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Information from the “Windows 8 for IT Pros Jumpstart”

After some technical difficulties the “Windows 8 for IT Pros Jumpstart” started about 50 minutes later than planned. For people new to Windows 8 I think that Stephen Rose and Joey Snow covered most of the important features that are relevant for enterprises. For me personally however, it was mostly repetition since I’m already very familiar with Windows 8.

The recorded videos are available now as well: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/jj687764.aspx

Nevertheless, for people who are interested, I’ve saved the chat / Q&A from the jump start which also includes a lot of links to use if you want to know more about specific features.

Some links from the Q&A include:

For people who are either struggling with the new user interface themselves or expect their family, friends, colleagues or customers to struggle, I suggest you take a look at my previous blog post.

If you’ve missed this event, it has been recorded and will probably be posted online somewhere in the next two weeks.

Also for those who are looking to upgrade their certification to Server 2012, next week there’s another jumpstart “Prepare for exam 70-317 – Upgrading Skills to Windows Server 2012 Jumpstart”. I hope to see you there.

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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in ICT, Learning, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8

 

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HCC Windows 8 introductietraining in Urmond op 12-10-2012 @ 20:00

Op 26 oktober wordt Windows 8 officieel gereleased door Microsoft. Vanaf dat moment zullen nieuwe pc’s en laptops ook standaard uitgeleverd gaan worden met Windows 8. Tevens zullen dan ook Windows 8 (RT) tablets beschikbaar komen. Zowel Microsoft zelf zal tablets verkopen (Microsoft Surface), maar ook andere grote leveranciers zullen hun eigen tablets verkopen. Ook is het de verwachting dat er steeds meer laptops met touchscreen zullen gaan komen.

Het gevolg hiervan is dat Windows 8 qua bediening enorm verandert.

Ik raad daarom ook iedereen aan met interesse in deze nieuwe versie van Windows om de “HCC Windows 8 introductiebijeenkomst” in Urmond bij te wonen:

Datum : Vrijdag 12 oktober 2012
Tijd : 20:00 – 22:00
Locatie: Gemeenschapshuis Pater Kolbe, Graetheidelaan 60, 6129 GH Urmond
Link: http://www.hcc.nl/vereniging/evenement/windows-8-introductietraining-33

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Events, ICT, Learning, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8

 

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Free “Windows 8 for IT Pros Jump Start”

On October 18 (1 week before Windows 8 gets released), Microsoft is hosting a free “Windows 8 for IT Pros Jump Start” for those looking to get to know Windows 8 better.

If you’ve missed my post from yesterday, there’s also a free jump start for people who want to upgrade their Server 2012 certification.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in ICT, Learning, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8

 

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Cloud essentials/foundations training and certification

Cloud computing is getting increasingly important nowadays and I expect it to keep on growing substantially. As most ICT professionals I’ve read a lot about cloud computing and I know some parts of it. To increase (and test) my knowledge about cloud computing, I decided to try and get these certifications:

These exams don’t just focus on the technical aspects of the cloud, but also on the business aspects and what cloud computing could mean for your ITIL processes.

I passed both exams todat with scores of respectively 86% and 80%. But I have to say that I did not like the exams very much. I feel this way because cloud computing is such a broad concept and the “best” solution often depends on many factors, which of course are not provided in the exam. I think these exams would both benefit greatly from using cases/scenarios. It’s a pity I did not see any option to comment on the exam questions either.

If I’d have to choose which certification I found most valueable, I’d go with the Comptia Cloud Essentials certification.

Free study materials I used:

I thought the quality of these study materials were mediocre at best and I have my doubts about the correctness of some of the statements. Especially because cloud computing is defined in many different ways and because the “best” answer often depends on the situation which is not described. But as with everything, you can learn a lot from it by being critical and looking up everything you don’t know YET and/or have doubts about. You will learn more this way, which is far more important than just getting certified. I personally learned a lot especially about specific cloud services. Unfortunately I did not have access to paid materials, otherwise I would have loved to check out the Train Signal CompTIA Cloud Essentials training videos seeing as they have a reputation to provide high quality material.

I will now close with some wise words I read on Seth Godin’s blog post called “Curiosity was framed“:

Curiosity was framed

  • Avoid it at your peril. The cat’s not even sick. (HT to C. J. Cherryh)
  • If you don’t know how it works, find out.
  • If you’re not sure if it will work, try it.
  • If it doesn’t make sense, play with it until it does.
  • If it’s not broken, break it.
  • If it might not be true, find out.
  • And most of all, if someone says it is none of your business, prove them wrong.

There are many more great posts on Seth Godin’s blog so be sure to check it out.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Cloud, ICT, Learning, Private cloud, Public Cloud, Security

 

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Office 365 / Sharepoint online – Workaround to add RSS feed web part to public website

When I tried to include a RSS feeds web part to my public sharepoint site just the way I had done many times on intenal sharepoint sites, I found out that the RSS viewer web part was not available.

After searching the internet I found out why this was the case and I also found a workaround using a custom solution/webpart.

Even though it is possible to use RSS feeds this way on my public sharepoint site, it is not what I expected. In my opinion an RSS feed web part is such a fundamental part of websites nowadays that it should be available by default in Office 365 / Sharepoint online.

I hope that this will be corrected in the upcoming release of sharepoint (2013) for Office 365, but the preview still doesn’t provide this capability unfortunately:

 

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Free “VMware Your Cloud or Mine” events

Today I got a mail informing me about free “VMware Your Cloud or Mine” events being hosted in the Netherlands:

  • Thursday October 18th in Rotterdam
  • Tuesday October 23rd in Eindhoven
  • Thursday October 25th in Utrecht
  • Tuesday October 30th in Zwolle

Check the link to sign up and get more information about the event.

I will be attending the event in Eindhoven at October 23rd.

 

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How to get access to free Microsoft beta exams

When Microsoft creates new (versions of their) software, they also create new exams to become certified. Part of this process includes testing the exams, determining the passing score, getting feedback and improving the exams based on the feedback (deciding which questions to use, removing questions, re-phrasing, etc.). More information can be found here.

To get feedback, Microsoft offers access to these beta exams for free. They do this publicly using by example the born to learn blog or privately using mail to select subject matter experts (SME) based on their profiles on Microsoft Connect. So if you’re interested in taking beta exams, update the information on the Microsoft Connect site to get private invites to the latest beta exams that are relevant to you. More information about the invite procedure can be found on the Born To Learn blog. Also keep in mind that public invites might be limited using a first-come, first served principle so check on a regular basis.

Advantages and disadvantages of taking beta exams:
+ It is free if you received an invite. Nowadays you can also take beta exams if you haven’t had an invite, but then you need to pay for the exam.
+ You have a chance to become one of the first people to become certified for the new software.
+ If you pass a beta exam, you passed it legitimately because there are no answers to download online.
+ Even if you fail the beta exam, you’ve still learned a lot about the new (version of the) software.
– In general there are no books available yet and you have to get all your information from hands-on experience, blogs, technet, websites, etc.
– The time frame you have to prepare for the exams can be (very) limited. For example with the last invites for the Server 2012 beta exams I had only 2 weeks to prepare for multiple exams.
– After you’ve taken a beta exam, it might take 2-3 months before you get the result.

Beta exams I’ve taken recently include those for Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 and Office 365. I expect the next beta exams to cover mainly Office 15/Office 2013 related products like by example Sharepoint, Exchange, Lync. So if you’re interested in these beta exams be sure to keep a close eye on the beta exams and start working with and learning about the products already.

I hope this was informative and that it well help you and/or your company gain a competitive advantage.

 

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