Download – Free Windows Phone 7 eBook

imageTitle: Programming Windows Phone 7
Authors: Charles Petzold
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Date Published: © 2010 Microsoft Corporation
ISBN:  978-0-7356-43352
Pages: 1013
File size: PDF 38.6 MB
Price: FREE
Download URL: Click here for PDF

This book assumes that you know the basic principles of .NET programming and that you have a familiarity with the C# programming language. If not, you might benefit from reading the free online book .NET Book Zera: What the C or C++ Programmer Needs to Know About C# and the .NET Framework.

This is divided into three parts:

  • Basic Concepts of Windows Phone 7 Programming
  • Silverlight
  • XNA

More Info: Microsoft Press Blog

Source: Erig Ligman via Twitter

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Book – Windows Home Server Unleashed 2nd Edition

Windows Home Server Unleashed (2nd Edition)The new book “Windows Home Server Unleashed (2nd Edition)” by author Paul McFedries is in stores now. This is the third book I’ve worked on for SAMS Publishing, this time as a Technical Editor instead of a co-author. 

The “Unleashed” series of books strives to provide unparalleled technical depth and accuracy, and this book is no exception. The second edition has been updated to include information about Power Pack 3, Windows 7, and other improvements. Paul is an author of over 60 books and has an excellent knowledge of networking, Office, Windows, Macs and the web. He’s even got a book on the iPad!

Title: Windows Home Server Unleashed (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams Publishing; 2 edition
Published: April 15, 2010
ISBN-10: 0672331063
Paperback: 792 pages
Language: English
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | InformIT / Sams

If you’ve never installed WHS before, or even if you’ve been using it for quite a while, this book has something for everyone; from beginning setup instructions to advanced topics like connecting Linux, Macs, wireless photo frames, setting up SharePoint, and even scripting. I had an absolute blast editing it, and at one point I had 12 machines running at the same time testing out different scenarios and configurations. I really hope you enjoy this book! 🙂

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Download – Free SQL 2008 R2 eBook

Ebook - SQL Server 2008 R2 Title: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
Author: Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Date Published: © 2010 Microsoft Corporation
Pages: 236
File size: PDF 7.7 MB
Price: FREE
Download URL: Click here to download PDF


The purpose in Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 is to point out both the new and the improved in the latest version of SQL Server. Because this version is Release 2 (R2) of SQL Server 2008, you might think the changes are relatively minor—more than a service pack, but not enough to justify an entirely new version. However, as you read this book, we think you will find that there are a lot of exciting enhancements and new capabilities engineered into SQL Server 2008 R2  that will have a positive impact on your applications, ranging from improvements in operation to those in management. It is definitely not a minor release!


PART I   Database Administration

  • CHAPTER 1   SQL Server 2008 R2 Editions and Enhancements
  • CHAPTER 2   Multi-Server Administration
  • CHAPTER 3   Data-Tier Applications
  • CHAPTER 4   High Availability and Virtualization Enhancements
  • CHAPTER 5   Consolidation and Monitoring

PART II   Business Intelligence Development

  • CHAPTER 6   Scalable Data Warehousing
  • CHAPTER 7   Master Data Services
  • CHAPTER 8   Complex Event Processing with StreamInsight
  • CHAPTER 9   Reporting Services Enhancements
  • CHAPTER 10   Self-Service Analysis with PowerPivot

Source: Found via Eric Ligman’s blog

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Amazon Kindle 2 – From an SBS Geek Perspective

The actual bookshelf in my office I have a lot of reading to do and I need to plow through an average of 40-80 pages from books on a daily basis. (That excludes 180-220 emails per day, blogs and websites). I don’t know if that number is high or low by your standards, but I find that each year the amount of reading I need to do always goes up.

Now, even though I’m a geek, I don’t want to be a nerd. And carrying a fake book around is getting pretty deep into nerd territory. But i figure that with features like playing MP3s and cellular wireless, that swings me back over to the geek camp. So, after an inordinate amount of online research, I purchased a Kindle 2 from I picked the Kindle 2 model over the Kindle DX for several reasons.

My considerations for which Kindle to purchase:

Note: My winner for each category is shown in the far right column, and the spec I like best is highlighted in under each Kindle. Keep in mind that this is based on my research, not official Amazon specs / info.

Also: You can click on any picture for a larger view.


  Kindle 2
Kindle 2 
Kindle DX
Kindle DX 
Weight 10.2 oz. 18.9 oz. K2 – 46% lighter
Overall size 8” x 5.3” 10.4” x 7.2” K2 – 25% smaller
Screen size 6” 9.7” DX – 2.5 x bigger
Resolution 800×600 @167ppi 1200×824 @150 ppi N/A
Max # books 1,500 3,500 DX – 2,000 more
Storage 2 GB, 1.4 usable 4 GB, 3.3 usable DX – 1.9 GB more
Battery life Up to 1 week Up to 1 week N/A
Free Wireless Yes Yes N/A
Free Case No No N/A
Price $259 US $489 US DX – 47% cheaper


GOOD – The DX has 2x the screen & 2x the storage.

BAD – The DX has nearly 2x the weight and 2x the cost.

WINNER – At half the price and half the weight, I opted to buy the Kindle 2.

OK, so all that looks good on paper, but what about the real test? How does this really look and feel? Let’s look at some key categories.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I hate hauling around bulky or unnecessary items. When it comes to packing your toolkit or travel bag, size matters. Here is the K2 next to some everyday items for perspective: 4GB Zune, dollar bill, K2 & Matt’s new book. (The Kindle 2 is shown in the optional case)

The Kindle 2 size compared to everyday objects

The K2 is definitely smaller than a standard geek book, not as wide as a dollar bill, slightly thicker than a Zune, & a lot thinner than my Palm Treo Pro phone (not shown).

In spite of the resolution and poor focus of my camera phone, you have to see the screen to believe it.

Good screen resolution indoors

When I unboxed the Kindle 2, I thought there was a sticker on it, but that was the actual screen.

Physical size compared a CD

Other than the background having a gray tinge to it (rather than a true white) it looks like a real printed page. For me the gray was a bit distracting at first, but I’m already used to it. The picture above is showing my website, not an eBook. The camera phone doesn’t do the Kindle justice. This is a VERY impressive screen.

Though contrary to popular belief, geeks do go outside in the sun for things other than driving to a customer site to fix a computer. Here is the Kindle 2 outside at noon with the sun behind me as I took the picture.

Outdoor reading looks great

That’s full daylight, no clouds, with the sun shining right on it.

If you try to use the Kindle as a mirror, it is possible to get a flare on the screen, but I really had to aim just right to get this much glare.

Intentional glare from the sun

Just a slight shift and the sun spot was gone. Readability outside is as-good, if not better than indoors.

The Kindle is designed to access the web, not to surf it. The screen shots above show that you can indeed surf the web though and read blogs and such. Just don’t expect a desktop PC web experience.

One of the killer features for me (and pretty much the primary reason I bought the Kindle) was the native ability for the Kindle 2 to read PDF documents. You just plug in your USB / charging cable and the Kindle shows up in Windows Explorer like a USB drive.

Drag-and-drop files onto the Kindle 2

Drag-and-drop, you’re done. I have gobs of Microsoft Press books that include a CD in the back with a PDF version of the book. You can just plug in the Kindle, insert the CD, and drag and drop the PDF into the Kindle.

GOOD – All the PDF documents I tested rendered accurately on the Kindle.

BAD – Many PDFs are smaller on the 6” screen than they would be in real life, making them harder to read. And the cool font size changing feature doesn’t work on PDFs as far as I can tell.

MORE GOOD – Even though the text is smaller, I was able to search PDFs, bookmark them, and the Kindle remembered which page I left off reading.

MORE BAD – I couldn’t add notes or highlights to a PDF like I could with a ‘real’ kindle book.

Small fonts aside on PDFs, this feature still rocks.

The drag and drop on the Kindle 2 means I didn’t even have to email the document to Amazon for conversion like the Kindle 1. I did send a PDF to “name” (the way to convert files to the Kindle AZW format without the $0.15/MB wireless fee), but that has a file limit of 5 MB.

For a test I took the 1.92 MB “Windows Server 2008 Technical Overview.pdf” file and sent it to Amazon for conversion. It came back to me in under 2 minutes as an AZW file that only weighed 5.4 KB. I pulled the AZW file into the Kindle 2 and it was just my sig line from the e-mail. A few seconds later another email came in from Amazon with an attached PDF but now it was called “Windows_Server_2008_Technical_Overview.pdf” and was the exact same size as the original. It still doesn’t change font sizes in the Kindle, but it works the same as before the ‘conversion’. I suspect I’ll be spending a lot of time learning the ins and outs of file conversion because I’d like to be able to shrink and grow the text if possible on a PDF.

The only option I recommend (other than a warranty if you’re the fumblefingers type) is the Amazon Kindle Black Leather Cover.

Optional leather cover

At $39.99 US, it’s not cheap by any stretch, but then again it’s not cheaply made either. It fits like a glove, and it still gives you access to the important bits for charging and such. I wonder how long the elastic band / strap will last. Still, I think that the leather cover is a must-have.

So far I’m a very happy camper. This is the best (and most fun) technical purchase I’ve made since I got my Acer Aspire One netbook. The Kindle 2 can do text-to-speech and there’s supposed to be experimental support for MP3s, but I don’t care about that. This is a great device as-is.

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Download – Free Office 2010 First Look eBook

First Look Microsoft Office 2010 (eBook) Title: First Look: Microsoft Office 2010 
Author: Katherine Murray
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Date Published: © 2010 Microsoft Corporation
Pages: 202
File size: PDF 10.5 MB
Price: FREE
Download URL: Click here to download PDF


For a limited time, Microsoft is offering a free download of the eBook “First Look: Microsoft Office 2010” which provides an overview of the updated features in the newest version of Microsoft Office. The book is broken into 14 chapters (shown below) and further organized into three parts.

  • Part I – Envision the Possibilities (Chapters 1-3)
  • Part II – Hit the Ground Running (Chapters 4-11)
  • Part III – Next Steps with Office 2010 (Chapters 12-14)

Table of Contents:

  1. Welcome to Office 2010
  2. Express Yourself Effectively and Efficiently
  3. Collaborate in the Office and Around the World
  4. Create and Share Compelling Documents with Word 2010
  5. Create Smart Data Insights with Excel 2010
  6. Manage Rich Communications with Outlook 2010
  7. Produce Dynamic Presentations with PowerPoint 2010
  8. Organize, Store, and Share Ideas with OneNote 2010
  9. Collaborate Effectively with SharePoint Workspace 2010
  10. Create Effective Marketing Materials with Publisher 2010
  11. Make Sense of Your Data with Access 2010
  12. Putting It All Together
  13. Security in Office 2010
  14. Training Made Easy


Source: Eric Ligman’s blog

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Download – Free Windows Server 2008 R2 eBook

image Title: Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2
Authors: Charlie Russel, Craig Zacker with the Windows Server Team at Microsoft
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Date Published: © 2010 Microsoft Corporation
Pages: 200
File size: PDF 11 MB / XPS 28 MB
Price: FREE
Download URL: Click here for PDF / Click here for XPS


Charlie has done it again! Learn about the new features of Windows Server 2008 R2 in the areas of virtualization, management, the Web application platform, scalability and reliability, and interoperability with Windows 7. Download Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2, written by industry experts Charlie Russel and Craig Zacker along with the Windows Server team at Microsoft.

Contents at a glance:

  • Chapter 1 – What’s New in Windows Server R2
  • Chapter 2 – Installation and Configuration: Adding R2 to Your World
  • Chapter 3 – Hyper-V: Scaling and Migrating Virtual Machines
  • Chapter 4 – Remote Desktop Services and VDI: Centralizing Desktop and Application Management
  • Chapter 5 – Active Directory: Improving and Automating Identity and Access
  • Chapter 6 – The File Services Role
  • Chapter 7 – IIS 7.5: Improving the Web Application Platform
  • Chapter 8 – DirectAccess and Network Policy Server
  • Chapter 9 – Other Features and Enhancements
VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Downloads – Two Free OCS 2007 R2 eBooks

NOTE: This is a limited time offer, so grab it while you can!

eBook Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Resource Kit Title: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Resource Kit
Authors: Rui Maximo, Rick Kingslan, Rajesh Ramanathan, Nirav Kamdar
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Published: February 4, 2009
ISBN: 0735626359
Pages: 879
Hard copy available: $37.79 at
Register for FREE download: Click here (29.4 MB)


Get the definitive resource for deploying, configuring, and supporting Office Communications Server 2007 now fully updated. Take advantage of expert insights direct from the Microsoft Office Communications Server Team. This official Microsoft RESOURCE KIT delivers in-depth technical guidance on architecture, deployment, security issues, administration, performance tuning, and troubleshooting.

Title: Programming for Unified Communications
eBook Programming for Unified Communications Authors: Rui Maximo, Kurt De Ding, Vishwa Ranjan, Chris Mayo, Oscar Newkerk, and the Microsoft OCS team
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Published: May 27, 2009
ISBN: 0735626235
Pages: 415
Hard copy available: $31.49 at
Register for FREE download: Click here (7.2 MB)


Get the hands-on guidance you need—direct from the Microsoft Office Communications Server product team—to streamline your organization’s real-time, remote communication and collaboration solutions. Step-by-step programming scenarios show you how to deliver high-quality VoIP, presence, click-to-communicate, and contextual collaboration across the enterprise and across time zones. You also get details on how to integrate Office Communications Server with enterprise applications like Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 and Windows Workflow Foundation. Equip yourself with the latest insider tips, and give your users greater flexibility in how, when, and where they work together and what services and devices they use to do so.

Source: Microsoft Press blog

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Downloads – Free SBS 2008 Administrator’s Companion eBook

NOTE: This is a limited time offer, so grab it while you can!

Windows Small Business Server 2008 Administrator’s Companion Title: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Administrator’s Companion
Authors: Charlie Russel & Sharon Crawford
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Publishes: January 07, 2009
ISBN: 9780735620704
Pages: 719
Hard copy available: $37.79 at
Register for FREE download: Click here (24.2 MB)


Your comprehensive, one-volume guide to planning, setup, and administration.

Get the critical information you need to build and run a Windows Small Business Server 2008–based network. This essential, single-volume reference details system capabilities and components—including Premium Edition features. Gain the real-world insights, workarounds, and troubleshooting tactics you need for on-the-job results.

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Free Microsoft Virtualization E-Book

Microsoft Press is celebrating their 25th anniversary with “Free E-Book of the Month” offers. The current offer is:

E-Book Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions Title: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions
Author: Mitch Tulloch with the MS Virtualization Team
ISBN: 9780735693371
File size: 14.4 MB
Pages: 452
Download URL: Click here

Description: This guide will teach you about the benefits of the latest virtualization technologies and how to plan, implement, and manage virtual infrastructure solutions. The technologies covered include: Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2009, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Source: Microsoft Learning and Keith Combs blog

VN:F [1.9.20_1166]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)