James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

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  • Blog Post: Active Directory User Group, first meeting with John Craddock and Sally Storey

    We now have a UK AD user group ( ADUG ) And they have their first meeting set for October 23rd at Microsoft’s offices in London, from 6 till 9 in the evening. They’ve managed to secure John and Sally – probably the best established AD double-act in Europe (their tech-ed sessions are always among the...
  • Blog Post: How to: have nicer Active Directory management from PowerShell – without upgrading AD

    One of the first books I read on PowerShell  had a comment about using AD from the PowerShell V1 which amounted to “It’s too hard, don’t bother use VB Script instead”. I’d taken against the book in question (no names no pack drill) – in fact it reminded me of something Dorothy Parker is supposed...
  • Blog Post: On Time-zones...

    Spring is here, Spring is here ... I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring, yes I do, don't you ? course you do. Actually when I look at the weather it's doesn't look like spring. But unlike Tom Lehrer , the one thing that makes spring complete for me is the changing of the clocks. All of...
  • Blog Post: Virtualization - never knowing where your next core comes from ?

    Returning from TechReady4 I've noticed some trends in how we are going to think about datacenters over the next few years. Moore's law just keeps on going (to everyone's surprise including Gordon Moore*). When I was a student in the mid 1980's I had to learn the Transputer programming language "Occam...
  • Blog Post: Product life cycles (and Virtual Server 2005)

    It's always nice when someone says James O'Neill, IT Pro Evangelist at Microsoft, reveals that Virtual Server 2005 support will end in 2014 - except that then people come and demand to know why you're revealing product plans. So, lets start with a basic question . "Where do I go to find out when support...
  • Blog Post: Bootable USB keys

    Since I raised the subject I've had a mail from a couple of people on the subject of making a bootable key. I described the steps making a USB key bootable using the Vista / Windows PE version of Diskpart. Here are the commands select disk 1 {or the number of your USB key, be careful !} clean {Like I...
  • Blog Post: PowerShell and Telnet.

    I've got a backlog of posts at the moment. Steve and I have been getting ready for the Road-show, and Windows deployment services, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Virtual Server Clustering, iScsi, dual booting Windows Server 2003 & 2008, and Windows Server Virtualization mean I could be hunch...
  • Blog Post: Sun to become Windows Server OEM.

    That's a title I never expected to type. Check calendar. No it's not April 1st. I got a mail annoucing this, but it's not yet on it's now on Presspass , but and it's on Sun's home page right now with a link to " Get the news and replay audio cast " Considering some of the things we've said about them...
  • Blog Post: Customizing the Windows 7 logon screen: no additional tools required

    A few of people have noticed that I’m running Windows 7 with a customized logon screen, and a couple of them asked me if I used “logon studio” which (as I understand it) rummages round inside some of the image resources buried in DLL files. In Windows 7 we have provided a registry key for OEMS to turn...
  • Blog Post: The VHD testdrive programme: get your Exchange 2007 here !

    Here's an innovation. Ever since we acquired Connectix and their Virtual PC product, we've relied on sharing Virtual Machines - or more exactly Virtual Hard Disk files (VHDs) for looking at new products especially server ones. Now we're making VHDs available for download. The official link is www.microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Retirement Planning (for service packs)

    Yesterday I wrote about end-of-life planning for OSes and so it makes sense to talk about the end of a service pack, as retirement – it is after all the word that is used on the product lifecycle pages . Of course we don’t mean retirement in go and live by the seaside sense… Special police squads...
  • Blog Post: Lies,Damn lies and licence interpretations.

    From time to time people ask me who I write for, and I always say I write for myself in the hope that there are enough people out there like me to make a reasonable size audience. It always surprises me how many people inside Microsoft read this blog, not to mention the number of competitors who come...
  • Blog Post: Ooops. I gave out some duff information about limiting logons

    As Eileen has already said our team spent last week at the BETT show . My first "proper" IT job after leaving university was working for RM who are the biggest supplier of IT to education and I did a couple of BETT shows when I worked for them; it's the main UK IT-in-education show and it's huge - 30...
  • Blog Post: How I get the server I want: #1 Disabling the shutdown event tracker

    I think that the shutdown event tracker came in in Server 2003, and I'm sure that in some data centres it is a very useful tool for logging why servers were manually shut down. On a demo system, it tends to be a nuisance. Hyper-v, for example, disables Sleep and hibernate so if you have it on a laptop...
  • Blog Post: Virtualization on tour, SCVMM Released and a peek at WSV

    I remember the first time I saw the comedian Eddie Izzard perform live, he walked onto the stage in Oxford, and looked around the audience. There wasn't a single empty seat. He said "I've sold out! People always say 'Stay true to yourself and never sell out' but I say NO!!! " Somehow I managed not to...
  • Blog Post: Windows 2003 Datacenter with unlimited virtualization rights

    I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were making Windows 2003 Datacenter server available outside of the high availability programme. It is now on the price list Volume license customers. If you have a volume license agreement, you buy Datacenter as a free standing product. It comes with the rights to...
  • Blog Post: High Performance Computing: broad reach.

    I almost missed the release Compute Cluster Server (CCS) happened at the start of June; I wasn't expecting much to happen on the server side. I'll confess that missed the point of CCS. I've seen the list on Top500.org topped by an IBM system with 128K processors and a speed rating of 280 Terraflops....
  • Blog Post: How to activate Windows from a script (even remotely).

    I have been working on some PowerShell recently to handle the initial setup of a new machine, and I wanted to add the activation. If you do this from a command line it usually using the Software Licence manager script ( slMgr.vbs ) but this is just a wrapper around a couple of WMI objects which are documented...
  • Blog Post: A good day to be a fake doctor ...

    I mentioned we had something big planned for the CES show in Vegas, and that something is Windows Home Server. There was a nice teaser site, The Center for Digital Amnesia Awareness which now has the information on it. On 10 has a video which explains it ; their summary As a small, headless box that...
  • Blog Post: "Perfidious Microsoft"

    I don't know whether to be angry or frustrated, and whether the target should be journalists who make mountains out of molehills, or the people in Redmond who give them the molehill to start with. Here's the story. The Windows update software changes sometimes. If Windows update keeps itself in a working...
  • Blog Post: Search: A quick round-up

    I've been meaning to have a play with Search Server since Viral demo'd it on the last roadshow. We have a downloadable VHD for it with a very good walk-through, I can say that honestly because I've just spent a couple of hours walking through it. Of course since I'm doing all my virtualization on Server...
  • Blog Post: UK Windows server user group

    The title says it all ready. Mark Wilson has created a group on Linked in to help get the ball rolling again - he explains why this was needed and what to do on his blog . Please take a look.
  • Blog Post: Optimization - or how long will some jobs last.

    Hugh's Cartoons seem get straight to the heart of the matter. Service functions like Accounting, IT, Personnel, PR and Purchasing don't deliver product and they don't influence customers to buy it. They are there to help the others to do get on with their jobs. How do you assess whether they're delivering...
  • Blog Post: Announcing the Virtual server Res-Kit and a great tool.

    The tool is VMRCplus - an alternate UI as opposed to the Virtual Server web interface. VMRCplus uses the documented Virtual Server COM interface and is a great example of what can be accomplished with it. In due course VMRCplus will soon be available via Virtual Server 2005 R2 Resource Kit by Robert...
  • Blog Post: Vista's network throughput improvements

    There is a rule for presenters: every time you put an equation on the board/screen you lose about half the audience. I think that can also apply to presenting on the ins and outs of a network stack. We've got clever with the stack in Vista, and Server 2008, and some of the improvements have been ported...