Intel releases updated HD Graphics Driver for Windows 8

In case you missed this as I did, Intel have released an updated beta  HD Graphics Driver for use with Windows 8.

I installed this on my Samsung Series 7 slate and many of the graphics related glitches I saw have gone away.

These drivers may come in handy soon as the release of the Windows 8 Release Preview is happening soon. Its possible that the Release Preview build has even newer drivers in the build than these, but it is unlikely.

32-bit download – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=21235&lang=eng

64-bit download – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=21180&lang=eng

Samsung releases drivers for Windows 8 on Series 7 Slate

slateToday, Samsung have released drivers and guidance for installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview on their Series 7 Slate.

Included are firmware and driver update directions, system backup dirextions, an updated driver for the rotation sensor, and updated firmware for the touch screen.

All information can be found at http://www.samsung.com/global/windowspreview/

Awesome Contest Announcment–Kinect for Schools

Teachers, this one is for you.

Microsoft has announced the Kinect for Schools contest. They are giving away four (4) Xbox 360 + Kinect packages between now and May 14th, 2012.

What’s included:

  • One (1) Xbox 360 Kinect 250GB Bundle. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $399.00.
  • Two (2) Kinect Video Games. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $99.98.
    • Games will be selected from the following titles: Dance Central, Body & Brain, or Sesame Street.

Drawing schedule:

January 23 to February 14
Winner selected on February 15th, noon Pacific Time 
February 15 to March 14
Winner selected on March 15th, noon Pacific Time 
March 15 to April 14
Winner selected on April 15th, noon Pacific Time
April 15 to May 14
Winner selected on May 15th, noon Pacific Time

If you’re a teacher and you want an Xbox 360 for your classroom this a great opportunity to enter and win.

To enter go to http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/kinectsweepstakes/Pages/default.aspx

For official contest rules – http://download.microsoft.com/download/C/4/5/C45EB9D7-7685-4AFD-85B3-DC66F79277AB/Kinect_School_Sweepstakes_Official_Rules.pdf

A server for the home or small business

After having used such servers as the HP MediaSmart Server, the HP Proliant MicroServer, and various Dell servers, I decided to set out to see if I could build my own server for a reasonable cost with features I desired.

The intent of this build is to showcase a server that can be used in the home with Windows Home Server 2011 (yes, this build is somewhat overkill), and in home based / small businesses, with Small Business Server 2011 Essentials or Small Business Server 2011 Standard.

My requirements were as follows:

· Total cost could not exceed $1500. (Ideally, I wanted to stay at or below $1000.)

· All parts used must be server grade. By that I mean, must have 3-5 year warranty depending on part, and similar to parts used by the major server manufacturers.

· Must support future expandability. Must support large amounts of memory and case used must support addition of multiple hard drives.

· With Windows 8 and Windows 8 Server on the horizon, processor support for Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) and hardware virtualization were key to this build.

So what parts did I use?

· Antec VSK-2450 Mid Tower Case

· Intel Server Board S1200BTS

· Intel Xeon Processor E3-1230 (3.2GHz, 8MB Cache)

· Kingston 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 ECC RAM

· Western Digital RE4 Enterprise 1.0TB Hard Drive

Specs as configured:

· Intel Server Board S1200BTS

· 16GB ECC DDR3 RAM

· (1) 1.0TB Western Digital RE4 Enterprise Hard Drive

· Intel Xeon E3-1230 Processor

How does this build stack up to my requirements?

· Total cost: $1050+tax. I bought all the parts I needed from a local vendor instead of online and was willing to pay a bit more because of it. It is entirely possible to find these parts for cheaper online, but if you can, support your local businesses.

· Warranties on all parts are at least three years. Western Digital’s warranty is five years on enterprise hard drives, and on memory Kingston has a lifetime warranty.

· From an expandability standpoint, the case allows for up to 6 hard drives, the motherboard allows for 6 SATA connections, and the motherboard supports a maximum of 32GB of RAM.

· The processor used in this build supports hardware virtualization and SLAT, or as Intel calls it, Extended Page Tables. When looking for an Intel-based processor to be used for virtualization I suggest ensuring that it supports Intel-VT and Extended Page Tables. The Intel ARK tool, http://ark.intel.com, is a great resource for that type of information.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be showcasing more about what this server can do.

Imagine Cup 2011–Team Note-Taker (USA)

Imagine-Cup-2011

The Worldwide Finals of the 2011 Imagine Cup by Microsoft will be upon us in about three weeks. Over these next few weeks, I’ll be introducing you to some select teams that will be competing July 8th-13th in New York City.

Today, I’ll be introducing Team Note-Taker. Team Note-Taker is based out of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) at Arizona State University.

Led by team leader David Hayden and Mentor John Black,5607507820_f581754579_z along with Shashank Srinivas, Michael Astrauskas, and Qian Yan, Team Note-Taker has created a portable assistive device consisting of a robotic camera, a tablet PC, and Microsoft OneNote 2010.

Inspiration for this project comes from David Hayden who is legally blind and decided he was not going to let his blindness get in the way of pursuing a dual degree in both Computer Science and Mathematics.

notetaker-prototypesThe Note-Taker presents its users with a split-screen view of live video from the camera and a Microsoft OneNote notebook. By using gestures (pinch to zoom, tap to focus, etc.) users can control the camera and take notes at the same time.

By using a solution such as the Note-Taker, students who are vision impaired can reduce the time and struggle in keeping up with their sighted peers in classes.

The Note-Taker is an innovative approach combining software and hardware in an easy to use way and at an affordable price point.

Team Note-Taker took first place in the Software Design category of the US Imagine Cup finals. Will they take it all the way in New York City? Stay tuned right here to find out!

(All images property of their respective owners. Imagine Cup logo, property Microsoft Corporation, Team Note-Taker photo, property Microsoft Corporation, Note-Taker prototypes photo, property Wired.)

Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 | Part 2: Installation

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced you to Windows MultiPoint Server 2011. Today, in Part 2, I’ll show you just how easy it is to get setup with MultiPoint Server 2011.

System Requirements (minimum)

  • 2 GHz 64-bit processor with at least two cores
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 32GB Hard Drive space
  • DVD Drive for installation

For more on system requirements, I recommend reviewing the Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 Planning Guide.

Installation

The initial setup for MultiPoint Server 2011 is straight forward. Starts out with the ever familiar Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 setup process and then leads into a customized Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) for MultiPoint Server 2011.

Step1Step2Step3Step1Step2Step3Step4Step5

Post-Install

After installation and OOBE have completed, display drivers need to be installed as well as any other drivers necessary for the proper function of the MultiPoint Server. After drivers and Windows Updates were installed, I rebooted and was greeted by the MultiPoint Manager. MultiPoint Manager is the central console for managing any and all MultiPoint servers on the network.

HomeTabDesktopsTabStationsTabUsersTab

In part 3, we’ll take a deeper look at MultiPoint Manager.