Thursday, April 30, 2009

TechEd 2010: Dates and Location

It Pro Mauro Sant'Anna reports:

"My friends at Microsoft told me the next years’s TechEd, Microsoft’s primary technical conference, will take place in New Orleans, from June 7th to 11th."

This year’s Tech will take place in Los Angeles on the week of May 11th through the 15th. I'll be there, will you?

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 RC Released

Microsoft released Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) build 7100 today. The RC reflects extensive beta tester feedback which the MVP Community directly impacted.

Managed Beta program participants, including MSDN and TechNet subscriberscan download it from Microsoft Connect. If you are not among those who participated in one of the managed Beta programs, you only have to wait until Tuesday, May 5, when the RC will be available through the Customer Preview Program. The final engineering milestone is the release to manufacturing (RTM), typically 3-5 months after the RC.

As a member of the Windows7 Technology Adoption Program (TAP), I've had the chance to work with Windows7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 from the earliest builds and have traveled to Redmond to participate in the Windows7 Summits. As time goes on, I'll be posting my usual tips, tricks and troubleshooting articles on this blog.

Windows 7 beta facts:

  • Over 2000 MVPs participated in the beta on Connect.

  • MVPs contributed and filed over 700 bugs in the first week the beta was released.

  • Engineering fixed over 2000 bugs during the first two weeks.

  • The Windows 7 Forum was the premier destination support beta testers with over 25k posts in the first month

  • Windows 7 Beta forums success continues to be moderated by 100+ MVPs.

  • Windows 7 Beta forums answer rate soars to 88% on a volume of more than 40,000 posts.

  • Highlights of positive feedback from beta testers: Windows 7 beta speed / responsiveness, taskbar, and UX are top rated early features

I can tell you that I've been running Windows 7 on my Asus 1000HE netbook and it's absolutely awesome! It ran right out of the box with 1GB of RAM and even displays the Windows Aero interface. I would venture to say that anything that can run Windows XP will run Windows 7 - and it will run even better! Microsoft has a real winner with this operating system. I can't wait to see the RTM version.

The recommended minimum hardware for Windows 7 Beta can be found at https://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-faq.aspx.

As for Windows 2008 R2, I run it on several host servers, VMs and even a dual-boot Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 laptop computer. The build quality is outstanding and I love all the new features including mobile broadband support, Agile VPN, and the improvements to Server Manager. Be sure to check out the Best Practices Analyzers in Server Manager.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lucky Strike with Windows Embedded: Community Party at TechEd

Trika (formerly of Microsoft Certifications and now with Windows Embedded) sent me the following email this morning. Thanks for the heads up, Trika!

"Hey, dude. My new team, Windows Embedded, is holding a bash for windows embedded/certified Developer community on Tuesday night... reg not open yet but we'll be having it open soon. I'll post when we have our reg link but FYI if you have ideas of how to get the word out! See you in LA - Trika"

http://blogs.msdn.com/trika/archive/2009/04/27/you-don-t-need-a-visa-to-go-bowling.aspx

Here are the details...

What: An evening of bowling, drinks, music, food and general swankiness with the Windows Embedded team (all 18 lanes, pool tables, foosball, ping pong, great food, open bar, and a D.J....)

Where: Right across from TechEd at Lucky Strikes Lanes in LA: http://www.bowlluckystrike.com/locations/info/?id=26

When: Tuesday, May 12 from 7 PM to 11 PM

Who: The Windows Embedded team, partners, and customers; plus special guests the Microsoft Certified developer community (MCPD, MCAD, MCSD, MCTS).

Why: To celebrate what Windows Embedded and Microsoft Certified developers have in common: demonstrated skills using our platform and development tools, commitment to Microsoft, and a love of... bowlng. We want to mix it up and introduce embedded development to the top Windows developers and for Windows Embedded developers and partners to get to know the outstanding Windows development community.

How: You’ll need to register online in advance (registration URL in development) and then show your printed confirmation to pick up your blue wristband (required to enter the party) at the Windows Embedded Technical Learning Center. Party is for Windows Embedded community and Certified Developers; be prepared to show your MCP ID or a transcript when you pick up your wristband.

I added this party to the TechEd party Calendar.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

TechEd 2009: ClusterFunk Registration Now Open


Double-Take Software has opened registration for their ClusterFunk party at TechEd 2009!

Registration is required to attend. <<<Register HERE>>> and pick up an official Double-Take Software wrist band at booth #816 on the vendor floor.

Be sure to check out the other great events listed in my TechEd Parties Calendar.

See you there!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

TechEd 2009: Party Calendar


As we get closer to TechEd 2009, I want to remind attendees to check out the TechEd 2009 Extracurricular Events Calendar.

Despite this year's smaller than expected attendance, the after-hours parties this year seem to be shaping up. They include:
  • Sunday - Party with Palermo and Krewe Meet and Drink

  • Monday - Partner Expo and Reception, GeekFest 2009, and the Springboard Series Community Influencers Party

  • Tuesday - ClusterFunk

  • Wednesday - Krewe Pub Crawl

  • Thursday - Tech·Ed "Jam on IT" Party

  • Friday - Final Krewe Get-Together

See the The Krewe's TechEd 2009 Calendar for details on all these events, including registration details. Check it out!



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teched 2009: Schedule Builder is Live


For those of you who don't already know, the TechEd 2009 Schedule Builder is live on the Microsoft TechEd website.

The Schedule Builder is where you can peruse the technical and BOF sessions, read abstracts, and add them to your personal schedule. Sessions can be sorted by technical track, product/technology, audience, session type, technical level, day/time, or speaker.

Once you've selected the sessions you wish to attend you can download them to Outlook or use the synchronization tool to sync them if you update your schedule.

Keep in mind that adding a session to your personal schedule does not guarantee a seat in the session; sessions are filled on a first-come, first-seated basis. With that in mind, feel free to select more than one session for the same time slot. I'm usually double, triple or even quaduple booked for the same time! Too much technology, too little time. This allows me to attend my first choice, and if it doesn't meet my expectations I can glance at my calendar and quickly move on to another choice.

My Favorites

There are some sessions that I always attend just because the speakers are so good. They are (in no particular order):

  • Mark Minasi
  • Marcus Murray (no sessions this year, so far) :(
  • Mark Russinovich
  • Steve Riley

If you have a whole in your schedule where you just don't know what to go to, drop into one of these guy's sessions. You will not be disappointed.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stop Spamming Yourself!, Part 2

Frequently, you may receive spam from the Internet that appear to come from your own domain name. This is a common tactic used by spammers to bypass spam filters.

In an earlier article, I showed how to configure Exchange 2007 to reject all SMTP emails from the Internet that supposedly come from your own domain name. We did this by adding your domain name to the Sender Filtering / Blocked Senders configuration on the Edge server.

While this works perfectly, it goes against a Microsoft best practice and doesn't provide for any exceptions. This article will show how to accomplish the same thing using an Edge Transport Rule, as well as how to configure an exception. Let's get started.
  • Logon to the Edge Transport server, open the Exchange Management Console, and navigate to Microsoft Exchange > Edge Transport > Transport Rules tab.
  • Click New Transport Rule in the Actions pane to open the New Transport Rule wizard.
  • Enter a name for the rule and any comments, as shown below, and click Next.

  • For the Conditions in Step 1, click "when the From address contains text patterns" and "from users inside or outside the organization"
  • In Step 2, click the words "text pattern" and add your domain name (i.e., extpa.com). Click the work "Inside" and change it to "Outside". Click Next

  • Now we will set the Action to take upon these messages. In Step 1, click "set the spam confidence level to value" and "reject the message with status code and response"
  • In Step 2, set the SCL to "-1". We do this so that the exceptions configured on the next page will not go to the users' Junk E-mail folders in Outlook. Click Next.

  • For the Exceptions in Step 1, click "except when the text specified words appear in a message header"
  • In Step 2, click "specific words" and add the domain of the sending server (i.e., opentable.com). OpenTable.com is an online restaurant reservation system that emails invitations to people when a reservation is made. It spoofs the emailed invitation to looks like it came from the sender. Because of this, it would normally be rejected if it weren't for this exception.
  • Click "message header" and enter "Receive". Click Next.

  • Click New and Finish to create the new Transport Rule.

The rule will now reject all emails from the Internet that claim to be from your domain name, unless the SMTP Receive header contains the text "opentable.com". It will also set the SCL so that the exception will not be classified as spam by Outlook.

The rule above can also be configured using the Exchange Management Shell using the following command:

new-TransportRule -Name 'Reject inbound emails from expta.com' -Comments 'Exception: Opentable.com' -Conditions
'Microsoft.Exchange.MessagingPolicies.Rules.Tasks.FromAddressMatchesPredicate','Microsoft.Exchange.MessagingPolicies.Rules.Tasks.FromScopePredicate'
-Actions
'Microsoft.Exchange.MessagingPolicies.Rules.Tasks.SetSclAction','Microsoft.Exchange.MessagingPolicies.Rules.Tasks.SmtpRejectMessageAction'
-Exceptions
'Microsoft.Exchange.MessagingPolicies.Rules.Tasks.HeaderContainsPredicate'
-Enabled $true -Priority '0'

The code above is meant to entered as one single line.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

TechEd 2009: Jam on IT! Attendee Party

I just got the following email from TechEd regarding the Thursday night party:

We’re excited to announce the evening social event at Tech·Ed ―Jam on IT, a celebration of the IT industry. As promised, we’ve got a terrific event planned where you can join your IT industry friends and peers, along with industry influencers and key Microsoft experts, to wind down (or up!), get your groove on, and network with the Tech·Ed community.

Jam on IT
Date: Thursday, May 14
Time: 6 pm-11pm
Location: Los Angeles Convention Center
(West bldg)


You’ve asked for an evening to socialize and have some fun, so we’re taking over the west side of the convention center, providing plenty of great food and drinks, and networking opportunities like Birds-of-a-Feather sessions and the Women in Technology program -- WomenBuild. You can also rock the house at the famous (or infamous) Tech·Ed Jam Session, hosted by Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin of .NET Rocks! We hope you’ll grab an instrument, jump on stage, and raise the roof.

Further details on the all-star lineup joining us for Jam on IT will be published on our Tech·Ed North America site at www.msteched.com in the coming weeks, so check back often. If you have
any questions or comments, please contact us anytime at: TechEd2009@microsoft.crgevents.com.

Special thanks to the evening’s sponsors: Samsung, Microsoft US Developer & Platform Evangelism Team and TheRegion.com

We look forward to celebrating the potential of the IT industry with YOU, at Tech·Ed North America 2009.
I figured Microsoft would do something at the LA Convention Center. After all, they've rented it for the entire week! Sounds like it will be a fun night with a combo party and jam sessions.

More information can be found on the TechEd website: http://www.msteched.com/teched/jam-on-it.aspx

I followed up with CRG Events and confirmed that this event is for TechEd attendees only. No guest passes will be sold.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fix for Duplicate Contacts Lists in Outlook

Sometimes you may find that a user has multiple Contacts address books listed in Outlook. This can occur when invalid references exist in the Outlook Address Books.

Remove the invalid reference to a contacts folder in Outlook:

Tools > E-mail Accounts > View or change existing directories or
address books > Outlook Address Book > Change... >

Select the duplicate Outlook Address Book(s) and click Remove Address Book for each duplicate.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Imagine Cup 2009 IT Challenge


I'm honored once again to be a judge for the Imagine Cup 2009 this year. I and three others will be judging the IT Challenge. This year the finals will be held in Cairo, Egypt.

The object of the IT Challenge competition is to highlight the art and science of developing, deploying, and maintaining IT systems that are efficient, functional, robust and secure. IT professionals have a base set of tools and techniques, but still have to work through customer needs and configurations that require an intimate understanding of how the pieces fit together. They also need to know how far the systems can be pushed before they will break, and how to make the systems highly available, so that they are always available.

The contestants are currently in the round two semi-finals, the written scenario, which ends May 20, 2009.

The worldwide finals run from July 3rd through the 9th in Cairo. Here, competitors will have 24 hours to build a comprehensive IT solution based on a real-world scenario.

First place wins $8,000 USD, second place wins $4,000 USD, and third place wins $3,000 USD.

Good luck, competitors, and I'll see you in Egypt!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to Move Exchange 2007 Log Files on a CCR Cluster

You cannot move the Exchange 2007 transaction logs to a different location while the CCR cluster is running. You must suspend the cluster, move the transaction log configuration *only* using EMS, and then resume the cluster.

Here are the detailed steps to do this:

  • First, create the folders for the new location of the Exchange transaction logs. For this example, L:\ExchangeLogs\SG1. Make sure to do this on both nodes.

  • Open the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) and run the following commands:

Suspend-StorageGroupCopy -Identity "exchange1\First Storage Group" -SuspendComment "Moving transaction logs" -Confirm:$False

move-StorageGroupPath -Identity 'exchange1\First Storage Group' -LogFolderPath 'L:\ExchangeLogs\SG1' -SystemFolderPath 'L:\ExchangeLogs\SG1' -ConfigurationOnly

move [oldpath]\*.* [newpath]

Resume-StorageGroupCopy -Identity "exchange1\First Storage Group"

Where exchange1 is the name of your CCR cluster, First Storage Group is the name of the storage group logs you want to move, oldpath is the current path of the logs, and newpath is the new target path.

The first line suspends log shipping for the CCR cluster. The second line updates the Exchange configuration in Active Directory to use the new storage group path. The third line moves the existing log files from the old location to the new one. And finally, the fourth line resumes log shipping for the cluster.

TechEd 2009: On-Site Certification Dropped


Yet another item dropped from TechEd 2009 - Microsoft will not be offering on-site certification testing this year. Attendees will instead receive a voucher for 50% off a single Microsoft Professional Certification exam. If you attend any certification (CRT) session, you can upgrade your voucher to an "extra special" coupon where you pay only $25 to take an exam.

See the Microsoft TechEd Certification page for more details.

This is unfortunate, because I know quite a few people who plan on getting certified while attending TechEd. There's nothing like taking the exams at a venue where you're completely immersed in the technology.

I'm really beginning to believe that TechEd LA means "Lousy Attendance".

Friday, April 3, 2009

Extracurricular Events Calendar for TechEd 2009



Announcing the official Krewe Calendar for TechEd 2009!

This is where we organize our extracurricular activities after a hard day of seminars and sessions. Microsoft has renamed the Thursday night "Alternative Social Gathering" to the "Tech·Ed Community Party." Sounds like a lot more fun to me!

Now, you may be asking, "How do I become a member of the Krewe?" Easy! Do you like to have fun? Do you like beer? Just show up for one of our events and you're in!

If you have an event or idea you'd like to add to the calendar, please leave a comment below or post it on TechEd Connect. I'll post it as soon as I can. Thanks!

TechEd 2009: ClusterFunk Confirmed!


I wrote earlier about the ClusterFunk party at TechEd 2009. I just got an email from the folks at Double-Take Software that ClusterFunk is confirmed to party at TechEd 2009 in Los Angeles.

There's been a lot of concern from the TechEd community that vendors will cancel their after hours parties due to budgetary constraints and probable lower than expected attendance.

"We are locked and loaded for the event so we won't be cancelling," Brace Rennels told me.

If you've been to TechEd and missed seeing ClusterFunk, you've missed some really good times. Here's a video blog post of the band at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in Florida last year.

Event details are in my earlier post. Registration opens SOON. Subscribe to this blog for more TechEd goodness!

Fix for 0x8024400E Errors on WSUS Clients

You may have problems with WSUS clients that are not able to download updates from WSUS. Check the %SystemRoot%\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log file for the following error:

2009-03-27 11:55:29:193 1044 afc PT WARNING: SyncUpdates failure, error = 0x8024400E, soap client error = 7, soap error code = 400, HTTP status code = 200

Resetting the client by clearing the SoftwareDistribution folder and forcing the Automatic Updates client to detect new updates results in the same error.

This is caused by a revision to the 'Office 2003 Service Pack 1' update. It results in some WSUS 3.0 servers enter an inconsistent state with respect to the update's approvals. When computers with products related to Office 2003 sync to a WSUS server with this revision, the web service is unable to process the approvals resulting in the detection failure.

To fix this problem, approve and then decline the Office 2003 Service Pack 1 update in WSUS. Here are the steps to do this:

  • Open the WSUS Administration console

  • Find the Office 2003 Service Pack 1 update in the updates list. You may have to change the Approval and Status filters to find it. Set the Status to Any and the Approval to Declined. If you still don't see it then set the Approval to Any except Declined.

  • First, make sure the update is declined. If the update is not yet declined, right click on the update and decline it.

  • Next, approve the update. Right-click the update and select the Approve... option in the context menu. Click OK in the Approve Updates dialog that opens (no need to change any options here). Dismiss the Approval Progress dialog that appears.

  • Next, decline the update. Right-click the update and select Decline.

The computers that were failing detection will now successfully complete detection against the WSUS server and receive any applicable updates.

Note: If you have a hierarchy of WSUS servers, these steps must be performed on each server, starting with the top-level server. If one of the servers is a replica downstream server, you must first change it to be autonomous, then perform the steps above, then change it back to being a replica. This can be done from the Options/Update Source and Proxy Server Dialog in the WSUS Administration console.

Also, take a look at KB 954960 - Some computers do not receive updates from the WSUS server. It includes a hotfix for WSUS 3.0 SP1 servers that prevents the problem from reoccurring.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Congratulations 2009 Microsoft MVP!

This morning I received the following email:

Dear Jeff Guillet,

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2009 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others.

The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your significant contributions and say "Thank you for your technical leadership."

Toby Richards
General Manager
Community Support Services

What a nice way to start the day!

I earned my MVP in Management Infrastructure. This includes the gamut of Windows management solutions, including Windows Server Manager.

I'm very excited about this, as there are only about 6,000 MVPs in the world and I'm honored to count myself among them!