ExchangeLabs Does Not Support Calendaring and Contacts in Entourage

Even though Entourage supports Exchange Server via a funky hybrid of IMAP and OWA, when you use Entourage with ExchangeLabs, you will have to use it in the IMAP or POP3 mode. You will not have access to your calendars and contacts on the client. It is also not compatible with Entourage’s Windows Live Hotmail connector. If you want to access your contacts and calendar you will have to use Outlook Web Access.

Support OWA Outlook 2007 Entourage Mail iPhone
Mail Native Native IMAP/POP IMAP/POP ActiveSync
Calendar Native Native No No ActiveSync
Contacts Native Native No No ActiveSync

Exchange Labs Account and the iPhone

ExchangeLabs seems to support the iPhone via ActiveSync for Mail, Contacts, and Calendar. You still have to accept the invalid SSL certificate because the DNS settings are not right and then type in the server name manually. Just change the server to m.exchangelabs.com.

Once you have it set up you will be able to see and manage your calendar and address book. You will be able to search the ExchangeLabs directory. All of this is done over SSL so your communication is safe even at Starbucks. And if you loose your iPhone, you can go to the ExchangeLabs web site and remotely wipe your phone.

The only weakness is that the iPhone only supports one Exchange account at a time so if you already have an Exchange account, you cannot have two. You would have to configure one as IMAP/POP3 without support for calendaring and email.

ExchangeLabs Compatible with AdiumX

ExchangeLabs.com is Microsoft’s hosted Exchange server solution. It is not a true Exchange Server implementation but it does offer many of the features of Exchange. One of those features is Chat. Of course you could use the MSN client on Mac OS X. This client comes with MS Office and is available for download from Mactopia.com — but why would you want to?

My preferred chat client is Adium (adiumx.com) for Mac OS X. This program allows you to chat with all the major chat services. For each chat service you can have multiple accounts. All contacts are synchronized with your address book. When one of your contacts updates their buddy icon it is updated in Address Book.

When I tried to use my ExchangeLabs Live ID in Adium, it did not work. Every time I tried to log in, it kept stalling on the downloading contacts list step. I though that was strange since I did not have any contacts in my account.

The solution was to log into the chat account using the MSN Messenger application (available from Mactopia), login one time, add a new contact, then quit MSN and erase it from your hard drive. The last step is optional but I do not intend to ever use it again. Now Adium can log in to my ExchangeLabs chat account just fine.

“New Moon” is a stirring romantic sequel

New Moon is a stirring, romantic, sequel about a love for a vampire leading to heartbreak, friendship, love, and then a brainless betrayal with consequences.

Bella is in deeper than any human in history with mythical wars raging around her. Between her beloved vampire family and her protective pack of werewolves she is torn between the one she loves so dearly but broke her heart to keep her safe and the one keeping her together while her true love was off, playing hooky. While she is fighting her pain she finds an old enemy that chooses to kill her but luckily for Bells her friendly werewolves were by her side ready to defend her.

Meanwhile, she is experimenting to hear HIS voice in her head with adrenaline, danger, and stupidity. One of her great stupidity moments lead to a misunderstanding when she jumps off a cliff while Alice was watching. Thinking she’s killed herself, false news spread to Edward who took action as soon as he heard. Bella, not really dead, goes to save him from himself. When she does find him they are seized by a group of strong vampires, who only agree to release them on one unthinkable promise. In the end it’s the struggle for Jacob’s friendship and Edward’s love – the only things she can’t have at the same time- that bewilders her and infuriates Charlie. It makes you want to hate the author for her writing talents and for the situations she puts Bella in.

You will love this book! Anyone would LOVE this book, because Stephanie Meyer is such a great writer that you think you are part of the story. It’s fantastic! I read it. I loved it and your going to love it too!

Customer Service and Tire Sales

Every couple of years I need to buy tires for my car. When it comes that time I call around to the various stores looking for a good price, I search the Internet, and ultimately go to Discount Tire. They are not always the cheapest but they have several examples over their competition. For example, they answer the phone when you call. This may be obvious and simple but it is something that their competition seems to have trouble with. Actually this is just a symptom of a larger difference — customer service.

The attitude of the Discount Tire staff keep me coming back. They are always considerate and helpful. When I walk in the store all I know is I need tires. I would probably want the same kind of tires that are already on my car. Those tires seem to have worked pretty good so far. I happen to know that my tire size is 205/55R16. I’m not really sure what that means. The only reason I know it is because it happens to be the same size tire as my last car (1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse) and so I have had the same size tire for 17 years — can you say rut? My Eclipse used Eagles, my Bug uses Eagles. I walk into the store and get me some.

This year the Goodyear Eagles were not in stock. ‘Austin’ behind the counter offered to get those tire from another store and have them for me in a day or so at no additional cost to me. He did not make it sound like a burden. It was just his way of taking care of the customer. He almost sounded apologetic for not having an infinite inventory of tires on hand. He went on to offer an equivalent or possibly better tire in a different brand that was more suited to my style of driving and the Texas heat. This was a simple, no pressure explanation of the facts.

A few minutes later I was the owner of a new pair of Yokohama tires. The look nice on my car and should give me an extra 20,000 miles of driving which for me is about a year. Customer is happy. The store saved the transport cost of a pair of tires from Grand Prairie.

When I get home I notice a small problem. My VW value stem cap is missing from one of the tires. I notice this about 2 days later because it is on the passenger side. I call them the next day and talk to someone. Once again, they answered the phone. I explained the problem. The manager immediately offered me a set of new chrome caps or I could buy what I needed and bring in the receipt. It was very simple. There was no third degree questioning me about my receipt. In order to get the same caps I had to order them from VW.

It has been over 2 weeks now. I walked in last night with my Discount Tire receipt in one hand and my VW receipt in the other. ‘Ray’ stepped up to help me at the counter. I explained the problem in one sentence. He took the two receipts and within 5 minutes I was on my way with the cash cost of the value stem caps. It was simple. Neither ‘Ray’ nor any one at the store gave me any trouble. I thought again how important good customer service is.

Discount tire spent $15 on me. Yes, I should have notice the cap was missing before I left. Life got in the way and I was in a hurry when I accepted the car. Yes, the tech should have notice the silver cap when he pulled it off and threw it away. In the end, Discount Tires $15 expense on my $300 purchase will continue to result in thousands of dollars in future sales as I won’t even consider taking my car anywhere else.