Category Archives: Work

The iPhone wars, concluded

This happened not too long after I posted my last iPhone update, but I forgot to blog it until now. I made the decision to get rid of the iPhone. There were a few things I liked about it, but overall, I found the user experience for core behavior and integration was just nowhere near […]


Let go of Windows XP, Office 2003, and Exchange 2003

The day has come. s the end of an era, one that many people do not want to let go. I can understand that. I drove my last car, a Ford Focus 2000, until it died in the summer of 2010. I loved that car, and we seriously considered replacing the engine (which would have […]


The enemy’s gate is down: lessons in #Lync

Sometimes what you need is a change in perspective. I started my IT career as a technician: desktops and peripherals, printers, and the parts of networks not involving the actual building and deployment of servers. I quickly moved into the systems and network administration role. After 9/11 and a 16-month gap in my employment status, […]


The iPhone Wars, Day 121

120 days later and I figured it was time for an update on the war. First: I still hate this thing. Somewhere along the way with one of the iOS updates, the battery life started going to crap, even when I’m barely using the device. When I use it as a personal hotspot, I can […]


The iPhone Wars, Day 1

Part of the fun of settling into a new job is the new tools. In this trade, that’s the laptop and the cell phone. Now, I already have a perfectly good laptop and cell phone, so I probably could have just gone on using those, but where so much of what I do is from […]


Meet the New Corporate Overlords @CohesiveLogic

Just a brief announcement (you’ll be hearing more about it later) to let everyone know that I’ve found new employment with Cohesive Logic as a Principal Consultant. Jeremy and the rest are good people and I’m happy to be hanging my hat under their shingle. We’ve got some exciting stuff coming down the pipe, and […]


Back on the market

I sent out a brief tweet about this Friday and have received a number of queries, so I figured I should expand on this publicly. No, I am no longer with Trace3. No, this was not my decision — I was happy with my position and work and was excited about what was happening there. […]


Beating Verisign certificate woes in Exchange

I’ve seen this problem in several customers over the last two years, and now I’m seeing signs of it in other places. I want to document what I found so that you can avoid the pain we had to go through. The Problem: Verisign certificates cause Exchange publishing problems So here’s the scenario: you’re deploying […]


Exchange 2010 virtualization storage gotchas

There’s a lot of momentum for Exchange virtualization. At Trace3, we do a lot of work with VMware, so the majority of the customers I work with already have VMware deployed strategically into their production operation model. As a result, we see a lot of Exchange 2010 under VMware. With Exchange 2010 SP1 and lots […]


Devin’s Load Balancer for Exchange 2010

Overview One of the biggest differences I’m seeing when deploying Exchange 2010 compared to previous versions is that for just about all of my customers, load balancing is becoming a critical part of the process. In Exchange 2003 FE/BE, load balancing was a luxury unheard of for all but the largest organizations with the deepest […]


Moving to Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1

Microsoft recently announced that Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Exchange Server 2010 had been released to web, prompting an immediate upgrade rush for all of us Exchange professionals. Most of us maintain at least one home/personal lab environment, the better to pre-break things before setting foot on a customer site. Before you go charging out […]


Manually creating a DAG FSW for Exchange 2010

I just had a comment from Chris on my Busting the Exchange Trusted Subsystem Myth post that boiled down to asking what you do when you have to create the FSW for an Exchange 2010 DAG manually? In order for this to be true, you have to have the following conditions: You have no other […]


The Disk’s The Thing! Exchange 2010 Storage Essays, part 2

Greetings, readers! When I first posted From Whence Redundancy? (part 1 of this series of essays on Exchange 2010 storage) I’d intended to follow up with other posts a bit faster than I have been. So much for intentions; let us carry on. In part 1, I began the process of talking about how I […]


More Exchange blogging with Trace3!

I just wanted to drop a quick note to let you all know that I’ll be cross-posting all of my Exchange related material both here and at the Trace3 blog. The Trace3 blog is a multi-author blog, so you’ll get not only all my Exchange-related content, but you’ll get a variety of other interesting discussions […]


What Exchange 2010 on Windows Datacenter Means

Exchange Server has historically come in two flavors for many versions – Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. The main difference this license change made for you was the maximum number of supported mailbox databases as shown in Table 1: Version Standard Edition Enterprise Edition Exchange 2003 1 (75GB max) 20 Exchange 2007 5 50 Exchange […]


From Whence Redundancy? Exchange 2010 Storage Essays, part 1

Updated 4/13 with improved reseed time data provided by item #4 in the Top 10 Exchange Storage Myths blog post from the Exchange team. Over the next couple of months, I’d like to slowly sketch out some of the thoughts and impressions that I’ve been gathering about Exchange 2010 storage over the last year or […]


Busting the Exchange Trusted Subsystem Myth

It’s amazing what kind of disruption leaving your job, looking for a new job, and starting to get settled in to a new job can have on your routines. Like blogging. Who knew? At any rate, I’m back with some cool Exchange blogging. I’ve been getting a chance to dive into a “All-Devin, All-Exchange, All […]


The Great Exchange Blog Migration

Over the next few days, I’ll be adding a large number of posts (just over 250!!!) to the archives of this blog. For a number of congruent reasons, 3Sharp is closing down the Platform Services Group (which focused on Exchange, OCS, Windows Server, Windows Mobile, and DPM) and my last day will be this Friday, […]


Am I hot or not?

Stupid website, but it gives me a chance to taunt my co-worker Kevin. This morning I got a puzzled e-mail from him, asking me why this picture of me in Sydney from February (yes, that’s Sydney, Australia; we were there for training for work) was the most-viewed picture in his online galleries (warning, probably not […]


Proof I’m in Sydney…and working…

Chilling at the conference. The lovely brownie-tart thingies they fed us today. My work blogs posts.    


Interesting definitions

The speaker just said, and I quote, “regular expressions, which are fairly straightforward.” That’s, um, well, interesting. And wrong.


Thoughts from the break part 1

So, I’m in Sydney for a training conference that I’m talking about in my work blog if you’re interested. There’s a lot of interesting small differences that have more of a mental impact to me than the big ones: The exit signs inside buildings are green with white letters. I’m used to the opposite. Didn’t […]


Heading for the underside of the world

In just a few more hours, I’ll be on my way to do something I’ve never done before — cross the equator. I’m just going to kayak down to the big black line floating on top of the ocean, nip across, spin around counter-clockwise, then nip back home. No, seriously — I’m heading to Sydney, […]


Living with Asperger’s on the road and on the stage

Four 3-day trips in four weeks: Apr 2-4, Orlando, to present 3 hours of sessions at Exchange Connections. Apr 8-10, Denver, to be the main speaker at the Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging Roadshow. Apr 18-20, Anaheim, to be the main speaker at the Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging Roadshow. Apr 23-25, Dallas, to be the main […]



Big conference, lots of geeks. With two laptops and a Windows Mobile cellphone, I’m not at all unusual here. The conference organizers have wisely established free Wi-Fi for us all. Well, guys, that’s a great start, but how about you give us some bandwidth? I’ve had faster connections over my old 300 baud modem. 


Drive-by memeing

First, I would like it to be known that I am only doing this under protest. I don’t usually participate in blog memes, because most of them are damned silly. However, I got tagged on this one by Paul in what looks like a fairly typical spree of spreading the love, so I’ll go ahead […]


Batten down the hatches

Oy vey. We’ve been Slashdotted. Let’s see if our T-1 and web server can hold up. 


3Sharp releases an anti-phishing study

Today, my company released a report comparing several anti-phishing technologies, including a beta version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7. I note this because I was one of the researchers and authors of the report. Needless to say, we’re already catching a lot of flack in the press because we scored IE7 the highest of the […]


Ode to Monday: a rant on insensitivty in the workplace

Not fond of Mondays in theory or in practice. Even with all the things that have gone right today, I’m still pretty cheesed off about today: Getting up at 5:20 so I could be on the road before rush hour and into the office early: good. Having to shift back into the office: enh. We’ll […]


That went well

The current project I’m on at work? I’ve decided it needs a new name. I’m henceforth calling it Operation Zeno’s Paradox. You know you’re in trouble when you’ve finally found a solution to a roadblock that is keeping you from finishing a major portion of your project, serendipity has dropped a convenient piece of hardware […]



I hate putting in long hours to compensate for fucked-up technology. Even before my laptops bit the big one, I was having problems with one of them. Since then, they’ve gotten a lot more flaky because I haven’t had the time to migrate all of my data, pare down the cruft and crap, and perform […]


Back from Europe

I’m home from Europe a couple of days early; I was originally supposed to be in Oslo today, doing a second presentation, but I got really sick once I got to London and my bosses couldn’t take the chance I wouldn’t be better (sorry, Jim, for making you go to Oslo!). Lisbon was interesting. Paul […]


Euroadtrip, Day 1: Amsterdamned!

I’ve not been blogging much lately because I’ve been buried under a ton of work. One of the things I’ve been busy with has been developing a full day of content on Exchange 2007 to present in Lisbon (May 30th) and Oslo (June 8th). Astu Are thte readers will have noticed the timestamp of this […]


Study monkey, but with good beer

I have to acquire some Microsoft certifications in a short amount of time. Not a full MCSE, although that’s always been in the gameplan, but at least one passed exam (and thus Microsoft Certified Professional status) from a specific list of exams, Real Soon Now. And hey, if I’m going to go into MCSE Study […]



Today was a day of mileposts. It was my first working day of 2006. Because Paul and I got our various projects wrapped up before vacation, I went into the 3Sharp offices and spent a good part of my day doing something I’ve never done before — pack up my office. No, we’re not moving […]


Oh, yeah, Chapter 3 is up

Chapter 3 of my DCAR ebook is now online, details on my work blog. If you need to read about these things, enjoy.


Spring, when a young man’s thoughts turn to PowerPoint slide decks

If you’re wondering what I’m going to be up to this spring, wonder no more! Get thee hence to the Looking forward to Exchange Connections Spring 2006 post on my work blog and find out!


San Diego

This last week (Monday through Thursday), I was in San Diego for the Windows/Exchange Connections conference. It was my first Connections conference as well as my first trip to San Diego. San Diego was a nice town; it reminded me somewhat of Honolulu with enough elbow room. Mind you, I didn’t see too much of […]


Sick days and publication news

Both kids woke up with an excess of phlegm, so we kept them home from school today. Sounds like a good day for them to work on updating their web sites and blogs, especially since I just handed out the URLs to the members of my family. In other news, Microsoft has produced printed versions […]


If it’s a meltdown, it must be Monday

It’s a Monday. With a vengeance. Work has been better, the car needs $1K+ in repairs soonish, some personal projects have been hit with unfortunate and untimely delays that I really didn’t need right now, oh no, and I’m stressed beyond all belief. I really just want to stop coping and have a full-scale meltdown. […]


My new ebook on email DCAR is now available!

DCAR (Discovery, Compliance, Archival, and Retention) is a big topic these days. I’ve done some work with 3Sharp in this space, and I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to write an ebook for Windows IT Pro on the topic. The first chapter is now available for free download with registration; the […]


How big of a place setting did you say you need?

I just got off of a weekly conference call for a biggish project we’ve been working on. We’ve had some unfortunate changes lately that have impacted the scope of the project in a fashion that would not be exaggeration to call “dramatic”. One of those changes dumped a fairly involved and possibly gnarly piece of […]


Yo Missy!

Um, Missy dear, what exactly have you been telling the fine Exchange ladies and gentlemen about me? I’m taking an incredible ration of shit from the assorted suspects and they keep mentioning your name. And Tom, your name has gotten taken in vain more than once. And for the record, my kilt shows off what […]


All-nighters and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

I’m staying up late to get a paper done for work. While I’d rather not pull late nights and long days, in reality I have an extremely high amount of flexibility and self-determination in the day-to-day details of my job. The flip side of that coin, however, is that I keep that freedom as long […]


It’s done!

I just shipped the first draft of Chapter 7 “Routing, Transport, and SMTP” of The Exchange Cookbook to my editor and co-authors. I wrote this chapter entirely by myself. It started off with 47 recipes (including the introduction); final size was 27 recipes. Many of the missing 20 were duplicates of either recipes in other […]


Scary revelations at 2am

Put Steph to bed a couple of hours ago and came back downstairs to finish up a recipe or two for the Exchange Cookbook, which I am co-writing with some awesome co-workers, and which is way behind schedule. When researching one particular twist got me frustrated, I dropped over to Yahoo!’s Launch website and fired […]


One of many

So why did I decide I needed my own blog? How come LiveJournal wasn’t enough? Well, I’m not terribly keen on LiveJournal’s interface, to tell the truth. I like having categories, since I write about a lot of different things. I like that you, the reader, have the choice to only read certain posts that […]