Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • Stacked

    Chris "Blue" Henley - IT Pro Evanglelist My friend and coworker Chris Henley has recorded a really useful screencast all about how the TCP/IP stack in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 have significantly improved… and how you can benefit from it.

    Here is his blog post.  Or you can view his video here:

  • I’m a PC!

    I love it!

    My opinion, of course.. but I think the big campaign Microsoft is putting out now is just wonderful.  Over a billion people around the world are proud to call themselves “a PC” by using, connecting with, and appreciating Windows.  And I’m one of ‘em.

    Check this out: today has put dozens of little background video squares on the home page.  If you click on any one of them, you see that video snippet in the player on the main page.  Very clever!  Play with it.  It’s fun.  Steve Ballmer is there as well.

    For the main campaign page, click HERE.

    Video: Pride

     So what about you?  Are you a PC?

  • Scary Smart

    Klein Bottles - Yes, its inside really is its outside, which is its inside..  Wrap your head around THAT! Clifford Stoll wrote a book 20+ years ago called “The Cuckoo’s Egg”, which was his novel about how he helped track Soviet-backed computer hackers to their source.  I bought the book after seeing him interviewed.  Watching this man literally JUMP from idea to idea, rocking and moving as if his brain were going so much faster than his mouth or his entire body could keep up with; even that alone was inspiring.  And I credit that book as one of the reasons I switched my main focus from Music to Computer Science.  (Don’t worry – the world didn’t lose another Stravinski because of it.)

    This morning I stumbled upon a more recent video of a lecture Clifford gave at a TED Conference back in 2006.  If you are in need of a little motivation or inspiration, and have 18 minutes to spare, you should view this video.

    I was glad to see that this amazingly smart mind is still inspiring people.

  • Let’s Get Virtual. Free events to help you “Get Virtual NOW”.

    getVIRTUALnow event page

    Yes, it seems like we’re always launching something at Microsoft.  You’d think our MSFT stock share price would reflect that.  <grin>  And currently we have a series of free events all around Virtualization (Hyper-V, App-V, SCVMM, Oh my!)

    From October 10 through November 17, 2008, in the United States, there are eleven different events:

    Date City Venue
    October 10, 2008 Anaheim , CA Hyatt Regency Orange County
    October 13, 2008 Santa Clara , CA Hyatt Regency Santa Clara
    October 15, 2008 San Francisco , CA San Francisco Marriott
    October 21, 2008 Minneapolis , MN Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
    October 24, 2008 Dallas , TX Dallas Sheraton
    October 27, 2008 Chicago , IL InterContinental Chicago
    October 31, 2008 Boston , MA Boston Sheraton
    November 3, 2008 New York , NY Sheraton Hotel & Towers
    November 10, 2008 Washington , DC Omni Shoreham Hotel
    November 13, 2008 Philadelphia , PA Sheraton Center City
    November 17, 2008 Atlanta , GA Marriott Atlanta Marquis

    Check out the event site for more details.  See you there!image


    “Will you be there, Kevin?”

    Well.. maybe.  I’m not going to be in my hometown during the Minneapolis event (I’ll be presenting our TechNet Event in Indianapolis that day), but I may make it to some of the others.  Nothing planned yet.

    “Hey!  The event I want to go to is full!”

    Yeah, some of them are.  Get on the waiting list.  It’s worth a shot!

  • Breaking News: Want Hyper-V for free?

    Hyper-V Server-based Building Microsoft announced that we’re making yet another product available for free.  Microsoft Hyper-V Server, which originally was said to be roughly $28, is now going to be a free download.

    “Free is good.. but what is it?”

    I’m glad you asked.  As you may know (and if you don’t, you should go HERE and find out), Hyper-V is our new virtualization platform that comes with Windows Server 2008.  Extremely efficient, high-performing micro-kernalized hyper-visor-based virtualization. 

    Microsoft Hyper-V Server  is just the virtualization part.  That’s it.  No operating system. 

    “Really?  No OS?”

    No.. not really.  It’s a VERY SMALL operating system, of course.  But its main purpose is to host “guest partitions” – that is to say, virtual machines.

    “Oh.. you mean like running a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008, and running Hyper-V on it?”

    Actually, NO.  You’d think that, because Server Core is a minimized, optimized installation of Windows Server 2008.  But remember: Server Core can be a domain controller.  It can be a web server.  It can be both.. plus play several other “roles”.  Microsoft Hyper-V Server cannot.  It’s just virtualization.  That’s it.  (You’ll notice that it’s not even called “Windows Hyper-V Server”.. there are no windows.)

    If you’d like, you can check out the virtualization announcements that were delivered yesterday:

  • Breaking News: Essential Business Server 2008 is RTM!

    RTM = Released to Manufacturing

    Essential Business Server 2008

    It’s a big week!  Not only is Microsoft releasing an update to the Zune software today, but yesterday (September 15, 2008) the newest offering of Server products – this time specifically for mid-sized businesses – is released:  Essential Business Server 2008

    Windows Essential Business Server 2008 is an enterprise-class server solution designed and priced for midsize businesses.  Windows Essential Business Server 2008 provides a unified Administration Console to manage an integrated IT infrastructure with the latest versions of management, messaging, and security server technologies.  By helping to improve IT manageability and reliability, Windows Essential Business Server 2008 turns a midsize IT infrastructure into a strategic asset, boosting productivity and growth. Grow your business with Windows Essential Business Server 2008.”

    “Blah blah blah.. But what is it really, Kevin?”

    Well.. Microsoft has always had good products; Operating Systems and Applications, both for Servers and for PCs.  And this was great for big businesses.  But small businesses often didn’t need or have the resources (money or IT staff) to work with them.  So Microsoft got smart and created Small Business Server, which is basically a bundle of software, all on one server, easily administered (non-IT folks can do it), and affordable.  So now small businesses of 75 or fewer PCs or people were quite happy; as happy as the big businesses.

    But… there’s been a portion of businesses who were not served by either.  These are mid-sized businesses.  They have 50-300 PCs.. and ONE OR TWO over-worked, stressed out IT people (been there, done that).  This person would love to have the benefits of bundled software in a configuration that makes sense for the size of his/her business.  “Just give my business all the best Microsoft Software, but bundle it on three or four servers in a way that makes sense.”

    And give me a price break!”

    Absolutely.  Windows Essential Business Server 2008 is like Small Business Server 2008, but bigger.  Instead of 1-2 servers, it’s 3-4.  Instead of limiting you to 75 users or desktops and under, we’ll let you grow to 300.  Instead of costing the sum total of all the software you get, we’ll give you a good deal.  A VERY good deal.

    The official launch date for the Essential Server Solutions (both SBS 2008 and EBS 2008) is November 12.

    Check out the RTM announcement on the EBS Team Blog.

  • A Personal Photosynth Example

    Joe "Almost Eagle" Remde Just a few minutes ago I sent the following e-mail to the members of the Boy Scout Troop that my two boys belong to.  My eldest just completed the work-portion of his Eagle Scout project last weekend…

    The photographers, or even the more “geeky” among you will appreciate this…

    Today I took a set of photos of the final result of Joe Remde’s Eagle project.  (Thanks again to all of you who came and helped!)  I uploaded the photos into a new photo-navigation invention that Microsoft Live Labs recently made available called “Photosynth”.  In a nutshell, the software on this site is able to take multiple photos, and based on the common content it discovers in them, it is able to create a composite 3-D world that you can zoom in, out, and through, in order to see the location from all angles.

    Photosynth of Joe's Landscaping Job Here’s the link to the “synth” of the completed Hamel Fire Station landscaping:

    It works best with a good Internet connection and a mouse with a wheel that can help you zoom back and forth with – but clicking on the arrows on the screen works well, too.

    Those of you more interested in Photosynth specifically can find out more here:

    There are some great examples of famous photographed landmarks that you can zoom around and view photos of, too.

    Kevin Remde
    Proud parent of Joe “Almost Eagle” Remde

    UPDATE: check it out - I can embed the Photosynth right in the blog post:


  • New Network Monitor Version Available

    If you’re into troubleshooting network traffic, and are a real “packet-head”, then this news is for you..

    On Monday the team that creates and updates the NETMON (Network Monitor) tool announced that the new version 3.2 is now available.

    Check out this blog announcement for the details on what’s new and improved.  And you can download it from HERE.

    “But Kevin.. What’s your favorite new feature?”

    Well.. as I said, a good list of features is found at that blog announcement.  But of those, I think the ability to track traffic coming from a specific process is very nice.  Also being able to easily track just the traffic that is a part of a specific conversation is pretty cool.

  • One Way Microsoft Helps With Hurricane Relief

    When asked, my friend and coworker (and the guy who hired me to Microsoft) John Weston jumped at the chance to help out. 

    One of the things our MSAM (Microsoft Across America) team manages are these big “Mobile Event Experience” trucks that are outfitted with all of the latest/greatest Microsoft technologies.  But another nice thing these trucks have is A) mobility, and B) internet access. 

    You may recall that after hurricane Katrina, we sent two of those trucks into the disaster relief area to assist the Red Cross in helping people get online to let loved ones know that they were okay, or to go online adn sign up for relief assistance.  And when hurricane Gustav hit earlier this year, we again sent a truck down.  But we needed someone to go down and help out.  John answered the call immediately.

    Recently, at a team meeting, John gave an overview of his experience to all of us.  I ran his video camera, so that we could also share this presentation to the world.

    I’m proud to know you, John! 

    Here’s the video:

    And here’s a link to John’s blog post about this.

  • Vote for me!

    This is just way too clever.  No guarantees on how long this will be up and running, because I can’t imagine that it’s NOT spreading like wildfire right now.. but it’s worth a look.

    Vote for me!

    I appreciate your vote!  (Tattoo is optional)

  • Groove-y Screencast

    Yung Chou is a friend and coworker of mine.  The other day he made a new screencast available around the deployment of Microsoft Office Groove 2007. 

    Check it out!

  • Want to learn PowerShell? How about in a “Second Life”?

    What?  You don't like your first life?

    “Second Life?  Isn’t that that online social web networking alter-ego persona thingy?”

    Yep, that’s the one.  Second Life is “virtual worlds, avatars, 3D chat, online meetings”.  Many people use it just for socializing, but it’s also become a pretty interesting way to hold big meetings.  Some of you may recall that we actually held a virtual Heroes Happen { here } Launch Event on Second Life.

    Now, for those of you interested in learning PowerShell, we’re going to be holding a 3-part series on PowerShell on Microsoft’s own Island in Second Life.

    The group meetings take place at this address in Second Life:

    And when it’s time for the meeting, we use Office Live Meeting.  Here is the address for group meetings on the island: