Sunday, 26 July 2009

Deploying Office 2007

It is that time of year when all our school computers need reinstalling and updating. We are finally installing Office 2007 school-wide but, unlike with previous versions of office, we are having to do things a little differently.

Before Office 2007 we would deploy using Group Policy and the msi provided but it seems now that Microsoft is wanting businesses to go down the SMS (Microsoft Systems Management Server) route. Well with BSF on the horizon for us there is no money for IT so here is what we came up with. I hope this will help others in a similar situation.

Step 1: Copy the contents of the Office DVD to a share on the server (remember to add permissions).

Step 2: In the run box type your Office share location followed by '\setup.exe /admin' (without the '). This opens the Office Customization Tool.

Step 3: Create a new customization if one has not been done already and enter your school name, licence key and which components you want to install (for a silent install you must set the display level to 'none'). Save as Office12.MSP (or change the batch file that follows).

Step 4: Create a batch file to install Office if it is not already on the system. Open notepad and type/copy the following (if you don't use excel you could change that to winword, outlook etc.).

Rem @ECHO OFF

REM --- Check for an existing installation of office07

if exist "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\excel.exe" goto _End

"\\{server name}\{share location}\setup.exe" /adminfile "\\{server name}\{share location}\\Office12.msp"

REM --- End of the script

:_End

Step 5: Save the batch file (saving as .bat file extension) to your netlogon share.

Step 6: Create a GPO to run the batch file as a logon script. You can then apply it to all the users you want to have Office 2007 on their machines or you could create an 'install office' user account. Note: If the clients are Vista UAC must be disabled or it will ask for the administrator password to run the batch file.

When the client machines are logged on, either by your users you have applied your script to or using your install account, Office should install all the components you configured. Done.

Hope this helps. A user guide for installing Adobe CS3 will follow soon.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Android App Review #1: Moviz Hangman



I have been downloading a few decent free games for my G1, and one I find myself playing more than most is Moviz Hangman.

It has a variety of game modes including 'challenge', where you need to get as many movies titles as possible in a row, starting with 30 tries. There is also included a single and a two player game. There are nearly 500 movies to guess and more being added through updates. In two player mode you can add your own, and it doesn't have to be movies, type in anything. In single player (or training as it says on the menu) you get 15 tries to guess the movie. Your score can be submitted to an online league table which you can check out anytime by selecting 'online features'.

The ads at the bottom of the game screen are hardly noticeable but the 'exit' button is hidden under the 'd' during games. However, this isn't really a problem as you can just press back on your phone to return to the main menu.

Give it a try, it's free.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Windows 7 offer - Save £100

Microsoft are offering customers a chance to purchase Windows 7 Home Premium for £49.99 and Windows 7 Pro for £99.99 when you pre-order between 15th July and 9th August. With announcements leaked online indicating that the price when it is released on 22nd October will be £150 and £200 for these versions this represents a considerable saving.

You are allowed to order up to 3 copies at this price from participating retailers (Amazon, Comet, Currys, PC World, Littlewoods, Staples, ebuyer and Anvika) or the Microsoft Store.

I was directed to this offer by a colleague but had not seen it advertised anywhere else. The new Windows OS premium version for £49.99? I am definitely putting my name down.

It is also worth pointing out that Microsoft will stop letting users download Windows 7 RC from 15th August. The operating system is free to download and will continue to work until March next year. So for all of you who, like me, look after a large network, now is the time to get downloading and testing for compatibility.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Google Android Wallpapers

Spent half a day using GIMP to add some application docks to some wallpapers I have found around the web for use on my G1. There is a very good guide about how to make docks here.

When you are making your own you need wallpaper with a resolution of 640x480 (or multiples thereof). The result should then look like this, with you able to put your shortcuts on the bar:










You can see the rest of my efforts on talkandroid and on Flickr.