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April 23, 2009

I’m Getting On The Bus!

It’s officially official…


MS Learning picked me as one of the six winners of a free trip to Tech-Ed 2009! Not only that, but I’m taking the road trip option. That’s right…cross-country via bus. Atlanta to L.A. in 11 days, with tons of stops in-between.

Here’s the current itinerary for the Career Express tour, straight from MS Learning’s kickass Born to Learn blog…

  • Friday, May 1st: Atlanta GA
  • Saturday, May 2nd: Atlanta, GA to Greensboro, NC
  • Sunday, May 3rd: Greensboro, NC to Philadelphia, PA
  • Monday, May 4th: Philadelphia, PA to Cincinnati, OH
    • Philly TechFest 2009 at Springhouse, 8:00am – 10:00am
    • Antonia Pantoja Charter School, 7:30am – 9:00am (private event)
    • Edward W. Bok Technical High School, 10:45am – 12:00pm (private event)
    • MCP “Tweet-up” in Columbus (be sure to follow us on Twitter for details!)
  • Tuesday, May 5th: Cincinnati, OH to Indianapolis, IN
    • MAX Learning Luau at MAX Technical Training in Cincinnati, 11:00am – 1:00pm (featuring Windows 7 previews, lunch, drawings and more!)
    • “Bring a Friend” Night at LANTech Training, Indianapolis, 5:00pm – 7:00pm Bring a friend interested in starting a career in IT, and you both might win a TechNet Plus subscription (and your friend might win a laptop, too!)
  • Wednesday, May 6th: Indianapolis, IN to Kansas City, MO
  • Thursday, May 7th: Kansas City, MO to Denver, CO
    • MCP Study Break, Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, CO, 8:00am – 10:00am (featuring live rounds of “Are You Certifiable?” and Windows Server 2008 exam prep sessions)
    • Ask the Experts at Ameriteach, Greenwood Village, CO, 4:30pm – 8:00pm (featuring live rounds of “Are you Certifiable?” sessions on Windows 7, SQL Server, OCS and more—delivered by stellar MCTs!)
  • Friday, May 8th: Denver, CO to Santa Fe, NM
    • Get Off the Bus! Free day for our intrepid but tired riders—come join us as we explore Santa Fe (follow us on Twitter to see where we’ll be!)
  • Saturday, May 9th: Santa Fe, NM to Phoenix, AZ
    • Glendale Community College, 8:30am – 10:30am (details coming next week)
    • Microsoft Technology Round-Up, Training to You, Phoenix, 12:00pm – 3:00pm (featuring Windows 7 previews and Windows Server 2008 certification sessions—register here)
  • Sunday, May 10th: Phoenix, AZ to Las Vegas, NV
    • “How to Thrive in Your IT Career” at Netcom, 2:00 – 3:30pm (featuring Windows 7 preview)
  • Monday, May 11th: Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles, CA

That’s a whole heaping lot of places where you can come get your learn on with us. We’ll be delivering technical intros and overview, career talks, and all kinds of stuff that’ll be so amazing, you’ll think you were stealing something. So if you’re within striking distance, I hope that you’ll come say “Heya” at one of our stops!

All that’s really just the start. The Career Express will also be at Tech-Ed 2009 with an “Are You Certifiable” booth where folks can play live rounds of the game for prizes. More details on all that later.

And you can bet I’ll be documenting the whole trip, right here at the Funcave. So stay tuned.

|| posted by chris under community, freebie, hardware, it pro, mid-market it, mobility, more cowbell, thumbs up, time, travel, virtualization, webcast || comments (11) || ||

April 13, 2009

Where I’ll Be In 2009

Riding the cyclone, Pecos style!

2009 quickly turned into a whirlwind, and in the pit of my stomach I feel like a cowboy who’s just about to hop on and try to ride that cyclone. Here’s a quick rundown with relevant links to all the talks, places, and conferences currently on my schedule.


14 – Webcast: Using System Center Essentials with Essential Business Server

20 – IT Pro Tiki Hut Tour, Huntsville AL (click to register)

26 thru 28 – IT Alliance, Atlanta GA (tentative)


1–3 – SMB Nation East (tentative)

11 thru 15 – Tech-Ed North America 2009, Los Angeles CA (tentative)

15 thru 17 – SMB Summit, Dallas TX (OFFICIALLY POSTPONED)


13 thru 16 – Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, New Orleans LA (click to register)


2 thru 4 – SMB Nation, Las Vegas NV (tentative)

You know what really rocks tho? A new service call TripIt. Besides helping me track all my travel info in one super easy-to-use spot, TripIt also shows me which of the people I’m linked to will be nearby at the same time. Social networking for travel, which rocks! If nothing else, it helps cut down immensely on all the “You gonna be there? I dunno, YOU gonna be there?” back-and-forth that typically happens in the back channel around events.

You can sign up for TripIt at If you want to add me as a TripIt contact after you join, jump here:

|| posted by chris under business, community, it pro, mid-market it, mobility, travel, webcast || comments (1) || ||

January 24, 2009

Come Get Your Mid-Market On

Are you really gonna say

Anybody who’s interested in Essential Business Server from a technical or business perspective should run, not walk, over to and sign up for the EBS Virtual UserGroup AKA EBSUserGroup.

Founded by Amy Babinchak, this virtual user group focuses on (surprisingly enough) Essential Business Server and all the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious goodness it includes.

Right now, there’s a live poll for EBSUSerGroup members to indicate which topics they’d most like to hear about in upcoming webcasts. Stuff like:

  • EBS Migration
  • EBS and Data Protection Manager
  • EBS and MOSS/SharePoint
  • Selling EBS
  • EBS Troubleshooting Tips
  • SCE Management in EBS
  • EBS and Virtualization
  • EBS and Mobility
  • EBS and TS Gateway
  • EBS Licensing

So if mid-market’s your thing, or you want it to be, this is a darn good place to start getting your feet wet.

|| posted by chris under business, community, freebie, hardware, it pro, mid-market it, migration, mobility, webcast || comments (0) || ||

December 18, 2008

An Irish Pub In Winter

Going to undergrad in the Dayton area, you get very accustomed to Irish pubs. At the midwestern Ohio version of them anyway.

Is there anything more awesome than that?

CiNPA AKA Cincinnati Network Professional Association put together a “Twas The Night Before The Night Before Christmas” get-together on the 23rd of December.

It’s happening at Molly Malone’s, just over on the bluegrass side of the Ohio River.

Here's the pub, here's the windows. Open the door...and talk about Windows!

Since it’s Tuesday, there will be live Irish music, and Texas Hold’em (starting at 9p) for any night owls who want to keep pumping up the jam.

If you’re within striking distance, we’d love to have you come hang out and help us all get our community on. Even if you’ve never darkened the door of a user group before, this is a great chance to kick back with peers in a way that I never seem to get as many chances to do as I’d like.

The only requirement is that you please please please sign up beforehand. That way Kevin and the Kentucky Posse know how many bodies they need to plan for, and they can pass the word to Molly’s.

Here’s the signup link:

Hope to see you there!

|| posted by chris under business, community, it pro, mid-market it, mobility, nostalgia, travel || comments (3) || ||

November 19, 2008

The Great Palm Treo Pro Giveaway For Microsoft Partners

I was pretty hot on the HTC Touch Pro. Until I saw this little number. Zowie!

Maybe you also attended the virtual launch event for The Family Von WESS AKA Windows Essential Server Solutions AKA Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 last week.

Interesting though it was, I got a slightly creeped out feeling during the event. Like I was starring in one of those old Twilight Zone episodes as some hellaciously misanthropic character who screams to be left alone, only to find himself cosmically punished by being surrounded with what look like people, but is unable to communicate with any of them.

At least now I know what Second Life must be like, without ever having to actually spend any time in that sandbox of losers.

But one thing caught my eye for sure.

The Windows Mobile pavilion was touting a cool-as-ice promotion for Microsoft Partners to win a free Windows Mobile 6.1 device, with terms that couldn’t be simpler. The device being given away is the amazingly kickass Palm Treo Pro.

There are two ways to win…a giveway and a sell-and-win offer.


Complete 3 free online training seminars, and register to win one of 50 Palm Treo Pro devices being given away in a couple of random drawings. Each seminar completed is a separate entry. Limit on winning is 3 phones per person. Here’s a link to the full terms and conditions.

Here are the training seminars for the giveaway…

Optionally, you can earn extra chances win the giveaway (to a max of 3) by completing Partner Evidence Forms or Customer Evidence Forms. Basically, those require you to either give up your solution idea or infor on your customers. Up to you if you think a chance to win a mobile device is worth that, especially considering all of Microsoft’s recent moves to a direct sales model.

Sell-and-Win Offer

If you’re among the first 1,000 Microsoft Partners to close a sale that includes Exchange Server 2007 to an SMB customer (defined as having 5–249 seats), you can automatically receive a Palm Treo Pro.

Since the Family Von WESS AKA Windows Essential Server Solutions AKA Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 both include Exchange Server 2007, they fully qualify for this offer. All you have to do is make the sale, validate it, and request your Palm Treo Pro.

Only one entry per Partner organization. Limit on winning is one phone per person. Here’s a link to the full terms and conditions.

Compared to most incentives that roll around, I think this one has a lot going for it. The device is smoking hot and runs the most current release version of Windows Mobile. The sell offer is dead simple, and prolly something you are already doing anyway.

I’d prolly stay away from the Partner and Customer Evidence Forms, but maybe that kind of thing doesn’t bother you as much as it does me.

|| posted by chris under freebie, hardware, mid-market it, mobility, tech hand || comments (1) || ||

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