ESPN has got it right, almost.

With the World cup only 15 days away, i thought its time to put out my views before the tournament starts. Thoughts on the coverage of this magnificent tournament in the United States of America. The worlds largest, most loved event.

Football has been a hated sport in this country for all 16 years I’ve been here. But there is change coming. I can feel it. Something has happened over at ESPN that’s making me think this. All of a sudden, we’re getting High Definition broadcasts of games, real commentators commentating on games, and a heck of a lot of advertising for the world cup on ESPN.

During the 98, 02 and 06 world cup’s, you’d not have known it was coming on ESPN as they hardly mentioned it. For 2010, they’ve had a campaign going since 2008 to tell people that the world cup is coming, and you can see it on ESPN/ABC. That’s a 2 year long campaign. That’s a change to what I’ve seen in the past. That’s a good change.

I should have noticed this change in 2008 when ESPN showed every game live in High Definition of the European Championship. You know, something that the USA doesn’t, and can’t participate in. To have the final shown on network TV was even more of a blessing. 4 years prior to that, the entire tournament was PPV only.

Not only did ESPN show Euro 2008 in High Def, they threw out all of the rubbish American commentators and used real class commentating. It was a great tournament to watch. I took it for granted. I thought i was back in England for those 3 weeks.

So what have i noticed for 2010?

  1. Colorful advertising. Very stylish/artistic graphics for the logo – taken by the theme of Africa.
  2. Announcements all the time, that the world cup is coming.
  3. Live draw, with *full* coverage – although Bob Ley was getting a bit annoying talking over the hosts of the world cup draw.
  4. The ESPN logo in the corner of the bottom line flashing over to the WC2010 logo periodically.
  5. A sudden and shocking announcement that they will be showing live EPL games in 2009 *in HD*. It happened literally two days before the first game of the season.
  6. A sudden and shocking announcement that Martin Tyler will be commentating for ESPN for the world cup. *Drool*
  7. A Live roster selection segment on Sportscenter.
  8. ESPN3D to cover some of the games from the world cup, allegedly the first 3d broadcast in the US.

ESPN will be boasting a British only commentary personnel line up for all 64 games, that’s incredible given that it was all American (except Derek Rae and Adrian Healey for some of the games) just 4 years ago.

Martin Tyler and Andy Gray for USA v England ? *yum*

They’ve added my buddy Klinsmann to the panel of personalities to review the post games.T

hey will all be on site in South Africa (apparently) to cover the games.

So, this all sounds good for the football fan in America, so why do i say its “almost” there?

Simple. I think there will be a tendency for someone like Bob Ley or Anthony Hopkins to try and teach the audience the game. I hate that. I think that needs to go away *now*.

ESPN has to know by now that you cant teach an old dog new tricks. You cant make a left hander, a right hander. So why bother? The only audience watching these games, will be the open minded person who cares about the world and wants to watch it. Or has an interest in it. Everyone should completely ignore the ignorant Americans who *hate* the sport. I really don’t give a toss about the Americans who hate the game. They don’t even know *why* they hate the game, its just something they were brought up with. You know, like the English hating the Germans. We don’t know why we hate them today, we just do! Ok sure, there might be something about WWII in there someplace, but that was 80 years ago. Who cares now right?

If ESPN can get through this world cup without Bob Ley telling me that England vs Germany is like the Dodgers vs the Yankees, that’ll be a huge step for mankind. I swear I’ll slit my wrists if i hear some crap like that – Ok maybe not.

But really, its time for ESPN to let go of trying to convince “America” that “soccer” is a good game. There is just no need for it. Come to think of it, if John Motson tried to tell me that Yankees vs Dodgers was like Germany vs England, I’d switch channels – immediately.

My thought process here is, show the game as its meant to be shown. If there is a brain cell in any NFL loving American, he’ll be interested and may enjoy the next 2hrs. If not, it doesn’t matter. There are 6billion football lovers around the world. we don’t need anymore.

It probably turns the American audience off when they hear comparisons between the peoples game, and their game.

Football is a different game, built on different principles. Its a game designed by people, for people. Its not a game designed by advertisers for people. It has a different flow, a different feel, a different language.


HyperV Time issues with CentOS

Quick Reminder to myself on how to fix this time speedup issue with Centos 5.4 and HyperV

nano /boot/grub/grub.conf


divider=10 clocksource=acpi_pm

to the end of the current kernel (or all of them actually)

VSSAdmin List Writers is Empty


Quick post to remind myself of how to fix volume shadow copy having no writers. Turns out this is a common problem when using the newsid utility on templated servers/computers. The fix is relatively simple.

1. Stop the Microsoft Shadow Copy Provider & Volume Shadow Copy Service
2. Export the contents of the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\EventSystem key to a .reg file (as a backup).
3. Delete the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\EventSystem\{26c409cc-ae86-11d1-b616-00805fc79216}\Subscriptions key. (Just delete the Subscriptions subkey; leave the EventClasses key.)
4. Restart the server.
5. Run the “VSSADMIN LIST WRITERS” command.

Thanks to Rhys Winter on his post in technet.

Firewire is Slow

This past weekend, i went out to look for a Firewire enclosure for my Mac Mini so that i can expand on my storage a bit for all the photo’s I take. I like to keep at least 2 if not 3 copies of all of my pictures.

At my local Frys, I picked up an Acomdata 3.5″ enclosure which sported USB2.0 and Firewire interfaces, for only $39.99. A bit steep, but i wanted something to test with. After getting home, and plugging in a 500gb Seagate ST3500630AS drive (got one back from Seagate after a previous one failed), i did some quick testing.

On Windows, using MTIReadWrite, i was able to see about 20mbytes sustained read/write over a 2gb file. I found that to be dreadful. So i went up to the Mac Mini, and tried something similar. Using the command

dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=16k count=64k

I averaged 28mbytes/sec over a few runs. A bit better, but still dreadful. USB can match that easily (although i didn’t actually test USB on this device, but form past experience, 30mbytes/sec is the max i’ve ever gotten from a USB interface to a disk). Doing some math, Firewire is 400mbits/sec which is equal to 47.68mbytes a sec raw throughput at 400mbits. So, expecting anything more than 47mbytes/sec is madness. I didn’t try a Firewire 800 device since the Mac Mini only has Firewire400m, and so does my PC.

So, Firewire is slow in today’s market. It was a heck of a lot a faster than a DNS-321 from DLINK that i tried in the same weekend, that thing was REALLY slow, only 18mbytes/sec throughput – on gige with jumbo frames. Useless.

The only cool thing about Firewire, is that you can daisy chain them. Although, i daisy chained two together on my Mac Mini, and it  dropped read and write speeds down to 17mbytes/sec each – when simultaneously reading or writing from both Firewire drives.

If you’re looking for fast external storage, i think eSata is the only way to go at this point. Pity we can’t daisy chain them together.

Windows7 LSASS crashing system

Microsoft’s Windows 7 packs a lot of power, performance and stability – for the vast majority of us. Unfortunately, one glitch left me tearing my hair out from this virtually perfect operating system. It appears that in a particular environment, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 will crash and burn all the time for no apparent reason. Luckily, David Weisz has found the problem, and given a reason and a solution to the problem.

Let me explain the scenario where this occurs. I have a Asus M50V laptop, a stellar laptop for business and gaming use. It has 4gb’s of RAM, and it’s my daily workstation for practically everything. Since I’m an IT professional, i run and operate my own Windows Domain within my enterprise, along with Exchange and all the other goodies – mainly as a showpiece of what a good network deployment can do for a customer. Hence, my laptop is joined to a Windows 2003 AD, just like all my other previous laptops and workstations and operating systems.

After installing Windows 7, it appeared that there may have been a glitch with the firmware on the motherboard and Power management, as 7/10 times, when i’d resume my laptop from a sleep state, and after logging in – i’d get the LSASS crash and the usual “Critical error, system will reboot in one minute” message, making me scramble to clsoe all my documents.

However, it appears that it is a small environmental issue with the types of Domain controllers i have, and authentication of such. Hence David Weisz’s solution works. The fix is a simple registry change so that the LSA service authenticates to Windows Servers, pretending to be of Windows Server compatibility. That change is

Key:   HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\Kerberos\Parameters
Name:   DefaultEncryptionType
Data:    23 (decimal) or 0x17 (hexadecimal)

And bingo, no more crashed, and now i can resume my dance of saying Windows 7 is pretty much perfect in every way.

My advice for Windows 7

To put it simply, it is my opinion that everyone should eventually be using Windows 7 as it is a remarkable operating system with little issues. I’ve been using Windows 7 since January 2009, and have had very few issues, if any at all during that time. I should also add that I have been using Windows Vista since late 2006, and am coming from using Windows Vista for a long time on a laptop that was designed for Windows XP.

Here is a simple guide that you can follow that should tell you in a nutshell what you should do


You are running Windows Vista now – Windows 7 is recommended to you.

You are running Windows XP or Windows 2000 – Windows 7 can be considered after a consultation.

You are looking to buy a new computer – Make sure it comes preloaded with Windows 7. If you are a business customer, and have a server, make sure the computer comes with Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate

How to install

In all cases, I do not recommend a Windows 7 upgrade. It is always in my interest to keep customers and the public in a safe environment, and because of my belief in this – I only recommend a clean install of windows 7, and not an upgrade.

To install Windows 7, backup all of your data to an external device – and then install windows7 by formatting the computer (select a custom install and delete partitions and install to the un partitioned area)

Once installed, reinstall your office applications and other applications and restore your data back to you’re my documents / favorites.

How to buy Windows 7

Windows 7 comes in a variety of editions. Since you already own Windows, you should look for the upgrade packages only. You do not need to buy the full version to do a clean install of windows. If you are unsure which edition to get, please contact me.

I’m on Windows XP, what do I do?

If you are on Windows XP, then there is no rush to move to Windows7. We should make sure that all of your existing applications can run in Windows 7, before making the plunge into Windows 7. Like Vista, windows7 runs in a different way to Windows XP leaving a lot of applications and devices unusable on Windows7 without updates or upgrades. Some devices such as old scanners will not work in Windows7 at all.

If you are running on a relatively new computer (newer than 2005) and have atleast 1gb of RAM, then running Windows7 should be fine – but perform a clean install as described above.

If you have one of the newer Netbooks (the ultra portable computers with 10inch screens) then running Windows7 should not be a problem, as long as you have enough disk space to install Windows 7 and 1gb of RAM.

If you are unsure, do not install Windows 7, and contact me instead.

USA and Bob Bradley

The first game ended today as a 3-1 loss to the world champions Italy, and it was a good game for the most part. Scrappy, stop and go football with the possession changing frequently as both teams went head on with tackles. However, it was a loss to the US. It was expected to be a loss, as the Italian squad had rebuilt since the debacle at Euro 2008, they brought back the world cup winning coach and got a few new faces that are pretty good, including an American.

But that’s not why I’m writing all this. I’m writing all this because I’m a bit upset with Bob Bradley as the coach for our team, and I’m a bit upset with one of the players on the squad as well. I don’t think we’ll do well at all in any major tournament without some real talent in coaching.

The US has been playing pretty well for quiet a while, and its gotten pretty solid at scraping out results, against good teams and bad team, home and away. It’s also gotten pretty good at wiping the floor with rubbish opposition. It’s been like this for a very long time, probably all the way since 1998 when Bruce Arena took over. He was able to stabilize the team after the 1998 debacle, and get some winning form to the nation’s team. However, there’s always been one thing lacking. That one thing is Style.

The US has no style of play. It’s all individuals that work their magic, and sometimes it works and we get a decent goal. But it’s never the same kind of goal over and over, or a well worked goal.

Sure, that might be because the strikers in the country are no good, but I’m not quiet certain that’s what the problem is. We have good strikers now, they can score from anywhere. But because we don’t have a style of play, it gets lost, and only found in the players individual flares.

What I’m really looking for is a stand out style of play. Lets take for example a team that we all know has a style. Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has stamped his authority on the team with a special kind of progressive attacking style that the team never sways away from, no matter what the score is, no matter what the condition is. When you turn the telly on, and you see Arsenal playing, you know you’re going to see high possession – high speed – high passing games, and generally, a lot of goals (for or against doesn’t matter). Barcelona plays in a similar style too. Germany plays a distinctive style as well with pin point passing as its signature.

So why cant the US have a style? Better yet, why not adopt on of these styles? Is it too difficult to do, is it so special that only Guardiola, Wenger, Loewe, Beckanbaur or Klinsmann know? If so, fine i accept that these coaches have special ingredients. But guess what, some of these coaches are available, including one that lives 15mins from the USMNT’s base camp.

No more excuses, i want a style for the team, and i want it now before the 2010 world cup.

This means that Bob has to go. He’s a good coach, for scraping out the wins. But for a country that’s do dominant in CONCACAF, i’m expecting the team to blow out rubbish opposition with lots of goals, not just 1-0’s and 2-0’s and 3-0’s. Some of the opposition we play in CONCACAF are comprised of part time players, that aren’t even considered professional. Surely we’re good enough to get 6 goals against them, right ? I think its because we have no technical direction. Arsenal would wipe the floor with some of the CONCACAF nations, with its reserve team.

As for the team itself, i think its more or less fine. The backline is decent, its good enough given the talent pool. The midfield is also alright given the talent pool. We’re weak up top, but almost every other country is weak up top (no, i don’t include Spain or Brazil in that list of “other countries”).

What i do think, is that Landon Donavon is done. He’s had more than a 100 games to be a leader, and he’s just not up to it. Sure’ he’s a great player when playing for games that don’t matter, or a game vs Mexico on home turf. But beyond that, he’s useless for the USMNT now and he needs to be dropped ASAP. It’s dragging the team down trying to find a spot for him. Just like how Aragones dropped Raul for Spain in 2008, USSF as a whole, has to drop Donovan to progress. I also think that FIFA should put a cap on international caps for a player. I think that number should be 100. Play for the country 100 times, and you’re done. No more. Do not pass go.

No more Landon please. Thank you

Thats it.


NTBackup on Windows Server 2003 x64 and SQL Server 2000

Just came across this gem of a KB from Microsoft, which happens to be pretty recent as well. I had a customer with a x64 Win2k3 installation where NTBackup would just not run. It hung on Preparing the Volume Shadow Service, and never did and simply died. This KB outlines the exact issue and fixes it. Not sure if the patch is needed, but it could just be that the Registry key is needed.

Pre-authentication Failed Message in Event Log

You may come across an entry in your event log’s on your domain controllers that reads something like this:

2009-05-11 11:23:13 Local0 Critical

Pre-authentication failed:

User Name: TNLT1$

User ID: %{S-1-5-21-343818398-813497703-839522115-3620}

Service Name: krbtgt/

Pre-Authentication Type: 0x0

Failure Code: 0x19

Client Address: 10.X.X.X


This appears to be common to all newer Windows operating systems that are Vista and above (including Windows 2008 Server). This from what i understand, is related to UAC and the need to do some kind of “pre authentication”. Never the less, there is a fix for this.

You will need to install the ADSI Editor on your domain controller. Once you have that installed, open up MMC (start -> run -> mmc) and add in the snap-in called “ADSI Edit”

Once you have it added to your MMC, right click on ADSI Edit, and click “Connect” and click “OK” to connect to your domain. You will then need to drill down into DC=<DOMAIN,DC=com, CN=Computers.

Here you’ll find a list of all the workstations, and servers joined to your domain. Look for the machine giving you the event log message, and right click, go to properties.

Within the attributes section, look for “userAccountControl”, and check the value. If the value is below 4194304, then simply add 4194304 to the value. For example, if the value is listed as 4096, then make it 4198400.

That’s it.

Kieran Gibbs, its ok.

Dear Kieran,

I watched with great anticipation today, to see Arsenal go through to the final with two splendid goals. However, it all got upended because you slipped in the 8th minute, and J.S Park notched in a goal.

I am writing this letter to say that its ok, nobody (especially me) blames you, and you are the 2nd best left back in the Premier League, after Clichy.

Yes, what i’m saying is that its not your fault. Even Clichy could have slipped. It was just not meant to be. In fact, J.S Park should have missed it, but sadly he didn’t.

I can tell that you must have been heart broken as you didn’t make it out the tunnel for the second half.

You should cherish the fact that you took C. Ronaldo to the cleaners in the first leg, and use that to build your skills upon, and be the next best left back in the world I support you on this.

Here is a reminder.

Thank you for your efforts, and continue the hard work.