Thursday, March 26, 2009

Microsoft makes available Outlook 2007 Pre-SP2 Performance update

Microsoft has released (in February of this year) a cumulative update for Office that is a pre-release of fixes due in Service Pack 2. I have been running this for a few weeks now and the biggest changes in this update are these:

Outlook Improvements

  • Improved responsiveness (reduced I/O disk usage and improved UI response time)
  • Decreased Outlook startup time
  • GREATLY improved exit/shutdown time (this one is HUGE since it resolves the issue with Outlook not really shutting down when you ask it to).
  • Improved performance for folder and view changes
  • General reliability of calendar updates especially in delegate manager scenarios

General Improvements

  • Reduced Data File Checks (this is noticed when you see the message "The data file <file name> was not closed properly…")
  • Improved search reliability
  • Fewer duplicate RSS items
  • General security improvements

A full list of improvements and fixes included in this update are available at:

The update is available on request from this site:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Using PowerShell to Provision Active Directory Users

In the last two issues of TechNet Magazine, Don Jones of Concentrated Technology, has written about scripting (and therefore automating) the creating of users accounts within Active Directory. He does use the Quest Active Roles PowerShell cmdlets to accomplish his goal, so if you don't have that, some of the details might not work for you as described. However, he does go into good detail on some basics of PowerShell scripting such as using Process blocks, and imputing data into the pipe by way of a csv file. He also includes video demonstrating the techniques. So far, 2 of the 4 parts to this story have been published, so keep watching here or on the TechNet Magazine site for the last 2 parts. All in all, it is worth the read.

Source: Automating User Provisioning, Part 1 and Automating User Provisioning, Part 2