Free events for IT Pros in Newcastle on 25th November

On Monday 25th November, St James’ Park in Newcastle is the venue for three free events for IT professionals covering a range of Microsoft technologies.

During the day, the MVP Cloud OS Relay and SQL Relay 2012R2 have great line-ups of MVPs and other experts in Windows Server, System Center, Hyper-V, Office 365, Azure, SQL and Business Intelligence.

In the evening, the Windows User Group takes over with an event covering Windows 8.1, deployment, MDOP and Office 2013.

The schedule for the Cloud OS event is at and free sign-up is at

The SQL Relay event has sold out, but if you’re desperately interested in any of the sessions at you can register for the Cloud OS event and switch tracks throughout the day if there’s capacity in the room.

Sign up for the evening event is at

Hopefully I’ll see you there!

Web Proxy Changes

On Monday 16th December 2013 we’ll be changing the content of the proxy auto configuration (PAC) script that web browsers and other applications use to automatically configure use of a web proxy.  The web proxies have been unnecessary for web access since the introduction of NAT at our network border and this change will reduce the number of active clients using them.

The current PAC script provides this configuration (simplified for clarity):

function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
  return "PROXY";

This configures web clients to proxy their requests through our load-balanced proxy address at The new PAC config will be:

function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
  return "DIRECT";

This will configure clients to not use a proxy and just fetch content directly.

We’ve scheduled this change purposely to occur during a quiet time on campus to avoid major inconvenience should any problems arise, however internal testing in ISS over the past few months has shown that this change should be transparent to users.

If you’re aware of any applications or systems that currently have manually set proxy addresses (eg, “”) these can now be removed prior to the eventual full retirement of the web proxies late in 2014.