Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Entourage EWS Attachment Limits

We've been wrestling through an Entourage attachment-size issue that's been maddening. Today we finally got to work with Microsoft's Product Support Services technical lead. He and his colleague were helpful, and we got through it, but it took more than an hour! It was about as straight-forward as San Francisco's Lombard Street, but here's what we learned:
  • Entourage file attachment limitations are managed by the Exchange 2007 server in the EWS folder.
  • There's no easy-to-use checkbox to say someone has no limitation on attachment file size.
  • Assuming that when you don't impose an attachment size limitation on a user-- presumably because you don't want there to be a limitation on their attachment sizes-- is enough won't work. Exchange applies its default limitation of 5mb!
  • When setting a higher limit to allow someone to send attachments larger than 5mb, don't base the new limit on the actual size of the attachment files. Mime will expand attachments about 1/3 larger than their original file size. But don't base the new limit on that size either, because Exchange expands the attachments even larger! Set the limit to about double the original attachments' file size.
Many Mac users work on media files. While email isn't the best way to send large files, some will want to quickly send large (25-50mb) attachments. Microsoft will be wise to simplify this process.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

SmartPhone Bondage

A friend recently posted on his Facebook that his iPhone being broken that day was, "probably the single most liberating experience [he's] had in the last 5 years. Serious!"

That's not an uncommon comment! The reason, I think, is because we allow those SmartPhones to keep us over-connected, resulting in less time to focus on those around us or ourselves! It's a real problem! Those little devices that are supposed to make our lives better and more productive are sometimes more like a virtual leash! When I posted that as a comment on his Facebook, he responded, "They are more a bondage than freedom." He's right.

Who's In Charge?
My approach to technology has always been a little different than most. Just because technology can do something doesn't necessarily mean I want it to. So I rarely use every "feature", choosing instead to manage technology.

If we don't manage technology, it will manage us.

For Example
I don't turn on email synchronization on my SmartPhone. I can hear some reading this gasping for air at that thought, but it's true! So I am less interrupted and better able to focus on those who I'm with or on personal time.

I can still get to my email via the browser if I want to (me being in charge of the technology), but rarely do. If it's that important, I'll get a call soon enough.

Also, I don't run a Twitter client on my SmartPhone. (Those previously gasping for air may want to dial 911 for help). I only have Twitter notify me of direct messages. The rest I'll see when I check my Twitter 2-4 times daily... usually enough to keep current with my relationships there while still allowing me to have a life.

So let me encourage you to manage your use of technology in a different way too! If you're not sure whether this is a need, ask those closest to you how they feel when you're reaching for your SmartPhone to read email or Twitter. Relationships are important, and those God has given us that are closest to us (spouse, kids, neighbors) want our full attention. It might even make the difference in their sense of how God prioritizes them!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Article on Mac Software Recommendations

In 2007 I began using a Mac for a research project. When that project was finished I decided to stay on the Mac! Some say if you try a Mac you’ll never go back; I stayed with it because it helps us support many of our clients who use them. The switchover has been a little challenging, however, because I’m used to using business-class software. In this article I’ll share what software I use to keep me as productive as I was on the Windows platform, which may help the Mac users on your team.

Download the article (updated on 8/25/2009) here for free in PDF format!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm a CTI Your Church Contributing Editor!

The folks at Christianity Today's Your Church magazine and I have been talking for a couple of months about something they officially announced today! I have joined their team of contributing editors, and am very excited about it! I have had great respect for the Christianity Today family of magazines since the late-1970s.

This doesn't change my contributing editor commitment for Christian Computing Magazine or The Clergy Journal, but gives me the opportunity to help/ serve more churches and ministries.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mac Office Gets Essential Entourage Update

Microsoft announced today they have decided the next release of Office for Mac will include Outlook instead of Entourage! That's great news for enterprise Mac users whose companies use Microsoft Exchange for their mail server!

There are many who are mis-stating that info, though, as though the new version's release is imminent. It is not! My sources at Microsoft tell me it will be released in late 2010 or early 2011. So, what should those Mac users do in the meantime?

Microsoft released today the next update for Entourage that includes EWS (Exchange Web Services). It's a free upgrade for Entourage 2008 users (make sure your Entourage 2008 is currently patched before installing!), and it delivers vastly improved Exchange integration for the Mac. This is also very good news for Mac users and should not be put off while waiting for the next release of Office for Mac in a year or two.

You can download the free upgrade to Entourage 2008 EWS right here:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kid's Allowance w/an Impact

We started giving our daughter an allowance when she was seven years old. We wanted to accomplish a few things with it:
1. Teach her about being responsible to contribute to the household.
2. Give her the satisfaction of earning her own money.
3. Teach her how to handle money.
4. Build a foundation for success in a capitalistic system.

The image to the left is her checklist from when she was eleven. Looking at it, you'll notice a few things:
  • There were a a total of 38 possible checks
  • We set "Good Achievement", which earned "Full Allowance"-- 76%, which is a C in schoolwork. In other words, she earned her full allowance if she was average. We wanted her to know that we neither demanded nor expected perfection.
  • We allowed her to perform at a higher level if she wanted to bonus up! She could earn as much as 50% more if she was willing to do better than average.
Our daughter has learned that working harder brings more rewards, whether at home or school or work. Though sometimes she only earns a hug (we always accept and love her), she often earns a bonus!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Is Your Church on The Internet?

While cleaning out some old files this morning I ran across my 51-slide PowerPoint (before its ability to build slides line by line) of a workshop I presented at many national and regional conferences in 1995 - 1997 called Should Your Ministry Be On The Internet? My, how far we've come! Some of my slides titles were:
  • What Is The Internet?
  • What Is Email?
  • What Is A Web Page?
  • Online Service (AOL, CompuServe, Prodigy) vs ISP
  • To Host-- Or Not To Host
So... is your church on the Internet? ;~)