Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • Savings. TechNet Subscriptions. What could be better?

    IMPORTANT UPDATE: This promotion and promotion code have expired.
    Please CLICK HERE for the most current promotion.

    Whenever I present a live TechNet Event, I ask my audience to raise their hands if they are a TechNet subscriber.  Usually about 1/3 of the audience raises their hand.  Considering that this is typically a Microsoft-friendly audience, I'm a little shocked that there aren't more hands going up.  The TechNet Subscription is such a great resource for IT Pros, for these reasons:

    • Downloadable (or delivered, if you subscribe to the disks-delivered-to-you-monthly subscription), full-version software licensed for evaluation purposes; which includes Microsoft operating systems, servers, and Office System software; all the software that IT Pros care about.  Yes, these are for evaluation, testing, and training only; but they don't time-out.  You can install these into a training lab, test lab, or use Virtual PC, Virtual Server, Hyper-V, or even your own downloaded evaluation copy of the latest beta or CTP or Release Candidate software!  Use it to build a virtually networked playground, and play with (er.. “evaluate”, if your boss is watching) all the latest and greatest tools and technologies.
    • You get early access to beta versions and release candidates of new Microsoft products.
    • A Technical Information Library containing the articles, security updates, service packs, utilities and more - all in one convenient location.
    • Access to Online Concierge Chat service for live help from a Microsoft Online Assistant - to help you get the most out of your subscription.
    • Yearly subscription to TechNet Magazine (I love this magazine!)
    • Two (2) technical support incidents and a 20% discount on additional phone support incidents you purchase. (HINT: the savings here alone justifies the subscription cost)
    • Twelve free eLearning courses per year to keep your skills up to date.  Just for TechNet Subscribers.  (Good idea to watch the TechNet Plus Blog for details)
    • Unlimited Managed Newsgroup Support. Post your technical questions in over 100 public newsgroups and receive a response from an expert by next business day.  It's like another free avenue into direct technical support from Microsoft!

    For all of those reasons (Heck, for any ONE of those reasons), a TechNet Plus subscription is worth the yearly investment.

    "Cool, Kevin.  But how do I save $$$s?"

    For new subscriptions, from now until June 2009, you can save 15% on any version of a TechNet Plus subscription.

    UPDATE: The discount offer has expired.  I do hope you were able to take advantage of it. 

    Watch my blog for any new offers that may be coming.

    UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: There is an even bigger discount from now 'til December 2009!  Click HERE for details!

    “Why new subscriptions only?  Why not a discount renewals?”

    Renewals are already automatically discounted.  Besides.. we’re honestly trying to promote TechNet Subscriptions to those who haven’t yet benefited from it.  We’re pretty confident that if you try it, you’ll see enough value in it to renew your subscription.

    Write down or copy this promotion code to your clipboard: TMSAM08 (That's zero-eight.  Not the letter O.  Think of 2008.)

    Then GOTO the TechNet Subscription Center (CLICK HERE), and use the code to get your savings.

  • John Baker: Have you blogged today?

    John Baker's BritBlog My friend and coworker John Baker is all excited.  He’s had a blog for a couple years now, but has recently acquired a new-found enthusiasm for blogging.  He even updated his style sheets to make his blog more pretty. 

    Check it out.  Encourage him.  He needs it. 

    “What about your blog, Kevin?  You’ve had the same drab black-on-white style on your blog for too long.”

    Yeah, I think it’s about time I updated my blog style.  Stay tuned…

  • Breaking News: The Vista Challenge (aka the “Mojave Experiment”)

    Do you REALLY know the facts about Windows Vista, or is it just something you heard?I learned about this a couple weeks ago – and now it’s live.  And in my opinion, it’s super cool, and WAY OVERDUE.

    I personally LOVE THIS.  But what do you think? 

  • Kevin's TechEd Video Diaries - Part 5 of 5 - June 13, 2008

    Dear Video Diary,

    Here it is.. the last day of TechEd 2008 US IT Pro.  This morning I got together with some teammates and had a little video/screencasting/editing/publishing discussion.  (Thanks Keith!)  Then I took one of my coworkers to the airport.  I did get back in time to attend one more session.  It was an Instructor-Lead Lab about customizing WinPE.  Very informative!

    Today's video is pretty short.  Basically it's a before-and-after look at the exhibit hall. 

    Here it is...


    Well.. I hope that those of you who attended TechEd had as much fun as I did.  From the video interviews and podcasts and sessions and parties, I had a blast.  I hope you've enjoyed my video diary.

    See you next year!

  • Mongo-Cool Screencast on Slipstreaming IE 8 into a Windows Vista SP1 Image

    MongoHester My teammate Matt “Mongo” Hester just posted a pretty cool demo screencast on the process of adding bits (in this case, the currently-in-beta next version of Internet Explorer) into an offline image of Windows Vista.   Yes.. “offline” because it’s an installation of Vista that exists in a .wim file.  So we’re applying IE 8 as “just another update” into the image.  (And although Matt is using the original Vista SP1 media, this could also just as easily have been applied to a sysprepped and ImageX captured image of a Vista SP1 system.)

    His excellent screencast and additional resources can be found HERE.

  • Geeky Techno Dream

    Okay.. I tweeted this.. So I better elaborate here in my blog.

    Currently I am in Seattle attending an internal Microsoft technology training event called “TechReady” (this is “TechReady 7”, for those of you counting).  I think all the cool tech I saw demonstrated yesterday has entered my dreams.  I woke up early this morning because of a really amazing dream.  I dreamt about a photo technology that surprised me at how cool it was.  Now.. I know that Microsoft is working on something similar ("Photosynth" - - though I didn't see anything about it yesterday), but what was fun about my dream was that I kind of stumbled upon this new feature in the digital camera I was using in my dream.

    In the dream I was taking photos of the house I grew up in. (Don’t over-analyze that bit.  I’m sure it means something, but I really don’t care what it is.)  I walked around it and took pictures from various angles.  Then when I was done, I looked at the screen on the camera to review a photo.. and I found that as I was zooming in and out, and moving left to right and back again, that the objects such as bushes or trees started moving relative to my viewing position.  So.. I'm zooming in, then around and seeing other views that weren't part of the original photo I thought I was looking at.  Right before my eyes, it became a 3-D, interactive picture with the photos I had taken actually becoming the "skin" on 3-D rendered objects.. so you could navigate through and around the picture.  My camera had decided to compile the photos I had taken, find the similar portions, and compose this 3-D rendering for me.  Automatically.

    And in my dream, when I realized what I was seeing and experiencing, I laughed.  I have a certain laugh that is a result of seeing some new, exciting technology for the first time.  It happened to me a couple years ago when I saw that Photosynth technology for the first time.  I laughed that same laugh yesterday when I saw other new and exciting products coming out from Microsoft.

    What was funny also to me in the dream was that I was experiencing an unexpected, unanticipated new feature of something that I already owned.  My camera just did this rendering for me automatically.  Have you ever had that experience where a software update to some device adds new functionality to it? - even functions that you never expected but were waaay cool once you learned about them (or stumbled upon them)?   I have.  Does anyone else here remember last year when Microsoft not only put out new the Zune devices, but also automatically upgraded the firmware for the original Zunes to match much of the new software’s functionality?  And what about XBOX updates?  I've also experienced it on phones; in the rare instance where my phone hardware that originally came with one version of Windows Mobile was also a candidate for upgrade to the next version. 

    Here’s the deal: It's the realization of the power of a supportive hardware platform driven by SOFTWARE that can be extended with new features and functionality.  So why should I (or any of us) be surprised if this kind of upgrade-ability becomes a reality on other devices that I/we use?

    An aside: This is one of the reasons why I’m so glad I work for a company that can actually make a lot of this coolness happen for people.  


    UPDATE: I messed up the link to Photosynth in the original post.  It’s fixed now.   Thanks for the note, Jean-Guillaume!

  • Tweet! Tweet!


    Interesting idea… have blog posts also show up in my Twitter feed. 

    So this post is my first test of

  • Kevin's TechEd Video Diaries - Bonus Reel

    Dear Video Diary,

    Yeah.. I know I said that the last one was the LAST one.. but I decided to take my entire 16 minutes of wandering around the Exhibit Hall and speed it up to fit in just over 3.5 minutes.  Maybe I'm alone in this (let me know), but I think it's fun to watch it all go by quickly.. get a glimpse of all the vendors and people there.  And if you were also at TechEd, maybe you'll see yourself!

    Here's the video:


    "Hey Kevin.. what was that music?"

    That was Carl Remde (yes.. he's a relation.  He's my baby brother.)  As mentioned in an early blog post - he has an album called Explanation Point.  The track in the video is called "At the Club"