Keeping Up with the Releases

There are a lot of great things to say about the faster release cycles we see with software these days. Bugs are fixed and features become available to us sooner, security issues are resolved quicker too. In a lot of cases, our operating systems and software packages are smart enough to check themselves and let us know updates are available or automatically install themselves.

I work between two different machines regularly and depending on my schedule sometimes favor one machine over the other for several weeks at a time. For better or for worse (mostly for the better), Windows 10 takes care of itself for me, as does Visual Studio Code and Docker for Windows. This means I often find myself sitting down at the “other” machine and once again waiting for those updates to install. While sometimes I admit to rolling my eyes in frustration every time I get an update alert, I do appreciate that I don’t have to think about those updates otherwise.

But for software that doesn’t automatically update, I will sometimes find myself wondering why demo notes I’ve drafted on one machine suddenly aren’t working when I try them on the other machine or worse, blaming documentation for being incorrect when the commands don’t work as instructed.

When it comes to documentation freshness vs software freshness… Let’s not go there today. I generally always start with docs.microsoft.com when I’m looking for information about Azure and other Microsoft products. While nothing is above being error free and sometimes out of date, more often than not my problems exist between my keyboard and monitor – in the form of some piece of software needing an update.

The top two things on my machines that I have to manually update regularly are:

  • Azure CLI 2.0Instructions for Installing or Updating Azure CLI 2.0
    • Type “az –version” at your command line to see what version you at running.  As of this writing (10/17/17) the current version is 2.0.19.
    • If you aren’t a regular Azure CLI user and just want to try it out via the Azure Portal, check out the Cloud Shell.
  • Azure PowerShellInstructions for Installing or Updated Azure PowerShell 4.4.1
    • I recommend the command line installer for this one, but if you want to do something other than that (like install within a docker container) you can find those instruction here.
    • You can check your version of Azure PowerShell by typing “Get-Module AzureRM -list | Select-Object Name,Version,Path” at the PowerShell command line, however if you don’t get any response back, you don’t have 4.4.1 installed at all.
    • Also, don’t confuse the Azure PowerShell Modules with the PowerShell that comes on your Windows machine itself.  That’s at version 5.1 right now if you have Windows 10 with your updates turned on. You can check that by typing “$PSVersionTable” at your PowerShell command line. If you want instructions running the beta version 6, you can find all that information here with the general installation instructions.

 

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DevCamps for Azure and O365 for public sector companies

Do you work in the health, government, public safety or education industries and are looking to learn more about Azure, Office365 and DevOps?  This free training from Microsoft is 300-level and geared toward partners who want to learn more about coding on these Microsoft platforms using .NET, Node.js, and Java.

This course are crafted as a combination of lecture and lab that put you on track to explore new Microsoft integrations, Modern Cloud Apps, Infrastructure as Code, Azure Active Directory, and much more!

You can register here for the one upcoming in Silicon Valley on January 24 and 25th.

 

Arm in ARM with VM Backups

With all the interesting announcements with BUILD this week, you might have missed this which, to me, signals that the end is near for the wait for Azure Backup and DR related features to be available in “Azure v2” aka Azure Resource Manager.

Now in public preview: Azure Backup for ARM VMs!  Check out the full post with instructions on how to get started – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/backup-azure-vms-first-look-arm/

Seeing some of the these features being ported over means that organizations looking to start out using the cloud to supplement there on-prem backup and recover plans aren’t locked into the Azure Service Manager model.

No word yet on the big guns like Azure Site Recovery, but being able to snapshot an Azure VM for backup purposes making moving some on-prem workloads to the cloud much easier!

 

The TechNet Virtual Conference – Coming Soon!

Pop Quiz:
What happens when you put Mary Jo Foley and Rick Claus in the same room?

Answer: They kick off Day 1 of the TechNet Virtual Conference!

And what is the TechNet Virtual Conference?
It’s 3 days (well, two and half days) of awesome speakers talking about all that on the minds of IT Pros, Sys Admins and Windows Aficionados alike!

Learn about what is the future for IT careers, cyber-security and tech-driven businesses. Catch up on all that is new in Azure, Nano, Containers, Azure Stack, Operations Management Suite, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Microsoft Passport… you get it.

But if being tied to your computer on March 1st thru March 3rd isn’t your style, trust that most of content will be available after the event to stream on demand.

Bonus!: If you really want to talk about Cloud Infrastructure with someone in person (and you live in the SF Bay Area) it’s not too late to sign up for the TechNet on Tour | Cloud Infrastructure event on March 3rd.

Learning “Cloud” – Maybe in City Near You

Just a quick post to let you know about some “cloud” and Azure events coming up!

TechNet on Tour | Cloud Infrastructure

  • 1/21 – Irvine TX and Tempe AZ
  • 1/28 – Tampa FL
  • 2/2 – Cambridge MA
  • 2/4 – Los Angeles CA
  • 2/11 – Chicago IL
  • 2/24 – Philadelphia PA
  • 3/3 – San Francisco CA
  • 3/8 – Edina, MN
  • 3/15 – Redmond WA
  • 3/29 – New York, NY

Microsoft Cloud Roadshow

  • 1/26 – 1/27 – Los Angeles CA

If local, community events are more your style:

Favorite Tweets from 2015 (Social Edition)

Last week I brought you some science and tech tweets from 2015, but for this slow week between Christmas and the New Year, I bring you some links that aren’t as tech focused, but still really interesting.  Enjoy!‏

@SFGate, Feb 2
Roald Dahl wrote a pro-vaccination letter after his daughter died of measles in 1962: http://sfg.ly/1DycfGn

@dlbmortgage, Feb 18
20 Moments that Changed History: A Reading List http://buff.ly/1EpeZ9t

‏@ThroughADogsEar, Feb 19
5 Pet First Aid Tricks You Can Do At Home.
Why do those pet emergencies always happen during non-business hours?… http://fb.me/744AAkeRF

@SFGate, Mar 28
Tagged up wreck in @dogpatchsf to become ctr. of doremi art dist. @lhertz @SFAC   #openartsf
http://www.sfchronicle.com/entertainment/article/DoReMi-Creating-an-arts-oasis-in-a-forbiddingly-6165659.php

@melindagates, Apr 3
Here is what life is like for a woman with no bank account in a developing country: http://m-gat.es/1F9fVxf

@SFGate, Apr 12
The cheapest and most expensive U.S. supermarkets, according to a Consumer Reports survey http://sfg.ly/1PAx5wm

@RobinDotNet, Mar 14
Here’s why I don’t buy bottled water. #wasteOfMoney #noStandards http://www.salon.com/2015/03/14/bottled_water_is_a_scam_pepsico_coca_cola_and_the_beverage_industrys_greatest_con_partner/

@misscrisp, Mar 11
“Red lights are forbidden at Disney, as they imply something bad happened. Nothing bad can happen at Disney World.” http://www.wired.com/2015/03/disney-magicband/

‏@StevenLevy, Mar 31
“This is a HUGE dose. Oh my God, did you give this dose?”  “Oh my God,” she said. “I did.”
https://medium.com/backchannel/how-technology-led-a-hospital-to-give-a-patient-38-times-his-dosage-ded7b3688558#.64a67a6gk

@WIRED, Nov 2
Families pose next to everything they’ve ever bought online http://wrd.cm/1WtpfoP

‏@SFGate, Nov 4
Read the tale of the world’s greatest cat painting, commissioned by an S.F. woman in 1891. http://sfg.ly/1l7YfzE

Favorite Tweets from 2015 (Science and Tech Edition)

I “favorite” a lot of tweets throughout the year.  Sometimes because they were just awesome tweets, sometimes because it was a great article and sometimes just because I need more time to read it later.  As 2015 comes to a close, I bring you some of the science and technology themed tweets I found in my favorites list. ‏

@WIRED, Jan 30
1974, when a computer ordered a pizza for the first time http://wrd.cm/1uKpA9i

@Idealaw, Feb 16
The digital black hole: will it delete your memories?  http://bit.ly/1AfeTjM

‏@SFGate, Mar 11
Odds increasing that huge quake will hit California http://sfg.ly/18bwijC

‏@MicrosoftSB, Mar 14
Outrageous 1985 tech fantasies from Back to the Future II that are today’s reality: http://msft.it/60182BJk

@ch9, Mar 14
Taste of Premier: The Future of Technology – A Look into Predictions and Trends that will drive the Future of Tech http://dlvr.it/8ytYhS

‏@WinObs, Apr 8
Make Your IT Department Run Like a Lean Startup http://clkon.us/1FiIX32

‏@richcampbell, Apr 17
Integrate your on-premises infrastructure with Azure http://ow.ly/2XvghA

‏@concentrateddon, Apr 21
Jeffrey Snover’s “State of #PowerShell” address from #PSHSummit is now live > http://ow.ly/LVj5A

‏@WIRED, Oct 21
You wouldn’t think it, but typeface piracy is a big problem http://wrd.cm/1LowcVd

‏@martin_casado, Nov 5
Wow, this is actually a pretty awesome view of SDN history.  I may quibble a bit, but generally very good : http://go.bigswitch.com/rs/974-WXR-561/images/The%20Path%20To%20SDN%20Final.pdf

‏@mattvogt, Nov 16
The Shady World of Repair Manuals: Copyrighting for Planned Obsolescence
http://www.wired.com/2012/11/cease-and-desist-manuals-planned-obsolescence/

@WIRED, Nov 24
Physicists are desperate to be wrong about the Higgs Boson http://bit.ly/1HkHGuz

@jsnover, Dec 7
Down on the cloud server farm: Why the future of hardware is all about chickens – and eggs http://zd.net/1NdXw7j  via ZDNet & @sbisson

‏@jasonhand, Dec 14
Excellent read (e-book) from @Atlassian on #DevOps:
https://www.atlassian.com/help-desk/how-to-enhance-it-support-with-devops