April 2006 - Posts
Windows Vista has a great new feature that will allow you to disable the use of external devices like USB drives, and/or CD/DVD drives.
Take a look at this walk-through to read up on how you can do it.
Ward Ralston of the Windows Server Division at Microsoft sends news that Monad (tasked based command shell & scripting language) has a new name...Windows PowerShell. I'm not sure I like the name so much but hey it's hard to beat cool codenames like Monad. By the way a quick search on Google on PowerShell and it gives you the following
"PowerShell is a terminal emulator for the X11 Window System"
I wonder if Microsoft knew if this name was already being used?
For the first time since 1993 Intel (the company I work for) is releasing an new brand name entitled Intel® vPro™. You may be familiar with our last desktop brand name as it changed the industry...does the brand name Pentium ring a bell??? This is Intel's third new brand name in 3 years. If you know the other two brand names put them in the comments and let's see who can get it first.
Changing FSMO roles isn't that difficult. In fact you can see a great video that I create on it right here. The one that seems to get everyone is the Schema Master. The reason being is because when you open the Schema snap-in it always opens it connected to the Schema Master...regardless of what machine you open the tool on. If you don't see this, when you attempt to transfer the role it won't let you because it will show the server names in both areas.
So if you want to change the Schema Master role make sure to right click Active Directory Schema and select Change Domain Controller... like shown below (real names blanked out to protect the innocent).
After you change that to the DC that you want to transfer the role to go ahead and select Operation Master... You should now see the DC that you are connected to on the bottom box. Make the transfer and all should be well.
This is one of the coolest things I have ever seen on the web (and i've seen a lot). As most of you know Microsoft makes software for MACs such as Office and Virtual PC. There is a group of people at Microsoft that just play with MACs. Take a look here to read up on it and see for yourself. Below you will find a picture of their automation lab.
I didn't see this one coming, probably because I haven't even played with SQL 2005 yet. I will be building a SQL 2005 cluster very soon so i'm about to get my hands dirty with this one.
Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 for SQL 2005. How long has SQL 2005 been out? This seems to be the fastest service pack release I have ever seen.
Here is a list of improvements with SP1 and here is where you can find the fixes.
Last week my boss gave everyone in my group a book to read based on Strength Based Management. The name of this book is Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton. I haven't gotten very far in the book but the basis of it is to find your strengths and grow them instead of your weaknesses. I know I personally have always thought that I should take the things i'm not to good at and try to make them better but this is another approach. I'll try it out for awhile and let you know how it goes.
One of the really cool things you get with the book is a code to go to www.strengthsfinder.com. Using that code you take an exam that take about 20 minutes and helps you discover your strengths. You may not have mastered these strengths as of yet but it is interesting to see the outcome. Here is a look at mine:
- People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.
- People strong in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.
- People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
- People who are strong in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
- People strong in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
Well i'm glad to a couple things up there. First of the top one in my opinion is right. Those that really know me know that my opinion doesn't change easily if at all and that I put a great amount of trust in my family and friends. I'm also not surprised to see Communication up there...well lets just say if it wasn't the last 8 years of my life might have been a lie. [;)]
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.
I'm the furthest thing you will ever see when it
comes to developers...makes you wonder why i'm so freaking jealous of
those know it all code monkeys. According to Dan Fernandez (Lead Product Manager - Visual Studio Express) effective today:
"all Visual Studio
2005 Express Editions including Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#,
Visual C++, and Visual Web Developer Express will be free permanently!"
When will Microsoft come out with an Express OS that is free???
Another day and another tool to save the
day. Today I was staging the production DCs for different types
of updates and I really didn't feel like copying 50+ files to these
servers. So I remembered an old friend of mine named RoboCopy.
RoboCopy has been around for some time and is a life saver when wanting
to copy an entire directory with sub-folders and sub-files underneath
What I do when I want to copy files to
multiple servers is to create a batch file that includes all the
servers. I'm sure there is a better way to script this but i'm
not a scripting monkey.
I'll just copy this as many times
as I have servers and replace \\servername with the actual server
name. The folder called update on the source was the parent
folder that contained all the folders I wanted to copy over.
This folder will not be copied over during this operation and it will
copy the folders that were under it to the root of C:\Temp of the
Being able to log on to multiple machines at the same time has always irked my security conscious. While I can see the need for it and have done it plenty of times myself I was pleased to find that Microsoft has a tool that can limit concurrent sessions. This is a brand new tool and has been around for about year...that I know of but LimitLogin v1.0 is a resource kit utility that can be downloaded from here.
Here is a list of clients that work with it:
Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 4 and above (Including Terminal Server sessions)
Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1 and above
Windows Server 2003 (Including Terminal Server sessions)
Make sure that you read through the help file before implementing it in your test environment...trust me it will answer a lot of questions.
Most of you are probably aware that you can update the ADM files that come with the OS to get the latest and greatest policy settings from Microsoft. You may not already know that Office 2003 has a set of ADM files that you can load into Group Policy and now use those ADM files to configure Office settings on your client machines.
Download the ADM here.
Included in your download will be the following ADMs:
- ADM File-------------Product
- OFFICE11.ADM ----Microsoft Office 2003
- ACCESS11.ADM ---Microsoft Office Access 2003
- EXCEL11.ADM------Microsoft Office Excel 2003
- FP11.ADM---------Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003
- GAL11.ADM-------Microsoft Clip Organizer
- INF11.ADM--------Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003
- ONENT11.ADM-----Microsoft Office OneNote 2003
- OUTLK11.ADM------Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
- PPT11.ADM----------Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
- PUB11.ADM--------Microsoft Office Publisher 2003
- WORD11.ADM-----Microsoft Office Word 2003
Realize that when you add these ADM files into your gpedit.msc you will literally add thousands of Group Policies based on Office 2003. These settings should give you the ability to configure just about anything you want within Office.
Whenever a product requires extending the schema great caution must be taken. If something goes wrong during this process you can have long last problems. Below are some guidelines that I like to follow when going through such a process.
Needless to say you really should have at least two if not three environments. Production, Integration, and Development. In my eyes the Dev env. is a free for all. The Integration env. should closely mirror your Production env. Last but not least is your actual Production env., this is it your real network that users depend on (even though they don't seem to care when it's up and running just fine).
- Log on to the Domain Controller serving the Schema Master FSMO role
- Resolve any outstanding replication issues:
repadmin /replsummary /bydst /bysrc /sort:delta
- Back up the system state on the Schema Master
- Disable outbound replication on the Schema Master:
repadmin /options <schemamasterdcname> +DISABLE_OUTBOUND_REPL
- Perform the extension
- Verify there were no errors; if so, restore the Schema Master from the system state backup
- Re-enable outbound replication:
repadmin /options <schemamasterdcname> -DISABLE_OUTBOUND_REPL
- Schema updates will flow. You can run: 'repadmin /showreps <dcname>' to get a look at the status of any DC's replication with their immediate partners