Aug 312010
 

For those of you who have tried installing Exchange SP2 on SBS 2008 but have had it fail during its initial steps, this blog post is for you!

Microsoft has created a tool that you can download and install which permits you to install Exchange SP2 on SBS 2008.

For more information on the procedure and to download the tool please see:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974271/

I cannot stress enough on the importance of a backup in case things go wrong. I have performed this at numerous client locations, most successful; however in one instance while SP2 was installing, the update failed and totally removed Exchange from SBS 2008. This was unrecoverable and a full restore from a backup would have been needed (thankfully this was the configuration of a new server so we just restarted the implementation).

Aug 292010
 

A really cool feature of Microsoft Office 2007 and Office 2010 is that you can post directly to your blog right from the application. Using Word, you can configure your blogging accounts (which includes WordPress, Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, SharePoint Blog, Community Server, and Typepad), type up a blog, and then submit it your blogging account right from Word!

I’m actually writing this right now inside of Office 2010 configured for my personal blog (http://www.stephenwagner.com).

To get to the section of Microsoft Word to configure you accounts:

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Select the File Menu
  3. Select “Save & Send”.
  4. Select “Publish as Blog Post”, and then select “Publish as Blog Post” on the right hand side.
  5. You can now start to configure your Blog accounts and publish directly from Office.

Later on, if you need to modify your accounts, select the “Manage Accounts” button on the top after going into the “Publish as Blog Post”.

Aug 252010
 

Quick rant!

We need a pimped out version of Microsoft OneNote which sync’s with exchange, a dual screen tablet from Microsoft, and handwriting recognition on the tablet.

1) Go to a business meeting, whip up a OneNote note using the tablet instead of laptop or paper.

2) Attach a “Category” to the notes page you just made, then using the stylus drag and flick it over to the other page which “symbolizes” adding/indexing it on to your exchange server. Now the notes are organized and added to the client file on your server! Handwriting was recognized and you just saved yourself a bunch of time!

3) Log on to desktop at office, retrieve notes and work on proposal!

Microsoft, you have the potential! Let’s make it happen!

Aug 232010
 

Well,

Received my FREE (yes free) HP Mini 210 today from HP BlueCarpet (rewards program for HP Partners for selling stuff). I have to say this device is SHAWEET. Way better than my Acer One.

Anyways, to cut to the chase, I’ve got info, I’ve reviewed every service manual, and PDF doc there is. I beleive I can get 3G running on this puppy using the PROPER equipment (utilizing the built in SIM slot, all HP).

Two seperate things are required. HP 3G/HSPA/HSDPA/GSM modem, and the WWAN antennas to be mounted in the display. I’m ordering the parts soon, I’ll post a how to and keep you updated on my progress.

And this device is definitely worth a review (it’s amazing)! Keep posted for that as well.

Aug 202010
 

Well, it was time for me to get a new phone. I needed something that ran Windows Mobile (for Exchange ActiveSync, and other business reasons) so I went ahead and purchased an Xperia X2.

After ordering, I received a unit that looked like it was a repack. Went ahead and sent it back. Here’s where things get interesting. The company where I purchased it from took back the first, ordered a second (from Sony Ericsson), and wouldn’t ship that unit to me saying that it looked like it had been tampered with. Finally a 3rd unit came in which they did send out to me and WAS factory sealed.

Upon receiving this unit, after breaking the factory seal on the box, it looked as if the phone had been tampered with (the internals of the box had been ripped, battery package was crinkled, and the phone packaging was crinkled). Obviously someone at Sony Ericsson had opened the package to do something, and re-sealed it. I’ve come to believe this was probably to perform a firmware update on the device.

After getting everything out, I noticed that the phone felt very cheap. The phone felt mostly like very light plastic and slips on the skin very easily (instantly I had a vision in my mind of me walking down the street and having it slip out of my hand and crack into a million pieces on the ground). This scared me even though I have never damaged a phone as a result of my own doings.

Before I did anything, I downloaded the SE update utility to upgrade it to the latest firmware, there was one update available. After the update was complete, it took around 30 minutes for all the customization to take place.

After this was all complete and it was finally time to use the phone, I noticed how buggy the firmware was. Programs would freeze, they would open and instantly close by themselves, you have to use quite a bit of force on the resistant screen to trigger anything (which often cause accidental triggers when scrolling).

I actually ended up going to “Remove Programs” and removed a lot of the software installed on the phone, along with a lot of the panels which did help, but the device is still in an “ugly” state.

Although I’ve finally gotten the phone to a point where I can use it to send and receive e-mails I still regret purchasing this device.

Pros:

-Larger keyboard than X1

-Very nice display

-One of the few Windows Mobile 6.5 devices that operate on 850Mhz for HSUPA internet.

-HSUPA is FRIGGIN FAST!

-GPS connects VERY quickly to get a fix on your position (using google maps)

Cons:

-EVERYTHING

-Sluggish OS

-Backlight stays on sometimes even after powering off the phone (YES, you turn it off, and the backlight on the screen stays on! WTF???)

-Battery usage is HORRIBLE

-Operating system is glitchy (although I think this is because of the firmware and customizations built in)

-Text Messaging (SMS) timestamps can’t be fixed using WM 6.1 registry key (TrustTimeZoneField)

-Feels cheap

-No Up/Down/Right/Left keys on front of device, they are now on keyboard

-No “Ok” button on keyboard

-Scrolling must be done using optical track pad, or dragging the stylus/finger (often glitchy)

-Microsoft Tag (application) rotates camera view 90 degrees for some reason.

-After installing “Qik” (application), when launching it presents a black screen and then crashes (I’m guessing?)

Ultimately I wish I could return this device, however it’s performing the way it should be therefor it’s not the resellers fault.

I’ve checked all over the internet for bug fixes, user input, etc… on these issues, and it’s amazing how full the internet is of hatred for this device.

They really need to step up to the plate and release a firmware update to resolve all these issues… Why not remove all the fancy stuff and just put a typical clean WM 6.5 install on it? I feel like crying!

Aug 202010
 

If you’ve tried configuring your Windows Mobile device to connect to your exchange server, but have been receiving errors on the lack of a certificate issue, this may help.

Keep in mind it’s always best to contact your local IT department to find out if they have an easier way of doing this, or a better way.

If your desktop computer at work is joined to the domain, chances are you have a certificate installed that authenticates various systems on your network. By extracting this certificate and installing it on your Windows Mobile device, chances are this will solve your issues.

Keep in mind that if your IT department did not generate your Exchange SSL cert from the domain certificate authority this won’t work.

Now let’s get started…

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Press the “Alt” button to expose the menu
  3. Select “Tools” then “Internet Options”
  4. Select the “Content Tab”, and hit the “Certificates” button.
  5. Select the “Trusted Root Certification Authorities”.
  6. Now look through the list and look for something that may contain your Company’s name in it, or the name of one of your network servers.
  7. Once you find this, click once to highlight, and select the “Export” button.
  8. Go through the wizard and leave all defaults. At the very end where it asks you to choose a file, save it on your desktop and call it “cert.cer”.
  9. Copy this file to your Windows Mobile Device (using a Memory Card, or a Sync function).
  10. On your Windows Mobile device, use the File Explorer to browse to the location where you saved your cert.cer file, and select it to run. It should say “You have successfully installed a certificate”.

Now go ahead and configure your Exchange account and chances are it should work!

Keep in mind that some carriers lock down devices to avoid the installation of untrusted certificates. I haven’t run in to this issue, but I have heard about it happening. If this is the case, you will need to do some research on your phone and find a way to bypass this security block.

Aug 182010
 

So, the question I ask myself today is “What happened to Windows Mobile, and where is it going?”

Back earlier this year I got a corporate Rogers account setup for my company. Got a bunch of Xperia X1’s comped under the contract. I’ve had an old Xperia X1 for years (bought it from europe) and loved it back when it was considered one of the newer Windows Mobile phones, but hey, if you can get the same phone free again, why not right?

Anyways, to cut the story short one of the phones on my account got run over, and then mine just mysteriously died out (issues with the ribbon cable). Both were not repairable. Called Rogers, got one replaced under “Out of Warranty” (it’s been weeks since the order was placed, still no sign), then they ran out of stock (for my phone).

So here I am, this was the perfect opportunity for me to go ahead and see what’s new on the market in regards to Windows Mobile devices. I figured I’d just go ahead and buy a new device unlocked straight out (NOT from the local providers).

In my search I’ve come to the following conclusions:

1) All the new sweet phones don’t support the local HSPA frequencies in North America (high speed internet). I’m guessing there’s not enough interest in North America for WM phones.

2) Not too many companies are selling WM phones anymore in North America.

3) Turns out they released WM 7 and it sounded like it was horrible.

4) WM is still super popular in Europe.

5) People are obsessed with the iPhone, and anything that has the word “Google” or “Android” in it. (I bet they couldn’t even explain why they like the products).

Sure the iPhone is great for consumers, and for the simple professionals who don’t rely on their phone to often, but WTF??? And BlackBerry’s are not an option for me. I don’t have the time, patience, or want to setup my own BES server, maintain it, and learn the BB interface and run into limitations I wouldn’t if I was running Windows Mobile.

I’ve been a long term user of Windows Mobile devices. I love the layout, the way they work, the Exchange Push/Sync capabilities. Even the application development possibilities are sweet! But where are the stinking phones? I’m going to have a breakdown if they become extinct!

Anyways, bought an Xperia X2a since it’s one of the newer (actually not so new) phones that you can buy that work HSPA on 850Mhz. I should be receiving it tomorrow. I’ll probably be posting a review, and notes on configuration, etc…

It’s too bad I couldn’t get my hands on a HTC HD2, or a HTC Touch Pro 2.

I’m finishing this off with a question to Microsoft! What happens next? We need to put more dough in to marketing and development, we need to push this product out the ying yang! Outsource to me, I’ll be able to advise on what needs to be done to get a sweet ass device that has a potential to make some HUGE dough in both business markets and consumer markets.

Aug 162010
 

Pictures from a camping trip last weekend. Covered a large part of southern Alberta looking for the perfect campground!