Microsoft is testing a new exam format and needs your help.
The New Virtual Lab based Exam 70-113: TS: Windows® Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring tests candidate’s abilities to actually perform tasks and solve problems in virtual lab environment like they would do it normally in a real world.
Upon completion of this pilot exam, the first 3000 candidates will receive 3 (!) free exam vouchers that can be used to register for any Microsoft Certification exam delivered at a Prometric testing center. The voucher will be distributed electronically 4 weeks after end of Pilot. This pilot exam will not provide you with a score as with normal beta exams. This pilot is a test of the exam experience, so only a portion of the final exam will be presented to you during this pilot. This pilot exam will not be added to your transcript and you will need to take the exam in its released form in order to be awarded the credential. Find exam preparation information: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-640.mspx
You must register at least 7 days prior to taking the exam. Register before October 25th to take the exam before October 31st. Please use the following promotional code when registering for the exam: H640 (promo code is active till October 31st) Receiving this invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the pilot; we recommend that you register immediately.
· Go to the Prometric Website: http://www.register.prometric.com/ClientInformation.asp
· Find Microsoft exam 70-113: TS: Windows® Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
· Use Promo Code H640 (promo code is active till October 31st)
Send your opinion about exam experience to: http://blogs.technet.com/betaexams/ and to: email@example.com
Windows Vista with SP1 (and some tweaks) is faster than Windows Server 2008.
Since my last post on this topic, I've been doing my homework.
On my laptop Vista was always quicker than Server, but I have found some very useful information (most of which has already been or will be covered on the Springboard series of events and resources).
At a high level the steps to get Vista and Office to perform well on a laptop are:
1. Hardware Manufacturer 2. OEM 3. Windows Update 4. Inbox
1. Hardware Manufacturer
3. Windows Update
The devices where this will make the biggest difference are the Graphics Card and the Network Adapter.
As an example of this:
I've just installed Vista SP1 onto a laptop. There are no inbox drivers for the NVIDIA graphics card or the Intel Wireless Adapter. I connect my laptop to the internet via the onboard ethernet controller and run Windows Update. I'll download and install drivers for both (probably) - I'm now running drivers from Windows Update. Now go and look for device drivers on your hardware manufacturer's support website (for your graphics card and network) - Hardware Manufacturer's drivers have been "tweaked" for their specific implementations and have been thoroughly tested. Install these drivers if they are newer than the ones from Windows Update (you now have the best device drivers installed for your laptop). If there aren't any drivers there (that are newer than the ones you downloaded from Windows Update), now go and look on the OEM's support websites (NVIDIA and Intel in this example) - these drivers may be newer, but are not necessarily stable and have not been tested on your specific laptop model. If there's nothing there, you have ended up with option 3 (Windows Update drivers), if there are newer drivers here, install them but keep looking on your hardware manufacturer's website for their implementation of the drivers.
The above steps will give you a fast and stable build. Any other "issues" will be down to badly behaving applications - you'll need to get into some serious troubleshooting..
The second session, in our invite only SQL Server 2008 training series is happening in Dublin next Tuesday (14th October 2008 from 14.00-17.00 *Registration from 1pm). We have a few spare seats available - so if you're interested in some free training on SQL Server 2008, click here and express your interest (you must be located in Ireland to qualify). Places will be given away on a first come, first served basis - so don't hesitate.
Session two will cover the new SQL 2008 features and capabilities.
1. In the first part of the meeting live CLUSTER installation of SQL Server 2008 will be demonstrated and analyzed. We shall discuss in details the new SETUP options as well as the different considerations that should be taken care when planning your upgrade process.
2. In the second part of the talk we will delve into DATA COMPRESSION, its usage, performance and some internals. We will then discuss T-SQL programmability enhancements, such as MERGE, HIERARCHYID and the new DATE and TIME data types.
3. Last but not least we shell talk about the new FILESTREAM capabilities: FILESTRAM performance, comparison of FILESTREAM and other blob\file storage options, and demos.
Niall Flanagan (Ireland's SQL Server MVP) is doing a talk down in Cork next week in the Imperial Hotel.
Niall will be going into depth on SQL Server Indexes (Internals and Performance).
The event is on next Monday 13th October and runs from 19:00 - 21:00
Click here to register.
Today I had a go at dispelling the myth that the words Microsoft and Security don't go together. I certainly had "fun" with the projector! Turns out it was a pin in the VGA cable - my Vista laptop was getting well and truly confused as to whether it was connected to a projector or not (you will have noticed that other presentations did not have any RED in them - I can now blame the red pin in the vga cable).
Anyway, I hope all that attended enjoyed my talk and are now convinced that those two words are well and truly joined at the hip.
I've posted my slides here (if you want to take a look) and my little NAP demo can be found here.
What are you doing this Thursday evening?
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of Blade Runner, TechNet Ireland are running a special COMPLIMENTARY screening of ‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut’. Spectacularly restored and re-mastered from original elements and scanned at 4K resolution, it contains never-before-seen added/extended scenes, added lines, new and improved special effects, and an all-new 5.1 Dolby® Digital audio track.
Where: Cineworld Dublin, Parnell St, Dublin 1. Map. When: Thursday 2 October – ticket collection from 6.30 p.m., the movie commences at 7.20 p.m. (and runs for two hours). Allow another couple of hours if you would like to join us in the bar after, to make the most of the networking opportunities.
Register here for the movie night.
I've been talking to a few people recently who are using Windows Server 2008 as a workstation. Some of their comments are along the lines of: "Server 2008 has the same code base as Vista SP1, how come it feels quicker?".
Interestingly there doesn't seem to be a good answer (yet). I've been shown a single laptop running Vista (and it's slow and unstable), then the exact same laptop running Server 2008 and it is quick.
I then show them my laptop in the same scenarios (I have dual boot) and Vista is quicker than Server - it doesn't make sense!
I've taken this interesting "issue" to heart, and have set about finding out why (I love a challenge).
My first port of call will be the Springboard Series Virtual Roundtable that's on this afternoon (17:00 in Ireland - 9:00am Pacific Standard Time) Wednesday, September 24, 2008. It will be recorded, so it won't matter too much if you miss it (although you won't be able to ask live questions). Mark Russinovich and a panel of industry experts will explore your top of mind performance issues, common misconfigurations, and tips on how to fix them. From boot times and applets to disk performance and battery life, find out how to optimize Windows Vista and what you can do to improve overall system performance.
I'm already in contact with a bunch of people in Corp plus a few local "experts". I'll let you know how I get on - so watch this space (I'll be sharing my 'tips & tricks' later)..
As you know, I'm always "dabbling" with my laptop(s) - trying to get me demos performing at their very best.
I run Windows Server 2008 on my demo machine because I use Hyper-V for all my demos.
Yesterday I put a Solid State Disk (SSD) into my current demo laptop.
I ran a few "noddy" tests before I did though - so I could compare:
1st thing I did was take the machine out of its domain and joined a workgroup (didn't want any external influences to affect my tests).
Then I simply timed how long my laptop took from switching it on until I was presented with the logon screen (1 minute and 32 seconds).
Then I booted a virtual machine (with a 9GB VHD on the C:\ drive) - it took 1 minute and 7 seconds.
Now I replaced my 7200rpm disk with my new SSD, Installed Windows and configured it back to where it was (desktop experience, Hyper-V, etc).
Now I ran the same two tests - and the results are amazing!
Boot laptop (used to take 92 seconds) - now takes 36
Boot VM (used to take 67 seconds) - now takes 25
That's more or less 300% quicker - WOW.
Now, I did do my homework before I bought my SSD. I'm not in the business of recommending other people's products, but the OCZ Core v2 SATA II devices are currently the best/quickest.
You'll find them cheaper in the US - but if you don't live there, you'll stumble across the need for an American address and an American credit card. Look what I found - a local/Irish company who sells memory products at the same price (or cheaper) than the US - http://www.memoryc.com/ - and you'll save on the international delivery.
SSDs are still quite expensive for the capacities they offer - but if you need the speed, they're worth every penny!
More info here.
Kimberly & Paul were with us last Friday. Bob Duffy got to interview them for a while - I like this one best:
Rain & Guinness
2 in the Morning
SQL Server 2008 Best Bits