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Australia takes out the 2008 Imagine Cup Software Design competition#

Nick Randolph has posted that the Australians have won the Imagine Cup for 2008.

Australia took out the2008 Imagine Cup Software Design competition.  Team SOAK took on a fierce competition and came out successful - well done guys!

Well done team SOAK. A huge effort.

Check out Nick's post for a raft of phone from the final day.

Friday, July 11, 2008 8:14:06 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00) #   
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Sydney Windows Infrastructure Group Meeting Next Week#

I've just had a reminder of the next meeting of SWIG from my friend Derrick, who runs it.

See you all at SWIG on Tuesday for great talks, prizes and free food and drink.....

We have a great talk on preparing for your Windows 2008 MCITP exam with Ken Schaefer

Ken’s Bio - Ken Schaefer is a systems engineer consultant for global systems integrator Avanade. Avanade is a joint partnership between Microsoft and Accenture and focuses on enterprise projects across the Microsoft product stack.

Ken has worked with IIS for around 10 years, and been a Microsoft MVP for IIS since 2003. He has presented at numerous Microsoft Tech.Ed events across the US, Australia and Asia, written articles for Microsoft TechNet and spent countless hours talking about IIS at other events, user group meetings and roadshows. He was lead author for Professional IIS 7 (Wrox/Wiley) and co-author of Securing IIS 6.0 (Syngress Press)

He is currently an MCITP (Win2k8 EA), MCSE+Security, MCDBA, MCTS and holds a Masters in Business and Technology from UNSW. Ken blogs about IIS at http://adopenstatic.com/blog

I have yet to finalise the second talk but am hoping for a confirmation on a Hyper V talk!

We also have a Demo from Chris Mohan on File Server Resource Manager for Windows 2008. Have a look at Chris’s blog - http://www.chris-mohan.com/

I will send an update soon

See you on Tuesday
Derrick Buckley

Should be good. Details are:

When: Tue 15/07/2008

Where: Healey Room, AMP, 50 Bridge Street, Sydney

See you there!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 8:33:15 AM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00) #   
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Automating Tablet Builds - The Infrastructure#

As I previously mentioned I am putting together a Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) environment to enable me to rebuild my Vista machines at will. 

I now have  a Windows 2008 Server machine running inside of Virtual PC that is a self contained MDT environment.

To do this I had to configure the Server with the following services.

  • Active Directory - I promoted it to a domain controller in its own domain.
  • DNS - required by AD
  • DHCP - to give out addresses, required by WDS.
  • Windows Deployment Services (WDS) - this is an optional Windows Component you can add on Windows Server.  WDS responds to network boot PXE requests from clients and sends them a Windows Pre-installation Environment (PE) boot image.
  • MDT.

There are a number of other components that MDT needs to be able to deploy anything, but it is ridiculously easy to add these in.  The main management console of MDT is the Deployment Workbench, which contains a node in the navigation pane called components.  Clicking on that shows the current install status of the various things you need and you can download and install them inside the Deployment Workbench.  Click the image below to see what this looks like.

image

Once all the required software is in place it is a matter of creating a distribution share, adding the OS images (which you can do by right clicking Operating Systems and selecting New..  You then just pop in the CD and follow the prompts in the wizard.) and creating a build.

Another cool thing with MDT is you can import drivers in much the same way as operating systems.  These can be added to the build so that they are inject into the image before the hardware detection takes place, so if you have more recent drivers than those included with Vista you can insert them and it will never load the older driver.  Much cleaner.

To do this you right click on the Out-of-Box drivers node in the Deployment Workbench and select New...  This will launch a driver import wizard.

image

You fill in a path and optionally assign one or more groups that the drivers will belong to and then click Finish.  MDT will search the directory and any sub directories and import any drivers it finds.  Also by default, when you build your boot image it will include all Network and Storage drivers so that you should have the bare requirements to perform a network install once the Windows PE image boots.

I've got my build going on the Acer laptop I've been testing against to the base OS level with no input required from me beyond pressing F12 to initiate the network boot.  Now it is time to start working on the applications.

The MDT Team has a blog - so if you want to find out more that might be a good place to start.

Monday, July 07, 2008 9:36:45 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00) #   
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Congratulations to some new MVPs#

It is time for another round of MVP awards and some great people have been recognised by Microsoft for their tireless contributions to the technical communities. 

Sierra Modro and Matt Faulkner- both from GottaBeMobile.com have both been awarded a Tablet PC MVPs.  Welcome to the team guys - it is well deserved for both of you!

Also awarded was my good friend and colleague here in Sydney - Derrick Buckley.  Derrick runs the Sydney Windows Infrastructure User Group and was awarded as a Communications Server MVP. If you are in Sydney, head along to SWIUG some time as there is always great content there.

Great stuff from all of you - keep up the good work!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 9:54:48 PM (AUS Eastern Standard Time, UTC+10:00) #   
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