Monday, August 08, 2011

Listed as a Microsoft Certified Master, Finally!

After making a few mistakes in getting my information to the right person to update Microsoft's corporate web site, I finally have my name and company listed on the "Meet the MCM's & MCA's" web site.

It was only mildly embarrassing to introduce myself as a Microsoft Certified Master, only to be questioned about why my name wasn't on the list. I didn't have a good excuse like "company policy prohibits it" or anything like that. The good news is that I have the nice plaque and certificate to back up my statement, but now, I can be verified on the web!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 5 @ camp Ross

It is the last day, well, sort of, we will be here one more night and leaving first thing in the morning. The boys did lashings at scoutcraft this morning which Alex seemed to like. Alex enjoyed making a candle this morning at handicraft, I'm wondering if it will melt in this heat. It has been hot this week, but today is the hottest at about 97 degrees. They worked on aquanaut and the boys that passed their swim test as swimmers earned their activity badge. Now, it is three hours of open program and once again I have no idea what Alex is up to as he is out with a buddy visiting various program areas. Looking forward to tonight's campfire!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Have we been at Goshen 5 days already?

Starting out with last nights Catholic mass, it was awesome, the pastor took the time to explain setting up an alter and making the space we were in like a church. A good homily about growing boys at camp. Alex missed it because he wanted to go with his buddies to the interfaith service.

This morning they worked on readyman, more on their service project, and visited camp Bowman to see an actual boy scout camp. Alex also finished his pack 195 sign for the dining hall. Now they are at the Jolly Rock swimming hole which Alex is enjoying immensely. Later today they are going to nature for geologist and they are planning to shoot some more bbs if they make it back from Jolly Rock in time. After dinner there will be some pioneer themed games.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 4 at camp Ross

Yeah, I have two day 2 posts. Today was the big hike to viewing rock which we did after boating in the morning where he paddled a canoe and a funoe. I ended up rowing another scout around taking pictures. This afternoon he did swimming, bbs, and archery. He spent the whole time in the swimmers area and was able to improve his shooting. Right now he's out at open program with a buddy and I have no idea what he is up to.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 2 at Camp Ross

Today the boys had teamwork challenge and started their service project, making toilet paper holders for some latrines. Alex started his pack 195 totem for the dining hall. After lunch, they shot some arrows at archery followed by boating where Alex got to row a row boat followed by a bit of a dip in the lake. Dinner was made on the fire on the form of tin foil meals supplemented by some Mac and cheese and fruit. They just finished up their in camp campfire where they did skits told jokes and riddles.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Goshen Scout Reservation, camp Ross day2

The first few days of the Goshen experience is supposed to be a lot like camp Snyder and for the most part, it is. Alex rotated through planned program areas on a set schedule. Nature, handicraft, scoutcraft, and bbs. The big difference is the swimming, no pool so today's swim check was in the lake. Alex passed and is a swimmer at scout camp for the first time! I'm not sure he realizes it but that will make a big difference tomorrow when he does boating.

Last nights camp fire was pretty cool. Some of the skits we've soon, of course, but they were still fun to watch. The staff here really know how to do campfires, two big ones in the back with little viewing fires in front to illuminate the performers.

At this point it is pouring rain and Alex is out in it somewhere while I am hanging out in the tent. He's going to be soaked, good thing the towles are dry

Lastly, we got a perfect score on today's camp inspection.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Goshen Camp Ross Day 1

Arrived a little later than we planned but it worked out. Since it is just Alex and I we were put with a large pack of boys (1483) and Alex has already made some friends. Being with a big pack got us in to a great camp site! Looking forward to tonight's campfire and dinner was great. Also looking forward to the rest of the week. After the tour, I can tell that the programs are going to be awesome. He's going to be taking his swim test in the lake!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Maximum E-Mail Message Size

Here is one that never seems to fail or always seems to fail. The customer requirements are to limit the maximum message size to 50 megabytes in all the various places it needs to be set (for simplicity). The consulting that sets it up enters 50000 kilobytes, a little short.

The customer complains that 50 meg messages don't make it through, they bring in the senior consultant who reviews the requirements and sets the maximum size to 512000 kilobytes per the customers requirements.

It seems that there are too many consultants out there that can't convert megabytes to kilobytes, but while that is often the complaint, another issue is harder to explain to the customer. I'll go on.

The customer complains again and claims that the contract has not been fulfilled. As proof, they sent themselves an e-mail with exactly 25 2 megabyte jpeg files from their digital camera. The original consultant is on the case, and knows exactly what the problem is, 25*2 = 50, but they didn't take into account the size of the rest of the message, you know, a few k for the header, body, etc.

The customer complains again, they tested with 24 2 megabyte files and a 1 megabyte file, surely the header and empty body isn't a full megabyte, and it still gets rejected. Senior consultant gets involved and explains to the customer in words he hopes he understands, "Some attachments must be converted to text format and this conversion increases the size of the message." The customer still doesn't get it, so, as the consultant, I recommend that they change their system requirements to support 67 megabytes (and that the actual setting should be 68608, since it is in kilobytes) to allow for up to 33% content conversion overhead and advertise their maximum message size as 50 megabytes.

This is often a failure at the requirements gathering phase. As a consultant, you want to build the system to meet the customer's requirements, but what the requirements say, and what the customer really wants are often two different things.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Outlook 2010 Shared Mailbox Sent Items

My customer had a common problem that was once solved in Outlook 2007.

By default, when a user has full access to a shared mailbox and permission to send as the shared mailbox sends a message from their default profile with the shared mailbox in the from field, the message is placed in the sent items in the user's mailbox.

With Outlook 2007 SP2 (not sure if this dates back to SP1 or RTM, but I know it works in SP2) a registry value could be set to change this behavior and place the sent message in the sent items of the shared mailbox. HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Preferences\DelegateSentItemsStyle DWORD:1

I tried this with Outlook 2010, replacing the 12.0 with 14.0 in the registry key, but it did not solve the problem. When researching the issue, a forum reply indicated the Hotfix KB2459115,, but after reading the detailed description of the hotfix, I didn't think it would fix the issue, as no where in the description of the hotfix was this problem documented.

After seemingly running out of possible solutions, I turned to the Exchange Microsoft Certified Master distribution list where someone replied indicating that KB 2459115 would fix the issue. This being the second source citing that hotfix, I figured it was worth putting in the lab. My control test worked as expected, both messages sent in the user's profile one from the user, and one from the shared mailbox ended up in the user's mailbox sent items. After applying the KB2459115 hotfix, and adding the registry setting DelegateSentItemsStyle with a DWORD value of 1 to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences\ sending in the user's profile from the shared mailbox resulted in the message ending up in the sent items of the shared mailbox.

Problem solved! Well, mostly. As this setting is not publicly documented by Microsoft as a feature of Outlook 2010 it isn't likely a supported feature. Hopefully Microsoft will come out with an official technet or support article on this feature.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

MCM & Disney Princesses

Today's topic in Microsoft Certified Master for Exchange 2010 was Unified Messaging. Basically, configuring Exchange Server to handle voice mail and automated attendant functions. To do that, of course, you need telephones. Well, specifically, we were given a high end laptop with Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V for an Exchange Virtual machine, and Audiologic analog to voice over IP gateway, and two analog phones, some of which included pink phones with Disney princesses, and red Cars phones with Lightning McQueen. Zoe & Aidan would be so jealous :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Google Talk Video Chat with Amy & Children

While I would prefer to use Microsoft's Lync (Office Communicator) client, it isn't really practical for personal use, so Google Talk it is, even when I'm actually in Microsoft Building 40 out here in Redmond, using Microsoft's guest wireless, and there is a Lync Microsoft Certified Master class going on in the classroom next to me :).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Human SMTP Server in Microsoft Certified Master training

This was an exercise that I really enjoyed. Our instructor setup a listener on port 25 that would allow you to type SMTP commands as if we were the server. Keep in mind that we are in a room full of the top percent of e-mail system architects and engineers. So we all know the SMTP commands that the client sends, and well, the server is somewhat forgiving of typos. But since servers don't make typos, well, the client will just drop. Volunteers? Anyone, Anyone? After a while, I decided to give it a go. I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing, so I got up there and started typing.

I type: 220
Client: ehlo
I type: 250
Client: mail from:
I type: 250
Client: rcpt
I type: 250
Client: DATA
I type: 250
Client: !!crickets!! it was gone, obviously 250 wasn't the right response to the DATA command. Incidentally, it is 354. The good news is that I was close, I knew that when I was done sending data it would have looked for another 250, and it always ends with 221 after the QUIT command is issued.

It took the class a few tries to get it right, but it was a lot of fun, with the purpose of making sure we really are familiar not only with what the client is sending, but what the server is sending too, because when you are tracing a protocol log, it helps to just know it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Powershell VCards (text file splitting)

I ran into a problem today that I figured I'd share. The exported addressbook format for GroupWise wouldn't work with Outlook, even though it supported the VCard format, the GroupWise client exported the entire address book in a signle .VCF file, which Outlook didn't support.

While not a good solution, I decided to split up the .VCF file with a script and make multiple .VCF files that could be imported to Outlook.

$ifile = $args[0]

If($ifile -eq $NULL)
Write-Host Usage: .\vcfrw.ps1 filename.vcf
Write-Host Examp: .\vcfrw.ps1 h:\vcf\joe.vcf

Write-Host Prossessing GroupWise VCard File: $ifile

$i = 1
switch -regex -file $ifile
"^BEGIN:VCARD" {if($FString){$FString | out-file -Encoding "ASCII" _
"$ifile.$i.vcf"};$FString = $_;$i++}
"^(?!BEGIN:VCARD)" {$FString += "`r`n$_"}

Write-Host VCard Processing Complete
Write-Host Processed $i VCard entries

The biggest problem I had was with the out-file, my first runs generated .VCF files that looked valid, but Outlook would not read them. After a little searching I learned that out-file by default used Unicode format, and Outlook needed them to be ASCII. hence the -Encoding "ASCII" in the script.