Vol. 22, #29 - July 17, 2017 - Issue #1140
Free Tool: Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory
This week's newsletter is all the AI craze or AI bubble that seems to be feverishly gripping both business and tech companies. Your Editor is going to offer his own take on AI and invites readers to share their own thoughts on these matters so we can include them in the Mailbag section of an upcoming issue. We also review a new book on biometric security from CRC Press, and Your Editor shares his recent success in weightloss using a new diet plan in the IT Pro Fitness Corner section of this issue. We also catch up on some amusing late responses to our Factoid of the Week from the last few issues. And finally we have the usual potpourri of tips, tools, links and fun stuff to make your day.
For yes we know that reading this newsletter is the highlight of your day as a stressed-out IT professional! But Dilbert's colleague Wally found something even better as the highlight for his day:
Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at email@example.com
Last week's Issue #1139 Retro IT obviously struck a chord with many readers based on the number of responses we received on this topic. We picked some of the best of these for inclusion in this week's Mailbag.
At my work, all Windows machines (a mix of Windows 8.1 and Windows 10), are still running Office 2003 because it works and to avoid spending money on new software when the existing software works fine. --Bernhard
I'm sure Bernhard's situation is similar to many of our readers who work in business environments where Microsoft Windows is the dominant desktop OS. As I mentioned in our last newsletter I still have parts of Office 2010 installed on at least one PC in our offices and IIRC we skipped over Office 2007 and went directly from Office 2003 to 2010 some years ago.
I don't have retro hardware, but I do use retro software. WordPerfect DOS (remember that??!) is brilliant for ad hoc labeling -- so much better than Word. We have a VM running XP so that I can use it because it doesn't run under Windows 10. I also use Lotus WordPro, although not as much as I did because it also needs an older version of Windows. It is far better for layout work (leaflets, brochures and the like) than Word or Publisher, and you can achieve better results with many fewer clicks of the mouse!! We also used to develop in a language (4GL) called Sculptor, which you may or may not know (it is a British product). It was all character-based because it would run on anything with the right runtime but 17 years later I still use a share register which was written in it and one of our customers uses a Sculptor stock control and order processing system from a similar era to run their warehouse. --Hazel from the UK
We briefly used WordPerfect many years ago until we switched to Word 97 as our writing/editing platform. I did have a relative who used to work in a Lotus shop but I've never used Lotus as our productivity software, though I did once try to migrate a mail system from Lotus to an early version of Exchange.
My main home computer for finances is an AMD 486DX4-100 based computer with EMM and SCSI disks running Windows For Workgroups 3.11 on top of DOS 6.20. The software is Managing Your Money 12 (MYM) and Quicken 3.0, with occasional use of Office 3.1 and WordPerfect 5.1. The main finances is MYM; I got Quicken in case I had issues with Y2K, only to find that Quicken seems to have more issues with Y2K than MYM does. Retro? Yeah. Time to move on? Probably; my backup solutions (DAT tapes) died some time ago, with no other solution waiting in the wings. I have attempted to migrate to a VM using the current disk images (pulling the disk images alone was an adventure by itself), but have not had much success (the SCSI setup seems to baffle most VMs). My next attempt is to try VMware with the current disk images, but I may have to instead set up a blank VM and install from scratch the OSs and the application software. --Clint, Principal Standards Engineer
Awesome!!! Are there any other readers out there still using WFW? I'd expect a few to still be in use in industrial and control environments. And MS-DOS 6.20? I can remember working with MS-DOS 5.0 and then upgrading to 6.22 but I never used 6.20. We'd love to hear from more readers who are still using these legacy platforms--email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have loved your newsletter for many years. I am not sure what happened first, using FrontPage to create and edit my website or reading WServerNews. Hopefully both activities will continue for a very long time. --Paul from Australia
Thanks Paul! We used FrontPage 2003 ourselves for many years to maintain our fabulous website:
But a couple of years ago our hosting company stopped supporting it so we had to start using another obsolete program Microsoft Expression Web 4 instead. It's unsupported but it's free for download and does the job for an HTML weenie like me:
Howard the Computer Doctor was even more detailed about the retro software he still used:
I still use:
Probably more, just don't know how old the apps are!
Now let's move from retro software to hardware:
I bought my Touchstream FingerWorks keyboard about 12 years ago for $200. I use it every day. The inventors sold the patent to Apple, who trashed everything except some of the "swipe" functionality, so the keyboard is no longer available or supported. I've seen them recently on Ebay for $2000. I wouldn't give up mine for twice that. --Mary, Software Engineer
Keyboards are one piece of hardware that users seem to get especially attached to. I used to be fanatical myself since I mostly write/edit for a living, but after having worn out numerous old IBM PS2 keyboards I finally just starting buying keyboards at random from Staples and found I could get used to typing on just about anything. Maybe that happens to you after you've written several million words. In fact I can touch type fairly fast with good accuracy even though I've never taken a typing course or used any touch typing software.
I enjoyed the article about old technologies. I loved my old HP-15C scientific calculator, and after many years it "went missing" from my office desk drawer. Luckily, I found the Limited Edition reproduction. It looks and feels exactly like the original, but uses a modern ARM core. --David, Operations Manager
Another HP calculator fan--cool!! Do you know about the Museum of HP Calculators?
Also check out all the archived posts from the old forum for additional goodies:
I once spent hours browsing through old posts in these forums that brought back days of my undergraduate Physics studies when I went through several HP calculators starting with the famous HP-35:
Now why can't Windows PowerShell let you code expressions in Reverse Polish Notation (RPN)?
Oh wait, there's a proof-of-concept example of doing this on GitHub:
To wrap things up here's an email from John about a must-see experience should you ever visit Brantford, Ontario here in Canada:
Visitors to the hands on Personal Computer Museum in Brantford, Ontario, Canada can still power up and use personal computers from as far back as a 1976 Imsai 8080. Yes, it's the one with the 16 switches to enter the address and 8 switches to enter the data bytes:
Imagine using that as a workstation to anything, although it does have a lot of lights on the front panel you could flash! LOL
You haven't lived until you've spent time in the "Mammoth Cave" loaded onto a 1980 IBM Model 5150 personal computer from a 5.25" floppy disk into it's 16KB RAM memory…
Rarest of all, most of the personal computers in the museum were made in Canada or the U.S.A. How things have changed…
Everyone is talking these days about how AI (artificial intelligence) is going to change everything. Unfortunately however it seems most AI today is designed to either control people or make someone rich.
What about AI that makes us more free? In the PC computing world we have the paradigm of client/server computing. In the earlier mainframe world it was more like master/slave. What I would personally like to have is not an AI "master" that controls my life and makes me consume and buy stuff from some company, but rather an AI "slave" that would do my bidding to actually make my life easier and less controlled by our corporate overlords.
This was brought home to me recently by the following article in The Guardian:
Press Association wins Google grant to run news service written by computers
"Wait, that's part of the service our AI Master technology is going to provide!" says the company developing this. "You'll be able to configure your preferences and our AI Master will watch what you read to learn what you're interested in. Then our AI Master will customize which articles are delivered to you--along with some relevant advertisements."
Great but no that's not what I mean. I don't want You to decide what articles I might want to read. In fact, I don't even want to read your articles because there's too much fluff in them and too many advertisements. And I don't trust you anyways because you'll change your algorithms without notifying me, and you also won't divulge your algorithms to me. No, what I want is an AI Slave that I can order around and say, "Slave, read all the online news articles about space exploration and give me a one-page summary of what I'll find new and interesting--without ads."
This hearkens back a few years to when Microsoft started using speech recognition technology when you phoned in to reactivate one of their products. I remember at that time thinking, "OK Microsoft you've saved yourself the cost of a real live employee, but instead of talking with a human being who could resolve my problem in two minutes I've had to use your stupid voice recognition "slave" for 15 minutes just to reactivate my software. I recall thinking at the time how cool it would be if I had a speech synthesis/voice recognition program as a "slave" which I could order around saying, "Slave, phone the Microsoft product activation number and reactivate my copy of Windows Server 2008." Now THAT would be a technological advancement worth owning!
I think you probably got my point by now. What's on the top of your own wish list for AI? Do you think it will "change everything" the way so many tech pundits are saying? Are we in the early days of a rapidly expanding AI bubble? Do you think most of the money spent on AI is well spent, or is it mostly going down the drain? Email us at email@example.com with your thoughts and observations.
I recently had an opportunity to get my hands on a copy of "Biometrics in a Data Driven World: Trends, Technologies, and Challenges". The book is a collection of essays that cover the basics of biometrics and some of the various ways that biometric technologies are being applied in such areas as health care, security, mobile devices, cloud computing, social media, and even in gaming and entertainment. Many of these essays offer fascinating insights that will be of interest both to IT professionals and IT decision-makers, and I highly recommend organizations that are looking at implementing a biometric solution to get a copy of this book before doing so.The book also includes a collection of real-world case studies of various mobile biometric solutions. Some of the technologies examined in these case studies include voice, face, and fingerprint recognition; biometric signatures; keystroke and gait analysis; and more. The book ends with an essay summarizing current and future trends in biometric technologies, and there's a huge list of references you can explore for additional reading on any of the topics you're interested in.
Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
VIDEO: Information and exploit protection across your Office Apps and Windows 10 on your PCs
A look at recent advances in how Microsoft protects users across Office apps and Windows 10. See how Windows Information protection now prevents unauthorized sharing of business data from managed Office apps to personal apps on your PC. Also, see how you can now protect users from malicious links in Office apps such as Excel and PowerPoint with safe links.
Joining Microsoft's Security Communities
Would you like to speak directly to Microsoft Security Engineering teams? Microsoft wants your feedback! Find out how you can influence the developers who write the code for security products and the technical program managers who design the features. Gain insight into product roadmaps, join discussions, request features, participate in private previews, and attend in-person events.
I've received several helpful suggestions from readers about the hip pain I was experiencing after frequent heavy use of my reclining exercise bike. Here's one more comment from a reader named Dean:
Mitch, reading about your pains with pushing the exercise bike reminded me of some of my own experience. I'm ten years or more older than you and I had to finally come to the realization that the body can only be pushed so hard so long before it will very painfully remind us that it will make us pay for pushing too hard. I have had to back off on the intensity and duration of the exercise in order to be sure that I can continue to do the exercise. Old men hate to admit that we aren't what we used to be, but being able to do much of what we used to do even at reduced levels is better than not being able to do anything at all!
My response? Naaaaaaahhhh!!
Terry Crews' diet
So I decided to try it. I've generally been part of the big breakfast crowd for the last few years since most fitness experts say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Plus I do my workout early in the morning before breakfast so my body is usually craving food to rebuild and repair itself after a workout. But I thought of Einstein's quote about insanity (which he probably never said) and decided Hey, why not give this a try?
So I decided to eat my first meal no earlier than 10 am and my last meal before 6 pm. I do eat a piece of fruit or two when I wake up, and might have a spoonful of almond butter before bedtime for the magnesium to help me sleep. But about 90 percent of my calories are now consumed within this 8 hour window.
Disclaimer: I'm not a certified fitness professional or nutritionist so take any suggestions made here "as is" with a grain of salt and a heaping supply of your own judgment. Help other readers of this newsletter lose weight and get fit by sending your own weightloss and/or fitness tips to us at email@example.com
Let's catch up on some late responses we received for factoids from previous issues of our newsletter:
Issue #1132: Do you know any more interesting acronyms of military origin than SNAFU?
Our frustration saying is PICNIC -- Problem In Chair Not In Computer (submitted by David, Senior Systems Engineer)
Issue #1134: What was the worst thing that ever happened to you when you relied on GPS to drive to some destination?
I actually have two stories. The first story is when I was to stay at a relatively new hotel in West Virginia. The GPS apparently did not have the address of the hotel correctly matched to the GPS lat/long coordinates, and it sent me over 50 miles away, to a different set of lat/long coordinates that it thought that the hotel was at. The GPS route to follow had no turns, and looked like it dead-ended in the hotel parking lot. The road progressively got narrower and narrower until it turned into the gravel road of a private residence. After driving back and calling the hotel for directions, I finally spotted the hotel back where I had originally left the Interstate, hidden in a hollow off (and below) the main road where it was nearly invisible. The second story was when I was driving in San Diego, and trying to get to a building in a small unlit industrial park in the wee hours of the morning when it was still dark. At one point, the GPS instructed me to turn left onto a side street and the destination was about a half block further. I could see the side street approaching on the left that I was instructed to turn at, and made the left-hand turn onto it. Imagine my surprise when I drove up over a curb that I had not seen in the dark, onto a raised concrete sidewalk, and then immediately back down onto the side street. The side street had been closed to through traffic for some years to simplify traffic flow, and they had constructed a sidewalk to allow people to pass. The width of the curb/sidewalk/curb was so narrow that no one had ever corrected the GPS map. I notified the GPS manufacturer of the problem, and my company paid for damages to the rental car. Fun times! (submitted by another David)
On the point of Satnavs, a more serious story was a few years back when my father had a heart attack . The despatcher asked for my parents post code, which my mother gave them -- but told them not to rely on it as on satnavs always directed users to the wrong place (1 mile away) and gave directions. Sure enough she eventually got a phone call from the ambulance -- completely lost a mile away. Thankfully my father survived the heart attack -- but no thanks to satnavs !!! (submitted by David from the UK)
Issue #1138: What are some other crazy things that radioactive materials have been used for in the past? Or today?
When I worked at Honeywell in the mid-late 80's, we had air nozzles that we used to blow dust off of bezels that were radioactive. I don't remember the reason, but I think it was to prevent static build up? One day they came around and replaced them all with non-radioactive nozzles, I've never seen them used anywhere else. (submitted by Don, Production Manager)
Radioactive thorium oxide was used by several camera lens manufacturers from the 40s to the 70s. It improves the sharpness of the lens at wide apertures, and is safe…so long as you don't sleep with your lens or lick it. I have a Canon FD 35 mm f2.0 concave that uses the Thorium, and it takes uniquely dreamy images wide open. But the holy grail of these lenses is the Kodak Aero Ektar 178 mm. It was used by the Army Air Corps in World War II on surveillance flights, but some photographers have retrofitted it into 4x5 cameras with focal plane shutters, like the Speed Graphic. (submitted by Matthew, President)
That last story was fascinating. Now we're all caught up so here again is last week's factoid:
Budget airline VivaColombia is considering plans to remove all seats from its planes and make passengers stand. What other recent news item have you read that seemed like it must be an April Fools' joke?
Don sent us an interesting news item in response to our question:
Canada: Passenger allowed onto flight after security confiscate his bomb
The bomb was said to be 15cm long and filled with gunpowder. The teenager claimed to have forgotten it was in the bag after making it with a friend for fun some months before!!
Now let's move on to this week's factoid:
Fact: Hot dog wieners usually bust when I boil them in water, but recently I discovered a way to cook them without having them bust. Place your wieners in a pot of water and put the pot on the stove. Turn it onto high heat and just when the pot is about to boil (bubbles starting to appear in the water) cover the pot and turn the stove off. Leave the pot on the stove for five minutes so the wieners can cook through. (Hot dog wieners are precooked anyways so really you just need to heat them thoroughly and that's what this method accomplishes.)
Source: Our own kitchen.
Question: Got any other amazing cooking tips to share with other readers of this newsletter? After all, IT pros need to learn how to cook so they can eat healthy instead of living on a diet of potato chips and soda pop.
Email your answer to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next week,
GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at email@example.com
Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows is a simple, free standalone agent that delivers backup and recovery for both physical or cloud Windows servers and workstations, and endpoints running on-premise
System Center DPM Capacity Planner (calculator) helps you provision storage for DPM using the storage savings and efficiency:
This script finds members of a group that belongs to a different domain:http://www.wservernews.com/go/x4momiih/
Virtualization & Cloud Review has an article titled "How To Display Log Data Using Overlay Charts" that demonstrates another way you can monitor what's happening in your datacenter environment:
The VMware UK blog has a helpful video demonstrating how VMware NSX can help protect infrastructures against WannaCry and similar attacks:
Do you know of any other IT conferences or events that you think readers of this newsletter might be interested in knowing about? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name, date, and location of the event along with the event URL.
Experts Live Europe on August 23-25, 2017 in Berlin, Germany
Microsoft Ignite on September 25-29, 2017 in Orlando, Florida
IT/Dev Connections on October 23-26, 2017 in San Francisco, California
SharePoint Unite on October 24-26, 2017 in Haarlem, Netherlands
DEVintersection on October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada
European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference on November 13-16, 2017 in Dublin, Ireland
SharePoint Fest on December 609, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact email@example.com
How to choose the right server backup solution
Backup plans are critical, but the choices -- private server, cloud, hybrid approach -- are daunting. Here’s what to look for in a server backup solution.
Deploying Operations Manager 2016 in a single server
Operations Manager is a key part System Center Operations Manager. In this article, we will show you how to deploy Operations Manager on a single server.
Hyper-V and Storage Replica: Validating with PowerShell
This article concludes the discussion of storage replication in Windows Server 2016 by examining a PowerShell tool for testing the replication topology.
Installing SQL Server 2016 to support Operations Manager
In this step-by-step tutorial and guide, we will show you how to deploy SQL Server 2016 to support System Center Operations Manager 2016.
Top cybersecurity measures enterprises need to stop postponing, immediately
Cyberattacks can bring down any business quicker than their worst product and best competitor. These top cybersecurity measures can help you avert disaster.
Azure AD user management scripts
Microsoft Data Insights Summit 2017 Videos available
From SharePoint Thinks, Links and Clinks
Azure Stack Getting started resources
From Premier Developer
How to protect your on-prem physical machines using ASR
From Technology Chronicles
AWS certification types with the most street cred
Passing an AWS certification exam is often a top benchmark on a cloud pro's resume. These AWS certifications are considered the most difficult -- and valuable.
Turn tech laggards into learners -- adopt the flipped classroom model
What if you could improve tech training and save money at the same time? The flipped classroom model can do that, and more, for tech education, Joseph Flahiff says.
Learn the basics of PowerShell for Linux
The Microsoft recently expanded PowerShell to support the Linux OS. Discover key differences in the open source version of PowerShell, ranging from commands to script creation.
Open source vulnerabilities hit VMware
A remote code execution vulnerability in Apache Struts 2 affected four VMware products. Keeping a VMware environment secure goes beyond basic features and tools.
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing along with our theme of retro IT we offer you the following Flixxy videos for your amusement and entertainment:
French High Speed Train Keeps Pace With A Fighter Jet
In France, taking a train is almost as fast as taking a fighter jet:
If You Solve This In 30 Seconds You Are A Genius!
Do you have the potential to be a genius? Find out now!
The Amazing 'Strandbeests' by Theo Jansen
For the past 21 years, Dutch artist Theo Jansen has devoted himself to constructing animals that can walk on the beach powered only by the wind:
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7www.mtit.com.Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.