A very nice chap just wrote to Rachel asking for help with a problem* I think a few other people must have experienced so often so I thought I’d share how to fix it. I just hope I’ve got it right from the problem description. When clicking a link in an application, like your email program, you get an error that says “Application not found” and Internet Explorer doesn’t kick in to handle the link. Basically Internet Explorer isn’t known to the PC as the default browser and nor is anything else so you get the error. It’s simple to fix:
In Windows 7
Click Start and type default programs into the search, then select Set your default programs.
Then from the list select your broswer and click Set this program as default
Next select Set program access and computer defaults, select your browser under Choose a default web browser and click OK
That should sort things out.
If you’re on XP, it’s just a little different:
Then you should be fixed.
*people often writer to Rachel with problems, some of them are unprintable but she appreciated them all
The first step in any Windows 7 deployment is to start by understanding what your current environment looks like and what you’ll need to do to get your machines to meet the minimum system requirements or even better the recommended requirements. The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP Toolkit) is a toolkit that lets you do that and the newly released MAP Toolkit 5.5 can be downloaded here along with full documentation. In this post though I’m going to talk you through the steps you need to take and I’ve created a video that takes you through it too.
The MAP Toolkit is an agent less discovery tool which means that it’s easy to deploy and use since you only really need to install it onto one machine on your network and it can do the rest. There are some pre-reqs for using the tool though. You’ll need Microsoft Office 2007 or (obviously 2010 is best) and you’ll need SQL Server Express Edition installed on the PC on which you’ll run MAP. You might be wondering what Office is used for: The MAP toolkit creates pre-baked reports for you that you can use to help justify any required upgrades.
Once you have Office on the PC you need to install the MAP toolkit and as part of that installation SQL Server Express will be downloaded or you can provide a previously downloaded install. You then setup a database to store the information that the tool collects. That’s really all there is to setup, it’s quite simple and it’s covered from 00:00 to 2:56 in the video.
Next you’ll scan your network in order to gain an understanding of it. To do this click Inventory and Assessment Wizard and then determine how you want to scan from various options including looking in AD and scanning using an SCCM database, a file containing a list of computer names or a range of IP addresses. In the video I choose AD and an IP Address range as I know that I have some PCs that I’ll want to consider upgrading that aren’t members of my Active Directory Domain. If you selected AD as a scanning option you’ll need to provide creds that give the tool access to AD DS to find computer accounts, for an IP range you’ll select the start point (for example 10.1.1.1) and end point (10.1.1.255). IP Ranges don’t have to be contiguous or any such. You then provide creds for the machines and an order in which to try multiple creds, so you can provide a Domain Admin account (eek) and a Local Administrator account. Finally the scan runs and WMI is used to query each machine and populate your database. (2:56 to 6:28)
The next step is to dig through the data. For the purposes of understanding Windows 7 compatibility use Windows 7 Readiness and for Office 2010 compatibility use Office 2010 Readiness, Internet Explorer also has a readiness check too. These panels only provide you, the IT Pro doing the work, a view of what’s out there. To produce something you can show the person with the purse you need to produce some reports by selecting Generate report from the task pane on the right. (6:28 to 9:21)
Once that’s done you’ll get reports that list more detail and tell you what you need to do to upgrade specific PCs. In my video I have an XP PC with just 64mb of RAM so that will need an upgrade to the Windows 7 Professional minimum of 512MB. (9:21 to end)
The MAP Toolkit is a great tool to have in your box and as it’s free using it is a no-brainer really. You can download MAP 5.5 here and for more info on Windows 7 deployment check out springboard.
So it seems pretty popular to share the contents of your gadget bag again. Mine however is more of an Evangelism bag than gadget bag so what does your average IT Pro evangelist carry with him on day to day adventures? To find out I’ve created a deepzoom of my bag contents thrown around the floor. This is my Large bag, I have various sizes depending upon what I need.
So before we get into what’s in it, lets do the bag first. It’s a Ogio Metro in blue with Bing logo. It’s the most comfortable back pack I’ve ever used, so much so I bought the wife one for Xmas – lucky her! The best thing about the bag is space for 2 laptops, which is kind of hard to find out there. So what’s in it (clockwise from the bag):
If that’s the large pack (which weighs more than a small but cute cow) what’s in the Extra large one?!
I spent much of last week at the crazy busy BETT education fair at Olympia showing people Office 365 and meeting some very interesting techies working in schools, collages and universities all over the country. I had a lot of misconceptions about the type of IT Professionals working in education before I got there, most were blown out of the water and my thoughts reset. I’ll get a video of the Office 365 stuff out later this week…
Scale was the first thing I wrongly assumed. I thought that schools would be small, but it’s the opposite. Mail administrators in schools face a battle of provisioning hundreds of mailboxes each year, archiving old ones and constantly managing their users and storage requirements. AD DS administrators face the same but with the added complication of load as every student logs on 4 , 5, 6 times a day as they move between classrooms. Those AD DS servers are taking a battering folks and they need to be up to the job.
I was expecting lots of people to be stuck in the dark ages – and some are – but many are not. Schools are readily adopting cloud technologies to cope with the scale and flexibility they need to provide. Many have rolled out Windows 7 or are planning to do so in September. Many are using Hyper-V to virtualise (the ones who aren’t are very actively looking to ditch Vmware because of cost), application virtualisation and VDI and RDS are hot technologies too as schools look to make it easier to rollout application updates.
Saving money is high on the agenda as you’d expect so using virtualisation, cloud and making their infrastructure easier to manage are top of the agenda.
Security is paramount. Firstly they have lots of kids doing the Bring Your Own Computer thing and it’s causing infections and virus outbreaks a plenty – except those schools that have deployed NAP (Network Access Protection). Secondly I was showing off a bunch of slate devices and the critical thing there is that they can be encrypted preventing anything that the kids do with them such as taking pictures with the web cams from falling into the wrong hands.
There are lots of people doing clever things with Windows 7 and much of what’s used in the class room, like digital white boards and interactive projectors are useful in the board room or the meeting room.
The best thing though was that there was a palpable enthusiasm for using technology to help reduce cost and more importantly help our kids to learn in better ways. It seems education is a space full of early adopters and a good segment to watch for ideas.
Office 365 Beta gives you automatic access to Forefront Online Protection for Exchange to protect the mail flow into your Office 365 environment. We recently released a guidance document that includes some of the known issues and some of the scenarios for more advanced mail flows. The document discusses the following scenarios in depth but there’s also a video available if that’s more your cup of tea.
Fully hosted scenario—Email flows exclusively through the cloud (Internet), without any interaction with on-premises servers. For more information, see Fully Hosted Scenario.
Shared address space with on-premises relay scenario—Email is hosted partially in the cloud (Internet) and partially on-premises, and mail flow is controlled on-premises.
Internal mail flow scenario—Both the sender and the recipients are within the same organization, and the organization has mailboxes both in the cloud and on-premises. However, unlike the previous scenario, not all mail is controlled by the on-premises mail server. In this scenario, email is sent between the cloud and the on-premises server without being sent to the Internet and FOPE skips all filtering operations.
Outbound smart host scenario—FOPE acts as a smart host, redirecting outbound mail to an on-premises server that applies additional processing before delivering mail to its final destination. However, incoming mail goes straight to the Exchange Online servers without passing through an on-premises server. You may want to consider this option for your organization if you have an on-premises application or other compliance solution you use to filter outgoing mail and you also want the benefits of FOPE edge, virus, policy, and spam filtering.
Inbound safe listing scenario—Email is sent inbound through FOPE to Microsoft Exchange Online from a trusted organization. In this scenario, FOPE is configured to skip IP address filtering on inbound mail sent from IP addresses specified in a safe list. You can also configure FOPE to skip policy and spam filtering.
Regulated partner with forced TLS scenario—Forced inbound and outbound transport layer security (TLS) is used to secure all routing channels with business regulated partners.
There’s no way to get access to the Office 365 Beta right now but you can get a BPOS trail if you’d like to see how exchange online works.