email@example.com -- That has been my email alias at Microsoft for over 10 years now. You would think that I could have had chrisavis@ or cavis@. But nooooooo. They had to drop the "s" and make me sound like a video file.
I don't know for sure, but my guess as to why it ended up that way is that it is fairly standard for companies to use one of the following formats for generating user names --
1) cavis - First Initial + Last Name / truncate to 8 characters max (what I would have liked to have had) 2) chrisa - First Name / up to 7 characters + Last Initial 3) chrisavi - First Name + Last Name / truncate to 8 characters max (what I ended up with)
1) cavis - First Initial + Last Name / truncate to 8 characters max (what I would have liked to have had)
2) chrisa - First Name / up to 7 characters + Last Initial
3) chrisavi - First Name + Last Name / truncate to 8 characters max (what I ended up with)
I didn't get option number one because, at the time, there was a Craig Avis at Microsoft and he had cavis. We ordered business cards about the same time one year and they cross-shipped them. That is how I discovered him. We even exchanged some genealogy info to see if we might be related. Nope.
I never checked on chrisa but I imagine there was at least one other person at MS who's first name was Chris and last name began with "A". There is one now so I bet there was back then as well. So I ended up with chrisavi.
A couple years ago, the MS IT Staff sent out an email blast with a link to a utility that would allow us to claim alternate dotted email names. I tried to get just chrisavis but the tool wouldn't let me. So I settled on chris.avis which is what I typically hand out these days as it is easier to remember. My blog links to firstname.lastname@example.org and my business cards list it as well but either one works just fine.
I thought about getting email@example.com because I sign my name using my middle initial and I have been using my middle initial as a differentiator since early in the days of the Internet so I could be found more easily and to distinguish myself from the myriad of other Chris Avis types that mistakenly stumbled upon the World Wide Web. I just spot checked Live, Google, and Yahoo! and all of them put me on top.
My evil plan is working....
Yesterday, in Spokane, I mentioned a tool that can be used to evaluate physical machines and help make determinations on what machines would be good candidates for virtualization. There are some reporting features built into System Center Virtualization Machine Manager to help make this determination. The downside you have to have SCVMM to get that tool.
There is also the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Tool which can also provide virtualization candidate reporting and is FREE to download. This tool does a lot more than just evaluate candidates though. It can be used for planning migrations to Vista and Office 2007and device inventory. Enjoy!
Here are the links for the Vista RSAT tool as well as the Windows 2003 Admin tools
Windows 2003 Administrative Tools Pack RSAT Tool for Vista SP1 (x86) RSAT Tools for Vista SP1 (x64)
Windows 2003 Administrative Tools Pack
RSAT Tool for Vista SP1 (x86)
RSAT Tools for Vista SP1 (x64)
It seems we can't keep things in one place for more than a couple of months. Back in January I posted links out to the aforementioned spreadsheets. We have moved them and made a few updates which you can find below. I also rounded up a couple of other interesting references for Group Policy for your geek reading pleasure...
For Windows Server
Group Policy Settings Reference Spreadsheet for Windows 2003 SP1 Group Policy Settings Reference Spreadsheet for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 Group Policy ADM Files Reference Group Policy References Overview Group Policy Preferences Client Side Extensions Downloads Changes in Functionality from Windows 2003 SP1 to Windows Server 2008 - Very Good Read! Group Policy Management Console w/SP1 Planning and Deploying Group Policy with Windows Server 2008
Group Policy Settings Reference Spreadsheet for Windows 2003 SP1
Group Policy Settings Reference Spreadsheet for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1
Group Policy ADM Files Reference
Group Policy References Overview
Group Policy Preferences Client Side Extensions Downloads
Changes in Functionality from Windows 2003 SP1 to Windows Server 2008 - Very Good Read!
Group Policy Management Console w/SP1
Planning and Deploying Group Policy with Windows Server 2008
For Windows Vista
Group Policy Settings Reference Spreadsheet for Windows Vista ADMX Templates for Windows Vista Deploying Group Policy with Windows Vista
Group Policy Settings Reference Spreadsheet for Windows Vista
ADMX Templates for Windows Vista
Deploying Group Policy with Windows Vista
Office 2007 ADMX Templates and Office Customization Tool Office 2003 ADM Templates
Office 2007 ADMX Templates and Office Customization Tool
Office 2003 ADM Templates
Step-by-Step Guide for managing Group Policy with ADMX files GPOAccelerator Tool for quickly deploying GPO's Group Policy Inventory Tool ADM to ADMX Migration Tool Group Policy TechCenter on TechNet Windows Group Policy Home Page on TechNet - This is THE source for all things Group Policy
Step-by-Step Guide for managing Group Policy with ADMX files
GPOAccelerator Tool for quickly deploying GPO's
Group Policy Inventory Tool
ADM to ADMX Migration Tool
Group Policy TechCenter on TechNet
Windows Group Policy Home Page on TechNet - This is THE source for all things Group Policy
That should keep you busy for a while!
I was in Hartford, CT at 2pm Eastern Time yesterday. I walked in the front door of my house last night at about 11pm Pacific. I made some leftovers, cracked open a beer, and watched American Idol on the DVR. Woke up this morning at 6am, made some breakfast (no beer), and set myself up for my webcast - Part 7 of the 24 hours of Windows Server 2008 - IIS - which starts at 9:30am - played a couple of Guitar Hero 3 tracks to get the blood pumping and now I am typing up this blog. Immediately after the webcast I hop in the car to head back to the airport to fly to Spokane where I will be delivering the Windows 2008 Server launch event. Then back home Thursday night.
subtitled......Oh Tesla, oh Tesla....where art thou?
Trapeze Networks is on stage right now at the Angelbeat conference and he is talking about the 802.11n wireless spec. The promise of super high speed wireless connectivity is finally becoming a reality. But what caught my ear was something he said about some projects they are involved with. He says there are some schools and hospitals they are working with that are not including any wired networking in their infrastructure - everything will be wireless! Now that is cool!
I have tried to go completely wireless at home a couple of times but quickly ran into issues with streaming media, particularly when multiple devices are involved. So my Media Center PC and my XBox 360 are still hard wired for the time being. Of course my DC's and Exchange are hardwired as well, but we also have a half dozen other more portable machines that I prefer to be wireless. That pesky, wireless network crippling HD content I love so much is the only thing keeping my Media Center and XBox connected by cables.
I do have an 802.11n access point an NIC that I have tested in my Media Center but have not had much success with it. I may have to pick up a more recent set of devices to see if I can get the Media Center off the wire.
Have you had any success with 802.11n and streaming media? What about HD content?
Back on the east coast again! I am in Hartford, CT speaking at an Angelbeat conference. Today. There have been some interesting talks by SonicWall, ArcMail and IronPort so far. Cisco is on stage right now with Packeteer and NetApp scheduled just before I go on.
So far I have seen a bunch of slides and some truly interesting concepts. But it is hard to completely visualize some of the concepts because there have been very few demos. The audience is pretty quiet so far. They need to be woken up.
So....I have been at work trimming down my deck and re-ordering demos so I can (hopefully!) get the crowd going. I am going to take my usual presentation style to the extreme when I go up. I only have 30-40 minutes to discuss what is new in Windows 2008 Server.
Not nearly enough time...
I trimmed my deck to *6* slides. That's right....6 whole slides. All the rest of time I will consume with demos fo what the slides would have been talking about. I wouldn't even have that many slides except my demo environment requires me to shut off some virtual machines and start up 4 new ones midway through so I wanted to have something to put up on screen while we are waiting form them to come around.
For those of you who were at the conference, here some links to previous posts of mine that have additional information on the topics I covered.
General Windows 2008 Overview Virtualization Security NextGen Web Platform
General Windows 2008 Overview
NextGen Web Platform
*** Updated *** I am WAY happy I tweaked my presentation! I just took a closer look at the agenda and I realized I am on immediately after lunch. The audience with be full and sleepy so the last thing I want to do is put them asleep with PowerPoint!
Many, many moons ago, when life in the late 70's was simple, disco sucked (it still does, btw....), Apple Computers was a computer company, and people were worried about global cooling, I started watching a science fiction TV series about robots with crimson LED eyes that sought to exterminate the last remnants of a human race that created them.
The series was short-lived, campy, and horribly acted by performers who used to be someone and those who would be nothing more. But as a 13 year old boy who grew up reading his fathers Isaac Asimov books about robots and pretty much anything else sci-fi related, it was the best show ever.
Those were the days....
Fast forward 30 years and I am anxiously awaiting the 4th season of the New Battlestar Galactica season. A much higher quality show that has a great cast and actually addresses some social issues. I didn't think the series was going to be any good when I first heard about it. But when I heard that Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell were principal characters I decided to give it a shot. The show has turned out to be very well done and surprisingly aware of what is going on in the real world. I continue to watch the show because of the quality of the actors and, the social commentary and....
Oh...who are we kidding here.....the most important thing is....
I have to know who the final Cylon is.....
I have speculated, theorized, guessed, and been completely wrong every time on who the cylons are. THAT alone makes it a good show because it has not been predictable. Starting April 4th I will get to start guessing again and hopefully be completely wrong until they reveal.
Even better news on the Battlestar front is the new prequel that is planned. According to this article over at Wired we might see the first episode of the prequel in the fall. I hope it does get lost in itself and that the producers aren't chasing a money trail just to try to get a few more dead presidents out of the franchise.
So Say We All...
I am a little late on this one. It has been out there since about mid February. I just haven't had a chance to do anything with it yet. I do have it installed to my home ISA server now and gave it a shot. It reminded me just how badly I need to upgrade my firewall machine (at least it is a dual-proc box).
On March 15th, Ice Cube will be at SXSW doing a concert that will get streamed live over the web.
Hey Chris! So what!?!!?! Concerts get streamed all the time! Tell me something cool and new!!
Hey Chris! So what!?!!?! Concerts get streamed all the time! Tell me something cool and new!!
It is cool and new because..... it will be the first ever live concert streamed via Silverlight. Over at the Synergist blog, there will be some upcoming posts on how all the behind-the-scenes stuff takes place. There should also be some video interviews popping up over on Channel 9.
The downside.....I am not going to be there. I have been to SXSW once and that was only on the last day. I missed all the cool stuff. But even a single day of SXSW is pretty amazing.
For those of you that are not able to get out to a Launch event, you can still get Windows 2008 Server to evaluate. Just click the graphic to head out to the download site. I would also recommend you go download (for free!) Virtual PC or Virtual Server and install Windows 2008 to a virtual machine. That way you aren't burning up a machine just for Windows 2008.
What? That's right....IE 8. IE8 Beta 1 to be specific.
I am running the Vista x64 edition and while I have only been running it for the better part of 3 days, I am pleased. There are some new features I have not had a chance to check out yet. The new "webslices" feature will just take some time for web content creators to pull things together for. The concept for webslices is that you can subscribe to a "slice" or a piece of a web page instead of to the entire page. Maybe you want to see when a particular graphic on a page updates? This will let you do that without having to load the whole page. There are better examples in this short video on WebSlices.
Activities are what have me really stoked though. I do a lot of lookups from web-based information. This is a manual and frustrating process for me. Now I can just highlight something like an address, click the activities button and get it mapped through a mapping service without having to cut and paste anything. Fabulous. Short video of activities.
One down side I have run across is that IE 8 does not render my Windows Live Home page correctly. This is a big deal to me as it is where I have homed all of my RSS feeds. On the upside, IE8 has a nice button in the tool bar that switches it to IE7 Mode. I use that on the Windows Live Home page and life is good.
There is a tool/Add-in that allows you to notify us of pages that do not render properly in IE8. You can grab that tool here.
What do you think about IE8?
We recently filled a hole on our team with a new presenter. His name is Yung Chou and he has made a few posts to his blog. Please welcome him to the Microsoft Across America TechNet team!
I received some reports that my slides were blocked by some systems. I have moved them over to my SkyDrive account so you should be able to get them now. I have updated the links on the individual slide posts.
I had a great time today! We had some issues with getting everyone into the venue but it was amazing to me that those of you I spoke to about it understood. I appreciate that understanding. I hope the information I provided was beneficial and worth your time. I am still in Harrisburg and I am still up for Karaoke if someone wants to give me an email or a ring, I will be there!
Oh yeah....caffeine and sugar are your friends.... :)
This was the hardest session for me to pull together links for. As I noted in my session, I just don't work with web application creation and the related technologies enough to know what is going to be relevant to you. I would love to see some of you share some of your own favorite resources in comments. One blog I know you should take a look at is Scott Guthrie's. Even I hear his name quite a bit. Event though there are fewer links here, IIS.Net truly is the place for all things IIS related. Don't go there unless you have a lot of free time to read...
Session 4 Slides Here
Session 4 Slides Here
Additional Resources --
IIS.net - The definitive IIS resource Microsoft Web Deployment Team blog ASP.net - All things ASP Windows 2008/IIS 7 Virtual Labs - Get you hand dirty... Windows 2008 Application Server landing page
IIS.net - The definitive IIS resource
Microsoft Web Deployment Team blog
ASP.net - All things ASP
Windows 2008/IIS 7 Virtual Labs - Get you hand dirty...
Windows 2008 Application Server landing page
Check out my co-worker Keith Comb's blog post about running some very popular Open Source apps on Windows 2008 and IIS 7. He even screencasted some of the info. I have not watched them yet but I have seen many, many of his screencasts and they always teach me something new.
I could post 42 bazillion security related links if I had the time. I have have tried to keep the list relevant to the security session I delivered plus a few extras. Absolutely subscribe to Kai Axford's and Steve Riley's respective blogs. Well you might be able to skip on Kai's. He is going to be pretty worthless now that Brett Favre has retired. :)
By the way, I am still working on getting my video interview on BitLocker put online. It will make it. I just need some downtime to work on it.
Session 3 Slides Here
Session 3 Slides Here
Microsoft Security Main page Microsoft Security Response Center blog Services Hardening in Windows Vista Network Access Protection Page Windows 2008 Security Guide Windows Vista Security Guide Read-Only Domain Controllers Step-by-Step Guide BitLocker Drive Encryption Page BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool info
Microsoft Security Main page
Microsoft Security Response Center blog
Services Hardening in Windows Vista
Network Access Protection Page
Windows 2008 Security Guide
Windows Vista Security Guide
Read-Only Domain Controllers Step-by-Step Guide
BitLocker Drive Encryption Page
BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool info
There is a ton of virtualization information out there. Ben Armstrong maintains an excellent virtualization blog as does John Howard. Virtualization is way hot so I can't link to everything but this will get you started.
Session 2 Slides Here
Session 2 Slides Here
Windows 2008 Virtualization Site Microsoft Virtualization blog Download Windows 2008 Enterprise x64 w/ Hyper-V Beta Technet Virtualization Center Technet Hyper-V Landing Page Virtual Server 2005 R2 Home Page Virtual PC 2007 Home Page System Center Virtual Machine Manager Page Windows 2008 Remote App Publishing Step-by-Step Guide Presentation Virtualization (Windows 2008 Terminal Services) Application Virtualization Site (SoftGrid)
Windows 2008 Virtualization Site
Microsoft Virtualization blog
Download Windows 2008 Enterprise x64 w/ Hyper-V Beta
Technet Virtualization Center
Technet Hyper-V Landing Page
Virtual Server 2005 R2 Home Page
Virtual PC 2007 Home Page
Windows 2008 Remote App Publishing Step-by-Step Guide
Presentation Virtualization (Windows 2008 Terminal Services)
Application Virtualization Site (SoftGrid)
As promised, here are the slides for the Launch sessions I delivered in New York. For those of you attending Launch sessions elsewhere in the country, it is the same set of slide decks. I am breaking the slides up into separate posts so I can provide relevant links for each session. What you download will have more slides than what you will typically see at the live sessions. We cover almost all of the same material in the talk and demo portions. We have to trim things down to fit everything into the 1 hour slots we are provided.
Don't be alarmed by the redirect over to StewedPrunes. That is my inactive personal blog (look for that to change in the near future).
Session 1 Slides Here
Session 1 Slides Here
Infrastructure Optimization Windows 2008 Home Page PowerShell Team Blog PowerShell Home Page PowerShell FAQ Group Policy Preferences White Paper Windows Remote Management over the Internet Windows Remote Management (MSDN) Windows Server 2008 Core Installation Options Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (MSDN) Next Gen TCP/IP Stack Info The Cable Guy Home Page (Excellent Networking info!)
Windows 2008 Home Page
PowerShell Team Blog
PowerShell Home Page
Group Policy Preferences White Paper
Windows Remote Management over the Internet
Windows Remote Management (MSDN)
Windows Server 2008 Core Installation Options
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (MSDN)
Next Gen TCP/IP Stack Info
The Cable Guy Home Page (Excellent Networking info!)
I ran across an announcement in email this morning that we (MS) recently brought a new website online that caters to higher end PC enthusiasts. Particularly those who are running Windows Vista Ultimate. I verified the site came up and started down the path of reading about Derek Flickinger's Home Theater PC setup before breaking away to post this.
I don't know what the true value of the site is yet but wanted to get the word out.
I wish I had my camera today to take a picture of the crowd. I was in the big room just after the key note and I believe they had seating for about 1500. I estimate about 1200 people for my Windows 2008 overview session. Lots of great interaction and questions throughout the day. I look forward to the emails from people that I could not get around to during the live event and of course those questions I just simply did not have the knowledge base to answer.
Thanks to everyone that came up after the sessions to speak to me. One of the reason I do what I do is so I can interact face-to-face with the people using our products. I enjoy the feedback positive and negative. It helps keep me grounded and more in touch with the people that use our products and technologies. You rock!
I have a list of things to post about from the sessions today but I am now running on fumes. I make an early flight tomorrow over to Harrisburgh, PA for the next event so look for a flurry of posts after I get settled in.
As I noted during the sessions, don't hesitate to contact me if you need information. I don't have all the answers in my head but I can find the people that do.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.....Chris Henley beat me out by presenting in Los Angeles last week, but nothing is like New York (btw...that is me sinking the putt if you click the previous link). I am sitting in the green room at the Sheraton Towers on 7th Ave, just blocks from Times Square. I am still on Hawaii time and feeling the time difference. But there is an exhilarating buzz throughout the place that is surprisingly invigorating. I hope the energy carries me through the day.
I wish everyone could attend this event. Like I said, nothing is quite like New York. The weather is spectacular today. A great day for a launch event. When I came in at 7am there were already a couple hundred people mulling around waiting for things to begin. The keynote doesn't even start until 9am. It is now 8:30 and there are what appears to be thousands waiting to get into the main room. You don't need coffee with all the energy in the place. Having some anyway...
David Campbell is the keynote speaker. He is a technical fellow (...really smart dude...) working in the Server Engine group. I don't do much with SQL but I am very interested to hear what he has to say. SQL is everywhere. I imagine many people don't even know they are running SQL when they are. SQL Express is used by many, many desktop type applications. I have a SQL Server at home to support my personal blog but beyond the configurations the blogging software makes, I don't actively do anything with SQL. I bet a lot of other people are in the same boat. That needs to change.
It is now 8:35 and I need to do a final trim on my decks. You will never suffer death by PowerPoint at one of my events....
My wife and I returned from a fabulous one week vacation in Hawaii with some friends. We spent the bulk of the time on Maui which we had never been to before. I won't be able to do a lot of posting of pictures and video from the trip because I am going on the road tomorrow to deliver launch presentations. But I do have a teaser below and will get some more things posted in the next couple of weeks.
We crammed a lot of things into a vacation. So much so that I feel like I need a vacation to recover from my vacation. We snorkeled off Black Rock in Maui and also off the island off Lana'i. We swam with sea turtles, saw the breaching of the humpback whales and a huge school of spinner dolphins. We took a submarine tour, drove the road to Hana, walked through lava tubes, and I stood under a waterfall.
By and far the most exhilarating part of the trip though was the last day when all of us hopped a flight over to O'ahu, drove to the North Shore hopped on another plane and then......jumped out of it. I have been tandem skydiving once before in Texas about 13 years ago. It was, up until this jump the single most exciting, scary, awesome, nutty thing I have ever done.
This jump beat it by a million.....
The picture below is from the jump plane over the North Shore shortly before we jumped out. It was wild jumping out over open water and then working our way back to shore.
I also talked them into letting me take my 1080i HD video camera with me on the jump. I started shooting when we started the walk out to the plane and kept rolling till I touched back down....or so I thought. In review of the tape it turns out I thumbed the on/off switch literally 5 seconds before I jumped out. I caught two solo divers jumping out and I was next. My tandem partner tapped me on the shoulder - the signal to cross my arms and move to the door - and that is where the shot stops. So I have committed to going back next year about this same time to jump again and will make sure I shoot all the way through. Maybe I will be at 1080p by then. Fortunately I paid for them to shoot pictures and video as well. I will post snippets as soon as I can.