Friday, January 3, 2014

Easily Upgrade your BlackBerry 10 Devices to Natively Install and Run Android Apps

For you BlackBerry power users (I'm a Q10 user) looking to run Android apps, this is how to do it (there was a single app I wanted which is a train commuter scheduler [RailBandit]). The newest leaked Blackberry OS includes Android runtime 4.2.1 and allows ability to natively load Android apps (yes - you load apps right from your BB - AWESOME!). Sadly, Verizon hasn't launched the next OS (10.2 even though it's been out for MONTHS), so you can do it yourself. I've been running this for 12 hrs, and so far I like it. It's super easy as well. This is to run the brand new leaked (radio 1899) less than a week old. What's cool about BB10 is you can upgrade the radio code separately from the general OS. Makes it easier for the carrier to test and release updates (or in theory should). The juicy details...

Use This to Download Your OS (Q10, Z10, Z30, etc)

Backup Source

Here are the steps to install a leaked OS on your BlackBerry 10 device (most popular desktop OS required):

Download and install BlackBerry Link (latest is b122) direct from BB.
Backup your BB, just in case and to downgrade if you need to.
Download correct OS from CB URL link above (don't worry about the term "radio" - from the one that says "").
Switch off your BlackBerry 10 device
Run the AutoLoader File
Connect your BlackBerry 10 Device to your PC via USB
Quickly Turn on your BlackBerry 10 device
The AutoLoader will detect your device and starts the installation
Please hold till the AutoLoader reaches to 100% and CLOSES automatically
Disconnect your BlackBerry 10 device and wait till it starts again
Security wipe before start using/restoring your data (I didn't do this, but the instructions suggest it)
Manual Setup your config, apps, etc
Enable the install apps functionality from 3rd parties. The first time you download and run an app, the OS will prompt you to enable this feature. Thanks BlackBerry!

Bonus: 2 good sources for loading Android apps is Amazon Apps and Load both App Store Apps and you can load your new Android apps easily.

Screenshots of the goodness (note: no BES required, but I run one since I roll like that)....


 After - (yeah baby)

To a Happy, Healthy, Productive, and Efficient 2014!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Network Solutions = AOL Email. If you want to be respected in the 21st century switch to another provider.

Worked on a server environment migration to a datacenter yesterday. Everything went smoothly except for DNS was not working for the client. I spent an extra 2 hours troubleshooting DNS. I repeatedly attempted to update DNS in the Network Solutions webpage, and it would not show the updated entries. Tried with IE, Chrome, and multiple OSes. Nada. Turns out it was a bug in the NetSol system. A call to support indicated that. So, I was assured it would be resolved on Sunday, almost 24 hrs later on Monday, still not working. DNS A records are showing up web page with one entry, and the result is not showing up on the NetSol NS query responses. So, if you updated with and do a DNS query the original IP pre-Sunday.

Just to be CLEAR.... if I query & which are the client's NS entries PER Network Solutions, they respond with the wrong entries. How nice. Call to support, and the script reading call rep, didn't understand the issue and kept repeating it takes 24 hours to propagate. Another favorite is you delete or change an entry on the NetSol "advanced DNS" page and the changes aren't displayed. Logout and log back in, same info. This happens on the main webpage and DNS as well. What a joke of a system. I tried to switch to a 3rd party DNS system, and the NetSol NS are not following the DNS spec for NS lookups at point of entry (I added my NS entries, etc). NetSol claimed they cant' be found, but even the native Windows DNS finds them. Sigh.... So sad the founding internet's domain name provider has failed so badly similar to AOL.

DNS Tool I like since it allows me to query against any NS and for any record


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BES 5 & BES 10 Server Consolidation Coming...

Currently, users running BB 4-7 need BES 5 and BB 10 requires BES 10. So, you need to run 2 separate servers for BES 5 & BES 10. This will be changing once an update is released to BES 10 (ETA is May 2013). This update will be "managed using a single fully featured management console". Then BES 10 & BES 5.0.3+ will be able to run on the same server. Very helpful.


Exchange 2010 & 2013 Compatible Not There Yet...

With the recent release of Service Pack 3 for Exchange Server 2010 compatibility with Exchange Server 2013, we are getting closer, but NOT yet. Now Exchange Server 2013 needs an update. The update is tentatively called Exchange Server 2013 CU1. That will then allow integration between 2010 & 2013. ETA should be available "shortly". I would guess March or April of 2013.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Apple Screws Up iOS EAS Implementation AGAIN! - Exchange Suffers

Has your Exchange 2010 CAS recently started experiencing heavy CPU, insane transaction logs growth (aka DoS), Apple might be the cause. Apple released iOS 6.1 last week (beginning of Feb) and it has a "slight" EAS bug in it. ;-) Another bonus... it drained iOS batteries and wasted data bandwidth. So bad... Vodafone txted all iPhone users to NOT upgrade to 6.1. Oops.... and 6.1.1 doesn't fix it...

You would think a large company (aka Apple) that prides itself on releasing "amazing products" would not repeat their mistakes in the past (iOS 4), but sadly history is repeating itself. iOS 6.1.1 fixed another problem. This is why I am not a fan of EAS. It's buggy since vendors don't have a real incentive or pressure to make sure EAS works well. Sure, Microsoft releases "guidelines" and crosses it's fingers vendors follow, but it's a frequent problem. I know, since I see the EAS connections logs and the Exchange problems they cause. I'll post in the future, how to look this up in your Exchange logs. I'm leaving EAS soon enough... I'll be happy to return to the BlackBerry ecosystem when the Q10 is released. That's another post...

See the Microsoft KB article, but to summarize, there are is a quick fix:

- delete the Exchange account from the iOS device and re-add

iOS 6.1 EAS Bug - Workarounds

iOS 4 EAS Bug (walk down memory lane)


Monday, June 25, 2012

Exchange Book Review - iPhone and Exchange Server 2010

Hello All,

I was asked to review an Exchange book with a focus on iOS by Steven Goodman. Overall good Exchange Server book with decent amount of iPhone documentation. But there is a lot of non-relevant (non-iOS) content to call it an iPhone & Exchange book. I would refer to it as an Exchange Server Setup with a focus on iOS functionality.

There's a lot of content, which isn't relevant to experienced admins looking to brush up on iOS functionality/capabilities. For example, who needs to know how to run the "setup.exe" on Exchange (w/screen shots), design planning, HA, etc. Come on! Focus on iPhone integration. So, skip to the chapters you want to read, and don't attempt to read this cover to cover. The book lacks some important information about iOS devices such as throttling policies for iOS/ActiveSync devices, reviewing logs to determine performance usage (1/2 page on analyzing reports isn't adequate), etc. Don't get me wrong, the book is a good Exchange 2010 book with touches of iOS knowledge. But, if you run into Exchange performance issues with iOS/ActiveSync devices, you'll need more technical knowledge than this book offers.


P.S. I agreed with the other review that the author is jumping on the "Apple bandwagon" by titling it as an iPhone Exchange Server book.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Our missing email admin friend called telnet!

Want a free tool to quickly test your email server is responding to port 25 and is acceptable mail. Use the native tool available in Windows. Sadly, it's not installed by default, so you'll need to add it as a "Feature". And then you can do things like telneting to port 25 and see your email server respond.

See this easy to follow Microsoft article to walk you through the telnet process to send email. I use this often. You can easily find it by googling "telnet port 25" and then bang, you have access to it wherever you are. No need to memorize the steps.