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March 11, 2010



This week kicked off Hell Week, certification-wise, for me.

Currently I’ve got a total of four exams scheduled this week. I’m slated to take:

70–648 TS: Upgrading from Windows Server 2003 MCSA to, Windows Server 2008, Technology Specializations (which I passed this Monday, actually)

70–646 PRO: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator

70–669 TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization (Beta)

70–624 TS: Deploying and Maintaining Windows Vista Client and 2007 Microsoft Office System Desktops

To be honest, that’s really a total of five exams, since 70–648 is actually a combination of the 70–640 and 70–642 exams.

And ALL this is in addition to the beta for 70–693 I took last month, and the pair of exams (70–579 and 70–659) that I took in a single morning while at MVP Summit 2010.

Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m eyeing two REAL mindkillers, 70–643 and 70–647, for next week.

|| posted by chris under beta, business, it pro, mid-market it, mobility, tech hand, virtualization || comments (3) || ||

August 22, 2009

Gear To Get Your Butt In Gear

Rock climbing is pretty much out for me, since the neck rebuild. But I have to admit it looks darn cool.

Good intentions don’t really mean much. Sure, you can vow to go rock-climbing, but if you never actually do anything about learning how to do it, and making sure you have the appropriate gear to help you learn, what happens? You’ll very quickly become a damp stain at the bottom of a rock face, that’s what.

In the spirit of getting back on track, August has officially been dubbed “Gear To Get Your Butt In Gear” month at What that means is I’m giving away a bunch of stuff, gratis, simply for filling out various super-short surveys (1–2 minutes to finish tops).

All the giveaways this month have been chosen to reflect one general idea: If you really want something to happen, well it’s really up to you to actually GO make it happen, Cap’n.

And the biggest giveaway so far?

Vouchers worth up to 20% off any MS exam, worldwide, hands-down. The exam discount giveaway has been ON FIRE, with folks responding from all over the world. You can find more details about this and all the rest of the active giveaways, including hyperlinks to the entry surveys, at

All discount vouchers issued from August 27, 2009 onward will be good for only 10% off, worldwide. So if you want to save yourself that additional 10 points on the cost of an exam, you MUST act quickly!

Thing is, ANY MCT in good standing who has signed up for the MCT Rewards program can issue the same vouchers. So if you don’t want to get them from me, ask your local MCT. It doesn’t matter WHO you get them from, just that you GET them…and then that you USE them.

Tjeerd, sacked out on the sidewalk outside our hotel in Colorado, just before we were about to roll out for the day's events.

As my good pal Tjeerd, who’s the global head of the MCT Program and the only human I’ve known to be able to be well-rested after sleeping on asphalt and concrete, would say “If you want to rock-n-roll, then you have to both ROCK and ROLL!”

So get up, go forth, and become your own rock star, folks.

Readiness rocks!

|| posted by chris under business, community, freebie, it pro, tech hand || comments (1) || ||

June 21, 2009

The Ripple Effect AKA Women In Technology

Here’s what I’ve been doing this Father’s Day weekend…

Mindstorms NXT enters the Funlab AKA the kitchen table. Robotics FTW!

Apple of My Eye and Cute as a Button and I spent most of yesterday working in our brand-new Mindstorms NXT laboratory building, programming and testing robots. So far we’ve built the TriBot, Alpha Rex, and Spike AKA The Scorpion. Both of them dig getting the robots to do their bidding, altho CaaB’s reactions have been roughly akin to that of a diabolical robot horde overlord.

Where did this come from? Really from four things… read more…

|| posted by chris under business, game, hardware, it pro, robot, tech hand, time || comments (2) || ||

April 17, 2009

TechNet’s Putting A Tiki Hut In Your Own Backyard

Let me tell you what...I've seen some of the stuff that's coming. Stuff that'll be talked about on this tour. You will KICK yourself if you miss it!

Next Monday, April 20, the IT Pro Tiki Hut Tour blasts off for the East region in none other than Huntsville…Alabama’s very own Rocket City. Spearheaded by Blain Barton, MS Evangelist Extraordinaire, this FREE tour will be visiting 10 different cities through June 4. The fact that Blain’s leading it should already be enough to pack the room. If there’s anyone I’ve ever met who fits the term “rock star” in the IT world, it’s this guy…

If you guys think I'm hyper...Blain makes me look like I'm frozen in carbonite. Now THAT'S saying something!

Now, it’s my personal opinion that this tour will kick so much ass, you’ll prolly go blind. Which means if you’re anywhere within striking distance of Huntsville, you should pretty much freaking be there. And altho it could have started somewhere else, like in FL or Boston or pretty much anywhere else…Huntsville is Ground Zero. Basically, where we’re lighting this candle. 

I say “we” because I’ll be there, presenting two of the three sessions planned that day. Here’s what I’ll be talking about…

Session 2:  Windows Security and Application/Driver Compatibility

This session discusses security, data protection with the new “Bitlocker-To-Go”, rich support tools like Reliability Monitor, Resource Monitor, Windows Recovery Environment, the new System Restore and Problem Steps Recorder.  We also cover application control using group policy and implement simple rule structures that include working with an application to Allow, Exception or Deny the installation.  We’ll also discuss Group Policy Preferences and how a User can change their own policy settings!

Session 3:  Windows 7 Beta Sneak Peek

The way Microsoft develops Windows has changed.  We’ll discuss the changes we have made in Windows Vista that will affect Windows 7 such as hardware, search as well as discuss new features that work with Windows Server 2008 R2 like DirectAccess™, a new network paradigm enables same experience inside and outside the office and makes seamless access to network resources increasing productivity of mobile users.  We also will discuss BranchCache ™, which caches content downloaded from file and web servers, users in the branch can quickly open files stored in the cache, which frees up network bandwidth for other uses.

If all that’s not enough to get you to come hang with us, check out what else is happening…

  • Hawaiian pizza
  • Tons of giveaways
  • A Windows 7 Beta DVD for every registered attendee

I can tell you that space is filling up quick. So unless you wanna get stuck leaning against a wall in a standing-room-only kinda way, register now! Here’s the signup link for Huntsville:

And if that’s STILL not enough…

Some people call him The Space Cowboy...

Fuzzy the Bulldog will be there…because he’s always wanted to be a space cowboy.

Hope to see you there!

|| posted by chris under business, community, freebie, it pro, tech hand, travel || comments (0) || ||

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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