Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

December, 2012

  • What to Buy With PowerBall Winnings - The Batmobile


    I can’t believe this is actually for sale.  Wow.

  • Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2013 Registration Now Open

    The Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) brings together the brightest IT professionals from around the world to increase their technical expertise through deep hands-on training, best-practice sharing, and interaction with innovators in desktop, device, and datacenter management, as well as cloud technologies.

    When we say deep, we mean it – with session content delving into the 300 and 400 level. Only hard-core geeks will feel comfortable in this exclusive setting. With keynotes, sessions, hands-on labs, certification opportunities, and face-to-face access to Microsoft and industry experts, MMS provides a “can’t-miss” opportunity to be among the first to learn about new technologies.

    See for registration information.

  • Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services Demonstration Videos now Available

    The Remote Desktop Services team just published some great videos explaining the new Remote Desktop Services available in Windows Server 2012.  You’ll find new videos on the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, VDI wizard, RDS VDI Deployment, and more.

    See the full blog post at

    Here’s the VDI Overview video

  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) v8.0 - now ready for download

    The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) is an agentless, automated, multi-product planning and assessment tool for quicker and easier desktop, server and cloud 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 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. 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.
    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 reports and proposals.

    Go get it @

  • Creating a Windows To Go Flash drive

    Windows To Go is a new feature in Windows 8 Enterprise Edition that enables you to provision a USB drive with a complete, managed Windows 8 system image. You can insert the USB drive (known as a Windows To Go workspace) into any Windows 7 or Windows 8 host computer to boot and run a managed Windows 8 system without installing any software on the host computer.
    Go get the overview doc at
  • Anyone get a hovercraft for Christmas?

    See for more information and the cool gallery.  I’d like a red one.

  • Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Replica Take On Hurricane Sandy

    workitsafe-logoWhen the winds and waves of Hurricane Sandy bore down ferociously on New York City, at least two Microsoft SMB customers were ready. Microsoft partner WorkITsafe had just helped these customers upgrade to the Windows Server 2012 operating system with the new built-in Hyper-V Replica feature. As a result, their IT systems experienced minimal interruption as the hurricane flooded the surrounding area and required employees to hunker down at home. In this post, WorkITsafe President Steve Rubin tells how Windows Server 2012 protected his customers’ businesses—and has the potential to protect many more.

    See the rest of this story on Microsoft Vice President Cindy Bates blog.

  • Imagine Cup Winners Announced

    At the Social Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley, Microsoft announced the five winners of the second annual Imagine Cup Grant. We’re particularly excited as four of the winners developed their apps on Windows Azure.

    Grant winners all participated in the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals, a global competition that invites students to develop a technology and create a business plan while gaining a keen understanding of what they need to do to bring their concept to market. Winners will receive funding to jumpstart their projects into mainstream nonprofit and social enterprise opportunities.

    See the full blog post and details at

  • Using Push Notifications, SMS and Email in Your Mobile Application

    There are also two fantastic tutorials available in the mobile dev center.  The first provides a walkthrough of the basics of configuring your iOS app for push and sending push notifications.  The second details how to use a table to store APNS tokens that can then be used to send push notifications to an app’s users.

    Just as important as understanding how to use these push notifications, is understanding when to use a push notification versus an SMS versus an email.  The easy answer is that it depends on the app.

    See this informative blog post in it’s entirety at

  • Have you been naughty or nice?

    Merry Christmas!  Hope everyone has a great holiday!  See you next year.

  • Microsoft Cloud Scale - By The Numbers


    From time to time Microsoft VP, Frank Shaw, likes to do a blog post that has some numbers to indicate the scope of what we do at Microsoft.  We thought you might enjoy a few numbers around our Cloud services.  If the graphic above is too small, go ahead and click it and the full sized version will be fetched. Enjoy.

  • Using Windows 8 Hyper-V Overview–now available for download

    Client Hyper-V® is the virtualization technology built into Windows® 8. Client Hyper-V is the same virtualization technology previously available only in Windows Server®. A similar functionality in Windows 7 is called Windows XP Mode. Client Hyper-V enables you to run more than one 32-bit or 64-bit x86 operating system at the same time on the same host computer. But instead of working directly with the computer’s hardware, the operating systems run inside a virtual machine (VM). Hyper-V enables developers and IT professionals to easily maintain multiple test environments and provides a simple mechanism to quickly switch between these environments.

    There’s a great starter guide at