Friday, December 30, 2005

Windows Desktop Deployment Resource Kit

As readers of this blog will know, I've done a lot of desktop deployment training over the past few years. I've presented the TechNet Deployment Assistance Program (DAP) Workshops and conducted training for MS Partners in the Business Desktop Deployment Solution Accelerator (BDD SA). And from January, I'll be doing BDD 2.5 training here in the UK. One constant request I've heard was for more guidance on the whole deployment story.

There's a lot to deploying Windows and applications in any sort of consistent and repeatable way to virtually any size organisation! Those of you who have mastered this subject will have done so by a combination of a lot of Google searching, plenty of playing about, and making loads of mistakes! The information on how to do this is "out there", but I know I've found it less than easy to put it all together.

I've just received a copy of Jerry Honeycutt's Microsoft Windows Desktop Deployment Kit thanks to those very nice people at MS Press (and for organising the copy, thanks especially to Martin Del Re - one of the best men I've ever worked for). This is an excellent book!! If you are deploying, or planning to deploy, a Windows platform to your organisation you should buy a copy - and maybe even one for each person on the project!

The Book covers planning, configuring, distributing and managing the deployment - and comes with some tools on an attached CD. Each chapter comes with good technical detail plus great practical tips and tricks. And by organising the book around the deployment cycle, it is a useful reference manual throughout the deployment life cycle.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Speeding up MSH Load time (redux)

Last summer I posted some directions on now to speed up the load time for MSH. As I reported, B2 setup does not generate native code for the MSH assemblies, resulting is a performace hit when MSH starts up. Directions for doing fixing this given in my earlier post need changed slightly if you are using the .NET Framework CLR V2.0. The (now) correct command to run is:

C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\NGEN install "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Command Shell\msh.exe"

Run this comannd after you have MSH all installed and running - and start up is a LOT snappier. The lack of the setup not doing an ngen is known and is meant to be fixed for RTM.

Friday, December 23, 2005

I've been a bit busy

It's been a very hectic December. I finished off the UK DAP tour, and spent a week in Copenhagen doing the TTT for the Desktop Deployment Planning Service training we'll be offering in the new year. I've got a bunch of things I've meant to blog about, so over the coming days, these will get posted!

Scripting with the Microsoft Shell

Microsoft has launched a Script Center page for MSH. Scripting with the Microsoft Shell page brings all the magic of The Scripting Guys to the Monad fold! Bookmark this page!


The EULAlyzer is a tool that examines EULA (End Userm License Agreements) and provides a detailed listing of possibly interesting words and phrases. The idea is that it can help you to determine if the software you're about to install displays pop-up ads, transmits personally identifiable information, uses unique identifiers to track you, etc.

There are two versions of EULAlyzer - a free version and a pro (non-free). The free version os a 1.7mb download. The Pro version adds some features such as EULA-Watch (detects most license agreements at install) and costs US$19.95. The Pro version also claims to provide happiness (but the small print does state: Note: Happiness is possible because of the extremely lovable nature of Otto the Owl, your EULA-Watch protector who sits in the system tray. However, happiness is not guaranteed. (Although we'd like to think that he'll bring a smile to any person's face!). And here I thought you just needed a penguin to provide happiness!

Friday, December 02, 2005

No Vista Beta 2 in 2005 - ZDNet UK News

According to ZD news, Microsoft has slipped Vista Beta 2 well into 2006. Additionally, having issued just one CTP (and having cancelled a 2nd allegedly due to poor quality) MS is apparently chopping the CTPs totally. I find this a shame as CTPs were a good idea to show progress.

At the same time, MS is still sticking to their plans for Vista's RTM by next summer. Details on how they will achieve this remain unclear. Earlier rumours were that a RC would be skipped but I've see nothing to indicate that this is actually the case.

In MSF, we have what some refer to as the iron triangle - this balances features, timescales and cost. Given the current schedule slips, the iron triangle suggests that if you want to keep to timescales, you have to either drop features or increase costs. MS seem to be trying to keep timescales, reduce cost (or not increas it) yet still keep all the features. Something has to give.

By slipping B2 to the new year, MS is putting real pressure on the team to hold end-dates. And without either removing more features, I can't see how they can do it. I don't see how putting more resources in now would do any good. The only alternative is to ship a buggy product, which would be a great plan.

We live in interesting times.