Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 with Office 365 migration wizard and retro Outlook Mini

Microsoft has released Exchange 2010 SP2, which I have successfully installed on my small system.


There is a description of what’s new here. The most notable features are the Hybrid Configuration Wizard for setting up co-existence between on-premise Exchange and Office 365, and Outlook Mini for low-end phones with basic browsers.

A hybrid setup lets you include on-Premise Exchange and Office 365 Exchange in a single organisation. You can move mailboxes back and forth, archive messages online (even from on-Premise mailboxes), and synchronize Active Directory information. The feature is not new, but the wizard is.


This looks similar to the Exchange migration tools for BPOS and Office 365 so this is mainly a matter of baking them into the product.

Outlook Mini is very retro; I like it. It is also called Outlook Mobile Access and is similar to a feature of Exchange 2003 though it is new code; it is actually built using Outlook Web Access forms and accessed at the url yourexchange/owa/oma. There is no automatic redirection so users will have to be shown where to find it.

image image


Finally, this note amused me as evidence of how far litigation issues have permeated into Microsoft’s products. But what is the point of a “litigation hold” if it is so easily bypassed?

In Exchange 2010 SP2, you can’t disable or remove a mailbox that has been placed on litigation hold. To bypass this restriction, you must either remove litigation hold from the mailbox, or use the new IgnoreLegalHold switch parameter when removing or disabling the mailbox.

Google and the UK Citizens Advice Bureau – an uncomfortable alliance

I picked up a Guardian newspaper today and could not miss the full-page Google+ advertisement. Or was it? The advertisement stated that it was from the Citizens Advice Bureau in partnership with Google. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) is a well-respected (and genuinely useful) service which runs a network of offices in the UK where you can go for free advice for things like legal or financial problems. It is a charity funded partly by government grants.

What is it doing partnering with Google? Well, I presume it is because the theme is “how to be safer on the Internet” which is something that I am sure the CAB cares about. However looking at the advertisement it would be easy to conclude that the CAB is somehow promoting Google+, the social networking site that Google hopes will rival Facebook. Intriguing.

The advertisement says:

To find out more about how to manage your information online, pick up a booklet from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or go to

I wanted to see this booklet, so I looked into the Holborn CAB in London.


I have to say that the aforementioned booklet was not exactly strewn about. In fact, the woman on the desk wasn’t sure if they had any. She went and looked though, and came back with the web address. Perhaps I could go there? I said I was keen to see the booklet the CAB was handing out – did it exist? Eventually I was told that they did not have any, but that the head office in Pentonville Road might. So I went there.

The man at the desk was not sure, but went away for a moment, and came back with one in his hands.


Page one says this:

We have partnered with Citizens Advice to provide tips and advice. You can get free, confidential and impartial help about everything from finances to staying safe online from your local bureau in person, on the phone or online. For in depth information on all of the topics in this booklet and more, visit the Good to Know website.


I think this is a PR triumph for Google, but I reckon the CAB has been sold a pup. It is not that I have anything against Google; but I would go to Google for impartial advice about staying safe online in the same way that I would go to a ferry company for impartial advice on cheap flights.

There is little sign of impartiality in the booklet. Personally I would say that a booklet on “how to manage the information you share online” that does not mention Facebook is in chocolate teapot territory. This booklet achieves this though; in fact the only web site mentioned is … Google.

“Keep your Google Account extra safe,” it says. But how about not having a Google account? No account, no personal details to lose.

This is stealth advertising – except that I am not sure about the stealth.

A substantial portion of the booklet is devoted to explaining why Google having my data is really good for me. “How knowing you better makes your internet better,” it says.

There is no mention of the benefits of using an ad-blocker to avoid sending data to advertisers. Nor does it include advice on simply not putting data online at all, if it might embarrass you or compromise your safety.

The reason is that Google cannot possibly be impartial about managing online information. Google wants your data, as much of it as possible, in order to target advertising. It is as simple as that.

Which is why Google is an uncomfortable partner for the CAB. I think the CAB could do with some impartial advice.

Quadrophenia Exhibition in London’s Carnaby Street

A shop called Pretty Green -  The Jam, mods, geddit? – has an exhibition devoted to The Who’s Quadrophenia, which I visited today as it is a favourite album of mine.

The exhibition is in the basement and darkly lit; the backdrop picture builds anticipation as you descend the stairs.


Unfortunately the exhibition did not live up to the promise from my point of view. I am a big fan of the photographs in the booklet that comes with the double LP and these form an important part of the exhibition as you would expect. Sadly it appears that nobody can find the originals so they seem to have been scanned from the printed booklet and do not look particularly good blown up large. Photographer Ethan Russell says:

After Quadrophenia I slowly backed away from photography. I proposed a television film of it, and it almost got made. I became a writer and, working on my first book, went to England to find the Quadrophenia negatives. They were gone.

Since Russell himself sells reproductions scanned from the book that is clearly all that anyone can find. A great shame.

So what else is in the exhibition? There are a couple of scooters including this one:


This is a modified Vespa PX 125 including “mod-style extra mirrors”. The description advertised is a competition to win it; I followed the instructions only to be told that the competition had finished.

There is also a box of demo tapes


as well as some of Pete Townshend’s original story notes and various panels describing the Quadrophenia recording process. These are interesting in themselves, though if you have the recently issued box set you will find they are taken straight from the book.

Two things would have made the exhibition much better from my point of view. One would have been high quality reproductions or the originals of the photographs as mentioned above. The other would have been greater depth and variety of information – as it is, there is really nothing here that is not already in the deluxe book and box, and the box itself is disappointing in that it is really Pete Townshend’s project and lacks contributions from other band members, Who outtakes, or any audio from the original (unsuccessful) Quadrophenia tour.

Still, the exhibition is free and it is worth looking in if you are in the area.

A Lego Christmas Tree at St Pancras Station, London

I was passing through St Pancras station today and noticed a Lego Christmas tree. From a distance it does not really look like Lego:


As you get closer, the construction is more noticeable:


and if you look inside it, the tree illusion disappears and it just looks like a curious Lego construction in green and brown. Someone put a lot of work into this.


Update: according to this article it is “the world’s largest Lego Christmas tree”, contains 600,000 bricks and 172 branches, and took two months to complete. Thanks to Peter Ibbotson for the link (see comment).