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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Apr 3, 2000
MS on W2K MCSE: 'Don't like it? Too bad'.
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
1. EDITORS CORNER: 
* Failed W2K Notebook experiment
2. CERTIFICATION BRIEFING:
* Ed Tittel's Continuing Windows 2000 MCSE Saga
3. NT RELATED NEWS:
* IBM & Microsoft team up and sell web appliance servers
* Office 2000 SR-1 breaks Windows 2000
4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS:
* April Product Of The Month: Security Explorer
5. HINTS AND TIPS:
* Outlook dupe remover / LCD-screen caveat
6. THE NT/2000 STOCK WATCH - Friday March 31, 2000
* Just have a look at the bloodbath this week!
7. HOW TO USE THE MAILING LIST
Instructions on how to subscribe, sign off or change your address.
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**********************WHAT IS W2Knews?***************************
Sunbelt W2Knews (the original NTools E-News) is the World's first 
and largest E-Newsletter designed for NT/2000 System Managers that 
have the job to get and keep NT up & running in a production 
environment. Sunbelt launched this electronic newsletter early 1996. 
Every week we keep the Windows NT/2000 community informed and aware 
of new developments of NT and 3-rd party System Management Tools. 
You get hints and tips that will enable you to better utilize and 
understand Win NT/2000 and help to pass your Certification Exams.
Info and Stu's bio: http://www.sunbelt-software.com/w2knews.htm

Via (separate) NTools E-NewsFlashes we will send you important 
breaking news like new service packs, killer viruses, etc. Sunbelt 
Software is the first and largest provider worldwide of Third 
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-------------------------------------------------------------------

1. "EDITORS CORNER" 

Hi NT/W2K Pro's, I did a small W2K experiment.

When you read this, I have been to Paris, France and back for a 
one day trip. Quite a commute, but worth it. I needed a small 
machine to work on during the flight, and since my handheld HP 
Jornada completely died on my recent trip to the W2K launch in 
San Francisco, I decided to try out another lightweight system. 

I was not all that happy with the Jornada to begin with. Windows
CE was a pain to keep connected via the RAS services on my NT 4.0
workstation. Unwieldy to say the least, and prone to errors. For
instance a reinstall of some software nixed my local admin rights 
and that broke the link between the two systems. Definitely not a 
way to keep things working. Synchronization needs to be a lot 
better than THAT! I found myself not using the CE machine after 
a month or two and that is a bad sign. 

So, I popped over to CompUSA and asked them what is the lightest
system with the longest battery life. They came up with a Sony Vaio. 
It's a very light and cute, well designed machine with W98 running 
on it. Pentium II, 333Mhz, 64Meg RAM and loaded with ports. It has
a very workable keyboard and a great touchpad. The cost was a bit
pricey ($1,700) but it's only 3.1 pounds so I decided to go ahead 
with it.

As this was brand new hardware I also picked up a copy of a new,
shrinkwrapped Windows 2000 Professional, and decided to install it 
just to see what would happen. First of all I made sure I would be 
able to roll back to the original configuration. Sony provides two 
CD's that reformat and reinstall the whole hard disk to a clean 
W98 environment so that was all hunky dory.

Then I decided to 'play end-user'. (That means do not read manuals,
do not read the readme.txt, do not check the MS website for any 
indications regarding compatibility, and just plug the CD in) :-)
Well, W2K went through the whole install in about an hour. It did
tell me that some components would not work, like the Sony power
management features and the Hayes 56Modem. 'Allright, I can live
without those' I thought and plowed ahead.

The process seemed to go fairly smooth. W2K came up and it looked 
initially that everything worked. I could fire up Word97 that came 
with the Vaio after bootup, but only if I did it immediately. W2K 
got me up to the screen with the Vaio wall-paper and Icons, but if
I did nothing, the whole thing went blank after 15 seconds and the 
only thing possible was the three-finger-salute to log off the 
W2K session. 

When it came back up after a new login, same thing happened, even 
after turning the whole thing off and pull the battery for a couple 
of minutes. Looks like I should have read all the manuals and run 
the compatibility tests, and generally do what MS tells people to
do. First impression is that the power management features in the
Vaio really need to correctly interface with W2K to work well.

Since I had to leave the next morning and did not have time to 
debug the whole thing, I reinstalled W98 from scratch and the Vaio 
is a happy camper again. I'm writing this section in the plane to 
France. Only thing I do not like about it is they pushed the DEL
key _all_ the way top right, on the Jornada it was all the way
down to the right and that is a much more useful spot. Oh well. 

Lesson Learned: Be very, very sure that the hardware you plan
to install W2K on, is compatible and that all the drivers for
the peripherals and internal stuff are actually there.

Warm regards,

Stu Sjouwerman

Email me with feedback at: [email protected]

PS. Thanks for your extremely positive feedback about our new
website design. Everybody loved the improvements. Not looked yet?
Do so now. http://www.sunbelt-software.com/index.htm

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****************************************************************

2. CERTIFICATION BRIEFING:

The Continuing Windows 2000 MCSE Saga

Shades of Robert Altman's movie 'Network'. As Albert Finney's 
character exhorted the world to yell: "I'm mad as hell, and 
I'm not gonna take it any more!" so have many MCSEs been 
voicing their dissatisfaction about the terms and conditions 
of the Windows 3.51 and 4.0 MCSE "upgrade" to Windows 2000 
MCSE. Love 'em or hate 'em, these guys are getting seriously 
bent on this subject.

In a nutshell, here are the most common complaints:

1. The Windows NT 4.0 MCSE is being retired unfairly early.
Indeed, when compared to the 3.51 MCSE, which persisted for
nearly four years after its successor was released, the 4.0
MCSE is only remaining in effect for 22 months after Windows
2000 was released.

2. The timing on exam retirement for NT 4.0 exams--12/31/00--
is coming much sooner than most people would like. Many in-
process MCSE's are concerned about being able to finish the
4.0 program in time to qualify for the "upgrade" terms.

3. The ability to take the 70-240 Accelerated Windows 2000
exam only once is perceived as a huge problem. Since this exam
covers the same ground as four core Windows 2000 exams, lots
of MCSEs are concerned that they won't pass on their first try,
and will then have to pay $400 to take all four of those core
exams anyway (70-210 Professional, 70-215 Server, 70-216 Network
Infrastructure, and 70-217 Network Security).

4. Those who don't pass 70-240 and whose electives don't transfer
to Windows 2000 MCSE will essentially have to get a new Windows
2000 MCSE all over again. This is perceived by many as more of a
form of punishment, than as an upgrade path. I have to agree
with this.

5. The invitation-only nature of the new beta exams is perceived
by many as a way of adding to the mystery and fear factor inherent
in any new exams.

Since Microsoft's announcements of the new Windows 2000 MCSE
curriculum and exam regime began appearing in September, 1999,
I've heard from countless current and in-process MCSE's who have
voiced the following opinions:

1. "The heck with Microsoft. I'm going to get [fill in the blank
here] certified instead!" Linux and Cisco have been the most
common alternative certifications offered by these fed-up folks.

2. "Let's revolt! If we all get together and tell Microsoft they
can't do this to us, they will change their minds." To that end,
a great many MCSEs have e-mailed or written Microsoft directly,
while many others have signed the "Open Letter to Microsoft"
spearheaded by Keith Weiskamp, my publisher at Coriolis (available
on-line at http://www.coriolis.com/tellmicrosoft/default.asp).

3. "My company plans to use NT 4.0 until 2002. Let's form a group
called XMCSE (for 'former MCSE') and use that as an alternative
certification to let people know we are fully qualified to work with
Windows NT 4.0." Lots of people are concerned that they're being
pushed to become certified on a new operating system long before
their companies need them to acquire this knowledge.

Unfortunately, it's Microsoft's game, and they can play it however
they want to. Witness this reply to the Coriolis "Open Letter...,"
from Donna M. Senko, Director of Microsoft's Certification and
Skills Assessment organization (see also my commentary at the end
of each paragraph, clearly marked as such):

[Begin quote]
Dear Mr. Weiskamp and Coriolis Web site visitors,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns regarding our
recent decisions on the Microsoft certification program. We are
noting the concerns and strong reactions that are expressed on
the Coriolis Web site and would like to take the opportunity to
help your readers understand our recent program changes. We
would also like to use this opportunity to share Microsoft's
perspective on the definition of the Microsoft Certified Systems
Engineer and the qualities of a meaningful certification
credential.

[Ed's rehash: "We've read your reader's responses to our new
program and offering and it hasn't changed our plans one bit."]

Microsoft created the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
certification to provide leading systems engineers with a
credential that would acknowledge their skills with Microsoft
products. The credential was also intended to offer organizations
a means to identify IT professionals who have the technical
abilities to help them take advantage of the most advanced
Microsoft technology and compete successfully in their industry.
With Windows 2000, Microsoft has created a business operating
system for the next generation of PC computing that provides
organizations with huge benefits and opportunities. To ensure
that the MCSE certification is recognized as a leading IT
professional credential with value and credibility, it is
critical that MCSEs be up to date on the most advanced technology
available.

[Ed's rehash: "Since Windows 2000 is Microsoft's new standard
OS platform, we are requiring MCSEs to become conversant with
that platform, whether or not that MCSE needs that knowledge
right away." Among other things, I see this as a way to stimulate
sales of Windows 2000, since MCSEs will need to obtain copies of
the software to work with, just to prepare for their upgrade 
exams.]

While we are aware that organizations make decisions to upgrade
to a new technology based on numerous factors, we foresee that
individuals who keep their certification current before their
employer decides to upgrade will have a major advantage by being
able to demonstrate that they are prepared to perform the upgrade.
We expect any individuals who choose to certify in the MCSE track
to assume a leadership role in helping their employers or clients
stay competitive. And maintaining current certification shows
that those individuals are fully equipped with the needed skills
to meet that challenge. MCSEs are leaders in their field -- not
followers.

[Ed's rehash: "The product is shipping, and Microsoft has
immediate needs to generate revenue from that product. Thus we
are requiring our legions of certified individuals to obtain and
learn this product to maintain their certifications, if for no
other reason.]

Some customers have expressed concern regarding the one-test-
opportunity policy of Exam 70-240: Microsoft Windows 2000
Accelerated Exam for MCPs Certified on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.
To understand why this policy was instated, it is important to
understand the accelerated exam's purpose and how it will help
MCPs to upgrade. A major software release like Windows 2000 is a
key element of the premier MCSE credential; comprehensive testing
of upgraded skills is essential. Microsoft realizes that the new
track will require considerable effort by current and aspiring
MCSEs to meet the Windows 2000 certification requirements.
However, for most MCPs, the major effort will be in acquiring the
new skills -- not in taking the certification exams.

[Ed's rehash: "Too bad if you don't like what we're doing with the
Accelerated exam. You MCSEs should be grateful that we're offering
it at all (and for FREE!) rather than requiring you to take all
four core Windows 2000 exams." This is stated clearly in the next
paragraph as well.]

Historically, candidates upgrading their certification were
required to be tested on the entire set of questions just the same
as new candidates pursuing the certification for the first time.
With the launch of the Windows 2000 track, we are offering the
accelerated exam as a convenient way for candidates to make the
transition to the Windows 2000 track. Offering this exam also
acknowledges that candidates who have passed all three Windows
NT 4.0 exams have some of the relevant skills required by the
new Windows 2000 MCSE track. As part of our commitment to giving
MCPs long-term benefits in return for their commitment to the
program, Microsoft is offering the accelerated exam free to eligible
candidates.

[Ed's rehash: "You can get those four exams out of the way free,
provided you spend $300 to take the three Windows NT 4.0 exams
first, and pass the test on your first try." This is Microsoft's
way of saying "Thanks" to MCSEs? Such a deal!]

Exam 70-240: Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Accelerated Exam for MCPs
Certified on Microsoft® Windows NT® 4.0 should be considered a
convenient alternative to taking the four core exams, not a
shortcut to achieving certification. However, to protect exam
security and integrity, candidates are allowed to take the
accelerated exam one time only. Individuals who regard the
accelerated exam as too comprehensive or who fail the exam
have the option of taking the four core exams individually, if
they choose.

[Ed's rehash: I am particularly enthralled with the phrase
"...to protect exam security and integrity..." To me, this means
"to prevent qualified professionals, like the Exam Cram crew, from
taking the test several times to be able to help others prepare for
what the test may contain." But then, I do have an axe to grind in
this particular case. The option of taking the four exams costs
$400, and takes a great deal more time and effort to schedule and
execute.]

Some MCSEs have expressed confusion on your site about the
invitation-only beta exams. To clear up any confusion related
to the selection criteria, I'd like to provide some background
information on how candidates were selected to be invited to
take the beta exams.

The function of a beta exam is to collect data that can be used
to predict how test candidates will perform on test questions
before the exam is delivered in its live version. The sampling
technique Microsoft used in the beta invitation process is
supported by several decades of research in the study of
educational and psychological measurement theory and statistics.
Our goal was to ensure that the composition of the beta sample
was as representative as possible of the ultimate target
audience.

[Ed's commentary: We have investigated the list of invitees to
the beta exams, and have learned that the majority of those
invitees were the MCTs who attended the MCT conference in New
Orleans in February. We find it very interesting that Microsoft
thinks that MCTs represent the "ultimate target audience," and
have also garnered the consensus from those we talked to on this
subject that this new approach means much harder MCSE exams for
everyone. More on this subject in the next paragraph, too.]

We believe it is the Microsoft Certified Professional program's
responsibility to retain the value and relevance of the Microsoft
Certified Systems Engineer credential as well as all other
Microsoft Certified Professional credentials. The decisions
the program has made ensure that MCSEs and organizations will
continue to benefit from this credential in the future.

[Ed's commentary: Microsoft is responding to concerns from more
senior MCSEs and employers that their credential is becoming
debased, and they are going to up the ante in terms of complexity
and difficulty to control how easy it is to obtain an MCSE in
the future. If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen!]

Windows 2000 provides enormous opportunities for Microsoft
Certified Systems Engineers to help their companies and
clients take advantage of a business operating system for the
next generation of PC computing. MCSEs who have planned for
and made the transition to Windows 2000 will have a significant
advantage over uncertified individuals. MCSEs will need to
invest time and effort in Windows 2000 as well, but we are
confident that the ultimate payoff will be significant.

[Ed's rehash: "You're either on the bus or off the bus. Those
who jump on Windows 2000 will be able to get ahead; those who
don't will fall by the wayside." Ouch!]

For more information on the updates to the MCSE program, please
visit: http://www.microsoft.com/mcp/certstep/mcsechanges.htm.

Thank you for this opportunity to respond to your concerns.

[End quote]

In the final analysis, all that this so-called response from
Microsoft represents is a rehash of materials they've already
posted elsewhere on their Web site, in press releases, or in
interviews with the trade press. They're not going to change
their directions, or their attitudes, and you can either get 
with the program or get lost. Having followed Microsoft closely 
for over four years now, I am absolutely unsurprised by their 
response, and I do not expect them to deviate from this course 
one bit. Is it fair? Heck, no. Is it right? Maybe, maybe not--
it's Microsoft's game to play however they see fit. Is it the 
way things are going to be? You bet it is! If you don't like 
it, too bad...

Am I being too cynical? too unfair to poor, put-upon Microsoft?
Please let me know what you think, or if you have a different take
on this situation. I'd love to hear from you, whether you think 
I'm right or wrong, or just crazy on this subject. I will cheer-
fully confess to having spent way too much time thinking about 
it over the past 6 months.

Thanks, Ed Tittel mail to: [email protected]


****************************************************************

3. "NT RELATED NEWS" 

* IBM & MICROSOFT TEAM UP AND SELL WEB APPLIANCE SERVERS

On March 29, IBM and Microsoft announced that they will sell 
a low-cost W2K-based computer for managing Web sites. This is
the first time that MS enters the appliance market for systems
geared to be web servers. This particular market is expected to 
have cumulative revenues of over $30 billion through the end 
of 2004, according to International Data Corp.

The new appliance server is called the IBM Netfinity A-100. The
A stands for Appliance. The software for the A100 sits on a version
of Win2K Advanced Server that Microsoft customized for IBM. MS
has disabled (not removed) some parts of W2K that are not needed 
for web servers and optimized others to work with the IBM wares. 
IBM has added software that can boost the appliance's speed and 
deliver information more quickly to Internet users.

The A100 web server appliance comes in three configurations. An 
entry-level powered by a 650MHz Pentium III with 512MB of RAM, 
a 9GB drive and dual 10/1000 Ethernet NICs is $6,000. A mid-range 
with two 650MHz Pentium IIIs, 1GB of memory and a pair of drives 
is $8,000. A high-performance box with two 750MHz CPUs, 2GB of 
memory, 18GB drives and gigabit Ethernet is about $15,000.

It's now only a matter of time before Compaq and Dell will come
out with similar appliances as well.
-------------------------

* Office 2000 SR-1 breaks Windows 2000

Just thought you would like to know that if a user installs 
Office 2000 SR-1 on a Windows 2000 machine it breaks the Search 
function on the machine and trashes the browser. When Microsoft 
was called they said they were aware but had no patches available. 
There is no uninstall for SR-1. Better watch it! I'll keep you
up to date about fixes for this, the moment I hear.


****************************************************************
4. NT THIRD PARTY NEWS

* April Product Of The Month: Security Explorer

Security Explorer is a powerful and intuitive utility to search 
for and modify Windows NT security on NTFS drives, the Registry, 
and Shares. Search across subdirectories for permissions. Grant, 
revoke, and clone permissions across subdirectories without 
affecting any other user's permissions. Select 50 shares on a 
server, and grant permissions to multiple users and groups at 
one time. Export permissions to a database for further analysis 
and reporting. Back up your file permissions and restore them 
if necessary. Set ownership on files and directories. Seamless 
integration with the Windows NT 4.0 Desktop (right-click just 
about anywhere). Security Explorer makes finding security holes 
and fixing them a snap! Check it out at:

http://www.sunbelt-software.com/search_category.cfm#4


********************************************************************

5. HINTS AND TIPS: 

I was looking for a tool to remove duplicates from my Outlook 
address book and found this: 
http://www.monarchis.com/utilities/remove_dup.htm
http://www.monarchis.com/utilities/dlprep.htm
---------------

When you buy a laptop, or a desktop LCD screen, be careful! A friend 
just found out that he made a mistake ordering a 15" laptop with 
1400x1050 resolution. When he decreased the resolution to 1024x768, 
the fonts are displayed "fuzzy". He found the explanation on the 
Viewsonic web page. LCD's, unlike CRTs work best in their native
resolution. So when your management wants to have new LCD screens,
let them show you first what resolution they want, and tell them
that changing it afterward can result in very unwanted effects.
Check out: http://www.monitor101.com/lcd/lcd_image.htm 

********************************************************************

6. THE NT STOCK WATCH Closing Date Friday March 31, 2000

52 WK 52 WK P/E WEEK
SECURITY CLOSE HIGH LOW RATIO CHNG
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Advanced Micro Devices... 57 1/16 60 14 9/16 +5.6%
BMC Software............. 49 3/8 86 5/8 30 50 -6.5%
BindView Development Corp 31 1/16 45 3/4 8 7/8 -17.7%
Citrix Systems Inc....... 66 1/4 122 5/16 13 1/4 -32.3%
Compaq Computer.......... 27 34 18 1/4 79 -5.2%
Computer Associates...... 59 1/4 79 7/16 32 7/8 47 -10.9%
Data Return Corporation.. 36 13/16 94 1/4 13 3/4 -45.0%
Dell Computer............ 53 15/16 59 3/4 31 3/8 88 -4.4%
Electronic Data Systems C 64 1/4 76 11/16 46 7/8 76 -10.9%
Gateway Inc.............. 53 84 28 3/8 40 -5.7%
Hewlett Packard Co....... 132 7/8 155 1/2 65 1/8 42 -6.6%
Intel Corp............... 131 15/16 145 3/8 50 1/8 63 -5.1%
Intergraph Corp.......... 8 7/8 10 1/4 3 3/16 +4.0%
International Business Ma 118 139 3/16 81 1/2 29 -2.7%
Legato Systems Inc....... 44 5/8 82 1/2 15 1/8 +19.7%
Micron Electronics Inc... 14 20 11/16 9 33 -12.5%
Microsoft Corp........... 106 1/4 119 15/16 75 1/2 66 -4.8%
Mission Critical Software 61 1/8 77 5/8 16 -13.7%
NCR Corp................. 40 1/8 54 9/16 26 11/16 12 -6.4%
NetIQ Corporation........ 66 13/16 81 1/2 14 3/4 -13.2%
Network Associates Inc... 32 1/4 37 3/16 10 1/16 -6.5%
Novell Inc............... 28 5/8 44 9/16 16 1/16 48 -12.9%
Oracle Corp.............. 78 1/16 90 10 1/2 -10.2%
Qualcomm Incorporated.... 149 5/16 200 13 5/8 +2.2%
Seagate Technology....... 60 1/4 76 25 1/8 15 -15.1%
Silicon Graphics......... 10 9/16 18 7/8 6 7/8 -10.5%
Sun Microsystems Inc..... 93 11/16 106 3/4 24 7/8 -6.5%
Sybase Inc............... 20 5/16 31 6 25/64 27 -13.5%
Symantec Corp............ 75 1/8 81 5/8 12 1/2 27 +2.4%
Unisys Corp.............. 25 11/16 49 11/16 20 15/16 16 +1.2%
Veritas Software Corp.... 131 174 13 5/8 -19.4%
Dow Jones 30 Industrials. 10,921.92 -1.7%


********************************************************************
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sign off or change your email address

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1996-2000.

(email me with feedback: [email protected])