Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Windows Phone Summit Highlights

This information is hot off the Windows Phone 8 Summit held on June 20th 2012 in San Francisco. The show was kicked of by the same DJ using the transparent touchscreen seen before the opening keynote at TechEd North America 2102 in Orlando last week. The major highlights of the event are:
  1. No device upgrade to Windows Phone 8 OS(Apollo)
  2. Hardware Multicore Processor support
  3. A new Start Screen with different Tile Sizes
  4. Mobile Wallet Hub
  5. New "Shared" Kernel
Here is a bit more about the major highlights I listed above:

No device upgrade to Windows Phone 8 OS(Apollo)
This one hurt me the most.  There will be a Windows Phone 7.8 OS upgrade for devices running Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) that cannot take advantage of all the new features due to hardware requirements. It seems that all devices will get this upgrade independent of carrier and over the air (3G, 4G or WiFi) instead of being forced through Zune. Windows Phone 8 is expected to be available by fall 2012.

Hardware Multicore Processor support
Windows Phone 8 will support for multi-core processors including dual core initially and quad core and more in the future. The first devices are expected to be dual core processors.

A new Start Screen  with different Tile Sizes
Microsoft introduced three sizes of Live tiles, small, medium, and large. Please note that existing Windows Phone devices have the medium and large Live tiles but are not resizable. Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 should support three resolutions in total: WVGA, WXGA,(both 15:9) and 720p (16:9). The new screen also offers more color customization and personalization options. The arrow on the right side of the screen is gone and all tiles now take up the whole screen with a smaller tile layout.

Mobile Wallet Hub
The Mobile Wallet in Windows Phone 8 will support Near Field Communication (NFC) payments as well as the Passbook type of e-wallet offered by Apple on their iOS Devices. Microsoft promises the “most complete” mobile wallet solution, because they are working directly with the carriers.

New "Shared" Kernel
Windows Phone 8 will share the same kernel as Windows 8. This will allow the use of Micro SD cards as external storage which is a big change from how it was done in Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 7.5. Device Encryption, Secure Boot and Device management are another benefits gained via the new shared kernel. Developers will be able to use managed code developed for Windows 8 with Windows Phone 8. They will be able to use C, C++, C#, HTML 5 and Direct X in development of apps for both platforms.

Other fun things to note. Internet Explorer 10 is the new browser. Skype will take advantage of the deep VOIP integration.There will be new devices from Nokia, Samsung and HTC. There are now 100,000 apps in the Marketplace. Zynga has promised Draw Something and Words with Friends to come later this year. New Tap + Send app will allow content sharing. Nokia Maps will replace Bing Maps.

Is it enough to make you switch or wait? Your Thoughts and comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to Have a Daily PowerShell Report of your Exchange 2007 backups sent to you everyday.

Have you ever needed a way to quickly tell what was going on with your Exchange 2007 backups at night when you are not in the office? I came up with this script back in 2010 that helps you do that using PowerShell combined with Scheduled tasks on a Windows Server. Tested on Exchange 2007 and PowerShell v1 and v2.

We do Full Backups daily but if you want to, you can add “LastIncrementalBackup”or “LastDifferentialBackup” to suit your needs.

Here is the script:
#Backup_report_vs1.ps1                #
# #
#Created by DJ 6/2/2010               #

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.Exchange.Management.powershell.admin;

Get-Mailboxserver | Get-MailboxDatabase -Status |FL Name,Server,lastfullbackup,backupinprogress,Mounted > c:\exch2007_backups.txt

start-sleep -s 120

$filename = “c:\exch2007_backups.txt”
$smtpServer = “” #Enter FQDN of your SMTP server

$msg = new-object Net.Mail.MailMessage
$att = new-object Net.Mail.Attachment($filename)
$smtp = new-object Net.Mail.SmtpClient($smtpServer)
$msg.From = “” #Enter senders email address $msg.To.Add(”,,”) #Enter one or more recipient addresses
$msg.Subject = “Exchange 2007 Servers Backup Report" #Enter subject of message $msg.Body = “Attached is the Daily Exchange 2007 Servers Backup Report. Please note any servers that have not been backed up for more than a day.” $msg.Attachments.Add($att)


In the created text file on your C: drive you should output that looks like

Name             : EXCH-SERVER01_SG01DB01
Server           : EXCH-SERVER01
LastFullBackup   : 6/7/2010 2:33:10 AM
BackupInProgress : False
Mounted          : True

Please let us know if this is helpful to you.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

World IPv6 Day June 6th 2012

World IPv6 Day is today June 6th 2012. It is also called IPv6 Launch Day since it is the the day major websites and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) permanently enabled IPv6 and began the transition from IPv4.

What are IPv4 and IPv6?
IPv4 is the current version of the Internet Protocol, the identification system the Internet uses to send information between devices. This system assigns a series of four numbers (each ranging from 0 to 255) to each internet connected device. IPv4 only allows for about 4 billion addresses.

In 1998, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) released standards for a new Internet Protocol, IPv6 under RFC2460. IPv6 is a 128-bit IP address space (each broken into hexadecimal groups), which means around 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses. An IPv4 address looks like whereas an IPv6 address would look like 2001:0470:82a9:0007:f2de:f1ff:fe5b:b324 (Thanks to Ed Horley for the correction to my IPv6 address)
On June 8th 2011, World IPv6 Day was held for the first time organized by The Internet Society. The aim last year was to test the public deployment of the IPv6 protocol by a few hundred sites including Akamai Technologies,Microsoft,Google,Facebook, Yahoo to name a few. Another goal was to get a sense of what it will take to transition to IPv6 addresses when addresses in the IPv4 space run out which actually happened in 2011.

Happening now
As Internet Service Providers(ISPs) enable IPv6, and support it, home users at home with modern operating systems and devices will start using IPv6 automatically. Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X 10.7 support IPv6. You can check your home router’s documentation to see if it support’s IPv6, and contact your ISP to ask if IPv6 is deployed in your service area.

In the June issue of Microsoft's Springboard Insider newsletter, I see that attendees at TechEd North America 2012 can be a part of the IPv6 BootCamp: Get Up to Speed Quickly. I was happy to see that deploying IPv6 with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be covered.

There will also be a session entitled IPv6: HardCore Networking Services covering differences between IPv4/IPv6 and ARP, DHCP, DNS, DNSSEC and their new roles. This session will also cover common misconceptions about IPv6 and how you should avoid them.

I plan to be at both of these sessions at Teched North America 2012. If you get a chance to attend Teched North America 2012 I would hope you take the time to get the knowledge about IPv6.

Comments are welcomed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

TechEd North America Attendee Tips

These are some tips from a  TechEd North America Attendee.
  1. Chewing gum for the flight. Years ago someone told me about chewing gum during takeoff and landing helps with air pressure in your inner ear (known as airplane ear)when ascending and descending. I always pack some gum in my carry-on just for this purpose.  
  2. Do not to pack too many clothes. You can get free T-shirts from most vendors and they usually have incentives for wearing their shirt on the Expo Floor. You will not have time to wear all the extra clothes if you bring them but you will have room in your bag to take home all the T-shirts you will get.
  3. Bring comfortable shoes (not new shoes) for all the walking you will have to do to get to sessions and meals (breakfast and lunch are provided at TechEd) and maybe back to your hotel.
  4. You will most likely get a backpack as a TechEd Attendee so unless you really like yours or it is a road warrior type or laptop bag, one is not needed.
  5. Bring your cell phone charger(s) and/or power strip. There should be outlets available in sessions and powerstrips in the Alumni Lounge (For past attendees only).
  6. Try to arrive early for breakfast and lunch at TechEd. Lines can be long but they move quickly. There are separate serving stations for pre-registered dietary needs (Vegetarian, Indian Vegetarian, Halaal, Kosher).
  7. Plan to arrive for sessions early. Rooms can fill up for some of the more popular speakers and topics. Try to attend the second session of a topic if there is one available. Use the Schedule Builder to know what will be available. If you are above a 101 level skip those sessions and attend the ones that will be more beneficial to you and your company. Also add multiple sessions to the same timeslot on your schedule, it can help if a session is full and there is only that one for the entire conference.
  8. If you really want to attend the early morning sessions(8:30 am), try not to stay up too late at night. Keep in mind most sessions will be recorded and available later for attendees to download after the conference.
  9. Get to registration early with your final confirmation email and Government Issued ID. In past years, there is a self-checkin process that was really efficient.
  10. Do NOT lose your badge. This is needed to get into sessions, events and will be scanned by the vendors on the Expo Floor so they can contact you after the show.(it's a business card without walking around with 500 cards).
  11. Use the MyTeched Site formerly CoMMNet. It contains all the latest changes including room swaps, cancellations and other updated information during the conference.
  12. If you are on twitter follow hashtag  #msteched since there are other TechEds out there now. Last I checked that was the official hashtag. Also follow @Teched_NA Account for great information. Another wonderful resource is @TheKrewe and hashtag #thekrewe
  13. Pack a fleece or light jacket or long sleeved shirt that you can remove when you go outside. The air conditioning units may be on blast in some of the rooms.
  14. Use the Hands-On Labs. Those are great opportunities to get familiar with the Microsoft products and there usually very helpful staff nearby that can help with technical issues. Tip: Get to these early since they are usually in high demand.
  15. Remember to recycle your unwanted papers etc from the TechEd backpack. There is usually a recycle station the booth for THE CODE PROJECT.
  16. Save your wristband for the TechEd Closing party. It is usually a tear-off perforated strip on the side of the flyer announcing the closing party. Do not throw it away without removing the wristband first.
  17. Take advantage of the available computers on the expo floor and throughout the convention center. This can help you with your cellphone's battery life and/or lugging around two bags or trying to put your laptop in the TechEd backpack.
  18. Schedule some break time to recover from the walking and food. If you are a past attendee, you can join me in the Alumni Lounge.
  19. Provide feedback about the sessions you attend. Microsoft is listening and you can help shape the next TechEd by just filling out the surveys.
  20. Ice-cream bars come out around 2:30. Be on the lookout for the coolers. They disappear fast. There are usually frozen fruit bars available too. Last TechEd these were not there so maybe they are cutting back.
  21. For you coffee and tea drinkers, you should bring a travel mug with you or if you get one as swag from a vendor, you can use that since it will hold more liquid and keep your drink hot longer than the paper cup at the coffee and tea stations.
Enjoy TechEd North America and go back to your job and share what you have learned! Comments are welcomed.