Tag Archives: years

For Sale – GTX 660 Direct CI II OC x 2

Two GTX 660s. Consistent usage over a number of years, no major overclocking. Comes with free dust. Upgraded to 1080 as reason for selling.
Will not split. Will split if I find two buyers, priority goes to person buying both.
No accessories included (but I don’t think it came with any)
Sending via myHermes included in the cost and both cards will be packed into one box
No warranty remaining that I’m aware of.

Picture coming shortly.

Price and currency: 70 together, 40 each.
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Abergele, Wales
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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Expect service providers to ease Azure Stack deployment

Microsoft is about to release Azure Stack, after two years and many bumps in the road. Despite the hoopla, it’s unclear just how many customers will be there to warmly greet the new arrival.

Microsoft has said that Azure Stack offers both infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service capabilities. As such, it brings the perks of the cloud service down into the data center. This might tempt businesses long frustrated with tangled, difficult-to-manage multicloud setups, said Mike Dorosh, an analyst at Gartner.

Dorosh said that, given the product’s complex licensing terms, he doubts many IT shops would opt for an Azure Stack deployment directly from a Microsoft hardware partner — at least initially. Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lenovo, Avanade and Huawei offer Azure Stack hardware bundles.

Microsoft designed Azure Stack deployment to be a simple process. Jeffrey Snover, a Microsoft technical fellow, said the installation should be quick and its complexity largely obscured by Microsoft and the hardware vendor. But Dorosh also said he predicts it will test businesses as they attempt to migrate and refactor existing apps and develop and deploy new apps onto Azure Stack.

“Then, the challenge becomes: You don’t have the skills and the tools and the knowledge or the staff to work it,” Dorosh said.

Other factors will likely slow initial adoption. Businesses that have recently invested in a private cloud or their infrastructure won’t replace these new investments with Azure Stack, Dorosh said. He also expects to hear concern about licensing and the speed of Microsoft’s updates.

Questions linger on Microsoft licensing

Azure Stack could confuse customers with its different fee models. Microsoft uses a consumption model for five Azure Stack services: Base virtual machine; Windows Server virtual machine; Azure Blob Storage; Azure Table and Queue Storage; and Azure App Service. Businesses can use existing licenses to reduce costs.

A company can subscribe to Azure Stack on a base VM charge of $0.008 per virtual CPU per hour or $6 per vCPU per month. Without a license, a Windows Server VM will cost $0.046 per vCPU per hour or $34 per vCPU per month. There are also options for when there is no public internet connection, called disconnected, and fixed-fee models. An IaaS package costs $144 per core per year, and adding an app service brings it to $400 per core per year.

Dorosh said he expects businesses to get better terms from Microsoft on Azure Stack deployment than with similar offerings, such as Azure Pack, because it will bundled into the product. However, Microsoft must also streamline its licensing terms to avoid confusion. For example, if a service provider has an SQL database with multiple SQL licenses, it will need to translate those licenses to the Azure Stack model.

“[Microsoft used to say] it depends on where you bought it and which programs you bought it under,” Dorosh said. “But now, [customers] want to know, ‘Can I move my SQL license or not? Yes or no?'”

Customers must also make frequent updates to Azure Stack to continue to receive support. A company must apply a Microsoft update within six months, but service providers want Microsoft to push adopters to stay within two months of the regular patches, Dorosh said. Falling six months behind would leave both service providers and Azure Stack users at a disadvantage.

“The further you fall behind, the less Azure you are,” Dorosh said. “You’re no longer part of the Azure cloud family — you’re Azure-like.”

More Azure Stack coverage

  • One size won’t fit all for Azure Stack debut: Initially, Azure Stack will only be offered as a one-rack deployment. Microsoft said it might extend to multirack deployments by early 2018. For now, the one-rack deployment could dampen interest in Azure Stack at larger businesses that don’t want to extend hosting into the Azure public cloud.
  • Analysts say Azure Stack will outpace VMware on Amazon Web Services: Both Azure Stack and VMware Cloud on AWS are expected to hit the hybrid cloud technology market in September. Even though VMware Cloud on AWS targets the world’s largest cloud service provider, analysts expect Azure Stack to sell better. A leading reason is that many Azure Stack customers will be migrating data with one vendor — from a Microsoft-operated data center to the Azure public cloud — while VMware Cloud on AWS requires you to use technologies from different vendors.
  • Azure Stack architect addresses delay: When Microsoft first announced Azure Stack in May 2015, the plan was to release it by the end of 2016. The company then pushed the release to September 2017. Snover, the Azure Stack architect, told SearchWindowsServer in June that the code was not ready for the original launch date. “As much as possible, we are trying to be Azure-consistent,” he said, and the effort to convert Azure to work on premises required more time.
  • Azure Stack isn’t a steppingstone to public cloud: Microsoft anticipates its Azure Stack customers will be businesses that have a long-term plan for hybrid cloud deployment. Although you could use Azure Stack as a “migration path to the cloud,” as Julia White, Microsoft corporate vice president for Azure, put it, the software provider’s internal research suggests that won’t be the case: Eighty-four percent of customers have a hybrid cloud strategy, and 91% of them look at hybrid cloud computing as a long-term workflow. Microsoft expects companies with data sovereignty issues will look to Azure Stack as a way to get cloud computing while keeping data in-house.

For Sale – Gaming PC – I5 3470, 16gb, GTX970, SSD

Here for sale is my Gaming PC, ive owned this for 3 years without any issues and its evolved to the spec it is today. The pc will run any AAA game at high/ultra settings with the graphics card thats in there and the CPU copes with everything ive ever thrown at it. Ive been playing titles such as GTA V, Arma 3, Rust, Assetto Corsa all at high/ultra settings but ive just upgraded to a new PC thats VR ready hence the sale.

Spec:
i5-3470 Ivy bridge
16GB DDR3 Ram
MSI GeForce GTX970 4G Gaming GPU
Asus P8B75-V Motherboard
Zalaman CNPS5x CPU cooler
Zalaman ZM500-GS 500w power supply
1TB Western digital caviar blue HD
256gb Crucial MX100 SSD
Windows 10 Pro
Xigmatek Asgard Gaming Case CAX-ASGARD

The machine will come with a fresh wipe with just windows 10. Its a perfect starter PC to get into PC gaming, it was my first PC that switched me from consoles and i wouldnt go back.

Pickup only due to the size/weight and how fragile it is from S73

Cash on collection or i could maybe meet locally

IMG_2728[1].JPG

IMG_2727[1].JPG

IMG_2729[1].JPG

IMG_2730[1].JPG

Price and currency: 550
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash on collection
Location: Barnsley
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – TP-Link TL-PA201 200Mbps Powerline x3

Fully boxed
Several years old but fully working with no known problems
Patch cables not included

Have moved to a WiFi solution so no longer required.

UK delivery included

Price and currency: £15
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Paypal GIFT/F&F, BACS
Location: Ealing, UK
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – AM2+ motherboard for HTPC

Hi.

I’ve been running my current HTPC for over 5 years, but it looks as though the motherboard has now died. :( Hoping someone can sort me out with a replacement.

The ex-motherboard is an ASUS M3A78 Pro running an AMD Phenom II 940 BE (125W). I had been using the built in graphics which had been fine except for the lack of support for Windows 10, which left me on Windows 7.

Has anyone got anything similar to offer please? Ideally with built in graphics which is properly supported on Windows 10. I’d consider motherboard and silent graphics card which is Win 10 compatible but want to keep the price low.

Thanks,
Roo.

Location: Redruth

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Announcing… MINECON Earth

For the past few years we’ve hosted MINECONs throughout the world, and they’ve been great! We’re extremely proud of how our annual conference has evolved since the first one back in Las Vegas, and would like to thank every attendee for taking some time out to join us.

But this year we’re switching it up! The Minecraft community is still growing, and there’s only a certain number of players we can host while keeping the friendly, intimate community atmosphere that’s made previous MINECONs so special.

With that in mind, we’re pleased to announce MINECON Earth – an interactive show that will take the best bits of our previous events and incorporate them into a condensed show dedicated to all things Minecraft! It’ll be free to watch and showing on all kinds of popular streaming websites this November.

For more on MINECON Earth, pay a visit to our fancy new page and watch the announcement video above. We’ll be sharing more details soon, including some of the ways you can get involved to make MINECON Earth more special, so watch this space!

Agile2017: What the Agile development model needs to do next

More than 16 years after the Agile Manifesto was written, “Agile is still hard,” admitted Tricia Broderick, the chair of Agile2017 in Orlando, Fla.

Just released data from a survey of more than 150 managers by CA Technologies underscores that fact — only 12% say their entire organization is on a path to achieving an Agile development model, even while 70% say they know it’s the process that can help them be organized and respond faster.

At a time when many feel the Agile development model is at a crossroads, the annual conference offers an opportunity to bring concerns and triumphs to light. The keynote speaker, David Marquet, author of Turn the Ship Around and a former nuclear submarine commander, spoke about how he “turned his ship around” by moving his crew from a thinking organization to a thinking and doing organization, and how those principles can be applied to distributing the Agile development model throughout a company.

He focused on the tricky role that leadership has to play. “The most important leadership attributes are the ability to say ‘I don’t know,'” Marquet explained. Agile thought leaders need to “lean back” so that their teams can lean forward. “You’ve got to let your team own it so they can move forward,” he said.

But as the CA survey data shows, that’s sometimes easier said than done. Managers know why the Agile development model is important and invaluable to an organization: 51% said it reduces project derailments and “fire drills” while 47% agree it increases visibility and improves communication among groups. But 38% said they couldn’t scale Agile because of inconsistency and siloed groups while 42% said the barriers were within certain departments. 

It’s definitely a leadership thing, said Jeffrey Hammond, Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst of application development and delivery professionals in an interview before the conference. “Agile has become telling people how to do things right but then not necessarily doing those things themselves,” he explained. The challenge is for management to try to get out of the way. “When I talk with our clients to help with digital transformation, it’s really about becoming more Agile in spirit. They need to understand the cultural barriers and that will help them refocus on delivery and measuring results and customer engagement.” Stop thinking about the Agile development model process, Hammond said, and think about the results instead.

Dave West, CEO and product owner of Scrum.org, acknowledged that there are lots of challenges when it comes to Agile and Scrum, but it’s time to get smarter about how Agile is done and not do band-aid type fixes like renaming it. “We need a reboot in a lot of cases, but we don’t need a reinvention,” he said. In his ideal world, you’d empower the people who know what they’re doing and get middle managers on board.  “The future of Agile isn’t 3.0 or renaming it, but instead it’s making it consumable for those groups. The biggest challenge is to take a high-level instruction and convert it into a series of understandable instructions and then make sure people are doing it.”

For Sale – Synology & OWC Thunderbay Summer Sale…

Hi fellow AVFers,

So my storage needs have changed over the past few years, and so I have recently built a Homemade unRAID NAS, meaning I have all my storage devices available for sale.

All units are boxed with all accessories, they are bare devices only, there are no hard drives included as these are being used in the unRAID server.

Nothing is under warranty unless stated.
Prices do not include delivery.

They are as follows:

Synology DS212+Sold to DracUK
Cracking little 2 bay NAS, I have been using it as a dedicated Cloud Server using Synology Cloud Station.
Great condition.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Full Specs
Review
Asking Price: £80
—————————————————————————————————————–
Synology DS415+Sold to DAG5
This was my main media server, and never missed a beat, a really nice NAS.

This is the more powerful ‘+’ version, and in great condition.

Bought from Scan.co.uk in January 2015, can provide receipt if required.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Full Specs
Review
Asking Price: £250
—————————————————————————————————————–
Synology DS416jSold to muppetman74
This was only bought from Amazon at the end of June 2017, so is still under warranty, I can provide the receipt if required.

It was only used as backup for my DS415+ so very little usage.

A great starter NAS and a nice little saving for a month old device.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Full Specs
Review
Asking price: £200
—————————————————————————————————————–
Synology DX213 Sold to DracUK
This little expansion unit is a great addition to any Synology with an eSATA port, it connects directly to the main NAS unit and is controlled through the DSM.

Bought from Ebuyer in February 2016, can provide receipt if required.

In great condition.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Full Specs
Asking price: £80
—————————————————————————————————————–
OWC Thunderbay 4 mini
This rare beauty is an awesome addition, takes 2.5″ HDD/SSD drives.

I had it plugged into Mac with a couple of SSD’s as a RAID 0 and it flies, it has 2x Thunderbolt 2 ports on the back and supports daisy chaining.

It was bought from One Stop PC Shop in early July 2016, can provide receipt if required.

These are hard to find in the UK, so don’t miss out on this at a cracking price.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Review
Asking price: £225
—————————————————————————————————————–
Any question, please ask away.

Collection welcome and preferred from Milton Keynes, but can ship if required.

Thanks for looking. :)

Price and currency: £80 / £250 / £200 / £80 / £225
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT/PPG
Location: Milton Keynes
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Microsoft Office Users Are Getting AI, But May Not Know It



Over the past few years, Microsoft has quietly added a number of artificial intelligence (AI) features to Office 365 , but my guess is that most Office users either don’t know these features exist, or just take them for granted.

At last year’s Ignite conference, I saw a number of new AI features, and among these were notable new features for PowerPoint and Outlook. But this year, many of those features have deepened and a variety of new tools have been added, some announced at the recent Inspire conference and others announced just this week.

Kirk Gregersen, who heads the program management team within Office, explained that the team’s goal is to add “intelligence into the product in a way that users don’t have to understand to benefit from [it].” This involves using a lot of information the company has in the form of its “knowledge graph”—all of the information you store in documents and email, including what some companies have agreed to share with Microsoft—as well as taking advantage of both the cloud and the AI experience. “Without the move to the cloud, we couldn’t be doing what we are doing,” Gregersen said, explaining that many of these concepts have been around since the 1980s or 90s, but that they weren’t possible without all the data that is now in the cloud.

Gregersen said the product team now works deeply with Microsoft Research, led by executive vice president of Artificial Intelligence & Research Harry Shum, in a way that it couldn’t have in the past. Gregersen referred to these new AI features as “gifts from Harry’s org” and said they have enabled scenarios the product teams have envisioned for years.

Some of the new features are fairly obvious, such as the “focused” inbox in Outlook, while others are less noticeable. (Note again that not every user has all these features yet. I’ll recap the update policies at the end of this post.)

Word Tackles Writing Style

In recent months, Word has added a variety of new proofing tools. The spelling and grammar features have been significantly enhanced, and they have a notably different look.

Among the changes are suggestions that are based in part by contextual ranking, and a “read aloud” feature, which is designed to help those with visual impairments.

Most obvious is the new “gold squiggle,” which suggests style changes within your documents. Each new monthly release adds more of these features, which range from general style critiques to helping you make sure you use more inclusive language, such as identifying gender-specific terms or terms that have different geopolitical meanings. Many of these are turned off by default at present, so users may not be aware they exist. (These settings are listed under File, Options, Proofing, Writing Style as shown in the graphic below). They are interesting and potentially quite useful tools.

Gregersen said this represents a use of AI wherein it takes something that was solely rules-based and adds context awareness. In the future, he said, it will be easier to see how this could be used in LinkedIn resumes, as well as become more personalized, so you could have it ignore certain style issues.

PowerPoint Turns Text into Presentations

Many of the most interesting features involve PowerPoint. Last year, Microsoft demonstrated a new option called Designer, in which PowerPoint can take a variety of slides you have and show you alternatives for different designs based on your content.

In new versions, Designer has improved how it does image analysis in the background, and this helps it to recognize salient regions of a photo, for things like facial recognition (so it doesn’t crop out faces), or extracting color to help determine the color tone for the rest of a presentation. In addition, the company is tracking which designs people choose, and using a ranking algorithm similar to that used by the Bing search engine to propose the most appropriate choices.

My favorite new feature involves taking the text you type and automatically turning it into a visual, or typing a number of steps in a process and turning that into a visual process flow. This was unveiled last year (under the name “SmartArts”), and the company has been updating it over time.

Similarly, another new feature turns a bulleted list with dates into a timeline, and it’s quite cool. It’s long been possible to create such visuals in PowerPoint, but it was time consuming and required a bit of artistic sensibility. This feature makes it much easier.

In addition, last year PowerPoint added a feature called Quick Start, aimed mostly at students, which, if you type in a topic, creates a basic outline of a presentation for you, using information and images from the web that are available under the Creative Commons license. This feature, too, has been enhanced.

Perhaps the flashiest new feature, however, is the ability to translate a presentation into another language in real-time. Presentation Translator was first demonstrated in the

Michael J. Miller is chief information officer at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Miller, who was editor-in-chief of PC Magazine from 1991 to 2005, authors this blog for PCMag.com to share his thoughts on PC-related products. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are disclaimed. Miller works separately for a private investment firm which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.

For Sale – Synology & OWC Thunderbay Summer Sale…

Hi fellow AVFers,

So my storage needs have changed over the past few years, and so I have recently built a Homemade unRAID NAS, meaning I have all my storage devices available for sale.

All units are boxed with all accessories, they are bare devices only, there are no hard drives included as these are being used in the unRAID server.

Nothing is under warranty unless stated.
Prices do not include delivery.

They are as follows:

Synology DS212+Sold to DracUK
Cracking little 2 bay NAS, I have been using it as a dedicated Cloud Server using Synology Cloud Station.
Great condition.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Full Specs
Review
Asking Price: £80
—————————————————————————————————————–
Synology DS415+ Sold to DAG5
This was my main media server, and never missed a beat, a really nice NAS.

This is the more powerful ‘+’ version, and in great condition.

Bought from Scan.co.uk in January 2015, can provide receipt if required.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Full Specs
Review
Asking Price: £250
—————————————————————————————————————–
Synology DS416j
This was only bought from Amazon at the end of June 2017, so is still under warranty, I can provide the receipt if required.

It was only used as backup for my DS415+ so very little usage.

A great starter NAS and a nice little saving for a month old device.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Full Specs
Review
Asking price: £200
—————————————————————————————————————–
Synology DX213 Sold to DracUK
This little expansion unit is a great addition to any Synology with an eSATA port, it connects directly to the main NAS unit and is controlled through the DSM.

Bought from Ebuyer in February 2016, can provide receipt if required.

In great condition.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Full Specs
Asking price: £80
—————————————————————————————————————–
OWC Thunderbay 4 mini
This rare beauty is an awesome addition, takes 2.5″ HDD/SSD drives.

I had it plugged into Mac with a couple of SSD’s as a RAID 0 and it flies, it has 2x Thunderbolt 2 ports on the back and supports daisy chaining.

It was bought from One Stop PC Shop in early July 2016, can provide receipt if required.

These are hard to find in the UK, so don’t miss out on this at a cracking price.
[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
Review
Asking price: £225
—————————————————————————————————————–
Any question, please ask away.

Collection welcome and preferred from Milton Keynes, but can ship if required.

Thanks for looking. :)

Price and currency: £80 / £250 / £200 / £80 / £225
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT/PPG
Location: Milton Keynes
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.