Friday, May 28, 2004

Inside Update.exe - The Package Installer for Windows and Windows Components

As part of the improvements to the overall patch management process, Microsoft is making changes to numerous components. the article Inside Update.exe - The Package Installer for Windows and Windows Components provides a really good look at how this part of patch management works.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

MS announces changes to support life of software

At TechEd today, Andy Lees announced a change to the life of supported software. Going forward (i.e. excluding NT4!), there will not be a 10 year product support life cycle. It seems pretty clear that MS is NOT going to relent on providing future support for NT4. But the life of MS Operating Systems has just got a little longer.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

New Level for MCT Programme

I'm in San Diego, at the Microsoft Certfified Trainer day, as part of the US TechEd. It's been an interesting day so far - Microsoft are announcing the changes to the MCT programme for next year. The big change is a new level of certification: the Microsoft Certfifed Learning Consultant (MCLC). This builds on the MCP foundation, requries a case study and will have other requirements. At last, a level of MCT certification that recognises the more senior trainers. Sadly, there are some additional requirements, but MS have not yet worked them out!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Group Policy Management Console Service Pack 1

Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) is a must-have addon for Windows Server 2003. As it's name suggests, you use it to manage Group Poicy. SP1 for GPMC is something I must have missed - sadly! I've got a copy of GPMC I carry around, but it is the RTM version. You can get the updated version from the

GPMC SP1 fixes bugs found in GPMC sample scripts, GPO reporting, and in the Migration Table Editor (MTE). Interestingly, Microsoft have also addressed bugs found from Dr. Watson crash data. There's also a fix to the GPMC RSoP wizard to work when Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) is enabled on the computer running GPMC.

GPMC rocks! Oh - and here's something a lot of people seem not to know: you can use GPMC to manage a Windows 2000 AD. You can't run GPMC on a Win2k box, instead, run it on a WIndows XP box attached to the domain.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Blogger now has comments

Cool. Comments from blogger!

Microsoft Windows Media - Fast Streaming with Windows Media 9

This is cool, both in theory and in practice! The web page at Microsoft Windows Media site explains the benefits of Windows Media 9 Series. The idea of fast streaming is simple - to deliver instant-on/always on experience. In other words, taking some of the unreliability inherent in the Internet out of the experience. And it really works!

As many of you know, I'm a fan of the Grateful Dead and it's many offshoots. I've just been listening to some really cool tracks from an upcoming Jerry Garcia release. The studio has released a number of the tracks on streaming audio and the sound quality is pretty good. The on demand steam comes from a Windows 2003 server with Direct 9.

Well - it's Sunday morning and I'm listening to this stream, and looking at the patch status of my boxes. Turns out I have to reboot the ISA server. Just as I hit the reboot button, I realised I'd loose the Jerry Garcia stream. I thought it would be interesting to see just how good the buffering was. My ISA server runs on a little Dell Dimension 4600, and took 46 seconds to reboot (according to uptime.exe). During the reboot, the player did not miss a beat! I was amazed - this is cool!!