FINAL – Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 14) – Ignite 101

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It’s the FINAL Countdown! Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) finish the season with the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Shows with episode 14, in which they give you a condensed version of their ever popular Ignite 101 sessions on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 9:00AM and at 1:00PM in room S102. Check them out for a good rundown on Ignite, conference logistics, and much more.

I’ll warn ya that this episode is a lengthy one but it’s filled with good info and worth the time to watch. I can’t do justice covering everything they talk about here, so check out the video and the blog post for all the details.

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

See ya soon at Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

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Social Media High Five

My good friend Nick Lagalante of Thycotic surprised me with this awesome recognition for my continued social media engagement with the IT community. Thanks Nick!

You can catch up with me at:

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Recap – Tech Ed New Orleans: The who, what, why and The Krewe

I was first noticed by the Microsoft TechEd team during my attendance at the TechEd conference in New Orleans in 2013, which was my first TechEd conference. Based on my social media influence, I was asked to participate in a short video with my take on the Microsoft TechEd conference. I’m honored to have been given the opportunity and hand picked among the thousands of attendees. Thank you Teched and Channel 9.

Check out the video.

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Recap – Advice from Alumni sharing their TechEd Schedule: Harjit Dhaliwal

Just catching up on some old info for documentation purposes.

On April 16, 2014, my friends at Microsoft TechEd shared my tentative conference schedule and the reasons for my selection.  Below is a direct copy of what is posted on the Channel 9 blog.

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In honor of TechEd being less than a month away, we here at the TechEd team decided to ask some friends and TechEd Alumni if they would be willing to share their schedules and selection methodologies with the rest of the world. We’ve got three posts lined up with some possible IDEAS that you can use to help pre-populate your schedule. If you haven’t yet started – get over to the Content Catalogue, sign in with your ID you used to register for TechEd and start scheduling!

First up is Harjit Dhaliwal, Systems Administrator at University of Vermont

Harjit

Harjit is an awesome photographer and has a preference for Client focused sessions. You can catch up with Harjit online at one of the following properties:

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TechEd 2014 Session Builder

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Monday, May 12, 2014

8:30-10:30AM

KEY01 TechEd Keynote

  • New Microsoft technologies, product updates, and breaking news is announced here. Good pep talks to motivate and to get a running start for a great week filled with technology learning and knowledge.

11:00-12:00PM

FDN03 Enabling Enterprise Mobility with Windows and Microsoft Office 365

  • Mobile devices are actively used and more prevalent in the Enterprise environment. More and more users want the ability to connect to Enterprise resources with their mobile devices in order to be productive, engaged, and connected. IT needs to embrace this new era of mobile devices and learn to make them work efficiently and securely to protect Enterprise data and resources.

1:15-2:30PM

OFC-B210 Microsoft SharePoint Overview

  • A good start to get some SharePoint knowledge.

DCIM-B318 Windows PowerShell Unplugged with Jeffrey Snover

  • PowerShell is the way of life these days, so any training, info, or guidance will be beneficial for my IT career.

3:00-4:15PM

WIN-B316 Managing Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 Using Mobile Device Management

  • Michael Niehaus mentions, “Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 include a new mobile device management (MDM) capability that provides functionality for deploying apps, managing settings, configuring VPN and wireless, deploying certs and more.” – I would like to learn how this works.

PCIT-B312 What’s New in Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Infrastructure

  • As the CM Administrator at my organization, I’m interested to know what is new or if there are any hidden tricks to make my IT life more efficient.

4:45-6:00PM

PCIT-B410 Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: MVP Experts Panel

  • This is a great opportunity to learn, discuss, and collaborate with the world’s leading ConfigMgr experts.

DCIM-B329 Building Highly Effective Dashboards in Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager

  • Mildly curious on how Dashboards could be effective in SCOM 2012.

6:30PM

Tech Expo Welcome Reception

  • Great time to meet vendors and ask questions, and hang out with some fellow geeks.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

8:30-9:45AM

DCIM-B328 TWC: CSI: Windows – Techniques for Finding the Cause of the Unexpected System Takeovers

  • Interesting session for troubleshooting.

WIN-B320 Internet Explorer App Compat

  • Internet Explorer application compatibility is a daily challenge for IT Professionals to assist end users who need to run older applications in the organization.

10:15-11:30AM

DBI-B214 Introduction to SQL Server Management for the Non-DBA

  • For someone like me who is not too familiar with SQL Server and how to manage it, this would be a good session to get the lowdown.

PCIT-IL306 Implementing Endpoint Protection in Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

  • Interested to learn about SCEP reporting and malware detection.

WIN-B323 Deploying Windows 8.1 in the Enterprise

  • As a Systems Administrator who manages computer imaging, I’m interested to know how to leverage ConfigMgr 2012 for this task.

1:30-2:45PM

PCIT-IL307 Managing Microsoft Software Updates in Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

  • Software Updates deployment is my responsibility at my organization. There are several ways of deploying Software Updates with ConfigMgr 2012, however, I’m interested to learn some best practices.

WIN-B328 Group Policy: Notes from the Field – Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting

  • We use Group Policies extensively at my organization and I sometimes have to troubleshoot why some Group Policies have issues or don’t work as intended. This session would help me learn some tips and tricks as well as some troubleshooting techniques.

3:15-4:30PM

WIN-B330 Everything You Need to Know for a Successful Microsoft Office 2013 App-V Deployment

  • Application delivery and deployment to the end users has become a little more challenging. Leveraging App-V for large applications such as Microsoft Office 2013 could be highly effective.

DCIM-B341 TWC: Live Demonstration: Hacker Tools You Should Know and Worry about in 2014

  • A fun session to learn how the “bad guys” do bad stuff and to help protect systems from this knowledge.

5:00-6:15PM

PCIT-IL305 Basic Software Distribution with Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

  • Software Updates deployment is my responsibility at my organization. There are several ways of deploying Software Updates with ConfigMgr 2012, however, I’m interested to learn some best practices.

PCIT-B320 Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Community Jewels

  • ConfigMgr 2012 is a complex management tool which if used well, it can be very effective in managing systems. There are many third party tools and scripts used to enhance the ConfigMgr 2012 experience, and therefore I’m interested to know what they are and how to use them.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

8:30-9:45AM

WIN-IL200-R Creating a Windows 8.1 Reference Image

  • To learn Windows 8.1 Image management.

PCIT-B323 Application Management with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Windows Intune

  • To further learn how to manage applications with ConfigMgr.

10:15-11:30AM

WIN-B351 Hacker Tools for Ethical Hackers to Protect Windows Clients

  • A fun session to learn how the “bad guys” do bad stuff and to help protect systems from this knowledge.

WIN-B413 Windows Performance Deep Dive Troubleshooting

  • Interested to learn how to troubleshoot Windows performance issues to enhance end user experience.

PCIT-B322 Deploying and Managing Work Folders

  • More and more users are bringing their own devices to the workplace and want to use Enterprise resources. This session may provide info on managing network home folder sync for BYOD users.

1:30-2:45PM

WIN-B342 Windows To Go: Deployment, Support for BYOD, and What IT Pros Need to Know

  • Information packed session for learning about Windows To Go and how to support BYOD users.

3:15-4:30PM

WIN-B345 Windows 8.1: Black Belt Troubleshooting

  • Great Windows 8.1 troubleshooting session.

DCIM-B418 Windows PowerShell Best Practices and Patterns: Time to Get Serious

  • PowerShell is the way of life for IT Professionals and it’s never enough to learn more of this important tool.

5:00-6:15PM

WIN-B338 Top OS Deployment Issues with Answers from Experts

  • Good session to learn the pain points of OS deployments and how to work around them.

PCIT-B340 Deploying and Managing Windows 8 and 8.1 with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 and System Center Configuration Manager

  • This session covers an important part of my daily Systems Administrator role at my organization.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

8:30-9:45AM

DCIM-B366 TWC: Hacker’s Perspective on Your Windows Infrastructure: Mandatory Check List

  • Any info to help secure my Windows environment is a plus.

WIN-B356 Modern Applications for IT Pros

  • Interested to learn more about applications with Windows 8.1 and sideloading.

10:15-11:30AM

WIN-B362 Project Virtual Reality Check: Microsoft App-V 5 Performance, Tuning, and Optimization (App-V PTO)

  • This session may give me a good start in implementing App-V in my organization which we are looking to do very soon.

DCIM-B368 TWC: Malware Hunting with Mark Russinovich and the Sysinternals Tools

  • Attending a Mark Russinovich session is a must. He does a great session on how to use the Sysinternals tools which he helped develop.

1:00-2:15PM

WIN-B354 Case of the Unexplained: Troubleshooting with Mark Russinovich

  • Attending a Mark Russinovich session is a must. Great to see how Mark troubleshoot computer issues.

WIN-B355 The Circle of Life for an App-V 5.0 Package: From Sequence to Termination

  • Learning how App-V applications come together will be helpful in understand how they work and where to troubleshoot if there are any issues with their performance.

2:45-4:00PM

WIN-B410 Advanced Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2013 Customizations: Dueling MDT Enhancements

  • Advanced Windows 8.1 deployment for the Enterprise.

WIN-B359 2014 Edition: How Many Coffees Can You Drink While Your PC Starts?

  • Good session to learn how to troubleshoot Windows startup issues.

WIN-B360 Sizing App-V 5: Planning and Designing a Highly Available, Scalable, and Resilient Management and Delivery System

  • May be a handy session to help implement App-V in my organization.

7:30PM

Closing Party

  • Can’t miss it. A good way to celebrate with friends and to end a good knowledge filled week. Thank you TechEd.
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Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 10) – The One About The Yammer Network on MyIgnite

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This week on Episode 10 of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show, Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) flies solo without Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN), however he is joined by a special guest, Olaf Hubel (@OlafHubel), senior product marketing manager with the Office 365 team, and who is responsible for the content on Microsoft Ignite.

Joey provides some news bites on Ignite which you can catch up in the video and he answers a question asked on the Microsoft Ignite forum.
Question: Where will I find the remote badge pickup stations at O’Hare International Airport?
AnswerRemote badge pickup at O’Hare is located in the baggage claim area for terminals 1 and 3. You can’t miss it!
Remote badge pickup at O’Hare is available: Saturday 10:00 AM–8:00 PM / Sunday 8:00 AM–7:00 PM.

In this episode, Joey and Olaf demonstrate on how to use the Yammer network on MyIgnite, how you can join discussions, ask questions, network, and interact with speakers and other attendees and do much more via MyIgnite and the Yammer network. I am excited to see my good friend, Naomi Moneypenny (@nmoneypenny) used as an example in the demo, highlighting how a speaker such as her is using the Yammer network to communicate and engage with her attendees in advance which will help guide and allow her to plan the content of her session accordingly. FYI – Naomi is a MVP, a great speaker, a fellow Microsoft Ignite Roundtable member, and a wonderful person.
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Coming soon to MyIgnite!
The Second Screen Experience – This is such a great feature which will allow you to follow a session live on your laptop, ask questions via the Yammer network, and even participate while you’re in a different session room or on the Expo floor, and yes even from your hotel room! Watch the video to hear how the Second Screen is going to change your event experience. Also coming soon:
  • Speaker Search and Details
  • Attendee Search and Details
  • Meeting Scheduling
  • Personal Appointments
  • OneNote Conference Guide

You are encouraged to build your schedules and even double and triple book sessions within the same time slots. The advance schedule builds by attendees will provide valuable information to Ignite planners on which sessions are popular, how to schedule them into appropriate rooms, and offer repeat sessions if needed. Since, the room assignments are not currently included in the catalog, I would recommend that you hold off on exporting your schedule to your calendar until rooms have been assigned to the sessions which will happen as we get closer to the conference. This will save you the hassle of exporting and importing into your calendar multiple times.

Finally, make sure you update your profile for the Attendee Directory, which you can do through MyIgnite, with pertinent information such as your bio, interests, social tags, photo, and contact information, so you can start networking and connect with others with similar interests, even before you arrive in Chicago for the conference. You will also have a choice to share your schedule with others, as well as opt-in to be listed in the Attendee Directory if you choose to do so.

Watch the video to see Joey and Olaf demonstrate how to use the Yammer network on MyIgnite.

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

Keep watching for more tips on making the most of your experience at Ignite, and more ways to enjoy Chicago! Keep in mind that Microsoft Ignite taking place May 4-8, 2015, in Chicago is currently SOLD OUT!

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Countdown Show, coming up next Tuesday at 8:00AM PST / 11:00AM EST.

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PowerShell & ConfigMgr Blogs

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My good friend Deepak Dhami (aka Dexter), who is an expert in PowerShell and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) is a frequent contributor for great information and resource in these fields. He conducts various user groups and workshops in India to help ConfigMgr admins improve their skills. Dexter has provided the links below on his blog and has generously allowed me to share them on mine in order to further share the goodness.

Feel free to follow and reach out to him. He is always happy to help.
PowerShell MVP profile
Blog
Twitter

Links:

Cmdlet ReferenceDavid O Brien’s Blog
PowerShell Script Repo by ConfigMgr MVP Kaido
Kaido’s personal blog
Coretech Blog by MVP kaido
Ronnie Jakobsen’s blog
Kent Agerlund’s blog
Johan Arwidmark’s blog
Henrik Hoe’s blog
PFE Heath’s Blog
Adam Meltzer’s Blog
Steve Rachui’s Blog
Nickolaj Andersen’s blog
Rob Looman’s Blog
Sean Lillis (Author of PS App deployment Toolkit)
Alex Verboon’s Blog
Laurie Rhodes’s Blog
Adam Bertram’s Blog
Stephane’s Blog

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Microsoft Ignite 2015 – SOLD OUT!!

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Microsoft Ignite 2015 is SOLD OUT!
Join online May 4-8, 2015 starting at 9 AM CDT at http://ignite.microsoft.com.
The Keynote and several selected sessions will be streamed LIVE from Chicago.
Stay tuned!

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

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Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 9) – The One About Schedule Builder on MyIgnite

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The anticipation and wait is over. This week on Episode 9 of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show, Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) bring us the 2nd most requested show, all about the Schedule Builder. You’ve been asking when you can start building your schedules, well now you can. The Schedule Builder is now LIVE on MyIgnite!

The Schedule Builder is greatly improved from previous years and has some wonderful capabilities, especially with the filtering options that is going to drastically ease the experience of building one’s schedule. Along with the Schedule Builder, a conference multi-tool known as MyIgnite is rolling out, with more features as we get closer to the conference dates of May 4-8. This tool, which is basically a digital hub will help enhance everyone’s experience with Ignite.

What’s MyIgnite you ask?
In it’s current phase of development, the MyIgnite tool will include the Schedule Builder, provide access to sponsor and exhibitor information, and the ability to join the Yammer network. The tool is evolving and the future functionality will include the Attendee Directory, a meeting scheduler, and more. In order to experience the full functionality and take advantages of what the tool offers, you will need to associate your Windows Live ID with your Microsoft Ignite registration. To do so, go to http://ignite.microsoft.com and click on “I’ve already registered”, and follow the steps to associate your Live ID with your registration. This is the first step you need to take before starting with the Schedule Builder.

Microsoft Ignite encourages you to build your schedules and even double and triple book sessions within the same time slots, which will help you when you have a conflict or a change of mind with the sessions you want to attend at the last minute. The advance schedule builds by attendees will provide valuable information to Ignite planners on which sessions are popular, how to schedule them into appropriate rooms, and offer repeat sessions if needed. Since, the room assignments are not currently included in the catalog, I would recommend that you hold off on exporting your schedule to your calendar until rooms have been assigned to the sessions which will happen as we get closer to the conference. This will save you the hassle of exporting and importing into your calendar multiple times. Keep in mind that seating for the Hands-On-Labs (HOL) are on first-come-first-served basis and therefore, they are not guaranteed.

Finally, make sure you update your profile for the Attendee Directory, which you can do through MyIgnite, with pertinent information such as your bio, interests, social tags, photo, and contact information, so you can start networking and connect with others with similar interests, even before you arrive in Chicago for the conference. You will also have a choice to share your schedule with others, as well as opt-in to be listed in the Attendee Directory if you choose to do so.

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Without further delay, watch the video to see Rick and Joey demonstrate how to use the Schedule Builder and how you can update your profile.

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

Keep watching for more tips on making the most of your experience at Ignite, and more ways to enjoy Chicago! Register now for Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015, Chicago.

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Countdown Show, coming up next Tuesday at 8:00AM PST / 11:00AM EST.

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Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show (Ep. 8) – The One About Rocking Out at the HOB, Craft Beers & Bacon, and the Best Hamburger in Chicago

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This week on Episode 8 of the Microsoft Ignite Countdown Show, Rick Claus (@RicksterCDN) and Joey Snow (@JoeySnow) save the best for last in terms of their most favorite hot spots in Chicago.  And they also talk about the early badge pickup which you’ll be able to do at various remote locations, which are several downtown hotels and at Chicago O’Hare airport.

Microsoft Ignite is offering the convenience of early badge pick-up at the locations listed below in the Chicago area. It’s highly recommended that you take this opportunity to pickup your badge early so that you can avoid the lines on Monday morning prior to the keynote. Early badge pick-up will be available on Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 starting at 10:00AM CST.  Please note: This is offer is for the badge only. All other materials including bags must be picked up at the McCormick Place Conference Center.

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Terminals 1 & 3)
  • Microsoft Retail Store – Shops at North Bridge
  • Palmer House a Hilton Hotel
  • Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Hotel Chicago Downtown, Autograph Collection
  • MileNorth Hotel
  • Drake Hotel

The best for last hot spots in Chicago:

Paddy Long’s Beer and Bacon Pub:
Rated by Yahoo as one of the Best Irish Pubs in America for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations. Paddy Long’s features 18 beers on tap and specializes in all kinds of bacon. Beer and bacon tastings are offered weekly and a brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Their other location is called Kaiser Tiger located on the West Loop.

Twitter: @PaddyLongs

Revolution Brewing Company:
A great Chicago BrewPub located in bustling Logan Square neighborhood, produces about 50 different styles of beer every year.  Check out their amazing brew and their yummy food. Great atmosphere, great beers, and great food, not to be missed.
Twitter: @RevBrewChicago

Rockit Bar & Grill:
Voted by People’s Choice Award in 2014 as the best burger in Chicago. Rockit is known for it’s cocktails, bourbons and whiskeys, and a selection of 6 craft beers on tap.  Quieter atmosphere downstairs and a much more livelier setting upstairs with pool tables and lots of TVs.
Twitter: @Rockit

Lagunitas Brewing Company:
An amazing brewery in a massive warehouse offering some fantastic beers. Come check out the brewery where they offer tours on weekdays and enjoy some fresh beers in their tap room.  The catwalk tour of the brewery is awesome.
Twitter: @lagunitasbeer

And finally, what is Ignite Rocks?
It is what was formerly known as the Jam Session at TechEd.  Come check out fellow attendees and speakers show off their musical talents, and feel free to take part if you like to do so. Great time to relax, enjoy some great music, and network with fellow attendees.  Ignite Rocks takes place at the House of Blues on Monday, May 5 from 9:00PM-Midnight.

Also recommend that you follow Choose Chicago, which is the official guide for Chicago offering a vast amount of information relating to this awesome city.  The friendly folks at Choose Chicago are quick to answer and offer valuable advice on your visit to Chicago. Follow and check them out as well.

Check out this episode on Channel 9 or you can watch it directly below:

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to ask on the Microsoft Ignite Forums, via Twitter, as well as in the Comments section under the video. The Microsoft Ignite team monitors all questions and will respond as they have the answers or information.

Keep watching for more tips on making the most of your experience at Ignite, and more ways to enjoy Chicago! Register now for Microsoft Ignite, May 4-8, 2015, Chicago.

For conversations and interactions, join the following channels:

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Countdown Show, coming up next Tuesday at 8:00AM PST / 11:00AM EST.

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Beep Beep Beep …. Tag You’re It!

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And, so it begins……….

As of 8:00AM EST today, Monday, March 23, 2015, I am now on the on-call pager rotation shared between a team of three Windows SysAdmins, which we will rotate every Monday morning, or whenever a scheduling conflict arises.  I guess this is a life and responsibility of a Senior Systems Administrator.  However, with a busy personal life outside of work which entails lots of travel for family matters and other responsibilities, we’ll see how this works out.  In any case, I’m on-call.

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