Cougar Beta 1 DVD is Here

The friendly DHL guy stopped by today, and he always brings the good stuff.

Today he delivered the Windows Server Code Name “Cougar” Beta 1 DVD.  

Windows Server Code Name "Cougar" Beta 1 May 2007

And no, I’m not leaking any news – CRN announced Cougar back in January.  But I am posting the info here to thank Kevin Beares and the Microsoft Windows Server team for listening to feedback and really working with the SMB community.  You guys rock!!

And if you haven’t done so already, you can thank the team yourself by filling out the SBS WW Community Survey – the deadline has been extended.  It takes 2 minutes to fill it out and they really appreciate the feedback.

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Craziest Event ID Ever – Event ID #34

I see far-out error messages and event IDs all the time (like the recent AVG “Something bad has happened in the application” messages this week).  But this one takes the cake…

Client’s computer was locking up randomly.  After it locked up, the three-finger-salute wouldn’t bring it back, only killing the power would do the trick.  Once the reboot was complete, the machine would work fine for minutes or hours sometimes, then randomly freeze again.  (And in case you’re wondering, the system was free of spyware and virus infections).  We checked the event logs and found one single red X error message:

Event Type:  Error
Event Source:  i8042prt
Event Category:  None
Event ID:  34
Date:  6/13/2007
Time:  11:43:14 AM
User:  N/A
Computer:  {snip}

“An error occurred while trying to determine the number of mouse buttons.”

Umm… yeah.

The MS Help and Support Center link wasn’t much help in this instance.  And I’ve never seen a mouse take out a computer like this, but we decided to troubleshoot the only clue we’d been given.

We powered the computer down, unplugged the old school roller PS2 mouse and installed a USB optical mouse, and hit the juice. 

This computer has been working fine ever since swapping the mouse.  No runs, no drips, no errors.

ADDITIONAL INFO:  I wanted to see if anyone else has seen this one before, and has a post that says the mouse port might be damaged – and that’s probably what happened here.  If you ever run across this, here’s the link to the post.

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Invitation – Live TS2 and KYSBSUG Events Next Week

You know him and love him from the 2005 & 2006 SBS Tours, the 70-282 Exam Prep Series 1 & 2, and numerous webcasts and live events.  And once again, I’m happy to announce that our favorite Microsoft TS2 Presenter, Ronald Grattopp, is coming back to Kentucky!

  • TS2 Live Seminar – Lexington, KY
    Tuesday June 19, 2007
    Start time:  1:00 PM Eastern

    Venue: Regal Hamburg Pavilion 16
    1949 Starshoot Parkway
    Lexington Kentucky 40509
    Registration URL:  Click here

  • June 2007 KYSBSUG Meeting – Louisville, KY
    Wednesday June 20, 2007
    Start time:  6:30 PM Eastern

    Venue: Money Concepts
    323 Townepark Circle
    Louisville, KY 40243
    Start time:  6:30 PM Eastern
    Registration URL:  Click here

  • TS2 Live Seminar – Louisville, KY
    Thursday June 21, 2007
    Start time:  1:00 PM Eastern

    Venue: Cinemark Tinseltown USA
    4400 Towne Center Drive
    Louisville Kentucky 40241
    Registration URL:  Click here

More Details on the June 2007 KYSBSUG Meeting Next Wednesday!

This month Ron Grattopp will be joined by Tim Barrett, and they will be co-presenting a deep dive on Windows SharePoint Services version 3 (WSS3).  Come learn the best practices for installing WSS3 on SBS, shortcuts to deploy the “Fabulous 40” templates, and other tips and tricks on WSS3.

“How deep is this deep dive” you may ask?  We have over 8 hours of content on WSS3, so we’re prepared to talk about all aspects; from deployment, to extending, to business value.  (The event is only 90-120 minutes long, so we’ll cover the content that the audience wants to hear.)

As always, there will be excellent networking opportunities and Ron is bringing some cool swag.

This Live event is FREE to attend, but registration is required:

The venue is a little tricky to find, since it’s so new it doesn’t show up on most maps, but fortunately there is a map available on Map Quest:

Map to KYSBSUG Meeting at Money Concepts – 323 Townepark Cir Louisville, KY 40243, USA

And if you get lost, just call my cell (502) 817-3456 and I’ll give you directions.

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You Can Blog with Microsoft Word 2007

Did you know that you can blog with Microsoft Word 2007? I’m sure I heard this at a launch event or something, but it must have slipped my mind.

I ‘discovered’ this feature today when I right-clicked a tab in Microsoft OneNote and saw the phrase “Blog this”.

I clicked it, and here I am – voila!

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Major Website Upgrade Complete

Last year, after much prodding from Chris and Vlad, I made the switch from Blogger to WordPress for the website engine.  And there was much rejoicing!

Now, over a year later, I’m happy to announce that today marks another major upgrade to the website. 



Here is a short list of the changes and some of the new features added:

  • WordPress upgraded to v 2.2
  • Integrated Search (finally)
  • Instant Messenger Status
  • Snap Shot images (now you can see a website thumbnail before clicking on it)
  • Blog Calendar Navigation
  • Recent Comments Section
  • Flickr Pictures
  • RSS Feeds for iTunes and Podcast (NGLB Videos coming soon!)
  • Site is now PDA-friendly
  • Links for
  • New Theme (courtesy of Adam Walker)
  • Wider layout (helpful for wide screen LCDs)
  • And more features like Digg, YouTube integration and TS2 Events coming soon!

I hope you enjoy the update.  Please feel free to leave any comments or feedback about the new site and features! 🙂

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Hack – Removing the Annoying Dell Wallpaper in RDP

This annoyance has been around for a very long time, and it’s been covered in numerous places throughout the web.   But since it still exists and since I came across it twice today, I thought I’d post the fix here.

The annoyance in question is the factory wallpaper from Dell (or any other manufacturer) that fills the screen when you try to logon to RDP.  It is slow, annoying, and it looks like this…

I pick on Dell not because we’re primarily an HP shop, but because that stupid Dell wallpaper weighs in at 1,877 KB.  That’s more than entire floppy disk of data – just for a splash screen!

Here’s how to get rid of the factory wallpaper or splash screen background.  But first, the obligatory REGEDIT disclaimer:

Disclaimer:  Use Registry Editor at your own risk. If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. This information is provided on an “as is” basis and all risk is with you. Improper use of Regedit can also make you sterile.  NoGeekLeftBehind makes no warranties, express, implied or statutory, as to any matter whatsoever, and does not guarantee that problems that you cause by using Registry Editor incorrectly can be resolved.

With that out of the way, there are two options available:

a) Kill that splash screen wallpaper completely. 

b) You can replace the factory image with another wallpaper.

If you’re leaning towards ‘option b’, I’ve included two images you can right-click and Save-As that are tiny (only 102 bytes each):

 – white_10x10.bmp
 – black_10x10.bmp

On with the instructions…

RDP Splash Screen Wallpaper Removal Instructions:

1) Click Start / Run / type REGEDIT and click OK

2) Navigate EXACTLY to the Key Value 
 – Control Panel
 – Desktop

3) Locate the String Value:  “Wallpaper”. 

Note: If you’re using a Dell, that string value data is probably “\windows\system32\DELLWALL.BMP”

Screenshot of the String Value above (click to enlarge)

4) Now, either:
  a) right-click and delete the Wallpaper string value completely, or 
  b) change the value to a different wallpaper

   WARNING – Be sure you DO NOT delete the “Desktop” Registry Key on the left, only nuke the “Wallpaper” String Value on the right

5) Close REGEDIT

If you performed everything correctly, the next time you RDP into the server that wallpaper should be gone (or changed if you followed Step 4b).  Your Remote Desktop Protocol experience should be much improved now.

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Pregnant Women Firing Model Rockets

Today in Madison, Wisconsin USA I saw half a dozen pregnant women firing off model rockets in a field….

I think I will call this picture, “Rocket Moms

(c) 2007 Tim Barrett, All Rights Reserved

Warning: You have now reached the end of the Internet.

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