Introducing: Windows 7 January 2010 A few months after the launch of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 7, Gary Flood takes a look at how easy adoption is for its users


Here a link to an article in IT Training Magazine online about Windows 7 in which I am quoted.

This opinion is backed up by Jay Ferron, an IT professional and trainer with a US company called Interactive Security. ‘7 can definitely run very well on older machines, which allows me to recycle them to be used again and save cost,’ he says.

While no-one should want to move from XP or Vista to Windows 7 simply because Microsoft ‘told’ them to or they liked the ads and thought the new screen looked cute, there are real technical improvements in 7, say independent commentators.

These include such features as DirectAccess, which gets rid of the need by remote workers to use things like VPNs, as it allows them to connect securely to the office and applications wherever they are; BranchCache, which saves network capacity by only downloading one set of big files to a location so local machines can access them there; and BitLocker, a probably long overdue way to encrypt and protect things like user data on a machine but also memory sticks and USBs.

To see the full article go here


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Security Update for Internet Explorer

Apply the Critical Security Updates for Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities

This cumulative security update resolves seven privately reported vulnerabilities and one publicly disclosed vulnerability in Internet Explorer. The more severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer. This security update is rated Critical for all supported releases of Internet Explorer.


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Microsoft study shows online reputations matter


Read how your job prospects could be affected

Research commissioned by Microsoft in December 2009 found that 79 percent of United States hiring managers and job recruiters surveyed reviewed online information about job applicants.

Most of those surveyed consider what they find online to impact their selection criteria. In fact, 70 percent of United States hiring managers in the study say they have rejected candidates based on what they found.

Review the results of the survey to see how online reputations impact people’s lives. The research comes from interviews with over 1,200 hiring and recruitment managers and 1,200 consumers in the United States, the U.K., Germany and France.

The results of the research reveal what you post on the Internet and what people post about you can affect your professional life. Learn what action you can take to manage your online reputation.

Windows 7 resources for Building Images

I talked a lot about how to build a windows 7 image and though I put together a list of resources for you

The best location to find information on Windows is the Springboard site here, this site will help you find resource for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows7.

Take a good look at these tools

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 (MDT 2010) provides a common console with the comprehensive tools and guidance needed to efficiently manage deployment of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 is the recommended process and toolset to automate desktop and server deployment. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 provides detailed guidance and job aids for every organizational role involved with large-scale deployment projects. Learn more about Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010.

The Microsoft Assessment and Planning  (MAP) Toolkit makes it easy to assess your current IT infrastructure and determine the right Microsoft technologies for your IT needs.

MAP is a powerful inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely run in small or large IT environments without requiring the installation of agent software on any computers or devices. The inventory and assessment capabilities provided by this Solution Accelerator can significantly simplify the planning process for migrating your laptops, desktops, and server computers to Windows® 7, Windows Server® 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista® and Microsoft Office 2007. The server virtualization scenarios help you identify underutilized resources and the hardware specifications needed to successfully consolidate your servers using Microsoft Hyper-V technology. Additionally, the toolkit can help you identify unmanaged assets, Microsoft SQL Server® components and virtual machines in your environment.


And last but not least Application Compatibility Toolkit – to building system images, migration user data and automating operating system and application installations.

If you really want to learn a lot about this topic Bing or search for Jeremy Chapman from the Windows Client product management team, he the man!

Ribbon Hero

Ribbon Hero is a game for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel 2007 and 2010, designed to help you boost your Office skills and knowledge. Play games (aka "challenges"), score points, and compete with your friends while improving your productivity with Office.  As a concept test, this add-in is not supported, but is an opportunity for you to try out an idea we are working on and let us know what you think.

If you want to learn the ribbon this is a fun way to learn it

You can get it here

Microsoft Steady State

This is a FREE product that you can add to XP or Vista computer that allows you to lock the computer to a know  configuration and you can not change ANYTHTHING or the computer till you go in as a Administrator. This is Freezing the computer in a point in time.

Think of it as the ultimate lock down of a computer for libraries, schools, and public places like hotel or shared computers.

If you setup a computer no matter what they do just reboot and it back to the way it was.

to learn more about

Learn more about Windows SteadyState

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Computer Technology 2010 Results

Computer Users and Friends:

Well, yesterday Computer Technology 2010 far exceeded the event last year. With 390 actually registrations plus those that did not register, we met our projections. However, it was still a bit overwhelming. When you actually pull such a large gathering together and most stick with you much of the day it’s rather daunting to say the least.

There are so many people to thank for such a job well done I have suggested the association publish all their names on the website. A special thanks must go out to Carl Lofstrom, NWFACUG President, for his leadership and persistence in pushing the rest of us to get the job done. Carl’s personal effort brought over $11,000 door prizes that was given away. It’s extremely tough to pull this sort of support from the industry in these economic times, but Carl came through big time. The many vendors, both local and national, were recognized in a special printed program and are included on the website. We had a mixture of local vendors which added so much to Tech 10. If we do this again next year my bet is that more local computer/electronic folks will want to participate. The word is really starting to catch hold in the area as the event grows each year. For a small rural community without a huge population to draw from we can be very proud of what was accomplished with Tech 10.

Many of the presentations were faced will full occupancy and some were standing room only. A big draw was the presentation on Windows 7. The room was packed to hear Jay Ferron, President of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups ( who came all the way from Connecticut to deliver his message. Jay is an international expert on computer security and represents Microsoft at events such as Tech 10, as well as APCUG. Even though Jay is an evangelist for Microsoft and APCUG we are so appreciative for him taking the time to visit with us.

Another highlight and a first for us was all day streaming on the Internet by Ray Zukowski of Ray is a promoter and videographer of the First Order. His enthusiasm is catching and his willingness to feature Tech 10 was the crown jewel. A replay of the days event and some of the presentations will be viewable at in the next few days, maybe even by Monday. During the day there were break periods so if you were watching and it went offline and you though that was it , the full day will be viewable for replay.

The Emerald Coast Boys and Girls Club provided a light lunch but were overwhelmed with the numbers. They had to rush out for more food for the hungry lines. This was a good fund raiser for them to help support an upcoming educational trip for the kids.

If you missed this year maybe we will see you in 2011.

Happy computing,

J. B. Hillard, Member, Board of Directors

NWF Association of Computer User Groups

President, Chautauqua Cyber Club, Inc.

Kodu, a game to teach game development


Microsoft is pushing to bring computer programming back into the classroom – and back into the realm of the imagination.

That push comes through Kodu, a game developed by Microsoft Research that invites users to create their own worlds while teaching them the basics of game development. Originally designed as a learning tool for youngsters using Xbox 360, Kodu is now available in a public beta for the PC. The move to the PC platform stands to make the game more attractive to schools. By eliminating the need for controllers, schools don’t need any special equipment – students can start building worlds with just a PC and a keyboard.

Through Kodu, Microsoft is introducing children to programming and helping them advance their design, math, and problem-solving skills, said Matthew MacLaurin, director of the Redmond FUSE (Future Social Experiences) Lab and the game’s creator. It also encourages students to truly engage with computers, instead of experiencing them passively.

Kodu is a visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to
be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone.


Key Features

Kodu provides an end-to-end creative environment for designing, building, and playing your own new games.

  • High-level language incorporates real-world primitives: collision, color, vision
  • Runs on Xbox 360 and PC
  • Interactive terrain editor
  • Bridge and path builder
  • Terrain editor – create worlds of arbitrary shape and size
  • 20 different characters with different abilities


Programming as a Creative Medium

The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely

icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously.

The Kodu language is designed specifically for game development and provides specialized primitives derived from gaming scenarios. Programs are expressed in physical terms, using concepts like vision, hearing, and time to control character behavior. While not as general-purpose as classical programming languages, Kodu can express advanced game design concepts in a simple, direct, and intuitive manner.

You can get Kodu here

Windows CardSpace 2.0



Windows CardSpace 2.0 is the end-user component of the Microsoft user access platform for developers and IT professionals that helps simplify access to applications and other systems with an open claims-based model. The Beta 2 release has been refreshed with a variety of fixes and improvements for working seamlessly with Active Directory Federation Services 2.0. We’ve also improved interoperability and added a feature for automatic logon to the STS.


Get more info here

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Microsoft Federation Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 RC.


With this release, federate existing SharePoint deployments, including Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Services 2007. Using this package, enterprise SharePoint administrators can configure their deployments to trust any WS-Federation security token service (STS), such as Active Directory Federation Services 2.0, so that an enterprise can take advantage of claims and offer their services to federation partners.

Get more info go here