Links for February 5, 2009

Microsoft

Fix It: Microsoft begins automating help and support from Paul’s SuperSite blog

Microsoft has started an interesting and important new initiative to automate its online help so that it can “Fix It” for you automatically.

The “Fix it” button moves automated solution assets directly to the point of need,” says Lori Brownell, general manager, Product Quality Online, Microsoft Customer Service and Support.  “Moving forward, ‘Fix it’ will not only provide the first step in delivering diagnostics and solutions, but it will also allow consumers and IT professionals to create a case online for resolution.”

Customers can find the “Fix it” button in more than 100 Knowledge Base (KB) articles and click a button to automate steps that customers have manually performed in the past to resolve their issues.  For example:

  • An error message pops up when you try to use Street & Trips 2008.  A problem overview, the Fix it button and steps to test the fix can be found here.
  • You receive “Runtime Error” messages when you view Web pages in Internet Explorer.  Again, the problem, diagnoses and test can be found  here.
  • If you have a printing job that is stuck in the print queue in Windows XP, you can find the problem overview, diagnosis and solution here.

Microsoft is adding “Fix it” to KB articles in all languages and across a range of products.  Additionally, an internal site now allows Microsoft employees to submit recommended automated fixes for problems their friends and families experience.  Microsoft is working with partners including MVPs and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to release “Fix it” solutions.   Customers can visit the “Fix it” Web site (http://support.microsoft.com/fixit) to find information, view user suggestions and links to provide direct feedback to Microsoft.

Additionally, “Fix it” is evolving to include solutions for Windows Error Reporting, which pops up when customers experience an application hang or crash. Along with the new “Fix it” button, customers can still access traditional support channels, including submitting a standard support incident.

Windows 7

Excellent Windows 7 tip: Drag and drop file associations from Paul’s SuperSite blog

James T. just sent me an email with a most excellent Windows 7 tip: You can use the new taskbar to perform drag and drop file associations!

To make this work, simply drag a document file (like a Word Doc or JPEG) onto the taskbar button for the application with which you’d like to associate that type. Voila!

I haven’t tested this extensively yet, but it does appear to work. Good stuff! And nice catch, James.

Microsoft Recommends "GImage" – GUI Version of Windows 7 Deployment Tool "ImageX" from The Road to Know Where

Microsoft’s Deployment Team is recommending GImageX, a third-party graphical version of the ImageX command-line tool from the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows 7 Beta).  ImageX is used to capture and apply WIM images for Windows XP and Windows Vista desktop deployments. It uses the Microsoft WIMGAPI API for working with WIM files.

Project Management

Project Success Principles from PM Hut by Rino Jose

Last week, I gave a 2-day workshop on project management. I focused on what I call the Five Principles for Project Success. It’s been my experience that when any of these principles are violated, a project is headed for trouble. Conversely, if a project is in trouble, reviewing these principles is critical for recovery.

Recommended!

SharePoint

Add a YouTube Video to SharePoint 2007 from End User SharePoint by Lee Reed

YouTube has a lot of great videos that have been posted by people from every walk of life. There is certain to be information on YouTube that can contribute to your SharePoint site in a meaningful way. This short video will show you how to add a YouTube video to your SharePoint site so that you can share these videos with your coworkers.

 More Web Part goodness from Get the ‘Point: Posts

Links to information about using jQuery with Web Parts, working with Web Parts, and using SharePoint Web Parts with IE8’s Web Slices feature.We’ve also recently published another excerpt from Robert Bogue’s The SharePoint Shepherd’s Guide for End Users on Office Online. Bogue’s article Move Web Parts on a Publishing site will help new SharePoint users get up to speed with page design tasks like rearranging Web Parts.

Display the Quick Launch in a Web Part page from Path to SharePoint

Presentations are present! from The SharePoint Mad Scientist: Posts by Mike Watson – Mike uploaded his SharePoint Best Practices decks on Capacity Planning and Disaster Recovery. I found the Disaster Recovery presentation very useful.

NESSUS

Auditing MS SQL Servers for DISA STIG Compliance with Nessus from Tenable Network Security

Recently, Tenable added the ability for Nessus ProfessionalFeed users to establish a session with database servers and audit their configurations. Our first major audit policy that utilizes this technology performs a database audit against settings specified in the DISA STIG guide for Microsoft SQL servers. This blog entry discusses the new SQL auditing functionality and how to perform the DISA STIG audit with Nessus.

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Steve Mullen has been involved in information technology for over 35 years. He is also actively involved in the music program (voice and English hand bells) and Vestry of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Damascus, MD.

Posted in Blog, Microsoft, MOSS, MOSS 2007, Nessus, Project Management, SharePoint

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