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Why should you move your IT to the cloud

Hi all

In the XIVth century people were hesitant to move their gold and money into the newly created banks. Today your money is in a bank, full stop.

In the XXIst century people are hesitant to move their digital gold (aka data) into the newly created cloud. Tomorrow your data will be in the cloud, full stop.

As banks have evolved in a multitude of services, products and clients so will the cloud and its services.

Today Google, Microsoft and other have a lots of users data offered directly by the users, in the future this data will have a price, interests and possibly a stock exchange. Providers of good data will have a special status and data driven decision will be standard.

Security will be very high, hacking will be like robberies, infrequent, punished by law and insured.

The real danger will come from three main factors:
  1. Common sense will be less and less valued
  2. Computer are based on electricity, who control electricity controls the data (but that is already the case, only worst)
  3. Data borders will be enforced for tax reasons, cyberwar and legislation/culture of countries.
a bientot


This a technical blog, the more human one is frankcontrepois,com

Hi, this is a technical blog , for the real thing

go to

Hi everyone

In this previous post I list my values, sharing is among those.
I feel particularly proud of my the balance and the harmony of my life and I want to share how you can achieve it in a dedicated blog.

By Jaime Fearer –

The first post is here and it's not yet available to the public, because I need your help, as privileged editors. Please review and comment for the blog to start with the right foot.

Don't be shy, comment on typos; graphics; why you'll (or will not) follow it; which topics you'd like to see discussed.

"The moving thinking tank" will continue to exist as a representation of all the ideas, technicalities and curiosities I've in my brain.

Thank you


How to use the recall message feature in Outlook

Only works if you're fast and everyone is on an Exchange server.
It allows you to:

  1. Delete an e-mail sent by mistake (recall)
  2. Change the content of an e-mail with a new one (recall and substitute)
If the recipient is not using exchange then he/she will receive a short message saying "<your name> would like to recall this e-mail" potentially attracting even more attention.

Frank Contrepois - for a LIFE, work and sleep harmony blog


Invoke-RestMethod and self-signed certificates

As part of my study of Powershell I tried to connect to some REST API using an encrypted connection to a dev webserver. As it's a dev server the certificate is self signed so not "valid" for Powershell scripts

First problem

PS C:\Users\Frank> $headers = @{accept = "application/json"}
PS C:\Users\Frank> Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $uri/session -Method Post -Body $jsonCred -ContentType application/json -SessionVariable xsSession -Headers $headers

Invoke-RestMethod : The underlying connection was closed: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel.
At line:1 char:1
+ Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $uri/session -Method Post -Body $jsonCred -ContentType ap ...
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (System.Net.HttpWebRequest:HttpWebRequest) [Invoke-RestMethod], WebException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : WebCmdletWebResponseException,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.InvokeRestMethodCommand

Wrong solution found on Internet

[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = {$true}
This command will work only for the first call of invoke-restmethod or invoke-webmethod, any further call to Invoke-RestMethod will FAIL with this message
"Invoke-RestMethod : The underlying connection was closed: An unexpected error occurred on a send."

Good solution

I found the following piece of code to work perfectly. Copy paste it in your script or directly in the powershell windows shell.
Original solution post

# Only to ignore certificates errors
add-type @"
        using System.Net;
        using System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates;

            public class IDontCarePolicy : ICertificatePolicy {
            public IDontCarePolicy() {}
            public bool CheckValidationResult(
                ServicePoint sPoint, X509Certificate cert,
                WebRequest wRequest, int certProb) {
                return true;
[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::CertificatePolicy = new-object IDontCarePolicy
# From now on the Invoke-restMethod and Invoke-webmethod calls will work with an invalid certificate



How do I lock and unlock the Fn key on a surface computer

Just press Fn+Caps will lock/unlock the Fn key

No tooltip will indicate the change of state


How to keep LIFE, sleep and work in harmony

Hi everyone

In this previous post I list my values, sharing is among those.
I feel particularly proud of my the balance and the harmony of my life and I want to share how you can achieve it in a dedicated blog.

By Jaime Fearer –

The first post is here and it's not yet available to the public, because I need your help, as privileged editors. Please review and comment for the blog to start with the right foot.

Don't be shy, comment on typos; graphics; why you'll (or will not) follow it; which topics you'd like to see discussed.

"The moving thinking tank" will continue to exist as a representation of all the ideas, technicalities and curiosities I've in my brain. There will be a post a week as usual.

Thank you

PS: John, please follow the new blog


Receipe: Pasta with Salmon

Lets have a change, this evening I've got a subliminal message from my wife: "Tonight you cook, I bought pasta and salmon". So here we go for all of you a recette just tested

Come on guys lets prepare a very simple dish for your lady! 10 minutes, one boiling pan, one frying pan and some steps.

Initially I wrote the post with 11 steps to prepare the pasta then discovered that bbc has a receipe in 4 steps. I'm including both, mine is for 2 with less onion and allow for more mistakes.

Frank's style
  • 200g of pasta. Tradition would say "penne" but take what you have
  • 200g of salmon. Smoked or freshed is not that important
  • 70g of single cream (or double or creme fraiche)
  • 1/8 or onion 
  • 10 g of butter (cut an angle) 
  • 10 g of olive oil (throw 2 coffee spoon in the pan)
  • Pamiggiano reggiano
You need one boiling pan and a frying pan

1) Bring 1 liter of water to boil in the boiling pan with a fist of big salt
2) Drop the pasta in the boiling pan and put a timer as indicated on the pasta package
3) Put the frying pan over high fire
4) put in the butter and oil together in the frying pan. FYI "the mix oil and butter is to reach the right temperature without burning the butter"
5) meanwhile cut the 1/8 or onion. 
6) when the butter is melted drop the onion in the pan and wait for a couple of minutes while you...
7) ... cut the salmon in small pieces, and drop them in with the butter and onion
8) reduce the frying pan fire to medium (not to burn it all)
8) one minute before the pasta time is over put the single cream in the frying pan and mix
9) pasta is ready, drain the pasta and put it in the frying pan with all the other ingredients, while the fire is still on. 
10) mix mix mix and serve.
11) bring parmiggiano on the table so she can add it as preferred
12 Enjoy



Preparation method

  1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions in a pan of salted boiling water, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and red onion and fry for 3-4 minutes or until the onion has softened.
  3. Add the salmon cubes and double cream and continue to cook over a gentle heat for five minutes, or until the salmon has cooked through.
  4. Stir in the drained pasta and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the parsley.


How to stop new e-mails to kill your productivity

Unless kept under control, reading and writing e-mail can become the only activity of the working hours. Valuable work or Brain work, the one requiring thinking and psychic energy is left for the worst hours.

To do brain work you need to reduce distractions as much as possible.

The reason for most of the interruptions in an office is a new e-mail in the inbox. It's almost automatic, you look at the e-mail, take time to decide if it should be read and answered. By doing this you loose your focus and lots of psychic energy.

So first thing to do when starting a brain work is to block new e-mails from coming, while being able to read old e-mail and write new one.

In Outlook 2013 you can achieve this by turning on the "Offline mode"!

Accessible from the Send/Receive tab it tells Outlook to stop sending and receiving new mail while allowing to access old e-mail and prepare new email to be sent after the brain work is done.

Here is where you can find the button in Outlook 2013

This is the icon of Outlook indicating that offline mode is ON
Offline is ON

To turn if off, simply press the Work Offline button again

A bientot
Frank Contrepois


How do I print long documents in OneNote as a continuous paper?

Check this blog article (


"Live by your values, pursue your goals to achieve your mission in life"

Hi all

"Live by your values, pursue your goals to achieve your mission in life" - Frank Contrepois

Finding your values, mission and goals is a great way toward a better life. Here is why you should search yours now.

Values are the filter your action need to go through to be good ones. You have values, coming from education, tradition, family and experience. You might not have a list of them but you have them. Values help you  make decisions every day and shape your day and how others see you. Finding the  most important values allow you to make YOUR right decisions, the ones that you'll accept and that will not leave any regrets.
Find them, share them, live them.

My values are:

  • Trust - to build long term relashionship
  • Honesty - I believe in what I say
  • Improvement - to evolve, survive and be a better person
  • Sharing - as in team work
  • Fair - I understand others views
  • Open Minded - I believe in the brain and actions as the way to value people

Mission is next. I do not mean a James Bond style mission, I mean a life mission, one or more statements that define your life goal. Following your mission might requires courage, patience, perseverance (all are great values to have), it needs to be valid for a life.
By following your mission you'll have the energy to do, the commitment to succeed and the recognition of others. Having your mission clear help other understand you and your actions. It helps finding the right persons and find a job that align with your ultimate goal.

My mission is: "Live and share a happy and balanced life between family, new achievements and continuous improvements"

The short version is "No WOW is left behind": which explain that for life and work I'll be there for the most important moments not matter what.

Goals, present a shorter timeline toward your mission. A kind of what's next on the road. I recommend choosing goals with a 1 year, 3 years and 5 years horizon and try to align your activities to them. You should have goals for life, work and community (The triple bottom line) and make them hard to reach but in line toward your longer term goals and ultimately your mission.

I share my family goals only with my wife, my work goals with my wife, collegues and some friends, my community goals with everyone.

My community goals are:

  • Selling a book presenting a framework of how to maintain a life/work balance
  • Receive a prestigious award for my contribution to the world
  • Receive more than 1'000'000 positive feedback from my activities
As an example, this blog is due to the need to improve my writing skills to write the book and achieve 1'000'000 positive feedback. Comments on blog count, so don't hesitate

In conclusion, we all have values, we all have a mission and goals, but writing them down and sharing them will expand their reach and will help you live a better live. 

NB: Finding values, mission and goals is not easy and take time and mind power, so patience.

Reading related to the post:
GTD and the altitude view
7 Habits  to help on the mission creation


Changing mindset between work and home

I often work from home, and one of the hardest thing to do is to move from a work mindset to a home one. If you're in the office you have the commute, the last chat with colleges or the pint at the pub. (I live in London at the moment) and avoid this

So how do you move from work to home? Specially when you're working from home or receive work call while reaching home?

I've discovered (and probably read) that the brain focus on the present, even if the present is irrelevant, and forgets about the past, even if important.

So during my transition, I do mind emptying activities like games, or mind filling things, like reading a fiction book. This helps the brain disconnect from the work and move into home with a smile. 

That's what happened yesterday, I came back from work in a "home sweet home" mindset, but received a work phone call with adrenalin triggering news that made the transition more complicated. 
To accelerate the transition I played "Alto's adventures" and my wife joined me and we ended up laughing at how bad we are and enjoying each other -rare- successes. After that it was time to sleep and so the blog stayed empty on Friday but is now filled with something interesting.

And you, how do you move from work to home mindset? Are you someone who manage this transition easily; do you ever make this transition; do you use a trick like me?

PS: Alto's adventure website is

Have a great weekend!


How do I extract MSI files

msiexec /a test.msi /qb TARGETDIR=c:\tmp 

to extract test.msi content in the c:\tmp directory


How do I deploy ESXi in 10 minutes? A great video

How do I deploy ESXi in 10 minutes?

Bonus vCenter Operation Manager. I think now the product has a new name... but the video is still cool


How keep your new year resolution? Share!

Hello everyone!
Today is Friday, and as every Friday in the last month I'm writing a blog article.

Today's article is special, it exists because a friend told me "It's Friday, I'll have something to read in your blog".
Oups, today has been a complicated day, with lots of work, stress and unexpected things, I had completly forgot about the blog, but now I HAVE to write an article, because you (at least one of you) is waiting for it.

Sharing your goals, your resolutions, creating anticipation will help do things! I've made a promise to someone, and I keep my promises, so here I am, writing this short article.

This concept can be applied to many things and it helps committing and after lots of forced commit, you'll have a new habit. I hope that in some month, writing something on my blog will be as natural as brushing my teeth!

less than 10 minutes to write and I feel better with myself, try it, it works.

If you have ideas or examples to add to this article, write them in the comments.

a bientot


How do I connect to vCenter using powerCLI

C:\PS>Connect-VIServer -Server vcenter01 -User admin -Password pass

another option that will use your current  username and password settings

C:\PS>Connect-VIServer -Server vcenter01

Reference vmware


How do I parse JSON documents from PowerShell

PowerShell starting from version 3.0 has a ConvertFrom-Json and a ConvertTo-Json cmdlet


How do I get the version of PowerShell I'm using

I use $PSVersionTable.PSVersion

PS C:\Users\Frank> $PSVersionTable.psversion Major Minor Build Revision ----- ----- ----- -------- 2 0 -1 -1

This is version 2.0 (old)


Backstage of the Moving think tank - Sections and mindmap

I write this blog because  I love Sharing and it's also one of my values. I want to share the positive things, the experiences and new discoveries.

Every Friday I'll post something, might be long, might be short, but I'll write on Friday.

Ideas of sections and topics are organized as a mindmap 

Here is an explanation of every section and what I might write about. If you', my readers have preferences, please write it in a comment.

Reading Info is a section about pairs of posts about article in newpapers. One post is for what I think the article will talk about from the title and the second post will be about what are my comments and correction after reading the article.

Honesty. I really care about Honesty because I've been honest in a country where dishonesty is rewarded. I truly believe that a honest company has a competitive advantage, so I'm investigating various business model around honesty.

Work, should be called technical, it's all the ideas and thoughts coming while at work or related to work. By being in Virtustream, those thoughts are often around cloud, security and consumption based computing 

Thinking is the big catchall bucket of ideas. 
  • At the moment I've interesting post around  how to better know your personality, in particular the "MBIT" method. 
  • I have some fun thinking about how we dress and which combinations of dress are standard (shirt and jeans) which are ok (Jacket and jeans), which are a no (jacket and shorts). 
  • Education is a big one for me. Schools and college are not in sync with the current world. A simple example, we all have to go to meetings but there is no training at school. There are different ways of thinking and being, of personalities while school only rewards some type of and leave the others behind. The most viewed TED presentation is about education 
  • Strange investigates the things we take for granted and shake them a little to understand if there is really something behind. For example, why is dessert always a the end of a meal, could it be at an "antipasti"?
Productivity is my passion, I'm lazy and don't like to do the same thing multiple time. I use GTD as a methodology to remember what to do but also all the promises made to a customer. I always try to  find a better use of tools in my life :)

How do I? is a section where I present solutions to problems I've solved. Problems can be technical IT, productivity or anything else. Probably short posts

Thanks to read :)
a bientot  


3 usual mistakes done while writing a todo list

You (as me) have tried to organise your work with todo lists. You also discovered that they tend to work for a week and then be ignored or forgotten or not updated! I'd the same issue too. Until I read "Getting Things Done" (GTD) 5 years ago. Since then, my todo lists are organized, useful and they help me keep my brain free of things to remember. Beware, you and I do not live in a perfect world, todo lists require regular reviews and you can always try to improve them.

All 3 mistakes have a solution, and a good todo list apply all 3 solutions, but solving the main issue is a good start.

Lets do it, take your last todo list, if it's full of non done stuff, read solution 1, if it's less than 10 todo then solution 2 is for you, if it's a looooong list, solution 3 will help.

1) List of the things I should have done - the procastination effect
    This problem can be solved by writing on my todo list, not the final goal but the next physical action to do. In the case of the lamp, I would write on the todo list "Check the type of batteries for the lamp" when that action is done I would write "Put to buy aaa batteries on the supermarket list"
2) Very little list with elements with very big todos. E.g. "Conquer the world"
    Actions need to be doable, actions need to be well defined and how they end should be easy to visualize or for other to understand
3) Very very long list - maybe correct but probably too detailed
    The rule is that every action that requires less than 2 minutes to be done should be done immediately. So for example I will get all what is needed to write a letter by following the 2 minutes rules and an action named write a love letter to <wife's name>, instead of "find paper", "find pen", "check calendar for date"....

What was not working with my list?
1) List of procastination. I should do what is on the list, but I don't know exactly how to do it, or I miss some information to do it and I forget to get it.
A classic example would be "Check the boiler" but I cannot see the boiler until I've a lamp, but the batteries in the lamp are dead and I'll buy them coming back from the office. The last action never happen, coming back from the office, I might think about dinner, I might think about work, but I surely don't think about boiler or batteries.

2) Todos are to generic, it's not a single action but a multitude of actions summarized in one sentence. Just reading it makes you feel tired. It's natural, given a goal, your brain will fill the gaps between NOW and where this action end, and if the final action is far away, there is a lot to to do and your brain try to visualize all the actions at the same time. Ouf.
3) It takes more time to write in the list than to do them, result: a never ending list, with lot of details.
Example of such a list: "Write love letter to wife" becomes "find pen"; "take pen", "find paper".... .

In your todo list write action that are
Physical activities
With a clear end
Takes more than 2 minutes to do

Use physical verb to start a todo element. instead of "Thinking about vacation destination" use "List potential vacation destinations"
Describe the action. instead of "comment blog" write "comment on the moving think tank blog
Read the next blog post as we'll continue to improve the todo list

a bientot


A powerful cocktail: "Free speech and hypocris"

The title catching my eye this week on the front page of The Economist is "Free speech and hypocrisy".
It reminds me of this french strip

Dictatorship is shut up, Democracy is talk, talk....

Free speech means you can talk, not that you'll be listen to

As everyone you will most likely listen to what you agree with, an explanation that strengthen your beliefs, or a promise that someone else will solve your problems.
Politicians and marketers have learned this all too well:
  • Vote for me and I'll give you a job
  • Buy my brand (clothe, cars, perfumes, jewels,...) and all your social problems are solved, beautiful men/women will search you. 
Think about it