Join Microsoft for four days of demos, deep dives, and live Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) sessions from October 24-27, 2022, led by Microsoft engineering and designed to get you up to speed on the latest features, capabilities, and scenarios for Windows11 and Microsoft Intune, including Windows 365 and much more. There will be experts from the engineering and product teams ready to answer your questions during each session.
How do you participate? Go to https://aka.ms/TechnicalTakeoff and select the sessions you want to attend, and then click on RSVP to save your spot, receive event reminders, and have the ability to post your questions in advance and also during the event. (Note: You must be signed in to the Tech Community to RSVP and participate in the live Q&A, but sessions can be viewed without signing in). See the video below for a quick tutorial on how to sign up.
The tweet below has been liked, shared, and retweeted by IT pros with lots of excitement for this awesome event. Follow me on Twitter and help amplify this message. Thanks.
See below for a listing of the deep dive sessions, demos, AMAs, and the Office Hours.
All times below listed for Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)
I’m excited for this event which a handful of us at Microsoft helped organize, planned and produced this amazing technical event for IT pros. Looking forward to seeing you at Microsoft Technical event, for you learning, and engagements.
The time has come to let the ?? out of the bag and make the formal announcement. On May 21, 2021, I wrote a blog post where I mentioned that I left my 18 year career in Higher-Ed as a Senior Systems Administrator at the University of Vermont.
I am excited to announce that as of today, June 7, 2021, I have joined Microsoft as a Customer Engineer for Microsoft 365. My role covers a variety of solutions under the Microsoft 365 umbrella including Modern Management which I’m very passionate and super excited about. I can finally say that I’m now a “Blue Badge” and my dream of joining Microsoft has come true!
There is so much that I want to mention and perhaps, I’ll start with my family. My wife Jenny and my daughters Sabrina and Hannah have been my rock, strength, motivation, strong supporters for what I do, and they highly encouraged me to pursue my dreams and passion. Thank you!
I’ve been privileged and honored to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2017, and I have grown and learned so much since then, as well as had many amazing opportunities, from guest blogging, consulting work, product reviews, NDA opportunities with Microsoft, Subject Matter Expert (SME) on various webinars and technical user groups, speaking engagements with several conferences including Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Microsoft Ignite The Tours in Milan, Johannesburg, and Dubai (unfortunately COVID-19 cancelled my speaking gigs in Zurich, Mumbai, Bangalore, Tel-Aviv, and Chicago), TechMentor, IT/Dev Connections, and the one close to my heart and my favorite MMS aka MMSMOA, to name a few. During this journey, I developed strong bonds, positive reputation, respect, and trust among Microsoft product groups, MVP Program leadership, fellow Microsoft MVPs, vendors, event organizers, IT Professional community, mentees, my wonderful followers, and close friends. Thank you to all of you for your support, guidance, encouragement, and friendships.
Today also marks the end of the road for my Microsoft MVP award, which is something one has to give up upon joining Microsoft as an employee. I will continue to be a valuable resource not only to the MVP Program, the leadership, but to the IT Pro community as well, and will continue to empower everyone and help improve what I can. Thank you Betsy Weber, Rochelle Sonnenberg, and Christian Talavera for allowing me to do what I do, and most importantly for all the amazing opportunities as well as for my inclusivity as one of the trusted leaders within the MVP program. Also, Thank you Cathy Moya for the same and so much more. It’s amazing that we are all colleagues now. ?????
There are a few people who I would like to mention and recognize, who have been instrumental for my next career phase with Microsoft. The offline chats, references, internal recommendations, referring to open positions, keeping me in check, pushing me harder, motivations, encouraging me to stay positive, mentorship, discreet conversations, trust, friendships, and so much more, meant a lot to me and I’m forever appreciative and grateful. I know I am going to miss mentioning someone or another, and for that I apologize in advance and please forgive me. In no particular order, Thank you very much Noel Fairclough, Rod Trent, John Deardurff, Art Hogarth, Cathy Moya, Heather Poulsen, Kerim Hanif, Kris Loranger, Joe Lurie, and last but not least Julie Andreacola.
As I celebrate this happy occasion, I’m also reminded of my brother Amarjit who passed away on this very day (June 7th) in 2015. I miss him very much, but I know he is proud of me and is watching over me from heaven. ???
With all that said, it’s time to kick start my new adventures with the company and people I love, embrace the unique opportunities, advocate and evangelize modern technologies, support the IT Pro community, and I’m ready to “empower every person and every organization to achieve more”! ??????????✔
Today, Friday May 21, 2021 was my last working day as a Senior Systems Administrator at The University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. I hung my hat after almost 18 years of my dedication as an IT Professional at this institution of higher learning.
I have a lot to be Thankful, for the last 18 years here, including the experiences I have gained, the relationships I had built and cherish, the beautiful friendships, the wonderful opportunities for my professional development, the highly technical work I did, the ability to advocate and implement enterprise level technical solutions, the numerous kudos for the assistance I provided to other IT colleagues as well as the people who used the technologies, solving challenging problems, and much more. I have seen medical students become doctors and surgeons, students become engineers, teachers, lawmakers, and technologist to name a few. It’s thrilling to know that somehow big or small, I had some part in their positive education experiences leading to their successful careers.
I won’t deny that while I liked and enjoyed working at the university, there are several things that I wasn’t fond of and I definitely will not miss. However, working this long at one given place, it becomes part of who you are, it’s the identity that forms you, it’s the livelihood that provided for your family and so on. Therefore, it is bitter sweet to leave what I have known and accustomed to, the people who I worked with and also those who I supported, the higher education culture, and the beautiful campus which is the icon of the city of Burlington, Vermont. However, I have an amazing and wonderful opportunity to work at an amazing huge firm where I will be able to take my career to the next phase, be empowered to do amazing things, advocate for the top of the line technical solutions, have lots of growth and learning opportunities, and much much more. I’m super excited.
Where is Harjit headed to next? What’s he going to do? Well, I will officially announce the news of my next adventure in the next 2 weeks, so please be patient. 🙂 If you are one of a few people who has been privy to this knowledge, I kindly request for your trust and confidentiality, and allow me do the honors when I feel it’s the right time to do so. Thank you!
I came across this great opportunity from Microsoft for some free Azure training and a free exam voucher for the AZ-900 certification. See below:
Join us for Microsoft Azure Training Day: Fundamentals to improve your understanding of cloud concepts and acquire the knowledge you need to earn the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification. Learn basic strategies for transitioning to the cloud along with concepts including security, high availability, scalability, elasticity, agility, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery.
You will find the sign up links for the free Azure training for different dates and time zones starting from end of April to end of June 2020. Keep in mind that some dates have filled to capacity. Sign Up: https://bit.ly/2VmlZFu
Microsoft provides several Insider programs which you can participate to get a preview of the latest features and updates, as well as provide feedback to Microsoft for bugs, issues, and request features.
In case you are trying to figure out what Insider programs are available and how you can sign up to participate, see below for the individual programs.
I recently got the chance to use and review one of Anker‘s newest products, called the Roav DashCam C2. This is a video camera to be used in a vehicle to record one’s travel from point A to point B for various reasons. In this day and age, we are surrounded by video cameras from speed traps, traffic lights, building security, merchandise stores, gas stations, office buildings, elevators, and the list goes on. Lately, video cameras aka dashcams have become more and more popular especially for documentation purposes as well as for proving wrong doings by other parties on traffic violations, and much more.
Check out some of these footage on YouTube from dashcams. There are also some plane crashes caught on dashcams such as the Taiwan plane crash, Mukilteo plane crash, and the Afghanistan plane crash to name a few. As you can see, these are unbelievable captures which would otherwise be disputed.
Now back to the Roav DashCam C2. Here’s what it offers:
Size: 3.4 x 2.5 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 3.5 ounces
Display: 1080P / 720P with a 3 inch LCD screen size
Storage: microSD card (not included)
Chipset: Ambarella A12
Sensor: Sony IMX323
Camera: f/2.0 wide-angle lens
Operating Temperature: -4*F – 158*F
Easy to setup
Night mode for clarity
Parking detection mode
Emergency recording to lock footage
Easy to use menu and buttons
High quality video captures
Small form factor
No zooming for tighter or closer recording scenes
32GB microSD card preferred but not necessary. More of an annoyance reminder on each startup
Finicky touch screen
No smartphone app
No WiFi or Bluetooth capability
microSD card must be removed from unit to transfer to computer
Check out my unboxing video:
The Roav DashCam C2 is quite simple to use and just works. More often than not, I forget that I have it installed since I have it positioned behind my rear view mirror with the suction cup attachment provided. This is a good thing, as each drive I do with my vehicle is automatically recorded and I have the footage when I need it. The camera activates as soon as I start my car and power is received by the dashcam.
I do have a couple of pet peeves, and the first one is the constant reminder that I should be using a 32GB microSD card when the dashcam automatically turns on, but it works just fine with a lesser capacity card, which is what I’m using. The device is smart enough to loop and delete older recordings when it needs space for newer recordings. The other is the lack of a smartphone app which is available for the C1 model but not for the C2. Using an app allows more streamlined use of the device such as to change settings and to transfer recordings for upload to various sources. Otherwise, I’m quite happy with this dashcam as it does what I need it to do which is to record my travels without any effort. Plus, it’s inexpensive too. You’ll find it on Amazon for $79.99.
I’m thrilled and honored to be invited by IT/Dev Connections to help manage their social and community engagements at the conference in San Francisco from October 23-26, 2017. IT/Dev conference is a deep dive highly technical conference for developers and IT Professionals and the speakers are top notch world experts. Here’s the announcement of my engagement on their blog.
A couple of weeks after receiving my MVP Award from Microsoft, I asked my IT Pro peers for some feedback via a Facebook group (Tech Konnect) and MVP Yammer Community on what they use for computer systems to run test environments such as ConfigMgr, Windows builds, Server OS, etc. I realized as a MVP, I need to up my game and build a portable lab environment to conduct testing and create tutorials for the IT Pro community in order to share some technical knowledge. Also, I’m often asked to test various software and tools in return for reviews or product QA feedback, so a proper lab environment is a must.
For those of you who run test environments on your laptops using Hyper-V or VMware Workstation, what make and model laptop are you using and what are the specs (Hard Drive(s), memory, CPU, etc)?
I received an overwhelming response with many different hardware specifications including suggestions of various makes and models of laptops and much more. One thing that stood out was the amount of memory (RAM) one should consider in order to have a decent lab environment, at least to sustain for example, a Domain Controller, ConfigMgr server, SQL, MDT, and some Windows clients to name a few. “You need at least 32GB of memory”, the crowd roared!
I knew my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with 8GB of memory was not going to cut it and I was stuck since I can’t upgrade the memory and hard disk on the Surface Pro 4. Unbeknownst to me, two of my IT Pro friends who are well respected by me and by the global IT Pro community stepped up to the plate and very generously decided to provide me with a special gift to help me with my MVP and IT Pro endeavours, so I could further expand my technical skills and to give back to the community via my learning and knowledge. For confidentiality purposes, these two special friends of mine will remain anonymous. I have been shocked and speechless from the day I was told that I was to look out for a package (shipped) and even to this day as I use this laptop daily to setup my test lab. I’m so grateful and blessed to receive this generous gift and …………well….., I’m speechless! My friend said “Now that you are MVP, you need the right equipment for testing!”
So, here’s what I received:
1. HP Zbook 14 G2 laptop (Intel Core i7-5500U CPU 2.4GHz, 32GB memory, 256GB Hard Disk, 1TB SSD Hard Disk)
2. Power adapters (two)
3. HP UltraSlim docking station
I love my “new” HP laptop, it’s shiny, it’s awesome, it’s perfect! Stay tuned for my future blog post on how I setup my test lab, what I used to build it, and some obstacles I ran into which I ended up resolving. To my two special friends, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! 🙂
I am truly honored and humbled to receive my first Microsoft Most Valuable Professional [MVP] award on January 1, 2017 in the Windows and Devices for IT category. It was a surreal moment when I received the email (see below) from Microsoft informing me that I was awarded this prestigious recognition. Wow!
My heartfelt Thank you to the MVP Award team, to my MVP Lead Betsy Weber, to my IT Pro peers who recognized my work and efforts in the IT Pro community with the abundance of nominations, and to everyone who has supported and encouraged me to be a valuable influencer and a technical evangelist. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Here’s an overview of the MVP program:
If you know of any IT Professionals who work with Microsoft technologies and should be recognized for their skills, influence, and valuable assistance to the IT Pro community, or if you want to nominate yourself, you can provide nominations on the MVP website.
The best Christmas / New Year / Birthday present!
Finally, here’s my vlog message for my 1st MVP award –
I also talk about the MVP Award on the Harjit & Prayer Show: