Showing posts with label Windows7. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Windows7. Show all posts

Monday, December 09, 2013

What a Date (for when a Windows version is no longer supported...)?

Mike's Window - Some dates for your calendar..

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Support for Windows 7 RTM without service packs ended on April 9, 2013. Be sure to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 today to continue to receive support and updates

Windows lifecycle fact sheet

Last updated: October 2013

In this page

Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it's no longer supported or sold. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software. Here are the rights and limits of the Windows lifecycle.

End of support

End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available update or service pack installed. Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. For more information go to Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

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End of sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Examples of OEMS are Dell and Toshiba—PC manufacturers who often preinstall Windows software. When a version of Windows reaches its end of sales date, it's a good time to think about upgrading.

This table gives end of sales dates for specific Windows operating systems.

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Service packs and updates

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Some important, to IT and like geeks, dates.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Being smart when opening SkyDrive Smart Files in Desktop app's/ .Net

.NET Framework Blog - Opening Files from SkyDrive using .NET

Summary First;

Summary

SkyDrive for Windows 8.1 introduced a new technology, called smart files. These files can be consumed just like regular files by using Windows Runtime APIs. However, applications that uses System.IO APIs will have problems when opening a smart file unless its content is fully downloaded on the device. With this blog post, we provided you a sample code that invokes Windows.Storage APIs by reflection. This sample code will enable you to write desktop apps that operates on smart files available on Windows 8.1 and also supports running on non-Windows Runtime platforms.

Back to the top;

Since Windows 8 I fell in love with SkyDrive and use it all the time now. Windows 8.1 has improved this a lot by introducing a new concept that requires some changes to the way you interact with files. In, this post Gaye Oncul Kok, Program Manager on the .NET Framework team, explains the key things .NET developers need to know when they read and write files stored on SkyDrive.

SkyDrive for Windows 8.1 introduced a new technology, called smart files, which gives access to the files in the cloud by providing their content on demand. The technology was designed to minimize the disk space utilization on your Windows 8.1 device. You can think of the smart files as the avatars of your cloud files on a device. They have the same appearance as regular files, allowing you to browse, search and do common file operations like viewing the properties or a thumbnail of the file without downloading the full content locally. When you want to open the file, or explicitly want to make it available offline, only then are the file’s contents streamed to your device.

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SkyDrive's placholder files are smaller

From a .NET developers’ perspective, if you are developing a Windows Store App or a desktop app targeting platforms that has Windows Runtime support, your app can consume smart files just like regular files by using Windows.Storage APIs. However, applications that depend on .NET Framework System.IO APIs, such as File.Open() or FileInfo.Open(), will have problems, when operating on a smart file unless its content is fully downloaded on the device. This is due to the fact that the smart files are supported in the Windows Shell layer and above, whereas System.IO APIs resides on the Win32 layer.

If you want your desktop app to run on non-Windows Runtime platforms, such as Windows 7, and also work with SkyDrive smart files available with Windows 8.1 you can either use the related Shell APIs through COM-interop and platform invocations or provide two different implementations and distribute two versions of your app; one for Windows Runtime and the other for non-Windows Runtime platforms. There is a third option, which is provided in sample code. This code uses reflection to utilize Windows.Storage APIs, such as StorageFile.GetFileFromPathAsync and StorageFile.OpenAsync(), if the Windows Runtime types are available on the platform or falls back to System.IO APIs otherwise.

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Sample Code to Open Smart Files in .NET Desktop Apps

Introduction

SkyDrive for Windows 8.1 introduced a new technology, called smart files, which gives access to the files in the cloud by providing their content on demand.  If you are developing a Windows Store App or a desktop app targeting platforms that has Windows Runtime support, your app can consume smart files just like regular files by using Windows.Storage APIs. However, applications that depend on .NET Framework System.IO APIs, such as File.Open() or FileInfo.Open(), will have problems, when operating on a smart file unless its content is fully downloaded on the device. This is due to the fact that the smart files are supported in the Windows Shell layer and above, whereas System.IO APIs resides on the Win32 layer.

If you want your desktop app to run on non-Windows Runtime platforms, such as Windows 7, and also work with SkyDrive smart files available with Windows 8.1 you can use this sample code to call  using reflection Windows.Storage APIs, such as StorageFile.GetFileFromPathAsync and StorageFile.OpenAsync(), if the Windows Runtime types are available on the platform or falls back to System.IO APIs otherwise.

Building the Sample

The sample contains one solution file: WindowsRuntimeLightup.sln. This solution file includes a single class library project: WindowsRuntimeLightup.csproj that targets .NET 4.5. This project can be built in VS 2012 or VS 2013. Since the calls to Windows Runtime APIs are through reflection,  no special project setting are required for using Windows Runtime APIs. After building the project, the output class library, WindowsRuntimeLightup.dll can be referenced in .NET desktop applications.

Description

This code uses reflection to utilize Windows.Storage APIs, such as StorageFile.GetFileFromPathAsync and StorageFile.OpenAsync(), if the Windows Runtime types are available on the platform or falls back to System.IO APIs otherwise.

The code provides the following public static methods in SmartFileLightUp class:

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With this sample your app can be automagically adaptive and use the best API for your SkyDrive file access needs.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

WindowSMART (The HD/SSD health monitoring, reporting and alerting tools) goes open, yes, open source...

WindowSMART

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WindowSMART 2013 and Home Server SMART 2013 are powerful hard disk and solid state disk (SSD) health monitoring, reporting and alerting tools for Windows. WindowSMART 2013 is a standalone application, available in both x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) versions. Home Server SMART 2013 is a Dashboard add-in for specialized versions of Windows.

WindowSMART 2013 was originally developed as a Shareware application. On October 28, 2013, its developer Matthew Sawyer, owner of Dojo North Software, LLC, decided to turn WindowSMART and Home Server SMART over to the open source community. I work full-time for HP as a Microsoft SharePoint consultant, and the demands of running a side business conflicted with my family. With two young children, I want to be a better dad and thus decided I shouldn't be consuming all my free time working on a side business when I could be spending it with my family.

WindowSMART 2013 - Supported Platforms

  • Windows XP SP-3 and later
  • Windows XP 64-bit edition SP-2 and later
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2003 SP-2 and later
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

Home Server SMART 2013 - Supported Systems
  • Windows Home Server 2011
  • Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials
  • Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

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From Shareware to Open Source
In January 2010 I created Home Server SMART as an add-in for Windows Home Server ("v1"), which later became known as Home Server SMART Classic. In June 2012 I released WindowSMART as a Shareware application to help supplement my family's income.

To make a very long story short, WindowSMART has grown to a point where it's a full-time job. I already have a full-time job with HP, a family and in early 2013 I started exercising again to combat obesity. I'm not Superman; there are only 24 hours in a day but I needed about 30 hours a day to take all of this on.

And so I decided the best future for WindowSMART 2013, Home Server SMART 2013 and Home Server SMART Classic lies with the open source community. I think I made a very good product--I'd love to see the open source community make it a great product.

Product Key
Because WindowSMART 2013 was initially released as a Shareware product, it still requires a product key even though it is now open source. I've generated a product key and attached it here. I will soon make a license key generator available on my website which you can use if you'd like a personalized key. There is no charge for the key. Donations, of course, are always welcome. :)

Brave step Matthew! Thanks for taking the time to OSS this and not let it just fade away into the dark...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Toward Metadata Mastery with the Windows API Code Pack

DZone - Rob Sanders - Extracting File Metadata with C# and the .NET Framework

Introduction

Over the weekend, I decided to try and import image metadata using C# and the .NET Framework.  Aside from “normal” file attributes such as date modified and size, the Windows Explorer (shell) provides extended file property information which can be quite valuable.

The challenge was how to extract this information, given that the .NET Framework has somewhat limited support for this type of extraction?  Read on to find out how.

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Therefore you can obtain more information like this by using Win32 interop and invoking shell calls directly from C#/.NET, but this can be time consuming, not to mention laborious as you have to track down the correct Win32 API interfaces and property item IDs to use.  Surely there’s an easier way?

Introducing the Windows API Code Pack

Thankfully, someone has already done the leg work for us, and it has culminated in the extremely useful Windows API Code Pack, the latest release being available via this link.

The Pack itself contains documentation, samples, pre-compiled binaries and the source code for the binaries.

Honestly, I found the documentation and samples to be a bit underwhelming, but the core assemblies are absolutely gold – once you figure out how to use them properly.  The following is a screenshot of the Explorer Browser which ships as a sample with the Pack:

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Retrieving Extended Property Data

One of the best features of the Pack must be the fact that someone has gone and mapped all the extended property values to strongly typed definitions, which saves us a lot of time and effort.

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The SystemProperties class defines an incredibly useful hierarchy of extended property identifiers which can be used in conjunction with shell objects, as demonstrated above

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What is this Windows API Code Pack thing?

Windows® API Code Pack for Microsoft® .NET Framework

Windows® API Code Pack for Microsoft® .NET Framework provides a source code library that can be used to access some features of Windows 7 and Windows Vista from managed code. These Windows features are not available to developers today in the .NET Framework.
The individual features supported in this version (v1.1) of the library are:

  • Windows 7 Taskbar
    • Jump Lists, Icon Overlay, Progress Bar, Tabbed Thumbnails, and Thumbnail Toolbars
  • Windows Shell
    • Windows 7 Libraries
    • Windows Shell Search API support
    • Explorer Browser Control
    • A hierarchy of Shell Namespace entities
    • Windows Shell property system
    • Drag and Drop for Shell Objects
    • Windows Vista and Windows 7 Common File Dialogs, including custom controls
    • Known Folders and non-file system containers
    • Shell Object Watcher
    • Shell Extensions API support
  • DirectX
    • Direct3D 11.0, Direct3D 10.1/10.0, DXGI 1.0/1.1, Direct2D 1.0, DirectWrite, Windows Imaging Component (WIC) APIs
  • Windows Vista and Windows 7 Task Dialogs
  • Sensor Platform APIs
  • Extended Linguistic Services APIs
  • Power Management APIs
  • Application Restart and Recovery APIs
  • Network List Manager APIs
  • Command Link control and System defined Shell icons
What’s New in this update (v1.1):
The enhancements in this update of Code Pack are:
  • Many FxCop violations and PREfast warnings have been addressed
  • Bug fixes across various features and samples
    • Includes many API improvements
  • New features
    • Shell Object Watcher
    • Preview Handler APIs
    • Thumbnail Handler APIs
  • New samples for the new features
  • Visual Studio 2010 compliance
  • Initial xUnit test coverage
  • String localization
  • Signed assemblies

Sure I've know about the Windows API Code Pack for years, but it never clicked that I could use it to get this kind of file metadata... sigh... so much to learn, so few brain cells (left). Yes, it's dated, but the source is available...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
How many ways are there to create a File Watcher? Well, here's three at least...
Windows API Code Pack v1.1 Released (Think “Bug fix, new Shell/Thumbnail/Preview features, VS2010, xUnit, string localization, signed assemblies and more” release)
More Windows Code Pack and Windows 7 developing delightfulness
Windows 7 Code Pack v1.0 Released – Managed code to help get at the yummy Windows 7 filling…
Bridging to Managed Windows 7 Development – Vista Bridge to Windows Code Pack
Vista Bridge v1.4 Released – Now with custom controls for Common File Dialogs, BreadCrumb control and Aero Glass
Vista Bridge (v1.3) available on MSDN Code Gallery
It’s the Bridge to… Vista – Getting and installing Vista Bridge Sample Library

Friday, September 13, 2013

New from NirSoft, SoundVolumeView (think "Uber volume control with profiles, command line and more" utility)

NirBlog - New utility to control the sound volume on Windows Vista/7/8/2008

SoundVolumeView is a new tool for Windows Vista/7/8/2008 that displays general information and current volume level for all active sound components on your system, and allows you to mute and unmute them instantly.

SoundVolumeView also allows you to save a sound profile into a file, containing the current volume level and the mute/unmute state of all sound components, as well as the default sound devices, and then later, load the same file to restore exactly the same volume levels and settings.

There is also extensive command-line support, which allows you to save/load profiles, change current volume of every sound component, and mute/unmute every sound component, without displaying any user interface.

NirSoft - SoundVolumeView v1.00

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This utility works on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 2008. Both 32-bit and 64-bit systems are supported.
Windows XP and older systems are not supported

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Start Using SoundVolumeView

SoundVolumeView doesn't require any installation process or additional dll files. In order to start using it, simply run the executable file - SoundVolumeView.exe

After running SoundVolumeView, the main window is displays all sound items found in your systems. There are 3 types of items: devices, subunits, and application volume.
For every item, the current volume level is displayed in percent unit. For devices and subunits, the volume level is also displayed in Decibel. For subunits, the volume level is displayed for every channel separately.

Increase/Decrease/Mute Volume

In the main window of SoundVolumeView, you can select one or more items, and then mute, unmute, increase, or decrease the volume of selected items, using accelerator keys:

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Sound Profiles

SoundVolumeView allows you to save all your current sound settings into a sound profile filename, and then load it later when you want to restore these settings.
The sound profile file stores the following information:
  • Volume level of all active sound components on your system. (Devices, Subunits, and application volume) For Subunits, the volume level of every channel is stored separately.
  • Mute/Unmute state of all active sound components on your system. (Devices, Subunits, and application volume)
  • Default render/capture device.

You can save and load sound profiles by using the 'Save Sound Profile' and 'Load Sound Profile' options under the File menu, or by using the /SaveProfile and /LoadProfile command-line options. There is also a recent menu located under the File menu, which allows you to easily load the last 10 sound profiles you used, as well as you can also load the recent 5 sound profiles from the tray menu (If the tray icon is turned on)

Be aware that sound profiles are bound to specific computer and its devices. You cannot save a sound profile in one computer and then load it into another computer.

Command-Line Options

You can use the command-line options below to change the volume level and mute/unmute status of every sound component on your system.
In the [Name] parameter , you can specify one of the following fields:
  • The name of the item, as appeared under the 'Name' column. (If you have multiple items with identical name, you should use the ID field.)
  • The ID of the item, as appeared under the 'Item ID' column.
  • For sound devices (Type = 'Device'), you can also use the value specified under the 'Device Name' column.
  • For application items (type = 'Application), you can also specify the process filename, for example: firefox.exe

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NirSoft (the heir apparent Sysinternals?) continues to provide a series of awesome utilities for Windows. I mean check out some of the available tools and utilities;

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See what I mean?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

IE10 RTW now available for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (in about a million [95] languages...)

Download Internet Explorer 10

You can download Internet Explorer 10 in the language that matches your version of Windows or choose the English version, which works with all versions of Windows 7.

SNAGHTMLd8c0eb6

Internet Explorer system requirements (For Windows 7)

Processor

  • Computer with a 1 gigahertz (GHz) 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.

Operating system

  • Windows 7 32-bit with Service Pack 1 (SP1) or higher

  • Windows 7 64-bit with Service Pack 1 (SP1) or higher

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) 64-bit

Memory

  • Windows 7 32-bit—512 MB

  • Windows 7 64-bit—512 MB

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit—512 MB

Hard drive space

  • Windows 7 32-bit—70 MB

  • Windows 7 64-bit—120 MB

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit—200 MB

Drive

  • CD-ROM drive (if installation is done from a CD-ROM)

Display

  • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution monitor with 256 colors

Peripherals

  • Modem or Internet connection

  • Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft IntelliMouse, or compatible pointing device

Looks like IE10 has shipped!

 

Related Past Post XRef:
IE10 for Win7 is getting closer... and now you can block it. IE10 Automatic Update Blocker Toolkit

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tip on using the Extended Send To [and how to tweak it] -> Send To -> You

Tweaking with Vishal - [Tip] Customize Hidden “Extended Send To” Menu in Windows, Add or Remove Shortcuts

When Windows Vista was released, Microsoft added a new feature to the OS which is called "Extended Context Menu". Context menu is the menu which is shown when you right-click on an item and extended context menu is an advanced form of it. Extended context menu can be accessed by press and hold SHIFT key and then right-click on an item.

Extended context menu adds a few extra options to normal context menu which are only shown when you press and hold Shift key while right-clicking otherwise you'll get normal context menu.

You can check these extended context menus anywhere in Windows such as Desktop, Windows Explorer, etc. Just press and hold Shift key and right-click and you'll see some new options in the context menu such as open command prompt here, copy as path, etc.

Extended context menu feature is not only present in Windows Vista but also present in all Windows OS which were released after Windows Vista such as Windows 7 and Windows 8.

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Have you ever tried to access "Extended Send To" menu in Windows? Press and hold SHIFT key and then right-click on an item and select "Send To" menu. Now you'll get many other shortcuts present in the menu as shown in following screenshot:

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Now the question comes how to customize "Extended Send To" menu? Recently an AskVG reader "J.R. Rickman" asked us about customizing "Extended Send To" menu:

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While I've known about the Explorer Extended Right-Click for forever, I don't think I ever knew that it also applied to the Send To too... sigh... While I love power-user features I also hate hidden features too. Anyway, now I know and know how to tweak it so some of them are no longer hidden... :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

WP8DA 4 W7&8 - Windows Phone 8 Desktop App (Beta) for Windows 7 & 8

Windows Phone  8 - Windows Phone app for desktop (beta)

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Requirements

To install the Windows Phone app for desktop, you'll need:

  • A PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • Windows Phone 8

* The Windows Phone app for desktop won't work on Windows RT.

Features

The Windows Phone app for Windows desktop makes it easy to:

  • Sync music, photos, movies, TV shows, and podcasts from your existing Apple iTunes library or your Windows Libraries to your Windows Phone 8.*
  • Automatically import pictures and videos you've taken with your phone to your PC.
  • See at a glance how much space you're using for each type of content, so it's easy to make sure you never run out of room on your phone.
  • Find songs that will work as ringtones and add them to your phone.

I don't know if this is new or not (I seem to remember something like was was already out? I think?) but it's new to me and since I'm finally a Windows Phone 8 owner and Windows 8 desktoper...

Note: This is different than the Windows Store app for WinPhone8 . That app has been out for a while... This is a Desktop version of that app.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Run, don't walk, to your shell: shortcut. Using Win-R "shell:[insert name]" as a shortcut to all the common shell locations

Windows 7 Hacker - Quickly Access System Folders with Shell Commands in Windows 7 and 8

In a post of showing where the startup folder is in Windows 8, I revealed a quick way of how to locate and access it easily and quickly with a simply command line Shell. If you somehow missed it, it’s worth your time going back and checking it out.

That was just one of many folders Shell can help to quickly get you access to. How many more can it do? Let’s take look.

For starters, the syntax of Shell command is something like this:

shell:<folder name>

It’s important to note that there is NO SPACE between shell, the colon, and the folder name.

And you can easily execute it through the Run box. For example, to quickly access Startup folder, you can...

...

SNAGHTML6ff0e66

image..."

Memorize these and amaze your friends and co-workers at the coming holiday parties... Okay, maybe that's only in my weird little world, but still we all know about these locations, using them in our code. Now you can also use them as a navigation shortcut too!

A nice tip was the registry location where all these locations were found/listed from.

Monday, November 05, 2012

RDP8 is not your Father's RDP... Some details about RDP8 For Win7 SP1, Win8, WinServer2008 R2, WinServer2012

My Thoughts On IT… - New Remote Desktop Client for Windows 7

RDP 8 the new protocol for Remote Desktops in Server 2012 has been released for Windows 7. This is not your typical just install a new client – so make sure you would benefit from updating to the new RDP8. To understand if this would help you  ask yourself are you Remoting  into a Windows 8, Windows 2012, or Windows 7 with RDP 8 installed machine? If the answer is yes, then it makes sense to do the upgrade.

Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2592687

There are a host of new features in the new RDP 8 protocol. These features are available when you use a client and host that is compatible with RDP 8.0.

This means that a computer that is running Windows 8, Server 2012, or Windows 7 SP1 with the RDP 8.0 update installed can connect to another computer that is running Windows 8, Server 2012, or Windows 7 SP1 with the RDP 8.0 update installed.

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Description of the Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

This article discusses the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) 8.0 update that enables you to use the new Remote Desktop Services features. These features were introduced in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 R2. These features are now available for computers that are running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

New features in the RDP 8.0 update
New features for client computers that are running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
The RDP 8.0 update contains the following new features for client computers that are running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1:
  • Remote Desktop Connection 8.0 client
  • Dynamic In-Session USB Redirection
  • Reconnect for RemoteApp and Desktop Connections
  • Improved single sign-on experience for Remote Desktop Web Access
  • Support for RemoteFX Media Redirection APIs for VoIP applications
  • Support for Nested Sessions
New features for remote computers that are running Windows 7 SP1
The RDP 8.0 update lets remote computers that are running Windows 7 SP1 use RDP 8.0. The update contains the following features for remote computers that are running Windows 7 SP1: 
  • RemoteFX for WAN
  • RemoteFX Network Auto Detect
  • RemoteFX Adaptive Graphics
  • RemoteFX USB Redirection for non-RemoteFX vGPU virtual desktops
  • Support for Nested Sessions
  • Performance counters for monitoring the user experience
RDP 8.0 cannot be enabled for remote computers that are running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
Features that are made obsolete by this update
Features that are made obsolete in client computers
When RDP 8.0 is installed and enabled in client computers, all features are available.
Features that are made obsoleted in remote computers that are running Windows 7 SP1
When RDP 8.0 is installed and enabled in remote computers that are running Windows 7 SP1, the following features are unavailable:
  • Monitoring an active session of another user remotely by using the Shadow command (Remote Control)
  • Aero Glass Remoting

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New features in RDP 8.0 for Windows 7 SP1
This update introduces the following features for remote computers that are running Windows 7 SP1: These features are available only when you use a client that is compatible with RDP 8.0. For example, a computer that is running Windows 8 or Windows 7 SP1 with the RDP 8.0 update installed can connect to another computer that is running Windows 7 SP1 with the RDP 8.0 update installed.
New features in the Remote Desktop Connection 8.0 client for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
The Remote Desktop Connection 8.0 update supports the following new features when you connect to a supported and appropriately configured server:
  • Support for Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0
    The Remote Desktop Connection 8.0 update provides full support for RDP 8.0 and includes the following features: 
    • Remote for WAN 
    • RemoteFX Adaptive Graphics 
    • Remote Network Auto Detect 
    • RemoteFX Media Streaming

    This feature is available when you connect to computers that are running one of the following operating systems:
    • Windows 8
    • Windows Server 2012
    • Windows 7 with RDP 8.0 installed and enabled
  • Dynamic In-Session USB Redirection
    The Dynamic In-Session USB Redirection feature enables users to select USB devices for redirection in the middle of a remote session. USB devices can be swapped between remote sessions or to the local computer. When the RemoteFX USB redirection feature is enabled, users can tap the Devices icon on the connection bar to select which devices are redirected.
    This feature is available when you connect to computers that are running one of the following operating systems:
    • Windows 8
    • Windows Server 2012
    • Windows 7 with the RDP 7.1 RemoteFX vGPU feature enabled
    • Windows 7 with RDP 8.0 installed and enabled
  • Improved single sign-in experience for Remote Desktop Web Access
    This update simplifies and significantly improves the user experience by letting users provide their user name and password only one time when the users connect to IT published apps and desktops. Users are not prompted to provide their user name and password for successive connections. 
    For more information about how to configure Web Single Sign-On (web SSO), go to the following Microsoft website:

    Remote Desktop Web Access single sign-on now easier to enable in Windows Server 2012

    This feature is available only when you connect to Windows Server 2012 virtual-machine based deployments and session-based desktop deployments.

  • Reconnect for RemoteApp and Desktop Connections
    The Reconnect for RemoteApp and Desktop Connections feature enables users to easily disconnect and reconnect to IT published apps and desktops.
    This feature is available to users when they use the RemoteApp and Desktop Connections feature to connect to Windows Server 2012 virtual machine-based desktop deployments and session-based desktop deployments.
  • Support for RemoteFX Media Redirection APIs for VoIP applications
    The RemoteFX Media Redirection APIs feature enables applications such as Lync 2013 to deliver a rich audio and video conferencing experience. For more information, go the following Microsoft website:

    General information about Microsoft Lync 2013 (Preview) VDI Plugin

    This feature is available when you connect to computers that running one of the following operating systems:

    • Windows 8
    • Windows Server 2012
    • Windows 7
    • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Support for Nested Sessions
    RDP 8.0 supports running a Remote Desktop Connection session within another Remote Desktop Connection session for specific scenarios.
    For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    2754550

    Running a Remote Desktop Connection session within another Remote Desktop Connection session is supported with Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 for specific scenarios

..."

Besides all the new goodness that's in RDP8, the interesting parts were what was removed, Aero and Shadow. Aero I can see and that's just eye candy, but the Shadow removal might cause issues for those that use it.

So what do I dig about RDP8? The RemoteFX and Nested Sessions. The dynamic USB is kind of cool too...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

When is XPS not XPS? When it's OXPS. (Actually OXPS is a better XPS, but not if you're on Win7/Vista/XP)

Mitch Prince's Blog - XPS and OXPS file support in Windows 7 and Windows 8

"The XMLPaper Specification (XPS) was originally created by Microsoft and then adopted by ECMA TC46 as ECMA-388, the Open XML Paper Specification.  This is also referred to as OpenXPS.  XPS has the file extension of XPS and OpenXPS uses the OXPS file extension. These two file formats aren’t the same. Windows Vista and Windows 7 both contain support to view and create XPS files.  You can choose to print to the “Microsoft XPS Document Writer”  (MXDW) to create an XPS file and use the XPS Viewer to view them.

Windows 8 can view and create both XPS and OXPS files.   See OpenXPS Support in WindowsThe “Microsoft XPS Document Writer”  defaults to creating an OXPS file [GD:Emphasis added].  When creating a document, you can choose which file type to create when you are prompted for the filename.  You can change this default using the group policy editor or use PowerShell as described in Changing the Default Format for Microsoft XPS Document Writer.

You can’t view an OXPS file on earlier versions of Windows (i.e Windows 7, Vista, or WinXP) because, these operating systems only support XPS.

...

The Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack (version 1.2) provides support for Vista and Windows XP to view and create XPS files but, not OXPS files.

However, you can use the XpsConverter utility to convert OXPS files to the XPS file format.  The Windows Driver Kit 8 (WDK) which used to be called the DDK, describes the XpsConverter tool.  This tool isn’t included in WDK 7.

..."

I hadn't seen this and personally had thought XPS was pretty much dead. Interesting that not only is it not dead on Windows 8, but there's a new, better, and more open version.

The important point here is that if you're on Win8 and using XPS to share documents (say you're printing them to XPS to share them with someone else, or to archive a print out, etc) and they are on Win7, Vista, XP, you're going to want to either change your XPS Printer Driver settings or convert them.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Windows Management Framework 3.0 (aka PowerShell, WMI, WinRM & Management OData IIS Extensions) RTM now available for download (i.e. RTW)

Microsoft Downloads - Windows Management Framework 3.0

Version: 3.0
Date published: 9/4/2012

Language: English

Windows6.0-KB2506146-x64.msu, 14.4 MB

Windows6.0-KB2506146-x86.msu, 10.5 MB

Windows6.1-KB2506143-x64.msu,15.8 MB

Windows6.1-KB2506143-x86.msu, 11.7 MB

Windows Management Framework 3.0 makes some updated management functionality available to be installed on Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 & Windows Server 2008 SP2. Windows Management Framework 3.0 contains Windows PowerShell 3.0, WMI & WinRM.

Windows PowerShell 3.0
Some of the new features in Windows PowerShell 3.0 include:

  • Workflow
    Windows PowerShell Workflow lets IT Pros and developers apply the benefits of workflows to the automation capabilities of Windows PowerShell. Workflows allow administrators to run long-running tasks (which can be made repeatable, frequent, parallelizable, interruptible, or restart-able) that can affect multiple managed computers or devices at the same time.
  • Disconnected Sessions
    PowerShell sessions can be disconnected from the remote computer and reconnected later from the same computer or a different computer without losing state or causing running commands to fail.
  • Robust Session Connectivity
    Remote sessions are resilient to network failures and will attempt to reconnect for several minutes. If connectivity cannot be reestablished, the session will automatically disconnect itself so that it can be reconnected when network connectivity is restored.
  • Scheduled Jobs
    Scheduled jobs that run regularly or in response to an event.
  • Delegated Administration
    Commands that can be executed with a delegated set of credentials so users with limited permissions can run critical jobs
  • Simplified Language Syntax
    Simplified language syntax that make commands and scripts look a lot less like code and a lot more like natural language.
  • Cmdlet Discovery
    Improved cmdlet discovery and automatic module loading that make it easier to find and run any of the cmdlets installed on your computer.
  • Show-Command
    Show-Command, a cmdlet and ISE Add-On that helps users find the right cmdlet, view its parameters in a dialog box, and run it.

WMI
WMI in Windows Management Framework 3.0 introduces:
  • A new provider development model
    This new model brings down the cost of provider development and removes the dependency on COM.
  • A new MI Client API to perform standard CIM operations.
    The API can be used to interact with any standard WsMan + CIMOM implementation, allowing management applications on Windows to manage non-Windows computers.
  • The ability to write Windows PowerShell cmdlets in native code
    The new WMI Provider APIs supports an extended Windows PowerShell semantics API allowing you to provide rich Windows PowerShell semantics. e.g., Verbose, Error, Warning, WhatIf, Confirm, Progress

WinRM
With Windows Management Framework 3.0:
  • Connections are more robust
    Remote connections communicating over WinRM are more robust to transient network failures such as a flaky WAN connection. In the case of a complete network failure, connections are gracefully disconnected and can be reconnected when network connectivity is restored.
  • Remoting is more Standards-compliant
    Standard WS-Management operations, including Create and Delete, can be performed over WMI. Remoting for cmdlets written in native code using the new WMI provider development model uses WS-Management instead of DCOM.
  • Multiple PowerShell sessions can be shared in the same process
    PowerShell sessions from the same user to the same session configuration (WinRM plug-in) can run in a single shared process instead of separate processes. This improves scalability and performance by allowing multiple sessions to share memory and other server resources.


Management OData IIS Extensions
Management OData IIS Extension enables an administrator to expose a set of PowerShell cmdlets as a RESTful web endpoint accessible via the Open Data Protocol (OData). This enables Windows and non-Windows clients to discover and invoke PowerShell cmdlets remotely over standard web protocols and interfaces.

Server Manager CIM Provider
The Server Manager CIM Provider packaged with Windows Management Framework 3.0 allows you to manage your Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 servers from Server Manager in Windows Server 2012 or Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8

With the RTW of Windows Server 2012 today, WMF 3 (PowerShell 3, etc) is now also available as RTM RTW. Now's the time to get your PS 3'ness going!

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Windows Management Framework 3.0 CTP2 available (with Getting Started with PowerShell Workflows guide too)
Win7 SP1/Win2008 R2 SP1 get some PowerShell 3 CTP love... Or PS gets WF

Friday, July 06, 2012

Three classes, 23 modules, for Designing and App Development for Modern (aka Metro) UI and Devices

Designing for Modern UI

This curriculum contains 11 modules that provide tutorials on how to design for the Windows 8 UI METRO language. The content is 100 Level and can be used as part of a UI/UX class or for self-paced independent learning. The focus of the content is on METRO style design. This material is suitable for any college student, including business, social sciences, liberal or fine arts, students who may have little or no computer programming background

This curriculum provides tutorials on how to design for the Windows 8 UI METRO language. The content is 100 Level and can be used as part of a UI/UX class or for self-paced independent learning. The focus of the content is on METRO style design.

This material is suitable for any college student, including business, social sciences, liberal or fine arts, students who may have little or no computer programming background. There are no programming skills required and the early modules start from basics and build skills required for more advanced topics.

Because this content can be used as part of an Academic class it includes background information, describing problems that are being solved, and provides background information as well as terminology that relate to Human Computer Interaction (HCI).

The material contains an Instructor Guide and video files that accompany the exercise files.

Learning Objectives:

  • Module 1: The Metro Design Solution
    • Module 1 includes an overview of the Windows 8 platform, and how Metro style apps fit into the user experience. This module introduces components to designers that not only should they be aware of but that they should integrate into their own application designs.
  • Module 2: User Experience Design Fundamentals
    • In this module, your students learn the fundamentals of the user experience design process. This session explains and navigates your students a typical process that a UX designer might follow when creating any app. It is important that you frame this module as a precursor to creating Metro style aps. Metro style apps are rooted in good user experience and are the key to building apps that are successful.
  • Module 3: Applying User Experience Process to Metro Applications
    • In this module, your students take the principles covered in Module 2, “User Experience Design Fundamentals,” and apply them to building their own Metro style app. They can choose to build the app from one of the example concepts provided, or build from their own concept. Students will spend a considerable amount of time in the planning stages of creating a Metro style app, which might be different than any experiences that they have had in the past with building apps. The benefit to this planning is that development time should proceed more efficiently, due to their planning and preparation.
  • Module 4: Introduction To Metro Design Principle: Do More with Less
    • This module builds on the exercise in Module 3 where students created a “best-at” statement and then created scenarios that followed situations that the user might be in when using their application. In this module, students will start recognizing the relationship between the user experience process, discussed in Module 3, and how it relates to the features and organization of content in a Metro style app.
  • Module 5: Organizing Features To Fit The Scenario
    • In this module, students discover the relationship between the scenarios that they have created in Module 3, “Applying User Experience Process To Metro Applications,” and the related features they created in Module 4, “Introduction to Metro Design Principle: Do More With Less.” Students discover how to organize features as commands on the canvas, or in the App bar. The App bar is a unique method for presenting features in a Metro app that is only available in the Windows 8 platform.
  • Module 6: Introduction to Metro Design Principle: Pride in Craftsmanship
    • In this module students learn how the grid is used in Metro style design and how type is handled using the typographic grid and the type ramp. By the end of this module participants will feel confident in their understanding of the guidelines for using both the grid and type in Metro style applications.
  • Module 7: Being Fast and Fluid, and Authentically Digital
    • In this module students learn about two major components of Metro style apps: Animation and designing for touch interaction. These two components are part of a larger concept called “authentically digital.” Students discover how removing the traditional physical metaphors of application design allow them to create new and useful experiences for users.
  • Module 8: Winning as One: Using and Charms Contracts
    • In this module students discover how their users can take advantage of charms to enable unique integrated experiences between their app and the Windows 8 platform. Students also find out how charms are enabled by implementing contracts, agreements with other apps and the system UI. After this module, students will be able to create and implement scenarios where their app’s users can integrate with other apps or services on the platform. Students will also discover how they can design experiences for the results of those interactions.
  • Module 9: Introduction to Live Tiles and Notifications
    • In this module, students learn the role of live tiles in a Metro Style application and discover why it is important to invest in a tile on the Start menu. They also learn about the Metro templates that are available for use as well as the various features of the Live tile, such as peek and cycle. Additional topics covered include branding, badges, and notifications.
  • Module 10: Designing for Multiple Screens and Resolutions
    • In this module, students discover techniques used for designing an app that looks great and works great on all screens. They also discover how to take advantage of snap and portrait, new views that are unique to Windows 8 and the tablet form factor.
  • Module 11: App Submission Process
    • In this module, students learn about the Windows Store and how to submit apps for sale and distribution. Trial versions, monetization options, and the certification process are reviewed.

App Development for Modern UI

This curriculum contains 9 modules that provide an overview of Metro style app development using JavaScript and HTML/CSS. The scope of this curriculum covers the fundamental concepts of developing Metro style apps using JavaScript. This material contains an Instructor Guide and video files that accompany the exercise files.

This curriculum contains 9 modules that provide an overview of Metro style app development using JavaScript and HTML/CSS. Ideally, the lessons will be taught in order, since a common app is built; progressively starting with Module 4. However, you can use each lesson independent of the others if needed, as there are “starter” solutions for each module.

The scope of this curriculum covers the fundamental concepts of developing Metro style apps using JavaScript. Throughout the curriculum, you will find references to more advanced topics that are suitable for follow-up assignments.

This material contains an Instructor Guide and video files that accompany the exercise files.

Learning Objectives:

  • Module 1: Components of HTML5 and CSS3
    • In this module, students learn about core concepts of HTML5 and CSS3 as used in Metro apps, including layout models, styles, and animations. Specifically, they examine page layout using regions, grid layout, flexible box layout, multiple columns, text-wrap, and media queries. They also explore 2D & 3D transforms, transitions, animations, gradients, box and text shadow, border-radius, inline SVG and canvas.
  • Module 2: Creating App Layouts and Design Using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript
    • In this module, students learn to create and modify page layouts of a Metro style app. Specifically they learn how to modify the rows and columns of a Grid Layout using Blend as well as to open a Metro style JavaScript project in Visual Studio.
  • Module 3: Advanced Adaptive Layout
    • In this module, students learn about the different views supported by Metro style apps, including Full Screen, Snapped, and Fill. They learn to use CSS styles to support these multiple views, and how to respond to View State changes in their apps.
  • Module 4: App Development Essentials
    • In this module, students learn the structure of a JavaScript based Windows Metro Style Project. They explore the tools used to create Metro Style Apps, look at the different templates available, and create a simple Grid app.
  • Module 5: Using JavaScript in Metro Apps
    • In this module, students learn how to add logic to their apps using JavaScript, how to create custom data entry forms, and how to use Metro-specific controls such as the Application Bar and Flyout control.
  • Module 6: Working with Files
    • In this module, students learn about the special security restrictions in Metro apps, how to configure the App Manifest to allow access to files, and how to use File Pickers to access user files. They also explore how they can use the StorageFolder class to save application specific data.
  • Module 7: Accessing and Displaying Data
    • In this module, students learn how to access data from web services, and display that data in a Metro Grid App project. They learn about the WinJS.xhr function, which makes it easy to call services in an asynchronous manner.
  • Module 8: Using Contracts and App Lifecycle
    • In this module, students learn how to implement contracts in our applications, such as the search contract. They will discover how to respond to lifecycle events so that users get the best experience when performing app switching.
  • Module 9: Selling Through The Windows Store
    • In this module, students learn about the Windows Store and how to submit apps for sale and distribution. Trial versions, monetization options, and the certification process are reviewed.

Here's the full list of the modules;

  1. App Development for Modern Devices: 1 of 3 (Networking)
  2. App Development for Modern Devices: 2 of 3 (NUI and Touch)
  3. App Development for Modern Devices: 3 of 3 (Augmented Reality)
  4. App Development for Modern UI: Module 1 of 9
  5. App Development for Modern UI: Module 2 of 9
  6. App Development for Modern UI: Module 3 of 9
  7. App Development for Modern UI: Module 4 of 9
  8. App Development for Modern UI: Module 5 of 9
  9. App Development for Modern UI: Module 6 of 9
  10. App Development for Modern UI: Module 7 of 9
  11. App Development for Modern UI: Module 8 of 9
  12. App Development for Modern UI: Module 9 of 9
  13. Designing for Modern UI: Module 1 of 11
  14. Designing for Modern UI: Module 10 of 11
  15. Designing for Modern UI: Module 2 of 11
  16. Designing for Modern UI: Module 3 of 11
  17. Designing for Modern UI: Module 4 of 11
  18. Designing for Modern UI: Module 5 of 11
  19. Designing for Modern UI: Module 6 of 11
  20. Designing for Modern UI: Module 7 of 11
  21. Designing for Modern UI: Module 8 of 11
  22. Designing for Modern UI: Module 9 of 11

Also available is one download for them all, Download all files associated with related objects (684.00 MB unzipped)

The thing I love about these is that they are great if you just want to learn it yourself, let alone using these as a teaching resource.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Did you know that the Robocopy that with comes with Vista+ supports multithreaded copying?

TechNet Magazine - Perform Multithreaded File Copies with Robocopy...

"Windows included the popular Robocopy utility, which offers powerful file copy capabilities in a command line interface. Robocopy is included in Windows 7 and features a new multi-threaded copy option. To perform a multi-threaded copy, you use the new /MT[:n] switch, where n indicates the number of threads to be used. By default, n is 8 when you use the /MT option, and can be any value from 1 to 128.

Note that the multi-threaded option is not compatible with the /IPG and /EFSRAW options." [GD: Post leached in full]

Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat - Robocopy: Better, Faster, Stronger

"...

Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!

I tried out the new /MT option on a Core 2 Duo laptop and was surprised by the dramatic improvement in copy performance. Copying my entire “Program Files” directory took well over a minute without multi-threading, but simply specifying “/MT” at the end of the command reduced a second copy to a different directory to about 20 seconds. Using “/MT:32″ was blazing fast – easily less than 15 seconds. I repeated the first single-threaded test again and watched it dawdle along, taking over a minute again to finish.

Microsoft suggests that multi-threaded Robocopy helps with network throughput as well. I tried a series of copies between two Windows 7 machines over Wi-Fi, to simulate a slow network. Although single-threaded Robocopy was able to saturate the network with large files, it really slowed down (thanks to latency) once it hits a patch of smaller files. Multi-threaded Robocopy was more capable of maintaining high throughput once smaller files were encountered, with a 32-thread test keeping the link at maximum pretty much the entire time. Again, a noticeable improvement.

..."

image

This is one of those things that I've found that most robocopy users don't know about... If you robo you should /MT too (and redirect the log too)...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Work Smart Guides updated. Don't write your own "how to use X/Y/Z Microsoft tech," download and customize these!

Education - WorkSmart Guides - Updated ready-made IT user documentation

"...

One of the godsends for me was a set of documents called Work Smart Guides, which walked me through the basics of some of the new technology I was encountering.

As our IT team describe it, Work Smart Guides bridge the gap between technology and users. Work Smart guides provide employees with scenario-based, best-use productivity aids on Microsoft products and technologies.

...

Updated ready-made IT guides

The Microsoft IT Team have just updated the published versions that you could modify and publish for your users. This is a great step – I’m guessing that lots of schools, TAFEs and Universities are either producing user documentation for staff, or want to. And I bet that 80-90% of the content is identical in each institution. So these guides would make a good starter for 10, either for the format, or the instructions, or simply the screenshots. As an example, here’s the Email Basics one.

The subjects covered in the step-by-step guides for users include:

  • Protecting data with BitLocker
  • Getting started with email
  • Transfer files and settings to a new computer
  • Collaborating with SharePoint
  • An overview of collaboration tools
  • Customising SharePoint sites
  • SharePoint workspaces
  • Integrating Outlook with SharePoint
  • Basics of managing email (Are you a stacker or a filer?)
  • Office tips for Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Word
  • Outlook email signatures
  • New features for users in Windows 7
  • Securing Windows Phone
  • Get started with Outlook Web Access
  • Successful meetings with Lync
Download the Work Smart Guides

There are 36 of them, and they come in one big Zip file for you to play with:

..." [GD: Click through for the download]

image

These are short and sweat guides that you can use as the base for your internal guides. Update the logo and style and you've got professional looking internal doc's. Remember good writers borrow, great ones steal...

SNAGHTML151bab98

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Work Smart (by letting someone else do the icky document creation grunt work) – “Work Smart Productivity Guides” from Microsoft for your end-user training, re-use and tweaking pleasure

Monday, April 30, 2012

Unleashing more Mayhem with more Mayhem Module Madness and turning up the volume!

Project Mayhem - an overview

image

Time to unleash Mayhem. Well, first, what is it. Mayhem lets you trivially connect any device or service to any other device or service. It would be impossible to list all the things you can do with Mayhem, but here are some examples:

  • Use your cell phone to control your PowerPoint presentation.
  • Receive an email reminder to winterize your house when the temperature drops below freezing.
  • Automatically update your Facebook status to "I'm rich!" whenever Microsoft stock hits $50 a share.
  • Add an auto-save feature to a program that doesn't have it.
  • Pause a video automatically when you leave the room.

The great thing about Mayhem is that all of these things can be done by anyone in seconds, without programming

..."

Project Mayhem - Creating a module

"Want to create some Mayhem? In this video, Eli walks through creating a reaction with Mayhem to alter the volume of your computer. This will hard set the volume and in the Coding4Fun article, we'll show how to go the next step and dynamically adjust the volume.

If you're not sure what Mayhem is, head over to the Make Mayhem website or hit up the Channel 9 overview of Mayhem.

..."

Making Mayhem with Volume Control

Why, hello there! We are going to pick up where we left off at the end of our Coding4Fun video. In the video we built a reaction that increments the volume level on the computer. We are going to expand from there to make a reaction that enables you to set the volume level to a specified volume.

image..."

Remember to check out the CodePlex project for Mayhem, http://mayhem.codeplex.com/ where there's some more about the API, http://mayhem.codeplex.com/documentation

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Make Mayhem! The open source, event driven, add-on enabled, graphical service connection utility

Monday, April 23, 2012

Adding a simple "Send to... SkyDrive" to Windows Explorer

keyboardp - 'Send to SkyDrive' in Context Menu

"With the new SkyDrive desktop client, I figured it would be great to be able to right click on a file or folder and copy it to the SkyDrive folder from the context menu. Turns out, it's pretty easy to set up and customize.

image..."

Of course you need the SkyDrive app installed, https://apps.live.com/skydrive, first, but once you do this makes it pretty darn easy to send stuff to it. This is I'm sure only the first of very many like hacks.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A WP7 app for Win8 Australia Dev Camps (with source... Don't leave your next conference, training, camp, thing, without one...)

Burela's house-o-blog - Windows 8 developer camp companion application + source code

"I put aside a few hours over the weekend and created a companion application for the “Windows 8 developer camps” that are currently running all around Australia. http://www.lalaninja.com.au/2012/03/19/windows-8-developer-camps-australia/

It only took a few hours to throw something simple together for the attendees. The application provides some basic features to help out on the day

  • Daily schedule
  • Dates
  • XDDN details. So that attendees can continue with their Windows 8 learning
  • Links to online Windows 8 developer resources
  • Links to source code of the demos I gave in my presentations (submitted in pending app update)

Download the Windows Phone 7 marketplace right now
http://www.windowsphone.com/en-AU/apps/1a7853b1-1d2c-4d1c-9ba1-6d709053eced

...

image"

[GD: click through for the source code download link]

The important point is that if you're giving a Windows related camp, training, what-ever, seriously think about a WP7 app (and soon, Win8 Metro Style App) for it. They don't have to take long, but provide that very nice professional and finishing touch. 

SSD'ing soon? If you're upgrading from spinning media make sure you let Windows know (and here's some tips how)

IT Knowledge Exchange - Windows Enterprise Desktop - Maximizing an SSD Conversion Experience

"For many Windows 7 (and even some Windows 8 ) users switching over to a solid state disk, or SSD, comes after the OS has already been installed to a conventional drive. The adventure begins — but doesn’t end — with cloning the old HD to an SSD. That’s because although Windows 7 or 8 will happily set themselves up for best behavior with an SSD if you install them to an SSD to begin with, the same is not true when you start on a conventional HD and only later move from that drive to a solid state replacement.

This situation is particularly common for notebook or laptop PC owners who may — like me — choose to take whatever comes standard on such PCs that they buy from a vendor or reseller, only to install an SSD once the unit has been delivered, and the software and setup (and drivers) tweaked to where they really need to be. I do this because vendors and resellers tend to mark SSDs up by $50 or more from what you can purchase the same units from online e-tailers such as Newegg or Provantage (two very good online sources for rock-bottom SSD prices, particularly during their regular special promotions), and I suspect I’m not alone, either.

I am writing today to recommend two extremely good resources to help people switch over from an HD to an SSD (or to set up such a switch for their users at work)....

image..."

I want to make the SSD upgrade jump myself in the near future (just waiting for the bigger drives to come down in price some more) and so when I saw this I knew that I'd need it (and as usual not be able to find it again). The key point to remember is that the hardware upgrade is just the first part of the puzzle, that it's not like just adding a bigger HD, that instead there's a little more work required to let Windows know that it's now on a SSD and to adjust itself and its services appropriately...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Seeing the [Corp] magic behind the [Win8] scenes... "Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows and Windows Server"

Microsoft Downloads - Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows and Windows Server

"These spreadsheets list the policy settings for computer and user configurations included in the Administrative template files delivered with the Windows operating systems specified. You can configure these policy settings when you edit Group Policy objects (GPOs).

Version:April 12, 2012
Date published:4/13/ 2012

Language:English

WindowsServer2003SP2GroupPolicySettings.xls
WindowsServer2008andWindowsVistaSP1GroupPolicySettings.xlsx
WindowsServer2008R2andWindows7GroupPolicySettings.xlsx
WindowsServer8BetaandWindows8ConsumerPreviewGroupPolicySettings.xlsx
WindowsVistaGroupPolicySettings.xls

Using column filters, you can filter the information in these spreadsheets by operating system, component, or computer or user configuration. You can also search for information by using text or keywords.

These spreadsheets include the following categories of security policy settings: Account Policies (Password Policy, Account Lockout Policy, and Kerberos Policy), Local Policies (Audit Policy, User Rights Assignment, and Security Options), Event Log, Restricted Groups, System Services, Registry, and File System policy settings. These spreadsheets do not include security settings that exist outside of the Security Settings extension (scecli.dll), such as Wireless Network extension, Public Key Policies, or Software Restriction Policies.

  • Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows Server "8" Beta and Windows "8" Consumer Preview: This spreadsheet lists the policy settings for computer and user configurations included in the Administrative template files (admx/adml) delivered with Windows Server® "8" Beta. The policy settings included in this spreadsheet cover Windows "8" Consumer Preview, Windows Server "8" Beta, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista with SP1, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with SP2 or earlier service packs, Windows XP Professional with SP2 or earlier service packs, and Windows 2000 with SP5 or earlier service packs. These files are used to expose policy settings when you edit Group Policy objects (GPOs) using the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC).
    You can use the filtering capabilities included in this spreadsheet to view a specific subset of data based on one value or a combination of values that are available in one or more of the columns. In addition, you can click Custom in the drop-down list of any of the column headings to add additional filtering criteria within that column. To view a specific subset of data, click the drop-down arrow in the column heading of cells that contain the value or combination of values on which you want to filter, and then click the desired value in the drop-down list. For example, to view a subset of policy settings that are available for Windows Server 8 Beta in the Administrative Template worksheet, click the drop-down arrow next to Supported On, and then click At least Microsoft Windows Server 8 Beta.
    What's New for Windows Server "8" Beta and Windows "8" Consumer Preview?
    The spreadsheet contains three columns that provide more information about each policy setting's behavior related to reboots, logoffs, and schema extensions. These columns are the following:
    • Reboot Required: A "Yes" in this column means Windows requires a restart before it applies the described policy setting.
    • Logoff Required: A "Yes" in this column means Windows requires the user to log off and log on again before it applies the described policy setting.
    • Active Directory Schema or Domain Requirements: A "Yes" in this column means you extend your Active Directory Schema before deploying this policy setting.

..."

This is some interesting reading if you want to see what kind of settings and controls businesses, and yourself, will have in Windows 8.

Here's an example, filtered for Windows 8, Consumer Preview.

SNAGHTMLf989d97

image

For example, want to change how Win8 Windows Explorer Ribbon looks, expanded or minimized? There's a setting for that...

SNAGHTMLf9af104

And the beauty of this all is that all of these are just registry entries. So if you know where to poke, you can write apps to do it too (as opposed to using the Group Policy Editor and walking people through all of that...)

image