuTechHeads Party 2011, we will be giving away an Apple iPad 2 32Gb WiFi, thanks to Vonage Time To Call! You need to enter before the party, but we'll pick the winner at the AuTechHeads Party! Note: You do not have to attend the party to win, but it's free so if you'll be up at the Gold Coast on 30th August, RSVP NOW!
Vonage is introducing the Time To Call app for Apple iPhone and iPad mobile devices, bringing affordable phone calls that can be charged to your iTunes account.
Time To Call is simple to use: select the country you want to call and tap to buy a 15 minutes phone call. The amount is charged directly to your iTunes account and you can then place your call. Calls to landline or mobile numbers cost th ...
Whoops ... Damn you, obscure bugs!
Thanks to new member RobS, we discovered a bug with the site that had not been apparent before.
This may have affected your ability to RSVP for the AuTechHeads Party! We have been seeing plenty of registrations come through, but obviously in some cases this bug was affecting essential functionality.
If you've previously tried to RSVP and had problems, please do try again. We don't want anyone who wants to come to miss out!
If you still have problems, please try closing your browser, logging back in, and hitting CTRL-F5 on the RSVP page before trying to RSVP. This will just help to reset any of the problems that were affecting the RSVP.
And, of course, we're keen to see you there, so if you still have problems, please feel free to send me a message via the site, or via the Feedback form under About!
I prefer Twitter bugs because I don't have to fix them: @OhCrap ...
Back in town to party on down!
The AuTechHeads Party page is up, and that can only mean on thing - you need to RSVP ASAP!
Whether you're going to Tech.Ed Australia 2011, or just happen to be in or near the Gold Coast on 30th August, you're invited to the free AuTechHeads Party 2011 by Thycotic! Free food, free drink, music, networking, socialising, and prizes - an awesome introduction to the Tech.Ed week, and a great way to connect with other IT pros and develoeprs!
Last year was a blast, and this year is sure to keep you wanting more! We have a fabulous lineup of new and returning sponsors, including our new naming sponsor Thycotic, makers of the awesome Secret Server!You'll see them around the site for a while through the sponsorship arrangement.
We couldn't do a free event like this without our sponsors, and each and every one has been more than happy to support AuTechHeads, and we can't thank them enough. So as usual, we ask you to as well! Check in to the Party page soon for their sponsor pa ...
Have you heard about the AuTechHeads Events calendar? It only gets better as we evolve!
I've been in the process of rolling out a new comments module to the site, which fully integrates with Disqus and with our timeline feature. The developers are the same as those who do our blogs module, and I like their style (and their support).
So far the Webcasts and Events sections have been recipients of the facelift - Blogs is a bit more complex as there are a significant number of comments to migrate across, while the others didn't really have any of note.
In the process of working on Events, I noted that there were a number of user groups that are no longer meeting, and cleaned them up. We also recently upgraded Events to include full timezone support, so I needed to update the existing events to the right timezone. This means that events from other timezones (such as Perth, Adelaide, etc) can be better accomodated, and of course that ical subscribers will see events in their local time.
I also adjusted some recent changes to the ical feature, which will allow broad compati ...
Held during #auteched on the Gold Coast for the second year running, the AuTechHeads Party is your free must-do event!
Last year we held the first ever AuTechHeads party during Tech.Ed 2010, and it was a resounding success - over 200 people descended on Waxy's Irish Pub at Surfer's Paradise, following the Tech.Ed Australia welcome party! We had some great prizes, free food and drinks, and an overall awesome time.
Hold on to your seats, because we're doing it again this year! We're planning to hold it after the Welcome Party again, and Waxy's will be the venue of choice once more. We've been working to meet our budget targets, and I can say that we're definitely going to be ready to roll come 30th August!
As with last year, we expect to start receiving people just after 9pm, with the party kicking off around 9:30. To ensure Tech.Ed attendees and speakers get plenty of sleep, we'll wind up the formal party by around 12am.
The focus this year will be on networking and socialising, as we don't want to heavily encumber the evening with prize giveaways - but there will still be some awesome ones. And mos ...
Still getting my head around it!
I had an unexpected, but very welcome surprise early yesterday morning - an email in my inbox with the subject "Congratulations 2011 Microsoft MVP!" Perhaps I'd not given enough thought when I was asked by my MVP lead @nickellery, for an address to send me something .. but I'd had a lot on my mind, and sometimes Microsoft people do send me things given our Enterprise Agreement and my knowing a number of great MS people.
It's hard to describe just how much an award like this means. Obviously I'm thrilled to be recognised for my contributions to the community, but helping people is its own reward in so many ways. I'm extremely honoured by the award, and the opportunities it presents. I'm incredibly grateful to amazing people like @nickellery and @jbuff for their support, but of course to the broader community as well. I'm more grateful still for the opportunities I've had to help people out so far with DPM and other issues - especially via Twitter - and to the DPM team themselves, who've been fantast ...
Your generosity is needed in the fight against leukemia and blood cancer!
One of the great things that we can do with AuTechHeads is to support important and worthwhile charities. As a focus point for Australian technical professionals, we can make the community involvement and responsibilities more visible and organised, and do good while we're at it.
We previously announced our involvement in the World's Greatest Shave for 2011, but the timing of the announcement wasn't terrific given the Queensland floods and subsequent tropical cyclone! We essentially laid aside our promotion of World's Greatest Shave for a while, and devoted site space to promotion of the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief fund, and the Queensland IT Relief program. Both were also worthy causes, with more immediacy.
Now though, with the 10th - 12th March fast approaching, we've been working to kickstart promotion of our involvement in World's Greatest Shave again. We're hoping to raise at least $5,000 - and we have a long way to go. Last year I raised $1,200 myself, but it takes a lot of effo ...
Charity. We do it. Please support us in the fight against leukaemia and cancer!
Last year, I signed up for World's Greatest Shave just a week before the event, and was able to raise $1,200. My goal was $1,000 to shave my head - otherwise I was going to colour it. Since then, I've actually been quite fond of keeping my hair short - not quite as short as the number zero shave I had for WGS!
This year, I'm growing my hair specially for World's Greatest Shave - so there's something decent to shave off. If you're not sure what it's all about, I'll let the Leukaemia Foundation explain:
"Almost 10,000 Australians will be diagnosed with blood cancers and related blood disorders this year. Although survival rates are improving, blood cancer is our second biggest cause of cancer death.
In 2010 it is projected that:
More than 4,700 Australians will be diagnosed with lymphoma
More than 3,200 Australians will be diagnosed with leukaemia
More than 1,500 Australians will be diagnosed with myeloma.
The Leukaemia Foundatio ...
It's that time of year - the festive season. I once heard someone refer to it as Festivus, and I liked it, so it stuck. Season's greetings from AuTechHeads!
Well, it's been quite a year for AuTechHeads. You probably noticed it quietening down around here this month, especially as we approach Festivus. That's not too surprising as we take our respective breaks, wind down from a busy and hectic year, and spend time with our respective friends and family - away from the geek toys at work, and in hopes of getting more geek toys for home in some cases.
This year, AuTechHeads grew from an idea and concept into a solid reality - starting from its humble Twitter beginnings in 2009, and firming to a true online and offline presence. We've had our successes, and the odd minor failure, but overall we've gone from strength to strength. I personally never thought I'd devote as much time to a website again, but here it is and here I am.
For myself, I think the proudest achievement for AuTechHeads would be the 1st Anniversary Party we held on the Gold Coast, during Microsoft's Tech.Ed conference. 200 geeks celebrated something pretty amazing, at no cost ...
We're very proud of where AuTechHeads has got to. Want to help us grow further?
I hope you've been finding AuTechHeads useful and interesting. We're trying to build a great group of IT professionals and developers - we've come a long way, and there's always a long way to go.
We've worked hard on the site, and it's come a long way from a placeholder page. We've succeeded in achieving some great offline meetups too. And, of course some extraordinary generosity, our volunteer spirit, and contributions towards software, event costs, and prizes, we've been able to ensure the site and group is free, and will remain so. We will hopefully be adding some job-related and "After Dark" sections soon, for members to take advantage of.
We have some huge ideas for where things could go. The success of the AuTechHeads party was an example of how far we've come - around 200 people attended, which was simply amazing. It'd be great to see things keep going onward and upward.
That's where you, our members (and friends), can help. We're not asking f ...
The AuTechHeads 1st Anniversary Party was a blast! Or so I'm told - it took a lot of my time and attention behind the scenes, not to mention other Core Team members! Here's the prize winners!
Wow! What an awesome ride the 1st Anniversary AuTechHeads party turned out to be! Great turnout, great sponsors, and great prizes!
We always expected to see less than the RSVP and invited number - that's just the way of things, especially at a conference like Tech.Ed. Around 250 people had RSVP'd or been invited. But as it turned out, around 200 people still turned up! I've already uploaded a few videos to the Webcasts section, and I'm sure our AuTechEd 2010 group will show some photos from the party soon!
A lot of the Core Team had helped in various ways with the party, but by the end of Tuesday and heading into the Tech.Ed welcome party, I was feeling distinctly ruffled! There's a lot of organisation in things like this, and without the help of Steve Molkentin and all the others, we could never have made it. We did, in fact, come quite close to the wire - sponsor logos needing to be displayed onscreen, demos to be provided, and so forth. Thank goodness for the resourcefulness a ...
It's a wrap! Nail it down! Ship that puppy! However you want to say it, AuTechHeads v2.0 has moved out of beta and into its official release!
So in the last few hours, I put the finishing touches to the final v2.0 layout of the AuTechHeads site.
That last finishing touch was no small thing either. Visitors to the site can now download an iCal feed of our events calendar up to about three months in advancefor addition to their favourite calendar - whether Outlook, iCal, Gmail or others. It's certainly desirable and a couple of our members were particularly vocal about wanting it.
You can access the new iCal feed from our Events page, by clicking on the "Data Feed" button in the top right-hand corner.
I've referenced it briefly in my recent AuTechHeads retrospective post, but there's been a lot of visible and behind-the-scenes changes to the site over the past few months. The work is never completed - the joys of a member feedback driven site - but we've come one hell of a long way!
Purchased and migrated to new Blogs module (SunBlogNuke)
Adopted new open-source skin and implem ...