Setting up a new laptop today, and thought it might be helpful to others if I documented a couple of tools and customizations I always to, because I can;t get my work done without them. Not in order:
1. Install Lookout V 1.2: lightning-fast search for your e-mail, files, and desktop integrated with Microsoft Outlook. Just enter your search and press enter. Results are instant. Lookout will find your search terms hiding nearly anywhere in your Outlook mailbox - subjects, bodies, phone numbers, addresses, etc.
2. Install IE2OneNote powertoy: This PowerToy adds a Send to OneNote button to the Standard Buttons toolbar in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later. Click this button to copy all or selected parts of a Web page to a new page in OneNote.
3. Install Outlook2OneNote powertoy: This PowerToy adds a Send selected item to OneNote button to the Standard toolbar in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. Click this button to copy one or more selected e-mail messages from Outlook to new pages in OneNote.
4. Run the ClearType tuner (requires Active X install): ClearType is a form of sub-pixel font rendering that draws text using a pixel's red-green-blue (RGB) components separately instead of using the entire pixel. When the pixel is used in this way, horizontal resolution theoretically increases 300 percent.
5. Install M2RingtoneSplicer: Nifty sound file editor for cutting out commercials from Windows Media files recorded on my MCE, but "converted" with this tool to commercial-free audio files I listen to on my way in to work.
6. Install Windows Media Encoder 9 Series: Windows Media Encoder 9 Series is a powerful tool for content producers who want to take advantage of the many innovations in Windows Media 9 Series, including high-quality multichannel sound, high-definition video quality, new support for mixed-mode voice and music content, and more.
The Virtual Server 2005 R2 Management Pack Guide is live today on TechNet.The Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 Management Pack is live in the DLC. This MP enables you to monitor physical computers running the Virtual Server service and the virtual machines that the service hosts. The Virtual Server R2 Management Pack can be used with computers running either Virtual Server 2005 or Virtual Server 2005 R2.
This Management Pack provides monitoring and reporting for the following scenarios:Virtual Server• Monitors Virtual Server service availability• Detects configuration errors• Detects critical error conditions• Provides a graphical mapping of virtual machines to their virtual machine hostsVirtual Machines• Monitors virtual machines’ health state based on status in Virtual Server, percentage of expected heartbeats, and unresolved errors• Detects start and restoration failures• Detects save failures• Detects critical error conditions• Monitors processor, memory, and disk utilizationReports• Identify good candidates for conversion to virtual machines based on specified memory and CPU requirements• View performance history for a computer over a specified time period• View a summary of virtual machine hosts and virtual machines• View details for a virtual machine• View CPU, memory, or disk usage for a virtual machine
Unless you subscribe only to one or two obscure TechNet blogs, you have heard that Virtual Server EE is now free, and supports Linux VMs.
Read this KB to understand how support works.
The Windows Enterprise Management (WEMD) documentation teams are conducting a survey to evaluate how well our documentation meets IT Pro needs, and how we can improve your satisfaction with our content for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM), Systems Management Server (SMS), and Data Protection Manager 2006 (DPM). By taking this short survey, you will be helping our writers to provide you with the information that is the most useful to you. Because you are the best judges of documentation quality, Microsoft appreciates your responses to this survey.
There are about 70 questions in this survey. The number of questions and survey completion time will vary depending on your responses to some of the questions.
This survey is running throughout the month of April. If you are attending MMS 2006, you can launch this survey from the Take the WEMD Document Survey link on the Attendee Home Page. However, this survey is open to all our customers. You can take this survey by going to this site: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=314341901680 Many thanks for your feedback and continued support!
Washington state legislature recently passed SB 6613 - 2005-06 prohibiting internet gambling. As of June 7, 2006, if you are all-in online playing poker for money, you are a Class-C felon.
Interesting. The fiscal note says "The agency does not believe there will be any fiscal impact from the legislation..." The Washington-state sponsored lottery is, of course, exempt from this law. So is off-track betting apparently (at least till Oct 2007)
OBTW - Class C felony is punishable by up to 1 year in the big house and $10K fine. Not to mention losing your job and voting rights.
One of the reasons given for this (since it has no fiscal impact) is to prevent kids from playing poker online. Apparently someone in the legislature is under the impression that threat of a Class C felony rap will dissuade internet teens. As if...
Interesting new book: The Jasons, is reviewed in Wired. I'm gonna try to pick this one up for the plane ride to MMS tomorrow. Any club that included Freeman Dyson, Murray Gell-Mann, Edward Teller and Hans Bethe is one that interests me. The Amazon review gushes "In this spellbinding and meticulously researched history, science writer Ann Finkbeiner reveals the critical scientific advances-and the unintended consequences-of the Jasons’ shadowy work as well as the fascinating personalities of the Jasons themselves." Wow, can't wait for the movie.
It's this bit from the NY Times review that makes me want to read it:" Finkbeiner's book also carries a message for those who fear we are entering an anti-science age, in which right-wing politicians, religious fundamentalists, Luddites and postmodernists challenge science's authority. Some scientists are circling the wagons, depicting science as the embodiment of enlightenment and all its critics as knaves or buffoons. But science is and always has been as morally fallible as any other human activity. Indeed, because of its immense potential for altering our lives for good or ill, science needs critics like Finkbeiner now more than ever."
Bub Muglia just announced a change of name for Monad to Windows PowerShell. Get it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/results.aspx?freetext=Monad And check out the Windows PowerShell team blog: and http://www.leeholmes.com/blog/MonadEvolvesToWindowsPowerShell.aspx
Documentation is here:
You can read the Oreilly book online for free for 14 days here: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/msh/
Vivek gave a great demo that showed a create new DL operation in the new Exchange admin GUI, with a CTRL+C copy script operation to do exactly the same thing in the command line - got big applause.
So did the -whatif option. Vivek showed a command-line demo to move exec mailboxes, with the -whatif option to check that the move would work BEFORE moving the exec's MB and taking it offline. More applause :-)
Finally, a cool call to Office that allowed him to spit out a chart for management on how the move MBs went in a single command. Good times.
In the booth last night, I overheard a great summation in answer to a question about the motication for PowerShell:
"It's about tools, not about OS vs OS."
Cool thing 2: one of the devs was using PowerShell to show different scenarios, on the fly. PowerShell has alias support, including some of the common Unix and CMD commands you already know. In the course of walking through how to approach the issue, Leonard typed DIR on one line, got some results, then moved directories and typed LS. Cool thing = say you are in troubleshooting mode, no time lost having to translate in your brain "What's the PowerShell commandlet name I need here?"
This BBC article claims in a recent study 40% of users failed to spot phony bank phishing websites. The most sophisticated site caught out 90% of the 22 people participating. Here's their advice for you users to avoid getting hooked:
Thinking you don't have to worry about this? Read this. Consider, how many of your users per day are running to their bank website from your corpnet to take care of something?
Microsoft's DSI Strategy: Clearer Vision, but End State Is Years Away From Fulfillment (Gartner, Feb. 8, 2006) Gartner’s analysis of Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative.
Interesting to see that their top-line recc includes:
Convergence. In yet another data point about IT and Dev coming together, Garnter says "..at the heart of Microsoft’s DSI is the SDM found in Visual Studio 2005."
Read the SDM white paper.
System Center has a new site on TechNet. Get the goods on:
Brian forwarded some info from Wikipedia on the Pareto principle - we were talking about UX issues. 80/20 is NOT about picking low-hanging fruit:
The 80/20 rule is often used but frequently misunderstood. The 80/20 rule means that, in most situations, 80% of the effect is a result of 20% of the effort. For example, 80% of a company’s revenue probably comes from 20% of its customers. When applied to UX design, this rule implies that concentrating on improving the most important 20% of the system will result in an 80% improvement in the overall experience. The task for the feature team, then, is to determine which 20% to improve that will cause 80% of the improvement in the overall experience.
To put it another way, displaying and improving the right 20% of the properties on a property sheet will improve the experience 80% of the time. The rest of the features can then be accessed through an Advanced command button. The challenge is to identify which 20% of the properties to display and improve.
A colleague recently asked about a stress tool that would let his shop generate multiple events to test their MOM connection throughput to a third party product. The MOM 2005 Reskit has just the thing, it is called the Event Creator.
The reskit also includes nifty power tools, solution accelerators, product connectors and tshooting tools. Trust me, the reskit, a pickle, a nice glass-tea...you'll enjoy.
Ever gone to the place where you keep your CDs and found one of them missing? Here's a script that will locate a CD somewhere on the network.
The scripting center also released a very handy script to Convert a Virtual Drive from Dynamic to Fixed. Originally appearing on the Virtual PC Guy's weblog, this really useful script was posted anonymously by some do-gooder to the TechNet Script Center User submitted scripts page. Round trip in only 4 calendar days? Guess that is one definition of agility.
Thank you, anonymous do-gooder, whoever you are.
By now you have heard (since everyone has been screaming their heads off about it) that virtual server is going to be important to your IT operations, and, oh BTW did we mention it is free?
As IT infrastructure goes, so goes the world of gaming (some people say gaming leads and IT follows). People are paying real money to advertise in virtual worlds online.
When simoleons are on the line, folks get testy about missed SLAs.
MOF, DSI, ITIL - they are not just for "realspace" anymore.