Category Archives: Freebies

Cannot draw? Doodle: A place to learn how to do it.

clip_image002[5]Do you have hands? Excellent. That’s a good start. Can you hold a pencil? Great. If you have a sketchbook, open it and start by making a line, a mark, wherever. Doodle.

Chris Riddell

Some time ago I decided that it’d be great if I will learn how to draw. Ok, not like “DRAW” draw, more like doodle. Sticky man and all that stuff. Why? Well, first of all, just because. I saw some beautiful stuff around me. Like Simon’s cat. And that’s bringing some envy to my life. Second, it now means I don’t have to look for stock photo for my blog, worry about copyright and all that stuff. Believe me or not, it’s important for me somehow. And there is, as I like to mention, this particularly unpleasant German guy… Whatshisname… Ahhh – Alzheimer. 😉 So, some researchers tell us that you may have less chances to meet him, if you’re doing something new. And believe me: drawing for me is NEW!

My next step was to try and doodle something. Nope. Didn’t work for two reasons. First, I didn’t know what to draw to illustrate my thoughts. And second, when I tried it looked… Well… Even worse than it does now. Here is an example:


While you definitely may (I hope) distinguish a rake here, I’m not that sure about a precision axe attached to it. Not that if I draw it today it will be much more understandable, but it will look better.

So: I don’t know what and I don’t know how. That’s the place to start. What should one do in such a situation? Find a training and go through it. And I did exactly what I said: found a training named IQ Doodle by Adam Sicinski. It’s a 40-day course over which Adam walks you through the basics of doodling, shows what and how you can do and challenges you to do more, better and faster. Actually, it took me much more than 40 days to finish it, and guess what? After the 40th day, Adam continues to send some materials. Not sure when he stops, but at the moment almost 200 things are waiting for me to doodle them.

Anyway, while I’m not able to draw even half as well as a child of a friend of mine, I’m even right now have switched in my blog posts from internet borrowed pictures to what I created myself. I’ll be putting some memes here, of course, some books covers, or maybe some other pictures if it feels right. But otherwise it’s already my own “handmade”. And I like it more than before 😉

I’m not into explaining and discussing in detail, what the course is. I’ll just show you one of the challenges. Adam suggests that someone is drawing some figure. Anything: just a line, a circle, or any scribble. And you should draw a face around it.

A friend of mine (who happened to start the course with me) and I tried it and here are some of the results:


And the second example:


My favorite is the cat on the first page. The guy doodled it from something like that:


Unbelievable level of imagination if you ask me. But then another wild person appeared and made us both ashamed with this:


Anyway, from now on you’re bound to tolerate my doodling in the blog posts, unless you just unsubscribe. 😉 And you may sign up for the course, too: it’s free and it’ll do you good if you’re as bad at doodling as I am.

Free ebook: Introducing Windows 8: An Overview for IT Professionals

0160.image_5186E8A3Just a new eBook for us, IT Pro.

Deployment, management, security, recovery. All you need to bring the OS to your users.

Download links are below.

PDF Introducing Windows 8- An Overview for IT Professionals – PDF ebook
Mobi Introducing Windows 8-An Overview for IT Professionals – Mobi format for Kindle
ePub Introducing Windows 8-An Overview for IT Professionals – ePub format

Troubleshooting articles.

imageOnce I have run into some article which was actually a list of references to the Windows IT Pro articles. I don’t even remember where I saw the article (probably it was WinITPro itself), but I all of a sudden remembered, that it was useful for me.

The list was named in my collection as “troubleshooting learning path” and it truly is. below is the list. What you need to access any article stated here is to enter an InstantDoc ID in search on the main page of WinITPro.

Have fun:


Name InstantDoc ID
Administrators’ Intro to Debugging 101818
Conquer Desktop Heap Problems 101701
Disk2vhd: The Windows Troubleshooter’s New Best Friend 102980
Examining Xperf 102054
Find the Binary File for Any WMI Class 102615
Further Adventures in Debugging 102867
Get a Handle on Windows Performance Analysis 101162
Got High-CPU Usage Problems? ProcDump ‘Em! 102479
Reap the Power of MPS_Reports Data 101468
Resolve Memory Leaks Faster 99933
Resolve WMI Problems Quickly with WMIDiag 100845
Say ‘Whoa!’ to Runaway Processes 100212
Simplify Process Troubleshooting with DebugDiag 100577
Troubleshooting the Infamous Event ID 333 Errors 101059
Under the Covers with Xperf 102263

Want to learn about cryptography? I know where.


 Take notice: My new feed address is now Please re-subscribe.

Do you have some spare time and want to know how cryptography works? What is the most secure cipher? And why λ is always more than ε… Well, the latter is not true =)
Anyhow, there is a place where you can learn more about cryptography for free. Stanford University provides such a course for free at I’m at the second week now, and already tampered one cipher text and know how decrypted another (it’s not that tricky, but very time consuming).

So welcome to the world of knowledge Winking smile

Freebies: books

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A couple of books I believe are worth at least stealing a look at. Free books, of course.


1) The book has been advertised in almost every Windows-related blog for several days. I believe that you couldn’t have missed it but just in case you haven’t read about it I give you the link. Introducing Windows Server 2012 is quite small and cannot cover all I would want to know, but it is named “Introducing…”. It’s definitely the place to start if you haven’t been tracking news all over the internet. You can get it in four different formats: 3 to download and paper version.
2) Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office 2010 User. Easy-to-read book about security and privacy. It unlikely teach anyone who is not already concerned with those matters, but is users read it it would make security professionals a bit less tired and less paid Winking smile 

News and freebies

imageHi. Recently I’ve experienced some events in my life which made my blog totally neglected. I’m sorry about it, but life is life. I’ll do my my best to keep the blog updated, still the next couple of months updates probably won’t be regularly, because I’ll be getting ready to TechEd Russia 2011.


First of all, there have been at least two interesting new things about Lync: Lync Adoption and Training Kit and Lync Server Administration Guide. The first one is some kind of one-stop resource for everyone who wants to implement Lync in theirs organization. You can choose from one of three categories:

1) IT Pro/PM

2) HelpDesk/Support Professional

3) Trainer

The info pack contains a workbook with step-by-step guidance for the rollout, training resources and some learning tools. Quite impressive, even though I am not tied with Lync implementation in my Company as a IT Pro or any other of the role above.

Lync Server Administration Guide is a single document of almost 300 pages. Just read it if you have to deal with Lync. It is worth it.

Another free Lync content: Lync Resource Kit. It even contains some free chapters from the book, so go and get it.


The next item in my collection isn’t free, but still it promises to be awesome: the new book by Mark Rusinovich was RTM (and it wasn’t a fiction 😉 ) – Windows Sysinternals Administrator’s Reference. I’m ordering one for me.


Two new eBooks available for download:

Getting Started with SharePoint Server 2010

Getting Started with SharePoint Foundation 2010

And they are free. Moreover, they are in five (5!!!!!) different file formats. At least two of these five are ready to just upload to your eBook reader: .mobi & .epub (yeah, MS is going to put many things into eBook-compatible formats. Even MOCs)

You can also download SharePoint Foundation 2010 design samples: Collaboration with classic authentication or with claims-based authentication. Quite a helper if you are going to design the thingy.

New Products Releases

SC VMM Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1

You know, SSP1 wasn’t really a very useful tool. This one seems to be more adequate for some tasks. Opalis integration, custom machine actions, VM expiration date and the whole bunch of other stuff. Get it, learn about it and give it a chance Подмигивающая рожица

SkyDrive and Windows Live Essentials updates

Many, many improvements. For example, SSL is enabled for all authentication pages (at last!), upload size limited to 100MB, and (hell, yeah!) they now support SSL in Live Mail, that is they finally secured your mail 😉

Read more about SkyDrive, download new WLE (it is not yet available through the windows update)

Freebies: books and other learning stuff

imageWhat it takes to be a good specialist? Usually everyone agree that the vital element to it is to learn much. With MS, it is usually easy enough: TechNet and MSDN are great sources of information. No, really, most of official courses I sit on (to be honest – there was not many of them) don’t give you as much info as those two. If you are lucky enough, you’ll get a great trainer and then you can have even more than in TechNet, but usually it is only a good way to quickly refresh, restructure or get some basic knowledge. Anyway, it’s quick and I recommend it to you if you have an opportunity to be away from your work for several days: it’s quick, and you can polish your skills and knowledge after the course is over. Another knowledge source are books. There are good ones, excellent or not so much. Finally, there are eLearnings. They are somewhat between books and “offline” courses. You receive more visual content, you even can look at and listen to a tutor, but the only way to ask questions is Google (or BING, if you wish).

After such a long introduction, let’s go down to our freebies: MSLearning blog has done its spring cleaning and put a lot of stuff on the board for free (registration is needed only to receive updates on it, downloading doesn’t require it). There are mostly eBooks (or parts of the eBooks), clinic sessions and exam coaching sessions. It can be interesting to take a look. Or just download it to stash for good 😉

MS Guru writes a thriller, MS OneNote starts in iPhone

What a crazy world, one can say… Still it is true:

New book of Mark Russinovich

Mark Russinovich has wrote a thriller book named Zero Day. Something about cyber crime, cyber attacks and so on. I won’t even read the excerpts: I’ll just get this book as soon as I can after it is out (March 2011). Pre-0rder i$ @v@i1@b1e. Winking smile

OneNote is on iPhone/iPod.

And it even works, though I haven’t yet fully synchronized it from my SkyDrive storage. The process is to be continued soon, though.Download it on the Apple store and enjoy. It is “free for a limited time”

Freebies: some more free eBooks

Being ill I’m not currently in the state to write anything smart, so I will just provide you with some more free eBooks (and their parts) from the list which were announced at MS Press blog (And were kindly mustered together by one of MS employees for me. Thanks, pal):



Moving to MS Visual Studio 2010



Sample code




Introducing Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 (Yeah, another two hundred pages for me to read)






Programming Windows Phone 7 Series (DRAFT Preview). We still don’t have WP7 here, but already have some programmers for it… Strange, isn’t it? =)



Sample code



Own Your Future: Update Your Skills with Resources and Career Ideas from Microsoft. Read in case of emergency. Or rather earlier Winking smile







First Look Microsoft Office 2010. Sometimes looking at some office pro work in, say, excel, I’m being just jealous. So the book is in my reading list too.






Windows 7 troubleshooting tips. 12 pages of “must read”!







Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2. Well… It is somewhat outdated proposal for me, but if you are new to R2 – that’s where to start.







Deploying Windows 7, Essential Guidance. Here you have an excerpt from Windows 7 Resource Kit and TechNet.





Enough for today. Enjoy your reading!