A December Hike Through Wekiwa Springs 13-Mile White-Loop

How do you remember a walk in the woods? With months past now, I had reflected on this winter outing because of the sunlight illuminating the golden, brown and red hues of dry brush and weeds. On this morning, it hadn’t mattered how near or far this location. More important was the immersion into adult introspection contrasting with childish titillation.

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Traveling the first mile of the artery feeding the majority of park trails, a wooden marker had signaled a break in the path. Turning left and moving across a paved road, my friend and I had encountered a campground. At the edge of this encampment of vehicles was a small row of wooden benches converging into a theater like area. Much to our amusement, we had found a lady’s discarded top nearby on the ground. Wasting no time for a photo-op, I had stretched the garment across my chest for minutes of grins.

During the second portion of the hike, we had walked through crisp foliage underneath a green canopy of pine needles. The gray dry sandy trail had eventually transformed into a dark brown. With each advancing step, our feet had slipped further into the watery mud. Despite the diminishing quality of the surroundings, our spirits had coasted along on the power of puns and innuendo. This had continued until encountering a small black constrictor. Collecting snapshots of the peaceful reptile, we had completed two-thirds of the white trail loop.

The final leg of our morning journey was characterized by curiosity regarding walking sticks and bees. The walking sticks insects had seemed eerily out of place. They were easy bait for any predator hungry for a meal; however, pairings of these insects had slowly crawled unabated from any lizard or bird. Next, just past a worn wooden hold for horses, a hoard of bees had hovered in the air. Almost out of sight, the droning sound of the bees had recalled a recent news story. A story in which a father and son were stung by a hoard ending up in the local hospital. With this thought echoing a similar childhood experience for my friend, we had expeditiously cleared the last portion of the hike.

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That small adventure navigating through nature had epitomized a moment of personal freedom and liberty. An adventure that had deferred adult responsibility. With fall coming around again, I had looked forward to not only cooling weather but, the smile of an earnest friend.

Read more:
Wekiva Springs State Park

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Why bother with Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) Online Training?

For all their shortcomings, Microsoft provides one of the most palatable soft sells for products with MVA. It is also providing one of the widest selections of technical subject matter training from any IT vendor. In combination with white papers and TechNet, Microsoft Virtual Academy provides a great starting point for learning and/or review of Microsoft offerings.

For getting the greatest return on your time, in course descriptions look out for phrases like “Jump Starts” and the appropriate difficulty level (i.e. 100,200,300).

Some of the key benefits without logging into microsoftvirtualacademy.com are viewing free courses or downloading free E-books (http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/ebooks).

On the other hand, by associating a Microsoft account when logging into MVA, here are some key benefits;

1. User(s) can bookmark classes for later viewing by clicking on the ADD TO MY LEARNING PLAN radio button.

2. User(s) can track their progress and reprioritize.

3. Participants can print a completion certificate per course. I believe these make a nice fit for annual reviews.

4. Periodically get vouchers for new Microsoft exams when registering for Live Events.

Whether you are an IT profressional, hobbyist or just curious about technology, I would suggest exploring the various subjects categories available encompassing administration, development, and more.  Learning, I believe works best by inspiration. MVA definitely starts one down a rabbit hole of possibility, leaving a person wanting to know more. It’s just a question of how far you go to get your answers.

To create a Microsoft Account go to https://signup.live.com/  

To logon to MVA, visit www.microsoftacademy.com 

Tip, PowerShell SHIFT + TAB

So, using PowerShell for years now, last night while watching a course off microsoftvirtualacademy.com, I had come across new tip. One that had made my heart flutter and awakening me from the edge of slumber. Anyone familiar with PowerShell had probably come across the ability to cycle through commands with TAB but, “How about cycling in reverse?”

Periodically, having to quickly TAB through GET- or SET- commands, usually had meant inadvertently skipping over the right entry. Then, you were left partially annoyed having to interrupt the search with  CNTRL + C

The remedy for this quandary for going back in time through PowerShell commands was simply utilizing SHIFT + TAB

That, I had found worth repeating few times.

SHIFT + TAB

SHIFT + TAB

SHIFT + TAB

ps

Thoughts on Supporting Outlook for Mac 2016 from Microsoft Ignite @ Chicago, Illinois

Recently, I had attended Microsoft’s Inaugural Ignite tech conference @ Chicago, Illinois. One of the best parts of the experience was hearing first hand product changes from developers. Outside some of the branding of Outlook into Office 2016 for the Mac, Microsoft had mapped out their commitment to stability, enhancements, and regular updates. Those updates were getting specifically released every month or two from this point forward. Another noteworthy improvement was handling of attachments. Attachments were reintegrated into the client for saving directly into Office 365 or SharePoint with the same familiar icon. As an Exchange administrator, I had wondered, “How much email quota space an employee is going to save?” Probably quite a bit!

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Of course, with the good had come the bad. Still off the table was lack of support for “recover deleted items” and “Import/Export of PSTs.” Though currently only Windows options, the product management team had verbally committed addressing these missing features in the near future (i.e. hopefully a year).

So, the big takeaway was developers reaching out to their customers. “How?” you might have asked. For my current environment, three areas had got my attention for connecting.

1. Where should you report or ask about a bug?

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/

2. Where can you ask for an enhancements for future versions of Outlook for Mac?

http://outlook.uservoice.com

3. Where can you ask a quick question relating to product support outside of a bug, fix, or enhancement (i.e. What are supported versions of Exchange for Outlook 2016 for Mac?)

On Twitter with ‘Outlook for Mac’

Apparently, the product management team had curated each of the above areas regularly. That openness for contact was far more refreshing than hearing about any feature parity or cloud strategy. For years, Mac development had seemed like an afterthought. Now, Microsoft had made in words and deeds the thought of supporting Mac for Outlook just a bit more exciting!

Read More:

Meet the new Outlook for Mac 2016 (channel9.msdn.com)

The Office 2016 Mac Preview is here! (blogs.office.com)

Microsoft Ignite Keynote, 2015 (channel9.msdn.com)

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Turn off Windows service across Exchange 2010 servers based off Exchange role

At work, I had come across monitoring alerts for our Exchange servers. The error had showed a failed state for the Exchange Edge Sync service. The only problem, we had lacked any Exchange Edge servers routing traffic. The remedy was disabling MSExchangeEdgeSync across almost 30 transport servers. Now, on one hand repetitive tasks were from an IT perspective, therapeutic; however, what if I had missed one by accident. So the push was on for a code snippet to silence them all like lambs Clarice.

1. get-transportserver – The first part was gathering all Exchange servers with the transport role. 

2. set-service MSExchangeEdgeSync -startuptype “disabled” – This was important for avoiding the manual GUI moves per server.

3. -computername $computername – This was the final piece to the puzzle, pulling names for set-service to work against.

So, the final command was formatted like this.

set-variable -name $computername (get-transportserver) set-service MSExchangeEdgeSync -computername $computername -startuptype “disabled” -whatif

Again, I had encouraged anyone in a production environment to always append -whatif just before pulling the trigger. Be sure your sure, no one had liked making a mess of things in front of your chancellor.

Read More:

Set-Service (Microsoft Technet)

Set-Variable (SS64)

Why WordPress for iPhones won’t upload videos? Part 2: The Prophecy

On June 17, 2014, I had learned a horrible truth regarding WordPress vlogging on iOS devices. No, I hadn’t discovered a mentor a Sith Lord. Rather, my iPhone was no longer capable of uploading videos without syncing through my MacBook. The inconvenience had driven my fingers searching across the internet searching for an answer. “What a creative buzz kill,” I had internalized reading the developers’ GitHub explanation for dropping video.

github

Asking when this function might return, the developers had quickly responded in a few weeks; however, the expectation for delivery had slipped from a month, then to a season and now over a year. With so much time passing between updates, I had already forgotten about ever returning to WordPress for vlogging. Instead, I had periodically thrown up a few videos elsewhere, specifically Facebook or nothing at all.

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Last Thursday, checking my email at work on break, a curious entry had filled my view. Re-reading the email two more times ensuring my comprehension, I was bewildered. A developer update had just come through when video uploads might be returning. To my surprise, the phrase being used was “imminent.” Apparently, I wasn’t the only curious soul to the inquire,” What does that exactly mean?” Another follow-up email from a fellow GitHub follower had solicited these responses;

“..Subject: Re: [WordPress-Editor-iOS] Re-enable support for uploading videos (#14)

@richardmax Videos are imminent (wordpress-mobile/WordPress-iOS#3503)! As of right now, they are slotted in for the WPiOS 5.1 release.

Thanks for sticking with us!

@richardmax Roughly, sometime in the middle to end of May.”

Reading these responses, I had hastily verified my iPhone for the version of WordPress iOS Editor being 5.0. It was like winning a pie eating contest. Better yet, it had equaled the joy of watching the newly released Star Wars Force Awaken teaser trailer like a giddy childhood nerd.

Now, the only thing remaining was cautiously waiting in anticipation.

Read More:
Why WordPress for iPhones won’t upload videos? (garzafx.com)

A Journey into Wonderous Stories

This past Monday, I had placed my two week notice at the office. With that simple interaction, a new journey had started to surface on the horizon. Gone were the countless hours of shifting through different conversations and desires that makes one resolute in a final decision leaping forward; however, the trepidation accompanying such a decision was dwarfed by the acceptance of changing, if not ending, some of the personal work relationships from over the years. For those moments, I had encountered emotional conflict.

Some of these interactions had grown into friendship, perhaps even extending even beyond this reality. Yet, still my mind had wandered into the potential of tomorrow. “What now?”, I had thought reflecting on all the shared stories and jokes over the years. What defines my person was the very freedom of wandering, aimlessly sometimes, from one locale to the next. Though, what merit had held the journey without the company you keep?

Tonight, I had started thinking about the choices ahead giving rise to new adventures. Whether mental or physical, these steps were highlighted by starting with one moment, one muse at a time.

Experience More:
Muse (Wikipedia)
Yes – Wonderous Stories (Yes Official)