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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Sep 16, 2002 (Vol. 7, #61 - Issue #392)
What Was Fixed In Windows XP?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Vote On NT's New Name!
    • Heard Of Drive-By Hacking? Meet Drive-By S~pamming
    • What Was Fixed In Windows XP?
    • How Is The WinServer Market Doing?
    • Welcome, New Admin! (one you did not authorize)
    • MS adds Multipath I/O to W2K
    • Sept. 11 Keeps Disaster Recovery In Forefront
    • Users Complaining About Email Not Arriving?
    • Worldwide SQL Server User's Group
    • Evaluating Sunbelt Remote Admin? Better Buy Now...
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • A Really Cool, Affordable, Personal Laser Printer
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Vote On NT's New Name!

First of all, thanks a lot for the many hundreds of suggestions. I hope I was able to send you a quick acknowledgement back but if I missed you my apologies. It was astounding to see the variations you all came up with. There is a lot of creativity you can throw into this!

To start with, it would be nice to see sanity return to Redmond marketing and see them restore version numbers for the business side of things. For consumers I can imagine you'd work with different "models" like the car industry. For us professionals it only confuses the issue. Fortunately the MS techies seem to retain some sanity and you can simply use the Properties dialog to learn the actual version number of each new OS issue. That version number keeps incrementing as expected regardless of marketing hype. Just get to the Command Prompt and type "ver" and you can see what version of "DOS" you are running.

The fact is, the other NOS-en are not trying to appeal to the masses with fancy names either. You have NetWare 6.0, Solaris 2.9, etc. MS should really understand that Windows NT 5 or NT 6 is a more straightforward naming scheme and implies the maturity they're trying to convey in the marketplace. Having said all that, here are the five most mentioned variations you can now VOTE on in the new SunPoll. Practically everyone started with getting rid of the ridiculous "dot" which now reflects more the "dot-bomb" anyway. And the most popular way to designate the four flavors was to add the letters at the end.

  • Standard Edition: SE
  • Enterprise Edition: EE
  • Datacenter Edition: DE
  • Web Edition: WE
So now, here are (drumroll) THE FINALISTS:
  • WinNet
  • W2K3
  • WNet
  • WinN3T
  • NT6
You can vote here, leftmost column:

PS, I heard that MS' inclusion of the product year is based not specifically on the year in which it will be released. They select the product year as the next calendar year if the product is released after July of the current year. So a release anytime between now and July 2003 would qualify as 2003. If they had said .Net Server 2004, I'd get worried. [grin]

Quote of the day: "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." - Brian Valentine, senior vice-president in charge of MS's Windows development.

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

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Heard Of Drive-By Hacking? Meet Drive-By S~pamming

ZDnet has a really interesting story about people that find a wireless network that is unprotected and use that to send their junk email. These rascals are now called 'Warspammers'.

Speaking at the First International Security Users Conference in London, Adrian Wright, managing director of Secoda Risk Management, said: "These people simply drive up to a building armed with their pornographic email, log into the insecure wireless network, send the message to 10 million email addresses and then just drive away".

They do this by finding an unprotected SMTP port on your company server and then send their email as if they were a legitimate user of your network. And your mail server is not able to tell otherwise. For these crooks the benefits are clear, no bandwidth costs and very difficult to trace. Also very handy to bypass an ISP's terms of use policies. But you could get in trouble with your ISP when your network gets hacked that way.

Between 60 and 80 percent of corporate wireless networks are insecure, Wright warned, often because IT managers fail to change default settings when they install a wireless LAN. This has already led to the practice of wardriving, where people drive around cities looking for insecure wireless LANs, and warchalking, where hackers drawing a chalk symbol on a wall or pavement to indicate the presence of a wireless networking node. Full article at:


What Was Fixed In Windows XP?

Quite a bit it turns out. The full list is at the XP site. Interesting reading for sure. This also allows you to determine if you want to go ahead with it. And as always, TEST, TEST, TEST in a controlled environment! Just look at what I got back just now:

"I installed sr1 today and it literally destroyed my computer! It asked me to activate again. After I did and rebooted, it went into an endless cycle of rebooting. Would not even start in safe mode! Called Microsoft and had me do a repair. Stopped rebooting but I lost my Internet connection and could not reinstall a dial up connection. I also lost the shortcuts to most programs. They also disappeared from the start menu. An absolute disaster. Have reformatted and in the process of reinstalling EVERYTHING!"

And another one:

"Just thought you would be interested in my experience with WinXP SP1. I purposely installed Windows XP on a box with the infamous FCKGW RHQQ2 YXRKT 8TG6W 2B7Q8 product key with the intent of testing SP1's payload. Curious as to whether or not the service pack would be "chatty". I also started a packet sniffer capture before initiating the install. Contrary to the rumors that have abounded for some time, once the SP unpacked itself it simply informed me my product key was invalid and did not allow me to continue installing. I then tested access to Windows Update to see if somehow some bad mojo had been performed on me in the background, but I had no problems downloading and installing all 20 of the latest updates. I was also surprised that my capture did not reveal any network traffic to Microsoft during the installation. Seems like all these rumors turned out to be much ado about nothing. The only negative consequence of using a known pirated product key seems to be that you are denied access to SP1." Adrien Romo.

Here is the list with fixes:

How Is The WinServer Market Doing?

IDC just came out with interesting numbers. They did the math and concluded that the WinServer market did about $2.8 billion in Q2, 2002. That was 5% less than last year. And the market share numbers were even more interesting. HP slid down to 34%, but Dell came up with a "highest-ever" statistic of 23%, with IBM trailing as a third with 16.6%. And you might be surprised to learn that the market for Linux servers does a rough $1.8 billion a year now, compared to the $11.2 billion of WinServer. Linux has very successfully eaten into the proprietary Unix markets. IBM leads the Linux server space in revenues (at the cost of their AIX) and HP leads the lower value sales in Linux units by cannibalizing their HPUX.

Welcome, New Admin! (one you did not authorize)

You know how to set up W2K and XP workstations so that users must log on with passwords and they can't administer other users or your network. It's easy, right? Wrong. The basic design of the Win32 architecture, going back to 1993, has enough built-in weaknesses to allow anyone with guest privileges to gain full admin rights.

The problem, in a nutshell, is that Windows allows applications to give themselves higher privileges than the current user of the PC enjoys. These are known as "interactive services." If a user gets such an app to run a command that requires system privileges, well, hello, new admin. Full Story at InfoWorld:

MS adds Multipath I/O to W2K

Multipath I/O is the ability to use more than one physical path to access a storage device, providing improved system reliability and availability via fault tolerance and/or load balancing of the I/O traffic. In the case of storage management, where the preservation of data is vital, multipath I/O provides extra support points that can protect against data loss or system failure. The introduction of Microsoft's Multipath I/O delivers a standard and interoperable path for communication between storage products and Windows Server.

Leading enterprise storage vendors have committed to developing products that will utilize Microsoft's Multipath I/O to deliver highly dependable enterprise storage solutions to their customers. Microsoft's Multipath I/O will be enabled through third-party storage solutions providers and will be supported by Windows 2000 Server and the forthcoming Windows .NET Server 2003. More info on new storage features in W2K/.NET at:


Sept. 11 Keeps Disaster Recovery In Forefront

ComputerWorld has a good article about what IT shops are doing to get their Disaster Recovery plans in place. It's sometimes not just a building, but a whole region and you need to plan with that. Here are a few paragraphs with a link to the whole article underneath.

"In February 2001, Gartner Inc. published a white paper titled "How Will You Get Your Data Back After the [insert catastrophe here]?" Seven months later, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks filled in that blank.

"There was a sudden awareness: We could have not just a building, but a regional catastrophe," said Dianne Macadam, an analyst at Illuminata Inc. in Nashua, N.H. "What happened with Sept. 11 in Manhattan, it was a loss of the phone lines, the data lines, the transportation, of parts of the entire communications infrastructure."

Link to the #1 Disaster Recovery / Data Replication Tool for NT/W2K:

Users Complaining About Email Not Arriving?

S~pam filters are revealing their darker side. Network World just came up with an article that shows server-side s~pam filters are causing problems. Here is an extract:

"Stepped up efforts to eradicate s~pam are creating collateral damage as net execs find that aggressive filters can block receipt of legitimate mail and create uncertainty over successful delivery. Antispam filters are a work in progress, and network professionals must carefully fine-tune the software to ensure they don't cripple confidence in the reliability of email, which has become an indispensable business tool.

Filters are causing headaches for e-mail senders, especially those who ship large volumes of legitimate mail such as newsletter publishers, who are seeing spikes in the number of messages that are filtered out by corporate systems." Link to article:

Link to a great solution that filters s!pam on the user level and does not have the problem of users complaining:

Here is a happy user: "Just wanted to report back to you on how well your s~pam software works. It was nice finally to open my inbox, download my mail, and see 11 legitimate emails sitting there waiting for me, then looking at the quarantined email list, and seeing well over 45 pieces of s~pam. This is the kind of quality software I am looking for, and will be sure to be in touch with you if I need anything at all. Thanks again!" -- James

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Evaluating Sunbelt Remote Admin? Better Buy Now...

Because end of September the prices are going up. You can still get your site- and enterprise licenses for dirt cheap but not much longer so we suggest to get this product for the lowest price you can get. Call your rep or reseller to lock in your order. Here are the specs:


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

  • Here is a cool link, some one mounted a Beemer car chair before his PC.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020916FA-Chair
  • New: Check out our Sunbelt Monthly SPECIALS and check them once a week. You just might get a deal!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020916FA-Specials
  • Mike Elgan's List is my personal fave newsletter for some comic relief and relaxation. It's a "Stu's Warmly Recommended" item, and these are rare.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020916FA-Newsletter
  • The United Nations has an International Day of Peace on September 21, 2002

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020916FA-DayOfPeace
  • Here's a 70 page list of specific people and entities that U.S. Companies are restricted from doing business with. (example: Search for Bin Laden!)

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020916FA-Blocked
  • Here is a Banyan Vines "dedication" web site. Pass on thoughts and memories to this once great operating system

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020916FA-Banyan_Vines
  • Microsoft warns of documents that when opened up hijack other files. Oops.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=020916FA-File_Hijacker

    A Really Cool, Affordable, Personal Laser Printer

    A few years ago I bought one of these combined OfficeJet printer-fax machines for personal use. They work, but inkjet printing is inherently slow. And since we now print a lot more on our home network, we decided to go for something faster: laser! I did some research and came up with the Samsung ML-1430. It's great for a home budget, smallish, fast and less than 200 bucks: a great deal! We like it because it is compact, quiet and at 12 pages per minute it is pretty darn quick compared to inkjet. It is hard to believe this thing is for sale for so little. Check the W2Knews PriceGrabber site for the best price. (And actually, you should check the W2Knews PriceGrabber site before you buy ANYTHING online, it is really a great place to save money!)