James O'Neill's Blog

November 26, 2009

Panel discussion: So, you want to be an MVP ?

Filed under: Blogcasts,Events — jamesone111 @ 12:36 am

Since I just mentioned Andy Malone, one of our MVPs, I should also say that he got a session together in Berlin to talk about our “Most Valued Professional” program and asked me to to join the panel, which had two MVPs, an would-be MVP, an Ex-MVP working for Microsoft Greece, and two other Microsoft people who deal with MVPs. If you wonder what we’re talking about when we mention MVPs or think you might like to be one , this is well worth a listen


This post originally appeared on my technet blog.


September 12, 2009

For your viewing pleasure …

Filed under: Blogcasts,Windows 7,Windows Server 2008-R2 — jamesone111 @ 9:51 pm

For the last few weeks, on and off, Andrew and I have been working on a set of Videos on Windows 7 and Server 2008-R2, which are now available  on youTube. When we were kicking ideas around we came up with the idea of filming Andrew drawing cartoons of what the Screencasts will cover. Like most good collaborations once we got the idea neither of us is terribly certain who thought of what, and when we just being a listening post for the other. Andrew understood we could have click through navigation long before I did, so you click on something he has drawn and go to one of the screen casts which shows the detail. I must admit I never thought I’d end up spending an afternoon filming the linking up of cartoons with coloured string to illustrate remote desktop and VDI, and the though is always “Is this a great idea, or a waste of time”. So far we’ve had some very pleasing comments and if people have got suggestions for more stuff please let me (or Andrew) know about them. Other feed back is always welcome too.

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

August 28, 2008

Blogcast part 2 – and one of my favourite bits of feedback

Filed under: Blogcasts — jamesone111 @ 3:52 pm

Jonathan mailed me to say that part 2 of our interview is now posted and he’s off to the same event in Sweden as Richard and hopes to record some more stuff while he’s out there.

Part 1 – which Jonathan called the "Pilot" seems to have been well received – in fact he sent me one of the nicest things I’ve had for ages.

I’m having an absolute blast with it! I’ve had around 100 downloads, but more importantly I’ve had some great feedback from people including some who have said they have been inspired to take Powershell back up again where previously they had been put off by seeing loads of lines of complicated looking code and thinking it was not something for them.

It’s that kind of thing that makes my job worthwhile.

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

January 8, 2008

Screencast and Q&A: Hyper-V integration components Disk and Network behaviour

I had a really nice mail over new year from an influential IT Pros with more than a passing interest in Virtualization. It would be unfair to identify him, but I was very pleased to read

“Yours is always one of the blogs I point our staff toward to get up to date information and idea of how the various technologies come together. Please keep it up next year.”

Well, the year  is into its second week, so I’d better get on with it. There is, shall we say, some confusion about how the Integration Components work and what they do in Hyper-V. I thought this conversational way was the best way to explain it.

What’s the big architectural change in Hyper-v ? We no longer have Virtualization as a process which sits on top of an OS, with VMs as Tasks on that OS. We have a Hypervisor which divides the phyisical machine into Partitions

So all these partitions are equal ? No. One partition is the parent, which must run Server 2008. It tells the Hypervisor what child partitions to create, which VHDs to use, etc

Ah VHDs, so we can move VMs from Virtual Server ? Yes. And Virtual PC, and Xen. Removing the old VM extensions before you move will help the process.

So  Hyper-V emulates the same hardware ? Yes and No.

Go on then, enlighten me. I’m glad you said “enlighten”, because there is a new Virtual Machine bus. Hyper-V’s integration components they enable access to virtual devices this bus. We call an OS which can see them “enlightened” . Unenlightened operating systems use emulation.

So it’s like a “stub” in the enlightened OS, but what does the VM bus connect it to ? Something in the hypervisor ? In Windows Hyper-V the drivers live in the parent partition, calls reach them through VM bus. In the parent partition each VM has a Worker Process which provides emulation.

OK. Are there restrictions on using these VM bus devices ? Two main ones. They look like new devices, so they need new drivers, in the Beta the list of supported OSes is quite short, and others must use emulation….

The list is short in the beta ?  Server 2008 and Server 2003 SP2.

But it will be longer in at release … won’t it ? [Cough] You might think that… I couldn’t possibly comment

OK and the second restriction There’s no BIOS support for them, so your boot device MUST be an emulated one.

So you have to boot from an emulated IDE hard disk, not a SCSI one. Yes.

But, in Virtual Server SCSI was much better than IDE …. It was. But in Hyper-V there’s support for  an extra component to speed up IDE so once an enlightened OS is booted it is to all intents and purposes IDE is as fast as SCSI. (John Howard has more details).

The speed of the SCSI and IDE is identical then ? It’s too soon to be benchmarking Hyper-V and trying to judge. When it’s all done, SCSI might be a fraction faster but not enough to notice (this article over-states the difference)

I’ve posted the second of my four server 2008  screencasts, which looks at How Networks and Disks behave in Hyper-Vwith the enlightenments.  You can replicate everything in the video if you have your own trial copy

Watch in a new window using Silverlight (19 Minutes 45)

Right click here and choose “Save target as” to download video (~33MB WMV)

Tomorrow, I’ll post part 3. Getting wireless access from a Hyper-V VM

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

January 7, 2008

ScreenCast: Unboxing Server 2008 and Hyper-V

Filed under: Blogcasts,Virtualization,Windows Server,Windows Server 2008 — jamesone111 @ 10:23 am

Jason Langridge often links to “Unboxing” videos: the idea is to take a new gadget show it and what comes with it by filming the process of getting it out of the Box.

Over the Christmas holidays I recorded 4 Windows Server 2008 screen casts, the first of which was to show Server 2008 as near as possible to straight after installation, set-up the Hyper-V role and create a virtual machine.

You can do everything in the video simply if you have your own trial copy

Watch in a new window using Silverlight (13 Minutes 31)

Right click here and choose “Save target as” to download video (~45MB WMV)

Tomorrow, I’ll post part 2. Hyper-v network and Disks.

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

October 26, 2006

Taking a walk on the Virtual side

Filed under: Blogcasts,Events — jamesone111 @ 8:27 pm

I mentioned in my last post that I’d been working on Videos for Virtual Tech-ed – they’re calling the web-site “The Virtual side” ,they’re rotating the videos on the front page so fortunately you have to click on a link on the right to find the one of Steve and I.  I’m pleased with quite a lot of what I’ve recorded: this one I did with Kevin Sangwell which is on the home page now is a good example Kevin’s an old friend and an easy guy to interview: what says about the speakers, and how we react to feed back (basically the second half of the edited interview) is very interesting. We have several more videos in the can, and they will go up between now and the event.

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

August 22, 2006

Putting Vista’s index to work.

Filed under: Blogcasts,Photography,Windows Vista — jamesone111 @ 2:13 pm

You can go straight to the blogcast if you don’t want to read the text …

Click for Larger imageClick for Larger image Stitched together... click for Larger image Before and after... click for Larger image

Last weekend I went with an old friend, David, and my daughter to watch the “Grand Prix Masters” which is now the only motor sport where the drivers are older than I am. There was a race for historic Formula one cars and, for those with the right tickets (not us), a Katie Melua concert afterwards. It seemed like a good way to spend an August day.

The weather was, “cold and dank and wet” to quote Michael Flanders on August. I had my camera but with rain drops on the filter that protects the lens, and lousy light it wasn’t a great photography day. Security was relaxed and we could look around the pits – taking in the two seat GP Masters car – and then “doorstep” the VIP lounge. I was able to do my impression of a member of the paparazzi and snap a couple of the drivers coming and going. Katie Melua emerged in a crush of people and I was (just) on the ball enough to realise the fuss wasn’t for a driver and get some reasonable pictures of her. You can see the results on the left. I was told you need a faster camera than mine to grab shots like this; David’s camera can focus faster and he didn’t get the shot. I did. Ha Ha. Replying to the “faster camera” advocate I said my Pentax can use standard batteries which the faster ones don’t: on Sunday I’d forgotten to put freshly charged ones in the camera and ended up using batteries I bought at the track. The best camera is always one you can use.

If you’re still reading you may be asking is he going to talk about software at all ?

When we got home, I put the memory card from the Camera into my laptop, and did a couple of quick edits with Microsoft Digital Image Suite – the only fancy thing I did was to make a single picture of the 2 seater car which I’d had to shoot in two halves. Mostly I was just tweaking the contrast curves a little, straightening and/or cropping the images, and retouching out the odd spot. The results are on the left. David asked what I was using. I’ll admit that I don’t evangelize about Digital Image Suite – I have a bit of an inferiority complex about it, as a serious photographer shouldn’t I be using Photoshop ? David’s view was different. “This is what I need. Photoshop is too complex, this does just the things that I want”. I can recognize that – it was what I talked about with Writer, and I keep saying the best camera is always one you can use.

What I do evangelize about, of course, is Windows Vista. So when David asked “What do you use to organize your photos” he should have guessed what was coming. I said back in May that No photo filing system I’ve found works, and made the link with my work on the early Sharepoint. I know photographers with a couple of terabytes of space at home. There is only so much you can do with a hierarchical file system – you hit the problem of things that belong in more than one place. Do I want to file the Motor racing pictures by car, or by team or by race meeting ? When you have lots of anything you need search: and you need to search more than just the text. It is not only music, video and photos that need to be found by their properties – I want to find things like “that document of Barry’s from last year”. Or “The picture of a turtle that Kathy took” or “Nigel Mansell driving a Williams F1 Car” or “Pictures with [my daughter’s friend] Alice in them”. The problem with cataloging software is that it implements it’s own meta data store. The data isn’t store in the picture file header – entering it is often painful, and it isn’t understood by anything else. By attaching the meta data to the file it becomes sticky (a lesson I learnt with sharepoint). And the search index is accessible to other applications – Daniel gave me a link to where he blogged a couple of sources for information on doing this in Vista. Do explorer and Photo Gallery in Vista amount to the last word in photo management ? No – but anyone developing software to do it in future would be stupid not use the fields that Vista users will enter – and stupid not to use the existing index. That’s what a good OS is supposed to – provide great services which allow developers to write fantastic applications.  Did I say I was evangelical about Vista ?

After pushing this post around for a few days I realised you can’t appreciate indexing without seeing it.
You can view the resulting blogcast on Vista search here. I had to use remote desktop because Windows media encoder and Vista don’t get on at the moment – and te result won’t play in my current build of Windows Media Player 11 (though vista’s Movie maker will play it … sigh)

About half way though the video I mention that a couple of tags are out of sequence, and I forgot to go back and explain that Lisa (Friends and Family) is actually \Friends and Family\Lisa and the Windows Vista Photo Gallery will show this as a proper hierarchy – showing all friends and family, and then dividing them into different individuals. Next time maybe I’ll work to a script:-) As usual comments are welcome

Tagged as Microsoft Windows Vista Search Photos

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

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