Count the messages on your Exchange 2007 environment

Are you curious about the hard stats of messages running around your organization?

Try this one in powershell on your hub transport server:

get-messagetrackinglog -start “mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss” -end “mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss” -eventid “send” -resultsize 9999999 | measure-object

This will pull stats for messages that were “sent”.  To pull the number of messages received, change the “eventid” parameter to “receive.”

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Our Interview with Felicia Day

The crops of our quiet labor are starting to bear fruit. Jeffrey Rosado, host/creator of “The Culture of Pop” and “DVD Marquee” landed a nice little interview with Felicia Day at DragonCon.

He’s posted the lovely tidbit here:
http://www.thecultureofpop.com/showarticle.php?id=178

Spread the word about the interview.  There’s more to come!

Special thanks to Felicia Day for the time.  We know she was INCREDIBLY busy and it was far cool of her to take time out for us.

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Fixing Mangled Contact Labels on iPhone

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

A coworker sent this along.  I’ve had this issue on a few contacts and didn’t really have time to delve into it.

Name removed to protect the innocent and good intentions.  Be very careful with this and make sure you have a backup of all data that you plan to manipulate.

FWIW …

After serially using every calendar/address book interface under the sun and transitioning to Snow Leopard with Exchange syncing, I ended up with a bunch of munged Address Book extension labels in my iPhone Contacts like:

item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<EX-AssistantPhone>!$_

The extra long labels forces the text to be tiny, and rarely displays even then to say whether this is the work/home number.

If you encounter this problem and you’re a Mac user with a Unix background, I’m sure you can think of a dozen ways to fix this … else see some rudimentary Address Book/iTunes/command line steps below to handle large numbers of Contacts at once.

Caveat emptor.

The munged contacts had labels like:

item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<EX-AssistantPhone>!$_
item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<EX-BusinessFax>!$_
item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<EX-BusinessHomePage>!$_
item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<EX-BusinessPhone>!$_
item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<EX-EmailAddress1>!$_
item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<EX-Home>!$_
item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<EX-HomePhone>!$_
item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<EX-MobilePhone>!$_
item1.X-ABLabel:_$!<Other>!$_

… the bracketing parts are the problem. I can live with “HomePhone” versus “Home Phone”. YMMV.

Correcting this involves a few steps and a tiny bit of command line stuff:

– Attach your iPhone to your computer. Let it sync. Leave iTunes open.

– Open Address Book, select all your contacts, then File->Export to your Desktop, call it “backup.vcf” — don’t touch this file — if something goes wrong you’ll restore this.

– Do a second export of all the contacts to another file “munged.vcf”, or some name equally meaningful to you.

– Open a Terminal window, and cd to your Desktop (“cd ~/Desktop”). Just for paranoia’s sake, type “more *.vcf” and use the space bar to step through the files, making sure they contain all your contacts. Type “ls *.vcf” to confirm the files are the same size. Yeah — sheer paranoia, but who wants to reenter all their contacts? 🙁

– In the previously opened Terminal window paste this command and press return:

cat munged.vcf | sed -e 's/EX-//' | sed -e 's/_$!<//' | sed -e 's/>!$_//' > fixed.vcf

– in the Terminal window type “more fixed.vcf” — confirm the ABLabel fields are corrected before going onto the next step. If the fixed.vcf file doesn’t look right, stop and consult a local Unix person. You did something wrong or your problem wasn’t the one I had. Bail out or get help.

– Go back to Address Book, select all the contacts (if not still selected), then Edit-> Delete Cards. Delete all your contacts. Paranoia now seems appropriate.

– Go back to the iTunes window. Select the iPhone in the Devices list on the left (if not selected), then select the Info tab at the top of the main window and scroll to the very bottom to the Advanced items, select Contacts under “Replace information on this iPhone:”. Click Apply and let the phone sync. Check the Contacts on the iPhone to see they are gone.

– Go back to the Address Book window and File->Import, selecting (you guessed it) “fixed.vcf” from your Desktop. Check the reloaded vcards/Contacts.

– Go back to the iTunes window, and again select the option to Replace the Contacts info, Apply, and let the iPhone sync.

– Try the Contacts on the iPhone, and the labels should be corrected. Delete all the ancillary files on your Desktop.

– Avoid whatever odd combination of things you did that caused the problem in the first place. 😉

In case you want to mess with any other fields/changes, vcard format is described here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VCard.

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Quick Safari/Snow Leopard Tip

If you’re having stupid amounts of trouble with your plugins loading in Safari 4 on Snow Leopard, go to your Finder and open /Applications.  Right-click on the Safari app and choose “Get Info.”  On that screen, you’ll see a checkbox to run the app in 32-bit mode.

Check that.

Restart Safari if it’s open.

Now you’ll find that your plugins magically work.  I guess this whole 64-bit thing has caught developers with their pants down.  Not sure how that happened since they’ve only been talking 64-bit on the Mac and Windows side for years.

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Scaling Guidance

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Image via CrunchBase

At WWDC 2009, I stood up in a session on Snow Leopard server and lightly rattled Apple‘s cage about its poor scaling guidance for the product. They were spending a great deal of time talking about the benefits of Wiki Server 2, but there was little to take away from the session on what to tell any prospective customers regarding cost.

I think in the Apple world, there’s this unspoken rule of “whatever’s good enough” to suffice for an environment. That’s fine, but what I’d really like to be able to do is recommend a solution that will do the job.

In the past, Microsoft was very good about providing specific scaling guidance. Around the Dark Ages (which I define as the day SQL Server 2005 came out and every product hence), Microsoft pulled back on several things. Most notably, they stopped providing specific scaling guidance on products and very clear documentation.

The documentation that was offered with each product varied and was mostly vague and notional. Once my Microsoft TAM asked me as part of some kind of survey if I thought that blog content provided by Microsoft developers and whatnot could be considered as official documentation. It seems like some folks within the organization believe this to be so, but Goddess forbid you end up in the India support organization… where only the script in front of them is official documentation.

Back to Apple. They provide documentation and it’s usually quite good. They provide fairly extensive documentation. Sometimes it’s wrong, but it’s still documentation. It’s something to point to and say, “See here, it says this should function this way.” That’s a nice level of comfort. What they do NOT provide is scaling guidance. They will never ever tell you, “It will take x amount of Snow Leopard servers to run Wiki Server 2 for 10,000 users doing y amount of data.” Why not? I suspect it’s because they don’t know.

As Apple becomes more and more relevant in the enterprise, this has to change. If I’m going to propose an Apple-based solution to any of my prospective customers, I have to have something to work from. It cannot be “we’ll just throw some servers in there, watch it, then buy more.” Most customers… at least the government for sure… do not like that approach.

Ironically, I started this post as a complaint against Microsoft for providing not just vague information on this… but a box full of vague smoked up with an opaque fog on the glass.

That sucks, guys. Stop contributing to the failures of the IT industry and fix it.

I’m looking at you too, Apple.

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Stunning time lapse video

I don’t know who this guy is or what he’s up to, but this is one seriously inspirational chunk of digital video that I felt that I had to share.

Another Cloud Reel… from Delrious on Vimeo.

Bridge Street “Kids Fountain”

Here’s a picture taken at Bridge Street in Huntsville, AL.  This is the “kids fountain,” a little square where water squirts from jets in the ground.  On a hot summer day it looks to be pretty fun.

But take note of what’s strung across the top of the kid’s fountain – and better yet, note how the water from one of the geysers really likes to spray all over it on a regular basis.

(NOTE: Click on the pictures below for an individual page, then click on the image again for full resolution.  You really have to do this to get the full effect of what’s going on here).