Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • Remde TechEd Diaries - Wednesday

    Hernando Beach Sunset

    Wednesday!  Is this thing really half-over already?

    Why am I showing you a picture of sunset in the town of Hernando Beach?  Well… last night we drove out to my teammate Blain Barton’s house for a lovely barbecue dinner.  The home, dinner, and company were just fantastic.  (Thanks again, Blaino!)  However… the drive out there and back were 2 hours each direction… so I and many of our team finally ended up getting back to our hotels at 2:30am this morning. 

    Today started late, naturally. <heh>  I helped backup a webcast that didn’t really need backup (Steve Riley’s Security webcast… there was nothing to question, apparently, so very little for us Q&A helpers to do.)  And then it was back to the Hands-on-Labs for 5 hours of proctoring. 

    Now I’m back in my hotel room and getting ready to head over to the “Influencer Appreciation Party”.  I got my blue wristband on, so I’m all set!

    See you there! 

  • How do those Hands-On-Labs actually work?

    And how many computers are actually there in that big room?


    For your answer, check this out:  Robert Scobel recorded a Channel 9 interview with Corey Hynes; the guy responsible for putting it all together this year.

  • Remde TechEd Diaries - Tuesday

    TechEd Hands-On-Labs

    Happy TechEd Tuesday!  <yawn>

    Man… I’m getting too old to stay up too late and get up too early… but here I am.  I have another 5 hours of Hands-on-Lab proctoring to do today.  (Come see me in the Server Infrastructure area and say ‘hi’!)  Maybe this afternoon I’ll be able to squeeze in a nap before the evening activities.

    Yesterday started early.  At 6:45 I was cursing my decision for an 6:45 wake-up call… but I spent a little too much time configuring my new and now fully charged watch.  (Geeks and their toys, y’know.)  I got down to get in line for the shuttle at 7:40am, and the folks standing there have been in line for 30 minutes already.  We wait another 15 when a shuttle finally arrives.  I’m not going to make that mistake again. I must get down there early if you want to make it to the convention center by 8:00am.

    Hands-on-Labs weren’t too busy yet.  I LOVE the setup this year.  For one thing, it’s nice to be able to see how many there are in one room, compared to the multi-room setup of last year.  Also, the circular ‘all PCs face the center’ arrangement of each area is very efficient for people requiring assistance.  Soon, however, Chris Henley and I decided to volunteer to help fix one of the labs.  HOL163 was having problems, so we decided to see if we could fix it. 

    …several hours later  we were closer, at least.  Much of our time was spent documenting the things that needed to be changed right up front so that the virtual machines would come up with the right pre-lesson configuration.  Eventually Chris had to leave to go prepare for a webcast, and I was told that they needed any new images up soon for the evening’s upload.  So I proceeded to build and save the new pre-lesson configuration… and we’ll just have to try out the lab again tomorrow.  The network there was too slow to copy the files from one machine to another.. so eventually I had to just carry a workstation into another room so they could copy the files down. 

    Following that, I took a brief tour of the Exhibit Hall, and then went to work my 1.5 hour shift on the Microsoft Across America “Mobile Experience” truck. 

    Then it was back to my hotel for a quick shower (“The Blog!” shirt under my blue Microsoft shirt was a bad idea) and quickly back to the Exhibit Hall for the hall reception.  There I was drafted to help out for awhile at the TechNet booth, asking questions and handing out prizes at our “Wheel of TechNet” game.

    Following the reception, I met up with Chris Haaker and several other bloggers and blog-readers for our Geek Dinner at Bahama Breeze.  Good food and conversation, and very nice to meet people you’ve only previously corresponded with via e-mail or blog comments.

    Then it was off to the TechEd Jam Session!  Jam Session

    Entertaining as usual!  (which means, sometimes long pauses between songs, and “Hmm… I think maybe the drummer really can’t hear the tempo that that guitar player is laying down”…) A lot of fun!

    So now this morning again at 6:00am I was again cursing myself for thinking I would prefer a 6:00am wake-up call… <yawn>  My editing of the video shot yesterday will have to wait a bit.  I probably won’t have time to post one today.   (Well.. okay… maybe later, a short one.)  See you at the labs!


  • TechEd Video 1


    As promised, here is my first video blog creation from TechEd 2005

    It’s only 4 minutes long, and about 10MB in size.

    You can also view it at The Blogcast Repository.  (With a BIG THANK YOU to them for letting me host these there.)

  • Remde TechEd Diaries - Monday

    IMG_1759 Greetings!

    Yesterday (Sunday) was the day to get bearings… to find your way around a bit.  After posting yesterday’s blog entry, I took the quick shuttle ride over to the convention center and got registered.  We get a pretty nice bag again this year, along with all the usual magazine samples, software samples, coupons for little contests and prizes at various vendor booths in the exhibit hall, etc.  All good stuff.

    During the afternoon, I and some of the team attended and helped facilitate (though mainly just attended) an “MVP Engagement” event.  Microsoft MVPs (“Most Valuable Professionals”) are folks who have been nominated and recognized as key “movers and shakers” in their field, either through NNTP newsgroup participation, or other community involvement.  They are the top “influencers” out there.  They know their stuff, and quite frankly, I don’t think Microsoft could survive if we didn’t have them as partners.  So this event was a really great opportunity for them to get to know more about the program, and to meet those of us who are also “in the field” and available to assist… And we also learned from them how we might be better able to work with them also.

    Later, after a nice reception, we walked through the big hall again.  Some of us had to buy some additional “official” staff blue MS shirts, and I also had to get a couple of goodies for the kids, too, so we stopped by the Microsoft Store.  And we also checked out the

    Dinner was at a diner in the Peabody Hotel.  Excellent Chicken Pot Pie.. and a white chocolate milkshake.  Mmmmm!  I might go back there just for that!

    Today I’ll be working in the Hands-on-Labs (Server area) from 8:00am to 1:30pm… and then I’ll probably make a pass through the Exhibit Hall.  Then this evening is the Exhibit Hall Reception, followed by our “Geek Dinner” at Bahama Breeze, and topping it all off by attending the first Jam Session. 

    See you on stage!

  • Remde TechEd Diaries - Sunday

    View from my room!

    I’m here!  Or-LAN-doooh!  Florida!  …and the weather is just like Minnesota… that is if Minnesota was hot and sticky and a gazillion degrees warmer.  So, it’s kinda like Minnesota in late July. 

    My flight was scheduled to leave Minneapolis at 6:56pm, and I even had been bumped to first-class… but rather than arriving here at 11:30pm and potentially having to find my hotel in the dark and in the rain, I decided to risk getting a standby seat on a flight that left at 1:30pm.  I got the last seat.  So the ride was cramped, but worth it. 

    I coordinated with John Baker, a friend and TechNet presenter coworker of mine, to meet up at the airport.  His flight from Atlanta arrived just a little before mine did, so he and I are sharing my car rental.  We’re also both staying at the Courtyard.

    Speaking of the hotel, I’m learning that it reeeally pays off to be a member of hotel award programs.  I’m “Silver” on Marriott (lowest of the “preferred”).  Originally, though, the hotel here didn’t have my membership number.  Easy enough to add, though.  However, the room they gave me was on the highway-side of the hotel.  Quite noisy.  Ordinarily I’m not too picky about such things, particularly as my usual hotel stays are only for a couple of nights, but I didn’t want to have to listen to highway traffic for a whole week.  A quick phone call to the front desk and a gentle reminder than, hey, I am a “preferred” guest <heh> did the trick.  And as I left for dinner, I made a point to thank the clerk again.  She was very nice.  My new room overlooks the pool.  :)  The picture above was taken only moments ago.

    John, a former Atlanta co-worker of John’s (I want to say  his name is Julio, but I don’t remember… I am terrible with names.  I’ll have to fix that someday soon.), and I then were picked up by Harold Wong, (another TechNet teammate), and we went and had dinner at the Italian Steak house there (Capriccio Grill).  Also at dinner were Jay Brummett and Michael J. Murphy (two more of my TechNet buddies), and I finally had the chance to meet Keith Mazzuco, who used to produce TechNet webcasts for us and is now a program manager on that team.

    After dinner we walked down to Pointe Orlando to check out where the clubs were that are going to be hosting the Jam Sessions as well as the Wednesday “IT Influencer Appreciation” party… and we ended the evening with drinks and live music at a fun little Mexican-themed place there.

    Today I am headed to the convention center to register and get my conference goodies, and then I’m attending an MVP Engagement event at the Peabody.  This evening is mandatory training for all Microsoft Employees and TechEd Staff.

    This diary entry is probably the longest one I’ll do… the week is going to be busy, and fun.. and I’m also going to be doing some video blogging while I’m here as well… so watch for future installments to have links to .wmv files.   

  • TechNet Events Bloggers site is LIVE!

    Calling all IT Pros!  You’re IT!

    Time to join in the conversation! 


    We have created a new site to be a new way of participating in the IT Pro Community, and to learn about TechNet Events and Webcasts of interest to YOU.

    The new site it a blogger aggregator, so if you are an IT Pro, student, MVP, MCP, MCT, MCSE, MOUSE, or just a geek at heart, you are welcome (and **encouraged) to sign up and submit the RSS feed from your own blog.

    If you want, you can either read the content at the site, or subscribe to the content feeds by category – just subscribe to what you’re interested in. 

    And this is the best… You don’t need a blog of your own to participate!  If you just want to be notified of TechNet events and webcasts happening in the near future or in your area, you can subscribe to event feeds using RSS.

    **How are we encouraging you?  A couple of ways…

    • Each month we’re going to be giving away a wireless mouse to the blogger who has the most traffic to their post.
    • If you’re at TechEd this year, and come to the Webcasts and Events booth in the exhibit hall, we’ll give you a T-Shirt just for signing in your blog right there on the spot!

    Check it out!  Add your voice!  We hope to see you there soon!

  • Wanna join us for dinner on Monday?

    Update: changed to 8:30pm

    WineGeek Dinner

    Where: Bahama Breeze
    8849 International Drive.  (Just a short walk from the Orlando Convention Center)

    When: Monday, June 6th, 2005, at 8:30 pm (roughly)  <--- NOTE the time change. 

    Several of us TechEd Techie Bloggers are going to get together for dinner after the Exhibit Hall Reception.  Then after dinner, you can join me at the Jam Session. 

    Be there, or be squ… oh.. nevermind.

  • It's like the first day of summer vacation...

    My kids will be done with school for the year very soon, and entering into that heavenly time known as “Summer Vacation”.  And it got me thinking about what that day used to mean to me growing up.  What a thrill!  Wasn’t it?  For weeks up to that day you feel the excitement building… The school hallways have all the kid’s art work taken down (so the janitors can get a head start on the cleanup), the days are hot because the school doesn’t have airconditioning (why would it? It’s Minnesota!  AC is a Summer-Only thing here.)  Finally… it’s the last day.  The last bell sounds, and you run out the doors.  And all the way home you’re feeling like, “Wow.. the possibilities are endless!  What should I do first?..”

    Do we ever get to feel that same kind of joy again?  I think so.

    Sometimes some of us are fortunate enough to feel that way about our work.  I’ve said it before here, and I’ll say it again: I love my job!  I’m an “IT Pro Evangelist”… and in the Microsoft world, an evangelist is someone who has “contageous enthusiasm” for the products and technologies they represent – in my case the stuff that IT Pros use.  I absolutely love delivering talks and webcasts that focus on stuff that people will find useful in their work-lives.  So…I do feel that joy in my work.  The possibilities are truly endless.

    Another way I feel that is when I get home from a trip and I get the big greeting as I walk into the house.  I have 4 kids, and they all still run up yelling, “Daddy!” (or just “Daaad!” if it’s my boys)… and I get big hugs and kisses.  And when I finally get the long hug and kiss from my wife that I’ve missed while I was gone… yeah.. arriving home feels like the start of another, albiet short, summer vacation.

    And while it does make me sad that I’ll be gone longer than my usual 4–5 day trip, TechEd always gets me excited about all the possibilities, too.  I’ll be meeting many people in person for the first time that I’ve only known via email, webcasts, or blogging.  And oh so many opportunities to help people learn, and answer questions.  (Come see me in the Hands On Labs – I’ll be working the Windows Server area quite a bit.)  So… the minute I walk into the Convention Center on Sunday and see all the signage and excitement… and when I walk up to the registration counter, I’m gonna feel a bit again like I’ve just started summer vacation… Oh, the possibilities!

    So… what should we do first?

  • Orlando TechEd Memories

    Deja Vu!

    We’ve been here before, haven’t we?

    Do you remember  “It’s time to build the Business Internet”?

    DCP01601 DCP01606 DCP01657

    I looked through some old photos, and found that I had indeed taken a few pictures at TechEd 2000, when it was last in Orlando. 

  • Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs) that will improve your working life

    This is big news.  Apart from doing Microsoft Employee staffing jobs at TechEd this year, I thought that for me TechEd this year was going to be SQL SQL SQL.  With SQL 2005 (formerly known as “Yukon”) coming out later this year, for me and IT Pros like me, it means learning about how to install, upgrade, support, and administer that new product. 

    But today another TLA is taking center-stage, and I’m sure there will be a lot of excitement now at TechEd about this, too: XML.  And here’s the big news: The team working on the new version of Office (Office 12, which will come out sometime next year) announced that there are new file formats for some old familiar Office docs types.. ALL XML!

    If Austin Powers were coming to TechEd, he’d say “XML baby!  YEAAAH!”

    An article on Channel9, as well as a video interview and demo, describe it all.


    Here are some of the major tidbits from the article:

    • Word, Excel, and Powerpoint will get a new file format all based on XML.
    • The extensions will change from .DOC, .XLS, .PPT to .DOCX, .XLSX, .PPTX.
    • The new file format is actually enclosed in a ZIP file. Change the extension name to .ZIP and you'll be able to double-click and get access to all the pieces of the new format.
    • The new file format will be usable on existing versions of Office.

    Groovy baby!

    Whaddya think?

  • A great TechEd Scavenger Hunt! Get Mobilized!


    Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings the Windows Mobile folks are hosting a “Mobilizer Madness” game. 

    Click HERE for details, or HERE ( to sign up now.  Spots are going fast!

    (Saw this first on my friend Glen Gordan’s blog.)

  • Wow... I wish I were arriving earlier in Orlando.

    Any big Star Wars fan would love what’s going on at Disney’s MGM park. 

    This from “Matt’s Blog”

  • What's new for SBS 2003 when I install SP1?

    I’m so glad you asked!

    Here’s a document that spells it all out.

  • The Sith Sense

    While we’re on the subject of “Viral Marketing”…