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Changes in my life, and on my blog

Yesterday I did my last working day at my previous employer and the next week I will begin my employment as a Microsoft consultant at Connecta in Stockholm. Of course this means that things will change, but only for the better I hope. Leaving a position that you like on a workplace that you like is a tough decision. But in my case there are some amazing possibilities and challenges that I just cannot turn down.
The type of work I will be doing differs a bit from my previous position. I will be more focused on development, which also means that I will try to change the direction of this blog to be more development oriented. At the same time, I have come to realize that by blogging in Swedish I do not really contribute to the community as much as I could. Therefore I have chosen to translate my previous posts to English and continue to blog in English from now on.
Furthermore I have decided to focus more on my blog. I have some interesting projects ahead, both personal and professional…

Google+ finally for everyone!

There have been a lot of whining on Google from their Apps-users since the launch of Google+ for everyone with a regular Google-account. The Apps-users have not been able to use Google+, until now! (actually october 27)

As usual I am impressed with most of the things Google accomplishes, but now when all of their services have gotten a visual and functional touchup I am getting really impressed.

As someone at an early stage pointed out it is really sweet of Google to play naive and let me fill in my profile information when I create my profile (as if Google did not already know), but after a few clicks I am on the go. My albums from Picasa is automatically integrated and even the pictures I have uploaded to this blog is shown in Google+.

But what happens next? Practically no one of my friends are on Google+ so what do I use it for? I guess we will see. Hopefully there will be even more integration between the social networks in the future. I am anyhow very satified with the fact that …

User.Identity returns old login name after name change

When a person gets married or makes a name change for some other reason this usually means that the login name for the Active Directory-account changes as well. This is rarely a problem, but it turned out to cause some issues on our web server, where the User.Identity property was still returning the old login name.

The user logged on with the new login name, but was identified by the web application as the old login name. The reason this occurs is because the User.Identity property relies on the LsaLookupSids method to convert the user SID to a login name. The method first calls the local LSA-cache, which is not synchronized with the Active Directory.

For this purpose a simple reboot of the web server to clear the LSA-cache propably would have sufficed. But since we didn't want to take the application offline rebooting was not an option. Instead, it is possible to set the registry value LsaLookupCacheMaxSize in HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa. If this value is set to 0 …

Windows Server 2008 R2 DNS issues

This week we stumbled upon some weirdness in our new 2008 R2 DNS servers. A couple of URLs, for example www.smhi.se and www.stockholm.se could not be resolved from a 2008 R2 server. The existing 2003 servers with the same configuration worked perfectly.

After thorough troubleshooting we found out that there is a new default setting in Windows Server 2008 R2 regarding the EDNS-protocol that caused the issues. Not all of the DNS servers around the internet are able to handle EDNS, but in 2008 R2 this protocol is enabled by default. Normally you would think there is a fallback mechanism to standard DNS protocol if an EDNS request fails, but Windows Server does not have that.

The solution was simply to disable EDNS by using the command: dnscmd /config /EnableEDNSProbes 0

Scott Forsyth has written more about this issue and how he found the solution:
http://weblogs.asp.net/owscott/archive/2009/09/15/windows-server-2008-r2-dns-issues.aspx

Configure static ports for Exchange

In a firewalled Exchange environment it is always easier if Exchange communicates on static ports. Normally RPC on port 135 is used to initialize the communication. Any further communication is made through a port dynamically selected by each service on the Exchange-server.

I will not go deeper into how this is made, because it has been described very well in this blog:
http://www.proexchange.be/blogs/exchange2007/archive/2009/05/18/configuring-static-ports-for-exchange-2007.aspx

Except from the traditional bribes to the network guys, there were just a couple of registry settings on the Exchange-server and some of the clients to make everything work as a charm, even through the firewalls.

Moving to the cloud - part 4

When e-mail, files and blog are already in the cloud the Cornball is the only application left on my hosting provider. It is now getting really exciting because there is no doubt that the Corball should move to the Microsoft cloud, Windows Azure.

The Cornball is a Silverlight application which communicates through a WCF service with a MySQL database, all on the same hosting provider. This is about to be converted into a Silverlight application which communicates through a WCF service on Windows Azure that in turn communicates with an SQL Azure database.
Microsoft have published a lot of information to get started with Windows Azure, but basically it is quite simple. After downloading the tools and SDK it is just to get on with the development. Through my MSDN subscription I have got some free Azure capacity so just by logging on to the Windows Azure portal I am ready to configure my cloud.


The Windows Azure Management Portal is a Silverlight based user interface which is very easy to …

Moving to the cloud - part 3

This blog was previously published using WordPress at a service provider. There were no problems at all with that setup, on the contrary WordPress is a great platform. But if I am going to the cloud, I am going to do it fully.

A quick solution would be to register an account on WordPress.com which offers free WordPress hosting. The only problem is that if you would like your own domain name it is not free anymore. Not that it is expensive, it is just not free. After investigating som other options i finally ended up using Google's Blogger. Maybe not bacause it is the best solution, but mainly because it covers my needs just fine.

As always it is very easy to get going, and the transfer of my existing posts from WordPress worked perfectly thanks to WordPress2Blogger. So after about an hour with configuring and converting this blog is now in the cloud.

Moving to the cloud - part 2

I would really like to recommend Dropbox to store your files. The free version offers 2 GB of storage and the software can run on all my computers and my phone. There are of course several services that do almost the same thing, but so far I have not found anyone that does it as good as Dropbox.

Moving the files to the cloud was easy. I just created an account, installed the software and moved my files to the designated directory. Since then my free account have been upgraded to 3 GB because I made some friends join Dropbox.

The next step was to move my e-mail from my current service provider to Gmail. Wint Google Apps I get exactly the same functionality as a previously had, but also a better web user interface.

The challenge in this move was to move all existing e-mails to my new Google Apps account. It turned out to be pretty easy by activating POP-mail in Gmail and get all the e-mails from the existing mail server. When all e-mails were synchronized all that was left was to change…

Moving to the cloud - part 1

I cannot with words describe the hype around the cloud today, and of course I had to join the croud. I have transferred all my applications, files and services to the cloud. I thought I would share some of the experiences and difficulties I have hit during my jourey.

These are the steps I have performed in order to complete my move to the cloud:
Most of my files are safely stored with Dropbox.E-mail accounts for stodell.se were moved from service provider to Google Apps.The Cornball was moved from service provider to Windows Azure och SQL Azure.This blog was moved from Wordpress at a service provider to Google's Blogger. Even though Loopia has been a great service provider during many years I have now been able to cancel all my services except the domain hosting with them. The replacement being free services and the Azure capacity that is included in the MSDN subscription.