Friday, August 29, 2008

Windows Server 2008 – is it more than just another Operating System?

Windows Server 2008 – is it more than just another Operating System?

Let's start off with some basics. These are my views from the information I have.

That's not to say the information I have is correct, or I could have misinterpreted it.

Moreover, these views may not be shared by many, even those inside the company.

I am a Microsoft User – there I've said it, no going back now. However, that doesn't

mean I am a Microsoft lover, I have a desire to push an alternative such as Linux to the

desktop and Open Office or the new Lotus Symphony as an application suite. Still, I

digress; this article is my view on Windows Server 2008.

There are a number of elements in W2K8 which makes it interesting, and that I have

used the word elements is an indication of the first thing that caught my interest. W2K8

differs from earlier version of Windows in that it is not a huge Operating System that

includes everything Microsoft could think you needed in one cumbersome package.

W2K8 is componentised. If you do not want the server to be an Active Directory

controller, don't load the component (Microsoft apparently calls them "roles"), and so

on. What a simple but amazing development. Likewise, if you come from a UNIX

background you can opt not to load the Windows GUI front end role. For those users

running large, transaction intensive databases where every bit of performance is

needed for the application, this is another interesting move.

One of, if not the most important element of W2K8 is Hyper-V. With Windows Server

2008 everything you need to develop and support a Virtualised Infrastructure is there

from day one. It's another role if you want it to be, but expect this to be the released as

a product in its own right in the near future in competition to VMWare, the current

Virtualisation environment of choice for most organisations. One of my colleagues has

just Virtualised most our servers to run on a single IBM Blade, including a server just

managing print. However, in an effort to push what the technology offered he installed

Hyper-V as the base and installed Virtual Servers onto that, apparently this makes our

operating environment quicker and more resilient. You can purchase Windows Server

2008 without Hyper-V if you wish. The estimated saving with be in the region of £20.

Another "role" I find worth mentioning is called Presentation Virtualization with Terminal

Server. With an ever increasing requirement for users to access company data from

multiple locations there has been an exponential growth in the use of Terminal Services.

However, earlier versions suffered a little from issues around printing and the creation of

cut down desktops, hence the increased usage of software from the likes of Citrix.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Great Free USB Portable Programs!

Great Free USB Portable Programs! With a Kick!

With traveling and use of many different computers, many geeks (and geek girls) often find a need to have a uniform set of tools handy wherever we may be. I've put together a list of 25 invaluable portable apps that can be installed on an Ipod or Thumb Drive. These are really cool!,

  1. TrueCrypt – encrypt your thumb drive to protect your information
  2. ToDoList – A tak management tool that allows you to repeatedly sub-divide your tasks into more manageable pieces whilst still presenting a clean and intuitive user experience. (Windows Only)
  3. Portable Firefox – Leaves no personal information behind on the machine - you can take along your browser/extensions/bookmarks anywhere
  4. Pidgin Portable – All-in-one instant messaging (supports AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, G-Chat, etc)
  5. WS FTP32 – ftp client
  6. FileZilla – yet another ftp client
  7. Notepad2 – a fast light-weight advanced text editor with syntax highlighting
  8. Notepad++ - this is one of my favorite text editors – now made portable
  9. Color Cop – this is one of my favorite freeware apps – includes an eyedropper you can drag over any window to grab the color value. It then offers a palette of 42 complimentary colors to the one you've picked.
  10. Ifranview – a light little graphics viewer/editor that packs a big punch. You can use it to work with screen captures, create slideshows and more
  11. GIMP – the popular open source image editor packaged as a portable app – very robust
  12. 7-Zip Portable – handles zip, gzip, tar, rar etc
  13. Allway Sync – syncs files between your thumb drive and PC
  14. Unknown Devices – helps you find out what the unknown devices in the device manager are
  15. TestDisk – data recovery software that can recover lost partitions or make drives bootable again
  16. UTorrent – my preferred bit torrent client – I love having this with me wherever I go
  17. Roeder's .NET Reflector – recently purchased by Red Gate, this still-free app can be used to explore .NET assemblies, understand relationships between classes and methods, find where types are instantiated and exposed or check that code has been correctly obfuscated before release. There are also over 30 add-ins available.
  18. Process Explorer – formerly Filemon and Regmon, this is an invaluable sleuthing tool
  19. TightVNC – based on the popular VNC remote control software, this version can live on a thumb drive
  20. WinMerge – compares differences between files and merges changes. It has the same features as the desktop version
  21. Text2Html – a text to HTML converter – converts text files into HTML format
  22. Portable Apps Suite – this is the mac-daddy of them all – it includes Firefox, Thunderbird(email), Sunbird(calendar),ClamWin (antivirus), Pidgin(see above), Sumatra PDF Readable, KeePass Password Safe, OpenOffice, CoolPlayer (audio Player) and even a couple of games
  23. Restoration – Recover accidentally deleted files – even after they were deleted from the recycle bin
  24. Infra Recorder Portable – cd and dvd burning
  25. RockXP – allows you to recover windows passwords or keys, change keys, display system password, and more – sneaky!

Please feel free to leave links to other tools in the comments section of this post.

Windows 2008 Improvements in Clustering and Storage Area

Improvements in Clustering and Storage Area
Network Support
Although clustering of servers has been around for a long time in Windows (dating back
to Windows NT 4.0 when it was available, but really didn’t work), clustering in Windows
2008 now not only works, but also provides a series of significant improvements that
actually make clustering work a whole lot better.
As IT administrators are tasked with the responsibility of keeping the network operational
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it becomes even more important that clustering works.
Fortunately, the cost of hardware that supports clustering has gotten significantly less
expensive; in fact, any server that meets the required specifications to run Windows Server
2008, Enterprise Edition can typically support Windows clustering. The basic standard for
a server that is used for enterprise networking has the technologies built in to the system
for high availability. Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Edition or Datacenter Edition is
required to run Windows 2008 clustering services.
Clustering is covered in detail in Chapter 29, “System-Level Fault Tolerance
(Clustering/Network Load Balancing).”
No Single Point of Failure in Clustering
Clustering by definition should provide redundancy and high availability of server
systems; however, in previous versions of Windows clustering, a “quorum drive” was
required for the cluster systems to connect to as the point of validation for cluster opera-
tions. If at any point the quorum drive failed, the cluster would not be able to failover
from one system to another. Windows 2008 clustering removed this requirement of a
static quorum drive. Two major technologies facilitate this elimination of a single or
central point of failure, which include majority-based cluster membership verification and
witness-based quorum validation.
The majority-based cluster membership allows the IT administrator to define what devices
in the cluster get a vote to determine whether a cluster node is in a failed state and the
cluster needs to failover to another node. Rather than assuming the disk will always be
available as in the previous quorum disk model, now nodes of the cluster and shared
storage devices participate in the new enhanced quorum model in Windows 2008.
Effectively, Windows 2008 server clusters have better information to determine whether it
is appropriate to failover a cluster in the event of a system or device failure.
The witness-based quorum eliminates the single quorum disk from the cluster operation
validation model. Instead, a completely separate node or file share can be set as the file
share witness. In the case of a GeoCluster where cluster nodes are in completely different
locations, the ability to place the file share in a third site and even enable that file share
to serve as the witness for multiple clusters becomes a benefit for both organizations with
distributed data centers and also provides more resiliency in the cluster operations compo-

.NET Framework Technologies

NET Framework Technologies
By using the .NET Framework, isolated applications can be transformed into online services
that can be worked with over the Internet or in intranet environments, allowing users to
access the services regardless of where the users are located. Windows Server 2003 exists
within this framework, and the capabilities of the framework form the underpinnings of the
operating system. Anything you can do with the Windows operating system on the corporate
network, you can do over the Internet as well.
The concepts underlying the Windows .NET Framework are industry-standard technologies,
including the following:
● Extensible Markup Language (XML) A language that can be used to describe other
languages and to give form and structure to abstract data concepts. You give data con-
cepts form by describing their components and the relationship between the compo-
nents. For example, the concept of a customer could be represented by using name,
address, phone number, account number, and purchase history components.
For more information about XML and related technologies, I recommend reading XML Pocket
Consultant (Microsoft Press, 2002).
● Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) A technology that facilitates message
exchange in distributed environments, allowing XML-formatted information to be
exchanged over the Internet or an intranet. The messages exchanged can include gen-
eral requests and responses to requests.
● Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) A standard that makes it
possible to locate and discover information about XML-based Web services. By using
UDDI, an application can locate an available service and then discover information
about it.
● Web Service Description Language (WSDL) A language that can be used to describe
XML-based Web services. By using WSDL, function names, required parameters, and
returned results from an XML-based Web service can be published so that they can be
discovered through UDDI.
For organizations looking to develop Web-based applications, these technologies make it
possible to create online services that communicate with each other, learn about new Web
services that might become available, and then use a discovery process to structure messages
properly so communication exchange is possible.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Convert .AVI files to DVD format for Free! Download software here!








With this great utility!

Quick Media Converter 3.5.0

Installation (Make sure you have Admin Rights)

1) Double-click on the downloaded file

2) Select the desired language

3) Install it in the directory of your choice.

4) Click next, and then click on yes

5) Select or unselected the check boxes

6) Click on Done

The application opens by itself in the initial chosen language.

You can always change the language settings later by clicking in the upper menu "languages".

Help And Support

You can view Video tutorials by selecting help in the upper menu and then the sub menu "help tutorials". Or copy and paste this link in your browser

We only give support for our users with the latest version! if your application is not up to date we will not be able to provide you with any help. So make sure you have the latest version before posting on our forum.

Forum in English: Click on the question mark in the upper right corner of your application.

You can read and access all the topics without being registered.

Only registered users are able to ask for help and post. Make sure you read the FAQs & Forum rules before posting (they are strictly applied).

We strongly recommend you to visit the forum read and or search the topics with the search tool if you encounter problems, as there is a great chance that your case is already treated on the forum.

Thank you for also reporting eventual bugs on our forum this helps us improve this free application that we offer you and is beneficial to our whole community of users.


Your will be notified by your application if an update is available or if you do not dispose of the latest version. Click on the message link to download the new version or patch if it appears.

You may also click on the Cocoonsoft red icon to check for new versions and view the presentation of our product on our website.

This product is distributed under GNU GPL license and contains source code from Fabrice Bellard FFMPEG and FFplayer also included in the package is Camstudio GNU GPL which allows you to record audio and on-screen activity on your computer.

To Uninstall:


=>All Programs

=>Quick Media Converter

=>Uninstall Quick Media Converter

Thank you for using Cocoon Software Quick Media Converter Freeware

Windows 2008 Resources and Development

Windows 2008 Resources and Development
Windows 2008