Vol. 22, #30 - July 24, 2017 - Issue #1141
Free Tool: Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory
This week's newsletter is all about where Windows Server might be headed in the days ahead. We also have a new Ask Our Readers question we need help with and a reader comment about intermittent fasting in our IT Pro Fitness Corner section. And we dig deep into our Mailbag with lots of reader comments about topics from recent issues of our newsletter. Plus the usual tips and tools and other stuff. Enjoy!
Dilbert seems a tad overweight, maybe he should try intermittent fasting himself:
Does eating make YOU happy?
This question comes to us from Scott who is an Infrastructure Technology Team Lead for a company in Illinois, USA:
Hello Mitch, Love the list. Could you ask the group if anyone is being asked to add two-factor authentication to their internal servers? If so what kind of issues does it present? Thanks.
Can any readers offer tips, gotchas, best practices etc based on their own experience using 2-fac auth on their internal networks? Email us at email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week in Issue #1140 Slave AI my editorial focused on the AI craze that seems to be feverishly gripping both business and tech companies. My basic observation was that AI efforts by companies seemed to be geared towards making the average person less free, not more free, and I suggested that I don't want 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 generated a couple of responses from our readers:
When I think of AI, I mostly think of the frantic race to develop driverless cars, and it feels like everybody and their grandmothers are in a desperate sprint for this "golden egg". It seems like a lofty goal, but all one has to do is watch the weather channel and some of their shows, like weather gone viral, or weather caught on camera. And witness split second decisions that people have to make, while driving, in order to avoid sink holes, flash floods, flooded streets, tornadoes, landslides, and other situations that mother nature throws at us. There is also footage from Japan's tsunami showing cars frantically avoiding the incoming flood waters. There is no way that the AI in driverless cars could ever deal with these situations, and I don't even want to think about the loss of life that would result when driverless technology takes over. I wonder what the EULA's will say. --Michael
My mother-in-law is almost blind, so can't hit the correct numbers and consistently fails to keep the phone charged. After that, she can't remember how to turn it on. Invariably, technology is out of her reach. So, my challenge is to find a solution where she can make phone calls without using a phone and that has proved to be surprisingly difficult. Alexa can make calls only to other Alexas. Siri and Cortana require a phone or a laptop, so forget that. Google Home, the latecomer on the block, may have the answer. They don't put much marketing into this feature, but I read that Google Home can actually place a call without using a phone. "Hey, Google, call Kate." From there, if she can carry on a conversation with her daughter from her chair, for an elderly person with no particular unusual handicaps, AI will have evolved surpassing Picard asking, "Computer, do you detect any anomalies in the force field?". With already having Comcast, she can easily get internet, and since Google Home is cloud-based, no computer is needed; just an account. Will purchase and test today from my house. Wish I could have written this afterward, but I probably never would have, so I'm writing this now. Maybe I can follow up with the results. BTW, if you want some skill-building entertainment, watch some YouTube on conversations with these AIs. They are hysterical. --Bill from Detroit, USA
Issue #1139 Retro IT dealt with the subject of what seems to be next big technology wave: retro IT. Here are some of the comments we received in response to this topic:
HI Mitch: Your newsletter only one I read the day it arrives. You always manage to find right balance btw information I need and techie entertainment I enjoy.
Thank you for sending me down memory lane. In 1972 this GI's welcome-home gift from his fiancée was an HP-35. Cost her a month's pay in Deutschmarks. For a techie, that's love and devotion of the highest order. Marry her? You betcha'! Rugged? On my way to school, mine flew off the roof of my Capri RS where I had carelessly placed it whilst loading books. The 35 landed face down in a gutter of running water. My heart sank as there was a test that evening. Shook and blew out the water, pulled the batt pack, wiped it all dry with the tail of my t-shirt, held my breath and switched it on. Yep, it worked!
Later disassembled with #0 Posidriv and found moisture barrier under kybd. Used and repaired h/p gear since 1966. First at HAC, then in ASA and again as civilian. But that evening's experience was what made me an h/p, Agilent and Keysight partisan for life. Bought a 15C in 198x because one day the 35 walked out of the Lab. Locking dock and cable were always on the wrong bench. Still have both hard and soft leather cases for the 35. Yeah, I miss it. Best regards. --Ken
Thanks Ken and please tell others about our newsletter!
Thanks much for you informative newsletter. I've found a number of your advertisers have products I need, so keep up the great work!
Most find the idea that these antiques are still useful rather funny, except the poor grad student nursing it along to do his/her research. Our most common situation is a testing interface that uses an ISA-slot board and Windows 98 drivers. The second common problem is Linux-based embedded systems used in large production equipment. Either one can be cranky and result in disaster for the student if there is a parts failure.
Both the older boards and embedded systems cause havoc with vulnerabilities. We have a number of these antique systems isolated with firewalls, dual-homed pass-through PCs, stand-alone isolated networks, IP-specific VPNs to manufacturers, or local vLANs. It's odd to think these antiques are passing 2GB of data or more, which is far more than the disks of the time! --Tom
Thanks Tom and please keep clicking our advertisements :-)
I use Kedit by Mansfield Software on a daily basis. Everyone has their favorite text editor. This one is modeled after the Xedit editor from IBM's mainframes. It was always perfect for my Cobol programming and testing because it is column based and has a great macro language. The macro language is called Kexx, which is a subset of Rexx. For several years I used a DOS version of the program until they came out with a Windows version. As usual, there were good things and bad things about the Windows version versus the DOS version. Windows eliminated the file size limitation from the DOS version (well, it handles very large files anyway), but suffers from trying to being too GUI oriented for the user base that has used the text version of the program for a couple decades. Thankfully there are options to set that disable many of the GUI features to make it act more DOS like. Sadly, Mansfield has stopped selling, updating, and supporting Kedit. But I plan to use it until it won't run on whatever platform I'm using. --Pat
I remember REXX.
CueCat is a circa 2000 barcode reader I was still using a year ago, when I discovered that $12 generic barcode readers scan faster and can create Batch Files for ReaderWare. The only old software that I really miss is a programming language called Icon with pattern matching constructs that I could certainly use if they were in PHP. Icon is the follow-up to SNOBOL, the programming language that saved me from flunking university in 1974. Dr. Ralph Griswold, the author of both languages, and later a personal friend, died in 2006. --Jon from Canada
Wow, SNOBOL. Anybody here ever program in ALGOL? That was fun. Or better yet, APL--wow that was interesting to try code with. Here's a good Wikipedia article that has a timeline of when different programming languages were developed:
I manage a building for a Company I used be the IT Director for. The HVAC system is controlled by an old laptop running Windows 95. The laptop has no Ethernet port, no wireless, no USB ports, no CD/DVD drive, etc. It does have of course the PCMCIA port and a Floppy disk drive. We had an estimate in 2008 for a $10G upgrade to the HVAC system software, but as we say in the Harley world, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Company that used to service the HVAC system 'donated' the laptop to us as ours was the last system it was needed at. --Tom from Washington State, USA
Regarding Retro IT, I had a connecting flight through the Charlotte (NC) airport on Sunday, with a long layover. Watched two other American Airlines flights depart from my gate while waiting. For both, watched as the gate agent created a printout at least twenty pages long on fanfold paper running through a tractor-fed dot matrix printer in draft mode (remember the different sound of printing in draft vs. final mode?) She then rolled that printout up into a cylinder and headed down the jetway to the aircraft. I can only assume it was a passenger list. (!!) --Alan from Virginia, USA
Fanfold printers are a joy to listen to but I prefer the sweet sound of the line printer on our university's mainframe way back in my student days ;-)
To finish off this week's mailbag here's a comment from a reader named Darren in response to Issue #1138 Free VPNs for remote work:
Just a note about Hola. I did use it before as a Firefox plugin but it does try install a Chromium based browser sometimes on the sly. After several updates it got broken and also I started reading around on it. It works but seems rather controversial and is not considered secure and many consider it a botnet because of the way it works P2P, and apparently your data is bandwidth is sold (but they do say that upfront… paid version uses bandwidth of free users). Anyway, it is liked and hated by many. I personally would pay for a good VPN, all free versions (except Hola) have limited bandwidth and GBs use per month.
What I opted for was PureVPN Lifetime Subscription at ridiculously cheap one off price, which I got via Popular mechanics site. Googling it I see it also on Stack Social:
Being an expat living in Japan this use useful to me and this is a quick VPN and able to unblock sites I like to access that others I tried do not block. I put it on my PC and phone. There are lifetime subscriptions available for other VPN products apart from one I chose.. and you must see the value here, you get fully working full featured trusted product no limits, no subscription.
And that's the bottom of our Mailbag. Now on to the main topic of this week's newsletter…
This morning I happened to read the latest articles by Mary Jo Foley on her All About Microsoft column on ZDNet and what I read there almost blew me away. The article was titled as follows:
Microsoft's SQL Server 2017 for Linux and Windows moves ahead with first Release Candidate
Whaaa? Then I read the subtitled of the article:
Microsoft is making available its first public near-final Release Candidate for its SQL Server 2017 database, which will run on both Linux and Windows Server.
SQL Server 2017 is the first version of Microsoft's SQL Server database that will run on both Linux and Windows Server. Microsoft officials have said to expect SQL Server 2017 to be generally available some time this Summer.
Now I can still remember in the Gates & Ballmer era when Microsoft hated Linux's guts. And I realize that Satya feels differently and has pretty much welcomed Linux into the Microsoft fold, especially for the Microsoft Azure cloud. But running SQL Server on Linux instead of Windows Server? What's Redmond up to? And what's coming next, Exchange Server on Linux? And SharePoint? Or maybe even Active Directory?
I've often felt that Satya and his gang have basically committed themselves to hollowing out the Windows Server platform by moving everything to the cloud and pushing all their customers there. And I have to admit that I admire the idea of simply following the money wherever it leads, even if it means putting more effort into developing and hosting cloud-based open source solutions instead of traditional on-premises server-based solutions.
But what about the customers? How is Microsoft's newfound enamorment of Linux (and Docker and Hadoop and so on) going to actually provide benefit to customers who see no business need for moving away from on-premise datacenter solutions built on Windows Server? Mary Jo concludes her article with the statement:
You see, it's not so much Linux and open source per se that Microsoft has a crush on. It's that, in 2014, the world is leaving the old desktop/application computing paradigm for a device/cloud services approach. Microsoft ruled the former; however, to continue to be a contender in the later, it's realized that it needs to work and play well with others. Yes, even Linux.
But is the world really moving in this direction? Or is it simply that Microsoft and other vendors are pushing customers in this direction in order to keep their revenue streams flowing? What do you readers think? Email me at email@example.com
Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Windows 10 Tech Community has expanded!
Need to discuss some Windows 10 issue with peers and experts? The Windows 10 Tech Community now includes two new discussion spaces:
Windows 10 deployment:
Windows 10 security:
Why not start a discussion today?
Welcome to MVA
Are you interested in building your skills on Microsoft technologies? Watch here to get an introduction to Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA):
In this helpful video, Beth and Christina from the MVA team take you on a quick tour through mva.microsoft.com and give you an overview of the free, just-in-time learning offered by MVA, including tips and tricks for getting the most out of your learning experience.
Last week in this column I talked about how I had begun following Terry Crews' nutritional regime which is a form of intermittent fasting where he eats all his meals each day within an 8 hour window which for him goes from 2 pm to 10 pm and then fasts for the remaining 16 hours of the day. After trying this for a few weeks I do have to report that it's difficult when your days are not as ordered as a busy TV personality ;-)
One reader named Matt did comment on this topic as follows:
I enjoy reading your newsletter, it's interesting and entertaining. I'm a runner/triathlete and I've read a bit on the type of intermittent fasting that you mentioned in your article. I do 95% of my workouts in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. I've occasionally skipped breakfast and not eaten until after 10.00 or 11.00 am. One thing that I've wondered about when doing this is how my body responds without refueling after a workout. I've read about the importance of eating protein/carbs in the 30-60 minutes after working out. I do think that it's a good way to fast without skipping food for a complete day or two. I'll be interested to read what others might say on this topic!
I think it basically depends on your goals. If you want to lose weight then fasting after working out might work best. But if your goal is to add more muscle to your frame then eat, eat, eat! Those are my own ideas, anyways--what do other readers think? Email me at email@example.com
Peak 8 (Jeffrey)
I did find something of interest a year or so ago on the way to exercise more effectively. It comes from Dr. Mercola and it was called the Peak 8. If you have not heard of it, basically instead of doing an elliptical or stationary bike for an hour, go all out, at a high resistance for 30 seconds to a minute then slow down and recover for a few minutes and do it again 7 more times. So he claims doing this for 20 minutes is as good or better than plodding along on the device for an hour and it generates more fast twitch muscle, which is a good thing. I may have some of the details slightly wrong, but check these link out:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week's factoid and question was this:
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. Do any of our readers have any other amazing cooking tips to share with other readers of this newsletter?
We are pleased to report that some IT pros can actually cook! (heh!) Here are some of the fantastic cooking tips we received from our readers starting with this one from Tim who is an Advanced Senior Technical Systems Engineer for an insurance company in Nebraska:
Mitch, You can do the same thing with eggs. Place the eggs in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, place a lid on the pot. Shut off the burner and wait 20 -- 25 minutes. You will get perfectly hard cooked eggs and they yokes will actually be yellow, and not green. In addition, once it comes to a boil and you turn off the burner, you are saving energy as well.
We actually use a similar approach when we cook a half chicken in our house. We turn the oven on high and put the chicken in a roaster and cover it. When the oven starts humming (no it's not a musical oven, it's a self-cleaning oven) we put the roaster in the oven and set the microwave oven timer for 15 minutes. When the microwave timer beeps, we turn off the oven and leave the chicken to slowly cook. We can then go out and do our shopping or whatever and when we come back in a couple of hours there's a perfectly cooked half chicken in our oven.
Our next cooking tip is a short but sweet one from a reader named Charlie:
I roll hot dog on a paper towel, spray with water (faucet), and put in microwave for 45 seconds on high. Quick delicious results!
Hey, I gotta try that.
Next is this tip sent in to us by Don which may appeal to those of you who enjoy spicy foods:
Toast your spices! A quick stint in a dry skillet over medium heat wakes dry spices up and releases their oils, which means your paprika will taste a lot more paprika-y. Use whole spices, watch the pan like a hawk, and stir constantly until the spices are fragrant, then transfer to a plate to cool before using.
Hot stuff! And finally for those readers who like to bake their own bread we next have this tip (with photos!) submitted by John, a Senior Analyst / Programmer for a company in London, UK:
Hi Mitch. I've been fascinated with the chemistry in cooking ever since I saw a physicist putting some of his skills to work in the kitchen many years ago. I make my own bread on a fairly regular basis. Although I love the taste of homemade bread I got frustrated at the fact that the crusts came out rock-solid and that the bread would go dry very quickly. The internet is a wonderful resource for recipes and cooking tips of all sorts so it wasn't long before I found a solution, and it's called a tangzhong roux or water roux. Simply take about 5% of the total flour for the recipe, mix it with about five times its own weight of water and heat this up until it forms a thick paste or roux (at 65°C, but I've never actually checked it with a thermometer). This then gets added back into the bread recipe where it traps moisture during baking, helping to keep the bread moist. Another tip is to get some extra fat into the recipe, such as using milk instead of water and/or adding olive oil. All of which leads on to a wonderful recipe I discovered for Hokkaido milk bread:
I don't know about you, but I find whenever I cook something it never looks quite as good as the picture in the cook book. On this occasion that wasn't the case -- it turned out beautifully and tasted heavenly (these really are my own photos -- I can send the originals if you don't believe it):
Another quick tip: if you don't have time for making yeast bread, which is quite a time-consuming business, I love soda bread where the rising comes from acid reacting with baking soda. This starts to happen as soon as you mix the liquid (usually buttermilk) with the flour and soda so unlike with yeast bread it's important to hurry up and get it in the oven quickly once you've mixed the wet and dry ingredients together.
If any other readers have geeky cooking tips they'd like to share with our readership, shoot me an email at email@example.com
Now let's move on to this week's factoid:
Fact: Unwitting customers in the United Kingdom who didn't read the terms and conditions for use of a public WiFi hotspot agreed to perform 1,000 hours of community service, including unclogging sewers and scraping gum off the street.
Question: If you created and sold a product or service, what terms and conditions would you like to sneak into the EULA for your unwitting customers who never read EULAs? Let's get creative here, it's summer so let's have some fun (but please keep it G-rated!)
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
Voimakas Exchange OST Recovery offers a complete solution to recover corrupted and damaged Exchange Offline Storage Table (OST) files:
ConfigMgr Prerequisites Tool 2.0.1 will assist administrators in installing all the correct prerequisites for a ConfigMgr hierarchy, different Site Systems Roles and much more:
This script will pull your Office 365 tenant settings and dump the reports into a folder called Reports:http://www.wservernews.com/go/ajbghbjw/
Microsoft has published a doc in their Windows IT Center that describes various Windows 10 upgrade errors and how you can resolve them:
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
Realize Operation 6.6 includes automated workload balance
VMware's vRealize Operation 6.6 makes it easier to avoid contention in clusters, which can lead to faulty applications and headaches for administrators.
Want to know which IT jobs are on the highway to extinction? Read on
Technology has disrupted an array of industries. But the creators of this disruption face a harsh truth: Many IT jobs are also under risk of extinction.
Inside advice for outside: Tips on running LAN cabling outdoors
Wireless networking is often used for home and office networking, but sometimes a wired LAN is best. Here's how to run LAN cabling outdoors.
Windows Server and System Center to feature continuous releases
Microsoft has announced continuous semiannual updates for Windows Server and System Center so users can take advantage of new tech features.
Firewalls: Should you have a single vendor or multi-vendor strategy?
Should you use one vendor for all firewalls or have multiple vendors? The old wisdom says more is better. The new reality doesn't agree.
Logging to the Windows Event Log in your PowerShell scripts
Using PowerShell to test whether hotfixes is installed
From the blog of Jan Egil Ring
Quick PowerShell snippet to show ForEach -parallel differences when leveraging PowerShell Workflow
From SharePoint Thinks, Links and Clinks
Create custom Perfmon counters and update them using PowerShell
From Testing Spot
How does Office 365 VDI licensing work in nonpersistent deployments?
Setting up Office 365 generally involves multiple devices. With nonpersistent VDI, the rules of the game change for IT admins. To use this licensing model, IT must install Office 365 ProPlus in Shared Computer Activation mode -- to allow several users to work with Office on the same virtual desktop. But in order to do this, admins must use the Office Deployment Tool. Inside discover step by step instructions on how to install the tool.
Windows 10 keylogger adds fuel to the privacy fire
Microsoft's data collection practices in Windows 10 have been under scrutiny since the company released the OS. The Windows 10 keylogger doesn't do much to control privacy fears. Inside, find out how data collection can hurt organizations, and what admins should do about it.
Google plays a strong hand with new Android security features
In today's increasingly mobile world, cyberattacks are on the rise and more advanced than ever. Enterprise mobile security is now a top priority for IT admins. Google's new Android security features have heightened the company's mobile security. Check out the new features inside.
Citrix Synergy 2017: Keynote Live Blogs
A lot happened at Citrix Synergy this year. Check out the keynote live blogs and catch up on what went down at the conference. You'll discover use cases where desktop virtualization can provide a better experience than a PC, a demo of Citrix Analytics Service, Secure Browsing Essentials for Azure, and much more!
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:
World's Fastest Money Counter
A woman in China has become an overnight internet sensation after a video showing her extraordinary money-counting skills went viral:
Jaguar E-Pace Guinness World Record Barrel Roll
British stunt driver Terry Grant has set a Guinness World Record doing a barrel roll in a Jaguar E-Pace during its world premiere in London:
Smart Parrot Solves Five Puzzles To Get His Treat
'Mailo' the African Gray Parrot solves multiple puzzles to get get his treat, which his owner placed behind a series of 5 locks:
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.