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Sunbelt W2Knews™ Electronic Newsletter
The secret of those "who always seem to know" - Over 500,000 Readers!
Mon, Jul 7, 2003 (Vol. 8, #27 - Issue #433)
Service Pack 4 Problems?
  This issue of W2Knews™ contains:
  1. EDITORS CORNER
    • New Gadgets I'm Using
    • Service Pack 4 Problems?
  2. TECH BRIEFING
    • Can Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Play Nice?
    • Been Hacked? Now CA Law Forces You To Disclose
    • Redmond Rolls Out RC1 Of SMS 2003
  3. NT/2000 RELATED NEWS
    • Best Web Links: Exchange Migration
    • Windows NT Independence Day
    • Small Business Server 2003 Released For Testing
  4. NT/2000 THIRD PARTY NEWS
    • New Spam White Papers and Reports
    • Report: Spam Costs $874 Per Employee Per Year
    • How Can You "Bulletproof" Your Windows 2000 Network?
  5. W2Knews 'FAVE' LINKS
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  6. PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
    • Enterprise Security Reporter
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  EDITORS CORNER

New Gadgets I'm Using

Well, it's my birthday soon so I splurged on some new devices that I would hope make me (even more) efficient [grin]. To start with, I replaced the Handspring Treo with a Pocket PC. Main reason is that the Treo after 6 months or so developed internal problems (forcing regular reboots of the device) and the palm drivers caused my WinXP machine to bluescreen one out of ten times that I pressed the SYNCH button on the cradle. All that of course had been looked at by our techs, latest drivers downloaded, and still the problems persisted.

Now, I was very happy with the functionality that the Treo provided, a cell phone and palm in-one. And I actually used it too, which was a first. But now, is that Pocket PC any better? After having used both systems, I'm definitely voting for the Pocket PC platform.

Why? The carrier I'm using (Sprint) has their network connection built in. I now can check our site easily, I have pocket Word and Excel, and my inbox gets synched real-time so that when I pull it out of its cradle, the Pocket PC is fully up-to-date. I can go to a meeting and process my email while pretending to listen. The Pocket PC wins out over all other platforms. And don't accuse me of being an MS bigot, I bought, tried and used the Palm OS first!!

My latest goodie is a replacement for my old Vaio. I used to have one simply because it was the lightest I could find but it got a little old after 4 years, and could not play DVD's. So, it being my birthday and all, (how else did you justify this Stu?) I just got a new Vaio, model PCG-671L. DANG this is a nice machine. P4, half a Gig Ram, DVD player, CD burner, a wealth of multimedia software, great sound, very good battery life, wireless networking built-in, and an excellent quality screen.

My home automation project just needed a wireless access point which was plugged in, and the whole thing ran within a minute. I'm actually in my house now, wirelessly Terminal Servered into the office using the Vaio, with response times that are simply amazing. The Vaio comes with both IE and Netscape pre-installed and I'm streaming baroque radio via the Netscape browser in superb digital quality sound, while using IE to check the web and do research for this newsletter: NO WIRES! It does not get any better than this.

Service Pack 4 Problems?

Subscriber Steve Chandler wrote: "Well, here are the first fixes for the fix (already)(again). Check out these MS KB Articles: 195008, 819332, 821892, 822140, 822626, 823405, and 823441. Expect more. Anybody out there old enough to remember NT4 SP6 (or was it 6a)?"

He's got a point, as Jeff Donze just wrote: "We just installed SP4 on several development servers with IIS and it appears to have changed the Relay Restrictions on all of them. I'm not sure exactly what the settings were before we installed SP4, but it changed something because the web sites stopped sending mail. It was easy enough to correct the problem via MMC. Just thought you might like know ;)".

I'm sure there are more Gotchas. Got one? Email me!

Quotes Of The Day:

  • "The beatings will continue, until morale improves"
  • "They drank the cool-aid, from a fire-hose"
  • "Reality was an illusion... caused by a deficiency in alcohol"
  • "Life was meant to be easy, but free will creates complicated issues".
  • "Technology alone doesn't sell. We learned that lesson with WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service). What the mobile industry needs to continue growing are compelling, easy-to-use and attractively priced services." -- Thomas Geitner, Vodaphone board member
Warm regards,
Stu Sjouwerman (email me with feedback: [email protected])
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  TECH BRIEFING

Can Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Play Nice?

Can Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Play Nice? Home Automation magazine reported this week that Texas Instruments seems to think so. By combining some of their chips with software, they have figured out a way to limit interference between the two wireless technologies. Although it will not be something that is directly available to the end user, it ultimately means more variety for your automated home! TI is claiming that most products with the new chip will hit shelves sometime later this year, so you will just have to wait or check out Texas Instruments for up-to-date information.
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707TB-TI

Been Hacked? Now CA Law Forces You To Disclose

California has legislation in effect July 1 that requires companies to make public any intrusions into customer data areas. It is vague, but what is clear is that the frightening scenario of "public disclosure" is now making its way into legislatures (starting in California). Since the Internet knows no boundaries, this law is effectively a nationwide law affecting anyone who conducts business in the golden state. Therefore, it effects all territories. Have you been looking for some ammo to convince your management why security configuration is essential? Well here you have it:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707TB-Security

To be a bit sarcastic, on an "even happier" note, let's take a look at what one of the CA Senators (Dianne Feinstein) is doing. She has proposed legislation into the Senate (federal) that requires disclosure (like the California legislation). This would require disclosure of intrusions such that any company doing business in the US must make public their intrusions. Like the California legislation, this might be the crowbar you need to pry loose some budget from management to formalize your patch management practices. Here is an article on Senator Feistein's bill:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707TB-Feisteins_Bill

UpdateEXPERT is a great tool to look at for patch management:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707TB-UpdateEXPERT

Redmond Rolls Out RC1 Of SMS 2003

The release candidate of SMS 2003 is now out. Analysts who've had a peek say RC1 is a vast improvement over previous, more bug-infested versions of the software. Good article over here:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707TB-SMS_2003

  NT/2000 RELATED NEWS

Best Web Links: Exchange Migration

With support for Exchange 5.5 ending in just six months, now is a good time to plan your migration strategy. Will it be Exchange 2000 or Exchange Server 2003? These resources from around the Web will help you decide:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707RN-Exchange

Windows NT Independence Day

July 1, 2003 is when Redmond is "free" from providing you with unpaid hotfix and paid incident support for NT workstations. And at the end of this year, MS will be "liberated" from support for Exchange 5.5. And to top the festivities off, in exactly a year-and-a half from now, they are stopping NT4 server support. Are you planning ahead? By now you should.

Small Business Server 2003 Released For Testing

The software, which comes in Standard and Premium versions, is aimed at giving small businesses an easy-to-use product offering e-mail, fax, database and security technologies. Author Harry Brelsford (Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices) reports Microsoft is on the verge on making major announcements regarding Small Business Server 2003. "It's SBS show time in Redmond! Many of the rumors are true and the cat is now officially out of the bag. Small Business Server 2003 will ship this fall in two separate versions that better segment that SMB space"

"Still completely unknown is the role of ISA Server in SBS. Believe it or not, I'm cool with which ever direction they go because I'm including a hardware-based firewall with my SBS installs at this time as a security best practice. I'd prefer ISA be included in all SBS versions as it would allow me to implement a dual firewall scenario from competing vendors. For example, a WatchGuard hardware-based firewall out front with ISA Server on SBS server in back." added Brelsford. "Another unknown is pricing, but I'd expect the standard edition to cost less than the premium edition."

The "standard" SBS edition will ship with the following components: Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. This will have a two CPU limitation, which is a variation from the typical Windows Server 2003 Standard SKU with support for four processors. It's believed that the Windows Server 2003 operating system SKU being used in SBS 2003 will support 4GB memory. What's important to understand is that the underlying Windows Server 2003 SKU is not the Web Edition SKU, which you might have believed given the two processor limitation. But think about it, because Windows Server 2003 Web Edition can't be a domain controller and SBS has to be the root of the Active Directory forest, SBS 2003 couldn't be using the Web edition. The premium edition of SBS 2003 will add SQL Server 2000 to the standard SBS product SKU.

BEST PRACTICE: Compare all Windows Server 2003 editions feature-by-feature in order to fully understand the context of the discussion above at:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707RN-Comparison

In addition to SMB Nation (Indianapolis, IN, September 19-21, 2003) that features SBS 2003, Brelsford is holding free advanced SBS workshops in the midwest USA in mid-August. Details at:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707RN-WorkShops

  THIRD PARTY NEWS

New Spam White Papers and Reports

First, a thorough discussion generated by Sunbelt about this "The Problem with Spam Filtering: Balancing the Needs of Administrators with the End User". The white paper discusses the prime benefit of iHateSpam Server: How it balances admin needs with what end users need and want.

It's an excellent piece to give you ammo and provide your management with the reasons a spam solution needs to be admin-friendly as well as user-friendly. Here goes (PDF):
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707TP-Filtering

Report: Spam Costs $874 Per Employee Per Year

InfoWorld just reported that unsolicited commercial ("spam") e-mail costs U.S. companies $874 per employee per year in lost productivity, according to a new report out from independent research company Nucleus Research.

The report, entitled "Spam: The Silent ROI Killer" (referring to return on investment) was released Tuesday and contains the results of interviews with employees and IT administrators at 76 different U.S. companies. For the full story:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707TP-InfoWorld

iHateSpam Server Edition now supports multi-domain configurations and protects well over 300 production sites with a total of over 100,000 mailboxes:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707TP-iHateSpam_Server

How Can You "Bulletproof" Your Windows 2000 Network?

You've implemented AD and you want to take advantage of Group Policy to automatically manage servers and workstations, but its complexity is discouraging. Don't spend the next year testing GPOs and learning from your mistakes - download Bulletproof Your Windows 2000 Network with Group Policy, an expert white paper by renowned Windows/AD guru Darren Mar-Elia, and put best practices to work for you today:
http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707TP-Quest_Software

  FAVE LINKS

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

  • Sunbelt Corporate Overview and a new shot of the whole team:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707FA-Sunbelt
  • No, it's not "Find Waldo", but "Find Sunbelt"! This is the Tampabay10 Sky Cam. Hint: Take the option "Library Construction" in the pulldown menu, move right and zoom in. We are left of the "Midland" tower. Look for the Sunbelt Sign on the picture above:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707FA-TampaBay
  • Is this the ultimate MS Flight Simulator Setup?

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707FA-Flight_Sim
  • Yup. It's soon going to be here. The in-dash car-puter:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707FA-Car-Puter
  • For people that seriously want to investigate moving away from MS:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707FA-Options
  • Fly over any site in the world, from your PC!

  • http://www.winxpnews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030701FA-TerraFly
  • See which IT job pays the most...

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707FA-IT_Job
  • Can stellar gas clouds really be offensive? It's all in your mind...

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707FA-Gas_Clouds
  • The following MS KB entry is quite amusing: 330833 The "Eject PC" Command May Not Work Intermittently:

  • http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707FA-Error
      PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

    Enterprise Security Reporter

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    http://www.w2knews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=030707PW-Ent_Security_Rpt