Taking back control of Windows Update: Install Updates when you want to!

For years we were more than unsatisfied with the options we had to choose from to patch our Microsoft Windows Servers. Without additional utility you are restricted to the few options Group Policy offers. So as I am always searching for a simple but efficient solution to such a painful problem, I combined two fantastic tools, to a powerful Windows Update Scheduler: PDQ Deploy and ABC Update.

tl;dr: If you choose option “3 – Auto download and notify for install” for your WSUS Group Policy, you can take any advanced Task Scheduler like PDQ Deploy in combination with ABC-Update to install Windows Updates scheduled the way YOU want it to be!

Prologue, where is my problem?

First let’s take a look at the options Microsoft offers us and why I refuse to rely on those. If I’m not completely mistaken the only Policy to choose when to patch Windows Updates has been “Configure Automatic Updates” since ever: Continue reading “Taking back control of Windows Update: Install Updates when you want to!”

Tablacus Explorer is an awesome replacement for explorer.exe as a #XenApp published Application!

In XenApp projects you always face the challenge to decide whether to deploy a published Desktop or different published applications for the users. Many times you will have to use a combination of both. Especially in the published application use-case, you have to find a way to allow your users manage their files with a file explorer. This might not be a problem for Fat-Client users with their Windows 10 Notebooks inside the corporate LAN. Those can simply run their local file explorer and access smb shares.

Continue reading “Tablacus Explorer is an awesome replacement for explorer.exe as a #XenApp published Application!”

How we use Classic Shell as a Start Menu replacement in XenApp

Ever since Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 the Windows Start menu is dead to me. I tried a few times to use it, but horrible placement and the slow search function make it unusable. Many people say that this is no longer valid for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, and I agree that it has become a lot better, but i still don’t like it.
Besides my personal feelings, there are so many ridiculous problems with the Windows 10 Start Menu, that I must confess that I never even tried to deploy it enterprise ready. Examples:

Continue reading “How we use Classic Shell as a Start Menu replacement in XenApp”

Basic XenApp HDX 3D Pro Proof of Concept – What I missed

To proof the capability of XenApp to deliver 3D rendered applications, we build a very basic PoC. We took a used Lenovo ThinkCentre Tower PC with an Intel Core i5 and 4GB RAM and bought a used Nvidia Quadro 2000 for it. It is important to use a Quadro card, because this makes the driver installation much easier. We tried other cards in the first place, but it was just way too much work to get drivers for a Windows Server installation to work properly. Continue reading “Basic XenApp HDX 3D Pro Proof of Concept – What I missed”

Update 20.09.2016: Citrix Receiver: Desktop und Applikationen verschwommen bei hoher Auflösung und DPI Skalierung

Bei uns in der Firma wurden die ersten Arbeitsplätze mit 27″ 2560×1440 Monitoren ausgestattet. Einigen Kollegen war der Text zu klein bei dieser hohen Auflösung, so dass wir die DPI Skalierung auf 125% oder gar 150% gestellt haben. So weit so gut. Leider greift die Skalierung auch für den Citrix Desktop Viewer, so dass der veröffentlichte Desktop mit einer manipulierten Auflösung startet. Das liegt unter anderem daran, dass der Citrix Receiver “not DPI aware” ist. Diese veränderte Auflösung hat zur Folge, dass das Bild unscharf bzw. “blurry” ist. Das ist natürlich kein Zustand mit dem man gerne längere Zeit arbeitet.
Eine kurze Recherche brachte dann zwei Artikel zum Vorschein, die beide 50% der Lösung lieferten. Zusammen ergab sich dann ein brauchbarer Workaround.
Das ganze gilt für XenApp und XenDesktop ab Version 7.6 und höher mit Server 2012 R2 RDSH Workern.
Continue reading “Update 20.09.2016: Citrix Receiver: Desktop und Applikationen verschwommen bei hoher Auflösung und DPI Skalierung”