TechNet Canada and the Toronto Windows Server User Group (TWSUG) are proud to host two sessions focused around Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003:
Session 1 - Migrating Windows Domains using Swing Migration
Presenter: Jeff Middleton - US Microsoft MVP for SBS 2003
This unique technical solution can redefine your SMB business and server support model, even put an end to the "business shutdown" or "the long-weekend server upgrade" approach to Windows Server and SBS upgrades. Direct shifts from NT4.0 Server to Windows 2003 domains become possible, as does a clean server installation recovery of Active Directory, salvage from a damaged solo Domain Controller or backup.
Swing Migration delivers a clean installed OS platform, with or without hardware replacement, retains the same server-name, same domain. ADMT is not required, no SID changes, no UNC namespace break, just a transparent server upgrade that includes the confidence of not impacting the workstations. This offers a documented process and keeps a customer's domain in production, even solves complicated Exchange based organisations on a single domain controller such as SBS operating as a file server as well. Your technician can work offsite, offline, open-timeline and with nothing to undo if unexpected issues arise.
Session 2 - Windows Small Business Server - A Year in Review
Presenter: Harry Brelsford
After the formal SMB Nation workshop (http://www.smbnation.com/smb_nation_summits.htm), attend the regular Toronto User Group meeting and socialize with Harry Brelsford. Harry will present an informal, often humorous "year in review" look at Windows Small Business Server 2003 and the consulting community from a global perspective. Big fun!
Special guests - other MS SBS MVP's from Canada and the US will be in attendance - so come and ask questions in a terrific Q&A opportunity!
6:00 - 6:30 - Registration and Dinner
6:30 - 6:45 - TWSUG Announcements
6:45 - 8:30 - 2 Sessions on SBS
8:30 - 8:45 - SBS Partner and Customer Programs by Pamela Lauz, SBS Product Manager
8:45 - 9:15 - Q&A with Harry Brelsford, Jeff Middleton and Pamela Lauz
9:15 - 9:30 - Draw for prizes & Future events
You can sign up for the event here:
Rob Caron just posted that the December CTP version of Team System is now available on the MSDN Subscriber downloads website (warning - the download is over 3.16 GB!). Rob also included a visual guide for installing Team System on Two Computers (including Domain Controller). Also be sure to download his Team Foundation Installation Guide - v1.0.41222. What a nice way to launch the holidays! :-)
On January 19th 2005, I'll be presenting to the Metro Toronto .NET User Group (http://www.metrotorontoug.com) on the topic of Avalon. Here is an abstract of the presentation - be sure to check out the user group website for signup information:
Developing for Longhorn with XAML and Avalon
Avalon is the codename for Longhorn's new graphical subsystem. In this session, we will focus on how to implement applications on the Windows XP platform using the Avalon November 2004 Community Technology Preview. Some of the topic we will cover include:
- Learning how to design User Interfaces using XAML
- Developing Avalon applications that interoperate with Windows Forms
- Creating data bound applications using Avalon
Here is the link to sign up for the event:
The PowerPoint slides and notes will be posted on my new Longhorn blog:
I've been recently doing some research around the Desktop Composition Engine (also known as the Desktop Windows Manager or DWM). It allows Longhorn to display Windows shell using cool transition effects, transparency and 3D. These effects are also known as "Aero Glass". Last August, a registry hack was discovered by a member of the AeroExperience boards to enable these features in the WinHEC 4047 version of Longhorn (http://aeroxp.net/board/index.php?showtopic=79)
There have been many attempts to create usable interfaces in 3D. Many of them are listed on the following page: https://lg3d-core.dev.java.net/lg3d-related-technologies.html
Unfortunately, these Aero effects will only be available on the upcoming Longhorn Client. Contrary to popular belief, the November 2004 Avalon CTP does not allow Windows XP or Windows 2003 to natively mimic these effects. Joe Beda explained the reason for this in his blog - downlevel releases will not change any of the native Win32 binaries (http://www.eightypercent.net/Archive/2004/08/30.html). The Avalon CTP simply provides a new API to code against - 3D and transparency effects can be achieved within an app but not within the shell.
If you want Aero-like 3D capabilities on Windows XP, I would highly recommend trying out Sphere XP (http://www.hamar.sk/sphere/). As a power user, I typically multitask with dozens of Windows open at the same time. Sphere XP allow you to rotate, resize and position windows on a z-axis. Rather than try to explain the features to you, check out this page for several compelling screenshots: http://www.hamar.sk/sphere/sphereshots.htm
* Keep in mind that Sphere XP is beta software - don't install it on a production machine.
To get opaque windows on Windows XP, you can try out a commerical product such as Actual Transparent Window (http://www.actualtools.com/transparentwindow/), WindowFX (http://www.stardock.com/products/windowfx/) or Y'z Shadow (http://www2.ueda.ne.jp/~higuchi/htm/Download-e.htm).
So you've installed the November 2004 Avalon CTP from MSDN. What do you do now? I've compiled a list of resources and source code to help you explore Avalon XP in depth:
Avalon Games (with Source Code)
Joe Duffy recently designed a game of Pong using Avalon code. Check out his post here:
Valentin Iliescu created a game of Avalon chess:
Exploring Avalon 3D
If you are interested in 3D, Ian Griffiths designed a CTP-compatible mesh to XAML converter:
Daniel Lehenbauer created a bouncing ball demo:
If you want to look at a beautiful example of the graphical possibilities of XAML, check out Chris Anderson's XP Demo: http://www.simplegeek.com/permalink.aspx/6a8e0cf6-b211-4cb0-9a67-1fe42cdef146
Tools and Programming
Chris Anderson has also released an Avalon CTP version of XAMLPad:
Gaston Milano created a XAML Viewer which integrates into Whidbey:
Fellow MVP Rod Paddock created an Avalon app that binds to Northwind
You can download the source code here:
Sean Gerety created a XAML Sparkline Example (based on principles by Edward Tufte):
Official Notes on Avalon November 2004 CTP
Chris Sells has a compilation of Avalon XP resources on his website:
Jason Zander reported on his blog that that the Avalon CTP is only compatible on Whidbey Beta 1:
Do you want to be on top of all Longhorn developments? Check out LonghornBlogs.com
I'll be posting more resources in the future (especially new samples and source code). Cheers!
FYI, I've got a new author's blog on WROX.com. Here is the link:
I've had a steady influx of friends and family members wanting me to clean up their PCs for the holidays. The latest computer I've had to fix up is an old Toshiba 1800-S200. It had the usual problems - the machine hasn't been defragged in over a year, it was filled with spyware and several species of virii. The owner wanted to upgrade from Windows 98 SE to Windows 2000. The first thing I did was back up the entire computer using a spare IOGear drive (then I transferred the files onto a computer with a DVD-Burner).
Next step was to create an inventory of the applications and drivers on the laptop. One of my favorite programs for saving drivers to simplify reloading a computer is My Drivers. Since I was upgrading the OS, I needed Windows 2000 drivers. I made note of the drivers by looking at the Device Manager (Right click on My Computer > Properties > Hardware > Device Manager)
I first checked the Toshiba support website for information about the laptop. Unfortunately, that particular model of the laptop wasn't listed on the driver download site. Next place I looked at is DriverGuide.com. They had an assortment of drivers but it was clearly apparent that it would take hours to download them all. On a whim, I checked the Canadian Toshiba website and I was pleasantly surprised to find all the drivers for that model of laptop on one page. If you have an older Toshiba, I would recommend checking out the Canadian Toshiba support site for resources.
To quote Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz: "I won't look any further than my own back yard."