Vol. 23, #23 - June 11, 2018 - Issue #1185

WServerNews: China, Australia, Germany

 

Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 

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SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

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Editor's Corner

What do China, Australia, and Germany have in common? Read this week's issue of WServerNews to find out! And enjoy our usual slate of tips, tools, links and fun stuff.

But first here's Dilbert on the interaction of local and global issues of the coming century:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/54vh1eho/

Doesn't that sound exciting?

 

Ask Our Readers! - Need help from the IT pro community?

WServerNews goes out each week to more than 500,000 subscribers worldwide! That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]

And now on to the main topic of this week's newsletter…



China, Australia, Germany

While the focus of this newsletter is mostly hi-tech, this week we're heading a bit off-topic as we come down from the cloud to talk about some of the technology that's all around us and helps us manage our everyday lives. I'm talking for example about toasters and dishwashers!

Dishwasher problems

Yesterday the touch buttons on the membrane switch panel on our Maytag dishwasher stopped working properly. For example when I pressed some touch buttons nothing happened, while other buttons caused different lights to light up. Figuring it might be a software error (dishwashers all have simple "computers" in them nowadays) I tried "rebooting" the machine by flipping the circuit breaker for it in the basement. (I learned that trick from years of working with Windows computers LOL.)

It worked! But only for a day. These morning the switch panel behaved even wonkier, and resetting the circuit breaker didn't help. So I called the repairman and we're waiting to see if it can be repaired. Meanwhile I decided to see if I could find any tips online about what may have happened, and what I found was revealing about how poorly designed much of our modern technology is. For example:

VIDEO: Maytag dishwasher control panel fix (YouTube)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/hwoo311f/

DIY Fix Your Maytag Dishwasher on the Cheap (Instructables)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/8bza1wu6/

Now I run a business so time is money for me, so I'm not going to spend several hours fiddling with a multimeter and soldering iron and conducting glue when I can simply pay someone to fix something. But it brought home to me how much simpler, reliable, and longlasting old-fashioned toggle switches and copper wiring is over membrane switches and FTC cables, which is why I still hang on to a couple of outdated but solidly built HP PCs for certain work purposes when I could replace them with much faster but more flimsily made modern laptops. 


Toaster frustrations

To top this off we also decided this morning that our recently purchased and expensive toaster was a lemon as we needed to toast our bread twice at the highest setting simply to get it brown enough to melt butter when we buttered it. What good is a toaster that only makes the bread warm instead of nice and brown (or almost burnt like we like it)? 

But instead of going to Superstore or Canadian Tire to check out the toasters they have available, I decided to first spend some time on Amazon reading the reviews people had written about the different toasters they had purchased there. And once again I found this illuminating. Almost everyone was unsatisfied with the toasters they purchased. Either they didn't toast dark enough, or they were flimsily built and broke easily. I searched in vain for a toaster that didn't have wide slots hoping that it might toast ordinary bread better because the heating wires would be positioned closer to the bread than in a wide-slot machine. How difficult can it be to design and build a toaster where the highest setting almost burns the toast instead of just slightly warming it? 

The China way

All of this takes me back to two topics I covered a while back in WServerNews which had to do with how most of our modern appliances are made in China:

Issue #1150: On the extraordinary difficulty of repairing washing machines

http://www.wservernews.com/go/04bnxsd9/

Issue #1164: IT the China way

http://www.wservernews.com/go/hwtba59c/

In that second newsletter I talked about a fascinating book I had read called What's Wrong with China by Paul Midler that provides a first-hand account of the frustrations companies experience when they work with manufacturers in China to build and assemble their products for sale around the world:

What's Wrong with China (Wiley, 2018)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/foj41gye/

Midler's book both amused and horrified me, and this led me to read his earlier book Poorly Made in China which was even more entertaining (and disturbing!) than his recent book:

Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the China Production Game (Wiley, 2009)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/rrl7aetg/

Both of these books are fun and highly educational reads and I recommend them even though they don't deal directly with the topic of information technology. But since computers and the cloud are invading so much of the ordinary or traditional technology our lives depend on, the impact of China will likely be felt more and more in the more advanced technology we use to do business and for entertaining ourselves.

China and the Australian connection

Once Midler's books had opened my eyes to how shifting most of our Western manufacturing needs to China have impacted our lives, I started browsing around our local bookstore and came across another brand new book on this topic:

China's Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/q9cjutk9/

Now this book, which is written by Dinny McMahon, an Australian journalist who has worked in Chain as a journalist covering the Chinese economy for the Wall Street Journal, didn't just amuse or disturb me--it scared me. McMahon's book not only tells why and how quickly China is becoming the world leader in most manufacturing industries, it also explains why "the China miracle" is likely to soon come crashing down--and not just upon the heads of a billion Chinese but also on our own heads in North America, Europe, and perhaps especially in Australia.

Before reading McMahon's book I hadn't been aware of how closely tied together the economies of Australia and China were, and how dependent the Australian economy was upon China's continuing growth. And while McMahon describes some of these ties in certain industry sectors like food production and mining, he doesn't delve into the realm of IT, so since many of our newsletter readers are Aussies perhaps some of them can weigh in with comments on how China's relationship with the Australian economy is impacting the IT industry and IT professionals in Australia. Email me at [email protected] if you have any thoughts you'd like to share with our readers on this subject.

Why Chinese buy German

And if that is not enough, the final chapter of McMahon's book sent my head spinning when he revealed that while China manufactures much of the world's products, most Chinese don't buy stuff made in their own country China. In fact McMahon says there are literally tens of thousands of Australians who work part time as surrogate shoppers for Chinese clients who pay them to buy foodstuffs and other items from Australia and ship them to China. Sounds like a great way to supplement your income if you're a struggling Aussie, but side effects from this include bare shelves in Australian supermarkets from Chinese buying items like cooking oil and powdered milk in bulk through their surrogate shoppers.

And what does a Chinese person do when he needs a new car or washing machine or dishwasher? He buys it from Germany where goods are engineered like no other place in the world. In other words, goods manufactured in China are strictly made for export to bring in foreign exchange. And ordinary Chinese know that the goods they manufacture are junk so they don't buy them, they just export them to clods like us.

It reminds me of what a Swedish friend said to me when I lived in Vancouver, Canada when I told him I was going to the Ikea store to buy a piece of furniture. "Ikea? For us in Sweden that's synonymous with junk."

 

Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]


Recommended for Learning

VIDEO: Getting started with Windows IoT Episode #1: Basics introductions before you start coding (Channel 9)

In the first episode of this series, Dmitry and his guest Suz Hinton introduce Windows IoT Core as a way of building applications for IoT solutions. We cover some foundational topics such as how Windows IoT works, and what it is designed for. We'll also discuss how Windows IoT applications are developed, and how they differ from regular Universal Windows Platform applications.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/mcq7sv6s/


Factoid of the Week - Best space movie

Last week's factoid and questionwas this:

Digital downloads of music are now being outsold by CDs and vinyl. Who actually buys vinyl records nowadays?

A number of our readers responded to this one:

Martin from Hamburg, Germany - Hi Mitch, I'm buying vinyl from time to time -- mostly because the music is not available on CD. Interestingly, some add a voucher for downloading the songs so you don't have to digitize them on your own (personally, I do that with vinyl records that are really important to me). And analog is hip again -- look at this Austrian site:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/it6hxhz1/

Joanne from Toronto, Canada - My niece -- turning 25 this month - and working for the indie arm of a large music company here in Canada -- has asked for Vinyl records for the last couple of Christmas. One of the albums was a reprint of one that originally came out Her dad also (still) has a turntable so I assume he is likely still also buying LP's. And there are two stores within about 5 blocks of my place in Toronto that sells used LP's so I assume it's a decent market. Tried googling "buy LP Toronto".

Chris from Kansas, USA - You poked the hornet's nest with that one! I personally am not one but I know people who are totally devoted to vinyl. They say the sound quality is so much better. So much more authentic. "Music they way it was supposed to be heard". I personally like digital much better. I like the clean, no-hiss, no pops and cracks sound that you get with digital. But that is me. I don't hate the sound from vinyl but I'm not a crazy diehard fan like some out there. I bet you'll get a few raging fans who don't understand what you are talking about. How you could ever question the superiority of vinyl!? LOL!

Doug from Iowa, USA - Answer: Hipsters and people who like album art. I buy the occasional old vinyl at estate sales. That is how my phone gets ring tones like Mitch Miller and gang (of Sing along with Mitch fame) singing "Yes, we have no bananas".

Mike the Super IT Guy - Yes vinyl lives! From what I have seen vinyl junkies come in 2 flavors: 1) Analog vinyl sounds better, and 2) People enjoy spinning records.

Now let's move on to this week's factoid:

Fact: Stanley Kubrick's science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey was released 50 years ago in 1968.

Sourcehttp://www.wservernews.com/go/wl1hf5lo/

Question: How many of our readers remember seeing that movie as a kid? How did it affect you? And has there ever been a better film made about astronauts and outer space?

Email your answer to us at [email protected]

Until next week, 

Mitch Tulloch

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

Free study guide for Microsoft exam 74-409. It will take you through each of the exam objectives, helping you to prepare for and pass the examination.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/rf5egg5e/

Connection Report for Remote Desktop is a script that reads the event log "Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-LocalSessionManager/Operational" from multiple servers and outputs the human-readable results to a CSV:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/l4brdhtu/

Node.js Tools for Visual Studio lets you get started building Node.js apps in Visual Studio using built-in project templates:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/a6uk214i/

Connect-Mstsc is a script that allows you to open a Remote Desktop session with a remote session while specifying credentials:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/md43x6j5/



This Week's Tips


Intune - Changes to security

Starting on October 31, 2018, Intune will only support Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 to ensure the service is more secure by default and to align with other Microsoft services such as Microsoft Office 365. The Microsoft Intune Support Team Blog has the details:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/xek2g4dv/


Cloud - Your backup plan

Katharine Bale from the Microsoft Partner Network UK Blog has an amusing but informative post on cloud backup here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/teaosm3j/


Exchange - GUI tool for generating Exchange Management Shell command lines

Are you an Exchange admin but don't feel up to snuff with some of the PowerShell management capabilities of the Exchange platform? Read this post by Sammy Krosoft on his blog Microsoft Exchange made simple:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/w1j3m1fm/

 

Events Calendar


Cloud & DevOps World in London, England on June 12-14

http://www.wservernews.com/go/gh39ou0o/

OfficeCamp in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on June 18-20

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ezp5a63x/

HPE Discover in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 18-21

http://www.wservernews.com/go/w472an1x/

Microsoft Inspire in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 15-19

http://www.wservernews.com/go/w1b2n1ak/

Microsoft Ignite 2018 on September 24-28, 2018 in Orlando, Florida USA

http://www.wservernews.com/go/js7uh2jc/


Add Your Event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]


New on TechGenix.com

Go to helldesk! Yes, you can make your helpdesk assignment less of a nightmare

Everyone hates being asked to work on helpdesk, and everyone hates asking a helpdesk for help. You can't win! But maybe you can, if you understand what the real role of helpdesk:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/15uufnsz/


Enterprise mobility management: Know these key trends or be left behind

Enterprise mobility management is no longer limited to corporate giants. But because it is changing so fast, it is imperative you keep up with the latest trends.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/m4jr2jap/


AI and Big Data are changing the future of the health-care sector -- Here’s how

The roles of AI and Big Data in the health-care sector are eagerly awaited. Many see these cutting-edge technologies providing a future of saving lives and lower costs.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/m62zdqzw/


The awesome power of Microsoft PowerShell scripts

PowerShell scripts can reduce the time it takes to perform daily operational tasks. With this basic primer, you will be using PowerShell in no time to save time.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ouau4e48/


TeleGrab malware targets desktop Telegram messenger users

The desktop version of the popular chat program Telegram is under assault from a hacker who has unleashed what is being called TeleGrab malware.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/xeckqd02/

 

Tech Briefing - Governance and Compliance

Creating and Managing Security and Compliance Filters in the Real World [Part 1]

Undocumented Features

http://www.wservernews.com/go/miw6b5co/


Migrate user workspaces to Azure Government with Citrix Xenapp/XenDesktop 7.16

Azure Government Cloud

http://www.wservernews.com/go/726tg2xx/


It’s a small world after all: GDPR across borders

TechGenix

http://www.wservernews.com/go/b1wll3o0/


Azure Disk Encryption with EncryptFormatAll feature for Data disks on Linux IaaS VM

Microsoft Azure Security and Compliance

http://www.wservernews.com/go/o71n64n2/


The 6 GDPR privacy principles you must know -- now

TechGenix

http://www.wservernews.com/go/t9b48470/

 

Other Articles of Interest

Microsoft says RDSH is coming to a Server 2019 preview soon

Could Microsoft’s new MSIX packaging format be the long-sought key to managing Win32 apps with MDM? MSIX aims to finally wrangle Win32 apps into submission, potentially making emerging technologies like co-management redundant. Read more here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/u0vp74a2/


Survey the desktop and application virtualization market

Organizations want the flexibility to deliver virtual desktops and applications from the same platform. Learn about the products that can do both for your enterprise.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/tdqc2jtj/


VMware IoT services wield IT ties for device management

VMware is positioning itself in the emerging IoT market with a combination of device management services and complementary features from other VMware products. Learn more here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/py74fhmn/


IT must seek identity management tools with AI, biometrics

Expect a variety of new identity management tools that integrate AI and biometrics to come to the market soon. Once they arrive, find out how:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/4c1l7uf9/

 

WServerNews FAVE Links

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

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

Best of the Week - People Are Awesome

Awesome bicycling, skateboarding, martial arts, gymnastics, bowling, jump-rope, skiing, table surfing, monocycling and more!

http://www.wservernews.com/go/x8md7x43/


A Tribute to Dancing in the Movies

A tribute to some of the best and most memberable dance scenes in movie history by Brazilian video editor Diego Carrera:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ja87hnmq/


Zurcaroh - Most Amazing Acrobatic Dance Act

The acrobatic dance group 'Zurcaroh' wows the judges and audience of America's Got Talent 2018 and receives the 'Golden Buzzer' from Tyra Banks:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/tneg8ykg/


Troupe Diavolo - Acrobats

Troupe Diavolo performs their unique acrobatic number at the French television show The World's Greatest Cabaret, hosted by Patrick Sebastien:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/txq0ch58/


Have any other readers found similar content they'd like to recommend for our Fave Links section? Email us at [email protected]

 

WServerNews - Product of the Week

Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 

Image

SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

Download Free Tool

WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his  outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.