Some PBX integrations can be particularly tricky, especially when they are legacy PBX is multiple versions behind the current releases or the hardware is failing. It reminds me a little bit of some of the old Exchange 5.5 and Novell migrations I have done in the past, except in a different kind of environment. On a good note, you eventually become pretty knowledgeable about different PBX systems and their quirks, and how to work through them the best you can.
With that said, I stumbled upon a particularly interesting blog post by a MS employee about using the MSPL scripting language to manipulate SIP packets and fake a 180 ring back. Ultimately, the ideal fix is to get the existing PBX to do the right thing, but sometimes that is not always a viable option.
In the upcoming months, I'm going to dig more into MSPL and see exactly how creative you can get with this language. It could prove to be very handy for problematic/buggy SIP implementations or as a stop-gap measure to work around something that OCS normally cannot handle. I'm thinking of situations where you need to do something special/different between the mediation server and the PBX gateway to make things work correctly.
Of course, keep in mind any custom made scripts you deploy will be the first things that Microsoft PSS will want to disable in a troubleshooting scenario. It definitely would put you into an 'unsupported' scenario.
I blogged about a post-SP2 Outlook 2007 release that optimized Exchange server connections and now there is a new cumulative update available that adds some performance improvements for certain operations with Windows 7 and for those that have experienced slow performance with Office 2007 Service Pack 2.
The June 30th, 2009 Outlook update (KB 970944) includes many updates that are of interest mostly to developers but I have highlighted a few of the updates that have proven to be noticeable to end users:
This hotfix provides an improvement to Outlook 2007 if performance is slow after you install 2007 Office Service Pack 2 (SP2).
In your mailbox, a folder contains thousands of subfolders, such as the Inbox folder or the Calendar folder. After you install the February cumulative update, when you try to check the size of the folder, you receive an error in the Folder Size dialog box. After that, when you try to open the folder or some subfolder, you receive the following error message: Cannot display the folder. Your server administrator has limited the number of items you can open simultaneously. Try closing messages you have opened or removing attachments and images from unsent messages you are composing
You start Outlook 2007 in Cached Exchange Mode and with the reading pane active. If an e-mail message that contains a custom form that has code is displayed in the reading pane, CPU usage increases or Outlook even crashes. This problem occurs after you install Office SP2.
When you are running Outlook 2007 on a Windows Vista-based computer that uses high DPI (for example, 120 DPI), icons for custom forms will not be displayed.
On a computer that is running Windows 7, the Delete and Sync operations perform slowly in Outlook 2007 after you install SP2.
A hotfix enables you to set the download mode for IMAP accounts in Outlook 2007 and to configure the setting to sync the mailbox when you exit Outlook 2007
When you send an e-mail message from a shared mailbox in Outlook 2007, the sent message is not saved in the Sent Items folder of the shared mailbox
In Outlook 2007, when you view a group schedule in Calendar, the text in the group schedule is blurry. In this case, visually-impaired users cannot read the text in the group schedule.
I've been known to be a bit of a 'chronic tinkerer', which if you think of in health terms, sounds rather disturbing.
I'm referring to my habit of finding new ways to use tools or devices in ways they weren't originally designed for.
Our home's wireless network infrastructure and internet connectivity are shining examples of these mad scientist experiments.
My daughters like working on projects with Dad whenever possible, especially if it involves computers or animals. It doesn't surprise me too much based on our household. My youngest daughter (now 5 years old) completely "owned" her computer in 2008, much to my chagrin. My oldest daughter (almost 8 years old) was showing me map exploit tricks to use in a popular XBox 360/PC zombie game this past weekend.
In an effort to put that kind of knowledge/curiosity to good use, we're going to build an embedded solution for our chickens. It will involve webcams, internet connectivity, motion detection and servos. I am mostly going to use items that are around the house, due to budget and time constraints. My free time to work on this in the short term will be limited, but I have some good ideas to run with. I like to dabble in programming when it isn't part of my regular job, so this will be fun.
In a somewhat related topic, I have some articles/postings coming up in the near future once work and life settles down a bit.