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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Oct 14, 2002 (Vol. 7, #66 - Issue #397)
Interesting Salary Survey
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Treo 300 Versus Pocket PC / New SunPoll
    • Interesting Salary Survey
    • 7 Reasons You Should Look at Active Administrator
    • Exchange Titanium Gets a Preview at MEC
    • Microsoft's New Plans For Windows Based Home Automation
    • Microsoft Mulls Security Fees
    • Latest Double-Take Version Certified On ALL W2K Platforms
    • No Charge Iris Traffic Analyzer With Retina Vulnerability Scanner
    • Get Your iHateSpam Copy Before The Price Goes Up
    • No Charge Vulnerability Scan
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Radeon 9700 Pro AGP 128MB DDR 2D/3D w/TV Support
FREE Group Policy eBooks!
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Realtimepublishers.com. Download the FREE eBooks now!
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Treo 300 Versus Pocket PC / New SunPoll

Some one sent me some pretty strong feedback about my new Treo 300. Looks like they found something better, or at least he thinks so. Here are the comments that Al Stewart sent me. I'd like your feedback, so let me know what you think about the comparison?

"How about you take a look at the Pocket PC Phone Edition it will make your precious Treo look like a toy.

  1. Awesome color screen better then Treo
  2. Synch with Corporate Exchange and Notes e-mail
  3. Add a 512 or 1GB SD card for attachments
  4. T-Mobile true GSM - GPRS network: mine works in Europe does yours?
  5. MSN messenger from the phone
  6. Terminal Server client to remote admin my Win2k servers
  7. Real Pocket Word and Excel
  8. Transcriber for easy writing to the screen translates to the typed word
  9. Want to compare memory and processor?
  10. Do a true comparison for a change."
Like I said, he's not mincing his words [grin]. And while we're talking about techie phones (that could be used for remote admin) also have a look at this site that was put together by one of your colleagues and W2Knews subscriber about the new Kyocera Smartphone Series. It seems to be another worthy contender:

And here is your new SunPoll:

Does your company currently run or plan to deploy performance monitoring and management tools?

  1. Yes, It's an absolute necessity
  2. We don't have it yet, but do plan to purchase in the next six-to-12 months
  3. We're considering it, but have not yet committed to purchase
  4. No, we cannot justify it from a business or cost standpoint
  5. You've got to be kidding, we don't have enough funds to buy new PCs and laptops let alone new management utilities!
Vote here (leftmost column), and see all earlier SunPolls at the same spot:

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

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Interesting Salary Survey

Have you ever wondered what your coworkers are earning? Or wondered if you are earning what you deserve? If so, you should take the recently updated SearchWin2000.com Salary Survey. By answering just a few questions you can view your results and compare your salary to those of your peers. It's anonymous and it's easy!

In this economy, it's important to know the current salary trends. And this interactive survey allows you to take a look at detailed reports, such as:

  • Top 10 paying jobs - See which IT jobs pay the most.
  • Title - Salary averages organized by position.
  • Experience - How much do your years of service count?
  • Region - See results by U.S. region and international territory.
  • And more!
You can also create your own custom reports by specifying the survey criteria that matters most to you. You can generate reports based on industry, title, region, years of education, how many people you supervise, job satisfaction, the number of hours you work each week, and more! Find out what you're worth before you go into your next interview or negotiate your next salary with the SearchWin2000 Salary Survey. To take the survey today, click here:

7 Reasons You Should Look at Active Administrator

The added functionality of Active Directory and Group Policy in W2K greatly improved many facets of network management; however, it introduced a greater complexity that can be difficult to secure, manage and monitor. Here are some of the common issues faced by network administrators and the solutions that Active Administrator provides:

  1. Simplifying the complexity of Active Directory's access control lists (ACLs) regarding the delegation of control.
    Unlike the Delegation of Control Wizard, Active Administrator records this activity, making functions such as "undoing" the delegation of control, and reporting on delegation possible.
  2. Documenting Group Policy Settings and Group Policy Links for the enterprise.
    No reporting is built into native Active Directory tools. Administrators must trudge through each container to see which Group Policies are linked to it, browse through them and separately create lists of settings. This can take from hours to weeks, depending on the size of the environment. Active Administrator provides a simple method for reporting on and viewing Group Policy settings.
  3. Calculating the Resultant Set of Policies (RSoP) for any given user and computer in Active Directory with virtual "what if" scenarios.
    How does an administrator calculate what the effective policy settings are for a user and a computer with the built-in Active Directory management tools? They don't. The only way to accomplish this is to review every Group Policy that is explicitly defined on an object and those that are inherited. Using a complex matrix, eventually an administrator might be able to get something useful. Active Administrator solves this.
  4. Effectively delegating responsibility and control in Active Directory.
    Simply in native Active directory this is a problem. How does one find out when and what was delegated and/or if it still is delegated? The functionality is so limited that many administrators cannot make heads or tails of it. Creating custom delegations of control can get so complex that many administrators will simply not use it. Active Administrator fixes all of this with Active Templates technology. These can be shared and saved and used over again. And as above, REPORTED.
  5. Quickly and effectively view, manage and report on Group Policy objects.
    The built-in tools are cumbersome at best. Viewing all of the Group Policy objects for a domain is difficult. Logically grouping them or quickly viewing them by container is simply not an option. Active Administrator provides the solution.
  6. Recreating successful test lab environments exactly in a live environment.
    Prudent administrators often create test labs to test all settings and configurations before exactly duplicating them in a live environment. This ensures that the live environment is consistent with documented security policies and is reliable for use. However, there is no way to easily recreate an Active Directory domain using the native tools in Windows 2000. Any Group Policy objects that were created for use in the test lab must be manually recreated. Active Administrator provides a simple mechanism for copying Group Policy objects between domains, making exact duplicate configurations and policies extremely simple.
  7. Searching for permissions for a particular user or group on objects in Active Directory.
    The built-in tools only allow administrators to manually look at each individual Access Control List for objects in Active Directory. To find out where a rogue user may have changed security to grant him/herself elevated privileges, or where security settings are simply unnecessary is virtually impossible.
Check it out here:

Exchange Titanium Gets a Preview at MEC

Microsoft used its MEC 2002 in Anaheim, Calif., to offer more details about the next version of its Exchange messaging and groupware platform, code-named "Titanium". There is a good article on the ENT site about it, so I'm not going to repeat the whole thing when you can read it over there. One remark though. They say that they will provide support for "blacklists". These are a mixed blessing. Blacklists do NOT solve the actual junk email problem. These lists plunk sources in their black hole they think are s*pammers. But the process is arbitrary, sometimes biased, and sometimes plain wrong. That means in some cases business email does not get through. A better approach is a rules based filter that is a bit more intelligent than just a list of "banned IP addresses" (which a blacklist really is). More about this in coming newsletters. Read more:

Microsoft's New Plans For Windows Based Home Automation

Well, their plan is simple. They set the standard and then everyone else follows. [grin] But seriously, they have a really cool site that just went live. It's the SCP-site. What's SCP? Simple Control Protocol (SCP) technology enables device manufacturers to create small, intelligent, Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)-compatible devices that can communicate with each other over low-speed communication networks.

In other words, you open up your network neighborhood and guess what? The coffee machine and other devices, [fill in the blank] appear as part of your network. No kidding. basically SCP brings plug-and-play to the IP protocol. Below is the brand new site where they explain the concept, where the Device Development Kits are, and how to find more about deploying SCP. This is going to be big. And remember, you heard it here first! But first, some comic relief. Ken Winstrand on the Sunbelt Home Automation list server made the following humorous comment:

"Wow, I can't believe MS is getting into this market. I'm sure they will come up with some great stuff, but this calls for a top 10 list:

Top 10 Signs Microsoft Has Automated Your Home:

  1. You now pay a yearly fee for each switch in your home.
  2. You are prompted to accept a licensing agreement before making coffee.
  3. Patches for your toaster control module come out weekly.
  4. You were forced to upgrade the driver for your bedroom ceiling fan twice last week.
  5. You can't legally use all of the lights in your house concurrently.
  6. A virus has taken over your controller and is using it to turn on and off the Christmas tree at the Whitehouse.
  7. Your home automation protocol is "Like X-10, Only Better!"
  8. Your new garbage compactor requires you to throw everything away twice.
  9. You replace every switch, outlet, module, and controller in your home every two years.
  10. At least once a day you are forced to stop your current task, close all of your windows, and shut down and restart your home."
The new SCP site is at:

Subscribe to the free Sunbelt Home Automation List Server here in the Specialty Forums Section:

Microsoft Mulls Security Fees

ZDNet just has published an article that does not make me all that happy. In a nutshell, it looks like MS might start charging for security. Hmmm, what is wrong with that picture? Keep in mind though that they generally do the same thing as politicians.

They let up a trial balloon and see if it gets shot down in flames. If no one cares the initiative has legs and they pursue it further. This is a bit of a heads up. Like always with trial balloons, there is not a lot of meat here. Just a vague remark they are "thinking about it". I cannot afford a real opinion yet. Here is the article:

And an update:


Latest Double-Take Version Certified On ALL W2K Platforms

NSI Software, the current market leaders in data replication tools announced its latest edition of Double-Take achieved certification on Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server and Datacenter Server. Double-Take is the only replication product to attain certification on all three Microsoft Windows 2000 server platforms.

Certification affirms Double-Take's ability to provide the highest level of availability, reliability and supportability to Fortune 1000 companies looking to protect business-critical data and applications in Microsoft environments. Check out Double-Take here:

No Charge Iris Traffic Analyzer With Retina Vulnerability Scanner

OK, the "Q4 Special Deals" are starting already. You will get a free Iris Traffic analyzer software with purchase of a Retina 512 IP pack or higher. Both of these products won their respective categories in our recent 2002 Target Awards as voted by you. Short descriptions of the software are here:

RETINA Network Security Scanner

Retina is recognized as the best network security scanner on the market in terms of speed, ease of use, non-intrusiveness and advanced scanning capabilities using AI technology. Retina can scan every machine on your network, including a variety of operating systems, networked devices and third-party or custom applications, all in record time.

Because eEye is also a leading digital security research entity, Retina incorporates the most comprehensive and up-to-date vulnerabilities database. With one of the highest levels of accuracy available, Retina can help you identify ? and dramatically reduce ? the number of potential security weaknesses on your network. Network World Magazine awarded Retina the Blue Ribbon Award for the Best-of-Breed Vulnerability Assessment Scanner - February 2002.

IRIS Network Traffic Analyzer

Iris is a highly sophisticated yet simple-to-operate network traffic analyzer that allows you to easily examine the inner workings of your network. Rather than looking at raw data in packets and trying to understand what it represents, Iris takes network traffic ? such as emails, instant messages, web pages and more ? and returns it to its original format with the simple click of a button. Iris makes the detective work of pinpointing the origins of a security breach or performance problem quick and effortless. With Iris, nothing crosses your network without you knowing about it. Iris 4.0 has been released just this week. SC magazine awarded Iris 5 Stars for Excellence in the September 2002 issue. Check it out here:

Get Your iHateSpam Copy Before The Price Goes Up

In just three months iHateSpam has become the BEST SELLING anti-spam tool for Outlook users! It is the ultimate weapon against junk e-mail. NOTE: the Intro Offer ends October 31 and is just $19.95. November 1st, this product will be available boxed all over the USA in retail outlets like CompUSA and the normal List Price will be $29.95. So get your copy now while you can, with online delivery of full product and a 30-day money back guarantee. This is a real no-brainer. Here are some recent user comments:

"Oh WOW, where have you been all my Internet life. iHateSpam is awesome. You have just freed up mega time for me. Thank You!"
-- Kay Huff

"Just wanted to let you know that I have been using iHateSpam for a few months and once I got through the initial problem, it is working great. I get all my junk directed to the quarantine directory and then can review and delete. It is a very good product. Thanks!"
-- Boyce Belt

No Charge Vulnerability Scan

Sunbelt Software and eEye offer you a free outside-in vulnerability assessment of your network to see if hackers might be able to penetrate. We will be using Retina to perform this penetration test of one IP-address you will provide us. The results will be emailed to you. Interested? Keep on reading.

We are obviously doing this to expose you to the power of Retina. There is nothing like a white-hat external penetration test to show you where the holes are. Note that we can only audit what we see from the outside world. If you have an excellent firewall, chances are we won't be able to get too far (which is good). You will be notified about that too of course.

Safeguards will be in place so that we know that the IP that you give us is an IP you actually have authority over. This FREE Test is limited to the first 500 respondees, 200 from Europe and 300 from the USA and Canada. For logistics and legal reasons we cannot process requests from other countries at this time.

Instructions: Click on the link below and click on Download Retina Evaluation. Fill out the download form and as Promotional Code cut and paste in this one: 847547
Forms without the above code are not eligible for this limited time offer.


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

  • How to cool your beer with a jet engine. A New Zealand Shed Project.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=021014FA-Cool_Beer
  • Tell me this is not the coolest thing since language compilers - click once and install all of the MS Platform SDKs...

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=021014FA-SDK_Update
  • Frequently Asked Questions About the IPv6 Protocol for the Windows .NET Server Family:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=021014FA-IPv6_Protocol
  • Ever heard of a Dutch graphic artist called Escher? He's pretty good:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=021014FA-Escher
  • Check out these incredible nano-machines at Sandia National Labs.

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=021014FA-Nano-Machines

    Radeon 9700 Pro AGP 128MB DDR 2D/3D w/TV Support

    RADEON 9700 PRO is the world's fastest and most advanced graphics board, featuring ATI's RADEON 9700 PRO Visual Processing Unit (VPU). Through a combination of incredible 3D rendering performance, sophisticated real-time visual effects, unsurpassed image quality and cutting-edge video features, it takes the PC entertainment experience to a totally new level.