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Windows Live Essentials 2011 Released

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

The latest release of Live Essentials is now released and available for download in a lot of languages. Now that Microsoft has cleaned up some of the services, especially Live Mesh, Live Folders and Live Sync, it’s almost like a dream come true.

Yes, Microsoft has a long way to go to make this a complete and transparent personal cloud service. But in my opinion, they’re getting there.

Keep up the good work and make Google and Apple look like kids on a grown up playground 🙂

Download Live Essentials from http://get.live.com.

UPDATE!
It seems like it’s a bit too early to cheer. There’s some compatibility issues with the display driver, a Windows update and IE9 beta which causes several of the applications to hang or crash. After doing some research and trouble shooting I found the solution described as a part of Microsoft’s release notes for Live Essentials 2011.

The problem occurs as a conflict between the display driver and an update Microsoft release to add new graphics functionality to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. To resolve this issue, basically do the following:

  1. Uninstall IE9 Technical Preview and Windows 7 SP1 Beta if installed.
  2. Update display drivers, especially if you use ATI/AMD display controllers.
  3. Remove KB2028560 from your computer.
  4. Install release 2 of KB2028560 (requires "Genuine Windows”).

At least this resolved my issues, and I’m able to reinstall Internet Explorer 9 Public Beta without any problems! 🙂

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Installing SharePoint Foundation 2010 on Windows 7

July 20, 2010 8 comments

I know there’s a lot of posts describing how to install SharePoint Foundation 2010 (WSS4) on Windows 7 (see Microsoft’s installation procedure for Vista and Windows Server 2008 installations), but I just had to write my own short edition of the installation procedure available at MSDN.

Please note that Microsoft does not support this configuration for production environments. Windows 7 installations should only be used for development, testing and demo purposes!

Prerequisites

The following components and additions has to be installed on the computer running Windows 7 64-bit edition:

Installation procedure

Use the following procedure to install SharePoint Foundation:

  1. Make sure all prerequisites are met and no critical error is present in the event logs.
  2. Download SharePoint Foundation from Microsoft’s web site.
  3. Extract the web package to a temporary location using the /extract command line option.
  4. Edit the .\files\Setup\config.xml file according to the section below.
  5. Run the SharePoint Foundation setup, but do not run the configuration wizard.
  6. If you use a local SQL Server 2008, install KB970315.
  7. Run the SharePoint products and technologies configuration wizard.
  8. Install appropriate language packs.
  9. Configure SharePoint with the SharePoint Central Administration web application.

Editing the config.xml file

As described in step 4 in the installation procedure above, the config.xml file has to be edited to allow installation on Windows 7. Add the following line in the configuration section:
<Setting Id="AllowWindowsClientInstall" Value="True"/>

The entire config.xml file should look similar to this:

<Configuration>
  <Package Id="sts">
    <Setting Id="SETUPTYPE" Value="CLEAN_INSTALL" />
  </Package>
  <DATADIR Value="%CommonProgramFiles%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\Data" />
  <Logging Type="verbose" Path="%temp%" Template="Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 4.0 Setup *.log" />
  <PIDKEY Value="RBWQH-7PFXQ-D6RX2-HVK8Y-HP7F7" />
  <Setting Id="UsingUIInstallMode" Value="1" />
  <Setting Id="SETUP_REBOOT" Value="Never" />
  <Setting Id="AllowWindowsClientInstall" Value="True"/>
</Configuration>

IIS Features and Components

The follow screen shots shows required IIS components as described in the prerequisites section:

N’Joy!

Using LiveID with SharePoint

Managing users and user profiles on a public or community site running SharePoint is often a pain in the ass. Luckily some creative developers have created an authentication provider for SharePoint which authenticates users with Microsoft LiveID. I’ve tried different solutions, but the extended version of CKS:LiveID developed by Wictor Wilén seems to be the best to use and easiest to install and configure.

How to get started? Well, in short terms:

  • Download the Live Authentication Provider from Codeplex.
  • Register a LiveID authentication service at Microsoft Azure.
  • Install and configure the LiveID authentication provider according to the documentation provided with the solution file.
  • Add users and user permissions to your site, and…
  • Off you go!

    Please note that the authentication provider requires outbound http and https traffic (web services). If you use a proxy, please make sure you add the appropriate proxy settings in the web.config file!

    See also Wictor’s blog post on the solution.

    The DNN-approach

    Another approach is to use the LiveID integration provided with the DotNetNuke (DNN) framework. With some additional modules, it’s possible to use DNN as an authentication and user management front-end to SharePoint. This makes a great authentication provider and self-service user management solutions, especially since the modules for DNN is free and highly customizable.

    N’Joy!

    New beta release of Live Essentials

    I just downloaded and installed the latest beta releases of Microsoft Live Essentials and it seems like Microsoft has taken other users comments into consideration when writing a new release.

    The most important change (at least for me) is the merge of Live SkyDrive, Live Sync and Live Mesh. Since I use all three services, I’ve had a pain in the a… trying to figure out what kind of files to place were. There’s still a way to go but so far it looks great.

    The client side Live applications has all been made more “Microsoft-ish”. With the ribbon and editing features most people know from the Office products since 2007. Personally I fancy Live Writer, which I use for both personal blogging, public blogging and page editing (articles etc.). The media support in the new release is heavily improved with the ability to insert video from both personal files, YouTube integrated accounts and from any streaming URL. Very cool indeed.

    So far I haven’t found any major issue with the current beta and can recommend it to anyone, even if you use services from providers other than Microsoft.

    Rhod Gilbert on his trip to Australia

    The thing about comedy is that it always lightens up the mood. Even on a stressful workday or when everything seems to go down the drain. Rhod is a Welsh stand up comedy artist which has several very good shows, but my favorite has to be when he went to Australia and had some problems with his luggage.

    Unfortunately the sound is quite poor, but if you are somewhat good in English and listen carefully, you get the point.

    Rhod Gilbert – Luggage Problems

     

    If you fancy his kind of humor, search for Rhod Gilbert on YouTube.

    N’Joy!

    The fabulous Jeff Dunham and “Ahmed – the dead terrorist”

    This video was posted on YouTube several years ago, but it’s still one of my favorites. Even if Jeff Dunham is most famous for his puppets “Walter” and “Peanut”, I think Ahmed is the very best.

    Jeff Dunham and “Achmed–The dead terrorist”

    To view more puppets and shows by Jeff Dunham, search YouTube or visit the Jeff Dunham official home page.

    My WordPress Experience

    I’m still searching for the best solution and service for my personal web site and blog. After trying Google’s Blogger, Microsoft’s Live! Space and Office Live for Small Business I ended up with WordPress. Unfortunately, not everything is as I would like it to be, especially when it comes to the following issues:

    1. Theming is nice but when the themes include several errors and does not recognize the importance of printability, it’s more or less useless. There is an option of creating your own CSS, but then you’ll have to pay an annual fee. I don’t want to pay to fix other developers mistakes.
       
    2. Compared to both Blogger, Live! Spaces and Office Live, the flexibility within the pages are very low. The theme defines which page templates that exist and how they work. If you need to change anything you just have to forget it (unless you want to pay another fee to WP). It’s not possible to decide which widgets you want on each page and all widgets you add to your site will appear on all pages with a widget placeholder.
       
    3. There is no contact form available. This should be one of the most basic features of any site. I know I don’t want to publish my e-mail address, but would like my visitors to have the ability to send me an e-mail from the server application. However, even if all other similar services have this feature, WP does not.
       
    4. I would like to have my own URL, and since I already own the Wikmark.name zone, I would have thought blog.wikmark.name was easy to accomplish. But again I was wrong, at least if I don’t pay another fee. Besides, it’s cheaper to have WP register a new domain than it is to use an existing domain, something I found quite odd.

    It seems like WP is something like Ryan air. The basic service is free, but if you require a seat with your flight you will have to pay extra. Oh, you wanted a knife and fork with your meal? That’ll be $2 extra please.

    So, how come I ended up with WP anyway? First of all, I don’t trust Google. I don’t want them to host my ideas and stuff I write and create, thus Blogger was excluded. Microsoft on the other hand I trust, but the services they deliver are hard to use, not standardized and lacks of basic features as well. Besides, who actually uses Microsoft’s public services for real? So the answer is more or less that WP was the “least bad” service to use. Hopefully this will change in the future.

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