August 2009 Archives

image 

 

When is it?

October 13, 2009 6:30 PM - October 13, 2009 8:30 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Welcome Time: 6:00 PM

 

Where is it?

Microsoft Canada Headquarters

MPR Room A,B,C
1950 Meadowvale Boulevard
Mississauga Ontario L5N 8L9
Canada

Event Overview

Are you ready for Windows 7?  It is a common question now that Windows 7 is released to manufacturing.  This 2 hour 4 part session will cover all the key aspects, guidance, tools and resources to help prepare you and company for Windows 7. For anyone looking how to Discover, Explore, Pilot, Deploy or Manage Windows 7, this is the seminar for you.

This session will answer questions like "Why and how to move to Windows 7 from Windows XP?", "What are the differences between the versions of Windows 7?" and focus on the three key pillars of Windows 7 - deployment, security, and networking.  From new deployment techniques, application compatibility, to improved security and remote access options this session will get you ready to answer questions about Windows 7.

Click here to Register – There is no Cost other than your interest and your time :)

ITPRO Toronto

| | TrackBacks (0)

Top_Banner_ITPro

Here in Toronto there is a group for you.  Entering our third year ITPro Toronto is a computer technology user group dedicated to helping the IT Professional, as well as those with aspirations of becoming IT Professionals.

We meet once a month, on the first Tuesday of each month to learn a little something, meet new people, find solutions to answers and even for no other reason, to get away for three hours once a month.  Just to hang about with others of the same mindset.

It won’t cost you a thing and who knows what you’ll walk away with. 

Meeting time is at 6:00pm.  This month our speaker will be talking about using Sharepoint for Public Facing Websites as well possibly learning a little about Powershell the tip of the month is presented to you each meeting. 

So a chance to get away for a bit and walk away with something you can implement in the field.

Sounds like a win/win scenario to me :)

So come join us and who knows, you might learn something.

More details at www.itprotoronto.ca

Powershell

I suspect there are going to be die hard users out ready to leap on me when I utter this statement.

“Powershell should not your only scripting tool…”

I have peers, people I look up to me that will say “WHAT?! Are you out of your mind?!”

But honestly, depending on what your day to day tasks are, I think you should be comfortable in scripting in all languages.   And use the language that best suits the scenario in question.

For example.   Although I dearly love Powershell, there are situations where it is just OVERKILL to setup a Powershell script to do the job.

Yes, you could (if you prepared your environment OR had a pure Server 2008R2 / Windows 7 setup) use Powershell to run a login script.  That’s pretty cool actually but it’s a bit overkill if the only purpose you need is to map a few Drive shares in a small office and set the time on workstations.  And to be honest, Group Policy with Client side preferences might make more sense. 

There are many tasks that have VBscript’s already handily pre-written.  Like in NTBACKUP (which is still widely used) there are simple VBscripts to send out and compose an email.   In fact if you’re working in Forefront Identity Manager 2010 (or Identity Lifecycle Manager) you’ll find the software generates a lot of your code to be scheduled in VBscript.   Why rewrite that JUST to have Powershell?  I think it’s fun to do, but the whole point is to be MORE PRODUCTIVE!

But there are situations where Powershell is absolutely needed.   Manipulation of objects in Active Directory, more complex techniques that VBscript just can’t touch and direct automation from current products.  Powershell absolutely floors everything in that category.

I guess my statement is simple.  If you love Powershell and it makes you more productive, USE IT!  But don’t shun existing solutions because the “latest and greatest” is here.   Just as you wouldn’t invest in a $50,000 coffee machine for a single cup (UNLESS YOU REALLY LIKE COFFEE or you’re running a coffee shop it makes sense for the volume of use), you shouldn’t ignore “Good old CMD.EXE” or “Faithful vbScript” for some of the simpler things in life.   Powershell is a tool in your kit enabling you to do more.  It is not the only tool. 

Synergy of technology can produce the greatest results.  Use what you are most comfortable with, but learn more to strengthen your skills.

Sean
The Energized Tech

 

As the song said, it’s “The Final Countdown”.  And it’s your time to shine.

If you’re even thinking, considering, possibly got it in your mind to go to Microsoft Techdays 2009 in Canada in Toronto or Vancouver, this is the absolute final week for registration.

 

Let’s review the facts, shall we?

 TechDays-LittleMan

$299 is the price. Five separate training tracks, Over 30+ available sessions available to choose from.

Two days of solid training by Industry experts and those in the use of the technology.

 3215861749_62ffca35e93216066544_cb829f37a8_o3007431341_d5814dc430

A full Year of Technet Direct thrown in, more than the cost of the Techdays_ca 2009 fee alone normally and an untouchable value with access to almost all Microsoft software for a full year with TWO support incidents packaged in, online resources and Technet Magazine.

TechnetPlus 

A chance to mingle with your peers and experts, others with similar problems and a way to garner solutions.

3216710918_88856a7818_o3215865537_32f5345753_o

And, why not, two days for yourself.  Away from the office.

So don’t fall asleep on your career like this guy!

SleepingTech

Seize the opportunity and jump to the next level. Techdays_ca 2009 is calling you. Open up your mind and let it all in.

 Techdays2009 

Register now at www.techdays.ca, and with only one week to go for Toronto and Vancouver registrations, time is short.    End the summer with a bang and kick off your career.

I love Technology, I love being an IT Pro.

Hell I love the bad days :)

But from time to time we must (And should) take *gasp* time off.

For the first time in a long time, I have a week off.  This is a Sunday afternoon and Yes, I have my laptop in front of me.  But it’s purely recreational.

I have one week completely unplanned, unscheduled, unmonitored, un SOP’s un SOXed un PCI’d, un IEEE’d un EVERTHINGED ahead of me.

Although by reading that last statement, I should probably spend an hour or so on my grammar.  Just how many made up words did I toss in there?

This is a Sunday and I thinking for a moment (on instinct) of all the stuff I need to, have to, should get done today (because normally I’d have to be up 5:30am for work on Monday)

But not today.   Today I’m thinking of some things I might want to do.  For fun.  Just that.

I just might get on my Bicycle and ride.  Somewhere.  Anywhere.

I could clean my basement, play some Xbox360 with the kids.  Watch a movie (I watched THREE yesterday back to back and it felt GOOD).

I had a comment on Twitter that having my first vacation in years as a “Staycation” must be against natural law or something.  True.  But then again, a Vacation should be about what you want to do first.

First?  I just want to sit.   Just not “THINK” for a day or so.  I don’t even want to think about an actual vacation.  My brain needs to go on “PAUSE”, relax and stretch its muscles.

I’d like to do something really stupid and unproductive just because I want to.

And for others thinking to themselves “There’s no time to take off, There’s too much to do…”

Let me tell you this, from experience.  That “MAJOR PROJECT”, the “THE WORLD IS GOING TO END” technological nightmare is always going to be there, and will continue to happen whether you are there or not.  The phones will always ring.

But you have to, NEED to take some time for yourself. Even just once in a while.

Even if it’s a Nerf Rocket fight at work.

Because even as the technological Superheroes as ITPros, the Code Ninja Sword swinging Uber Code Monkeys as Devs, as the very Xen of the Managers floats above us all to save the day, we are at heart humans.

Humans need to be human.

So sit down, read a book, let your feet soak, blow bubbles, feed a squirrel, play ping pong with the kids, fart openly without fear into the wind.

And just be yourself without worry for that time

Rest is good.

Sean
The Energized Tech

This is talent unleashed.  I have to buy the album or CD or DVD or whatever she has.

I love this! You can get more of this amazing artist from www.youtube.com/user/VenetianPrincess or on her website at www.vprincess.com

“snort snort… hee hee… snort snort” :)

 

Here’s a movie that could be completely lame because the “New Disney” is doing it, or completely off the wall bizarre amazing because Tim Burton is doing it.

Alice in Wonderland.

And this is not the “Cartoon your Grandmother brother you to see”

This is done in very much Tim Burton’s style it appears by the trailer with just a little bit of the mix that made Narnia great.

Or it could be a complete flop.  But the Trailer is certainly worth a watch. :)

With Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, this could be interesting.  Due in 2010.

les_h

 

I cannot confess to knowing his work in any great detail.  But a true great was lost this week.   One of the few originals of our time.

A man who’s work touched and carried over to so many.

You didn’t touch or hear about guitars even once, you didn’t hear music, you didn’t think ROCK without hearing one name.

Les Paul

Les Paul who’s work in the music field touched so many.   So many famous groups used his equipment.   There are certain iconic names that formed the industry.  His is one.

You didn’t listen to AC/DC without at least ONCE hearing The Gibson Les Paul, one of the most coveted guitars out there, in use.

You weren’t a kid if you didn’t dream of having a guitar like that.

Les Paul was gifted as a craftsman, a musician, and a human.  

For ‘94 long years the world enjoyed his presence.   And now his physical presence has passed on.

But unlike Levi's Jeans and their famous phrase “Old Blue Jeans never Die, they just Fade Away” Les Paul has died.

But his work, his legacy, those who have been touched by him, will not and can not ever fade away.

And as such, Les Paul will live on forever, an icon in world history.

A Prayer for the IT Pro

| | TrackBacks (0)

Our IP
Within the Subnet
Class C be your name
Thy path be done
In Route be one
In Hubs and in Switches
Give us each day our QOS
And allow us clear data flow
As we quash those who Service Deny us
And lead us not into Limewire
But send us to clear pipelines
For Thine is the routing and switching and vlans
Whenever whenever
Stack end

Last time we looked at getting yourself ready for Hyper-V and SCVMM 2008.  A little best practice will go a very long way.

But if you don't, well you can still survive.  But here's where...

"InConsistency will put you on the throne"(and not the good one)

Now you can still use SCVMM 2008 without an expensive SAN and individual servers through network wiring.  Hyper-V doesn't care, nor does the system.  It will work with it.   But when you get into some mismatching (different versions of Hyper-V), different speeds of drives on hosts, mixed brands of network cards.  (And Please I don't recommend ANY of this!  That's a problem waiting to happen).   But being aware that as you veer away from "Datacentre Nirvana" you will have problems, I though it would be good to pass on how to DEAL with them.

Because problems will happen.  As always.  Plan for it and you'll be fine.  Don't and well... Data recovery companies will always take your money and your job.

Here's a few I've encountered.  They're not very common, but knowing how to deal with it can save your bacon.   And this does NOT involve rebooting the physical server.  I like to avoid that if I can WHENVER possible.

"I look at my server and can't view any machines!  It's not manageable but I'm the server!"

This one is the easiest of all.  There are three services in use by "Hyper-V".  One is the Hyper-V manager service.  Probably needs to be restarted.   What trips this off?  Well honestly this is where you are probably pushing the available ram to it's limit.  At least that's where I've encountered it.   On a machine with 32gigs of ram, I was pushing 85% of the available ram, watching the CPU's max out.   In that scenario, I saw the Hyper-V Management service shut down a lot.   Take that as a hint to look into another server or more ram / CPU power on the existing server.

"I have machines running.   There's no errors in event viewer.  I shut one down and it won't start up!"

Most likely (failing a corrupt VHD or config file which isn't common) it's going to be the certificate for Hyper-V.  It's good for a year, and if your has expired the process to fix it is very easily.  Restart your three Hyper-V services and it will generate a new one.  No reboot of the server is necessary.   Other than a temporary interruption in the network, all the Child Partitions should still run.   Remember.  You're not running that Child operating system on the parent.  You're running it on the Hypervisor which is an O/S BELOW Server 2008.   Your Child partitions shouldn't care about the Services on the parent, only what the parent provides (some resources like the Virtual Networks)

"I migrated a machine and started it up before properly assigning it to a Virtual Network.  Now it's GONE!"

This can happen, and again very easy to fix.   On the machine in question, you'll most likely find the files are where they should be and everything is ok.  Don't bother trying to re-create it.  Why?  It's not gone.   Just go to www.sysinternals.com and download Process Explorer.  Do a search for the VHD files from "Find" double click on the list and it will carry you over to the process using it.  Under the process accessing your VHD (or VHD's), Right click on the particular VHD and choose "Close Handle".  You'll get a warning about this being a "bad idea" but that's ok.  Do it.   Do it for all the VHD's from that PARTICULAR Child partition.

What's interesting is it doesn't seem very effective.   What's more interesting is you will go back to Hyper-V Manager and probably (after a refresh) find your missing Child partition back with it's configuration completely intact.

"It won't let me migrate and there's nothing wrong with either server!"

Not a problem.  Read the error message.  We're back to "Best Practice".   You may find it's simply because you're running two different versions of Hyper-V or different patch levels to be correct.   The solution is to do a full shutdown of the Child Partition and then migrate.  Then (after reassigning the Virtual Network on the destination Hyper-V box) starting it back up.

"SCVMM 2008 is showing that The destination server has my computer, it's existing on the Source, there's two entries and I can't fix either one!"

Simple but a little scary to fix.   What is actually true is the Destination computer has it but the computer controlling it (including the location of the source files) is on the source computer.  To fix this scenario you need to shut down the Child Partition O/S.   Then go to whatever folders have the VHD files for the the Child, and backup the files, the configuration to an alternate location (maybe even a different drive to be safe).  Document all the configuration settings (Virtual Lan, IP addresses, attached hardware) from Hyper-V Manager for that partition.  

Then in SCVMM 2008, under the Virtual Machines, delete them.   Yes you heard me right.  Delete them.

Once they are successfully removed, recreate the settings on the original server by copying the files back and putting in your settings.   A little rough but you'll be good to go.

Of course the key thing here is always follow best practice, have Backup in place.   But in the words of Douglas Adams, "Don't Panic"

Sean
The Energized Tech

 

Hyper-V in Server 2008 is incredibly stable.   One of the greatest built-in features Microsoft has ever provided in an operating system.  And when you combine the power of Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager, it’s an unstoppable force.

But with all great powers (here’s the pun) come great responsibility.

I just love it.  Built in Virtualization technology in Server 2008.  It absolutely rocks.  Stable as anything and super responsive.

But *ALL* technology has glitches kinks.  Things that show up as your environments get larger.  Vmware, eSX can have problems.

But today we’re going to look at a little “Common Sense” to help avoid problems happening

First off, out of the box, a fresh install of Server 2008 comes with a pre-release copy of Hyper-V.

Immediately go-online and update it with two key updates which update not only the Hyper-V software but also the BITS which is used when moving the Virtual environments about.

And invest in good reliable backup.   I find Data Protection Manager 2007 marries beautifully with Hyper-V for backing up either machines, configuration or child Partitions.

One of the things I found when migrating machines and working with Hyper-V and SCVMM 2008 in general (especially as you get into larger setups) is one phrase

"Consistency is King"

Hardware

Consistency in your hardware choices of course, the more common your base of hardware is the easier it is to troubleshoot problems on the host (We have seven servers, same setup, this one always break *OR* all Seven Break which leads you to two paths of trouble shooting, one bad server or a bad patch.  Or the odd chance that all Seven machines failed outside warranty on the same night.  Unlikely but, Mr. Murphy is nobody’s friend.

Server Naming Conventions

Giving your virtual servers a simple and consistent pattern in the naming helps you to deal with them in the network, even if you just want to use the Hyper-V Manager.   Naming your Seven Hyper-V servers “Dopey, Sneezy, Doc, Sleepy … et al” might classify as nerdy cool, but when the fires are raging about and you need to hop into action, it’s the confusion you don’t need.   And if you ever get audited, explaining those server names to the CIO is just one problem you don’t need.

Virtual Network Naming

When you name those Virtual networks on your Hyper-V server, if they are attached to the same Subnet or Vlan, Name those Virtual Networks on each Hyper-V server the same.  IE: Workstation01-LAN, SRVLAN02.  Make sure whatever names you use are the name on each Hyper-V server.   Yes it looks nice.  Yes it’s a “Best Practice” but more importantly if you DO this SCVMM 2008 will reward you greatly when you have to migrate machines.   When you do a V2V (Virtual Machine Migration between servers) you’ll find it like’s to match the Vlan names.  Honestly, unless it “Sniffs out” the entire network topology on a regular basis, there really isn’t a proper and easy way for it to know which Vlan to attach to.   So it goes by name.  If your names match up, the process is smooooooth.

Balance the Power

It’s true you can get a LOT of machines into a Hyper-V environment.   My record is Thirty Seven (37) on a platform with 32 GB of ram.   But you should spread the power out, keep everthing efficient and smooth.  And if you’re using SCVMM 2008? It will aid you greatly in that aspect by monitoring Disk throughput, available ram, CPU speed when allocating virtual machines.

Next time we’ll look at what happens if you DO get into the Doghouse.

Sean
The Energized Tech

Powershell

Yes the same fellow behind Powershell Plus!

One of the little voices that got ME going just during {HEROES HAPPEN HERE} when he asked this lowly fellow if he could borrow the lyrics from “Highway to Powershell” for a demo

“Could he?”

My jaw dropped.  THE Tobias Weltner?

Well Dr. Weltner has open up his mind and generosity to the community with a FREE (That’s right, Gratis, no catch 22, No charge) eBook that’s ALL about Powershell.   A book regular people who have NO CLUE about Powershell or .NET can just Pickup and go at it.

Go Right here, right now and download it.  Click on the link that says “Download eBook and read as PDF”

And if you find it useful?  Repay him in the best way you can.  Buy Powershell Plus and load the power in your hands.  Or pass along this knowledge to a friend.  Share the book. 

Enjoy the beauty that is Powershell.

Sean

”It’s So Easy, and It’s Free…”
Highway to Powershell

This is why I subscribe to http://Twitter.com. Cutting edge news AS it happens from the SOURCES.  I woke up to find a hot Tweet burning on my Desktop.

Flying left right and center “RSAT for Windows 7 Released”, “Windows 7 RSAT”

For the unlearned or new to the term RSAT is your

“Remote Server Administration Tools” or in simpler terms “Manage all your server functions from a Desktop”

You can click directly here which will bring you to the Microsoft site hosting the RSAT download for Windows 7

And for those of us living on the absolutely CUTTING edge in the edge managing a Network it’s a must have.   It’s not just nice to have.  It’s a MUST have.

One of the problems I had working in the field for Small Businesses was typically a lot (fine, let’s be  honest, *ALL*) of the Administration happened directly on the Server.  I hated that.   Really.   Most of the time I was creating Users, Administering the Disk, Modifying Shares or permissions.   There’s absolutely no need for that.   RSAT is a secure method of doing the bulk of your Administration work anywhere other than the server console.

The present incarnation of RSAT let’s you manage pretty much everything you could on the server.  Active Directory Users and Computers, Sites and Services, Group Policy, Hyper-V…

Does this sound like most of your server work?

It’ll work over VPN, It’ll work on a Virtual computer.

I’ll say this much.  It will at LEAST ONCE save you from having to explain to your boss “Why the main server accidentally rebooted because ‘somebody’ left a shutdown –f –r –t 0 in the Run line cached and accidentally ran it.”

That, that ALONE is worth the 90 seconds it will take to download and install RSAT.

So, are you with me?  You’ve got Windows 7?  Need RSAT?  Been chomping at the “Bits” for it?

Download it now for Windows 7 and put Remote Desktop away for good.   I also must commend Microsoft for putting the X64 and X86 versions on the same page.   This is a nice thing.  We’ve always hated running about looking for the ‘X64 version’.  Keep this up, and great job guys!

And if you’re running Windows Vista it’s available too and has been for a long time by going here for the X86 Version or here for the X64 Version.  In Vista, Hyper-V is a separate management Add-on from here for the X86 version or here for the X64 version.

Windows XP owners can STILL do this as well only it’s called the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack.  This is the Service Pack 1 version, but if you just search for that name and you should get what you need, I think there is only an X86 version but don’t quote me on that.  Managing Hyper-V from Windows XP still requires a Remote Desktop session.  

But of course now that Windows 7 is out, you’re going to deploy it throughout your Windows XP environment anyhow right? ;)

So join with me and sit at your laptop and do all your Administration work.   Avoid those embarrassing situations that can happen at the server console.

Unless of course it’s a really hot day.  In which case *YES* go sit in that fully Air-Conditioned server room. :)

Cheers

Sean
The Energized Tech

Powershell is the greatest thing to ever fall in front of the human race.  I’ll repeat it over and over again.

Today I heard a cry for help.

“Help me!  Help me!  I need to list all my installed Applications in Windows 7!  And I need to do it with Powershell!”

Always willing to lend a helping hand, the Energized Tech flies down.

“What’s the matter little man?”

“I Need a way to list all my installed applications in Powershell in Windows 7!  I need it now! I need it Quick! Or I’ll find myself doing nothing but testing badly designed and poorly assembled hardware for the rest of my life! Help me!”

The task was easy.  The challenge simple.

You see in Powershell, you can navigate the Registry as simply as the file system by specifying

REGISTRY:: and the Key name under

GET-CHILDITEM

So just as GETCHILDITEM C:\

Will list C:\ Drive

GET-CHILDITEM REGISTRY::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\

Will list all the keys in that location

And so…..

“Why I’ll just get myself a handy GET-CHILDITEM on REGISTRY::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\ and DUMP the list of installed applications! TADA!”

Ahah, but I forgot two key details.

One.  Not all programs name that key with the Program name sometimes they use a pretty SID to identify it and

Two.  You can’t view the ITEMS in the registry keys with a GET-CHILDITEM, just the keys.

My hopes sank.  Not so easy.  And this poor helpless lad clad only in his Tilley hat would be confined to a lifetime of testing shoddy hardware.

But then a voice.  An answer.

A well researched article written by a Powershell Guru about navigating the Registry with Powershell from Powershell.com.  The article explained you have to use a “Get-ItemProperty” on those “Items” to see their values. 

And so the answer was actually VERY each.  Just a little extra code.  Not even much at that.

Assign the results the GET-CHILDITEM to a variable.

$LIST=GET-CHILDITEM on REGISTRY::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\

then run a FOREACH on each item in the list pulling out the DisplayName (which *IS* the value under each uninstall KEY entry showing the programs True Name.

Quick simple

and

-------------------------------------------------------------
#
# LISTAPPS.PS1
# A LITTLE APP THAT FOR NO OTHER REASON DUMPS ALL THE PROGRAMS INSTALLED ON YOUR PC
#
$list=get-childitem REGISTRY::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\

Foreach ($App in $list)
{

(get-itemproperty registry::$App).DisplayName

}
------------------------------------------------------------

Voila!

And now our poor fellow in Distress can happily sit down and enjoy a cold brew. Happy and Stress Free

Sean
The Energized Tech
”I Love Powershell”

image

 

Looking at the calendar, I almost fainted.

 

It’s just over 30 days for the FIRST TECHDAYS_CA 2009 in Vancouver!  It’s already coming upon us! That’s right!  The SINGLE GREATEST technological Conference in Canada!

 

TWO days of raw Technical details lovingly baked into a smorgasbord of Knowledge Souffle for you.

And it’s still not too late to register!

The price is NORMALLY $599 but if you hurry and jump in before they change their minds, you can STILL nail Techdays_CA 2009 for $299!

 

$299 get’s you 8 (EIGHT!) Sessions of training by field experts and specialists.  This is NOT a Marketing tour.  This is REAL training provided by people who actually use this technology on a daily basis. People like you who’ve encountered the same problems as you have.  People who know the solutions you need.

 

And to make things even sweeter, you get a free one Year subscription to Technet Direct!  Technet Direct! 

That ALONE will put Technology like Windows 7 (FULL RELEASE!) and Server 2008 R2 into your heads.   SQL Server 2008, System Center Operations Manager, Exchange Server!   What value do you put on having ALL of those technologies at your hands for the next year.  INCLUDING TWO (2) Support incidents with Microsoft.

You leave Techdays loaded with raw knowledge and armed with the Technology to test it with, and given then teeth to take a good byte of it and savor it.

 

You can’t lose.

 

 

 TechDays-LittleMan

So why are you still reading this blog?

 

 

Go right now to WWW.TECHDAYS.CA and register!  With SEVEN locations in MAJOR CITIES across Canada between September and December,

There’s one for you.

image

image 

Yes.  This is a good day.  I have Windows 7 RTM downloaded and ready to go.   I’m going to try the RTM on everything my hands can try.   I’ve heard it’s faster than RC even.

Today I’m trying the direct upgrade path on my 6 to 7 year old Dell laptop.  Good specs.  2 gigs of ram but it IS 7 year old technology.

I decided to go “green first” and convert by portable bootable USB media to Windows 7 RTM and install / upgrade straight from there.

I can’t wait.

I have Windows 7 RTM about to boot up right now as I type this blog.  There will be a “lights out” moment as I upgrade (which you won’t see) and when I return, you’ll see “ooohs” and “aaaaaahhss

So for the moment.

***

SET-LIGHTOUTS | where { $_.Windows7Upgrade –eq ‘TRUE’ }

*** *** ***

*** ***

***

So the lights are on.   I’ve backed up and restored my data with Windows Easy Transfer.   The install was quick and painless.  I’ve chosen the clean install.  For whatever reason my personal RC wouldn’t upgrade but with Windows Easy Transfer it didn’t matter.   It backed up everything.  It gave me a list of applications I SHOULD re-install to make everything run the same as before.   All my files are back in place (including some things I stupidly left at the root of C:)

And really there’s not much to say other than.

Nicer background.

It’s faster.  Boy is it faster.  Oh BABY is it faster.  A Three year Dell laptop and it boots up in 30 seconds to the login prompt!

Oh and did I mention?  I only needed to download the Sound Card driver.   Everything else either detected out of the box or immediately after the first update.

And I am

For the first time in a long time

At O/S Nirvana

I have Windows 7 RTM.

My challenge.  Upgrade my system from Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 RTM with ONE PC and no extra storage.

Cue Mission Impossible Music

This is not a difficult time actually.  All I needed to do was put in a clean install of the O/S, keep my goodies and have as little stress as possible.

So I popped in the DVD and planned for a straight upgrade only to find out “Not supported.”

My hopes sank.  A full re-install. EEK!

Then a little bird mentioned “Windows Easy Transfer” built into Windows 7.   You can run this and do a clean install and end up having everything back where it belongs, settings too!

Now I’ve done the previous migration tools in the past, they’re usually “good” but they always miss something.   But Windows 7 Easy Transfer was not only EASY it was Intelligent.

It wasn’t even difficult to find!  Right under “System Tools” if you really want to look,

image

 

But I cheated.   I typed “Easy transfer” on the search bar and it came right up.  Clicked on it, and look at what befriended me.

 

image

 

And it really is DEAD simple to use!  Just click on HOW you’re going to get it from “Here to There”, in my case an 8GB Usb memory key (technically a “hard drive”) and as you select it moves to each successive Window asking you if this the old computer “source” or the new one “destination”.   This is really meant for transferring from one machine to another but from one install to a clean install on the same machine, really it’s a “NEW Computer” when you’re done.

 

image image

So it begins scanning your computer, profiles, data, potential data and does pretty accurate determination of what your data IS.  What really impressed me in the Windows 7 version is that it scanned the Root of C: and other drives for POTENTIAL information.  This is fantastic if you have legacy software that stores things in the wrong spot, Driver folders (Dell ? ) and other “Miscellaneous Data” that just wasn’t where Microsoft suggested it should be.   The Windows Easy Transfer doesn’t care about rules.  It’s cares about getting EVERYTHING you have and efficiently putting it into one spot.

 

image image

But here’s where it rocks.  When it’s done looking?  You can click on “Customize” for each individual entry to add more or deselect information.

 

 imageimageimage

 

Once you’re done choose you click on Next.   Even more impressive is the fact that if you needed to move this information?  You can assign a password to protect the file, keep it out of prying eyes.

 

image

Once you’ve decided on a password (or none) click “SAVE”.  Pick a location that is NOT on the PC (USB key is fine, external Harddrive, EVEN a MAPPED network drive!) and let it go.   Depending on the amount of information it will take some time but it’s worth it.

image image

Once that file is saved.  Remove it.  Boot up and Install from your new Windows 7 Media and completely DELETE the partition structure. Let Windows 7 Build it.  If you do, it will create a second partition.  This is for your Windows Recovery Environment and helps you rebuild when things go bad.   A clean install on mine from a USB key was about 10 minutes.    And with the exception of the Sound card, all the hardware was either immediately detected by Windows 7 or picked up afterwards from an Automatic update.

Getting your information back in from the Windows Easy Transfer is just as easy.  You run the Windows Easy Transfer just as you did before, browse to the USB Key, External Drive, Mapped Network drive, whatever, and select the source file.  You can even choose what not to put back in but I just let it go and reload it all.   What’s even nicer at the end of Easy Transfer it will display a list of Applications you had before to get all the data back and running.  This is particularly nice if a user (say, your parents) have to migrate to a new machine and, well be honest, NONE of us ever remind how much and WHAT was loaded on the old machine.  

It TELLS you!

To give you an indication of how smooth my transfer was ?  From Windows 7 RC (lots of stuff loaded up, Blog Software, passwords… ok TOO MUCH) I downloaded and installed my applications back in and found to my surprise ALL my settings were still there, my customizations, my passwords.  EVERYTHING!

I tell you.  I love Windows 7.   Who ever thought upgrading could be so easy?   Who ever thought MIGRATING from one computer to another could be so beautiful?

Sean
The Energized Tech

Oh this is cool.  I never went to a Sci Fi fan exposition before.  I never knew what I was missing.

I went with my son last year for fun. Last year at FanExpo 2008 in Toronto He enjoyed the Star Wars bits.  I still have his picture with a StormTrooper.

But it’s coming this year.

I may have to sell my Xbox360, and would do so willingly to go there.

So many of my childhood and adulthood heroes are there this year.

Now let me say something now.  I know they are all actors.   But the roles they played, I associated with on such a high level.  And they did help form and shape me.

Certain names you say, you eyes begin to light up

Bruce Campbell, Lou Ferrigno, Robert Duncan McNeil, Billy Dee Williams, Walter Koenig, Avery Brooks…

And I just about dropped my glass when I saw this name

I almost fainted

LEANORD NIMOY.

You would have to be dead and living on Planet Antares for past 80 years to NOT know that name.

Yes.

Leanord “Mr. Spock” Nimoy.   A character that stood for pure logic, had emotion but controlled it.

A character as a five year old I associated with.  I understood that feeling somehow.

Years before becoming an IT Pro, years before my basement collection.

Even before touching my first pocket calculator.

“Mr. Spock” is going to be there, this year.

*gasp*

So forgive me this month, if my mind seems out there.   A little leeway if I’m busy trying to get the cash together.

For this month, to launch my dreams forth one final time.

I am going to do what I have to for just a few moments, just a single moment in time.

To stand and maybe have a picture with one of my biggest heroes.

Leanord Nimoy.

If you’re interested, check out www.fanexpocanada.com for more details and pricing.

And me?

I feel like a kid again.  Thanks Mr. Nimoy for taking the time. and thanks FanExpo for getting this setup.

I’m feeling a tear come on.

dnfweb

I start this article with one statement.  There is no sarcasm intended here.   I was (and still am) waiting for the Duke to surface.

I played Duke Nukem 3D.  I loved it.  Even years AFTER to today’s technology, it has fantastic gameplay.    It has something a lot of today’s games still lack

Character.  RAW Character.  RAW unmitigated, uncompromising, unrelenting and UNFORGIVING character.

“Duke Nukem”

A Character that is so WRONG and so SEXIST in today’s modern world.  So undeniably and over the top MACHO that he doesn’t fit.

Which in some ways is why I cheer for his return.   I cheer for him to come out and make mistakes and step on pigs, kick alien bad ass guys and shake his Dollars at the cheesy strippers.

Duke Nukem was human, more human than most of us.  That’s why we loved him.     We loved and still love Duke Nukem (the character and the game) because he was our chance to step out and be wrong, make mistakes, live out the part of us we shouldn’t.

 

And yeah, blow up badass aliens for a few hours a day, or a few weeks at a time :)

And so, understanding the changes 3Drealms has had to undergo, restructuring, changes, designs, staffing.  I offer this to George Broussard.  This idea.

Keep the licensing to Duke Nukem.  You created that character that shouldn’t be lost.  Keep all the technology rights.   It was your heart and soul that should not die.

But release the code to the Opensource or some community that has time to pour into Duke to let finally, once and for all, bring Duke Nukem Forever to light.

“Duke Nukem” has been caged for over TWELIVE YEARS.   Let him out.  Let him roam free.

Let him “Kick ass and Chew Bubble Gum” in the modern day.

For we all so badly need to see….. and be…. “the Duke” …. one more time

This is what grabbed our attention in 1982.  As a kid.  My eyes lit up.  Thinking “Kevin Flynn, that’s me!”

So many of us aspired to be something more than we were as a result of this movie.

I won’t embellish.   To take the time to turn a passion into reality, to take a chance, to make something happen.

Fat guy in spandex?  No.

A person who loves technology.  Yes.  I remember Tron.  I wish I had to guts he did to “Take a chance” like this.

Thumbs up “Tron Guy”

Tron Legacy in 3D

| | TrackBacks (0)

Movies.  We all love ‘me

I haven’t been REALLY excited about a movie for a long time. 

Star Trek did it recently but there have been so many sequels of Star Trek the excitement just disappears after a while.

But

A return from the past

A movie that NEVER had a sequel made which was ground breaking.

TRON

Yes the original “TRON” is now coming back.   TRON LEGACY (in 3D)

Now personally?  I don’t care about the 3D.  If it’s done right it’ll enhance.  But I *AM* excited to see the story has come to life again.

TRON.  Virtual reality?  Forget that.  Becoming immersed 100% into the Digital world.  THAT was TRON.  This is now 27 years later the son has returned to Dad’s world.

View this trailer.   You’ll see what’s coming.  In 2010. 

The Master Control Program is waiting for you…