Blog Archives

RPC over HTTP(S) for Exchange 2003 – single server

I’m pleased to announce that I’m now able to access my exchange mailbox from anywhere in the world using RPC over HTTP(s).  This was a lot easier to setup than I thought it would be, and following the steps provided by Daniel Petri helped a lot!  I also utilized the RPCFrontend tool that he mentions in the link.  This made things very easy and I got it working the first time I attempted the configuration. 

What this means is that I can now access my mailbox on my Exchange server, from anywhere with the only requirement being an internet connection.  I can just open Outlook, and go straight to my mailbox as if I were on my home network.  I highly recommend this for anyone with Exchange servers, it makes remote connectivity so much easier and can be fully secured with SSL and other security options. 

Exchange 2003 | OWA | winmail.dat

I ran into an interesting issue today, something that is an old leftover from early mail systems.? I was trying to e-mail my hosting provider back on a support ticket I had opened with them, but when I replied I got a bounce message saying my mail was rejected with the following message:

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

Subject: RE: myticketnumber]: message subject hidden for privacy reasons
Sent: 2/8/2008?3:16 PM
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:?myhostingprovidersemailaddress?on?2/8/2008?3:14 PM
The recipient could not be processed because it would violate the security policy in force
< #5.7.0 smtp; 554-5.7.0 Reject, id=26006-18 – BANNED: multipart/mixed 554 5.7.0 | application/ms-tnef,.tnef,winmail.dat>


So I did some digging online, and tested some things out.? I found that even if sending from OWA I still had this issue, so I knew it was a server configuration option I needed to look for.? The provider I am dealing with was quick to blame me of course, but my server config has not changed in years.? So I think they changed something on their side recently with the way their helpdesk processes mail, and thats what caused this issue.?

To resolve it, I went into my ESM, under global settings, internet message formats properties and changed the options to never use Exchange Rich text.? After applying this change, the issue was resolved and mail flow has been restored.?

I personally don?t like making server config changes due to problems with sending mail to just one outside recipient, but I deal with my hosting provider a lot and its a hassle to have to reply from a different mail account.?

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Recovery from Identity Theft

My own experience with identity theft is nearly over now, but I’ve learned a few things during this experience.  First, its important to keep a close eye on your bank accounts, watching daily activity and looking for unrecognized charges.  In my case I found that the person using my card had my physical card info including the 3 digit number on the back.  So someone either had physical access to my card, or one of the few only vendors that I deal with that actually asks for the 3 digit code had some kind of security breach that they haven’t alerted me to yet.  So keeping an eye on your accounts is really a key element to protecting yourself and putting a stop to things before it gets out of hand. 

Fortunately we use online banking and have for years now, which is not only convenient but normally allows you to setup e-mail alerts and notifications for various levels of monitoring.  We first found that something was wrong by monitoring our checking account and saw some unrecognized charges.  Someone was buying website memberships and hosting services.  They racked up about $200 worth of charges on my account, but I cought it fast and was able to get all the charges refunded by the charging merchants. 

I was not happy with the way my current bank handled the whole situation.  They made me call the merchants and deal with the process of removing the fradulant charges on my own.  Any other bank when you report fraud they would be all over it, and I probably wouldn’t have had to do a thing.  So we now have a new bank and are in the process of switching everything over. 

I checked my credit report and everything looks fine, so far no one has used my information to get a loan or do anything else bad to my credit. 

My WordPress wish list

I’ve tried many blog platforms, and am please to say that my favorite by far is WordPress. I really like the WP platform and the abundance of plugins to extend functionality. However there are a few things that can currently only be done with plugins that I would love to see become fully integrated into the core WP platform. Here is my list.

1. Better multimedia support. What if I want to podcast or post streamable mp3 files? Currently I have to use plugins such as this.player or podpress to enable this functionality. I think this should become fully integrated into the core of the WP platform

2. Lightbox – I think WP should integrate lightbox as well. This kinda goes along with the better multimedia support I spoke of above. It would be nice to have better integrated options for posts with images.

3. Gallery integration – I use a plugin for integration with gallery 2, which is great. But it would be awesome if WP could integrate support for various gallery platforms into their code. Having an options page for your gallery integration would be a huge time saver and supporting multiple gallery systems would be ideal.

4. Better uploads management. I think WP could have much better file level security and download tracking built in. It would be great to be able to have a built in downloads tracker, upload management and general file management. Perhaps some security settings, being able to restrict download of some files based on security permissions per user or something.

5. Better customization support. Sometimes its a little hard to place something on my WP site in exactly the spot where I want it. You usually have to have pretty good knowledge of CSS and PHP to be able to get it just right. Its hard for a novice user to make these kinds of changes. It would be great to have enhanced theme management to let you use an editor of some type to place custom content such as images, text, links, etc in exactly the spot you want, not just in the sidebar.

Thats about all I can think of for now, but if you (the reader) have any other ideas, I’d love to see what else people are coming up with in regards to WP suggestions. Feel free to leave your comments.

New blog security

I found a new post/category security plugin for my Word Press blog. Here is the link. It works great, doesn’t cause any other problems in my blog, and gives much better access to the security settings than the previous system I was using. All the access issues and logon prompts people have been getting the last few days are now fixed and my hidden content is still secure.

Effective Tax Rate: 0%

I was surprised to find that for 2006, my effective tax rate is 0.0%. I am basically getting back everything I paid in for federal taxes in 2006, I’m sure this excluded social security, but thats pretty interesting.

Security scare

The other day in the parking garage next to my office at work, there was a security scare. Apparently two men (said to be armed) approached a woman in her vehicle and demanded the vehicle and her personal belongings. The woman was not injured, but it was still a scary thing. Thats the first time something like this has happened in the almost 2 years I’ve been working here. I never even gave security a thought during the many times I’ve been in that garage. It just makes me think how much of a shame it is, that we live in such a beautiful state, and yet it has such ugliness in it.

UPDATE 2-1-07

I recently found out that the two guys who did this were caught. They are in jail where they belong. Tampa police said this type of thing is rare in the Westshore business district.

Home break-in

Sadly, on Sunday morning (Aug 27th) our home was broken into while we were not home. The thieves got away with my work laptop (which is a major inconvenience). They also got Liz’s digital camera, our Mini-DV Camcorder, some jewelry and some other small items. All in all about $3,500 worth of stuff was taken. I am going to talk to my homeowners insurance company and see if there is any way it would be worth it to file a claim and try to get some of that stuff replaced. However, I think the deductible is going to be too high, but we’ll see. I’ve added some new security measures to at the very least assist in catching the people involved if this ever happens again. At least they didn’t get my Miata!!!

Automotive vandalism

I am officially the victim of attempted grand theft auto. Last night while I was asleep someone tried to break into my truck (and succeeded this time). They took the faceplate to my radio (not that it will do them much good). They busted up my ignition and broke my ask tray in an attempt to get the dash apart quickly. I don’t think they did anything else except took my garage door opener. I unplugged the garage door opener to protect that entry point from being used in another burgulary. Now I have to change the remote control frequency on the opener itself and on the last remaining remote we have in the van. I almost wish they had stolen it, since there wasn’t anything but a carseat that didn’t belong to us in it. Although I’m sure getting anything from the insurance company would have been a bust too. So now I have to take the truck to some place to get it repaired. My insurance deductable is $500 so I’m sure it will cost about $499 to fix, ha ha. Now I’m thinking security, like installing a wireless camera outside somewhere and getting a flood light. Maybe getting a reasonable auto alarm installed. Just one more thing to deal with, sigh. I can’t wait to move to a better area, only 7 more months to go!

Cingular 8125 – and Exchange 2003

WOW, I just got a Cingular 8125 handheld smartphone. I must say that I love it! Its got everything I need to stay “well connected”. I run Exchange 2003 at home for my personal e-mail, so I can sync my new smartphone with my home exchange server with ActiveSync and also get my work email through Goodlink. The goodlink interface on this smartphone is great, its really fast and convenient. Pocket outlook is ok, not as good as goodlink, but very nice none the less. I had some trouble getting active sync setup. I had trouble becuase I had forms based authentication enabled with SSL, which my self signed cert was not trusted by the smartphone by default. I just discovered I could export the cert in DER format and simply open it on my smartphone to import it. This would have cleared up my issue, but I had already purchased a godaddy cert during my troubleshooting process. This is better anyway since now people I host e-mail for in my family won’t get that annoying security prompt now.