Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In Seattle for a while? Here are some things to do!

So this is funny, I was in my office and one of our Interns stopped by to talk about something, so naturally, I stalled "What are you doing this weekend?" He had no idea. I built a list of things to do in Seattle that are somewhat interesting and sent it to him. For the past month, I've been trying to find that mail, and send it to a number of Interns or people coming into town. So I figured I'd post it here, it makes finding it much easier ... For those that there isn't enough information for, a simple MSN Search or Google Search will help out there....

General Sites
A great overall site on the internet is the Seattle's City Search website, although sometimes I find it hard to find the cool stuff, but you can find upcoming events, etc there.
  • Market Street

  • Houghton Point

  • Kirkland Avenue Pub - a younger croud


  • XXX Rootbeer - no, not a strip joint, great burgers and on some Sunday's, car shows!

South of Seattle

Local Hikes
  • Mt. Si - 4 miles up, but a great view from the top. On a clear day you can see the City and Mt. Rainer. Dare to climb the Haystack on the top!

  • Wallace Falls - Much easier of a hike, and very beautiful. You can get to the lower falls pretty easily, but keep going for a final reward

Tourist Sites
  • Snoqualmie Falls - Pretty damn high falls, if you have the time, it's fun to hike down the side and down to the river, but it's not required to enjoy yourself

  • The Museum of Flight has a ton of information on old planes, it's a really cool museum that talks about old planes, space travel, etc.

Down Town Seattle
  • Pike Place market - Really cool public market right down town, go in the summer if you can!

  • Bill Speidel's Underground Tour - Learn about the history of Seattle, in a fun commical way. Oh, and walk underground while doing it.

  • Pioneer Square - Visit the original part of downtown seattle

  • Woodland Park Zoo - Apparently the first Zoo on the 'net (according to the URL!), but it's a really cool place to go and check out some animals, Much more exciting if you go when it's cool out, so the animals are somewhat active

  • Seattle Science Center - Since Microsoft pumps cash into here, you can imagine that it's pretty high tech. In addition, there is an IMAX theatre that shows cool Hollywood movies!

  • The Seattle Center - Games, theme park, you name it, they have it

  • Experience Music Project(EMP) - If you like music, and the history of music, and well, pretty much anything about music, you should visit the EMP and prepare to spend a day or so there.

  • Science Fiction Museum - Check out the history of Sci-Fi from the beginning through to the present!

  • Space Needle - Somewhat of a let down after the CN Tower back home, but still something you can do to be "Sleepless in Seattle". I'd recommend going at dusk, so you can see the city, then watch the sunset, then see the lights of the city, it's the biggest bang for your buck.

  • Seattle Aquarium - Another great museum of fish, really fun if you've got some time to kill, there is an IMAX theatre here too, although it typically shows nature shows instead of real Hollywood movies

  • Pike Place Pub - I always like eating here, it's pretty good, not too expensive, and they have pretty good beer

  • The Pyramid Alehouse is located across from the two stadiums, if you're waiting for a game, totally go in here and grab a beer before the game!

  • The Freemont Market is kind of cool to see.

  • And while you're in Freemont, make sure you check out the troll under the 99th bridge (39th Street under 99/Aurora Road)

  • Also. If you're up for a little bit of history, and a huge park, check out Gas Works Park.

  • One of my favourite sit down pubs is in Freemont, check out the Red Door.

A little further to the sound than Freemon is Ballard, an Industrial part of Seattle gone touristy. Some places to head to include:

  • The somewhat pricey, but very romantic restaurant called Ray's Boathouse.

  • In addition, the Ballard Locks are pretty interesting to go and see. They are in a park and if you cross the damn you can see a fish ladder, which is great!

Queen Ann
Queen Ann is part of Seattle, but it over looks the down-town core. In fact, if you're looking for a great picture of the city with Mt. Rainer in the background. Kerry Park is a great place to take it.

Capitol Hill
Again, Capitol Hill is part of Seattle, but not the down-town core. Capitol hill is a little more "free", but there still are some good places to visit like:

  • The Garage, which has bowling, pool and is a bar as well.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Today marks a special day in the blog-o-sphere

Susan Knows it

Do you?

Kevin Beares, our community lead has taken a big step into the future and started blogging. Boy, I remember My first post, it was short compared to Kevin's.

I know we all look forward to seeing what Kevin has to say on his blog, so fire up your RSS feeders and stay on top of the news from the SBS product team.

For your convenience, I have linked to it from the SBS Team blogs on the right hand side of this blog.

Using Smigrate to dump SharePoint to a .CAB file

Dean's presentation to the Puget Sound Users Group had yet another nugget of information on SharePoint. Did you know that sharepoint comes with another admin tool other than sbsadm.exe. It comes with...

smigrate.exe !!

So what can it do?

  • Works with sites based on WMSDE

  • Size is unlimited

  • Requires Admin Access

  • Pick and choose site content

  • Pick and choose sites

  • Allows you to migrate between WSS versions

So what can't it do?

  • Does not preserve customization or security

  • Will not overwrite existing sites

So what does it do? well, run it! It's located %Program Files%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\BIN\

Here is the help for smigrate (acquired by typing "smigrate /?"
Backs up or restores a SharePoint Web site.

Usage (backup): smigrate -w -f [-e] [-y]
Usage (restore): smigrate -r -w -f [-x]

Operations and Parameters:
-f Backup filename - required. Specify a filename with the extension .fwp.
-e Exclude subsites during backup - optional. No parameters.
-r Restore - optional. No parameters.
-w Website URL - required. Valid URL to a SharePoint Web site.
-x Exclude security during restore - optional. No parameters.
-y Confirm that you want to overwrite an existing backup file.
-u Administrator username.
-pw Administrator password.
Specify * as the password to be prompted for a password.

Example backup:
smigrate -w http://server -f backup.fwp
smigrate -w http://server -f c:\backups\backup.fwp
smigrate -w http://server -f \\share\folder\backup.fwp
smigrate -w http://server -f c:\backups\backup.fwp -e -y

Example restore:
smigrate -r -w http://server -f backup.fwp
smigrate -r -w http://server -f c:\backups\backup.fwp
smigrate -r -w http://server -f \\share\folder\backup.fwp
smigrate -r -w http://server -f c:\backups\backup.fwp -x
Now here's the fancy thing: rename .fwp to .cab, then crack the file open with windows explorer. Surprise, there's all your files.

Have fun with this one. :)

Monday, May 22, 2006

How to Setup a Recycle Bin for Windows SharePoint Services

Two weekends ago, Dean did a presentation for the Puget Sound Small Business Server Users Group. The presentation was on a number of nice little tips and tricks, specifically with Windows SharePoint Services.

One of the major topics that Dean covered was how you can create a recycle bin for SharePoint. The recycle bin is actually really cool. A user deletes a file, and it's removed from the site and shows up in a place in the filesystem.

The tool is a 3rd party tool posted over on the GotDotNet website at SharePoint Tools: Workspace Home.

In order to get the instructions and the files, you have to sign-in at the site and look in the lower right hand quadrant. you want to download the two files marked RecylceBin Installation Manual Build 24, and RecycleBin 1.1 (Build 24).

If you have heavy sharepoint users, this is a great tool that you should definately install on your server to protect the files on your site.

Want to give the Small Business Server Product Team Feedback?


Microsoft has a new program called Connect that will help us get feedback from you, the SBS community. Here's the details:
The Small Business Server Product Team would like to hear from the SBS User Community. This direct anonymous survey of the SBS User Community is brought to you by the SBS Product Team.

You are invited to participate in the Windows Small Business Server Community program on the Microsoft Connect Web site at This Site has been set up to directly gather feedback anonymously from you, SBS User Community.
Your role in the SBS Community is important to us. Microsoft Connect enables you to connect with Microsoft developers, product managers, and other development team members to help us make our products the best they can be.

To accept this invitation and become a member of this program, please follow these steps:

  1. Use your Internet connection to visit our Web site at

  2. Click on "Invitations" on the left-side menu.

  3. You will need to sign in using a valid Passport and before you can continue to the "Invitations" page.

  4. Enter your Invitation ID in the blank. Your invitation ID is: COMM-GKXK-WJKV

  5. Click "Go."

  6. If you have not previously registered with Microsoft Connect, you may be required to register before continuing with the invitation process. This a light registration and we will not use any information that you provide to contact you later unless you tell us otherwise.

Now, please follow the steps shown to you by that program to become an active participant. Once you complete the steps, you will be automatically approved. From that point forward you should be able to log into this site using your passport account and take any surveys that are available to you.

Here is the link to the survey: SBS Community Survey. You will find this link on the main page of the site under Small Business Server Community Site.

Join the Feedback community! Voice your opinions, tell us what we should think?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Customizing Outlook Views

Just the other day, I realized I hadn't shared this great tip with you. I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but Outlook has multiple views on different things such as Contacts or Tasks.

On the right you'll see what I'm talking about with different views. This may surprise you, but this list is not static!

You can add things to this list simply by

  • clicking on the menu View

  • then mousing over Arrange By..., Current View, then clicking on Define Views

  • on the next dialog, simply click on the New button and follow the on-screen instructions.

You can add as many custom views as you want. Don't forget that you can create views that filter on Categories.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Small Business Server R2 Reached Release Candidate Status Today!

Today was an exciting day in Redmond: because today the Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 was signed off as a release candidate. What does this mean? It means SBS R2 is coming close to hitting the market. Those of you who have signed up to receive R2 and help find bugs should be receiving CDs in a week or so.

I will be the first to admit, when I looked at what was going to be placed in R2 about a year ago, I wasn't excited. Now I'm dying to place it up on for the patching, the new server status report, storage resource manager plus a few others. What's stopping me? I need a new hard drive first.

I'm sure once it does gets to all of you guys, you will really enjoy what we've done with R2, and may your SBS boxes have the green check forever!