AWS Solutions Architect Pro Test

Yesterday I sat for the most difficult IT certification test I’ve ever attempted – the AWS Solutions Architect Professional test.

I passed it… by the skin of my teeth.

I’ve essentially studied for this test for two years or more. I took the Solutions Architect Associate test two years ago and I’ve been involved with AWS projects ever since. Actually I was involved in AWS projects since before that test.

I also attended an advanced Solutions Architect Professional bootcamp and another training class provided to AWS partners that I can’t remember right now.

None of them prepared me for the absolute difficulty of this exam.

I’m glad it’s over. But I’m already looking forward to 2018, when I have to take it again to keep the certification current. Sigh.

iCloud for Windows 5.1 Update Problem

If you’re plagued by the Apple Software Update popping up every day to remind you that iCloud for Windows 5.1 is available to install… even when you already have it installed… you need to go registry-diving.

This community post on the Apple site worked for me. Whew. Finally. That was super annoying.

Hope you’re all well. Reach out to me and let me know how your life is going.

Microsoft is doing better

It looks like Satya Nadella’s strategies are paying off. Microsoft reported some gains in Windows 10 and its cloud business.

That’s good news for overall competition. I’ve also witnessed Microsoft become more and more “Internet friendly,” by way of embracing multi-platform applications and developers. This is what needed to happen.

Just think if Ballmer was still around… maybe Microsoft would be folding by now.

They do need to do something about the Windows handset business, but I’m betting that Satya has a plan for that.

Still, I’m firmly entrenched in my Apple camp because with this hardware, I can have the best of all of the OS worlds. If Microsoft could arrange licensing for OS X to run on their hardware, they would really have my attention.

Origin/EA/Xbox Live Accounts

Holy clusterfuck Batman, get your shit together Origin/EA. Trying to get my kids to play Battlefront with me on the Xbox is a nightmare.

So far, this is the best guide I’ve come across. What a shitshow. Please fix this. Now we all have 200 billion accounts spread across all these damn networks. What a disaster.

Unpopular Opinion Post: Microsoft Azure is toast (as a public service)

I really think Microsoft Azure is screwed.

It’ll still be around to power Microsoft’s backend services, but as a public offering to compete against AWS… it’s toast.

Also… OneDrive… seriously, wtf?

AWS Solutions Architect Associate Level

Today (kind of on a lark) I drove to Chattanooga, TN to take the AWS solutions architect associate level test. I passed by the skin of my teeth.

Decided to come to Hooter’s to chill out and have lunch before the drive home.

Whew.

See you cats at AWS re:invent in November.

Why Video Chats Don’t Work

Video chat may never replace a real life face-to-face. I think I know why.

I was talking to a friend earlier today about video chats and why they don’t work. She said she really didn’t like to do video chats. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t really know many people that like to video chat.

I am a refugee of Generation X. I don’t know anyone in GenX that actually enjoys video chatting. Face time is irreplaceable. I mean time that is spent face-to-face, not Apple’s FaceTime. I’ve often thought about why I don’t like to video chat and I think it comes down to one simple thing. You can’t properly make eye contact.

When you’re video chatting with someone, you can’t look them in the eye. You look them in the eye on the screen, not the camera. The person on the other end sees you looking at something else – not them. That starts to grate on your nerves a little bit I think.

Could this problem be solved? Probably. If someone could invent some multi camera method of video chatting so it looks like you’re making perfect eye contact it would likely go a long way. What I don’t know is how other generations other than mine feel about this. What do you think?

Pixar is releasing RenderMan for free!

Pixar is releasing RenderMan, the 3D tool behind its films, for free… noncommercial use only.

Make a note to pick it up around SIGGRAPH 2014!

The Tone of the WWDC Keynote

One thing I wanted to mention in my post about WWDC last night… did anyone feel that the tone of the overall keynote was different? It felt a little more relaxed and fun. It seems like Tim Cook has encouraged his staff to be more relaxed and at ease with what they are doing. There was more humor and more open honesty.

I think Tim is trying to strike a keen balance between old school Apple secrecy and a new humane approach to the work they are doing. I think he’s listening to the consumers about how things should be (iCloud Drive is a likely example of that).

I like Tim Cook. I like where he’s taking the company. All of you who keep crying about Apple’s lack of innovation need to look back at Microsoft’s record the past 20 years. Give Apple some time and they will surprise you. They like to lay a lot of foundation work before they spring a surprise on anyone. This WWDC was foundational. I expect a lot of interesting things this fall.

OS X 10.10 and iOS 8 Thoughts

I should be at WWDC 2014 this year, but I’m not. I work for a Microsoft-centric shoppe right now and they just don’t see the value in it. Nevertheless, I put my name in for the lottery and I didn’t win anyway.

I watched most of the keynote from afar and parts of the State of the Union address. All of it is ultra exciting. If they get Continuity, iCloud Drive (FINALLY OMG) and Messages right, this will be a killer OS combo with iPhones, iPads and Macs.

There’s a plethora of articles out there explaining what’s up. I highly recommend Anandtech write-ups in almost every scenario.

Also, I’m really interested in Swift – this new programming language. It seems quite daft. Too bad I’m not as proficient with Obj-C as I wanna be yet. When they announced the new language, my first thought was all the people who are groaning about the iOS and Mac programming courses that they have to remake… or, more likely, how excited they are that they can make another round of these things and a windfall of cash.

There’s great things to come in the world of Apple. I’m looking forward to seeing where the home automation stuff goes too.

Who cares about an iWatch and TV? Whatever.