Tuesday, September 27, 2005

SmartPhone Themes

As you know, I got the Audiovox SMT 5600 some while ago, and I felt special. That was until 18,000 of my closes Microsoft peers also go the same phone, then I felt more like a lemming.

But, after putting on my thinking cap, and applying my same knowledge of customization to my smartphone that I do with my desktop, I got to thinking: I could make this phone truely mine.

I started with ring tones & sounds. I have the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song as my ring tone. It works out quite nicely. I also have some pretty wacky sounds as reminders and new item notification.

I still felt like a lemming, my phone looks like everyone else's... So naturally, I started putting my own photos on the home screen, then I thought about the colours, and I found this wonderful page on SmartPhone Themes! (make sure you drop the "goto category" drop down, there are hundreds of themes here!).

Then I figured, why stop there (by this time, you know how much of a time synch this has been, my poor puppy, he wants to play, and I'm knee deep in xml writing a new SBS 2003 unofficial smartphone theme!

That's right, you heard me, In my spare time, I'm writing a new theme, I'm optomizing it around visibility, simplicity and clarity. Which of course just sums up in "damn cool!" Once I get it complete, I'll post it here. I'd say I'm about a 1/4 of the way through.

Don't be lame, customize!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

How to configure a firewall for domains and trusts

Came across this interesting article the other day. Apparently, (for non ISA users of SBS SP1) you can run the Windows Firewall on your LAN nic to protect the server from the network side. The Article on
How to configure a firewall for domains and trusts (KB 179442) tells you how.

I wouldn't recommend it if you're not extremely familiar with the how to master the Windows Firewall configuration....

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search Add-ins

If you're using the MSN Search Toolbar, this one's fory ou. As it happens, there is a Phishing Filter Add-In.

The Phishing Filter Add-in offers access to the beta version of a new dynamic online service, updated several times an hour to warn you and help protect your personal information from these fraudulent websites by:

  • Scanning websites you visit and warning you if they are potentially suspicious.

  • Dynamically checking the web sites you visit with up to the hour online information via an online service run by Microsoft and blocking you from sharing personal information if a site is a known phishing website.

  • Just make sure you have Service Pack 2 and IE 6!

Windows Media Player to Update ID3 Tag Info

For a while now, I've been looking for a good ID3 tag updater, mainly because the Genre's are all messed up and I have about 80 different Genre's. Rock, Rock & Pop, Pop, the list goes on of just usless Genre's. Plus some music is put into the wrong Genre from what I consider it.

I then realized, I probably had a pretty powerful ID3 tag updater with just Windows Media Player. I was right! I just didn't know how to use it.

Basically, select the song(s) you want to update, within the WMP Library, right click and choose "Advanced Tag Editor". Now you can update the Tag info using this editor. The data gets written to the disk, as well as the WMP library catalog, so you're changes take place and are saved for all eterity.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Watch your Routers

So, I'm in Chicago right now. Very cool city and just a wee bit bigger than Seattle. The architecture is really cool! The good news is we're out collecting data for the next version of SBS. If you're in Chicago, good luck trying to find me, the room that I'm in, has no windows!

Anyways, we managed to visit a small business site today, I always like going to visit a site, they had a very small (but seeminly highly effective) office, a number of printers, a number of new Dell computers. While they weren't running SBS, they did have an SBS like setup, a domain, in a single-nic environment.

One thing I noticed, was they had a hardware firewall router as their gateway to the Internet, then in addition, they had a Wireless Router/gateway device that provided wireless access to their network. One of my major concerns is people who put their routers in their network, and then don't use them in bridge mode.

Of course, both Bridge mode and router mode are ok, just keep in mind that if it's not in Bridge mode, you're desktops won't be able to "see" the wireless computers, as they will be behind a NAT/Firewall.

This information might help when you setup your Wireless Access Point, make sure you choose what's best for your network.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Tablet PC Add-ons

Tablet PC is one of Microsoft's great inventions. I have one, and I really do like it. Granted that I use it as a laptop for the most part, but when standing in the back of a conference like SMB Nation, tablet mode comes in very handy! It's also nice to carry around the PC in tablet mode, so you never have to open it up to see when the next meeting is.

Anyways, the Tablet team at Microsoft has been working very hard and has produced more software for you to use on your Tablet. If you haven't already checked it out, you can try the:

Also, if you haven't tried OneNote with a tablet, you should, it's amazing. My favourite feature is you can write down key words while recording a conversation and it links the audio to that point in the conversation, so you can instantly jump to that place. Comes in very handy note taking when you need to not miss a beat!

To my Readers ... Thanks!

So, on Friday I attended the SMB Nation 2005 Conference here at Microsoft, I spent little time in the seminars, and most of my time at the SBS booth talking to our valued partners. I was surprised and shocked of how many of you had seen my blog and liked it. So I just wanted to write quickly to say thanks! It's always nice to hear that this is useful.

In addition, I feel somewhat bad for not posting as often as I used to. With the R2 version of SBS and the version that will ship on the tip of the Longhorn wave, there has been plenty to keep me busy beyond the normal business hours, and sometimes, blogging just doesn't reach the top of the priority plate. Or sometimes, I spend my entire day working on items I'm not able to blog about.

However, I am planning on blogging on these topics within the next few weeks
  • How to host multiple websites when running ISA 2004

  • How to build a secure wireless network using WPA encryption

So please continue to keep an eye here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Windows Media Player Doesn't have to be in the Right

So this is a rather lame post, meaning it's not really that technical. But I didn't know how to do this. Windows Media Player (WMP) has the ability to minimize to the task bar, so you can get a quick menu access to your songs and playlists, access to play, pause, stop, prev/next track and volume and mute. You simply right click the task bar, go to toolbars, and choose "Windows Media Player". Now when you minimize WMP it drops to the task bar ... on the right side.

Now with every other toolbar, I know you can move it around on the task bar, whether it's 2 lines, 6 lines or just 1. You can actually grab the handle in front of WMP and drag it anywhere you want on the start bar.

Seems weird that I didn't know this, but I figured I'd blog it in case. Worse comes to worse, it's up here so at least I remember it. :)