Upgrading Windows 7 from BETA to RC1

Having read several times now that you can’t upgrade Windows 7 from BETA to RC1, I decided it would be a good idea to post the “how-to” instructions. Obviously many people are confused here.

To upgrade from beta you need to:

  1. Extract the .iso contents to a storage location you wish to run the upgrade from (a bootable flash drive or a directory on any partition on the machine running the old build).
  2. Browse to the sources directory.
  3. Open the file cversion.ini in a text editor like Notepad.
  4. Modify the MinClient build number to a value lower than the down-level build. For example, change 7100 to 7000.
  5. Save the file in place with the same name.
  6. Run setup.exe like you would normally and the version check will be bypassed.

More TCP Connections for your Torrents

If you’re using a torrent client for video streaming, or other swarm content, here’s a neat trick for increasing your PC’s throughput.

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/04/14/patch-windows-7-tcpip-sys-for-faster-torrent-downloads/

Running Windows 7 Nativity on a Macbook Pro

Windows 7Ever since Windows 7 Beta was released a few months ago, I’ve been hearing great things. So, I decided to try installing it through VMware Fusion and see what all the huff was about. Much to my surprise, it really looks like Microsoft got this one right.

Me, like most others, had decided against moving to Windows Vista because of speed and usability issues. With Windows 7, however, Microsoft it seems has finally finished what it started.

After the collapse of Windows Vista I was snared by the sexiness and speed of the Apple Macbook Pro. Having had some experience with Apple machines back in the mid-90’s I decided to go for it. For a while, I ran bootcamp so that I could use Windows XP and Leopard at the same time, which eventually turned into just Leopard. But Microsoft’s latest release, and the invariable need to run Windows applications, have corralled me back into the world of Windows.

Deciding it was time to run Windows nativity again, I started looking into Bootcamp. Reading several sites, I became aware that Windows 7 was going to be slowed down a little by the bios emulation required to run it. Relentlessly venting this fact my colleagues, and doing some digging, we found that Microsoft had quietly slipped in support for Apple bios replacement, EFI.

Hallelujah! Windows 7 can run native on a Macbook Pro!

So, if you’re like me and want the most performance out of your high end Apple machine and need to run Windows. Go ahead and throw a Windows 7 disk in and get started. Just like with any Windows install, you can delete the drive partitions, even the OSX partition, and format them as NTFS.

Several days of running this configuration have revealed EXCELLENT results. My Macbook Pro has an experience score of 5.0! Much higher than those running Windows 7 via Bootcamp.

Good luck! Please send me any feedback you have with the process as well.

Software Consultants and Source Code

I’ve had some frusterating expereince recently with a software consulting company that we’ve been doing business with. I think this information is prudent to share because there are many organizations that use consulting companies for software development. Hopefully some of these guidelines, that I’ve learned the hard way, will be handy when negotiated your next contract.

Essentially, the rights and transmission of your source code should be outlined in these 4 ways:

  • Define Source Code – The most fundamental, legally acceptable, definition of source code is the code files themselves. But, as most developers would tell you, this is useless without the project structure, repository history, and project files. In our case we had to clarify our statements from requesting source code to requesting a Subversion repository backup as of xx/xx/xxx.
  • Define Ownership of Source Code – Make sure that your vendor contract explicitly states who owns the source code. In some cases, you could find that you own the compiled version of the application, but not the source. Whereupon your vendor will probably request additional fees for the source.
  • Declare Your Terms – Make clear when and how you expect the source code to be delivered. Is it okay if they send to you a year later?
  • Request Transition Assistance – Predefine your time  and rate requirements (e.g., 15 hours @ 130/hr) for post contract support. Some consulting companies have been known to double or triple their rates for support after a development contract is over.

UNC Charlotte Announces New SaaS Conference

On Apr-21, 2009 the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will be hosting a SaaS Conference. The conference will consist of several key speakers, a discussion panel and probably more.

As we’ve done in the past, my friend Igor Jablakov, of Yap, and I will be participating in the panel discussion.

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NC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics is pleased to announce the first of its Emerging Issues in Information Technology Series. In response to remarkable innovations in the past years in new methods of delivering software via the web, UNC Charlotte has selected Software as a Service as the first topic for the conference series.  Software as a Service (SaaS) is growing fast as a means to acquire needed information technology power without the large front-end development and hardware expense normally associated with new applications. The benefits are huge, yet the challenges are not for the unknowing. Security, legal, performance, and technical issues are among the expertise needed by a savvy buyer.

The conference program will be divided into topics of general interest to all attendees, technology topics and business related topics. The audience for this conference will include prospective customers of SaaS solutions (including non technical business personnel), application services providers, infrastructure providers, technology providers, and associated support providers.

This conference will be held on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 on the UNC Charlotte Campus. It will start at 8:30 AM and conclude at 4:30 PM.  Outstanding speakers will translate this challenge with must-have information. CEU and CPE credits will be offered.

The speaker roster is an outstanding group to include the following:

1.      Monty Blight-Corporate VP of Managed Services, Peak-10.
2.      Ted Claypoole-Senior Member, Intellectual Property Practice Group, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.
3.      Lawrence Cruciana- founder and president of Corporate Information Technologies        (CIT).
4.      Jay Dominick, Ph.D.-Associate Provost for Information and Technology Services and CIO, UNC Charlotte.
5.      Forrest Frazier, Partner, Grant Thornton LLP.
6.      Connie Kellen-Master’s Student, College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte.
7.      Sharon Mertz-Senior Analyst, Gartner.
8.      Peter Murphy-SVP, CTO, TIAA-CREF.
9.      Shawn Murray-Microsoft Director, Cloud Computing-Southeast.
10.  Ric Telford- IBM-Vice President-Cloud Computing.
11.  Christopher “Kip” Turco Chief Operating Officer for Hosted Solutions.
12.  Josh Wolff-Regional Manager for Hosted Solutions in the Charlotte market.

To register for the event click here.  All of those registering before April 14th will receive a $30 discount off of the regular price.

This event is being sponsored by Charlotte Research Institute, Bank of America, Duke Energy, Wachovia Bank, Hosted Solutions, TIAA-Cref, Mariner, Frontier Capital,  North Carolina Technology Association, Microsoft, Business Innovation and Growth Council, Womble Carlyle Sandridge and Rice, Queen Associates, Peak-10, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, and The Training Company.

About the College of Computing and Informatics

The College of Computing and Informatics provides academic programs in computer science, software and information systems, information technology, and bioinformatics. It is also the home to leading research centers and institutes, including the Center for Digital Identity and Cyber Defense Research (DICyDER), the Bioinformatics Research Center, the Charlotte Visualization Center, the Diversity in Information Technology Institute (DITI), the eBusiness Technology Institute, and the Software Solutions Lab.

About UNC Charlotte

A public research university, UNC Charlotte is the fourth largest campus among the 17 institutions of the University of North Carolina system.  It is the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte region. The University offers 18 doctoral programs, 62 master’s degree programs, and 90 programs leading to bachelor’s degrees.  Fall 2008 enrollment exceeds 23,300 students, including almost 5,200 graduate students.

Introduction to Machine Learning

Continuing my long held interest in Machine Learning, I came across a great lectuire by Eric Xing, of Carnegie Mellon University, in which he provides the most clearest definition of Machine Learning, in my opinion, yet:

Machine Learning seeks to develop therios and computer systems for

  • representing;
  • classifying, clustering and recognizing;
  • reasoning under uncertainty;
  • predicting;
  • and reacting to

complex, real world data, based on the system’s own experience with data, and (hopefully) under a unified model or mathmatical framework, that

  • can be formally charcterized and analyzed
  • can take into account human prior knowledge
  • can generalize and adapt across data and domains
  • can operate automatically and autonomously
  • and can be interpreted and perceived by [a] human

You can view his leacture here.

Morehead Associates user conference

So, the Morehead Associates user conference starts this week. The first ever.

Representing a major leap for our organization, we will be host to our largest and most significant client organizations. We will be showcasing some of our SaaS technology, in addition to significant OD Research.

Specifically for our SaaS system, this will be the first time many of these clients have seen our new systems. Much of which took over three years to develop.

I’ll make sure to write again for the conference this week.