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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Recordings of the book event: “What Makes A High Performance Organization”

For those who don’t know what a High Performance Organization is, please read my previous blog post because this post will only cover the event organized around the latest book from André A. de Waal called “What Makes A High Performance Organization

The event was held at the Maastricht School of Management (MSM) and was very well organized. Food and drinks were available and all aspects regarding logistics (including parking) had been properly taken care of as well.

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Recordings of the “Windows 8 for IT Pros Jump Start” are available now

The recordings of the “Windows 8 for IT Pros Jump Start” are available now.

More helpful resources regarding this jump start can be found in my previous blog post.

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

 

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Windows 8 – Change default install location of Windows 8 apps / Modern UI apps

In a previous blog post I compared Windows 8 tablets with other tablets. In it I said that it was nice that you could use memory cards to expand your storage, but unlike Android there is no easy way to move windows 8 / modern UI apps to the memory card and run them from there.

Since I saw the question pop up a couple of times and because I was convinced it would probably be possible, I went to look for a workaround. This is the procedure I used to change the default app install location:

  1. Close the Windows Store app.
  2. Make a new folder in the desired location. By example “D:\WindowsApps”.
  3. Run regedit as administrator
  4. Create a backup of your registry just in case.
  5. In regedit go to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx”
  6. Take ownership of this path and everything below it (inheritance).
  7. Edit the value of “PackageRoot” to your desired location. By example “D:\WindowsApps”
  8. Start the Windows Store app.
  9. Install apps.
  10. Run apps.

Beware: I’m not entirely sure if and how this affects security, so use this at your own risk.

This article regarding the use of junction points may also interest you.

 
 

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Windows 8 available today, check out limited time offers including free stuff

Introduction

Even though Windows 8 has been available for quite some time for IT pros and developers, it is now available for the general public as well.

Microsoft has also released its own Windows RT based tablet (Microsoft Surface) in some countries and is expected to release a Windows 8 based tablet (Microsoft Surface Pro) within the next three months. For more information about Windows tablets and the differences between Windows RT and Windows 8, read my previous blog post.

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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in ICT, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8

 

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My opinion about the ITpreneurs Cloud Essentials eLearning Course

Introduction

For those who haven’t read my previous blog posts, here’s a short summary. A couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to know more about cloud computing and get certified as well. I used freely available resources to attain these certifications:

In short, my conclusion was that the quality of the freely available resources were not sufficient. ITpreneurs responded to this by giving me access to their own paid ITpreneurs Cloud Essentials eLearning Course.

First of all, thanks to ITpreneurs for this opportunity. Also even though they provided me with access to this course, nothing was expected in return. They just wanted to share their knowledge with me. Because of my personality, I felt however that that the very least I could do was to:

  1. Provide constructive feedback on the course
  2. Write about how I experienced the eLearning course

And this blog post is the result.

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Windows 8 tablet considerations including Windows RT and Windows 8 comparison

[Update 14-12-2013]

It’s been more than a year since my initial post, so here are some updates from my point of view:

  • Tablets and ultrabooks are coming closer together due to all the available form factors. Tablet, clam shell, slider, convertible, dockable / detachable, etc. This provides more choice, but makes it also harder for people to choose the device that is most appropriate for them.
  • Cheaper Windows 8.1 based tablets (based on the new Intel Atom processors) have become available that make it a more viable alternative to Android and iOS based tablets.
  • Windows tablets based on AMD processors seemed interesting to me last year because of their added graphical power, but they didn’t seem to get any traction up until now.
  • High end Windows based tablets (Intel Core i5/i7 based) are still relatively expensive.
  • Many companies that previously produced Windows RT tablets, stopped making them (Asus, Samsung, HP, Lenovo, HTC. The only companies that are still producting Windows RT tablets are Microsoft, Nokia (largely backed by Microsoft) and Dell.
  • Rumours are floating around that Microsoft will be reducing the number of Windows versions and in my opinion it would make sense to get rid of Windows RT.
  • The new and improved Intel Atom (quad core processors) are making ARM based Windows RT devices even less interesting because they provide better performance and use less energy than the previous versions while allowing people to run x86 programs.
  • Windows tablets have become available in smaller sizes (8 inch) and Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have updated to better work with this.
  • Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have been released and many minor adjustments made it more tablet optimized.
  • Most major apps have been released as a “Metro”/Modern app for Windows 8 / Windows RT, but it’s still lagging behind Google’s Play Store and the Apple App Store.
  • The graphical performance included in processors is increasing, reducing the need for seperate GPUs for generic use and bringing more options for apps.
  • Google Android based tablets are still going strong and provide a lot of bang for buck. Also the Android OS is still getting many useful updates. Security and OS version sprawl is still an issue though, especially in the enterprise. Also there’s a big gap in user experience because there are still very cheap tablets with lots of disadvantages, while the normal and high end models are very good in general.
  • The Apple iPad (hardware) and operating system (iOS) received updates and they’re still doing very well what they’ve always done while providing great stability and improving battery time and performance. To me however it’s more of the same without much added value over previous versions. I’m curious to see if, how and when Apple will make their devices more popular for people that want to be able to do more. Maybe some kind power tablet running OS X with touch and iOS options ?

If you have something to add or if you think something that’s incorrect, please leave a comment.

[Update 14-12-2013]

Since I’m seriously considering buying a Windows based tablet, I’ve been very closely following all developments. Even though a lot of information has become available, it’s often spread across many different websites and articles and is often incomplete in my opinion. Since the Microsoft Surface RT tablet is available for pre-order and will be sold when Windows 8 will be available on the 26th of October I decided to write this article.And even though a lot of people have complained about this on various sites, most sites don’t have one article that covers all the things to look out for. In this post I try to do just that. One of the most useful resources I’ve used are the articles from Paul Thurrott on his website supersite for windows.

Also it’s not just consumers that are having trouble understanding / explaining the differences between Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets though, Microsoft employees are also still being trained to properly handle questions.

In this post it’s important to realize that Microsoft Surface RT is not the same as Windows RT, Microsoft Surface RT is a tablet from Microsoft (hardware) that runs Windows RT (software). Microsoft Surface Pro is another tablet from Microsoft (hardware) that runs Windows 8 (software).

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The power of passion (and how I got access to commercial cloud learning materials)

People who know me personally, know that I’m very passionate about ICT. Some of you might also have read about my previous blog post regarding cloud certifications. In this post I described how I prepared for the cloud certifications CompTIA Cloud Essentials (CLO-001) and Exin Cloud Computing Foundation (CLOUDF). In this post I also said that I felt that the quality of the freely available materials was lacking and suggested people would check out other (paid) learning resources like by example the TrainSignal CompTIA Cloud Essentials training videos because they have a good reputation regarding training videos.

Because I was still curious about the quality of the paid training materials, I decided to contact TrainSignal to see if they were willing to provide me with a review copy. I hoped they would agree, but didn’t have high expectations. To my surprise however, they provided me with a review copy.

In the meanwhile, ITpreneurs contacted me to check out their IT Preneurs Cloud Essentials Course. I really liked that they contacted me, because to me this feels like they’re very passionate too and are continuously trying to improve.

I’ve already completed the IT Preneurs Cloud Essentials Course and will be posting my opinion on this blog very soon. I still have to start reviewing the TrainSignal CompTIA Cloud Essentials training videos, but I’ll try to do this as soon as possible as well.

If you have specific questions regarding one of both learning materials, please leave a comment so I can include it in my reviews.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Cloud, ICT, Learning, Private cloud, Public Cloud, Security

 

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Book Event: “What Makes A High Performance Organization” (October 30th, 2012 in Maastricht)

For those unfamiliar with High Performance Organizations (HPO), this is the definition of an HPO:
“A High Performance Organization is an organization that achieves financial and non-financial results that are exceedingly better than those of its peer group over a period of time of five years or more, by focusing in a disciplined way on that what really matters to the organization.”

For more information about the HPO Framework, you can read more on the HPO Center website.

For those who want to know even more about HPO, they can either:

  1. Order the book “What Makes A High Performance Organization“.
  2. Attend the book event “What Makes A High Performance Organization” that includes a signed copy of the book from the author André A. de Waal. For more information about the book event, check out this link.

I’ve already read “What Makes A High Performance Organization“. And even though I was already very familiar with the HPO framework (because of previous books from André A. de Waal), I really liked the fact that it was very practical and included many real life examples and experiences from companies all over the world including Microsoft, SABMiller, Svenska Handelsbanken, HP, Unilever, Umpqua Bank, Tata Steel and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

I look forward to the book event and hearing more about how other companies went about transforming their organizations to HPO. If you’re attending this book event as well, please leave a comment.

Also if you want to keep track of new developments regarding HPO, you can use the following resources:

 

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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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