Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Give-Away Contest: Win a Copy of SBS 2011 Configuration from PACKT Publishing

Book Give-away:
Win free copy of the 'Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide', just by commenting!

PACKT has graciously offered TWO copies of (MCTS): Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide to be given away to two lucky winners (winners outside of the USA and Europe will get e-copies only)

How you can win:
To win your copy of this book, all you need to do is come up with a comment below highlighting the reason "why you would like to win this book”.
Duration of the contest & selection of winners:
The contest is valid for 14 days (two weeks), and is open to everyone. Winners will be selected on the basis of their comment posted.

Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide
(MCTS): Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide is written by,
  • Drew Hills: an active and regular contributor to the SMB IT Professional community in Australia having passed 18 different Microsoft Certification exams so far.
  • Robert Crane: Having 15 years of IT experience with a degree in Electrical Engineering as well as Masters of Business Administration, he's been awarded with the Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his contributions to the Office 365 product in 2012.
Using this book readers will learn to manage messaging collaboration and develop management of users, computers and printers. With the understanding of steps, to configure Remote Access, readers will also learn the installation and set up of Windows SBS 2011 Standard with the management of Health and Security and Advanced Configuration amongst others.
(MCTS): Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide  focuses on set of test questions and answers that will prepare you for the actual exam. With easy layout and content, this book helps you learn and maximize your study time in areas where you need improvement. With additional practical resources included, this book will enable you to approach the Configuring (70-169) exam with confidence.

So leave a comment below on why you should win!! Contest ends on 6/22, winners will be picked over the weekend and announced on Monday 6/25.


  • Tyler Pelletier
  • Robin Jones

Congratulations to the Winners! I need these folks to click the email link above and send me an email so I have your email address, which I will provide to PACKT publishing in order for them to contact you to get you your copy of the book.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

How to Subscribe to an ICS calendar in Hotmail

Earlier I posted on how to share your Hotmail calendar between two or more people.  What you might remember if you viewed the screenshots closely, is I had a few more calendar’s in there.  Like a Trip It Calendar. 

As a side note, if you travel at all, and don’t use Trip It, you’re missing out!  Trip it is a website / service that you simply forward your travel itinerary to an email address it builds a trip itinerary for your trip so you can quickly access all the details about your flight, your hotel or rental car, or any other itinerary you have. 

Back to Hotmail calendaring, you can subscribe to any Internet Calendaring Service (ICS) feed, this can be something like your trip-it calendar, the Seahawk’s TV schedule calendar, your FaceBook calendar, the list goes on of sites that support ICS.

To simply subscribe to an ICS Calendar in Hotmail do the following:

  1. Log into Hotmail.com, and click on the Calendar link
  2. Click the Subscribe link above your calendar
  3. Choose to Import from an ICS file, and provide the linkImport ot Subscribe to a Calendar request
  4. I always choose to import into a new calendar, give it a game, a color and in the case of Trip it, a little airplane charm.

Now once you know where to put the ICS file, you just have to find them.  I only use FaceBook (for those pesky FaceBook events, it’s nice to have them just appear in your calendar) and Trip-it, so airplane itinerary and hotel check-ins just appear in your calendar.

Monday, June 04, 2012

How to Share Hotmail Calendars between two or more people

I’m a huge user of Hotmail. It’s where I store my personal email.  I looked at hosting it in Office 365, but to have to pay for one mailbox or a few mailboxes for personal use is kind of cumbersome.  There is no doubt that Office 365 is better for businesses, but for personal use, Hotmail is just fine for me.

However, there are some features that *just happen* with Office365, that don’t necessarily happen in Hotmail, like Calendar sharing.  I’ve started using my Hotmail calendar for anything personal that I need to track, and then create a calendar request to my work calendar if it’s during business hours (like a Dr’s appointment).  My wife actually uses her Hotmail calendar to track her work schedule.

My wife is bad at remembering to update digital calendars, so once/month, I perform secretary duties, which just makes both our lives easier.  But the key is I update her calendar, from my account.  We can also view each other’s calendar on our PCs, our iPads and our SmartPhones.  Here’s how.

  1. From each account you want to share, go to Hotmail.com, log in, and click on your Calendar.
  2. Click on the Share link above your calendar
  3. Change the Don’t share this calendar (keep it private) to Share this calendar Share this Calendar
  4. When you select Add People you can select from your address book of people to share from and how much access you want that person to have.  For example, I had my wife give me co-owner access so I could update her calendar once/month with all the items she writes down in her day planner, and I gave her view detailsCalendar Access
  5. Then hit Save all the way down at the bottom of the page.image

The beauty with this is the calendar, with your access level just pops into your calendar list, you can choose to overlay it in your calendar (default), or just uncheck it.  Given that I want to know what my wife and daughter are up to, I just keep it active.  Then at a glance I’ll know if my wife is working on Friday or not and if I can go to soccer practice.

Even further into the beauty of Hotmail calendaring, is now this is accessible from all the different calendar views that you might use.  For example, if you use an iPhone or an iPad as we do in this house, you get your Hotmail calendar’s right there on your phone.

iOS Calendar

Additionally, if you use the Outlook Hotmail Connector (the primary reason I use this is for the calendar), then you can see all of your chosen calendar’s in the single Outlook view.  Which makes it for even easier update, select the calendar you want to update, and then just type into the calendar like you would with any Outlook calendar.


And yes, I am anal about my calendar’s, so I even make them all the same colour on all the views/devices.  My work calendar is always blue, my home calendar is always brown, Kendra’s calendar always yellow (except yellow doesn’t look good in the Outlook view).

I highly recommend sharing calendars for people you are with a lot, especially a spouse, it just makes life easier for us to stay in touch and know what’s going on.

As a final note.  If you wanted just do a 1-time send of your free/busy information to someone, Hotmail has you covered there.  I have yet to use this feature, because my personal calendar just isn’t that packed, and not everyone is as religious about their calendars as I am.  But on that same Share tab, Hotmail serves up all the personalized links and you can choose which one to send

Links Only