October, 2009

  • Back in August, I posted an update on VBC saying it would launch mid to later September

    So September passed.  No VBCs.  Now October has almost passed and you re wondering where VBCs are.  Well.  As you can tell, they re not here.  I want to be as transparent as I can with this so I will answer all your questions.

    First, I ve been silent on the issue all of October because I was working towards a firm date that I could promise VBCs would launch.  I didn t want to do another "mid to late X" and it still not launch.

    With that said, I can announce that VBCs will launch December 8.  That s a promise you can expect us to keep and I m keeping my team on track for that date.

    So what caused the delay?  There are some points I really can t go into details but overall we encountered serious difficulities on the business side of this project that led to the delay.  One issue was given the "new-ness" of this type of benefit, there were a lot of privacy concerns, especially when we re storing your private information and allowing others to view your cards publically.  We had to systematically go through the program to ensure that your privacy will not be compromised.    

    There were other factors in this project that led to this delay.  Suffice to say, however, that our partner doing the VBC development was not part of the reasons.  They were very gracious and patient while we took care of the matters in-house.

    On behalf of Microsoft Learning and my team, I personally want to apologize for the delays and the lack of information these few weeks.  However, we ve now turned a corner and are on track for a December 8th launch.  Moving forward, I will answer any questions either via email or if you post a comment and keep you all up to date with this project.

    One note I would like to point out is that this is NOT a replacement for wallet cards.  We will not allow these cards to be printed at the moment.  VBCs are here to help you brand yourself on technical forums, emails, social networking sites, and any online property where your identify is your credibility.  We want the world to know that, hey, you re an MCP/MCT and you know what you re talking about.  

    We recognize that not everyone needs this benefit and still need wallet cards for offline identification.  We re looking at the possibility of orderable wallet cards, much like how certificates are now orderable.  No promises at the moment, but this is something we re digging deep into.

    When I get screenshots of the newer features we ve added since last time I ll let you know and post them. Thanks for your patience and we re working as hard as we can to ensure a successful and (now) smooth launch.

     

    Erwin Chan
    Marketing Manager - Online Evangelism
    erwinc at microsoft.com

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    I wanted to thank those of you who responded to my first post that asked a few general questions about what you like or don t like about the newsletters we send you.  Over the next few weeks and months, I ll pose questions and solicit your feedback. 

    Today s questions:

    * How many newsletters do you receive from Microsoft each month?

    - Is that too many/too few/just the right number?

    * Do you have a favorite newsletter - and why?

    * Would you like to be able to comment or easily ask questions about the stories in the newsletters?

    Thank you for your comments!

  • As Barney from “How I Met Your Mother” would say “Legen…wait for it…dary!” Andrew Bettany put together a legendary event for us in York. Professionally organized with a keen eye for detail and perfection. All attendees had name tags with the Get On The Bus logo on them. The University of York found sponsors for the event who put together a “goodie” bag, also ‘bus branded’, for all attendees. Sandwiches and assorted snacks were also provided at a pre-event reception, and the session was held in an auditorium with stadium seating. More than 150 people attended the event, or should I say participated in the event, it was an incredibly lively evening with many questions.

    Tjeerd did his Windows 7 demo and David presented on Exchange Server 2008. Tjeerd had some technical problems during one of his demos. Of course, he handled them gracefully, but I know that Tjeerd was upset that the session didn’t run smoothly because he is a perfectionist. All in all, I think the audience was still amazed by the many cool features Tjeerd squeezed into 30 minutes of Windows 7.The audience loved the great new features in Exchange too, especially mail tips and the new way emails will be archived (say goodbye to pst files).

    With only 10 minutes left before we had to leave to catch the bus to take us to the train that would take us to Belgium, I had a question and answer session on certification exams. As I’ve said before, I love questions. The harder, the better. I love it when you challenge my thinking so I can make our certification exams as good as they can possibly be. So, I was in my element, and so, apparently, where the attendees. I was asked questions on everything from which exam should I take to why didn’t we have “expert” level Office 2007 exams to what are we doing to ensure that the exam content is real world and relevant. There were so many questions in fact that I didn’t get a chance to answer them all, which makes me very sad. If you have a question for me, please ask. I can’t answer them if I don’t know what you’re wondering.

    York—no pudding and no peppermint patties but lots of people interested in the new features of Exchange Server 2010 and Windows7 and the ins and outs of our certification exams. Seriously, the event was legendary!

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  • Glympse

    It is great to experience that many of you, every now and then, take a Glympse to see where we are. The Live Tracking technology is fun, especially when we received a text message asking if we were enjoying the view of Lake Como while we just drove by it:-)

    At times, you may have seen our signal disappear, that mainly happens with tunnels etc.. Right now, we are just outside Paris, and we are no longer on the bus. Our double-decker bus is not allowed to enter the city and it is now parked while we are still on the move, taking a taxi and a subway to our next destination – EduGroupe, Paris!

    We are looking forward to this, our crew actually has a few French speakers -David Elfassy and Christopher Maneu. So, let’s get a quick croissant and we’ll be back on the bus in 10 hours!

  • Tjeerd and I took the train from Kings Cross Station (no, there is no Platform 9¾, I checked) to York. We had to get from the event with MS Employ in London to the University of York in 2 hours in order to participate in an early bird session that Andrew Bettany, one of Microsoft Learning’s strongest evangelists, put together. We were meeting with MCTs, members of our ITA program, and several institutions who are interested in both programs. Before we arrived, Rhys Hines from Prodigy Learning introduced Microsoft’s IT Academy program and Andrew described how the ITA was implemented at York. When we arrived, Tjeerd described the MCT program and Microsoft Learning’s vision for tools that we can provide educators and I discussed exams (I may be a one trick pony :)).

    Near the end of the session, Tjeerd demoed our MCT Readiness portal and linked to an MCT LiveMeeting on Windows Server 2008 that was occurring at that very moment. MCT Readiness support is a key part of our MCT program. When Tjeerd logs in, he is immediately greeted by various MCTs, the chat screens pop up everywhere J. The audience immediately responded that this type of training and online interaction would be very helpful. Tjeerd was excited by that, and tonight he will likely dream about plans for an academic training program.

    England has a very strong ITA program. Although Microsoft usually partners with companies, we are trying to do more partnering with educators and academic institutions, and England may be a great place to start given the passion that the audience had about learning and finding the best solution to help their students get the education they need for success. It’s clear that there’s a strong need for Microsoft to create a program that will help educators with technical readiness, support, and learning tools

    .york

     

     

  • 01:00 After our amazing trip through the tunnel, we arrive at a hotel (hurray, real beds, showers, the comforts of civilization), we catch a few hours of sleep and (8:30) we’re off to MS Employ. Although we arrive early, there is a group of people waiting for us when we arrive. One man walks up to us, it is Bob Simms, who won a seat on the bus and he will tour to Berlin with us. You will see him blog on Born to Learn, Bob is an MCT and I look forward to his perspective on our tour, I also expect he will bring us many smiles J.

    9:10 I am SO proud of our team! There was some misunderstanding at the event location and we started without a presentation room. We quickly changed our agenda and Liberty kicks off, in a very nice room at the university, and she delivers a great presentation without slides and without a microphone. Liberty Unplugged was great J. In the meantime we arrange and set up a classroom upstairs, get people coffee and –right on schedule – we kick off with Windows 7. Then David Elfassy takes over and presents with his never ending enthusiasm. The attendees were specifically interested the new e-mail compliance features in Exchange Server 2010: integration with RMS, retention policies, e-mail archival.

    11.00 Liberty and I dash out as we are doing an extra session in York, where we will meet approx. 40 educators from various IT Academies. The bus will soon follow and we’ll meet for the ‘main event’ tonight at the University of York.

    12:00 We had a great event, many questions, the only person who does not look happy is our driver, we are running late... Thank you MS Employ, off to York!

     

    msemploy

  •  

    The master is at work in Zurich!  
    david day2
    David Elfassy, MVP: Exchange Server
     
    David Elfassy, MVP: Exchange Server, is a joy to watch.  Entertaining and deeply information he brings Microsoft s latest collaboration server to life.  Here on day 2 of the Get on the Bus Tour we are being hosted by The Digicomp Academy. With 70+ delegates seated for the first session this is our largest event so far on the tour. The facilities are fantastic: dual presentation screens provide the tools David needs to communicate this technical level 200-300 session to the attendees.
    With his entertaining yet engaging manner is making the new features of Exchange 2010 come to life. Check out the other Bus Tour venues coming to a major city near you to learn more about the new Windows 7, Server 2008R2, certification exams and Exchange 2010.

     

  • Paris, Wednesday, 18.15: ‘Hurry, we need to get a taxi to the airport, we have got to catch our bus. I’m just worried we’ll miss our train to England…’

    This has got to be my favorite quote from our first week on the bus. Let me try to explain it. In Paris, our bus could not enter the city center. So, yesterday, after a fantastic event at EduGroupe in Paris, we had to catch a taxi to the airport where we would meet our bus. The bus then went to the train that takes you underneath the English Channel to England. By the way, we will upload a video of our bus getting on the train, it is an incredible sight!

    18 Hours later, we delivered our first event in Greenwich with MS Employ, more on that later as we would love to share the enthusiasm with you asap, we’ll blog as soon as we edit our video etc.

    Liberty and I have left the bus, we are once again on a train and we are heading to York for an ‘early bird session’ with approx 50 educators from various academies. The bus will join us later on for ‘the main event’ as another 150 attendees will join us. Meanwhile, we are also delivering 3 MCT Readiness LiveMeetings today. (MCTs, don’t miss these, and if you do, they are recorded and can be found on our MCT virtual summit pages). Yes, what a day, we cannot get enough of this!

    BTW, I’m really impressed by British trains, we have free WiFi and power, and –from the train’s logon screen - we can now also track our train :-) Keep tracking the bus on www.thebustour.com, Glympse is such a lot of fun, we love using it on the bus and we love all the response we get on that from partners and attendees that follow our bus as we make our way to the next event.

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    Hello MCTs, you probably have heard about the MCT Rewards program, where you can find and personalize certification  information to help guide your students’ career in IT, and provide them with discounts on Microsoft Certification exams.  As an MCT, we value your interaction with students, and hope the resources we provide will help you bring more value to your students.

    Thus, we are happy to announce that the MCT Rewards website had been given a little “lift”.  Starting October 28th, the MCT Rewards program is officially Learning Rewards program.

    If you are already a member of the Rewards Program, simply click here to see for yourself. Use the same credentials to log in the website.  We have made a few changes, including the addition of a personal Dashboard that will make your navigation and activities easier.

    Not a member yet, but interested to find out more?  Please visit the Benefit section of the MCT member site. (log-in required).

  •  

    Hello, Andrew Bettany here on the Bus Tour. 

    Our second event in Milan took us to Pipeline IT. The attendees at this event spent the morning hearing technical presentations on Windows Server and Exchange. We arrived shortly after lunch, and Tjeerd opened with his presentation on the cool new features of Win7 followed by Patrick’s (from our field office in Holland) presentation on MDOP. Ken and Liberty went through our lineup of presentations, and rather than talk about the presentations, let me share some cool stories from this event.

    One of the attendees told how he was very excited about coming to this event and learning about Microsoft’s newest technologies. His company wouldn’t give him the day off, so rather than missing the event, he took a “holiday” (or vacation day for us Americans) to attend. Wow, that showed exceptional initiative on the part of the attendee especially in this recession.

    pipe1


    During the event, Pipeline IT was constantly blogging and tweeting on the event. Within 5 minutes of Liberty starting her presentation, her picture was on Pipeline IT’s FaceBook. They also posted some videos on YouTube within minutes of the presentation and plan to post video from the entire event after the bus tour concludes. Interested in seeing some of this? Go to their twitter page at Twitter.com/pipelineit where they have links to everything. They were a social media machine!

  • Wow, 76.000 people have now downloaded this free ebook on Windows 7 Deployment.

    We blogged about this earlier, but with such an uptake I could not resist this ‘friendly reminder’.

    After all, it’s free, written by experts and it may be just what you are looking for right now.

    Did you get it?

    It is still available, just click here, enjoy!

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  • There’s a Facebook app right now that’s challenging students to compete and represent their country with a Windows 7 challenge.  While it was intended for students, I’m sure we can jump in and run up the score =). 

    Check it out!

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    Ah oui, Paris. Une version en francais ci-bas.

    David Elfassy here, MCT and MVP from Montreal, Canada.

    Well, this is where we started our day today, waking up at 5:00AM in our comfortable bus. (video of the interior of the bus coming soon.) We then headed to La Defense (where the beautiful Arche de La Defense is located) to see our gracious hosts for our event at EduGroupe, a Paris CPLS. Then it was all about Windows 7, Windows 2008 R2 and my personal favorite, Exchange Server 2010 :). It was actually funny listening about those "We re migrating from Lotus Notes to Exchange" stories. As a North-America based "Exchange guy", I rarely hear anything about Lotus Notes, but I always knew that they had a lot of deployments in France. I have to admit that I have a pretty easy job though, getting people excited about Exchange 2010 is pretty easy. It practically sells itself !!! :) And I got to present in French, which would make my family proud.
     

    So how did we end our day? A walk through the Champs-Elysees, a classic french diner at La Duree and then we got on a cab, to go the airport, to catch our bus, that will get on a train, that will go through a tunnel under the sea... to London! (This could make a great Country song.)

     paris

    Et en francais (sans les accents :() Aujourd hui, nous avons commencer notre journee dans un petit hotel en dehors de Paris. Pour apres prendre la route vers nos hotes pour la journee, nos amis chez EduGroupe, un centre de formation IT a La Defense. Pour nous, c etait tres interessant de rencontrer nos clients Francais et de pouvoir repondre a leur questions technique. Les presentations etaient plein d interet et de questions. Vraiment une belle experience, et pour moi qui a presenter sur Windows 2008 R2 et Exchange 2010, c est toujours amusant de presenter en Francais. (Meme si de temps en temps, j utilise trop de mots anglais :))


    A la prochaine Paris!

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    Hi, my name is Melissa Bathum and this is, in fact, my very first blog ever. Some of you might know me – I pop up from time to time managing events for various groups at Microsoft – and this time, I’ve had the privilege of managing the details of the bus tour. Now, you’re never going to see posts from me about learning the improvements of BranchCache, the benefits of DirectAccess or the cool new features in Exchange Server 2010. However, from time to time, you might find a post or two from me about the fun stuff we encounter along the tour.

    Check this out – this might be the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. We took our double-decker bus onto the EuroTunnel last night to travel from France to the UK and actually had to drive the bus onto a train that would then take us through the tunnel… and we just barely squeezed into that train. I guess I just never realized that to go through the tunnel, we’d have to put the bus onto a train first, I don’t think that any of us riding the bus knew that was coming. Anyhow it only took 35 minutes, but I got a kick out of every second of it.
     
    Here’s us driving onto the train:

    Get on the bus...On the train !

    Get on the bus...On the train !

     

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    One of the beta testers for Windows 7 (Richard Frisch) has been hosting a series of presentations to introduce local users to Windows 7. The presentation is given at a local library to the Computer Users Group monthly meeting. The attendees have a broad range of experience with computers.  One attendee at each talk (two held in October) received a free copy of Windows 7 Inside Out by Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, and Craig Stinson. Here’s the report from the event as well as a copy of Richard’s newsletter.

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    I gave two public talks in October, Windows 7: An Introduction. The first one on Tuesday, October 6 at the Fairfield County Computer Users Group monthly meeting. The second one on Saturday, October 24 at the Westport (CT) Library. (Westport is David Pogue’s home town.) FCUG usually has 50 or more attendees. The Westport Library technology talks usually draw an audience in excess of 100.

    It was a big hit at the first presentation, Windows 7: An Introduction. The room was packed probably about 75 attendees.
    I opened the presentation with the book as a giveaway. I told the audience that I would decide who got it based upon the best question asked. I publicly thanked Ed and Microsoft Press for your/their generosity.

    One fellow asked me how he could install Windows 7 on his netbook since he didn t have a DVD drive. Good question that needed to be asked. He won. He was quite happy.

    My friend Ed Bott and Microsoft Press have donated a copy of Windows 7 Inside Out, by Ed Bott et al. that I will be giving away at my presentation at the Westport Library on Saturday, October 24, at 10:30a. You ve got to be there to have a chance to win this wonderful $49.99 (MSRP) resource.
    Richard Frisch
    support@rhftech.com
    203-221-7883



    TRENDS in TECHNOLOGY: An Introduction to Windows 7
    http://www.westportlibrary.org/events/2009/10/trends_in_technology_an_introd.html
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    Public Presentation by Richard Frisch
    Saturday, October 24 at 10:30a
    Westport Public Library McManus Room

    20 Jesup Road
    Westport, CT  06880
    Phone: (203) 291-4800

    Windows 7 is Microsoft s newest operating system and will be available in October 2009. Find out what is new and exciting (and what is not) in Windows 7 from Westonite Richard H. Frisch , who has been using Windows 7 for a year. Many computer experts, including some Mac fans, think that Windows 7 is the best operating system Microsoft has ever produced. You will also get a sneak peak at Microsoft Office 2010.

    Frisch is the founder of RHFtech, which provides technology support for small businesses and residences, is a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, and is also a technology journalist writing a biweekly column, "The RHFtech Help Desk", for The Hour, Stamford Times and Wilton Villager papers.

     

    Checkout my blog, the RHFtech Help Desk (and more).

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  • In today’s installment of our tribute to Win7 (are you getting excited yet? I am—I plan to be first in line on Thursday morning to buy it for my home computer), I have selected a few questions from Exam 063: Implementing and Supporting Microsoft® Windows® 95. In honor of this exam, we searched the archives for some of the publicity that coincided with the release of the exam and courseware, and I thought it might be fun to share a quick glimpse into the past with you. 

     win95cert

    Some quick announcements before we get into the exam questions. First, I was able to track down the Window NT exam (thanks to robhagman for the exam number) and will have a few items from that exam tomorrow, which will push Win2000 to Thursday and WinXP to Friday. Second, we are trying to find a way for you to experience our early exams in a way that will be more fun than reading them in a blog post. Erwin is working on doing this for Exam 001, and I suspect that I will be able to leverage that same tool to share more of the early exam content with you; so, stay tuned. Finally, to keep things interesting, let’s limit the free exam voucher to one per person during this series, so we’ll have five different winners by the end of the week.

    Now, on with our show. The first person to answer these questions correctly with a brief explanation will win a free exam voucher!

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    Question #1: Nelson’s Windows 95 computer has a LaserJet printer that is connected to LPT1 and set up as a local printer. The computer also has a PostScript printer on a Windows NT server set up as a network printer. Nelson runs a Microsoft MS‑DOS–based application, installs the correct PostScript drivers for the network printer, and attempts to print a two-page document. Twenty pages of PostScript commands are printed on his local printer.

    What should Nelson do to enable the MS‑DOS–based application to print to the network printer?

    A. In the Details tab on the network printer’s property sheet, click Spool Settings, and then change the spool data format from EMF to RAW.

    B. Right-click the local printer, and pause the printer from the context menu.

    C. In the Details tab on the network printer’s property sheet, click Capture Printer Port, and then assign the path of the network printer to LPT2.

    D. In the Device Options tab on the local printer’s property sheet, set Printer Memory Tracking to the maximum at the Aggressive end of the scale.

     

    Question #2: You are running two 16-bit Windows-based applications on a Windows 95 computer. You are also running 32-bit Windows-based application X. You then open 32-bit application Y, which is designed to test system reliability by generating general protection faults.

    Application Y generates a general protection fault, and Windows 95 displays a dialog box that informs you that the application has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.

    Which action can you take next? (Choose two.)

    A. Click the Close button on the dialog box, and then continue working with the 16-bit applications and application X.

    B. Click the Close button on the dialog box, and then continue working with the 16-bit applications. Application X will close.

    C. Click the Close button on the dialog box, and then continue working with application X. The 16-bit applications will close.

    D. Examine the contents of the registers and the current stack dump before closing application Y, and then continue working in the other applications.

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    So, what do you think of these items? I can’t believe how many items in this pool included the word “not”…such a bad idea psychometrically speaking. Anyone want to share stories about taking this exam?

    I hope you’re having as much fun as I am with this!

     

     

     

  • I’m headed over to the Win7 launch event. So, without further ado, today’s journey takes us to Exam 210:Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Professional. I’m going make you work a little harder for today’s exam voucher with 3 questions.

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    Question #1: You want to upgrade three computers to Windows 2000 Professional. The computers are configured as shown in the following table.

    Operating system

    CPU

    RAM

    Partition size/
    Free disk space

    File system format

    Windows for Workgroups 3.11

    133-MHz
    Pentium

    64 MB

    2,047 MB/
    685 MB

    FAT16

    Windows 95

    200-MHz
    Pentium II

    128 MB

    1,500 MB/
    192 MB

    FAT16

    Windows 98

    166-MHz
    Pentium

    32 MB

    1,000 MB/
    285 MB

    FAT32

    What should you do before you begin the installation? (Choose all that apply.)

    A. On the Windows for Workgroups computer, replace the CPU with a faster model.

    B. On the Windows for Workgroups computer, upgrade the operating system to Windows NT 3.1.

    C. On the Windows 95 computer and on the Windows 98 computer, increase the amount of free disk space on the hard disks.

    D. On the Windows 98 computer, change the memory from SIMMs to DIMMs.

    Question #2:  You are the administrator of your company s network. The research department of your company is analyzing the research results from international sources to compile an informational newsletter for potential customers.

    A user named Maria runs the English (US) version of Windows 2000 Professional on her portable computer. Maria needs to be able to use several different languages to compile the results into one concise document.

    Maria reports that when she is connected to the network, she cannot add different languages to her computer. However, when she is not connected to the network, she can add different languages. She wants to be able to add languages to her portable computer while connected to the network.

    What should you do?

    A. Enable the Local Computer Policy to allow multiple languages.

    B. Disable the Local Computer Policy to not allow multiple languages.

    C. Reconfigure the blocking user configuration Group Policy object (GPO) to allow multiple languages.

    D. Reconfigure the blocking computer configuration Group Policy object (GPO) to allow multiple languages.

     

    Question #3: Your network consists of a Windows NT Server 4.0 domain named CORP. CORP has 150 Windows 2000 Professional computers.

    You install Windows 2000 Professional on your portable computer. You configure your computer to join the CORP domain. You now create a new dial-up connection to connect to the company s remote access server that is in the CORP domain. You want authentication to be based on the logon credentials that you use when you log on to the portable computer.

    What should you do? (Choose two.)

    A. Configure the security options to enable EAP.

    B. Configure the security options to require secured passwords.

    C. Configure the security options to allow unsecured passwords.

    D. Configure the security options to use the Windows logon name and password.

    E. Configure the dialing options to include the Windows logon domain.

    F. Configure the dialing options to not prompt for name and password.

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    Be the first to correctly answer all three questions with a brief explanation and win an exam voucher!

  • One of our contest winners Chris Maneu joined the Bus in Milan and travelled with us to Zurich overnight. I caught up with Chris during the event at DigiComp Academy for a quick interview.  Chris is a Microsoft Student Partner and has the following blog: http://www.christophermaneu.fr/

     

     

  • At lunch learners and presenters were treated to some authentic American fayre in the form of a real hot dog stand, mini burger type sandwiches adorned with the stars and stripes.  These were polished off with some sumptuous cup cakes!  Well done Digicomp.

    After lunch David Elfassy & I took to the stage to jointly present an overview of Windows Server 2008 R2 followed by some great questions and answers from an engaging crowd.

    Roll video:image

     

     

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    Microsoft Learning is proud to announce the release to manufacturing of MOC course 6426B, Configuring and Troubleshooting Identity and Access Solutions with Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory®. This three-day instructor-led course covers creating, maintaining and troubleshooting identity and access solutions with Active Directory services including Active Directory Certificate Services, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services, Active Directory Federation Services and Active Directory Rights Management Services.

    Course 6426B was released to manufacturing on October 26, 2009 and is currently available for download on the MCT courseware download center. The course will be available for ordering by CPLS partners on November 6, 2009. You can view the syllabus for course 6426B here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Course.aspx?ID=6426B
     

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    Rain in Seattle?  Nah, not too often. </sarcasm>

     

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    Date: November 2, 2009     Time: 12:00 p.m. Eastern / 9:00 a.m. Pacific     Duration: 60 Minutes

    Featured speaker: Benjamin Gray, Analyst, Forrester

    Forrester s Benjamin Gray discusses the July 2009 report "The Costs and Challenges Associated with Supporting Today’s Information Workers" and how organizations can react to maximize employee productivity. Today’s increasingly mobile workforce can create new business processes and efficiencies, but it also introduces technology and support challenges for IT and requires end users to become more self-sufficient. After surveying over 300 IT professionals, Forrester Consulting discusses key findings on how global organizations can:

    -Understand their diverse workforce and what they need from technology

    -Evaluate the actual needs, behaviors, and attitudes of employees to segment employees

    -Analyze the “why” as well as the “what” behind technology needs to maximize the adoption rate and satisfaction of your next-generation desktop

    Register today for this webcast to see how Windows 7 can benefit your organization with powerful technologies that help you secure, officially manage, and lower the cost of your organization s desktop infrastructure.

    About Benjamin Gray: Benjamin serves IT Infrastructure & Operations professionals. He is a leading expert on business-class PCs and desktop operating systems and also researches business-class mobile devices, mobile operating systems, and mobile device management solutions.

    Benjamin helps Forrester clients develop and improve their strategy around client hardware and client operating systems. Benjamin s research and analysis have been widely cited in the press, including business media outlets such as The Associated Press, Bloomberg, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal and industry media outlets such as Computerworld, eWeek, InformationWeek, InfoWorld, and NetworkWorld.

  • Today, we find ourselves in Switzerland. It’s amazing to wake up to snow on the ground after a day of sunny and, surprisingly, warm weather in Milan (don’t worry…by the time, we got to our hotel the snow was gone). We also welcomed David Elfassy to our cadre of speakers while Ken fell victim to a 24-hour (we hope) bug.

    DigiComp put together a great event for us, and the attendees were very excited by the new functionality in Exchange 2010, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Win7. For Exchange, they seemed particularly excited by high availability and mail tips; for Windows Server, it was BranchCache and Direct Access; for Windows 7, it was the problem steps recorder. A few of the attendees that I spoke to mentioned that they commuted over an hour to attend the event because they wanted to learn about Microsoft’s newest technologies, and most had taken the day off from work to be there. Two attendees even made a point to tell us that they were using a competing platform but were seriously considering Microsoft’s product based on the demonstrations that they saw at this event. Overall, it was awesome to see the energy that the attendees had around the new functionality in these products; it made me even more excited about them than I was (Windows 7, baby)!

    DigiComp provided an American lunch of sandwiches with a USA flag in each one, and at break, we had cupcakes with USA flags (who can resist cupcakes?).

     

    cupcakes

    After the event, we went to Ambross for a Reception where a variety of meats and Swiss cheeses from different areas of the country were served. At this event, Oliver Muller, DigiComp’s Marketing and Communications Manager, mentioned that DigiComp was excited to have the bus stop in Zurich because it fit in nicely with the community events that they offer several times a year to showcase Microsoft technologies. Based on the turnout at this event, DigiComp seems to have the finger on the pulse of their community and is providing them with the learning opportunities that they need to be key influencers in their organizations.

    To learn more, watch these great videos!

    Overview of the Event:

     

  • |

    Add another up-and-running state to the roster of those participating in Elevate America: Marylanders can now take advantage of free and discounted learning products and events for unemployed workers.

    Coverage here and here.

  • In honor of the upcoming release of Win7 (“More Happy is Coming”—I love that commercial), I thought it might be fun to take a journey back in time and look at some of our earlier Windows client exams. Let’s start with Exam 030: Microsoft® Windows® 3.1.

    It was interesting to read through these items and see what our item writing standards were at that time; they are very different than what we have in place today. Even more interesting was to find that many of the items on this exam were knowledge based questions, like the one below, rather than the application based questions (like #1 and #2 below) we write today:

    Example Knowledge Based Question: Which command will result in a directory listing of all files in the current directory regardless of the file attributes?

    A. dir /a

    B. dir /o

    C. dir *.*

    D. dir /a:hsr}

    The correct answer is keyed as A by the way.

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    Now, let’s have some fun. Over the next four days, I’m going to post a few questions from different Windows client exams (Win95 on Tuesday, Win2000 on Wednesday, and WinXP on Thursday) and test your knowledge. The first person who responds with the correct answer (what we keyed as correct when this item was published) to both questions and briefly explains why it’s the correct answer will win an exam voucher!

    The Windows 3.1 exam was released in August 1994. So, dig into your memory banks and see what you can remember.

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    Question #1.  Assume that you want to change the default listing for the dir command to wide format and alphabetic order, without having to type the switches /w /o:a each time. How can you specify these options as the default for the dir command?

    A. Add the command set dircmd=/w/o:n to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

    B. There is currently no method to change the default display of a dir command.

    C. Modify the MSDOS.INI file to include a dir_list=/w /a line in the [defaults] section.

    D. Modify the DOSSHELL.INI file to include a display=/w /a line in the [options] section.

    Question #2. Assume that you have run MemMaker on a computer without the MOUSE.COM version 8.2 device driver loaded into the UMA. The Microsoft MS-DOS mem /c command shows that a 24K contiguous block of memory is available in the UMA and that the MOUSE.COM file uses only 17K. The MEMMAKER.STS file contains the following information about MOUSE.COM:

    [SizeData]

    Command=c:\dos\mouse /c1
    Line=1
    FinalSize=17088
    MaxSize=56928
    FinalUpperSizes=0
    MaxUpperSizes=0
    ProgramType=PROGRAM

    Why is MOUSE.COM not loading high?

    ^^^^A. The switch /c1 forces MOUSE.COM to be loaded into conventional memory.

    ^^^^B. The line MaxSize=56928 indicates that MOUSE.COM initially needs 56928 bytes to load high.

    ^^^^C. The line FinalUpperSizes=0 indicates that MemMaker has determined that the device will not function properly in the UMA.

    ^^^^D. MemMaker has incorrectly identified MOUSE.COM. The ProgramType=PROGRAM command should be changed to a ProgramType=DEVICE command.

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    We don’t have any stats on these items, so I have no idea if these items are good, bad, or ugly. What do you think? Too hard, too easy? Technically accurate? Clearly written?  I know what I think from a psychometric perspective, and let’s just say I hope you see a noticeable improvement over the next four days, but I’m curious about what you think.

    By the way, anyone remember taking this exam? I’d love to hear your stories.