Traveling With A Laptop: Need a Second Display

The Backstory

I recently went on a business trip to install a new Cisco HyperFlex environment at one of our facilities.  I haven’t had to travel as much as I used to, so I’m a little off my game now.  I used to be completely prepared with all of the equipment a good systems engineer needs on the road.  I didn’t do terribly on this trip, but I was missing a couple of things.

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Azure Site Recovery


I’ve been a systems engineer/administrator for almost 25 years.  Most of that time has been spent in the Microsoft ecosystem.  I’ve dabbled with Linux, Apple, and even Novell.  It seems I always return home to Microsoft.

My current employer is heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.  We are mostly on Windows 10 version 1809 for our desktops and laptops.  We are moving to Windows Server 2019 as time allows.  Our collaboration suite is Office 365.  Our infrastructure is moving more and more into the Microsoft Azure cloud.  We are even investigating Microsoft Teams as an option for our enterprise phone system.

One of the systems I have been most impressed with is Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Services.  We have made great use of this product over the last two years or so and I’d like to tell you about our experiences.

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Office 365 MFA with Multiple Authenticator Apps

This is an interesting article that explains how to set up multiple authenticator apps on one Office 365 account.  This could mean having the Microsoft Authenticator App on both my iPhone and iPad, or it could mean having the Microsoft Authenticator and Google Authenticator on the same device or multiple devices.  This also works with the LastPass Authenticator.

Microsoft Surface Go Review

A Little Background

For some time now, I’ve been on the search for the perfect on the go device. This device needs to be small but functional. I need to be able to type on it when necessary. Using a stylus or pen to take notes or annotate documents is a plus. I’ve used the iPad Pro for about a year to see if it would fill those needs. While the iPad Pro wants very badly to be a productivity device, it just doesn’t cut the mustard for me.

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Excel 2016 Clipboard Issues

My current organization has recently been plagued with problems in Excel when trying to copy and paste data.  This is apparently an issue that has affected many other organizations and has been going on since roughly 2015 with no fix from Microsoft.  You can find details here.

Our accounting department has been marching around the IT stronghold with torches and pitchforks in an attempt to get us to fix the issue.  They are ready to burn us all at the stake!

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Windows Server 2012 R2 Backup – Remote Server Target

I recently had the need to use Windows Server Backup to back up a server to another remote server. We don’t have a real backup solution and Windows Backup seems to be the best option for now. The main limitation of using another server as a backup target is that Windows Backup will overwrite the previous backup each time it runs. This means you cannot have any backup history. Our requirement is to have seven days’ worth of backups.


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Skype for Business

Using my Office 365 subscription, I upgraded to Office 2016. Now, I had been running the preview for quite some time on my test system, so I knew what to expect. I was surprised to find that the installer removed Skype for Business and then I was unable to re-install it. I tried installing Skype for Business from my Office 365 portal but received an error indicating that my version of office was newer than Skype for Business and therefore wasn’t compatible.

Some initial searching didn’t turn up much. Thanks to Mary Joe Foley’s posting over at, I was able to get Skype for Business installed and working again. You can read Mary Joe’s article for more information. The Microsoft support article that she refers to is here.