Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • What's the deal with cancelled flights?

    Bozo Airline Supervisor Bozos…

    I have never been one to go for conspiracy theories.  I don’t think that there’s some central organization that is setting gasoline prices at artificially high levels, or running the world’s economy because they are under the direction of aliens who want to maintain the appearance of all of us being able to determine our own fates.  However, recent events are causing me to suspect that certain industries may in fact LIE to their customers in order to save a few $’s.

    Here’s my story.  Monday, two days ago, found me traveling to Peoria, IL from Minneapolis.  I have one stop in Chicago.  I’m traveling on [Airline Name Deleted] Airlines.   

    Anyway, the flight from Minneapolis to Chicago was just fine.  No concerns.  So now I’m waiting my flight to Peoria.  “Hmm… I don’t see a plane out there.”… not usually a good sign.  But soon an announcement of my plane’s delayed arrival from somewhere else leads me to believe that there is hope.

    However… many minutes later, after the plane has emptied, there is announcement that they are “working on a mechanical issue” and that they “would let [us] know in 30 minutes what the status is.”  Uh oh…

    30 minutes pass.  True to her word, here’s the announcement. “We’re sorry, but the flight has been cancelled.  The rest of our flights to Peoria are pretty full today.  Come to the desk and we’ll give you some options.”

    The options were: Risk standby on [Truly Aggravating] Airlines or some other airline, take a bus voucher for a 3–3/4 hour ride, or let them put me in a hotel for the evening and take a flight tomorrow.

    Hmm… well, the flight tomorrow wasn’t an option.  Tomorrow is why I’m going to Peoria.  My briefing attendees won’t sit there waiting for me to arrive on the morning flight.  And it was being said that the standby option probably wasn’t going to work because those flights had been sold full, too.  So I guess that will be one bus voucher for me.  Thanks.

    “Oh, and sir… the next bus leaves in 10 minutes.. so I don’t think you’ll make it, but you can try.  Go and collect your bag at carousel ten.”

    Cool.  Go get my bag.  I walk briskly to carousel 10 (which is a LONG walk.  Any walk in O’Hare is a long walk.)  C’mon bag!  

    So I waited.  And watched.  And counted the minutes.  And watched the 3:00pm bus departure time come and go… but still no bag.  Frustrated, as you can imagine, I went to the luggage claim desk.  The “friendly” woman there informed me that my bag is on it’s way to Peoria on one of the later, “full” flights, so I should get it from the Peoria airport when I get there.

    Splendid.  So my bag is getting better treatment than I am, apparently.  It better, though.  It’s got several hundred dollars worth of Microsoft Software inside it.

    Anyway… I go to the bus terminal.  Yes indeed, I missed the 3:00 bus by 10 minutes.  And I found out that the next one departs at 7:00pm!  <sigh>  well… I got nothing but time (and a heavy laptop bag), so I head back to the terminal figuring, “I’ve got the bus ticket.  There’s no harm in going to the [Stupid] Airlines ticket counter and asking if there were please-oh-please some other option.”

    One the way to the ticket agent, I decided that I might just double-check the baggage-claim-carousel-from-hell to see if my bag might have suddenly appeared.  Guess what?!  A miracle!  My bag was there, going ‘round in circles!  Lesson learned: Never trust what [*@!*$#!] Airlines employees tell you – especially when their stories don’t match.

    Somewhat relieved that I had at least claimed my week’s belongings, I head to the ticket counter and explain my exasperation.  (I was really polite.  Seriously.  More polite than they deserved, which is ALWAYS a good thing.)  Unfortunately my exasperation or even my most polite smile couldn’t coax all the clickety-clacking on her circa 1976 keyboard to find me a flight to Peoria this evening, on any airline.  I said, “Well.. then can you get me a one-way rental car?” 

    “Nope.  We don’t do rental cars.” 

    [smiling, mostly] “Can I have a second opinion?”

    “I’ll get the supervisor.”

    “Great.  You to that.”

    Several minutes pass… and finally an obviously overworked supervisor du jour comes over.  “How can I be of assistance?”

    <gasp>  “Okaaaaay…. What do you recommend I do that won’t mean I have to sit around here for four hours and then another three-and-a-half hours on a bus?” 

    “I can give you this $5 voucher for a snack.”

    <bigger gasp>  “Um… (still smiling politely, but feel like I’m talking through gritted teeth..) Unless you know of a cab driver who will accept a $5 snack voucher in exchange for a trip to Peoria, this is not going to help much.”

    “I’m sorry sir.  That’s all I can do.  Well… actually, I can also give you this $10 voucher for dinner.  But that’s really all I can do.”

    “ummm… <sigh>  I guess I’m traveling by bus then.  Thank you.”  (See?  I am way too polite.  Thinking about it later, I’m kicking myself that I thanked them for so little.)

    So off I go, big bag and heavy laptop bag and all, back over to the bus terminal.  On the way I use my “$5” to buy $4.85 worth of coffee and bottled water at a Starbuck’s kiosk. (“Can’t give you change, Mr. Customer Sir.  Not for a voucher.”)  And then at the bus terminal I use my $10 to buy about $8.50 worth of Uno’s pizza and a Snapple. (“Can’t give you change, mack.  Not for a voucher.”) 

    Well…to cut to the end of this Monday saga; I catch the bus.  And because I’m going to the Peoria airport on a voucher, I have to be the very last stop.  (“Gotta do the regular route first, buddy.  You’ve only got a voucher.”)  Rental car folks kept their word, though… they were there waiting for me to arrive, even after their closing time.  Big points for Avis.  They do “try harder” when it means some nice lady waits around an extra half hour late in the evening just for little ol’ me.  Very nice!

    Is that the end of my story? NO!  Tuesday night I leave our event (Had a great time!  Thanks again, Peoria!) and head to the airport.  Check the bag.  Head to the gate.  Board says it’s still on time.  Cool.  Head to the wash room.  And just as I’m washing my hands, I hear the announcement.  “Flight #xyz from arriving from Chicago has been cancelled.  Because of this, flight #abc, the flight that Kevin A. Remde is on, has been cancelled.”

    I’m sure many people in the terminal heard the echoed “NOOOoooooooo!” emanating from the Men’s room. 

    Unbelievable.  So… back to the ticket counter, where they put me on a later flight on yet-another-but-obviously-more-reliable airline.  Fortunately, and thankfully, I actually SEE them hand my bag from one company to the other… and this new flight to Chicago goes just wonderfully – made better by the fact that one of my coworkers was also on the flight, so we each had someone to talk to.

    So where does this leave me?  I’m sitting here writing this, on Wednesday afternoon, at O’Hare gate G7 (oooh.. that may have given away the Airline. <heh>), having had two days prior of cancelled flights.  I’m waiting for a plane to arrive at the gate that will take me to Madison, Wisconsin.  It’s not here yet.  Hmmm… 

    And as you can imagine, I’m wondering… will it happen again?  Is it true that “bad things come in 3’s”, or will it be “the third time’s the charm”?  And did [really frustrating] Airlines make money on Monday when they cancelled my flight, because it only cost them $45 for a $30 bus ticket and $15 (really $13.35)

    So I’m also wondering: Maybe they lied. <gasp!> Conspiracy!  Could it be?!  Maybe “mechanical problems” sometimes is just code for “in this case we think we can save some big bucks by making you all make other arrangements and we’re willing to risk pissing you off because we know right now you have no other options so just shut up and take this voucher [forced smile]”.

    There is something I’m not wondering, however.  In fact, I’m absolutely certain… Unless I get some satisfaction from them in the form of at LEAST a letter of apology, I will NOT be traveling on [Poopy-Pants] Airlines ever again if I can help it.

  • TechEd Video Blog Extra

    Just a quick trip I took…

     

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • TechEd Video Blog - HOL Fixup

    Finally, another video blog entry…

    Hands-on-Lab AreaOn Monday, June 6th, Chris Henley and I were working in the Server Infrastructure area of the Hands-on-Labs.  We volunteered to fix a lab that was broken (HOL163), so I thought I’d document our efforts on video. 

    Here is the result.

  • Travelin' Man - This Week's FREE TechNet Briefings

    NewTechNet
    This week is another travelin’ TechNet Briefings week for me.  I’ll have the pleasure of presenting live events in Illinois and Wisconsin:

    June 21 – Peoria, IL

    Peoria Civic Center
    201 SW Jefferson Street    
    Peoria, ILLINOIS    61602 
    Phone: 303-673-8900

     

    June 23 – Madison, WI

    Sheraton Madison Hotel
    706 John Nolan Drive    
    Madison, WISCONSIN    53713 
    Phone: 608-251-2300

     

    Click on the date above if you are interested in registering. 

     

    Not sure if you should?  Well.. here’s what we’re covering this time around…

     

    Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Is Evolving
    With the recent release of Windows Server 2003 SP1, now is the best time to see the benefits of these significant updates.  Are you prepared for the changes this upgrade will have on your network system?  This is a great opportunity to see how SP1 may change your entire network infrastructure for the better.  Join our experts at this technical briefing.

     

    Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is coming
    It has been 5 years since a major Microsoft SQL Server release. In a technology timeline, that could be considered a lifetime!  Attending this session is your first step in preparing for a change that could give you a technical knowledge advantage over all the other IT Professionals working with corporate data.  Get prepared for the change coming soon.

     

    Click the links above to register, or visit the TechNet Briefings site (www.technetbriefings.com) for session topics and links to registration and additional resources.

     

    Tell your friends!  Invite your user groups!  And please introduce yourself and tell me you saw this on the blog.

     

    Kevin

     

     

  • 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.
    http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=73329

    Nineguy

    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?

  • Resources for Security Risk Management Webcast

    The resources for the Security Risk Management webcast I delivered on June 13, 2005 can be viewed as an article HERE, or downloaded as an MS Word document THERE.

    I hope you will put them to use, and find them useful!

  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is now available

    Outstanding!  The long wait is over!

    WSUS – the Windows Server Update Services – is now available.  This is the new version and replacement for SUS.

    Here’s the WSUS homepage, including links to where you can download it, and additional resources and documentation.

    If you’re just interested in the product overview, you can download it from here.

     

  • 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”

  • A great TechEd Scavenger Hunt! Get Mobilized!

    Mobilizer

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

    Click HERE for details, or HERE (http://www.mobilizergame.com/) to sign up now.  Spots are going fast!

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

  • The Sith Sense

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

  • 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?

  • Remde TechEd Diaries - Saturday - Goin' Home!

    TechEd 2005:  Learn.  Solve.  Grow.

    Yep.  We learned.  We solved.  And we growed.

    Here I am on the plane ride home.  And judging from all the TechEd bags, VB.NET magazines being read, and funny ‘No, I will not fix your computer’ t-shirts, this is a plane that’s chock-full o’ geeks.  And most of these geeks are only on their first leg home.  Not me, though… one of the benefits of living in the airline’s hub city.  One hop, and yer home.

    I wonder if the rest of the TechEd attendees had as much trouble closing their suitcases as I did.  I tried to keep the swag collection to a minimum this year, and thought I had “packed” sufficient “space”, but it’s always the same story.

    I could sleep now, because I’m pretty tired; But I have a webcast to deliver on Monday and many family activities this weekend that I’d much rather be doing while I’m home.  And I can work, only because I was bumped to first class.  Yeah baby.  It does have it’s priviledges.  Like being able to open your laptop enough to see the screen.  Mostly. 

    I’m seated here in seat 4B, drinking black coffee (Yep.. in first class you get FREE REFILLS!) and I’m preparing notes for the webcast on “Security Risk Management”.  As I returned to my seat from a recent stop at the lavatory (In the first class lav, you can use as many paper towels as you want!) I noticed Steve Riley snoozing in 2C.  Too bad I wasn’t sitting next to him, or I could be asking his input.  Of course, I don’t doubt that he already had input into this official Microsoft Security content I’m using.  …but little does he know that I’m also going to be stealing.. er… borrowing some of the funny-yet-effective pictures he used in his TechEd Simulcast webcast earlier this week. 

    And was that Jesper Johansson (sp?) snoozing next to him, with his head on Steve’s shoulder?  Naw…  but that sure is a funny thought. 

    Hey.. just now I even took two of those little bags of pretzels, and our flight attendant didn’t say a word about it!  In coach you’d get your hand slapped.. but I guess in first class you get by with mearly a disapproving glare.  Ah… the life of Riley.  (Yes… Steve too).

    So, what’s next for Kevin?

    After the family weekend and the webcast, I’m getting on a plane yet again – this time to Anchorage, Alaska.  Yep.  I’m filling in for Michael J. Murphy, who isn’t able to make it.  And I had “backup duty” this week.  So, if you’re in the Anchorage area, I’ll see you this coming Wednesday!  And Thursday and Friday I expect to do some sightseeing.  It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a glacier up-close-and-personal.  So, if you’re a wild woodland creature in the area, I’ll see you this coming Thursday or Friday!

    What’s this?  Yet another bag of 5 pretzel twists?!  Oh no, I couldn’t possibly. 

    Okay… you twisted my arm.

     

  • TechNet Events Bloggers site is LIVE!

    Calling all IT Pros!  You’re IT!

    Time to join in the conversation! 

    Technet2b

    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!

  • 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.   

  • 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!

  • TechEd Video 1

    TechEd2005s

    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 - 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!

     

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

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

    Hands-On-Labs

    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 - 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! 

  • Remde TechEd Diaries - Thursday

    Influencer Appreciation Party

    Thursday.  We’re slowly reaching the end.

    Last night’s “Influencer Appreciation Party” was fun… but it might have been more fun if they’d kept the Karoake idea going.  My opinion: More people were going to enjoy that than the dance mix.  And besides… I’m Kevin! 

    Karoake... NOT!

    Yes.. that is ME!  I was next up to sing, and then the DJ was told to give the singing a break and just play some dance music… so my name and selection were left up there for an hour-and-a-half while I waited.  Eventually he changed that screen… but it was rather disappointing watching very FEW people dance, and also knowing that there were a long line of willing (albeit questionably able) singers available for some good fun.

    Oh well.

    Today is more lab work.  Hopefully they have put back up that HOL163 (SRV10) so I can get it working properly.  Also, I want to do some of the SQL labs.  I hear they are excellent.

    ‘later!

  • Remde TechEd Diaries - Friday

    Universal Studios Universal Studios Woodpeckers

    Friday!  Last day! 

    It’s with mixed emotions that we reach this day.  We’ve been learning a lot, partying hard, meeting people, and genuinely enjoying ourselves.  That’s the upside.  The downside, of course, is that we’re away from our families for a long time.  That.. to put it bluntly.. sucks.  So it’s good to be going home soon.

    But we did have fun last night, didn’t we?  Yeah!  Universal Studios!

    That was fun.  I went from attraction to attraction with coworker Shawn Travers and boss John Weston.  We got to see most of the good ones.  The food was good, too.  Didn’t get much time to see the live music or sample the libations (just as well), but really enjoyed the whole evening.  Outstanding, as always.

    Afterwards John Baker and I met up with our one-time webcast producer and now webcast coordinator Keith Mazzuco for a couple of Coronas.  Unfortunately, the really fun place we had been to twice before during the week turns out to be pretty boring on a Thursday.

    So now I’m back in my room.  It’s time to go to bed.  Tomorrow I’ll attend one of the SQL sessions, and then it’s back to working in the Hands-on-Labs and another shift on the Microsoft Across America “Mobile Experience”.   Then, since I’m not flying home ‘til Saturday, I think I’ll find something fun to do.  Maybe Pleasure Island.  I love live music.

  • One-Stop for All Updates?

    “Okay… Windows Updates does my OS, and then I have to go to the Office page to scan for Office updates… and then I have to go to the Exchange page to find updates for my Exchange Server… and…”

    Yeah… It’s a pain.  But your crys have been heard.  Finally, the long-awaited Microsoft Update is live! 

    “Now available: Microsoft Update consolidates updates provided by Windows Update and Office Update into one location and enables you to choose automatic delivery and installation of high-priority updates.”

    Also, here’s a great starting point for other security tools.