Monthly Archives: April 2005

BlogCast: Collaborating with a Team Sharepoint site

So when does a demo, stop being a demo, and become a blogcast?  When it’s linked to from a blog……

I came across this demo on the Office site today, and thought it was worth blogging about. There are also links to other Office demos too.   

They are rather slick though, and I do like the home grown feel of blogcasts and how “real” they are.  Steve summed things up well with his explanation

  • Anyone can post them
  • No special software/hardware is required to either view or produce them
  • Microsoft have no control over them – in other words the IT Pro community(you!) decide which are good based on the number of hits you make on them
  • They are concise, to the point, pieces of advice/demonstrations that enable you to take action and get more value from the software you already have – they are definately NOT about getting you to buy stuff
  • Many people are creating new blogcasts every day
  • They are short hence require little of YOUR time, little of the author’s time & can be accessed from low bandwidth connections
  • The are practical
  • They don’t contain any padding hence they get to the point straight away unlike many webcasts!
  • They are free to view and free to produce

So I’ll get back to creating some more home grown blogcasts based on what you want to see.  Mind you, looking at the statistics, all you want to do is play with your Smartphone and customise your OWA skin to something funky!

What else do you want to see?

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LCS 2005 Service Pack 1 released.

Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 is now available so you can now use features like federation, Public IM Connectivity (PIC), and support for the new Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 client.  In addition, there is increased security offered with the URL blocking and SPIM filters to help stop the spread if IM worms. 

Live Communications Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (Build 5470) upgrade is available here:

The 120-day Trial Download that contains LCS 2005 with Integrated SP1 is available here:

The release includes:
Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 SE/EE MSDN CDs, VL CDs and the Eval CD (Build 5470)
Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 SE/EE Upgrade web packages (Build 5470)
Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 SE/EE Eval web packages (Build 5470)

SP1 Documentation on Office Online 
Live Communications Server 2005 with Service Pack 1 Planning Guide
Live Communications Server 2005 Address Book Service Planning and Deployment Guide
Updating to Service Pack 1 and Enabling Public IM Connectivity
Live Communications Server 2005 with Service Pack 1 Feature Guide

LCS 2005 Documents and resources

I’ve been working with some customers recently who are migrating to LCS 2005 and, in the process, I’ve had to do quite a bit of research to answer their various challenges about migration, provisioning, connecting to the client, and deploying the SIP to PSTN gateway.
So here are some of the resources and tools that I’ve been working with to help you if you come across any of the same challenges when you migrate:

Migration
LCS 2005 Planning guide:

Exchange IM customers can directly migrate to LCS 2005. The scripts were released recently as part of the LCS 2005 resource kit – “LCS 2005 and ISA 2000 and as Communicator supports most of the same interfaces as Messenger, so iyou can expose the API’s.  look here:

LCS Capacity Planning Toolkit  to help with the question of what will be the additional overhead on the network as a result of additional presence info once you migrate to Office 2003 

If you’re planning on implrementing LCS with ISA server, you can have a look at Live Communications Server 2005 Access Proxy and Director document, or if you intend to use ISA 2004 for firewalls in conjunction with VPN there is the Configuring Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003 Standard Edition with ISA Server 2000.  This document was actually written for Live Communications Server 2003, many of the concepts apply to Live Communications Server 2005.”

Other documentation for LCS 2005 : which steps through decommissioning and deployment steps that must be taken in order to preserve LCS functionality for users homed on  Standard Edition server before upgrading to Enterprise Edition.

And finally, something that we’ve been playing around with in the Office: Live Communications Server 2005 Deploying a SIP/PSTN Gateway   This document describes how to deploy a SIP/PSTN gateway for Live Communications Server 2005 and how the SIP address is generated.  It works like this:

Windows Messenger will generate a sip address of sip:<phonenumber>@<yourdomain>,uri=phone

<phonenumber> is whatever you enter in the phone dialer

<yourdomain> is whatever is the domain element of your logged in SIP address e.g. if you sign in as joe@abc.com then it will be abc.com.  We’re having a bit of fun with these different scenarios playing with Communicator and seeing just how much it will do!

I’m a security Expert

Hee hee.  I got all of the test questions correct on the Gatekeeper Test. Do I get a prize for being the Ultimate security Expert then?   I’d like to win a Tablet PC… My team mates won’t play against me in a mini league (apart from Steve of course) so I can’t show off even more….

Now if there was an Exchange Test……

Putting the MOM agent into maintenance mode

Tony asked me if there was an easy and quick way to put the MOM agent into maintenance mode for troubleshooting.  Well, Tony, you can use the MOM information utility (MOMInfo) which is in the Resource kit which runs from the command line and puts the agent into this mode.  Download it here…

There are quite a few whizzy other tools in the Reskit that you can play with too…

Ratio of Exchange 2003 Admins to number of Exchange servers

I noticed a question from a customer who was curious to know how many mailboxes we had at Microsoft, and how many sites, servers and admins we used.  Mark answered the question with a set of links that tells all…

Deploying a Worldwide Site Consolidation Solution for Exchange Server 2003 at Microsoft

Exchange Server 2003 Design and Architecture at Microsoft

Messaging Operations at Microsoft

If you don’t get round to reading all the documents, we’ve got lots and lots of mailboxes, several servers, a few sites and not many admins at all… 

Mulberry Jam

I had an email overnight from Bob which was so different from the normal questions and comments I usually get about Exchange, SMS and MOM that I thought I’d answer it on my blog… Here’s his mail:

Hi Eileen,

I followed a few links through your blog and discovered your interest in making Jam.  I live in Australia and last year the birds had a great feed from my Mulberry tree growing in the back yard.  I have been half-heartedly searching for a recipe for Mulberry Jam as a way to use up all the berries I am expecting from this year’s crop.

Do you have a good recipe for making Jam from Mulberries (or black berries or raspberries or similar) that you could share?

Happy Jamming, Bob

Well, it’s quite a challenge to find out that I make Jam, just from reading this blog so I was impressed by Bob’s persistance in discovering this, and I thought it was worth answering with a slightly “off topic” blog entry! (By the way, for other similarly persistant souls, what else do I do that is a little bit different?)

So here is the recipe for Mulberry and Apple jam from my grandmothers cookbook:

Mulberry and Apple Jam -Makes about 2.3kg (5lb)

1.4kg (3lb) mulberries

450g (1lb) apples (prepared weight)

600ml (1pt) water

1.6kg (3.5 lb sugar)

Wash the mulberries and simmer them in half the measured water until they are soft. Peel, core and slice the apples, weigh them and simmer gently in the remaining water until they are really soft and pulped. Combine the mulberries and the apples and add the sugar. Stir until this is dissolved and then boil the jam until setting point is reached. Pot and cover in the usual way.

The key is to add the apples to mulberries to give the pectin content needed to make the jam set. The alternative is to use lemon juice, or pectin liquid. Blackberry jam also needs lemon juice to set properly, as does Strawberry. Raspberries are fine without the additional pectin, but will give a softer jam.

What a shame that Bob lives in Australia as I’d have looked forward to sampling the finished produce!  But thanks to him, I have an unusual topic to blog about this morning!