Category Archives: 874

StarWars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith


Ok… so this is not exactly SBS material, but it is interesting nevertheless:


As you may know StarWars Episode III is only 71 days away (release date May 19, 2005). Last November the first teaser trailer was released, which was totally awesome (specially that “Lord Vader…. RISE!” part). You can watch the teaser here:


http://www.starwars.com/episode-iii/release/trailer/teaser.html


Now, the important news is that you can watch the full trailer on Thursday, March 10th at 8 pm, during the broadcast of FOX’s “The O.C.”. If you miss it, don’t worry… you will probably have tons of other opportunities to watch the trailer (more specifically on the movie Robots and in the StarWars fan site) plus these trailers are all over the net as soon as they are released.


Sorry for the interuption… and now we return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Smartphone Review – Motorola MPx220

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Last year I was itching for a new phone. My contract was up, my previous phone was pretty old and I wanted to be more “connected”. I did a lot of research on which phone I should get using two great sites: www.phonescoop.com and www.howardforums.com. Since I’m not really a road warrior I opted for a smarphone instead of a PDA/Phone combo and after much debate I got a Motorola MPx220 from Cingular Wireless.


 


This little phone has really impressed me. It has Quad Band GSM, 1.2MP camera (for still and video), Bluetooth, IR and a miniSD slot for additional memory… most importantly it runs on Windows Mobile for Smartphones 2003 (which means it has ActiveSync, Outlook, MSN messenger, Media Player, etc.).


 


What I like-


 


Phone quality and signal reception is pretty good. I love using the Bluetooth between my laptop and the phone to synchronize, transfer files, etc without any cables. I also got a 512mb miniSD card, added a couple of MP3s and now I always have an MP3 player with me. About 2 weeks ago I installed MS Pocket Streets 2005 which is pretty impressive considering how small this phone is.


 


Having internet access on my phone (and whenever I go) is waaay cool. With OMA, Mapquest, Accuweather, etc. at hand I feel there is nothing I can’t do. It took me a while to figure it out, but recently I was able to synchronize directly to Exchange so the phone keeps Outlook updated (probably one of the greatest features). Cingular data package is only $20/mo for unlimited use (which supposedly doesn’t include tethering a PDA/Laptop… but I have done it without any additional charges).


 


What I don’t like-


 


Typing on this phone is a nightmare (although I sort of expected it). I’m looking forward to see what the newer MPx will bring to the table. I don’t really care much about the camera, but its definitely not one of its greatest features (the flash is virtually non-existent and picture quality is poor). Finally, getting used to the phone takes a while… there is simply too many features, buttons, programs, etc. I find something new each day J.


 


Bottomline-


 


This is a phone for the casual roadie or some exec that needs something really small to be kept into the loop. I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who has to do a lot of stuff with it (for that get a PDA/Phone). So, don’t plan to write more than a sentence or two using it (you will get tired really soon). On the other hand, this phone will keep your Laptop or PDA connected to the internet whenever you go via Bluetooth or USB (and you can receive calls at the same time)… definitely a feature I use a lot.


 


Which is my favorite feature?


 


By far my favorite feature is the size. I don’t know how Motorola managed to put so many things in this small package. Motorola’s RAZR V3 phone might look like a million bucks, but this phone has a lot more features (plus is cheaper!).

Site to Site VPN while keeping ISA in the Mix

If you have a remote office or a branch it might be a good idea to have those users connected to your primary office permanently. You could even have an additional domain controller on the remote site or even make the users login via a Terminal Server on your primary location. To connect the two locations together you have a couple of options:


 



  1. Connect each computer individually using PPTP VPN to the SBS box directly.
  2. Use a PPTP VPN-capable router on the remote site and establish the VPN directly to the SBS box.
  3. Use 2 VPN routers (IPSec) to establish a site to site VPN.

Option #3 is fairly common. However, this method presents a problem when you want to keep using ISA. You cannot put the router in front of ISA anymore because you will terminate the VPN tunnel there and your users will not be able to access the resources in the LAN. So, what can you do? Well, there are a couple of ways to go around this problem… I will discuss one way:


 


You will need two VPN-capable routers (and know how to create a “normal” tunnel between them) and two public IPs on the site where ISA is located.


 


Your setup should look like this:


 


Basically, what you need is to give ISA and the VPN router in the main office 2 distinct public IPs and put them parallel to each other. Then turn off the DHCP on the VPN router on the main office and make sure is on the same subnet as the internal LAN and connect it to the same switch as the SBS internal NIC. Configure the VPN link between the 2 sites as you would in a “normal” situation and make sure your VPN router is blocking all incoming traffic. As with any VPN the remote LAN must be on a different subnet.


 


Now, the last step would be to tell the local LAN how to find the remote one (since SBS is the default gateway the computers will try to use that one instead of the VPN router). To correct this we must create a static route on the server… so go and run the following command on the SBS box “route add -p 10.0.0.0 mask 255.255.255.0 192.168.16.3” and you should be good to go.


 


There could be other variations in this scheme, but if you understand the steps involved here then its easy to modify this to do whatever you want.

Free TS CALs for SBSers

This is awesome! Get free 5 TS CALs if you buy SBS2k3 + Win2k/2k3. But, you have to hurry because it is only valid from November 1st, 2004 to February 28th, 2005. Order them here: http://microsoft.order-7.com/sbstscals/


I just learned about this when Gavin blogged it today (read the whole article). I’m not sure how this slipped under my radar. Kudos to Gavin!


New Info: Apparently this offer is only valid in Canada. I’m waiting for confirmation, but it appears to be that way. 🙁

How to add a Mac OS X to an SBS domain

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First of all, I would like to apologize for lack of blog posts recently, things are a little hectic around here and I also have a big (relative terms) SBS rollout in December.


Although, I’m not a Mac person myself many SBSers in the newsgroups have asked numerous times how to integrate them to the SBS lan. Fortunately, the great people behind MS listened and the SBS documentation team blog just released a preliminary document on “Connecting Mac OS X 10.3 and Higher Clients to a Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network“. It looks pretty good to me… kudos to the doc team on getting this out!


Tip-> Remember that if you plan to install Macs in your SBS domain and you haven’t installed SBS yet do not use .local for your AD domain name. Instead use .lan, .smb or .whatever. It will make your life easier.


Oh… Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Will you roll out XP SP2 now?

Since XP SP2 was released (and even before that) I have been hearing a lot of people complaining about implementing it. That’s why I was pleased to hear that SP2 adoption was much larger in SMBs than in big enterprises, this was a welcomed surprise. Of course, we all are very aware of Susan’s 2×4 influence in the SMB community (so its this might not be a surprise after all).


Anyway, if you haven’t deployed XP SP2 by now… What are you waiting for? I think this article by Larry Seltzer on eWeek states pretty much what I have been thinking:


 http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1724107,00.asp


The bottom line is that if you have not deployed XP SP2 yet… you must be crazy! Can you hear Susan’s 2×4 swinging over your head?