Sunday, February 25, 2007

Exchange 2007 SP1 is Coming

I am involved with delivering Exchange Unified Messaging training to MS partners around EMEA. In getting prepared, I see that the Exchange team's blog has an article about Exchange 2007 SP1.

One neat feature in Exchange 2007 SP1 is proper IPV6 support - On Longhorn Server, Exchange 2007 SP1 supports native IPv6 networks. There are a host of other updates, including updated the  Exchange management console with features that did not make  RTM.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

ODF and Word

In a recent blog article, I wrote about the Open Doc converter available for Microsoft Word. The converter is available from for free download and seems to work OK.

The files available from Sourceforge include:

VPC 2007 Ships

Microsoft has now completed Virtual PC 2007, and it's available for free download. VPC represents an important update to VPC which includes many bug fixes plus support for both AMD and Intel virtulisation. MS has shipped both a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version - and both run under Vista.

Thanks to John Paul Cook for the pointer!


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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Home Again

I'm just back from an exciting bit of Redmond time - an Exchange Unified Messaging TTT event, plus attending the OCS 2007 Customer airlift. I blogged about this over on my corporate blog at

OCS 2007 is really a pretty cool product. I can't wait to reveal more. I'll also blog more details on upcoming UM and OCS training events.


Some More on Random Numbers

In a recent blog post, I wrote about random numbers and Powershell. As noted in that article, you can create a new random number object as follows:

$rand = New-Object  System.Random

This approach to creating the random number object seeds the random number generator with a pseudo-random number (current time). Therefore, if you try this at home, you're not likely to see the same result to $, i.e. 129641862.

If you wanted to create a repeatable random number sequence (which is of course not actually random!), you could add a seed number as follows:

$rand = New-Object  System.Random 1234567

If you try this code at home, you should get the same result to the call to $ (i.e. 1673116976).


Exchange, Daylight Savings Time and a VM

During 2005, the US Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Among other changes, this act modifies the start dates and the end dates for daylight saving time (DST). This is likely to be a source of confusion for many since new DST period is now four weeks longer than it used to be (in the US). Unless you apply some updates, it is possible that the time zone settings for your computer's system clock may be incorrect during this four week period. In particular, you must make sure that both your Windows operating system and your calendar programs are updated.

To help you to resolve potential issues in  your environment, MS has published some tools and associated KB articles:

  1. The Daylight Savings Time Help and Support Centre. With help about how to update your computer.
  2. KB 930879 describes how to address the issue using the Exchange Calendar Update Tool.
  3. MS has also created an interesting VM-based tool described  in and available from a download from
  4. For a step by step guide, see this entry in the Exchange team blog.

My advice: unless you do business totally outside the US, consider taking a look at the issue, and start updating your system(s).

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

ODF Converter Available for Word

I've just seen news over on Ars Technica that Microsoft has now released an ODF converter For Microsoft Word. This converter has been tested with Office XP, Office 2003, and Office 2007 and currently only works on Word files. An Excel document translator should be available by November 2007.