Thursday, December 11, 2014

Office 365: A Warning

I recently went through this month long saga of switching our office email system from Bell Microsoft Hosted Exchange to Office 365 Exchange Online. This was because Bell was shutting down their system and pushing everyone to Microsoft which you could conveniently buy through them.  I couldn't handle that thought so we went to Microsoft directly.  This is a warning.

Switching the DNS settings turned out to be relatively easy despite it being the part I was most worried about. Since we use GoDaddy we could use a special app that does the switch for you. There was a bit of a hiccup when it seemed it wasn't switching but it soon became clear that it takes several hours for the change to fully come into effect.

That resolved I started to install Office 365 and the latest version of Outlook on the office computers. I took the exported pst file (all 5.5 GB of it) and imported it into the new Outlook. Then I waited for it to upload and sync to Office Online.

I may have been a bit naive about this working but I figured if it worked on Bell's old system then surely it would work on the new and improved and much touted Office 365. After all they are giving me 50GB of space and Bell was only offering 5GB.

Needless to say I realized very quickly that not everything was syncing and even more worrying emails were not going out and being received consistently. Fairly quickly I switched everyone to use outlook online which seemed to be sending and receiving just fine.

NOTE: The only account that seemed to have issue was the account that is shared among everyone in the office and where all the email gets stored while projects are ongoing. The individual accounts (with less data) were working fine.

So I called up Microsoft and was helped by a some nice people, notably Shane who elevated me to Margo. They ran me through several tests and we had a lot of back and forth trying different things over the course of a month.

Finally in one of my Google searches of frustration I came upon this site. Even though I had asked Microsoft about limits such as this being a problem they had dodged my questions. Now I sent them this link and asked them again: "Is the limit on number of folders really 900?" After a few days they finally confirmed that yes this could be the issue.

Now because of our filing system we had probably 10000 folders so I had some work to do. We redid our filing system and archived many older projects and brought it down to 500 folders. Now the system seems to be working and everyone is somewhat happy.

Apparently the flat, white UI of the new Outlook is annoying to some people....

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

AutoCAD and Network: Why so slow?

This is some of my musings on the IT systems in my office. I will you take down the rabbit hole of why our office network is slow. (Spoiler: I have no idea). These are basically notes to myself to record what I decided at a certain point in time and figure out if any improvement happened. That said, if anyone stumbles on this site and has some insights it would be greatly appreciated.

Over the years in our office we have adopted the incredibly useful AutoCAD tool called Sheet Set Manager. However as you add references to your drawings and link everything up (I've learned to do this towards the end of the project) it really slows down AutoCAD.

Over the years I've searched online for solutions to this but only recently did I stumble on this page. Yes, it turns out that Autodesk is acknowledging that it is slow and they blame it on slow network speeds.

I have followed their advice and now disabled the auto refresh (which will be annoying, no doubt) using the SSMSHEETSTATUS system variable set to '0' and I will report back with any speed increases I find.

BUT the second issue I'd love to address is our network speed. We use a standard peer to peer network with Cat5E cables. The computers are all set up for gigabit speeds but I doubt we actually get it. I am unsure as to what the bottleneck in our network actually is. I used to think that it was the hard drives with all our data (and this post seems to confirm that) but I have my doubts now.

I'd love to know of a good way to test network speeds if anyone stumbles on this site and knows an easy way to do that..... I found this software but do I trust it?

I'm also wondering if switching to a Synology drive system would speed it up.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Ultimate Cross Canada Motorcycle Trip

My friend Mike recently completed an incredible month-long trip from Ottawa to Vancouver on mostly TCAT trails. You can read about it here. I highly recommend it.

I put together a google map of his trip and intended to embed it here or on his blog. It turns out you can't embed Maps Engine maps which is crazy so I just did a screen shot.


If you want to see the actual map you can check it out here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Aaaaannnd I'm Back....maybe

I just noticed today that Blogger now has Google+ integration. I am actually surprised it took this long.


This post is basically just to test that and see how it all works. I'd actually like it to be possible to post to my blog from G+ since the interface is so much nicer and it would be easier to share stuff.  I used to post to facebook from this blog but good ol' facebook killed that to force bloggers to use their own in-house blogging/notes feature.  I think that was the beginning of my real dislike of facebook. I want integration!

I still read blogs occasionally (primarily through Google Reader for Android on my phone and now nexus7) but the number of regularly updated blogs is diminishing. I switched to Twitter for a while which is great for following interesting people and getting news fast. But although hashtags are cool tweets of links are boring to look at so when Google+ came out I jumped on that even though there wasn't much on it. Now there are some huge communities being built and I have met some very interesting people.  The stream is beautiful (especially on my new nexus7) and it is so much easier to use than facebook.

I still have a facebook account because some people only use that for contacting them. I guess it has it's place. I heard a neat quote 'Facebook is for people you like and Google+ is for people like you' and I guess that is why I will need both for a while I'm sure. And now that Flipboard for Android is out, I can now read twitter (and google reader) from a much nicer interface.

So where does that leave this blog? I don't know yet but if it gets more integrated with G+ you might see more action here.

More action like this:
Yes this is an actual product that exists. Why?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why is ACTA Bad?

ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.

Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”


Even if your country is not listed above you should care because this will spread worldwide after it passes and even if your country doesn't sign it will indirectly affect you.

1) ACTA isn't the European SOPA. Its nearly Global, and will apply to every country that signs the treaty.

2) ACTA is far more aggressive. ACTA will not simply affect websites and have them blocked out of the internet - it's measures go as far as to surveillance of anything you share through private channels.

3) ACTA doesn't have a campaign against it that is as widespread and organized as SOPA. This is DANGEROUS, as there is less time between now and the final signing of ACTA.

4) ACTA has effects on healthcare, trade and even tourism.

The biggest problem right now is that your ISP's (Internet Service Providers) can report you for anything that "could" be copyright infringement and they will monitor you constantly.

- ISPS will now watch what you download, and tattle on you if you download a music track/ any data / rapidshares / torrents etc.
- ISPS will tattle on you, when you do anything which goes against "Governments policy".
- ISPS will be able to document and store EVERYTHING you do online. nothing will ever be private again

What this all means for you is no privacy whatsoever

Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New GoPro Hero2 Advertising

If you want to see the new GoPro camera get some serious action.....

Trampoline off a Wall

This looks like really good times.

Also, it is the only acceptable instance for filming in portrait orientation.