Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Interview with Jeff Becraft in today’s Rainmaker Report and RainToday.com

Mary Flaherty at The Rainmaker Report/RainToday.com recently interviewed me about my experience using social networking sites for business purposes.

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What’s really organic and interesting about this is that what brought me to Mary’s attention were some answers I had provided to other people’s questions on LinkedIn’s Q&A.  Mary asked if she could quote one of my LinkedIn answers in an earlier article, but also asked me a few more questions.  She was pleased enough with my responses to the additional questions that she published the entire exchange as an interview/article today.

Mary recently let me know the article was being published today, but what was nice was I actually heard about it being live on RainToday.com when a reader requested to join my LinkedIn network after reading the article.

How cool is that?  I would love to hear any cool stories you have about your own experiences with social networking. 

Please share below in the comments section!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How do I access an ISO on a physical drive from the “CD” drive of my virtual PC?

Update: Turns out I took the long way to get this working... You can achieve this much more simply by merely using the "Capture ISO" option under CD in Virtual PC's menu. I had misinterpreted "Capture ISO" to mean create an ISO of the virtual drive you were leveraging. It turns out it means to treat a pre-existing ISO as a CD in the drive of your guest vpc.

If you just like reading second-best practices, by all means, enjoy the original post...

Take care,
Jeff

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If you are reading this at all, I have to assume you have a good sense of what we’re talking about here, and hopefully some interest as well.

For some reason, I have forgotten this fact twice in the last 48 hours, so I am making a note here, so at least I can easily find the answer if I find myself in this same problem again in the future. You don’t build VPCs every day (at least, you don’t if you’re me), so it’s fairly easy to forget details like this. At least, thinking that helps me sleep at night.

Photo by J. David PincusSo, the situation is, you’re trying to build a VPC, and, in my case, you’ve gotten Windows 2003 Standard installed, and now you want to set the server’s role to Application Server, and install IIS and all the related components.

You’re using an ISO, not a physical CD/DVD, so you need to make sure your virtual PC can access the ISO on your host system through the CD drive on the virtual PC.

What you do is:

1) Mount the ISO to a drive letter on your host machine. (Using a tool like VCdControlTool.exe)

2) Make sure your VirtualPC’s CD/DVD Drive setting is set to Secondary controller (if these steps fail, you might try changing this to Primary Controller, but secondary seems to work for me).

3) In the Virtual PC menu that wraps around your view of the VPC itself, click on CD, and then choose “Physical Drive: Z” or whatever drive letter you used on your host when you mounted the ISO.

4) At this point, you should be able to access the content in the ISO just as if you had placed a physical CD into a physical drive on a physical machine. Except that it’s a virtual image of a CD installed on a virtual drive on a physical machine accessed by a virtual PC through a virtual CD/DVD drive.

I’m glad we got that straightened out! ;-)

I Blog, Therefore I Tweet

http://twitter.com/jeffbecraft

Like many of you, I imagine, I resisted signing on to Twitter for a long time, despite good experiences with a number of Social Media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Blogger.

Why the hesitation?  Well, I was already updating my Facebook status regularly, to joke with my friends and coordinate reunions with old classmates, update the grandparents on my son’s Little League games, etc., and my LinkedIn status, to update my colleagues about what I was focused on at work and anything I might be seeking help with.  Anything else I wanted to say, well, I had my blog for that.  So who needed Twitter?

But at some point, I started realizing that one of the most common things I wanted to do was share a link to a cool web page or blog post about a topic, like SharePoint, which I specialize in professionally, or filmmaking, which is my personal passion.  I had begun to create draft blog posts with nothing more than a link to a cool web page, and a note saying, “Blog about this when time frees up.”  Well, time sure has a way of not freeing up, doesn’t it?  What was the easiest, most convenient way to share a simple URL with people interested in the same topics as me?  Hmm…   Maybe Twitter is the missing link, I thought.  I could use it to both promote my blog and share those links I don’t have time to elaborate on in my full blog.  This would be the only benefit I would get from Twitter.

So, I figured, why not?  I signed on to Twitter on April 20, 2009.  Now, roughly 10 days later, I’ve got 75 followers (sort of the equivalent of “friends” on Facebook or “connections” on LinkedIn (Noteworthy: Less than 10% of my Twitter followers are also Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections; thus I have now expanded my network further just by signing on; this turned out to be an unexpected second benefit). 

The difference between Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is that on Twitter you can Follow anyone you choose, there is no “friend request/accept” hurdle to get through.  The person you follow doesn’t have to follow you in return (though many do).  So, I was able to start following some of my favorite authors like Steven R. Covey who tweets a couple of pearls of effectiveness wisdom a day, some of my favorite news outlets like the New York Times and Variety, who tweet several headlines a day, and a number of SharePoint experts who are semi-famous within their professional domain, who tweet frequently throughout the day.  Definitely, an unexpected third benefit.

Now that I am a fan of Twitter, I thought of a great way to go back and tie my Twitter activities into my full blog.  I will be picking the best “Tweets of the Week” from all of the people I follow, incluidng my own, and will archive those in a full blog message here, so they can be organized and kept track of long term.

I hope you’ll join me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffbecraft

Take care,
Jeff