TechEd Day 4

We’re in the homestretch now. Sessions attended:

  • MSG281 Designing a High Availability Exchange 2003 Solution
  • MSG384 Deploying, Configuring and Extending Exchange Edge Services
  • MSG386 Advanced Anti-Spam with Exchange 2003: Real-World Examples
  • WIN337 Best Practices in Managing Windows Platform via Script (Part 1)
  • WIN338 Best Practices in Managing Windows Platform via Script (Part 2)

At MSG384, Max said it was the first time they were showing the proposed interface for Edge Services. They were only screenshots but they look great. I expect that the Edge interface is going to be the new interface for Exchange at some point. The MMC interface is probably the one thing I really hate about Exchange right now, so any progress in moving to a new interface is appreciated. Exchange 2003 gave us an improved console, but it still is an incredibly tedious way to move around. Edge helps by moving from a console focused on objects to one focused on tasks. Can’t wait.

During one part of the demo, I saw “Kodiak” flash up on the screen briefly before Max scrolled down, so obviously the decision to drop the Kodiak code name for the Exchange follow-on product happened fairly recently. I think this is good news. I really don’t want to wait two or more years to see some of these improvements coming to Exchange, so the announcement that they will come in pieces is welcome.

The two script sessions were excellent as well. A lot of demos and example code. In the second session they started with a simple script and continually enhanced and extended it through the session. Watching a script get created in this manner helps with retention and understanding. I really need to be making more use of WMI in my admin scripts.

After the sessions, it was back to the hotel and then off to Sea World. I met up with some of the other bloggers and hung out with them most of the evening. It was a small group, but it was fun to match faces to blogs. There were long lines for food, so a big chunk of the evening was spent waiting to eat, but I still managed to see the city form the Sky Tower, catch the dolphin and Shamu shows, feed a dolphin, pet some bat rays (didn’t Batman have one of those on his utility belt?), watch the penguins, and ride the Wild Arctic ride. Not bad. Overall, a fun event.

Of course, the worst part of the day was yet to come… packing! I didn’t get to bed until at least 1:30. Thankfully I left enough room in my bags for swag. I can’t imagine what the people with the bean bag chairs are going to do. The airport is going to be bad enough today with it being a holiday, without some guy lugging furniture through security. They are going to have to check them, and I can just see the scene in the luggage area at their destination as thousands of pellets come rolling down the conveyor.