Skip to content
May 23, 2014 / The SharePoint Cowboy

SharePoint 2013 Search Errors

Configuring Search in SharePoint 2013 can be a tricky process that is best accomplished via PowerShell scripts. For starters, those messy database names with GUID’s in them that get created from UI provisioning are just hideous, but the real issue is that a proper topology (meaning search components running on more than a single machine) can only be deployed via PowerShell cmdlets. Despite our best efforts to script the entire process and avoid the kind of small mistakes that lead to endless hours of frustration, it’s inevitable that some small setting or configuration step will crop up that creates a giant headache.Take, for example, the new “SPSearchDBAdmin” role. This role, which didn’t exist in 2010, is added to each search database when it is created in SQL server. If you are following best practices and assigning service accounts for search operations (one for administration, one for crawling, and neither should be the SharePoint Farm or Admin accounts), the account you assign as the Search admin will be added to the SQL logins and given the “public” role. That’s all well and good for least privileged purposes but that role alone is insufficient for the Search application to function. Unfortunately, there’s no warning about this when the Search service application is created – provisioning will succeed but nothing really works. In order to kick Search into gear, you first need to assign the “SPSearchDBAdmin” role to the Search admin account in SQL server.

The SPSearchDBAdmin role in SQL Server Eric Shupps Eric Alan Shupps eshupps @eshupps SharePoint Cowboy BinaryWave SmartTrack

Assigning the SPSearchDBAdmin Role in SQL Server Management Studio

Also bear in mind that the Search admin account requires read/write permissions to the folder in which the index files reside. As this account should *not* be a local administrator it’s very likely that it won’t have access to the folders that hold the primary and replica index files. Be sure to assign the appropriate permissions on each server in the topology which contains an index partition (the default location is “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\15.0\Data\Office Server\Applications” which, ideally, should be changed as part of the provisioning process). Possible error messages which indicate your search admin account may not have the correct SQL or folder permissions include:

“Content Plugin can not be initialized – list of CSS addresses is not set.”

“Unable to retrieve topology component health states. This may be because the admin component is not up and running”

“Topology activation failed. No system manager locations set, search application might not be ready yet”

“Could not access the Search database. A generic error occurred while trying to access the database to obtain the schema version info.”

There are a lot of blogs, forum posts, and articles with all sorts of advice on how to deal with these errors, most of which prescribe repetitive un-provisioning and re-provisioning of service applications. Although those solutions may apply to your environment at some point, before going down that road first ensure that the Search admin account has the proper database and file permissions, as no amount of provisioning will overcome basic security limitations.

(Note: For a good walkthrough on Search provisioning via powershell, refer to this post from Ryan Bushnell and the Search cmdlet reference on TechNet)

Eric Shupps Eric Alan Shupps eshupps @eshupps SharePoint Cowboy BinaryWave SmartTrack
Take the trouble out of troubleshooting.
Improve service levels and avoid downtime with
SmartTrack Operational Analytics for SharePoint



Ten Steps to Optimize SharePoint Performance by Eric Alan Shupps


Eric Shupps – Secrets of SharePoint Part 5: Configuring Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Optimal Performance
Creating End User SharePoint Solutions for Performance and Scalability by Eric A. Shupps
SharePoint 2010 Performance Enhancements for Administrators with Eric Shupps Microsoft
SharePoint Server 2010 for the ASP.NET Developer

Eric Shupps on Following Best Practices and Avoiding Common Errors with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Development
SharePoint Performance and Capacity Planning Essentials from Eric Alan Shupps
Eric Shupps on Troubleshooting Common Performance Problems in SharePoint 2010


Channel 9 Interview with Eric Shupps SharePoint
TechTalk – Different Views on Social Computing

Eric Alan Shupps talks SharePoint Post-Deployment Planning and Management


SharePoint Pod Show – Design for Performance eith Eric Shupps
SharePoint Pod Show – Test Driven Development with Eric Shupps
Run As Radio – Eric Shupps Improves SharePoint Performance


Eric Shupps – ConferenceHound
Eric Shupps on Talk TechNet
Eric Alan Shupps on Channel 9
Planet SharePoint Eric Shupps profile
Eric Shupps Lanyrd
Eric Shupps MVP Profile
Eric Alan Shupps
The SharePoint Cowboy Tumblr
Eric Shupps on Speakerfile
Eric Shupps – Facebook
Eric Shupps LinkedIn Profile
Eric Shupps Google+
Twitter – @eshupps

June 20, 2013 / The SharePoint Cowboy

New SmartTrack Video

March 3, 2013 / The SharePoint Cowboy

Wrapping Long Words in Firefox

I know it’s all the rage among web developers to blame IE for everything that’s wrong on the Internet but sometimes – just sometimes – the folks in Redmond get it right and the fine volunteers of the Mozillaverse get it wrong.  Perhaps there’s no better example of this than word breaking in columns.  For years, IE has had the ever-so-useful CSS property “word-wrap” which, when supplied with a value like “break-word”, will split up a long string of text and preserve the precious layout you’ve slaved for hours to create.  It’s so handy, in fact, that it actually made it into the CSS3 spec (don’t be a hater – even the standards busybodies know a good thing when they see it).

Unfortunately, Firefox doesn’t recognize this property.  Yes, I know it’s supposed to in version 3.5+ but I have yet to see it actually working.  I’ve spent the better part of the last 9 months doing JavaScript programming for SharePoint 2013 apps so I’ve spent way too much time testing browser compatibility and not once have I seen FF honor this property.  Perhaps there’s some secret Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring trick to make it work – if so, please share it with me but until then we’ll have to continue  hacking our way around this ridiculous exclusion in an otherwise fine browser.

A lot of people suggest doing this in CSS like so:

.wrap { white-space: pre-wrap;       /* CSS3 */ white-space: -moz-pre-wrap;  /* Mozilla */ }

But I’ve found that solution is spotty – it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t (mostly the latter).  Instead, I prefer to use JavaScript to solve this problem, which eliminates the need for browser-dependent CSS tricks.  Taking, for example, a string that has 20 characters and must fit into a column that only permits 10 characters, the solution would look something like this:

var newstring = oldstring.replace(/([^\s\t\r\n<>]{11})/g, “$1<wbr>”);

Or, if you would prefer a hyphen instead of a soft line break:

var newstring = oldstring.replace(/([^\s\t\r\n<>]{11})/g, “$1&shy;”);

Inline replacement is fine but if you end up doing it repeatedly within an application all those Regular Expressions get pretty redundant.  Plus, it would be nice to be able to specify the length as a parameter for a reusable function.  A quick bit of additional code will get us there:

function breakWord(string, length) {     var reg = new RegExp(“([^\s\t\r\n<>]{” + length + “})”, “g”);     var s = string.replace(reg, “$1<wbr>”);     return s; }

We can now call that function on any string we like:

var newstring = breakWord(oldstring,10);

Ah, that’s better.  Word breaking for any string in IE and Firefox.  Now, Microsoft, let’s talk about all those web pages that don’t work in IE10, shall we?  Like, I dunno, just as a random example, SharePoint 2010 dialogs.  How ’bout it?


Ten Steps to Optimize SharePoint Performance


Secrets of SharePoint Part 5: Configuring Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Optimal Performance
Creating End User SharePoint Solutions for Performance and Scalability 
SharePoint 2010 Performance Enhancements for Administrators
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for the ASP.NET Developer
Following Best Practices and Avoiding Common Errors with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Development
SharePoint Performance and Capacity Planning Essentials
Troubleshooting Common Performance Problems in SharePoint 2010


Channel 9 Interview with Eric Shupps
SharePoint TechTalk – Different Views on Social Computing
SharePoint Post-Deployment Planning and Management


SharePoint Pod Show – Design for Performance
SharePoint Pod Show – Test Driven Development
Run As Radio – Eric Shupps Improves SharePoint Performance


Talk TechNet
Channel 9
Planet SharePoint
MVP Profile

December 13, 2012 / The SharePoint Cowboy

The Great Big Social Network Experiment

I’ve noticed over the past few months that inbound blog and web site traffic seems to be coming from all kinds of social networking sites I’ve never heard of – places like Magnt, Dipity, Plurk and so on.  What are those, you say?  Exactly – I didn’t know either.  So I thought I’d go out and sign up for every one of these that I could find just to see what might happen and what kind of organic (and non-organic) traffic might flow from and between them.  So here’s the big list in all it’s glory (some of these are pretty arcane – I mean, really, AudioBoo?  Are they serious?):

Funny Or Die
Daily Motion
Share Trip
Maximum PC
Last FM
Starup Nation
Experience Project
Freelance Switch
Hub Pages
Referral Key
My Folio
Deviant Art
Grind TV
My Fitness Pal
Rate It All
My Open ID
Visual CV
Biz Sugar
Slide Serve
Get Satisfaction
Big Contact
My Site Vote
Stumble Upon
Blog Catalog
Live Journal
Image Shack
You Tube
Intense Debate

Let the fun begin!

November 25, 2012 / The SharePoint Cowboy

A Fresh Perspective on Windows 8

Unlike most new OS releases I was a bit slow to adopt Windows 8 as part of my daily work routine.  First, I wanted to have a touch-enabled machine so I could really get a feel for both the tablet and desktop experiences.  Second, I wanted to convert a large number of existing virtual machines to Hyper-V and I knew that process would be time consuming.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I was happy with Windows 7.  I knew how it worked, understood the limitations, and was generally comfortable with all the ins and outs.

I finally took the plunge when the RTM bits became available. Surprisingly, the install on a Lenovo W520 notebook went quite well.  At the time there were very few native drivers from the manufacturer but the Beta ones worked well enough to get me going.

Once I was up and running, I dove right in and started using Windows 8 for daily work tasks.  I should probably mention that I wasn’t really flying without a net – prior to installing the OS on a new SSD drive I did a Physical-to-Virtual conversion of my existing Windows 7 desktop AND preserved the original disk.  Just in case things didn’t work out so well.  On the other hand, I wasn’t just playing around in a throw-away virtual machine – I needed to be productive from hour one with all my core applications – Office, Hyper-V (for SharePoint VM’s), Lync, Visual Studio, and so on.

In addition to running Windows 8 on the ThinkPad, which is a hulking brute meant to serve as a desktop replacement, I also picked up a Lenovo Ideapad Yoga convertible tablet to get a flavor for the consumer features of the new OS.  I decided early on that Windows RT is just not for me – I don’t need another device that can’t run full versions of Office and other desktop software.  So I wasn’t really interested in the Surface but I’ve been a tablet user since the 90′s (no, Apple fans, Steve Jobs did not invent the tablet, no matter how much you’d like to think so; in fact, Microsoft has done more for touch computing than just about all other software companies combined) and a touch-enabled device, even if it is a bit larger than the modern consumer tablet, held a lot of appeal for me.

So how has it all worked out so far?  Read on for the pros and cons from my perspective.  Bear in mind, I’m coming at this from the viewpoint of a business user, developer, and Microsoft adherent.  Your mileage my vary.


Overall, Windows 8 seems fast and responsive.  This really doesn’t come as much of a surprise as I run my core machine on top-of-the-line hardware with tons of RAM but even on the Ideapad Yoga, which is a Core i5 model, things just zip right along.  Applications pop right up and dialogs snap in and out like they should. I’ve noticed a few minor areas that seem to have improved greatly, like the acquisition of wireless networks, printers and bluetooth devices, but that may be a subjective analysis.

Surprisingly, all of my Windows 7 software seems to work without a hitch.  As one would expect, all the latest Microsoft applications run well, but so to, it appears, do all the legacy applications I have scattered about my hard drive.  I was expecting things like the control panel application for my NAS device, Logitech mouse and keyboard utilities, WinImage, Zune and so on to behave erratically but they are all humming along nicely.

A welcome addition that adds a bit of efficiency to my day is the file explorer ribbon.  I’ve never been a big fan of the ribbon concept overall but in this context it works quite well.  Having the most common commands available at all times is helpful.  On the Yoga, when I’m in tablet mode, the ribbon is a huge boon – it saves a ton of time that would otherwise be spend pressing and holding to get a right-click menu.  And the ability to (finally!) mount ISO’s natively is something we’ve needed since the dark days of Windows 95.

Personally, I’m counting the disappearance of Aero as a positive thing.  I was never a big fan of glassy buttons and all that shining chrome.  I’m not advocating the flat dullness of X-Windows or Mac OS but a return to a more-or-less 2D paradigm is just fine by me.  I need to find the Close button quickly not gaze in admiration as it glints in the afternoon sunlight.

Perhaps the best feature in Windows 8 if you live within the Microsoft ecosystem is the direct integration of the OS with all of the Microsoft services – Live, Messenger, SkyDrive, etc.  Being able to use a single login across multiple machines with a cohesive experience is good, maybe even great in its own right, but having direct integration with the Cloud is simply fantastic.  Although some sites and services require additional logins for the most part my Live ID follows me wherever I go.  This can be a bit too much of a good thing when I’m logging in and out of various Office 365 sites using different ID’s to test various code deployments but overall it’s a welcome addition.

The touch experience in tablet mode is quite good; better, in fact, than I was expecting.  This may be due in part to the excellent hardware and drivers Lenovo provides but the core UI elements also work very well in a touch-only scenario.  Swipes and gestures are smooth, tiles are responsive, menus fly in and can be easily dismissed.  Alas, this only goes as deep as the rather superficial Metro skin; once in Desktop mode the picture isn’t quite as rosy.  Although the ribbon can be a big help there are still a ton of menus and selection items that display small text better suited to a pointy mouse arrow than a stubby index finger.  Take, for example, one of the most critical Windows components: Control Panel.  By default, all the options are shown in Category view, and the links are almost impossible to hit accurately using a finger or rounded stylus.  Switching to Large Icons view helps but then all the organization disappears.  It’s quite apparent that Microsoft focused their efforts on touch-optimizing the Metro UI and left the desktop to pretty much fend for itself.

On a related note, the on-screen keyboard in Windows 8 is on par with the best Android keyboards and, in my opinion, far superior to the IOS offering.  The keys are big and well-positioned, especially in split-mode, and the number/symbol pad seems much more logical than the SHIFT+KEY combination on other keyboards.  For those like myself who still believe in pen-enabled input, the one-touch access to script and remarkable character recognition capabilities of the inking utility set Windows far above the competition.  This is one area where the long legacy of tablet support from Microsoft shines through and it makes a big difference for professionals who rely upon accurate script-to-text conversion in the field.

The biggest win for me with Windows 8 is native Hyper-V support.  For years those of us who need to run virtual machines on portable computers have been forced to either buy a competing product or install a server OS on hardware that it was never meant for.  It was always a bit embarrassing to be on stage at a Microsoft event running demonstrations of Microsoft products on a competitor’s virtualization platform.  Finally, they got the message and gave us a proper client virtualization environment.  I realize this doesn’t mean much to the vast majority of Windows users but it’s a huge win for a small but very visible portion of the technical community.  It’s not perfect, mind you – we still don’t have folder sharing or direct USB support – but definitely a big step in the right direction.


Microsoft had a hard task in front of them – create a new OS to serve the exploding consumer tablet market without sacrificing features or functionality for their core enterprise customers.  It’s too soon to draw any definite conclusions on the consumer front but based on my own experience using the Ideapad Yoga in tablet mode they seem to have finally figured this one out, successfully transferring the lessons learned from Windows Phone to a larger device format.  Unfortunately, they may have done so at the expense of their core user base who rely upon Windows to accomplish their day to day tasks.

Nowhere is this more evident than when you first switch from the Start page to the desktop.  Getting rid of the Start menu was, in my opinion, the wrong move.  Same for the inability to natively boot right to the desktop.  I get what they are trying to do here and from a consumer perspective it makes sense.  Consumers have all the time in the world to play around with cutesy “charms” and full-screen apps but in the workplace time is money; the lack of a Start button, and all the associated functions we’ve come to expect over the last 15 years, makes it feel like there are a few extra steps involved for every task.

Pressing the Windows key and typing to find the application I’m looking for is just not an effective replacement for Start > All Programs.  It sounds more efficient, and in some cases it actually is, but that’s not how millions of users work.  We like our program folders, our shortcuts to most used programs, and quick access to our libraries.  Not to mention the power and search options all being together in one place.  Turns out, the Start menu was actually a good thing – and the quickest way to stifle adoption is to get rid of what was working just fine and replace it with something that requires users to learn a new way of doing things.

Speaking of impediments to user adoption, the lack of proper menus now forces all of us to memorize a whole raft of new keyboard shortcuts. Not one or two, mind you, but at least a dozen or more.  I already have enough to do – I can’t be asked to make extra room in my mental hard drive for Win + D, Win + I or, at the extreme end of ridiculous, Win + . (period).  And no, Win + X absolutely does NOT serve as an effective replacement for Start menu shortcuts. I don’t want to leave my desktop to search in some full-screen app.  The old way of just typing into the search box and getting in-place results was more efficient, especially as I didn’t have to Alt + F4 or Win + D to get back to where I was.

As mentioned above I really like the native integration between local and cloud accounts but there are some rough edges.  For instance, when I changed the password of my Live account it refused to sync with the login account on either of my computers, forcing me to use the old password to login and the new password for SkyDrive, Messenger, etc.  In the end I had to switch back to a local account, logout, login with the new account, then switch to my Microsoft account, then repeat the process again on my second machine.  It really shouldn’t be that difficult.

There are lots of other small areas that also need some improvement.  The side-scrolling when using a mouse seems to be quite random.  On the Start page it works just fine – move the mouse all the over to the right and the page scrolls accordingly.  But try the same thing in the People or Music apps and nothing happens.  That’s downright frustrating. Mouse scrolling seems to work in this case but the using the scroll gesture on a trackpad takes more effort than just moving the pointer to the edge of the screen.

On the browser front, IE 10 is fast and looks good – no question about that.  But, like so many versions before it, things just don’t seem to work quite right.  As soon as I fired it up I noticed that the CSS on my home page wasn’t displayed correctly.  It looked fine in all other browsers and in previous versions of IE all the way down to 7 but page elements were all out of whack in 10.  I’m not alone here – after using it for a while I’ve noticed many web pages that don’t render the way they should.  And then I discovered, as many others have, that dialog buttons in all my SharePoint 2010 pages failed to fire.  I had to switch out to Firefox or hit F12 and switch to IE 9 mode just to save or cancel an operation.  Yet another annoyance that I really don’t need in my day.

Having a dual-monitor setup also reveals some quirky behavior.  Extending the desktop across monitors is easy enough and a lower left corner click will bring up the Start page on one monitor while leaving the desktop showing on the other.  That’s nice – until you click on the desktop. Then the Start page disappears.  So my plan to run Start and full-screen apps on one screen while working happily away in Visual Studio on the other had to be scrapped.  This is strange behavior and speaks to the version 1.0 flavor of the whole experiment.

And that leads me to my final and most important observation.  This is the umpteenth release of the core operating system that runs most of the world’s computers used for business.  This is not a toy – it’s a critical piece of technology that companies rely upon to be stable and reliable.  Which it was (for the most part) in the last release.  But now it’s a weird crossover experiment that tries to cram two competing visions together without really succeeding at either.  It does not give corporate IT managers confidence in a new platform nor does it provide any assurances that their needs are an important part of the feature-planning process; in fact, it would appear that quite the opposite is true.   What IT wants is security, compatibility and reliability not a bunch of eye-candy designed to (hopefully) lure twentysomethings away from their iWhatevers.  My suspicion is that many corporate IT departments will take a pass on this release.  While Windows XP is starting to slowly die off in the enterprise it’s still holding on because Vista failed to deliver the goods.  In the near future I suspect that XP will likely be replaced by Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 – and that’s not good news for Microsoft no matter how you spin it.


My experience thus far is that Windows 8 is a mixed bag.  On the one hand, it shows a lot of promise for consumers in the portable device segment.  On the other hand, it has very little to offer Microsoft’s primary customer base inside the enterprise.  I believe they could have avoided all this by taking the Media Center approach (another good product sadly put out to pasture) – deliver incremental improvements to business users while providing consumers with the ability to enable the portable features (or, alternatively, make the portable UI the default but allow corporate IT to disable it via policy).  Then both camps would be happy – business users get their familiar desktop and consumers get live tiles (assuming, of course, that you consider live tiles a feature worth having). Instead, we have a clunky amalgamation of competing feature sets in which no user truly gets what they want.

I applaud the effort to break new ground but a one-size-fits-all strategy probably isn’t going to cut it.  While Windows Phone and XBox were two areas of great success (you can argue about Windows Phone adoption and its relative immaturity but the UI makes every other platform look like a bunch of old Palm Pilots) it doesn’t mean that same design philosophy can carry over into other areas.  Trying to force business users to buy into consumer features is just not smart – they won’t pay for functionality they don’t want, especially if it ends up making their jobs harder instead of easier.

The bottom line for me is that I’ll happily keep Windows 8 on my convertible tablet where I can actually take advantage of the new UI elements. But if it wasn’t for the native Hyper-V support I would switch my primary desktop back to Windows 7 in a heartbeat.  I’ve got enough to do without the OS getting in my way and, quite frankly, I was happy with Windows 7.  It did what I wanted it to do and I didn’t have to think about how to use it.  For better or worse it felt natural whereas Windows 8 is uncomfortable in all the wrong ways. I can only hope that Microsoft gets the message and does something in a service pack or R2 release to fulfill the needs of business users.  But that may be a long time coming, if ever, so until then I’ll just Win + Curse my way though it and hope for the best.

Articles Ten Steps to Optimize SharePoint Performance


Secrets of SharePoint Part 5: Configuring Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Optimal Performance Creating End User SharePoint Solutions for Performance and Scalability  SharePoint 2010 Performance Enhancements for Administrators Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for the ASP.NET Developer Following Best Practices and Avoiding Common Errors with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Development SharePoint Performance and Capacity Planning Essentials Troubleshooting Common Performance Problems in SharePoint 2010


Channel 9 Interview with Eric Shupps SharePoint TechTalk – Different Views on Social Computing SharePoint Post-Deployment Planning and Management


SharePoint Pod Show – Design for Performance SharePoint Pod Show – Test Driven Development Run As Radio – Eric Shupps Improves SharePoint Performance


ConferenceHound Talk TechNet Channel 9 Planet SharePoint Lanyrd MVP Profile Tumblr Speakerfile Facebook LinkedIn Google+ Twitter

October 29, 2012 / The SharePoint Cowboy

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13″ Review

Taking advantage of the fanfare surrounding the general availability of Windows 8, Lenovo have released a new hybrid ultrabook aimed at those who need a thin and light notebook with the touch capabilities of a tablet.  In the past, convertible tablet PC’s, which have a small but strong following in the enterprise, have been hindered by bulky form factors and awkward screen conversion mechanisms.  Lenovo has a strong pedigree in the tablet segment, having produced some of the most popular tablet PC’s on the market for many years, so it would be natural to assume that their latest offering would just extend the venerable X-series line without breaking any new ground.  Thankfully, that is not the case – instead of simply borrowing from the past the Lenovo engineers have come up with an entirely new offering that breaks the tablet PC mold.


To begin with, the Ideapad Yoga is simply a great looking laptop.  Borrowing from the design aesthetic of the U-series ultralights, it has a uniform thickness of just over half an inch with an exterior covering of burnished aluminum and an black interior, giving it the appearance of a high-tech textbook when closed.  The palmrest is covered in a matte coating that isn’t quite leathery but is far more comfortable during long type sessions than all metal or glossy plastic.  The large multitouch trackpad is centered in the middle of the palmrest and has dedicated right and left click zones.  It is delightfully responsive and handles all the pinch, zoom, scroll and twist gestures with ease.  As would be expected from a Lenovo product, the island-style keyboard is excellent, with a good layout and plenty of room between the keys but, strangely, is not backlit.  This is a severe limitation in low-light situations and is a major design flaw in an otherwise excellent machine.


As with most thin and light notebooks, the Yoga has limited port selection.  There is an HDMI connector, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, a combination headphone/microphone jack, an SD card slot and a flat USB-style power connector.  It also includes a dedicated rocker switch for volume control and a screen orientation lock button.  Inside, it can be configured up to a Core i7 processor, a maximum of 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD.  The retail model in the US ships with 4GB RAM, a Core i5 CPU and a 128GB SSD.  The memory can easily be upgraded with an aftermarket DIMM but the hard drive isn’t quite so simple to replace – it uses an mSATA/mini-PCIe card instead of a traditional 2.5″ or 1.8″ form factor, which is harder to find and there are very few options above 256GB.


The display runs at a native resolution of 1600×900 on a dedicated Intel 4000 chip.  The color saturation is excellent with almost unlimited viewing angles.  The screen surface is glossy but surprisingly resistant to fingerprints – it’s on par with the iPad and other small form factor tablets.  The multitouch surface works just as well in notebook mode as it does when converted to a tablet, making it almost irresistible  to swipe through the Windows 8 screens and menus using the screen instead of the trackpad.


Unlike tablet PC’s of the past, the conversion mechanism on the Yoga doesn’t twist around and lay flat.  Instead, the hinge simply opens like a book – to use the device in slate mode, just flip the screen all the way backwards.  Once it passes 180 degrees, the keyboard is deactivated and the screen can be angled for comfortable viewing on a flat surface without the need for a kickstand or jointed cover.   Alternatively, just stand the machine up in an inverted “V” (what Lenovo calls “Tent Mode”).  The screen automatically adjusts orientation when rotated and can be locked into position using a hardware button on the side of the device.  A dedicated Windows button is located between the hinges to exit out of apps while in tablet mode.


For better or worse, Windows 8 is really designed for touch input and the Ideapad Yoga excels in this area.  The screen is smooth and responsive – even in notebook mode, the screen has very little wobble despite being exceptionally thin.  Although rather large for a true tablet, the 13″ screen does provide a lot of real estate for displaying tiles and lends itself to docking one app while using another.  The ability to adjust the screen tilt by bending the unit backwards with the keyboard portion touching a flat surface is very useful but it does take some getting used to.


The machine runs quietly without much fan noise.  Heat dissipation is excellent and even when running at full speed it only becomes slightly warm on the bottom.  Although battery life is rated at 8 hours, real-world usage is more like 6 – 7 hours.  Not an impressive showing but not too bad for a device of this size with a full Core i-Series CPU (as opposed to the Tegra processor in the 11″ model or the various ARM WinRT models).


The Yoga boots up from a cold start to the Windows 8 start screen in under 15 seconds, making it a nearly “instant on” device.  Lenovo includes a handful of specialty apps, including a support center, a transition manager to control screen orientation in the various modes, a motion control program and trackpad manager.  There’s also a “Companion” app, which is mostly advertisements, and a recovery utility.


Overall, the Ideapad Yoga is an excellent device.  It brings together a quality high-end notebook with a true tablet experience.  The fold-over hinge design is well-thought out and very practical.  Although a bit large to be a true ultrabook or stand-alone tablet, as a hybrid device it excels in delivering the best of both worlds – portability, acceptable battery life, and touch capabilities.  The one  major flaw in the Yoga’s design is the lack of a backlit keyboard, which Lenovo will have to rectify if they want this device to be taken seriously.  While it may not satisfy tablet purists or those looking for the most features in the smallest notebook, the Ideapad Yoga strikes a good balance and is surprisingly fun to use.



Ten Steps to  Optimize SharePoint Performance




Secrets of  SharePoint Part 5: Configuring Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for  Optimal Performance

Creating End User  SharePoint Solutions for Performance and Scalability 

SharePoint 2010  Performance Enhancements for Administrators

Microsoft  SharePoint Server 2010 for the ASP.NET Developer

Following Best  Practices and Avoiding Common Errors with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server  2007 Development

SharePoint  Performance and Capacity Planning Essentials

Troubleshooting  Common Performance Problems in SharePoint 2010




Channel 9  Interview with Eric Shupps

SharePoint  TechTalk – Different Views on Social Computing

SharePoint  Post-Deployment Planning and Management




SharePoint Pod  Show – Design for Performance

SharePoint Pod  Show – Test Driven Development

Run As Radio –  Eric Shupps Improves SharePoint Performance





Talk  TechNet

Channel  9

Planet  SharePoint


MVP  Profile