Realmsnet is Down

Realmsnet is down due to catastrophic server failure. The last year or so worth of realmsnet info (archived emails, event announcements, magic items, etc) is lost at this time. They are working to resolve the issue, but it will take some time. Please be patient, thank you.

Also this means that anyone with a giantsquid account will not be able to get their email.

Droid vs Exchange Server 2003 (6.5 Sp2)

Last Wednesday my phone died. It was an aging Motorola K1M KRZR, and it served me pretty well for the almost 3 years that I owned it, well until it died. It replaced my Sanyo Scp-2000 which I had for seven years. I hate buying cell phones. I hate that I have to relearn how to do everything in my phone. I hate that cell phone provider companies (Sprint, etc) disable certain phone features and lock the phones down. I’ve always felt that it’s MY phone, I should be able to use it the way the manufacturer intended. However I’m not a big fan of rooting devices. I feel like I am held captive by my cell phone provider.

So on the day my phone died I ran right down to the Sprint store after work to get a new phone. I had done some research online and compared the Droid offerings. I was undecided between the various phones my provider offered, but was pretty sure that I was going to go with the HTC Hero. The Hero has a 5 megapixel camera vs the Samsung Moment’s 3.2 megapixel camera. The HTC Hero sports a 528 MHz processor vs the Samsung Moments 800mhz processor. The Samsung Moment has a keyboard though. I also looked at the Blackberry offerings since we run Blackberry Enterprise Server at work and knew that with out a doubt I could configure the phone to sync my work email. Ultimately I decided on the Samsung Moment.

Here are some manufacturer links to the two phones mentioned:
Samsung Moment
HTC Hero

All that being said, sometimes I feel like they hit something right on the head. It seems that we have entered the age of cell phone vendors adding applications to our phones that we might not want, and it has gotten almost as bad as PC manufacturers installing crap that we don’t need or want on our pre-fab computers. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Moxier’s Mail application on my phone. This app costs $25 if you get it via the Android Market. I figured even if the native Droid mail app failed at least I would be able to use Moxier’s solution… right? Sorta.

The next day at work I tried all day to get either the default mail app or Moxier Mail to work. Both appeared to authenticate and die while syncing. So I played and played and googled and googled some more. My supervisor told me that it wasn’t going to work, which just motivated me more to prove him wrong. While configuring Moxier I would get “Please provide detailed server information.” as an error message. So I changed some settings and then it perpetually gave me “Please confirm ID/password/domain.(500)”. In short this is a HTTP 500 error. Or more appropriately “Synchronization failed due to an error on the server. Try again. Error code: HTTP_500”. Eventually I gave up and rather than admit total defeat I opened a ticket with Moxier (who were a little slow support wise, and generally unhelpful). But it got me looking again for a solution… I was pretty sure that the problem was our Exchange Server uses SSL and Forms Based Authentication. So I spawned a new virtual server with the intent of setting up a Microsoft Exchange Front End Server. Yesterday at work in my spare time I configured the virtual, installed Server 2003 (because we apparently don’t have a media for Server 2008, although we do have a license key), and patched it. I went to install Exchange and realized we do not have another license. Crap.

So this morning after digging around I found Microsoft Article kb817379 again. This time I tried method 2. Which can be summed up by saying,

“Create a secondary virtual directory for Exchange that does not require SSL, and then add a registry value to point to the new virtual directory.”

This fixed the problem that I had with getting Droid (and coincidentally other devices) to connect to our Exchange Server 2003. So if you use SSL and Forms Based Authentication, check out that kb article. You’ll save yourself quit the headache.