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MSDN Subscription: no new content?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Dec-2006 12:25

Just received this now:

Dear MSDN Subscriber,
Please note that there will be no subscription mailer for the month of December 2006 as no new major content is due to release for your subscription level or language choice.

Your next media update will be the January 2007 update which will ship to you in mid January.
New content is added to MSDN Subscriber downloads all the time as soon as it releases.

Er, what happened to Microsoft Windows Vista, and Microsoft Office 2007, already released to MSDN, and which I can see in my account? Are these "no new major content"? If not, what is then?

Valued MSN Customer

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Dec-2006 08:34

Last week I found a box at my doorstep and after seeing the sender was Microsoft Corp, One Microsoft Way, I thought "Cool, a Microsoft Zune for review".

Not quite, but thanks to the MSN Team! First time using this new mug:

Free Microsoft Windows Vista Professional and Microsoft Office Professional 2007

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Nov-2006 21:43

Yes, that's right... But read the fine print and you will find out that like other U.S. promotions, this is only valid in the 50 United States (including District of Columbia).

Still reading? Good. Here's the deal: Power Together is a series of webcasts and on-line labs about Microsoft's new Windows Vista and Office system. Complete three webcasts on each series and you get a free licence for one of those software.

There's also a page with promotions, and the best one is a 15% discount on Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition plus an MSDN Premium or Professional subscription. I tell you this: a MSDN subscription is worth it (if you are in New Zealand and want this discount, check it here for a limited time).

Kudos to AdventNet

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Nov-2006 20:05

Some time ago I posted a series of entries in my blog about valuable tools for Microsoft Windows Server admins. One of the tools I praised back then was ManageEngine Applications Manager from AdventNet.

AppManager is not limited to Windows Server machines. It also works with Windows Server, Windows clients, Linux, and Unix machines.

Note that I am not a paying customer. I am using the free version of their software, which allows me to add up to 5 monitors. I use this to keep an eye on my local Windows Server and the remote server running Geekzone.

This web based tool provides the admin of a single or multiple servers a lot of information that would otherwise require many hours of work and hundreds of scripts to collate.

After upgrading my local server I decided to update the software from version 6 to version 7. It all went nicely, but I had to delete one server. And the problems started.

As soon as I tried to add the server back to the monitor the CPU would go to 100% and require me to reboot my server.

I logged a fault with AdventNet, and in a few days I received an e-mail asking for more information, and a debug program to trace the SNMP requests.

After a couple more days I got a phone call from AdventNet and we looked through more settings.

Today I received a second phone call, from 6pm through 8:10pm - that's more than two hours on an international phone call. Using WebEx their developers looked through the application database, tested the issues, applied a fix and put the application to work again.

How is this for an excellent support service for a customer using their free version?

I can only recommend their product and services now. By the way, AdventNet is the company behind the Zoho web-based office tools (think of word processing, presentation, collaboration, spreadsheet, CRM, project management).

Windows Vista RTM: install experience

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Nov-2006 19:01

Well, as soon as I was told Windows Vista RTM was available for MSDN subscriber I started the download. I think I was lucky and did it at the right time, because my download took less than 2 hours 30 minutes, and I was able to quickly grab an activation key.

Installation was a breeze and it took less than 20 minutes. Great stuff. Unfortunatelly upgrade from Windows Vista RC2 wasn't an option available. Meno male, since I am not a big fan of inplace upgrades, and I consider this not a beta version anymore so I wasn't going to test this scenario.

My desktop configuration is based on an ASUS P5WD2 Premium motherboard, currently with 2GB DDR2 RAM and a 160GB SATA HDD. I wasn't running the latest BIOS on this machine, but Windows Vista RC1 and Windows Vista RC2 were both running ok - but how wrong I was...

After installing Windows Vista RTM my fist boot resulted on a BSDO. Upon a Safe Boot I found it was on crcdisk.sys. A quick check on Google showed this is a problem on 64 bit CPUs - hardly my case. Off to fresh install the OS again.

It worked fine for a while, but continuously locking up for up to 3 minutes, unresponsive, but suddenly coming back to live.

Anyway, the system had no sound (it uses Realtek HD Sound) and I visited Windows Update to try and find the driver. No luck there. I ended up manually downloading the official Realtek driver. I wonder where are the 19,500+ drivers on the DVD?

Soon after installing the sound driver the system rebooted itself, and guess what? A big nice BSOD on loading crcdisk.sys... After quickly talking to Brad Stewart we decided I should give the System Recover tool from the boot DVD a shot. It worked its magic, finding a few errors in the registry.

I proceeded to install Microsoft 2007 Office System RTM, which worked ok. But Microsoft Outlook 2007 was freezing and complaining about its .OST file...

At this point I decided to find if there was a BIOS update for this motherboard. Indeed there is a BIOS update, although not one aimed at Windows Vista. After trying many times (the ASUS website is horrible) I managed to download the file, create a bootable FDD and install this BIOS.

It seems now this is working fine. The BSOD doesn't happen anymore, I am copying my files back from the external backup drive, and Outlook is no longer complaining.

There are some new problems though... I can't start System Restore to manually create a restore point. It complains with an error dialog "There was an unexpected error: Class not registered (0x80040154). Please close System Restore and try again."... Frustrating, and I can't find a solution. The closest I found is here, and is just a query. Still no solution for this.

Next is the existence of four or five "white" icons in the Control Panel, with no caption, and not doing anything when double-clicked. Strange.

Then there are a couple of "unknown devices" in the Hardware Manager. They were not "unknown" to Windows Vista RC2.

And my SD card reader, which used to work as a ReadyBoost device with Windows Vista RC2, is no longer a "ReadyBoost" capable device with RTM. Drats.

Why, would you ask, you simply don't reinstall Windows Vista RTM now that your BIOS is up-to-date and things seem to be running ok?

Because Microsoft made a mistake with keys for Microsoft Office 2007 on MSDN and after two registrations only (my tablet PC and this desktop) the keys are no longer valid! As soon (and if) they fix this I will reinstall this Windows Vista desktop and will be able to install Office again. Until then, I am stuck.

Windows Vista for testers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Nov-2006 17:39

If you were a Microsoft Windows Vista tester on Connect and have submitted at least one bug then check your inbox: Microsoft is sending out a "thank you" gift in the form of a free copy of Microsoft Windows Vista Business or Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (of course you have to get the Ultimate, right?).

You choose which version you want, and a key will be generated for you in a week. Also this is a download offer only.

Lucky beta tester, got the gift on the same dat Windows Vista RTM landed on MSDN and Technet.

Windows Vista RTM

I've already downloaded the Windows Vista ISO, in just over a couple of hours. I wonder with the news spreading fast how long before all the servers are loaded and the entire Internet slows down...

Microsoft Windows Vista available on MSDN now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Nov-2006 11:39

If you are a MSDN Subscriber, head on to the site and prepare your download machine. Microsoft has released Windows Vista a day earlier. You will need to login with your credentials and request the proper keys for the installation.

The file en_windows_vista_x86_dvd_X12-34293.iso is an ISO-9660 DVD Image, with a total of 2555 MB.

This single download includes the following Windows Vista editions:
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business N
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic N
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 

  • Microsoft Windows Vista released to MSDN

    Microsoft Office 2007 available now on MSDN

    By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Nov-2006 12:12

    If you are a MSDN subscriber, head on to the site, log in and check the new downloads: Office Professional 2007 / Office Professional Plus 2007 / Office Ultimate 2007, and Office 2007 Desktop Programs.

    You will need to start downloading those files (Office OneNote 2007 is 202 MB and Office Professional 2007 is 411 MB), burn the ISO images to a CD and request the proper keys.


    Microsoft Windows Vista RTM screenshots

    By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Nov-2006 21:01

    This is a sequence of Windows Vista RTM screenshots, for your enjoyment. Click each image for a larger version:

    Windows Vista RTM

    By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Nov-2006 09:18

    That's the day. Windows Vista is now released to industry partners, who will finish the touches to have it ready for general consumer availability 30 January 2007. If you have a MSDN account, the RTM version of Windows Vista should be available for download in 7 days!

    Video: Windows Vista JimAllchin RTM Announcement

    freitasm's profile

    Mauricio Freitas
    New Zealand

    I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

    I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

    Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

    If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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