David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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August 2006 - David Overton's Blog

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  • Robbie and Susanne's Marathon - come join in

    Think of this as a 1st mover notification. I am always in awe of those who can motivate themselves to do physical exercise and even more so if it is also raising money for charity. Well Robbie and Susanne have decided to take up the challenge. They have a joint site that will feature blogs, training details, events and other useful information as well as guest speakers/ bloggers. The site is just beginning, but pop along to Robbie and Susanne's Marathon and support a good cause and then sponsor them both - I have - by clicking the two charity logos at the top. ttfn David
  • SMB Nation in Seattle in early September

    I remember this time last year - people were debating the benefits of SMBNation - was it worth the cash, then a nice sized bunch left the safe shores of the uk and traveled across the shiny pond and mottled country to arrive in Seattle. Behold, what they found was not quite gold and definitely not fools gold, but was jolly worth while. Advice, information and access to the right people mean that you get your cash back pretty quickly in terms of sales, saved time and swapped opportunities, but it is absolutely an investment. The reason by Susanne is going is listed here, as well as some of the comments from last year and some of the comments from the one in Amsterdam can be found at sbsbpi . The agenda is quite chocker, so worth a look at http://www.smbnation.com/ . ttfn David
  • Internet Explorer 7: RC1

    I have often debated the quality of IE over firefox and I'm not about to stop now, however this is just a simple note (as I am still a 4 fingered typist at the moment) to say that the latest build of IE is out there. To get more info on what this build has, go have a look at " What's new in RC1 " however they key paragraph for those not after the toolkit etc is: improvements in performance, stability, security, and application compatibility. With this build, Microsoft has also made enhancements to the fit and finish of the user interface, completed CSS platform changes, added language support, and included an auto-uninstall feature in Setup, which automatically uninstalls prior betas of Internet Explorer 7, making installing the new build even easier ttfn David
  • Great Weekend sailing that ended with me in A&E and St Mary's Hospital on the Isle of Wight

    I seem to be able to find trouble at the moment. I attended part 1 (3 of 5-days) of a competent crew training course designed to get me on the ladder to bigger and better sailing experience and finally teach me what the wind has to do with sailing. Over the three days we started with the basics, like how to make a distress call, only ever abandon a boat when you will be stepping up into a life raft, clothing, life jackets and how to use a toilet on a boat. We then progressed to the basics of sailing, so the naming of the various parts of the boat (I have real trouble remembering the shrouds). Finally we got on with the sailing and had some awesome days learning to sail in all weathers. As should be the way with sailing, each night was spent with much merriment and drinking, but as many of you know, I don't drink, smoke or swear ever, so I was always 1st up :-). We also arranged it so that the 3 men on the boat all had cabins and the 2 ladies shared the communal area - this might sound mean, but the men managed a snoring symphony, so being behind doors was good for everyone. On the second night we stopped at a lovely location - The Folly Inn in East Cowes and even managed to berth alongside the Inn, something most of the skippers and experienced sailors had never done before. The time here was spent having great food, some nice drink and watching the wedding party and two stag groups having fun besides the 6 sailing boats that we had brought. Bindi found an amazing dog that she brought out to show us, so we decided to set her a challenge of bringing us one of the stag boys and in less than 10 seconds, she bounded back with one as shown on the picture on the left. On the final day we had started late and had been sailing for about 2 hours when we decided to anchor up for a warm lunch before sailing back to Port Solent. We had already experienced a very rude Wight ferry that tried to run us down as we dared to sail the solent, even though they have the maneuverability and are supposed to avoid sail boats, meaning...
  • So your profile info is on MS Partner site and partner finder, so now you MUST update your solution profiles to be found - here is why and how it takes 10 mins

    You are all hopefully aware of the need to update your profile information and the web site url in it so that when one of the small businesses follows up on one of our campaigns and clicks on the find a partner link (UK) they can find information about you that makes them want to buy from you. Well, we are now talking about solutions to our customers and this is where you can now create and update your solution profile so that you can have several solutions profiled on the site. Each solution can have a completely separate description and URL, so no longer does everything have to be generic. This means that if a customer is looking for a sharing solution, they find out about by searching the solution finder tool, click on it, read more, then click the url that is not generic, so they actually call you and buy something from you. How do you do all this, here is the profile that took me a good 5-10 minutes to put together - I suggest you spend a bit more time on yours, but it will be worth it as we move to the new system over time. So here are the steps: Step 1 is simple, write a title that people will think "that is what I want" and then write about the solution in honest terms such that a customer or partner will think "This is for me". Remember that customers who are not technical will read this, so don't over-use jargon etc Step 2 , tick the elements that you offer in this solution. Is it hardware, software, services or a combination of them. Also, what products do you support in this solution. This is important as the solution finder will be used on product pages to find solutions built using a specific product Step 3 , select the horizontal, industry (vertical) and customer size information. Remember to scroll right down to the bottom to tick Small Business Step 4 , Pick all the locations and languages you serve to ensure only people in your catchment see your solution. It is better for people who you are unwilling to travel too to not see your stuff Step 5 , fill in the contact information...
  • The IW Center - podcasts on the office system

    I was looking for a trickle of information that includes videos and podcasts on the technologies around Office 2007 and the Office System. The IW Center is just the right place to get this info - worh a look. ttfn David
  • Customizing the Ribbon in Outlook 2007

    I was reading the MSDN Flash and came across this article " Link to Customizing the Ribbon in Outlook 2007 " and thought a few of you who wanted to customise the Office 2007 Ribbon bar can see how to change it and add new icons. ttfn David
  • USATODAY.com - Cybercrooks constantly find new ways into PCs

    I was reading this article and it reminded me of a few things. Sometimes when sitting in the Microsoft camp we say how good / bad others are at security, but rarely reflect on what people need to do and why. When there is a known issue with a package, I suspect many don't go to a test environment and pull the patch apart, many just do a quick test on 1 pc and then deploy wider. Obviously SBS 2003 R2 makes this process easier as you can now control the deployment and retraction of patches via the console. It also reminds me that it a patch is needed, it is really a mute discussion on how many issues it fixes, reboots or any other aspect - if your systems are vulnerable, you need to patch of mitigate. To do neither is inviting huge issues - and I have seen plenty of customers with issues. What I did also see was a comparison table showing that systems often thought to not be at risk, such as those by Apple, can still be very susceptible. When a security issue exists on a system, it does not matter if 1 or a 100 people are gunning for you, you will be got. It is a bit like the human body - just because you have some medicine and some vaccinations, if you miss a preventative medicine and then get exposed to the illness, you will get ill. If each month there are 1 or 100 issues with your security, they will all be tested, so you need to patch them all, on any system from any organization. It is nice to see that MS does not top the list, even when including Office, Windows, Media Player and IE all in 1 go. Obviously for info on R2 go to the SBS website , for Security patches, visit the security site and finally, for general advice, try the http://www.getsafeonline.org . ttfn David
  • This is broken! Great web site about broken signs, projects etc

    I was reading this blog from the Live Writer site and came across this link - it is just one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. Link to ...the musings of a psycho...: This is broken! enjoy David
  • Are you near Exeter, then sign up quickly for the Small Business Ignite Tour as it is coming to you on the 29th August from 6pm

    Once again the Small Business Ignite Tour is coming out and this time it is Exeter. You need to sign-up quickly, so go to http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/training/ignite/default.aspx?id=Exeter and sign up for the Small Business Tour (as opposed to the tour with a date in the past). If you do not know about the Small Business Ignite Tour, then this is the rough agenda: Introduce just how big the business opportunity is in the land of small business Introduce the topics of Flexible Working and Collaborative Business as these will be the basis of marketing campaigns this year from Microsoft into small business customers Demonstrate technologies that you can deliver to give your customers the benefits they demand - such as : working from home or on the road, using the tools in SBS, Windows XP or Windows Mobile Sharing files between workers, customers and suppliers in a natural and secure way using WSS and Office When to consider a hosted solution and when to consider SBS How to stop searching and start finding the right information at the right time, whether it is stored on a WSS site, your local PC or the internet plus many more If you want to see more about the location, as always, have a look at local.live.com - while this does not have the birds eye tools that the Nottingham event has, it is still pretty nifty if you want to view from Satalite imagery and because it is a web page and not some application you have to load onto your PC, it will run from most browsers. http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=50.720347~-3.464669&style=h&lvl=18&sp=aN.sfm1jvgqb4gv_Exeter%2520Ignite%2520Tour_Interquad%2520Learning%250d%2520%2520Unit%25201%250d%2520%2520Abbey%2520Court%250d%2520%2520Eagle%2520Way%250d%2520%2520Sowton%250d%2520%2520Exeter%250d%2520%2520EX2%25207HY%250d%2520%2520_http%253a%252f%252fwww.microsoft.com%252fuk%252fpartner%252ftraining%252fignite%252fdefault.aspx%253fid%253dExeter%2523map _ ttfn David
  • New Vista Gadgets

    There are some new gadgets on the web site - http://gallery.Microsoft.com/Results.aspx?vista=la... My Favourites are: (Outlook Info, Media Shuffler, Poker beta, IP Info) ttfn David
  • What is going on in the world of Windows Live Ideas - IM, chat and web

    You can see any Live areas you have access too by going to http://ideas.live.com You can now IM to Yahoo Messenger users. Try it | Learn more | View blog The Live.com site continues to be updated - there is just so much you can do to your home page. If you have not been here, have a go at http://www.live.com and see how much fun it can be. Try it | Learn more | View blog There are lots of things you can load onto your Live.com page, your toolbar, Live Messenger and more - the place to configure all this is the Gallery - http://gallery.live.com Of course, there is also: messenger.live.com toolbar.live.com ttfn David
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  • Getting IE to search UKSBSGUY.com, companyweb or any other site you happen to like

    I like using IE 7 - I use the tabs all the time, I like the integrated search, I use the Live Toolbar too. Then I discovered that I could add new search times into the IE7 and I thought this was amazing. I have included the web site that builds custom searches and also two search config downloads - one that enables searching of UKSBSGUY.com and one that searches http://Companyweb - assuming you have search enabled as per this entry . (For completeness I also include SBSBPI and UKSBSG search clauses too) So, how to build your own search options for the nice little box in IE7 - go to IE 7 Search Builder page and follow the instructions (which is basically doing a search on whatever page you prefer with the text TEST and then past the URL. The searches can be found at the download page on UKSBSGuy.com. ttfn David
  • Enabling Search against your Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) site, such as SBS 2003's companyweb

    I went looking for this post from me today on the web site and was astounded to discover that I had not done it. So, here is the deal - your nice WSS sites can all have search enabled by default - and this means search inside all the documents with them understood (rather than some poor quality text search that can not deal with binary file formats). To enable this it is very simple: 1) Load SQL onto your system choosing to upgrade the instance called SHAREPOINT 2) Go to the SharePoint Admin Page (on SBS this is http://localhost:8081/SearchAdmin.aspx ) and tick the box 3) go to the home page of your WSS site and notice the search box in the top right corner If you want to add more search providers, go look for IFilters and for PDF capability, go to http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2006/06/27/674.aspx ttfn David
  • Great R2 Spoof Advert based on DaVinci Code - good humour

    Microsoft often pokes fun at itself, but due to one of our competitors taking it a little too seriously some years back, these rarely come out to play in public. Well, have a look at this one . It was posted by Jules in the UKSBSG forum and I also got private messages from a few people saying that we should use this in the UK. ttfn David
  • Need to gen up on Windows Server 2003 Administration- then try this Webcast

    Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administration Webcast Series Get the most out of the management and administration features of Windows Server 2003 with this series. ttfn David
  • UK Technet Windows Vista Events

    For those who need more info on Vista, want to see it, and will be managing it, come along to: • 11 September 2006, London: Windows Vista System Integrity Technologies Windows Vista will ship with several new system integrity technologies, including code integrity, secure startup, service hardening, mandatory integrity control and Internet Explorer protected mode. In this session, Steve Lamb explores how these technologies work to thwart malware's attempts to take over your computer. • 14 September 2006, Reading: What's New in Administering Vista In this session, we will examine group policy functionality improvements that have been made with Windows Vista. We will describe the new and updated features and how these help to alleviate the problems that were present with previous versions of Windows. ttfn David
  • Can small businesses make it online

    Wow, what a questioning title. I am not a "business online" expert, but I did find this article rather interesting and worth a read. It has some nice reminders about the importance of doing the basics right, such as customer service, shipping and core "business" such as invoicing, accounts etc. just a quick one :-) ttfn David P.S. I could suggest that Office Live might be the answer, but for true transactional stuff you need a transactional hosting partner that provides a "basket" function for you - of course, there is Commerce Server 2007....
  • Office Live information from internal Microsoft Briefing - including where partner opportunity might exist

    Those guys at PTS-TV managed to secure an interview with Rajesh Jha who is GM for Office Live . He talks about how some partners are making "mash-ups" and others are building ontop of the solutions as it is a hosted web site and sharepoint. If you need a basic "What is Live", go to this page for more info The beta is coming officially the UK later this year as the US goes live and really provides an opportunity for those low hanging fruit customers who want a web domain and site, e-mail, calendar, contacts and some sharepoint functionality, but don't want a server. Will has put up a few thoughts on his blog . From the Link above, suggested reading includes: Office Live Developer Guide Preview and the Office Live Developer Portal on MSDN Stream (6 mins) Download (12.5mb) ttfn David
  • Microsoft local.live.com map technology - when it works, it is amazing - or just have a nostalgic look at Concorde

    I have just posted a blog item about the latest SB Ignite tour event - hurray I hear you all say, but the thing that got my attention was I went to local.live.com to get a map and it offered me 3 views - road, aerial view (using satellite imagery) and then Birds' eye view. This is just an awesome, awesome, way to see where you are going - have a look at the blog entry - Nottingham, England, 7th September - be there to learn so much more - Small Business Partner Ign and click on picture then play around or click the concord map above - get your personal driving instructions, look at the hotel that is the destination for 8 different angles - makes it so, so, so much easier. I was just blown away by this. Not every location has a birds eye view yet, but the aerial images, routing and the occasional birds eye views are amazing. For more information on Birds' eye images, go to http://www.birdseyetourist.com or to see the local.live.com blog have a look at http://virtualearth.spaces.live.com/PersonalSpace.... ttfn David
  • Nottingham, England, 7th September - be there to learn so much more - Small Business Partner Ignite Tour

    Click the map above to see the Local.Live.Com technology at work - you can get driving instructions to the venue, see the area by birds' eye view, map view etc. We will be there (I will be for sure) explaining, showing via live demos, talk about how to sell and make money while enabling your customers to get more from their systems, get truly mobile (using XP, Office, SBS, Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Windows mobile solutions), more productive and easier to manage. If you want more details, go to http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/training/ignite/default.aspx?id=Nottingham ttfn David - see you there
  • Zune Prototype published

    This is such a screaming laugh - " Silberbauer Says " have a published a picture of the Zune. Enjoy, but don't come whining to me that it is not like this when it is delivered!! ttfn David
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  • Hybrid Disk Drives - Using Flash RAM to make disk drives more performant and reliable - and Vista ReadyDrive

    There is a great article at Computer World that talks about these hybrid drives as they are known. If you are not aware of them, then here is a very quick rundown. What are they: Traditional Hard Disk with larger cache (256MB-2GB) Uses Flash RAM instead of normal RAM Why is this interesting: Cache size is much larger Cache is not lost when power is turned off Disk can stay spun down for longer as cache can manage read/writes, saving batteries and reducing heat Saves 90% of the power required to read from disk when using the Flash RAM Improves boot time as some boot code can be stored in FLASH - or pre-cached at shutdown or hybernation There are two types of solution - one puts the cache physically on the drive and the other puts it on the motherboard, but the idea is the same. Some people worry about the life of the flash as there will be considerable writing to it. This is one of a couple of areas where Vista comes into the picture. Vista can be aware of the cache, so will manage disk reads, writes, spin up & spin-down requests differently. It can also help with the cache layout, ensuring spread usage of the cache to reduce the wear on the flash itself, this prolonging life. If you want to know more about this, go have a look at the WinHEC presentation that is now available. ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13