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Vol. 20, #17 - April 27, 2015 - Issue #1027
This week's newsletter includes a compilation of feedback from our readers to the topic of Issue #1025 Eyestrain solutions for IT pros. We received a ton of feedback on that topic so we're including a section of it in this issue of WServerNews. And of course you'll also find the usual news, tips and fun stuff aplenty as well, so enjoy!
We editors here always enjoy your feedback to our newsletter, but feedback isn't always appreciated in every situation. Take for example your performance at work. How would you respond if your boss came up to you and asked whether you'd like some feedback on your job performance? Let's see how Dilbert responded when this happened:
Do you feel valued yet?
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Let's hear how some of our readers responded to my editorial in Issue #1025 Eyestrain solutions for IT pros. We'll start with some positive feedback from readers who appreciated my attempt at solving the problem of mitigating eyestrain by using special plastic sheets or goggles to block all blue light coming from computing display devices.
A reader named John said:
Eyestrain solutions for IT pros. It works, Thanks again. John
You're welcome! Next is David, a Tech Coordinator for a school district in South Dakota, who said:
I have been a network administrator, computer teacher etc., since the early eighties …. Both my wife and I are having problems with eyes strain, tired eyes and dry eyes. Our eye dr. has been less than satisfactory, it determining and solving the problem…we are going to try the safety glass you gave the address to on Amazon. Thanks Much. Too bad it wasn't 6 month ago…would have saved us and medicad some $$$. I'll let you know in few days if your experience is better than our Dr.'s degree!!! LOL.
Hope it works for you like it has for me. Another reader named Jeff who works for Verizon said:
I wanted to say I really enjoyed your eyestrain article. Since I write code all day and normally go home and write some more, I always wondered if others experience similar eye strain. There are times where the brightness of the screen really bothers me and in the back of my mind think that this is probably not good for me. Many times I have thought back to my mother complaining about sitting too close to the TV and that it will ruin my eyes and comically thought "If mom could see me now" staring at multiple monitors, phones and tablets all day and all night. I have a pair of amber field glasses that I use while cutting the grass and I am going to see if they make a difference. If they do, then I may take your advice about trying out some of the screen covers or glasses options.
I too spent way too much of my own childhood watching TV, mostly Star Trek re-runs. Maybe that's part of the problem I'm experiencing at this stage of my life. On the other hand, as a kid I used to read cereal boxes as I ate my breakfast, and now I browse the news on my iPad so maybe not much has changed :-P
Several readers suggested I try Gunnar glasses as a possible solution when working on the computer:
Here's what some of our readers have to say about this product:
I understand all the research you did but if you had asked the community, you would have been pointing in the direction of Gunnar glasses. They are specially designed to relieve eye strain. I stand behind them along with many of my peers. And they are slick looking! I've had a pair for several years now and I won't sit infront of a monitor without wearing them. --Karl
Fascinating write up on your eye strain adventures! I really enjoyed reading it. Have you seen or considered Gunnars glasses? Looks like you can get them with an Rx too. I picked up a pair in Woot.com cheap last year and keep forgetting to bring them in to work, but I think I need to send myself a reminder so I can see if they work like they claim. Woot has them occasionally if you want a cheaper pair than retail. Thanks for the write up. It is something a lot of us in IT suffer from I'm sure, especially if we stay in the IT field for years on end. --Tanya
The orange colored glasses that you showed in the newsletter (April 13th, 2015) we see all the time at the rifle range – they cut out blue light and increases contrast when shooting rifles and pistols – plus it is required at all ranges for people to have safety glasses on (or wearing eyeglasses that meet the safety requirements). Just never edit any photos wearing them! --Tom
That sounds like a great solution but I really didn't want to fork over another $500 for a pair of high-quality prescription glasses for working on my desktop PC.
A number of readers also recommended a software program called f.lux that's designed to makes the color of your display adapt to the time of day i.e. warm at night and like sunlight in daytime:
Here's what some readers had to say about this product:
Then there's this feedback from Samuel whose wife is a Doctor of Optometry:
Just want to let you know that there is a lot of current research out there which points out that the excess blue light can not only cause damage to your eyes, but also to your sleep cycles. Being married to a doctor of optometry I get to hear a lot about it.
There are prescription lenses that block the excess blue light without affecting your color perception. It is one more coating that the best labs can add to your lenses, along with an anti-reflective coating.
There is software that will filter out a lot of the excess blue lights at night (based upon your zip code). The one that I use on my PCs is f.lux (www.justgetflux.com). For my android phone I use Twilight, though there are several others that I haven't tried. These really seem to help me fall asleep. It turns out that the blue light affects your melatonin levels – which are needed to sleep well. (BTW, unless you jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, I have found no software that will work on those devices.)
My wife recommends both the blue filtered lenses and the software to her patients.
Samuel also sent me a copy of the article "The Lowdown on Blue Light: Good vs. Bad, and its Connection to AMD" which was published in the Feb 2014 issue of a journal called Review of Optometry. The article has also been posted here on Facebook:
and it's definitely worth reading. I was particularly fascinated in the section titled "The Good Side of Blue Light" where the authors points out that some blue light is essential to both proper eye function and general health. So I guess I won't be wearing those amber blueblocking goggles all day long. Instead the next time I need to refresh my prescription glasses I'll probably purchase ones that use the patented Light Scan technology described in the article. For readers in Canada I found the following info on where you can get glasses with this type of lens:
Readers in other parts of the world will have to search for local opticians that are licensed to offer this product.
A reader named Scott recommended a program you can use for mitigating eyestrain on Apple devices:
Another option for blue light blocking is Zen Tech from BulletProof. They offer covers for iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks. Prices range from $20 - $40:
A reader named Howard shared as follows:
I am 60 years of age and lots of issues. Well, to begin with, I have Fuchs Dystrophy, a genetic disorder of the cornea. Problems due to diabetes, diabetic retinopathy. I had failed surgery already for a detached retina, now only having only one eye. I also had cataracts with a recent surgery to my remaining eye. If there is anything I have learned in the past 20 some years working at my computer, get plenty of opinions, see multiple doctors and never see someone that 'everyone recommends' unless the 'everyone' are the doctor's peers! I have been working out of my home for several years because I could not see the names of busses or the motor cycles coming down the highway at me. I am now out and calling on businesses and individuals once more, but found my job doing QA testing on apps for Windows Phone and Android Phones and Tablets pay far better than fixing computers. Eye strain is still an issue, but I recommend an eye drop lubricant/ real tears to help out and working in the garden on sunny days!
I especially like that last comment about getting outside on sunny days. Somehow being in a sun seems a lot healthier for our eyes than being indoors all day facing a monitor screen. And since it's going to be sunny today here in Winnipeg, Canada with an expected high of 21 C which is NICE for mid-April, I'll be sure to take a break at lunchtime and get some sun outside.
Finally Allan, another reader, brought an entirely different perspective to the problem of avoiding eyestrain when working on a computer:
As someone who has been involved with IT for 3 decades now, I've managed to avoid the issues with eyestrain simply due to a disadvantage which has its advantages in that I am legally blind and thus use a screen reader to work on my computer without the need to turn on my monitor. Now the screen reader isn't perfect and sighted assistance is occasionally required but it is another option for even those of you who are sighted. For example, you could use a screen reader while your writing your articles without turning on your screen, and then turn it on to format the article once its completed. Alternatively, you could use a speech recognition system such as Dragon to dictate your article into Word without the need to turn on your screen, use a screen reader to spell check and review it, then turn on your screen to format and finalise the article.There have been a number of medical articles which have shown the effects of the blue wave lengths on eyestrain, alertness when driving throughout the night and disruptions in sleep patterns.
I once met a doctor who used Dragon to take notes while he was performing surgery. I'm not sure speech recognition would work well for the type of writing I do, but I might look into it sometime. Here's a link to the product if you're interested:
Now for a few other news items...
An article in The Verge says "Microsoft to deliver Windows 10 updates using peer-to-peer technology":
I find this an interesting development and I wonder how enterprises will be able to configure and manage it. I'm thinking this might leverage Branch Cache technology but I might be wrong--has anyone heard anything more about this development?
Business Insider has an article that says The Weather Company (which owns the Weather Channel) has made a deal to move some of their services onto IBM SoftLayer:
I wonder what motivated this change? Is it simple cost-cutting like how Winnipeggers keep switching their wireless plans to keep getting those new customer discount packages? Sorry but it's my home town so I'm allowed to make fun of it.
Does your organization work in the health care industry? Have you been thinking about moving to Office 365 but are worried about compliance? Check out Office 365 for Health:
National Geographic reports that a mysterious class of deep space radio signals that have been picked up by large radio telescopes are actually caused by people opening the doors of their microwave ovens without pressing the Stop button first:
I wonder how many academic papers are now invalidated by this discovery?
On 14 July 2015, support for Windows Server 2003 (WS2003) and Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) comes to an end.
Removing your dependence on WS2003 ahead of the formal end of support will ultimately lead to a more cost efficient and operationally effective migration, and one which you're in complete control of. If you do decide to wait until the July 2015 deadline, the chances are you'll still have competing priorities and the avoidable urgency will end up costing you more.
This guide sets out how getting ahead of the WS2003 deadline will result in greater benefits for your organization, including:
Got feedback about anything in this newsletter? Let us know at email@example.com
Want to learn more about the different Microsoft System Center products? Check out the TechNet virtual lab called "System Center 2012 R2: Quick Product Overview" which exposes you to different System Center 2012 R2 components like Virtual Machine Manager, Operations Manager, Advisor, App Controller, Data Protection Manager, Orchestrator, Configuration Manager, Endpoint Protection and Service Manager:
You can also download the free ebook "Introducing Microsoft System Center 2012 R2" by Mitch Tulloch with Symon Perriman and the System Center team from this page on the Microsoft Virtual Academy:
Some upcoming live events from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:
Azure Rights Management Services Core Skills Jump Start
May 14, 2015 9am–1pm (or watch from 11pm–3am PDT)
Learn how Azure Rights Management Services (RMS) gives you control over your data, even beyond the office walls. Find out what you need to finally implement a proper information management system in time for Windows 10. Get the details on how to manage your organization's most critical information, regardless of device, so you can stop worrying about sensitive email or document leaks:
A Developer's Guide to Windows 10
May 19‒21, 2015 9am‒5pm PDT
Excited to build Windows 10 apps? The wait is almost over! And so worth it. Hear why, from the always-engaging expert team of Jerry Nixon and Andy Wigley, as they walk you through three demo-rich days of Windows 10 goodness, explore cool new features, and offer practical guidance. The stand-alone modules last about 30 minutes each, so join whenever you can and get up to speed quickly:
"All men dream: but not equally. Those that dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible." --T. E. Lawrence a.k.a. "Lawrence of Arabia"
Until next week,
New v5: Altaro Hyper-V Backup makes backing up Hyper-V virtual machines easier than ever. You will be scheduling backups in a matter of minutes. Free for 2 VMs, forever. Grab your free copy today!
LepideMigrator for Exchange is a complete Exchange Server to Exchange Server (2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013) and Office 365 migration solution which simplifies the entire migration process.
WordMat is an add-on to Microsoft Word that creates a tab with math functionality.
Parallels 2X RDP Client lets connect via Remote Desktop Protocol to your remote Windows desktop and applications from anywhere.
Need a free disposable email address for registering for something so you won't get spammed? Try Mailinator.
Did you know you can disable menu options and other user interface items in Microsoft Outlook by using Group Policy? For example, let's say that you want to prevent users in your organization from clicking Reply All. To do this, configure the "Disable command bar buttons and menu items" policy setting so that "Disable Items in the User Interface" under "Custom" is set to the value 355. You can also prevent users from forwarding messages by specifying the value 356 instead in this policy setting. For more information see this page in the TechNet Library:
Thinking about migrating some on-premises distribution groups to the cloud via Active Directory synchronization with an Office 365 organization through Active Directory synchronization? Be careful! Microsoft has a knowledge base article saying that owners of on-premises distribution groups that are synced to Office 365 won't be able to manage the distribution group in Exchange Online, you'll need to use native Exchange tools instead:
Need to deploy a big (greater than 4 GB) Windows imaging (WIM) file onto a UEFI system? Instead of the usual approach of using split WIMs and the headaches that come along with that solution, try using the latest version of Rufus which lets you format USB flash drives with NTFS using a GPT partition scheme so you can boot the target system from UEFI. Deployment Research, the website of Microsoft MVP Johan Arwidmark, has all the details here:
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Microsoft Ignite on May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois USA
Microsoft TechDays 2015 on May 28-29 in the Hague, Netherlands
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact email@example.com
According to IDC, email archiving makes up 66% of the archiving market, and many organizations are currently benefiting from a third-party solution with MS Exchange. But as organizations consider upgrading MS Exchange and moving to hybrid environments or Office 365, they have an opportunity to take advantage of the promise of centralized cloud archiving to enhance eDiscovery capabilities, add newer data types like social media, and lower overall archiving risks and costs.
Join Eric Young, VP of Enterprise Information Archiving for Actiance, for a 30-minute educational overview of archiving in a cloud environment and the challenges most organizations face when using the built-in or legacy archive, and a demonstration of the Alcatraz cloud archive. This live webinar takes place on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at 1PM EDT, 12N CDT, 10AM PDT, 6PM GMT and will answer questions like:
You will also have the chance to ask your top MS Exchange and Office 365 archiving questions.
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Video: Configuring, Verifying, and Removing Active Directory Delegations (Part 3) (WindowSecurity.com)
Configuring Active Directory Recycle Bin (WindowsNetworking.com)
Cisco ACI – Creating Basic Network Constructs (VirtualizationAdmin.com)
Cisco ACI - Setting Up Your First APIC (VirtualizationAdmin.com)
Exchange Online Protection Quarantine (Part 3) (MSExchange.org)
Product Review: GFI MailEssentials 2015 (MSExchange.org)
Use PowerShell to Archive a Folder and Copy to Server (Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog)
Interacting with TCP/IP Through PowerShell (Part 1) (WindowsNetworking.com)
Step-By-Step: Migrating a Windows Server 2003 file server, NTFS and Share Rights to Windows Server 2012 R2 (CanITPro)
Case Studies on Storage Spaces, Scale-Out File Servers with SMB3 or both (Jose Barreto)
Archiving Data to Amazon AWS (Part 1)
Getting Started with AWS (Part 6)
Getting Started With Azure Pack (Part 1)
Securing Your Network in an Internet of Things (Part 2)
Reporting Application of GPOs on Remote Computers and Generating A Report (Part 1)
In order to maximize ROI in your cloud, you need to have a successful cloud storage strategy in place that takes security, metadata, and management into consideration. Learn how to maximize your ROI with cloud storage management today.
Did you know you could reap the same rewards virtualization brings to servers by creating a virtual copy of your laptop? In this day and age, a virtual laptop can be extremely advantageous and there is more to it than meets the eye. Discover why every administrator needs to start using a virtual laptop.
Are the reasons you started virtualizing apps the same reasons why you are virtualizing them today? If you use App-V 4.5 or 4.6, it's time to start thinking about migrating, and rethinking what you need from an app tool. Find out why Microsoft App-V migrations are a great time for you to reconsider application virtualization and more.
You can maximize your Windows 10 performance, and make it run even faster, with a few small changes, such as maximizing RAM, disabling visual effects, and getting rid of unnecessary services. Learn more about how these few small tweaks will make a huge difference.
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at email@example.com
When a drone was trying to take images of the animals from above, chimpanzees of the Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands have proven once again their intelligence:
"If your life flashes before your eyes, make sure you've got plenty to watch!"
A hilarious parody of the Australian SketchSHE girls by the Russian comedy group Bonya and Kuzmich. "Guys! Let's go to Lena Chuchuhinoy to get milk. Off We Go!"
Two small dogs howl, bark, and bother a cat next to a swimming pool:
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 7 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 www.mtit.com.
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.