Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

About me (Hans Verbeeck). About my work (Partner Evangelist for Microsoft Belgium). Think big, start smal
Der deutsche Education Blog

June, 2006

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    WinFS, mutated or mutilated?


    I need to comment on last week's WinFS Update (and the Update to the Update), announcement by Quentin Clark, as the WinFS is something I've been very passionate about for the last couple of years. A couple of years ago, I delivered a WinFS talk on a roadshow (with Clemens Vasters, David Chappell, Nigel Watling, Lester Madden) to about 10.000 people. The enthusiasm was real, people could see how this was going to change computing in a good way for them as an end user and as a developer.


    When I was at Tech Ed Boston two weeks ago, I attended Quentin's talk on the WinFS and I heard the story that was told ever since WinFS was ripped as out as one of the pillars of the WinFX. I too, was happy to hear that Beta 2 seemed to be on track. And then this; parts of the WinFS technology will move into ADO.NET and SQL Server but there won’t be a separate WinFS release anymore.


    The comments have been mostly negative and I must admit that, to a certain extent, I do understand the disappointment. Originally, I believe, the FS stood for File System before it was changed to Future Store. The first naming expressed exactly what a lot of people came to expect; a file store that would make it easy for files to be searched, be shared (between devices and people) and be related to other things one would store. To me, that was WinFS and, of course, there was going to be a model to make developers productive at working all that data and that would some kind of ORM model.


    There seems to be more clarity now about where the entity technology is going but less clarity on what the current vision is although Quentin does claim in the update to the update that the vision is still alive. This entire post is obviously my personal opinion but I definitely hope for a comeback of the full idea.


    There are actually a couple more products Microsoft announced that I liked and that were dropped including: WinFS, MBF and .NET My Services. The one thing these technologies had in common was SCHEMA. Schema for common objects in the domain the technology was designed for. Objects in the personal computing space for WinFS, business objects for MBF and objects in the domain of people connecting to the web and to other people and devices for .NET My Services.


    I definitely don't want it to come across as if the lack of agreement on the schemas - or the lack of industry support for the schemas - has sunk each of these projects but I think it's clear that they have been a big point of discussion. To really push forward computing, the industry will need to agree on a number of formats like file formats or formats to represent data on the web. It will require some giving and taking from Microsoft, other big players in the industry and the ABM-camp (anything but Microsoft).


    Take for instance Microformats. They are a push in this direction to share schema on the web and although I'm certainly not going to judge on the quality or viability of this work, I certainly hope that one day we will have deep support on the web and the desktop for common formats of the most common objects in the most common domains. And if there's one company that can seamlessly integrate the web and the pc (including phones, media centers, game consoles, etc…), then it's Microsoft. And now you know why I work here.

    This post is about: WinFS


  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Vista is buzzy...


    A good friend, Els Putzeys, started bloging, about Vista and Longhorn server. She seems to be taking it seriously and the blog is definately worth talking a look at for all IT Pros (I've been reading about things I never heard of). I was trying to get her to blog for a while already and I'm glad she finally took to it.

    Actually, with Vista Beta 2 on the street, the buzz is picking up all over the place... See Vista is nice but seeing and working with the real thing is better. It's alarming and encouraging at the same time that apparently so many people are dowloading the beta 2 bits that it is become the biggest software download ever.

    In any case, you can order the DVD which for the majority of people in the region I work for (EMEA) would be the prefered method to get it anyway since it's difficult to chose between unbearably slow and very unbearably slow.

    Also a good colleague of mine has started blogging about Vista and his post where he explains tha Vista means chicken in Latvian got picked up by Mary Jo Foley  (why did you pick that post, Mary Jo?). 

    This post is about: Vista


  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Vista on MacBook Pro: Half Time


    I’m seeing a lot of interest in my Vista on MacBook Pro posts. It’s great to see so many of you are eager to get Vista Beta 2 running on what is, in my opinion, one of the better machines out there.

    Recently, one of my articles got Digged and since then the page views have skyrocketed (at least relative to my norms). I assume some folks aren’t interested in my usual writings so I have created a bootcamp category that one could use to just subscribe to my posts on Bootcamp.

    So currently this is the status:

    • You can install Vista on Bootcamp. Dual boot works perfectly.
    • Vista is still Beta 2 so don’t expect release quality.
    • You need to delete the EFI partition and people have warned me that this will prevent automatic firmware updates from Apple!
    • There are still some driver issues with Vista (iSight…)

    Here are some things I like and some things I dislike about the Mac:


    • Great performance on both Vista and Mac OsX
    • Run Vista and Mac
    • Wow factor


    • This isn’t a Tablet machine. I really miss that
    • Weird Swiss Apple keyboard isn’t really suited for Windows
    • No PC Card slot for smartcard reader for instance
    • It gets really hot, can’t put it on my lap
    • Some devices still don’t work

    As I find out more about installing Vista on Mac and getting the drivers installed, I will keep you updated.

    Below, I’m listing my previous blog posts about this and as you can see I went from frustration to excitement.

    Boot Camp with Vista? I don't think so!

    If you want a Windows PC, then don't buy a Mac...

    Upgraded my MacBook Pro

    Vista Beta 2 on MacBook Pro with Bootcamp? You bet!

    Pictures from Installing Vista Beta 2 on MacBook Pro

    Only 4 more drivers to find fro Vista on MacBook Pro

    Only 3 more drivers to go for Vista on MacBook Pro


    This post is about: Vista, Apple Boot Camp

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Tech Ed US Boston Part 1: Getting around Boston


    Tech Ed US Boston Part 1: Getting around Boston

    We have lift off. My wife and arrived on Saturday in Boston, can you tell? On Saturday we didn’t do much as we were tired from the trip and also because it was raining like… you know, raining hard. Not so on Sunday. Woke up early and went straight to the place where everybody knows your name.


    Cheers Boston Harvard Veritas

    After that, we kind of followed the freedom trail had lunch by the harbor and then we headed to Harvard. Just wandering around enjoying the fantastic environment, we walked into this building with the MARK I in it. This is one of the earliest computers. Interesting to see how this machine was part mechanics and part electronics. It’s the work of some (many?) geniuses that lead to Microsoft having an event like Tech Ed attracting many thousands of people from an industry employing many millions impacting the lives of many billions.

    Havard Mark I (2/2) Harvard Mark I (1/2)


    In the evening, I attended the keynote. Yes they do that to you over here. Keynote from 19:00 to 21:30. I really haven’t that much to say about the keynote though. I really like Ray Ozzie as he talked us through a series of disruptions in the IT industry and invited us to think in terms of Clients, Servers and Services. Besides that, the keynote was very IT Pro centric. Very. Maybe understandable since most of the audience here is IT Pro.

    There was a DEV part and it was particularly nice to see the VSTS Data Tool (errrr. correction, I mean data dude) but all in all the DEV part of the demo was too small a part of the overall keynote in my opinion. I’m also sure the 24 fans enjoyed the session as the actress that acts as the techie in the series was brought on stage a couple of times. Not being a 24 addict, this didn’t mean that much to me. Makes me wonder, if you are attending Tech Ed Europe, which non-IT person, if any, would you want us to bring on stage? Any suggestions?

    Missing the developer message in the keynote, leads me to what I will be writing about in the next few days. Where does Tech Ed Europe differ from Tech Ed US? What’s the advantage of having a DEV only event, and what are the challenges?  Which speakers did we meet? And sign up?

    I’m not the only Tech Ed: Developer person here. Also attending are Mark White, David Boschmans, Chad Hower and Beat Schwegler.  Check out their blogs too.

    In the meantime, congrats to the dutch team for winning their first match. Well deserved. I watched the game in some hotel.

    World Cup Soccer Boston

    This post is about: Microsoft,  Tech Ed, Tech Ed: Developers


  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Free Worldcup App from Microsoft


    For those into the soccer world cup there's a nice little app available for free on Microsoft Download.

    World Cup Soccer App from Microsoft

    Support for a lot of languages and you can select your favorite team to follow up close. I thought for a second Microsoft forgot to add Belgium but, that's right, Belgium failed to qualify. Must find a way to block that from my mind.

    Next time around, we'll have a WPF application (and Belgium will be here). It will be so much better for every one. ;-)

    Worldcup and Microsoft

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Only 3 more drivers to go for Vista on MacBook Pro


    This a great! A reader 'David' wrote a comment to my previous post on how to get even more devices working properly.

    What I didn't know was how to unpack the drivers from the Mac Drivers for Windows XP CD. This is really easy. On a Windows XP Just open the command line utility (run, cmd) and execute the command:

    “Install Macintosh Drivers for Windows XP.exe” /A /v

    You can then choose an installation where the drivers will be unpacked. Executing this command won’t actually install the drivers which is great since you can then copy the files onto a thumbdrive and copy them to your Vista installation on your Mac.

    In the folder you copied you find a Program Files and a System32 folder. From the System32 folder you can run the Brighthness.exe and the AppleCDEject.exe. Should work. I know I got the CD eject working now.

    I got sound now tooJ this will make it nicer to watch that crazy stuff on YouTube.  Again I need to thank ‘David’ who wrote:

    A couple weird things with sound...installing using the EXE seems to work better than letting windows do the auto install. Also there are some issues with headphone pass through so if you want to disable the internal speaker you need to set a reg key. here are instructions: http://forum.onmac.net/showthread.php?t=1239

    I also seem to have the ‘Apple Bluetooth Kicker Controller’ but I’m not sure why I would use that.

    Anyways, the progress seems to be steady!


    Tags: Apple Boot Camp, Microsoft Windows, Vista

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Only 4 more drivers to find fro Vista on MacBook Pro


    Excellent, Windows Update just discovered one more driver. Only 4 to go!


    Tags: Apple Boot Camp, Microsoft Windows, Vista

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Pictures from Installing Vista Beta 2 on MacBook Pro


    Here are some Images I shot along the way…
    My installation procedure step by step : https://blogs.msdn.com/hans_vb/archive/2006/06/02/614799.aspx

    Figure 1: I'm an idiot, I downloaded the 64 bit version

    Figure 2: Install now? YES PLEASE! BTW, at the bottom left of this screen is the repair link I needed to fix the MBR.


    Figure 3: The patritioning schema should look like this. Of course it's likely you will have different sizes for the Mac and the Windows partitions


    Figure 4: Don’t panic if you get this after Vista seemingly installed correctly. You just need to reboot from the Vista Install DVD and then select repair (bottom left of the ‘Install Now’ screen).

    Figure 5: After that, start playing and discover how Vista makes life better! This is the nice dialog I saw when I plugged in an external screen.

    Tags: Apple Boot Camp, Microsoft Windows, Vista

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Vista Beta 2 on MacBook Pro with Bootcamp? You bet!


    Unbelievable, I got Vista running on my MacBook Pro. And it is just beautiful. I know I’m not the first, far from. I’ve seen people blog about this and more importantly, I got a lot of assistance from Jeff Dorsey, a system engineer in Redmond who had it running for a while. I started with the step by step guide provided by Jeff… 

    1)      Install Bootcamp

    2)      Create XP Partition

    3)      Install XP completely and once it’s fully installed… 

    4)      Reboot onto Vista DVD. To do this, insert the Vista Beta 2 DVD and then reboot holding down ‘the option key’, that’s the one with ‘alt’ on it. BTW, if you have issues ejecting the CD/DVD from within Windows, you can do that in the Windows Explorer by right-clicking on the CD drive and then selecting Eject or by holding down the mouse button when booting

    5)      When you need to select on which partition to install Vista, erase the EFI Partition (199mb). In my case this showed a 200MB partition before I deleted it and 199MB of free space after I deleted it. Also there is a 128MB unallocated space thing showing but you don’t have to be worried about that.

    6)       Formatted XP Partion and told Vista to install there

    7)      Reboot. And it should work fine. In my case it didn’t. What fixed it was rerunning the install but then instead of clicking on the big ‘Install Vista’ button, click on the Repair button. This will find the error in the boot record and fix it. After that, Vista boots just fine. Sweet.


     Then drivers. This is alo quite a story. Good news is that the display driver seems to be present in the Vista install so you get Glass instantly. Here,s what I’ve done:

    1)      Network drivers:
    I’ve been told that the wired network card should work out of the box but the wireless network card doesn’t even if it shows in the Device Manager. In my case, what did you expect, none of them worked.
    I downloaded the Yukon Gigabit drivers for XP here:
    http://marvell.com/drivers then updated the driver for my ethernet card (Or it could have been that I updated the driver for the so called wireless card with this driver too. There was something twisted.) with a version 853 or something like that. Sorry I can’t be more precise. Now the driver version for the card shows as Once the wired connection worked, I ran Windows Update and that detected and installed the driver for the wireles card. So now both are working.

    2)       When I connected an external monitor, I couldn’t get it to work. I went to ATI and downloaded the Vista Drivers here: Catalyst Beta Driver for Windows Vista Beta 2 . This also installed the Catalyst Control Center via which I can now clone my screen.

    3)      I still have There are still quite some device that don’t have the proper driver. 4 ‘other devices’ (one of which says ‘performance counters’) and 1 USB Human interface design.


    4)      Before you join a domain, you might want Ctrl-Alt-Del working no?

    A)     Install Windows 2003 Resource Kit tools (under Key Remapper on that share) rktools.exe

    B)      In that new run line thing, remapkey, then it will show up in the start menu with a question mark by it

    C)      Right click it and say run as admin

    D)     Then map the Del key from the upper keyboard to the right windows button below.

    E)      Save, update registry, reboot

    F)      Then Ctrl-Alt-Right Apple key is now Ctrl-Alt-Delete  (Woot!!)


    Other things I learned. When things go really pear shaped and you need to reinstall Mac OSX. Sometimes the partitioning seems to be so messed up that you can’t kick of the install. What works is  trying ‘option 2’ from this support document: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303609.  Important here is to really read the steps. Especially this part:
    Click the Partition tab in the Disk Utility window. If the partition tab is not visible, make sure you've selected the
    disk (not volume) in the left side of the window.

    Then reinstalling Mac OSX is easy and you even get that EFI partition back. BTW one way to get into the Disk Utility is to boot with Mac OSX Installation CD one in the drive and then hold the ‘C’ key while booting. The install will start but you will also get the Utilities Menu with the Disk Utility menu item in it.

     It has been a fun journey and I still don’t have all the drivers working but I’ll keep you posted. What’s for sure is that the result is great. Vista Beta 2 looks great and the performance is really good to on this hardware (I do have 2GB RAM and 256 on the Video Card).

    I installed 2007 Office Beta 2 and everything to rock n roll with the WinFX. Delicious. Delovely. Degorgeous.

    I will post some screenshots later.

    Tags: Apple Boot Camp, Microsoft Windows, Vista

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