vDM30in30 - Free Screen Recorder for Windows from Microsoft

Microsoft released a free screen recording app that's compatible with Windows 7 and 8.  It's possible that the app is also compatible with Windows 10, though I haven't tried it yet.  Mac users have Quicktime for free so it's not an issue on that platform.

Basic Info:

Link to the app: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2009.03.utilityspotlight2.aspx?pr=blog

Format used: .wmv

Editing capabilities: No

The tool is a very basic but effective.  The simple controls lead to quick to learn app.

The app is small, simple, and effective.  Moreover, it's from Microsoft.  That may not mean much, but when it comes to free tools, I'm very cautious of the source.  If there's any drawback, it's the lack of any editing capabilities

#vDM30in30 - Day2 Signing Up for Amazon AWS

Confession time - I've never set up my own AWS instance.  Ever.  I've read about it, and I've even taken training for AWS; but I've never setup my own AWS anything for personal use.  I've used competitive offerings such as MS Azure and Verizon's Terremark, but not AWS.  I decided to take the plunge today since #vDM30in30 is about new experiences, learning, and experimentation.  This post will cover my general impressions of the AWS sign up process.

So how did it go?  Well, My honest impression of the setup process is that it probably could have been a little easier.  I decided to select the Free tier.  I was asked to sign up.  The login / sign up dialogue box resembled the same screen used for buying products through Amazon, however, the same UID / pw combination didn't work.  It's a new and separate account.  It's a minor annoyance but definitely not a show stopper.

Next, I had to verify my tier.  Amazon does a pretty good job of explaining what you get for free.  The problem is in knowing if it's enough.  In addition, only a small subsection of services are mentioned.

After some basic payment info, I thought I'd be done.  Not so fast!  Amazon does an interesting and welcome Identity verification check where an automated system calls a telephone number you provide.  Upon answering the call, the applicant enters a four digit code that's provided onscreen.

AWS Identity Verification Screen

AWS Identity Verification Screen

The applicant is then asked to review the support plan options.  Nothing here is too surprising, but the upper tiers really provide what appears to be exceptional support.  Then again for a minimum of $15,000 an enterprise should receive "white glove case handling."  Also eye-catching is the fact that telephone support isn't available for anything less than $100.  Basic developer level support allows for e-mailing support.



There's a lot of information, and I could see how someone buying AWS in a shadow IT ops type of situation would make a mistake by either buying too much or not enough support.

So after all of the screens and choices, I signed into the console and was overwhelmed by the choices.  The vast number and types of options was intimidating.  It reminded me of a friend who installed Oracle back when he was starting out in IT.  Upon seeing a screen full of icons he asked, "So what do I do now?"  I had a very similar feeling looking over the ocean of choices.


The last few years have been filled with warnings of Shadow Ops.  This concept of non-IT departments buying and deploying cloud-based services on their own without the knowledge or consent of a centralized IT department.  Based on what I just experienced, I see this trend slowing down when it comes to AWS.  AWS has added tons of features.  So many features, I'd argue that the complexity associated with deploying an app properly has also increased.  Confronted by all of these options it seems unlikely for a less sophisticated power user to go out and deploy an app on AWS.  Amazon makes sign up and payment easy, but that's not the difficult part.


#vDM30in30 Day1 - Tech Resources / Reference Material

Over the next 30 days, I'll be blogging about a number of topics related to virtualization, certification, storage, and pretty much anything else that crosses my mind in an attempt to push myself through the #vDM30in30 challenge.  Getting me there will be a number of my favorite go-to resources for learning. 

Resource One - Conventions / Conference Sessions

I can't attend every major tech conference, so I really appreciate the conferences that place content online.  Even when I attend, there's so much going on, that I may not be able to sit in on every session.  Moreover, I might just want to revisit a session I attended.

Cisco Live - https://ciscolive.com/online/connect/search.ww

NetApp Insight - http://www.netapp-insight.com/page/Videos

RedHat Summit - http://www.redhat.com/en/about/videos/red-hat-summit-2015-recap

Microsoft Ignite - https://myignite.microsoft.com/#/videos

Resource 2 - PluaralSight

One of the coolest perks for being a Cisco Champion is a PluralSight subscription.  I viewed a few courses back when they were Train Signal.  Lots of cool content and the instructors are many times people well known in their respective communities.  There are other training programs like it, but I don't have any personal experience with them.


Resource 3 - Blogs + Podcasts

There are too many to list.  I also wish to avoid offending anyone by not mentioning them.  What I promise to do is to include a link to any blog or podcast I use as inspiration for an article.


vDM30in30 - I'm In!

So I decided to join the vDM30in30 Challenge!  30 blog posts in 30 days.  No lie - it's intimidating.  I haven't written as frequently as I had planned.  The cool part, though, is that I won't be alone.  Many others who I read and respect are doing it too.  While I'm following their lead, I don't dare fool myself into believing I'm their equal.

I'm hoping to learn a few things.  This field, this occupation means you can never stay still, yet writing about a topic can really drive the lesson home.  I'm firm believer that teaching a topic is a great way to learn.  Worst case, I'll have a pretty cool set of reference material for myself.

Big thanks to the founder of this challenge,  @vmiss33.  For more info about vDM30in30 including it's history, check out this post here: #vDM30in30