Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Oct 22, 2001 (Vol. 6, #81 - Issue #316)
Another Stunning MCSE Reversal
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- TECH BRIEFING
- Another Stunning MCSE Reversal
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- SuperScout Email & Web-filtering Gets Good Feedback
- Did You Know? Sunbelt has a FREE DISASTER RECOVERY LIST
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- Configuring W2K WITHOUT Active Directory
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Visit Altiris for more information.
Raw Market Numbers
PC Shipments dropped from nearly 34 million units in Q3 2000 to about
29 million in Q3 2001 which was a 13.7 percent decline. The Sept 11
attacks just slowed up an already sluggish economy. Another factor
that contributed was uncertainty about the HP-Compaq merger. Dell,
through aggressive pricing and its quick response time, increased
shipments and grew market share both in both the United States and
worldwide. Its U.S. market share now stands at 26.4 percent, with
a worldwide market share number at 14.5 percent.
Microsoft did relatively well with a 6% increase in sales especially
in the "server" software section that increased. For instance MS-SQL
sales went up 40%. However, they lost a lot of money in their
investment portfolio which they had to write off. This is still a
rosy picture compared to for instance Sun that reported steep declines
in sales and a quarterly loss.
MS is pretty much humming along, but Windows and Office are affected
by the current slowdown and MS is warning that their second quarter
numbers could drop just a bit. The announcement of XP next week is
expected to boost sales but I'm not so sure too many people will
upgrade. This will take more time than MS hopes. Both HP, Dell and
others have started shipping PC's with XP installed and that is
where the major XP-growth will be coming from. The security measures
at the XP-splash are interesting: Two forms of ID, you must show up
on the invitee list, and no bags, laptops, or cameras, etc.
Next on November 15, three weeks after XP comes out, MS unleashes
the launch of the Xbox game console which will be its first foray
into the game console business. MS plans to sell the units for $299
a pop. This is at a loss mind you. They expect to make money out of
the software sales. And the Xbox runs a stripped W2K version as its
OS. Might be an idea to get one of those puppies. Powerful hardware
with W2K built in for cheap. Think about all the (non-official) hacks
that will be available for that machine. Could be fun.
And a comment on the last Editor's Corner: "A paradox of creating
recession-wary budgets is they contribute to the recession. En mass,
they create a self-fulfilling prophecy: we're doomed and by golly,
by our actions we will create the doom and conveniently blame it on
someone or something out of our control. I'm going shopping!" [grin]
Especially DRAM is now a steal, they are all selling below cost so
now is the time to double or quadruple your RAM.
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
REAL TIME SYSTEM MONITORING WITH EVENT LOG MONITOR
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you can stay cool. To get your 30-day eval check:
Visit ELM for more information.
Another Stunning MCSE Reversal
In another stunning reversal of policy, Microsoft is now permitting
individuals who have passed now-retired exams for the MCSE on MS
Windows NT 4.0 to apply certain electives to the Windows 2000 MCSE,
including some of the most popular of all electives for that older
credential. This will greatly ease the effort required for MCSEs
to upgrade their credentials for the Windows 2000 environment,
essentially doing away with 1 or 2 exams that might otherwise be
required. Here's the quote from the Microsoft MCSE Requirements page:
The following elective exams are no longer available but still count
toward the MCSE on Windows 2000 certification. Please see the
"Discontinuation of Exams" notice for more information about
This appears on the MS Web site at:
- 70-013 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft SNA Server 3.0
- 70-018 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Systems Management
- 70-026 System Administration for Microsoft SQL Server 6.5
- 70-027 Implementing a Database Design on Microsoft SQL Server 6.5
- 70-059 Internetworking with Microsoft TCP/IP on Microsoft Windows
- 70-076 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Exchange Server 5
- 70-087 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Internet Information
- 70-078 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Proxy Server 1.0
- 70-079 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Internet Explorer
4.0 by Using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit
And more general change info about MCSE is now made official over at:
The date on that Web page claims the most recent update occurred
on 10/12/2001, but I didn't notice this addition until someone
e-mailed me a notice that it had appeared on 10/18/2001. But no
matter when it appeared, it's GREAT NEWS for those who have already
taken and passed any one or more of these exams, because it will
make it that much quicker to upgrade your certification to meet
the MCSE on Microsoft W2K requirements.
Contributed by Certification Guru Ed Tittel. Visit his Web sites at
www.lanw.com and www.ilearning.com
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
Improvements In Hfnetchk
In Issue #307 we discussed the Hfnetchk tool that was released by
Microsoft not too long ago. But you may not know that this tool was
originally developed for MS by a developer called Shavlik and they
have their own "professional" version of the Hfnetchk tool.
This "Pro" version addresses most of the concerns that were originally
mentioned about the free bare bones MS-version. In short the interface
stinks, it's time consuming and downloading the files take too long.
Shavlik added a GUI that makes all the command-line features a lot
more easy. More over, the Pro version simply shows you all the
domain members so you simply select the systems you want to audit.
There are different ways to choose the systems: by TCP/IP address,
or specifying just one address, a range, or a list of noncontiguous
addresses. Another real nice feature of the Pro version is that you
can define a permanent location for mssecure.xml (the catalog file).
With the Pro flavor you get HTML that is easy to read, a explanation
why it thinks the hotfix is not there, and in the reports you will
find the MS security bulletin number, name of the hotfix, its
description, and the download link for each fix. Sweet.
If you want to get the command-line interface flavor from MS, this
is the place to go: the MS download site. (remember this tool does
not get you technical support by Microsoft, it's freeware).
But if you have more than say a dozen machines to manage and your
time is valuable, I suggest you have a look at the Pro version that
sits in the Shavlik Admin Suite over here:
THIRD PARTY NEWS
SuperScout Email & Web-filtering Gets Good Feedback
You have seen this product a few times in W2Knews and maybe wondered
how it actually performs. We have been getting quite a few responses
back from system admins that decided to implement it and here are some
of the experiences in their own environment that they wrote about:
"SuperScout is easy to use and works very well. It allowed us to
monitor our company access to the Internet and train our staff on
the proper use of business equipment and Internet access. Their
support and sales personnel were extremely helpful, thanks for an
outstanding product and service" - Don Berryhill, IS manager iMagic.
"I work for the State of Iowa and we have used SuperScout extensively.
It works perfectly and it saves us from numerous potential problems
and stories in papers before anything actually happened." -
Terry Ventling IT/net Engineer, State of Iowa
"We didn't want to watch our employees' every move. We mainly wanted
to protect against denial of service caused by downloading of music,
porn or games on our network bandwidth. It took just 20 minutes to
install SuperScout and it freed up our bandwidth tremendously." -
Russell Goodman, Network and Server Engineer, Thomas Cook Holidays.
Probably a good idea to actually get their 30-day and see how this
performs on your own network. You can get it here:
Did You Know? Sunbelt has a FREE DISASTER RECOVERY LIST
Sunbelt Software hosts this list to invite the free and open
discussion of Disaster Recovery Administration and Tech Issues.
This list is intended to be a forum to discuss how to plan,
implement and keep Disaster Recovery installations up & running
in a production environment.
What does that include? Anything you can think of (policies,
tools, scripts, hints & tips, exchange of knowledge and experience,
suggestions to solve problems, compatibility issues) to get and
keep DR effective in your environment.
- Discuss DR Admin and Tech problems and/or workarounds, how to,
what to, why to, type questions platform independent. This
list covers Servers running Novell, Win NT/2000, But also
Solaris, Linux, VMS, AS/400, Unix and other platforms.
- Discuss third-party DR products, services, methodologies,
provided these are designed to aid in DR Administration
- In short: ON TOPIC, LOW NOISE, and FRIENDLY!
We allow Vendor involvement in the list. Vendors are requested to not
blatantly promote products. Sunbelt reserves the right to now and then
make the list aware of a new product as an exchange for the bandwidth
we provide. If vendors don't address the issue in a technical fashion
their subscription will be revoked. Any participant flaming another
will get one warning from the LIST ADMIN. The next time their email
address and/or domain will be banned from the list.
- Discuss system administration problems. Use the Sunbelt
ntsysadmin list for that.
- Post large articles to the list, web pages were made for that.
Send a link with the URL!
- Generate noise, voice your upset, flame, or make inflammatory
remarks. Save that for offline or better yet, do not do it at all.
As you see, this gives you a very wide range of topics to discuss in
a professional environment. Sunbelt hopes that the list proves useful
to you and your organization. This list has saved a lot of people a
lot of time and all of you that are contributing are much appreciated!
TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIST (Tell your friends!)
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
See the very cool forms a disk drive magnet and ferrofluid create
The Gartner group issued some updated advice on MS Licensing 6.0
Vigilante Hackers penetrate Saudi Bank searching for terrorist cash
Nice little site with all kinds of hints and tips on using Ghost
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Configuring W2K WITHOUT Active Directory
To my knowledge, it's the only book on the market that successfully
addresses how the majority of MS production networks are still being
run. W2K is clearly becoming the industry standard OS for its proven
stability - and the fact that it doesn't have WPA implications and
isn't marked for support retirement half way through 2003! However,
although adoption of AD networks is slowly increasing, it's clear
that more MS networks than not still run NT4 domains - and yet it's
incredibly difficult for network admins to find clear advice on how
to configure their W2K workstations and member servers in this
All MS official documentation and most other sources now assume an
AD-only environment (possible exception being standalone Web servers).
All the new features and benefits of W2K are usually discussed in
an AD-only environment - which makes it incredibly difficult for
admins to know exactly which features will run independently of AD,
and how they could get the most of their W2K boxes without AD. This
is particularly important now the IT industry is in decline - with
fewer resources available it makes sense to make the most of what
you already have.
Not only does this book include info on how to make the best of W2K
outside AD, but acknowledges risk management (i.e. often the less
risky designs are implemented before the best technical ones) and
how politics is the overriding 8th layer in the 7 layer OSI model :)
It also takes into account the need to run MS networks with service
packs, hot fixes and Microsoft Knowledge Base articles - so rarely
mentioned when experience doesn't extend beyond the lab. It's here!