Careers: Interviews
Kerry Brown, International Authority in Windows, Widely Acknowledged Networking Expert; Microsoft Client Operating Systems, Windows Desktop Experience MVP

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., MVP, DF/NPA, CNP has an exclusive interview with Kerry Brown.

Kerry Brown In Kerry's own words:

"I have been involved with computers since 1970 when I went to Simon Fraser University to see what programs they offered. I remember playing Lunar Lander on a teletype input/output console. It did not impress me much. I went on to study English and Philosophy. There were not too many jobs available in those fields so I ended up in the family business running a couple of retail electronics stores. The family decided to sell computers in the stores so I bought a Timex 1000 and a TI 99. I have been hooked ever since. Many years later I am now an independent computer consultant. I specialize in designing, implementing, and administering networks for small businesses. I am very interested in Internet governance and how the Internet is changing the world. I am currently on the Board of Directors of CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) who manage the .ca registry and DNS infrastructure. I enjoy learning and sharing computer knowledge in online forums and newsgroups. I can usually be found on the Microsoft newsgroups and UseNet posting as Kerry Brown or on many online forums as TechB. Say Hi if you see me."

To find out more, go to: and

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

Go to for a look at this interview and much more.

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.


Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:44: You have a long history with wide expertise in client operating systems and especially Windows Vista. Can you overview the Windows Vista product suite? "....In my work I concentrate mostly on the business editions which are Vista Business, Vista Ultimate, and Vista Enterprise. The consumer editions are Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium....From an IT perspective the main differences between the home and the business editions are in the networking features and active directory integration. Only the business versions can be joined and managed by the active directory domain...."

:02:09: What are your top 5 tips for IT Pros who have to install Windows Vista?
"....Make sure you are comfortable and familiar with Vista yourself before you even think about deploying it with end users...Make sure that the hardware you are using are suitable for Vista, particularly the amount of RAM....Make sure you run your tests on the same hardware that the end users are using...Keep the end users in the loop while you are doing the testing....Offer Vista....It is really important that the end user doesn't feel forced to make a change....The biggest obstacle when changing to something like Vista is the end user resistance..."

:05:33: Are there any tools which can be used to check the hardware [you talked about ensuring the hardware was going to be a good fit]?
"....On the Microsoft Vista homepage you will find a link to a tool which will tell you if a system is compatible with Vista or not. Also on the Vista DVD, there is tool to tell if the hardware is compatible with Vista...."

:06:26: How about your top 5 tips for managing Windows Vista?
"....You need an active directory based network....You want to test the network set-up so that you can test things before you deploy them. One of the biggest things for managing Vista would be to create a shortcut to the Microsoft Technet Vista homepage on your desktop...Become very familiar with your favorite search engine and go into the advanced features of your search engine...Learn the task scheduler for Vista. It is very powerful and has many features that the XP scheduler didn't have...."

:08:52: What are 5 little known gems about working with Windows Vista?
"....One thing most people don't use is the Start/Search feature....Vista has some great troubleshooting tools (Reliability performance monitor...Event viewer...)....The Help system is actually helpful ....The snipping tool...The last tip is for your administrator or power user - add a shortcut to an elevated command prompt on your desktop. Any programs you run from that will automatically run elevated...."

:11:40:  What are the top challenges and their solutions with Windows Vista that you hear about in your work with blogs, forums, and newsgroups?
"....Number one is wireless networks....Two would be networking in general....Another that people seem to struggle with...the ACL's in Vista. Most people blame UAC for that and UAC is just the message error telling you that you are trying to do something that you can't do. The real problem is that most people aren't used to dealing with a secure file system.....Compatibility problems with older hardware and software (this used to be main problem but it is starting to go away)...."

:17:53: Can you talk a little about this area of service packs and profile what's already available and what you see coming out?
"....I highly recommend if you haven't deployed SP1 that you do it. It has a lot of compatibility updates and a lot of the shims I talked about...As an IT Pro you are always leery about making a change to your network, so I would recommend waiting a month or so after a service pack is released to make sure it is working okay and there are no major problems - but you want to get service packs deployed as soon as you can. SP2 is in beta testing far what I've heard and seen from the beta testing, it is working very well...."

:19:00: What do you consider to be the best resources for working with Vista?
"....The first place you should look is the built-in Help....Technet is amazing....Online forums and newsgroups....Webcasts and podcasts, online chats and live meetings...."

:20:53: What about the future with Client Operating Systems-what should IT Pros be preparing for?
"....Cloud computing is on the horizon....Windows 7 is on the horizon....Very long term I see operating systems becoming almost irrelevant. With virtualization, I see applications running in their own virtual environment with each application having its own user interface that's suited to it as part of the application....The current infrastructure of the internet is becoming overloaded and traffic shaping of some sort is becoming inevitable...."

:24:44: Kerry shares some stories about how people think about computers and technology and how we get caught up in different aspects of it.

:26:28: Where do you have the most fun?
"....Probably where I have my most fun is learning new skills...."

:27:36: What 3 questions would you ask and what would be your answers if you were doing this interview?
"....One of the questions which I get asked a lot...'Why does Vista have such a bad reputation?'....Another question is, 'When did you start using Vista and why?'...."

:29:55: The UN-founded International Federation for Information Processing or IFIP has their Professional Practice Partnership Program which received full ratification at the world general assembly in August 2007 with their first implementation meeting in Montreal hosted by CIPS in October. This marks an historical inflection point and speaks to IT as a recognized profession with global standards, profession-based code of ethics, and widely adopted professional certification-all happening in 2009. Can you provide your comments?
"....I really understand the need for certification and I think that a standard set of international certifications and more importantly, a Code of Ethics, is an excellent idea and very important....the IT industry really needs that and the public really needs that...."

:31:42: Do you have any favorite URLs that you want to share with the audience?
"....My Vista help website ( Microsoft Technet ( ...."


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