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Archive for October, 2009

As we all know, October 22 was THE lauch date for Windows 7. And, as we all know, we got to play with the betas and the RTMs and were happy as little clams. Well, we is not a good term, since I hadn’t tested it yet, so I took the advice of my friend Edwin and installed the RTM on my old media server. And here’s my take on Windows 7.

Installation

     First, let me point out that my media server is an old Athlon XP 2200, with 2 GB of RAM and XP SP3 as an OS. Which, for its time, was a pretty good deal. I had upgraded the HDD with SATA controllers and a Blu-Ray Burner drive (the only optical I have right now, and yes, I overdid it!) and it ran like a dream. I took the liberty of switching my OS HDD with a brand new drive, so I could do a clean install.  So imagine my surprise when at the beginning of the installation, I was requested to put in the SATA drivers. I mean, under normal situations, I wouldn’t have thought less, but expecting the hype of it, I would have thought that it had some legacy drivers on it to not be needed for the continuation of the install. So I had to use my work laptop (thank you Nagnoi) to look for my SATA drivers, transfer them thru my thumb drive and get the ball rolling.

   After the driver fiasco, the installation went smooth. Really smooth. Less than 20 minutes and I was another convert into the Windows 7 hype. That is until…

First Login

I log in as it should and everything looked great! I got to see my desktop on my 52 inch Plasma TV (did I mentioned that?) and it looked great…until I noticed that my resolution was not up to par. So, no problem, just a little change in resolution and everything will be honky dory. Or so I thought. Upon further inspection, I noticed that my video card had a problem with the drivers. Yes, Driver Wars V, The Drivers strike back! As any troubleshooting guide will tell you, download the newest drivers. Now, my card was bought not too long ago (4 months to be precise), so imagine my surprise, when on the ATI site, I discovered that my card has been deemed “Legacy” and will not be supported for Windows 7 features or drivers. And they did not recommend you used Vista drivers (which side note, it is a great idea that you can use Vista drivers and they will be compatible). You can imagine my smile.

   Not to keep me down, I go and setup my media services for the streaming and enjoyment of my recollected media. I do not recognize a particular song, so I clicked on it and (join me here folks) imagine my surprise when no sound comes out of my AV equipment. After 2 hours of double-checking my AV equipment (yes, I’m a sucker for punishment), I re-check my device manager. ‘Lo and behold, no drivers for my sound card. Driver Wars VI, Return of the Drivers! I have a Creative Labs Audigy 2, which for its time, was a pretty sweet card. Still is. At least Creative had drivers for it.

After hearing the sweet sound (pun intended) of victory, I prepare my media services to run. But Murphy had other plans. The media services could not run, since no video card was detected.  That did it! No more! Switched back my old drive and continued to use my old XP as my media server.

Overall

   I’ll blame my experience to be that it was an old machine and that the version was RTM. Still, I’ll probably still use my old XP media server and install a fresh copy of Windows 7 on my work laptop. Hey,Windows 7 RTM looked good and installed fast, but it still has a few minor things to iron out. At least for old machines. Your mileage may vary.

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For all PPS fans out there, rejoice! Service pack 3 is now available!  Thanks to my buddy Alan Koo (http://alan-koo.blogspot.com/) who just gave me the news!

Here’s the scoop (taken from the Readme):

PerformancePoint Server 2007 SP3 includes the following new features, changes, and improvements:

Monitoring and Analytics

New features, enhancements or fixes:

  • Improved messaging when a filter or other selection returns no rows or columns in an analytic grid.
  • You can now install PerformancePoint Monitoring Server and PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer on a machine that has .NET 3.5 already installed.
  • Improved handling of scrolling on very large dashboard pages from within Dashboard Designer.
  • Improved handling of zone adjustments in Dashboard Designer.
  • Improved usability of the PerformancePoint Server Web Parts
  • Improved Time Intelligence calendar control. This enables easier filtering on dates.
  • Better handling for connecting to SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2008 reports and for displaying SSRS multi-select filter reports.
  • Better handling when display conditions and stacked zones are both in use.
  • Excel Services report views now load into Dashboard Designer, even with no SharePoint root site.
  • Improved analytic chart, show details, and scorecard formatting when exporting to Microsoft Office Excel.
  • Improved drill-through functionality on analytic reports.
  • Font-size changes in scorecards are appropriately displayed in published dashboards.
  • Better handling of scorecard KPIs when using named sets.
  • Improved integration with Excel Services: Excel Services reports display properly in dashboards. Empty cells no longer prevent the dashboard author from connecting to the data source in Dashboard Designer.
  • Better migration support: analytic charts and grids that are created with SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services data can be updated to use SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services data.
  • Improved integration with SharePoint: Now you can use the edit mode in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server or Windows SharePoint Services to add a SharePoint Web Part to a PerformancePoint dashboard; SharePoint style sheets no longer override cell-level font size and font-family settings.
  • Improved integration with ProClarity: PerformancePoint Server filters passed to ProClarity reports retain the correct hierarchical order. Sorting of columns in a ProClarity report that is displayed in a PerformancePoint Web Part is now more effective.
  • Customers can now upload their own custom Help into PerformancePoint Web Parts.

Planning

New features:

  • Submitting line-item details with assignments. This new feature enables users to add, edit, view, and submit line item details. They can also view the submitted line-item details in reports.
  • Adjusting security with the PPSCmd utility. This feature enables users to lower security changes within PPSCMD.  For example, it is now possible to move security from Read/Write to Read Only within the PPSCMD utility.
  • Extending the calendar beyond 25 years. This feature enables users to manually change the maximum limit of future years to a value greater than 25 and less than or equal to 200.

Follow in after the link:

* PerformancePoint Server 2007 SP3 (x86) <http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=90c596a5-aca4-4ded-9072-facf834bc0c6> .

* PerformancePoint Server 2007 SP3 (x64) <http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=3ad75ae5-d2cd-4953-87cf-5f74d79804c6> .

* Documentación: Service Pack 3 for Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 <http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc514367.aspx> .

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Even after the wipeout, I’m still getting into the Performancepoint Planning wave. I truly believe this IS a great product, and would have given the industry a run for its’ money with version 2. But alas, that was not meant to be. Still, we (I include all Performancepoint folks out there) have clients with the solution and we continue to support it. During the run of this blog, I’ll probably talk about my experiences and “horror!” stories that hopefully will help (or entertain) you during my dive into the interesting world of Performancepoint Planning.

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