Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blocking Specific Versions of Outlook

You want to be able to control which versions of Outlook connect to your Exchange servers using MAPI, to prevent users from running older, unpatched versions or from running beta versions. Or you may want to completely disable the use of MAPI.

Here is how to do this via the command line - where you can add it into a script for multiple server deployment.

Reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet \Services\MSExchangeIS\ParametersSystem /t REG_SZ /v "Disable MAPI Clients" /d "-11.5608.5606"
Net stop msexchangeis /y
Net start msexchagneis

Friday, May 26, 2006

Saving for my XBox 360

Okay.. For a geek, I am a little behind the technology cutting edge. Hey.. I have two kids and a wife, need I say more? So, I have been putting together a little savings plan together to buy my very own Xbox 360. I think that I even have my wife convinced that this is a good thing. She wants the bubble blasting game, Zuma. The one rule is that it has to be wireless. With my current Xbox, the cords are everywhere - Cat5, controllers, power, TV connector, ect. I think that she is tired of tripping over the controller cables. I am also getting FIOS (fiber) to the house for faster game play. (oh, did that come out???) I mean that it is enable faster downloads for email.. yeah.. that’s it.. email… So, I am looking at deals with wireless everything. I figure that it is going to cost me about $600, including a couple of games. I figure that I will have the money way before Christmas, but I might wait until the Christmas Sales come out or until Halo 3 has a release date. All this for Halo 3… uh, NO, No, no, no.. YES!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

How to Perform an Offline Defrag on Exchange

I can not believe that I have not posted this before.

Part of the routine maintenance on Exchange Servers to take the Information stores down and run an offline defragmentation on them. This is done because the size of a database does not shrink as items are deleted or moved from within. Over time the database will grow through normal usage and could reach a size that is unmanageable. By routinely doing a defrag, we can make current used space contiguous (improved performance), eliminate unused storage space, and compact the database thus reducing its size.

The database is defragged using the ESEUTIL.exe command found in the c:\exchsrvr\bin directory. Eseutil basically copies all the current storages (mailboxes) and exports them to a newly created file. The process runs until all information has been copied to the new file. Then the original database (priv.edb) is deleted and the temp database is renamed to become the new compacted priv.edb.

Preliminary Steps (Both Processes)
1. Stop the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant (This will stop all other associated services as well)
2. Determine that enough space is available to run the offline defrag.

Same Server Defrag Steps
1. At a command prompt, change directory to the location of the database
2. Type the command below, including quotes:
“c:\program files\exchsrvr\bin\eseutil” /d e:\mdbdata\store1\priv.edb
3. The defrag will begin and the status will be displayed.
4. Once the defrag has completed restart the Microsoft Information Store (this will start all other necessary services).
5. Restart Exchange Service Anti-Virus software services.
6. Start a back-up run on the newly defragged database.

Separate Server Defrag Steps
1. From the original Exchange server, map a drive to the remote server with enough space for the defrag.
2. Create a blank directory on the remote server called exdefrag and copy the files below to this directory.
Ese.dll, jcb.dll, Eseutil.exe - located in the c:\winnt\system32 directory
Priv.edb - located in the e:\mdbdata\store1 directory
3. Open a command prompt on the server where the files have been moved to.
4. Change directory to the exdefrag directory that was created.
5. Type the command below, including quotes:
“c:\program files\exchsrvr\bin\eseutil” /d e:\mdbdata\store1\priv.edb
6. The defrag will begin and the status will be displayed.
7. Once the defrag has completed copy the new smaller priv.edb file back to its original server.
8. Restart the Microsoft Information Store service where the database resides (this will start all other necessary services as well).
9. Restart Exchange Service Anti-Virus software services.
10. Remove exdefrag directory from the remote server and logout.
11. Start a back-up run on the newly defragged database.

A same server defrag is much easier and far less of a hassle, but if you don’t have the necessary space, it is possible to defrag the store on another server.

Outlook Deleted Item Recovery

How to Recover Deleted Items from any Outlook Folder

Under Outlook's default settings, deleted item recovery is possible only from the deleted items folder. The following registry modification will allow one to recover items from any Outlook folder, including items that were hard deleted, using shift-delete. It should be noted that the prerequisite for recovery of any deleted items, is that a deleted items retention time has been specified for the private and/or public information store on the Exchange server. Only items deleted within the specified retention period are recoverable. The following solution has been tested, and is known to work on Microsoft Outlook 97,98,2000, 2002 (XP), and 2003.

1. Run regedit on client workstation and locate following hive
2. HKLM---Software----Microsoft----Exchange-----Client-----Options
3. Add a DWORD and name it DumpsterAlwaysOn
4. Give the newly created DWORD a value of 1
5. If Outlook is running, close it and restart it.
6. Set Outlook Client to open user’s mailbox
7. Highlight inbox
8. Select recover deleted items from the tools menu
9. Select the messages that need to be recovered and click on the recover button.

Full Exchange Log Drive?

How to remedy a full Exchange log drive

Under some circumstances, it is possible that the drive partition that contains the Exchange transaction logs may fill up. This can be caused by either backups not completing successfully, or an extremely large amount of mail being sent or received in a short amount of time. A filled log drive will cause the Exchange Store to stop and users will not be able to connect to the server.

An online backup needs to be run to clear the transaction logs from the Log drive. The log files can be moved before they fill up and a backup can be done. However, there will be no access to the server while the logs are being moved.

Here are the steps to move the log files from the log drive to another drive.

1. Connect to the server
2. Run the Exchange System Manager
3. In System manager, go to the Administrative group of the server
4. Expand the Admin Group, expand the Servers container, Click on the server name
5. Expand the server, Click on the First Storage Group container
6. Right click on the First Storage Group Container, Choose properties
7. Click the browse button under the Transaction log location
8. Select the E drive and the MDBDATA\Store1 location
9. Click OK to close the dialog
10. Click ok to close the First storage group properties
11. A warning will appear telling you that the database needs to go offline to complete. Click OK
12. Log files will start moving to the new drive.
13. Close System manager once complete.

Once the log files have been moved. Start a backup to have them removed/cleaned up. After the backup has been run successfully, the log files must be moved back to the correct location on the Log drive.

Yes, it is true that you can check the enable circular logging and restart Exchange. This would effetely flush your logs, However, that means that your point in time restore just went out the window.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Exchange 12 and Office 12 - Review

I have not talked much about Exchange 12 or Office 12 (2007). I attending some webcasts and a meeting held at Microsoft about Exchange 12, it looks really cool.. Requirements are a bit steep. The ESM console has been changed, again, hopefully in a more logical manor. There is even more integration with Office, Exchange, VOIP, IM, etc… With the introduction of even more things that tie your environment together has a tendency of breaking.

So… I had to give Office 12 a try. I had Beta 1, in which was buggy as all hell. Much like my Mac experience, Poof, where did my application go? It shutdown – hopefully you saved. The ribbon bar, common functions that people use all the time, takes time to get a handle on it. Some things that I use all the time, like “save as” are not there. But, do not fear, you can customize an additional menu bar with all the things that are missing. I just downloaded and installed the new rev. Beta 2, which seems to be a little more stable. It has not crashed on me yet.

I really like what they did with Outlook. Much like Office 2003 (11), you have the same Mail / Mail folders view, they have added a To-Do Bar that has a calendar, events for the week and task bar. I really like this feature. Having a calendar and what I have scheduled right there for me to look at. LOVE IT. They have also added a feature of color coding emails, I don’t really use it or like it. I could see some sales or executive using this feature, but it really does nothing for me.

Also, they have build in an RSS feed into your Outlook client. Kinda cool, if you are into RSS feeds. I setup a couple which I look at, on a weekly basis.

All in all, looks cool and would like to see what the final product will shake out to become.

Exchange (SMTP) and Cisco PIX Firewall

There is an issue with sending and receiving SMTP mail from an Exchange Server through a Cisco PIX Firewall.

The solution is to be performed on the Cisco PIX, disable the MailGuard (SMTP fixup) feature on the PIX firewall, which is on by default. Run the following command form the PIX command line:

No fixup protocol smtp 25

Here is the step-by-step according to Microsoft.
To turn off the Mailguard feature of the PIX firewall:
1.Log on to the PIX firewall by establishing a telnet session or by using the console.
2.Type enable, and then press ENTER.
3.When you are prompted for your password, type your password, and then press ENTER.
4.Type configure terminal, and then press ENTER.
5.Type no fixup protocol smtp 25, and then press ENTER.
6.Type write memory, and then press ENTER.
7.Restart or reload the PIX firewall.

While the Cisco PIX firewall is generally a capable firewall, the MailGuard SMTP proxy feature has long been a source of problems, not just for Exchange, but for SMTP servers in general. However, it is an easy fix to resolve.

Here is the Microsoft article on this:

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Movie Review: The Church & Firefly

The Church (1989)
Michele Soavi (Cemetery Man), best known as Dario Argento's protege, directed this film, which was originally released as Demons 3. The story begins in the 13th century, as the Knights Templar destroy a village to erect a cathedral on the land. Flashing forward to the present, the cathedral is now haunted and, because a long sealed crypt has recently been opened, a torrent of evil spirits is rushing through the building.” – Netflix

Another Argento flick that is worth a watch. Great story line, even though the acting is a bit cheesy. It is not a film that is full of action that keeps you on the edge of your seat like Mission Impossible III. Argento’s films are more “mental” than anything else. There is some nudity in this film, not much to speak of. There is also two sex scenes, one involving a goat-like demon creature.

Firefly (Disk 1)
“Set almost 500 years in the future, this short-lived but much-loved TV series follows the adventures of the ragtag crew (Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk and others) of the transport spaceship Serenity. No job is too small, too dirty or too close to the line of illegality for the crew to tackle to remain fed and fueled. But when a passenger is wanted by the ruling Alliance regime, the Firefly must hide out the dangerous fringes of space.” - Netflix

Well, the movie Senerity now makes more sense. It begins by explaining the Captain and First Mate's relationship, the civil war, and how the crew became together. It also introduces the Allance, the Preacher, and the ambassador (high-paid hooker). I throughly enjoyed the first two eposodes - sex, violence, pillaging, sexy actresses… How did I miss this series? It must have been at the same time as Babylon 5, SG1 or Star Trek. I am glad that they started putting many of the TV shows on DVD. Yes, I did rent the A-Team for old time sake - “I pitty the fool”. I will defantally have to rent the rest, these actaully may be a buy. We will have to wait and see.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Movie Review: Four of the Apocalypse (1975)

I finally rented Four of the Apocalypse (1975), Fulci’s western. “One of filmmaker Lucio Fulci's most explosive spaghetti Westerns, Four of the Apocalypse is now available in its original, uncut version with Fabio Testi in the role of Stubby Preston, a gambler who leads a pack of renegades in search of freedom and reinvention. Only the villainous Chaco can run them off their path, roping them into a game of cat and mouse in the middle of a desolate and dangerous land.” - Netflix

Fulci is famous for horror flicks that I have previewed in the past, which are quite good. I do have to say that normally I do not really enjoy Westerns. Red River is about the only one that I would say that I actually enjoyed. However, he did really a nice job and actually enjoyed watching how the movie played out. Now there is some nudity (Lynne Frederick) who is quite attractive and young looking. So, seeing her topless is worth a half star. There is also a “rape” scene, which I am putting in quotes. The scene is more of “taking advantage” of a helpless girl and not the graphic violence like in the movie Death Wish with Charles Bronson. There is a lot of violence portrait in the Four of the Apocalypse against men, women, and children. Nothing very graphic, just the after affects of a slaughter. If you like westerns, I would recommend that this is worth a rental.

My drive in...

I can handle ignorance. If you don’t know how to do something, then I am happy to help out. There are often times where I have no idea of what I am doing and will ask for help. But, just plain stupidity just pisses me off.

Let me begin by saying that I drive this strech of road twice a day, sometimes more depending on the day. At this one point on Evergreen, it changes from two lanes down to one. The sign clearly states “Left Lane End, Merge Right”. I often will let either one or two people in, just to be nice and add to those Karma points. Today, this DUMBASS, probably an Intel, desides that I am either I am nicer than I actually am or he will squease me into the shoulder. Cause, clearly, I have to merge into his lane. Think again, Asshole! I guess that you are too Fucking Stupid to Fucking READ!!! What part of “Merge Right” don’t you FUCKING understand. There is one more aspect that he forgot to take into account. He is driving a nice car and I drive a ’97 pickup, do the math, dipshit.

I hate Stupid People!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Movie Reviews

I was asked off-line about my reviews and what movies I “do like”. I don’t think that I have been unreasonable or unfair about my reviews. If your movie sucks, I am going to say that it sucks or is a load of crap. For those who know me personally, I don’t tend to sugar coat things. So, (JIM) here are a few movies that I do like and I think are worth watching or even ------------------ wait for it --------------- BUY.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith – Angelina and Brad trying to kill each other.
Laura Croft – Angelina kicking ass while in tight outfits.
Hitch – FUNNY !!!!
XMen I/II – Love the comic and the movie is even better.
Ocean’s Twelve – Not as good as the first.
Batman Begins – nice to see the beginning, but not one of the best.
Day After Tomorrow – Remember “Global warming is just a theory” (yeah right!)
I, Robot – say nice things to your computer, once in a while.
Pirates of the Caribbean – All most as fun as the ride.
Sin City – What is not to love??? Can we say Jessica Alba.
Fantastic Four – Even more Jessica…
Taking Lives – Well.. it is not for the plot…
Underworld – Sexy Vampires and Werewolves… Can we say Bloodlines?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Movie Review: Serenity & Aeon Flux

Here are a couple of movies that I watched over the weekend. Here is how they ranked:

Serenity (2005)
Picking up where his cult show "Firefly" left off, writer-director Joss Whedon's tale of galactic unrest follows Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), captain of the transport ship Serenity, and his scrappy but loyal crew. When the ship picks up two new passengers -- fugitives from the powerful coalition ruling the universe -- "Mal" and his mates find themselves at the center of a cosmic conflict, pursued by military forces and space-roaming savages. - Netflix

I originally was not interested in the series Firefly, but after seeing this movie, I will have to put the first season in my queue. I realize that it this was based on the TV series, in which I have not seen as of yet. I felt that I was missing some of the underlying story and character development. I liked the movie, however, I would have to recommend that you see the TV series before watching this movie. There was a lot a action and great story line, but… it would have been so much better to have a clearer understanding of what was going on from the beginning. Still an enjoyable movie and almost worth a buy.

Aeon Flux (2005)
In the 25th century, a rampaging virus has forced the remnants of humanity into the seclusion of a last redoubt. But political conflict swirls within, and the climate is ripe for revolution. Aiming to hasten an uprising, the leader of the underground rebellion (Frances McDormand) dispatches acrobatic assassin Aeon Flux (Charlize Theron) to eliminate the government's top leader in this futuristic thriller based on the popular animated MTV show. – Netflix

I loved the MTV series Aeon Flux and was looking forward to this full length movie. Now, I realize the MTV version was a cartoon and this was a live action video, and so most of the stunts are not possible with a live human. With that being said, the stunts were fantastic and non-stop action. Storyline, however, was lacking and did not live up to my expectations. I much prefer to watch a episode of Dark Angel or La Femme Nikita to gain the same level of ass-kicking. If you have a couple of hours to kill, it is worth a watch.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Here it comes!!!

Idokorro Mobile Desktop 2.0 - NEW!

Mobile Desktop now supports Microsoft Terminal Services and Remote Desktop connections and SSH tunneling using Mobile Desktop to connect to any computer on your network, view the screen, and control the keyboard and mouse using your BlackBerry device!

In addition to supporting VNC connections, Mobile Desktop now supports Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connections to Windows computers running Terminal Services or Remote Desktop. Support for SSH tunneling provides greater security. Mobile Desktop can be used to connect to any computer,including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, QNX, OS/2, and more. Mobile Desktop delivers the best performance on BlackBerry 8700 devices, but supports any color BlackBerry device with handheld software v4.0 or higher.

Mobile Desktop pricing starts at $45 USD per BlackBerry device.

Blood in the water - E3 Report

Damn, it was like seeing a shark feeding frenzy between Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Here is my take on how things played out. Sony’s conference was totally underwhelming, prices were totally unrealistic, and left people wondering why do I want to buy a Playstation. Microsoft’s 360 had a awesome conference, besides, if people can get Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto 4 on the X360, I would be suprized on why anyone would spend $600 for a PS3. Sorry, no "Developers, Developers, Developers" Then there is the Wii, the name is really stupid (And Weeeeeeeee!), but the game play looks cool. The controller seems to be very intuitive and it is a nice change from the hack, slash, kill, destroy, games for the X360. Plus, Mario and Link are back in action, a plus for all those underage or non-violent types. Sorry Sony… Better luck next year…

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Darth Maul Dual Lightsaber

I was checking out a site that I get some of my “geek” stuff from and saw that they have the Darth Maul Lightsaber in stock. A former co-worker bought the Mace Windu saber, which was very cool. However, I would want the Darth Maul - Red Blade - (episode I A Phantom Menace) (Can be assembled as a double bladed lightsaber or used as two, battle damaged, single blade lightsabers.)

These lightsabers have speakers in the handle to make the “sounds”, expecially if you hit something with it.. Like your friend… :P The “blade” lights up and down when you turn on and off your saber. To top it off, it is really frinking bright.

It is very cool for the true Star Trek Geek or even the lesser Geeks. However, if you are married, expected to be in the dog house when this “toy” comes home. Check it out at ThinkGeeks website.

Live long and Prosper.. (uh, I mean) May the force be with you…

Changing OWA 2003 Timeouts

Ever wonder how to change the default OWA timeouts for Exchange 2003
Here is the steps from Microsoft - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830827

1. On the Exchange front-end server, log on by using the Exchange administrator account, and then start Registry Editor.
2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
4. Type PublicClientTimeout for the name of the DWORD, and then press ENTER.
5. Right-click the PublicClientTimeout DWORD value, and then click Modify.
6. Under Base, click Decimal.
7. In the Value data box, type a value that represents the number of minutes for the time-out. This number must be between 1 and 43200. (43200 minutes are equal to 30 days.) If you do not set a value, a value of 15 is assumed.Note The maximum possible value is 43200 for 30 days.
8. Click OK.

Important You must restart IIS for the changes to take effect. Also, if you set the TrustedClientTimeout value to a value that is lower than PublicClientTimeout, the TrustedClientTimeout value defaults to be equal to the PublicClientTimeout value. Likewise, if you set the PublicClientTimeout value to a value that is greater than the TrustedClientTimeout value, the TrustedClientTimeout value defaults to be equal to the PublicClientTimeout value.

However, If you are like me… and like command line, so here are the instructions for using the command line.

1. Reg add HKLM\system\currentcontrolset\services\msexchangeweb\owa /t reg_dword /v “publicclienttimeout” /d 30
2. Reg add HKLM\system\currentcontrolset\services\msexchangeweb\owa /t reg_dword /v “trustedclienttimeout” /d 30
3. Net stop w3svc
4. Net start w3svc

I personally think that my way is easier… :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Granting Send on Behalf of Permissions

Often, an executive may request that this type of permission be given to a trusted assistant so that the assistant can respond to general inquiries . For that reason, Outlook allows you to set this permission directly from the Delegates tab. When “send on behalf of” permissions are granted to a user, the user can send email messages from the account it was granted permissions to. The message will show the recipient that the message was sent on behalf of the modified account.

1. Open ADUC
2. Find the account you want to modify
3. Right-click the user account and select properties
4. Select the Exchange General tab. Click Delivery Options.
5. In the Send on behalf group, click add
6. Add the user that needs the permission, and click Check Names.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

XBox 360 - Halo 3 - GTA IV -

I was over at a friends house, where he was showing off his Xbox 360. I SO WANT ONE!!! It is very nice, wireless everything, controllers and internet connection. And it appears that a new Grand Theft Auto (GTA IV) is going to be released on a 360. According to Slashdot “Despite expectations that this would be the least eventful of the E3 pre-conferences, Microsoft's Peter Moore drops the news that Grand Theft Auto IV will be on Xbox 360. Rockstar and Microsoft have teamed up to do exclusive episodic content in the GTA gameworld for the 360. Slated to release October 16, 2007 in North America, October 19 in Europe. Other details include lots of support for Live Arcade titles (Sonic, Galaga, Street Fighter II), the official unveiling of Shadowrun for the 360 and PC, the airing of the Halo 3 Teaser Trailer (which is already on Xbox Live), and much discussion of 'Live Anywhere'. This last is an expansion of Xbox Live to PC and cell platforms in addition to the Xbox arena.”

I did get to see the Halo 3 teaser (I mean Trailer)… http://www.xboxyde.com/leech_2576_en.html

Save your pennies... :P

Outlook Tip: Direct-book a meeting with a conference room

You can book the meeting at the same time you create the meeting and invite the attendees. The meeting room availability can also be displayed when viewing the attendees information.

To invite individual and reserve space in a conference room, follow these steps.

1. Click on the Calendar folder in Outlook.
2. On the ACTIONS menu, click Plan a Meeting.
3. This will place you in the “Plan a Meeting” window.
4. At the bottom left of the screen is a button called INVITE OTHERS. Choose this button to select the names of the attendees. Double click on the individuals name to be added as a REQUIRED attendee.
5. Select the conference room name to hold the meeting in and then select the RESOURCES button. Automatic booking will not happen if the conference room is in the REQUIRED section.

*NOTE: Individuals should be listed in the REQUIRED or OPTIONAL section. Conference rooms (Resources) MUST be placed in the RESOURCES section.

6. After selecting the names and conference room, click the OK button to close the dialog.
7. The FREE/BUSY information for the attendees and the conference room will now appear.

When someone (or conference room) is not available, it will be listed as a BLUE BLOCK. You can right click on the block to see information about what is scheduled at that time.
8. At the bottom of the “Plan a Meeting” window you can select the date and time for the event. If you would like the system to FIND a time when everyone is available, choose the AUTOPICK button to the left of the date.
9. Once you have chosen the date and attendees, click the MAKE MEETING button at the bottom of the screen. This will RESERVE the time for you in the conference room and the system will send out a message to everyone that you invited.

Monday, May 08, 2006

DVD Rewinder

You have got to see this… I SO want one…

When you stop and think about it, most VHS Tape players will rewind a movie in a matter of minutes. The DVD player was supposed to be a technical advancement in the viewing of motion pictures but rewinding the movies before putting them away took twice the amount of time that my old VHS machine did. Finally someone has come up with the answer to this problem. Check-it out!!! And it is even on SALE!!!


(If you actually purchase this, I have got an "Air Guitar" I can sell ya')

What exactly is Goodwill???

I was looking at one of my Annual Reports for a stock that I own. In reading the 10-K, I wondered “Why is it that I own this stock???”… But, getting past that, I was looking at their balance sheet. Here is where you get to see how much the company made and spent for the previous two years. Just as a side thought, you should really make more money that you spend, (+) is a good thing and (-) are bad… just a thought. I guess that this company is taking lessons from the Federal Government. Back to the subject at hand, I found this entry.. Goodwill - $15,000… huh?? What the F is Goodwill and how can you put a value on it. According to American Century “An intangible asset that represents the value of a corporation's name, customer service, employee morale, and other such factors that are anticipated to translate into higher earning power. However, as an intangible asset, it does not have a liquidation value and accounting principles require that it is written off over a specific time period.”

So, it is a made up number… gotcha.. So, why not have it be a trillion dollars? I guess it is easier to justify some fictitious lower number than making it equal the amount of money Bill Gates spends for a new house. I love accounting… NOT…

Joke of the week - Stupidity

Here is a good one from the same friend...

In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods.

On a Sears hairdryer – “Do not use while sleeping.”
(That's the only time I have to work on my hair.)

On a bag of Fritos – “You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.”
(The shoplifter special?)

On a bar of Dial soap -- "Directions: Use like regular soap."
(and that would be???....)

On some Swanson frozen dinners -- "Serving suggestion: Defrost."
(but, it's just a suggestion.)

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom) -- "Do not turn upside down.”
(well...duh, a bit late, huh!)

On Marks &Spencer Bread Pudding -- "Product will be hot after heating."
(...and you thought????...)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron -- "Do not iron clothes on body."
(but wouldn't this save me time?)

On Boot's Children Cough Medicine -- "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication."
(We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5 year-olds with head-colds off those bulldozers.)

On Nytol Sleep Aid -- "Warning: May cause drowsiness."
(...I'm taking this because???....)

On most brands of Christmas lights -- "For indoor or outdoor use only."
(as opposed to what?)

On a Japanese food processor -- "Not to be used for the other use."
(now, somebody out there, help me on this. I'm a bit curious.)

On Sainsbury's peanuts -- "Warning: contains nuts."
(talk about a news flash)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts -- "Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts."
(Step 3: say what?)

On a child's Superman costume -- "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."
(I don't blame the company. I blame the parents for this one.)

On a Swedish chainsaw -- "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals."
(Oh my gosh.was there a lot of this happening somewhere?)

Now that you've smiled at least once, it's your turn to spread the stupidity and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to (maybe even chuckle)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Joke of the week: Scrabble

I got this in an email from a friend and I just had to share... !!!

Someone out there either has too much spare time or is deadly at Scrabble.
(Wait till you see the last one)!

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:
HE BUGS GORE (haha!!)

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the ltters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:


When you rearrange the letters:

Yep! Someone with way too much time on their hands! (Probably a

Movie Review: The Believer

The Believer - " This is the story of Danny Balint (Ryan Gosling), a young Jewish man from New York City struggling with the conflict between his beliefs and his heritage. Balint eventually joins a neo-Nazi organization, rising up the ranks to become a leader in the white supremacy movement. The Believer is a psychological examination into the forces of intolerance, both on the individual and society as a whole." - Netflix

Here is a F'd up movie right here. Here is a kid that is part of one world and so desperately wants to be part of another. There is so much hate and rage in this person, that you almost feel sorry for him. However, after seeing American History X, this movie fell short, even near the end, where he begins to turn back to the Jewish faith. Both American History X and The Believer type of movies where by taking an destructive hate filled individual and seeing the hatred dissipate. There is a single bit of nudity and sex in the film, where Summer Phoenix is having sex with Billy Zane. Oh, did I forget to mention that they are father and daughter. Incest is best…???? It really did not add anything to the movie, so… Why is it there besides the F'd up factor???...

Final verdict - It is a rental, unless you are really into these types of movies.

Movie Review: Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci

As most of you know, from my comments about other movies and Netflix, I really enjoy watching movies. As of late have really enjoyed watching Horror movies by Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento. Dario’s Daughter, Asia, appears in some of his movies that I would not allow my daughter to even view. But, she is a great actress and attractive to boot.

Some movies that I have seen that were produced by Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci are:

Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror - This documentary on his work studies all of the giallo master's films through his upcoming "Sleepless." Argento himself comments on his career and divulges some of the secrets he has used in his craft. Also interviewed are Piper Laurie, Alice Cooper, and another master of horror, John Carpenter.” – Netflix

A great overview of the work that he has done as of late. Also some great interviews by John Carpenter and Alice Cooper.

The Stendhal Syndrome – “Italian director Dario Argento weaves together horror and suspense in this cult-classic thriller. While investigating a serial rapist and murderer in the famed Uffizi Museum, young detective Anna Manni (Argento's daughter Asia) begins having visions that the paintings around her are coming to life. While Manni is hallucinating, the rapist captures, tortures and violates her, driving the young detective to insanity.” – Netflix

It is really different, like a bad acid trip with very little nudity and some violence. Not one of his best films, but defiantly a rental.

Contraband – “Fabio Testi and Ivana Testi star in this Lucio Fulci-directed action-adventure in which the head of a gang -- Luca Di Angelo, an idealistic family man and cigarette smuggler in the treacherous Naples underworld -- finds himself hunted down by rivals who've already murdered his brother and kidnapped his wife. It's a game of cat and mouse … and no one knows who'll win.” – Netflix

There is lots of gore, violence and good storyline. There is a rape scene that is disturbing, but not really graphic. I have seen far better, with less done. I almost felt like the censorship boards had a hand in it. I probably would have to say that it was almost a waste of time.

I have not seen these movies yet by Fulci, but I am interested in seeing Four of the Apocalypse, Lucio Fulci: Don't Torture a Duckling, Conquest. I will have to post my comments on these after I watch them.

Sybari's Antigen for Exchange

Got this email requesting my opinions on Sybari's (Microsoft) Antigen for Exchange product.

We are planning to migrate from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2K3. And we want to EVAL Sybari Antigent for Exchange. Have you use this product? If so can you share your experience or comment?


I have used Sybari's Antigen for Exchange for the past 5 years at a previous company. AND IT ROCKS!!! or the kids say (RAWKS!) You have the ability to run up to 9 scanning engines, CA/MacAfee/Norton/NAI/etc.. The base package gives you 4 engines (2 CAs) and you can purchase more at an additional cost. I had 6 engines and I can say that the company never had a virus infection due to an email. Now the end user's hotmail or Yahoo was a different story, but that was not part of my job. It is not the cheapest product out there, but it is an solid product. I also liked their Spam gateway with the real-time updating, but that is a different rant.

Bottom line, go for it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tip of the Month - Outlook's Auto Complete

For those who are using Outlook, ever wonder how it know what name I am typing? Outlook's auto complete feature attempts to be helpful by suggesting email names that are similar to what you're typing, by providing a list of possible names. A couple of keystrokes, an auto complete suggestion, and you don't have to type the entire email name every time. Seems both simple, and handy.

Unfortunately it's not quite simple, and it can be both convenient, and frustrating, because email names you expect to be present are not, and those that you never want to look at again keep popping up.

Disable E-Mail Address Auto complete
When you compose mail with Outlook 2003, whenever you start typing names in the To, CC, or Bcc fields, Outlook 2003 will try to automatically complete the name based off of names or e-mail addresses to whom you have previously sent e-mail. While some people like this feature in that it can theoretically save typing, others find it an annoyance. If desired, you can disable this auto complete feature:
1. Click "Tools", selecting "Options".
2. When the "Options" multi-tabbed dialog box appears, click the "Preferences" tab.
3. Click "E-Mail Options".
4. When the "Advanced E-Mail Options" dialog appears, uncheck "Suggest names while completing To, CC, and Bcc fields".
5. Click "OK" to close the dialog box.

Deleting an E-Mail Address
Deleting an address from the nickname list is also very easy: use the up or down arrow keys to highlight it, and then press delete.

Exchange Performance Tip - Increase Log Buffers for increased memory buffer

“The msExchESEParamLogBuffers storage group attribute governs the number of Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) log buffers that are used by the Exchange information store. ESE uses a set of log buffers to hold information in RAM before it writes to the transaction logs. Using these buffers improves transaction logging performance. For large servers, the default value of 84 is too low. This can cause excessive disk I/O operations to the transaction log drive and, therefore, significant performance degradation if the server is under load or if users are sending large messages. Increasing the number of ESE Log Buffers improves performance, although it also causes more virtual memory usage.” - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/Ex2k3DepGuide/8081823f-aec6-4f5a-a043-b4b196b89b84.mspx?mfr=true

1. Start ADSI Edit
2. Double-click the configuration container, expand CN=Services, expand CN=Microsoft Exchange, and then expand CN=Exchange Organization Name
3. Expand CN=Administrative Groups, expand CN=Administrative Group Name, and then expand CN=Servers
4. Expand CN=Exchange Server Name, expand CN=Information Store, right click CN=Storage Group Name, and then click Properties.
5. In the Select a property to view box, click msExchESEParamLogBuffers
6. In the Edit Attribute box, type the appropriate value (based on your version of Exchange) for msExchESEParamLogBuffers, and then click Set.
7. For Servers that are running the original release version of Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2003 SP1 or SP2, set this value to 9000.
8. Click Apply, and then click OK.


Exchange 2003 SP2 additional features

I have posted before how to increase your performance of your exchange server. However, if you are running Exchange 2003 SP2, you might want to check out these settings.

Registry settings

The database size limit registry keys are read when the database mounts (not when the service starts) and when each limit check task runs.

You must set registry parameters for each database on the server. The registry entries are located under each database entry in the local server registry. Accordingly, you must reset the registry keys manually if the server has to be rebuilt using the /disasterecovery setup switch.
The registry setting is created in the following registry location, the GUID in this key (Private-SID) is an example and should match the value of the objectGUID attribute on the database’s AD object:
Database Size Limit in GB
The Database Size Limit in GB setting is the configurable maximum size of a database not to exceed the maximum licensed size of your database. For Standard Edition, you can set the database size limit between 1 and 75 GB. By default, the limit is 18 GB. Follow the steps below to change the maximum size of the database:
1. Launch regedit by going Start > Run and entering regedit then hitting Enter.
2. Browse to the following folder:
3. Right click in the right hand pane and select New > DWORD Value.
4. Enter “Database Size Limit in GB” without the quotes for the name.
Note: The registry value mentioned is a decimal, not a hexadecimal.

Behavior When the Database Size Limit is Reached
The database size is calculated at 5:00 AM server time daily. This check is done against the physical database file size, if this file size is over 90% of the total database size limit, then the check will calculate free space in the file and subtracts that from the total file size.
When the database size is 90% of the Database size set in the registry key above, an error event (ID 9688) is logged in the Application event log.
With Exchange Server 2003 SP2 or later, the server performs the following tasks when the database size limit is reached:

* If the first check after a database mount finds the database size above the limit, the database will not be taken offline but an error event (ID 9689) will be logged in the Application event log.

* If it is the second check, an error event (ID 9689) will be logged in the Application event log and the database will be taken offline.

After the database has been remounted, the administrator has until the next database size check, 5:00 AM server time, to take corrective action.

Exchange Performance Tip - Increase of the "ESE Buffer"

Increase of the “ESE Buffer” the Database Cache for increased Exchange ESE performance:

The Store Database Cache is also known as the ESE buffer, and it provides a large caching area for database transactions before they are committed to the store. By default, Exchange Server 2003 queries the memory configuration of the local computer, and then allocates 898MB of Ram if the /3gb switch is set in the Boot.ini file or 576MB of Ram if the /3gb switch is not set.
Where a server is heavily loaded or where disk performance is not optimal, a large ESE buffer increases overall system performance. Depending on the configuration, you may have to increase or reduce the size of this buffer to obtain the best overall performance.

In a scenario where Exchange Server 2003 is used in an environment where it co-exists with other server-side programs, it may monopolize the available memory resources. The Dynamic Buffer Allocation (DBA) algorithm is responsible for returning memory to the operating system if other programs require it. However, you can manually limit the memory that Exchange Server 2003 uses by reducing the ESE buffer.

On servers that have more than 2gb of memory, it may help to increase the size of the ESE buffer.

1. Start ADSI
2. Under Configuration Container, where servername.example.com is the fully qualified domain name FQDN of the server, expand CD=Configuration, DC=Example, DC=Com
3. Expand CN=Services, expand CN=Microsoft Exchange, expand CN=Organization Name, expand CN=Administrative Groups, expand CN=First Administrative Group, expand CN=Servers, and then expand CN=server name.
4. Under CN=Server name, right-click CN=Information Store, and then click Properties.
5. In the Select which properties to view list, click Both.
6. In the Select a property to view list, click msExchESEParamCacheSizeMax
7. In the Edit Attribute box, enter the following value: 311296 (This value equates to 1.2gb for the ESE Buffer/Cache for use)
8. Click Set and then click okay
9. Quit the ADSI Editor.
10. Allow sufficient time for this value to be replicated throughout the AD forest.
11. Restart the Microsoft Exchange Information Store Service on the Exchange Server.

Monday, May 01, 2006

My Revenge is Complete

I returned from the spirit realm, thanks to the help of a Dragon God who restored me back to life. Okay, get this, I have my team of about 6 people (7 including me), the emperor sends an entire army (including golems) to kill us. I mean come on… 10,000 vs. 7… Now, I do have to say that 4 of us are complete bad asses, but still... We managed to kill off about a hundred and then flee in our flying fighter. (yes, there are these flying ships complete with missiles and shields) I never said that this “game” is realistic, just lots of fun.

We manage to fight our way into the place, did I forget to mention that it is floating? Remember, the whole army is hell and gone trying to kick our ass in some temple in the mountains. There is my old master, the emperor, looking more powerful than ever. He offers me a place by his side, but I am bent on REVENGE! Being faster than him, I take advantage of my speed to doing a hit-hit-hit-jump away strategy. This works for a bit, until he gets tired of my insolence. Then he starts hitting me with these “special” powers. Well, I have powers too. I morph into a fire demon and pound his ass for a bit, until my chi runs out. Which it runs out really really quick. Switching to my sword, I finish him off.

I do have to admit that it took me about 8 attempts to get the combo right. And by the end, I was really hurt bad. One more hit and I was through.

Playing mostly good, I think that I will play the game again this time being a lot more Evil.

Still a great game.