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Windows Home Server defragmentation with Diskeeper 2008

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Nov-2007 13:09

I think there are lots of interest in the defragmentaion topic - my previous post on Windows Vista Defragmentation gets hundreds of reads every day.

Now that Microsoft Windows Home Server is readily available people will have to manage massive amounts of data - including file fragmentation on very large drives.

I have previously suggested people use Diskeeper on Windows Vista (I use it on my Windows Vista laptop, and on my Windows Server 2003 machine) - and now they have just released Diskeeper for Windows Home Server, a version of its disk defragmention software completely integrated with the Windows Home Server console as you can see in the screenshot:


I am running this now on my WHS box with about 1.7 TB and it seems to be doing a good job - the integration with the WHS console is the key thing, so you can manage it from any PC you have on your network.



Microsoft Unified Communications Launch

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Oct-2007 17:34

This is really cool: Microsoft is running an event in Auckland for the Unified Communications Launch. It's a shame this is happening in Auckland, so I won't be going there for this one (my travel budget is kind of limited), but if you have any interest in this topic I suggest you attend it.

The full day event starts with a keynote by Microsoft GM Unified Communications Kim Akers.

Full agenda and registration link for this launch here.



Developer giveaway: Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Oct-2007 14:31

I am just going through my boxes of software here and found a never used developer kit containing Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standar Edition (1 client license), and Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006.

Since I already have a MSDN subscription, I thought I would share this with some developer or student that would need the software more than I do.

This is a great kit for a developer. With Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Standard you will have support for Visual Basic, C#, C++, and J# languages, plus the ability to develop and deploy client-server based Windows, Web, and Windows Mobile (Smartphone and Pocket PC) applications.

If you are interested, please leave a comment here and I will select one entry in a few days. When the entry is selected I will close comments to this post.

UPDATE: As this is a single box with all the software, the giveaway is for the entire kit, not separated items.



To upgrade to Windows, please remove Windows

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Oct-2007 22:30

I think this image does not require many words... I am trying an upgrade from Windows Server 2003 R2 to Windows Server 2008... This is classic:



Upgrade has been disabled

You must rename or remove c:\Windows before upgrade can continue.


It's now 10:30pm, I need to sleep. I can't stand restoring the virtual machine and doing it all over again tonight...

UPDATE: It's morning now and I found the problem: the image used to create this machine (not me!) used \WINNT as the home folder. There was a single file in \WINDOWS. Once I moved the file to the appropriate location all started working again. The migration is going ahead.

I am leaving this post here for documentation - if anyone finds the same problem...



Installing Windows Server 2008

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Oct-2007 12:49

After talking to Darryl yesterday I decided to get onto the Windows Server 2008 wave and plan the upgrade of our Geekzone server to this new release, which we should do sometime later this month:


One software I use most on a daily basis is Virtual Server 2005. This is really cool - having a single box where I can run my test environments, betas, and other stuff. Just check how many virtual machines I have running here these days:




On New Zealand DST changes: congratulations Telecom, Microsoft... Sorry Apple users

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Sep-2007 08:28

Today is the start of the updated New Zealand Dailight Saving Time. I have to say congratulations to Telecom New Zealand and Microsoft. And be sorry for any enterprise Mac OS X users out there.

I read a lot of misinformed opinion about DST changes, which is something that affected New Zealand (with extra weeks of DST), Australia and soon the U.S.

To prevent having to apply patches to their PC, even some technical people thought that they could just disable the automatic clock update on their server OS and manually change the time during the extra weeks, turning the feature back on when the old DST time kicked in.

The problem is that that same people use Exchange and Outlook to manage their appointments, and even though there's no "international" appointments not many people realise how things are stored.

Appointments (and many other data) are stored with time in the GMT timezone. This way it's easy to show the correct time if and when the user moves from one timezone to another. The problem is that if we have DST rules in our PCs that do not conform with the real life rules in place then appointments will show one hour later or earlier during those extra DST weeks. Worst if we have updated machines interacting with non-updated machines.

The problem goes even further if you create appointments during those extra weeks, but falling outside DST. All those appointments will be shifted one hour when the DST ends, and havoc is upon us.

Now, this is only one example. What about international travel where people crosses many timezones? And if you create meetings in other timezones?

Microsoft New Zealand did a great job of creating patches for their Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows Server OS platforms, plus for Exchhange Server, Microsoft Outlook and Windows Mobile.

Not only Microsoft issued a patch for all those platforms, but this patch was sent with the monthly automatic update a couple of months ago, so your mom and pop won't have their PCs running on the wrong time, neither the big corporate will have problems.

Telecom New Zealand even sent out a SMS to all of their Windows Mobile users informing people to visit a website to apply the patch. Vodafone New Zealand did not go that far, but sent out a press release asking people to check with their manufacturers.

Sun sent out information and an updated Java Runtime, as well other platforms had the same.

What computer company was missed? Apple Inc did not issue a patch for this. Were they too busy with the Apple iPod Touch, or simply deemed the New Zealand market too small to need an update? I understand there's a third party patch for this, but users will have to manually find it and apply the correction - which is not ideal. It should have been an automatic update. 

I hope they do release an update for the U.S. market though.

UPDATE: Rod is not happy with his RIM Blackberry and Vodafone New Zealand either.

UPDATE: for users interested in the Microsoft patches, follow this link to the Microsoft NZ Timezone page.



Windows Home Server Code2Fame Challenge Winners

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Sep-2007 10:02

One of the cool things you can have on a Windows Home Server is the ability to have Add-ins running from the console - so you don't need to actually RD to your server.

The Windows Home Server team have just announced the winners of the Code2Fame Challenge, a competition to award those most interesting Add-ins for Windows Home Server.

The 1st Prize went to Whiist, which is an Add-in I am already using, and allows you to create websites and photo albums from your content, all without having to touch IIS or any other configuration.

The 2nd prize went to Jungle Disk, an on-line backup solution that stores your content in the cloud using Amazon S3 services. And the 3rd prize went to Community Feeds for Windows Home Server, an Add-in that pulls down RSS feeds and make them avaialble to connected Xbox 360 or media externders.

I didn't know about Jungle Disk before. It is currently in a private beta and I am trying to get a copy to review. It sounds good - I already use Carbonite to backup three laptops around the house, but I would like to have an off site backup for my Windows Home Server. Let's see how it goes.



Windows Vista Ultimate Extras update

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Sep-2007 11:22

The Windows Vista Ultimate team has released the latest version of DreamScene:

Windows DreamScene transforms your desktop from a static wallpaper image into a full-motion video. In conjunction with Stardock, we’re pleased to also offer a number of cool, new animated DreamScene desktops, including “Aurora”. Additionally, you can use your own videos as DreamScene desktops or visit Stardock’s Dream.WinCustomize.com website to download Stardock’s DeskScapes (an add-on to DreamScene) as well as a collection of fabulous content created by Stardock and members of the Ultimate community.


This is really cool stuff, but not what Windows Vista Ultimate is all about. Bloggers and press have been running around Microsoft because the Ultimate Extras was promised to be something extraordinaire for users of the top Windows Vista edition, but it seemed slow to deliver.

Today I got some feedback from Nick White, the guy behind the official Windows Vista Blog:


[While] we've essentially failed our Ultimate customers to date, we're working hard to exceed their expectations in the long run.


And Long, it appears the Ultimate Dev team is still working...



Halo 3 New Zealand launch

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Sep-2007 09:07

A couple of weeks ago I posted a cryptic message about the Halo 3 launch here in New Zealand. And now it's all revealed...

The "vast and mysterious alien object to land at QEII Square, Auckland." is a huge 1-tonne block of ice in Queen Elizabeth Square, containing 50 discs frozen within the ice. 
 
This gigantic ice cube is there until 10am today (run!) and you can 'play' the Halo 3 Ice Block Buster and try to free the discs as the ice melts, aided by hot water pistols. Prizes to be won include Samsung 40" LCD TVs, Xbox 360 games consoles and Halo 3 games.

Gamers Nicole Sinclair and Ryan Marsden, both 19, were the first people in the world to receive a copy of the game at the worldwide premiere launch event held in Auckland. Stores across the country also opened their doors at midnight to meet demand from gamers.
 



Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 available for beta testers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Sep-2007 08:37

Today Microsoft has made the Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 (Service Pack)  available for select private beta testers on Connect. Those "chosen ones" received an e-mail confirmation a couple of weeks ago indicating they were accepted as beta testers for this release - so if you have not received such e-mail then you will most likely not see the download options.

The Windows Vista Team blog has some additional information on this release, including the announcement of new performance and reliability packages that may be released before SP1 ships:


We also released today five reliability packages via connect.microsoft.com for testing by selected  members of the community.  These packages consist of numerous improvements to Windows Vista based on user feedback, and while they will also ultimately be part of SP1, we’re working to make them available before the final version of SP1 is released so that your Windows Vista experience is the best


A more detailed account is from the Windows Experience Blog and you will get information on some changes related to speed and search:


The most common way the user will get SP1 will be through Windows Update. That is how I installed SP1 on the HP tx1000. Before getting to the SP1, a series of 3 prerequisites had to be installed first (It was 3 for me since I'm running Windows Vista Ultimate, but users who aren't running Ultimate or Enterprise will only have 2 to install since BitLocker is not included in the other Windows Vista SKUs).  I talked to Product Manager David Zipkin who explained what these prerequisites are for. The first prerequisite includes updates to the servicing stack. The second prerequisite is an update for BitLocker-capable PCs (Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Ultimate) to ensure proper servicing of Bitlocker. And the third and final prerequisite includes some updates to Windows, necessary to install and uninstall the service pack.


I am now downloading Windows Vista SP1 from connect - both x86 and x64 version, a total of 6.8 GB, which should take another couple of hours.



freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
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 freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. 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.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

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