The Geek Watcher

The blog of Linda Hogg

Fabulous Response to our Very Special Christmas Greeting!

We’ve been receiving fabulous feedback for our Christmas ‘card’ this year!  To mark our 15th Anniversary, we decided to put together ‘A Fight Before Christmas’ based on  the poem, ‘T’was the night before LaurenChristmas …’.  We are delighted with the response and I thought I would put together some of them here.  If you would like your own copy of the book, please email us at with your address!

Enda Flynn, Comperiogreat work with the Xmas card - my 3 year old has been picking it as bedtime story.

Hazel Woodcock, IBM: The book is fantastic. Story, artwork, production, all first rate.

Eileen Brown, Social Media Guru: Thank you so much for quite frankly the best Christmas card I’ve received for years – what a joy to go through it.  Inspired.

Wilbour Craddock, Microsoft Canada: Awesome! Simply Awesome!

From Martin Casey, Arekibo: Congratulations to @BlackMarble - Your Christmas book/card is exceptional - thank you!

Amanda Lennon: Thank you SO much for my Xmas story book - absolutely fab!

Diarmuid Murphy, Microsoft Ireland: Just got this gorgeous Christmas storybook from @BlackMarble put me in the festive mood.

Ben Nunney, Microsoft UK: Wow. Epic Christmas Comic from@BlackMarble arrived this morning...

Richard Costall, MVP: Big thanks to @BlackMarble for a fantastic Christmas card/story very clever. #HappyChristmas

Craig Murphy, MVP: Awesome @BlackMarble Xmas greeting this year!

Ian Palmer, University of Bradford: Just got the 'card' from@BlackMarble. They surpassed themselves this year. This is a BOOK guys, not a card. Genius. :)

Steven Murgatroyd, KCom: Just got this from @BlackMarble, love it...very creative! Merry Christmas! #xmasfun

Kevin Ball, HP: - it's fabulous!

Plus we are supporting The National Museum of Computing and Bletchley Park with our Christmas campaign!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


We love Christmas at BM HQ and this year , we have a very special Christmas Card … Inspired by the the poem ‘A Visit by St. Nicholas’ (more commonly known by its first line, ‘T’was the Night before Christmas …’), the Black Marble Brigade have another great Christmas adventure, in book form – “The Fight Before Christmas”!

As it is our 15th Anniversary year, we are feeling particularly festive and generous, and if you like us on Facebook, then we will send you a copy!  Make sure you send us your address too – either via FB message or email   Plus, you can still follow the adventure on our Website, where we will be making the artwork available as colouring-in sheets!

And don’t forget – we are making a donation to Bletchley Park and The National Museum of Computing each Christmas, and recommend that everyone in our industry does the same.

NMC Logo BlechleyPark

Seasons Greetings! And the Return of the Black Marble Brigade

Ep01_2011We love Christmas at Black Marble and our Black Marble Christmas Adventure has already begun – please follow the NMC Logoadventure online to find out what peril has befallen Santa this time, and how the team can save him!  

Our website has it’s Christmas style on -  and our office is decorated from top to bottom!  Advent calendars are everywhere too Smile

Plus, once again we are supporting The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) and Bletchley Park with our Christmas Cards, and I encourage you all to do the same.

Merry Christmas!

BP Logo Red 07

Holidays are coming … Part 3 of ‘Going Postal’ now live!

Banner01In case you hadn’t realised it, but at Black Marble we LOVE Xmas!  Not only have we decorated the office … but we’ve XmasJumpersalso added some festive fun to our website! 

The top banner looks great this year, and as ever the Managers have slipped into their Xmas finery ….

And of course, not forgetting our Xmas card … another 7-part outing for the BM Brigade, as they uses their Windows Phone 7s to spring into action and save Santa from Junk-Mail!Episode3

Plus Part Three of ‘Going Postal’ is now live on our website … this time, Windows Phone 7 proves its versatility in saving our heroes!  Can your app do that?

Plus, don’t forget we are supporting Bletchley Park and The National Museum of Computing with every card we send … please contribute too, and help maintain these great institutions for the future!

And finally … do you have Visual Studio TFS installed?  Think it could do with a check-up?  Invite one of our consultants on site in December and be in with a chance of winning an XBox with Kinect!  What better way to enjoy Xmas!

Episode 2 of the BMXmas Adventure–Going Postal–Now Live!


Episode Two of this year’s Xmas Card Adventure is now live on our website – want to know what the BMBrigade find on reaching their destination?  What has happened to Santa?!  Can our heroes’ Windows Phone 7’s help save the world this Xmas??

Enjoying the adventure?  Watch out for Episode Three on 8th December, when General Junk-Mail’s fiendish plot is revealed!

And this year, find out how our customers can benefit from our skills in Visual Studio with an ALM Health Check … and gain the opportunity to win an XBox with Kinect!

5 Great Reasons to get a Visual Studio TFS Health Check …

… from Black Marble this December

Black Marble has always been proud of its strong credentials for the work we do, and this year we are encouraging our customers to take advantage of them too!

This year we have 5 Great Reasons for you to take out a Visual Studio Health Check from Black Marble:

1. Gold ALM Partner – Black Marble is the first UK partner to achieve the new Gold standard in the ALM competency.  Microsoft re-launched the Partner ALM Ranger RichardNetwork this autumn, and to ensure customers know they are getting experts in their field, they raised the bar for companies to reach the Gold standard in individual competencies.  At Black Marble we ensured our staff were suitably qualified and experienced, in order to be ready to achieve Gold when the new competencies were launched and we were delighted to be the first UK partner to do so!

2. Engineering Director Richard Fennell – Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in Visual Studio (ALM).  Richard is in his third year as a Microsoft MVP – recognised as one of the best and brightest from technology communities around the world for his contributions on Visual Studio (ALM).

3. And Richard is also an ALM Ranger (see right)!  ALM Rangers are selected from Microsoft Staff, MVPs and Industry Leaders and deliver out-of-band solutions for missing features or guidance.

4. Black Marble is an Inner Circle Partner – Black Marble has been a member of the Microsoft Visual Studio Inner Circle programme for over a year.  The programme is an initiative from Microsoft to engage with key application life-cycle management (ALM) partners worldwide, and Black Marble is one of only a few in the UK. As an Inner Circle partner we work closely in a reciprocal relationship with the Microsoft experts, both nationally and internationally, receiving specialised training and early access to the next generation of Microsoft Developer Tools.

Elf Lisa

5. Our Xmas Elf Check offer

And this December, we are giving away FOUR sets of XBox with Kinect to customers who engage Black Marble in December to carry out a VS TFS Health Check.  With one draw a week, this is a great opportunity to get hold of the fast-selling, must-have gift for Xmas … and for your business to benefit from our skills, knowledge and experience!

To find out more, call 01274 300175 or visit:

Going Postal–Can the Black Marble Brigade Save Xmas 2010?

Episode OneIt’s that time of year again … Santa has been kidnapped and the only team that can save him is the Black Marble Brigade!  And what BlechleyParkgreat tools do the team have at their disposal this year?!  Why Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft Surface! There is no limit to what use these can be put to to save Santa and Christmas in 2010.

Look out for episode 2 next week!

Plus, once again we are supporting The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) and Bletchley Park with our Christmas Cards, and I encourage you all to do the same.