Ben Wellington: How we found the worst place to park in New York City — using big data

This is an excellent Ted talk about open data, gives practical examples and raises the need for consistent standards for data provided by Government.

There is a follow on discussion needed here about government making data public and in a form where the public can explore it and draw their own conclusions and effectively debate and discuss government plans and proposals.

If you follow this talk back to Ted, you will find a whole set of Data related talks, I recommend the one by Amy Webb.


SharePoint pre course checklist

My name is Steven Knight, I train end user and site owner SharePoint courses from Bundaberg to Perth.

Ideally I’d like to have access to your SharePoint training environment before a course to do these checks, but that’s not always possible for very sound reasons like network security and available time.

I am routinely finding the SharePoint environment I am training on is not functioning properly. This is a problem because:

  • We need to Give trainees a smooth experience of SharePoint to get their experience started the right way (by We I mean Training Providers, client IT departments, and me)
  • SP in the training environment may not have the same resources and attention given to it as a production environment, this can lead to issues in courses. A Production environment can be spread over a range of servers, specialising in different functions, A Training Environment may be running on one server in a virtual machine.
  • Problems in the training environment reduces the amount of content we can actually cover and the effectiveness of the training
  • SharePoint relies on a range of Microsoft technologies, stable in normal production use, but when restarting a virtual machine with insufficient resources, some services may fail to start.

Continue reading “SharePoint pre course checklist”

My US Trip Sway

Via Sway, pictures from my trip, San Francisco, Petaluma and Chicago on my way to Microsoft Ignite!

Three TED Talks that got me thinking

TED Talks always get me thinking

Let me share these with you (after the fold) Continue reading “Three TED Talks that got me thinking”

Office 365 Video Tutorial Materials

For post course support and for large dispersed organisations I can see a role for video tutorials. I am about to prepare some Office 365/SharePoint Tutorials using Captivate 7.

In addition to the material available from Microsoft (see this post and this one), this is an example of some promising material from a third party. From my very brief review the tutorials appear short, clear and well organised. (only a brief review as I found this while looking for something else..)

For firms interested in reviewing this properly there is an online sample and a trial available to properly check it out.

Of interest to training providers as well, they have re-seller arrangements.

Here is the link:


Recommended TED Talk: James Lyne: Everyday cybercrime — and what you can do about it

Folks, this is an excellent presentation for a non IT Audience on IT security issues. Good clear non technical language, clear analogies, demonstrations  and examples. I particularly like that James covers Social Engineering and Browser based attacks.

Well worth the 17 minutes!

After watching the video see the discussion here:

Getting Started with Information Rights Management and SharePoint Online (or On Premise)


“How can we protect documents that users might download from SharePoint?”


You need Information Rights Management (IRM) service – now available in some Office 365/SharePoint online plans

And now some resources to get you started if you have SharePoint Online (2013) . Continue reading “Getting Started with Information Rights Management and SharePoint Online (or On Premise)”

Nexus 7 and Office 365

Why did I buy a tablet?

My requirements/objectives were

  • I wanted a better ebook reader, to facilitate study (with ability to listen to audio books and podcasts)
  • I wanted something with a bigger screen than my phone for email and simple document preparation
  • I wanted something smaller than my laptop to suit “one bag travel” as I do more travel for work (laptop is old, heavy and soon to be replaced)
  • I wanted something with a bigger screen than my phone for basic access to Office 365
  • All the cool kids have tablets and I wanted one too!
  • On a tight budget

So I wanted  a light work and study tool

Why not buy an Ipad?

Ipads are very, very nice. No argument at all.


Every small business decision is a compromise, governed by Cash Flow, Budget and like factors. In plain language, the Ipad was about $AUD 170 dearer. And I needed that $170 elsewhere. Continue reading “Nexus 7 and Office 365”

Booked in for Office 365 Exam Exam 77-891 on 20 Dec

Seeing the first signs of interest in training in Office 365, so while I have some time due to the current slowdown in the local training market, I decided to get skilled up and get a bit of paper to back it up.

More about the exam here:

And I thought I’d give Google + a proper try out – more soon


SharePoint Guide Download not working


The SharePoint user guide download is not working

I will work on it on Friday 8 June and post when its fixed



Eating that Frog

My Apologies for the long time between posts.

I have been busy eating frogs, which is a reference to a time management technique where you deal with the problem tasks and things you don’t enjoy doing to clear the way for activities you want to do. So I have been eating several frogs so I can move forward.

To learn about eating your own frogs you can get the book as an audio book or in dead tree form.

More Tips, videos etc soon



In Transition


My apologies for the lack of recent posts

I am currently in the process of transitioning back to being a fully freelance contract trainer, studying for my Certificate IV TAE and a SharePoint exam.  And I have been doing a few custom courses recently.

All of which doesn’t leave a lot of time for blog posts!

I have some posts planned including:

  • How to tell what version of SharePoint you have
  • Some video posts on  Pivot Tables and SharePoint/Office 365



SharePoint Exam 77-886

Microsoft have released Exam 77-886: SharePoint 2010 for advanced SharePoint users, who are beyond the adding content level and use SharePoint features to create solutions. It’s a very comprehensive examination of SharePoint features. Next week I will be booking an exam for sometime in September – I will report  cost etc as I proceed. I find doing a certification exam makes you “look in all the obscure corners” and get properly across all the features of a software  package. Setting a date and booking an exam is a crude but effective time management tool for making sure it happens!