I started life as an IT Pro so long ago that I can’t even remember when I started, it was all different back then, when I needed to know something I got out the first CD and searched TechNet for some nugget using specific keywords (ntstop, and all that jazz). I loved it. TechNet had a deep impact on me professionally and starting a blog on TechNet with my own name is monumental for me.
Hi, I’m Simon May, I’m a new part of the IT Pro team in the UK – I’m an IT Pro Evangelist – to give me my full title. It’s our job to help UK IT Pros understand Microsoft’s plethora of technology and make the most of it. So what does that mean for you? Well it means that we’re here to help by introducing you to new tools and techniques and to get you testing, deploying, managing Microsoft technologies and getting the types of results you need.
Previously I’ve worked in banking, healthcare and energy, written about Windows, helped seed and inspire communities and I hope fixed hundreds of peoples PCs and worked with a few people who are reading this – drop me a line please. I’ve fixed virus outbreaks, rewired data centers, made it possible for people to shop quickly (sorry can’t tell you how) and helped doctors and nurses get the latest info on their patients before caring for them. Mostly I’ve had fun.
Okay, Okay, let’s talk about the job title, Evangelist. Lots of people have asked me about it and all I can say is it’s the coolest title and job in the world (to me). Basically it means I explain the world Microsoft to IT Pros.
I’ll be here and there, mainly here, sometimes there introducing new stuff and explaining current stuff and helping you get off the old stuff…cough…IE6…cough…XP…. But it’s not all about work.
Almost as much as I love being an IT Pro community I love our (I can say OUR now) consumer focused technology so I’ll be talking about that too probably, although I only get to see what everyone else gets to see, there’s no inside track here.
Follow me on twitter and say hi and you might as well subscribe to my main RSS feed (it’s not just tech stuff).
Andrew Fryer, my team mate and fellow IT Pro evangelist has posted a great article on why he likes VHDs. I have to agree with him and I’ll add something else…
VHDs are a file based format as opposed to the traditional sector based format. This is very cool because it allows “offline servicing” for the OS, which means that you can service the VHD without it being booted. This is cool because say you have a demo environment and you want to update a driver all you do is mount the VHD and use DISM like this:
DISM /Image:V:\ /Add-Driver /Driver:M:\Drivers /recurse
to add the driver, then on next boot it’s done. Simples.
More complicated is what’s going on under the hood, but essentially a VHD will consume less disk space than the same disk in a sector based format as each unique file is only stored once in the VHD format.
Throw your brilliant VHD tips our way in the comments…
Lots of people are looking at how they should go about deploying Windows 7 in their organisation, a few I’ve seen first hand are struggling to understand how to migrate. One of the major steps in planning your deployment is probably to build a proof of concept to see just how easy it is and just what the pitfalls are in your organisation. Have you thought about your application compatibility, are you making the most of things by deploying Office at the same time?
Our Springboard Series resources around Building a Proof of Concept came up in meeting the other day and there really is some great stuff in there.
I’ll be back looking at some of the fun around various aspects of a deployment soon, but if you want a specific question answered then post a comment and I’ll try – or if you want to keep your identity secret because you work for a criminal mastermind in his secret-but-very-expensive volcanic layer filled with retro furniture then drop me an email using the form.
The Azure appliance we announced a WPC is generating quite a few questions and a fair bit of interest. It’s a really interesting bit of kit but it’s a very niche offering right now but you guys want know it’s all about right? In this Channel 9 video Steve Marx give a nice explanation, head to 7:30 for a little info on where Hyper-V fits in…
Introducing the Windows Azure Platform Appliance
One of the hurdles that I’ve personally experienced when trying to move people to the latest version of Office to help them be more productive is that those little tools they rely on – that excel add-in that they bought that’s become a core part of their process - just isn’t known to you, the IT Pro dude that has to take responsibility for it.
You’ve never heard of the thing before and you don’t know who the vendor is and you don’t have the time to do a full background check to make sure it works. Then you do your deployment and that supery dupery add-in tanks. Finally you have to roll that persons install back and they stick as a thorn in your side for years and you can’t explain away not having hit your target for 100% deployment. Familiar?
Well we’ve got you an answer…
Take a look at the Microsoft Office 2010 – Compatibility Resource Center we’ve got tools for inspecting VBA code and a tool that helps you to findout what Add-ins are actually running in your business. Cool stuff… oh yeah and a list of Add-ins that have been tested. Nice stuff.