April 26th, 2018

Active Directoy/MS Exchange Update0

As many of you know my company is implementing Active Directory and MS Exchange over the next month. We decided to contract First Tech Computer in Minneapolis to handle the migration from our NT4 domain to Active Directory and setup/configure MS Exchange to handle our email and eventually our other collaboration efforts. I must say that I have been VERY happy with how it has gone so far. We are all setup and ready to go with some minor cleaning up to do with respects to our NT4 accounts and email accounts, lists, etc. Scott at First Tech has been amazing in not only the setup and configuration of both AD and Exchange, but with explaining himself along the way and making sure I’m involved with things I need to care about once he’s gone. I am also very happy with how Dantz Retrospect handles the backup of Exchange. We tested it out and it is really slick. I have to start getting in the mind set that everything will now reside on a server instead of our clients POP’ing there mail into the email client. It’s amazing to me that Retrospect can backup an individual mailbox and retrieve an individual message back out of the mailbox. Hopefully our users will not start being careless with respect to there email messages because I can see how this could suck up a lot of IT resources.

As we go along with the setup/migration I will keep you updated because I know a lot of people out there have opinions on Exchange and especially how it plays with the Mac. I too have read all the good and bad that people have to say. I will bring you an objective (as much as I can be) perspective of how it’s going and how it actually goes on D-Day (the weekend of Feb. 25th) when we actually go live.

That is all for now. I wonder which of the newly formed MS Companies handles Exchange? Does anyone know. I know MS broke up into three companies, one that handles the OS, one that handles xBox on peripherals and one that handles Office. Maybe the company that handles Office does Exchange.

Senuti -App you must have0

It’s not just iTunes spelled backwards, it’s a great application. Props to my friend Ryan for showing me this. This little beauty allows you to retrieve songs from your iPod in a very “iTunes-like” GUI. When you use this application with your iPod it will show you a nice list of everything on your iPod and allow you to copy them back into iTunes. This is very useful because Apple does not build this functionality into the iPod and iTunes. Why is this useful? Here’s an example. My buddies hard drive died on his G4 PowerMac and he didn’t have his iTunes library backed up. He used Senuti to quickly rebuild his iTunes library saving him all the time in RIPing his CD’s back into iTunes. It also allowed him to bring back all the songs he purchased in the iTunes Music Store. Apple also does not allow you to re-download the songs you purchase. You can read more about this application and download it here.

MacWorld 2006 Recap0

I had the privilege of attending MacWorld 2006 in San Francisco, CA. This was my first MacWorld so it was very overwhelming for me. Luckily a good friend of mine Patrick also was in attendance and showed me the ropes. I would have been completely lost without him, thank you Patrick.

I flew Northworst into San Francisco in the afternoon on Sunday, January 8th. After getting settled Patrick introduced me to several Apple Consultant Network (ACN) members and we headed out for Sushi. It was not the best Sushi experience ever. We sat down in the restaurant for what turned out to be an all night experience. Our drinks took 45 minutes to arrive, our food took 3 1/2 hours and the check took 30 minutes. As many of the 13 ACN members said, it was laughable. Thank god there was a 50’s diner just down the road where we grabbed Malts and fries.

Monday came and I was surprised to learn that the breakfast buffet was free (normally $19) at the hotel. So I invited Patrick over and we both enjoy free breakfast. We then headed over to the Moscone for registration. There was a long line but it moved fast because Apple had a really nice barcode check-in process. Monday was filled with the Power Tools course of choice which for me meant OS X Server Administration. Very informative class however it was very expert level and very long.

Tuesday was the highly anticipated Keynote presentation by Steve Jobs. Where rumor sites were claiming everything for an Apple HD TV to a Mac Mini turned digital media center, both turned out to be false. Apple did however announce they were ahead of schedule on the intel machines and would immediately start shipping an Intel based Mac and would also be shipping a new laptop named the MacBook Pro with a Intel Core Duo processor in February. Apple also announced a big update to the iLife package where they upgraded all the current iLife applications and added a 6th application named iWeb. It is this application that allows me to share my thoughts through a blog so easily. It is a wonderful product! Among many other things Apple mentioned they sold 14 million iPods during the holiday quarter and earned total revenues for all channels in 2005 of $5.7 Billion (with a ‘B’). Wow, quite a year for Apple. After hearing the Keynote I was very unmotivated to be in the second day of the Power Tools course but hung in there as long as I could. The vendor showcase also opened on Tuesday where I was anxious to get my hands on the new Macs and play with the iLife suite.

Wednesday rolled around and I attended the Vendor showcase all day. There was lots and lots to see. I visited many Vendors including Mariner Software, Now Software, Maxtor, LaCie, Adobe, Belkin, Dantz and Microsoft to name a few. There were also many small companies that produce wonderful Macintosh products. Some of these products such as Project X looked to me to be an exceptional piece of project management software. Wednesday was also exciting for me because the Apple Store in San Francisco finally received there copies of iLife ’06 which I immediately ran out and got. The cool part was that while I was waiting in line to pay for my iLife ’06 an Apple employee was walking around with a hand held credit card machine where he was able to ring me up and email me my receipt. Very Cool!

Thursday was filled with more Vendor Showcase. This day I tried to sit in on as many demos as I could. I sat in on Demos from Apple, Maxtor, Roxio and Microsoft to name a few. I learned many things that I didn’t know especially from the people at Microsoft. The Mac Business Unit over there does a great job with Office for Mac.

Friday finally came and it was time to go home. I caught the 6:30am flight home and was happy to see my wife and 2 beautiful girls again. I hope my wife will allow me to attend again next year, I thank her for indulging me in my Mac geekness.

First Blog Post Ever0

Hello World! I think that was the first thing I ever programmed in C++ in college. It was a program that simply displayed, Hello World! Interesting… This is indeed my first blog post ever and I hope it will not be my last. You will find everything on my blog from my professional life to my personal life (OK not too personal). I will try and review products as I see fit, tell you what’s going on in the world of Apple of you care and pretty much talk about whatever I want to. So hang on tight because I hope I will have some interesting things to say.

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