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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, May 5, 2003 (Vol. 8, #18 - Issue #424)
Is Windows Finished?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
    • Is Windows Finished?
    • Technology Events & Seminars Survey With 15 Prizes
    • MS Releases Free Tutorial For W2K3 Security
    • Avoid AD's One-Way Streets
    • Microsoft Looks To Tie SUS And Big Frameworks
    • The New GPMC Tool For AD Is Not Free
    • Want A Supercharged Admin Workstation?
    • Panda Software Found Viruses On My PC
    • Free Chapter On Enterprise Active Directory Design
    • Cloudmark Now Charges Their SpamFighters
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
    • Get iHateSpam Client For Free. Really.
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Is Windows Finished?

Redmond actually has reached an important point in their history. With W2K3, both the desktop and server are basically finished since the NT kernel is now available for the full x86 CPU-line.

W2K3 does a pretty darn good job on both stability and security, it's a job well done and an impressive one if I may say so. The amount of code review that went into it is now at levels you only historically saw at mainframe and mini-computer makers. And done with bleeding edge automated code correction tools as well.

Performance tuning was done to a point that this new version really makes a difference compared to earlier versions. You could say that Windows is finally mature, and also locked down out of the box. Used to be Windows was trusting and you needed to make it paranoid. Now this is reversed with W2K3.

And all you see in W2K3 will only help XP getting better too. So now MS can focus on their 64-bit Windows, just in time to catch the next major wave of 64-bit technology of Intel and AMD. MS is a bit late, certainly are behind Unix/Linux in this arena and they'll have to catch up. Now they have the time to do that.

The W2K3 "renaming" thing seems to have been resolved. It will stay Windows 2003, but it lives under the new term "Windows Server System". That name will now serve as the umbrella term for all the MS server-based products.

PS: Remember the new W2Knews refer-a-friend campaign

We've got a spectacular prize for the Q2 campaign. It's the Netsurfer Chair! Know a colleague that does not get W2Knews? Refer them as a subscriber and the both of you have a chance to win this piece of ultimate Internet furniture. Click below, complete your profile and refer a friend! Here is a picture of the chair I'm talking about:

Have your friends use the link below to subscribe to W2Knews if they aren't already a member:

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

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    Technology Events & Seminars Survey With 15 Prizes

    Want to get MORE out of your Tech Events like Tech.Ed and others? Then take part in this survey. W2Knews and Survey.com ask your opinion of technology events and seminars. We'd would like to hear from you even if you haven't attended a technology event recently. The survey results will be used to improve technology events. Here is the link:

    The survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete, and as a token of our appreciation, you will be entered into a drawing to win one (1) prize of $1,000, four (4) prizes of $250, and ten (10) prizes of $100. (This is a US-only survey. If you're from another country, please ignore this). Your answers will be kept strictly confidential and will not be used to sell you anything. Thank you for again for your time and input:

    MS Releases Free Tutorial For W2K3 Security

    MS just released a tutorial and templates to help you lock down the security of computers running W2K3. It consists of portable document files (PDFs) detailing the reasoning behind configuring the OS for various applications like Web servers and domain controllers.

    MS gives examples and recommends certain configurations for specific applications. The guide contains explanations, checklists, sample configurations and scripts for setting up eight different classes of servers using W2K3.

    "There are a lot of different settings that a customer can set on something like a Web server," said Michael Stephenson, lead program manager for Windows Server 2003. "What the guide does is explain to customers why they would want a setting a certain way. As part of Trustworthy Computing, we need to make it easier to be secure in a certain environment, and that's not something that we want to charge for," Stephenson said. Here is the guide:

    Avoid AD's One-Way Streets

    Sometimes it's a good thing to be able to change our minds. But if you're thinking about changing your mind about certain Active Directory configurations, think again. This tip serves as a reminder and a warning. If you are not careful, you may find yourself at the end of a one-way street with nowhere to go. Good little article over at the searchWin2000 site:

      NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

    Microsoft Looks To Tie SUS And Big Frameworks

    InfoWorld has an interesting article about patch management. MS revealed an effort to align with systems management vendors to integrate its SUS (Software Update Services) into their frameworks, with the goal of easing Windows patch management installation and configuration.

    MS is targeting IBM/Tivoli, Computer Associates, Hewlett-Packard, and BMC Software as prime candidates to push out Windows Update, Office Update, and a new Microsoft update product due within a year for add-on products, including SQL Server and Exchange Server, said Jeffrey Jones, senior director of marketing at Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft.

    But analysts said the software giant's motive is jumpstarting stalled adoption of SUS and off-loading security maintenance, as well as upkeep of graying Microsoft products such as W2K and NT. For the full story:

    Looking for the #1 selling patching management tool? UpdateEXPERT:

    The New GPMC Tool For AD Is Not Free

    A reader sent this: "Hi, just thought I would draw your attention to the fact that the helpful GPMC tool is not a free MS tool and in fact needs a Win2003 server license. This is stated in the documentation available with the tool on the MS site. And keep up the good work with the email newsletters!".

    Want A Supercharged Admin Workstation?

    Check this out! HP will begin volume shipments of Itanium 2-based workstations with the new XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003 OS. You can also get HP-UX or Linux on two of its new boxes, the zx2000 and zx6000. With XP-64. The workstations will start at $3,711. Read more at:


    Panda Software Found Viruses On My PC

    The antivirus experts at Panda Software sent me a copy of Panda Platinum 7, their professional desktop antivirus. When I installed Panda on my machine, it found two viruses that had slipped by the old anti-virus software on the PC at my house. There's no way I'll take this puppy off my machine now!

    Of course, I got the software for free. Now, for the first time anywhere, you can too. Who's Panda? They're a European anti-virus "powerhouse". Platinum 7 was awarded 5 stars by Computer Buyer UK in a recent match-up against the likes of Trend Micro.

    And Platinum has some pretty cool features:

    • Automatic daily updates every time you are online
    • Actually repairs the damage done by viruses
    • Ultra sensitive Panda firewall catches intruders others don't even notice
    So, how about that free offer? The people at Panda noticed that IT professionals using Platinum at home recommended it at work. So, W2Knews was able to negotiate a killer deal for all our subscribers. Since you are an IT "influencer" they want you to have a copy for your personal use.

    The offer is simple: qualify as an IT professional and Panda will give you Platinum for free, no strings attached. You can renew for as long as they have this program, just by re-qualifying every year. I'd say this one is pretty much a no-brainer, don't you? But they don't want the whole world to rip them off so the link is only good for a few hours. Here is some product info about Platinum:

    Did I say you should act now? To qualify for the free download, click here:

    Free Chapter On Enterprise Active Directory Design

    It's out of a book: Windows Server 2003: Best Practices for Enterprise Deployments, and the author was so kind to send us a chapter you can download. We decided to plug it in the product page of the new Directory Inspector, since it seemed an appropriate place [grin]. So you can find it in the White Papers, Document and Other Files section. Worth the read!

    Cloudmark Now Charges Their SpamFighters

    Cloudmark announced the availability of SpamNet 1.0, an Outlook add-in that filters spam. To 'celebrate' final availability and to thank their loyal SpamFighters, Cloudmark now makes their beta users pay $3.99 a month, despite earlier claims it was supposed to be free. New users pay $4.99 a month. Our comment: WHOA Nellie! That's almost 50 bucks per year! Compare that to 20 bucks initial cost, and 10 bucks maintenance per year after that for iHateSpam client. And if you are fast, you can get the full boxed product for FREE now over at Amazon after their mail-in rebate. See Product Of The Week below for a link.

    Spam in the enterprise is getting EXPENSIVE, a new survey shows: Email users who don't have spam-blocking software spent more than twice as much time dealing with unwanted emails as those who do, according to a new survey by Osterman Research Inc. on attitudes toward spam.

    Among other results:

    • 54 percent of the 196 respondents, both technical and non-technical email users in North America, said spam was "extremely annoying." Another 30 percent said it was "fairly annoying." No respondents chose the answer option that said spam was "not at all annoying."
    • 46 percent said deleting spam caused them to overlook a legitimate email, while 21 percent were not sure.
    In related news, recently released by the FTC, a random sample of 1,000 pieces of unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) from three Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data sets, 66 percent contained false "From" lines, "Subject" lines, or message text. The study, which was conducted by the Division of Marketing Practices, is the first extensive review of the likely truth or falsity of claims appearing in UCE.

    For more on Osterman Research and past surveys on email use and attitudes, visit their Web site:


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

  • Computer circuits made of genes may soon program bacteria. Good article:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030505FA-Circuits
  • New from MS. The Windows XP PowerToys Fun Pack is one of four new Fun Packs they made available to the public last week. There are two PowerToys Fun Packs: a wallpaper changing PowerToy and a Video Screen Saver PowerToy. You can download these PowerToys at:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030505FA-PowerToys
  • Steve Ballmer is baiting the Linux Community, read this with grain of salt:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030505FA-Ballmer
  • PEriscope is a PE file inspection tool. For example you can use it as an aid when you are looking for malicious code in files. More information can be found in the PEriscope FAQ:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030505FA-PEriscope
  • Unbelievable REAL sequence that took well over 600 takes to shoot:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030505FA-Honda
  • The story of how many times it took to get this thing RIGHT:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030505FA-Honda_Story
  • And more background information about it and other formats. Wow!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030505FA-Honda_Ad
  • All kinds of T-Shirts for techies !!

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030505FA-Tshirts
  • An archive of trojans and viruses. Interesting:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030505FA-Viruses

    Get iHateSpam Client For Free. Really.

    NEW ! Unbelievable but true. Until June 14, 2003 you can actually get iHateSpam for FREE at Amazon.com after their limited time $20 Mail-In Rebate. It's currently their best selling software title. You'll get boxed product shipped to you by Amazon. Mail in their rebate coupon and the iHateSpam Client is really free. Great for at the house when you run the server version at the office. (Note: you may have to pay their shipping & handling charges, this Mail-In rebate is only available via Amazon.com and only valid for the USA.)