Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE--brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. http://www.winnetmag.com
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April 1, 2003--In this issue:
1. COMMENTARY - Windows Server 2003 and Beyond; Laptop of the Month: Electrovaya's Scribbler SC500
2. HOT OFF THE PRESS - Windows XP Update Bolsters Wireless Security
3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT - Group Policy Bug Fix - WebDAV Vulnerability Affects IIS Servers - Critical Scripting Vulnerability - DoS Vulnerability
4. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Early Bird Discount Expires April 7 - Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!
5. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT) - Win a PDA! Directory Transformation Manger v2.0 Released
6. INSTANT POLL - Results of Previous Poll: Windows Server 2003 - New Instant Poll: Windows Server 2003 Security
7. RESOURCES - Featured Thread: Shutting Down Windows XP - Tip: Why Am I Receiving Event ID Errors 5737 and 7023 on my Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 2 (SP2) System?
8. NEW AND IMPROVED - Index Data on Your Removable Media - Extract and Clean Text from Your Web Pages - Submit Top Product Ideas
9. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
* WINDOWS SERVER 2003 AND BEYOND; LAPTOP OF THE MONTH: ELECTROVAYA SCRIBBLER SC500
On Friday, Microsoft announced that it had released Windows Server 2003 to manufacturing, setting the stage for the product's April 24 launch. I've discussed Windows 2003 a lot in Windows & .NET UPDATE and will continue to do so in the weeks ahead. This week, I highlight the so-called layered services approach that Microsoft is taking with this release. After a product spends 3 years in development, one of the big questions is, "How do you know when a product this complex is truly finished?" The answer, of course, is that a product this complex is never truly finished.
As Microsoft Senior Vice President Brian Valentine told me in an exclusive interview earlier this year (see URL below), finalizing the development of a product such as Windows 2003 is never easy because you can always find more features to add and more fixes to make. In the end, Valentine said, you have to draw a line, because otherwise, the product will never be finished. To help make the cutoff decision easier with Windows 2003, Microsoft separated several tools and services from the core OS product so that the company could finalize it in time for April. Some of these auxiliary products will ship in the months ahead, phased over time. I've listed the tools and services below according to when I believe these products will become available.
Group Policy Management Console The Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) is a free add-on that Microsoft will provide on the Web concurrently with Windows 2003. This console lets administrators graphically create group policies and test their effects before applying them in a live environment.
SharePoint Services Due soon after Windows 2003's release and concurrently with Microsoft Office 2003, SharePoint Services lets administrators create collaborative sites for document authors and other works. SharePoint Services is a free add-on. Windows Rights Management Services Windows Rights Management Services (RMS--code-named Tungsten) is a set of services that will let compatible applications, such as those in Office 2003, secure data such as documents and email you create at work. RMS is also due shortly after the Windows 2003 launch. RMS pricing is unknown.
Real-Time Communications Originally designed as an integral part of Windows 2003, Microsoft was forced to uncouple its real-time communications (RTC) server (code-named Greenwich) because the product would take a few months longer than the core OS to develop. The RTC server adds enterprise Instant Messaging (IM) capabilities to Windows 2003, including advanced security and logging. The RTC server is due in mid-2003, although Microsoft hasn't yet commented on licensing terms.
Security Configuration Wizard Due in mid-2003, the Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) will run on top of the Configure Your Server Wizard to help lock down various server roles, in keeping with Windows 2003's roles-based management scheme. SCW will be a free add-on.
Microsoft Virtual Server Part of the technology Microsoft purchased from Connectix in early 2003, Virtual Server lets you install several OSs on one server, all running in virtual machine (VM) environments. This product will ship in late 2003, although a public beta release will ship in April, and will be a per-processor-type server product.
Looking over this list, it's clear that Windows 2003 is never truly "done." But that's great, and arguably, Microsoft should have taken this approach with all its enterprise server products. When you combine this product rollout with Microsoft's tiered documentation model, in which the company will continually release and update its Windows 2003 documentation over the next few months, you have the makings of a concerted and well-planned product rollout.
Laptop of the Month: Electrovaya's Scribbler SC500 This month's laptop of the month is another Tablet PC, but the laptop takes a decidedly different approach from the competition. Electrovaya's Scribbler SC500 is a slate-style Tablet PC with an awkward-looking, hard-edged case. When you pick it up, you immediately notice that it weighs far more than other Tablet PCs, and although Electrovaya says otherwise, my guess is that the device tops 6 pounds, almost twice as much as some Tablet PCs.
So why would anyone want such an awkward device? The answer is battery life. The Scribbler SC500 gets 8 to 16 hours of battery life on one charge, making this device the only true all-day Tablet PC on the market. As a result, the Scribbler SC500 will work in environments in which workers can't charge their system during the day, including factory floors and cars, where insurance workers and the like spend the day driving from site to site, filling out forms. You could even use the device on intercontinental flights, although the slate form factor isn't optimal for business travelers.
The unit I tested includes a relatively modest Pentium III Processor - M 866MHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 30GB of hard disk space. I didn't receive an external optical drive with the unit, but Electrovaya did send a USB keyboard that would have been more useful if the unit included a stand on which to rest the tablet while typing. In addition to its stellar battery life, the Scribbler SC500 also includes a FireWire port and fingerprint authentication hardware, two features missing from most of the competition.
Aesthetically, the Scribbler SC500 isn't much to look at, but I suspect its utilitarian nature is by design--the unit is tough and seemingly indestructible. In an odd touch, you actually press the included stylus into small holes on the unit's front to trigger functionality such as powering on the system, opening the Start menu, or launching certain applications; for some reason, this reminds me of early bread-board systems, with their gridlike arrangement of punched-out holes.
The Scribbler SC500's performance is acceptable, probably more so because it includes enough RAM. An 866MHz processor isn't top-of-the-line these days, but unlike the Transmeta-powered Hewlett-Packard (HP) Compaq Tablet PC TC1000 I reviewed a few months ago, the Scribbler SC500 never had a problem keeping up with my handwriting, which is a primary concern on a Tablet PC. I also had no problem running typical business applications such as Microsoft Office on the device.
If you need heaping amounts of battery life, the Scribbler SC500 is your obvious choice. No portable computer on the market comes close to this kind of uptime.
"Moving On: Valentine Talks About Windows Server 2003” http://www.winnetmag.com/windowsserver2003/index.cfm?articleid=38278
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* WINDOWS XP UPDATE BOLSTERS WIRELESS SECURITY Microsoft has posted an update for Windows XP that provides the OS with a new, more reliable, standards-based wireless security technology called Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). The WPA solution will eventually replace the current solution, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), an insecure data encryption and authentication technology that's installed on millions of Wi-Fi routers, gateways, NICs, and PCs worldwide. For the complete story, visit the following URL: http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38544
* GROUP POLICY BUG FIX If you use a Group Policy Object (GPO) to disable browsing in Network Neighborhood or the My Documents folder, users might experience an access violation when they try to open a file. The access violation occurs when a user clicks the "Look in" field in the Open dialog box to find a document located somewhere other than the default location. Last week, Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) published a fix--a new version of comdlg32.dll with a file release date of March 25. When you call PSS, cite the Microsoft article "You Receive an Access Violation Error Message When You Click the Look In Drop Down Menu of an Open Dialog Box" ( http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=816372 ) as a reference.
WEB-EXCLUSIVE ARTICLES: The following items are posted on the Windows & .NET Magazine Web site. For the complete story, use the following link and scroll to the appropriate article. http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38554
- WebDAV Vulnerability Affects IIS Servers - Critical Scripting Vulnerability - DoS Vulnerability
* WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE CONNECTIONS: EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT EXPIRES APRIL 7 Simply the best lineup of technical training for today's Windows IT professional. Register now for this exclusive opportunity to learn in-person from the Windows & .NET Magazine writers you trust. Attendees will have a chance to win a Florida vacation for two. Hurry--register before April 7 and save $200. http://www.winconnections.com
* GET THE EBOOK THAT WILL HELP YOU GET CERTIFIED! The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money on your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today! http://winnet.bookaisle.com/ebookcover.asp?ebookid=13475
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* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: WINDOWS SERVER 2003 The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "When will your organization roll out Windows Server 2003?" Here are the results from the 254 votes.
- 22% Within 6 months of its release - 5% In late 2003 - 11% In 2004 - 7% In 2005 - 55% We have no plans to implement Windows Server 2003
* NEW INSTANT POLL: WINDOWS SERVER 2003 SECURITY The next Instant Poll question is, "Do you believe Windows Server 2003 will be Microsoft's most secure OS yet?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) No, or c) I don't know. http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine
* FEATURED THREAD: SHUTTING DOWN WINDOWS XP Patti writes, "When I shut down my XP system, I get the message 'Saving settings, logging off.'" She wants to know what happened to the message that says, "It is now safe to turn your computer off." Can you help? You can join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=36&tid=56762
* TIP: WHY AM I RECEIVING EVENT ID ERRORS 5737 AND 7023 ON MY WINDOWS 2000 SERVER SERVICE PACK 2 (SP2) SYSTEM? ( contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com )
Event ID 5737 is an unspecified Netlogon service error, and event ID 7023 is a Kerberos Key Distribution service error. Both errors prevent the concerned services from starting and are the result of a corrupt or missing rsaenh.dll file, which is the Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider. Win2K SP2 automatically upgrades the system to 128-bit encryption. In so doing, the service pack attempts to install the rsaenh.dll file. To resolve the problem, copy the rsaenh.dll file from another server or from the extracted service pack.
* INDEX DATA ON YOUR REMOVABLE MEDIA SoftPrime released Advanced File Organizer 2.0, cataloging software that sorts through the contents of your CD-ROMs, DVDs, network drives, Zip and Jaz disks, and other media to index files. The software can sort and browse files by hierarchical categories that you assign. You can use the software to create and print reports about the categorized contents. Advanced File Organizer 2.0 runs on Windows XP/2000/NT/Me/9x systems and costs $24.95 for a single-user license. Contact SoftPrime at 425-392-2294 or 877-353-7297. http://www.softprime.com
* EXTRACT AND CLEAN TEXT FROM YOUR WEB PAGES JafSoft released Detagger 2.0, HTML-to-text converter software that lets you extract text from your Web pages so that you can use the text elsewhere. The software is also a markup remover that lets you clean your HTML code to remove font tags, remove tags that Microsoft Office applications add, covert tags to uppercase or lowercase, and replace hyperlinks by their display values. Detagger 2.0 costs $20. Contact JafSoft at email@example.com. http://www.jafsoft.com
* SUBMIT TOP PRODUCT IDEAS Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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