Video – Updates to SharePoint App, Team Sites and Publishing

Adam Harmetz gives a rundown of SharePoint’s updated team collaboration experience across SharePoint and OneDrive and what’s coming in the future. He shows what the mobile and web experience is like working with and sharing team files. Se the recently launched improvements to the SharePoint team site which allows for the quick creation of a home for your Office 365 Group’s content. See the cross-platform mobile apps that help you connect with your team members and content while on the go.

Source: Microsoft Mechanics Library

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Video – Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) in Windows Server 2016

A look at the latest updates to software-defined storage with Storage Spaces Direct, new with Windows Server 2016. Elden Christensen explains the advantages in terms of cost, performance and reliability.

Also, find out what your deployment options are from hyper-converge or branch offices to converge for enterprise scale workloads. Finally, you’ll see how this applies to disaster recovery.

Source: Microsoft Mechanics Library

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Video – Visio Updates

A tour of the latest updates for Visio. Including enhanced AutoCAD support, one step data linking to your diagrams and the first look at the new cross-platform experiences with Visio Online and Visio on iPad.

Find out how you can get started with the Insider Program for the new Visio iPad app (limited time) and learn how to access the Visio Online Preview.

Source: Microsoft Mechanics Library

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Tools of the Trade – #05 Notepad++

Title: #05 Notepad++
Published: 05/18/2016
Publisher: Don Ho
Version: 6.9.2
File size: 4.0 MB
Frequency of use: DAILY
Cost: Freeware
Donations are accepted (PayPal, Tibit & Bitcoin)

Works with PortableApps: Yes
Website: http://notepad-plus-plus.org
Download URL: Click here to download

DESCRIPTION

Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad.exe replacement that supports several languages.

KEY FEATURES

MY 2 CENTS

I use Notepad++ daily for quick and dirty editing of XML, HTML or CSV. The line numbering, tabbed pages and text highlighting are great, though I still use the ISE for PowerShell coding.

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Tools of the Trade – #04 IrfanView

Title: #04 IrfanView
Published: 03/10/2016
Publisher: Irfan Skiljan
Version: 4.42
File size: 2.03 MB
Frequency of use: DAILY
Cost: Freeware for non-commercial use
Donations are accepted (PayPal)

Works with PortableApps: Yes
Website: http://irfanview.com
Download URL: Click here to download

DESCRIPTION

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, XP, 2003 , 2008, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10.

FEATURES

  • Over 140 supported file formats (click here the list of formats)
  • Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters
  • Batch conversion (with advanced image processing)
  • Multimedia player
  • Change color depth, cut, crop, resample
  • Add overlay text/image (watermark)
  • Effects (Sharpen, Blur, Adobe 8BF, Filter Factory, Filters Unlimited, etc.)
  • Extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs
  • Many command line options
  • Much, much more…

MY 2 CENTS

I constantly have to resize images for blog posts, crop, resample, and adjust colors on image files. IrfanView is my go-to product, hands down. It also has powerful command line support. I once used IrfanView from the command line to create JPG thumbnails of over 200 PDF files in a batch process.

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Tools of the Trade – #03 WinDirStat

Title: #03 WinDirStat
Published: 10/20/2014
Publisher: Open Source
Version: 1.1.2
File size: 0.6 MB
Frequency of use: WEEKLY
Cost: Free but donations are accepted
(PayPal)

Works with PortableApps: Yes
Website: https://windirstat.info
Download URL: Click here to download

DESCRIPTION

WinDirStat (Windows Directory Statistics) is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Windows. On start up, WinDirStat reads the whole directory tree once and then presents it in three useful views:

  • The directory list, which resembles the tree view of the Windows Explorer but is sorted by file/subtree size.
  • The treemap, which shows the whole contents of the directory tree straight away.
  • The extension list, which serves as a legend and shows statistics about the file types.

MY 2 CENTS

WinDirStat can be pretty slow sometimes, but it’s great for finding out why your hard drive is full. I especially like using WinDirStat to delete contents in the Windows Recycle Bin or desktops of other user accounts on a server or PC (like when another admin downloads ISO files to the desktop).

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Tools of the Trade – #02 KeePass

Title: #02 KeePass
Published: 06/11/2016
Publisher: Open Source
Version: 2.3.4
File size: 2.9 MB
Frequency of use: DAILY
Cost: Free but donations are accepted
(PayPal, wire transfer & Flattr)

Works with PortableApps: Yes
Website: http://keepass.info
Download URL: Click here to download

DESCRIPTION

KeePass is a free open source password manager which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).

MY 2 CENTS

I use separate KeePass databases for personal and professional information. Being able to carry the KeePass program and your database on an encrypted (BitLocker To Go) flash drive is great!

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Training – What’s New in Windows Server 2016

Title: What’s New in Windows Server 2016
Published: 06/03/2016
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation 
Instructors: Corey Hynes and Ward Ralston
Level: 200 (Intermediate)
Length: 5 hours
Modules: 7
Assessments: 5
Cost: FREE
Training URL: Click here to launch training

DESCRIPTION

In this helpful course, get the details about the features and functionality that have been added to this new version of Windows Server, along with those that were modified from previous versions.
 
See demonstrations and get high-level overviews, from a practical and a conceptual standpoint. Take a look at what’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V and software-defined networking, learn about the latest in software-defined storage, and hear about security features, including Credential Guard. Plus, explore containers and Nano Server, along with implementation and management.

COURSE INFORMATION

  1. Instructor Introductions and Prep
    Meet your instructors, and learn what you should know as you come to this course.
  2. Introduction to Windows Server 2016
    Get a high-level overview of what’s new in Windows Server 2016, from a conceptual standpoint.
  3. The Software-Defined Datacenter – Part 1 
    Take a look at what’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V and software-defined networking.
  4. The Software-Defined Datacenter – Part 2 
    Get a high-level overview of what’s new in Windows Server 2016 storage, including software-defined storage.
  5. Security and Authentication 
    Look at the newest features in Windows Server 2016 security and Remote Desktop Services (RDS), including Credential Guard and RDS Scaling.
  6. Application Platform 
    Take a look at containers and Nano Server, along with implementation and management.
  7. Post-Event Survey (optional)
     
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Tools of the Trade – #01 PortableApps

The blog post starts a new series called “Tools of the Trade” (TotT) where I post information regarding software tools I use in IT on a daily or weekly basis.

Note: TotT is not a series of in-depth reviews, but one of those ‘I wish I had known about that’ or information on ‘what tools are other folks using’.

My goals for TotT:

  • Keep the posts short
  • Include the download URL
  • Recommend products that save me time and effort
  • Use low-cost or free software where possible

With that said, let’s get started with one of my all-time favorites…

Title: #01 PortableApps
Published: 05/13/2016
Publisher: Open Source
Version: 14.1
File size: 9.0 MB
Frequency of use: DAILY
Cost: Free but donations are accepted
(BTC, LTC & PayPal)

Website: http://portableapps.com
Download URL: Click here to download

DESCRIPTION

A portable app is a computer program that you can carry around with you on a portable device or cloud drive and use on any Windows computer. When your USB flash drive, portable hard drive, iPod or other portable device is plugged in or your cloud drive is synced, you have access to your software and personal data just as you would on your own PC. And when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind.

  • No Special Hardware
    Use any USB flash drive, portable hard drive, etc.
  • No Additional Software
    Just download, run the portable installer and go
  • No Kidding
    It’s that easy

MY 2 CENTS

PortableApps is great for running other software on PCs that are locked down (no local admin rights / no software install rights).

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Microsoft Rights Management Services (RMS) Whitepapers

Networks today are no longer a simple group of laptops, PCs and on-premise servers controlled by the IT department. Now we have to contend with cloud services, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios, the Consumerization of IT (CoIT), telecommuters, and hybrid networks.

Simply put, networks aren’t simple anymore, especially when it comes to protecting company data.

Fortunately, Microsoft has a series of eight whitepapers on Rights Management Services (RMS) that can help you wrap your head around the options available for protecting sensitive information.

Title: Microsoft Rights Management services (RMS) whitepapers
Published: 07/22/2016
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation 
Version: 1.52
File size: 30.7 MB
Download URL: Click here to download

CONTENTS

  • Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) with Azure Rights Management
    By following the steps outlined in this document you should be able to successfully prepare your environment to leverage this BYOK capability, enable it and manage your key over the time.
    Bring-Your-Own-Key-with-Azure-RMS.docx (3.7 MB)
     
  • Configuring Azure RMS with federation on-premises for Office client applications
    This document provides step-by-step information on how to configure and use Azure RMS to perform content protection on your corporate Office document in conjunction with federation on-premises.
    Configure-Azure-RMS-with-federation-for-Office.docx (7.3 MB)
     
  • Get Usage Logs from Azure Rights Management
    By following the steps outlined in this document you should be able to successfully prepare your environment to enable and monitor the usage of your Azure Rights Management service’s tenant.
    Get-Usage-Logs-from-Azure-RMS.docx (0.6 MB)
     
  • Information Protection and Control (IPC) in Microsoft Exchange Online with AD RMS
    This document is intended to provide a better understanding of how to use an on-premises AD RMS infrastructure for the Exchange Online services of the organization’s Office 365 tenant in the Cloud.
    IPC-in-Exchange-Online-with-AD-RMS.docx (1.8 MB)
     
  • Information Protection and Control (IPC) in Office 365 with Azure Rights Management
    This document is intended to help you preview and evaluate the Azure Rights Management service technology. It contains a brief information on IPC and the Azure Rights Management service that helps you understand what it is, and how it differs from on-premises Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS). It provides step-by-step information on how to configure and use the Azure Rights Management service to perform rights protection on your corporate content.
    IPC-in-Office-365-with-Azure-RMS.docx (5.2 MB)
     
  • Leverage the Mobile Device Extension for AD RMS
    This document provides information about the Mobile Device Extension for AD RMS, and how it can be deployed on top of existing Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2-based AD RMS clusters to support the important devices with mobile RMS-enlightened applications. By following the steps outlined in this document you should be able to successfully prepare your environment to deploy the Mobile Device Extension, and start using it within your organization to create and consume protected content on all the important devices.
    Leverage-the-Mobile-Device-Extension-for-AD-RMS-on-your-premises-(PS-Scripts).zip (10 KB)
    Leverage-the-Mobile-Device-Extension-for-AD-RMS-on-your-premises.docx (3.9 MB)
     
  • Leverage the Rights Management Connector for your premises
    By following the steps outlined in this document you should be able to successfully prepare your environment to deploy the Azure Rights Management service (Azure RMS), install and configure the Rights Management connector, and start using it within your organization to create and consume protected content.
    Leverage-the-RMS-Connector-for-your-premises.docx (5.2 MB)
     
  • Share protected content with Azure Rights Management
    This document provides information about the Rights Management sharing applications to share protected content on all important devices and the Rights Management for individuals to enable anyone to share protected content.
    Share-protected-content-with-Azure-RMS.docx (2.9 MB)
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