2011 Canadian Competition on Microsoft Office - Trip to California


    The Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office is the best kept secret in Canada. Students who write their Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam in Word or Excel 2010, or Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 have this chance at their fingertips yet few realize how big of an opportunity it can be. All they have to do is select the option to enter their score and the score they get on the MOS exam will automatically be submitted. In June, CCI Learning Solutions Inc. will contact the top students and ask them to compete on behalf of Canada at the Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office in August 2011. This year the competition is being held at the Torrey Pines Hilton in San Diego, California in conjunction with Certiport’s Global Partner Summit.

    One might ask why this is such a big opportunity. Well, take it from someone who’s been through it all. Emily Daubert was the Canadian Champion in Word 2007 last year. Her score of 100% in 11 minutes beat the rest of the competitors in Canada and she was offered the chance to represent her country at the Worldwide competition in Park City, Utah. The fact that she can say that she is #1 in the country in Microsoft Office Word 2007 is not something you hear every day. Since this competition coincided with her graduating college and finding a job, this addition to her resume was definitely a talking point. She was offered multiple jobs that she would never have had the chance at before winning the Canadian competition.

    Then, at the worldwide competition in August 2010, Emily surprised everyone by winning the Word 2007 category and the title of “World Champion”. Considering that there were 54 countries at this event and that no one from North America had ever won, this was something to celebrate. It truly changed her life and gave her a unique perspective on digital literacy that few have. Even more job offers came in after her win but she chose to work with the company that sponsored her to go to the competition – CCI Learning Solutions. Now she is building a career that she couldn’t have even imagined before she got her MOS certifications and participated in the Canadian and Worldwide competitions.

    Hopefully her success story can motivate students to get certified and try their best on the MOS exams – to start thinking “imagine if…” and give students the inspiration to be more than they thought possible. If they are chosen to represent Canada, they will get to experience something that will be a once in a lifetime event. Students will meet Microsoft representatives, other students from around the world, and champions of digital literacy; the contacts they make at the competition will give their career a major boost.

    If a student is ready to write their MOS exam, they need to go to an approved testing centre before June 15, 2011 and take the exam in one of the five categories mentioned above. June 15 is the deadline to write a qualifying MOS exam and CCI Learning Solutions will contact the top students soon after. The winning students must be between the ages of 13 and 22 in addition to being enrolled in an approved academic institution. For more information on the Canadian competition, visit the site at www.officecompetition.ca.

    I hope this sparked some excitement in the minds of those reading this blog. It’s not impossible and it’s certainly not out of anyone’s reach. Good luck to everyone that’s hoping to score high on their MOS exam and I hope that I’ll see you in August!




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    A Windows Phone 7 application that goes above and beyond - All the way to the outer atmosphere



    Dr Andras Sobester from Southampton University and team launched a Windows Phone 7 into the upper atmospheres using a helium ballon.  "We are collecting data which will then plug in to various atmospheric science projects, monitoring pollutants such as volcanic ash for example, and informing the science behind modelling the climate and earth system in general."  The HTC 7 Trophy was used to log scientific data and to demonstrate the use of low-powered, light-weight commodity embedded device as a data logger.  Microsoft Windows Azure was used as the back-end computing resource that the phone communicated and had its data interpreted.

    During the phone's mission, it reached a maximum altitude of 18,237 meters during its 1h 16' flight.  The phone sent its location coordinates to Azure server when it was in a GSM frequency range.  The future is bright for the team as further missions will include external instruments linked to WP7 via Bluetooth stack.  The WP7/Azure combination will form the trajectory modeling system for future missions.  More information about the project may be found here:  

    ASTRA (Atmospheric Science Through Robotic Aircraft) initiative - http://www.soton.ac.uk/~astra/












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    Windows Phone Market Place Walk-through [Video]


    Rob Miles Highlights the importance of students submitting applications through marketplace in order to validate their identity and developer unlock their phones in this must see video!


    Great Windows Phone 7 Development Material may be downloaded here as an introduction to Windows Phone development.  This is 8 sections with labs, PowerPoint presentations, demos and notes.  Silverlight and Visual Studio introduction along with user interface design are included in this tutorial.

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    Windows Live Mesh 2011 - By Shahrad Rezaei MSP


    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


    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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