Jeff Julian's Blog

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SharePoint Consulting (Kansas City Metro)

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Sorry for the delay, with the servers moving and writing a book, I have been swamped with work.  I will get these out again, along with the recordings from HDC as soon as possible.

Murray Gordon, member, recorded this show with us talking about his presentation and what he does on a daily basis.  This is a great interview if you are working with legacy systems and using .NET as the client.  Listen Now!


Man these servers are smoking fast!  If you are experiencing any problems with the site or just want to tell me if it is fast or not, email

The move went very smoothly and SQL Backup from Red-Gate Software is awesome!

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I have confirmation that we will be able to move the sites tonight. 


Due to a scheduling conflict, tonight did not work for the move.  I am as disappointed as you as I am still in the office waiting on the hosting provider.  Hopefully we will get this thing going by this weekend.


Whenever you guys need support, typically you dig around for my email or using the Alexander & Julian Inc. site to contact us.  Well this is hard for you and hard for us to manage.  For that we now have and a support tool suite to help us manage this process.  Please use this email for any issues or questions you may have about the site.


I will be taking the site down tomorrow at 8PM CST for most likely 4 hours to transfer files from one farm of servers to another.  The majority of the leg work has been done, now we just have to move files. 

The new servers are loud, and fast....raaaaaaaaaaaaa.....but they don't sound good because they are free, because that they are not. (Capital One Commercial Reference)

It is very cool to see 4 graphs on the web servers for processors, makes me drool.



Such a wonderful smell isn't it?

I am now in the configuration process to get the boxes up, but we are probably looking at a move tomorrow evening so the site will be down.  I will confirm that however before I do the transfer.

P.S.  Dual Core Xeons are amazing!


The new servers will be hosted at FullControl Networks here in Kansas City.  Currently they are being setup by their staff and should be available for me to configure soon. 

Yesterday I visited their facility here in KC and I must say I am very impressed.  They have everything you would want in a hosting company and they are local for us.  Something comforting about knowing your sites are hosted just a few miles from where you are.  If you are in the market for dedicated hosting, I would highly suggest these guys.



DiscountASP.NET has been amazing to us.  The hosting is excellent and we can't be happier with their service.  That said, our site has outgrown what they have offered us as the original solution.  Since they do not provide dedicated services, we will be moving the site to another hosting firm that does.  This means more power and more control for us.  I haven't finalized the server configuration and purchase yet, but it should happen within the next 48-60 hours.  We will then announce a date and time the site will go down for the data transfer and configuration. 

If there are any Windows Server MVPs, ummmm hummmm Chris, that would like to ensure I have configured the new servers correctly, I would love to setup a meeting.

Keep posted here for updates.



After a machine of mine became consumed by a project, I have been building a new set of disks latest for my use during new projects.  I always build my VPCs using differencing disk.  For those of you new to this concept, it allows you to build a disk off of a parent disk and all changes at that point will go to the new disk.  With the environment changing on us constantly with different releases of products, it is critical for you to get your project up quick.  Here is my example:

Differencing Disk Approach

As you can see, I am using sub-folders for all disks that build off of a parent.  So I have a disk for Windows XP SP2, then another built off of that for Office 2003.  Then SQL Server 2000, Visual Studio 2005, Core developer tools, and ASP.NET Web Projects.  When Office 2007 releases, I can create a sub-folder in the Windows XP 2003 directory and place a disk there.  When Vista comes out, I will create a new core folder.  When I need SQL Server 2005, I will build that off of the Office 2003 disk.  You can see the power of these disks.

Big Tip #1! - Building one project file that merges all disks

When I am ready to start a project, I build another difference disk on top of the disk you want to build from.  So if I had a new client that needed VS 2005, Office 2003, SQL 2000, and XP for a development environment, I would go to the lowest subfolder I wanted and choose that disk as the parent to the new disk.  After this is done, run the Virtual Disk Wizard and edit the new disk.  Choose to merge disks to new disk option and this will generate one disk for all the difference disks you have in your chain.  Now your project is separated from your build disk tree and you can place all the other disks on a dedicated hard drive just for building new projects. 

Big Tip #2!  - Mark as Read-Only

Just a friendly reminded to always mark your parent disks as Read-Only, that way you know you can't change them because someone else depends on their state.

Big Tip #3! - Build only what you need

Don't build all at once, only build what you need and always separate major products.  If you aren't using SQL Server 2005 yet, don't build it.

Big Tip #4 - Delete .vmc files of anything you are using as a parent

Don't tempt yourself to change a disk that is someone else's parent, just remove the settings file.

Final Tip! - New difference disks for updates

When building a SharePoint 2007 disks, I create a new one for the tech refresh that was a sub of the beta 2 disk.  This saved me so much time after I tried the upgrade 4 different times.  I would just delete the new TR disk and create another one and try again.



We have been asking for a better way of testing these CTP that Microsoft has been pushing for the past few years (that we asked for) so we can just get in, test away.  About a year ago, many people started asking for virtual environments that are setup with the IDE changes or .NET changes in the CTP.  I just noticed last week, MSDN Subscriptions now has disks available for September CTP of Orcas.  This is awesome.  Now I can start playing with the tools without installing on a side laptop or creating my own virtual environment for them. 

MSDN Team, keep this up!


When we went to SC for Code Camp, I moved my Nuvi from the Xterra to the rental van.  I had a lot of trouble getting it out of my car since it has stuck to the windsheld and ended up tearing a bunch of the rubber off to get it out of my car.  When we arrived home, the same thing happened in the van and I had to scrap it off the window to get it out. 

This left it unusable since it would not stick to any window at this point.  Finally after a few weeks of putting up with no GPS, I called Garmin on Wednesday to ask if I could get a replacement.  The call lasted about 2 minutes.  I said my Nuvi holder will not attach to the windsheld anymore and the lady said they would send one out to me and got my address. 

TWO DAYS LATER, it was sitting outside my door when I got home.  Garmin HQ is only 2 miles from my house, but the fact they the shipped it the next day is amazing!

I really wish more companies could have service like Garmin in support cases.


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Wow, it is hard to believe it has been three years as a real community.  Sunday marks the three year anniversary of the site as a community, not just my blog.  I had written a blog engine that worked for my own, but after a few months of trying to build the admin tooling, I contacted Scott and got this site working with .Text.  Hard to believe it is still running the same engine, with a few tweaks. 

That said, we really need to move into the future.  We have started designing the strategy of GWB 2.0, and will be the first of many changes we will see, consuming the .Text engine from the outside and working our way in.  Retaining the linking will be our number one priority, this site thrives on our search engine traffic, and I would never try to jeopardize that. 

I would like to thank all the members of this site, whether it is the first 3 we had, or 1236.  We love having you be a part of this community and we are working hard to continue the progress of the software that makes this community tick.

Take a look at the site from the Wayback Machine on October 9, 2003.



Today our hosting company had an outage.  Sorry for the inconvenience.


And I have my seats!!!!!  Not just regular admission seats, but the Platinum VIP Seating.  Michelle and I have been on the Dave Ramsey plan for a little over a year now and we are totally kicking debt in the butt.  When we started, Dave was only on in KC a Christian radio station with probably 10,000 watts since I could barely pick up the station where I live.  The station dropped the show and I moved my listening to XM.  Dave kept mentioning new cities he was visiting, but never KC and why would he without a station for us to listen to.  Well in July, KCMO 710AM started his show in the 11am-2pm slot and he has been taking off here like like a storm.  Once I was crazy for trying to live debt free, now I meet people all the time working on their Total Money Makeover.  Yesterday Dave announced he was coming to KC again, first time in over a decade.  I got home as quick as I heard and and asked Michelle if we could go.  We decided on the Platinum VIP seating after some discussion.  Since we have been so into the program, we thought it would be a good anniversary gift for each other. 

The event is on May 5, 2007, but I know this city will sell out fast.  If you are in the area, I suggest you get tickets and check out his radio show.  No matter if you are debt-free or have so much debt you can't see a way out, his program can help you understand what money really is and how to life your live with money instead of letting money live your life for you. 

Register for the KC event here.