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    Windows Live Mesh 2011 - By Shahrad Rezaei MSP

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    Windows Live Mesh 2011

    Nowadays, computers offer us unlimited customization to our computers. Our settings, our backgrounds, and especially our files make our computers really special and unique. This however, causes a problem: how do you work on other people’s computers? Their settings are different, they changed their toolbar layouts, and nothing can be found! Enter Windows Live Mesh.

    Windows Live Mesh is a new application that is part of the Windows Live family. Those of you who’ve used Live Mesh should have received an e-mail a couple of days ago on how the beta will be . Windows Live Mesh 2011 is the new product that evolved from it. For those of you who didn’t use the beta, don’t worry, the new product is even better, and I’ll do my best to cover everything. In a nutshell, Windows Live Mesh is a product that serves to keep all your files and settings synced between your computers, so you’ll feel just at home every time you use any computer on which you’ve installed Mesh.

    Using the product itself is pretty straightforward. First, you need to download and install it from the Live Mesh website. Once it’s all done, you just simply run it and log in with your Windows Live account. Then, you will be presented with the following screen:

    As you can see, Mesh allows you to synchronize files, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office settings across the computers in your Device list. Your device list, which you can acess by going to devices.live.com, shows the list of all the computers on your Mesh network. As soon as you install Mesh on a computer and log in with your Live account, it will be added to this page and you will be able to sync your settings and files through it if you allow it to. All these computers will have their data synced with each other, so you’ll feel as if you’re working on a single computer the whole time. Additionally, you can also use Remote Desktop to access your computer while you’re on a computer that’s not on that network, so you will be using your computer on someone else’s hardware. I’ll come to this a bit later.

    The whole thing itself is really straightforward. For the program settings, all you need to do is turn on syncing and you’re done.

    Additionally, you can sync folders as well by selecting “Sync a folder”.

     

    You will then be presented with the option to select the folder you want to synchronize, and which computer you want to synchronize it to, as well as the option to synchronize it to SkyDrive. Remember though, that while you can store as much data as your computer allows you to on your computers, you are limited to 5 GB on SkyDrive.

    Once you are done, the folder will appear under “Folders” in the Live Mesh main page, where you will be able to manage it and even share it amongst 9 of your friends (by clicking on the “Just me” button).

     

    You can also use Remote Desktop to connect on other computers. Note that these computers must be powered on and set up in order to accept incoming connection requests.This can all be done under the “Remote” tab.

    Once you’ve allowed your computer to accept incoming remote connections, you will be able to use other computers to connect to them. If there are other users are logged on the remote computer, they will have to disconnect from the computer before you can connect.

     

    All your computers can be manages online as well at http://devices.live.com. There, you can remove computers from your devices, change their icons and establish a Remote Desktop connection online.

     

    From here, you can control your settings for each individual computer and connect to them remotely through the web. Everything here is fairly straightforward, as with the rest of the software (something I am really pleased with, so I’ll end this blog with a picture of RDC online, just so you know that I’m not bluffing.

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    Enable Wireless networking in Windows Server 2008

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    When installing Windows Server 2008, you probably noticed that you can’t connect to a wireless network. In fact, Windows Server 2008 is unable to find wireless networks. This is not a problem with your wireless card or its driver. It’s due to a security feature of Windows Server 2008.

    To be able to connect to a wireless network with Windows Server 2008, the first thing you have to do is to add the “Wireless LAN Service” feature as shown below:

    1.       Open the Server Manager by clicking on Start è Administrative tools è Server Manager;

    2.       Under Server Manager, click on Features;

    3.       On the Features page, click Add Feature;

    4.       Locate the “Wireless LAN Service” in the list, enable its corresponding checkbox and click Next;

    5.       Click on Install to start the installation process;

     

    6.       Click on Close after the installation process finishes;

    Once this is done, you now need to start the corresponding service (if not already started). To do this:

    1.       Open the Server Manager and click Configuration and then Services;

    2.       Click WLAN AutoConfig and click the Start button;

    3.       Now you can connect to your wireless network as you do with Windows Vista or Windows 7.

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    Enable Vista theme in Windows Server 2008

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    When installing Windows Server 2008, you probably noticed that you’re running in Windows Classic theme. If you’re fan of the Windows Vista theme, you can benefit from it in Windows Server 2008. All you have to do is to enable one service as described below.

    NOTE: using the same procedure as below, you can enable Windows 7 theme on Windows Server 2008 R2.

    To be able to run in Windows Vista theme in Windows Server 2008, you have to enable the “Themes” service as follows:

    1.       Open the Server Manager by clicking on Start è Administrative tools è Server Manager;

     

    2.       Click on Configuration è Services, and locate the Themes service. If it is not started, start it by clicking the Play button in the toolbar.

     

    3.       Go to Control Panel è Personalization and click on the Theme link;

     

    4.       The Theme window opens. Select Windows Vista in the dropdown list and click OK;

    Enjoy the Windows Vista theme in your Windows Server 2008 installation!

     

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    Effective presentations using Powerpoint's Presenter View - Tidjani Belmansour - MSP

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    I decided to write this post after seeing many students in my university and colleagues being “in pain” with their presentations. It’s the same scenario all the time: when they have to do a presentation, they always proceed using the following steps:

    1.       Create a PowerPoint document;

    2.       Take relevant notes in the PowerPoint’s notes section;

    3.       Print the notes they took on paper (with the risk to forget them and be embarrassed…).

    And, during the presentation, it’s always the same pattern as described below:

    1.       Use the printed papers during the presentation as reminder for important things to talk about;

    2.       Take a quick look at the watch to know how long they have left (or even worse, it’s the jury that tells them that the time is over before they’ve reached the end of their presentation and thus feel frustrated about the time they spent preparing that presentation and not having the chance to present all of it…).

     

    Microsoft Office PowerPoint allows you to avoid all this embarrassment and frustration by using the “Presenter View” mode. Let’s see together how this works!

    Actually, it’s quite easy…Before starting your presentation, go to tab “Slide Show” and activate the checkbox “Use Presenter View” in the “Monitors” group (as shown on figure 1). And that’s it! You’re ready to go using the Presenter View mode. You can now start your presentation as usual by hitting the F5 key.

    Figure 1. The “Presenter View” option.

    In the figure below, which shows a part of a VSTO presentation I did last year for the MSP program, you can see on left what the audience will see (the actual presentation), and on the right what YOU, as a presenter, will see.

    Figure 2. “Presenter View” vs “Classic View”.

     

    The Presenter View mode allows you to have all the below information, on the same screen, in the twinkling of an eye:

    ·         The presentation;

    ·         The notes related to the current slide;

    ·         The current time;

    ·         The time spent since the beginning of the presentation;

    ·         The slide number.

    All these features are shown in figure 3 below.

    Notice that you, as a presenter, have a more “effective” view of the presentation and you can control it better. For example, if you’re running out of time, you can inform your audience at an early point and ask them if they want more or less information regarding a specific part of the presentation to decide which content you should present and which one you can skip. This will add interactivity to your presentation!

     

    Figure 3. The “Presenter View” in action.

     

    As a final word, the Presenter View in Microsoft Office PowerPoint allows you to perform more efficient and more attractive presentations. Use it without moderation!

     

     

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    Women in Technology: Lynn Langit - "SoCalDevGal" By Genevieve L’Esperance - MSP

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    When you talk about speaking several languages you probably start thinking of the usual suspects; English, French, Spanish, German and so on. But Lynn’s ‘languages”, and yes she actually has a BS in linguistics from the Minnesota State University, also includes technical languages such as C# as well as database  expertise in T-SQL, Business Intelligence, OLAP, Data Warehousing, SSAS, Data Mining, LINQ, WCF, WF, C#, ORM.

    Lynn is better known around technical blogs worldwide as the SoCalDevGal as she heralds from Southern California. But Lynn can seldom be found at home. In fact Lynn is such a dynamic and fascinating techie that she is constantly speaking or teaching somewhere in the world. What makes her even more amazing is her unbelievable passion for taking technology and bringing it to girls the world over and engaging them in her world for a day through the Digigirlz camps and now through her not-for-profit Teaching Kids Programming organization. 

    In fact this is where I got my opportunity to take my passion for helping girls “get IT” and bringing this experience to places like Washington. Malvern PA and Moncton, New Brunswick.  It was Lynn and her partner Llewellyn Falco who helped me get understand the potential this program held for changing kids’ lives. It’s obvious Lynn thrives on her community work and her most exciting project is also where she “vacations” every year; South Africa. That current project is called SmartCare, which is an electronic medical records system being deployed nation-wide in Zambia.  Its projects like these that show us three important things:

    1)      Girls in IT are doing amazing things with technology because they lean towards social issues and how to solve them. In this case Lynn uses technology as he “platform”

    2)      Technology can be used to change the way some of the poorest countries deal with serious issues around health, education and sustainability.

    3)      Girls teaching girls how to sue technology: Lynn’s program has proven itself over and over again to help girls realize that what most girls would view as the impossible, programming, is something they really get. I’ve seen it firsthand and I cannot wait to deliver my next sessions in Mountain View CA at Dare2Bdigitial this coming weekend.

    http://www.dare2bdigitalconference.com/home2010/speakers/speakers-2011

    At the end of 2010 Lynn did her Top Ten “people to Watch” I am humbled to say that Lynn included me in that list because of our collaboration on Teaching Girls Programming, the offshoot I developed from the TKP events.  To even be mentioned by Lynn is huge honor because she is one of the most respected people in the tech world and she is in demand from all over to speak and teach on the latest platform developments. 

     

     

    Lynn is truly the one to watch. Her work is only surpassed by her passion for seeing change, the kind that with the help of technology is giving people the chance to reach for the impossible and bring a better life to people in places we can only dream to duplicate. But then again that’s why I’m in technology in the first place and I just hope to accomplish half of what Lyn has done.

    Where to read and learn more about Lynn:

    Books by Lynn Langit

    http://www.very-clever.com/books/author-Lynn+Langit

    Lynn’s blog

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/socaldevgal/ 

    Lynn shares her favourite presentations. Check out her recent Azure shows.

    http://www.slideshare.net/lynnlangit

    Lynn’s biggest project to date and where you’ll find me listed as her youngest teacher!

    http://www.teachingkidsprogramming.org/

    Lynn at GeekSpeak

    http://channel9.msdn.com/shows/geekSpeak

     

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