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TAG: Windows

Automating Windows Updates With WSUS Offline Update

WSUS Offiline in actionDon’t let the name fool you, WSUS Offline Update, is a tool that can be used for more that just interacting with Microsoft’s Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) tool. While it works fine as a WSUS client, you’ll also be able to use this tool to solve one of the more annoying (and time consuming) parts of a computer setup – the update phase. When hitting the wsusoffline.net site, you’ll see allot of German, but don’t let that throw you off, English is usually written under the German text. The application (as downloaded) is also in English . Without further delay, let’s look at automating windows updates.

First Impressions: Microsoft Word 2013

Word2013-1If you had to give business only one of the 9 or so applications in the Office Suite, there’s a goog chance most businesses would ask for Microsoft Word. So important is it to many businesses, that a typical user’s computer has Word running for the entire duration of a working day while opening and closing documents. With a recent release to manufacturing, we’ll shortly have a new version of the venerable word processing application. I wanted to take a look at what’s new, and what’s interesting in this iteration of the product.

First Impressions: Microsoft Outlook 2013

Outlook2013-1Office on Windows is a Microsoft cash cow. When a new version is released, lots of people take notice. On October 11, 2012, Microsoft released the 2013 version of the Office group of applications on Windows. There are a number applications to look at in the package, but today, I wanted to focus on Outlook. The Outlook mail application has existed in a number of incarnations since the early 1990’s when it was included in copies of Microsoft Exchange. The application has had to contend with a number of major computing shifts while eMail has essentially stayed the same. Today, I take a look at what’s new and notable in Outlook 2013.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials – A First Look

With the recent announcements of Windows Server 2012 licensing and pricing details – much is welcome in the mix. In addition, the “Server Essentials” version of Microsoft’s server has just hit RTM. Not only are we getting more for less, but the server licence looks to also cost less. In addition, the Server versions are being simplified down to Datacenter, Standard and Essentials. I’ll take a look at all of these versions and the big missing piece, Windows Home Server.

Active Directory IS Valuble

Many have considered Microsoft’s power from a consumer perspective, but in the blog “Microsoft’s Most Valuable Asset“, Jeffery Padgett is spot on about what is Microsoft’s major asset. he goes on to say:

Why?  Because after the fail of Novell, the only relevant, full featured alternative for the corporate marketplace is AD.  When Novell was king, NDS was everywhere.  In fact, I spent much of my career connecting devices to an NDS X500 directory.  But Novell pissed so many people off with that nasty Novell client that they started to lose market share to the then burgeoning growth of Windows NT.

This is so on the money – and contrasting it with how Novell fell from grace in IT departments is important too. I think the operating system landscape would have been very different with a strong and powerful Novell, maybe even a “real” client operating system from them. What surprises me is why Microsoft has taken the RIM/BBM approach and avoided licensing the heck out of the Active Directory. We should have seen this thing spread out and get used in ways never intended like large address books and maybe far flung authentication schemes in the cloud. Wasted opportunity, Microsoft.

Troubleshooting QuickBooks Multi-User Access

QB-6For many businesses, Quickbooks is what runs the vast majority of their accounting and payroll systems. Yet, for many, the nature of Quickbooks’ multi-user system is somewhat mystical. The challenge is always to provide reliable access to database resources, but what do you do if that doesn’t work? Intuit offers some direction on this topic, but not nearly as much as many would like. We’ve had some experience with these issues over the years and thought it would be a good time to go over the best ways to work with QuickBooks in multi-user mode.

How to get Remote Desktop full screen without a BREAK key

NOBreak-1

This one falls under the category of small but serious annoyance. You buy a new Windows PC only to find that the Remote Desktop Connection you use cannot be set to full screen because the computer doesn’t have a BREAK key. As you know, the typical full screen process involves pressing CTRL + ALT + BREAK to make your Remote Desktop Connection go full screen. But, many newer computers and ultra books are missing the all important BREAK key. Is there no way to get the connection full screen? All is not lost. There are ways around this problem.

Windows 8’s Success Depends On One Simple Thing

Windows 8 LogoWe’re all a part of unprecedented times. The computing choices around us are are almost as varied as our interests for consuming and creating information. One new choice on the horizon will be Windows 8, and the certain upheaval it represents. Much has been made of this new version of Windows (available October 26), and how many will not “get it” and fewer still will shell out cash to purchase the product that almost no one likes. I think this is a sound theory since Windows 8 is almost universally being panned. Even the expected positive review from Walt Mossberg is, well, not so much.