Head in the clouds: Summer trip in Bucegi mountains

This year I spent again my summer holiday in Sinaia, Prahova Valley, Romania. This gave me the opportunity to walk on my favorite mountain track in Bucegi mountains.

The trip starts in Sinaia, a holiday resort and home of the Peles Castle – former summer residence of the Romanian kings. From the railway station, a short walk to the telecabin, and ascension to Cota 1400. This will save 10 km of walking uphill on the road.

From Cota 1400 a track under the teleski and telegondolas is climbing to Cabana Miorita. From there an easy path is avoiding the climb to Cota 2000, going around the mountain and then directly to Cabana Piatra Arsa (Burned Stone).

From Piatra Arsa there is one hour walk to Babele (Old Ladies). The site is rather busy with tourists taking the easy way with the telecabin from Busteni. I decided to go further to Vf. Omu (Man’s peak), a two hours trip.

The track from Babele is climbing slowly from 2200 m to 2507 m at Vf. Omu, and I was literally with my head in the clouds. Funny enough, in the valley there was sunshine. Just before arriving at Vf. Omu, a summer rain started, and I got my feet wet. Luckily I had a raincoat and my MVP jacket :-)

Vf. Omu cabin is just a refuge, there were no places to stay (unless reserving in advance), so after drinking a couple of hot teas, I took the track back to Babele. The rain stopped just before arrival, allowing me to take some more pictures of Babele and the Sphinx. Two hours of waiting at the telecabin and I was down in the valley in Busteni. The trip took a total of 10 hours.

In the previous years I have also took other beautiful tracks, climbing from the valley from Busteni, however they are rather difficult and recommended for experienced mountaineers.

Bucegi mountains are beautiful, Please take a look at the pictures below. If you are planning a trip, I recommend getting a local guide.

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EMS PoC: Enroll mobile devices in Microsoft Intune

In this second post from the series I initiated two weeks ago on how to deliver an Enterprise Mobility Suite Proof-of-Concept, I am publishing a new document describing the enrollment of mobile devices in Microsoft Intune.

Implementing a Proof-Of-Concept allows you to evaluate the functionality and decide the implementation, based on hands-on experience with the solution.
Feel free to use it to implement your own Enterprise Mobility Suite Proof-of-Concept.

The content of the document includes:

  • Set the Mobile Device Management Authority
  • Enroll Windows Phone 8.1 devices
  • Enroll Android devices
  • Configure Intune auto-enrollment for Windows 10 devices

Enjoy!

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My session at ITCamp 2016: How to deliver an Enterprise Mobility Suite Proof-Of-Concept


View this session to find out how you can try the functionality of Enterprise Mobility Suite by delivering a Proof-Of-Concept and test the following functionality: creating subscriptions for Office 365, Microsoft Intune and Azure RMS, device enrollment, configuring device settings using policies, configuring VPN profiles, Wi-Fi profiles and E-mail profiles. We will also discuss how to configure integration with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager using the Intune connector.
The Proof-Of-Concept will allow you to evaluate the functionality and decide the implementation.
Presentation delivered at ITCamp 2016, Cluj-Napoca.
Speaker: Adrian Stoian
Date: 27 May 2016
© 2016 TechReady.TV. All rights reserved.

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Impressions from ITCamp 2016 – Day 2

Day 2 was full of sessions, at any given time there were 5 sessions in parallel. Paula Januszkiewicz, who just arrived from another conference, delivered two full room presentations.

I have attended an MVP side meeting organized by Microsoft Romania with  Laurent Ellerbach, Technical Evangelist Lead, Microsoft EMEA, Dan Mihaescu the new DX Lead and several other Microsoft colleagues.

Peter Leeson had a standing audience with {Talk with no title} in which he designed the presentation based on attendees requirements. Jayson E. Street had a very entertaining session on physical security and social engineering.

Tim Huckaby returned to ITCamp and demonstrated several natural user interface applications and HoloLens.

Raffaele Rialdi and Damian Widera delivered additional sessions. Alessandro Pilotti, Adam Granicz, Thomas Maurer, Boris Hristov, MICHAŁ SMERECZYŃSKI, Laurynas Dovydaitis, Andrea Saltarello were the international speakers that presented in the second day.

Also in the pictures, Romanian speakers Alex Mang, Dan Danciu, Ionut Balan, Mihai Nadas, Silviu Niculita, Andrei Costin, Razvan Rusu, Florin Loghiade, Claudia Jelea, Alex Moldovan and Ciprian Jichici

In the last time slot of the day I had the presentation on How to deliver an Enterprise Mobility Suite Proof-Of-Concept. Yes, that’s a Chimay on the table.

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Impressions from ITCamp 2016 – Day 1

IT Camp 2016 started great, it reached 600 attendees just in the day before the event. Once again Mr. Emil Boc, the mayor of Cluj-Napoca, opened the conference. Then two great keynotes from Jayson E. Street and Laurent Ellerbach, Technical Evangelist Lead, Microsoft EMEA.

Day one agenda included familiar speakers which returned to Cluj to deliver presentations, such as Peter Leeson, Raffaele Rialdi, Tobiasz Koprowski and David Giard.

New guest speakers were invited this year, Adnan Hendricks, Damian Widera, George Saadeh and Tiago Costa, to name just those that had presentations in the first day of the conference.

Romanian speakers included: Tiberiu Radu, Nicolae Giurescu, Mihai Nadas, Radu Marinescu, Florin Coros, Nicu Aleman, Florin Loghiade, Dan Ardelean, Radu Vunvulea, George Bara, and of course the organizers of the conference, Tudor Damian and Mihai Tataran.

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EMS PoC: Create a trial Enterprise Mobility Suite subscription

Last year I have performed 6 Enterprise Mobility Suite Proof-of-Concepts, for enterprise customers in Romania. For each customer I have delivered presentations and also provided step-by-step documentation on how to configure the functionality of the solution in a lab environment.

Implementing a Proof-Of-Concept allows a company to evaluate the functionality and decide the implementation, based on hands-on experience with the solution.

I have decided to make the documentation available, as volunteer contribution to the community. In my presentation at IT Camp 2016, I will describe the process for delivering an Enterprise Mobility Suite Proof-of-Concept.

I will also publish the updated documentation, with new screenshots and changed steps. Feel free to use it to implement your own Enterprise Mobility Suite Proof-of-Concept.

In this first post I am including a document on How to create a trial Enterprise Mobility Suite subscription. This includes configuration steps:

  • To Sign-Up for an Enterprise Mobility Suite trial subscription
  • To access the Microsoft Intune portals
  • To manage Azure Active Directory in the Microsoft Azure portal
  • To enable Azure Rights Management Services

Enjoy!

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Session at ITCamp 2016

I was invited again to speak at ITCamp 2016!

This is the 6th edition of the conference and I have attended all editions so far, starting from 2011. I have seen this community conference growing from a small event with 200 attendees and three tracks, to a big event with more than 500 attendees, 4 tracks and 40 sessions last year.

This year the organizers have set even greater targets. They have managed to put on the agenda a great round of speakers. Well known names that attended the previous editions, and also new names for this event, but with a great speaking experience.

I am happy to be part of this event and trying to support it logistically, with session recordings. Please see a history of this event on the conference website.

I will have a session on How to deliver an Enterprise Mobility Suite Proof-Of-Concept

UPDATED SCHEDULE
Day 2, May 27, 2016
16.30 – 17.30

Attend this session to find out how you can try the functionality of Enterprise Mobility Suite by delivering a Proof-Of-Concept and test the following functionality: creating subscriptions for Office 365, Microsoft Intune and Azure RMS, device enrollment, configuring device settings using policies, configuring VPN profiles, Wi-Fi profiles and E-mail profiles. We will also discuss how to configure integration with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager using the Intune connector.
The Proof-Of-Concept will allow you to evaluate the functionality and decide the implementation. You will receive step by step documentation for the configuration.

If you are attending the conference, see you next week!

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Keukenhof Tulips

This year I had the chance to visit the Keukenhof park in Netherlands. The tulips grown there are exceptional. Please see some pictures below:

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Security Theater at Brussels Airport

In a previous post, I called the “security” measures enforced at Brussels Airport stupid. In this post I am trying to explain why I consider them as such.

First a definition from Wikipedia: “Airport security refers to the techniques and methods used in protecting passengers, staff and aircraft which use the airports from accidental/malicious harm, crime and other threats”. Notice that passengers are listed first.

Next a short description of security zones in an airport. The basic idea is to allow only legitimate passengers to enter the boarding area, and also to prevent them to bring dangerous materials.

As a passenger, when you arrive to the airport, you are still unknown. You have to check-in (which is basically identifying yourself) and pass trough security checks to reach the boarding area.

The boarding area is secure, only legitimate travelers should reach it. The public areas are by default insecure, anyone can be present here, including potential attackers.

As a passenger, to be secure you have to move as quickly as possible from the public areas to the secure boarding areas. An efficient security system should allow for rapid identification and verification of valid travelers, and rejection of everyone else. When you arrive at the airport, you don’t want to spend too much time in the public insecure areas.

What they did at Brussels Airport is the following: They added two extra identification and baggage scanning layers before check-in. This does not add any security for the passengers for the following reasons:

  • The people standing in the queue are still unknown (not identified).
  • Their baggage is only scanned at the end.  
  • Passengers are forced to spend 1-2 extra hours in the public insecure area.

In my personal opinion, this cannot be called “security”. It is just a security theater.

Another definition from Wikipedia: “Security theater is the practice of investing in countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to actually achieve it.”

The queues in the parking lot are the ideal target for potential terrorists. If you are planning to travel from Brussels, I strongly suggest you avoid those queues, and choose a different airport.

Disclaimer: I am not an airport security expert, but I have good knowledge of physical security. I also have common sense.

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Stupidity at Brussels Airport

Because I cannot call this security…

I had a flight yesterday from Brussels Airport. I arrived 2h 30 min before the flight. There was a long queue extended in the parking with people waiting to pass the “security” check. I stayed 2 hours in the queue and when I finally got to check-in it was too late, check-in was closed.

I stayed for a while to contemplate the chaos: people running, someone panicked in the queue and was given first aid by other passengers. There was no way out, I had to make my way through the queue back to the parking. The queue was now even longer, running twice through the parking area.

This are useless measures, the people sitting in the queue are the perfect target for Belgian terrorists (yes, those attackers were Belgians, don’t start me on this).

And then this idea strikes me: they are not protecting the people, they are protecting the airport building. They failed to understand the first rule of security: The safety of the people always comes first.

That’s stupidity not security!

Later update: The departures hall was partially re-opened on May 1st, but the “security” checks and the queues are still standing strong.

According to the airport president, the measures are imposed by police syndicates. It is bad when syndicates are deciding on security measures.

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