first online proctored microsoft exam

I like keeping track of firsts.  My first ever Microsoft exam was for Windows NT 4 (and it was so long ago I’ll have to look it up, but I think it was Windows NT 4 Workstation at IMG if I’m not mistaken), I remember many of the testing centers because the ones I either worked for or enjoyed the testing experience I went back to multiple times to complete certification exams.  This week was a first and I have officially found my FAVORITE testing center – my home!  This week I took my first stab at an Online Proctored Exam for Microsoft Certification!

We used to be able to take exams at the Microsoft Downers Grove office, but at the time a proctor (person to watch you the entire time you were taking the exam to ensure you were not cheating, talking or violating any of the rules for an exam (getting up and leaving the room as an example) was enough overhead that it did not make sense for that to be offered long term.

This week I will have taken three exams from the comfort of my home.  Check out the rules and requirements here:

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learning azure with my own website project

It’s been a long time since I wrote a website.  I really enjoy some aspects of it (what I consider the scripting part of it) – type in something, save the file and open or refresh a browser.  I have discovered if I have to compile something that’s typically where I lose patience/interest.  So as I’m studying Azure a practical website project became of interest to me:  I want a site to send all my facebook friends to on their birthday.

First I have to see if the website name is available ( and we will do that with PowerShell:


figure 1: see if a site name is available


figure 2: grab it before someone reads this and takes it!

Check out the first page of this birthday website for Eva here

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the covers project and special birthday gift for eva

i had a thought to list out my favorite cover songs on twitter as well as to my blog.  the goal – list unique covers where the song is either reinterpreted or there is some other really unique twist.  having something to post would likely allow me to also include something geeky or work related along the way.  the first and second that will make this list are originally rap songs.

Too Much Joy’s “That’s a Lie”–cover of LL Cool J’s Rap classic

now onto today’s post.  years ago – too many to mention – i would come up with these crazy things for eva’s birthday.  i had webpages that would bring up the microsoft agent genie and wish her a happy birthday, one year i arranged a surprise party and hung the paper plates on the wall of our home (cheap decorations – and usable – “grab a plate from the wall – it’s time for cake”).  this year i’ve got a brilliant idea to wish her a happy birthday and then allow a customized web page for her 365 days going forward.  it’s ambitious – yes.  it’s going to take some pre work on my part.  this will use microsoft azure (because it’s cool) and probably some other internet trickery.  wish me luck – i’ve got two weeks to pull this together.

it’s been a while since i posted – feels good to be back!

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April CWUG Meeting

We’ll be meeting TONIGHT in Chicago.  ADFS, System Center Operations Manager, Windows 8.1 Update and Windows Phone 8.1 are all on the agenda.  Hope to see you here!

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I just scored 290 points …

I just scored 290 points in Fruit Ninja’s Arcade Mode, with help from a Score x2 Banana! Windows8 touch

Fruit Ninja

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I just scored 387 points …

I just scored 387 points in Fruit Ninja’s Arcade Mode, with help from 3 Frenzy Bananas!

Fruit Ninja

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first windows 8 post

Ever since the Microsoft live blog migrated to WordPress, I have concentrated on my TechNet blog.  Tonight I noticed an editor in the Windows 8 WordPress app and I couldn’t resist checking it out…

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