Monthly Archives: November 2012

How Windows 8 change my view on Microsoft

I have always loved the Windows Operating System, but their phones were a joke back it the day, and their in-house hardware was just accessories and a game console. I have come to the conclusion that Windows 8 isn’t designed to just be an Operating System, it is designed to increase the Microsoft Market Share across all of their devices. I used Windows 8 off and on throughout the previews and it was good but nothing super spectacular. However once it was finally released I decided I was making the leap at home.

Telling Friends/Family/Co-workers about Products

In March 2012 I gave a presentation at work about Windows 8 on Desktop and Tablet and I enjoyed it quite a bit, I had many people asking me questions. After all my research was complete I was starting to tell friends to hold off on buying tablets till the end of the year. Once the Surface came out I made sure I had it on day of release, I took it into the office and I was demonstrating it pretty much all day telling people my impressions on the device and how nice the TouchCover was.

Since then I have had my brother question me about it and I believe the Surface might become his only computer in the near future, honestly it would be my only computer if I were not in the IT Field and some of the Software I use requires the x86 chip architecture. It has even got to the point where my mother is telling her friends about the Surface being such a fantastic device.

Increased Xbox 360 Usage

I think the my Xbox 360 usage has really increased the most. I’ve owned it for many years and I am actually more of a PS3 player than I ever was invested in Xbox. In-fact I own www.playstationeuphoria.com and it started with PSN@Home 5-6 years ago and I was the main one blogging. Once I received my Microsoft Surface I decided to finally try out Xbox SmartGlass and it was amazing, I began buying games for the Xbox and seems like I play it every other day at a minimum.

Purchasing Windows Phone 8

After adjusting to Windows 8, after owning a Surface, and admittedly also playing with the Lumia 900 running Windows Phone 7 at TechEd 2012,  I was impressed. I knew that I was interested in switching from my iPhone since I had owned it for 3 years and no matter how many new devices came out the changes were minimal at best. I decided since Microsoft was knocking everything out of the park I would go ahead and purchase the Lumia 920 once it was available, day it came out I went to the AT&T Store and picked up a Red Lumia 920. I’ve had minimal issues with the phone but overall love it.

Conclusion

Overall I have to say not only did Microsoft do fantastic on Windows 8, and the Surface and on Windows Phone 8 but the integration of all the devices, using SkyDrive has been unbelievable. I’ve got my phone syncing my picture to SkyDrive, and I can pull out my Surface to write a blog and use those exact photos with no effort on my part.

Configure Surface to use MicroSD as Primary Storage

So after about a week of excitement and playing around with features I decided it was time to start optimizing and making this thing run the way I wanted it to. The first thing I noticed was that I cannot use my SD card with my Libraries; so all my apps are going to by default save to the local SSD which is far from what I want. I knew there had to be a way around this so I started digging in. I feel I finally have it to the point where others should be doing the same thing and once it’s done you can forget about it.

  • Create a VHD and save it on the SD card
  • Create directories on this VHD for your specific libraries
    • Documents
    • Music
    • Video
    • Pictures
  • Configure the libraries
  • Enable Indexing on the VHD – This is important because the Photos app will not work right without it
  • Have a script automatically Attach the VHD on Boot

If you would like to know exact steps to take please continue reading. Read more »

Backups are Important! Here is How I do it!

As I promised I would blog about the additional backup procedures I planned on putting in place after the outage I had last time. I still have more things I’d like to implement but have not had the time in the evening to do the custom development work.

  1. Cron jobs that backup to the local file system
  2. A WordPress Plugin that backups on a schedule to my Drop Box (WordPress Backup to Dropbox)
  3. A Tumblr! I have setup a Tumblr and found a WordPress Plugin that automatically post everything I write to my Tumblr (Social Networks Auto-Poster)

If you would like to know a bit more detail on my backup stuff please continue reading below. Read more »

Captain Hindsight! Always have Remote Backups!

On Thursday afternoon I started receiving alerts that both of my personal websites had gone offline, which were on separate VPS Servers through the same provider. I thought this was quite unusual because it isn’t usually simultaneous. Once I got home I looked into it and the servers were completely unreachable, I looked at my providers twitter and they had mentioned an attack on their servers that had been compromised. That is never a good sign!

Over the weekend full details came in that they had been brute forced and the hackers gained access to the physical nodes and basically they nuked the drives. They spent 3 days trying to recover the ~1000 VPS that had been destroyed and had no luck restoring mine, I had looked into it and I had no backups of my blog on my home computer and my other website the most recent backup I had locally was from July of this year. I did follow standard backup procedures and I had a script that made weekly backups… but they were stored on the local server. At this point I knew I had no choice but to start from scratch and mentioned my delima on Twitter.

I was lucky enough that @fast_edo had saw my tweet and mentioned using inurl:mattblogsit.com as a Google Search string, and BOOM! I found a lot of my articles cached. I began doing similar searches on Bing and between the two I was able to find all of my articles – the images in the cache. Now I may not have been intelligent to maintain my articles but I was able to locate all of my graphics and get my blog about 95% restored. I personally decided not to re-post some of the articles but they were things relating to #TheKrewe Shirt Design Contest, and a post that just wasn’t up to par for me.

Over the next couple of days expect to see blog posts relating to setting up backups on your CentOS Servers and WordPress Blogs because I am dedicating myself to that cause to make sure this doesn’t happen again!