Category Archives: Microsoft

Seeking Windows 7 Remote Desktop Input

I’ve been trying to find some concrete information on the use of Remote Desktop in Windows 7, but I’ve seen some conflicting reports about it. Specifically, I’m looking for information on using RDC with dual monitors. I know in RDC version 6, you could use span to extend your remote session over two desktops, but it is sort of an ugly process. I have been reading that Windows 7 uses multimon instead of span, and instead of having to start from a command prompt, there’s actually a check box to “use all available monitors” in the program settings.

The part I’m having difficulty with is if Windows 7, or Server 2008 R2, which have this version of RDC built-in, are required on both ends of the connection. Also, according to MS, it only works with Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate editions, but again, is that on the host end, or the client end, or both? If I have a Win 7 Ultimate host, and can get a copy of RDC 7 on Vista, would that work?

Not having Windows 7 installed anywhere, I have no way to test any of this, so if you have access to some of these versions and a desire to do some testing, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment, or if you want to write up a guest post, drop me a comment and I’ll be glad to offer up a place for it!

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Outlook for the Mac coming

MS Office for Mac is finally just going to go ahead and replace Entourage with Outlook.

For the e-discovery folks, there is just one question. Does that mean Office for Mac users will have a PST that is easily transferable to Windows? Does anyone know? Getting email from a Mac into a form we can work with tends to be one of our complaints, and anything that gives us one less complaint can only be good, right? ;)


Vista 64 Bit

So, I was in a Sam’s Club the other day with the wife, and found myself wandering over to the PC aisle, mostly to lust after the 24 or 25 inch monitors. (I need a bigger desk before I get bigger monitors, how sad is that?)

Anyway, this was the first time I had noticed that all of the PCs that were for sale there, were 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. When did 64-bit become the standard OS for home users? Aside from the increased RAM capacities (these had 6-7GB of RAM generally), what is the big benefit to using 64 bit for the kinds of folks who buy PC’s from a non-tech store? What kinds of weird incompatibilities are they risking by buying a 64 bit version of Vista?

I don’t own a 64-bit version of Windows myself, and I’m not really in the market for a new PC, so I really haven’t been paying attention at all. I figure I might want to ask some questions about the up and downsides before someone asks me about picking up a new PC with Vista Home Premium 64 bit and I steer them wrong!

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Outlook 2007 SP2 Improvements

Neville Hobson noticed this last week, and now after having spent a few days watching my Outlook 2007 install after installing SP2, I totally agree that it is running so much snappier than it ever has.

Back when I first tested Outlook 2007, I decided that there were a couple of things I didn’t like. One being the inconsistent use of the Ribbon UI, it’s on the individual email view, but not the inbox view. That remains, though I understand the next version of Office promises to move toward using the Ribbon UI everywhere in Outlook. The other issue was purely a matter of performance. Typically, it is simply very slow to open, slow to do a check for new mail, slow to close, and just generally slow.

Not any more. SP2, in my experience, has definitely brought back some of the speed that’s been missing. Got to love that!

Tags: Outlook2007, ServicePack2

Thanks to Ed Bott, I finally have Vista SP1

Thanks to yesterday’s post by Ed Bott, complete with a link to a newer Sigmatel driver for my Dimension E521 from Dell. Don’t know why this version isn’t listed in the driver repository for my model, it clearly says it’s compatible with the E521 on the page he linked to!

Anyway, once I got that installed, I was finally able to update my desktop to vista Service Pack 1 and all seems well, thus far.

Thanks Ed!

Technorati Tags: VistaSP1, EdBott, Dell, Sigmatel, Drivers

Vista SP1, so far no news is good news

Oddly enough, while the Vista virtual machine on my Macbook prompted me to get SP1 Tuesday, my actual Vista desktop still doesn’t see it as an available update. What’s up with that? (I’m assuming it was the fact that my laptop saw it while connected to another network, my home roadrunner network seems to not see it.)

Well, as it turns out that fit pretty well with my plan anyway, go ahead and do the update on the VM and see how it goes for a few days, then do it on my desktop. Other than the length of time it took to install, it hasn’t really created any noticeable problems or performance hits on the VM, even with a few programs running on both it and on the host OS X. Of course, that VM never really had any problems either, at least not that I’ve seen in the short time I’ve had it running, so I can’t say that there’s much for me to go on with that.

Then again, isn’t that the point of a stability update like SP1? To make it so you don’t really notice your OS? I haven’t really noticed anything about Vista running in the VM since then, so that’s a good thing, right?

Anyway, so far so good. I’ve even reached the point where I’ll go ahead and allow the update when my desktop sees it, whenever that will be!

Update: Upon further review, I think I know why I can’t get it through Windows Update, the same reason Preston Gralla couldn’t get it on his Dell.

Technorati Tags: Vista, SP1, WindowsUpdate

Boilerplate Sigs in Outlook 2007

I didn’t even realize you couldn’t use more than one signature in a message in Outlook 2007. I use that feature quite often for boilerplate messages at work, but we’re still using 2003 there. Thankfully, the latest edition of WinXP News has the way to continue to do this in Outlook 2007.

How to get around the new sig line restrictions in Outlook 2007
A recent article in the Network World Security Strategy newsletter discusses one of the changes in Outlook 2007 that has some users unhappy. In past versions, you could use the signature feature to create a lot more than just sigs. You could construct boilerplate messages, for instance, and then just select them from the signatures list to insert them into messages. You might want to insert several such boilerplates into a single message (as well as your real sig line).
This doesn’t work in Outlook 2007, because suddenly you’re only allowed one sig per message. If you insert a signature, then select and insert a different one, the second one replaces the first. I actually like this feature because it prevents having to then highlight and delete the first one – but I only use signatures as signatures, not as boilerplate. I think Microsoft should have made it user configurable so you could choose whether to replace or add.
Meanwhile, you can still use boilerplate (and in my opinion, more effectively) by using Outlook 2007’s “Quick Parts” feature. Here’s how:

  1. Open a new message window and click the Insert tab.
  2. Type the text you want to set as a boilerplate in the message body and highlight it.
  3. Click Quick Parts in the Text section of the ribbon, and then select Save Selection to Quick Parts Gallery. Give it a name to identify it.
  4. Now whenever you want to insert that same block of text in any message, just click Quick Parts and choose the name you gave it. It will be inserted into your new message.

Have I mentioned how useful the newsletter is? You should definitely take a look.

Technorati Tags: Outlook2007, Signatures, BoilerPlate, WinXPNews
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Second Chance MS Exam

I’m not currently in the market for any Microsoft Certifications, I’ve got a number of litigation support tools, like Summation and Trial Director, to get certified on, but if you are, head’s up.

George Starcher over at In the Trenches, has the info on a way to sign up for a second chance voucher, before you take the first test, that you can use, just in case.

Might be worth taking a look.

Technorati Tags: InTheTrenches, GeorgeStarcher, MicrosoftCertification, ExamVoucher

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A new Twist for Presentations

Yesterday, I was writing about the bump in the road with using Open Office instead of MS Office on our pool laptops, namely, PowerPoint presentations. Today, my further research into that led me in some interesting directions.

I started out getting a copy of the PowerPoint viewer. I know that not everyone has their presentation ready to go in it’s final form before they head out with it on a laptop, but I thought if this would display the timed slide advances properly, I might be able to use Impress to make slight edits, and the Viewer to display the slide show.

Unfortunately, while the viewer displayed the animations correctly from the original PPT file, any portions of it that I changed in Impress, lost these features. This led to such things as a bullet list that was timed to display one bullet every 20 seconds having one bullet half way through the list display the entire time, because I took out one comma in the text. This is obviously not going to work.

However, with the news this week that IBM was rolling out a beta of their free Lotus Symphony, I thought maybe, just maybe I’d see how the Symphony Presentations handled these animation features. So, I registered with IBM and downloaded it.

Turns out that Symphony has had no difficulties with my test presentation at all. It displayed all the timed transitions just fine and the animations worked perfectly, even after making small changes in the slides and saving it. The problem, though, is that, unlike Impress, Symphony presents a very different interface for working with presentations when compared to PowerPoint. If we go this route, there will be a learning curve with attorney’s who want to work on presentations at the last minute on the road. That’s something to consider, and something I’ll be concentrating on if/when I demo it for the folks who will ultimately have to make that call.

In the mean time, there is still much more testing to be done with Symphony, as well as the other parts of Open Office before I’m ready to make the call either way. I will definitely keep Open Office to handle Excel and Word files, I haven’t run into too many major problems there yet, but Impress, well, simply doesn’t.

We’re still a long way from determining that we can get by without Microsoft Office on these laptops. At this point, I’m not holding my breath.

Technorati Tags: MSOffice, OpenOffice, , LotusSymphony
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FUD, but not entirely

Joe Wilcox does a good job of finding the FUD in Microsoft’s 10 reasons not to use Google Apps. I’d have to agree with him that Microsoft’s reasons are pretty dumb.

One thing that does jump out at me though, is number 7:

Enterprise companies have to constantly think about government regulations and standards?while Google can store a lot of data for enterprises on Google servers, there is no easy-to-use, automated way for enterprises to regularly delete data, issue a legal hold for specific docs or bring copies into the corp

Joe, rightfully, points out that Microsoft has plenty of it’s own hosted services, including email that would suffer from the same problem. So, it’s a bit disingenuous of them to make it a reason not to use Google. The truth is, it is a pretty valid reason to think twice about using any hosted services.

The more I learn about legal holds, and e-discovery, the more I realize just how much trouble can be caused by your organization’s data being spread all over the place. When it comes time to produce these documents, having them hosted on-line as part of a collaboration project just adds one more place, and one more cost, to the discovery process.

In fact, just the other day when I was in a meeting where a desktop sharing product was being demonstrated, the chief concern of the attorney present was whether or not the site stored any information on the documents as they were being changed. (It doesn’t) This is a major concern for any legal situation. You want to have control over what information, and metadata, is in any documents you are sending out, or that may have to be produced as part of discovery in the future. The more places you have documents being stored, the harder that is to do.

Personally, I know that any e-discovery process is going to be more complicated when any of the information custodians is using web-based services as part of their job. Like PDA’s or home computers, it just adds one more place that needs to be searched for relevant information. Any organization that wants to utilize on-line apps has to at least consider that and have a plan to deal with it.

Technorati tags: GoogleApps, FUD,
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