• Amazon Prime Day 2022

    Here are my picks for Amazon Prime Day. I’ve included links to both Amazon.com and Amazon.com.au where available:

    • Amazon Prime free trial amazon.com
    • Western Digital 18TB WD Red Pro NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD - 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, CMR, 256 MB Cache, 3.5” - WD181KFGX amazom.com amazon.com.au - wow 18, or even 20TB!
    • Synology 2 Bay NAS DiskStation DS720+ (Diskless) amazon.com
    • Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio - 14.4” Touchscreen - Intel® Core™ i7 - 32GB Memory - 1TB SSD - Platinum amazon.com
    • Microsoft Surface Pro 8-13” Touchscreen - Intel® Evo Platform Core™ i7-32GB Memory - 1TB SSD - Device Only - Platinum (Latest Model) amazon.com
    • And finally, make your own Lollybot with Chupa Chups Lollipops, 100 Pieces amazon.com.au or Chupa Chups Best of Mini Tube Small Lollipops, 50 Count amazon.com.au

    (yes, these are all affiliate links)

  • Upgrading to Windows 11 22H2 on the Release Preview channel

    Windows 11 logo

    I’m on leave this week and was listening to episode 835 of the RunAs Radio podcast “Updating Windows with Aria Carley” while out on my morning walk. I’ve been thinking about upgrading my main laptop to Windows 11 for a while now (Windows Update has indicated that it is compatible), but had been putting it off as my impression was that the initial release was possibly rushed out the door just a little bit early. Now that 22H2 is in the Release Preview channel, and scheduled for final release later this year, I figured it might not be too risky to give it a go given it’s had a bit more spit and polish applied.

    Screenshot from Windows Update - "Great news—your PC meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 11"

    Steps to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 Release Preview

    1. If you’re at all cautious, make sure you have a good backup first. I verified that Synology Active Backup for Business had a current backup of this machine, and for good measure, I clicked on the Version button and locked the latest backup to preserve it in case I wanted to roll back to a known good state in the future.

      Screenshot of Synology Active Backup for Business 'Backup Version Information' dialog

    2. From the Windows menu, launch Settings, then Windows Update and Windows Insider Programme (Yes, I’ve got the Australia/British English language settings). From here you can choose to join the Windows Insider Program. Click on Get started.

      Screenshot from Windows Update, Windows Insider Programme "Windows Insider Programme. Join the Windows Insider Programme to get preview builds of Windows 10 and provide feedback to help make Windows better.

    3. Click on Link an account

      Screenshot of dialog "Choose an account to get started"

    4. Select the account you want to use

      Screenshot of dialog for choosing an account

    5. Now you get to choose which Insider channel you want to join. I chose Release Preview but you could choose Dev Channel or Beta Channel if you prefer.

      Screenshot of the dialog "Choose your Insider settings", with "Release preview" highlighted

    6. One final chance to confirm (and review the privacy statement and programme agreement)

      Screenshot of the final confirmation dialog

    7. Now restart your computer!

      Screenshot of prompt to restart your computer

    8. After rebooting, you’re still running Windows 10, but if we go to Windows Update again and click Check for updates, you’ll now see a new section indicating that Windows 11, version 22H2 is available.

      Screenshot of Windows Update, showing 'Windows 11, version 22H2 is ready'

      Because I’d clicked Check for updates, it automatically started to download the Cumulative Update Preview (as you can see in the image above). But clicking on the Download and install button halted that and instead Windows 11 started downloading.

      Screenshot of Windows Update downloading Windows 11 22H2

    9. Finally, the download completes and Windows Update is ready to restart to begin installing Windows 11.

      Screenshot of Windows Update with the 'Restart now' button

    10. After a few minutes (I grabbed some lunch at this point so I’m not sure exactly how many), you can now sign in to Windows 11. Just to confirm this, I launched winver.exe to check (if the centred Start menu wasn’t already a clue!) that we are indeed running Windows 11.

      Screenshot of 'About Windows' app, showing "Windows 11 Microsoft Windows Version 22H2 (OS Build 22621.169)"

    11. For good measure, launch the Microsoft Store app, then Library and Get update to bring all your store apps up to date.

      Screenshot of Microsoft Store app, showing updates being downloaded

    12. If you use WSL, then run wsl --update to upgrade to the latest version. Before I did this, the output of wsl --status was:

      Default Distribution: Ubuntu-20.04
      Default Version: 2
      Windows Subsystem for Linux was last updated on 28/03/2022
      WSL automatic updates are on.
      Kernel version:

      But after wsl --update it now displays:

      Default Distribution: Ubuntu-20.04
      Default Version: 2
      WSL version:
      Kernel version:
      WSLg version: 1.0.39
      MSRDC version: 1.2.3213
      Direct3D version: 1.601.0
      DXCore version: 10.0.25131.1002-220531-1700.rs-onecore-base2-hyp
      Windows version: 10.0.22621.169

    And with that, I’m up and running Windows 11 22621.169 (which was the latest version of Windows 11 available to the Release Preview channel at the time of writing)

  • 7 years being a Microsoft MVP

    MVP Logo

    A few days later than usual, but this morning I got an email to confirm I’m again a recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award!

    Dear David Gardiner,

    We’re once again pleased to present you with the 2022-2023 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in recognition of your exceptional technical community leadership. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in the following technical communities during the past year:

    • Developer Technologies

    This is my 7th award since 2015.

    What’s the big deal?

    Well if nothing else, it is nice to be recognised, acknowledged, and thanked for the things you do in the developer community. That’s not to say that recognition, acknowledgement, and appreciation haven’t been forthcoming in other ways. And it’s not to say that the reason I do the things I do is that I want those from the community or Microsoft.

    Having said that, if the only feedback I got was negative (not that I actually get much of that) then it probably would cause me to reconsider if it was worth doing the things I do. So thanks Microsoft for your support!

    What’s in it for me?

    There are some tangible benefits that Microsoft give me which include:

    • Early access to Microsoft products
    • Direct communication channels with product teams
    • An invitation to the Global MVP Summit (usually held in Redmond USA, but online the last few years)
    • An executive recognition letter
    • A Visual Studio technical subscription
    • An Office 365 subscription
    • A certificate and glass trophy

    And not forgetting the occasional bit of swag! (the hoodie arrived in the mail earlier this week which was a nice surprise)

    Hoodie with Microsoft MVP branding, and a blue card with the text 'Thank you for everything you do to support technical communities around the world. Here is a token of our appreciation'

    Several 3rd party software vendors also offer discounts or free licenses of their products to MVPs. JetBrains is one I do take advantage of.

    Now it is true that some of these things I could purchase myself, or might be provided by my employer, but having them available and for use on my own personal and community projects is a bonus.

    The other big benefit for me is the networking connections I make both within Microsoft and the broader MVP community. Leveraging those connections has been a real advantage in organising speakers for the Adelaide .NET User Group.

    What’s in it for Microsoft?

    You might think with all those nice things, I’d feel obligated to constantly sing Microsoft’s praises? Not necessarily. I will indeed re-share public updates that I think are of interest, but while I’m sure they appreciate that, what I think Microsoft benefit from the most is me (and other MVPs) giving them candid, open and honest feedback. Because most MVPs sign a non-disclosure agreement, they can give that feedback confidentially. Let me tell you, MVPs can be pretty passionate and honest at times!

    What now?

    If you’re curious, check out my MVP Profile at https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/PublicProfile/5001655.

    Regardless of whether I get another MVP award or not, I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing.