Doug Eby talks Superflow

Want to know about Superflow, the groundbreaking documentation technology pioneered at Microsoft? 

Doug is a Senior Technical Writer on the Configuration Manager team, and has worked with the product for 10 years. In this interview, he shows us Superflow, an interactive flowchart that helps you visualize, diagnose and troubleshoot the processes in Configuration Manager.

Currently, Superflow is available for Software Updates Synchronization, and is available here.

Here’s a picture of the entire ConfigMgr documentation team.  Doug is the one standing on the right at the top of the photo…

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Administrator’s Companion Author Team

Did you know you can search using the System Center Search Gadget?

If you don’t use the System Center search gadget for Windows Vista, you may want to think about doing so.  Why?

First off, it’s a great little search tool, allowing you to target System Center content on the Microsoft site.  But, its also a great way to find stuff on  Right now, if you use the Blogs option in the search tool, you can filter through several areas on, and soon there will be more added.




Get it!


Top 3 downloads for last week

In case you missed these last week, the stats software indicates that the following are the top downloads from last week.  Congrats to Greg, Rick, and Johan!  And, thanks to these folks for giving back the community in such a big way!


1. SMS SCCMTroubleShooter – from Greg Ramsey

Use the troubleshooters to help identify problems with clients. visit for more information.

Download direct:



2. SCCM Right Click Tools – by Rick Houchins

Rick, along with Ken Delikta, is developing a set of right-click tools for the ConfigMgr 2007 admin console.



3. A geek’s guide to Windows XP HAL Replacement – from Johan Arwidmark

Here is an article (step-by-step guide) on how to keep a single image for Windows XP deployment, across HAL types, also known as HAL Replacement. Sample scripts for detecting the HAL type from WinPE and update sysprep.inf with the correct info is provided with this article (provided AS IS).

Download direct:

Top words and phrases used to find in Search engines

Like I said before, I love our new stats software.  It really allows you to dig deep into the site data to pull out all sorts of interesting things.

So, I found some interesting data tonight that I thought I’d share with you all.

First, here’s the top 30 words used on Search engines that link to items on

  1. sms
  2. sccm
  3. Server
  4. windows
  5. SQL
  6. Error
  7. script
  8. powershell
  9. Client
  10. vbs
  11. install
  12. system
  13. download
  14. Failed
  15. vista
  16. manager
  17. xp
  18. group
  19. wmi
  20. site
  21. code
  22. microsoft
  23. remote
  24. configuration
  25. directory
  26. user
  28. active
  29. service
  30. winpe


And, here’s the top 25 phrases used in Search engines where turn up in the results.  Some of these are pretty funny…

  1. myitforum
  2. forums 
  3. partition magic for vista
  4. winpe download
  5. Partition Magic vista
  6. windows
  7. biltmore who's who
  8. download winpe 
  9. robocopy gui
  10. system
  11. funny website names
  12. camaro
  13. group
  14. sccm sp1
  15. systems
  16. wmi ports
  17. server 
  18. microsoft
  19. 70-401 
  20. videos
  22. ccmexec.exe
  23. winpe 2.0 download
  24. automatic site code discovery was unsuccessful
  25. resources satech cer Default asp

Have you noticed the new community jump-offs on the MS downloads pages?

Microsoft is pushing hard for their own communities.  I don’t know if you’re aware of the recent releases surrounding their social bookmarking and the revamped TechCenter sites, but Microsoft is, once again, on the move to build their own communities around their own products.

Recently, they also started inserting community jump-off statements in their downloads.

Here’s one example from a recent download:

Please direct questions and comments related to the DCM feature and the Configuration Packs to the Configuration Manager – Desired Configuration Management community forum on Microsoft TechNet.

Just something to be aware of.  It’ll be interesting to see how well Microsoft completes their community mission this time.  During our ( 10 years of being a community, others have developed technologies in the community space that Microsoft can either acquire or model themselves after.  This current community push sees Microsoft pulling ideas from a lot of different places to provide an overall social aspect to their sites.  The definition of the word “community” has become muddled severely over the last couple years due to social networking sites (which is not a definition of community, btw).  I hope Microsoft doesn’t take it too far.  Community really is a simple thing, though hard for some people to grasp. Adding more and newer types of technology can stretch the limits of what community members are willing to take.  Building community means working with people, not coding and working with demographics all day long.

The way Microsoft seems so interested in Facebook, I’d look for their new community direction to take that kind of turn in the future (kind of evident already in the social bookmarking aspect), though I really hope it doesn’t.  I don’t want to be Superpoked every time a critical patch is available.

Yet another new Microsoft video web spot

How many different sites does Microsoft have dedicated to video right now?   Just off the top of my head I can count six, and I’m sure I’m missing some.

Will this new one pan out?  Or, can Microsoft use this site to centralize them all?

BTW: Depending on which category interests you, it looks like each section has its own RSS feed.

For example, here’s the feed for IT Pros:

You can also get an RSS feed based on your search and those videos that fall under a specific tag.  For example, here’s the feed for System Center videos: center

Of course, this site is in beta—there’s only 3 videos tagged for System Center. TV has 62 tagged with System Center.

System Center page 

RSS Feed

And, 139 total that are related to System Center.

For those not familiar with the wildly popular TV, check it out:

New System Center logo…

Has anyone noticed that the new System Center logo looks a lot like a tornado?


Bad image for a lot of Mid-Westerners (and me last night as our family spent a good amount of time in our basement) this season, but I’m sure the folks who chose this branding spent a lot of time deciding.

It’d be cool to see the images/logos that they turned down.

Average time for Google to respond to Gmail issues?

So far, it looks like 6-7 days.

I’ve received emails from a couple folks who have submitted tickets to Google about the Gmail receiving issues.  After 6-7 days, each person has received this message back:


Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. We have forwarded the information you provided to the appropriate team for further investigation. We appreciate your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


The Google Team”

So, it sounds like even their response to a ticket support request is a form letter, and I bet they have it configured to auto-reply after a period of time to get folks thinking they were actually looking at the problem during the period of no response. 

Google is crafty.  So’s the devil.