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Live! 360 Day 1 and Day 2 TechMentor vs Tech Ed

Live! 360 Day 1 and Day 2

Live! 360 activities unofficially started on Sunday, November 17th at Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. Early registration opened and a group was formed for the Dine-A-Round event at Universal’s City Walk. The Dine Around began at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for appetizers and drinks. From there, groups split up based on interest. I joined […]

TechMentor vs Tech Ed

On Twitter, @bbnetman asked this question: “How does TechEd differ from TechMentor?” I attended Tech Ed back in 2007 and 2008, but I have never been to TechMentor. I was afraid to reply in a tweet and send a wrong answer, so I decided to do a little research. First of all, Tech Ed is […]

Live! 360 Day 1 and Day 2

Live! 360 Day 1 and Day 2

Live 360 logo

Live! 360 activities unofficially started on Sunday, November 17th at Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. Early registration opened and a group was formed for the Dine-A-Round event at Universal’s City Walk. The Dine Around began at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for appetizers and drinks. From there, groups split up based on interest. I joined the SharePoint group and we ate at the Hard Rock Café. Rocco was our waiter and he turned out to be very interesting. He insisted on memorizing our orders, even though we had a large group. He was entertaining, to say the least. Oh, and he got all the orders correct!

Hard Rock Cafe at night

On Monday, pre-conference sessions started. Each session was a daylong event. The lunch experience was great, as it was held in this huge air-conditioned tent.

Full dining tent

The day was capped off with an Expo Preview reception with drinks and appetizers, followed by the conference keynote featuring Microsoft Analyst Mary Jo Foley. It was an incredible experience for me to get to see Mary Jo Foley in person. She has been reporting on Microsoft for over 25 years and always provides interesting commentary.

Mary Jo Foley

Day 2, Tuesday, was actually the first regular day of the conference. Over 900 people will be attending this week with sessions focusing on Visual Studio, Modern App Development, SQL Server, and SharePoint. I attended sessions “What’s New in SharePoint for IT Pro’s”, “Implementing SharePoint: A Project Manager’s How-To”, “Creating a SharePoint End User Adoption Strategy”, and “Introduction to Power Shell for the Anxious IT Pro.” Every speaker was excellent and, as is typical for Live! 360, each speaker is very accessible. If you had a question, you could ask them right at the session or you could wait until later and meet them at the Exhibitor’s reception for a more casual talk.

Congratulations to ITCertPro’s Live! 360 Conference Pass Winner!

Congratulations to ITCertPro’s Live! 360 Conference Pass Winner!

Congratulations to our Live! 360 Conference Pass Winner, Jeff Collins. Jeff will get to enjoy 5 days and choose from over 200 sessions from 4 events: Visual Studio Live!, SharePoint Live!, SQL Server Live!, and Modern Apps Live!.

Jeff’s first reaction to the news:

Thank you very much!! I will be able to attend and I am very excited!

Live! 360 will be held November 18-22 at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando! You can follow Jeff on Twitter, @Logicwinsalways, and read about his experience through some of his tweets.

I will also get a chance to attend Live! 360, so I hope to get to meet Jeff in person.

Special thanks to Live! 360 for supplying this prize which is worth $2,195.

There is still time to register for this conference and you can save $500 on your registration for a 5 day pass by using my registration link or using code UGL2 when you register.

You can also get a special hotel rate of $155 per night at the Royal Pacific Resort if you register by Thursday, October 31, 2013. See the Live! 360 site for more details.

TechMentor Las Vegas This Week

TechMentor Las Vegas This Week

TechMentor Las Vegas is this week, September 30th – October 4th. On Monday, Attendees enjoyed Pre-Conference sessions from Don Jones, Greg Shields, Mark Minasi, John O’Neil Sr., and Richard Taylor on topics including Power Shell, System Center & Private Cloud, SharePoint, and Office 365.

Our contest winner, Lynn Carroll (@LynnCarroll) has been sending tweets from the conference. You can follow Lynn and other attendees by following hashtag #TechMentor.

TechMentor Las Vegas Registration Desk

TechMentor Las Vegas Registration Desk

The Care and Feeding of Bootable VHDs

Like many ITCertPros that have been studying Microsoft technology, I have worked with virtual machines for studying the technology as well as supporting production servers. I have used Virtual PC, Virtual Server, and Hyper-V to create virtual environments to learn about software before I take a certification test. Having a computer that could boot multiple operating systems was one option, but it was usually difficult to setup. Each OS had to have its own partition, which meant trying to re-partition your current hard drive or buying a new hard drive.

Beginning with Windows 7, we gained another option: Boot to VHD (Virtual Hard Disk). This allows us to create an OS installation inside a Microsoft VHD file and boot the computer from the OS in the VHD. Typically, VHDs are used as the hard drive for Microsoft virtual machines, such as Hyper-V and Virtual PC. I have been working with bootable VHDs for about three years now. They can be very useful for trying out different operating systems. My original reason for installing a bootable VHD was to use Windows Server 2008R2 and Hyper-V. Windows 7 and Virtual PC do not support 64 bit operating systems, so it is impossible to work with virtual Windows Server machines. I wanted to use Microsoft virtualization for my virtual machines, so I knew that I had to use Hyper-V and Server 2008. By using a bootable VHD with Windows Server 2008, I spared myself the trouble of having to re-partition my hard drive.

Another reason for using bootable VHDs is to participate in BYOD HOLs* (Bring Your Own Device Hands On Labs, my new acronym combination. J) TechMentor Las Vegas is offering Deep Dive Sessions and Hands on Labs that require participants to bring their own computers for the labs. So unless you have spare laptops you can reformat or can remotely connect to a server, a bootable VHD might be your best solution.

The solution I am presenting is not my own, and is mostly based on a blog post by Harold Wong of Microsoft. The best feature of Mr. Wong’s procedure is that it mostly uses GUI tools instead of the command prompt. However, the article left me with some questions. After doing some research on some more blogs and websites, I have answers to my questions and I thought that it would be helpful to have all this information in one place. I have placed references below to all the websites that I have used to create this article. Also, while Mr. Wong’s article gave detailed instructions for creating the VHD in Windows 7, I am going to focus my instructions on creating the VHD in Windows 8.

The techniques used in these instructions can be used to create VHDs of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Read More…

Live! 360 Contest Registration Now Fixed

Due to a problem with our website, if you registered for the Live! 360 Conference Contest on 9/23 or 9/24 through the website form, your entry was not saved. Please register for the contest again.

I apologize for the inconvenience.