Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

February, 2012

  • 750 Horses - Pure Ferrari F12 Berlinetta


  • Windows Server “8” Beta Evaluation Guide - now available

    imageAs you probably already noticed, we opened up several new areas on for Windows Server 8.  Be sure to spend some time in the evaluation resources area.  There is a lot of good information there. 

    On the Overview tab you’ll see a couple of document links. If you are an IT Professional, you’ll likely want to download the Windows Server “8” Beta Evaluation Guide.  Tons of great information in it. The product guides rock. Enjoy!

  • Windows 8 Server Beta - now available for download

    Windows Server is the leading server operating system that powers many of the worlds' largest datacenters, enables small businesses around the world, and delivers value to organizations of all sizes in between. Building on this legacy, Windows Server "8" delivers hundreds of new features and enhancements for transforming virtualization and cloud computing to help you reduce IT costs and deliver more business value. Within Windows Server "8" you will find exciting innovations in areas of virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, and a transition to Windows PowerShell® to take scripting to a whole new level.

    Be sure to checkout the “What’s New in Windows Server 8” documentation at  Ready for the bits? Go get them @

  • Windows 8 Consumer Preview - now available for download


    First of all, see the Windows 8 Consumer Preview blog post on the official Windows 8 product group blog.  The Windows team blog also has a great introduction to the Preview.  After you’ve had a chance to read through some of that information, go get the bits @  Enjoy.

  • Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 8 CP

    Windows8_logoRemote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 Consumer Preview includes Server Manager, Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins, consoles, Windows PowerShell cmdlets and providers, and command-line tools for managing roles and features that run on Windows Server "8" Beta. In limited cases, the tools can be used to manage roles and features that are running on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008. Some of the tools work for managing roles and features on Windows Server 2003.

    Go get them @

  • Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Business

    Windows8_logoThe Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Business provides a detailed look at the many new and improved features in Windows 8. The guide is designed as an accurate source of information that can help businesses understand how Windows 8 enables users to be ready and productive practically anywhere, allows for a personalized user experience, and provides IT with more secure, easy-to-manage intelligent infrastructure.

    Go get it @

  • Smoked By Windows Phone - wallpapers, videos, oh my


    If you were paying attention to CES, you might have noticed our own Ben Rudolph challenging all comers to a series of tasks on their phone.  The contest was affectionately called #smokedbywindowsphone.  He’s at it again and today Ben released a number of materials including the cool desktop wallpaper above, videos and ads. 

    I don’t see the task list in the materials but you can probably get a very good idea from the videos on what tasks are being used in the competition, and how the various people and their phones faired. 

    Get the wallpaper for your computer or phone at the Windows Phone facebook page.  The direct post is at!/windowsphone?sk=app_395205560497029.

    There is of course a blog post on the Windows Phone team blog.  And lets not forget to tweet shall we?  Grin.  You can follow @BenThePCGuy or go directly to his tweet on the subject and re-tweet it.

    The wallpaper is a must have. :-)

  • Microsoft on the Issues “Google: Please Don’t Kill Video on the Web”

    Here’s an excerpt from a blog post on the Microsoft on the Issues blog I thought would be prudent to bring to your attention.

    Posted by Dave Heiner
    Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Standards & Antitrust Group, Microsoft

    Earlier today, Microsoft filed a formal competition law complaint with the European Commission (EC) against Motorola Mobility and Google. We have taken this step because Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products. Their offense? These products enable people to view videos on the Web and to connect wirelessly to the Internet using industry standards.

    See the entire blog post at the Microsoft on the Issues blog post.

  • NOKIA Lumia 800 Bundle - now available at


    Oh come on, you know you want it. Go buy it

  • Dell Preps XPS 13 Ultrabook for February Debut

    XPS13CoverIf you thought Dell was going to site idling as everyone else announces an Ultrabook™, think again.  Way back in January Dell announced the XPS 13 but it’s now getting closer to the date they committed to having them available. 

    The folks at the Direct2Dell blog provided more information last Friday on the slim new specimen and from the looks of things this might just be the homerun Dell needs. 

    There’s a lot to like about the machine.  If they nailed the touchpad, then they’d be one of the first OEMs other than Apple to do so.  I’m looking forward to reading some reviews.

  • Windows 8 Logo Announced

    See the history of our logos and information about the new logo at the Windows Team Blog entry.  I wish it was a little darker so it matched my blog theme better.  Oh well.  What do you think? 

  • Isaac Newton - manuscripts digitized and now available online

    imageThere is a pretty fascinating site now available for your viewing and studies.  Want to look back into the late 1600’s?  Now you can. Here’s an excerpt from the description of the collection:

    “There are at least three reasons why these papers are important, even though they do not always speak directly to the canonical Newton. First, the manuscripts help illuminate Newton’s science. Newton’s piety served as one of his inspirations to study nature and what we today call science. But Newton’s theological papers also tell us much about his inductive methods and his views on the unity of God’s Creation.

    Second, the manuscripts illuminate the person of Newton. The figure once viewed almost uniformly as an icon of cold rationality, now appears as an alchemist, a biblical scholar and a religious devotee who pored over the symbols of the Books of Daniel and Revelation for decades in an attempt to decode the meaning of the future foreordained by God. Newton can now be studied as an alchemist and a theologian in his own right.

    Third, the unpublished papers illuminate Newton’s age. Newton’s collection of transcribed and originally-composed alchemical manuscripts was perhaps the largest in Europe in his lifetime and would merit study on this basis alone. And a corpus of three million words on theology, church history, Jewish ritual and prophetic exegesis from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries would be significant, even if their author were not the one many credit with founding modern science.”

    See the entire description of the collection at Head on over the site entrance at

  • The Ultimate Driving Machine? 2013 BMW M6 Coupe


    Screw the recession.

  • Welcome to TechNet Metro

    In case you haven’t noticed, metro design is the hot new thing.  Over the past twenty four hours we’ve been in release mode for and as you can see, the changes are striking.  Be sure to checkout the layout, MegaBlade navigation, and other features.  Let me know what you think.  Enjoy.


  • Cloud Fundamentals Video Series: Comparing Security Controls

    My friends at the Trustworthy Computing group have been producing a number of videos with industry experts in various Cloud topics. 

    Tim Rains interviews Kellie Ann Chainier in this installment on the subject of Security Controls.  Click the pic above to head over to the video on the Showcase video servers. Here’s an excerpt from Tim I stole from the series:

    “The industry is working on ways to make it easier to compare the security practices used to manage cloud services. One example of this is the Cloud Security Alliance Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR). In this installment of the Trustworthy Computing Cloud Fundamentals Video Series, I discuss the potential benefits of STAR and how Microsoft is leveraging it to provide visibility into the security controls that our customers are looking for, and to help our customers compare the security of some of our cloud services with other vendors’ cloud services. I’m joined by Kellie Ann Chainier, a Cloud Business Manager from Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector team.”

    See the full blog post at  You’ll also notice at the bottom of this post there are links to some of the other videos and blogs posts that are part of the series.  Enjoy.

  • Attachments Suck


    Check out the flow chart at This is a cute SkyDrive campaign. Very creative. Is this you?  Let’s send a 1GB attachment and see what happens. Evil grin.

  • Windows for the ARM processor architecture

    The Windows product development team has posted some information about Windows 8 and execution on the Arm® processor.  Here’s the first paragraph from that post:

    One of the notable aspects of Microsoft Windows has been the flexibility the architecture has shown through shifts in technology and expansion of customer usage over time. What started out as an operating system for one person working solo with productivity software is now the foundation of a wide array of hardware and software technologies, a spectrum of connected Windows products, and an incredibly flexible approach to computing. With Windows 8, we have reimagined Windows from the chipset to the experience—and bringing this reimagined Windows to the ARM® processor architecture is a significant part of this innovation. Expanding the view of the PC to cover a much wider range of form factors and designs than some think of today is an important part of these efforts. Windows on ARM enables creativity in PC design that, in combination with newly architected features of the Windows OS, will bring to customers new, no-compromise PCs.

    See the full post at

  • SQL Server 2012 Special Ops Tour coming to a city near you!


    The time to activate is now. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is launching soon. Be a part of this highly anticipated event! Join us for our 12-city road tour where Microsoft experts and local DBAs will show you the power of SQL Server 2012. At the Tour stop in your city, you will:

    • Dive deep into the tools, solutions and options that will enable mission critical confidence at a low TCO
    • Discover breakthrough insight with pervasive data discovery
    • Learn options to create & scale your current business solutions by managing the cloud on your terms
    • Preview RC0 with tips and tricks to help you succeed, & build your learning plan for certification

    Secure your credentials. Block your calendars. This one you won’t want to miss.

    Register for an event near you now. It's free!

  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit - download available

    The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an agentless, automated, multi-product planning and assessment tool for quicker and easier desktop and server migrations. MAP provides detailed readiness assessment reports and executive proposals with extensive hardware and software information, and actionable recommendations to help organizations accelerate their IT infrastructure planning process, and gather more detail on assets that reside within their current environment.

    MAP also provides private and public cloud planning assessments, and server utilization data for Hyper-V server virtualization planning; identifying server placements, and performing virtualization candidate assessments, including ROI analysis for server consolidation with Hyper-V. Other significant new features in MAP 6.5 include the discovery of active Windows devices, Software Usage Tracking for Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP), and the discovery of Oracle instances on Itanium-based servers with HP-UX to assist in the planning of migration to SQL Server. Learn more.

    MAP is one of the tools provided by the Microsoft Solution Accelerators team. The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, and Security Compliance Manager provide tested guidance and automated tools to help organizations plan, securely deploy, and manage new Microsoft technologies—easier, faster, and at less cost. All are freely available, and fully-supported by Microsoft. Learn more.

    For home users and users with a few computers to migrate, use the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to understand the readiness of your computer for Windows 7.

    The MAP Toolkit includes the following components:

    • Microsoft_Assessment_and_Planning_Toolkit_Setup.exe. Installation package containing the tool, release notes, Getting Started Guide and toolkit help (chm file).
    • readme_en.htm. Available as a separate download. Provides information to read before installing the MAP Toolkit, including installation prerequisites and known issues.
    • Getting_Started_Guide.en.doc. Provides information about toolkit installation, environment preparation, and assessment scenarios supported by toolkit wizards and the UI.
    • Available as a separate download. Contains sample databases and training materials.
    • Available as a separate download. Contains sample reports and proposals.

    Go get it @

  • System Center 2012 RC Virtual Machine Manager documentation - download available

    I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the location for the RC documentation for the VMM 2012.  In this case we’ve updated the cmdlet reference guide so if you are working with and learning about PowerShell, you’ll probably want to grab the update.



    Go get it @

  • Communicator for Mac 2011 13.1.3 Update

    This update fixes critical issues in Communicator 2011, including issues that might cause Communicator to stop responding or quit unexpectedly. For more information about this update, please visit the Microsoft Web site. Applies to: Office 2011, Communicator 2011, Office for Mac Standard 2011 Edition.

    Go get it @