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First-time usage of Microsoft Communicator

I just downloaded Office Communicator, and it's not working.  I get this message:

"cannot sign in because the server is temporarily unavailable."

I have a gmail account, and I've got Outlook installed and linked to gmail.  To do that, I had to set imap on in my Google settings, and I gave my imap and smtp addresses to Outlook and everything worked fine.  By contrast, the Tools/Options menu of Communicator look strange and unintuitive.  For one, it doesn't ask for a password.  Second, it asks for an "Automatic" or "Manual" configuration, and I can't figure out which one to choose and what to put in the boxes (See attached picture.)  Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks, ~Peter Ferber
Strange-Screen.bmp
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PeterFrb
Asked:
PeterFrb
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1 Solution
 
e_aravindCommented:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/communicator-help/configure-advanced-connection-settings-HA010290013.aspx
http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/communicator-help/accounts-HP001172536.aspx

Type the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) or the IP address of your Office Communications Server.

or

External Server name or IP address     Type the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) or the IP address of your Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Edge Server.
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PeterFrbAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the feedback, I did a little more research based on what you said, but I haven't cracked this yet.

I would really appreciate a step-by-step process that walks me through what I need to know, and an example of a properly filled dialogue box.  This isn't rocket science, but it is requires precise knowledge of what to do and directed focus at solving this particular problem, which I have not yet seen.  Please provide a concret example.

Sincerely, ~Peter Ferber
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e_aravindCommented:
My first doubt is that,
- Your ISP (gmail) is providing the communicator service?

Normally i've seen the communicator server will be deployed on LAN and then clients from the same office\lan will use this service.

Getting the same "Communicator service" across the WAN would need a tag cloud-enabled?
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shefamCommented:
If you are using communicator and you can connect to the LAN (yourcompany@domain.com) through VPN, you should be able to use MS Communicator across the WAN.  After you are on the VPN, exit and close communicator, then re-launch it and enter your creds (if launching doesn't auto log you into comunicator)  

 MSCommunicatorLoginProcedure.pdf
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shefamCommented:
I just went to the top of the thread and saw your image.  I don't think you will be able to use this via a gmail account.  Communicator is generally used within a company environment (domain) and you have to be set up on the domain server (which ties into the exchange server since you are using Microsoft).  Outlook is a 3rd party email client that allows you to receive /send and store your emails locally on your computer vs having to login to the web based url (gmail.com) every time you want to see your email.

Are you wanting to use this to contact your friends?  If so, I would suggest using Skype, Adium or any other open source product out there will most likely work.

Best bet is to just google for a download.

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PeterFrbAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much for the feedback, Shefam.  What I'm looiking for is a program that allows another person to remotely log into my machine, so that I can describe to them what's happening on my screen while I manipulate my screen and they watch.  I was in a company environment, and I saw this program used effectively for this type of communication; and that's why I bought it.  What I liked about Communicator and Outlook together is that Outlook saved my instant messages, which I used fairly consistently to issue fairly sophisticated technical communications back and forth.  The combination of remote computer-screen sharing and a paper trail of saved instant messages is an ideal combination of traits that I was hoping to replicate on my home computer.  

Skype is an interesting program, but I've only seen it used to broadcast live televised images and sounds of each party on the other's respective computer screen.  As neither of us even have a camera on our respective machines, seeing each other is irrelevant to our requirements.  I use a telephone with a good speakerphone, so sending voice across the computer is an equally irrelevant requirement.  The primary need is to have one party be the host and give the other access to their computer screen.  The secondary need, and icing on the cake, is to have a convenient log of instant message communications, as Outlook provides.  The first requirement is, by far, the most important, as I use instant messaging almost exclusively in the context of being at work in an office.

If Skype can fulfill the requirement of remotely logging in to another's machine, I'll consider it.  Otherwise, I'm open to suggestions as to the best program to have, in the context of all parties using privately owned personal computers.

Best, ~Peter Ferber
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shefamCommented:
Peter,

I would consider Skype as it offers all features other than remote control - to compensate for that, there is a free product call NTRconnect (features page attached).  You would use "freecloud"

http://ww1.ntrglobal.com/cloud

 NTRconnect-features.pdf
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shefamCommented:
Peter,

If you are just wanting to have remote access there is other software out there that is tried and true -

Logmein - https://secure.logmein.com  - I have used this many times for both home and work environments; albeit, it has been about 5 years ago

Webex - http://www.webex.com/webex-for-support.html - I currently use this for remote control to reach a computer outside the production environment (not on our domain)

I have used MS Communicator in a production environment (on our network) to see / share a users desktop as you mentioned above as well.

Just wanted to give you a couple other great sources for remote access

Regards,
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PeterFrbAuthor Commented:
Thanks so much, shefam: I downloaded logmein just now, and I'm going to test it tomorrow.  Am I to assume that everyone who wants to share their resources must have LogMeIn downloaded?  That's seems a reasonable assumption.  I should know in a couple of days how this worked out, and I promise to assign credit at that time.  

Best, ~Peter
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PeterFrbAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the feedback.  I had quite a bit more research to do before I could solve this problem.
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