Thursday, 14 July 2016

LogicMonitor introduces Configuration Management

LogicMonitor (already the best cloud performance management system) has now added configuration management to its list of features.

A great step forward for an already awesome system!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Richard Douglas Marshall Bond

Richard Douglas Marshall Bond

7th June 1942- 18th March 2016
at Easthampstead Park Crematorium
on Wednesday 13th April at 2.15pm

Entrance Music:

GOLDBERG VARIATIONS (ARIA) Bach_Angela Hewitt 04:08

Opening Words

Good afternoon and welcome.  I am John Ford, a Funeral Celebrant and I have been asked to lead today’s ceremony.  Douglas's family would like to thank everyone for being here today and for the condolences they have received.

Today we are here not only to mourn, but also to celebrate the life of an intelligent, gentle and private man who has been lost to us.  So I ask that you feel free to be at one with your sorrow, your sadness, your grief and your memories – but I ask you to also remember the times of happiness and the purpose of a life so well lived.

This time we spend together today is to remember "Douglas" –– "Dougie" to his sisters, "Dad" to David and Stephen and "Grandpa" to his grand-daughters- and to allow our sorrow and sadness to surface and be expressed in words, in tears, in reflection and in whatever way is meaningful to each of us.  We meet to remember Douglas and to say goodbye.

Our being together here is a support and comfort for each of us, whether family members or caring friends.  Our collective sorrow and grief becomes a collective strength, enabling us to find closure and move on without Douglas's physical presence.  Let us remember his life with gratitude, with joy, with happiness and with love.

After the service, you are invited to join the family at the Jack O'Newbury in Binfield for refreshments, a chat and to share memories.

Poem reading: Allison

There is no night without a dawning
No winter without a spring

And beyond the dark horizon
Our hearts will once more sing ….

For those who leave us for a while
Have only gone away

Out of a restless, care worn world
Into a brighter day


It has been said that man dies twice, once when he passes away and again when he is forgotten. Some of you may believe that death is the end.  Others may believe that we go on to another existence or that we may be re-born as another being.  Some of you may not know what you believe.  But death is never the end while there are those who follow and remember.

Eulogy: David


Dad was a very private man and did not often talk about the past.  I must therefore thank the many people who have contributed both memories and photographs to today, including Dad himself.  Dad took good care of many boxes of memories, seemingly including every letter he was sent and certainly every photograph.  Since he died I have gone through his whole collection, and have been reminded of things that happened in my life.  For someone who would never talk about the past, I am very grateful to him that he kept such good care of it.  I have also discovered that if you sent him a letter or a card congratulating him on good grades at school, or a graduation, the birth of a son, or in the latter years, to wish him a Happy Christmas or birthday, or a letter to accompany a crossword or Soduku puzzle cut from a paper, they were all carefully kept and some had a permanent place by the side of his bed.

So today, I will talk of memories that he kept, some that you have shared and some of my own.  If I have made omissions or mistakes, please forgive me and DO let me know after the ceremony as I will be archiving all that I can in the coming weeks.

With his sisters Allison (who is here today) and Heather (who unfortunately cannot be), Richard Douglas Marshall Bond was born to Eileen and Marshall Bond in Edinburgh in June 1942.  Since then, he has lived all over the UK, including Buxton, Shrewsbury, Cambridge, London, Maidstone, Minehead and finally in nearby Binfield.

During World War II and very early in life, he was an evacuee, an experience that had a lasting impact on him.  He kept some lovely pictures of happy days with his parents, Allison and Heather, and the family dog.  His 1952 Eagle boys diary is full of notes on sledging, Latin prep, Morse Code, the King's funeral, letters from his Mummy and playing with the train set in the attic with his Daddy.  He enjoyed playing cricket and football, with Tinker toys and Meccano and was facinated by anything powered by steam.  Like many boys his age, he was also fascinated with space and particularly space travel, something that stayed with him until the very end.

He kept all his school reports – his masters noted that he excelled in maths, physics and chemistry.  The opposite was true of English.

As a boy on the annual family August summer holiday in Scotland he liked to canoe his sisters around the harbour, in the cold Buxton winters it was skiing and tabogganning on the golf course.  At home, he would play the piano, the organ, the drums and listen to Jazz records.

After A-levels, he went to the University of Surrey where he received a first class degree in Chemical Engineering, going on to receive a post-doctorate in Engineering from Christ's College Cambridge.  He once told me that whilst there, he remembers seeing Stephen Hawking before he was wheelchair-bound.

From 1969, Dad worked at BP Chemicals where (according to his CV) he planned and implemented an online multi-computer-based accounting and production records system for the Baglan Bay chemical complex.

In the early 1970's Mum and he married and they moved to Maidstone in Kent, where he worked at the Aylesford Newsprint Paper Mill and had two sons.  If you read a newspaper in the 1970's or 80's is was most likely that the paper itself was made in a machine that Dad was responsible for maintaining.  Whether in the Triumph Toledo, the Austin Maestro or Montego or even on foot if the snow was too deep, Dad travelled to Aylesford every day to make sure the paper mill kept running and Wapping had paper.  I remember him taking me into work to show me the paper-making machine while it was running.  Over 100m long, 10m wide and 10m high and it was his job to keep this thing making paper 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that you got your morning newspaper.

Long before plastic recycling and blue wheelie bins, this machine was fed almost entirely with recycled paper.  In those days, this was collected by the Scouts and Guides and I certainly remember spending Saturdays collecting piles of read newspapers and understanding that they were all being delivered to Dad so that he could turn them into fresh, clean paper ready for the printers.

In his time in the paper industry, he travelled to Brazil and America and lately he told many tales of foreign travel and paper-making problems solved.

I have found a lovely letter from the Chairman of the Paper Industry Technical Association, thanking him for his assistance in both developing the progamme for and chairing the 1985 Cost Effective Water Removal Seminar in Buxton.  Dad had a long and successful career and finally received Chartered Engineer status in 1990.

Likes and dislikes

We all know that in his later years, he suffered from chronic anxiety and that this could make him very difficult.  He would not see anyone whose job it was to "help" him, particularly doctors and lately he was not very sociable.

But a look through his photographs and memories reminded me that this was not always true.  So as we say a final goodbye, I would like to remember the things he enjoyed in life.

He loved the natural world – the vast majority of Dad's photos were of hills or butterflies, or rocks or trees or birds, animals or the sun.  He listed "geology" as a hobby on his CV and would take the family hunting for garnets on family holidays in Fife or for sharks teeth and fossils in clay cliffs.

He enjoyed a Cryptic crossword and was a runner up in the Daily Telegraph  20,000th Crossword competition.

He liked classical music, and we would often go to see Gilbert and Sullivan operas in Chatham.  He loved Bach.  We heard one of Dad's favourite pieces earlier and Stephen has selected another which we will hear in a moment.   Even lately, when he really didn't like crowds he could still enjoy a classical concert.  He also loved jazz music and had many online classical Jazz stations bookmarked on his computer.

He was a good Dad to two small boys. He made us a sandpit.  He taught us to play golf at the paper mill's 3-hole course.  He made us learn trigonometry and my goodness he made us learn our times tables.  He taught us to drive and drove us all over the country, including Scotland, the Lake District, York, Wales, The Norfolk Broads and of course to his Dad's house in Saffron Walden (where we would to to see the otters) and to Mum's parents' house in Devon, where we would fish for trout, fly kites and watch the Hunt together.  We even holidayed in Corfu and Tunisia.

He liked steam trains and classic aeroplanes and when Stephen and I were young he would take us to see the Spitfires and Hurricanes, Concorde and the Red Arrows at the end of the West Malling Air Show runway, UHF radio in hand so we could listen to the air to ground chatter.  Lately, we would park the car at White Waltham airfield and do the same thing.

He liked radio comedy, particularly the Goons and "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue." One of my favourite memories was sitting as a family and listening and laughing to Radio 4.  Recently, we went to a live recording in Reading – the Kazoo from that day is still on the bookshelf in his study.  He listened to all of Steven's BBC Radio 4 and film work and followed all his many successes, especially the recent BAFTA and Oscar successes.

He loved Richard Attenburgh documentaries, Matt cartoons, Eggheads and always had very strong opinions on the quality of contestents routines in Strictly Come Dancing.

He loved nothing more than a really, really good natural disaster.  Be it volcano, tornado, tsunami, hurricane, drought or earthquake, if there was a chance that serious damage would be done, he would be finding live webcams, weather stations and satellites and keenly tracking the impending doom.

Dad rarely drank but he did like a glass of wine at Christmas and a large Baileys whenever it was offered.  Whether or not he'd had a Baileys, he did seem to like falling asleep during the Antiques Roadshow on our sofa most Sundays for the last 8 and a half years.

When I would talk to him from abroad, he invariably insisted that I should go online to view a webcam he'd found so that I could see that he could see what I could see.  He collected webcams and he would spend many hours watching a particular birdtable in Canada.  His favourite, though, was the one attached to the International Space Station.  It's lovely to think that that small boy dreaming of rockets got to see Earth live from space whenever he wanted.

He certainly liked the familiar.  He let me upgrade his computer to Windows 7 so long as it looked like Windows 95.  He wore his new glasses, provided that he could keep his old ones – just in case.  He would wear his frayed polo shirts, jumpers and courdroy trousers with the knees almost worn through.  When people bought him new clothes, he would neatly fold them and put in a drawer, but never wear them.  He would want exactly the same groceries ordered each week.  Tescos soon learnt that he would get very upset if there were missing items or substitutions.

I phoned Tesco last week to explain that Dad wouldn't need their services any more and the service manager told me a story that there were no bananas one week, so their lovely delivery man Scott went to the Co-op to buy some, rather than let him get upset.  In later years, his anxiety did get the better of him.

Death and legacy

I asked Rachael for a happy memory of Grandpa and she remembered that he liked bad cracker jokes.  Grandpa always had a hug for his grand-daughters and I'm very glad he got to spend some time with them most weeks.

I asked Amy how she felt about Dad's death and she said "He won't worry any more".  And she's right.  Many of us will reflect that he is finally in a peaceful place and there are few outside this room will even notice his passing.

But looking back, he did live a good life.  I loved him.  And I will miss him.  And I, for one, find it very difficult to say goodbye.

A Few Words about Grandpa (by Rachael)

He was always gentle and kind,
and although he often worried, he tried to stay calm.
He made me smile every time he visited
no matter what I felt about my day at school.
I wish he came round more often near the end,
as his visits became less regular.
I’m glad he went peacefully,
as going in your sleep is the best way to go.
He will never leave us truly,
and I hope you can acknowledge that.
Please remember him every night,
like he will want us to.
Remember my Grandpa.

Grandpa by Amy

If someone passes away
like my grandpa
then just imagine that they have gone on a long holiday.
Even if they are not here
they are still in our hearts.
If you truly love them they will still be here.


Time now for a period of quiet reflection. Time for each of you to remember Douglas in your own way, and if you wish, to enter into a silent prayer. And while we remember we listen to some music and see some images that reflect his life and the person he was.

Reflection music:

JESU JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING Bach_Alessio Bax 03:42

Poem reading: Becky

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Committal (Net Curtains close)

Family and friends it is time to say our farewell to Douglas. Let us be thankful for his life.

Tenderly and reverently we commit his body to its end with nature.

We are grateful for the life that he has lived, and for all that his life has meant to us.

We are glad we saw his face, felt the touch of his hand, and heard his laughter.

We cherish the memories of his works, of his deeds and his character.

We cherish his friendship, and most of all we cherish his love.

We now leave the memory of our beloved Douglas in peace. With enduring love and respect, we bid him farewell.

At rest

Think of me as one at rest,
For me you should not weep,
I have no pain, no troubled thoughts
For I am just asleep.
The living thinking me that was,
Is now forever still,
And life goes on without me now,
As time forever will.

If your heart is heavy now
Because I’ve gone away,
Dwell not long upon it friend
For none of us can stay.
Those of you who liked me,
I sincerely thank you all
And those of you who loved me,
I thank you most of all.

And in my fleeting lifespan,
As time went rushing by
I found some time to hesitate,
To laugh, to love, to cry.
Matters it now if time began
If time will ever cease
I was here, I used it all,
And now I am at peace

Closing Words

Today we have gathered to pay our respects to Douglas and to demonstrate the love and affection in which he was held by those close to him. We have heard about his life and we have listened to some words and music which reflects the person he was and hopefully each of you feel that we have in some small way captured a little of the Douglas that you knew.

His passing has brought sorrow to his family and friends.  But while we think of Douglas’s passing with sadness and regret, we should also recall his life with a smile.  Nothing can detract from the happiness and closeness you shared with Douglas. Nothing can affect the times of happiness that he knew.  And nothing can alter your love for him or his love for you.

This love can never be altered by time, circumstance or even by death. The past with all its meaning, remains sacred and secure. It can never be taken away.

Be grateful that he was part of your lives and let his influence, his character, his warmth and his deeds live on.

May you find richness and example in your memories of him.

May you find strength and support in your love of one another, and may you find peace in your hearts.

Closing Music:

PIANO CONCERTO 5 EMPEROR (2nd mvt) Beethoven_Brendel_LPO_Haitink 08:27

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Still Alive Lyrics - Powershell

Add-Type -AssemblyName System.speech
$tts = New-Object System.Speech.Synthesis.SpeechSynthesizer
$Phrase = '
<speak version="1.0" xmlns="" xml:lang="en-US">
<voice xml:lang="en-GB">
<prosody rate="0.7" pitch="+20st">
<p>This was a triumph!<break time="700ms"/>
I''m making a note here <break time="25ms"/>"Huge success"
<break time="775ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.55">It''s hard<break time="25ms"/> to overstate<break time="25ms"/> my satisfaction</prosody>.
<break time="800ms"/>
Aperture Science.
<break time="500ms"/>

We do what we must <break time="50ms"/>
because <break time="100ms"/> we can.
<prosody rate="0.4">For the good of all of us</prosody><break time="100ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.05">Except the ones who are dead</prosody>, <break time="50ms"/>

<prosody rate="0.8">But there''s no sense crying over every<break time="25ms"/> mistake</prosody><break time="150ms"/>

<prosody rate="0.8">You just keep on trying ''til you run out of cake</prosody><break time="200ms"/>

<prosody rate="0.80">And the science gets done</prosody><break time="25ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.70">and you make a neat gun</prosody><break time="25ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.80">for the people who</prosody> <prosody rate="0.5">are <break time="25ms"/>still alive.</prosody>
<break time="3300ms"/>

I''m not even angry<break time="1775ms"/>
I''m being so <break time="100ms"/> sincere <break time="100ms"/> right now<break time="1450ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.6">Even though<break time="200ms"/> you broke my heart</prosody><break time="200ms"/> and killed me<break time="1450ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.05">And tore me to</prosody> pieces. <break time="600ms"/>
And threw every piece <break time="50ms"/> <prosody rate="0.4">into</prosody><break time="50ms"/> a fire.
<break time="425ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.6">As they burned<break time="50ms"/></prosody> <prosody rate="0.75">it hurt because</prosody><break time="40ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.85">I was so happy</prosody> for you<break time="200ms"/>

<prosody rate="0.70">Now these points of data</prosody>
Make a beautiful <prosody rate="0.7">line</prosody><break time="125ms"/>
And we''re <prosody rate="0.5">out of beta</prosody>
<prosody rate="0.80">We''re releasing on time</prosody> <break time="125ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.90">So I''m GLaD I got burned</prosody><break time="25ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.90">Think of all the things we</prosody> learnt
for the people who are <break time="25ms"/>still <prosody rate="0.4">alive</prosody>
<break time="4400ms"/>

<prosody volume="-20%">
Go head and leave me.<break time="600ms"/>
I think I''d prefer <break time="50ms"/> to stay <break time="200ms"/> inside.<break time="250ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.62">Maybe you''ll<break time="125ms"/> find someone else</prosody> <break time="230ms"/> to help you.<break time="700ms"/>

Maybe Black Mesa? <break time="700ms"/>
That was a joke <break time="100ms"/> Ha Ha <break time="100ms"/> Fat chance!
<break time="250ms"/>
<prosody rate="0.5">Anyway</prosody><break time="50ms"/> this <prosody rate="0.6">cake is great</prosody><break time="25ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.02">It''s so delicious and moist</prosody> <break time="250ms"/>

<prosody rate="0.8">Look at me<break time="50ms"/> still talking when there''s science to do</prosody><break time="250ms"/>
When I look <prosody rate="0.6">out there</prosody> <prosody rate="1.02">it makes me GLaD I''m not you</prosody><break time="225ms"/>

<prosody rate="1.02">I''ve experiments</prosody> to run<break time="150ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.02">there is research to be done </prosody><break time="250ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.00">On the people who are</prosody><break time="250ms"/>still alive<break time="900ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.05">And believe me<break time="50ms"/> I am</prosody> <break time="50ms"/>still alive<break time="750ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.05">I''m doing science</prosody><break time="25ms"/> and I''m <break time="40ms"/>still alive<break time="700ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.1">I feel fantastic</prosody><break time="25ms"/> and I''m <break time="40ms"/>still alive<break time="650ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.05">While you''re dying</prosody><break time="25ms"/> I''ll be <break time="40ms"/>still alive<break time="650ms"/>
<prosody rate="1.00">And when you''re dead <break time="25ms"/>I will be</prosody> <break time="25ms"/>still alive
<break time="560ms"/>
Still alive
<break time="560ms"/>
Still alive.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

HSBC Online Banking Down

HSBC Online Banking is Down

As of 9:47 on 5th January, 2016, HSBC UK's Online Banking service has been down for AT LEAST 18 hours.  Last night, there was NO service (I was getting 500 errors).  This morning, still no service, but this is due to "a higher volume of traffic than usual".

Wow, HSBC, wow.

Have you heard of "Load Testing" or "Quality Assurance"?  How about "Performance Monitoring"?  I look forward to you VERY PUBLICLY publishing your Root Cause Analysis and Post Mortem, HSBC UK.

Update at 10:00

It looks from Paul85D's screencap from yesterday that HSBC UK are using an Oracle Application server (note the un-configured "you@your.address").  I assume that you are lending them a hand right now, Oracle?

Update at 10:05

DownDetector provide an excellent view of the situation from the user's perspective.  A great demonstration of crowd-sourcing data.  I hope that HSBC UK are a little more proactive than this for fault monitoring, though.

Update at 10:22

The BBC News guys are on to it.  This will, of course, just result in anyone and everon who has an HSBC account trying to log in to see if their service is OK.

Short term: "Damn.  Now no-one will be able to connect for days."
Long term: "Good.  This will kick HSBC into action to a) sack whoever caused this nightmare and b) treat their Internet Banking service team a lot better."

Update at 10:30

Twitterfall is a great way to watch HSBC's nightmare unfold.

Update at 10:34

Unrelated, but this video give a glimpse of how HSBC UK IT might look right now (from "All of our data is GONE!"):

Update at 11:11

You can track the HSBC Share Price here

Update at 11:13

You can complain online here: .  At least that part of HSBC's website is working right now.

Update at 11:23

Xhalr is something that will help all HSBC customers trying to use online banking right now:

Update at 11:25

Update at 11:30

...and it's back! (applies to Business banking, though running a little slowly)

Update at 11:49

I spoke too soon.  This is what I get when I log in:

Update at 11:52

OK, so THIS is new.  DNS failures now...  Perhaps they're reverting back to the old system?

Update at 12:00

Yes, Business Banking is back, and looking very much like the old system to me.  I'll sign off now, but will update further if appropriate.

Update at 12:12

ARGH!  Started making payments and it's back down again.

Update at 13:12

Still down.  Apologies have been sent to all those my company owes money to.

Update at 13:25

Back up for now.  I expect HSBC IT people are now staring intently at their screens with fingers crossed.

...and tomorrow... the finger pointing starts...

Update at 16:49

One thing worth pointing out.  The relevant A record has a TTL of (randomly) between 0 and 20 seconds.  OUCH.  This is REALLY not good.  HSBC, are you SURE people need to re-fetch an authoritative answer with each query?  Also, are you SURE that this is not an attack?  I sincerely hope that you are in control of that DNS record, because if you are not, customer traffic could potentially be re-routed elsewhere on the Internet.

Update at 17:11

There's an interesting discussion about DNS going on at The Register.  Also, a lot of HSBC abuse from unhappy customers.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Changing you password on Windows Server 2012 via RDP

So it seems that this is not easy to do, but there is a way:

  • WindowsKey + R, Type OSK, Hit Return
  • On your Physical keyboard, hit Ctrl+Alt then CLICK Del on the on-screen keyboard.
  • Voila - an option to change your password!

Friday, 29 May 2015