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MVP renewal 2012

My MVP award was renewed for another year today.

Thank you to Microsoft for bestowing the honour for the fifth year and thank you to all of the people who’ve helped me gain this award by posting questions, reading my blogs, listening to talks etc.

Windows 8 and PowerShell 3 betas

If you haven’t already heard there are new toys available

Windows 8 beta is available from

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows-8/download

Windows Server 8 beta is available from

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/v8-default.aspx

 

Most importantly PowerShell v3 beta is from

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=28998

Windows Management Framework 3.0 makes some updated management functionality available to be installed on Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 & Windows Server 2008 SP2. Windows Management Framework 3.0 contains Windows PowerShell 3.0, WMI & WinRM.

System Center engineering blogs

The System Center family of products is getting a big make over in the 2012 release.  The team blogs have just been rebranded to reflect this

System Center: Service Manager

System Center: Operations Manager

System Center: Virtual Machine Manager

System Center: Orchestrator

System Center: Data Protection Manager

SC Virtual Machine Manager

Spent the last two evenings trying to install and configure SC VMM.  Total failure.  Kept getting an error about not being able to connect to the agent on the host – this is after the initial failure of trying to install SC VMM on the host.

Nothing worked for me – its odd as we’ve had it working at work.

 

Not worth anymore effort – I’ll stick with WMI and PowerShell.

Goodbye Windows Mail

When I installed Windows 7 I went looking for Windows Mail (Outlook Express replacement in Vista).  Its not there – in fact you don’t get a mail client of any kind.  Idea is to download and use the Live Mail client.  I had been using that for hotmail access (big improvement over web access) and RSS reader.  The latest version also is a newsgroup reader so don’t need Windows Mail anymore.

It is handier having everything accessible in one application. And it works.

 

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Windows 7 update

I have been running Windows 7 for a few days now & I like it.  There are numerous improvements over Vista (which I have used for a few years now) that make the whole experience better.  I am running on minimal hardware but the system is responsive enough for what I am trying to do (Office and web).  I can have enough office applications open that I can do what I need.

Things I have discovered:

  • PowerShell is installed by default but is not immediately obvious where.  Look in All programms – Accessories – Windows PowerShell.  The version that is installed appears to have a few minor differences compared to CTP3.  Nothing major though. And it works.
  • The combination of the quick launch tray and the taskbar is good. Keeps the bar tidier.  The whole approach to managing open applications is slicker. And it works
  • The calculator gets a make over.  It now gets Programmer and Statistics Modes options added. Very useful. Guess what – it works.
  • UAC is much less intrusive.  This is how it should work.
  • I do like the sticky note applet.  Reminds me of the similar app I used on OS/2.
  • Oh - and there are some really good pictures for the desktop background.
  • Office 2007 installs and works.  The Windows Live apps install and work.
  • My standard AV (AVG 8) installs and works

The bottom line is that it just works which is what I want from an OS.  It does its job and lets me get on with what I want to do.   When I get a machine with a better spec I will definitely be using Windows 7.  I haven’t had any real problems and have found the beta to be really solid

 

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Vista Application Incompatibility?

There has been a lot written about the issues of application incompatibility on Windows Vista.

Application compatibility was given a good test this morning. My wife re-discovered an old program for Garden Design. When I say old the CD said © 1994-1995.  I was reasonably dubious but thought it was worth a try.

The application installs and runs.  No problems. I am impressed.   To my mind that is application compatibility with a vengeance. 

 

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Windows 7

Just installed Windows 7 on an old laptop – 0.75GB RAM single core.  It works a treat and is reasonably responsive.  It is more than enough for Office type applications and Internet.  Well impressed as Vista wouldn’t even look at this machine.

Looks like I’ve just extended the life time of that machine.

Few issues with drivers that I’m still resolving but nothing thats a show stopper.

Best of all it has PowerShell v2 installed.

 

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Live Writer

I have been using Live Writer for a while now and it is pretty good.  The latest version has some good improvements like a preview pane and the ability to see and work with the source.

Major gripe is that I can’t set a default font.  It keeps reverting to Verdana which I hate.

One issue I have seen is that when publishing it hangs occasionally and I lose the post. Not sure if its Live Writer or my broad band.  Quick fix is to always manually save a draft before publishing.  At least you don’t have to re-write if it goes wrong.

Overall I’m pretty happy with Live Writer.

 

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ZoomIT

One thing I did see getting used quite a bit in presentations at TechEd was the ZoomIT tool.  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897434.aspx

It enables you to zoom into a part of the screen.  Very useful for presentations.  The ability to draw on screen can be useful.  The controls function as toggle switches so it is easy to use.

If you do a lot of presentations you may find it useful.

 

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