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Welcome to the first part of a series of posts which I wrote during and after my Rangers sabbatical. In future posts I will talk about the trip in detail, but this post will just cover the history of the trip and what all these odd terms I may use mean.
The rangers are NOT related to any of the following:
|A football team ||A TV show ||A military group ||An ice hockey team |
The Rangers are group of individuals which is made up of internal Microsoft staff, mostly from MCS (Microsoft Consulting Services); MVP’s (external people awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award) and key community leads.
The Rangers are linked to a specific Microsoft product, in my case it is VSTS (Visual Studio Team System), and not all products have a Rangers team.
The goal of Rangers is to fill in the gaps in products with custom solutions and guidance – so that may include information on how to run TFS (Team Foundation Server) on a virtual machine, quick reference posters for the product, or additional tools.
I am very excited that at midnight we shipped the latest Rangers solution the VM Factory!
What is the Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010 VM Factory?
The purpose of this project is to build prescriptive guidance around the virtualization of the Visual Studio 2010 and guidance for full automation of the creation of virtual machines. The goal is to help users with the installation and configuration of virtualized environments with least effort and maximum automation.
You can download it from Codeplex
Seems that in the last week, and just in time for me to be in Canada where they have bandwidth, that a bunch of things have become available for download which deserve your attention:
VS 2010 Quick Reference Guidance is now out!
Plus hotfix 1 for it
The new Nokia 5800 firmware (188.8.131.52) is out – which brings it up to the level of the X6 in features now!
Lastly, and sneakily at the end of this post, my latest open source tool is out. Now I am not going to tell you what it is, but it is for presenters (mostly) and requires .NET 4.0 Beta 2 and Windows 7. Hopefully the name will entice you to check out Rule 18!
With the count down clock at T-10 days to my sabbatical trip an email popped into my mail box… it was an email from Microsoft congratulating me on getting the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award for my work with Team System!
What is this MVP Award?
The Microsoft MVP Award is an annual award that recognizes exceptional technology community leaders worldwide who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with users and Microsoft… With fewer than 5,000 awardees worldwide, Microsoft MVPs represent a highly select group of experts. MVPs share a deep commitment to community and a willingness to help others. They represent the diversity of today’s technical communities. MVPs are present in over 90 countries, spanning more than 30 languages, and over 90 Microsoft technologies. MVPs share a passion for technology, a willingness to help others, and a commitment to community. These are the qualities that make MVPs exceptional community leaders. MVPs’ efforts enhance people’s lives and contribute to our industry’s success in many ways. By sharing their knowledge and experiences, and providing objective feedback, they help people solve problems and discover new capabilities every day. MVPs are technology’s best and brightest…
Richard Kaplin, Microsoft Corporate Vice President
So this is a great honour for me to be welcomed into a group of people who I look up to and respect :) You can see my new MVP profile up at https://mvp.support.microsoft.com/profile/Robert.MacLean
This morning I got up for a quick cycle and as I road up the last big hill before I got home the sun really started to beat down on me and the swet changed from cooling moist to dripping. This is all at 6am, which is normal for a South African summer day, in fact our winters, in Johannesburg, aren’t too bad too. It normally is around single digits in winter at night and the days go up to 14 or so degrees. I guess that is why Willy-Peter decided to send me this picture – it’s a warning that better go shopping for a jacket or nine.
In 40 days I will be starting a very exciting adventure, that being flying to Canada and America for 3 weeks of what is being referred to as the Rangers Sabbatical. The what? you may be asking yourself, I have posted previously on my Microsoft VSTS Rangers project involvement. Well in January I will be heading to hang out with with Willy-Peter Schaub at the MCDC (Microsoft Canada Development Centre) in Vancouver Canada and then Chuck Sterling at Microsoft Corp HQ in Redmond, USA.
I am hoping to be able to blog a lot about this trip, although I doubt that I will be allowed to share photo’s of that central server that Microsoft runs that all traffic on the internet run though which is built on Linux (that is a joke for those with humour issues), since this will be the first time I will be going to north America and so this is really going to be an exciting adventure.