September 2007 Reader Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our September 2007 Reader Challenge. First prize, a copy of "Windows Vista in a Nutshell," goes to Dale Cook, in Texas. Second prize, a copy of "Windows Vista: The Definitive Guide," goes to Mark Reimer, of Canada. Both books are from O'Reilly Media. I want to thank O'Reilly Media (described by many of you who write to me as "The Geeks' Publisher") for their generous contributions to the Challenge column. You can check out their publications and events at www.ora.com.

October 2007 Reader Challenge

Solve this month's Vista Update challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to challenge@windowsitpro.com by October 11. You MUST include your full name, and street mailing address (no P.O. Boxes). Without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win, so your answer is eliminated, even if it’s correct. I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. I’m a sucker for humor and originality, and a cleverly written correct answer gets an extra chance. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for an email receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem at http://www.windowsitpro.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=97247 on October 12.

The October 2007 Challenge

A company that creates software for small businesses runs peer-to-peer network labs to test their code. They have two workgroups, each named to reflect the testing environment: XPBoxes, and VistaBoxes. Each LAN has three computers, and both LANs meet at a router via individual switches for each LAN. One of the programmers called me and the first words I heard after I said Hello were, "I'm losing my mind, the Network folder on all of my Vista computers has icons for all the computers on all the workgroups--what did I do wrong, what's going on?"

Your challenge is to tell her what's going on.

Here's what's going on:

Vista considers workgroup names irrelevant. Vista uses a function called Network Discovery to find any and all connected computers. While the discovery process works faster if every computer has the same workgroup name, in the end, the process is "If it's connected, Vista will discover it."