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  • Microsoft Press

    Carl Chatfield: Tracking progress checklist style

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    You can use incremental percent complete values for simple checklist tracking. Here are my recommendations on when and how you might do this without falling into the "precision is not accuracy" trap of project management. You Are Now 4.65% Done Reading This Post That statement is precise but not necessarily accurate. I've previously discussed some of the problems of tracking progress by percent complete. Recording percentage complete per task is easy enough in Project; the Tracking toolbar includes handy incremental completion buttons, and if 25% increments are too vague for your needs, you can record any percentage value you wish in the Update Tasks dialog box. No, the issue with tracking progress this way is that it may suggest to the project manager and project stakeholders a higher...
  • Microsoft Press

    Watch the Visual Studio 2010 launch keynote this morning!

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    Bob Muglia will be speaking at 8:30 AM Pacific Time this morning. Watch it here . And here’s lots of information about the developer tools Microsoft is releasing today. Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 are available today.
  • Microsoft Press

    I. M. Wright: “The new guy”

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    We hope that you know about I. M. Wright’s “Hard Code,” by Eric Brechner (Microsoft Press, 2008). Eric Brechner is Director of Development Excellence in Microsoft’s Engineering Excellence group. I. M. also writes a monthly column, and the column for this month can be found here . The podcast for this month’s column is 8 mins 34 seconds and is here . Here’s the beginning: “Hey, you’re the new guy!” Marvelous. You’ve transformed from a useful, relevant, sought-after authority to a roadside attraction. Whoever you were before, whatever value you used to embody, whatever accomplishments you might have achieved, now amount to nothing more than marketing hype. Your new co-workers may be outwardly curious and pleasant, but inside they are skeptical and wary. Look, most people are nice. They want you...
  • Microsoft Press

    Looking for Microsoft Press reviewers

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    Sara Peyton, pr manager at O'Reilly Media, here. As you may know, O'Reilly Media now promotes and distributes Microsoft Press books through their strategic alliance that went live on December 1, 2009. It's my job to promote new Microsoft Press books and provide review copies to qualified reviewers. So if you're interested in reviewing Microsoft Press titles, I want to hear from you! I'm happy to provide review copies whether you write for newspapers, magazines, blogs, or for retail outlets like Amazon, Borders, or Barnes & Noble. All you have to do is drop us a note at press@oreilly.com and let us know which Microsoft Press titles you're interested in, as well as where you plan to post your review. For those who prefer ebooks, we can provide many Microsoft Press titles in four...
  • Microsoft Press

    TechNet Creates Silverlight Application as Clearinghouse for Technology Resources

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    Ever wish that you could find information about a technology in just one place? TechNet is trying to grant that wish. A beta version of the Microsoft Desktop Player is available now at www.microsoft.com/click/desktopplayer . With this application, you can search for resources specific to your role and technology. It’s still in beta, so I noticed that some of the Webcasts were a little fuzzy. However, it’s a great start at compiling resources from all over Microsoft to help you find information and instruction. To test it, I queried using the following criteria: I’m an IT Pro Looking for resources on Exchange Server 2010 In my role as an enterprise administrator Focusing on development My query returned a slew of great resources: 12 Webcasts 7 Podcasts 6 Learning Plans Depending on what you...
  • Microsoft Press

    Excerpt from upcoming title: Inside Microsoft SharePoint 2010

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    Today we’d like to share an excerpt from one of our upcoming books: Inside Microsoft SharePoint 2010 , by Ted Pattison, Scott Hillier, an Andrew Connell. We’ll publish this book in July 2010. You can learn more about the book here: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780735627468/ . The excerpt is an introduction to the topic of “sandboxed solutions.” Enjoy: Sandboxed Solutions are SharePoint Foundation features that are deployed into a partially-trusted environment referred to as the “sandbox.” The sandbox is designed to bring greater stability to the SharePoint farm by restricting actions that may cause performance, security or other problems. It does this by limiting the functionality accessible to custom code solutions through the use of code access security (CAS) policies and restricting access...
  • Microsoft Press

    Update on upcoming books: Visual Studio 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, and ASP.NET MVC

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    A couple of weeks ago we gave you a snapshot of upcoming titles . Here’s a quick update on those titles: First up is William Stanek’s Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant, Second Edition , which we’ll be shipping at the end of March. It updates this book for R2. William rocks on, obviously. [UDPATE: We indeed shipped this title on March 29. 2010. More info here .] Next is Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner’s Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 , which will be a free ebook and which updates for R2 this free ebook (no longer available for download). The ebook should be complete around April 14. We’ll tell you about it on the blog as soon as it’s available. [UPDATE: On schedule to RTM next week, on April 14.] Next is George Shepherd’s Microsoft ASP.NET 4.0 Step by Step ...
  • Microsoft Press

    Survey: We’re diving into your feedback from the just-finished quarter

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    You’ve probably noticed that we mention our book survey more and more on our blog. It’s an anonymous survey via which you can give feedback about any of our titles. It’s short, direct, and designed to let you spell out in as much detail as you like what you like and don’t like about a title. (The survey is here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/booksurvey . All you need to get started is the book’s ISBN or title.) Well, this is a short post to tell you that we have gathered all the information you gave us in the survey between January 1, 2010, and March 31, 2010, and we’re scrubbing the data and diving into your feedback. (By scrubbing the data, I mean deleting entries not related to Microsoft Press books. Also, we can’t use survey responses that are incomplete. So, if someone gets through...
  • Microsoft Press

    Ed Wilson: Registration for the 2010 Scripting Games open

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    The registration for the 2010 Scripting Games, to be held via the TechNet Script Center opens today. Once again, we are partnering with the Windows PowerShell MVP’s and are using their PoshCode script site to upload and to showcase the Scripting Games entries. So how do the 2010 Scripting Games work? Well, I am not going to repeat the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that were published a few weeks ago on the Hey Scripting Guy! Blog. But I will say that you should review the FAQ, and you should definitely review the 2010 Scripting Games Study Guide . Even if you choose not to participate in the 2010 Scripting Games, you should bookmark the 2010 Scripting Games Study Guide—why you may ask? Well, for one thing, I spent nearly two days rounding up study resources for the 2010 Scripting Games ...
  • Microsoft Press

    Your feedback about our Developer Training Kits told us to do this

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    Hi all, Kimberly here. The Microsoft Press team met this month to dig into the feedback you gave us about .NET Framework Training Kits. (My thanks to everyone who completed the survey!) Three themes emerged from our analysis. I want to tell you what they are and how we plan to address them in the Training Kits that cover the .NET Framework 4 exams. Technical accuracy   By far, your biggest concern is errors. Even minor technical errors make you nervous about the overall accuracy of the book, and when you are studying for an exam, nervous is not good . As a standard practice, we hire technical experts to review every chapter, every block of code, and every practice test question in the book. In response to your concerns, our editors are updating our technical review guidelines to make...
  • Microsoft Press

    New book: Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Step by Step

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    John Sharp’s new book, Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Step by Step , is now available! You can order it here or here , as well as many other places. Here are a couple of excerpts from the book. Enjoy! Introduction (excerpt) Microsoft Visual C# is a powerful but simple language aimed primarily at developers creating applications by using the Microsoft .NET Framework. It inherits many of the best features of C++ and Microsoft Visual Basic, but few of the inconsistencies and anachronisms, resulting in a cleaner and more logical language. C# 1.0 made its public debut in 2001. The advent of C# 2.0 with Visual Studio 2005 saw several important new features added to the language, including Generics, Iterators, and anonymous methods. C# 3.0 which was released with Visual Studio 2008, added extension...
  • Microsoft Press

    RTM’d today: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition

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    We’re happy to announce that Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant, Second Edition , by William Stanek, has shipped to the printer. The book’s ISBN is 9780735627383, the book includes 17 chapters and 736 pages, and it will be available after April 21. The book’s first edition has been updated for the R2 of SQL Server 2008. Below is more info about the book. Check back later for excerpts from the book’s chapters. Introduction Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition, is designed to be a concise and compulsively usable resource for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Release 2 (R2) administrators. It covers everything you need to know to perform the core administrative tasks for SQL Server and is the readable resource guide that you’ll...
  • Microsoft Press

    Carl Chatfield: Look is not feel

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    Years ago attended some training in information design from Jared Spool of the firm User Interface Engineering . One thing that Jared said that really stuck with me was this: in the software design community we use the phrase "look and feel" a lot, and usually we spit it out as a single word, lookandfeel . But it's useful to parse the phrase. A software UI like an operating system or application has certain attributes that we can call "look" attributes, and other attributes that we can call "feel" attributes." Look is: • The "first impression" visual appeal (for example, "Oh I recognize that this table in Project reminds me of Excel"). • The ability to transfer knowledge from experience with a different UI (like the fill handle for using...
  • Microsoft Press

    Free ebook: Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (DRAFT Preview)

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    NEW: The complete and final version of this ebook is now available here . We’re pleased to announce another free offering (following Charles Petzold’s Programming Windows Phone 7 Series (DRAFT Preview) , which we released on March 15): Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (DRAFT Preview) . This DRAFT Preview contains three chapters from what will be a ten-chapter ebook when it’s released this summer. The three chapters make up Part II, “Moving from Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2010.” You can download the DRAFT Preview of this ebook in XPS or PDF format here . Here’s some of the Introduction (<snip> marks a deletion, to shorten this post), which explains the book’s approach: Introduction Every time we get...
  • Microsoft Press

    New book: MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-685): Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technician Training Kit

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    Great news! The MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-685): Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technician Training Kit , by Tony Northrup and J.C. Makin, is in print! This book is exactly what you need to help prepare for certification exam 70-685. Tony and J.C. give you plenty of lessons and exercises and the CD contains several practice tests too. You'll find all the standard Training Kit benefits: comprehensive coverage of all 70-685 exam objectives, 200+ practice test and lesson review questions, real-world scenarios, case study examples, troubleshooting labs, fully searchable eBook of the book’s contents, and a 15 percent exam-discount voucher from Microsoft. Here's an excerpt from the book's introduction: Introduction This training kit is designed for IT support personnel...
  • Microsoft Press

    Share your favorite formulas, functions, tips, and tricks in Excel or Access

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    Last week I wrote a post about how I love books and recently used our e-reference library to find the CONCATENATE function in Excel. This week, though, I want to confess that I’ve learned most of my favorite tips and tricks in Excel and Access from friends and fellow co-workers. It’s amazing how few of the features and functions we all use in these programs. Whenever I hear about someone using a function or formula I’ve never used, I can’t wait to learn it. I’ll share a couple of my newly learned tricks with you here. I invite you to write comments to this post and tell us how you use a particular function. If you can, show us an example. CLEAN This function made me finally appreciate VLOOKUP. Almost everyone I know who works in spreadsheets uses VLOOKUP frequently. I’ve never liked it, though...
  • Microsoft Press

    Full TOC for “Windows 7: The Best of the Official Magazine”

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    Here’s the Table of Contents for the new book we highlighted in our previous post:  
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