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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jul 29, 2002 (Vol. 7, #52 - Issue #383)
.Net Release Candidate 1 - First Impressions
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • OK, How Many WinXP's were sold?
  2. TECH BRIEFING
    • Admin Console Feedback Wanted
    • MS Will Fight Spam, But For $10 A Month...
  3. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • .Net Release Candidate 1 - First Impressions
  4. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • NSI Software Introduces Latest Double-Take 4.2
    • Today's Security Tip - Evaluate Before You Patch
    • Would Your Company Pass A Full GLBA Audit?
    • Close Your Number #1 Security Hole ? Your Users' Passwords.
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  6. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • Universal Command Guide for Operating Systems
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  EDITORS CORNER

OK, How Many WinXP's were sold?

Microsoft just announced this week that they have sold a whopping 46 million Windows XP licenses. Not too shabby. Of course they claim that this is the fastest-selling Windows ever, but they include all the OEM pre-installed licenses in that. So really, what's the big deal.

Still, the vast majority of this is consumer. WinXP in the enterprise is very, very slow going. And for good reason. It's finicky with the hardware it is running on. Remember the AMD Dual-CPU motherboard we put together and that I'm writing this on? Well I've had a bunch of bluescreens on it, caused by faulty drivers for the video card, the sound board and now we have replaced the power supply in an attempt to get rid of them. I'm back to saving my files early and often. Sigh. I have threatened our tech guys that one more BSOD and I'm going back to W2K. [grin]

And sure, OK, we know very well that it's all a matter of the Hardware Compatibility List, and approved drivers, and tested configurations but W2K never gave me this much hassle. My conclusion: only run WinXP on hardware that is thoroughly tested or simply buy it preinstalled on workstations whenever they need replacement. And for the office environment, set the default for the W2K GUI, not the new one. The learning curve for the new GUI is just not worth it in the business environment.

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

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  TECH BRIEFING

Admin Console Feedback Wanted

Most of you guys are using a multitude of admin tools. Many of these have some sort of central admin console associated with them, which is supposed to save you time. In many cases these consoles become a pig, are burdensome and non-intuitive. You have an opportunity to give us some feedback on how you'd like the central admin console of iHateSpam to look like. We want to have this thing done in about 2-3 months. The general idea of what it will do is the following:

  • Allows you to propagate iHateSpam to various desktops.
  • Allows you to propagate your own rules to desktops running iHateSpam.
  • Provide statistics on your client installations of iHateSpam.
But let us know how you'd like to have this look. Our earlier survey shows that an MMC snap-in would be preferred by the majority, but everything is open. What management features would you like? Want it in the form of a Windows GUI? Web? Both? Give us your thoughts, and what has worked for you in the past (and still does). Thanks in advance! Email me: [email protected]

MS Will Fight Spam, But For $10 A Month...

The Seattle times came up with this novelty. MS may have figured out a good way to filter out the junk e-mail clogging your systems, but it will cost at least $10 a month to use the technology. Ouch. MSN 8 will introduce a filtering system, the latest version of the company's Internet service. It is expected in October. For the first time, starting with version 8, Microsoft will offer the new features of MSN only to subscribers, although it will continue to provide free access to the basic MSN Internet portal. Full article here:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729TB-MS_tofight_Spam

As an aside, iHateSpam is a one-time license fee, with normal 25% maintenance per year and advanced junk mail filtering intelligence as part and parcel of the product. No subscription needed.
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729TB-iHateSpam

  NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

.Net Release Candidate 1 - First Impressions

Well, RC1 is here. The Keywords is CPP or Customer Preview Program. (The same thing has existed for 2000 and XP). Jim Allchin called the thing rock solid and so it is no longer called beta. Well, let's try to break it then! Anyone wanting to guess the amount of bugs still in there? ;-).

Allchin did not commit to a specific ship date. Among the interesting features in the new .NET Server (which is widely anticipated to ship by year's end): 8-node clustering, incremental improvements in Active Directory. These include a domain re-name capability, a schema redefine functionality, advances in replication, AD cross-forest trust capabilities, an Internet Connection firewall, IIS 6 and ASP.NET. Additionally, Allchin said, corporate customers can expect Windows .NET Server to maintain user identities across servers regardless of the authentication method. Again, no specifics such as pricing and exact ship date were available.

Microsoft announced that they decide to break out all the real-time collaboration and communications stuff like digital meetings, instant messaging, group collaboration, information-agent tech into a separate server called the RTC server instead of as part of .NET. The code name for this RTC Server is code-named Greenwich.

If you are not clear about what .NET is all about, BillG just clarified it again for all us confused newbies: "software to connect information, people, systems and devices". Oh, well, why couldn't you have told me earlier? [grin]

BillG commented about .NET that the rollout has slow to catch on and a bit uneven. Some parts of .NET are being broken out or repositioned as either standalone services or .NET servers.

The next major wave of technologies is going to be called "Yukon". This is after the code name of the next major release of SQL. That version is slated to have a unified storage architecture.

And the real long-term is called the "Longhorn wave". This is named for the next major release of Windows. In this architecture, all OS-en, applications web services are integrated in how they store, present and manipulate data. The big one day meeting though could be summarized though with: hype, little substance, little that's new and noteworthy.

On the database front, MS released some tools to connect NET to the Oracle database, and there is one planned for IBM's DB2 as well. You can get your RC1 over here, either as CD or download:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729RN-RC1

  THIRD PARTY NEWS

NSI Software Introduces Latest Double-Take 4.2

NSI Software has released version 4.2 of Double-Take, the company's award-winning data replication and high availability software. As a customer under maintenance, you are entitled to receive an upgrade to the 4.2 version free of charge to be used in sales efforts, demonstrations, training and testing. A sample of the new features of Double-Take for Windows version 4.2, include the following:

  • Improved Memory Management: higher performance
  • Improved Target retry handling and queue usage alert thresholds
  • Enhanced displays about connection status.
To download the upgrade you will first have to go to:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729TP-DT_Upgrade
to request a new activation code for the 4.2 release. A new activation code will be sent to you enabling you to download the update and on-line manuals at:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729TP-DT_Manuals

You can download the new eval from the Sunbelt website at:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729TP-Double-Take

Today's Security Tip - Evaluate Before You Patch

A recent Computerworld security report stated that one of the best ways system admins and security managers can save time and legwork, is by investing in security software that keeps a log of patches installed on each PC and server. The software can also confirm that patches are running and will prioritize vulnerabilities.

Selecting the most effective patch management software to help enforce your security policies can be an overwhelming task. Worldwide, corporations annually spend more than $2 billion to investigate, prioritize and deploy patches to erase security vulnerabilities, according to a recent study by Aberdeen Group.

Klipsch Audio Technologies relies on St. Bernard Software's UpdateExpert(tm) to identify servers and PCs that need patches, scheduling upgrades after business hours. "Something that would have taken six people four hours to do, we can set up in 10 minutes and not have to worry about it," says Mike Fulton, network manager.

UpdateEXPERT is a software patch management tool that scans networks for missing hotfixes and fixes discovered weaknesses. It features an exclusive database of patches that are researched, evaluated, and tested in-house. The product does not require a client agent for remote deployment or installation. Download eval here:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729TP-UpdateEXPERT

Would Your Company Pass A Full GLBA Audit?

Analyzing responses from over 1000 financial organizations worldwide to measure employee understanding of corporate information security policies and, in turn, measure the effectiveness of existing security awareness programs, the SAI Report rated participating organizations with a "D" or "unsatisfactory" grade when it comes to appropriate security awareness and behavior.

The SAI Report concludes that current practices and procedures fail to correlate to higher security awareness among employees. The financial services organizations that participated in the SAI received an average of 65.7 out of 100 respectively, which resulted in a "D" or "unsatisfactory" grade. PentaSafe announces their new VPC Financial Services Content Module that assists organizations in:

  • developing, maintaining, and communicating their privacy and security policies,
  • reducing their level of legal liability from "people" errors
  • assessing their level of GLBA and FFIEC compliance,
  • measuring employee awareness levels, and
  • understanding and accessing all the Financial Services regulations and federal agency guidelines.
Become compliant with GLBA policy and awareness requirements - Check out our Policy Center tool and the Financial Services Content Module: Fill out the form and a system engineer will get in touch with you for a fast and to-the-point walk-through.
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729TP-PentaSafe

Close Your Number #1 Security Hole ? Your Users' Passwords.

"Before using Password Bouncer, I could crack almost 100% of my 5,000 users' passwords in fewer than 2 hours using password cracking software. Now that Password Bouncer is installed, it takes me three days solid to crack 12% of passwords." ? Lead Engineer, Unitrin Data Systems, a Unitrin Services Company.

The new Password Bouncer Deluxe:

Provides Continuous Network Protection
Passwords are proactively screened at the time they are changed and when new users are created. Password Bouncer's highly customizable password policy ensures that new passwords conform to your desired level of security.

Enhances Existing Security
Password Bouncer provides additional password policy rules not found in the native operating system which allows administrators to significantly harden users password against attack.

Delivers Immediate Enterprise Protection
Password Bouncers' rapid installation and policy distribution engine provide immediate password strength and continuous protection.

Download the free 30 day full evaluation version from:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729TP-Password_Bouncer

  FAVE LINKS

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

  • I'm not making this up. Researchers see a future in microchips made from chicken feathers? Yup.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729FA-Microchips
  • A novel and quite brash way to get rid of your personal debts [grin]

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729FA-Personal_Debts
  • What is the one feature that Terminal Services lacks? File Copy! No more with this little useful tool

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729FA-TS_FileCopy
  • Do you feel lucky, pigeon? Well do ya? How to Build Your Own Laser.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729FA-Build_a_Laser
      PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

    Universal Command Guide for Operating Systems

    The ultimate operating system reference: Over 8,000 commands and 57,000 command options from every major operating system -- Windows, UNIX, Linux, NetWare, Macintosh and DOS. If you're a systems professional, chances are you're pretty familiar with commands in at least one of these operating systems. But what happens when you need to get up to speed on an operating system you don't know? This ingenious reference will have you up and running in no time. It describes and illustrates every command in every commonly used operating system, and cross-references each command to the equivalent commands in other operating systems. The Universal Command Guide for Operating Systems bridges the gap between all operating systems by cross-referencing commands between the many different operating systems that exist today.

    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020729BW-Universal_Guide