June 2008 - Posts
OK, for those that waited as long as I did..... regarding this post.
Dell gave up as well and took the machine back and gave me a brand spanking new Dell XPS 730. I suspect that the constant nagging drove them crazy and they figured that the best way to shut me up would be this line of attack...
They were correct, this machine is fantastic!
Only issue is that this motherboard cannot fit a TV Tuner card, so I will have to get an external one. I can deal with that :)
Well, you lot that were complaining about my evil eyes at the top of the blog have finally got your way. Not my choice I might add, but it seems that Community Server 2008 SP1 does not like the paperclip theme I used as a template :(
Anyway.... for the moment, the evil eyes are gone. For the moment, these will have to do. Super scary ASCII eyes.
Holy Cow...! Never have I seen such a backward step by a company before.
Avoid Skype 4 Beta 1 at all costs!
Luckily, Skype are being open about it on their blog. Feel free to post comments to them and ensure they rethink this thing again!
Today, Bill Gates steps down at Microsoft.
Love Microsoft, hate Microsoft.... you have to give it to this guy... he helped change the world, and will continue to do so with the new projects.
The videos on the Microsoft website are worth a look.
This audio was taken from the conclusion of the farewll event at Microsoft. You can really feel the emotion.
Read more and get the update here.
Dear LORD! I am completely shocked by this, how can a company be so stupid!
Over the past 15 years, I have been a Vodafone Ireland customer (previously Eircell). I had, this morning, finally made the decision to move our entire companies set of Mobile phones over to 02 based upon the new iPhone 3G. Up until now, I have been using a Jailbroken unit with Vodafone.
So, I call up, I speak to the representative and we organise a visit from an 02 rep. At the end of the call I mention that the www.02.ie website is terrible and shows none of the business plans. (Unlike the www.02.co.uk site).
I am told there are NO BUSINESS PLANS going to happen in Ireland... like WTF! I nearly blew a gasket... how is this common business sense? For once, 02 actually have a way of taking market share from Vodafone in Ireland and they go and screw it up by not having a business plan... that means no 02 to 02 free calls, no internal free calls, no shared texts, no shared minutes!
I tried to contact 02's Irish Director Danuta Gray, but she is away... Steve Job's needs to kick 02 Irelands ***, like right now... Shocking, simply shocking.....
Can you tell I am annoyed?
I would like to thank Luke Edson over on Mark Minasi’s forum for pointing me to this Denon Cable for sale on Amazon. This hits a note with me.Read the comments, have a laugh.
My advice is to get this installed straight away. Especially if you are running Vista or Windows Home Server.
As you know, I am a great fan of ExchangeDefender. We are rolling this out to all of our current and new customers as the solution for antispam and antivirus in corporate email. In my own opinion it beats Microsoft's hosted solutions hands down for price point and features.
There has been one missing feature that has causes us some pain with users. It seems that people really do not like forwarding any spam messages that get through the filters onto the team in ExchangeDefender so that they can improve their filters ongoing. Even-though the amount of spam that gets through is minimal, and it is an easy task to forward to an email address, the main issue is that the original headers of the message are not sent to the ExchangeDefender team.
For this reason, I asked my mate Garren Bellew (from ASC Software) to write me some code to do this in an Outlook 2007 Macro. In return, I would mention the fact that ASC Software do some excellent software development for the commercial workshop industry!
How to Install
First things first. We need to allow Macro’s to run in Outlook 2007. To do this, go to Tools, Macro’s, Security.
Select “No Security check for Macro’s” Yeah… we know it is a security risk!
The next thing to do is to exit outlook and install the Exchange Collaboration Data Objects which are available here, or on the Microsoft Website.
Now we need to create the Macro’s….
Open up Outlook, go to Tools, Macro, Macros…. You may already have Macro’s here… but you are to add a new one called ReportSpam, click Create.
On the next screen, paste and replace any code with this code.
Then, click on Tools, References, and make sure that the Microsoft CDO 1.21 Library is checked.
Now, click on File, Save VBAProject.OTM. Then close the Visual Basic Editor window.
The last step is to create a button on your Toolbar for the user. Right click on the toolbar, in an empty space, and select customize <<< Damn that Z!
Go to the Commands tab, down to Macros, and select Project1.ReportSpam and Drag it to your toolbar.
You can now right click on the button, change the text, or give it an Icon… up to you….
Hopefully now you should be installed and working. This really does need an installer, but maybe someone here or in ExchangeDefender will do that later.
To check it is working, select a message that is spam and click the new button.
You should see this:
If you click Yes, then you will see this:
All should work…. I hope
A known issue
The header information will not be attached to the message (it will be empty) if you are clicking on a Public folder in Exchange to report a message. Something, I am told, to do with permissions.
If this does not work, breaks your PC, destroys your love life… I do not care. I am providing this information as free to use as you wish. Try not to make a Nuclear weapon with it and all that other legal jargon….
Yesterday, I was working my way through my SBS Support posts on Mark Minasi's forum. I noticed the question that has come up before from other people regarding why Small Business Server 2008 requires an external hardware firewall.
Well, I wanted to quote Jeff Middleton here, as I thought this was the single best response I have seen so far:
"I'm not sure how common the knowledge is about "what's new" regarding SBS 2008 that is inherited from what's new about the components that SBS 2008 will included. To some extent it makes a little of this topic a moot debate because what's going on here is not an independent decision by the SBS team.
In the SBSmigration.com IT Pro Conference 2008 I hosted last month we devoted a fair amount of time to the firewall discussion. It's was obvious that we have a lot of shift in the product that pivots around the change of feature where SBS 2008 no longer has any option or role as a firewall. This "feature" change is non-trivial for a lot of people, but you have to see the decision process in the light of day rather than as an instinct based upon history.
Windows 2008 no longer includes RRAS...it doesn't exist. RRAS was the NAT routing engine that SBS used as it's SBS Standard Edition "firewall".
ISA 2006 and later is no longer supported from the ISA team (by design) to operate on a Domain Controller. The product is in fact designed to be on a dedicated box on the edge requiring a pair of NICs.
Windows 200x inherited the Windows NT design that disallows you to bind Client for MS Networks on more than on NIC because it causes the Netbios level operations to fail. (This is really old information)
ISA 2004 didn't even enter an alpha much less beta code condition until after not only RTM, not only SBS Launch, it was later than first ship of SBS 2003. The commitment to include SBS 2003 Premium with what was supposed to be ISA 2003 (until it missed it's production dates) was a public commitment by the SBS product team when they were unaware of what the design would be. The were going to drop ISA in the SBS 2003 Premium edition except for the combination of feedback from loyal proponents of that feature and the fact that they had been planning their marketing for the final product based upon that feature and it was a lose-lose situation when ISA wasn't ready to even beta test....so they continued to use ISA 2000 in their design planning. The reality is that they couldn't build the wizard front end for ISA 2004 because they had nothing to test or ship.
When ISA 2004 finally entered beta and the decision had been made at that point to have ISA 2004 install directly into the Windows Kernel, this redefined the product scope dramatically. NOTHING in the way of applications installs into the Windows Kernel, Microsoft doesn't allow that sort of option lightly. But it was clear that in order to accomplish the level of operational behavior and security that the ISA product team and Enterprise target market was looking for would require not just protecting the Windows host machine at the application level, it meant redefining the kernel behavior.
At the point you redefine the kernel behavior you have an "application" that can't be uninstalled easily, and it doesn't meet the Windows design model for "disabling the application" because the Kernel doesn't really allow that feature. This means that if you have a problem with your box where ISA is running on it, the only way to figure out if ISA is part of the problem (because it's changing the behavior or the kernel and all applications) is to uninstall ISA and reboot the machine to load the kernel cleanly.
That means that in order to troubleshoot a server running ISA 2004 or later you may well need to change it's role from edge server firewall to internal network only, reset the kernel, change the routing stack, and therefore redefine the entire business network because this is the machine that is the gateway for your entire LAN. Given that this machine is also your DC, Exchange Server and potentially a number of other application roles including web-facing access portal, these are non-trivial alterations.
The fact that you have to unload ISA in order to see the applications in the "clean native state" on a "normally configured Windows Server" becomes even more complicated if you are seeking remote assistance from the outside of your LAN on any of these applications or any aspect of your server. That's because in addressing the "clean" condition for the server/applications you also took the box off of the web and it's not available for remote logon! Sure you might say that in SBS 2003 if you uninstall ISA 2004 you can fall back onto the dual-NIC with RRAS configuration and still have remote access even if all your LAN workstations can't use their default proxy configuration with the SBS in this newly revised condition. But with SBS 2008 there's no RRAS because Windows 2008 has no RRAS therefore there's no fallback.
By the time you digest all of this you have to now reflect upon the idea that you can buy a pretty good firewall for between $300-1000 these days. Back in the days when SBS 4.0 shipped with Proxy Server it solved a problem when firewall routers cost about $2500-3500 at a minimum and there were no $100 linksys routers as an option. Today you have options for external firewalls that start at $50 and you can choose to add as much investment as you like above that, but the reality is that very few people in the SBS market would use ISA by choice if they had to actually pay for it. Very few people were using it and even paying the premium price to get it in the SBS 2003 Premium edition pricing. Most people bought premium in the SBS 2000 and 2003 period because of the SQL option. They installed ISA because it was included in the bundle, not because they understood anything about how to configure it.
The majority of people installing ISA on SBS did not enable any rules other than defaults, and were baffled when installing ISA 2004 on an SBS 2003 server caused their email and web operations to stop functioning.
I was one of the very few SBS-MVPs prior to the release of SBS 2003 who offered the opinion to drop ISA from the premium package, this despite being a huge proponent of ISA and using it in all my sites. But I could see that running a proxy/ISA condition on the SBS server was making things more complicated and expensive to support than just moving to a standalone firewall...even in circa 2003.
Now that the reality is that the SBS team truly has no way to provide RRAS or ISA on SBS 2008 because it's not supported as a feature available to them, it's a bit moot on whether it would be nice to have what you can't have. But it begs the question of why wouldn't you just go buy a software firewall to install on your SBS if you really think your SBS server should be on the edge? Turns out that nobody out there really should think this is a sane suggestion at this point.
Microsoft has for the last 3 years shipped every version of Windows (including Windows 2008) with a Windows Firewall application that is actually a better firewall than RRAS. These application/service level firewalls really complicate internal network management for infrastructure boxes. There's so much going on with an SBS server that adding a firewall on top as an application if it's not highly integrated and tested really doesn't make any sense.
So the end result of the "SBS 2008 Firewall" debate comes down to the idea that a highly integrated application server and domain controller like SBS isn't well suited to an after-market application level firewall. The incorporated Windows OS no longer has a suitable firewall to use with RRAS. Windows Firewall is not up to the task of managing, logging and filtering at the level people may be accustom with an ISA class design.
There's really no there there.
All of this is debate against using a less expensive, more reliable, easier to manage approach by not integrating the SBS 2008 on the edge as a firewall. It makes a lot more sense for all the right reasons. SBS 4.0 included a firewall/proxy because it cut the cost of that functionality in half 10 years ago. There's really not a value proposition that makes sense in 2008 for SBS to have a firewall on it now unless you just believe everything should be free and allowed to be installed without regard to the support complications and costs involved. The SBS team made the right decision on this because it was the only decision that makes any sense going forward. Look at the cost of the EBS product (with ISA on an edge server) and compare that to SBS and if you really want that configuration it's going to be available to you. You either buy your own ISA server, or buy EBS, but it's not a feature in SBS anymore for good reason.
- Jeff Middleton SBS-MVP"
You can read the entire thread here
Well, it seems I have convinced the ACES team that video tutorials
are not only popular, but needed for future versions of Flight Simulator and Train Simulator.
So, let me ask you to post on this thread on fsdeveloper.com
examples of video tutorials you would like to see in the future. I will perform my usual nagging and bribing techniques to get as many as possible for you.
Well, actually… A year later, but who’s counting.
I finally just managed to get Adrian’s Jetway IK video edited and compiled ready for upload to fsdeveloper.com!
I am just getting it checked by a couple of people, and then I will post the link here. I hope to see many animated jetways in up and coming scenery packages for FSX after this! Don’t let me down!
EDIT: OK, HERE IS THE TUTORIAL! ENJOY IT!
You know… I really do like HTC as a company. Any time I have had issues with their phones or phone software they are always very quick to resolve. That and the fact the support people I have spoken to could not be more helpful.
I was just speaking with the support team, and have been unofficially told that HTC will be releasing Windows Mobile 6.1 for the HTC Touch (and possibly other handsets) before the HTC Diamond is released this month. That is really great news!
That HTC Diamond sure looks nice!
Sorry for the lack of posts, informative and not. It seems that time is limited lately!
In an attempt to kick things off again here… While I was gone, the following happened:
- The Microsoft Flight Simulator Team released FREE Acceleration Pack Missions
- Hidden away in this post, Adrian Woods let us know that he is improving the MaxScript tools in a major way. (I have seen early versions, and designers are going to love the work that he is doing on this!)
- Hal Bryan posted about the MVP summit visit 2008 to the studio on FSInsider.com. He quite clearly noted my skill of “linking people” and letting them do the work!
- Phil Taylor posted about 12 more blogposts to his site, once again providing large insight to FS / ESP team! Check them out! Phil is pretty “straight to the point” and I for one LIKE that…. (Unless, of course, he is straight to the point about me)
- Arno has been working hard on ModelConverterX.
Small Business Server