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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Office 365 – Detailed comparison of the different available plans

Even though the website http://office.microsoft.com provides a comparison of the different Office 365 plans, it is not always entirely clear which features are available or what the restrictions are.

Luckily, Jasper Osgaard created a great blog post comparing the different plans in more detail without having to go through tons of documentation:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/lystavlen/archive/2013/03/30/office-365-comparing-p-m-and-e-plans.aspx

 
 

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The Flickr photo service now provides 1000 GB of free storage to backup and share your photos and short video clips

I’ve been using Flickr Pro for a couple of years now and I’ve always been really happy with it. With the newly added changes I think it has become more appealing for many people so I decided to dedicate this blog post to it. I hope it is useful to you.

What is the Flickr photo sharing service

Flickr is a photo sharing service that allows you to store, sort, search and share your photos and short video clips online. You can keep your photos private, share them just with friends and/or family or share them publicly. The service is accessible through the website, but also using apps for all platforms.

Flickr can also be considered a social photo platform because there are a lot of photographers sharing their photos and forming communities by taking part in groups and discussing and giving feedback on photos.

Last week’s changes to the Flickr service

Last week Flickr.com announced some major changes to its online photo service. The biggest changes are that:

  1. The service and website have been redesigned.
  2. Flickr Free accounts get 1 Terabyte of free storage, but ads are shown and there are no detailed statistics.
  3. Flickr Ad Free accounts cost 50$ a year. This gets you 1 Terabyte of storage, but no ads are shown and you get detailed statistics.
  4. Flickr Pro accounts will not be offered anymore. Existing pro accounts can renew or switch to free and get a refund.

For more information including pictures, take a look at their blog and their website:
http://blog.flickr.net/en/2013/05/20/a-better-brighter-flickr/
http://www.flickr.com/new/
http://www.flickr.com/pro/

Why you might want to use Flickr

Some of the reasons for using Flickr include:

  1. Easily viewing, uploading, searching and sharing photos and short video clips with all kinds of devices.
  2. Having an online backup of your photos.
  3. Participating in the community.

In the past I’ve seen many people who lost precious photos from PCs, smartphones, photo cameras and storage devices. Now with the free Terabyte of storage and app integration on all platforms (including WiFi photo cameras) losing photos due to broken/lost/stolen devices should be very minimal.

Keep in mind though that it is a best practice to keep multiple backups. Also you have to know that there is always a chance that photos will become visible if Flickr gets hacked or if they have a bug in their website even though you configured them as private. So if you are really concerned about this, don’t upload these kind of sensitive photos.

If you have a lot of other data to backup (non photos), you might want to take a look at other backup services like by example CrashPlan.

Comparison of account types

Flickr free account

  • Free.
  • 1 Terabyte (1000 Gigabyte) of storage.
    • An additional Terabyte of storage costs 500$ a year (doublr).
  • Shows ads
  • No stats

Flickr Ad Free account

  • 50$ a year.
  • 1 Terabyte (1000 Gigabyte) of storage.
    • An additional Terabyte of storage costs 500$ a year (doublr).
  • Ad free.
  • Detailed stats.

Flickr Pro account (no longer available for purchase)

  • 25$ a year or 48$ for 2 years.
  • Unlimited storage.
  • Ad free.
  • Detailed stats.

Since the Flickr Pro account is no longer available for purchase. People who had a Pro account before before May 20th 2013 can:

  • Convert their old Flickr Pro account to a Flickr free account and get a refund.
  • Keep paying the old subscription fee of 25$.
 
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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Backup, Cloud, ICT, Public Cloud

 

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Office 365 – My wave 15 / 2013 service upgrade experience

About 3 weeks before the upgrade took place, I received e-mails informing me about the upcoming update. It included the plan date and also mentioned I could postpone the update. As the date of the upgrade approached I also received mails with information of new features and what had to be done.

The upgrade itself took place on the date that was communicated to me and when it was done I got a mail informing me that the upgrade had been completed. When I logged on to the Office 365 admin center (https://portal.microsoftonline.com/) I immediately found this to be a big improvement. It also showed me some alerts containing links to information about changes and tasks that still needed to be performed like upgrading SharePoint sites.

I didn’t expect any big issues, but I was a bit worried if my SharePoint customizations would keep working correctly:

It is possible to leave the SharePoint site the way it is (at least with this upgrade), but you can also upgrade it and take advantage of the new options. If you are considering upgrading the SharePoint site, you can perform a health check and you can also request an upgrade evaluation copy of the site collection before you actually upgrade.

Probably because of my customizations, the Site Collection Health Check found some problems related to Customized Files that could result in unexpected visuals or behavior.

For now, everything seems to be working fine though on my upgrade evaluation copy of the site collection, so I’ll probably upgrade my site collection soon. If you want to, you can take a look at both the pre-upgrade SharePoint site and the post-upgrade SharePoint site. The evaluation post-upgrade version will only be available until the 23rd of June.

What I did notice, is that the interface of the services have improved and have also been changed to better suit for touch devices. By example the white space between navigation items seems to have increased and everything is a bit bigger.

After the upgrade, I also had to restart some Office 2013 apps once.

Of course the upgrade to Wave 15 provides many more advantages, but in this post I only wanted to share my service upgrade experience without really changing anything. All in all, I think the upgrade experience went very well.

 

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PowerShell – Video, presentation and script downloads from the PowerShell Summit 2013 North America

The PowerShell Summit took place in North America in April and many of the prominent PowerShell people were there. And from what I read there were a lot of great presentations.

The PowerShell Summit 2013 North America conference schedule can be found here. Thanks to Don Jones and PowerShell.org (most of) these sessions are available for download: http://powershell.org/wp/2013/04/22/summit-downloads/

Videos are available here:
http://powershell.org/wp/2013/05/07/powershell-summit-videos/

So even if you weren’t able to attend, you can still learn from their presentations. Or if you did attend, you can review them again.

 

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Microsoft – Recordings for “Using Microsoft VDI to Enable New Workstyles Jump Start” available on MVA

The recordings for “Using Microsoft VDI to Enable New Workstyles Jump Start” are available now on Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA).

These Jump Starts are a great way to quickly get up-to-date about a subject. Also there’s a great team of people working behind the scenes to answer questions and provide more detailed resources. Other attendees often also share their experiences and provide valuable insights. So be sure to check out the Q&A log as well.

 

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Microsoft – Microsoft Management Summit 2013 (MMS) videos available on Channel 9

As most people working with Microsoft products, I was not able to attend the Microsoft Management Summit 2013 unfortunately.

These sessions have been recorded though and are available now at Channel 9 and a great overview of sessions can be found here. This means you can watch them wherever and whenever it is convenient for you.

You can also use this great PowerShell script created by Stefan Stranger to download the MMS 2013 videos.

Enjoy.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Microsoft – Free Windows Azure for IT Professionals Jump Start

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is hosting the “Windows Azure for IT Professionals Jump Start” at May 16th. Information and registration is available on the website: https://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/liveevents/Windows-Azure-for-IT-Professionals?CR_CC=200206715

I’ve attended a couple of Jump Starts and I think it’s a great way to quickly get up-to-date about a subject. Also there’s a great team of people working behind the scenes to answer questions and provide more detailed resources. Other attendees often also share their experiences and provide valuable insights.

Also it’s only been a couple of weeks since Windows Azure IaaS is live in production backed by an enterprise SLA, supported by Microsoft Support, and ready for your production applications. Therefore it is a great time to start learning more about it.

I hope to see you there.

 

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