The Four Major Mobile Operating Systems

Filed in IT Fundamentals
Smartphones (courtesy Wikimedia)

Smartphones
(courtesy Wikimedia)

Apple iOS is an operating system designed for the Apple line of smartphones. Its security consists of a secure boot chain utilizing a hardware root of trust and boot ROM where the software is safeguarded from being manipulated by coding in the deepest foundations of the phone’s programming. Swift, a programming language developed by Apple, is the primary code used to develop Apple software and applications for Apple iOS. The language is designed to be user-friendly and allow the user to experiment and see immediate results. iOS 8, the latest version of the operating system is capable of running on iPhone 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, iPod 5th generation, iPad 2, and iPad Air, but is incompatible with all previous hardware versions. However, you can find emulators and download the Microsoft Remote Desktop program to access iOS features on desktop computers. There are several advantages iOS has over other operating systems, such as the advanced screen manipulation, the new-user-friendly interface, and its reliability.

Android is an open-sourced OS managed by Google. The OS, along with its many applications, are designed using the Linux kernel and a combination of Java and C languages. Security is tested in an open-sourced format. The most recent version, Android 4.4 (KitKat) requires 512MB of RAM, and can be run on a Windows Phone. Android’s main advantages are that it’s adaptable, can be more customized, and enables the user to multitask.

Windows Phone is an OS developed by Microsoft. It’s very similar to the Android, as it can run on the same hardware, but dedicated devices tend to be more high-end and powerful. Valid applications are only found from one reputable source and are isolated and monitored by an execution manager in the OS. Windows Phone also utilizes SDLs, SSL certificates, and data encryption, much like a full sized PC, to ensure the protection of the device and software. The minimum requirements of the latest version of the OS is an S4 dual-core processor, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB flash memory, and a touch screen.

BlackBerry is a relatively old brand that is attempting to regain ground in the smartphone scene. Like its predecessors in the brand, the BlackBerry smartphone is oriented for white collar workers with its speed, good email client, and connectivity abilities. If lost or stolen, the BlackBerry Protect application can lockdown and locate the phone. The OS is largely written with Java ME, and requires a 16GB hard drive, 2GB RAM, and a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. The user can also utilize BlackBerry Desktop, a program that allows them to connect various devices and tools (like email and calendars) with their PC.

 
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Two Exciting Trends on ExchangeTips

Filed in Blogging

If you haven’t noticed, this blog has never been very busy. I post now and then, but I’m generally too busy with projects in meat-space to do much with ExchangeTips. Here are two things that I hope will change this:

  1. More RollUp RoundUps. I have to keep on top of Microsoft’s Exchange updates for my own benefit, so why not share that information with you? I know it’s out there on the Internet in a dozen different places, but that’s one of the problems my RoundUp posts aim to address. Put it all in one easy place, not so you don’t have to do your own research, but so you have a convenient way to summarize the state of the RUs…or URs…or CUs…or whatever they’re called these days.
  2. My son is getting his feet wet in the IT industry. He wants to be a game designer some day, but instead of just playing games, he’s learning some actual computer stuff. He’ll be guest posting here over the next few months as he does some self-study. He might actually end up posting more than I do!

I hope you all had a great holiday season, whether you celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or some holiday I don’t know about! I know I did. Family, food, relationships, and spiritual growth.

 
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Script To Export Then Disconnect an Exchange Mailbox

Filed in Microsoft Exchange 2010, PowerShell

A situation came up where I needed to be able to remove a user’s mailbox, but his supervisor wanted a copy of the contents in the form of a pst file. It would be easy enough to export the mailbox then go back later to disable it manually, but where’s the fun in that? This script accomplishes the same thing in a much more hands-off way.

Here’s how:

  1. Accepts a command line option for the username, displayname, alias, etc.
  2. Exports the mailbox to a pre-set network location.
  3. Waits for the export to complete before disabling the mailbox. (This will monopolize the PowerShell window, so you might want to run it in a separate PS instance. You can do this from within another script using “Start-Process powershell.exe -argument ‘-command “ExportAndDisco.ps1 username”

This script is specifically for Exchange 2010, but should work on 2013 with the appropriate modifications.

# Defines the commandline parameter as $mbx.
param([string]$mbx)

# Defines the export path. This value MUST be a UNC path
# and MUST end with a back slash.
$ExportPath = "\\servername\server\"

# Loads Exchange 2010 PowerShell snapin if it's not already loaded.
if ((get-pssnapin -name Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.E2010 `
	-EA silentlycontinue) -eq $null) {
	add-pssnapin Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.E2010
}

# Checks for an existing export job.
if ((Get-MailboxExportRequest | ?{$_.FilePath -like "*$mbx.pst"}) {
    write-host "There is an existing export request" `
	-ForegroundColor Red
    write-host "for this mailbox. Remove that request " `
	-ForegroundColor Red
    write-host "and try again." `
	-ForegroundColor Red
    exit
}

# Exports the mailbox. 
New-MailboxExportRequest $mbx -FilePath `
	$ExportPath+$mbx+".pst" -BadItemLimit 50 `
	-confirm:$false

# Checks the export status every 60 seconds. Continues when the
# status = "Completed".
do {sleep 60}
while ((Get-MailboxExportRequest | `
	?{$_.FilePath -like "*$mbx.pst"}).Status -ne "Completed")
	
# Disables the mailbox.
Disable-Mailbox $mbx -Confirm:$false
 
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