Forward, positively..

February 19, 2010

LearningPoint CourseViewer(tm)…

Filed under: sharepoint 2010, Work — Tags: , , , — thebestbrew @ 4:22 pm

The excellent technical Sharepoint/Silverlight house that is Point8020 has released a free version of it’s new course delivery vehicle as CourseViewer(tm). You can download it with the how-to from their site here (in exchange for some minor registration details). The CourseViewer(tm) can be inserted into a website or into a Sharepoint 2010 Silverlight webpart.

CAVEAT – this is not a ‘system’, it’s a content viewer – so on one hand, don’t expect song, dance, bells, whistles and the tea made to boot – but on the other hand, it’s how you use it that will let you get some good use out of it.

The snip below shows the CourseViewer(tm) – it’s some Silverlight code which consumes an XML file which describes your course. The top panel displays a list of modules (defined in the XML) within your course – these module graphics slide right/left as you scroll through them and the module content list (lower left) refreshes with thumbnails of the content items. You can switch from a thumbnail view to a list view of the content. Click on a content item and it will either launch in the panel on the lower right (if it’s a WMV) or in a separate app window (depending on the content type). You can stick in a simple self-test at module level. So far, so Simples and all defined in XML.

For me the trick comes with thoughtful use of course collateral. For instance you can produce a voiced-over Powerpoint and generate a WMV – make it high resolution and you can expand the player to full screen for a good experience – all within the viewer. Put it on your corporate portal with a list of internal or external resources – web pages, PDFs, SWFs – use the modules to layer your content within the restrictions of the viewer – using modules for summarisation, testing and recap and you’ve got yourself a very useful and reasonably attractive micro-learning tool.

You could see this and think that it’s not that greatly useful but if you put your mind to it, you can work-up something interesting, a bit different and with a taste of (Sharepoint) things to come.


February 5, 2010

Not Drowning but Waving…

Filed under: Office 2010, sharepoint 2010, windows 7, Work — Tags: , , — thebestbrew @ 2:05 pm

With the recent release of the 2010 Information Worker VM the grand old Virtual PC needs to be superseded (for me) by the colossus of virtualisation that is Hyper-V. I run a (fairly quick) laptop with the elegant Windows 7 and the ever-boisterous Office 2010 beta (including Project and Visio). What would be my route ahead? Naturally it would be Windows Server 2008 R2 X64 [Rim-shot sound and supportive polite applause from other Villagers].

After an abortive attempt to setup a ‘boot from VHD’ configuration (my fail – it clearly works fine for others) I decided that introducing a well-behaved neighbour of an operating system to share some silicon in an old fashioned dual-boot setup  would fall into the ‘suits you sir’ category. After a brief Google, this seemed to be 1. Possible 2. Do-able 3. and most importantly, do-able by me. But How? Could it be as simple as run Setup.exe and DON’T USE C:/WINDOWS?

Fortunately, my laptop has a small partition which I can hijack for the purpose (but I can’t tell you what it is ‘cause you’ll laugh). The question was how much space would be required – baby lemur or sasquatch footprint – Core is not really an option for me despite the amount of command-let and scripting support on the web – nowadays I need an interface which supports me like a virtual Zimmer-frame.

A blog entry (which I can’t find again) mentioned a 6Gb installation so I decided to crash ahead confident of success!!

The Outcome??

1.2008 R2 Standard edition has nestled snugly into a 6.5Gb corner of my available extra partition. 2. I now have an (automatically generated) dual boot menu offering me a choice of 2 of Microsoft’s best. 3. Said instance of Win 2008 R2 with the Hyper-V role occupies only around 630Mb of RAM and 4. All do-able by me so far.


The next step is to assemble the VM’s from the down-loaded RAR’s and check that they play nice in my modest sandbox.

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