Thursday, October 27, 2005

ClearType Tuner Power Toy

So everyone in the office seems to be getting the same Dell Widescreen LCD monitor. Dang it's a nice monitor, and manages to satisify all of our apple-envy on their big montiors. Well, my manager stops by the other day and says to me "WOW! Those fonts look awesome, how come my fonts don't look that good?"

Easy-peasy. XP has a set of Power Toys, and one of those power toys is the ClearType tuner PowerToy (download link). It's a cool little control pannel application that when you run it, you choose which text looks better on your screen and click next a few times.

It's that easy. When you're finished, you're clear-type text will look great and people will marvel at your display, even if it is a cheaper one...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Getting "UserName" back on the OWA logon page

So, against Susan's wishes, I installed Exchange Service Pack 2 at home this morning before I headed into the office. Infact, it was installing while I was in the shower! Sorry Susan.

Anyways, I have folks who log into to check their email (AKA my grandfather), who would probably phone me if that didn't say "username". So I changed it. It was simple:

  1. Browse to the Exchsrv program files directory, mine is at c:\program files\exchsrv.

  2. Continue expanding exchweb, bin, auth.

  3. In this directory, choose the language(s) you're going to be serving up to the web and open each of these folders. For me, I opened the usa folder to change English only

  4. In the file, look for the line that contains CONST L_UserName_Text = "Domain\user name:". Now simply change the peice that says "Domain\user name:" to "Username:".

  5. Repeat for each additional language

There you have it, now when you're users go to the OWA logon page, they will just see the "Username:".

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2

So Exchange Service Pack 2 released yesterday! You should start planning accordingly to get this service pack on your Small Business Server 2003 box! As Susan says, you might not want to Install it over a lunch hour, but definately plan for it.

Download details: Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Just so you're aware, we've been running Exchange Service Pack 2 on the SBS Catfood server for about a week and a half now, and there have been no issues. Of course the OWA logon page now reads DOMAIN\USER, but you can still log on with just username.

One of the big things to note is the new mobility features with Windows Mobile 5.0!
  • Syncing of Contact pictures

  • Security control over devices in the field

  • Remote wipe of device

  • Always up to date without SMS

  • and more ...

Exchange Service Pack 2 is pretty exciting for mobile users....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

More on the MSN Search Toolbar

A little bit more on the search thing. Chad inspired me to check out the shortcuts. This thing is really powerful! You can launch applications, web queries, desktop queries, open documents and everything!

All you need to do is read the
Toolbar Help: Use Deskbar shortcuts

In addition, you can transport your shortcuts from computer to computer simply by copying the .ini file mentioned at the bottom of the link.

Pretty cool if you ask me.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

New Search...

When you host your blog on Google, you get search by default. However, I'm in the process of de-Googling my life to see what it's like. I'm primarily moving over to the MSN Search engine.

What am I crazy???

No, I'm not crazy, I'm primarily moving because I like the MSN Desktop search, and MSN IE toolbar (available here) are *way* better than Google's in my oppinion. The MSN toobar gives IE Tabs, which is ok if you like tabs (I'm not a huge fan). But the plug ins are awesome. My favourites are:
I also changed my home page to MSN Search on all of my PCs. The final thing I have left to do is remove the Google Toolbar, however, the "Blog This!" link is too handy...

Oh yeah, and the point of this post. I've added MSN Search to this blog, which IMO does a better job at finding things, I searched with Google for "IMAP" this morning and didn't find anything until I added the MSN Search. Try it!

Oh, and it's good to use, our MVPs are using it!

Checking 2 Exchange servers on the SmartPhone

I appologize that it's been a while since my last post, I've been busy. There is this thing called SBS that apparently Microsoft wants to ship another version of. Since this decision was made, I've been typing like a mad man into Microsoft Word, building specifications for the new version. Let me tell you, once you've been typing non-stop for about 5 to 6 hours, the absolutely last thing you want to do, is open up IE, point it to your bloggosphere and start typing again. Plus it wouldn't be prudent to type half my spec in the blog would it?

We call that type of mistake a CLM.... Career Limiting Move. I kind of like my Career thank-you... so, no secrets for you ... just yet anyways.

Now onto the task at hand. I'm a geek, although some non-geeks probably consider me an "ultra-geek", I only think I am at the geek level. I don't have the API set for ISA in my head for one thing, I have no idea how many lines of code are in CEICW, and I don't build new dyndns clients in my spare time. :) (Geez, I hope none of those people read this post. )

But... I do run SBS 2003 SP1 at my house! This leaves me in an interesting delema. Which server do I synch my phone against?

Well, naturally, since the calendar gets updated WAY more often at work, I chose that one. Since I have the Unlimited Data Plan, I tend to use the data way more than I actually need, just to look up or get useless things on my phone.

I'm already setup via ActiveSync against the work server and it works great. But I've been using OMA Browse to my home server simply by going to . It's ok, but not ideal.

I decided to switch it to IMAP4. I first enabled IMAP4 on my Home Exchange server. The on the phone, I went into my ActiveSync inbox and did the following:
  1. Clicked on Menu, and then Options

  2. Clicked on New Account and followed the little wizard on the screen

Now every hour, the phone *also* checks my home email account and downloads the message. It seems to drop off the schedule if you run out of cell signal though, that's a little frustrating.

But the beauty is, the new messages show up on the home screen when they arrive, and you get the notification (which on my phone just happens to be "Woo hoo").

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday, October 03, 2005

Office 12 UI shown at PDC...

Office 12 has been seeing some press lately. Specifically around the new UI they are building. I've tried it, and it is indeed very different. I do think the majority of the UI is very intuitive and easy to use, but as with any new UI, you have trouble finding those less used features ...

Check out the menu system at This Blog, and more UI at the Silicon Valley Sleuth site.

Keep in mind that Office is still in development, so naturally the UI might not look like this when you receive it.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A tad late, but Bill Gates on Channel9!

I know this is "Three Weeks Ago" according to the fancy Outlook 2003 groupings, but I thought I'd share it for those of you who haddn't seen it already.

Bill Gates was interviewed on Channel9!

And because everyone already asks, have I met Bill? No.

The closest I've been to Bill Gates was at an internal product fair after a company meeting. I was standing at the Small Business Server 2003 booth, and I was talking to one of my fellow employees (who knew nothing about SBS other than it was for small businesses), and my co-worker and friend was pointing to behind me with big-wide eyes. I saw him out of the courner of my eye and kept waving my hand as if to say "Hello! I'm talking to a customer here, stop being a goof-ball!", but sure enough, I had my back to Bill Gates as he was visiting the booth directly behind me (MS Baseline Security Analyzer)...

I missed my opportunity, but I did get another employee running SBS at home, so that has to be a good accomplishment in itself! :)

The few ruin it for the many....

Like everything, the few ruin it for everyone else. Last night I mistakenly left my volume up on my computer (hey, it's my media center, and I was watching a great show!). The computer is two rooms away from my bedroom, but I could still hear every new email that came in.

Surprisingly, this coencided exactly to when this blog got spammed all through the night. I now have 27 blog posts to go and clean up, wonderful.

I get why Susan is so security happy on her comments now.

Anyways, I was going to turn comments off, but then I noticed I could have the funky word thing (or rather computer spoofer. So sorry, you have to deal with that now.