As a part of upgrading my network, I am toying with the idea of using Windows 2008 server as a Workstation. It has most of the same features as Vista and what it doesn't have I don't really need anyway. I mentioned this in a seminar a couple weeks ago and that I had stumbled upon a site that gives information on use Win2008 as a workstation. You can find that site here.
I am slowly converting things at home ad hope to provide an update later today....
I have spoken about my home network at a few presentations and during the breaks there have been plenty of "oh yeah!?!?! well I have....." conversations. I think some of the most interesting conversations are around how we name our machines and networks. I have spent over and hour sitting at the name your computer screen trying to come up with the perfect name for machines. Most of the names means something (if only to me) and some I just chose on a whim. A little later I will talk more about the names of my machines.
I have been looking forward to upgrading the home network for a while now. I have been running some very old machines at home for what seems like ages. It is time to retire some of them. I am picking up some new hardware here and there but I like to keep machines around until they just stop running. I would love to rip and replace, but I also want to retire some day. So many of my machines will still be in use in some capacity.
Below is some detail on what the permanent machines in my current network look like as well as what my plan is. There is a little something interesting about each machine. There are 6-12 VM's running test stuff as well under Virtual PC scattered across most of the machines.
Warning, some of these machines might be older than you....
All but one machine is homebrew...
wallofvoodoo - my trusty firewall - (The band Wall of Voodoo sang "Mexican Radio". Just thought it would make a good name for a firewall) This is a dual Intel 400mhz machine. It is in a rackmount case with industrial fans. By and far the loudest of my machines. It has a gig of RAM and runs Windows 2003 R2 and ISA 2006 well enough, but it also has a 10 gig hard drive which is on it's last legs. I have had to reduce logging on it a few times just to keep the drive from filling up. I don't know what is to become of this machine yet. Probably become a test box.
The new firewall hardware will be an Intel 2.4ghz with 2 gigs of RAM and a couple of old 80 gig drives. I may have this machine do DNS as well as DHCP.
wallace - my web server - (named after William Wallace in "Braveheart". The web server was put up to manage my first blog. William Wallace fought for freedom and the blog was about the freedom to say whatever I want. My attempt at being meaningful...). My only name brand machine. This is a dual Intel 1ghz Gateway Server with 2 gigs of RAM. Win2003 R2, SQL 2005, Community Server. Wallace houses my only raid array right now. It consists of three 4 Gig Seagate SCSI drives in a stripe set attached to the onboard SCSI. Why? because I had the drives. I put the page file there just for the heck of it.
bobobobobobo - my DC/Exchange/DNS Server/Cert Server/File Server - (I was channel surfing and came across a cartoon of the same name. Laughed so hard I nearly wet myself. Decided I wanted something to make me smile every time I saw the name) - The newest hardware I have right now. AMD DualCore x64 3800+ with 2 gigs of RAM and four 500gig SATA drives. This machine gets a workout as a file server and Exchange server. I host a number of mail domains for myself, friends and family. But it mostly gets pounded as a staging area for files of all kinds.
This machine is getting migrated/upgraded to Win2008. This is one of two 64 bit machines which run Exchange for me. I am backing up data, flattening in, then laying down Win2008 and Exchange 2007 Hub, CAS, MB then restoring data.
sleestak - DC for old AD domain - (sleestaks rock!) - Identical box as wallofvoodoo except 4 - 250 gig drives. This machine was a test domain I set up. I want a second DC for redundancy on my permanent domain so it is getting converted. No Hardware changes. Will be a DC but may also get burned to glass, flattened, and used as a test box now and then.
crashnburn - Exchange Edge - This machine was originally supposed to be a crash'n'burn box for testing. My first was with Exchange Edge and Forefront for Exchange and was so impressed I decided to keep it in play. This one stays the same. Identical hardware as bobobobobobobo. Kind of a waste as an Exchange Edge server but until I stand up the big Hyper-V box.....
vidtopia - Vista Ultimate Media Center - (video + utopia = vidtopia) - My wife wanted a media center so I built this for her almost 6 years ago. It used to have two OTA HD tuners and a single standard def tuner installed. The HD tuners were pulled when we moved to WA. We are one the wrong side of a hill. We don't actually use it for recording any TV these days. We use the crappy DVR from my cable company only because of of all the hokey content restrictions on HD content. I am working up a Dual OCUR tuner Dell XPSW420 to replace this machine and put a real Media Center back in the living room. Vidtopia is connected to the big screen so we use it for photo, video, printing editing as well as playback of all of our digital content. Intel HT 3ghz, 2 gigs of RAM and 750gigs of drives. Oh yeah...this is also my karaoke machine! This is the only machine in the list that is not in the basement.
godzilla - old firewall - (godzilla breaths fire....who the hell gets past godzilla?) - Dual 300mhz Intel 512megs RAM, two 10 gig hard drives. Used to be primary firewall, then decommissioned and fashioned into a member of my ISA array. Doesn't actively filter traffic. Just there for ISA testing.
phoney - MS Phone Machine - (duh!) - This is my oldest machine. I purchased this AMD DX4-120 in 1995 as my second ever IBM PC. I learned DOS, Win95, then back to Win3.1 and NT4 on this machine. It only has 8 megs of RAM but that is all that an unpatched version of Win95a needs. I have my Microsoft MP-900 phone connected to it and still use it as an answering machine now and then.
mijo - the better half's tablet - (who doesn't have a trillion nicknames for their spouse? My wife's name is Jeanne (pronounced 'gene'). I call her Jeanne-O-Mac, which became Meaj-O-Nac, which became mijo......simple.....) - It's just a tablet.
demotopia - demo laptop - (demonstrations + utopia = demotopia) - This is a Lenovo T61p. Quite simply the best machine I have ever used. Period. It is a work computer but I included it here because it is actually joined to my home domain and not Microsoft's.
So there you have it. I have a few cases, mobo's, and assorted peripherals laying around that I will build out for one test or another.
godzilla and phoney are off more than on these days and just might end up in the parts closet.
I also have a couple of 2TB TeraStations for storing digital media and I am building out a Quad Core Intel box with 8 gigs of RAM and 4TB of drives to act as a Hyper-V and Data Protection Manager Server. I may duplicate this setup and split DPM away as a dedicated backup box.
I am documenting my process for updating the network. Look for posts on the trials and tribulations....
*** Updated *** - Corrected the command for enabled autotuning.
I travel a fair amount which means I live on WiFi connections to stay connected. When I first started using Vista I noticed that I had problems with some WiFi connections. The issues could anything from not being able to resolve DNS to no mail flow. The most obvious issue is very slow or complete failure to load a web page ( we have documented a few specific issues here).
The issue revolves around a new feature in the Windows Vista TCP stack called TCP Autotuning. Autotuning lets Vista monitor network conditions and adjust the TCP Receive Window. In the olden days you could make these changes manually with some reg hacks but this was inefficient since a change network conditions would require another manual reg hack. Vista can do this on the fly now which should mean that through-put on gigabit, high-latency and WAN links should improve.
The problem we run into is that some older networking hardware does not handle TCP Scaling very well (or at all). I have experienced this on WiFi at a a few trade shows in the past and at some hotels that implemented WiFi very early in the Internet gold rush. On some occasions it has impacted wired connections at hotels though that has been a very rare occurrence.
Fixing the issue is pretty straightforward. First, to see if you have Autotuning enabled, issue the following command at an elevated command prompt -
netsh interface tcp show global
netsh interface tcp show global
You should get something back that looks like this...
I am currently set to have autotuning enabled (I am also at home right now where I have a gigabit network and all Vista clients and soon to be all Win 2008 servers). I leave this setting alone until I go out on the road and start having connectivity issues.
If I head out on the road and end up at a hotel where my connection seems very slow, I have a problems connection to my home servers via RDP, or I can't establish a VPN back to MS, I will disable the TCP Autotuning with this command -
netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled
When I get back home or go to a location where I know autotuning isn't an issue, I turn it back on with the following command -
netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=normal
netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=normal
*** Updated *** - you can also set autotuning= to ....
disabled = disabled autotuning and sets to default value restricted = Allow the receive windows to grow in a restricted fashion highlyrestricted = Allow the receive window to grow but be very, very conservative with adjustments experimental = normally only used in testing. Should not typically be used in production. Can can severe reduction in performance.
disabled = disabled autotuning and sets to default value
restricted = Allow the receive windows to grow in a restricted fashion
highlyrestricted = Allow the receive window to grow but be very, very conservative with adjustments
experimental = normally only used in testing. Should not typically be used in production. Can can severe reduction in performance.
Keep in mind that if you have User Account Control enabled, you will have to issue those commands at an elevated CMD prompt.
I mentioned this issue at my launch event in Anchorage last week. I also mentioned that I have a couple of batch files to do this for me so I don't have to do as much typing. You can grab the batch files here. There are two batch files with self-explanatory names to either enable or disable autotuning.
This blog goes into a little more detail on the issue and fixes. It also mentions another option of setting autotuning to "restricted". I have had limited success with this and stick to either on or off.
Not everyone has been able to make it to one of our Live Windows 2008 Launch events. So a small group of us here at Microsoft are heading into Second Life world to deliver our launch content. We will be "in world" on April 26th to deliver our full launch presentations that you would see at any "real world" launch event.
This should be fun if not at least interesting. I have not spent a lot of time in world yet, but look forward to delivering some launch content there. I will be in Second Life this afternoon to better orient myself with the world. My Avatar is named Loper Markova if you wish to track me down and do some hand holding while I get accustomed to my new Second Life.
Zain Naboulsi is heading up the charge on the Developer side of the world while I am delivering the IT Pro related content. As noted, we are doing the same content that you would see if you were to attend a live event in the physical world. I am afraid that we can only offer virtual soft drinks and muffins though. :)
Zain has posted all the details for getting into Second Life and attending the sessions. We look forward to seeing you there you there!
Forgive me Twitter for I have been silent. It has been 9 months since my last Tweet...
I decided to logon to Twitter to give it another shot and noticed my last message was sent in July of last year. I also only sent about 4 msgs prior to that and only 4 people are listed as following them right now. I don't know if there were ever any more than 4 that followed but I can say that with only 4 postings I would have dropped off long ago.
So I can't say that I ever gave Twitter a fair chance. I posted a few messages internally and received some feedback that made me think twice about it. Nothing earth shattering and I am still skeptical, but since I didn't let it play out the first time around I should at least give it a fair chance this time.
For those of you who might be on Twitter..... here I am...
Now....who to follow....
Here is the link to Keith's screencasts on installing PHP, MySQL and Wordpress to a Windows 2008/IIS7 Core Server.
I have had several people email telling me they can't locate the slides for the launch content on my blog. I am just using the Search field on the left sidebar of my blog and looking for "slides" and I am finding them as 4 of the first 5 hits. Ignore the top hit as that is from an old event.
Please comment here if this is not working for you and I will ping our IT staff.
I noticed after my most recent post my sunset banner and other graphics are not showing in my blog. That pictures are actually hosted on my servers at home. In prep for my Windows 2008 server installs, I have been cleaning up my network and one change I made was to pull a couple of IP addresses I have away from my firewall and assign them to some perimeter boxes. One of those IP addresses was for publishing my personal blog which also hosts the pics. I just updated DNS and I also performed Windows Updates. Expect for the pics and graphics here to come back around after DNS caches get updated.
Way back in January, I asked my readers to explain to me why I should be on Facebook or Twitter.
You can still hear the crickets on that one.....
I am back again asking the same question but I am also going to throw in a few other services - Quechup, LinkedIn, FriendFeed and Second Life. There are a number of others but I will stick to these for now.
If you read Robert Scoble's blog (and for the record, he used to have important things to say. Now, I read his blog just so I can be prepared for the day his ego exceeds the capacity of his cranium. I want to be out of the way when it finally explodes...) he has been touting a whole list of services from Twitter to FriendFeed to GoogleReader to LinkedIn to.....the list goes on. He makes it sound like if you aren't there, you aren't involved in the conversation.
I signed up for Twitter. Nothing.
I signed up for FaceBook. That at least connected me with people but became a tremendous time suck.
I signed up with LinkedIn. Essentially Facebook only more professional (IMO) but I already had FaceBook so I didn't pursue.
So I have stuck with blogging and it seems to have increased my connection to you and you back to me just fine. I am still trying to figure out exactly how Twitter is going to foster a better connection to my audience. Am I just getting to old and dense to get it? You tell me....
One thing I am (albeit reluctantly) getting involved with is Second Life. In fact we will be holding a Windows 2008 Launch event in Second Life in the very near future. I have been debating our Second Life involvement with Zain Naboulsi while at the same time taking over the reigns of IT Evangelism within Second Life. Zain believes that Second Life type worlds are the future of communications and evangelism.
I am quite a bit more skeptical....
Many companies have developed a presence in Second Life. IBM has a massive presence there. Many companies have also exited Second Life. My guess is they have no proof at all that it is doing anything positive for the company. Right now it all seems to very warm and fuzzy and cool and hip and trendy and that might impact sales in the short term but does put money in the bank over the long haul without some concrete evidence proving things are working.
I just wonder if spending my time in Second Life is where you want to spend time as well. I personally think that many of these services, Second Life in particular, are more suited for developer audiences than IT Pro audiences. The whole premise behind Second Life is that you can immerse yourself in a world of your own creation. To create you essentially write code/script to change your avatar, your surroundings, your world. That is exactly what dev types like to do anyway and so it appeals to that group. I am not sure that same model work with IT Pro's though. Again....you tell me.
Now please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that these services have no value at all. My Space re-connected me with people I haven't been in contact with for 20+ years. Facebook did the same. I even connected with a few others through LinkedIn. But in all of those situations the connections were on a personal level. None of it was work/business related. Sure I joined a bunch of work related groups on FaceBook, but I found myself spending a large amount of time just trying to keep up. I also found that I wasn't learning anything really new. I also have enough relationships in my life to manage without heaping on a pile of "friends" (and who the hell decided that perfect strangers could sign up to be my "friend" anyway!?!?!) I can't remember when I even logged onto Facebook last and you know what? I don't have any empty feeling inside....
But I can't help but feel that with all of the press that these services get that I am missing out on something. On the flip side, no one has ever asked my why I am not involved with the services which leads me to believe that you, my audience, aren't there either.
To sum this all up......
I am trying to find the value in being a part of the services and how they will 1) Foster a more connected relationship with my IT Pro Audience and 2) Positively change perceptions of Microsoft.
There is a 3rd option that no one who ever writes about these services ever mentions even though it really is what makes the world go around - Sales. No one cares how well connected to my audience I really am or if customer satisfaction is at an all time high unless people are buying the products. Period.
So again, I am asking for your feedback.
Are you on any of these services? Are you using them on a personal level or a business level? Should I be there and where?
Are you on any of these services?
Are you using them on a personal level or a business level?
Should I be there and where?
While at the Seattle Windows Server Launch event this week, I sat down with Michael Cooper, a Microsoft TS here in the PacWest area and we had a casual conversation about technology. We spoke quite a bit about virtualization and how it has impacted organizations of all sizes as well as where we think virtualization is going. Check it out over on the TechNet Radio site.
Great turnout in Seattle yesterday! The weather stayed in check and we had a great event. Great questions from the crowd during the sessions and breaks too. I have had a few people email me questions as well. Feel free to let me know what I can help you out with and I will get you in touch with the right people.
I saw a number of familiar faces from the presentations I have delivered in Tacoma, Olympia, and over on the East Side. I even saw one of our truly dedicated attendees who comes down from Vancouver, BC to see our events (sorry I didn't get a chance to say "Hello!", Shah).
Btw.....how many of you have retold to bad jokes I told at the event? I know some of you have.... :)
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.