Windows 8 Better impressions

One of the roles of this blog is for me to share what I have learned (and to write it down so I remember!)

I have been watching the Windows 8 Jump Start series at the Microsoft web site

Learned a few things that in combination to a few days practical exposure to Windows 8 have substantially improved my impressions of Windows 8 on the desktop, including:

  • To Search, Windows key and type part or all the name of the application or file you are looking for – it works as advertised and is a feature will appeal to end users
  • Rename and rearrange the groups on the Start screen (the interface previously known as Metro) – this is a feature I can see IT areas using to make directing users to apps easier
  • Windows Key + C to open the “Charms”
  • Windows key + X brings up a handy little system tools menu (I can see I am going to have to learn the proper names of these features!
  • Storage Spaces – gives users the ability to duplicate data from one drive to another – effectively a kind of easy RAID like tool for users
Also reading Windows 8 in Depth by Knittel and McFedries. Waiting for Paul Thurrott’s new book to come on to Safari Books Online.
More study on Widows 8 tomorrow – and then venturing into Office 365/Office 2013 and Captivate 6 and Acrobat XI from the Adobe world…


RAID, Study and Virtual Machines – Getting the hang of Hyper-V

Virtual Machines and Hyper-V for the non Server-Guru

It has been essential for me to master the basics of creating and using virtual machines to do the skill development and exam preparation as part of redeveloping my business. I have explored and used Virtual PC, Virtual Box, VMware Player and then Workstation – progressing to owning a licence for VMware Workstation. The grand plan was for the new PC to run Hyper-V server – but the gradual unraveling of my old PC has led me to setting up the new PC as a desktop PC but one that needed to run Hyper-V as well – so I can use Microsoft’s preview and trial “vhd” resources.

So I over the last two days I have learned the basics of  Hyper-V Manager on Windows 8. The aim has been to build virtual machines to run SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 for study and research purposes. As always I have learned a great deal and have followed a few rabbits down false trails. A modern Core-I7 processor and 16GB of RAM is speeding the process (to counterbalance the time lost when I have clicked into a wrong turn). Continue reading “RAID, Study and Virtual Machines – Getting the hang of Hyper-V”

Windows 8 and Office 2013 Evaluation – First Impressions

Before I do the permanent set up of my new PC, I took the opportunity to set it up with Windows 8 and Office 2013. These are my first impressions, based on a few hours exploring ans installing and are mostly good to excellent, with one major exception. So let’s get that out of the way.

Windows 8 is Different

My first impression is, that if implemented in its standard form, Windows 8 will drive most regular desktop PC based end users nuts with frustration.  The interface might initially be too different for them. Discussions I have heard about organisations considering customised desktops now make sense.

As a non typical, but largely desktop based end user, I was within about 30 minutes beginning to get a feel for where things would be, and easily connecting to Twitter  LinkedIn and Google and installing IIS and Hyper V tools. I can see users having a  good experience with a touch screen.

Shame about the Windows 8 interface, because Office 2013 is really very impressive.  Windows 8 and Office 2013 are clearly meant to go together. I have had comments from colleagues about the Office 2013 interface. On Windows 8 it looks at home. Even on a desktop PC.

So what is impressive about Office 2013?

The connection to SharePoint and Office 365.

Over recent months as I find myself training on site more and more, I am seeing the value of having my documents and resources in a SharePoint library in the “cloud” . My recent PC troubles have confirmed this is the direction for my company and training documents.

Previously the value in Office 365 for me was in exchange based email and SharePoint Calendars. My document creation process is still local disk based with some documents going to SharePoint libraries. In part because the integration between Office on the desktop and SharePoint online wasn’t seamless.

In Office 2013, the integration to Office 365  is easy to set up and seamless once done. When I go to my  permanent set up on my PC I will be directing my documents directly into SharePoint as they are created. And I will be finding the time to upgrade my laptop as well, to get the same integration there as well.

The Office 365 integration makes sharing, collaborating and accessing documents for mobile or dispersed end users in small and very small organisations very, very easy. It brings out the true potential of Office 365 much more that Office 2010 did. Used to its potential this could give a nimble small organisation a flexible edge over some corporate dinosaur stuck on Office 2003. At modest cost too.

Office 2013 probably has other features, I was so taken with trying the SharePoint/Office 365 integration I didn’t even notice…

More on that another time.

Adobe E-Learning Suite

Also more on installing Adobe E-Learning Suite on Windows 8 next time. (Acrobat X Professional doesn’t install – but Acrobat XI might…)



Custom Lists and SharePoint 2010 Tutorials – First two on line

First two movies in a series now on-line.

Part 1 Custom lists and Site Columns
Part 2 Create Custom List and Import Data in SharePoint 2010
Part 3 Custom Lists and Views
Part 4 Custom Lists and Workflow
Part 5 Custom Lists and KPIs

Continue reading “Custom Lists and SharePoint 2010 Tutorials – First two on line”

SharePoint Q & A

A digest post addressing SharePoint 2010 questions

Does SharePoint index the content of ODT files?

For Enterprise and FAST search appears yes – see articles below: Continue reading “SharePoint Q & A”

SharePoint Q & A

Folks, This post is an omnibus post to document an assortment of questions on SharePoint 2010 that I have had recently.

SharePoint 2010 and Farms

This area is a bit out of my territory – but here is some light reading on getting started: Continue reading “SharePoint Q & A”

Free SharePoint 2007 User Guide download fixed

The SharePoint 2007 User  Guide download and other downloads have been fixed (and checked/tested).

The fault was due to a clash with Jetpack.

Not Happy! Microsoft Windows Phone and Office 365

I have a rule not to blog angry. It can give the wrong impression. I am for example preparing some really positive video tutorials covering useful things to do with SharePoint Online, Windows phone and OneNote 2010. Lots of good things to say which I will save for a later post.

Because I am grumpy now.

I recently updated my password for Office 365. Good practice – Yes. A Mistake – Yes Continue reading “Not Happy! Microsoft Windows Phone and Office 365”

Two free, good quality Online Training Resources to share

Two free, good quality resources to explore

Internet Explorer CSS Tips

F12 Internet Explorer Developer Tools for Troubleshooting CSS Issues

A quick tip I picked up from a Microsoft SharePoint tutorial – on CSS and SharePoint was that in IE9 – the F12 function key brings up a set of useful  developer tools. This will be very helpful to me in troubleshooting a new page layout for a client – which behaves itself in all browsers except Internet Explorer.

IE10 Compatibility Checker

While I am sorting out IE9 issues – it will be handy to test for potential IE10 issues while I am about it – learn more about the IE10 Compat Inspector 

Microsoft Certified Trainer Achieved and Objectives for 2012

I have just received advice from Microsoft that I have been accepted as Microsoft Certified Trainer!

To achieve  this I passed the SharePoint Office Specialist exam and completed my Certificate IV Trainer and Assessor (so I had evidence of Instructor Skills)




I love it when a plan comes together… Continue reading “Microsoft Certified Trainer Achieved and Objectives for 2012”

SharePoint and E-Learning Integration

This post gives a couple of leads to answer a question that I have encountered on SharePoint and Captivate courses – Is there an LMS for SharePoint? I was aware there was a commercial solution, but not of options where the budget was more limited.

As I have been catching up on my LinkedIn Groups – an excellent resource which I have much neglected while working on exams, business building and my Trainer certification over the last few months – I followed some suggested links and found myself at CodePlex. I will do a separate post about CodePlex.

At Codeplex I found two potentially useful tools

SharePoint WSS 3 Resource

Just a quick post – a link to Microsoft’s WSS 3 page and to SharePoint Foundations


Shortest Post, Ever…