How to download the entire Microsoft TechNet library and take it on the road

Next week, I’m heading to a land far, far away to do some consulting work having to do with a specific Microsoft product.  While I am versed in the product, I still have much to learn and didn’t want to waste my time on the plane; I wanted to be able to simply read Microsoft’s TechNet pages as a refresher.  As you know, an Internet connection from a plane is a no-no in most places, so this was a non-starter.  Sure, I could have downloaded or printed each and every page related to the technology in question, but this would have taken an inordinate amount of time and wasted a whole ton of paper.

So, I started looking around and came across software called Package This.  Package This is a tool written specifically to compile the vast TechNet and MSDN library resources into a single Windows Help file that resides locally.  The help files created by Package This are fully searchable and all of the content is downloaded and stored in the local file, so there is no need to be connected to the Internet to browse the results.  The resulting help file retains the hierarchy of the online library, so it’s easy to move between the local resource and the online resource if necessary.

I was able to download all of the TechNet material related to Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging.  Although the tool isn’t perfect - there were some minor quirks - it’s a great way to take Microsoft’s online docs offline.

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