At the Forefront

 

I usually pride myself on keeping abreast of both new security technologies and Microsoft products, but I missed the ball on both with Microsoft Forefront.  The three product lines under the Forefront banner give Microsoft their first comprehensive security solution aimed at the enterprise market, giving businesses malware protection at the client, server and edge levels

As you can see the client agent is visually very reminiscent of Windows Live OneCare and sports the usual scanning and monitoring tools you get with the home product, but the similarities end there.  Forefront Client Security is centrally managed and integrates with existing infrastructure (MOM Server for example) and when combine with the re-branded Antigen products for Exchange Server, Sharepoint Server and Instant Messaging plus the folding of ISA Server 2006 into the Forefront range you’ve got an end-to-end subscription based business security model. 

Did you notice the ‘subscription based’ in the last sentence?  This piqued my interest too and initially gave rise to some concern, but subscription is how most anti-virus/malware products are subs based so this is probably a logically and, given the current pricing levels, also a financially prudent decision.  As an example, for 750USD you can get a yearly subscription to the Exchange Server product for 50 users and similarly for 360USD a subscription to the Sharepoint product.  Pricing isn’t available for the Client Security product as it’s still in beta, but if it’s along similar lines then Microsoft are on to a winner.

The beta of Microsoft Forefront Client Security can be downloaded here and the Forefront Security for Exchange and Sharepoint from here

Posted in IT. 1 Comment »

Staying Organised: The Office 2007 Way – Pt 1

I was speaking to a couple of people during a break at DDD about the way their teams work, and one of the topics that came up was how we managed our email and tasks.  I learned quite a few good tips from the stuff that was said so I thought I’d share the way I work with everyone.

Now ask anyone who knows me outside work and they’ll tell you I am notoriously dis-organised, mostly that’s due to my short attention span and my fantastic ability for procrastination. 

Obviously those two things don’t go down to well with employers so I need a way of maintaining focus and staying on top of things and through a combination of Outlook, OneNote and my XDA Exec I can do this.

First off everything I do is split into two categories.  ‘Development related’ and ‘Everything else’.  If something I need to do is development related then I manage it using TFS and TeamLook from PersonifyDesign otherwise I use Outlook and OneNote to keep me organised.

I start every morning by making sure that my inbox is empty, which it should be anyway as I triage everything as it comes in following the ‘Four D’s for Decision Making’ model outlined in this excellent article on inbox management.  The crux of it is:

   Delete it if it’s not needed 
   Do it if it’ll take less than 2 minutes
   Delegate it if possible or
   Defer it until a later date

If as a result of ‘doing it’, ‘delegating it’ or ‘defering it’ I need to send an email then that email gets flagged (with a reminder for an appropriate period of time) so I can follow it up, if not then the original email gets flagged.  This can also be achieved by dragging the item onto the ‘To-Do Bar’ (either the calendar or the tasks pane)

If I need to reply then I always click ‘reply all’ especially if the reply is pertinent to the entire team.  Keeping the entire team involved means more potential input plus I can retrieve the entire conversation thread using ‘find all related messages’ or ‘Arrange by conversation’ at a later date.  This makes finding information after the fact that much easier.

 

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IT Books anyone…

You can get 20% OFF everything, including promoted items, when you spend £30 or more at HMV’s sister company Waterstones.com today. Simply enter claim code WY4753 at the checkout.

Offer ends at midnight.

Late night shopping without the crowds - get an extra 20% off our promoted prices when you spend £30 or more at Waterstones.com

 

HMV Digital for Windows Media Center

Please forgive the sales pitch but this project has been a labour of love for us and we are very proud of it.

HMV Digital’s Online Spotlight application is finally live!

From the Media Center main menu, navigate to ‘Spotlight’ and then from the ‘Showcase’ tab select HMV Digital or, if you don’t have MCE, you can browse the store in IE, but like all MCE applications, outside of Media Center the functionality is limited.  Have a look around, it may even convince you to go out and purchase a Media Center PC!

This incarnation of HMV Digital supports permanent downloads as well as subscription steaming and subscription downloads and if you do have an HMV Unlimited subscription then you’ll find this is excellent for parties, leave the remote lying around and let your friends add anything from the 2 million+ track library to the queue and listen for hours!

If you have an XBox 360 or any Intel Viiv device then even better because this HMV Digital is supported on the Extender.

As always with HMV Digital if you have a Plays For Sure Digital Player you can sync up your downloads to your device and take them on road…

The service is not yet part of Spotlight for Windows Vista but you can add it to the ‘more programs’ menu by following the instructions below:

Create an xml file called RegisterMCEApp.xml’ and paste the following into it

<application
      title="HMV Digital"
      id="{B0E0DD28-6C4C-40c4-A8A1-F7B686786940}"
      CompanyName="HMV">
   <entrypoint
          id="{B0E0DD28-6C4C-40c4-A8A1-F7B686786941}"
          url=
http://www.hmvdigital.com/HMV.Digital.MCE.Portal/
          title="HMV Digital"
          description="Digital Jukebox">
      <category category="More Programs"/>
   </entrypoint>
</application>

Next create a batch file with the following in it

c:\windows\ehome\RegisterMCEApp.exe /allusers RegisterMCEApp.xml
pause

Run the batch file from the same location as the xml file and you should see "success" displayed in the console.  If you navigate to ‘more programs’ in Media Center on Windows Vista you should have an icon called "HMV Digital".

Dictating posts

This is the first posted that I have dictated by using the release version of Windows Vista.  Whilst I was impressed with the technology that was in beta 2, it could be very flaky at times and along with all the other issues with that release, it turned out to the simpler not to use it.

As you can see I’m still getting used to do this as can be witnessed by the shorter sentences. 

If I can get used to it, then hopefully it should both increase the number of posts I can submit, but more importantly give my arms a break and so help to improve my RSI.

HMV Digital for Windows Media Center

Please forgive the sales pitch but this project has been a labour of love for us and we are very proud of it.

HMV Digital’s Online Spotlight application is finally live!

From the Media Center main menu, navigate to ‘Spotlight’ and then from the ‘Showcase’ tab select HMV Digital or, if you don’t have MCE, you can browse the store in IE, but like all MCE applications, outside of Media Center the functionality is limited.  Have a look around, it may even convince you to go out and purchase a Media Center PC!

This incarnation of HMV Digital supports permanent downloads as well as subscription steaming and subscription downloads and if you do have an HMV Unlimited subscription then you’ll find this is excellent for parties, leave the remote lying around and let your friends add anything from the 2 million+ track library to the queue and listen for hours!

If you have an XBox 360 or any Intel Viiv device then even better because this HMV Digital is supported on the Extender.

As always with HMV Digital if you have a Plays For Sure Digital Player you can sync up your downloads to your device and take them on road…

The service is not yet part of Spotlight for Windows Vista but you can add it to the ‘more programs’ menu by following the instructions below:

Create an xml file called RegisterMCEApp.xml’ and paste the following into it

<application
      title=”HMV Digital” 
      id=”{B0E0DD28-6C4C-40c4-A8A1-F7B686786940}”
      CompanyName=”HMV”>
   <entrypoint
          id=”{B0E0DD28-6C4C-40c4-A8A1-F7B686786941}”
          url=”
http://www.hmvdigital.com/HMV.Digital.MCE.Portal/
          title=”HMV Digital” 
          description=”Digital Jukebox”>
      <category category=”More Programs”/>
   </entrypoint>
</application>

Next create a batch file with the following in it

c:\windows\ehome\RegisterMCEApp.exe /allusers RegisterMCEApp.xml
pause

Run the batch file from the same location as the xml file and you should see “success” displayed in the console.  If you navigate to ‘more programs’ in Media Center on Windows Vista you should have an icon called “HMV Digital”.

Posted in IT. 3 Comments »

Finally upgraded…

After struggling for days to try and burn the ISO of Windows Vista Ultimate Edition for the x86-64 platform on to a bootable DVD.  I then gave up and installed the 32bit edition using Daemon tools, the final straw was realising that ‘WordPress’ doesn’t render properly under the Beta 2 version of IE 7.0. Having done that it was quite a painless install process, what I am going to do now is get everything setup and installed just how I want it, try again to get the 64bit version on to a DVD and then do it all again!

 

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