Windows 7 AFP RSS Photo Theme

Originally published at Bleeding Edge 4th Feb 2009.

Inspired by Mike Swanson’s post of his fantastic Windows 7 Theme Pack from a selection of his wallpaper images and the already available Windows 7 Theme packs I have jumped aboard and gone a step further than Long Zheng’s post on RSS Powered Windows 7 Themes from Flickr users. The theme pack that I created uses a RSS feed of news photographs sourced from Agence France-Presse via Dave Winer’s FlickrFan project.

There are a few things to note regarding the install of this theme pack in that a few extra steps are needed to customise your settings for the RSS feed in getting updates more frequently than once per day, or you can leave the defaults to once per day as the AFP photo feed is updated quite often so I would suggest 4 hours is a good middle of the road option. The RSS feed can download in excess of 500+ images per day with image sizes ranging from 0.5Mb to 1.5Mb each you will need to take this into consideration.

Those of us here down under that have very limited download allocations per month I would definitely recommend not updating any sooner than every 4 times per hour, those in places around the world that have larger monthly download quota’s you can pick any setting you think that will not hurt your monthly download quota.

Firstly download the AFP FlickrFan themepack to your desktop and open it open it up (double click) and you will be presented with a popup window ‘Subscribe to RSS Feed’ and you should click ‘Download Attachments’ and by default you are now up and running getting updates once per day. If you want the RSS feed to update more frequently open up Internet Explorer 8 and navigate to your ‘feeds’ folder (Favorites -> Feeds) and you will have a feed titled (http://feeds.feedburner.com/AFP-OPML-WIN7) and right click the feed and select properties and select ‘Use Custom Schedule’ and select how often you want the feed list updated, ¼, ½, hourly, 4 hours or daily and select how many items you want to store, the default is 200 and you can change this to a maximum of 2,500. The theme is set to change your background wallpaper every 3 seconds as drinking from the firehose without changing the background so often you would not get to see many of the images.When you do see an image and want to know more about the image you will need to open up Internet Explorer 8 and navigate to the RSS Feed and view the description contained in the feed as overlaying this text directly onto the images is well out of my league of wizardry.

For more information on FlickrFan and the AFP photostream read Dave’s post A taste of FlickrFan, Om Malik’s Introducing FlickrFan, Read Write Web’s Dave Winer’s new photo viewing software or Scobleizer’s The MacMini HDTV revolution.

If you do not have Windows 7 or this RSS Feed is just too much to download you can view the same images at the AFP OPML site created by Dave Winer.

Thanks to AFP for supplying the images, Dave Winer and the FlickrFan project and WordPress for hosting the images.

Exchange 2007 Technet Virtual Labs

  • Exchange 2007: Installing Exchange Server 2007 Virtual Lab
    This lab will walk you through the basics of an Exchange Server 2007 installation, and will demonstrate how a standard installation will work, as well as how to add a server role to an existing installation, via a scripted install in PowerShell.
  • Exchange Server 2007: Using Management Console and Shell Virtual Lab
    This lab will walk you through the basics of administration in Exchange Server 2007, by walking you through both the Exchange Management Console and its command-line counterpart, the Exchange Management Shell. Finally, this lab will show you how to build and use more powerful administrative scripts.
  • Exchange 2007: Administering Exchange Server 2007 Server Roles and Mailboxes Virtual Lab
    This lab will show you how to move mailboxes between stores using the Exchange Management Shell, and will then walk you through a client configuration, using the new AutoDiscover feature. Finally, this lab will walk through the analyzer tools, designed to help you keep your messaging environment running at optimally, that come with Exchange Server 2007.
  • Exchange 2007: Administering Exchange Server 2007 Server Roles and Mailboxes Virtual Lab
    This lab will show you how to move mailboxes between stores using the Exchange Management Shell, and will then walk you through a client configuration, using the new AutoDiscover feature. Finally, this lab will walk through the analyzer tools, designed to help you keep your messaging environment running at optimally, that come with Exchange Server 2007.
  • Exchange Server 2007: Remote Client Access Virtual Lab
    This lab demonstrates the administrator’s and client experience in accessing an Exchange Server from nearly any location. You will walk through many of the new features in Outlook Web Access 2007, including calendaring, search and SharePoint access, as well as gain an understanding of how to administer these features. Finally, you’ll see how mobile devices interact with Exchange Server 2007.
  • Exchange 2007: Using Local Continuous Replication Virtual Lab
    This lab walks you through the Local Continuous Replication features of Exchange Server 2007. After completing this lab, you will be able to enable Local Continuous Replication on an Exchange Storage Group and create an initial seed database for Local Continuous Replication by using BackRest.exe. Finally, see how to recover from a disk failure by using the copy taken by Local Continuous Replication.
  • Exchange 2007: Using Cluster Continuous Replication Virtual Lab 
    This lab walks you through the Cluster Continuous Replication features of Exchange Server 2007. You’ll begin by configuring Windows Server 2003 Cluster Services, and then go on to install the Active and Passive cluster nodes. Finally, you’ll see how to move resources between cluster nodes.
  • Forefront Security for Exchange Server Virtual Lab
    Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server includes multiple scan engines from industry-leading security firms integrated in a single solution to help businesses protect their Exchange messaging environments from viruses, worms, and spam. Because it ships with and integrates multiple industry-leading antivirus engines, Forefront Security for Exchange Server provides comprehensive, layered protection against the latest threats.

Windows Vista Technet Virtual Labs

Microsoft are starting to unleash a variety of Technet Vista Virtual Labs to explore and learn how certain aspects of Vista operate. The labs will only be running the Vista Basic UI theme to make the lab faster so don’t expect to have any ‘aero glass’ interface but they are a great way of learning how to drive Vista.

Configuring Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
Exploring New Group Policy Settings in Windows Vista
Exploring User Account Control in Windows Vista
Migrating User State from Windows XP to Windows Vista

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Jesper – MIA – Australia TechEd 2006

I have unfortunately been prevented from speaking at TechEd in New Zealand, Australia, and Japan; the final events I was planning to speak at before I leave Microsoft on September 1. I cannot express how terrible I feel about this. The hope was that these events were supposed to be an opportunity to celebrate the past and the future before I move on. The only thing I can say is that I hope to see everyone at some other event in the future.Sorry.

I had a great one on one chat with Jesper at the Security Summits here in Oz earlier this year. It would have been great to catch up one last time before his departure from Microsoft.

You shall be missed Jesper, and I wish you all the best with the new job at Amazon.

Windows Server Host Headers

Host headers do work with SSL-enabled sites—With the introduction of Windows Server 2003 SP1, it became possible to use host headers for addressing SSL-enabled sites.

 I’ll have to go and read about this one. I suppose this is what you find whilst RTFM.

Edit: Include MS HMC Documentation – I think this needs updating as there is no downside to host headers now. WTF!

When you create a new Web site, the specified approaches to addressing have advantages and drawbacks, as follows:

Using host headers saves money—Rather than purchasing a large block of IP addresses from ARIN, you can purchase a smaller block of addresses. You only need to use one address from this block for a whole collection of sites. Individual sites are identified by host headers — the Web server reads the header in the incoming HTTP request and directs the request to the appropriate site.

Host headers do work with SSL-enabled sites—With the introduction of Windows Server 2003 SP1, it became possible to use host headers for addressing SSL-enabled sites.