Wednesday, January 30, 2008

PFDAVADMIN, Exchange 2007, and the v1.1 .NET Framework

If you have never used PFDAVADMIN to manage public folders, it is a pretty neat utility. It helps you do a lot of things "in bulk" that you would not easily be able to do otherwise. At least certainly not quickly. And, it works with Exchange 2000/2003/2007!

However, on two different Exchange 2007 servers, I have received messages similar to this:

'Could not expand https://localhost/exadmin/admin/ : name cannot begin with the '0' character, hexadecimal value 0x30. Line 1, position 386'

I figured something was wrong with my public folder configuration, but never did investigate it too closely. Thanks to a discussion I read recently, one of the gurus at Microsoft shed some light on this. This message occurs if you do not have the Microsoft .NET Framework v1.1 installed on the server. (Exchange 2007 uses the v2.0 Framework).

Microsoft recommends using the PFDAVADMIN utility from a workstation, not from the console of the Exchange server, though. If you get this message, do NOT install the v1.1 Framework on an existing Exchange 2007 server. You run the risk of resetting some of the v2.0 Framework settings and, thus, breaking Exchange Server 2007! If you want to run PFDAVADMIN from the console of an Exchange 2007 server, you need to install the v1.1 .NET Framework prior to building Exchange. Thus, the "workstation" option is much more desirable.


Monday, January 28, 2008

GPS, maps, and navigation skills

I'm a whiz at navigation; navigation is one of the few things at which I am probably uncannily good. In Army officer basic, I was the first in my company at land nav (they drop you off out there in "the woods" and you have to make your way through a series of check points. When I go my helicopter and airplane pilots licenses, I could just look at a map and navigate from point A to point B.

One ability that has served me well is taking the rental car company maps and getting to where I needed to go efficiently in a new city. Something I have had to do very frequently. Navigating city streets and subway systems (even in Japan) has always been simple for me.

It just got simpler. A few months ago, I bought a Tomtom GPS. I was in Whistler, British Columbia last week and had to drive to Seattle. When I got ready to leave Whistler, I popped it on the dash, entered the street address in Seattle that I wanted to go to and it calculated a map directly there. AND, it managed to navigate its way through Vancouver, bless its' fuzzy little circuit board.

While I am quite impressed with the technology (it did a few things that were not spot on, but it was nonetheless pretty accurage), I wonder if my land nav skills are going to go the way of my handwriting skills (don't EVER ask me to write something down for you now, I have to type it!)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My apologies to the Canadian power grid

I am in Whistler, British Columbia this week; trying hard not to break some part of my body while sliding down a mountain on a board.

It is almost ridiculous the amount of electronics that I now travel with. I'm traveling with 4 techie friends. I'm surprised that within 10 minutes of us arriving in our condo in Whistler that we had not taken the entire Canadian power grid offline. Here is a list of things that I came up with that we either plugged in and/or started recharging within 15 minutes of getting settled in:

  • 4 laptop computers
  • 4 cell phones
  • 3 iPods
  • 1 generic MP3 player
  • 2 electric razors
  • 1 Tomtom GPS
  • 2 electric tooth brushes
  • 1 portable DVD player

Why doesn't Apple rule the world? Or at least the home desktop

I'm traveling this week; one of my friends works for Apple. So naturally I'm getting an earful of propaganda. I also got a very slick demo of a few very cool things in in Apple OS 10 and the Leopard update to OS 10.

Against my better judgement, I started watching Steve Job's keynote from Macworld last week. Naturally, I appreciate watching a good and engaging speaker. Jobs is both. He is no Dick Hardt, but he is good. But the demos were slick, the iPhone is darned slick, the new iTunes movie rental stuff is very cool, AND I'm ready to buy an Apple TV box when I get home.

So, why does Apple not rule home desktop? I haven't a clue. Other than to venture a guess that many users want to use at home what they use at work. Apple, nice job on the products. When ActiveSync for the iPhone ships, I'm gonna be all over it! Even if it means, gulp, switching to AT&T.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pre-order Battlestar Galactica Season 3!

It is finally here, Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica. See humanity once again rescued from the clutches of the Cylons. See one of the most brilliant military moves ever conceived when the humans are rescued from New Caprica (of course you need a Faster Than Light drive to pull it off)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

PDF Creator at SourceForge

The PDF file format has got to be one of the most useful file formats ever created. I use PDF's daily in both my personal business as well as my real job. I even have a scanner at home that can scan to PDF. While I occasionally need features such as annotation or commenting, I usually just need to create a PDF file from a Word document, PPT presentation, or spreadsheet. I own an ancient copy of Acrobat that is installed on one of my computers, but I have to wait until I'm home to create PDF files.

I have found a great PDF creator tool that is open source. You can download PDF Creator at SourceForge, install it, and be printing to PDF in just a few minutes. All for free!

Also, thanks to my buddy Benjamin Craig for turning me on to Foxit Reader which allows annotation and commenting for any PDF file.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Junk mail efficiency versus government efficiency

A few weeks ago, we officially "spun off" our business, Ithicos Solutions, from my old DBA, ITCS Hawaii. Ithicos Solutions LLC will focus on software development such as the Directory Update, Directory Manager, and Directory Search tools. I used the online registration tools to register the Ithicos Solutions LLC paperwork, get a federal tax ID, register with the State of Hawaii, etc.... Today, I finally got the official tax document from the State of Hawaii. Yet for the past 3 weeks, I have been receiving office supply catalogs, health care provider junk mail, and an offer for a business VISA from Capital One.

The government could sure take some lessons on efficiency from those that send out junk mail.