No Geek Left Behind – Episode 005

After SMB Nation wrapped up, geeks from around the globe split up and went their separate ways.  Some went back to the hotel to relax, some had to catch a plane, and others went to parties, etc.  But nearly a dozen geeks hung out together for a special behind-the-scenes tour arranged by Allen Miller and the Seattle Aquarium staff and management.  So if you were one of the SBSers invited on the tour and weren’t able to attend, you totally missed out on a fantastic time!

Here’s the roster of attendees:

On with the show… (And be sure to turn up your speakers because the dialog on this tour was as good as the pictures – seriously! 🙂

Title: No Geek Left Behind – Episode 005
Subject: Seattle Aquarium Geek Tour
Run time: 19 minutes 40 seconds

 

Pocket PC Version: WMV 27.5 MB (208×160)
Windows Version: WMV 35.1 MB (320×240)
Mac version: MOV 79.8 MB (320×240)

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Exam 71-260: TS: Microsoft Windows Vista, Configuring

Exam #: 71-260
Beta Exam Period: October 31 – November 13, 2006
Registration Opens: October 23, 2006
Test Time: 4 hours
Promotional Code: BTA620
Preparation Link:
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/71-620.mspx

Audience Profile:

Candidates for this exam should have at least one year of experience in the IT field. They typically work as Tier 1 to Tier 2-level phone support in a wide range of environments, including retail stores and the upper MORG or enterprise environment.

Candidates should have experience resolving issues concerning network connectivity, desktop operating systems, security, and applications. They address logon problems, perform password resets, and resolve most issues with desktop applications.

To Register:

Source:  Terry Stein’s newsletter

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Get Vista Express Upgrade on Your Next PC

You can receive an Express Upgrade to Windows Vista when you buy a qualifying PC running Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, or Windows XP Professional. 

If you’re in the market for a new computer, be sure to ask your retailer about the Express Upgrade to Windows Vista, being offered by participating PC manufacturers. When you buy a qualifying Windows Vista Capable PC between Thursday October 26, 2006 and Thursday March 15, 2007, you may be eligible for an Express Upgrade to Windows Vista.

Express Upgrade to Windows Vista offers from participating PC manufacturers include:

Note: Several of the manufacturers have only ‘coming soon’ pages since this program just launched this week, so check back often. Price, terms, and conditions may vary. Additional shipping, handling, and other fees may apply. See your PC manufacturer for availability and applicable offer details.

Source:  Microsoft Express Upgrade to Windows Vista

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SMS Link for Microsoft Outlook 2007

SMS Link is definitely one of the coolest feature I’ve seen in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 so far.

With SMS Link, now you can set rules in Outlook 2007 that will forward important e-mails, tasks, ect. right to your cell phone via SMS text messages. You can also send SMS messages to other people from Outlook, even if you don’t know who their mobile carrier is.

Check out the Shockwave video demo of SMS Link for details.  The video is a quick download, and it gives an excellent overview of the capabilities of SMS Link. 

Once you’re done with the video, click the Getting Started link. They have a nice FAQ too.

Note:  SMS Link is a free download and a free service, but remember that not everyone has free incoming SMS text messsaging.  So be sure and touch base with your addressee before you run up their mobile phone bill.

Source:  http://www.microsoft.com/smslink

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Outlook 2007 RAM Issues

I was experiencing the joys of IE7 tonight (multiple 404 errors trying to enter Passport sites after XP SP2 resumes from Standby Mode) and decided to give up and reboot.  After the reboot I hit to Ctrl-Alt-Delete and launched the Task Manager to watch the show.

So as I sit patiently watching, my 1.5 GB of RAM gets slowly eaten by the loading applications: Anti-Virus, MSN Messenger, ZoneAlarm & FolderShare, etc. And when the hard drive activity stops, I launch Outlook 2007 B2TR. 

Little-by-little, the RAM usage climbs slowly as Outlook 2007 connects to RPC over HTTPS, syncs with SBS, and then continues to climb as Outlook updates the RSS feeds.  Eventually, RAM usage for Outlook peaks at 110 MB (pictured below).   

But 110,428 K of RAM usage isn’t the odd part.  A few minutes later, Outlook 2007 drops down to 15 MB of RAM.  It stays there for 2 minutes, and then climbs back up to 49 MB and sits happily ever after (even as I type this). 

So my question is, ‘How in the world did Outlook go down to 15 MB of RAM, and why?’  As you can see from the screen shot above, even MSN Messenger uses 15 MB.  This isn’t one of the great mysteries of life – just a curious observation to which I haven’t been able to Google an answer.

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Louisville Geek Dinner 2.0

Inspired by the London Geek Dinner, the first Louisville Geek Dinner held in June 2006 was a HUGE success with a great turnout and lots of networking (pic on Flickr). 

Great News!  Ben & Erica Thomas have graciously offered to host a second Louisville Geek Dinner in November!

Autumn LOUISVILLE GEEK DINNER details:

Signup today!

Note:  Ben is also looking for volunteer podcasters and videobloggers to cover the event.  So this is an excellent good opportunity to cover a local tech event for your blog, podcast or videoblog and compare notes with other Bloggers.

Sourece:  www.louisvillegeekdinner.com

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Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Virtual Labs

If you went to one of the stops on the SBS Partner Group Tour in September, you undoubtedly saw the video where Michael Fitzsimmons showed you the new Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Want to take the new version of WSS for a spin yourself? Sure you do. And now you can take your free test drive using TechNet Virtual Labs with no setup or installation on your part. 

You get a downloadable manual and a 90-minute block of time for each module. You can sign up for additional 90-minute blocks anytime.

BONUS:  You could win a Microsoft Xbox 360!
Take any TechNet or MSDN Virtual Lab or Labcast before 31 December 2006, submit a completed evaluation, and be automatically registered to win an Xbox 360! (See official rules for details.)

FREE Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Virtual Labs:

  • What’s New in Windows SharePoint Services Feature Walkthrough
    Learn about the new and enhanced features in Windows SharePoint Services (version 3) such as site creation, site administration, adding Web Parts, the permissions trimmed UI, list settings, navigation, list and library security, notifications, and email integration.
     
  • Introduction to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
    After completing this lab, you will be able to describe the user interface changes, configure the document collaboration features, wikis, blogs, and RSS feeds, project task tracking, e-mail integration, Outlook 2007 integration, discussions and surveys in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.
      
  • Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Installation and Configuration
    Learn about the enhanced backup and restore options, the multi-level Recycle Bin, the new browser-based user interface, and new options for the command line (stsadm.exe) interface.
     
  • Implementing and Administering Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
    After completing this lab, you will be able to describe the changes to the Central Administration site, create and manage SharePoint sites, configure permissions at the site, list, and item levels and configure security policies.
     

Source:  TechNet Virtual Labs

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SBSC Quarterly Webcast

SBSC logo in a tree (I don't know why it's up there)Webcast:  Small Business Specialist Community Quarterly Webcast
Presenters: Eric Ligman & Paige Boesen
Date: Tuesday 9/26/2006
Time: 1:30 PM Eastern (GMT -5)
Duration: 90 minutes

Description:
Participate in the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community quarterly webcasts designed to serve as forums where we can unite as a community to hear new developments and gather feedback on the SBSC “Grow Your Small Business Together” strategy.

Join Paige Boesen and Eric Ligman on Tuesday September 26 at 1:30 PM Eastern Time when they will detail plans for our evolving community in FY07. You’ll hear about exclusive offers and promotions to help drive your bottom line. Sign up today.
 
URL: http://www.msreadiness.com/WS_abstract.asp?eid=15004539

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SBS Backup failing with error referencing VSS and MSDE

This info comes courtesy of Andrew Delozey at Interprom. 

The Issue:
Nightly backup was repeatedly failing within one minute of starting.

The Error: 
Volume shadow copy creation: Attempt 1.
“MSDEWriter” has reported an error 0x800423f4. This is part of System State. The backup cannot continue.

Error returned while creating the volume shadow copy:800423f4
Aborting Backup.

The Details:
Initially when this was entered into Google SBS 2003 groups and general Google web searching there were many results returned referencing Simple Recovery Mode on SQL database installs.  After speaking with Microsoft Support they clarified that the problem was more specific to Volume Shadow Copy services needing a hotfix (891957)applied so that they are readable by the backup wizard in SBS 2003. 

The problem was actually how the SBS backup wizard was seeing VSS.  Oddly enough the backup would start if you just ran NT backup but failed when starting the backup with the SBS Backup wizard.

The Fix:
There is a hotfix for KB891957 that once installed requires a reboot.  SP1 was installed on this box but I’m not certain it’s a prereq. 

Once the hotfix was applied and the server rebooted we ran a test backup using the SBS Backup Wizard.  The backup started successfully which it had not done prior to the hotfix being installed.  That night the backup ran all the way through successfully, the problem was solved.

Thanks for the heads-up Andrew!

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No entiendo senor Office 2007

Today I got my first email with an Office 2007 Word .docx attachment, and since I’m still running Office 2003 on my desktop PC at the office, I couldn’t open it.  So now I have to e-mail Andrew back and ask him to re-save the file in Office 2003 format, right?  Wrong.

Office logoTitle:  Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats (Beta 2 Technical Refresh)
File Name: O2007Cnv.exe
Date Published: 09/14/2006
Language: English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish
Download Size: 26.6 MB
Download URL: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/converter.mspx

Description:  Open, edit, save, and create files in the robust file formats new to the 2007 Microsoft Office system in Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, and Office 2003. 

By installing the Compatibility Pack (Beta 2 Technical Refresh) along side of Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003, you will be able open, edit, save, and create files using the robust file formats new to the 2007 Microsoft Office system, including:

Word

  • .docx—Microsoft Office Word 2007 document
  • .docm—Microsoft Office Word 2007 macro-enabled document
     

PowerPoint

  • .pptx—Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 presentation
  • .pptm—Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 macro-enabled presentation
  • .potx—Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 template
  • .potm—Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 macro-enabled template
  • .ppsx—Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 show
  • .ppsm—Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 macro-enabled show

Excel

  • .xlsb—Microsoft Office Excel 2007 binary workbook
  • .xlsx—Microsoft Office Excel 2007 workbook
  • .xlsm—Microsoft Office Excel 2007 macro-enabled workbook
  • .xltx—Microsoft Office Excel 2007 template
  • .xltm—Microsoft Office Excel 2007 macro-enabled template
  • .xlam—Microsoft Office Excel 2007 add-in
     
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