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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, May 13, 2002 (Vol. 7, #38 - Issue #369)
MS Tech Support For W2K: Until When?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • WinXP Upgrade Part II
    • More Patching Headaches: What Tool To Use?
    • MS Tech Support For W2K: Until When?
    • Free "Personal Privacy" White Paper
    • NEW: StorageCentral SRM 6 Month Money Back Guarantee!
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • XML .NET Developer's Guide
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WinXP Upgrade Part II

Thanks again for the flood of feedback. Let me explain something first, I should have expressed myself better regarding "going back to W2K". What I meant was going back to the W2K interface, I'll stick to the WinXP OS for sure. Also, thanks to all of you that sent me the tricks to move back from the Luna interface to "Windows Classic" and get my icons on the task bar. Things look a lot more familiar now.

Quite a few people remarked they thought the new GUI looked like it was developed by Fisher Price. (for non-USA readers, this is one of the largest toy manufacturers in the nation) Many others though loved it and said you get used to it quickly. But since I have three machines I'm using all the time, I'm sticking with the classic Windows GUI for all of them, at least for now.

It was surprising to see the variation of your "XPeriences". For a lot of you it was smooth sailing, but quite a few (especially trying to install on existing hardware) had real trouble getting it to work. Looking at all the response I'd recommend buying new hardware with XP installed, but if you have existing hardware with W2K on it, you are good and no reason to move unless there are strong business reasons, like you have a full AD environment and you want 200 more Group Policy Features than W2K.

The other business reasons to choose XP over W2K could be:

  • Remote Assistance,
  • Remote Desktop,
  • Network Adapter "Repair" Option - which does ipconfig /release, /renew /flushdns, /registerdns, nbtstat -RR, and flushes the ARP cache,
  • System Restore - to restore the System State and files,
  • Alternate IP Address (when using DHCP) - great for laptop users,
  • Network Bridging - special cases of course,
  • Internet Firewall - again, special cases,
  • CD Burning Software - for a quick, end user controlled backup
  • Task Manager's Network Statistics
Regarding the motherboard our support team used to build my new box, it's an ASUS A7M266-D which you can find here with specs and all:

The processors are AMD AthlonXP 1800+ (CPUs). Here is a link.

Quote Of The Day: What is .NET? A Strategy, implemented via Remote Procedure Calls.

Warm regards,
Stu Sjouwerman (email me with feedback: [email protected])

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More Patching Headaches: What Tool To Use?

You may have picked up on Steve Ballmer saying that MS will have another (!) way to patch systems. I think he is talking about their coming Windows Software Update Service (SUS) initiative. I have included a link to a very complete description of SUS on the "Directions On Microsoft" site below.

If I understand SUS correctly, it looks to me like it might just be another name for Corporate Windows Update, which UpdateEXPERT already competes against and wins. If there is anything to comment on is the fact that NT 4.x support was not mentioned, and it is also not clear if hotfixes for MS applications are actually covered by SUS.

When compared to Corporate Windows Update, UpdateEXPERT (UE) does not require agents or Web services. UE can send different combinations to different machines in any combination with great reliability. The UE developer also researches and tests ALL patches. UE supports more than the OS and more applications than any other product. More over, UE customers only have to install the product on ONE machine. Lastly, UE and all the above mentioned benefits are available today instead of "later this year".

I believe SUS is a credible, proactive attempt by Microsoft to address an obvious problem of managing patches, and I'm sure some of you will appreciate it. But the UE developer has the job to demonstrate to you how UpdateEXPERT is a better, more reliable, and complete update management solution.

Link to SUS description:

Link to UpdateEXPERT:


MS Tech Support For W2K: Until When?

I had a chat with the manager in MS who is responsible for lifecycle management. He explained the following to me regarding the Server side of W2K, but commented they are looking at modifying this. First though, let's understand the different lifecycle phases and how they work now:

  • Mainstream Phase: Three years after general availability.
    Licenses available in all standard product distribution channels (e.g. direct OEM, authorized OEM distributors, retail, and Volume Licensing programs via licenses or via downgrade rights). Standard support offerings available (e.g. Premier Support, incident support (per warranty), hotfix support, online support information, etc.).
  • Extended Phase: Between three and four years after general availability.
    Licenses only available in the authorized OEM distribution channel and through downgrade rights available in Volume Licensing programs. In addition to Premier Support, paid incident support, paid hotfix support, and online support information will be available.
  • Non-Supported Phase: After four years of general availability.
    Licenses will continue to be available in the authorized OEM distribution channel and through downgrade rights available in Volume Licensing programs. Online support information will continue to be available. Microsoft may terminate this phase after providing 12 months advanced notice.
So, how does this apply to all W2K Servers?

March 31, 2003 - "Extended Phase" of support goes in. Standard support will still be available. No more free hotfixes for unique, company related situations. These one-off hotfixes are paid-for during the extended phase on a time & materials basis. Next is March 2004: "non-supported phase" for 12 months. Basically means ONLY on-line support. I'm trying to convince MS to extend the support for W2K server. They seem to be willing to listen. Here is the link for desktops. There simply is no page that explains the server side lifecycle.


Free "Personal Privacy" White Paper

Computer users all over the world have consistently indicated that privacy is one of the key elements in their attitude to information technology. Collecting information about users has become a lucrative business, with some companies funding their activities primarily through the sale of marketing data or lists of potential customers with details that allow targeted contacts.

Spam has become a daily annoyance for millions of e-mail users. Telemarketing phone calls generate enormous resistance, especially when unscrupulous businesspeople call your home during dinner or refuse to take victims off their calling lists. Grocery store loyalty cards not only provide discounts, they also track individual purchases.

On the interpersonal level, investigators use Web-based services to look into the personal background of individuals; employers use search engines and archives to read public postings by potential employees; and criminals sift through personal details to construct forged identities and steal identities. All these activities are much easier now that large-scale databases are available online; what used to take months can now be accomplished in minutes.

Personal computers provide fertile ground for data collection about individuals. Many Web sites store information about individual users' browsing patterns in cookies, which can be helpful for the user in delivering personalized data on web sites. However, on a less friendly note, some programs are placing unauthorized calls to data collection sites to upload information about the users' systems or system usage.

All of these phenomena raise issues of privacy in the age of cyberspace. This new and free white paper will help you get a sense of the fundamental issues that face all of us as we try to strike a balance between efficient commerce and our concerns about personal privacy. Bonus: Includes 10 practical tips to help you protect your privacy online (in addition to using PestPatrol, that is!) The white paper is here, and sits 4-th down in the "White Papers, Documents and Other Files" Section:

NEW: StorageCentral SRM 6 Month Money Back Guarantee!

Now listen to this pretty ballsy statement: "StorageCentral SRM is so effective at managing disk space, we guarantee that it will pay for itself within 6 months". Brash but true. The developer WQuinn came out with this offer and Sunbelt backs it up. Read on and give it a try:

StorageCentral SRM Version 5.0 automatically monitors and provides detailed reports on your Windows Server Storage. Reports are generated interactively, scheduled in batch, or as disk-space conditions demand. StorageCentral SRM's reports can run on a single server or can span multiple servers, making managing hundreds of servers as easy as managing one. StorageCentral is so effective that most of our clients recover upwards of 30% of their server storage.

Chances are your Windows File Servers are in a chaotic state. This is because there is no effective way to monitor and control users from consuming as much server storage space as they want. StorageCentral SRM 5.0 offers full policy controls to proactively monitor and limit storage abuses.

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  • Money ? optimizes existing storage resources reducing the need for additional (and costly) disk space while lowering administrative costs
  • Prevents System Crashes & Downtime due to lack of disk space
  • Allows Precise Assessment & Allocation of Space Needs ? obtains usage data for billing, trending or user chargeback
  • Saves Time ? user-friendly, feature-laden format is effective and convenient for systems administrators' needs
  • Educates Users ? creates awareness of disk space as a system resource and helps users to be responsible for their storage use
  • Provides Peace of Mind ? establishes and maintains control by user or group. This premier solution to the increasing data-storage dilemma provides operational convenience by applying such cutting-edge features as
    • NAS Integration
    • File Blocking with header checking
    • Active Directory Integration
    • Cluster Support
  • Supports Server Consolidation and SAN/NAS Migrations ? groom storage before data migration to newer systems.
  • Proven Technology ? Patented TruStor and RapidScan Reporting engine, technology so unique Microsoft OEM's it.
StorageCentral is the market leading storage management designed specifically to fill the void of storage controls within the Windows Server environment, StorageCentral's innovative, patented technology is the only solution to monitor and take action completely in real-time. Using a minimum of system overhead, StorageCentral obtains file data as events occur. There is no waiting for pre-scheduled disk scans. Use SNMP and e-mail for, alerting users, help desk or administrators when disk space is becoming critical and triggering appropriate action steps including detailed storage management reports. These reports can be generated in all of today's standard formats, including our patent pending Active HTML format. Download your 30 day free demo from our website today:

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

  • This rabbit will catch your cursor, but you can shake him loose! Cute.
    (full screen Flash, close in upper right corner)

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020513FA-Rabbit
  • Here is the REAL OFFICIAL U.S. TIME, atomically correct for a zillion years...

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020513FA-Official_Time
  • The Final Meals of death row inmates in Texas. Eat Cheeseburgers? Watch out for the law.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020513FA-FinalMeals

    XML .NET Developer's Guide

    XML is one of the cornerstones of the .NET Framework. .NET aims to bridge the gap between desktop applications and online applications, and facilitate the communication of objects between the two. XML .NET Developer's Guide will show you how to develop XML documents and applications for use within the .NET Framework. What's in this book? Review of the .NET Framework, Components of Visual Studio.NET, how to build XML documents and much, much more.