Master & Cmd-R

Lync 2013 Test Drive

Found this excellent post by Benoit Hamet – Microsoft has provided a complete Test Drive environment allowing you to set up a Lync 2013 Lab for testing and evaluation purposes:

This download comes as a pre-configured set of VHD’s. This download enables you to fully evaluate the Microsoft Lync 2013, Microsoft Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, and UC developer platform APIs including the Microsoft Lync 2013 SDK, the Exchange Web Services Managed API 2.0 as well as the Microsoft Lync Server 2013 SDK and the Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0. Also, Lync Server

From <http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40266>

This is great for testing various environment configurations, including Unified Messaging and different Office 365 Hybrid scenarios. Get ’em while they’re hot!


Google slims down, Chrome gets toned

Now, I know that Google isn’t reading my blog posts… but low and behold, several days after blogging about why I’ve left Google for Microsoft’s tender embrace, Google pushed out an update to Chrome (still my favorite browser, mind you) that streamlines the interface – somewhat.

Ok, got it…



One big clean homepage – recent location thumbnails have shrunk, and they’ve cleaned up a huge chunk of bloat that used to be along the top bar, and the overall effect is quite pleasing.



Where’s the rest?

Clicking on the little grid in the top right corner gives you access to the Google Cornucopia:




Sadly, however… Gmail still has the same old cluttered look and feel – maybe more updates coming down the road? While I’m more than willing to agree that my ex has lost some weight and is looking pretty sweet, Outlook and Office 365 have still captured my heart – plus, Outlook uses Segoe UI!

Sweet, sweet Segoe… <3

Edit PDF content in Word

File this under a new feature I didn’t know existed… you can now edit PDFs in Word 2013!

The converted document might not look exactly the same (formatting might be off by a little bit, or a lot) depending on how much image elements are in the document, and it obviously works a great deal better with documents that are mostly text. However, I opened a document that had been a Word document saved as a PDF, and it was completely perfect, so your mileage may vary.

Once you’re done editing your document, you can use Word to export it back to PDF, by simply clicking on File, Export, then Create PDF/XPS, like so:


Don’t have the latest version of Word? Office 365 has several options that include the latest version of Office, and it will always be current and up to date, which means that you get new features like this one when they come available!


The one where I break Word

I was editing a template today and trying to get some Quick Parts in Word 2013 to automatically update and populate data from the document properties – this ensures that certain fields would automatically be filled in when creating a new document based on this template, which works really well for fields that need to be filled in like Author, Date, Client name, and so forth.

At any rate, I was messing around trying to get these fields to update from the document properties on a SharePoint library without having to close and re-open the document, and all of a sudden, my document fields were replaced with curly braces and a bunch of weird code… like this:




I restored a previous version of the document, I rebooted, I even did a repair of Office but nothing would fix it… I broke Word! Thankfully, all was not lost – if you’re reading this and you’re in the same spot as me – here’s the answer:

Hit Alt-F9!

Turns out there is a key combination that shows the code view in a Word document, and I found it… boy, did I find it! Just press Alt-F9 again, and all is right with the world once more.



That will teach me to try random key combinations to see if I can auto refresh a quick part field!

Presto Wireless printing



I installed this recently for a client, and was pleasantly surprised to see how well it worked – and how easy it was to set up!

The latest upgrade to Collobos Fingerprint wireless printing software has a visual upgrade, as well as some really cool advanced features for printing in an Active Directory environment. They’ve also moved from a one-time purchase and making it an annual subscription of $20 / year for the SOHO version, and $340 / year for the Enterprise version. The Enterprise version includes the Security /Active Directory support, cross subnet printing, as well as premium support from Collobos.

This license is based off the number of servers you install it on, so if you have one server hosting and sharing a bunch of printers, you’ll only need to install and license it once.

All that said, if you have a wireless network, and users who would like to be able to print from their mobile devices, this great little utility can be your new best friend!

Download the installer from their site and install it – no real options were required, just next, next next. When the program starts up, it will detect the printers you have installed and automatically start sharing them – unless you have any advanced requirements, this is all you’ll need to do.



The advanced options have to deal with specifying different domains or network proxies – neither of which were things I needed to make any changes to.

This little print server now begins to broadcast your shared printers via Bonjour, Apple’s sharing technology. It’s also compatible with Google Cloud Print, so you should be able to set up Android devices with it, as well as remote printing through your Google account – I haven’t tried that part, so your mileage may vary!

Here’s how you print from your iDevice:

From a document, webpage or email, tap on the arrow icon:


Tap Print:


Tap Select Printer:


Pick whichever printer you’d like to print to – you’ll notice that it detects all available printers on this server and makes them available to me (and yes, this screenshot is from a different system than the first screenshot)


Select your options, and tap Print:


And off it goes!


Presto installs on any version of Windows from XP to Windows 8, and Server 2003 – Server 2012. Presto also allows you to create virtual printers for printing to PDF, Dropbox or OneNote. Advanced documentation is available from their website.

Missing folders in Outlook 2013

Microsoft has confirmed that one of the latest security updates for Office 2013 is faulty, and one of the symptoms that it causes is an empty Outlook 2013 folder pane:


Thankfully, the fix is simple – you just need to uninstall KB2817630 and KB2810009, and your folders return in all their glory!

You may find, (like us) that you have multiple copies of the KB’s showing up in Installed Updates – simply uninstall all instances of the offending KBs, and you’ll be fine.


One other thing to note – if you’re using Intune to manage your devices, you’ll need to pull the update out of your Approved for Update list, or your users will get notifications to re-install it as soon as it’s uninstalled.

Here’s how you do that:

Log in to your Admin Console, and click on Updates:


Do a search for the updates you want to pull out of your previous approval:


Select your updates, and click Decline:


Yes, yes… we want them gone:


No more update!



4 reasons why I’ve left Google for Microsoft

4. No more Google Reader

No more Google Reader

While not an email related function, Google Reader was my go-to for news feeds and an awesome RSS reader. The day they announced it was closing, I started looking around for a replacement (Feedly is awesome, by the way). Once Google was no longer my one-stop shop, it was only a matter of time before I started looking at Outlook.com

3. New Clean Interface

Even with the latest upgrades to their interface, Gmail still feels cluttered compared to what you see when you log in to Outlook:

Gmail clutter

vs.

Outlook options

and:

Outlook new message

Controls are hidden until you need them, and then appear in a clear, smooth and logical interface.

2. Email Aliases

It’s the year 2013, and Google still doesn’t offer email aliases for your accounts – instead, they suggest you open a new account and set it to forward to your existing email address.

Gmail aliases

Outlook, on the other hand, allows you to create and delete email aliases at will, and it’s a simple as typing it in:

Outlook Alias

And, the number one reason why I’ve left Gmail behind forever is…

1. Exchange Active Sync

Earlier this year, Google decided to drop its support for Exchange Active Sync connections, meaning that email accounts could only connect through Exchange’s uglier cousins, POP and IMAP. This was the death blow for me, as I expect to be able to have full synchronization of all my email, contacts and calendars, including whether or not it’s been read or replied to. Even before this, you couldn’t set up an Exchange account in Outlook, but had to use Google Sync, which was fraught with problems, and was not a good experience to begin with.

Outlook.com gives the same experience regardless of if you’re using webmail, Outlook, or a smartphone – it’s clean, full featured, and a joy to use. Maybe I’m just becoming a Microsofty, but there you have it – Gmail, you’re dead to me!

Recover multiple (thousands) of items in OWA 2007

When a user deletes emails in their Outlook or Web client, these items typically go into their Deleted Items folder – however, if the user hard deletes (Shift-Delete) these items, or empties their trash, these emails can still be recovered out of the Dumpster. The Dumpster is basically a retention setting in Exchange that keeps deleted emails for a certain number of days.

This folder is usually accessed by going into the user’s webmail, clicking on Options, and then clicking on Deleted Items. You can select the items you need to recover, and then click on the Recover to Deleted Items Folder.

Now, this is fall fine and dandy, but what do you do when you need to recover thousands of emails that a user has deleted (usually hastily covering their tracks as they are escorted out of the building by burly security guards)? You are only able to select 50 items at a time in the Recover Deleted Items window – are you going to sit there and select items 1 page at a time for the rest of your life? Not you!


The easiest way to recover thousands of emails out of the Dumpster is to use the Recover Deleted Items option in Outlook – however, this option is not (usually) turned on by default. Here’s how you turn this little magical option on:

    • On the client computer used to perform the deleted items recovery operation, click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
    • Locate, and then click the following registry subkey:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Options

(If you’re on a 64 bit OS, the path is under the Wow6432Node key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Options)

      • You might need to add the Options subkey – I didn’t have it on my machine
      • On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
      • Type DumpsterAlwaysOn, and then press ENTER.
      • Double-click DumpsterAlwaysOn.
      • Type 1 in the Value data area, click Decimal in the Base area, and then click OK.
      • Close Registry Editor.
      • Restart Outlook.

From <http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997155.aspx>

Note that depending on what version of Windows and Outlook you are using, this key might be in one of the following locations:

    • 32-bit Outlook on a 32-bit version of Windows:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftExchangeClientOptions

    • 32-bit Outlook on a 64-bit version of Windows:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftExchangeClientOptions

    • 64-bit Outlook on a 64-bit version of Windows:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftExchangeClientOptions

      Now close and re-open Outlook – click on Folder then Recover Deleted Items:


      You should now see all your deleted items showing up (Dumpster for the win!)

      Click the little folder tree icon (Select All):


      Then click the envelope icon (Recover Selected Items):


      Sit back and watch the magic:


      You can now log back into OWA and verify that your dumpster is now empty, and all those files will be sitting in your Deleted Items folder:


      Who’s your daddy now?

      You are DumpsterAlwaysOn… you are!


Lync 2013 Client: Switching devices during a call

The Lync 2013 client has introduced a number of changes from the 2010 client, and one of the biggest (and hardest to get used to) is the number of menus and options that are accessed by hovering, instead of having a button to click on.

One feature that we’ve really missed is the ability to switch between your phone handset and your headset mid-call. There used to be a button that you could click on in your chat window that would allow you to switch between devices on the fly – this was incredibly useful, especially if you’ve just come flying over to your desk and picked up the phone because your workstation was locked and you can’t get it through the soft client. That button has disappeared in Lync 2013, and we’ve been sorely missing it!

Well, fear not… that option is still there, it’s just hidden in a hover menu now – here’s how you access it:

Hover over this button:

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This opens the menu that allows you to hold or transfer your call, as well as the dial pad and devices.

Click on Devices:

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And now you can transfer between your handset and your headset on the fly!

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You can also adjust your volume here, which is awesome, because this is separate from your headset’s volume, so you can get your volume louder, even if your headset is turned all the way up.

Lync calls not routing properly

One of the biggest issues we’ve had in our new Lync 2013 installation is that calls will not route to a user when their presence shows them as in a meeting – this was an obvious frustration, because it means that the more often than not, the person whom you are in a meeting with can’t get through to you at all!

As a workaround, you had to set your presence to “Available” if you were expecting a phone call for a meeting – by no means a true, or long term solution.

It turns out that this is not a bug, but a configuration issue – According to this TechNet article the Parallel call routing method adheres to a user’s status, and will not send calls to them if they are in a meeting. Switching the call routing method to Attendant changes that behavior and allows calls to route through regardless of their presence. In fact, the only status that Attendant will not route calls through on is “Do Not Disturb”.

Here’s how you change this in the Lync Control Panel:

Click on Response Groups, then Group:

Response Group

Select the Group that you want to modify and change the routing method to Attendant:

Click Commit to save your changes.

Just to make sure your changes take effect immediately, restart your Response Group Service on your Front End server.

Problem Solved!