Don’t Miss Out on some Fun Stuff

Please tell me you’ve seen the tweets and gotten the emails! 

I’m co-chairing PacITPros 2nd TechDays SF – two days jam packed with a crazy menu of sessions to choose from, brought to you by some great speakers – many of which you’d pay 6 times the amount to see at TechEd.

Not going to TechEd?  Then this is the place for you to get the much of what you need to know about Cloud, Azure, PowerShell, plus some extra goodies on SharePoint 2013, Lync, Remote Desktop and Hyper-V!

The fine folks at Xantrion are sponsoring us and we’ve got our schedule available as a mobile app by EventBoard.  So go register now.  Otherwise, you are making me feel bad.

Speaking of Azure, if you haven’t done the 90 day free trial, it’s totally worth looking at.  Microsoft is even running a Virutal Networking challenge where you can win some pretty decent prizes, like a Surface Pro. 


Goodbye Google?

I opted for a Gmail account back in the day when you still needed an invite to get it. It still said “Beta” on the logo. My gmail account has been my primary email address for pretty much EVER. I had an over abundance of blog subscriptions in my Google Reader.  I’ve got stuff in Google Drive. I use Google Calendar to share data with my hubby who’s an Apple fan-boy.  This blog is on Blogger.

And now I’m falling out of love. I’m worried about the compatibility with Microsoft and Windows 8, on my computer and on my phone. The end of support (and extension of support) for Exchange Active Sync is worrisome. And now they’ve told everyone to use CalDAV, but that’s going away too.  And Reader, well, everyone knows about what’s going on with Reader.

But my gmail address is so ingrained in stuff, I’m just not sure I’ll ever be able to cut the ties. But maybe a partial migration – I’m not sure. I’m really liking the two-factor authentication features. So instead of rushing and making any rash decisions, I’m taking it slow.

When it comes up, I change an email address registered with something away from my Gmail address. Starting to spread my eggs around in some other baskets, so to speak.

I took this opportunity to start fresh with my RSS feeds.  Today, instead of hunting for a place to move my subscriptions to, I culled them down to about a dozen feeds that I gravitate toward on a daily basis. New feeds will have to earn their place on my reading list and I’m hoping by July 1st, I’ll have found a new home for them.

What are you plans for your use of Google services?  Have they finally jumped the shark?

TechNet Events come to California in August!

If you are looking for a way to learn more about cloud computing with Microsoft’s Azure, look no further than the TechNet Event folks who will be offering up a half day session on building a private cloud.  The description from Microsoft is below.

Cloud Power! What are the options? Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud? Which one is right for your business? Join us as we discuss the basics of cloud infrastructures and the details of how to build your own private cloud. In 4 hours we will build a private cloud with you! We will talk about Hyper-V, Windows Azure, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and the Self Service Portal. We will demonstrate how to use these building blocks to build your own private cloud environment to host your own IT applications and services. We will also show you how to connect Public Cloud components to your Private Cloud in order to maximize the unique competitive benefits of each environment. Before this session is over you will have an understanding of the ins and outs of Microsoft’s Private Cloud Offerings

Visit Microsoft’s World Wide Event calendar and find a location near you. But if you are in San Francisco the even will be on August 23rd.  For southern CA folks, it will be in Irvine on August 11th.

Put your money where your cloud is.

Cloud. Cloud. Cloud. Everything is about the “cloud” these days. Though for as long as there has been the Internet, there’s always been a cloud – it’s just a matter of how it was being used. And when it comes to the Internet, it’s a lot about what one can get for free and what is worth paying for.

First off, I’m a heavy user of Google services. Gmail is my starting point for email management and I’ve been pretty happy with the feature set and the service. Plus I love not having to rely on a specific client or specific machine to send mail and can access it from any computer and my phone. I’m not a big fan of Google Docs, but Google Voice is pretty cool too – and all of Google’s services are free, assuming you don’t mind targeted advertising. Plus the BlackBerry application works pretty well.

And let’s face it, there would be no WWW with web hosting services. There are several fine companies that offer free hosting for small sites if you use them for domain registration and don’t need any of the more involved features, like PHP or dedicated servers. I’ve been happy with DotEasy so far. It does what I need for several small sites I have to keep up and running on the cheap.

For file backup and document access, I use SugarSync. This service is free for the first 2 GB of data, but I’m willing to pay for the 30 GB level. Files are accessible via the web portal and there is an option to email documents to yourself that will then be synced to your registered computers automatically. If you want to check it out, use me as a reference and we’ll all get extra space!

Another cool online tool is Remember The Milk, a task management portal. The web service is free, but the tools to sync to mobile devices requires an annual fee. It’s a bit pricey when compared to what I spend on other services, but there is a two week trial period before needing to commit. The “pro” service also gets you priority email support.

Another cloud related application that I use daily is UberTwitter. This BlackBerry application is my connection to my favorite social media portal and is worth every penny of it’s nominal fee. Sure, Facebook has a free application for the Blackberry, but I find I’m happier the less time I spend there.

Finally, I’d miss the ability to download content onto my Kindle wirelessly over the Internet. Amazon’s service allows me to catch up on the newspaper daily and purchase books without the hassle of having to make extra space in my bag.

It’s easy to get lulled into the idea that everything on the Internet should be free, but I’m willing to put my cash behind web services, features and related applications when they meet my needs. What about you?