Geeky/Programming Product Reviews

Moving to Office 365 from Google Apps: Follow Up

Earlier I blogged about Moving to Office 365 from Google Apps, and some of my woes.

In the time since, things have been straightened out. First off, what happened to me sucked, but was resolved. I think Microsoft knows they have some initial bugs and they will work it out. What does stand out is that the customer service is top notch. Their forum moderators replied. Their twitter account @Office365 replied. They actually CALLED me and walked through fixing the issue. This was great. They made sure it was working before leaving me hanging.

After I got the issues resolved, I switched my GoDaddy DNS to MSFT DNS name servers and away we go. I reset up my iPhone, iPad syncing with my new Office365 stuff, worked great, found the server url, etc. Android I had to type it in (to find it, log into web mail and go to about off the help icon). I set it up with Outlook 2010 and it works great. Also on Mac, works great there too.

I haven’t done much more than just use it. Some things I miss or want? First, in Gmail, you can archive mail right from iOS. Exchange doesn’t have this, but in Outlook you can set up quick steps to do it, so I did that. The OWA interface doesn’t have quick steps, which would be nice. I haven’t used Lync yet as I don’t have anyone to talk to on it, I will dork around with that later. Haven’t used the SharePoint or Office Web Apps yet, it has been more Mail, Contacts, Calendar to start.

I would like to point my to the Office365 portal for easy access, haven’t looked into it yet.

One other thing I noticed, is that some mail still comes to my old Google Apps account. Facebook mail alerts for sure. They might have a slow DNS change time as most all other mail comes to Office365. More to come as I get into things though.

Geeky/Programming Reviews

Moving from Google Apps to Office 365

I have been using Google Apps premier since 2007. Almost 4 years. Before that I used hotmail and tried to use the Microsoft ecosystem as I had a Windows Mobile phone, many of them actually. Before Windows Mobile was “cool”. The thing with Google Apps is that it only offered the “core” apps for a loooong time. (Mail, Calendar, Docs, Chat). Recently they allowed you to “transition” to more Google services (apps), such as Reader, Voice, etc, etc.

Now, this sounds great right? Yeah, except in the last 4 years I had to create a regular gmail account to use most of the Google services (YouTube, voice, Reader), and now I have 4 years of content and what not built up with that account. Google wants me to “start fresh” with my Google Apps account? Doesn’t sound like much fun. Also Google+ just came out, and it doesn’t work with Google Apps accounts, another great way for Google to alienate paying customers, and rewarding free ones. You can’t be signed into both a Google Apps and Google Account at the same time (at least without problems) So I end up having to run one browser with Google account and one with Google Apps? No thanks again.

What I decided to do is try something new. There aren’t many options.

1. Hotmail
2. Yahoo
3. Hosted Exchange (Rackspace, etc)
4. Office 365
5. Other

With Hotmail.. It works, I actually changed it over in a hour or so.. but, there is no 1st class citizen mail client on Mac. Mail, other 3rd party, even Outlook, only connect with POP, not with IMAP. iOS at least uses Activesync. This is somewhat of a deal breaker for me, as I like to use a client on the desktop, or at least try them out.

Yahoo is just out, well, because it is Yahoo. Hosted Exchange looks promising, but too much $$ for not the same features I currently get. Office 365 seems like the logical choice.

I was in the beta for Office 365 and dorked around with it a little bit. I decided to take the plunge.

It is a little more expensive than Google Apps a year, but really no other choices. My first concern was with my Google Talk with my Google Apps. Probably not going to work. Why? Well, with Office 365, if you are on the small business plan, you have to delegate your DNS to Office 365. You can create CNAME and A records, but not TXT or SRV records, etc. Google Apps GTalk needs SRV records in your DNS.

Also, when you sign up for Office 365, you get a weird account, not a Windows Live ID, but Online Services ID, like .. and then you have to set up your custom domain inside the Office 365 web app.

Currently, this is where I am at, and I hope to have a follow up to this..

I made all the DNS changes for Office 365. I created another account in my system, and assigned it a license. I made the account admin, so I had 2 admin accounts. Everything was working.

I decided to cleanup the account, by removing the mailbox and account. It had the same “Full Name” as my regular account, Steve Novoselac. I went to delete and it said “Do you want to remove Steve Novoselac”, I was weary but figured it was keyed on email address of the account record, not name.

Boom, it deleted both the records on my account. Currently I can’t even login to my account. Even better with the small business account you don’t get 24/7 support. Just “service tickets” and the community forum. I did put in a service request and a forum post, and I am working through the issue, but it seems ridiculous. Why?

First off, you shouldn’t be able to remove the “last admin” from an account. Second, it should delete by email address and not full name. We will see how and when I get this resolved, but currently I just switched my DNS back to Google Apps so I can continue to receive email.

Another unknown is the Lync online. It is federated with WLM, but I am curious to see how that is all going to work. Giving support a few days and hopefully will have it all sorted out. More to come..


Big Change #1 – Moving

Since moving to Madison, WI back in November of 2007, not much has changed as far as the living situation. The apartment we are in is ok, and I was planning on not moving for a while. I just counted today and I have moved like 12 times since 1998. Yikes.

The problem is.. our apartment management company, “The Madison Apartments”, aka “Fiduciary Real Estate”, aka “Stoneridge Pointe Condos” decided they wanted to turn our apartment into a condo. You see, most of the places around where we live are condos, and when we moved in, they said NOTHING about our place being converted into a condo.

Fast forward 6 months, we come home and have a letter saying basically “you can buy it, or you can move” which is total BS. On top of that, I asked if we could move out early, since we are being FORCED out. And of course they said no. Greedy, greedy. I really do hope someone run across this post and sees how greedy they are, and that they should look for somewhere else to live.

Anyway, we found some new condos in Sun Prairie, WI which is about 2 miles east of where we live now. These condos have been sitting empty for a while, and no one has even lived in them. We are moving in there next weekend, a bigger place, and just nicer all around.

The funny thing is, the old apartments are changing rentals into condos, and the new place is turning condos into rentals. You would think that these places would be wanting to keep rentals as rentals, especially the way the housing market is. Do they really think someone is going to buy the apartment we are in as a condo? If they did they would really be missing out. Overpriced and really just not worth how much they want for it.

So, #12 move, coming up here soon. This time I am getting smart and hiring movers. I will get a case of beer, and watch THEM move. So worth it.

This is big change #1 out of 3. Stay tuned for the next two…


Out of the Apartment..into the Hotel

Today I moved out of my apartment in Sartell. They really thought it was clean, I am getting my full deposit back! Right now I am in a hotel in Sartell, just getting my laptop up and running, before I walk over to G-Allen’s for a Going Away party. Should be a good time! Tomorrow, show my head into work, go to lunch, and hit the trail!

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Q: What is one good thing about having size 14 feet?

A: You have a lot of big shoe boxes to store stuff in πŸ™‚


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Moving – Hitting the Oregon Trail!

Well, a lot of people already know, I am moving to Portland, Oregon. I am heading out west starting May 31st. My apartment here in Sartell is sub leased out, I have an apt lined up out in Portland, and my employer is going to keep me on as a contractor. I will probably give some more info on things as it gets a little closer, but for now, all I can say is that I am very excited. It is a new chapter for me, and basically like an adventure. I guess that is what life is all about.

Going on vacation out there in April was basically to check it out to see if I would like it, and yes, I did! What a great place, tons of cool things, and just the way things are laid out as far as the ocean, mountains, trees, landscape in general – just seems like a great place to be, and I can’t wait to be there.

I blogged a few weeks back about selling stuff I have, which I have been doing. I am just going to take anything I can fit into my car. Right now I don’t have much left to get rid of, so in the next week and a half, it should all be gone.

Dude!, I’m getting a Dell! – Since I am going to be contracting, I figured it would be good to get a laptop, so I bought one the other day on, should be here next week! – Pretty excited about that.

I have been in the Central MN area (St. Cloud, Waite Park, Sartell, Richmond) for almost 10 years now. I moved down here from Chisholm after high school in 1998, to go to SCSU for Comp SCSI and run track and cross country. Things have changed dramatically since then. I feel as though it is time to move on. I am pretty excited!

Last but not least, Emily is out in Portland! I can’t wait to see her again! πŸ™‚

Here is an artist’s rendition of what my trip will look like on the way out:


If you don’t know, that is from the classic video game – Oregon Trail. Hopefully I won’t die from dysentery πŸ™‚

I am going to be sad going, missing my friends and being farther away from family, but I just think this is a good move, I feel “right” out there. I am doing many things that many people have told me that they wished they could have done, or missed the opportunity to do. I am going to be living right in the hustle and bustle of the city, but I will also be 20 minutes from the wilderness. With my guitar and my laptop, I should be fine. I am really excited!!!

I am guessing their might be a going away party yet to be scheduled, if there is, I will post up the details, and I am sure the after party pics, up here.

Ò€œOpportunities multiply as they are seized.Ò€? – Sun Tzu


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How do you sell/get rid your stuff?

This weekend I started spring cleaning, minimizing. You can see I started with getting rid of cable. Instead of running a second Windows 2003 server, I am going to get a USB enclosure for the 80 GB hard drive and use that. I have a lot of things that I don’t use, don’t need, or just could get rid of.

#1 – My PSP – won it, used it, but don’t use it enough

#2 – My PS2 – played all the games, over it, time to get rid of it

#2.5 – PS2 Games – 32 games – taking up space.

#3 – My Beer Fridge – don’t need it πŸ™‚

#4 – My Bass guitar and small amp – again, don’t use enough, don’t really need it

#5 – My Electric Guitar and Big Amp – don’t use it. They are old, if I want to get a new one, I will, and it won’t be a ghetto one.

#6 – Portable DVD player – don’t really use it anymore, and I have a DVD player here (Xbox 360 – what can’t it do?)

#7 – Ipod – well gave it to someone who will use it.

#8 – DVD’s – I have Netflix, easy enough to get them, or Unbox, or other online movie services. No use having the DVD’s . I will keep a few classics (Matrix, Goonies, Big Lebowski) of course.

#9 – Books – I had a bookshelf full of books that I have lugged around for 5 years. Well, the Library has them now, Magazines too (MSDN, Xbox, Nintendo Power)

#9.5 – Bookshelf – no more books – don’t need a bookshelf anymore πŸ™‚

#10 – Clothes – A lot of clothes I don’t wear or won’t wear – going to Goodwill.

#11 – Junk – tons of junk and pack rat stuff, throwing it out.

#12 – Baseball cards – I have some baseball cards. I want to sell, need to figure it out, it really is a hassle.

#13 – 27 inch TV – I have two TV’s, the old tube and the new LCD I won this year. Time to consolidate.

I also have a ton of other stuff, old Nintendo NES parts if anyone wants (controllers, joystick, games, etc)

There are probably 1000 more things I could list, just to clean up stuff and get organized.

So out of the list, I have things on EBay,, Craigslist. Add that with donating, and throwing, you can really clean up your stuff. It starts to feel good when things are just what you need and you don’t have stuff all over the place taking up space, and you just end up hauling it around every time you move.

In my experience, I have found Amazon to be the best for media (DVD’s, Games) – although I will probably bring most of my games to a local store, and DVD’s too, its a hassle to mail them out.

EBay, for bigger electronics, but I have recently found Craigslist to work too. Still on the fence with this.

If anyone is interested in anything above, let me know, I will give you a deal, that is if its not already gone! πŸ™‚

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New House

I am a homeowner as of today. Purchased a house in Richmond, MN (huge town of like 1200 people). Anyways, I think I will post pictures up on flickr as I make improvements – some pics I will just share with family and friends, so signup and add me as a contact if you want to see them :). River Lake Days is coming up in Richmond, so I will have to see how that plays out, as I am 1 block from Main Street (and the 4 bars).


Packing and Moving

Oh how I love packing. I am moving soon, so it’s time to pack everything up, junk tons of stuff, organize. Hopefully when I unpack, things will be better organized, with more room, etc. Boxes are either too big, or too small, or not sturdy enough πŸ™‚ – in a few weeks though, it will be over and I’ll be happy. Crazy month this month, move, we are moving to a new office at work, I think I might get a new vehicle, and overall just tons of things going on. I am thinking I might get a couple TiVo’s too, since where I am moving, I dont think there are DVR’s. My computer desk is getting junked as it is almost tipping over, I really need to get something more permanent. Maybe I will try to find some better cable management solution as well, between PSP, GPS, Ipod, Phone, Digital Camera, other stuff – it just becomes a rats nest of cables. I will put all my computer stuff in the basement where it is cool, but I will need a de-humidifer. I can’t wait to start using my Dell desktop again (with Vista Beta2) – since right now at my apt, the room is just too hot to use it, even with the AC on. My 360 doesnt like the heat either, locks up every once in a while. I will be glad to just get moved πŸ™‚


Moving and Microsoft Betas

i am moving to a new apt tomorrow, so things have been kind of hectic lately. Cancelled my internet and phone, and right now i am “borrowing” a clearwire modem for the weekend, so limited connectivity. I have been using IE7 Beta1 for the latter part of this week and I think it is good, but still has a ways to go. MSN Messenger Beta 7.5 is sweet, voice clips are fun. The Hotmail Beta – needs alot of work! But I have subscribed to a few devs on the team and posted to their blogs with some things I am seeing. Installed Vista on seperate computer and have been playing with that.

Today I got the OneCare Live CD in the mail, haven’t had a chance to test it yet though.

And finally, I have been playing with doing a MSN Virtual Earth mashup, which is pretty intresting.

Microsoft is just coming out with new stuff so fast, it is hard to keep it all straight!