Nothing like flying back from one edge of the country on a 5 hr flight to land just in time to cab it to the local Microsoft office in order to start up the local Ottawa Windows Server UserGroup meeting. That was me on Wednesday.
To recount this weeks activities... Monday night, VANTUG meeting with all three IT Pro team members in attendance. From all the comments I received during and after the meeting - people appreciated the "give and take" format around SBS 2003 R2 being extended to include branch offices. Bruce and I let Rodney kick things off, but then we couldn't resist commenting / fielding questions in order to try and mix up and engage the crowd. Some die hards stuck it out till then end and even ended up joining us for a couple of pints at Smilies in order to continue the conversation. Thanks for having us Graham Jones et all from VANTUG - I love coming out to work with y'all.
Tuesday was the big event. We tried to mix it up again and have Rodney get used to having multiple types of roles and multiple individuals on stage with him. It's great seeing him progress in his new role. After scanning through the comments in the evaluations, Vancouver was pretty happy to have us all out and found the content and format relevant as well. The Question and Answer period was engaging with lots of queries on Data Protection Manager, Virtual Server 2005 R2 Service Pack 1 Beta 2 (the longest "name" we have to say) and ISA 2006.
Wednesday morning I hopped a plane to Ottawa and went straight to the UserGroup meeting. 5 Hrs and change in the air - NO POWER PLUGS in row 13. What is up with Air Canada not having upgraded AirBus 320's with power in each seat? Grrrrr. I was shut out on both my flight out and on my way back. I know my battery life in Vista is good on my new system, but it can't reach the 4 hour mark. Hey AirCanada - when are the upgraded planes on the way?
....but I digress.
The OWSUG meeting was great with over 30 individuals asking questions about SBS 2003 R2 and Branch technologies as well as specific deployment scenarios with hosting and virtualization possibilities. Garth Jones (current president) did a little piece at the beginning recognizing the efforts of Kim Frank and CTE Solutions working with the local Study Group as well as a certificate of recognition going out to Todd Lamothe as being the first participant to pass an exam. Way to go CTE and Todd!
Thursday was home turf for myself and the IO tour. Things were going great until I had a VM saved state / undo disk issue which partially blocked (but later resolved) some initial site to site connectivity problems. It was actually refreshing to hear the encouraging comments and suggestions from the crowd about troubleshooting the issue. You also seemed very interested as I recounted how I diagnosed and subsequently resolved the issue tracked down to a bad DC starting state. Your evaluations showed that this temporary demo issue didn't matter and that you appreciated the live troubleshooting exercise.
I am off to Halifax next week and then Toronto the week after that in order to wrap it up.
Hey Vancouver and Ottawa - don't forget. If you are using Vista or Office Beta in production - drop me an email using the "Ask A Question" link on the left. I want to hear your stories.