Monday, 15 December 2014

Techy Geeks Home - For all your IT needs!: Windows Server 2008 R2 Evaluation Product Keys:

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Windows Server 2008 R2 Evaluation Product Keys

This is more as a reminder for ourselves when building evaluation labs for Windows Server 2008 R2 (although most people will be moving on 2012 by now) but we thought we would share this information with our visitors as well.

These product keys can be used to activate the various evaluation copies of Windows Server 2008 R2 for 180 days and have a re-arm value of 5.


Windows Web Server 2008 R2


Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard


Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise


Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter



If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use our Disqus system below.

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How to extend the Windows Server 2008 evaluation period: "slmgr.vbs -dli"

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Evaluating Windows Server 2008 software does not require product activation. Any edition of Windows Server 2008 may be installed without activation, and it may be evaluated for 60 days. Additionally, the 60-day evaluation period may be reset (re-armed) three times. This action extends the original 60-day evaluation period by up to 180 days for a total possible evaluation time of 240 days. 

Note In the Windows Server 2008 Evaluation DVD package, there is a 120-day initial evaluation period. You can extend the evaluation period to 240 days. To extend the initial evaluation and testing period, follow the steps in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article.

How to install Windows Server 2008 without activating it

  1. Run the Windows Server 2008 Setup program.
  2. When you are prompted to enter a product key for activation, do not enter a key. Click No when Setup asks you to confirm your selection.
  3. You may be prompted to select the edition of Windows Server 2008 that you want to evaluate. Select the edition that you want to install. 

    Note After Windows Server 2008 is installed, the edition cannot be changed without reinstalling it.
  4. When you are prompted, read the evaluation terms in the Microsoft Software License Terms, and then accept the terms.
  5. When the Windows Server 2008 Setup program is finished, your initial 60-day evaluation period starts. To check the time that is left on your current evaluation period, run the Slmgr.vbs script that is in the System32 folder. Use the -dli switch to run this script. The slmgr.vbs -dli command displays the number of days that are left in the current 60-day evaluation period.

How to manually extend the evaluation period

When the initial 60-day evaluation period nears its end, you can run the Slmgr.vbs script to reset the evaluation period. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click Command Prompt.
  2. Type slmgr.vbs -dli, and then press ENTER to check the current status of your evaluation period.
  3. To reset the evaluation period, type slmgr.vbs –rearm, and then press ENTER.
  4. Restart the computer.
This resets the evaluation period to 60 days.

How to automate the extension of the evaluation period

You may want to set up a process that automatically resets the evaluation period every 60 days. One way to automate this process is by using the Task Scheduler. You can configure the Task Scheduler to run the Slmgr.vbs script and to restart the server at a particular time. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Task Scheduler.
  2. Copy the following sample task to the server, and then save it as an .xml file. For example, you can save the file asExtend.xml.
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?>
    <Task version="1.2" xmlns="">
        <Author>Microsoft Corporation</Author>
        <TimeTrigger id="18c4a453-d7aa-4647-916b-af0c3ea16a6b">
        <Principal id="Author">
      <Actions Context="Author">
  3. In the sample task, change the value of the following “UserID” tag to contain your domain and your alias:
  4. In the Task Scheduler, click Import Task on the Action menu.
  5. Click the sample task .xml file. For example, click Extend.xml.
  6. Click Import.
  7. Click the Triggers tab.
  8. Click the One Time trigger, and then click Edit.
  9. Change the start date of the task to a date just before the end of your current evaluation period.
  10. Click OK, and then exit the Task Scheduler.

Monday, 8 December 2014

The 16 Best Meeting Scheduler Apps and Tools:

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There are few tasks in the professional life as tedious as scheduling meetings. Finding a time that works for everyone can be a losing battle of long email strings and accidental double-bookings.
Scheduling a meeting time shouldn't be hard. Fortunately, there are dozens of online meeting scheduler apps available—each with pros and cons— and while some work with a range of calendar applications, others are narrowly focused to just one or two. What they all have in common is that they're a lot easier than playing email tag.

What Makes a Great Meeting Scheduler?

Ideally, a meeting scheduler works with a range of calendar apps, such as Google Calendar, Outlook and iCal, but those full-featured schedulers are few and far between.
The best app, then, is the one that's compatible with your calendar, but doesn’t limit your guests, either— you can't control which calendar service your guests are using, so it's better if your meeting scheduler doesn’t assume invitees are using a specific calendar app. Bearing this in mind, many of the scheduling apps that we discuss will be dependent on a specific calendar service, but your guests will have more options when responding to your requests and adding your events to their own calendars.
When choosing apps, we looked for a range of meeting schedulers that provide extra functionality beyond just creating event invites. While many of the apps double as conversion tools that set appointments with potential clients or manage online registrations for things like workshops and classes, the focus of this list is on schedulers that make easier to connect with your colleagues.

The Best Meeting Scheduler Apps for individuals using Google apps
Once installed, adds a widget to all "Compose New Message" windows in Gmail. Simply choose meeting times that work for you, and will add them to your email with a note asking the recipient to choose one of the meeting options. runs via a Google Chrome extension, so it won’t work in Firefox or any other browser. The extension is only compatible with Gmail, but the developer is looking to add support for Outlook. works best for people who already use Google Calendar, since the extension uses data from Google Calendar to flag potential time conflicts, but your recipient can accept your invite using any calendar app. While is compatible with both personal- and business-grade Google accounts, it only works for one-on-one meetings and can’t schedule meetings with more than one guest. So the app works best for individuals, but may have limited use for larger businesses that schedule team meetings more often. Pricing: Free

Boomerang Calendar for groups using Google Apps

Boomerang Calendar
Boomerang Calendar is another browser extension that relies on Gmail and Google Calendar to function, but this one is compatible with both Google Chrome and Firefox. This option supports group meetings of several people on its website, making it perfect for coordinating groups, and because it accesses your Google Calendar account, Boomerang Calendar will let you know when potential meeting times overlap.
You can also use Boomerang Calendar to share your availability for the next several days with a single click, without sharing access to your calendar. This preserves your privacy while simplifying scheduling.
Boomerang Calendar Pricing: Free; Beta

Doodle for deciding on a meeting time

Scheduling app Doodle can put your meeting time to a vote with a few clicks. Simply input information like location, potential meeting dates, and time options, and Doodle will create a sharable poll that you can send out to your team. From there, each team member enters his or her email address, and votes on a time slot. It's a straightforward, democratic way to coordinate.
Doodle's scheduling feature is free—and ad supported—but if you upgrade to the premium version you can integrate Google and iCloud calendars (plus Outlook, with a little jerry-rigging), send automatic reminders to participants, and request additional info in your poll.
Doodle Pricing: Free with ads, premium features from $39/year

TimeBridge for busy professionals

TimeBridge is a web app that can coordinate your meetings for you. It's compatible with Outlook, Google Calendar, and iCloud, and syncs your calendars with its scheduling app. With a TimeBridge account, you can set a few default meeting options and black-out times when you’re never available, but you’ll be limited to five suggested timeslots per meeting.
There are some pretty great reminder features included in TimeBridge, too. With a mobile number saved in your TimeBridge account, you have the option to receive an SMS notification five minutes before a planned meeting. Plus, TimeBridge's Daily Brief email can provide you with a few details about your day, including maps, directions, and weather forecast for your meetings.
TimeBridge Pricing: Free

Calendly for recurring appointments

Calendly is another app that relies almost exclusively on Google—the sign-in process requires a Google account, and Calendly syncs with Google Calendar. Once an invitee has accepted a meeting invitation, though, it will add the appointment to your guest’s Google, iCloud, or Outlook calendar.
Calendly saves multiple meeting types, so you can clone weekly or monthly meetings, keeping your preferences for length of meeting and available time-slots intact without affecting your default settings for new meetings. While Calendly works well for scheduling meeting with individuals or team members within an organization, its custom events links work well for sharing events with clients and customers, too.
Calendly Pricing: Free; Premium features from $8/month for hands-off Google Calendar scheduling

Vytein requires a Google login for the event organizer, but your guests can use any calendar app. Once logged in, will show you any conflicts on your schedule so that you don't accidentally double-book yourself, and it blocks off potential time slots in Google Calendar as they're proposed. Your invitees can vote via email for the most convenient meeting times, and will track who chooses which time without requiring a login for your guests. works well for organizers wrangling several schedules—it will even send the meeting invitations and schedule the meeting on your Google Calendar once a firm time is chosen. Pricing: Free; Beta

Meet-O-Matic for coordinating large teams

The Meet-O-Matic web app lets you set up meeting windows with lots of people, giving you a meeting link to monitor responses to your invitation. Meet-O-Matic doesn't sync with your calendar, but the premium plan allows you to export meeting info to an Excel or CSV spreadsheet.
Because it doesn't sync with your calendar, Meet-O-Matic won't prompt you about potential conflicts. But that also means it's not reliant on any particular application, so it's a better bet for folks without a Google account.
Meet-O-Matic Pricing: Free; Advanced Edition for individuals starting at $19.99/year; Workgroup Package for 10 users $99/year

NeedToMeet for collaborative scheduling

NeedToMeet creates a meeting event page to share with your invitees, and from there they can register for any of your open slots. What sets NeedToMeet apart, though, is that everyone visiting the registration page can see everyone else's availability. If most of the guests who have already RSVP'd are only free for a limited span of time, all guests following will see that and can potentially adjust their own schedules to suit the group. This limits the back and forth and removes you as schedule moderator.
The Outlook add-in means that you can create events from the Outlook application without visiting the NeedToMeet web app. There are also iOS and Android apps for creating and managing events. Though it won’t sync automatically with Google or iCloud calendars, NeedToMeet will add events to your calendar with a click from the web app.
NeedToMeet Pricing: Free for meeting preparation doesn't allow users the option to set several potential or tentative meeting times, so this web app will work better if you already know your guests’ schedules. What can do, though, is give you a good space to distribute any meeting materials collaboratively: create an agenda or attach files to the meeting’s page, and participants can update or share information as the meeting date approaches.
The timeline feature in also sorts your upcoming appointments, giving you a fresh way to look at how your time is being spent. synchronizes with Google Calendar from the web app, but its iOS and Android mobile apps help everything sync up with nearly any calendar, including Outlook, Yahoo, and AOL.
Pricing: Free 30-day trial; Pro subscription $12/month, $129/year

ScheduleOnce for link-based group scheduling

ScheduleOnce is a big player in the appointment-booking game—it helps real estate agents, photographers, coaches, and everyone in between accept meeting requests from their clients. The framework is based on a personal booking page that users can send to their customers, which shows the user’s availability and gives the visitor options for meeting times.
But ScheduleOnce isn’t just for individual appointments: it also handles group meetings with ease. Using the app, you can highlight times that work best for you, create a unique link that shows your availability, and send it off to your invitees. From there each person enters his or her email address and votes on a time slot. ScheduleOnce can even pull in your Google and Outlook calendars, so it knows your availability instantly.
ScheduleOnce pricing: From $5 per user per month

Mynd for managing your calendar on mobile

Mynd is a full-fledged calendar dashboard for your iPhone, which integrates with your iOS calendars to pull in events, contacts, and locations. One of its most useful features is Mynd Scheduler: it helps users find agreeable times for team meetings by sending out a pre-formatted email with potential meeting times to invitees. Mynd also preemptively books each of these times on your calendar, so you don't double-book something while waiting for responses.
Mynd Pricing: Free with in-app purchases for accepting appointments with Google Calendar

If you’re a Google Calendar user, is a seamless way to let individuals schedule appointments with you. Simply connect your Google account, tell YCBM a bit about yourself, and the app will create a personalized webpage where you can accept meetings based on your calendar. You can link to that webpage from your social media accounts, feature it on your business website, or send it to customers directly.
There are also lots of advanced features that you can set up, like HTML-formatted booking pages, meetings of varying lengths, and recurring meetings. But while YCBM works well for one-on-one meetings and inbound scheduling, it doesn’t have a feature that can coordinate groups to find an agreeable time, and it’s not ideal for sending invitations. pricing: Free for an individual account, from $16 per month for premium-level accounts

Congregar for guests with flexible schedules

There's no sign up with Congregar, so it's a convenient way to set up meetings on the fly: With minimal effort, you create a poll to gather information on what times work best for anyone. Rather than a straight up or down vote, Congregar lets your guests indicate which times aren’t great but may work in a pinch, giving you more leeway when finding a convenient, or at least workable, time to meet.
Congregar still won’t schedule your meeting or invite your guests, so your invitees may see their calendars filling up with conflicts before you’ve had a chance to send out the invites from your preferred calendar app. But it's still a nice alternative to more complex, registration-required options..
Congregar Pricing: Free

Google Calendar for businesses using Google apps

Google Calendar
If you’re using Google Calendar and just need to schedule meetings with colleagues in your organization, that functionality is built into the app.
The "Find a Time" tab on the "Edit Event" screen allows you to view your guests’ calendars as you invite them to the meeting. If your guests have shared their calendars with you, Google Calendar will show you when your guests are busy, and when they’re free. Because most users don’t share their calendars publicly, this is going to be a good option for businesses running Google Apps and already sharing their calendars internally

WeTime for straightforward scheduling

There are a lot of great scheduling apps out there, but few are as straightforward as WeTime. This app's meeting scheduler relies on a poll system. Start by giving your event a name, location and description. From there WeTime will ask you to provide some time slots that would work for your meeting—you can even connect your Google Calendar account to cross-check time slots with your schedule. After you're all set up, WeTime creates a link to a poll where your invitees can vote on which time works best for them. Just send the link to your team and tally up the ballots.
WeTime also offers a slick beta extension for Gmail and Outlook, which lets you reference your calendar and suggest meeting times straight from your email client. Once you select a few time slots that work for you, WeTime pastes them directly into your email so you can easily send them to a client or coworker—they don't even need to open the app.
WeTime Pricing: Free for a personal assistant with artificial intelligence (Coming Soon!)
Ok, isn't out yet, but it could be a game-changer in the meeting software space. Basically, to use, just CC (your virtual assistant) on any email and she'll handle the "tedious email ping pong" that happens whenever you try to coordinate a meeting time.
Amy knows your appointments, phone number, Skype username, and everything else that a colleague might need to schedule some time with you. She uses that information to correspond with other meeting attendees via email, and when a date and time are set, she adds the appointment to your calendar.
But just how smart is Amy? We won't really know until is released in the wild. Pricing: Currently in private beta

World Clock Meeting Planner for international teleconferences

World Clock Meeting Planner
World Clock Meeting Planner isn’t really a meeting scheduler, and it can’t invite your guests to an event, but it's useful for planning meetings across time zones so it an honorable mention. List a location for each colleague, choosing the closest city within the same time zone, and World Clock Meeting Planner will spit out a list of times when everyone participating is likely to be awake and in the office. Pick the best time for everyone, and use it as a starting point when scheduling with one of the other apps in this list.
You could also give Every Time Zone or World Time Buddy a shot—both sites track time zones in an easy-to-read interface, so you can quickly compare your waking hours to those of your international colleagues. Or, if you want to do a quick time zone conversion using your iPhone, try Miranda.
World Clock Meeting Planner Pricing: Free

Set Up Meeting Reminders for You and Your Team

Now that you've found a better way to schedule a meeting with your colleagues, take this one step further and set up an easy way to remember each one. To do this, use app automation tool Zapier, which will trigger a notification in the app of your liking—Zapier integrates with over 300 apps—when a meeting is approaching. So, 10 minutes before your weekly team meeting, for example, you could automatically post a reminder for your co-workers in Slack or HipChat.
To get started setting up a meeting reminder notification, just click on an automation below or visit the Google Calendar integrations page on Zapier.
See more Google Calendar integrations powered by Zapier

The back-and-forth headache of scheduling will never disappear completely, but these tools will help you decide on a meeting time and iron out the details in a much more efficient fashion. Give these apps a try, and opt out of email tag once and for all.
What does your scheduling process look like for meetings? Let us know in the comments.
Zapier content marketer Joe Stych contributed to this post.