Thursday, 26 November 2015

HP Laserjet 1022 Printer - Can't Print on Windows 10

If you are having trouble getting your laserjet working on Windows 10, here's how I resolved the problem:




Saturday, 21 November 2015

MS Ignite - Real World Power BI Techniques (DAT343)

Link to Session: https://msftignite.com.au/sessions/session-details/1611/real-world-power-bi-techniques-dat343

About the Session:
First off, I'd just like to say that Grant stole my idea of starting off the session with a chant of 'Power BI'!  Reckon he must have heard me chanting it on the way into the previous session.  I'm sure he didn't steal it, but was a surreal coincidence haha.

This was the final Power BI Session of the week, which is strange because it was the first session to run through step-by-step how to pull back real world data and report on it.  I would have thought the order would have started with the simple sally session then built up to the developer sessions through the week.  No bother for me, but something to consider for the next MS Ignite.

Session tips for speeding up your power reports:
  • Clean up your data using Power Query first
  • Create measures to display totals at the bottom of your raw data list.
  • Use brushing / ratios to gain better insight to your data instead of just slicing/filterin
  • You can easily add multiple columns to your slicer options in the ribbon
  • OLAP tools on pivot tables:  can use this function to move your pivot table data around, means your not restricted to having all the data in the 2-3 columns that the pivot table created.

Updates:
Power BI will soon support access to SSAS Cubes.

In Power BI Desktop you can:
  • Can import a folder in order to index all the files within it and report on their information
  • Pull table data straight from a Web Page, Don't have to copy/paste to excel first.
  • Can build multiple queries on the one screen, then connect them all up together.
  • Can pivot/unpivot multiple columns, by selecting the ones you don't want to change
  • You can set parameters in your queries so that it asks the user what they want to report on come run-time
  • Can create simple tables and queries in advanced editor too.

Musings:  The session was great for people who already had a background in the Power Suite, but was a pretty fast-paced explanation which I think would have confused some of the less techie attendees.  This meant that the story behind the data was not fully illustrated and the 'real world' connection slightly lost.  I've been to many of Grant's sessions over the years, all have been awesome, so maybe the magic was just lost on me because I'm across all of this technology now!

Still definitely worth a watch for any of you who have not seen Power BI in action!

Session Rating: 3.5/5

MS Ignite - Office 365 Groups Overview, Administration and Roadmap (PRD313)

Session Takeaways:
  • By default any user can create a Office 365 group
  • When a group is created, a container is provisioned to allow staff to collaborate using the office apps of their choice.  This saves waiting for multiple IT teams to provision team sites and distribution groups.
  • Provides business users with an instant way to set up a new project and share information.
  • Enables the end-user a choice of platform without being pigeonholed onto a prescribed application.
  • Groups allow staff who get late access, the ability to see all of the past conversation that has happened.  unlike email distribution groups where the conversation is lost in individual mailboxes.  This will save time having to catch up and save having to ask the same questions if you're new to a project.
  • Can Insta-videocall all members of an O365 Group using Skype for business.  Can also start writing up meeting notes straight away within a call
  • Groups integrate with power BI and Dynamics CRM.
  • Groups REST API's now available.  Allowing you to connect group security with your other Line of Business applications.
  • You can use Azure AD to use group security in hybrid scenarios

For IT:

  • You can set Group naming policies.  Just like how Yammer uses a Bad-Word dictionary.  You can set it up so that staff can't call a group "Shit company" or something just as useful.
  • Can also force groups to have prefixes.  e.g. all Technology groups might need to have 'TECH' added to the name.
  • Showed the 2016 roadmap for O365 Groups

Musings:  I have this concern about how messy groups will get if any punter can create them.  The roadmap shows they are soon adding the functionality to set expiry dates on inactive groups.  That sounds GOOOOOD.

Rating: 4/5

Reasoning:  Kinda similar to first O365 session so they did duplicate some of the information. Getting roadmap information is nice though.  Still got some nice detail regarding groups.  Despite the expiration functionality, I'm unsure how the content that is created within those groups is archived/deleted.

Link to Video/SlideDeck: https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK2114

Friday, 20 November 2015

MS Ignite - Introduction to Hololens (MOB221)

Many people had mixed feelings about this session, which is ironic given Microsoft are calling the Hololens a Mixed Reality device.

Why?
  • No Hololens at the event
  • Every video shown had already been released on the internet
  • We had to get up at 7.30am to not see a Hololens

A few takeaways from the session:
  • You can use Maya to auto-update holograms as your working with it on your computer
  • Microsoft has developed a camera to see what the hololens sees without having to have a hololens on yourself.  Apparently only 2 of these cameras in existence
  • Can collaborate with other people around the world on the same holographic scene
  • There are some battery life concerns.  We were advised to keep this in mind during app development and try and limit the polygon count on any holograms developed
  • Recommended Skillset: Game Studio, Art, Audio, Design, Engineering, Production, QA
  • The development edition of the hololens is being released in Q1 2016.  US only....
  • Field of view: can still see the edges of normal vision

Funny things to mention: The presenter was not pleased about all the Field of View questions that came out at the end of the session.  The response was that no one who has trialed the device has complained about FOV, but instead come out exclaiming that "I walked on fucking Mars!" (In relation to the Mars experience that Microsoft developed with NASA).

A few attendees were quite disheartened by the no-show of the device:


It wasn't disappointing for everyone though:

Session Rating: 3/5

Reasoning: I'd gotten to bed at 3.30am that morning and only got up in the hope I would see a hololens.  I would have preferred an upfront explanation that no device would be shown at the event and that everything shown in the event had already been pre-released on the internet.

Despite this though, it was presented well for people who knew nothing about the device.  I'm just not sure anyone of that calibre existed at MS Ignite.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

MS Ignite - Office 365: The Next Wave of Innovation (PRD211)

Link to Session: https://msftignite.com.au/sessions/session-details/1833/office-365-the-next-wave-of-innovation-prd211

About The Session:  Exactly what the session description detailed.  Briefly touched on most of the Office 365 / Office 2016 products and what's new.  Here's some dot points if your interested in downloading this session.
  • Delve:  Now has ability to extend it's reach beyond Office 365 products
  • Delve Analytics: Can provide individual users with graphs showing thier time usage, who they connect with most at work as well as who they have fallen out of touch with.  
  • Office 2016: Added search features inside word/excel to find & use features that you can't remember where to find.  Potential to save many calls to service desk and time googling for where to find feature.
  • Excel: Ability to auto-forecast profits & loss based on previous years data inside excel.  Has also been loaded with additional ways to visualize and represent data. (read: more fancy graphs!)
  • PowerPoint: New feature called Morph Transitions.  It utilises existing objects in your slide deck and automatically animates the transition from one slide to another for you.  Helps choose matching colors/fonts/backgrounds to save you the hassle.
  • Outlook: Ability to attach recent files which saves you having to find where the file sits on the filesystem.  Emails auto supply permissions when staff  email/share files.
  • Office365 Groups: Is basically a container of conversations, notes, calendars, files and tasks.  Can be created by all staff removing wait time for IT to action.
  • Threat analytics can now monitor all devices.
Excels Forecasting feature

Follow up session with Marissa is on Thursday @ 9.45am on user-adoption of all these new fancy things.  You can also visit http://Fasttrack.Microsoft.com for more guidance on user-adoption.

My Musings: Although they have released a HEAP of new features, Microsoft seem to be putting a lot of effort into improving existing features that people use all the time, rather than just constantly bringing out new things that don't get used.

First concern is, who cleans up all this content (groups, conversations, files, permissions, etc) when its no longer needed?  At the moment there is nothing built to help with this, however I have visited another session where they advised they the ability to set expiry dates on inactive groups.  This feature is on the 6-12 month roadmap.

Last concern is around individual permissions at the document level.  When this is done in SharePoint frequently it can cause loading time of pages & documents to crawl to a halt.  This is due to the permissions table in the database becoming very large & constantly locking for long periods of time while it works out if a user has access or not.  Will this be an issue in O365?  time will tell.

Funny things to mention:  I could see the potential for the delve analytics to be misused by the wrong people.  For example a team leader who wants to micromanage their team and ask questions about how they have spent their time.  Or a HR incident where maybe someone complained that you don't treat them properly and the analytics shows that indeed you take 7 days longer to reply to that person compared with everyone else.  I'm sure this is overreacting, but I'm also sure it will happen somewhere.

Rating:  5/5

Reasoning:  Great run through all the new features.  Strong push for explaining user-adoption is more important than just having the features!  Well spoken speakers.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

MS Ignite - Certification 101 - Find the Path (EXAM111)

About The Session: Covered the Microsoft certification roadmap.  Discussed Microsoft Academy for kids, educators and trainers.  Spent most of an hour going through how to pass Microsoft exams and what type of questions you can expect.  A discussion around what course material you need to study to pass each exam.

All certification are now solutions focused due to the knowledge required to implement systems successfully.

Went about 25 minutes overtime.


My Musings: The best thing about this session was seeing the official Microsoft certification roadmap, provided below:


The rest of the session was not for me.  I thought that 'Find the Path' was going to be all about explaining in detail what path of certification you might like to take and what you can expect.  However it was mainly about how to pass an exam if you're looking to certify and where you can find resources online to help with your study.

Funny things to mention:
  • MCSE Exams - You have to re-certify every 2-3 years.  Who's gonna do that!  If you're that keen you better sign up to Braindumps.
  • Courses & Exams - 20688 lines up with 70688.  But why the extra numbers in front in the first place!!!  Surely you don't have over 1000 courses!
  • Three exams for most MSCA's - some of the exams xover that cover things from all.  Sounds stupid and confusing.  Just done to make cash.
  • Exams with time limits - sounds like you do not get enough time to read which is silly as it doesn't replicate a realistic setting.  Have heaps of time to find an answer in real life situation and you have Bing/Google at your fingertips.
Overall Rating: 3/5

Reasoning:  The speaker was very clear and concise.  The material was ok for people who haven't done any research of their own on getting certified.  However for me the information was quite high level and commonsensical.  I also lowered the overall rating as I believe the heading of the session was a bit misleading.  However, now I look at the heading again, it does say 101, so maybe I shouldn't have been so suprised!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Microsoft Ignite Australia - 17th-20th November

Next week I'm heading to the MS Ignite conference in the Gold Coast and thought I'd sign up to some sessions & get my schedule ready today.

Looking through the sessions, there were two things that stood out to me:

  • A lack of SharePoint sessions
  • A very developer-heavy list of sessions
The first is surprising because SharePoint 2016 preview just came out and I'm not sure anyone is really doing a deep-dive session on it.  Here's what happened when I tried to filter for SharePoint sessions :S:


The second surprise around the mass amounts of developer sessions is because I'm used to Tech Ed events in previous years where they catered for all levels & occupations. Anyone from C-Class (CIO/CEO) down to developer scrubs that want super detail could enjoy the event.  Now I'm not so sure that's the case.

The truth is, it's not that surprising.  For a long time now we've watched Microsoft ramp up it's O365/Azure capabilities to match exactly what On-Premises solutions can offer.

Ignite is going to be ALL about Office 365, Azure & IoT (Internet of Things).  As simple as these platforms are to set up from scratch, they also offer an unlimited amount of power, customisation & integration.  So yes, my dad could probably set up an Office 365 environment and keep everything standard with out of the box features, but at the enterprise level there's going to be a HUGE need for system integration, reporting & customisations.  That's where the developers come in.

There's also quite a few sessions on Skype for Business, SCCM & Device management.

#DistantFuturePrediction:  Working in technology will no longer be about setting up a system and administering it.  That's what Microsoft's cloud offering is for now.  I believe working in technology will primarily be about innovating custom hardware/software to add REAL value to your business & It's customers.

With that said, some large companies are still struggling to work out why they can't pay staff because their Excel Macro is broken.  So the future is still a dream for some.

Thanks for reading, I'll be posting more musings about what I see throughout the Ignite conference so watch this space.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Windows 10 - Trying to Install Legitimately

Got home from 3 months holiday & my Windows 10 Preview had expired on my only computer at home.

First off, couldn't even boot the computer because certain core windows files had 'expired'.  After changing the date & time in the BIOS to a year in the past, I was at least able to log in.

All good, I knew about the free upgrade from Windows 8.1 which I had a product key for, so I downloaded a copy of Windows 10 pro x64.  

Next problem, USB wouldn't appear.  tried to troubleshoot via Disk Management.  Due to changing date & time in BIOS the computer didn't trust me to open anything that required administration rights....  awesome.

so now cant find any way to get installation media off the computer.  Luckily my partner had a laptop with windows that I could use.  Jumped on it, downloaded windows 10 AGAIN, straight onto a USB stick.

stuck in USB to main computer, tried to install windows 10, formatted main drive, got an error message about installation media not being able to use the partition or some bullshit.  after trying to use DISKPART to zero out the SSD because it's worked for me before, turns out all I needed to do was disconnect my other hard drives while i was installing windows.

Windows 10 installed without me having to insert a product key which is good because I planned on inputting my windows 8.1 product key once it was installed. 

Tried inputting product key, error.  after some research, turns out you can't just put on a fresh copy of windows 10 and use your windows 8.1 product key, you actually have to upgrade from windows 8.  I wanted a fresh start because my SSD doesn't have much space.  So the process you have to follow is, Update to Windows 10 from windows 8, THEN format and install windows 10 and it should automatically recognise your hardware (No more product keys!).

all up, it took about 10 hours to install Windows 10.  legitimately.  maybe that's why they skipped windows 9, the number relates to how long it takes to install... ?