Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog
As a digital photography enthusiast, I thought this was worth sharing under the “Very Cool!” category…
From Wired Magazine: Photographer Seeks Resolution
Lead by yours-truly…
And even more importantly – my teammates will be online answering Q&A during these.
As a followup to the SMS question I answered, I thought anyone using SMS might find this download useful. Here’s the text from the overview:
I received the following email from a webcast attendee of a “Security Patch Management Tools (Part 3) - SMS with the SUS Feature Pack” webcast. (Yes.. I know the webcast description says my teammate Keith Combs is the presenter, but I took this one over for him at the last minute. )
“I watched your web cast (on demand), and you stated that if we had any questions not covered to drop you a note. We currently run sms 2003, to push out all of our updates. We have approx 2000 PC's and out of those there are 200 or so that sit on a shelf, or are not connected to the network consistently. Right now we have to go around an plug them in once a month when we send out our security patches. Is there any way through GPO or through the advertisements to enforce the policy, if you (the PC) do not have this patch, download the minute you hit log on to the network. While not causing properly patched PC's to do an excessive amount of checking to see if they have the current patch version.”
Well, I have to confess that I’m not an SMS Guru, but I forwarded the question to a coworker of mine who had an idea. He suggested that, in the case of the SMS 2003 Advanced Client, that you trust the “Persistent Notificaton” feature, which will quickly notify your user on this seldom-connected PC that there are updates available. Other already-updated machines won’t be continually pestered.
Check out this document: Software Update Management Advanced Features, which includes the following text:
The persistent notification icon is a feature that allows a user on a computer that is running the SMS Advanced Client to receive notifications and schedule software update installations independent of the software update advertisement. This allows for better compliance by allowing users to install updates at their convenience, and it reduces system load because the advertisement does not have to be scheduled as often.
If this feature is enabled by the SMS administrator for a software updates program or package, an icon appears in the notification area (also called the "system tray") whenever a user is logged on and there are pending, uninstalled software updates. When the computer is in compliance, the notification area icon does not appear.
I hope that answers your question.
If you have additional questions, or if you are someone who has a better answer, please give us some feedback.
…here’s what I really want:
Yeah.. I finally understand RSS. I’ve been having a fun couple of days finding RSS feeds to interesting news sites – and even better, blogs of my coworkers and counterparts around the world.
As I was reading through some of the Microsoft Employee blogs (again, because I’ve subscribed to them) I thought… “Hmm.. this is cool because you are notified when something is new. Kinda like being a part of an email alias. But… even more like emails generated by a rule from a sharepoint site…”
Then it hit me: I want SharePoint to do RSS! Simple. Give me a little orange “RSS” link on any / all sharepoint pages I can copy/subscribe to so that I’m notified if something new shows up! And while we’re at it – let’s just use SharePoint as a home base for our blogs, too. Why not?!
Okay. That’s my wish. You folks build it for me or let me know where I can get it if it’s already available.
Thanks to some great feedback, I see that my wish has been granted even before “I thought of it first!”… <sigh>
Here’s a great summary of solutions on Daniel McPherson’s blog:
Also a resource that Jim Duncan shared about how Collutions, Inc. does it on a public SharePoint site.
Relating to our current live TechNet Briefings event content – particularly the “Supporting and Migrating LOB Applications” part, I’ve run across another really good resource for those of you interested in the topic of using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 and the Virtual Server Migration Toolkit (VSMT).
John Howard has recorded a “Blogcast” in several parts, that walks you through how the VSMT works for taking a physical NT 4.0 server and making a Virtual Machine clone.
Part 1 (with links to all other parts) is viewable here.
I am the biggest fan of TechEd you’re gonna find. From 1994 on I only have missed two (‘96 and ‘97)… and this year I am planning on attending and hopefully speak there also.
Here’s the official blurb about it:
Tech·Ed 2005 is coming to Orlando, Florida on June 5–10. Take a look at last year’s Tech·Ed Conference Highlights page to get an idea of the scope of this comprehensive technical training event, and register early—this is the show no IT pro should miss. Register now and save $300.
Been there before? Care to share your own TechEd highlights? Hit the feedback link below.
For my part, I remember:
and so on.
(Of course.. it’s not all about parties… really… seriously… )
See you there!
Okay – here’s a completely non-technical blog entry…
My brother Carl is the bass guitarist in a Brazillian band out in San Francisco: Bat Makumba. In fact, several months ago they won a California Music Award for their first CD, “Outstanding Latin Alternative Album”.
Carl recently released a CD of his own solo work, “Explanation Point”, which was reviewed on Monday by the San Francisco Examiner.
Carl’s record company is Riggadig Records. Go there and buy his CD! Or at least check out some of the track samples…
This just in…
Or so the headline reads. Click for details.
What’s interesting about this offer is that it’s a Win/Win/Win kind of a deal. Yes.. that’s three (3) wins:
I’d like to meet the person who lined up this deal. Very good! I hope it will help get some people “off the fence” and finally purchasing Office.
PS– As always, feel free to comment by clicking on the feedback link below.
Part 2 = Let’s see if we can remove the old Exchange 5.5 Server now!
(If you haven’t read it already, Part 1 is posted here.)
So… after the mailbox move, I used the PFMigrate tool to move system folders and public folders. Since my demo environment didn’t have any public folders, this was an easy process. I did, however, want to make sure that any system folders were duplicated by using the command:
"pfmigrate.wsf /S:lon-dcexc55–01 /T:lon-dcexc-01 /A /N:ALL /F:c:\ExchLogs\pfmigrate.log /SF"
where /S and /T are the source and target, /A means “add a replica”, and /N:ALL means work on ALL of them. /F specifies where to put the resulting log file and what to call it. /SF means operate on System Files.
Once I did that, I also used PFMigrate to Delete (/D) the folder replicas from the source server (lon-dcexc55–01).
“Go ahead! Delete the old server already!”
Okay… now I stopped Exchange Services on the 5.5 server, opened the 5.5 Administrator on the new server, and deleted the old server from the org.
“Were you still connecting to the new mailbox?”
Yep. In fact, I tested sending emails not only to myself, but also to the distribution lists that had been transferred. All was good!
“What about upgrading your Exchange 2003 to “native” mode?
Not at first. But after I deleted the Site Replication Service (under Tools \ Site Replication Services), I now was able to raise the Exchange functional level to native mode. And yes, things were still working.
“What about the ADC? Can you remove the Connection Agreements and uninstall the ADC now?”
I found that after removing the Site Replication Service, the configuration CA was removed automatically. I deleted the other two, and things still worked fine on my client.
So… basically I’ve proven that if necessary, you can continue use NT User accounts even after installing an Exchange 2003 server into your organization and removing the old one.
NOTE: The question you should all be thinking after completing this is..
“What happens when you want to create a new NT user account?”
Well… I tried that, too. The User Manager asked me what Exchange Server I wanted to connect to for mailbox creation, and I told it the name of the new server – but it failed after that with a communications error. I leave it as an exercise for you (or some feedback to this posting if you know the answer) as to what would allow this to work – whether it’s leaving the ADC up and configured, keeping the Site Replication Service in place and leaving your Exchange running in Mixed mode.
Fun stuff! Hope that helps!
Any comments or questions? Please click the “feedback” link immediately below.
During our TechNet Briefing in Chicago last week, a gentleman asked me a very interesting question, which he also sent as a followup email:
“As I stated what I would like to do is take an existing nt 4.0 domain (which can not be upgraded because of legacy apps, citrix XP). Create a two way trust between a new Windows 2003 AD domain and install Exchange 2003 on the new domain. Then I would run Exchange 2003 in mixed mode from now until the money becomes available to upgrade the citrix clients. What I want to do is use the new domain exclusively for email right now for my NT 4.0 users. This should work or am I way off base? Is this not just a restructure upgrade approach with a long time frame. I should not even have to move any users off of the NT 4.0 domain because of the two way trust, correct?”
I took this question as a challenge to try it out myself. So.. taking the VPCs I used for our Exchange Migration session TNT1–100, but I also created a workstation and user who used Outlook to connect to his Exchange 5.5–hosted mailbox, so I could verify that later, even after moving his mailbox to the 2003 server, he could still log in with his NT account. (I really didn’t logically see a reason why this wouldn’t work, due to the trusts established and the ADC Connection Agreements configured properly.)
Also, I found the following text within the Deployment Tools concerning “Exchange 5.5 Coexistence”:
—Active Directory and Windows NT 4.0 AccountsBefore you install Exchange 2003, you should already have Active Directory deployed within your organization, but it is not necessary to upgrade all of your Windows NT 4.0 domains or user accounts to Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003. Even if your accounts are contained in Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 domains or external forests, you can move mailboxes associated with these accounts to Exchange 2003. During the deployment process, Active Directory Connector creates placeholder accounts in Active Directory for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 accounts. Each placeholder account associates the mailbox with the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 account so that the user can access his or her Exchange 2003 mailbox.—-
So…After making sure my workstation and user (Aaron) were NT-domain joined and Outlook was up and running, I walked through the deployment tools on the new Exchange-server-to-be; prepping the environment with the two-way trusts, administrative rights, Forest and Domain Prep, the ADC installation and configuration, and the Exchange 2003 installation (including the upgrade to SP1). Notice that one step I left out was the use of the ADMT (Active Directory Migration Tool) to create the users as new Active Directory domain users. We’re still going to use our NT account here.
Now I was ready for the mailbox move. Unlike the case where I was migrating users, I didn’t have any new AD accounts to run Exchange Tasks against in the Active Directory Users and Computers tool, I tried to use the System Manager to move the mailboxes. I could use this to move the one mailbox that actually had data in it (my test user Aaron), but in our demo environment, the rest of the defined mailboxes had never been connected to - so they hadn't actually been created yet.
"But.. didn't the ADC create dummy accounts for you in Active Directory?"
Yes! It created a "Recipients" container and populated it with disabled user accounts. (It even duplicated and populated Distribution Lists that existed on the old Exchange Server, too!) I selected these, performed "Exchange Tasks" on them in order to do the Move Mailbox wizard. And this worked just fine for moving all of my NT users mailboxes over to the new server.
Because Aaron's mailbox was moved within the same “site” (as far as my Outlook profile was concerned), the he was able to re-open Outlook and the profile was automagically tweaked to point to the mailbox now on the new server.
“So.. that’s it? It just works?”
Basically, yeah! But… I’m not done yet. I wonder what happens if I now remove the old Exchange Server…
We’ll save that for Part 2.
PS – Feel free to comment or question further by clicking on the “Feedback” Link immediately below this post.
Resource Page for
TechNet Webcast: Windows Server 2003 Administration Series (Part 1 of 12): Administration Tools Overview (Level 100)
Here are some resources relating to the webcast topic presented. I hope you find them useful.
Windows Server 2003 Virtual Labs
Windows Server 2003 Evaluation Kit
(Get the trial OS, install it as virtual machines, and try out what we discuss in class!)
Windows Server System online documentation – Terminal Services
Frequently Asked Questions About Remote Desktop
Understanding Windows Firewall
Group Policy Webcast Series (for great in-depth coverage of Group Policy by my college Matt Hester)
Step-by-Step Guide to Remote Assistance
Using Remote Assistance to Get Help When You Need It
..and here is the link to use for registering or viewing Series Webcast Part 2:
TechNet Webcast: Windows Server 2003 Administration Series (Part 2 of 12): User Account Management (Level 100)Wednesday, February 16, 20051:00–2:00 P.M. Pacific Time, United States and Canada (UTC-8)
(Or On Demand thereafter)
A question came up in my Chicago TechNet Briefing about the Windows Application Compatibility Toolkit – specifically:
“Kevin… What OS’s support the running of the Application Compatibility Analyzer?”
The Analyzer’s Collector tool (collector.exe) will run on Windows 95 and up.
The Analyzer’s Analyzer tool (analyzer.exe) will run on:
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
For all the ins-and-outs of the Analyzer tool, check out this link: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/appcompatibility/analyzer.mspx
(Footnote: I’m using the Blog here to answer questions that were posed to me in TechNet Briefing Events or Webcasts, for which I didn’t have an immediate answer. I like to treat that as an opportunity for “Win-Win”, so I learn something new, and the attendees will benefit if they look here and find the results of my research also.)
An attendee in my Muncie, Indiana TechNet Briefing asked a really good question. I was demonstrating the installation of the ADC (Active Directory Connector), and was describing the fact that I was using the most recent version that is included in the Exchange Server 2003 SP1. The question was…
“Hey Kevin… What’s new in the SP1 version of the ADC? What’s the difference between that one and the one that’s on the Exchange 2003 CD?”
Well… I didn’t know. So today I looked it up.
The first thing I noted was that the version number is different. The version on the Exchange CD is 6.5.6944.0, while the SP1 version is 6.5.7226.0. It’s a higher number. Happy now?
Okay… then I’ll dig further.
SP1 included some great improvements in enabling site consolidation from Exchange 5.5 to 2003 installations. Cross-site resource moves are now possible. Changes to the ADC were neccessary to support these new functionalities. Also, improvements in the ADCTools give the user more flexibility when creating new connection agreements in “large, complicated environments”. For a more detailed look at the changes included in SP1, check out Nino Bilic’s “Deployment Changes in Exchange Server 2003 SP1” article.
This brings up another question..
“So.. If I already have ADC installed and configured, and then I install Exchange Server SP1, will the ADC be upgraded automagically?”
No. If you already have the ADC installed and running, and if you do just the upgrade to Exchange Server 2003 SP1, you won’t be automatically upgrading the ADC to the newer vesrion. You will need to run the ADC setup included with SP1 to upgrade the ADC. And you need to make sure that you’ve closed down any other Exchange related MMCs before running it so that you don’t attempt to update any files that are in use. See KB.306505 for more about this.
If you want details of what is new in SP1, I highly recommend that you view Evan Dodd’s prerecorded webcast on “An Overview of Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1”.
Did this help? Let me know! Click the Feedback link below.
“Back so soon, Kevin?”
Well, yeah… when you’re sitting on the plane sipping beverages in first class (hey… I put in a lot of air miles… so I’ve earned them! J) you get to thinking about all the things you’d like to use your blog for. Well.. maybe YOU don’t, but I do… or at least I am right now. And along with that I was thinking about what a great job our MSDN team of presenters is doing using their blogs to keep-in-touch with their event attendees (a.k.a. FRIENDS, because that’s what we like to think of all of you as.) and I thought, “Heck.. I really need to do that, too.”
So now I intend to copy my MSDN colleagues (the sincerest form of flattery) by promoting my blog as a place to give you updates not only on my comings and goings, but also on training opportunities you IT Pros will have from our team and from Microsoft in general. So… that said.. I hope that many of you reading this are here for the first time because you attended one of my live TechNet Briefings or attended one of the webcasts I delivered. If so, WELCOME! I hope you’ll keep this link in your favorites or keep in touch via an RSS feed (I have yet to personally understand those. I need to investigate further, ‘cuz they sound really cool.) and that you will keep in touch either passively, or actively posting responses or questions about my postings and musings.
“So Kevin – What are you teaching these days?”
Our team is doing three very good bits of content at our live TechNet events this quarter – all about migration. We’re talking about Directory Migration from NT 4 domains to Active Directory. We’re covering how you can support your older “LOB” (Line of Business) applications by using various compatibility tools and migration techniques, so you can move these apps to newer hardware and software platforms. And we’re discussing how to migrate from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003.
“But where and when will you be teaching next?”
I’m going to be in Muncie, IN on January 25th, and Chicago, IL on January 27th. Stop by and learn some cool stuff! Win some prizes! (Hey.. we’re giving away a copy of an MS Learning book – “Windows 2003 Active Directory Technical Reference” to all attendees!) Or just stop by to say ‘hi’.
“So – Do you have any online resources available for your attendees now?”
I’m glad you asked! As a matter of fact, I put together a document containing links to related resources for all of the content we’re delivering in our briefings this quarter. I’m printing these for my attendees – but if you would like to have it in electronic form (with live links!) go ahead and download it from here.
Also – if you want, you can download the powerpoints for our current sessions from http://www.technetbriefings.com.
Sincerely, I hope to see you soon!
Keep your stick on the ice!
Well… I’m excited now! And anyone of you IT Pros out there who wants some in-depth, free training on Windows Administration should be excited, too. “Your admin skills are about to be upgraded.”
I’ve been tagged to lead a series of 12 weekly webcasts all about the ins-and-outs of Windows Administration. The series starts on February 9th, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. PST (4:00p.m. EST) with Administration basics, and with new topics and sessions at the same time every week, for a total of 12 hour-long events.
And that’s not all – anyone who attends these sessions and fills out a session evaluation has a chance to win some kick-butt prizes like a Portable Media Center! (Of course I was disappointed that Microsoft Employees and their immediate families are not eligible to win… but maybe I can convince the webcast producers to give me one anyway. I mean.. I should really have one and learn to like it if they expect me to promote this thing properly, right? Email my boss if you think he should give me one of these.)
Anyway.. I hope that many of you will register to join me in these sessions. Send me a Q&A note “Hi Kevin! I heard about this on your blog!” when you’re there, too!
By the way – Did you know that another thing people really love about our webcasts is the fact that we have very knowledgeable people answering their questions LIVE while the session is happening? Feel free to bring your laundry-list of questions and see if you can stump these folks! They’re my teammates, and they love taking the tough questions!)
Also - Our team and others do quite a few webcasts on other topics as well, so if you’re interested in seeing the huge wealth of free training, check out http://www.microsoft.com/webcasts.
PS – This week I am at Microsoft’s “Envision” conference, which is a week-long internal event for our worldwide technology specialists and the "technical sales" folks. I’m actually writing this as I’m on the plane and on my way to Redmond. I will likely continue to post new and exiting things here that I’ve learned or seen - provided they are okay to talk about in public. Of course I have to refrain from giving away any secrets. :) Sorry!
A number of months ago (August 2004) I had the great priviledge of being a part of the "OEM / System Builder Roadshow". The purpose of these events is to connect with our System Builder channel - the folks (our very highly valued partnters) who build the PCs and ship them with our software. This particular roadshow's theme was "Windows XP Service Pack 2" - what it meant to the system builders.
I love doing these things because I get to meet so many different customers and partners, and also I get to dive deeply into a product or technology and learn how it really serves our customers well. And SP2 is just an AMAZING improvement for our client operating system.
"But Kevin... Why are you mentioning this here just now? This is old news!"
Well... I'm glad you asked. :) I was just forwarded a link to a really cool article about SP2. It was an interview with the "Virtual Team" that made it happen... all the reasons, process, struggles and eventual triumphs that this team had to face... Great stuff. So I wanted to share the link to that article with you here also.
I haven't been to this "Supersite for Windows" before... but if this article is any indication of the quality of the content, I'm definitely going to be returning often.
PS - if you are still "on the fence" about SP2, GET IT NOW! And if you're not installing it because you "heard it breaks things", please do some further investigating before deciding not to roll it out. The security benefits alone are WELL WORTH the effort. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sp2
...and the world will beat a path to your door!
Okay - it's really "mouse-trap"... but today our family is going out to get a natural Christmas tree, and after searching for our old one we realized (and remembered) that last year our tree stand broke. So this year we have to buy a new one.
As I was putting up some lights outside our house (and as kids were decorating Christmas cookies inside), it got me to thinking... if someone were to ask me what I wanted in a tree stand, I would have to say, "A lot!".
I think the perfect stand could simply be placed on the bottom end of the tree, and it would automatically make a thin fresh cut, and latch itself into place. When you stood the tree on end, little sensors and gyros would send commands to the stand's CPU informing the processor of places currently out of balance, and the processor would send commands to mini servo motors driving hydrolic-powered lifts to re-align the tree. A triangulating lasor would be able to align the trunk as upright as possible, while coordinating with the other processes to find a happy medium in case the tree is somewhat naturally lopsided.
Once positioned the tree would be automatically fed nutrients, and water that is distilled right out of the surrounding air.
And that's just standard model, of course. The deluxe model would also have a plug for special lighting that would then be driven by the CPU for a lighting display of your choice... all the while slowly spinning your now "wireless" tree to the time of the music. Oh.. the music would of course be uploaded via the WiFi connection to your home network, or for a monthly charge you could add the XM Radio adapter.
Okay... I've designed it. Which of you will be brave enough to build it so we can make millions?! <chuckle>
…and I love it!
I was trying out some new capabilities of MSN Search – such as the ability to answer questions if you put them in quotes, like “What is the number of inches in a mile?”, etc. So.. for some unknown reason (yeah right) the question “What is the airspeed velocity of an unlaiden swallow?” came to mind. One of the results that came up (incredibly quickly, probably faster than Google, I might add :) ) was the link to this page:
This afternoon I’ll let you know what the airspeed velocity of an unlaiden, digested Turkey is.
On a more serious, personal note: I want to wish anyone who reads this a very blessed, happy Thanksgiving. My family and I truly have a lot to thankful for, and we don't take it for granted. So we use this day as just another great opportunity to thank the Lord for loving us and blessing us in so many ways. (And believe me, I'm not talking about "stuff" here. If you want to know more, just send me an email and ask me.)
...but tomorrow is my girl Amy's birthday, so that's pretty cool. (Here are pictures from her recent birthday party with her neighbor friends.)
This week I've been catching up on study, preparing for a webcast I'll be doing next Monday, and basically doing administrative work (expenses, booking travel, etc.) My study has revolved around Security once again - this time due to a couple of mandatory company training sessions that I went through this morning.
Actually- that's the main reason I'm creating a blog entry today. I am continually impressed with the resources Microsoft is making available for people. The training pointed out many avenues of information for internal resources as well as external; resources we can point our customers to. A good example is the Security Guidance web site. Rather than bombard IT Pros, Developers, or even home users with information and expect them to sort through and then apply what best fits their needs, we give "prescriptive guidance" based on the type of user you are or business you are managing IT for. (Makes me wish we had such great resources available when I was doing that job myself.)
See you at my webcast!
PS - My upcoming webcast shows my teammate Keith Combs as the presenter - but that was a mistake. He had originally signed up for that one, but then gave it over to me early last month.
PPS - I did an Exchange Disaster Recovery webcast last week during a special "Exchange Webcast Week", and according to the evaluations it was quite well recieved. ...actually, it was my personal best score ever. (8.5!) You can view it here "on demand".
Well.. I find myself for the 2nd time this week in Chicago. Yes.. you read correctly... twice, for two different events, I'm in the Windy City. On Monday I flew in so I could have the priviledge of speaking to the AITP "Windy City" chapter in their evening meeting. Then I flew home Tuesday. Wednesday (oh.. that's still today. Wow.. there's a lot happening in one week.) I delivered a Webcast on Exchange Server Disaster Recovery, and now I find myself here in Chicago again, preparing for my second IT Security Solutions Roadshow talk that's going on here at the Hyatt - O'Hare tomorrow.
I like travel, but hotel rooms are really lonely places. I'm looking forward to being home for a couple weeks in a row - getting some other work done, and playing Halo 2 with my boys.
On another techy-related note: I'm excited by what I'm learning about the future roadmap of MS products as it relates to security. There are really cool things coming in SP1 for Windows Server 2003, then in the "R2" version later next year. I'm really thrilled that a year from now I'll be giving talks on such cool new functionality; stuff I can't even mention here by name without all of you first signing NDAs. :)
Enough for now. More later (and sooner, hopefully).
Blahhg Entry #2. Too few.
I received some really exciting news a few days ago... Two of the webcasts I've presented over the past several months have made it into the first (and now monthly list of) Top 10 rated Microsoft webcasts! What a nice surprise! I guess it proves that I'm MUCH better over the phone than I am in person. :)
But now I'm home again, after a week in Illinois doing TechNet briefings, and a fun-filled-wet-weekend with my family at an area water-park / resort. (I wonder if my skin will ever stop itching. Seriously, though.. we all had a blast.) But now it's back to work.
One of my projects for the week, other than backing up several TechNet Webcasts, are to re-create my XP SP2 presentation that I did for the NW Chapter of the AITP into one that I can deliver to the Chicago chapter of that same organization. I've been told that this chapter has alot of CxO level attendees, so they'll be more interested in the dumbed-down version.. (JUST KIDDING!!!) Actually, and rightly-so, they'll be more interested in the big-picture rather than the low-level techie-stuff... more, "This is the reasons we did this and why you should make it a priority." rather than "Here's how the detection of when you're on the LAN and will therefore have the Domain Firewall Policy applied rather than the Standard policy."
The other project, and even more pressing, is my new role as one of the presenters for the "IT Security Solutions Roadshow". I'm presenting the sessions in Minneapolis and Chicago; doing the one-hour topic: "Defense in Depth Against Malicious Software". So, in addition to learning the selected content and demos, I have to refresh my brain and study-up on the topic. Bought a highly-recommended book on the subject, too.
And on a non-work-related note... this week is the only week I will be around to rehearse for my band's next gig. Yes... I'm in a band. It's a neighborhood band, actually. I sing and play light-percussion (read: Cowbell) for a band called "Unbridled" (from the fact that we all live in a neighborhood development named "Bridlewood Farms"). We got together a few years ago to play a few songs for our guitar player at his birthday party, and since then we've been asked to play at several parties and even some school fundraisers... and we've been increasing our selection of 60's-90's cover tunes... stuff that all of us 40-year-olds in this neighborhood know. Our next gig is November 6th at the Hamel VFW for a neighborhood party / fundraiser for the Wayzata School District music programs. (Email me here if you want a ticket. $20 for a good cause.)
Blog? Blaahhg? Blawg? Balongna?
Exciting, eh? I write stuff here. You read it. And somehow you're enriched by this experience. ...at least I hope so.
Quick word of introduction here might be in order, I guess. As you see, my name is Kevin Remde, and I'm a Microsoft employee of just over a year now. My role is one of "IT Pro Evangelist", working to bring the good news of great Microsoft Information Technologies to the masses of tired, overworked and under-appreciated IT folks.
I was one myself once. It seems like only yesterday I was "the man"... the one whom was emailed (or called, if the problem WAS email) when there was something wrong. Day or night... anytime. I was in charge of a great bunch of IT workers. I was their manager, friend, and a fellow worker myself, who never took the full-time manager role, but prefered to roll my sleeves up and do the tough technical stuff myself. (Probably really wasn't that good a manager in that regard. Delegation wasn't something I was good at, admittedly.)
So now after being relieved of that role (and believe me, it WAS a relief! More than I thought possible at the time.) I'm enjoying thoroughly being able to travel and see hundreds of people like me; IT Pros with burdens of responsibility and full of questions... and I LOVE being the one with answers for them! And not only do I do live TechNet Briefings, but I'm a big fan of doing webcasts as well.
So... I hope this was a sufficient introduction. I need to get some sleep. Gonna finish up an expense report, and then finish packing for my trip to Illinois this week. Maybe I'll see you in Springfield (actually Decatur) on Tuesday or Chicago (actually Chicago) on Thursday.