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!


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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Will That Work With SBS?

Has a customer ever asked you if CRM 1.2 will run on SBS 2003 R2? 

What about Small Business Accounting 2006 on a pre-SP1 SBS box? 

Is Vista RC 1 supported in an SBS environment, or is Office 97 supported by WSUS?

The answers to these and many other SBS-related questions can be found on several handy charts you should bookmark today (and Microsoft says that these charts will be kept updated):

The charts have easy-to-understand red, yellow & green symbols to indicate compatibility: 

Green check = The product is an integrated component of Windows SBS, or it is known to be compatible with Windows SBS. The product was tested and you can obtain support for this configuration.

Shield Mark = The product has not been fully tested on Windows SBS and support for this configuration is not available from the Windows SBS product support team. Other groups may offer support for this configuration; contact the appropriate group for information. Some product features may not be fully functional in a Windows SBS environment.

X Mark = Not compatible. The product is known not to work and you should not install the product in a Windows SBS environment.

Each entry also has a notes section with hyperlinks to more information where applicable.

Source:  The Official SBS Blog

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2006 SBS Tour Photos

SBS Tour in LouisvilleThe pictures I took at the SBS Tour in Louisville last week on 18 September 2006 are now online on Flickr.  Our presenters were Ron Grattopp from the TS2 team and Paul Fitzgerald who is the Lead Program Manager for SBS.

If anyone else has event pictures that they’d like to share from the Louisville event or one of the other 12 cities, Flickr is a lot easier than emailing pictures back and forth, and it’s free for a basic account.

Direct link for the Louisville pics:

Also, when uploading my pictures to Flickr, I saved them under the tag “2006 SBS Tour”.  That way if anyone else uploads pictures to Flickr with the same tag (be sure and enclose the tag in quotation marks), all the pictures from the entire tour will show up in one single location:

(If the Louisville link above breaks, just go here and click ‘2006 SBS Tour’ on the right). 

Happy uploading! 🙂

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R2 or Not R2

SBS 2003 R2The 2006 SBS Partner Tour that rolled through town last week really sparked a lot of dialog.  For example, I got a call from an SBSer today asking for clarification on SBS R2.  They wanted to know if they need to upgrade a client to SBS R2 just to increase the Exchange store limit.  In a word – no. 

Exchange Service Pack 2 is included in SBS R2, but SP2 is also available as a free download (109 MB). SBS 2003 R2 does offer enhanced functionality that Paul and the gang worked hard on. But if all the client needs at this point is larger mailboxes (and not SQL 2005, integrated patch management or FSRM) Exchange SP2 should fit the bill nicely.

CAUTION:  Before you make the jump to Exchange SP2, you need to take some steps first:

Also, doing a test deployment of SP2 in a virtual server environment is always a good idea because; a) there is no ‘undo’ for this service pack, and b) and breaking a production Exchange server could result in an RGE (Resume Generating Event).

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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

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:


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


  • .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


  • .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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2007 Microsoft Office system Beta 2 Technical Refresh

Office logoThe release of the Beta 2 Technical Refresh for the 2007 Microsoft Office system is available.

File Name:  office2007b2tr-kb000000-fullfile-en-us.exe
Version:  1
Date Published:  9/6/2006
Language:  English
Download Size:  494.7 MB 
Download URL:  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b07a3387-01cf-4bc3-821a-0bb10e7a59fa&DisplayLang=en

Microsoft has developed a Technical Refresh with modifications such as improved performance, better product integration, improved collaboration tools as well as general fit and finish changes.

This Technical Refresh is the final external product milestone leading to Release To Market (RTM).  Beta 2 users can download the Technical Refresh here.

Note:  Prior to applying this Beta 2 Technical Refresh update, you must have installed the Beta 2 version of the associated 2007 Office system product.

(BTW – the lower case ‘s’ in system is not a typo, that’s the new Microsoft nomenclature).

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The Geek Who Cried Wolf (Vista RC1)

I re-used the old screen shot because I'm lazy - sue me!Vista RC1 is officially out.  (I promise this time 😉

Title:  Windows Vista RC1 (v5600-16384) for X86 and X64 (English)
Release Date:  9/1/2006
Size:  6,261.47 MB
Version:  RC1 (v5600-16384)
Category:  Build
Milestone:  RC1

Please ensure you uncheck any files you don’t wish to download.  You should use your same key(s) from previous releases.  To generate a new key, please request from key package “5342 and Up – Ultimate” and “Beta 2 Home Basic/Home Premium/Business (v.5384)”.

X86 – 2,584.25 MB
CRC:  0xB3519FCA
SHA:  0xE00B4EBBC81FB420CF047973B95A9CFB7CDF51B7

X64 – 3,677.22 MB
CRC:  0x59C867D0
SHA:  0x8E4DE7A72C828A3543FF1663243EB0836DA07EEA

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