What are Millennials and Why Should an IT Pro Care?

Before yesterday I had never heard the term Millennial.  I was at an event for UK/Ireland MVPs and this was the topic of the keynote.  It’s a term to describe the current generation of people.  So we had the baby boomers in the 50’s, Generation X in the 60’s and 70’s, Generation Y in the 80’s and 90’s, and since then, the Millennial generation has been entering the work force.  They are very different to the baby boomers.

Baby boomers expect everything to be locked down, controlled by policy, restricted, and so on.  Colleagues who worked with me when I was last a domain admin know that’s how I liked to run a Windows network.  Users had no administrative rights unless they had a valid (and approved) business case.  IT did everything when it came to changes.  We minimised the effort by using things like GPO and System Center.  This is how Baby Boomers like it … and the folks in charge right now are Baby Boomers.

People who are entering the workplace are not baby boomers.  They are the Millennials.  They’ve grown up with PCs in their bedroom, phones with always-on Internet access, netbooks with wifi hotspots and 3G cards, and the ability to download and run apps on an as-needed basis.  They are entering the workplace and finding it stifling.  It’s choking their ability to work.  Why?  Because we have implemented a baby boomer infrastructure and expect younger people who think very differently to work in an environment that is 100% alien to them.

Why should the business care?  I’ll keep it quick with 2 arguments.

Employee Competition

Even though there is massive unemployment and graduates have next to know opportunities, there is still some recruiting going on.  Those companies want to hire the very best graduates.  Given the choice, will an employee join the company with the tied down, IBM-esque suit-and-tie environment, where they wait 6 weeks for a laptop, have no administrative rights, can’s use social media, and have forbidding IT usage policies that threaten them with unemployment if they dare look at a news website?  Or will they choose to work for a company that has a more liberal working environment that favours results over appearances, where IT is seen as a tool instead of a 10 foot wall, and where they are free to use their imagination to accomplish their goals?

Business Flexibility

Imagine this: a user is given a task that requires using an application tool set that is not available to them right now.  They need to do some research to find out what is best.  They can reach out on Twitter or Facebook to get some advice.  Now they find the best tools to use.  They check the IT-maintained library, and request an application.  A workflow starts and their boss approves the request.  The application starts installing immediately.  They may need another tool.  This could be available online as an app that can be downloaded or run in the cloud.  They subscribe to it and now they can start working.  They get the results the business needs and they accomplish it in a timely manner, making profit for the company.

Compare it with this.  A user identifies a need for some applications.  They have no means to research what is the best tool, other than vendor sites full of marketing material that glorify their wares.  The user identifies four possible alternatives and requests IT to look into them.  IT gets some demos and sets up a trial for the user after a week or two.  The user picks two tools and a purchasing process starts.  Security get involved to validate the tools, Internal Audit have their say, and after a few more weeks the tools are purchased.  By now, the user has had to give up on getting the tools and attempts to accomplish their goals in an inadequate fashion.  The results are late and the company fails to win the business.

Sound familiar?  It’s the basis of cloud computing.  In other words, IT cannot predict the needs of the business, and the result is that IT becomes a blocking force for the businesses need to change and compete in a fluid and competitive world.

We baby boomer-ish IT admins and decision makers need to adopt new technologies that cater for the desired working environment of the Millennials and provide the business with a flexible working environment. 

I’ve heard it discussed before that we need to consider letting them bring their own computers to work.  I know that some major corporations are looking into this.  That causes complications about ownership of applications and data.  Maybe Remote Desktop Services or VDI are the answers here.  Maybe App-V is.  Maybe a client hypervisor with a company virtual machine is.  Or maybe we don’t have the correct solution yet because this is a new challenge.

Old school thinking on network design needs to be reconsidered.  If users are bringing in their own PC’s then they need to be isolated from company resources.  We have to validate the machines for security and health (MS NAP/Cisco NAC?).  Internet usage policies need to be opened up to allow for social media.  Businesses need to be more concerned about results than clock punching.

Mobility is a huge factor.  The traditional team has gone by the wayside.  Teams are dynamic now.   A person floats between teams on projects.  They can be a member of many teams at once if they work on many projects.  This impacts collaboration (Lync and SharePoint), mobility (wifi) and work presence (home, mobile working, and hot-desking).

Microsoft often refer to their Netherlands office as a new working place.  Back in 2001, I worked in the new DVG campus in Hannover, Germany.  It’s a huge version of that same concept.  It was effectively a giant glass canopy, with buildings, gardens and pathways beneath it.  Employees were assigned to a floor in a building.  They came in the morning and either took and office or an open area desk depending on the type of work they were doing.  They system I worked on enabled their application toolset to follow them from one PC to another (laptops were still very expensive), and they used “mobile” phones that charged overnight in a locker.  IT was using technology from 10 years ago but it was way ahead of what many companies do today.  And I have to say it was one of the most relaxing work places I’ve ever been in.

We IT pros, architects, consultants, and decision makers have a lot to think about in the coming years.  Business requires more flexibility than ever to face up to the current economic challenges.  We need the very best employees and they need the very best tools.  We have to change how we deliver IT to the information worker.

Things to check out:

  • App-V
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2012
  • Remote Desktop Services Session Hosts
  • VDI
  • Private Cloud Computing
  • DirectAccess
  • Network Access Protection

Buying IT Products for the Wrong Reasons

We all know that IT projects can over run in terms of budget or planning.  And worse, they can outright fail.  One of the reasons for this is that some piece of software or hardware is being used for the wrong reasons.  I don’t mean that it is being misused.  What I mean is that the product shouldn’t be used because it cannot do the job.

I’ve seen this a few times.  IT and users will evaluate products, make recommendations, and then something else which got low marks is acquired and forced on the business.  The common denominator in the scenarios that I have encountered is company politics.  For example, I once worked with a company that acquired a dodgy-ware monitoring solution because a director had something to do with the vendor.  There’s a valid technical and functionality reason!  Not.  It was no surprise that the IT department was back in the bad old days of relying on users to tell that that a system was broken or performing poorly.

Something that I’ve learned is that users will rebel.  For example, if some storage/collaboration solution proves to be untrustworthy and unusable, then users will find shared folders to use, even if there are no official file servers.  Users are inventive.  An Access database will replace a SQL one.  A SaaS application will replace some expensive internal application.  Selft-servicing provisioning of virtual machines and cloud computing are making this easier and easier because a team/department with a budget can become independent of the IT department.  In the end, the official system is underused, and becomes a massive waste of budget and effort.  There will be dictates from management that it must be used – but more often than not that’s a “do as I say, not as I do” policy because the responsible manager is probably using My Documents to store everything.

And this all becomes a mess.  Who’s backing it up?  Who is managing regulatory/corporate compliance and security?  We covered this in 1st year Systems Analysis classes in college so this should not be a big leap for an “experienced” CIO … OK, they’re usually accountants who are landed with this job so think about the wasted money and the cost to resolve the situation if you make the wrong decisions, knowing that users won’t live with them … for the benefit of productivity which is more important than some directors ego.

So this one goes out to the IT steering committees and CIOs out there: buy and use products for the right reasons, not for company politics.

Survey on How Irish Companies Would Spend IT Budget

TechCentral.ie did a small survey on how Irish organisations would spend their IT budget.  They question they were asked was “If you had 50% of your total IT budget to spend on one area alone, what would it be?”

The results were:

  • Infrastructure: 61%
  • Virtualisation/(Public/Private)Cloud Computing: 24%
  • Applications: 15%

I was somewhat surprised by the results, and not at the same time.  Here’s why.

Everything we’ve been hearing since the recession started in 2008 (the slide really started in August 2007) is that business could optimise their operations by implementing business intelligence applications to improve their decision making.  These are big projects costing hundreds of thousands and even millions of Euros.  But this survey tells us that Irish IT only would spend 15% of their budget on this area.  This surprised me.

Cloud computing/virtualisation also ranked pretty still brings in a quarter of the budget.  One would expect that everyone should have something done on the virtualisation front by now.  It’s clear that even a small virtualisation project can save an organisation a lot of money on hardware support contracts and power consumption (remember that we were  recently ranked as the second most expensive country in Europe to buy electricity in and we have an additional 5% Green Party tax coming for power).  Getting 10-1 consolidation ratios will drive that bill down.  Those on an EA or similar subscription licensing can even see similar consolidation of their MS licensing, especially with Hyper-V or XenServer.  Putting that argument to a financial controller in a simple 1 page document will normally get a quick approval.

But, I’m finding that many have either not done any virtualisation at all yet or have literally just dipped their toes in the water by deploying one or two standalone hosts as point solutions, a minor part of a mainly physical server infrastructure.  There is still a lot of virtualisation work out there.  And as regualr readers will know, I see a virtualisation project as being much more than just Hyper-V, XenServer, or ESX.

61% of respondents said they would spend 50% of their budget on infrastructure.  That could mean anything to be honest.  I expect that most servers out there are reaching their end of life points.  Server sales have been pretty low since 2007.  We’re in the planning stages for 2011.  3 year old hardware is entering the final phases of support from their manufacturers.  Those with independent servicing contracts will see the costs rise significantly because replacement components will become more expensive and harder to find, thus driving up costs and risks for the support service providers.

I was at a HP event in 2008 where we were told that the future in hardware was storage.  I absolutely agree.  Everyone I seem to talk to has one form of storage challenge or another.  Enterprise storage is expensive and it’s gone as soon as it is installed.  Virtualisation requires better storage than standalone servers, especially if you cluster the hosts and use some kind of shared storage.

DR is still a hot topic.  The events of 2001 in New York or the later London bombings did not have the same effect here as it did in those cities or countries.  People are still struggling.  Virtualisation is making it easier (it’s easier to replace storage or VHD/MVDK files than to replicate an N-tier physical application installation) but there is a huge technical and budget challenge when it comes to bandwidth.  Our electricity is expensive but that’s nothing to our bandwidth.  For example, a (up to) 3MB domestic broadband package (with phone rental) package is €52/month in Ireland, where available

The thing that I believe is missing is systems management.  I recently wrote in a document that an IT infrastructure was like a lawn.  If you manage it then it is tidy and under control.  If you don’t then it becomes full of weeds and out of control.  Eventually it reaches a point where it will be easier to rip out the lawn completely and reseed the lawn, taking up time and money.  Before virtualisation was a hot topic and I was still contracting before going in the cloud/hosting business, most organisations here were clueless when it came to systems management.  Many considered a continuous ping to be monitoring.  Others would waste money and effort on dodgy point solutions to do things like push out software or audit infrastructure.  Those who bought System Center failed to hire people who knew what to do with it, e.g. I twice trained junior helpdesk contractors in a bank (that I now indirectly own shares in because I’m a tax payer) to use SMS 2003 R2 to deploy software.  They were clueless at the start and remained that way because they were too junior.  Maybe those organisations realise what mistakes they’ve made and realise that they need to take control.  Many virtualisation solutions will be mature by now.  That means people have done the VMware ESX thing and had VM sprawl.  They’ve also learned that vSphere, just like Microsoft’s VMM by itself is not management for a complete infrastructure.  You need to manage everything, including the network, servers, storage, virtualisation, operating systems, services and applications.


I think there’s also a growing desire to deal with the desktop, much for the same reasons as I mentioned with the server.  Desktops right now are running possibly 5 year old XP images.  A lot of desktop hardware out there is very old.   There are business reasons to deploy a newer operating system like Windows 7.  Solutions like session virtualisation, application virtualisation, desktop virtualisation, and client virtualisation are all opening up new opportunities for CIOs to tackle technical and business issues.  The problem for them is that all of this is new technology and they don’t have the know-how.

There is a lot of potential out there if you’re in the services industry.  But maybe all of this is moot.  We’re assuming people have a budget.  Heck, Ireland might not even have an economy after this week!

CA Report on Downtime

I’ve just read a news story on Silicon Republic that discusses a CA press release.  CA are saying that European businesses are losing €17 billion (over $22 billion) a year in IT down time.  I guess their solution is to use CA software to prevent this.  But my previous experience working for a CA reseller, being certified in their software, and knowing what their pre-release testing/patching is like, I would suspect that using their software will simply swap “downtime” for “maintenance windows” *ducks flying camera tripods*.

What causes downtime?

Data Loss

The best way to avoid this is to back up your data.  Let’s start with file servers.  Few administrators know about or decided not to turn on VSS to snapshot the volumes containing their file shares.  If a user (or power user) or helpdesk admin can easily right-click to recover a file then why the hell wouldn’t you use this feature?  You can quickly recover a file without even launching a backup product console or recalling tapes.

Backup is still being done direct to tape with the full/incremental model.  I still see admins collecting those full/incremental tapes in the morning and sending them offsite.  How do you recover a file?  Well VSS is turned off so you have to recall the tapes.  The file might not be in last night’s incremental so you have to call in many more tapes.  Tapes need to be mounted, catalogued, etc, and then you hope the backup job ran correctly because the “job engine” in the backup software keeps crashing.

Many backup solutions now use VSS to allow backups to disk, to the cloud, to disk->tape, to disk->cloud, or even to disk->DR site disk->tape.  That means you can recover a file with a maximum of 15 minutes loss (depending on the setup) and not have to recall tapes from offsite storage.

High Availability

Clusting.  That word sends shivers down many spines.  I starting doing clustering on Windows back in 1997 or thereabouts using third party solutions and then with Microsoft Wolfpack (NT 4.0 Advanced Server or something).  I was a junior consultant and used to set up demo labs for making SQL and the like highly available.  It was messy and complex.  Implementing a cluster took days and specialist skills.  Our senior consultant would set up clusters in the UK and Ireland, taking a week or more, and charging the highest rates.  Things pretty much stayed like that until Windows 2008 came along.  With that OS, you can set up a single-site cluster in 30 minutes once the hardware is set up.  Installing the SQL service pack takes longer than setting up a cluster now!

You can cluster applications that are running on physical servers.  That might be failover clustering (SQL), network load balancing (web servers) or us in-built application high availability (SQL replication, Lotus Domino clustering, or Exchange DAG).

The vast majority of applications should now be installed in virtual machines.  For production systems, you really should be clustering the hosts.  That gives you host hardware fault tolerance, allowing virtual machines to move between hosts for scheduled maintenance or in response to faults (move after failure or in response to performance/minor fault issues).

You can implement things like NLB or clustering within virtual machines.  They still have an internal single point of failure: the guest OS and services.  NLB can be done using the OS or using devices (use static MAC addresses).  Using iSCSI, you can present LUNs from a SAN to your virtual machines that will run failover clustering.  That allows the services that they run to become highly available.  So now, if a host fails, the virtualization clustering allows the virtual machines to move around.  If a virtual machine fails then the service can failover to another virtual machine.


It is critical that you know an issue is occurring or about to occur.  That’s only possible with complete monitoring.  Ping is not enterprise monitoring.  Looking at a few SNMP things is not enterprise monitoring.  You need to be able to know how healthy the hardware is.  Virtualisation is the new hardware so you need to know how it is doing.  How is it performing?  Is the hardware detecting a performance issue?  Is the storage (most critical of all) seeing a problem?  Applications are accessed via the network so is it OK?  Are the operating systems and services OK?  What is the end user experience like?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Knowing that there is a problem, knowing what it is, and telling the users this will win you some kudos from the business.  Immediately identifying a root cause will minimize downtime.  Ping won’t allow you to do that.  Pulling some CPU temperature from SNMP won’t get you there.  You need application, infrastructure and user intelligence and only an enterprise monitoring solution can give you this.

Core Infrastructure

We’re getting outside my space but this is the network and power systems.  Critical systems should have A+B power and networking.  Put in dual firewalls, dual paths from them to the servers.  Put in a diesel generator (with fuel!), a UPS, etc.  Don’t forget your Aircon.  You need fault tolerance there too.  And it’s no good just leaving it there.  They need to be tested.  I’ve seen a major service provider have issues when these things have not kicked in as expected due to some freak simple circumstances.

Disaster Recovery Site

That’s a whole other story.  But virtualisation makes this much easier.  Don’t forget to test!

The Irish Government Versus the Irish Economy

In the Green (Party) corner we have the challenger, weighing in at €.5billion per week in additional debts and wasted spending on their buddies in the trade unions and the property sector …. they are The Government!  In the blue corner, weighing in at an anorexic 14% unemployment crushed by a decade and a half of waste and stealth taxes, we have “The Celtic Tiger”, the Irish economy!

That’s the formalities over with.  I have worked in the hosting industry in Ireland, a part of the so called “smart economy”.  We’re told that cloud computing is a key to that.  I can tell you that we have two great challenges in cloud computing.  One is bandwidth availability and costs.  Data centres can be build close to major lines so that’s OK on the provider side of things.  The biggest problem was the cost of electricity.  Forget staff costs.  Forget hardware costs.  Software costs are transparent.  The biggest cost we had was electricity.  No matter what we did, when I heard a potential customer was looking at a foreign hosting company I just gave up.  There was no point in fighting it.

You see, we have (depending on what stats you read) either the third or second most expensive electricity in Europe.  That affects absolutely everything we do.  Manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, pharmaceuticals, cloud computing, it just doesn’t matter; they all consider electricity to be a huge cost.  We’re haemorrhaging jobs to cheaper economies in the EU and outside of the EU not because of the lack of demand for services, but because it is too expensive for a business to operate in Ireland.  Many of those on the 400,000+ dole queue (out of 4 million people) lost their jobs, not because the companies closed down, but because they moved abroad to find somewhere cheaper.  So called smart economy businesses have been moving shop for years.

Then 2 days ago a bombshell lands.  The government has approved a further 5% tax on electricity.  They made the decision a month ago but kept it secret until the Dáil (parliament) broke for a summer break.  We’re told it’s a decision by the regulator (a quango can create taxes?) and that the minister in charge cannot overrule them.  But the regulator tells us that it is a decision by the minister.  I think we all know who is telling porky pies.

The IDA, ISME, IFA, etc, are all telling us that their members will have no choice but to either raise prices, layoff employees, or relocate abroad.  People barely able to afford their mortgages (which are paid to banks that we effectively own now) will be pushed over the edge and lead to an increase in jingle mail, further increasing the pressure on tax payers to further bail out the banks through the black hole that is NAMA.

Even a fool can tell you that if your operating costs are some of the highest in the market you operate in then you don’t increase them to resolve economic woes.  You cut your costs.  You trim the fat.  You become more efficient.  But no; the Green (Tax) Party agenda is to screw this country every which way they can in cooperation with Fianna Fail politicians who are holding onto their ever increasing pensions and expense accounts with their fingernails.

But don’t worry!  While we all sink under the rising tide of taxes with our so-called smart economy, our dear leaders will be able to expense their increased electricity bills.

Is @VodafoneIreland Censoring Legitimate Internet Content?

I had an appointment early this morning.  I was there early and decided to read the news on my Windows mobile phone.  I’m a reader of the Irish Independent on http://www.independent.ie.  I was reading a couple of pages and then suddenly I could no longer access the site.

I was presented with this error:

HTTP Error 403: The service you requested is restricted.

The service you requested is restricted and not available to your browser.

That was funny because the site was OK 10 seconds before hand and had been since December when I bought the phone.

The page in question is hosted by at  This is not an independent.ie server telling me I cannot get onto their site.  Hardly!  This is a Vodafone Ireland server blocking me from accessing the site for no good reason.

This is different to the usual block which comes from another server in the 10.163 range.  That message blocks access to content for under 18’s (or those who haven’t cleared themselves in a Vodafone Ireland shop).  I can easily bring up that different warning when I try to access Facebook or Twitter.

So what is it Vodafone Ireland.  I know you read my blog.  I get about a dozen hits from you folks every day.  Are you censoring legitimate content?  This is odd, because my cousin (a IT security expert) did suspect that the dodgy performance on your home broadband suggested that there was a transparent proxy being used.  Every Vodafone Ireland employee he and I spoke to denied that there was.  Now I am seeing a block – that means there most definitely is a transparent proxy, at least on your mobile network, and I am left to suspect that there is one on your fixed line broadband.

This censoring of legitimate access to a newspaper site that is critical of the ruling (and some would say corrupt) government is very suspicious. 

Come on, let’s hear it then?  What have you done?  Be very honest because you know I will be when I write to the Independent and let them know about this.

How Not to be Interviewed

This morning I joined our MD and a member of sales to interview a new senior engineer to join the company.  Our desired skills list is pretty precise and far from a shopping list.  We got in a CV last week which appeared to meet most of it, so an interview was arranged for this morning with the chap. 

I review the CV a bit more.  It’s now I notice that he says “we did xyz” a lot in the CV (what is called a resume across the pond).  That makes me concerned at the last moment.  We agree a little system to secretly communicate to each other if we are going to continue with the applicant or not.

It starts off with the MD letting me know that he’s going to be late.  I know things happen; there are emergencies, traffic jams, etc, so a call ahead is good.  He eventually arrives in about 40 minutes late.  The excuse?  He lost track of time while out running.  Oh dear!

The MD starts things off.  As technology is briefly skirted over (bad when an engineer is being interviewed) I decide to ask for some details.

Q) What EMC SAN was used there? (When it was claimed he was a SAN administrator).

A) I don’t know. (He couldn’t even remember something like the word “Clarion”).

Q) What kind of replication would you use? (When we asked about a fault tolerant design)

A) The standard Windows one.

Q) Which one is that?

A) The standard Microsoft one.

I almost expected him to follow that up with “you know; the one … with the thing … that replicates”.  Without thinking too hard I immediately thought of 7 replications systems from MS.

Lots of things were talked about in his experience.  Every time we drilled for details he could give us no specifics.  It was bad.  5 minutes in and I had issued the signal – he was not suitable.  2 minutes after that and the sales guy sent up a flare.  The MD gave him one more chance, asking about networking.  Semaphore’s were waving almost instantly.

My opinion is that the guy “was there when that stuff was done”.  He really should not have submitted his CV.  He didn’t stand a chance when he could not name any specifics.

It was bad.  I was rooting for him because he’s been out of work for a while.  But is was a no-hoper.  No preparation, no being conscientious about making it on time, trying to fluff his was through stuff he didn’t know.  I never even got a chance to take out the big-gun questions – they are open ended scenarios to appraise the depth of knowledge on something.  I warn the interviewee that there is no “fix” or right answer.  I figure its better than my cousin who brings in mind-bending puzzles or the even the legendary Microsoft brain busters.

If you are interviewing then you need to do the work up front.  If you don’t do it then what are the interviewers to think of you?  Here you are at this most critical point and you’re unprepared.  What will you be like at a customer meeting?

By the way, unemployment reach just under 14% in Ireland last month.

Are You an IT Pro Specialist? Check Your Resume/CV

I’ve tuned into a System Center Influencers webcast (I’ll only see the first 15 minutes).  One of the slides says that demand for IT Pro specialists will plummet by 40% in 2010.  Wow!  IT Pro’s will need to have more varied skills in the future – according to the MS presenter, Bill Anderson.  So if you are “just” an AD pro, or “just” a software packing person, you need to start varying your skills now.

The Simple Pleasures in Life

I had what I would describe as a rotten day today with a few nice little bits thrown in here and there to keep me sane.  I went over to the shops at the end of the day to pick up some food for the rest of the week.  As I was returning I got a call and was chatting away while driving through an area in central Ireland called the Curragh (where the horse racing track is) Plains.  Since I started doing wildlife photography my eyes have sharpened up to notice little things.

Zooming along at (the speed limit, officer) a quick pace I see this flash of brown sitting on the fence.  I park at the end of the plains and finish the call.

I knew it was a bird of prey.  A small one, falcon shaped.  There are no Peregrines here because a mound of clay breaks the horizons in these parts.  It was not bulky enough for a Buzzard, which is a hawk.  And it was too small for one of the wandering Red Kites.  It was too big for a Hobby or a Merlin.  That left me with one remaining option.  I grabbed my binoculars from the car boot, regretting that my camera gear wasn’t there.  “Ah”, I thought, “It’ll be long gone by now”.

I wandered over and scanned as I walked.  I saw the little blob on the concrete fence in the distance.  I moved closer, a bit at a time as I took a close look through the glasses.  Eventually I found myself within 15 metres of her.  She was a Kestrel, perched with her brown back to the sun, watching the cars zip by within 8 feet of her.  Occasionally she’d face me, her yellow-rimmed eyes catching the light.  Now I really was gutted I hadn’t got my camera with me.  I sat down, just to relax.  She was chilled out so why shouldn’t I be?

10 minutes of chilling with this little fantastic “wind hover” (they hover to scan for small prey beneath them) and the real world crept back in.  I have a chapter to submit on Sunday and a concurrent one to complete.  I stood back up and started backing away.  I was a bit worried that maybe she’d been hit and stunned by a car.  It was OK, she took off and flew about 50 yards away to park again on the fence.

10 minutes of chilling out with one of the wonders of nature was a nice way to cap today off.

Irish President’s New Patriotic Website

The president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has launched a new website to spur on patriotism and entrepreneurship in our small country.  The only problem is that she chose to host the website in England.  I’ve no problem with England but there’s plenty of fine Irish web hosting companies in Ireland where she could have spent the Irish tax payers money.

You’ll understand that I won’t link to the site.