17th March – A good day for tech events

North East Bytes: Visual Studio 2010 and System Center

The March meeting of NEBytes is looking like a really good one with two excellent speakers making the trip up to Newcastle. For developers, we have Richard Fennell of Black Marble taking about Visual Studio 2010 and for the IT Pros, Matt McSpirit of Microsoft is coming to talk about System Center in the R2 Wave.

Richard is offering to let the audience vote on the content of his session; with so much to cover in Visual Studio 2010, he wants to make sure that his session hits the top four topics that people are interested in.

Matt’s session also has a lot of ground to cover, but as a Microsoft Partner Technology Advisor, he has plenty experience to know which are the bits that are most important to the people using the technology: With more and more organisations thinking about virtualisation, there has never been a better time to investigate what the complimentary System Center management tools can bring to the table.  From deep monitoring, patching, backup, and virtual machine management, the System Center Management Suite is the most comprehensive, unified management solution in the marketplace today, for organisations big and small.  In this session, you’ll learn about a number of the key technologies making up the suite, how they are licensed, and how they can help you achieve a new level of efficiency and control.

If you fancy joining us:

NB. There’s a football match in Newcastle that evening, and from past experience, we know that means parking is a bit of a nightmare. You may want to check out Newcastle City Council’s information on car parking before setting off.

NITKon 2010 PowerShell Day

For those closer to Norway than North East England, there’s a real PowerShell treat in store for you:

The Norsk IT Konferanse 2010 (NITKon 2010) is running from 15th to 17th March in Oslo, and the 17th is going to be PowerShell Day, with Bruce Payette, Principal Developer on the PowerShell Team at Microsoft, along with PowerShell MVPs Dmitry Sotnikov, Thomas Lee and Ragnar Harper. That’s a great line-up and if I wasn’t already busy I’d be really temped to see if I could get there!

My other blog’s a Ferrari (not)

If you’ve been reading jonoble.com carefully, you might have realised that from time to time I also post on another blog by the name of WITter; the blog of the Windows Infrastructure Team at Newcastle University.

It seems that a problem with the servers/platform that it’s hosted on meant that WITter hasn’t been available for the last week, but I’m pleased to say that the team who look after that stuff now have it up and running. So if you’ve been trying to get to it and failing, give it another shot. If you’ve never heard of it before, I invite you to take a look – some of the content is specific to what we’re doing in the University, but there’s a lot of stuff that’s relevant to anyone running Windows in an enterprise environment, and occasionally some fun stuff too.


NEBytes February Event: Direct Access and Dynamic Consumption in C#

After over 80 attendees enjoyed the North East Bytes launch event in January, we’ve got another great event lined up for this month.

Direct Access has been the most requested session topic recently, so I’m very pleased to have two presenters to cover it at this meeting. We’re glad to welcome Dr Dan Oliver (Managing Director of Sa-V Ltd a Newcastle based Infrastructure Optimization Microsoft Partner) back to speak, and coincidentally the day after I’d confirmed Dr Dan, Conrad Sidey from Microsoft also offered to do the session. I’m happy to say that they’re going to collaborate to present Direct Access together.

From speaking to people in the IT pro community, I don’t think that people are as excited about Direct Access as they will be when they realise what it gives them…

While an IT pro may sell Direct Access to the management as a “better VPN”, where drives can be automatically mapped at logon and all the good stuff that the user gets from logon scripts that connect to resources on the LAN, users are pretty much used to “getting by” with the VPN they’re already using. Where the story is really improved by Direct Access is that laptops hooking up to various connections around the world now stay under the scope of management, the same as any other domain computer that’s wired to the LAN. I’m sure I don’t need to go into detail about all the benefits of that!

There are a lot of people who appear to be scared of the requirement for IPv6, and in fairness if you don’t currently have any IPv6, that isn’t an insignificant barrier to entry, however you don’t need your whole network to be IPv6 enabled in order to use Direct Access.

And for developers, Oliver Sturm is an experienced presenter who really knows his stuff, so his session on Dynamic Consumption in C# 4.0 should be a good one.

It should be a really good event, so grab your ticket:

Time to move on from the Windows 7 Release Candidate

If you are still running Windows 7 RC (I’m sure a lot of people are because it was pretty darned stable), the time to move on is fast approaching.

From 15th February, warning messages will start, saying that from 1st March Windows 7 RC will shutdown every 2 hours. You really want to be off the RC by then because you will lose any unsaved work.

If you continue to use the RC through the bi-hourly shutdowns, on 1st June 2010 the RC will cease to meet “genuine” Windows criteria and will not be able to download anything that checks whether the copy of Windows is genuine. You’ll also lose your wallpaper, but by that point that’s the least of your worries! 😉

I’ve still got one machine running the RC – that will change this weekend!