Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Microsoft Web Platform Installer

March 27, 2011 Comments off

Recently featured by both eWeek and PC Pro, Microsoft’s WebMatrix is a free web development tool to speed and ease deployment of projects based around proprietary or open source platforms including (but not limited to) blogs, CMS’s and Wiki’s. The accompanying Web Platform Installer (PI) simplifies the process of downloading these platforms and as you might expect is primarily based around the Microsoft Web Platform comprised of Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework and Visual Web Developer.

In my case I needed to get a new dedicated WordPress environment up and running quickly and having previously completed this manually and finding it somewhat time consuming and fiddly, any way to achieve this in a more structured, reliable manner would be welcome.

After downloading the Web PI and installing it on my Windows Server 2008 virtual machine I was presented with the Web Gallery which lists the applications available – it was then a simple matter of selecting WordPress, following the on screen prompts and in minutes my new WordPress instance was up and running.

Unlike the authors of the above reviews however I did not encounter any problems with the download and installation of MySQL and as the required components are downloaded dynamically the WordPress version was current. The Web PI does not remove the need for an understanding at least at a high level of the technologies involved and if it is to be used for serious development/staging purposes knowledge of how to backup the MySQL databases created etc. is still required.

More information is available at the Web Platform website or via the associated twitter feed – @mswebplatform.


Microsoft Virtualization with Hyper-V

January 19, 2011 Comments off

This book deals with Microsoft’s server virtualization solution and is for those who want to implement Hyper-V “the right way”.

As the author’s quote in the book’s Introduction, the Gartner research group believes that “IT infrastructure and operations <will> be deeply impacted by virtualization by 2012”. If you are new to virtualization as a whole or Microsoft’s offering this book provides a solid foundation to both.

Using a comprehensive and logical approach in response to established business requirements the book covers the topics of planning, installation, configuration, management, backing up, restoring, disaster recovery, monitoring and securing of a Hyper-V environment.

Read the rest of my review.

Microsoft Virtualization with Hyper-V
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 1 edition (July 30, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0071614036

Microsoft’s “End of Days”?

June 9, 2010 Comments off

What a difference a day makes – or so the song goes. OK, how about about five years? Most people – even many who work in IT had not even heard of cloud computing in 2005. By 2015 Gartner predicts in a recent report that cloud computing will have entered the mainstream and be enterprise ready.

So where does Microsoft currently fit into the picture? Once considered to be the 800 pound gorilla in the industry but beset by the likes of Google, Apple and VMWare amongst others, as well as subject to continuing scrutiny by the European Commission to some it may now more resemble a geek in a gorilla suit.

However, Microsoft is fighting back. Just today Microsoft launched its answer to Google Apps in the form of it’s Office Web Apps and has spoken about its plans for it’s hosted companion – Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) which includes SharePoint at the companies TechEd conference; Since February 1st, it has stated that it has 10,000 paying customers running their applications in the company’s Azure cloud and a beta version of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 featuring what many consider to be two significant enhancements to it’s Hyper-V virtualization platform – Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX will be made available by the end of July and released before the end of this year.

So is this the beginning of the end for Microsoft? Opinions vary – but it’s going to be interesting to watch!

AMD Virtualization™ Technology and Microsoft® Hyper-V™ System Compatibility Check Utility

April 4, 2010 Comments off

Following on my previous article I came across this AMD equivalent utility from its inclusion in Tony Soper’s article on “How to run Hyper-V on a Laptop” which for those interested or working on the Hyper-V platform is in itself well worth a read.

Categories: Tools, Virtualisation, Windows

Intel Processor ID Utility

March 21, 2010 Comments off

Intel Logo

Have an Intel based server or workstation and need to quickly confirm some of its features  – such as wether it includes supports for Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) and Execute Disable Bit (XD) (two hardware requirements for Hyper-V Server 2008)? The Intel Processor does this and more; Older Intel processors can be identified with the Intel Processor Frequency ID Utility.

One to add to your USB toolkit.

Bootable Version.

Windows Version.

Categories: Tools, Virtualisation, Windows

Common Sense System Management Advice

February 12, 2010 Comments off

I came across this awhile ago, it’s a single page document that contains sound advice in a very readable style and covers several topics related to systems management.

Kudos to Michael Prokop who created it.

Grab your copy from

Microsoft Security Essentials – Updated

October 17, 2009 Comments off

Just downloaded the above and applied it to a Windows 7 install under VMWare; small footprint, simple interface and did I mention its free?

Yes, it is limited to purely malware detection and removal but for home users who do not currently have a solution in place or one that is for one reason or another not being kept up to date, worth considering.

For another opinion check out PC PRO’s Darien Graham Smith’s – Can Microsoft Security Essentials beat Norton?

UPDATE: Microsoft Malware Protection Centre’s results for the first week of Security Essentials being available.