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Tidbits from the Mailbox

I love reading the Letters section of my town's charming local newspaper. Not only are some of the letters interesting or entertaining, many of them are downright educational. In that spirit, I thought I'd share some of the thoughts I've gotten in letters from readers of this column.

Last week's column about Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) generated a number of reader mails, including a complaint that EAS wasn't working well with Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS). It turns out that EAS depends on the primary SMTP address of a user to find that user's mailbox, and multiple SMTP addresses can confuse EAS unless you apply the change described in the Microsoft article "You receive an HTTP_500 error message when you synchronize your mobile device with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003" ( ). For those of you who asked for more information about EAS, Microsoft has a pretty good FAQ that you can find at . This page contains a link to the worthwhile white paper "Exchange Server 2003 ActiveSync Architecture" ( ).

Sharp-eyed readers also sometimes write to point out errors or omissions--something I appreciate. Most recently, Arnor Ingflorsson noted that my column about SMTP tarpitting, "When Tar Is Your Friend" ( ), misstated the installation requirements. You need to install only the hotfix from the Microsoft article "MS04-035: Vulnerability in SMTP could allow remote code execution in Microsoft Windows Server 2003" ( ) to get tarpitting working.

I occasionally get mail from public relations firms or companies that complain that I haven't mentioned their products in a column. There's no intentional bias in the products I mention or don't mention, so if you like or dislike a particular product or think a product should be mentioned here, feel free to tell me. Of course, space here is limited, so if you're looking for a more comprehensive view of products that solve a particular need, you should probably be reading Windows IT Pro.

Every once in a while I get complaints about problems concerning subscriptions or the Windows IT Pro or "Exchange and Outlook Administrator" Web sites. I always forward these to the customer service staff at Penton Media, our publisher. I subscribe just like you do, so I feel the pain, but I can't do anything about it directly. If you scroll down to the bottom of the UPDATE, you'll find direct contact information for this newsletter, your subscription, and Penton Media.

Interestingly (at least to me), the most reader mail I've ever gotten was from people who read last year's "The Exchange Admin's Holiday Gift Guide" ( ), in which I recommended Blair's Death Rain habanero potato chips. Lots of people wanted to know where to buy them; since last year, they've become much easier to find. If you like spicy stuff, give them a try.

In closing, let me extend my best wishes to you for a happy and safe holiday season. We won't be publishing the Exchange edition of this UPDATE next week, although we will be sending out the Outlook edition. I'll be back (hopefully with some surprising news) next year.

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