Windows Server 2012 Server Core

I am reading up on Windows Server 2012 now that I have a trial version installed. It is pretty sleek. There are many intriguing facets to Server 2012. One item I find especially interesting is using Server Core with some GUI tools. Server Core  is the default install. It is basically command line driven. It essentially means there is no GUI. No Internet Explorer. No Server Manager. No Explorer (what?!).

Hello command line. Goodbye mouse?

Not completely. With Server 2012, it is now possible to go with the Server Core, but also install basic GUI tools, like Server Manager, in order to Manage from the mouse, so to speak. Using the Power Shell within the usual Windows command line (aka DOS), an administrator can quickly install a feature. Luckily, I am a bit used to Power Shell because I use it off of Exchange Server 2010 Servers. It takes a little practice but is very handy. So, in order to get the Server Manager GUI tools working OVER the Server Core GUI-less shell, go to Power Shell and type:
install-windowsfeature server-gui-mgmt-infra

The Server Manager installs after a reboot.

This allows for the more direct, familiar and comfortable Server Manager tools. Personally, I prefer this but it is good to know command line as well. Also, and more importantly, for many company endeavors in  Production or Business server environment, servers are used for very specific functions. Sometimes this occurs in server farms or load balancing scenarios. The need for a Graphical User Interface on each server is not really needed. Server Core not only suffices, but it uses fewer resources. This is a way to trim the fat, so to speak and conserve disk space and other resources.

And with Server 2012, Microsoft has made it easy to add Server Manager, for example, on the fly if needed.

Samsung ATIV tablet with Windows 8

I have the Samsung ATIV Smart PC in my hand. It is astonishingly wonderful. Although Samsung refers to this device as a “Smart PC”, I call it a  … tablet. But I get the Marketing – this tablet really can be a PC for most folks, whether on a personal, home level or in a business sense.

But believe me, this is not your standard PC nor an average laptop. This is a tablet that not only zips around from App to App, or even Desktop to App, this tablet TURNS HEADS. Sit in a public space or walk around with one in hand and you will see what I mean.

Once you figure out how to turn off the “Autorotate”, this device is awesome. Autorotate moves the screen from vertical to horizontal on the fly. Sometimes, it seems the screen moves if you even flinch slightly. There may be a way to tune it, but the button on top of the tablet next to the On/Off switch turns it off/on. It’s all long screen or horizontal for me.

The 1.8 GHz Atom processor is more than ample for this tablet that can pass for a modern day workstation. The RAM is slim at 2 Gigabytes, so this device may not be for hard core science, mathematical or business reporting numbers crunching users. But outside of those requirements, it can handle most tasks smoothly.

The Windows 8 tablet swiping takes some getting used to. But once you start gently swiping in the corners, as opposed to tapping hard (like I did initially), navigation is fairly easy and makes sense. A lower right hand corner Windows 8 swipe yields Search, Share, Start (menu), Devices, and Settings. Now I am wondering, how did I ever carry on my Windows work without these?

One tip: if new to Windows 8 on a tablet or touch screen, master how to find Search. Anything, and I mean anything, can be found via Search. It’s really the same as the Windows 7 Start/Search feature. Hit the Windows logo (which all Windows 8 devices have now), and you get the shiny default Windows 8 screen if you are lost. Scroll to the right, and there is Search. Gently start touching the lowest right corner, and swipe towards center screen. Search via narrowing it down to Apps, Settings, Files [Apps is default]. This was how I got to the Network settings: I selected Settings and typed in network. All sorts of related results.

The AT&T 4G is built into the device, i.e. on the board, so to speak. The built on nature of a 4G card increases the price of the unit a bit. It is worth it, though. Speeds are spot on and do not disappoint at 9 Megabytes download and 7 Megabytes upload speed. That is sweet speed!

This ATIV is being offered at $699 at AT&T. Data plan required. There are similar (and less expensive) devices available if you can make do with finding WiFI connections when needed or if you will always be using it or working in the same location or two. But having the always on broadband modem (4G) built right into this device is a real convenience. As always, monthly data charges ensue.

Check out the details and ‘specs’ on this wonderful Samsung ATIV!

http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/devices/samsung/ativ-smart-pc-misty-blue.html?WT.srch=1&cagpspn=pla#fbid=QOxQ6JqdKCC

SkyDrive, Spotify, Windows 8

Some random SkyDrive, Office 2013, Spotify on Windows 8 updates:

“A billion Office documents have been saved to SkyDrive, Microsoft announced today. This number will surely grow with Office 2013 using SkyDrive as the default save location.
Previously, editing those documents with the Office Web Apps required a Microsoft account. Microsoft has changed that policy. While a Microsoft account is still required to have your own SkyDrive and documents, you can now edit other people’s documents to which you’ve been invited even without an account; you just need the invitation link. This should make co-authoring simpler and more accessible….

Way back at the Windows Phone 8 launch last year, Microsoft promised that Spotify was coming to the platform. Windows Phone 7 had a Spotify client, but it’s one of the small selection of apps that weren’t compatible with Windows Phone 8 due to its use of native code. The new free app is still a “beta,” and it comes with a 30-day Spotify trial.”

Thanks to ArsTechnica for the update

Windows Surface Pro as Benchmark

I read this interesting analysis of the new Windows 8 Surface Pro. He mentions that Microsoft’s purpose for producing Surface on its own was really intended to spur OEMs like Dell and Lenovo into producing more for less. It’s an interesting point.

“Windows Surface Pro sold out at its US release last weekend. iTWire thinks it is a good product but more importantly it is a good benchmark for others to improve on – and they are. MS entered the tablet fracas for one reason, to shame or spur its OEM partners on to releasing better tablets that it was – let’s call it a benchmarking exercise.

So what is the Pro benchmark? Around $900 buys you: an Intel core i5 1.7Ghz quad core processor and graphics; 4GB ram; can have 64 or 128GB of SSD (not lower cost flash memory) storage (but typically the OS and programs will chew up about 30GB of that); has a 10.6” 1920 x 1080 HD 16:9 screen; 10 point multi-touch; Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth 4.0; USB 3.0 port; microSDXC card slot; Mini Display Port (HP standard – why not mini HDMI?); a headphone jack; microphone; front and rear 720p cameras (assume 2MP); and a Wacom Pen – all in a 903g package.
Most importantly it is full Windows 8 Pro operating system – not the Surface Windows RT version (around $600) that valiantly tried to enter the iPad/Android arena”
 

Article here