LUMIA 2520 REVIEW - PART 1 OF 3. SPECS AND FIRST IMPRESSION.

| Dec 26, 2013

A little over a month ago I received a Nokia Lumia 2520. Have been using the device as a secondary tablet (given a Surface Pro 2 is the primary tablet), and I have been very happy with the results of my tests for it. I wish I could say I was typing this on it, but that I would venture to say it’s not too far into the future. Why not now? While I can pair it with a number of Bluetooth keyboards and such, I want to give this review and update in due time, as the cover/keyboard arrives. But,  the device is solid. 

The Specs

10.1” ClearBlack, IPS LCD Touchscreen. Capacitive Multi-Touch
Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
2GB RAM
32GB storage
Expandable MicroSD
LTE – AT&T
NFC
Micro-HDMI
Micro-USB 3.0
Bluetooth 4.0
Primary Camera 6.7 MP
Secondary Camera HD 1.2 MP wide angle
Windows RT 8.1

 

Pros

A very thin device, as thin as an iPad Air. As light as an iPad Air (if not a bit lighter).
Same solid build we have seen from Nokia in the Lumia 920, 925, 928, 1020 and 1520.
It has LTE!! A big missing piece in any of the Microsoft Surface devices, it makes a difference and it has replaced an iPad Mini with LTE

 

Cons

I would define this sections as two annoyances, a gripe, and a yet to be fully tested.

The annoyances are around the ports. Yes, it has USB 3.0 and HDMI, but in micro form. That in itself meant having to get connectors for it, some may say … “well, what about Miracast?” sure, but not everybody has a receiver plugged in. I can control my own environment but not others for presentations. Not a huge deal against it, but just an annoying fact. I have to be fair in this as I also believe it has to do with some retraining I need to do with myself. I am still in the “if it has Windows, it must do all this”  mindset, which I seem to not have had an issue with when using an iPad.

The one gripe I have … the keyboard/battery cover is not out yet. But I should not complain, I was able to get in on the keyboard/cover offer.
Battery life has not been all that impressive for me, but I also have to make sure some of my settings (for example, power) are not in sync with the rest of my Windows 8.1 devices.

 

In closing …

I am very happy with the Lumia 2520, it has become my travel companion as I run errands away from my office/home. The fact I have LTE for connectivity plus the functionality of the tools I need (RDP and a Browser). There is more coming in terms of my review, but figured I would get started as I have been working with a Dell Venue Pro 8 as well.

 

Update:

Nokia Lumia 2520 Information:  http://www.nokia.com/us-en/phones/tablet/lumia2520/

Nokia Power Keyboard: http://www.nokia.com/us-en/accessories/accessory/su-42/

Micro USB 3.0 adapter: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FNDZCNE/ref=oh_details_o03_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Micro HDMI adapter: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CZNYQ82/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It seems another season of previews is upon us

| Jun 26, 2013

The past couple of weeks have been packed with teasers and updates.

But here they go.

Visual Studio Update 3: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=39305

Visual Studio 2013 and TFS 2013 Preview: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/2013-downloads

SQL Server 2014 CTP1 : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dn205290.aspx

Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dn205286.aspx

Windows 8.1 : http://preview.windows.com

Manage your MySQL Database on Windows Azure

| May 23, 2013

From your Add-ons, select your instance:

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A couple of pieces of information to get here:

1) Your Connection info

2) General management details of your subscription with SuccessBricks

To get your connection info, click on the Connection Info toolbar at the bottom of your Management Portal.

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That reveals the following to be able to use the connection string in your apps.

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Now, to get additional details on your subscription

Then click on the right-pointing arrow to review your add-on’s settings:

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This will take you an information page about your add-on, now click on the Manage your add-on option

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Now, you have been redirected to the SuccessBricks website. Now you can review information on your subscription.

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Now you can review information on the Dashboard, which describe the size of database and subscription status. By clicking on the database name you will get back to the Dashboard view.

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And from there get information such as the Endpoint Information.

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Deleting projects from Team Foundation Service

| May 04, 2013

Recently I made the switch from having a local TFS deployment to using the hosted Team Foundation Service.  As I had been using it back when it was TFSPreview, there were projects that had been left over, I no longer need those projects.  Most of them were tests anyway.

But reviewing in reviewing the portal I was not able to find anything to do it from there. I have always been a fan of command-line style administration. In doing my research I came across posts that indicated this being possible by calling on TfsDeleteProject. With that, the way to get to use TfsDeleteProject is through the Developer Command Prompt for VS2012.  If you are a Windows 8 user, go to your Start screen, and type Developer Command Prompt, and there you would have it.  If you are a Windows 7, or have used my directions to the Windows 8 alternative for a Start Menu, then your path is Start > All Programs > Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 > Visual Studio Tools, and it would be on the list of items to select.

Now, do not try this on a real project you have, remember it will remove it entirely, no recycle bin!

The command then (all in one line):

TfsDeleteProject /q /force /collection:https://<your tenant name>.visualstudio.com/DefaultCollection “<Project Name>”

the /q switch for it to not ask for confirmation, /force is to delete even if there is data that can’t be deleted, and then /collection to point to the collection where the project to be deleted resides.

Sample Output

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Configuration of Hyper-V and creation of VMs

| Apr 28, 2013

In continuing with the post that I started last week, this week I focus on how I used PowerShell to install Hyper-V on Windows 8 and then create all necessary items to continue the creation of the SharePoint lab running on Hyper-V on Windows 8.

First thing, in all situations I started PowerShell as Administrator. And yes, many of this items can be done and worked on through the GUI.  But, the point is how do I automate. Also, assumptions here are you have a licensed version of Windows 8, and your hardware support the use of Hyper-V.

Enabling Hyper-V using PowerShell

enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All

Once the above has been executed, your system will restart and Hyper-V will be enabled in the process.

Since it is now in place, how about opening PowerShell as Administrator again.  Now we will configure the Virtual Switch (again, yes, we could do this from Hyper-V Manager, but the goal is to script it).

Adding Private or Internal virtual switch types

To add a private or internal switch type you will need the following:

New-VMSwitch “Internal Network” –SwitchType Internal

The key parameter in the above statement is –SwitchType, which can be followed by either Internal or Private.

Adding External virtual switch types

To add an external switch type you will do a couple of items, first get information on the available network adapters, and then create the switch attached to a specific network adapter.  You will notice in order to create this the –SwitchType parameter is not used.

First, check the network adapters available.

Get-NetAdapter

From that output we will take the Name property/field. Then we will use that information to provision the external switch. From the example below remember to use the name that applies to your environment.

New-VMSwitch “External Network” –NetAdapterName “Local Area Connection 2”

Now, the network portion is done and ready.  We will proceed to provision the VMs now.

Provisioning Virtual Machines

The statement to provision the VM will look as follows:

New-VM -Name $LabDC -Path $LabPath -MemoryStartupBytes 768MB -NewVHDPath $LabPath\$LabDC.vhdx -NewVHDSizeBytes 60GB -SwitchName $InternalNet

For simplicity and understanding I am linking here the script with the process, broken into two separate scripts, one for the creation of the External Network and the other including the Internal Network creation and the VM provision process.

Hope this helps in the process.

Script

Create External Network

 

VM Provisioning

 

Business Intelligence: Leveraging SharePoint to drive business results Presentation

| Apr 25, 2013

I was invited to do a presentation on Business Intelligence and Self Service BI at an internal Summit for a Health organization in Indianapolis.

Here is the slide deck.

Creating a SharePoint Demo/Dev Lab using Hyper-V on Windows 8. The Overview.

| Apr 21, 2013

In the last number of days, I have come across the release of the Microsoft Office Division Demo VMs.  While a great asset, it is also quite large and it consumes a lot of resources, this being said as I have a Lenovo W530 with 32GB RAM, and 3 Hard Drives.  The download is a 56GB set, then expanded it comes to 220GB. That is just the storage piece. Then in order to get all VMs running, it requires 42GB RAM … not quite what I wanted in the end, but still useful in a given situation.

That brought me to a point I needed to decide the best path and approach to my own set. I figured I wanted to have something I could take on customer visits, and while explaining reference architectures and recommended approaches to the implementation then be able to show it.  With that said, it meant having a domain controller, a database server, a SharePoint server, and an Office Web Apps box. And also, decided to add a client OS to the mix.  All in all the following table defines the distribution in terms of machines, memory and OS used.

 

Machine Memory OS
Domain Controller 768MB Windows Server 2012 Datacenter – Core
Database Server 8GB Windows Server 2012 Datacenter – Core
SharePoint Server 12GB Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Office Web Apps 4GB Windows Server 2012 Datacenter
Client 4GB Windows 8

 

The other goal I had was to make sure I had all this scripted, and even in a VM template in case I need to blow it all away and start from scratch without taking long hours or even days to provision again. I can say … Achievement Unlocked!! This will be, for many reasons, a multipart post.  The posts at this point will be (links will be updated as posts are completed):

Configuration of Hyper-V and creation of VMs
Installation of OS and Prep for Windows Server Core
Installation of AD on Windows Server Core
Installation of SQL Server on Windows Server Core
Installation and Configuration of SharePoint Server 2013

There were extremely useful resources in making this happen, here is the list of them.

SharePointRyan : http://sharepointryan.com/2013/01/23/creating-an-awesome-development-environment-on-windows-8/

Installing SQL Server 2012 on Server Core

AutoSPInstaller 

Craig Lussier : http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/14538.download-and-install-sharepoint-2013-prerequisites-on-windows-server-2012-with-powershell.aspx

Microsoft Office Division Demos: First Look at the Office 365 SharePoint Online Demo site

| Apr 16, 2013

It took close to 10hrs to provision, below are some screenshots of what is the generated content.  More details and info to come… but for now, make sure you check the email you will receive from the system once the platform is fully provisioned (otherwise you will go crazy getting logged on) and you do not want to disrupt the process of getting the packs in place.

First thing, log on …

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Next, check your Office 365 dashboard … notice the area in the red rectangle, I am thinking that is due (based on the message) to the time it took to provision and have everything in place.

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Click on Sites …

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Once there, click on Team Site …

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And, you arrive at this … click on Demo Home Page

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Demo Home Page …

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A couple of other pages as you navigate …

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And a quick look at the public page …

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There is definitely quite a bit of exploring and walkthroughs to do.  Let the learning continue!

Microsoft Office Division Demos: Office 365 Provisioning

| Apr 16, 2013

A couple of items to know and understand about this. One is the overall setup you will have completed, and then the other is the time it takes.

Overall Setup

Important to understand you will be working with a new trial tenant, you can’t use an existing one. Also, the tenant is an E3, that means $20 month/user if you decide to move from trial to permanent.

Time to provision

Here is what this looked like at around 1PM today …

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This is what it looks like close to 9hrs later …

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When you received the email that stated 8 to 36hrs, it was not an overstatement by any means. Just the Core Pack took about 5 to 6hrs to complete.  So, patience is a must!

--UPDATE--

It took almost 10hrs to complete the provisioning … but here are the items all green and completed!

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Microsoft Office Division Demos: First Impression

| Apr 16, 2013

I came across the following information on twitter today: “Microsoft has made available a demo environment for the Microsoft Office platform”.  What is this, you may ask? Well it is a smorgasbord demo environment!! It includes Microsoft Office, Lync, Exchange, SharePoint, and all in the 2013 stack. 

You get two possible options, one is to create a demo Office 365 site, the other is to download a set of VHDs. The initial details on this …

If you chose to download the VHDs, you can download with demo content  or without demo content.  The download is about 56GB.

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If you chose to provision an Office 365 demo environment, you will create an E3 tenant.  Then it will launch a process that will provision all needed items for the demo.

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The thing to be mindful of when provisioning is the length of time it will require, the email I received made mention of that fact. So, in about 8 to 36 hours, I will know how long it took.

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Anyway, if you are a Microsoft Partner or work for a Partner … take a look at: https://www.microsoftofficedemos.com

Windows Azure IaaS General Availability

| Apr 16, 2013

You may have been working with Windows Azure for a while and likely you tested the IaaS beta/preview. Today, early today, was announced by Scott Guthrie the general availability of the Infrastructure as a Service piece.  And with it prices, additional capabilities and new templates.

Check the announcement here … http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2013/04/16/windows-azure-general-availability-of-infrastructure-as-a-service-iaas.aspx

Microsoft Management Summit 2013 / MMS2013

| Apr 02, 2013

Next week I will be at MMS 2013 in Las Vegas!
I will be presenting 5 sessions, one of which will be a repeat session.

If you are going to be attending and you did not know about Exam Prep sessions, make sure to make a stop the Training and Certification area.  Get your Certs updated or started, we will have MCTs presenting several Exam Prep sessions on topics that are relevant to MMS.  Here is a listing of the sessions being presented.  A total of 16 sessions.  Add them to your Schedule.  As the week starts, I will be tweeting/blogging more information.

Session Code Session Name
EXM01 Microsoft Certification and You
EXM02 Microsoft Certification and You
EXM03 Exam Prep: 70-246 - Private Cloud Monitoring and Operations with System Center 2012
EXM04 Exam Prep: 70-247 - Private Cloud Configuration and Deployment with System Center 2012
EXM05 Exam prep: 70-410/411/412 - MCSA: Windows Server 2012
EXM06 Exam prep: 70-413/414 - MCSE: Windows Server 2012
EXM07 Exam prep: 70-415/416 - MCSE: Windows Server 2012
EXM08 Exam prep: 70-689 - Upgrading your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
EXM10 Repeat Exam prep: 70-410/411/412 - MCSA: Windows Server 2012
EXM11 Repeat Exam Prep: 70-246 - Private Cloud Monitoring and Operations with System Center 2012
EXM12 Repeat Exam Prep: 70-247 - Private Cloud Configuration and Deployment with System Center 2012
EXM13 Exam Prep: 70-243 - Administering and Deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
EXM15 Exam Prep: 70-331 / 70-332 - SharePoint 2013
EXM16 Exam Prep: 70-336 / 70-337 - Lync Server 2013
EXM17 Exam Prep: 70-341 / 70-342 - Exchange Server 2013
EXM18 Repeat Exam Prep: 70-243 - Administering and Deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

Tidbits on Installing the SQL Server 2012 BI Tools for VS 2012

| Apr 02, 2013

As I was installing the newly released tools, and catching up on updates for a new system, I ran into the following situation.  When it came to going through the dialog screens to install the new tools, under Installation Type, it came down to two options. Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2012 was one, the other, Add features to an existing instance of SQL Server 2012.  I decided to select to Add features (why? well, instinct I guess).  And I went forward with that choice through the rest of options in the Setup dialog screen.  However, when  it came to the “Installation Configuration Rules”, I received a rule with a failed status.

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And reading the text, it states  “The CPU architecture of installation feature(s) is different than the instance specified. To continue, add features to this instance with the same architecture”.

What to do? What’s wrong here?  Actually, nothing, really! No, there is one missed part, it should be installed as a new feature as it will not overwrite the previously installed tools, as those are specific to the VS2010 environment/shell.

So, the process really is to install it as a new feature (which was the default setting to begin with) I just figured “I would know better”.

All green now, installation completes and we are successful.

New set of Visio stencils for Exchange, Lync and SharePoint 2013

| Feb 23, 2013

As versions of the server products have changed, and a more “modern” interface and cleaner display is about. Well, so are the Visio stencils we should be using when designing our infrastructure or enterprise diagrams.

Below is a list of the new stencils available.

SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and Office 2013 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35772
Exchange 2013 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36448

So, you miss the Start Button in Windows 8?

| Jan 26, 2013

Let me ask the question again, do you miss the Start button orb or the functionality? One of the things I have found with us IT folk is that we always want to have the new shiny thing, but we don't like change. Odd at best, isn't it? The frustration I have seen from IT people is more than that of the standard non-geeky consumer base.  Now, the problem is WE DO INFLUENCE their opinion.  And many times we jump to conclusions and we do not back down on our "initial review" of things, and politicians have taught us "changing your mind/position is unacceptable". Anyway, I have been using Windows 8 for a while, since Beta; I went all out and none of my systems are running Windows 7 (actually not true, there is only one, and it is because it is rarely used).  Do I miss the Start Button? Not the Orb, and perhaps the part I do miss is … wait, I am thinking about it, ok, the organization to access my applications.  But there is an easy way to solve this … remember when Windows 95 came out? It was all that and a bag of chips, wasn't it? But it required adjusting your mindset. But that is not the point I want to make, nor the feature I want to point to.  Remember the Toolbars option for the Task Bar? Yes, that one that not many people remember or have used.  That is the one I have used to "restore" the Start Button functionality I miss.  I was initially working with "Pin to Taskbar", but there are too many things that would have to go there.

I have to admit, I do not stay on the Start Screen, all the work I do and access I do from the Windows 8 Desktop.  But, it is good to boot up to a "dashboard" view of things.  And yes, that is a very personal thing, I know.  But from there, the Desktop is my normal and usual destination. So, enough, how do I get that "Start Button" feeling again?

 

First set of steps below are for us to be able to access a hidden folder that has all the "goodies" we need.

  1. Make sure you are in Desktop Mode
  2. Click on the Folder Icon on your Task Bar to open Windows Explorer. (This can also be done by pressing the Windows Key + E)

  1. Then on the Ribbon, click View

  2. Once you are in the View option on the Ribbon, click the Hidden items checkbox

 

Now, the next set of steps to get that listing of applications!

  1. Right click on the Task Bar, then Toolbar, then New Toolbar.

  2. Once the Select Folder dialog opens up, click on C:

  3. From the folder list, double click on ProgramData (the folder will appear in a dimmer style, this is due to being a hidden folder. That was the reason for the first set of steps)

  4. Then find you way to our special folder called … wait for it … that's right, Start Menu. (double click on Microsoft, then Windows)
  5. Once you have found the Start Menu folder, click on it, and click Select Folder

  6. Now, if you look at your Taskbar, you should have a very functional (non-orb-y) Start Menu.

 

And there you have it, saved myself $5 in the process and no 3rd party tool needed. And I understand, you would say "sure, but what about getting to Run or Search". There are a number of shortcuts that can be used to access that.

Quick Description

Link

New Shortcuts

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/new-keyboard-shortcuts#1TC=t1

Full list of Shortcuts

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/keyboard-shortcuts

Download link to DOCX file

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34770