Friday, December 19, 2008

The CSS Corner: Alternate Style Sheets

As publishing and layout standards for web documents, HTML 4.01 and CSS 2.1 define relatively few user experience requirements for browsers. One of them, however, mandates the ability for end users to switch among a set of mutually exclusive document styles defined by the author.  This feature is known as alternate style sheets. Significantly, the end user must also be able to turn off all styling.

Check how it works from the W3C’s alternate style sheets example page (IE8 only).


Source :

Windows Live Solutions Center: a better way to interact?

After rolling out a new version of Hotmail only to be deluged with complaints ranging from the somewhat petty (I want the old version back!) to the pretty serious (my folders are gone!), and having to wade through hundreds thousands of comments on the Windows Live Wire and the Hotmail blogs, Microsoft has decided to take action.

Source :
Link :

The North Pole – A Virtual Earth 3D Christmas Experience

Have a look at Santa’s Village at the Noth Pole in 3D. It’s Cool, really cool.

Microsoft Virtual Earth and MSNBC have created a very nice place to visit.


Check it out directly form this link or find more info about the application on Virtual Earth blog

How To Enable Polygamy In Windows Live Messenger

Many of you will have several WLIDs, and want to sign into Messenger with more than one of them. Until now you had to seek refuge in a patch or add-on to be able to do so. Not anymore! Microsoft’s John Weisenfeld just shared a little trick with me to enable this, which I’m going to share with you.

Source :

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Microsoft’s hidden diagnostic tool unlocks Vista startup secrets

Not new, but great post by Ed Bott about Windows Vista boot performance diagnostic.

Did you know that Windows Vista records many events about poor performance and boot up sequence ?

Just follow this path in your Event Viewer :

Applications and Service Logs

Thanks Ed,

Read more :

SQL Server 2005 Database Mail in cluster (updated)

I have updated my post about SQL Server 2005 Database Mail in a cluster. You should check it.

Microsoft Office Outlook Connector 12.1 is here!

After 2 betas I’m glad to announce the release of the Microsoft Outlook Connector 12.1 – the add-in that puts your Windows Live Hotmail data in Outlook. Outlook Connector 12.1 provides a great synchronization experience with e-mail, contacts, and the free Windows Live Calendar service. Download it now!

As part of the 12.1 release, we have also made improvements to the e-mail and contacts synchronization that make this version of the connector faster and more robust. Thank you to everyone who contacted us and gave us feedback and suggestions during the beta period of the release.

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Announcing December Cumulative Update for Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

We are happy to announce that December Cumulative Update for Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is available now. Despite the fixes and improvements, this new update package is also an effort to create a more convenient way for SharePoint administrators to keep all files in their SharePoint installations up-to-date. In this post, we will guide you on how and when to update, and the background of this new update model improvement.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Microsoft Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (Beta)

From :

This new Microsoft site lets you test you Exchange 200x remote connecttivity. You can choose the following tests:

  • Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync Test 
    This test will simulate the steps a mobile device uses to connect to an Exchange Server using Exchange ActiveSync.

  • Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync AutoDiscover Test
    This test will walk through the steps a Windows Mobile 6.1 device (or another AirSync licensed device) uses to connect to the AutoDiscover Service

  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 AutoDiscover Connectivity Test
    This test will walk through the steps Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 uses to connect to AutoDiscover

  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 RPC/HTTP Connectivity Test
    This test will walk through the steps Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 uses to connect via RPC/HTTP

  • Inbound SMTP Email Test
    This test will walk through the steps an Internet e-mail server uses to send inbound SMTP email to your domain

Announcing the WSRP Toolkit for SharePoint

Today, we are excited to announce the release of the Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) Toolkit for Office SharePoint Server 2007.  The WSRP Toolkit for SharePoint provides sample code for producing WSRP conformant data from SharePoint lists and libraries.  External portal platforms (e.g. BEA AquaLogic Portal, IBM WebSphere Portal, SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal etc.) can then render SharePoint data natively through their WSRP consumer portlets.  The Toolkit is available now for download from the MSDN Code Gallery.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My blog is now IE8 friendly

Well, not really, I have simply added the following tag in the header as a quick fix :

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=7" />

When I will have some free time I will look why does my blog look so bad in IE8.

Windows in the cloud - First impressions of Amazon EC2

Excellent series of article from Michael Pietroforte about Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) :

Here’s some of Michal’s views :

It never took me so long to set up a server.

The price structure is quite complicated and so I was unsure how much it would actually cost me

I am sure that Amazon’s cloud will expand over time. But, in my opinion, at the moment it can’t be considered as an alternative to on-premise servers.

Windows Live Essentials new beta released

You can download a refresh of the beta version (the last before final release) of the Windows Live Essentials – suite of downloadable programs for your Windows PC, including Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Writer, Toolbar, and Family Safety.

You can get the latest betas from:

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 Released

Service Pack 3 for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is now available.

Download and infos :

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Failover Clustering & NLB in Windows Server 2008 R2

New Failover Clustering features in R2:
  • Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) – A distributed access file system optimized for Hyper-V allowing virtual machines and their disk resources to reside be on any cluster node
  • Live Migration – Move virtual machines between different physical machines while keeping them running and maintaining client connections
  • PowerShell Support – The scripting language of the future which will gradually replace cluster.exe
  • DFS-Replication support – Configure members servers in your replication group to be highly available for uniterrupted and failure resilient replication services
  • Remote Desktop / Terminal Services support – Make the Connection Broker highly available ensuring that clients are reconnected to their same session or virtual machine within a server farm
  • Network Prioritization – Plan your internal cluster network for efficiency, giving the fastest network the highest priority for internal traffic (heartbeat, CSV & Live Migration traffic)
  • Read-Only APIs – This security enhancement allows admins to query the state of the cluster, but not perform any actions, making it ideal for first-level triage who "can look, but not touch"
  • ETW logging channels – New Crimson channel makes cluster-wide events easier to manage
  • Performance Monitor – Clustering counters allow the user to monitor the cluster and tweak it for optimal performance
  • Enhanced Validation – Improvements to the functional test tool with additional tests which execute on production cluster nodes to ensure they are running optimally, with best practices deployed
  • Migration – The clustering upgrade path now supports more workloads and configurations and offers detailed information about what will be migrated and any additional steps required by the user
New Network Load Balancing features in R2:
  • Extended Affinity – Ensures clients are reconnected to the same node to retain cached information if they are disconnected
  • PowerShell Support – The new NLB scripting language which will gradually replace nlb.exe and wlbs.exe

Source :

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Windows Server 2008 R2 new features - the complete list

Michael Pietroforte wrote a super serie of articles about Windows 2008 R2 on 4sysops blog. A must read. thanks Michael.

Oxite - Open Source Content Management System

Oxite is an open source, standards compliant, and highly extensible content management sample that can run anything from blogs to big web sites. We know this because it runs MIX Online.

This CMS is based on ASP.NET.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Compatibility View Improvements to come in IE8

The next public update of IE8 (for Windows Vista- and Windows XP-based operating systems as well as the Windows 7 Beta) includes improvements to Compatibility View that help end-users when they visit web sites that are not yet ready for IE8’s new, more standards-compliant defaults

Read the article :

Reality is finally setting in at Google

So, the Utopia that was Google (supposedly, the reality has never been what their PR people have made it out to be) is finally understanding how the real world works.  After missing 4 quarters of profit projections in a row and having over half of their products in perpetual beta (which means they never have to guarantee reliability, functionality, or even product viability) Google is finally cutting back and organizing to function as a real company.

Source :