Letters - 26 Oct 2009

Rebooting with PowerShell
Thanks to Bill Stewart (“Rebooting Computers Using PowerShell,” September 2009, InstantDoc ID 102361) for a great script! This will help me reboot hundreds of servers after patching them.
—Matthew Van Den Bos

Keep Sharing Those Free Utilities!
Douglas Toombs presents an excellent selection of Windows utilities in “8 More Excellent Free Utilities” (September 2009, InstantDoc ID 102446). I've been playing with WinAudit in conjunction with WinDiff. I have WinAudit pull the system files into a .csv file prior to patching. I rescan after the patch update, then use WinDiff to compare the two files. My only problem is that the process doesn't seem to work properly in Windows 7, so I'm investigating that.

I remember reading Toombs' “Mail Filtering with Fluffy the SMTPGuardDog” (August 2004, InstantDoc ID 43204). At the time, I was using Exchange Server 2003 on Windows 2003 Server at home. I enjoyed looking at the logs to see who was spamming me. Then I found out about spamhaus.org, a site that offered a DNS blacklist for home use. (Spamhaus.org is free for home users running Exchange 2000 or 2003, but corporations need to pay for it.)

I configured Fluffy to receive mail on port 25 and pass it to the Exchange on port 26—a scenario that worked great with the spamhaus.org-housed DNS blacklist as long as I was running Exchange 2000 or 2003. I could configure Exchange to provide an Edge Transport server role in the DMZ that passes mail to the back-end Exchange server via a certificate-authenticated link. Then came Exchange 2007, which offered the same (if not more) capabilities that Fluffy did. Setting up Fluffy as the email entrance point didn't work with Exchange 2007; I couldn't figure how to set the Edge Transport server to pass mail to the back-end server via port 26.

Anyway, I've used Windows IT Pro many times to enhance my collection of tips, tricks, and utilities, and Doug’s articles are always great sources of information. Keep it up!
—Bill Crouch

Ease Up on EU
I'm a long-time reader of Paul Thurrott’s WinInfo newsletter, and I greatly appreciate his excellent views on all IT matters. However, his stance in “Google Scrambles to Appease EU Regulators over Book Scanning” (September 8, 2009, InstantDoc ID 102776) regarding “overly aggressive European Union antitrust regulators” is getting a bit tiresome. I have no problem with the EU investigating anyone, as many times as necessary, as long as the outcome is just. I don’t follow the EU cases as closely as Paul does, but the only case I think the EU got wrong was the Internet Explorer (IE) bundling case. However, that was on the back of Microsoft's bullying of PC makers.

My problem with EU regulators is that they don't apply the same level of scrutiny and standards to other companies. I’m thinking of Apple and Google. If you're going to beat EU regulators with a stick, beat them with the correct stick, please!

The Google book-scanning case is probably the trickiest of the lot because it covers differing copyright laws in every country. Ultimately, the concern involves freedom of information. I can go to a local library and get just about any book for me. Google is aiming for that kind of accessibility, but the library offers it for free, non-profit, for the common educational goal of “books for everyone, for free.” One company I worked for had a small library that was connected to the local public library, offering book shares and book rotation.

I’m generally not a fan of government-run organizations. However, if the alternative is Google holding all the keys to all the books, I’d prefer a government-run (or even a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization—UNESCO—run) organization. Then again, I wouldn’t trust either Google or the UN to open a can of baked beans.

I hope this letter doesn't come across as a bash. Please keep up the truly brilliant work, Paul.
—Mark Gillard

Microsoft Supports Microsoft Support
I read your "What Would Microsoft Support Do?" column every month, and I really like the tips that it provides. The September article about ProcDump (“Got High-CPU Usage Problems? ProcDump ‘Em!” InstantDoc ID 102479) is very cool. I referenced this article in my personal blog on TechNet because this tool can also help Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration (ISA) administrators in some scenarios. Thank you for sharing this information.
—Yuri Diogenes, Senior Security Support Escalation Engineer, Microsoft Corporation

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