Mark's Stuff

My Foray Into Weblogging. Using this to store interesting items for later review.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Microsoft DreamSpark


Microsoft DreamSpark

Today, Microsoft announced that college students can download Visual Studio, SQL Server, Expression Blend, even Windows Server FOR FREE!

How would you like a free copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008? How about the entire Microsoft Expression Studio? Not enough...... how about Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and more?
For once, something that sounds too good to be true really is this good and really is true. Starting today (or soon in some areas), students worldwide will be able to download our professional development and design tools for free! It's called DreamSpark and it is upon us.

Wow.  Why?  From PressPass:

PressPass: What is the thinking behind Microsoft DreamSpark? And how did you come up with the name?

Wilson: Microsoft DreamSpark is a community-based program to provide students with free access to Microsoft’s industry-leading software development, gaming and design tools. Working with schools, governments, partners and student organizations worldwide, we will be making this available starting today in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Other countries will come online over the next year, as well as expanding the program to include high school students. The program is open to all students at education institutions worldwide, though those studying science, technology, engineering and math disciplines (STEM-D) are expected to be the first to jump on it. All eligible students need is access to a computer with an internet connection to download the products, as well as free access keys at

We call it DreamSpark because every great technology breakthrough starts life as someone’s dream or idea. We want to make sure that students have the tools to spark their own dreams plus the power to turn them into reality.

PressPass: Why is Microsoft doing this?

Wilson: We believe students can do amazing things with technology if given access to the right tools. This is a way to make sure that they have what they need to test the boundaries of what today’s technology can do and also prepare for a great career at the same time. The added benefit to industry is that we’re addressing one of the toughest challenges confronting employers today: attracting and developing qualified IT professionals. We’re trying to help close this gap by giving students globally the opportunity to get the tools they’ll need after they graduate and jump-start their careers to land that first job.

Making sure there is a strong pipeline of technically skilled students is key to the future of the global economy. The ability to create new software and services will be an essential part of the skill set of the next generation of workers. Technology is one of the chief drivers pushing worldwide economic development and job creation. As well as giving students important exposure to the tools they can expect to use in the workplace, DreamSpark is about putting professional-level tools in the hands of students to amplify the impact of their studies and fire up their imaginations about the power of technology.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Vista SP1 Installed

Check your languages installed

Well, I bit the bullet and installed Vista SP1 today.  Overall, looks OK right now, but I did have a problem starting up the SP installation.  SP1 would not install, saying I did not have valid language pack installed.  I am certainly running English-US, setup for US settings, so I had a problem why this was saying I was not.  Checking a few things, I saw that somehow I had Hebrew language also installed (not sure why or how, as I cannot read Hebrew).  Once I uninstalled that language and restarted, then the SP1 install went flawless.  I just started it and left it alone for a couple hours, so I'm not sure how long it really took.

I don't see much difference right now.  I will post back if I notice anything.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Visual Studio 2008 Product Comparison

This article is an extensive comparison of the different editions of Visual Studio 2008.

This is a short clipping to demonstrate the article contents.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Which is Faster: SAN or Directly-Attached Storage?

Or should I place my database files on SAN or directly-attached storage?

Article on SQLTeam.Com on whether SAN or DAS is better for database files. Quick answer: It depends (of course).

Which is Faster: SAN or Directly-Attached Storage?


Windows Vista SP1 is done

Windows Vista SP1 is done | Ed Bott’s Windows Expertise |

Microsoft announced that Windows Vista Service Pack 1 has concluded its beta testing and has been released to manufacturing. So, does that mean you can install it today? Nope.