Get More Customer Action through the Microsoft Action Pack
Presenter: Ron Grattopp
Date:  08/14/2006
Time:  2:00 PM Eastern USA (GMT -5)
URL:  http://www.msreadiness.com/WS_abstract.asp?eid=15004444

TS2 – Build a Successful Managed Services Practice from Scratch – Part 2
Presenters: Ron Grattopp & Erik Simpson
Date:  08/18/2006
Time:  4:00 PM Eastern USA (GMT -5)
URL:  http://www.msreadiness.com/WS_abstract.asp?eid=15004419

What’s New with SBS R2?
Presenters: Mike Iem
Date:  08/29/2006
Time:  12:00 PM Eastern USA (GMT -5)
URL: http://www.msreadiness.com/WS_abstract.asp?eid=15004396



Hidden Gems of SBS Part 2 – Webparts, IMF, other Gems
Presenters: Ron Grattopp & Tim Barrett
Recorded:  06/28/2006
URL:  http://www.msreadiness.com/WS_abstract.asp?eid=15004326

Hidden Gems of SBS Part 1 – OWA, MOM, OneNote Documentation
Presenters: Ron Grattopp & Tim Barrett
Recorded:  05/24/2006
URL:  http://www.msreadiness.com/WS_abstract.asp?eid=15004161

Crown Jewels of SBS Part 3 – RWW
Presenters:  Ron Grattopp & Chris Rue
Recorded:  04/28/2006
URL:  http://www.msreadiness.com/WS_abstract.asp?eid=15004065

Crown Jewels of SBS Part 2 – Wizards
Presenters:  Ron Grattopp & Chris Rue
Recorded:  04/27/2006
URL:  http://www.msreadiness.com/WS_abstract.asp?eid=15004064

Crown Jewels of SBS Part 1 – Companyweb
Presenters:  Ron Grattopp & Chris Rue
Recorded:  04/26/2006
URL:  http://www.msreadiness.com/WS_abstract.asp?eid=15004063

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Got Juice?

You know, all this modern technology is supposed to save us time and make life more enjoyable.  But it seems like everyday we just get busier in spite of (or possibly because of) technology. And you’ve heard that there are these great SMB podcasts that can keep you up to date so you don’t have to learn everything the hard way and bang your head against the wall.  Still, you don’t have time or desire to learn about iTunes and can’t justify spending the cash on an iPod, right?  Great news!  Don’t need an iPod or iTunes or any of that stuff, thanks to Juice

Here’s all you need:   

  1. A computer   
  2. Windows Media Player (FREE)
  3. Juice (FREE)
  4. The RSS feed of a podcast you’d like to listen to (FREE)   

Juice is a program that lets you to select and download audio files from anywhere on the Internet to your desktop. Once you select a podcast feed or location, Juice will download your audio files automatically at times you specify and have the files waiting for you on your computer.  You can schedule Juice to download your files at night and they’ll be waiting for you in the morning.  Then you can play your podcasts using Windows Media Player (or iTunes) right on your computer.  


  • Juice runs on my PC in the background 
  • My podcasts are downloaded nightly to the folder:
    \My Computer\My Received Podcasts

  • Windows Media Player is set to ‘monitor’ that podcast folder
    (In WMP click Tools \ Options \ Library \ Monitor Folders)

  • When I get to my computer in the morning, the podcasts are already on the PC.    

Juice works with WMP & iTunes so (if you want to) you can synchronize your computer with your MP3 player and take your podcasts with you.  I plug my MP3 player into my PC to charge overnight, and when i hit ‘power’ on the MP3 player in the morning it automatically syncs.  By the time I grab my phone, keys and a bottle of water from the fridge the MP3 player is done and I’m out the door to the gym.   

I’ve had quite a few MP3 players over the years including a Pink iPod once (as Vlad can testify). And I always do a ton of research before I buy a new one.  My current favorite is the 20GB iRiver H10 ($299 MSRP – I got mine from NewEgg for $184).    

The H10 has killer sound, super-fast transfers, great radio reception, it records off of FM or through the built-in mic, and it stores photos and files too.  Right now my iRiver has 6,000 songs plus every Inside SBS, SBS Show, Sky Is Falling & Security Now podcast on it, and it’s not even 1/2 full yet!    

So make the most of that drive time or those server loads, and catch some podcasts to leverage the knowledge of the community (or learn this stuff the hard way – your call).

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Coffee Talk With TS2

Image stolen from Mike Hall's blog - thanks Mike!

Want to build your business?  Charles Van Heusen and the TS2 team think you do, and they want to help. 

Join them every Wednesday morning 9:00 – 10:00 Eastern for the new “Small Business Server Practice Builder” webcast series.

Upcoming topics include:

  • 2-Aug – What’s next for the Small Business Specialist Program?
  • 9-Aug – Licensing Configurator Tools
  • 16-Aug – Engaging with Microsoft
  • 23-Aug – Technology Assesment Toolkit

Registration is easy too – just click on the iCal link and a recurring appointment will be dropped into Outlook. 

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Koolaid Tastes Good

I recently took a break from the Mac ‘apple juice’ and just got back from spending 3 days in sunny Tulsa Oklahoma with one of my buds from Microsoft.  Over the course of a few days we installed a 64-bit SBS server and network, played with some new technology, and got to put Window Vista Ultimate (build 5472) through its paces on a really nice HP machine. 

If you haven’t seen Vista since Beta 2 back in the Spring, it’s come a LONG way.  The July CTP is much more stable and looks absolutely fantastic on a top-knotch PC with a huge flatscreen TV.  There are still some bugs with the DVD burning, some network cards say there is no connection (when they really are connected) and there’s no decent driver for the Haupauge video card yet.  Driver issues are par for the course and to be expected in a beta.  Driver issues aside, I can say after years of waiting for Vista it’s really getting close folks!

Admittedly, the SMB community is flustered over the SBS R2 delay (which I won’t beat into the ground).  But with SBM Nation in Redmond and the Microsoft SBS Parter Tour in Louisville showcasing SBS R2, Vista and Office 2007, September is gonna rock! 

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Webcast – Windows Vista Demo for Small Business Partners

Title: Windows Vista Demo for Small Business Partners
Event Date: Thursday 8/3/2006
Presenter: Morgan Greenwood
Event Time: 2:00 PM Eastern, USA & Canada (DST) = GMT – 05:00
Duration: 60 minutes

The Windows Vista Business operating system is designed to help your small business customers run their computers smoothly and more securely, with less reliance on dedicated IT support. Powerful new technology and tools help your customers protect their company’s data; better organize, find, and share information; and stay connected, whether they’re in the office, at home, or on the road. Windows Vista Business fuels business growth for partners by enabling them to deliver new, compelling value on a market-ready platform to meet the most significant wants and needs of small businesses.

During this demo, Morgan will show you the key features of Vista Business and why they are important to small businesses.

Registration URL: 

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Update to Microsoft.com Home Page

It’s always interesting (to me at least) to see what changes a multi-billion dollar company plans to make to their single most important piece of digital real estate. 

Here’s a look at the new before and after re-design of the Microsoft.com home page:

Before: http://www.microsoft.com/

Microsoft.com old home page





After:  http://preview.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx

Microsoft.com new home page






Now, before you start yawning, let me explain something.  The single biggest change is not a color and graphics appearance tweak – it’s a major navigation re-work. 

For example, when you click on ‘Software and Services’ on the new site, you get a page of thumbnails of the subsites (much like the multi-page thumbnail view in IE7).  And, just like Windows Explorer you can change between previews: List / Details / Thumbnail.  Give the new site a spin.  I think you’ll like it, and your customers will have a much easier time finding things too.

Nutshell – This change is not a ‘facelift’, its a ‘functionlift’.  Great job MS web guys & gals!

Source:  Bink.nu

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No Geek Left Behind – Episode 1

My iMac and I finally learned to work together, and I’m happy to report that Episode 1 of the No Geek Left Behind video blog has finally been born.

I want to personally thank a few folks who really helped make this happen:

  • Vlad – Thanks for the ENORMOUS patience, for being an excellent web host, and for being such a world-class Mac H8R.  I probably would have done this entire project on a PC if you didn’t hate Macs so much.
  • Chris – Thanks for help with the WordPress migration, video pointers & for being there on IM when I needed to vent.  You’re always there in a pinch man.
  • Elsa – Thanks to you, Mark Mulcahy, Polaris and Mezzotint Label for the tunes!  You guys TOTALLY rock!
  • Ryanne & Michael – Thanks for the excellent vlogging tutorial!  I couldn’t have done it without you.
  • Steven Washburn at Apple – Thanks for helping me learn to like (not love) my iMac.  The Apple Juice is sweet.
  • Seth – Lastly, thanks for constantly pestering me with Vista questions, for ruining good footage by talking over the video, and for generally making this project take longer than necessary to get off the ground.  Seriously though, thanks for camera work dude.  

And here it is in all it’s QuickTime glory (the WMV version will have to wait until after the weekend):

No Geek Left Behind - Episode 1

Title: No Geek Left Behind – Episode 1
URL:  http://www.nogeekleftbehind.com/nglb_001.mov
Run time:  5 minutes 18 seconds
Screen size:  320×240
File size: 26.7 MB
Format: Quicktime

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Free Microsoft Office 2007 E-Learning and E-Book


Get training at your own pace on 2007 Microsoft Office user interface, or learn what’s new with your favorite program.

Each E-Learning Course is available offline for 90 days, takes about 1 hour, and helps you take advantage of new functionality by focusing on the features that will affect you the most.

FREE E-book: First Look 2007 Microsoft Office System
(Adobe PDF file – 6MB – 213 pages)
ISBN: 0-7356-2265-5
Author: Katherine Murray

With this free ebook from Microsoft Press, you’ll get the full story on Microsoft 2007 Office system directly from the Microsoft product group. This book gives you the inside scoop on the Microsoft 2007 Office system and is designed to help you get a quick sense of the huge range of changes and enhancements made to the Microsoft Office System.

It will inspire you to try out some of the new features as you’re working with early versions of the software on your own systems. Some of the biggest work challenges that we face today—information overload, knowledge management, collaboration limitations, localization issues, and more—are directly addressed by new and revamped features in 2007 Microsoft Office System. See how the 2007 release will make your life easier!

The print version is available in July at booksellers everywhere.

Source: Heartland Area Technical Partner Newsletter


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Beta of No Geek Left Behind Video Blog online now

I uploaded two versions of the intro credits for the No Geek Left Behind Video Blog today – one is Quicktime, the other is WMV, and both were created on a Mac. (Yes, I’m still drinking the Apple Juice).

Please take a look at both video intros and vote for your favorite file format. Also, keep in mind – this is not the first episode, just the intro. If I get a lot of feedback from iPodders, I’ll use Quicktime, and if the Windows / Pocket PC folks are louder, I’ll use WMV:

Title: No Geek Left Behind Video Blog Intro (Beta) Quicktime
File size: 904.43 KB
DESCRIPTION: No Geek Left Behind Video Blog intro credits
Format: Quicktime (beta 1 – 2006-07-14)

Title: No Geek Left Behind Video Blog Intro (Beta) WMV
File size: 1.3 MB
DESCRIPTION: No Geek Left Behind Video Blog intro credits
Format: WMV (beta 2 – 2006-07-14)
Note: The WMV intro is actually shorter in length than the Quicktime, because the file is larger and I wanted to save download time for the beta. The real deal will be full length.

You can post your comments directly on this blog, or you can e-mail nogeekleftbehind at mac.com Thanks for checking it out!!

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