Thank you to everyone who is playing along and thank you for your words of support and encouragement (a guided tour of the Microsoft Virtual Academy is going down very well).
Congratulations to everyone who passed last week’s exam; especially to Fergal Storan, Sean Stack and Pawel Bogucki who won today’s prizes (an MS Press book and a 8GB memory key).
This week my challenge it to pass the Private Cloud: Infrastructure Components test.
To be in with a chance to in a prize, send me a screenshot similar to this one before 09:00 next Monday (5th March):
In answer to your questions: this month will all be about Private Cloud and my prizes will get a little better (I’ve ordered some jackets, umbrellas, mini-toolkits and some 32GB USB 3.0 memory sticks).
Have you all downloaded the Release Candidates of our Private Cloud solution? If not, please download then now from here (you’ll be helping me, as I’m measured on how many people download).
For everyone who enters ALL of the weekly draws in March, I’ll be pulling a name out of the hat and giving away a Nokia Lumia 800
Unfortunately I can’t open this up to the world – you’ll have to give me an Irish address to claim your prize (North or South).
Fergal Storan, Sean Stack and Pawel Bogucki.
As promised, their prizes were nothing special (an MS Press book and an 8GB memory key).
I’m ordering up some better prizes in March (jackets, umbrellas, etc).
I’ll be announcing this week’s challenge in a while.
I had to share this with you – it’s a great write-up of some of the new features that we’ll see in Windows Server “8” Hyper-V
The complete post is here:
This is the last paragraph:
Great New Capabilities
The new Windows Server 8 features for VM migration and replication give organizations a great new capability for keeping VMs available and mobile throughout an organization's IT infrastructure -- without needing complex and expensive infrastructure changes. The Hyper-V live migration and Replica capabilities are just a few of the enhancements, and this discussion is based on the beta of Windows Server 8 so functionality could change. But the features give us an idea of the level of advancements that we're going to enjoy in the next version of Hyper-V and Windows Server.
The Microsoft Office suite offers up a powerhouse of tools to users in all fields. Word is there for the casual letter writer or the professional novelist. Excel can track, and chart, data figures be you a home user planning a holiday budget, a large business keeping track of profits, or a kid who just loves to create pie charts. PowerPoint allows you to create interactive slideshows of family holiday snaps or a new business proposal. When most people think of Office, they think of these three packages. But there are other packages in Office such as Outlook for powerful email and appointment planning, OneNote for quick note taking, and Access for database handling.
I’ve been using Microsoft Office Professional since the release of Office 97. Over the years I moved up to Office 2003, I didn’t make the move up to Office 2007 but did use the demo of it and was delighted with the newly redesigned interface, the Ribbon. And only a couple of months ago I finally made the move up to Office Professional 2010. And I have to say I’ve very pleased with it indeed. But as a home user, you might ask yourself why I want to invest in the full Professional version of Office instead of opting for the cheaper Home & Student version which offers up the key Office packages of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. What is it about Microsoft Office Professional that always draws me attention?
The answer is Microsoft Publisher.
I was first introduced to Publisher when I got Microsoft Office Professional 2003 with a new PC I bought. When I first looked at Publisher, I remember saying to myself, “Why would anyone want this?” It looked like Microsoft’s answer of Page Maker which I had used on a computer course a few years previously and I never became a fan of that package. To me, once you have Microsoft Word, that was all you needed. I mean, it could do text boxes, pictures, drawing shapes, etc. I wrote Publisher off as a package used by industry professionals, probably in the magazine industry, and for a long time I stuck with Word.
Now let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a very creative guy. I LOVE to be creative! I write, I do 3D art and animation, and I do publication work. None of this is in a professional sense, this is all a hobby for me and is something I very much enjoy. When I said above I do publication work, what I mean is I do posters, guide booklets on topics of interest, and other such pursuits. For years I use to always work in Word when doing these things and never really had any complaints. Oh sure, lining up text and graphics could be tricky at times, and trying to insert new content without messing up preceding page layouts could be a pain, but overall I loved Word for stuff like this.
Then one day I decided to take a look at Publisher.
I was working on a story for a game I was making and trying to do all the alignment and editing in Word was a task and a half at times! Remembering Page Maker from my college days and how easy it was to work with stuff like this, I decide to see what Microsoft Publisher had to offer. I spent a week in front of it, the Help file open next to it, as I explored all the tools in Publisher and how to use them. After that one week was over, I was in love with Publisher.
I instantly moved my story over to Publisher and started to develop it, using it as my project for learning Publisher. The creative process was just a joy to work with! I could grab a graphic, resize it and position where I wanted it on my page, with perfect accuracy, without having to fiddling around with text boxes and resizing them and trying to make them line up. Text naturally avoided placed graphics (you can of course make your text type over graphic too), no more hitting the Enter key to get text in a sentence down onto the next line when working beside a graphic.
Placing a background graphic was utter joy in Publisher!! In Word, I would place this background graphic in a text box to fit the screen. Then I would layer another text box on top of that for the text itself. But if you accidently grabbed the text box with the graphic in it when you really wanted to graph the text box with the text in, you could seriously mess up your layout. In Publish I can just bring in my background graphic, fill the page with it, and place my text box over it for the text, no worries.
Publisher’s accurate use of measurements means I also use it for create my own cards. At Christmas, birthdays, or whatever the occasion, I can create a layout in Publisher for the size of the printing card I’m using and onto that I can add my own graphics, text, etc., making the card uniquely mine, which then prints perfectly. Trying to achieve this in Word use to see a few of my printed cards misaligned, ruined!
My most recent project in Publisher is my very own guidebook to Orlando Florida. I love Orlando Florida, with Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, the shopping! I love it so much that folks use to always ask me for tips about visiting the place. So I created my very own guidebook to Orlando Florida which is updated whenever need be and is freely available for download from my website here: http://www.iol.ie/~pkb/OF.htm
I have truly fallen in love with Microsoft Publisher. It allows my creativity to flow freely from my mind to the screen to print. As a matter of fact, I have become such a huge fan of Microsoft Publisher that when I go to write a letter to family and friends, I use Publisher for it instead of word which allows me to control the flow of the text and any graphical elements I want to toss in. Publisher may not be a took many home users use, but I am a huge fan of it and fair play to Microsoft on development such an amazingly powerful development tool.
Join us for the only virtual event dedicated exclusively to the cloud-ready Information Platform!
The SQL Server 2012 Virtual Launch Event on March 7, 2012 is an exclusive, online event designed to give you an overview of SQL Server 2012’s exciting new capabilities.
SQL Server 2012 ensures mission-critical confidence with greater uptime, blazing fast performance, and enhanced security features; breakthrough insights with managed self-service data exploration and interactive data visualizations; and cloud on your terms with extended on-premise and public cloud solutions.
Go Further. Forward. Faster. with Microsoft SQL Server 2012!
Please join us for our System Centre 2012 launch events in Dublin or Belfast and hear customers talk about how they implemented virtualisation, automation and delivered IT-as-a-service in a way that transformed their business. Engage in a lively discussion with partners and independent experts as they present real-world challenges and show how System Center addresses them.
10:00 – 10:30
10:30 – 11:30
Hear how Microsoft takes the experience of running the largest datacentres in the world and applies it to scalable management solutions for customers worldwide
11:30 – 12:00
Damian Flynn from Lionbridge Technologies shares the cost savings and efficiencies achieved from implementing System Center
12:00 – 13:00
13:05 – 16:15
Real-world examples from Industry Experts
Demonstration based sessions sharing scenarios that you can take and apply to your business. Examples include Deep Application Insights, Cloud and Data Centre – Automation and managing from the desktop to the datacentre
Aidan Finn (MVP - Virtual Machine), works for MicroWarehouse Ltd as a technical sales lead, working with Microsoft partners on Hyper-V, System Center and Forefront opportunities. He has been working with systems management technologies since 1996, and is experienced with Windows Server, desktop deployment and management, System Center, virtualisation, and so on. He blogs on http://www.aidanfinn.com, tweets as @joe_elway, and has written or contributed to books such as Mastering Hyper-V Deployment and Mastering Windows 7 Deployment.
Damian Flynn (MVP – System Center Cloud & Data Centre), works for Lionbridge Technologies (a Localisation, Logo Certification, Search & Content Services Company) as a Technical Architect of Corporate IT Infrastructure, working with the Business Stakeholders, IT Team, and Partners. Damian is a member of the Microsoft Windows Sever Futures Council, actively participating in multiple Microsoft TAP programs, and has being working on infrastructure technologies since 1994, with a high level of experience in Networking, Storage, Linux and Windows Servers, Virtualisation, System Center, etc. He blogs on http://www.damianflynn.com, tweets from time to time on @damian_flynn, and is a contributing author on the forthcoming book “Microsoft Private Cloud Computing”.
Kevin Greene (Subject Matter Expert – Microsoft System Center Operations Manager), works for Ergo Group Ireland. Kevin has been responsible for the deployment of a large number of System Center projects to enterprise level clients across all sectors. He blogs at http://kevingreeneitblog.blogspot.com and you can also find him on Twitter as @kgreeneit
Paul Keely Paul has been working with System Center in its original from form for nearly ten years. He works for Infront Consulting group, a specialist system center practice that deploys system center to some of the biggest companies in the world.
As you know, my job is to “learn stuff & talk to people” – I get paid to learn!
My problem is that there’s just too much content available nowadays – where do I start? We all know that you eat an elephant one bite at a time, but can we be bothered?
As a Microsoft employee I have to complete certain internal training activities as part of my job – they’re all relatively short online videos with a document or two that needs reading. We all have to pass a short test to prove that we have learnt the material. We can “cheat” and take the exam without doing the learning if we think we already know it. Most of us do the training on (or close to) the deadline, as there is little motivation for us to bother (don’t tell my boss that I said that)!
We launched the Microsoft Virtual Academy a while ago now. It has been getting better and better over the months, with more and more free training being added all the time. It is very similar to our internal training; online videos, a document or two to read followed by a short test to demonstrate understanding. The training is very good and covers loads of topics (from virtualisation to public and private clouds), but it’s still hard to find the motivation to bother..
I honestly think that we’d all benefit from taking all the training that’s available on the Microsoft Virtual Academy – but I also know that we won’t (we never prioritise training – there’s always something more important to do).
So, I’m introducing incentives to encourage you, free prizes to motivate you - along with a bit of recognition amongst your peers.
Interested in availing of some great online training?
Interested in the chance to win stuff?
Then register for the Microsoft Virtual Academy and start learning!
We’ll start at the bottom of the stack (virtualisation), so take this exam and email me a screenshot similar to this:
I’m looking for your name (top right), the course title and the fact that you’re 100% complete.
Seeing as this is the first one, I’ll draw out a number of winners at random at 9:00 on Monday 27th February.
I’ll announce the winners and the challenge for the following week, here on the blog and on twitter (I’m @ieitpro).
Here’s to the start of something great!
The year ahead is filled with a lot of new hardware and software releases, Windows 8 being one of the biggest.
This is one of the exciting elements of the I.T. industry; it’s changing constantly, rapidly and radically. It keeps you engaged, interested and learning. This is also one of the curses of the industry, no sooner is your system running with the precision of a Rolex watch or you’ve nailed that programming framework than change comes. The driver for this change is sometime just newer or better technology, but ultimately it’s driven by competition and business pressures.
We live in an increasingly competitive world and one of the advantages and differentiators a business has is the technology it uses, the efficiencies it can bring and the speed it can be delivered.
It is complex, we don’t always get the luxury to sit back and weigh up all the options. Here I’ll outline five simple guidelines to narrow down your choices and clarify your goals.
This sounds simple but you need to break down what you want to achieve into Short Term Goals (6 – 18 months) and Medium Term (18 months – 3 years) and Long Term (3 – 5 years). Anything in excess of this is really aspirational, since Moore’s law seems to hold for all aspects of our industry it is very difficult to reliably foresee the technology trends 5 years or more out.
We are all constrained by budgets, resources and management. Sometimes we have the budget and the resources but management buy in is not there. Other times we have the budget but not enough resources. Therefore it can be good to start on something small and be successful, to enable you to move on to bigger challenges. Ultimately you want to under promise and over perform.
It is a fact that we all like to think we can take on everything and please everybody. This is patently not possible. Every change coming down the tracks is not always practical. There may be many good reasons why this change should be implemented, but equally why it shouldn’t.
Change is challenging, rewarding and fun. It is a chance to increase your knowledge to make a contribution to you and your organisation. So don’t be overwhelmed, take a deep breath and start investing in yourself. Remember, keeping your skills current, keeps you current.
If humans didn’t embrace change, if we didn’t strive to learn and improve our world we probably would still be roaming across the Serengeti. Change brings opportunity, embrace it.
Over the next few months we are going to see some big developments, with new Operating Systems and updates coming from all the main vendors. Windows 8 is one very exciting update, bringing with it the potential of many new hardware form factors, the ability to integrate with technology like the Kinect sensor and seamlessly share content with all these devices through the cloud on Windows Azure. This all makes for a wonderful time of change and great opportunity.
David Reichental, Senior Software Engineer with Avida