Exams 70-667 and 70-668

I’ve just completed exams 70-667 and 70-668 yesterday and today, making me an MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010. Woohoo! But this is not an own-horn-tooting exercise; I have a tip to offer on sitting these exams.

As I started preparing for these exams last week, I was under the misapprehension that there was very little in the way of guidance on the Microsoft Learning site. I think I perceived things this way because there wasn’t much to go on when the exams were first launched. But when I checked again last week I was happy to find a link to a learning plan from the Preparation Materials tab of the 70-667 page. Unfortunately, the 70-668 page does not contain a link to a learning plan (it’s listed but unlinked), but it does exist! I just searched for it on the Training Catalogue.

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WordPress 3.0 is here (here)

I’ve just put my cowboy hat on and did a WordPress 2.9.x -> 3.0 automatic upgrade (after backing up the database with the WordPress Database Backup plug-in). It completed very quickly and the site seems to be running much faster now. The theme will take some time to get right but I opted to put the new Twenty Ten default theme in place because the layout options are nice and I wanted to get to grips with it ASAP. So far so good. All of the old functionality seemed to keep working, even though much of it is not 3.0 certified yet. I just needed to replace my widgets after switching to the new theme, but that was expected/normal. The cowboy hat’s back in storage again now until I decide to do some other ill-advised stuff upgrade my music site.

Superflows are here, with authoring in due course

Tony Soper, a Senior Technical Writer for Microsoft, has been revealing some interesting new content recently. Both System Center Configuration Manager and Forefront Threat Management Gateway (the successor to ISA) have, “Superflows”, which are described as, “a new Content Type”. After poking around for a bit I found this 8 minute podcast from 2008, where Tony interviews Doug Eby from the SCCM team about Superflows in more detail. They’re, “an interactive flowchart”. A Superflow can ask questions (about an environment, for instance) and a resulting flow will be targeted based on those answers. In the podcast they say this will be extensible in future and that there will be authoring support of some sort, so it will be interesting to see how this sits beside Visio, Visual Studio¬†and InfoPath as a form/flow technology. I’ve asked Tony for more information about that on his blog and was told to watch that space for an eventual release date. I’d recommend this anyway, as his blog is a trove of good information, particularly around Virtualisation.

K2, Thematic and a hex colour picking tool

I generally don’t do anything front-end if I can help it, but I’ll get my hands dirty when I need to. I recently played with a number of different K2 stylesheets and the newer Thematic framework while redesigning this site. I could only find one child theme that I really liked for Thematic, which was Second to None, but I wanted a dark version, so I set to work trying to interpret his stylesheet and inverted all of the background and text colours (as a starting point). This probably sounds easier than it is with the complexity of stylesheets today. At any rate, I eventually gave up when I realised that all of the icons looked funny in this inverted scheme, but I thought I’d share the Hex Colour picking tool that I found when bumbling through this, as I would have been lost with out it.