Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Free E-learning for Hyper-V

I just got an e-mail with a link for free Hyper-V e-learning. This one requires you to follow a specific link and enter a promo code:
Prepare for Exam 70-652 for Free (US$159.99 value)
This collection of five 2-hour courses helps you develop the skills necessary for implementing and managing Hyper-V in an IT environment, as well as creating and managing virtual machines and hosts in a virtual environment. Use promo code 9350-Y2W6-3676 to receive your discount. Please note: you must use the link above to take advantage of this offer.

There is also an exam discount:
Get Certified Through Exam 70-652 with a 25% Discount
Once you’ve taken the preparation course, you can take the certification exam at a reduced price. This exam will test your skills in installing, configuring, and optimizing Hyper-V; and in deploying, managing, and monitoring virtual machines using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008. Use the promo code USHYPERV at checkout to receive your discount.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free E-learning from Microsoft

Yes, that is correct free stuff from Microsoft. It's not exactly the full in class experience with e-learning but, but it does give you some structure for learning new products. The free courses change on a pretty regular basis, but as of today there are courses on:
  • MS SQL 2008 (lots of components and features)
  • Hyper-V (the new virtualization hypervisor in Windows 2008)
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (manages VMs running on Virtual Server, Hyper-V and VMWare ESX)
  • Application Virtualization
  • Windows 2008 Terminal Services (some very cool enhancements)
  • Windows SharePoint Services 3
  • Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007

View all of the free courses available here:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Outlook 2007 and RPC over HTTP for home/remote users

Recently, I finally configured my Vista Ultimate computer with Outlook 2007 to directly access my mailbox on the office server. I work from home most of the time and had been using Terminal Services to access Outlook and my mailbox information. This setup was OK, but was a little clunky sometimes. It was time for RPC over HTTP. I've been meaning to do this literally for years.

Server side setup was already complete and all I had to do was configure Outlook. Simply go into the mail profile and configure and HTTPS connection. It connected first try and I was extremely happy. Except that it kept prompting me to login each time even if I selected the remember password checkbox. I found this site ( with lots of ideas, but none fixed the issue except for one of the comments.

I needed to configure the mutual authentication option (Only connect to proxy servers that have this principal name in their certificate) before I could avoid the prompt. I assume that this is meant to be a security feature from MS. However, I'd much rather the option to save the password not be visible if it's not going to work. Or, a note in the configuration dialog box explaining the requirement. The necessary option is pictured below:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

MTS Blackberry and BES

Just got a new Blackberry. I'm seldom without a laptop when I'm on the road. So, I never really saw the need. However, my business partner Darrin said my old phone (it was just a phone) was embarassing to the company. Hence, the new phone.

MTS (Manitoba Telephone Services) has a deal right now for $35/mo with unlimited data. Sounds perfect for browsing and wireless mail. Sign me up!

Here's the catch. Even though the Blackberry device includes a license to use it with a workgroup BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) server, on this plan, you can't use a BES server. You can attempt to configure it, but it will just hang because MTS is blocking it. This plan is considered consumer grade. An unlimited data plan that includes BES would be another $40/mo.

The biggest benefit of BES is automatic over the wire syncing of mail, contacts, and calendar with an Exchange server. However, you can do the synchronization with desktop software as well. My solution is to access mail over the wire and then sync calendar and contacts with desktop software. That works well enough for me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Vista Unable to Read DVD

I've had this issue on multiple desktop computers. When accessing a DVD I am prompted to "Prepare this Blank Disc". In my case, this appears to be caused by installing VMWare server on my workstation. Potential solutions:
  • repaired by reenabling autorun for the CD (disabled by VMWare Server) - not effective for me
  • repaired by removing CD driver in device manager and the rescanning - worked once for me
  • repaired by installing the latest version of Roxio burning software -worked once for me