Month: October 2017

Review: iHome iAVS16 Alexa Bedside Speaker and Alarm Clock

Alexa’s foray into 3rd party devices has definitely gotten interesting. I’ve tested quite a few, which you’ve probably seen here on this site. This latest bedside clock from iHome really introduces Alexa to non-Amazon devices in a grand way. And, this might turn out to be my favorite non-Amazon Alexa device. iHome has put together a solid product that does a great job combining expected digital alarm clock functions with Alexa capabilities. Additionally, the speaker that iHome chose to incorporate into this device is definitely better than anything that Amazon produces with its Echo line, but also might be a strong contender to knock Sonos out of its lofty set. Music is rich even with the audio cranked high (the volume on this thing seems endless). The device works great ...

Review: dodocool 8GB MP3 Player

It might seem strange to test and review a product that is only capable of playing MP3’s these days. A lot of people just opt to listen to music on their smartphones. But, as a runner and avid fitness person, I know there’s a lot of value of being able to untether and focus on the relaxation and euphoria of creating endorphins. And, then there’s the younger set who haven’t been given a smartphone yet. For example, my 8 year old loves to listen to music, but as parents, we’re still walking that thin line of deciding what age is appropriate for a cell phone. Some of her friends already have cell phones. Having a cell phone is sort of like getting your first job. Once you start working, you’re working for the rest of your life. So, with both, you may as wel...

Last Reminder – Asset Intelligence Dashboard Is the Free SCCM Report

Today’s the last day to get your copy of October 2017’s free SCCM report, Asset Intelligence Dashboard, so go to our monthly giveaway page and fill out the form now! You should receive the giveaway email within a few minutes, but if you have not received it, please check your spam folder or contact us and we will work with you to solve the problem. Asset Intelligence Dashboard The Asset Intelligence Dashboard is one of the companion reports within our AI report set. This dashboard will provide you with a count about all of your software titles grouped by Product Family, Product Category, and Product. This is particularly useful to help show you software titles that fall within a particular category or family. The Asset Intelligence Dashboard leverages Microsoft’s Asset Intelligence Catalog...

From Our Track Chairs: Tips for Making IT/Dev Connections the Best Conference Ever

Thanks to our roaming reporter, Harjit Dhaliwal, for capturing this coverage of the opening keynote at IT/Dev Connections 2017. IT/Dev Connections is a conference built purely on attendee feedback. Each year, the conference is enhanced though suggestions. Learn from the Track Chairs how to ensure delivery of that feedback, hear tips on how to take advantage of the value of the conference, and understand where the technology industry is headed. Ultimately, IT/Dev Connections is YOUR conference. Introduction and remarks from the #ITDevConnections 2017 Track Chairs on Monday, October 23, 2017 in San Francisco CA. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Interview with Sander Berkouwer at IT/Dev Connections 2017

Our roaming reporter, Harjit Dhaliwal, was everywhere during IT/Dev Connections 2017, connecting with attendees, speakers, and sponsors. Here’s his interview with Microsoft MVP Sander Berkouwer at IT/Dev Connections 2017 Conference in San Francisco.   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Interview with Zach Sattler at IT/Dev Connections 2017

Our roaming reporter, Harjit Dhaliwal, was everywhere during IT/Dev Connections 2017, connecting with attendees, speakers, and sponsors. Here’s his interview with ITPro Zach Sattler at IT/Dev Connections 2017 Conference in San Francisco.   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Echo 2nd Generation and Echo Plus Publicly Available Today

For those that pre-ordered Amazon’s latest gear, the Echo 2nd generation and Echo Plus should start showing up at your door today. For the rest, today’s the day you can begin normal ordering with 2-day delivery for Prime customers. The Echo 2nd generation is Amazon’s more compact version of its original design. It also boasts better speakers and enhanced listening capability. Additionally, the new version is only $99. The Echo Plus is the version that comes with a built-in ZigBee-compatible hub, allowing the devices to make setting up smart home devices a breeze. The Echo Plus is $149. According to sources, you should also start to see these available to purchase from Whole Foods locations. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, ...

State of the Cloud from IT/Dev Connections 2017

I have a cool job. That’s a given. I’ve worked conferences for almost 25 years and I get to use that experience to create one of the most fantastic conferences in IT/Dev Connections. During those 25 years, conferences have come and gone. The conference world has changed from time-to-time and then circled back on itself a few times, too. The ride has been invigorating, satisfying, and very eye-opening. Unlike other conference organizers, I like to stay engaged with our attendees to hear their feedback (and react to it), but also to get a real-world sense of what they are experiencing in their everyday professional lives. Just only a couple years ago, IT/Dev Connections content focus was primarily for on-premises operations with a little cloud thrown in. Many attendees were still wary of mix...

Frequent and Uncommunicated Updates are Microsoft Customers’ Biggest Pain Point

It started as an effort to keep up with the innovation of its competitors when Microsoft decided to retool its legacy operations and begin delivering updates to its products at break-neck speed. And, the company has delivered – however, quite possibly at the expense and trust of its customers. When you first think about accelerated product updates, Windows 10 probably comes to mind, since Microsoft has used that product to develop is servicing strategy. But that’s just scratching the surface of the problem. I heard this too often during IT/Dev Connections 2017 and became one of the bigger stories from the conference. You could sit in almost any session and hear about how Microsoft changed this, or changed that, or made a modification without telling anyone. One speaker, due to some unannou...

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Tip: Pin Websites to the Taskbar

If you’re running Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) and using Microsoft Edge, you can quickly and easily add your favorite websites icons to the Windows Taskbar, giving you even quicker access to the web pages you use most. On your favorite web page, tap or click the ellipsis (the three dots at the top right of the Microsoft Edge window) and choose “Pin this page to the taskbar.” Easy-peasy. Alternatively, you can also use the option on the Microsoft Edge menu to choose to create the web shortcut on the Windows 10 Start page. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Alexa Tip: Creating Routines

Amazon recently rolled out a sort of visual scripting language for Alexa devices that allow customers to group commands into automated sequences. For example, when you say “Alexa, good morning” you could have a bunch of things happen at once like report on traffic, provide a weather report, turn specific lights on, and start the coffee maker. The feature is limited to specific occurrences and actions currently, but this feature is expected to expand quickly. Here’s how to create your first Routine: In the Alexa app, open the menu and select Routines. Select the + icon in the top right hand corner. Select When This Happens, and then choose how to trigger the Routine. Select Add action, and then choose which device to control and what action it completes.   Click the i...

ConfigMgr Health-Check Reporting PowerShell Module

CMHealthCheck is intended to make the former standalone PowerShell scripts “get-cm-inventory.ps1” and “export-cm-healthcheck.ps1” easier to invoke as a module from PowerShell Gallery. Both scripts have been refactored into a simple PowerShell module, with two public functions: Get-CMHealthCheck and Export-CMHealthCheck. The required support XML data files are now invoked via URI from GitHub gist locations (on this account), but they can be downloaded for offline use as well. Download from GitHub: CMHealthCheck   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!