Off Topic

SharePoint, Entropy and Design

After talking with one of my colleagues in the community, I felt that needed to share this comment that was made during the conversation, or at least the gist of it…

SharePoint Implementations today consist of a race between Architects, Developers and IT Pros striving to build well planned out, bigger and better idiot-proof solutions, and the Universe trying to produce requirements of entropy with bigger and better idiots.

So far, the Universe is winning.

Off Topic

Operation ShareLove: Support Haiti Earthquake Victims

Courtesy of United Nations Photos on FlickrA little more than a week ago on 12 January 2010, the worst earthquake in nearly 200 years struck less than ten miles from the Caribbean City of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. The severity of the quake was nothing to laugh at as a magnitude 7.0 quake devastated the country. There are some estimations out that approximately 100,000 perished in this event, with approximately a third of the population being displaced from their homes or perished. Think about this – 1/3rd of the country suddenly with no where to go. I’m befuddled by this.

Courtesy of United States Navy Photos on FlickrOver the past week we have all watched international aid pour into the country in hopes of rescuing survivors trapped under the wreckage of buildings as well as to assist those injured and to care for the population as “the basics” are no more. So I know I sit, ponder and ask myself, “What is it that I can do?” By now you’ve probably heard of the SMS code to send cash through your phone to the Red Cross in support of Haiti, but what else is there?

Dux Sy (@meetdux) has established “Operation ShareLove: Haiti” as a fund drive organized to support our global brothers and sisters in Haiti. Not only are you helping out in support of those in dire to continue on living, but apparently you can benefit as well.

For more details on how to participate in Operation ShareLove, I strongly urge you to check out the Op SL page at

Off Topic

Office Communicator Conferencing Add-in x64 Support

Office2010Beta2-OCSR2x64ConferencingTabFor those of you that are running Office Communicator 2007 R2 and Office 2010 Beta 2, and you’ve been running on Windows x64 and wondering when Microsoft would release their Office Conferencing Add-in pack that you could use without downgrading to x86 binaries of Office 2010 Beta 2, behold the x64 plug in is now available.

It’s best to first install the Office Communicator 2007 R2 Cumulative January Update referenced in a previous post here at here.

Once you’ve installed the Cumulative Update, Microsoft has the x64 Conferencing add-in available at:

If you’re looking to grab the x64 edition and don’t feel like scrolling down:

While this may not seem that big a deal to some, it’s very helpful for those that live by their calendar synchronized through Exchange and need to plan LiveMeeting invites a day or two out for distribution to several individuals to collaborate on a project together or demonstrate a code release.

Bottom line, thank you Microsoft for adding the capability for those using x64 based Office 2010 Beta 2 the ability to use Communicator more seamlessly!

Off Topic

Office Communicator 2007 R2 January CU

For those of you that leverage Office Communicator 2007 R2, you might be happy to know that Microsoft has released a cumulative update to fix a few of the integration problems between Communicator and Office 2007 and seems to work with the Office 2010 Beta 2 software for all you early adopters out there.

Like other cumulative updates the package contains hotfixes previously released to ensure that you’re not having to patch together several different patch packages (we’re living in 2010 remember, patch management processes have been ironed out).  The core three issues that this CU includes that go above and beyond the hotfixes previously released include:

More information about the package can be read at

or if you just want to download the package immediately for application to your system

Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 Hotfix KB 976135

Upon completion of this installation your Communicator R2 application will be running at version 3.5.6907.83

Off Topic

Thanksgiving 2009

Just another day in the life of Dan… that’s what I tell myself every morning as I get ready for the day.

It’s been a perplexing year with several life changes and challenges – whether family related, work or things in the social and technical communities that I’m involved with.

Today is Thanksgiving though, the day that we stop and breath and remember how blessed we are in this world. I know that for me, living in the Northern Virginia area I don’t see quite the same economic conditions that seem to exist in other parts of the country. I read articles on BBC, CNN, Fox and Drudge and suddenly see the enormity of the pain and hard times that are affecting others and realize how blessed I am.

I would only ask that on this Thanksgiving day in 2009 that you stop and realize the blessings that have been placed on you and reflect on them.

Off Topic

It's all in the brand…

Most of the time, I try to keep posts related to either a SharePoint topic or an event or something that I’ve been pondering with regard to architecture, infrastructure or administration. This weekend however was a real treat to have Heather Waterman, one of the SharePoint Branding subject matter experts, pay a visit to the Washington DC metropolitan area.
For those of you that don’t know Heather, she’s been in the SharePoint field for several years and has designed and implemented several complex and alluring site layouts. She’s developed and designed themes and layouts that are sold commercially to give SharePoint that not so SharePoint out of the box look that we all work to keep our implementations not look like. But there’s definitely another side to Heather that we don’t always see.
So during Heather’s visit, I was fortunate enough to get to spend some time and pick her mind about several SharePoint things to include branding, end user interactions, usability, information workers, upcoming conferences, as well as how we can work better to foster the community.
But over a pint of Guinness at the Dubliner in DC I was fortunate to receive some advice and life lessons that I’ll definitely take to heart. Amazing how the community looks after it’s own through trials that we all face.
Heather was hoping to take a tour of the National Capitol while up here, but unfortunately things fell through. So instead, I decided to do the next best thing and introduce her to the President while here in DC. Now granted, it wasn’t the sitting current day president, but hey, meeting President Jefferson, who was very cordial mind you especially on such short notice. After our fine Irish dinner or corned beef and cabbage and Guinness we wandered around to Madame Tussaud’s in DC where TJ lives in a wax representation. It’s quite an interesting museum with several pop stars and American leaders, but I’m not quite certain that it measures up all the way to the wax museum in London.
Overall a fun time in DC, for any of you that make your way to Northern Virginia or DC, pop me a tweet @usher.

Off Topic

Twitter Spam…

So for those of you that don’t know, on a regular basis I get “tweet spam” from individuals on Twitter, that for some reason think that I’m “Usher” (Usher Raymond IV).  So today, sure enough, more twitter spam.  Always fun to see folks want me to give up the name that is rightfully mine. 🙂


The joys of tweetspam 🙂