Exchange 2010, ActiveSync and Admins

symbiatch - 30.08.2009 11.28 - IT-ala 

Exchange 2010 has increased the security levels once again. If you try to use ActiveSync with a user that is or ever has been part of any restricted groups (like domain admins), the account cannot be used via ActiveSync.

Naturally nobody uses email with an account that is a domain admin, right? ;) So it's not a problem.

If you want to use the account with ActiveSync, you must remove it from any restricted groups and then edit the account's security settings with ADSIedit. You need to enable the propagation of parent settings to the account.

And no, it's not enough that you just enable the propagation and not remove the user from the groups. If you don't, the permissions are removed after a while.


Upgrading Exchange 2007 to 2010

symbiatch - 29.08.2009 18.49 - IT-ala 

Exchange 2010 won't contain the option to upgrade your installation from 2007. Microsoft says that there are too many changes in database schemas and stuff, so it is not feasible. But one thing people might not understand is that you can't even remove Exchange 2007 and then install 2010. It won't work. So you have to install a clean OS for 2010 to get it running.

The good news is that moving the mailboxes is very simple. Just add a mailbox server with 2010, fire up PowerShell and use New-MoveRequest <mailboxname> for all boxes (and naturally you can do this in a loop). Exchange will put all the boxes in the move queue and handle everything. It is asynchronous and transparent so your users can continue to use the service even while the boxes are being transferred.

After you've transferred the boxes, just remove the previous mailbox server and you're done.

Naturally it's not always that simple, but if it's time to get new hardware, it would be quite feasible. And you can use the previous server for other things.

Naturally if you have clustered the mailbox, you could break the cluster, upgrade one server, move the boxes and then upgrade the others. This is not always an option, though, since some people won't take the chance that something breaks while the cluster is down.


Exchange 2007 / 2010 Coexistance

symbiatch - 29.08.2009 14.58 - IT-ala 

If you're thinking about testing Exchange 2010 RC in your Exchange 2007 environment, go ahead. They do work together. However, there are a couple of things you need to know:

  • Your Exchange 2007 servers must have SP2 installed. SP2 was released just a few days ago and without it 2010 won't work with 2007.
  • You won't be able to see 2007 servers in 2010's management console. This is as designed and you really shouldn't manage 2007 servers with 2010's tools anyway.
  • When you install 2010 (I first tried the client access server) and try to use Get-OwaVirtualDirectories to get information about the servers, you'll probably get an error saying Access Denied. You must add Exchange Trusted Subsystem to the local Administrators group on every 2007 server. After that it'll work just fine.

Oh, and one very nice thing: you can upgrade 2010 RC to RTM! So you can start testing and implementing and when the RTM comes out, just upgrade to it. Very nice!


Nokia Dumping Avkon - Once Again a Compatibility Break

symbiatch - 05.08.2009 17.22 - IT-ala mobiili ohjelmointi 

So, it seems that Nokia is dumping Avkon in favor of Qt. The timeline seems to be around Symbian^4 (who was the idiot that figured out that notation?). So, currently application developers are at a strange situation: Qt is not working at the moment (although Nokia has constantly stated that it would be available right now) and Avkon is going to be dumped. Nice.

So, what should we do if we want to create applications for S60? Create the applications with Avkon and rewrite them for Qt next year? Try to use Qt as it is and force users to install it separately and suffer the bugs? Wait a couple of years (decades?) to see when Nokia will get their act straight? That's for each to decide for themselves.

Me? I've gotten fed up with Nokia's stuff a long time ago. I would like to create some business applications for S60, but currently it's still too difficult. XML parsing takes huge amounts of memory, which is not available so I'd have to use some SAX+own code stuff, which is not nice. User interface controls have lots of annoying panics if you don't make sure everything is exactly as they want it (and this changes intermittently - older versions allow you to call method1 before method2, newer crashes if it's not method2 and then method1 etc).

What would it take to get me interested in developing for S60? Qt would probably be a good start. I haven't had much experience with it, but it can't be worse than Avkon and other Symbian APIs. And then I'd like to have a real IDE for S60 development. Carbide is still slow, bloated and buggy. Hell, Carbide.c++ has been available for 3.5 years soon and STILL it's nowhere near commercial grade environment. No wonder Nokia had to put it up for free.

Also one of the most horrible things in S60 development is the "emulator." I say "emulator" because it's just a crappy compilation of S60 on x86 architecture which allows you to code stuff that won't work on actual devices and also make code that works on devices but not on the "emulator." And the startup time... I have fast machines and still just to get the application to start in debug mode takes 1-2 minutes. Each time. Tak about efficiency. How about taking note about Microsoft's actual emulator for WinCE? It actually runs the same binary as the devices and you don't need to boot it every time you want to run an application. That's how it should be done.

What I'd like to see is a working emulator, working SDK (the current has lots of warnings and errors in their headers, for one and it can't even be compiled with current ARM compilers!) and preferrably a plugin for Visual Studio 2010 (and why not 2008, since it looks like the same plugins work in both). Then you could really do some development.

And a hint to Nokia: if you can't be bothered to update Carbide.vs to Visual Studio 2008+, just give me access to the source code and I'll work on it for almost nothing, maybe even for free. I know there are lots of people that would like to use Visual Studio for development since it's a lot better than Eclipse+CDT. CDT's code indexing is slow and many times doesn't even work. Intellisense works every time.

So it's very simple: provide me with the source for the previous release (under NDA) and you'll get a newer version. It doesn't take anything away from you and it only gives the developers the possibility to use the IDE they want to. Deal?

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Service by Apple

symbiatch - 02.08.2009 11.55 - IT-ala 

I submitted a version of my Telkussa Xtra application to Apple for review. After more than a week I notived that it had been rejected but I hadn't received any information why. So I sent an email to them asking if they could resend the information. I also suggested that the reasons could be added to the web site so that you could always get them there if the email doesn't arrive.

A moment ago I got a reply. It said that they've sent me an email at this date to these addresses and if it's not correct, update the contact information. No mention about the reason why it was rejected.

So, it's nice to know that they reply, but I'm none the wiser about what I must do to the application to get it through.

Before that I sent a new version of Telkussa to them. They rejected it twice claiming it doesn't work. Nothing is loaded from the network. I tested and tested and it always worked both on the device and on the simulator. So I emailed them about this inability to reproduce the problem. They actually answered quite quickly and asked me to resend the application and they'll review it again.

I sent the exact same binaries as previously and suddenly it worked just fine and was accepted. Nice to know that they have problems on their end and claim that it's my fault...

My Macbook had the topcase problem where the plastic part that holds the keyboard cracks. My machine was almost two years old and the warranty had expired after one year. Called them up, they said that since it's a material problem they'll fix it. Nice, I got a brand spanking new keyboard / touchpad / topcase in a day.

The battery on my Macbook also died. It didn't wither away like batteries usually do. No, it just went dead. Apple tells me I haven't used it enough (only 38 cycles in two years) and the warranty is only for one year. New battery costs 139€. Not nice. Crap batteries.

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