Sunbelt W2Knews Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Thu, May 9, 2002 (Vol. 7, #37 - Issue #368)
I Upgraded To WinXP...
This issue of W2Knews contains:
- EDITORS CORNER
- TECH BRIEFING
- W2K SP3 Is Going To Be Massive
- Hooking Up The Whole House To The Internet
- NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
- Microsoft Report Card
- MS Top Dog Brian Valentine On Security
- Hot Platform for New Databases? Windows.
- NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
- How Do You Know Your NIC Is Not Promiscuous?
- W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
- This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
- PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
- XML .NET Developer's Guide
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I Upgraded To WinXP...
Well, it was bound to happen. I'm an Outlook packrat so my total
space on the very fast Exchange 2000 Server was almost a Gig. Outlook
on my tried-and-true W2K Pro 500Mhz workstation was getting slower
and slower. So we decided to put a second machine next to it: a Dual Athlon 1800XPs with half a gig of RAM and a 10,000rpm 18gig SCSI drive plus a Cybex
switch box so I can flip over from one to the other quickly. The tech
guys installed XP Pro so that I could have "The XPerience". How do I
Well, I need to get used to it. Lots of things are in different
locations, so you spend three times longer finding what used to
be a few fast "nobrainer" clicks away. The new start menu has changed
a bit, but I cannot say I think it's a major improvement. You cannot
easily drag a desktop Icon that you use all the time down to the task
bar anymore. I had a bunch of those. I'm sure there are ways to do it,
but I have not had time to read the manual. Who has? And all the stuff
I had on the old box needed to be reinstalled on the new one. A headache,
and I'm not even half done.
The Outlook performance problem went away of course, with the hardware
we threw at it. I don't know if I'm getting conservative in my old
age [grin] but I think I like the W2K interface better. I may just
change XP back to W2K which is relatively easy. For the consumer market
this is of course a MAJOR improvement over anything else that MS has
put out. And upgrading W2K to XP for the business market? From my
perspective more a waste of time than anything else. Except for the
fact that MS is going to pretty much force you to do it sooner or later.
Which brings me to an announcement of a coming product. We will come
out with a report about the new MS 6.0 Licensing scheme that will show
you how it really works and how to negotiate the best prices from MS.
It will be a paid-for 50-page report but it will be way more affordable
than what you are used to, but written by a high-profile Industry Analyst.
Something you might not have heard, and I'm sure that MS is not shouting
from the rooftops either, but this plan looks suspiciously like an old
IBM software leasing plan from the seventies.
And here is the new SunPoll about Wireless LANs.
Q: Are you going to implement Wireless LANs in your Win NT/2000/.NET environment?
Vote here, (leftmost column) and see the immediate results:
- Nope, definitely not.- Not so likely
- We're thinking about it
- We're playing with it, in a separate testbed
- We are already in production!
The latest XBOX Winner is Rob Gowing of Tampa, Florida! Congratulations Rob!
(email me with feedback: [email protected])
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W2K SP3 Is Going To Be Massive
When I looked over the latest hotfixes a few days ago, the indications
the most recent ones had were that they were "Pre-SP4". Guess what that
means? SP3 has been tied down firmly and it is likely we will finally
see it in the next few weeks. Better start sharpening up your scripts
and/or code to do either roll outs or slipstreams because this puppy
is going to be massive. There are almost 800 post SP2 updates. And then
think about all the hotfixes that are security related you'll need to
apply since MS are not able to get those into SP3. In other words,
something that you want to automate. Here is a suggestion for a tool
that does it all:
Hooking Up The Whole House To The Internet
Well, my new house is coming along! We're supposed to move in end of this
month. Since I promised to keep you up to date on the project, here is
the latest. Done up to now: 12 drops of integrated wiring with 2 Coax,
2 Cat5E, and two fiber strands. They are all trimmed out but we have not
done any testing yet. Everything is neatly hooked up in the wiring
closed in my study, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it, but I'll
have to exercise my patience. Check out the picture below. The left
side is the flush mounted Leviton enclosure. Left top is all the coax
with the amp just underneath. That gets me cable-TV in all rooms.
Top right in the Leviton box is "telecom". We hooked up one of the
CAT5E cables so we have 12 phone RJ45's spread out over the house.
Further down, the yellow CAT5E is the actual Ethernet that sits ready to
be hooked up to the Internet. We kept the fiber dark for the moment.
The box that sits to the right is the security system. I finally decided
for the HAI OmniPro II system, as it's the largest vendor, they have the
longest experience, and recently won an award at the Consumer Electronics
Show. It has great software that comes with it so you can monitor and
control the house over the Web. The full house progress is here:
The HAI box will also interface with the home automation software so
I'll have a nice complete picture once things are in place. The HAI
and Leviton people are here:
As you see, we are midstream, most of the security stuff has not been
hooked up yet. The big fat looped-up power cable that sits at the top of
the Leviton box also needs to be rerouted around it and downward as it
will cause interference with the low-voltage stuff for sure.
The cables hanging down to the right are audio cables for a few speakers
that will be connected to the server (that will sit) below these two boxes
and will announce voice-events like "There is some one at the front door",
and "That's odd, there is some one trying to get into the back door without
a key, would you like me to call the police?!"
I'm going with a Cisco PIX 506 dedicated firewall. It's already sitting on
my desk. I have a cable coming in and the cable modem is ready. What would
you suggest for me to hook up to the Internet, and why?
Send me email at [email protected]. I'll report next time what the final choice is going to be.
NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
Microsoft Report Card
Microsoft still faces major challenges in moving away from its roots
as an operating systems vendor, according to an exclusive survey of 950
Windows professionals conducted by SearchWin2000. Microsoft customers
said the software vendor finally "got it right" with the reliability
of its Windows 2000 operating system and is still a dominant trendsetter
in the IT industry. It was Redmond's frequent rollout of expensive
upgrades, its prices and its treatment of customers that drew the most
negative responses. Only 29 percent of respondents strongly agreed that
"Microsoft's products offer good value for the money." This survey is
MS Top Dog Brian Valentine On Security
Brian Valentine, senior vice president of Microsoft's Windows division
and executive sponsor of the company's Trustworthy Computing security
initiative, talks about the lessons learned in trying to shore up
security in the Windows operating system. Interview in ComputerWorld:
Hot Platform for New Databases? Windows.
ENTMag reported that Gartner just came out with research showing
the strongest growth in new database software license revenues in
2001 came on Windows server platforms. MS Operating systems saw
11 percent year-over-year growth in database software revenues from
2000 to 2001, even as the entire database management system market
grew by just 1.4 percent and new database revenues on the Unix
platform actually declined by 1.4 percent. Growth was much slower
in 2001 than in 2000, both overall and on Windows. That year, overall
database revenues rose 10 percent, while Windows server revenues
shot up 34 percent. The prime beneficiary of the Windows server growth
in 2001 was Microsoft, with its SQL Server database. Article at ENTMag:
THIRD PARTY NEWS
How Do You Know Your NIC Is Not Promiscuous?
Arne Vidstrom wrote this:
"I've coded a small tool called PromiscDetect for WinNT 4.0/2000/XP that
checks if your network adapter(s) is in promiscuous mode or not (that is,
in most cases, if a sniffer is running on the computer or not). Of course
the attacker might be intercepting the communication between the tool and
the adapter, making the result unreliable, but there are probably many
more cases out there where the tool will really detect a sniffer. But
please be aware that you can't trust the result to 100% because of this.
You can find PromiscDetect at:
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
What really ARE the best websites? Here are the nominees. Interesting.
"All Your Base Are Belong To Us": The movie. (Shockwave required)
Feeling Depressed? The Washington Post reports that taking a sugar pill
works better than anti-depressants. In IT-world things are simple: it
either works, or it does not. I'm baffled how Big Pharma is getting away
with this. My prediction? Wait for Class Action lawsuits as big as
tobacco or even larger. See Article:
The "Nine Unhappy States" that block the MS Settlement might not foresee
the consequences. Modularizing and opening up the API opens up Windows
to many more security holes. The "remedy" would be a bonus for crackers.
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
XML .NET Developer's Guide
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Review of the .NET Framework, Components of Visual Studio.NET,
how to build XML documents and much, much more.