Ramblings from another nerd on the grid
See http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/nissan-gt-r-nismo-revealed for the new Nissans. Save your pennies.
See http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/t-series/t440s/ for the details and specs. I ordered the base model with an upgraded CPU. I will add more memory and storage later. Looking forward to seeing the new IPS screen. Did Lenovo finally get a clue? We’ll see. I should have it around Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble.
Hold on to your butts. http://cars.mclaren.com/p1.html
Tis the season to spend money and if you are considering a notebook or slate, you should consider the popular Lenovo Yoga. Lenovo just released the Yoga 2 Pro with the latest generation Intel Haswell processors. This form factor device works in a variety of configurations from standard notebook mode, to a slate or tent mode. Very nice.
See the features, technical specs, and ordering links at http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/yoga/yoga-2-pro/.
With my eyes, I have really come to enjoy a great display on my desk, notebook, phone, or slate form factor device. I am anxious for my Surface 2 delivery today to see the new screen on it. Apple has also improved the iPad Mini and announced a Retina version today during their coming out party.
See http://www.apple.com/ipad-mini/ for specs, features, pricing and availability.
Looks like a nice slate. More Info at http://www.apple.com/ipad-air/.
Nokia took the wraps off some new devices today on the other side of the world. See the press release for details on their new slate form factor computer and smartphones. I don’t normally dig huge screen smartphones, but the list of features in the Lumia 1520 is rather impressive. 6” IPS 1080p display, 20 megapixel camera, Snapdragon Quad Core 800 processor and much much more. Dig it!
More information on this lovely phone at http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/lumia1520.
Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8.1 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 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. 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 the bits @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39296
This download package contains Word and PDF versions of the technical documentation for Windows Azure Pack. The following guides are available:
Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40792
Check out the 411 on Windows 8.1 at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/features.
There was a pretty significant uproar this week over Maria Kang’s photo. She’s a thirty something mom of three and is obviously in great shape. Judge for yourself but read her story first, before you decide if the pic was appropriate or not. Click her “What’s Your Excuse” tab, where there is a long question and answer section.
Inspiration has many sources. I’ve said that before. I don’t get particularly inspired when I see people quite a bit younger looking fantastic. I am inspired when I see people my age looking fantastic. They are everywhere. In fact, there are a few people in the Southlake 24 Hour Fitness club I go to, that put me to shame. Men and Women.
Here’s a pic of mine. This picture was taken this morning. They are Dockers shorts and I have a full three inches of extra fabric. What might surprise you is that I didn’t buy them two years ago. I bought them in June 2013 while shopping with Stefanie. Yes, three months ago. Three inches in three months.
Here are some stats:
Weight = 178 pounds
Bicep = 14.5”
Thigh = 19.5”
Calf = 16”
Chest = 44.5”
Waist = 35
I take measurements either weekly or when I think it makes sense. Although some of my measurements have been fairly consistent, a conversion has taken place. For instance, my thigh was 21” on July 7th, 2013. On that day, there was quite a bit of fat. Today, very little. Really none. The same is true for my chest, arms, calves, etc.
The sole exception is the little jelly roll around my waist. If I ever get truly focused, it will disappear. It is really my next objective and it is going to take an all out war from now to Christmas. Better diet, more sleep, more water, and more focused training.
Oh, I almost forgot about the weight delta. At the heaviest point in my life I was approximately 250 pounds. On July 7, 2013 when I really started taking measurements, I was 195 pounds. I knocked off nearly ten pounds before I got to Navarre Beach Florida in August and have slowly chipped away from that ever since. I am actually NOT trying to lose weight at this point. I am totally into conversion and trying to GAIN a little weight. I am lifting free weights again and it will be a natural by-product if I do things correctly. So yea, I am down from 250 pounds to 178.
Do yourself a favor, take a walk under the moon tonight with your honey, dog, or by yourself. Twenty minutes, please. Cut your beer consumption this weekend in half. Have one fewer margaritas. Get the fish taco instead of the chicken flauta with cheese. You can do it. I have faith in you.
I am proud to be part of the team providing information on the innovation Microsoft is delivering to support our Cloud OS vision. Today some of the best products in the industry are “generally available” meaning you can download them and start testing them against your unique technical requirements. Here’s a recap of the blog posts we have written and posted on the Server and Tools Blog Network today:
We have a ton of technical information coming over the next weeks and months. Deeply technical “How-To” posts and videos to help you build technical muscle and competencies on the products.
In the meantime, be sure and explore the TechNet Evaluation Center to grab some bits. Windows Server 2012 R2 is at the core, so head on over to the TechNet Windows Server 2012 R2 hub for information and videos on the server roles and technologies.
Interesting article at http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2154995,00.html. We aren’t perfect, but we’re trying.
It is the holiday season. Cool weather, leather jackets, the sound of the leaves shaking to old man winter. Then there is the fall parade of cameras, gadgets and computers vying for your hard earned dollars. Today the parade begins. Windows 8.1 is officially available and our OEM partners are taking the wraps off a slew of devices.
Samsung has one of the best laptop designs on the planet and the machine they released today is no exception. The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G-K04US is a crowd pleaser. Next generation Intel i7 4500U dual core CPU with integrated 4400 GPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, a mind blowing 13.3” 3200x1800 resolution screen, backlit keyboard, and much more. I had the pleasure of owning the previous generation machine and you literally could not tell it was in my backpack. Look at the technical specifications carefully.
If you need a state-of-the-art light weight computer, this should be on your list of candidates. It isn’t cheap so look for a deal. Let me know if you have any questions. I have owned both the 13.3” and 15” versions of the previous generation.
The Office for Mac 2011 training downloads include Portable Document Format (.pdf) and PowerPoint (.pptx) versions of all Office 2011 tutorials and videos. I pulled down the Outlook zip file and took a look at a couple of the videos. These are tastefully done and informative. Short and sweet.
Go get them @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=19790.
For you visual creatures, we have some new posters that will help you understand some of the new Windows Server 2012 R2 components, the architecture under the covers, and some key Hyper-V mini posters. Highly recommended for your reference library.
Go get them @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40732.
Black Carbon fiber. Only $3,000,000.00 USD. I got this.
For those of you that have followed my adventures, you know I’ve been tracking activities and sleep with the various sports bands on the market. I am currently wearing the Jawbone UP which does the best job of the previous generation. I like that it is accurate for running, walking and sleep tracking. It is less accurate for inline skating, bicycling, motocross, mountain biking and a number of other activities I am involved in.
The next gen devices are starting to hit the market so I decided to give the NIKE+ FUELBAND SE a look. I pre-ordered it last night and it should be here the first week in November. I’ll put it through it’s paces and with any luck it will survive surfing in Maui this Christmas.
See http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/nikeplus-fuelband for more information.
Anyone headed to Oklahoma Saturday night? I haven’t seen tres hombres in a while. Could be fun…
We are pushing the boundaries of our data platform with breakthrough performance, cloud capabilities and the pace of delivery to our customers. Last year at PASS Summit, we announced our In-Memory OLTP project “Hekaton” and since then released SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse and public previews of Windows Azure HDInsight and Power BI for Office 365. Today we have SQL Server 2014 CTP2, our public and production-ready release shipping a mere 18 months after SQL Server 2012. MORE
This Microsoft Test Lab Guide (TLG) provides you with step-by-step instructions to create the Windows Server 2012 R2 Network Virtualization with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) test lab, using computers running Windows Server 2012 R2. This test lab is based on four physical computers, each hosting multiple virtual machines. Updated September 2013 to include forwarding gateway and NAT functionality.
This is core learning. Read, build and learn at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39284.
Microsoft Monitoring Agent monitors computer infrastructure and application health. It collects diagnostic data, such as performance metrics, event logs, and traces. Microsoft Monitoring Agent can be used as a standalone tool or together with System Center Operations Manager. When monitoring .NET applications, you can direct the agent to save application traces in an IntelliTrace log format that can be opened in Visual Studio Ultimate. When connected to System Center Operations Manager, the agent calculates the health state of the monitored computers and objects, and then reports back to the management server. The management servers centrally distribute the configuration to agents and store data received from the monitored computers.
More information and the download @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40316.
NIC teaming, also known as Load Balancing/Failover (LBFO), allows multiple network adapters to be placed into a team for the purposes of bandwidth aggregation, and/or traffic failover to maintain connectivity in the event of a network component failure. This guide describes how to deploy and manage NIC Teaming with Windows Server 2012 R2.
Get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40319
Get the 411 @ http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/pre-order
I posted this to my facebook page, but I thought it was appropriate to share here. Rewind to the week before 9/11. I was in New York and New Jersey the week before calling on customers and talking with them about the Microsoft Trusted Solutions Platform (TSP). What happened after will forever be etched in my soul. The actual images are too horrific to repost. If you must see, click the image below but they are painful.
“Keith Combs The place I sat was joyous. Sitting, sipping a glass of wine, eating Italian goodies, watching and listening to some great music on an elevated stage. Vivid. Etched in my mind... It's now a memorial. Customers and friends gone. I cry.”
As noted in my earlier post about the availability dates for the 2012 R2 wave, we are counting the days until our partners and customers can start using these products. Today I am proud to announce a big milestone: Windows Server 2012 R2 has been released to manufacturing! MORE
I have a birthday coming up in case someone needs an idea.
This guide is the third edition of the first volume in a series about Windows Azure. It demonstrates how you can adapt an existing on-premises ASP.NET application to one that operates in the cloud by introducing a fictitious company named Adatum that modifies its expense tracking and reimbursement system, aExpense, so that it can be deployed to Windows Azure. To illustrate the wide range of options and features in Windows Azure, this guide and the code examples available for it show a step-by-step migration process that includes using Windows Azure Web Sites, Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, and SQL Database. Together with useful information on developing, deploying, managing, and costing cloud-hosted applications, this guide provides you with a comprehensive resource for moving your applications to Window Azure.
Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29252.
It occurs to me that “The Security Realm – A Microsoft Map of the Known World” picture at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39706 is quite possibly the largest pic I’ve downloaded. The detail is impressive and fun. The picture original size is a massive 13500 x 10800 and the filesize is a whooping 81 MB. Pretty kewl.
The August 2013 update of the Windows Azure Training Kit includes updated versions of Introduction to Access Control Service 2.0 to the latest portal experience and MVC 4; Getting Started Windows Azure Storage with two extra exercises that go deeper on each storage abstraction security; and 4 new labs showing brand new portal functionalities. Content Updates:
Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8396.
I wonder how long it will be before I see one in my neighborhood. Details at http://www.autoblog.com/2013/07/31/lamborghini-gallardo-lp-570-4-squadra-corse-revealed/.
The Microsoft Cloud OS solution provides a modern datacenter with enterprise class virtualization, greater resource utilization, end-to-end service management and deep insight into applications so organizations can focus on delivering business value. Together with Windows Azure or a Microsoft Service Provider, you can also create advanced hybrid cloud deployment scenarios where seasonal spikes in demand can be easily managed through the public cloud.
Our web-based tool provides a quick comparison of the TCO and benefits of deploying a Microsoft hybrid cloud vs. a VMware private cloud solution for your new workloads; or migrating your existing VMware workloads. Check it out!
The Microsoft Test Lab Guide (TLG) provides you with step-by-step instructions to create the Windows Base Configuration test lab, using computers running Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, With the resulting test lab environment, you can build test labs based on other Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview-based TLGs from Microsoft, TLG extensions in the TechNet Wiki, or a test lab of your own design that can include Microsoft or non-Microsoft products.
For a test lab based on physical computers, you can image the drives for future test labs. For a test lab based on virtual machines, you can create snapshots of the base configuration virtual machines. This enables you to easily return to the base configuration test lab, where most of the routine infrastructure and networking services have already been configured, so that you can focus on building a test lab for the product, technology, or solution of interest.
Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39638.
This reporting workbook provides you with a detailed view into the email protection data that is available in the Office 365 Reporting dashboard. This workbook is available to all Exchange Online and Exchange Online Protection customers. The workbook provides summary graphs for a number of different types of email message filtering. This includes messages identified as spam, malware, or good mail (mail that cleanly passed all filtering). It also shows graphs for messages that were identified by either a transport rule or DLP policy (Exchange Online customers only).
The data for the summary graphs is pulled locally via a web service call. After loading the summary data into the workbook, you can perform deeper analysis through the use of data slicers. These allow you to change the view of the data in order to identify trends or unusual activity. When such a condition is found, you can click through from the summary to the detail data. Another web service call will be made to pull the detail data that you can use to identify the actual messages that caused the condition seen in the summary graph.
Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30716. I really need to try this with my accounts.
This download includes Group Policy Administrative Template files and Office Customization Tool files for use with Office 2010 applications. It also includes an \Admin folder with an Office Customization Tool, and ADMX, ADML, and ADM versions of Office 2010 system Administrative Template files.
For administrative template files, you may use the ADM files for any Windows operating system, or the combination of ADMX and language-specific ADML files on computers running at least Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.
This download version contains updates to support Office 2010 SP2. For the latest information about policy settings, please refer to the updated Microsoft Excel 2010 workbook, Office2010GroupPolicyAndOCTSettings_Reference.xls, which is available in the Files to download section of this download page. The updated workbook, Office2010GroupPolicyAndOCTSettings_Reference.xls, contains settings changes that were made after the download package was built.
Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=18968.
Life can be an interesting ride. You never really know what path to take but you really aren’t living unless you jump in. Hopefully you won’t crash head first into a rock just below the surface. On a few occasions I have blogged about my desire to get in better shape, exercise more, eat right, etc. Talk is cheap, but I am here to report some results.
I have dropped nearly 60 pounds. Yea, for real. A couple of years ago I looked in the mirror and really didn’t like what I saw. It was embarrassing. I mean seriously, 250 pounds on a 5’10” frame isn’t good. It’s a heart attack waiting to happen. So I decided to do something about it.
It started ever so gradually. The first thing was simply getting off my ass and walking again. I would take breaks in the middle of the day to walk with the wife and dog down the street. This is 15 minutes of your life. 30 minutes would be better but just that small amount of exercise in the middle of the day helped dramatically.
Second, I started eating better. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t talking some wild diet. I simply cut cheeseburgers, nachos, chips, and various other items from my diet I knew I could live without. Instead of getting cheese enchiladas, I would get grilled fish tacos. You can still go to your favorite restaurants with family and friends, but you have to make smarter healthier choices from the menu. I also started making better choices for snacks and meals. Fruits and vegetables are very good for your body so instead of reaching for the Doritos, reach for some organic strawberries. I will admit part of this change came in the form of the cancer fight with my late wife Nacheska, but little did I know it would be a lifestyle change for me as well.
The other lifestyle change that occurred is a serious reduction of adult beverages. Alcohol is a major source of sugar and you know what your body is going to do with that. The reduction first started when I realized I need to be alert round the clock. Later I realized it (alcohol) wasn’t needed at all. Again, this started a couple of years ago but it has become a welcome habit. I can’t drink and ride my motorcycle so it’s a great way to keep me sober.
On July 4, 2013 I hosted a small party at my home. It was typical. I supplied the open bar, grilled all sorts of goodies, and provided a healthy banquet for my family. There was a key exception. At the end of the day, I had not had a single beer or drink. That takes a lot of will power but it is a refreshing change. And no one noticed until I posted it on Facebook. I still love a custom crafted margarita at Casa De Combs, but I just pick the time and place more carefully now.
I started working out again. I am not a gym rat, but I do enjoy the cardio benefits of the elliptical step machines at 24 Hour Fitness. I walked in the door in mid-May, and have been going regularly ever since. I hit the gym 3-4 times per week and prefer to do more if time permits. I also started a training program called Focus T25 produced by Shawn T of the Insanity fame. This program is more advanced than I am at the moment, but I am working into it carefully.
I went from being 250 pounds to a current weight of 188. I would like to get to 180 if possible. My original milestone was the end of this month for that mark, but I don’t think I am going to hit it. It’s an exceedingly difficult mark because as I lose weight, I am now gaining muscle mass.
The end benefits are great. I sleep better. I am more productive. I am doing more activities outdoors. My image has certainly changed and it is really fun to see the reaction of friends and family. It just motivates me to continue on this little adventure. I am also using a fitness band around my wrist. Call it a portable cattle prod.
Each and everyone one of you can do the same thing. It really isn’t hard but set LONG term goals. Like TWO YEARS down the road. Start small and work your way each and every day towards that goal. You can do it.
I am doing things now I haven’t done in a long time. Life is fun again. If you want to follow my adventures more, shoot me a Friend request on Facebook.
And On Blogging
You might be wondering about my blog work. I am still blogging but you may not know it. I am the Editor and Managing Program Manager for the Server and Tools Blog Network. I oversee curating content on that network and promote articles I think you should see.
I also sit on the Server and Tools Marketing team responsible for all of the social media outreach. I have written on the order of fifty blogs posts since before TechEd North America and we have a lot of fun plans for FY14 which started a couple of weeks ago. In short, I am deeply involved in the content Microsoft produces for IT Professionals.
As always, feel free to let me know personally how we are doing. I welcome your feedback, good and bad. We can’t improve unless I know what you want.
More fun to come!
I still remember the magic of touching my first fibre HBA. Releasing the server form the shackles of SCSI chaining and throughput issues. It seems like a long time ago, but improvement continues to march on and one of our teams just released a nice article called the “Hyper-V Virtual Fibre Channel Design Guide” written by Microsoft Consulting Services Senior Consultant, Jason Dinwiddie. Be sure to check it out. Definitely worth the short read. See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831531.aspx for other articles on Hyper-V.
As we set out to further invest in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, we wanted to build upon the great primary server experience that exists today with Windows Server 2012 Essentials, while at the same time providing a new level of flexibility in terms of how your server can be deployed. The Windows Server Essentials team is excited to announce the availability of the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview, and the Windows Server Essentials Experience server role for the Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and Datacenter editions! MORE
Welcome to TechEd Europe 2013 being held in Madrid, Spain June 25-28, 2013. We have a lot of information to share this week on Microsoft products and services that comprise our Cloud OS vision. In addition to the great session content, we also have announcements as well as partner and customer information we think you will find valuable. It’s going to be a busy week with a lot of great information.
See http://blogs.technet.com/b/server-cloud/archive/2013/06/25/teched-europe-2013-launches-with-cloud-os-product-previews-partner-announcements-and-customer-case-studies.aspx for the 411 on the announcements, downloads and on-demand viewing.
Remember the old saying the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys? I guess I know what camp I am in. Dig the car but I’m going to need to win PowerBall to afford one. See the press release for more information.