Love-Hate Relationship with Clutter in Outlook

In such a fast-pace technology world, features are released quicker than anyone can afford to learn everything. Recently I am getting lots of feedback from co-workers or customers saying that they have dropped me an email but I have not responded in a manner that I used to. (P/S: I read mails everywhere, on my laptop, my iPad and my mobile phone. Email has become an integral part of me.)

So I had a thought on why emails are not falling into my “Inbox“? With a little searching around, I saw that my mails has been falling into:

“Junk Email” folder has been a pain too, but of course with certain help in mitigating spam mails from flowing through, but What is Clutter?!

Copying off the article:-

In Outlook 2016 for Windows, “Clutter” can help you filter low-priority email, saving time for your most important messages. If Clutter isn’t for you, you can TURN IT OFF.

So what are typically treated as “Low-Priority“?

Ooooo. So, notifications from Wunderlist is being treated as “Low-Priority”. So what’s the point of having an email reminder?

Like what is mentioned in the block quote above, there are means to toggle “on/off” for this feature depending on individual. All one have to do is to logon to the Office 365 Outlook Web Access (OWA) via https://outlook.office365.com/ and right-click on the “Inbox” to access to the “Clutter settings” as shown below.

You will arrive at the page similar to the image below.

If you love this feature, do nothing!

If you dislike this feature, un-check the highlighted checkbox and “save”!

Provide your feedback to me and let me know your thoughts on this feature!

Cheers,
Milton

Love-Hate Relationship with Clutter in Outlook

Woot! Now you get #UNLIMITED space on #OneDrive ?!?!

To start of my day when I was commuting to work, I read on FaceBook through my friend (Chee Yong Poh, Microsoft Technical Evangelist) re-shared a post on The Verge that Microsoft has decided to provide UNLIMITED space on OneDrive – read the article here.

How would this change affect you? Well, when I was dwelling whether to archive my media that I will no longer require access to it on a regular basis to put it into the cloud so that it will not hurt the almost-filled NAS further. I was deciding between Amazon Glacier, DropBox and OneDrive but I tried Glacier at first because it is something pretty cool while OneDrive and DropBox has been in my daily life already. From my previous article titled “Is there something missing in #OneDrive ?” where I talks about something related as it shows that I am uploading all the media files to OneDrive.

So where is the value proposition of Amazon Glacier? Where would you see the value in OneDrive over Amazon Glacier? Well, in terms of space consumed and amount paid or you will be paying. Let’s see.

Microsoft OneDrive Cost (USD) Amazon Glacier Cost (USD)
100GB $6.99 100GB $1.00
500GB $6.99 500GB $5.00
1024GB (1TB) $6.99 1024GB (1TB) $10.24
2048GB (2TB) $6.99 2048GB (2TB) $20.48
10240GB (10TB) $6.99 10240GB (10TB) $102.40

 

Do not forget that Amazon Glacier charges you to bring the data out from the cloud back to any devices you are trying to retrieve from while Microsoft OneDrive, it is the same as DropBox or Box storage where it does not implicitly charge you for data transfer. (Of course, you can’t complain much if the retrieval takes forever! *evil grins*)

Do you have more than 1TB of data to store to the Cloud right now? – Yes, go to Microsoft OneDrive now!

Do you require your data to be used by other cloud services in Amazon? – Yes, stick to Amazon Glacier, there are nice API that can do retrieval from the vault.

Do you need Office suite of products? – Yes, go to Microsoft OneDrive now!

Has this come across to you that storage is getting cheaper and cheaper and Microsoft is well aligning its strategy to Cloud-First, Mobile-First?

 

Do you know that you can sign up to enjoy the unlimited storage first? Hit on to https://preview.onedrive.com/ now!

Cheers.
Milton Goh

Woot! Now you get #UNLIMITED space on #OneDrive ?!?!

Is there something missing in #OneDrive ?

Just when I subscribed to the Office 365 Personal in order to get that 1 Terabyte (TB) of space so that I can start archiving some of the files that I do not required sitting in my home NAS that are filling almost up quickly since the total usable space is 1.5TB. (I know it sounds like it is time to upgrade but looking at schedule where I intend to do a home renovation, I think I will leave those new gadgets coming in after the renovation.)

The latest statistics of the amount of space that I have packed into my account is:

image

So during the course of the first few days into actively pushing some of the media files to OneDrive, I found out something that I feel missing out. So I started of using Google Chrome for all my surfing experience (yes, I do love Internet Explorer too) and started uploading files via the OneDrive web portal.

Google Chrome

The browser that offers two upload options as shown:

  1. Files
  2. Folder

OneDrive_Chrome_Upload_Options

Notice, it reads as “Files” and “Folder” where it is missing something!

Number 1 – *MISSING WHAT?*: Why can’t I have an option to upload multiple folders?

Then I went ahead to upload by single Folder at a time since each folder contains multiple huge files, it does not matter to me actually. So after uploading the 9th or 10th huge folder, I start to ponder upon something that is missing.

OneDrive_Chrome_Upload_5of22

OneDrive_Chrome_Upload_22of22

Do you all notice the difference? It caught my attention why when it was uploading 5th file out of the 22 files that I have, the amount it has progress in the blue bar is showing perhaps 5-8% of the total length. However, when it is already in the process of uploading the last file, it only show almost 25% taken up! So, what’s the big deal about the remaining 75%?

Number 2 – *MISSING WHAT?*: What happened to my progress bar?

OK, that’s all for Google Chrome. Next on the list… Internet Explorer!

 

Internet Explorer

So I wasn’t quite convinced with how Google Chrome works, so I went ahead and try out using Internet Explorer (IE) as always Microsoft line of products should all work almost seamlessly together.

Number 1 – *MISSING WHAT?*: Why can’t I upload by Folder??????

image

Notice that for the “Upload” portion, there isn’t any option for me to choose between a Single File or Multiple Files or Single Folder. It is just, go ahead and select something out of a single folder.

So by using Internet Explorer, users will have to first create the appropriate folder then upload the files into it as shown.

OneDrive_IE_Upload_20_Items

One thing for sure that is working is the progress bar… *Yayyy*

OneDrive_IE_Upload_20_Items_01

OneDrive_IE_Upload_20_Items_02

 

I don’t know who to reach out to but I hope that Microsoft will consider to allow uploading of multiple folders via the OneDrive web portal one day.

Do you have similar experience as me? If yes, why not share it with me by commenting below.

Cheers!

Regards,
Milton Goh

Is there something missing in #OneDrive ?

Aztech! You may have been compromised…

Today, I received the following in my mailbox and I seriously want to share with you all.

2014-04-29 18.27.23

2014-04-29 18.27.42

So what do you notice in this email? This may have one of the nice presentation that would usually capture the eyes of people receiving it in the mailbox. What actually caught my eyes are the following few points.

  1. I am sensitive when I see the word “Ukranian” – I have not done any business with such folks or neither I know any one from Ukraine. However, I welcome visitors from Ukraine to read my blog and share their comments.
  2. The content is simply not something that would interests me. I am an IT person who have IT news revolving around me almost every minutes (OK, exaggerating, I do read up on Business or Social news from time to time.)
  3. If it meant big business or something of some sort that surround the word “BitCoin”, then probably it should have enough money to register for a simple domain and hosting package to get a proper email instead of relying on Gmail. Of course, you can get custom domain on Gmail or definitely I would recommend Office 365.
  4. It possesses number that is out of my range of country code that I have ever dial for the past of my life with ever me knowing anything about using my phone to dial overseas. (I didn’t born to know how to dial the keypad, stupid?)
  5. It trying to impersonate as Aztech with all the information with information probably gotten with anyone receiving newsletter from Aztech. From time to time, I do get advertisement from Aztech promoting their new range of products but definitely never ever once I received in this purple background colour.
  6. It’s getting me to dial to Ukraine when user like me who is in Singapore would definitely be dialling the Singapore line since I resides here.

2014-04-29 18.27.52

Lastly, I see the email is really the one that probably was the one that is used to blast out this newsletter. I have not done any checks on how legitimate this email is but definitely from the outlook, I wouldn’t even bother studying it further as it is just that obvious!

Conclusion

So… I conclude that this may be the case where Aztech mailing list database was being compromised and therefore I received such message.

To Aztech (IT Support): Please get your act on on this issue!

To my friends out there: If you ever received such email as per similar to mine, do nothing about it and delete it straight away. Of course, you could spend some time admiring the nice bunny!

Cheers!
Milton Goh

Aztech! You may have been compromised…

Using PowerShell against Office 365

As we know that in Office 365, users do not get the fully-polished feature rich Central Administration or Exchange Administration Center like your on-premises setup. Therefore, there are certain tasks that will be missing from the features that Microsoft have provided to you as a Office 365 subscriber.

However, worry not! Microsoft is kind to allow you to perform certain tasks using PowerShell. Let’s get things underway!

You will need the following installed before you can even start querying from Office 365 or rather Office 365.

Pre-Requisites
  • .NET Framework 3.5.1 (If you do not have it, you can either activate it via your Windows Features or download it and install here)
  • Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant (Download here)
  • Office 365 Cmdlets (Download here)

 

Installation Process
  • Start Windows PowerShell Session
  • Import the MSOnline module by entering

Import-Module MSOnline

  • Input your credential and store in the variable $MyCred – Notice that the popup will appear as shown below. Just key in your user credential that you used to enter Office 365 Administration Portal

01_Get_Credential 

 

  • Create a new PowerShell Session by keying the following as shown. Just take note of the generic URL used here. From time-to-time, Microsoft may change the URL, however that will depends on Microsoft. (Variables are underlined)

$MySession = New-PSSession –ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange –ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell – Credential $MyCred –Authentication Basic –AllowRedirection

02_Get_Session

 

  • Establish the Session – Notice that I am hit with an error, however that is a generic error alerting me that my PowerShell Session Execution Policy is set to restricted.

03_Import_Session_Error

 

  • I simple just set the Execution Policy to “RemoteSigned” via the command.

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

04_Set_Execution_RemoteSigned

 

  • Re-run the “Import-PSSession” line of code.

05_Import_Session

 

  • Establish the connection/session with Office 365 / MS Online by using the following command. If there is no error flag out, then it means that you have successfully connected to MS Online.

Connect-MsolService –Credential $MyCred

06_Connect_MsolService

 

  • First step towards testing, I list the Mailboxes that I have… *OK, this is my test account, therefore only one pathetic account there.*

07_Test_MsolService_GetMailbox

 

  • Listing all the Cmdlets that is available to Office 365 / MSOnline for the Microsoft Exchange component.

08_Get_Commands

 

From the above, we can see that there are pretty a lot of commands that we can execute against Office 365 and therefore it somehow still justify for someone to Administrate your Office 365 subscription. It does not means that once you move to Microsoft Cloud, your support team can be axed and solely depends on Microsoft Technical Support.

Please delete that thoughts until you try out the Technical Support from Office 365 before making such decision!

Just my 2 cents.

 

Regards,
Milton Goh

Using PowerShell against Office 365

Enable Site Mailbox in SharePoint Online

One of the feature that will entice organization who have chose to use Office 365 to support their intranet usage is Site Mailbox for Team.

Read the official note from Microsoft on the description of Site Mailbox – here. So I am going to walk through how I enable “Site Mailbox” on my Office 365 account.

  • As a Site Collection Administrator, go to “Site Settings” as shown.

01_Enable_Site_Feature

  • Under [Site Actions], select [Manage site features]

02_Manage_Site_Features

  • Find the feature [Site Mailbox] and click “Activate” to activate the feature for usage.

03_Active_Site_Mailbox_Feature

  • Notice that the highlighted portion will appear at the Team Site left navigation area. Click on the “Mailbox” and activate the “Site Mailbox”.

04_Site_Collection_Showing_Mailbox_Tab

  • This message is soothing, at least to my eyes…

05_Your_New_Site_MailBox_Is_Being_Setup

  • Site Mailbox created successfully! Hurray!

06_Acknowledgement

  • Usually, I don’t really follow the 30 minutes as shown but still it is shown as “up to”. However, I waited for around 15 minutes and I hit into the “Site Mailbox” again then I am hit with the configuration. Notice that the mailbox name is shown in the URL address – SMO-TeamSite@miltongoh.com” >> According to Microsoft site, it will create a mailbox according to the Site Collection name.

08_Site_MailBox_Configuration

  • Once I hit “Submit Query”, another nice friendly message.

09_We_Are_Almost_There

  • Tada! Site Mailbox created!

10_Site_Mailbox_Loaded

  • Trying to do a test from my main mailbox (milton@miltongoh.com), I can search for the mailbox as shown.

12_Email_To_Site_Mailbox

  • A more detail of the “Site Mailbox”

13_Site_Mailbox_Details

  • You can now send email from the “Site Mailbox” as long as you have the “Contributor” access rights. Accessing the “Site Mailbox” will then open a new tab which is the Outlook Web App (OWA).

14_Sending_Email_Out_Via_SiteMailbox

 

Advantage of using Site Mailbox

A very concrete life example of using Site Mailbox is that within a Operation Team that provide Support Services to internal users or external clients can use Site Mailbox as a centralize mailbox within SharePoint so that all the information is being shared across team members.

In the traditional way of using Microsoft Exchange Shared Mailbox, that would require each and every user to add that mailbox into their Microsoft Outlook as one of the Shared Mailbox that somehow tie to the main account (this could be the primary mailbox).

So in order to secure all the information within the organization, the organization can now just issue “Site Mailbox” to the Support staffs so that they can use it for the day-to-day operation usage.

Want to know more?

Read the following articles:

Overview: Use a site mailbox to collaborate with your team

Use a site mailbox to coordinate team email

Cheers.
Milton Goh

Enable Site Mailbox in SharePoint Online