Category Archives: Misc

Path of YeahManager

clip_image002One of the main drivers for my professional life was my passion to do my job well (luckily, I’m quite lazy, or I would dominate the world by the time Winking smile )

While being an IT Pro I hadn’t any problem with it. The path is clear: MCP – MCSA – MCSE – one more MCSE – MVP – you’re toast. Since I became a manager the world turned to be a bit more complex. what do you do to make your job better? How to stay on top? what are the general principles? What are the criteria? It seems absolutely clear what you have to do to be SharePoint infrastructure Guru: TechNet, MSDN, hands-on labs, several years of doing stuff, somewhat good knowledge of nearing fields (IIS, .NET, networking, HA clastering, NLB/HLB, AD, PKI, you name it). You can do it? Your services get several 99.99% of uptime? Well, let’s go speak about it on TechEd or just get your respect and other money.

The list to study for a manager is large too, still (I believe so) is finite. However, what will tell you if you are a good one? What principles one have to set for himself so that not to turn into stinker?

I’m not a Guru, who comprehended everything, I’m not able to answer all the questions. But I know the way! found some high-level description what should be a good manager from my point of view. In 2010 some Harvard MBA students apparently were concerned with the same question I am, solved the problem when created MBA Oath. That’s the set of high-level high-level principles I think I have to share and follow. Some of them aren’t realizable on my current level just because I don’t have powers over them as a first line manager, but others can and will be part of my motto, backbone for my life and studies including this blog. As I find it tedious and boring to mention the Oath every time, I made up a fictional character: Yeah Manager. It’s such a guy, who is anxious about everything around, who tries and helps his organization to move forward, while coping with converting introversive IT Pros into the people who are loved and valued by this organization.

Here he is:

final 24.05.2014

I’m, obviously, no artist, but the picture will du for the time being (Yeah Manager isn’t always a perfectionist Winking smile). Probably, I’ll have it remade later.

Hello, new blog, that is =)

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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.

Lync

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.

Sysinternals

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.

SharePoint

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)

Live Writer Wrap Up Tool: My version

As I mentioned some time ago, a guy named Simon May created a small tool which allows you to create a blog post with all your recent blog posts inside. It is cool and really saves me some time. However, I decided to:

1) adapt it more for my needs

2) write at last my first app since… Hell, I haven’t been writing anything but scripts for 15 years already =)

So, a guy with more than one blog and programming knowledge on the BASIC (not even VB!) “Hello World” level closes his eyes, downloads Visual C# 2010 Express and starts to develop his own application. Ok, I had to open my eyes before downloading VS. Then I got Simon’s explanations of his process of programming the thing, spent about 10-15 hours looking for solutions of my problems on MSDN and other Internet resources and…

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Well, my program is definitely not so good looking, more complex, contain an orthographical mistake (will be fixed in next “release”. Yeah, now I can “release” things. Like I were actual programmer =))) ).

Some things are ugly crutches because I don’t know all the abilities of the language and didn’t plan for it well. Some places in my code are a topics to research further, because I used them without understanding them. Just take a look at this beautiful comment:

/// Tell me what the hell am I doing here? =) I guess it is LINQ? =)
OrderedFeed = feed.Items.OrderBy(i => i.PublishDate);

But it works for me!

I’ve replaced calendar from Simon’s version with to date pickers, add two presets to time period selection, added possibility to remember several blog feeds and sort items in the wrap up.

What’s the moral of the story? You can create a program even if you are not a professional in it. With Visual Studio it is really easy. So, if you need something small, but you cannot find it – create your own goodies. It is also a fun – create something, look for solutions and etc.

Just in case you want to try my app yourself, the link to the install is below. Just several points to notice before you install it:

1) It was fun for me. And it was designed for me. And I promise you I didn’t intend the program to be harmful. But still being a somewhat security guy: why should you trust me? And it is placed on a free hosting. Anyway, I won’t take any responsibility for the program results should they be not good.

2) The program will look for updates while starting. If you need a version which doesn’t… Well, write your own one =)

3) If you have ideas about it: write me, I’ll think it over. I don’t promise I will implement your ideas, but I like challenges, so why not?

4) If you need sources… Ok, but:

  • if you are newbie to the C# or programming at all, I’d recommend you to write it from scratch yourself. It is fun and it is more useful then copying and compiling my code.
  • if you are a professional, then I’ll give you the sources only after you promise me explain why you were laughing at them and how I should correct or improve it =)

5) It creates a registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareWLWWrapupper which is not deleted when you uninstall the tool. Remove it manually if you care.

If you are not scared of my “notice”, install it from here.

IPv6: hopes, disappointments…

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This scary gadget screenshot (26th of December here) tells us that it is only a question of a month, may be, two to run out of IPv4 addresses. Well, not exactly “we”. It is IANA who will run out of it. Of course, some time since then it will affect some customers who want to buy their own autonomous system, and large providers and sooner or later – end users. I won’t do any predictions about the time it will become a real problem (you know, there were too many of these predictions) but now it is more than ever obvious that IPv4 must R.I.P just soon enough to think about it at least today, in case you didn’t do it yesterday.

Some guys are not only prepared for it, but even more: they are in it almost totally (some say that China has almost half of their addresses in IPv6), or partially (US governmental institutions are to be on IPv6 by now, AFAIK), or not ready at all.

I’m ready to roll towards implementation in my mind: I subdued to the necessity in my mind, but… Again those “but”. There is too many problems in security (LOL: security problems with the protocol which has built-in IPSec, huh? =) ). My ISA cannot filter it. Darn: TMG cannot also! I need some transition technologies to implement DirectAccess, because some legacy software just cannot do well with IPv6.

Well… Anyway, how are you feeling about IPv6? Do you need it? Can you implement it just with good planning, without some crutches or changing your firewalls, network equipment and company you work for? Why?

alt

(Pictures: a screenshot of Windows gadget from Hurricane electric and IPv4-picture from www.gomonews.com)

Bragging: Platforma results

As I already wrote, I visited the “Russian TechEd” being an expert in AtE and a lab instructor for “UAG and DirectAccess: better together”. Well, I cannot tell you If I was good enough (though I think I wasn’t bad): there weren’t any quantitative measurements. But the attendees of my lab surprised me, stated my 8.8 out of 9 mark. Thanks, guys!

Now I am just obliged to implement both UAG and DirectAccess in my company to be really professional in them Winking smile

Using Windows Live Essentials: my experience

Recently I’ve been asked to share my own experience with the stated in the subject program suite. Actually I was going to do it anyway, because it is a great bunch of programs. Well, maybe not all of them: I don’t know about some, because I’m using only several:

image

Others haven’t found any place in my life yet. But these… They just fits me perfectly… Well, almost perfectly =)

Live Mail

It is sort of replacement for old Outlook Express. Ok, I almost never used OE, because it was not too convenient for me and I was able to spend several hours to configure some fancy mail client like TheBat. Now I’m a bit too busy (or lazy, who knows…) so I prefer something more or less good configured by default. This email client allows me to configure all my accounts in an instant. Really. Just like that:

  • LM: What is your email?
  • Me: <something>@gmail.com
  • LM: Oh… Ok… What’s your password?
  • AVery5ecurePa$$w0rd
  • LM: excellent, you can proceed using your account

Just like that! What’s more? I can see what account the email has come to just by color of the subject line:

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You can see that the color is the same as for my Gmail account.

Other features:

  • RSS aggregator (don’t like it because I need to read my news anywhere I am, so only some “cloud” solution can suit me completely)
  • Contacts (Nothing special about it for me)
  • Calendar (I’m planning on starting using it so that to split my personal calendar from one related to my job)
  • Newsgroup (Using it for checking on MS TechNet forums through NNTP Community Bridge)

So, for me it is quite convenient, it is free, it is quite good and I have almost everything I really need from it. 

What’s on wrong side?

  1. It cannot work with my @live.com mail account if I turn on the full security. Oh, come on, guys, you are killing my security! =(
  2. You are to configure settings for messages download in news groups individually. That sucks.

But still it is good enough for being in my “install after setting up a new OS” list.

Photo Gallery and Movie Maker

This one is the least used by me. I use it only for some basic video editing, like cutting out some funny scene from YouTube video. For more complex tasks I use some other software. But for the purposes I assign to it – it is quite good again. And free, as opposed to my “other” solution.

Next two programs are just “must have” for me.

Live Writer

Guess in what program I’m composing this message? You bet it is Live Writer! It rocks. Rich editing, auto-discovery of my blog style, inserting of video, inserting and editing of pictures, several accounts, several blog platform support, you name it. Awesome. In more details:

1) Now I’m writing this message and I can see how it will look on the blog. You can compare what you see with what I sow some time ago in LW:

 

image

2) Rich editing: well, you can see that my posts have not only plain text in them =) Not some professional designer work, of course, but it will do at least for me. =)

3) Multiple blog accounts:

image

I have only two, but seems like I can have many of them. And they can be from almost any blog platform:

image

Configuring a new one is (for me) just a bunch of next-next-finish sequences.

4) and more, and more… Just one brilliant small feature, which I’d like to see on every ribbon tab in every Office product, but found it only on the Picture Format tab in LW:

image

This small button saves your current settings in this tab the default ones. Great, really. Very simplistic and though it would be used not very often, it is the “must have” feature for any ribbon interface.

Windows Live Mesh

This program rocks too! I used old Mesh, while it was in beta testing. It was very unstable and sometimes just didn’t work, but I used it. Now it works without interruptions, it synchronizes my stuff perfectly (including IE favorites), it just works. Though I don’t use it for synchronizing my OneNote notebooks anymore (OneNote manages it itself), I still synchronize quite a bunch of stuff, including drafts for my Live Writer. Nothing confidential, of course, just the data which are to become my articles, blog posts, or I need to read about new technologies. But they are wherever I am =)

The only thing which is not stable is remote access. And this is the feature I don’t need.

One more thing to be aware of – there is only 5 GB for your synchronized data on the SkyDrive.

That’s what I use from this perfect suit. If you use something else and are not satisfied enough, or you are looking for something with the functionality, then I ‘d recommend you to have a look at it.

ASP.NET-based blog engines, CMSs, etc…

One of the Russian MS employees published a list of ASP.NET-based engines for site creation. Maybe someone will be interested in it.

I failed to insert a good looking table here, so get a link to the .xlsx file with the engines. Where the discussion begins (Russian): http://habrahabr.ru/blogs/net/108779/

File: http://cid-f94494d477cd728d.office.live.com/view.aspx/Public/Blog%20Attachments/aspnet%20engines.xlsx