April Fools 2022!

Here’s a final #Tip before we get to April Fools 2022! If you know someone who uses their desktop for all their favorite programs, documents, shortcuts – this one is for you. It involves changing or creating a new shortcut to this post! I’ll explain how to set it up and how to return to normal after the panic and upset user has calmed down!

Right click on Desktop – point to New – Shortcut

You can create a shortcut to an Internet site (your favorite site, a humorous one, DESA Enterprises, LLC., etc.) or page (like this one). All you have to do on the shortcut is type in address or copy it from your browser (CTRL+C)

Setup a shortcut to this site’s home page!

Now comes the fun/creative part – name your shortcut!

Don’t just leave it as “New Internet Shortcut”! Rename it to “File Missing or Corrupt”, “Program Not Found, “Missing”, etc. – let me know in the comments what you come up with!
Next – let’s change the icon so it isn’t obvious it’s a shortcut to an Internet site!
Here’s the command I used to find the path to my Word executable!
click Change Icon…
On my computer, the path to Microsoft Word’s executable is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\winword.exe (yours might be different!)

Choose your icon and you are all set! Place it on the desktop and either move it to where the favorite document or link is or if there were icons on the desktop previously, continue to make lots and lots of icons!

What my desktop looks like now!

Highlight the two shortcuts and press CTRL+C and then press CTRL+V to make four icons (you might have to single click on the desktop to paste the shortcuts.

Start filling the desktop (if there is nothing there)

Don’t stop till the job is finished (highlight more of the shortcuts – say four or eight and press CTRL+C to copy more and then when you CTRL+V to paste it will fill the desktop quicker!

Azure Resources A to Z

Yes I know – even if this was all the Azure Resources available, it would be outdated as soon a I hit publish.  The most important Azure Resource I can think of is docs.microsoft.com.  Why?  Because it started with Microsoft Azure documentation of course!  There are so many places to find how to, videos, screenshots and many other Microsoft Azure resources it can be difficult to find out what is in preview (meaning subject to change), being maintained and what is already out of date.

I’m leading a couple Azure prep exam prep sessions next week, so we will look at some of the various locations that the documentation exists.  This – like anything else Azure, will be updated frequently for your reference.

Microsoft Azure, Acclaim Digital Badges and Online Proctored Exams

Over the weekend I took another Microsoft exam.  This was my first Azure exam and I am already scheduled to put it to good use teaching a class on it in Indianapolis next week.  I’ve been teaching for 17 years and this is the first time:

  1. The subject matter can literally change from day to day (certainly week/week month/month)
  2. The course lab instructions are updated so frequently, the instructor must download the week of the course
  3. The lab instructions are either wrong, slightly wrong or will stop working as soon as something goes from preview to production

It’s a great time to be a Microsoft Certified Trainer – the value we bring to this ever changing technology has never been at such a premium!  This isn’t my first work with Azure, though.  Microsoft first announced what would later become Azure at an internal Microsoft Conference in the summer of 2008 (you can read about it here).  Code named Red Dog, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  Later the name was revealed.  It started small, but grew like wild fire.  I saw the changes from within – first websites moved, then services provided to employees (apps, databases, etc.) and eventually virtual machines.

Virtual machines have been of interest to me ever since I saw my first copy of VMWare working at Motorola on a developer’s computer (1999).  I had learned about Windows almost 10 years prior to that (I saw betas of OS/2 and Windows 3.0 early working at ComputerLand in Decatur, IL).  Once Azure started CTP (community technology preview) of virtual machines, I was hooked.  No more downloading betas of code – build it online and check it out.  Once you were done, shut it down.  Microsoft took these simple concepts and kept pushing boundaries – on demand demo environments, and finally internal beta access with Project Nebula.

This also marks my next Acclaim Digital Badge.  I will be proudly displaying new certifications as I achieve them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and here on my blog page.  I should also mention for those that may have missed the news (or wish to take a Microsoft Certified Exam in the most comfortable spot available – your home) that I took this exam from a room in my home (on a Saturday).  No traveling to a testing site, no locking up valuables.  No driving home afterwards required – just a congratulatory hug from my wife and a weekend of celebrating.

exam-533-implementing-microsoft-azure-infrastructure-solutions

New Look and Feel – Eighties

It’s been six months since DESA Enterprises began and since then I have been working with a number of clients near and far.  One of the goals for this new company was to work closer to home and that will be a focus of this new website.  DeKalb has been my home for most of my life.  Even when I lived in Decatur, IL for college, DeKalb was my permanent address.  After I married Eva and we moved from Decatur to Elk Grove Village and then to South Elgin, we frequently visited DeKalb.

The theme I have chosen for the redesign is called “Eighties” – those were most of my formative years.  It seems fitting to leverage it for my business.  Websites are just one of the things DESA Enterprises focuses on.  We have training, disaster recovery, website design and technical architecture and implementation services.  We also have LinkedIn and Office 365 expertise to showcase you, your company and your services.

It’s been a productive year so far – the second half will see even more growth and it’s the return of one of our employees (back from college) – Sam will be helping with many aspects of the business.

Server Superstar Training – PowerShell lesson

I had a conversation yesterday with an IT Pro about PowerShell, scripting and their environment (all running Hyper-V).  If there is something you are going to do once or twice – do you really need to script/automate it?  It’s up to you (and/or your company) – a script can be documented and tracked (as opposed to other changes – I know a lot of situations where someone made changes but has no trail of what those changes were).

What is a good example of something that I change regularly on my servers?  I have a demo environment that sometimes should be only internal connectivity and sometimes I want the virtual machines to have wired network access.  In PowerShell, I can change the VM’s network adapter setting with the following:

Connect-VMNetworkAdapter -vmname DRSERVER2 -switch EXTWired

Connect-VMNetworkAdapter -vmname DRSERVER2 -switch INTonly

The EXTWired and INTonly are virtual switches I setup in Hyper-V and this is a perfect example of something I could automate, but once the virtual switches are setup, I don’t make a lot of changes to them.  I could write PowerShell to create the virtual switches as well as assign them to a virtual machine’s network adapter, but the thing that I’m constantly changing is just the virtual switch the VMs are attached to (probably multiple times a day depending on what I’m demoing/testing).

In a future post, we will discuss modifications to this script so that the virtual machine (DRSERVER2) is a variable, how to enumerate all the virtual machines setup on a Hyper-V host, and other examples of using PowerShell.

 

 

 

Windows Key + PrtSc (or Command + Shift + 3)

Screen shots – they can be great reminders of error messages, or of something you want to show others.  I discovered Windows Key + Print Screen in Windows 8 by accident (I thought I was pressing Alt + Print Screen which takes a screen print of your active window that you can paste into email, Microsoft Paint or whatever other program makes sense).  Windows Key + Print Screen actually CREATES the screen shot for you and places it in a Screenshots folder under Pictures.

screenshot-47

Dual Monitors on a Lenovo – both screens are captured – and this is Screenshot (47) on that computer!

The screen shots are sequentially numbered, and I have not run into an upper end.

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-9-26-25-pm-2

On macOS with multiple displays, the screen shot pictures are placed on the desktop and there are separate files for each screen

 

Server Superstar – DESA DRIVE (Delivering Relevant Information Via Experiences) Training launches Monday

Monday will be a big launch day for DESA DRIVE (Delivering Relevant Information Via Experiences).  The Server Superstar course will launch.  If you have hardware, you can purchase access to just the materials and course, if you would like a portable lab with all of the virtual machines and content, that will be available as well.  Don’t worry if you only have one system, we are also coming up with ways for you to work remotely on hardware hosted by DESA Enterprises.

The various offerings and packages will be available at http://desadrives.com.  Tips and tricks and other in person events across Chicagoland will also accompany the training.  Watch for dates and locations soon!

New – Mac and PC offerings!

As I look at the training available, and remember my 10 year history with Apple hardware, it occurred to me how I learned the macOS.  I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars for training, but to learn the macOS, you need one thing – a Mac computer.  At Microsoft, we brought in a number of rented iMacs right after an Office launch to show how it could be used cross platform (and a Mac could even be booted into Windows physically or virtually).  I decided with DESA DRIVE to also offer affordable training for Mac.

Next week, I’ll launch three offerings – virtual Mac training (you access a Mac securely through the Internet), physical Mac training (you rent or purchase a Mac computer and do the training on the device) or a hybrid of the two (low end hardware rented or purchased and for any higher end lessons, you access a more powerful system remotely).

Here’s where the Mac offerings differ from the PC offerings – greater flexibility.  A Mac computer allows you to virtualize both it’s OS versions AND Windows client and server versions locally.  You could take a Windows version of Office class on a rented Mac and then at the same time or right after that, take an Office for Mac training class ON THE SAME HARDWARE (or virtually if you don’t have a Mac!)

bunch-of-operating-systems

A Macbook Pro running Windows Server, macOS Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan and Sierra, as well as Windows 10!

Learn at your own pace, flexibility in how and where you learn, networking with other students.  DESA DRIVE (Delivering Relevant Information Via Experiences) launches Monday – at desadrives.com!