MS Word style formatting shortcut keys for Mac

Recently I started to spend a lot of time in MS word again, and as a stickler for details I dislike a mishmash of font types throughout my document. I spend a lot of time on configuring the styles of the document, yet when I paste something from other documents, MS word tend to ignore these. Correcting the format burns a lot of time and it simply annoys the crap out of me.

To avoid this further, I started to dig around to find some font and style related shortcut keys. Yesterday I tweeted the shortcut key to apply the normal style and by the looks of retweets many of you are facing the same challenge.

Below is a short list of shortcut keys that I use. There are many more, share the common ones you like to use. As I use Mac I listed the Mac shortcut combination. Replace CTRL for CMD if you are using MS Word on a windows machine.

Select text:
Select all: CTRL+A
Select sentence: CMD + click
Select word: Double click
Select paragraph: Triple click

Clear formatting: CTRL+spacebar
Apply Normal Style: Shift+CMD+N
Header 1: CMD+ALT+1
Header 2: CMD+ALT+2
Header 3: CMD+ALT+3
Change Case: CMD+Option+C (repeat combination to cycle through options)
Indent paragraph: CTRL+Shift+M
Remove indent: CMD+Shift+M

Find and replace: F5

Improve public speaking by reading a book?

Although it sounds like an oxymoron I do have the feeling that books about this topic can help you become a better public speaker, or in matter of fact more skillful in driving home your message.

After our talk at VMworld a lot of friends complimented not only on the talk itself but also on the improvements I’ve made when it comes to public speaking. My first public speaking engagement was VMworld 2010 at Vegas, 8 o’clock Monday morning for 1200 person. Talk about a challenge. Since then I have been slowly improving my skills. Last year I’ve done more talks than the previous 3 years before combined. Although Malcolm Gladwell’s 10.000 –hour rule is heavily debated nowadays, I do believe that practice is by far the best way to improve your skill. By itself getting 10.000 hours of public speaking time is rather a challenge and just by going through the motions alone will be very inefficient. To maximize efficiency I started to dive into the theory behind public speaking or even more broadly theory about communicating. Over the year I read a decent stack of books but these four stood out the most.

1: Confessions of a public speaker by Scott Berkun
Funny and highly practical. If you want to buy only one book, this one should be it. The book helps you with the act of public speaking; How to deal with stage fright, how to work a tough room, what are the things I need to take care of to make my talk go smoothly.

2: Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
This books helps you structure the message you public-speaking-books
want to convey. It helps you to dive into the core of your message and communicate them in a memorable way. It’s a great book to read, lots of interesting stories and it’s one of those books that you should read multiple times to keep on refining your skillset.

3: Talk like Ted by Carmine Gallo
To some extent a combination of the two first books. The interesting part is the focus on the listener experience and its capability to focus for 18 minutes. In addition it gives you insights on some of the greatest TED talks.

4 Pitch Perfect by Bill and Alisa Bowman
This book helps you to enhance communication skills. It dives deeper in the act verbal and non-verbal language. It helps you to become cognizant of some of the mistakes everyone makes, yet can be avoided quite easily. The book helps you to drive your point in a more confident, persuasive and certain manner.

The beauty of these books is that you can use them, learn from them even if you are not a public speaker. In everyday life we all need to communicate, we all want our idea to be heard and possible get a buy in from others. I believe these books will help you achieve this. If you have found other books useful and interesting please leave a comment.

Virtual machines versus Containers who will win?

Ah round X in the battle between who will win, which technology will prevail and when will the displacement of technology happen. Can we stop with this nonsense, with this everlasting tug-of-war mimicking the characteristics of a schoolyard battle. And I can’t wait to hear these conversations at VMworld.

In reality there aren’t that many technologies that completely displaced a prevailing technology. We all remember the birth of the CD and the message of revolutionising music carriers. And in a large way it did, yet still there are many people who prefer to listen to vinyl. Experience the subtle sounds of the medium, giving it more warmth and character. The only solution I can think of that displaced the dominant technology was video disc (DVD & Blue Ray) rendering video tape completely obsolete (VHS/Betamax). There isn’t anybody (well let’s only use the subset Sane people) that prefers a good old VHS tape above a Blue ray tape. The dialog of “Nah let’s leave the blue-ray for what it is, and pop in the VHS tape, cause I like to have that blocky grainy experience” will not happen very often I expect. So in reality most technologies coexist in life.

Fast forward to today. Dockers’ popularity put Linux Containers on the map for the majority of the IT population. A lot of people are talking about it and see the merits of leveraging a container instead of using a virtual machine. To me the choice seems to stem from the layer you present and manage your services. If your application is designed to provide high availability and scalability, then a container may be the best fit. If your application doesn’t than place it in a virtual machine and leverage the services provided by the virtual infrastructure. Sure there are many other requirements and constraints to incorporate in your decision tree, but I believe the service availability argument should be one of the first steps.

Now the next step is, where do you want to run your container environment? If you are a VMware shop, are you going to invest time and money to expand your IT services with containers or are you going to leverage an online PAAS provider? Introducing an APPS centric solution into an organization that has years of experience in managing Infrastructure centric platforms might require a shift of perspective

Just my two cents.

Platform 9 – transform your virtual infrastructure into a private cloud within seconds

Recently I had the joy of reconnecting with some of my old VMware colleagues to learn that their new startup was coming out of stealth. Today Platform 9 announced their SaaS platform.

In short, Platform 9 allows IT organisations to transform their local IT infrastructure into a self-service private cloud. The beauty of this product is that it can be implemented on existing infrastructures. No need to create a new infrastructure to introduce the private cloud within your organisation. Just install the agent on your hypervisor layer, connect with the Platform 9 cloud management platform and you are off into the world of private clouds. The ease of integration is amazing and I believe that Platform 9 will be the accelerator of private cloud adoption. No need to go to AWS, no migration to Azure. You manage your own resources while allowing the customer to provision their own virtual machines or containers. Today Platform 9 supports KVM, but they will support both VMware and docker environments soon.

I can dive into the details of Platform 9 but Eric Wright has done a tremendous job of publishing an extensive write-up and I recommend reading his article to learn more about Platform 9 private cloud offering. If you want to meet the team of Platform 9 and hear their vision, visit booth #324 at the solution exchange of VMworld 2014.

Life in the Data Center – a story of love, betrayal and virtualization

I’m excited to announce the first ever “collective novel”, in which members of the virtualization community collaborated to create a book with intrigue, mystery, romance, and a whole lot of geeky data center references.


The concept of the project is that one person writes a section and then passes it along. The writers don’t know their fellow contributors. They get an unfinished story in their mailbox and are allowed to take the story in whatever direction it needs to go. The only limitation is the author imagination.

For me it was a fun and interesting project. Writing a chapter for a novel is a whole different ballgame than writing technical focused content. As I rarely read novels it’s a challenge how to properly describe the situation the protagonist is getting himself into. On top of that I needed to figure out how to extend and expand the story line set by the previous authors but also get the story into a direction I prefer. And to make it more challenging, you do not know what the next author will be writing, therefor your intention for the direction of the storyline may be ignored. All in all a great experience and I hope we can do a second collective novel. I’m already collecting ideas ☺

I would like to thank Jeff Aaron. He came up with the idea and guided the project perfectly. Once again Jon Atterbury did a tremendous job on the formatting and artwork of the book. And of course I would like to thank the authors of taking time out of their busy schedules to contribute to the book. The authors:

Jeff Aaron (@jeffreysaaron)

Jeff Aaron (@jeffreysaaron)

Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell)

Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell)

Kendrick Coleman on twitter

Kendrick Coleman (@KendrickColeman)

Amy Lewis (@commsNinja)

Amy Lewis (@commsNinja)

Lauren Malhoit (@malhoit)

Lauren Malhoit (@malhoit)

Bob Planker (@plankers)

Bob Planker (@plankers)

Satyam Vaghani (@SatyamVaghani)

Satyam Vaghani (@SatyamVaghani)

Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl)

Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl)

To make it more interesting for the readers, we deliberately hid which author wrote which chapter you can have some fun guessing via a short quiz. Prizes will be given to those people with the best scores.

I’m not entirely sure that this book will be nominated for a Pulitzer, but it is worth a read to see what is in the authors’ crazy heads – and to witness how well they work together when collaborating on a project like this.

Go download the book and take the quiz