Tag Archives: What

For Sale – Alienware 15 R3 – i7-7700HQ GTX1060 6GB, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD – £850 Delivered

Alienware 15 R3 – £850

I never really know what to write in these as I never sell anything normally but this is too good a machine to just rot in a box in the attic, approximately 18 months old, used occasionally in excellent condition.

15.6” 120hz G-Sync display, no dead pixels or backlight bleed.
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz up to 3.8GHz
16Gb RAM (32Gb max)
GTX 1060 6Gb graphics card
256Gb NVNe SSD Boot drive, space for 2 more.
1Tb HDD.
Windows 10.
Tobii webcam allows for Windows Hello face login
Killer WiFi with Bluetooth 4.1
Full RGB lighting.

Shipping will be with UPS to UK Mainland.

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Wanted – Budget ITX bundle (South East)

Well actually I can’t remember what model it is, but its a Lian Li Aluminium full tower case. It has been in my loft for at least 5 years, but is in near perfect condition (if not perfect) no scratches or anything. I know it has at least a 12 bay capacity – not surprising being a full tower, but just cant remember exactly how many without going up and looking. I’m pretty sure its a Lian Li PC-V2000 plus but can’t say without double checking. Anyway, other than that I think your best option is a Fractal design case. the ‘R’ series… R2, R4, R5, have 8 bays, and you may be able to pick one up cheaply as I think the R6 is the current model. I have an R4 in use as my main desktop.

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For Sale – Dell 9370 i7 FHD, Dell 7590 i7 UHD touch, Alienware m15 r1 GTX 1070

Hi Adam

Your answer sort of tipped your hand, I’d be a fair way below what you’re asking so if you think the current price is keen we’ll be too far apart.

It sort of solves a problem for me as I’d prefer the 8 core one, even if I have to wait a few months to find one (paitent and frugal are my middle names).

Have a good NY and GLWS

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For Sale – Few bits an peices

What memory size is the ipad pls?

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2019 BI trends included reality check for AI, consolidation

The BI trends that emerged in 2019 weren’t necessarily what was most expected.

A year ago, one of the dominant BI trends for 2019 was predicted to be an augmented intelligence takeover.

One vendor, ThoughtSpot, wrote that AI in BI will go mainstream and that self-driving analytics will emerge. Another, Tableau, predicted the rise of explainable AI and that advances in natural language processing would enable users to converse with their data. Meanwhile, the CEO of one more, Yellowfin, wrote that natural language queries would supplant text search interfaces.

The introduction and advancements of AI features was indeed one of the significant BI trends of 2019. Progress was most definitely made. ThoughtSpot, for one, introduced new machine learning capabilities, as did Tibco.

But the progress wasn’t quite as spectacular as predicted.

“I think the expectations were a bit too lofty,” said Mike Leone, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “We saw numerous announcements from BI vendors that looked to incorporate AI into their platforms, but adoption is lagging behind quite a bit. Organizations want to use AI to better do their jobs, but there’s still a bit of a learning curve and a need to address the simplicity of using the technology for less technical or non-advanced users in these systems.”

Similarly, Dan Sommer, global market intelligence lead at Qlik, said that while the advancement of AI capabilities was one of the BI trends in 2019, it was modest.

AI is finding its way into use cases but in very specific scenarios. We’re still waiting to see the impact of more general AI.
Dan SommerGlobal market intelligence lead, Qlik

“AI is finding its way into use cases, but in very specific scenarios,” he said. “We’re still waiting to see the impact of more general AI.”

Beyond the incremental advancement of AI capabilities, vendor consolidation was one of the significant BI trends of 2019. Others were the introduction of low-code/no-code tools for application developers, improved mobile apps from BI vendors, and perhaps the demise of Hadoop.


Three weeks into 2019, Qlik acquired CrunchBot and Crunch Data to usher in one of the main BI trends of 2019. One month later, it purchased Attunity.

In the months that followed, Alteryx bought ClearStory Data and Sisense acquired Periscope. Then on June 6, Google bought Looker for $2.6 billion. That same day, Logi Analytics acquired Zoomdata. And just four days after that, Salesforce purchased Tableau for $15.7 billion.

The first six months of 2019 ushered in a wave of consolidation not seen in the BI space since 2007, when IBM acquired Cognos, Oracle bought Hyperion and SAP purchased BusinessObjects.

The impetus for consolidation was the recognition of the growing importance of business intelligence, according to Donald Farmer, principal at TreeHive Strategy.

“What drove consolidation was the commoditization of analytics,” he said. “The pressure on pure-play analytics companies has been great, and there are some companies that are naturally struggling and others that are pre-struggling and could see the writing on the wall. But the positive is the drive toward analytics everywhere, the need to get analytics into every part of the business.”

While consolidation was one of the significant BI trends throughout the first half of 2019 — at least among major vendors – it slowed during the second half of the year. That does not, however, mean the wave has subsided.

“The low-hanging fruit has been taken, but I’m sure there will be another round,” Farmer said.

A new audience

Software vendors who market far more than merely BI platforms have provided low-code and no-code tools for developers for some time now. Salesforce, for example, debuted Salesforce Lightning in 2014. Microsoft answered with PowerApps two years later.

But one of the BI trends to emerge late in 2019 was the introduction of low-code and no-code tools for developers from vendors specializing in business intelligence platforms.

Looker unveiled Looker 7, including a development framework and an in-product marketplace for add-ons, in early November. The same week, Yellowfin rolled out Yellowfin 9. The release included features called Dashboard Canvas and Dashboard Code Mode, which enable developers to customize their organizations’ applications.

Sisense then released an update with embedded capabilities to help customers create enterprise-grade applications, and Alteryx’s latest version included an application programming interface that connects Alteryx Designer with Tableau Hyper and allows users to easily read, write and transform Hyper files.

“I think, especially over the last few months, we’re seeing a much heavier focus on developer enablement,” Leone said. “The idea of low-code/no-code to efficiently build workflows, apply automation and incorporate insights into modern applications is really being emphasized.”

The motivation behind the tools isn’t to replace developers. Instead, it’s to free them from some of the cumbersome coding work it takes to build customized applications. It’s also to enable business users to create rudimentary applications, leading to citizen development much the way advances in the ease-of-use of analytics tools has led to the rise of citizen data scientists.

“It’s not that developers don’t want to write code or can’t write code,” Leone said. “It’s all about efficiency and not having to re-create the wheel.”

Going mobile

BI vendors have historically struggled to develop effective mobile apps. Too often, they tried to re-create their desktop dashboards on mobile screens, but the screen size of phones in particular and tablets to a degree made it difficult to consume data visualizations.

The small screen size proved a big hurdle for mobile BI apps.

In 2019, however, one of the BI trends was that vendors began to figure out how to turn mobile devices to their advantage.

The ones now having success — and the rare ones who had success prior to 2019 — view mobile differently than they do desktop applications. They recognize the limitations of phones and tablets, as well as the strengths of the devices.

“We saw an emergence of a new style of mobile apps being based on being able to take action — Yellowfin, Microsoft, Domo,” Farmer said. “They’re action-focused mobile apps.”

MicroStrategy is one vendor that has long invested in its mobile app, first introducing one in 2009. And one thing it does is take advantage of the mobile aspect of mobile devices. Given the app’s AI and machine learning capabilities, it’s able to provide users with information cards as they move around.

Yellowfin, as mentioned by Farmer, is another vendor figuring out how to present BI in a mobile format.

After struggling for a decade following the release of its first mobile app, the vendor overhauled its mobile strategy and unveiled a new app in September. Rather than mimic dashboards, it presents information via a timeline feed similar to Facebook and Twitter.

Hadoop’s demise

BI trends come, and BI trends go. And just as AI and developer tools are gaining popularity and proficiency, Hadoop’s time might be up.

“Hadoop ended last year,” Sommer said.

Hadoop was created in 2005. It allowed organizations to store and access large amounts of data, and for data scientists to access that data and structure it as needed. In recent years, however, cloud data warehouses such as Amazon Redshift and Snowflake — among others — have lessened the need for Hadoop.

In fact, the idea of big data — the problem Hadoop sought to solve — may not exist anymore, according to Sommer.

“There’s a notion that big data now is just data, and next is wide data,” he said. “Big data is just what you can’t achieve with your current infrastructure, but with cloud storage that restraint is now gone and you can always add more.”

Expanding on the notion of wide data now being an issue rather than big data, Sommer said that data is now fragmented, coming in from different sources at different speeds, and the problem that needs solving is how to bring it all together.

“New data catalogs help pull multiple data sets together,” he said.

As evidence of Hadoop’s perilous position, the three main Hadoop vendors — Cloudera, MapR Technologies and Hortonworks — are in a state of upheaval. Cloudera and Hortonworks wound up merging early in 2019, and MapR, after seeking a buyer, was acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprises.

“A negative BI trend is that Hadoop is over — it’s done, put a fork in it,” Farmer said. “It’s had an interesting effect and people are moving toward a different type of data lake architecture — a hybrid data lake/warehouse … that enables seamless operation between the two.”

The same can be said for 2019: It’s done, put a fork in it.

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How technology intensity accelerates business value – Microsoft Industry Blogs

Organizations that embrace technology intensity are inherently more successful. What exactly is technology intensity, and why is it critical for today’s enterprises to build a cohesive digital strategy?

Technology intensity defined

Technology intensity has three components:

  1. Rapid adoption of hyper-scale cloud platforms
  2. rational business decision to invest in digital capabilities
  3. Relentless focus on building technology that customers can trust—relying on credible suppliers and building security into new products.

As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella notes, “We must adopt technology in ways that are much faster than what we have done in the past. Each one of us, in our organizations, will have to build our own digital capability on top of the technology we have adopted. Tech intensity is one of the key considerations you have to get right.”

Technology intensity as a critical enabler

Simply put, technology intensity is a critical part of business strategy today. I meet regularly with leaders from companies around the world. In my experience, high-performance companies invest the most in digital capabilities and skillsets. In fact, there is a productivity gap between these top performers and their lesser performing counterparts that directly correlates with the scale of digital investments. 

Other research shows that technology spending into hiring developers and creating innovative software that is owned and used exclusively by a company is a key competitive advantage. These companies cultivate the ability to develop their own “digital IP,” building exclusive software and tools that only their customers have access to. Resources are always scarce, and these companies build differentiated IP on top of existing best-in-class technology platforms. 

By putting customers at the center of the OEM supply chain, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) sponsored by Microsoft, Lorenzo Fornaroli, Senior Director of Global Logistics and Supply Chain at China-based ICT Huawei Technologies, highlights an advantage of embracing technology intensity: “…as an ICT company, we have the internal resources needed to identify new technologies early and deploy them effectively. Skills and experience with these technologies are readily available in-house.”

New business models

Manufacturers are increasingly using technology intensity principles to extend their supply chain well past the point of delivery. They are creating smart, connected products and digitizing their businesses with Azure IoT, Microsoft AI, Azure Blockchain Service, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft 365.

Rolls-Royce, for example, takes a monthly fee from customers of its jet engines that is based on flying hours. Sellers of industrial machinery such as Sandvik Coromant and Tetrapak are exploring the concept of charging customers for parts machined and containers filled.

Using the data that connected products transmit back about their condition and usage, manufacturers build new digital services. For these forward-thinking manufacturers, the extended supply chain is an opportunity to move away from selling products to customers based on a one-off, upfront purchase price, and to charge for subscriptions based on performance guarantees. This is “technology intensity in action”, as manufacturers become digital software companies.

Technology intensity in action

Viewpoint of a city

Viewpoint of a cityBühler is a global market leader in die casting technology and has adopted technology intensity for connected products. Looking to continue driving innovation in the die casting process, Bühler aggregated data from different die casting cell components together under a single cell-management system. Bühler can now monitor, control, and manage a complete die casting cell in a unified, easy-to-use system. The company is also exploring additional avenues for digital transformation including real-time fleet learning by fine-tuning its Artificial Intelligence (AI) models to generate new insights.

Lexmark, a manufacturer of laser printers and imaging products, now offers Lexmark Cloud Print Infrastructure as a Service (CPI). Customers no longer manage onsite print infrastructure. Instead, Lexmark installs its own IoT-enabled devices and activates smart services, creating an always-on print environment. To roll out CPI, Lexmark worked with Microsoft to quickly adopt new Internet of Things (IoT), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), AI and collaboration tools to successfully grow their internal digital capabilities.

Colfax is another great example of a manufacturer embracing technology intensity. A global industrial technology company, Colfax, recognized the need to adopt industrial IoT technologies and the importance of embracing a comprehensive digital transformation initiative to expand the offerings of two of its business platforms—ESAB, a welding and cutting solutions provider, and Howden, an air and gas handling engineering company. Working with Microsoft and PTC, the company adopted advanced cloud technologies while building up a digital skillset. 

Investing in new digital skillsets

Savvy manufacturers harness data from connected products and combine this with data from many other sources, in unprecedented volumes. The copious amounts of data require mindset shifts, requiring organizations to build skills for a new digital era. Most manufacturers concur that they need to expand their internal capabilities in this manner.

“Senior supply-chain professionals have typically been accustomed to working with a fairly limited set of data to drive their decisions—but that’s all changed now,” says Daniel Helmig, group head of quality and operations at Swiss-Swedish industrial group ABB in the EIU report putting customers at the center of the OEM supply chain. He continues, “but being able to take advantage of the huge volumes of data available to us— and these are growing every day—demands a mind shift among supply-chain professionals, based on using new levels of visibility to respond to issues quickly and decisively.”

From the same report, Sheri Henck, vice-president of global supply chain, distribution, and logistics at Medtronic, a US-based manufacturer of medical equipment and devices, commented “In the past, a great deal of supply-chain decision-making was based on intuition, because data wasn’t available. Today, there is plenty of data available, but there’s also a recognition that skills and competencies for supply-chain leaders and their teams need to change if we are to make the most of data and use it to make data-driven recommendations and decisions.”

Explore how to optimize your digital operations with business solutions for intelligent factories with the e-book, “Factory of the future: Achieving digital excellence in manufacturing today“.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Wanted – Windows laptop under ~£300

The condition is what I’d call well used but reasonable. There are scratches here and there, and there’s discolouration around the mouse pad. But apart from that, condition is pretty decent.

The charger is also temperamental. It works fine, but certain plug sockets or extension leads cause it to drop out. This could just be the electrics in my house though… But it’s something I’d make perfectly clear to any potential buyer beforehand.

Pictures attached. Would you still be interested given the above notes?

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Wanted – Windows laptop under ~£300

The condition is what I’d call well used but reasonable. There are scratches here and there, and there’s discolouration around the mouse pad. But apart from that, condition is pretty decent.

The charger is also temperamental. It works fine, but certain plug sockets or extension leads cause it to drop out. This could just be the electrics in my house though… But it’s something I’d make perfectly clear to any potential buyer beforehand.

Pictures attached. Would you still be interested given the above notes?

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For Sale – Gaming Pc RTX 2080Ti, I7 9700, 32GB Dominator Platinum

What brand is the machine please?
Purchased new?
Purchased from?
Waranty remaining?
Optical drive blu ray?
Any bundled software?
Ancillaries or just PC unit?
Price paid?


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For Sale – Mini PC; Gigabyte Brix GB-BKi3A-7100, Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit, 16GB DDR4, 256GB NVMe, USB 3.1

What HDD does it have in it?

Sorry – didn’t read properly!

Last edited:

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