Vol. 22, #2 - January 9, 2017 - Issue #1113

What? No computer??

Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter is all about whether the personal computer (especially running Windows) has a future or not, particularly as far as young people are concerned. We'll also consider the business implications of this apparent sea-change in the attitude of the young towards computers. And of course we have tips, tools, a new Factoid of the Week, and lots of other useful stuff for IT pros.

Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]


What? No computer??

Besides our my writing, editing, and technical reviewing activities I'm also involved in various social efforts including one that brings me in contact with a lot of 20-something young people. The other day I was talking with a group of them and I said I had a Word doc that I wanted to share with them. So I asked each of them for their email address. The ensuing conversation went something like this:

"Bob can I have your email address? I want to send this doc to you. "

Sure but I hardly ever use email, I don't have a computer.

"What? You don't have a computer??"

My friends and I just use smartphones nowadays.

"Argh, OK. Peter what about you, do you have email?"

My email address is [blah]. I have access to a computer sometimes.

"Ack. Suzie what about you, you have a computer, right?"

I have a MacBook Air.

"Great! So I can email the doc to you then, right?"

Well I don't have WiFi at my apartment, but I guess I could take my MacBook to Starbucks and check my email there…

The conversation proceeded pretty much like that with the remaining young people in the group I was talking to. None of them had desktop PCs and only a couple of them had laptops. One had an iPad Mini, but the rest simply used their smartphones for everything that involved the Internet.
Coming from a business environment where PCs are still our main productivity tool, this kind of stunned me. Then I recalled a recent Gartner report that indicated global PC sales had been in decline for the last eight consecutive quarters:


All this makes me wonder if the days of the personal computer are nearing their end. Several decades ago when I was a young person I literally lusted after personal computers and went through a whole series of them including Commodore Amiga, Commodore Pet, TRS-80, and Apple IIe until I settled firmly into the Microsoft world with my first IBM PC.

But today's young people seem to have an entirely different mindset about computers. Instead of feeling empowered by them, they often see them as tools for enslaving them in boring office jobs. This really came home to me the other day when I strolled into one of the few remaining "computer shops" in our city and found the two young associates who staffed the place sitting behind the counter totally absorbed with their smartphones.

Does the personal computer have a future, or will it soon be replaced entirely by the smartphone? And how are businesses today dealing with new job candidates who are smartphone-literate but don't know how to reboot a PC? I'd love to hear some opinions on this from our readers including those of you who are IT managers and business owners--email me at [email protected]


Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]


Recommended for Learning

NEW - Cybersecurity Exposed: The Cyber House Rules

Description from Amazon.com: This book exposes the reasons that many organizations decide it is cheaper, easier and less painful in the short term to leave their security broken. Is security fixable? Or are we destined to remain at the mercy of cyber criminals? We take a look at the cyber house rules, a set of principles that lead to what makes cybersecurity effective or, if not addressed, leaves large gaps that cyber criminals, rogue insiders and other hostile parties can take advantage of. What is causing the frequency and magnitude of digital disruption to increase? Is there a set of principles organizations can apply to prevent megabreaches?



Microsoft Virtual Academy

Azure Developer Workshop

Get an introduction to the Microsoft Cloud Platform, and build a website that passes photos to Cognitive Services for captions and to generate search metadata. Use the interactive Azure Machine Learning Studio to build, train, and score a model that performs optical character recognition (OCR). Examine data with Azure Stream Analytics, and review high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities. Find out how to package a Python app in a Docker container and run it in Azure. Don't miss this helpful and detailed look at Microsoft Azure.



Factoid of the Week

Last week's factoid and questionwas this:

Half of all tweets are pointless babble. How do you think this compares with Facebook? What about LinkedIn?

Terry who works as a Software Manager in New York, USA responded with:

I would argue that it is more like 99% of all tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn comments. I got so annoyed with Facebook that I don't even log into it any more. And I've been endorsed on LinkedIn by people for skills I don't even have or that they would have no idea I'm good at.

I've also found LinkedIn increasingly useless, but it's still a few miles ahead of Twitter and (ugh) Facebook. 

Jim from Texas, USA said the following:

"Half of all tweets are pointless babble"? Boy, did they miss that mark! I had a twitter account for about 2 weeks, where I followed a few of my favorite writers, commentators, etc.The noise-to-signal ratio had to be 9 or 10 to 1, it was so bad that I gave up trying to find a shadow of helpful information in all the dross. I miss the good old days when people had to actually think about and prepare what they were writing instead of burping up 140 characters of vacuity on the spur of the moment. I could not imagine what kind of noise I would have had to filter through if I followed a celebrity or politician!

I've also pretty much given up on Twitter except as a way of promoting my newsletter and articles. But as far as using it to glean useful tips and information from others, there's so much noise now that I basically end up wasting precious time I could have used elsewhere.

Now let's move on to this week's factoid:

Fact: In Spanish, the word esposas means both 'wives' and 'handcuffs'.

Question: Can you think of some similar, er…let's politely call these metaphors, in your own language? Email us your thoughts: [email protected]

Until next week,

Mitch Tulloch

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]


Veeam Agent for Linux backs up physical Linux systems in the public cloud. It comes with its own snapshot and CBT driver that allows to create incremental backups without rescanning.


Advanced Cable Tester lets you test all types of USB cables including USB  Type-C, USB 3.1 Standard-A, and USB 3.1 Micro-B:


Pulseway is a mobile first remote monitoring and management (RMM) software that gives you complete control of your servers, applications and computers:


SoftPerfect Network Scanner is a powerful, portable tool that can help manage, troubleshoot and check the security of any network:



This Week's Tips

GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]

VMware - Migrating to vCenter Server Appliance 6.5

Virtualization Review has a how-to article that provides a guide to make this migration relatively painless and quick:


PowerShell - Using Key Vault secrets

Chris Clayton has a post on his Practical Development blog that explains how to use Key Vault functions that are not exposed through the standard cmdlets:


Azure - Change drive letter of temporary disk

Pete Rodriguez has a post on his Cloud Solution Architect blog that explains how to move the Azure temporary drive to a different drive letter other than the default D drive if this conflicts with existing scripts or company OS installation standards:



Events Calendar

North America

Microsoft Ignite Australia on February 14-17, 2017 at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach, QLD


Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 9-13. 2017 in Washington, D.C.


Add Your Event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

New on TechGenix.com

Serverless is more: The future of cloud computing

Serverless computing is the future, and the future is now. Here are some ways you can take advantage of this new technology and save time and money.


2016: Year of the ransomware attacks

2016 will be remembered for many things, but for security experts the No. 1 story was ransomware, most prominently the virulent malware known as Locky.


Less is more: An overview of Docker-centric operating systems

Here's a look at some stripped-down, Docker-centric operating systems and why you should consider using them in the enterprise.


Network storage solutions: DIY or off-the shelf?

When local storage is preferred over the cloud, you have a choice: buy an off-the-shelf solution or build your own. Here's what IT pros say about this.


eLearning best practices: Production effects

It's good to add production effects to training videos. But the effects you use -- and how you use them -- can either engross or distract your students.



Tech Briefing


Hyper-V and Storage Replicas (VirtualizationAdmin.com)


Overcoming the RAM Bottleneck (Virtualization Review)



Mobile Device Management

Mobile Device Management Then and Now (MSExchange.org)


New capabilities coming to Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) (Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog)



PowerShell for File Management (Part 5) (WindowsNetworking.com)


How Do I Install PowerShell Modules? (myITforum)



Storage Spaces Direct with Persistent Memory (Server Storage at Microsoft)


Drive Performance Report Generator -- PowerShell script using DiskSpd by Arnaud Torres (Jose Barreto's Blog)



PowerCLI for VM Encryption (VMware vSphere Blog)


2017 Predictions: Five Things to Come for Cloud-Native Applications (Radius)



Other Articles of Interest

Cloud orchestration tools become a must-have for hybrid IT

Some IT shops try to force-fit legacy orchestration tools to cloud -- but that can backfire. In order for orchestration tools to be productive, they need to be specially built for hybrid models. In this tip, find out why cloud orchestration tools have become a must-have for hybrid IT.


Software-only options poised to change VDI storage market

There's a lot of information surrounding traditional methods for managing storage in VDI environments, but new technologies have emerged and are changing the VDI storage game. The latest players: software-only. In this tip, learn how software-only options are impacting the VDI storage market.


Evolution of the virtual GPU as a mainstream platform

Virtual GPUs are becoming crucial to hybrid cloud planning. With companies like AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel throwing their hats in the ring, expect improvements to the technology. In this tip, explore the evolution of the virtual GPU -- from its beginning as a GPU cloud to what we know as today's virtual GPU.


Use BPM for an IT service delivery model the business will understand

When IT departments center on technologies, rather than business processes or products, it creates inefficient operations, poor IT service delivery, and slow responsiveness to new service requests. Discover how a business process management (BPM) structure for IT service delivery can help bridge the gap between IT and the rest of the business.



WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

Cars of the Future (1948)

A Popular Mechanics short film from 1948, showcasing technology of the near and distant future.


Would You Let A Drone Lift You In The Sky?

Snowboarder Casey Neistat soars over mountains and buildings with a drone that can lift a human.


Best of the Web 2016 - Edited by Zapatou

Zapatou's latest compilation of the 367 most captivating video clips - from amazing stunts, to incredible visuals, to people just being awesome.


'The Jar of Life' - Inspirational Short Film

The importance of setting priorities ... a valuable lesson for a happier life!



WServerNews - Product of the Week


WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his  outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.