Is it time to reinvent your wheel?

As it’s the start of the year and my wife’s company have just released a new brochure for their business, if you are in the need for any technology or training  for your HR or Payroll outsourcing or your startup PEO  business, then check out and get in touch!

Consulting and Services available from IntegreateHR to help run your PEO Business

Quickly download the SBS 2011 training from Microsoft.

There are several short videos available from Microsoft that cover the new features in SBS2011, but unfortunately Microsoft decided to make you download each one individually. However if you right click and download this
List of SBS 2011 Training videos file, you can use wget to download all of the files in a batch file.
Assuming you have wget installed on your machine and it is in the path (if not then why not? It is incredibly useful for downloading files from a command line – Get it from Sourceforge’s wget page), just run with the following in a command prompt window.

for /F %i in (sbstraining.txt) do wget %i

You should end up with 38 files totalling 241MB.
Update: See comments for assistance in downloading a copy of wget without needing all the extra gnu stuff

Exchange2010 training from Microsoft

It’s a busy week at the office this week as I’m at a 3 day event on Exchange2010 training as part of Microsoft’s Ignite sessions. You do need to be a Microsoft Partner to register for the Exchange 2010 training (if there are any further events going on – I’m not sure) but if you are going to be using or supporting Exchange2010 then I highly recommend it. So far it seems to be very similar to the Exchange admin training courses you would normally attend, but at a fraction of the cost. It’s a level 300 course so pretty technical – by about 4pm on the first day my mind was starting to get a bit confused – there was a lot of theory today and you certainly need to have some familiarity with previous versions of exchange.

The neat thing was that we’ve just recently moved to Exchange2010 in-house, so I was able to check some of the features that I didn’t already know about on our live client (outlook or outlook web app) as we progressed through the training.

We’re using Windows2008 machines running Hyper-V with 8gb of memory which means some creative juggling of memory and sometimes the machines are slow, but it really is the only way to do the training. Some points we have 4 machines running – this would have been almost impossible before virtualization was around to reduce the hardware requirements for enterprise lab environments. This course is also the first one I’ve been to that has some users in the local office and some using gotomeeting to attend the training over the internet. So far I think the arrangement has worked well for the internet users although I feel sorry for the person in Washington who has to start work at 6am due to the time zones. I was surprised that they were not using LiveMeeting to host the training (as this is a Microsoft event) but apparently the screenupdates were not been fast enough for the remote users.

I’ll be posting a few links on my twitter account – helsbyhome, and my absoblogginlutely delicious account  as the course progresses. Mostly these are links for extra tools, utilities or downloads to assist in the management and implementation of Exchange2010.

Zero Downtime Migration seminar in Cincinnati tomorrow

I’m currently reading The Network Migration Workbook: Zero Downtime Migration Strategies for Windows Networks as can be seen on my Goodreads shelf. So far it’s been very useful and there have already been lots of tips that would save our company time (and therefore) money in doing migrations. Even if we didn’t go down this particular route for migrations, the tips applied would be very beneficial for other types of migrations, especially when it comes to planning and quoting for the migration itself. The only hard bit is to get the customer to agree to the restrictions in the plan – it is vital to quote for *only* the migration – everything else results in another helpdesk ticket, project or work order.

I’ve been reading the book for a couple of hours straight through – I’ve resisted the lure of jumping to the checklists – and still have some way to go, which is why I’ve not posted a review of the book yet – but so far I’m definitely recommending it – but note that some significant time needs to be invested for each person in the migration project from the sales person, to the project manager to the team lead down to the tech doing the work. In some companies this could be one person – in our company it’s probably three people.

Anyway, the point of this blog post was to mention that the author is going to be at An Introduction to Zero Downtime Migrations – and More in Cincinnati tomorrow (Saturday) for an all day training event which I am attending. It was worth the cheap admission to get an in person overview of the book and also some tips and previews of the other books he has written – I’m particularly intrigued by the Network Documentation book as this is something that is typically hard/time consuming to do yet so valuable when troubleshooting customer networks (and is NEVER provided by the client).  If you’re going to this training day, be sure to say Hi.

If you want to browse Karl’s store then you can click on my affiliate link or click through directly to the books from the links above (not affiliate linked). Currently the cheapest place to buy the book is either used from Amazon or new from the Good Little Books store. It did amuse me to see that someone has the Zero Downtime book listed for $1165 and a used version for $564 which is crazy when the book brand new is currently $250 (will be $300)

Mounting cd images in Windows 2008

I downloaded an evaluation copy of Windows2003 for my MCSE training tonight from Microsoft. The cd image is in an img file that of course can not be read by Hyper-V! Now I could burn the file to a cd and then capture the image within Hyper-V but that was too much work and I’d have to hunt for a blank cd. I knew that VirtualCloneDrive wouldn’t work in Windows2008 as I had already tried this for something else earlier on, but I did find MagicISO – a package I had also used on XP – it said it would work on 64Vista and as Windows2008 seems to have a lot of similarities with Vista I thought I’d give it a go….I ran the install of MagicISO and then mounted the img file with it and explorer recognised the drive. I closed down the Hyper-V console, re-opened it and was able to capture my new drive for my new Windows 2003 installation. It’s working very well – highly recommended.
Hopefully this will come in handy for others as I couldn’t find any useful information on mounting a virtual iso img or cd image in Windows 2008