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Tools

Best Tools for Aspiring Data Journalists: from Data Gathering to Text Editing

Journalism in contemporary times is taking a new turn and has become focused on data driven reporting. This new wave of journalism often referred to as “data journalism” incorporates technology with journalism and depends on numerical data and statistics to establish a premise and draw up conclusions. With the astronomical rise in the number of internet users since its inception and our over dependency on digitized information, more data is being generated and this will help bring into perspective the dominant role of a data journalist in today’s journalism.

Who is a data journalist?

Simply put, a data journalist is a person who is able to combine the field of journalism with several other fields or skills such as design, programming, statistics etc. to produce a story based on the information derived from data. It requires a combination of skills and expertise of which journalism takes the lead.

Listed below are some of the best tools that are used by data journalists at different stages of their work:

  • Data collection
  • Data filtering and analysis
  • Report writing and editing

Handy Tools to Find & Collect Data

Apart from typical statistical sources such as ONS (Office of National Statistics), Data Gov and Data Gov UK, a few alternative databases might come in handy.

Google Trends is a great tool to monitor what keywords, phrases and topics that are being searched. You can also classify the hottest trends by countries and certain time periods. Keep in mind the fact, that this tool is based only on Google search queries and thus might not be completely accurate for your Bing or Yahoo target audience.G

Google Forms is an application that is used to collect and organize information by creating surveys or questionnaires. Forms can be used to manage events, polls, registrations etc. The raw data generated using Google forms can be accessed and analyzed with Google sheets or other platforms. Google forms can also be shared with multiple users providing flexibility for users to update their data.

Google sheets is an application that helps users create and format spreadsheets. Like other Google tools it is simple to use with multiple users working on the same document in real time. This tool is easy to use and does not require any knowledge of programming.

Data Cleaning Tools

Open Refine (formerly Google Refine) is a powerful tool used by data analyst to clean messy data and also transform it from one format to another. It is similar to Microsoft Excel but offers additional features like extended web services and links to databases.

On the surface, Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet that can be used to record and analyze numerical data but for power users this tool can be used to do much more. Apart from the native functionality embedded within the software, several plug-in such as Power Query and Data Cleaner are available and offer additional functionalities.

DataWrangler is a web-based service that’s designed to clean and arrange data into a form that can easily be used and understood by other tools. Although widely used, this tool is no longer actively supported and the attention of the Stanford/Berkeley research team has been shifted towards a newer version of the program called Trifacta Wrangler.

Trifacta Wrangler is a free cloud service that helps data analyst clean and manage data effectively. The entire cleaning process is done automatically once the dataset is imported and after restructuring the data, the resulting dataset can be exported easily. Trifacta is available as a freeware but the pro version enables multiple users to work, connect with more data and also share their work within the cloud platform.

Data Analysis Tools

RStudio is a powerful application that can be used for data analysis (all types of numerical and spatial analysis) and visualization. It is a versatile tool with an active community which keeps adding to its database. One downside with using R is that the user must get familiarized with the programming language.

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is an interactive tool that is widely used by researchers and analyst for statistical analysis. As the name implies, this tool has found a wide application and use within the field of social sciences, however it is also used by data miners, researchers, analyst and managers in other fields where statistical analysis and data management is required.

Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS) is a software suite that is used in statistical analysis. This tool is embedded with many features that will help in data retrieval, manipulation and analysis. The SAS data can be published in different formats including HTML, PDF and Excel. It also provides graphical point–and–click interface for non-technical users while power users who are conversant with the program can take advantage of its advance features.

Data Visualization Tools

Google fusion tables is an experimental data visualization web application for gathering, visualizing and sharing data tables. This tool can easily be used to map and chart data. It also includes geographical information system (GIS) functions for analyzing data by geography.

Tableau tool is mainly used to create interactive data visualization. It offers a wide range of customizations and is suitable for any task ranging from simple to complex. The ability to drag and drop data and also connect multiple visualizations onto a single dashboard makes it quicker than manually coding as in R or Javascript.

Data Mapping Tools

QGIS is a sophisticated GIS software can be used to map geographical data. It provides a detailed data-based analysis of geographic regions and can also be used for data overlays and spatial analysis. Its functionalities can further be enhanced using plug-ins which adds support for geocoding, generating HTML maps, exporting to MySQL and managing underlying tables.

Leaflet is a mapping tool based on open-source JavaScript which provides a higher level mapping capacities and functionalities such as the ease to switch between different map providers like OSM, Mapbox and Google Maps. Leaflet is simple to use and works effectively across all major desktop and mobile platforms. Its functionalities can be extended using third party plugins like layer switching, markers and renderers etc.

Report Writing & Text Improvement Tools

Hemingway Editor is a wonderful app to sharpen your writing. It will indicate if any of your sentences are too long or structurally complex. Some phrases highlighted with purple color have a simpler or more suitable alternative. Hemingway will also suggest that you replace hesitant adverbs and passive voice.

EssayPro is the custom paper writing service which provides writing and editing help online. Although their major focus is writing assignments for students, academic writers are the best helpers when it comes to text editing, proofreading and rewriting. Since plagiarism is not a merely college issue, Google penalizes all articles that have a sufficient amount of copied content. Professional writers can detect and remove all duplicated content for you.

Copyscape is one of the most trusted plagiarism checkers. Even if journalists write their reports themselves, they might be accused of unintentional plagiarism. Be careful with common phrases, cliches and quotes. If any questionable phrase or sentence is present in your text, it will be highlighted by Copyscape and the page which has the very same text will be shown so that you can rewrite this particular piece.

Evernote is yet another good tool for text editing. However, its’ biggest advantage is the option to bookmark useful sources and add personal notes about them. You can also add customized tags like “work”, “sports”, “AI news” or whatever you want to go back to in the future.

Final Words for Young Journalists

We hope that the above mentioned tools will help you to become a successful journalist easily operating with big data massives. Pick proper topics, find relevant and up-to-date statistics and proceed with writing your report. Well-researched and thoroughly checked reports always find their readers.

Categories
Tools

Recover Deleted Files on Hard Drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

We deal with a lot of data and information, that it is extremely crucial we do our best to protect it. The same goes in the situation of a trying to perform a deleted file recovery or a hard drive recovery – you will need a special tool to help you with it. Try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free 9.9; this deleted file recovery software specialist has been around for quite some time and is considered to be one of the best free hard drive recovery software to recover deleted, formatted or lost data from PC, laptop or removable device easily and quickly. A deleted file recovery can be performed in all sorts of situation – deleting, formatting, software crash, hard drive damage, virus attack, partition loss or any other unknown reasons.

Another good thing about this hard drive recovery is that all it takes to recover files are three simple steps. And in just minutes, you should be able to get back whatever you thought that you had lost. The 3 steps are:

  1. Launch the Program
  2. Scan the Device
  3. Preview and Recover

Yes, it is that simple and in just 1-2-3, you should be able to complete a particular deleted file recovery and life will resume as normal again.

You can even Pause and Resume a hard drive recovery process that it is progress and the scan results can also be saved and imported – so you don’t have to run a scan all over again. Ultimately it is best to let the scan complete as soon as possible to maximize the chances of a complete deleted file recovery.

The Preview and Recover is another useful feature where once the hard drive recovery scan is complete, it will then display all the recoverable files. Here you can sort it according to file type, path, date and size. The Preview feature would then allow you to take a peek at what is inside the file so you will be able to make a better decision whether to recover it or not. So if it is an image file, you can now view a thumbnail of that image.

All the features and functions really come together to make for a very powerful deleted file recovery and hard drive recovery solution for everyone. Plus, you don’t have to pay anything to get started – it is absolutely free.

Categories
General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis Tools

Apple iOS 5.0 Software Update for iPhone / iPad Announced

Here are some key highlights of the all new iOS 5.0.

Notification Center

  • Non intrusive Pop-up notifications. New notifications show in a new notification bar which apears everytime getting a notification – SMS, missed phone calls and regualar notifications from every app.
  • All notifications concentrated to Notification center – just swipe downwards to open it. Notification center shows as a list of all notifications.
  • Notification list on lock screen: Notfication center list shown.

iMessage – Messaging between all iOS devices run iOS 5 (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch 4G, iPod touch 3G, iPad & iPad 2) through Wi-Fi or 3G.

Newsstand – A new icon on Springboard, which opens to an iBooks-inspired folder which shows all papers and magazines downloaded from app store.

Reminders – Location-aware notifications, triggered when the device approaches a set position. (E.g. remind to get milk when device leaves workplace or approaches a grocery store)

Twitter integration – Tweeting from Native Applications: Photos, Youtube, Maps, iOS Contacts

Camera

  • Volume-up key as shutter release button to take photos.
  • Shortcut to Camera App from Lockscreen created
  • Grid composition aide, pinch to zoom.

Photos – Built-in photo editing: crop, red-eye, auto-enhance, rotate.

Safari

  • Safari reader and Reading list
  • Tabbed Browsing (iPad only)
  • Ability to open pages in background
  • Private Browsing(change via settings)
  • Ability to create keyboard shortcuts (autotext) to replace custom phrases.
  • Preference to open pages in Safari in a new page or in background

PC-free

  • iTunes/USB no longer required to activate new devices- ability to start right over with no need to tether it to iTunes added. you can restore all your data on your device through a simple iCloud sign in.
  • Sync over Wi-Fi- ability added to sync wirelessly to iTunes.
  • OTA softwares updates: You now can update your software version without iTunes straight from device through Wi-Fi or 3G.
  • The unlock slider inscription changed from “slide to unlock” to “unlock” + camera shortcut.

iPad & iPad 2 only

  • Multitasking Gestures- Pinch with 4 fingers to close app,swipe up to open multitasking bar,swipe left or right to move between open apps to enable.
  • Split keyboard-Swipe up to split keyboard in half. then keyboard shows on middle of screen.

iPad 2 only

  • AirPlay Mirroring- Ability to connect with Airplay to an Apple TV – then everything shown on iPad is also seen on TV.
Categories
Microsoft Tools

Download – P2V Migration for Software Assurance

P2V Migration for Software Assurance uses the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Sysinternals Disk2VHD to convert a user’s existing Windows XP or newer client environment to a virtual hard disk then automates the delivery of an updated and personalized Windows 7 operating system containing a virtual machine with the user’s previous Windows environment, applications and Web browser. The user’s previous virtual desktop retains its existing management components, domain membership and policies. The process also publishes applications and the browser for the user to access them seamlessly within Windows 7’s start menu.

P2V Migration supports both native Lite Touch Installation using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit or Zero Touch Installation using System Center Configuration Manager 2007 with included scripts and task sequence templates.

How It Works –

  1. Starting Windows environment with Windows XP SP3 or newer. Environment is personalized with applications or browser customizations potentially not compatible with Windows 7.
  2. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 or System Center Configuration Manager 2007 initiates fully-automated migration to Windows 7. Process includes P2V conversion of the running OS using Sysinternals Disk2VHD.
  3. Windows 7 migration complete. Windows 7 contains the previous operating system in its entirety within a virtual machine.
  4. Standalone application and Internet Explorer links published from virtual machine to native Windows 7 start menu.

Even the most skilled IT shops, with resources to work through application compatibility challenges, often find a few users blocking roll-outs to entire sites or larger numbers of users due to:

  • Compatibility of specialized, region or user-specific applications, browser customizations or USB device drivers.
  • Missing installation files or media to install applications or drivers for testing or redelivery.
  • Critical users who cannot risk losing any functionality of their current desktop environments and require a working backup before moving to Windows 7.
  • Incompatible application from previous operating system is launched seamlessly within Windows 7 using RemoteApp integration and Virtual PC.
  • These types of issues make it difficult to completely replace existing systems with Windows 7 without causing user disruption. Allowing users to retain their current desktop environments while moving to Windows 7 can smooth the transition while mitigating or delaying investments required for making applications and hardware natively compatible with Windows 7.

    Download P2V Migration for Software Assurance now: P2V Migration for Software Assurance

    Note: Physical-to-virtual hard drive migration of a Windows installation is a valid operation for customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Software Assurance provides users valuable benefits. Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 installed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) using OEM versions of these products may not be transferred to a virtual hard drive in accordance with Microsoft licensing terms.

    Categories
    Best Practices Enterprise Tech Featured Microsoft Tools

    Top Ten Tips and Troubleshooting with Process Explorer Tool

    Process Explorer tool from SysInternals, will give you a complete overview on what processes are currently running in your PC along with the details on who invoked it and how much system resources it is consuming. This tool will be very essential, if you want to identify which file or directory has a particular program opened. In this article, you will learn 10 best practices and tips which will help to use this tool better.

    A process is a container for a set of resources, including one or more threads. A process never consumes a CPU. Its the thread inside the process which consumes the system resources like CPU, Memory etc. Each process at-least has one Thread.  Using this tool, you can also determine which thread of a process is consuming CPU.

    Some of the benefits, this Tool gives you are..

    • Displays the Parent/Child Relationships of the Processes
    • Highlighting of different process based on their source and states.
    • Customize Columns to suit specific needs to analyze CPU performance, Threads, etc
    • Tons of Options to play around with..!

    Tip 1:Process Explorer Parameters – Create a Startup Shortcut / Desktop Shortcut to this executable (procexp.exe) and add a parameter /t /e to it.

    Process Explorer - Parameters

    /t makes this executable run minimized and /e will make it run elevated. As most of the times, you want the system processes also.. it makes sense to run the tool elevated.

    Process Explorer - System TrayWhen you invoke this shortcut, the Process Explorer will run in the System Tray as shown below. You can just double click to invoke them.

    Tip 2: Configuring the Options – Goto Options Menu Item and Select Hide When Minimized and Allow only one instance. This will help you to just minimize the program, even when you click on the X close button. Sometimes, you tend to invoke the shortcut more than once, thinking that the Process Explorer is not running, selecting the Allow only one instance will help you not have multiple entries of Procexp inside the process explorer window.

    Process Explorer - Hide When MinimizedTip 3: Configure Symbols – When you invoke any process and go-to the Threads Tab, you will observe a hexadecimal weird address in the Start Address Tab. These will not be helpful for you while troubleshooting. You will need to convert it to a meaninful message and thats where configuring the symbols will be useful.

    Process Explorer - Hexa Thread DefinitionsGoto Options Tab, and click on Configure Symbols item.

    Process Explorer - Configure Symbols

    You will need to install the Windows Debugging Toolkit, so that you can configure the path of the dbghelp.dll file. Also, configure the Symbols path as both local and internet. For more information read here – http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/debugstart.mspx

    Process Explorer - Configure Symbol PathsOnce you do this, the hexa-decimal code will be converted to more meaningful message for effective understanding and troubleshooting. You can see in the Start Address column now.

    Process Explorer - Meaningful Thread Definitions

    Tip 4: Highlighting Colors – Goto Options Menu Item and Select, Configure highlighting. Using this option, you can customize the colors which you would like to assign for certain roles of processes. By default Pink color is associated for processes with one or more – win32 services, Yellow color for processes which uses .NET Framework, Light blue color for processes which are running with the same user account as the process explorer.

    Configure Highlighting of ProcessesTip 5: Configure Difference highlighting Duration: Set the Duration to 5 or more seconds. This is an important tip, which will help you distinguish in the difference of the events. The color associations and the process will exist and run for 5 seconds. For example, every process which starts new is associated a green color and every process that stops gets a red. the processes will exist in the Process Explorer for at-least 5 seconds with the same color code, so that you can see them and diagnose the same.

    Configuring highlighting DurationTip 6: Verifying Processes – When you double-click on any process it opens the properties dialog; this will give you the complete information of that particular process. Its Parent process, Who invoked it, At what time, What OS version is it (32/64 bit) etc. Just observe that, this executable is not verified no matter it comes from Microsoft Corporation. Verifying the processes will help you to determine whether this process is signed to run on this particular edition of the OS. For example, if your machine performance is sluggish, you might run the verify process and see if any of the executables like antivirus are not suited for your PC.

    Analyzing a Process Image

    Goto Options Tab and select on Verify Image Signatures. This will start the verification process. Now you click on any column and add a new column for Verified Signer. You will start seeing all the process along with the verified status.

    Verified Processes

    Tip 7: Process Identification – Sometimes, there could be many processes running on your PC (for example, many instances of a same application), In this case it would be difficult to identify the associated process entry in Process Explorer. Thats where exactly, this magnifier comes to your help. Hold the magnifier button, and that will show you all the other windows executing on your PC. Just drop the magnifier on a window which you wanted to identify and that appropriate process would get high-lighted in the Process Explorer.

    Magnifier Process Identifier

    Tip 8: DLL/Header View – Selecting a Process, and pressing Cntl+D will show the DLL view in the hidden tab. Cntl + H will show the headers which are currently accessed by the process. This will be helpful to understand the components used by a process. You can also choose to search a dll or a Header using the Search option. For eg: If you ever encountered a failed delete action by your process, searching for ‘delete’ will give you more information on what gets called and which file did your process try to delete. You can hover over any process in Process explorer, this will get you all the win32 services running in it.

    Cntl+D for DLL View –

    Process Explorer - DLL View

    Cntl+H for Header View –

    Process Explorer - Headers View

    Tip 9: Performance Graphs – Double-clicking the graph in the icon bar, will open the performance graph. The red color showcases the kernel mode and the green signifies the transition of Kernel and User mode. If you are running a multi-core PC, choose to ‘show One Graph per CPU’. This will help you manage tasks and also enables you to take a decision to set affinity for a process to a single CPU. (You can right click on a process, Set Affinity to just any of the CPU)

    Set Processor Affinity

    System Information - Performance Graph

    Tip 10: Configure Columns – In the explorer window, Right click on a column header and add new columns. To identify an executable or a process performance, you need to add Threads, CPU Usage, Context Switch Delta and CPU Cycles Delta. This will help you identify which process has more threads and is consuming high CPU usage. Based upon your analysis, you can choose to terminate it for system performance.

    Process Performance

    Are you aware of any other worthwhile tip on this tool? If yes, drop in as a comment here and I shall feature it in this article appropriately!

    Also read about the other SysInternals Tools here  –

    Categories
    Enterprise Tech How-to Microsoft Tools

    How To Enable System Boot Time Logging using Process Monitor Tool

    How many times have you faced issues with slow or longer boot time in your PC? Does it happen only on your computer? There could be many reasons for this. It could be too many Startup process, Run Keys, and sometimes even malware executables as well.

    It would make your troubleshooting job easy, if you get to know what really happens when your PC boots. Process Monitor tool from SysInternals will exactly help you in doing the same. This tool can also be used for other process snapshot and access informations. however, in this post we will look at its Boot Logging capabilities.

    First download the executable from SysInternals Site, If you face issues with Security Warning message, check this tip to fix it.

    Step 1: Execute the procmon.exe; Goto Options menu, and Click Enable Boot Logging.

    Enable Boot Logging

    Step 2: This will further give you this below Boot logging options. You can choose to Enable the Profiling Events, if you need.

    Boot Logging Options

    Step 3: You can now reboot your PC. When the machine restarts, the process monitor will start monitoring all the processes and applications which gets invoked during the system boot and generates a dump file.

    Step 4: Execute procmon.exe again. You will see this below dialog which tells you that, a log of the boot-time activity was created by the previous instance of process monitor. To save the collected Data, press the Yes Button.

    Boot Time Activity Logs

    Step 5: The file will initially be saved as a dump file in C:\Windows, you will need to convert it to Process Monitor Log (pml) log files. Save the Log file using this below dialog. This will start converting the dump file to pml file.

    Saving Procmon Log - Dump to Log File

    Converting Boot-time Event Data

    Once the Log is converted, it will open in the Process Monitor tool.


    Here you can get an idea on all the applications and processes which was executed during the system boot. This report will help you identify, which process was invoked by whom and how much time did it take to for its complete execution. You can also identify if any malwares are running in your PC, which is affecting your system boot.

    Logs for System Boot

    Step 6: You can choose to filter these reports; when you click on any entry you will get the below dialog which will give you a complete snapshot on the process attributes, Who invoked it, its architecture, the Parent Process Id, along with information on when did the process transition from User mode to a Kernel mode through the Stack.

    Event Properties

    Also read about the other SysInternals Tools here  –

    Categories
    Enterprise Tech How-to Microsoft Tools

    How to Remove Security Warning Message – Files Downloaded from Internet

    How many times, have you seen this dialog when you execute a file which was downloaded from Internet?  For example, this Process Explorer message box below. This would come-up, every-time you run this executable. Also, when you open any of the help file from the downloaded suite you see this ‘Navigation Cancelled’ dialog.

    Issues because of the Security Zone Information

    The problem is that, when you download any of the files from the internet, using internet explorer, it gets tagged with metadata in alternate data stream, and says what IE Security zone did it came from. and even though, when you are running it from the local file system, windows remembers that it came from the internet.

    Methods to resolve this –

    1. Easiest way is to remove the zone information using the file Properties. Before you extract the zip file, Right-click on the file, select Properties tab. Click on the un-block button to remove the alternate data stream – Security zone information.

    Unblock - File Properties

    2. The other option, is to use a Sysinternals tool called Streams. Streams will examine the files and directories you specify and inform you of the name and sizes of any named streams it encounters within those files. Streams makes use of an undocumented native function for retrieving file stream information.

    Using this parameter, streams -d will remove the Zone identifier information from a file and you will not see the security warning message/dialog.

    streams - Sysinternals Tool

    Also read about the other SysInternals Tools here  –

    Categories
    Microsoft Tools

    Microsoft contributes NuPack, a new open-source package-management system

    Microsoft contributes NuPack, a new open-source package-management system to Outercurve Foundation. NuPack makes it easy for you to find, install, and use .NET libraries in your projects. It works with all .NET project types (including, but not limited to, both ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC).

    NuPack enables developers who maintain open source projects (for example, projects like Moq, NHibernate, Ninject, StructureMap, NUnit, Windsor, RhinoMocks, Elmah, etc) to package up their libraries and register them with an online gallery/catalog that is searchable.  The client-side NuPack tools – which include full Visual Studio integration – make it trivial for any .NET developer who wants to use one of these libraries to easily find and install it within the project they are working on.

    NuPack handles dependency management between libraries (for example: library1 depends on library2). It also makes it easy to update (and optionally remove) libraries from your projects later. It supports updating web.config files (if a package needs configuration settings). It also allows packages to add PowerShell scripts to a project (for example: scaffold commands). Importantly, NuPack is transparent and clean – and does not install anything at the system level. Instead it is focused on making it easy to manage libraries you use with your projects.

    Documentation and tutorials on nupack.codeplex.com

    Check out the following links to learn more about NuPack and some of the many scenarios it enables:

    You can read more on Scott Guthrie Blog here

    Categories
    Microsoft Tools Virtualization

    Download Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 3.0

    The increasing use of virtual machines—for purposes ranging from support of older operating system environments to power savings—has created new challenges for IT. In particular, virtual machines may be left offline (stored in a non-operating state) for extended periods of time, which conserves resources when the server capacities of the virtual machines are not needed or frees up physical computing resources for other purposes.

    However, offline machines, templates, and virtual hard disks do not automatically receive operating system, antivirus, or application updates that would keep them compliant with current IT policy. An out-of-date virtual machine may pose a risk to the IT environment. If deployed and started, the out-of-date virtual machine might be vulnerable to attack or could be capable of attacking other network resources.

    Therefore, IT groups must take measures to ensure that offline virtual machines, templates, and virtual hard disks remain up-to-date and compliant. At present, these measures involve temporarily bringing the virtual machine online, applying the necessary updates, and then storing it again.

    VMST 3.0 helps you reduce IT costs by making it easier to update your offline virtual machines, templates and virtual hard disks with the latest operating system and application patches—without introducing vulnerabilities into your IT infrastructure.

    VMST 3.0 helps customers more effectively—and safely—manage the workflow of updating their offline virtualization environment.

    Using VMST 3.0, customers can now service:

    • Offline virtual machines in a SCVMM library.
    • Stopped and saved state virtual machines on a host.
    • Virtual machine templates.
    • Offline virtual hard disks in a SCVMM library by injecting update packages.

    Download This Solution Accelerator, which provides automated tools and guidance that IT professionals can use to update offline virtual machines, templates, and virtual hard disks efficiently and without exposing them to security risks.

    Click here to access the video module, At the end of this module, you’ll be able to:

    • Describe the challenges with updating offline virtual machines, virtual hard disks, and templates.
    • Explain how the Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool will greatly streamline the process of servicing and updating offline virtual environment.

    You can upgrade to Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 3.0 from Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool 2.1 and the Beta version 3.0 of the tool, review the Getting Started GuideLearn More

    Categories
    Microsoft Tools Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

    Download Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM) 2010

    The much-anticipated 2010 version of Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM) is now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center. OMPM helps IT Pros discover and assess the compatibility of existing Office documents for conversion from the binary document formats (Office 97-2003: .doc, .xls, etc.) to OpenXML formats (Office 2007 and beyond: .docx, .xlsx, etc.). Additionally, OMPM 2010 adds features that assess macro compatibility with Office 2010 and 64-bit Office compatibility.  The toolkit also contains the Office File Converter (OFC), which enables bulk document conversions from binary to OpenXML formats. OMPM 2010 includes the following new features and improvements:

    • Bulk Macro Compatibility Scanning – incorporates logic from the Office Code Compatibility Inspector (OCCI) tool to produce count of potential number of VBA issues due to changes in object model.  A new option in the offscan.ini file enables activation of this scan.
    • Bulk 64-bit compatibility scanning – incorporates logic from the OCCI tool to produce a count of the potential number of 64-bit (declare) VBA issues that are due to use of 64-bit Office.  A new option in the offscan.ini file enables activation of this scan.
    • Pre-defined date filtering for scans – provides new configuration options in the Offscan.ini file to allow exclusion of files based on last accessed or last modified dates.  Files that are skipped can be logged.
    • SQL 2008/SQL 2008 R2 support – Support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 has been added. OMPM remains compatible with SQL 2005.

    You can find the OMPM documentation in the Office 2010 Resource Kit.

    The Environment scanning tool (OEAT) assists a customer in the assessment phase of deployment. It identifies:

    • Currently installed applications and installation environment
    • Add-ins currently in use by Office clients
    • Programs that are not registered as add-ins but still interact with Office programs
    • Provides a report on the Environmental assessment (potential upgrade issues)
    • Also reports the  Add-ins assessment–list of third party programs and information about the compatibility of those programs with Microsoft Office 2010