Matt Hester's WebLog

Candygrams for the IT Pro on Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V Server, System Center 2012, Azure, Windows 8, PowerShell, Cloud and Office 365

March, 2014

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  • Windows 8.1 For Business: Remember Our Good Friend Group Policy

    Hopefully you never forgot Group Policy!

    Whenever the topic of working with desktops in business is brought up, IT Pro’s always want to manage and maintain those desktops.  For me the first thing that always come to mind is Group Policy and hopefully does for you as well.  Group Policy is one of the primary tools you can quickly leverage to help control your IT infrastructure.    What better way to manage our desktops than with a free tool that is built into Active Directory, and has been there since the Windows NT days.

    In today’s post I am going to take a look at some of the new features in Windows 8.1 Group Policy as well as some of then new settings you will want to learn to leverage to help manage your desktops.  Oh, by the way you can still change the users desktop background to blue, with blue labels on the shortcuts, or put the logoff command in the log in script, if you are so inclined not that I have ever done that.

  • Windows 8.1 for Business: Getting Started with Client Hyper-V

    Windows 8.1 has a lot to offer Business, probably one of the bigger improvements is the inclusion of Hyper-V in the client.  This provides support for several scenarios including:

    • Test Lab:  This is what I use it mainly for to test all the wickedly cool technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2, among others.   It provides a great way to test and design basic infrastructures, especially leveraging the built-in virtual machine networking. 
    • Application Testing: Testing home-spun or package applications can be done very easily inside of Windows 8.1 client Hyper-V.....

  • A Quick Look at WDS

    Here is a quick screencast looking at how to install and get started with WDS. If you liked it, what other screencasts are you interested in?
  • Another Year of Running, Another Year in My Altra’s!

    So I know this is very late, but wow what a year!  I had a great year of running in 2013, and all of my runs in my Provision 1.5 by Altra, still the best shoe on the planet.  As you can see from my bling board I did a lot of running. 

    One thing I really focused in on was my form this year, and still getting everything in correct alignment.  I learned proper form makes a huge difference!  Not only in how I feel after runs, but also how I perform during the runs as well.  While I am not there yet I made huge strides (yes pun intended) in how I run.  Even more fun to that pun is that my strides have actually gotten smaller.  While my form is not as good as the photo of Meb in my picture, it has gotten better.  BTW look to the bottom of the post to see near perfection during running and what proper form can do for you.  Love Sport Science!...

  • Setting Static IP Address in Windows Azure Virtual Machines

    One of the questions I have been asked for a while is how do you set static IP address in Windows Azure Virtual Machines. Well you can, check out my friend John Savill’s great article to see how: Set Azure VM Static IP Address While it is like a DHCP...
  • TechEd North America 2014 Content Catalog is Live!

    Are you going to TechEd? Do you want to make sure the room is big enough for the session you want to see? Then go to the Content Catalog and register for your sessions! Content Catalog By registering for your session you help us to make sure we put the...
  • Windows 8.1 for Business: Oh Start menu, how do I miss thee…or do I?

    One of the most often questions/feedback we get regarding Windows 8.1 is where is my start menu.  These conversations can get very passionate, and usually turn into a commentary around on how much we miss our start menu.  I am sure some folks want to punch the screen.

    I totally understand your frustration and I went through this as well.  While Windows 8 does provide a big change to how we do things in the interface, it did make me re-think why I used my start menu.  What I learned from my own usage and talking to all you wonderful folks,  is that the start menu is used for small common set of minimum tasks.  Here is a list of the most common things folks like yourselves have told me, and I personally had problems finding in Windows 8.1:

    • Shutdown and Sign Out
    • Search
    • Launch and Find Recently Installed Applications

    Like all of you once I learned how to get around Windows 8 and find these basic tasks, I found that I will never need my start menu again.  In this article, I am here to help show you how to accomplish these tasks with ease in Windows 8.1.   In the end I hope you learn some new tips and tricks to improve how you use Windows 8.1