A Great Tool for MCSEs
I read Michael Otey's article "Virtual Server 2005 Cluster Setup Kit" (May 2005, InstantDoc ID 45901) with glee. I have been an MCSE since 1988 and have never been able to complete the practical clustering requirements as specified in Microsoft exam 70-284, "Implementing and Managing Exchange Server 2003." Instead, I've relied on theoretical resources to pass the exam. My problem was caused by not having access to clustering-capable servers at work and not being able to afford to purchase the technology necessary to set up a home lab.
Michael's article opened my eyes to the world of Virtual Server 2005's clustering capabilities. I downloaded a trial version of the evaluation kit, followed the instructions Michael provides in his article, and blow me down—it works. Thanks to Michael and Windows IT Pro, I can now simulate the aspects of clustering I need to study for the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exams and won't need to fudge my way through the clustering section. Virtual Server 2005 should be in every MCSE's armory of study tools.
Have We Got Shortcuts for You . . .
I enjoyed Michael Otey's Top 10 column "IE Keyboard Shortcuts" (November 2004, InstantDoc ID 44090). I particularly appreciated the tips about creating shortcuts to take you directly to the sites you visit most. Here's an additional tip. Most people have personal Web space that their ISP provides. On mine, I created a simple Web page with links to all my favorite sites and made it my home page. I can add and remove links on the fly with FrontPage. When IE launches, all my most frequently visited Web sites are just one click away.
Michael Otey provides a nice list of very useful IE shortcuts, but he didn't mention one of the most crucial ones. CTRL+F5 refreshes the current page unconditionally, even if the timestamps for the locally stored version and the Web version are the same.
And here is one more shortcut, although it requires the use of a wheel-scroll mouse. When you hold down CTRL and scroll the wheel, you can increase and decrease the size of the text on a page (even in Microsoft Word).
Michael Otey omitted an IE shortcut key combination that I frequently use. CTRL+N creates a copy of the current window. It's very handy when you want to keep the window open as you proceed to the next link. By the way, thanks to Michael for his list of shortcuts. I had to update the yellow sticky note that I keep on the edge of my computer screen with a few new shortcuts!
Problems with Windows Server 2003 SP1
I read Karen Forster's article "Microsoft Talks About Windows Server 2003 SP1" (May 2005, InstantDoc ID 45898) and find it unfortunate that it included no mention of a major bug that caused three sites in my network to go down. It took me 2 days of exhaustive research before I discovered a hotfix, which isn't available online—I had to call Microsoft, as the Microsoft article "Installing security update MS05-019 or Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 may cause network connectivity between clients and servers to fail" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=898060) specifies. The interesting thing about this bug is that it takes a few days after installing Windows 2003 SP1 for the symptoms to show up. And it's hard to diagnose the cause from the symptoms. On my network, we experienced mapped drives suddenly not working, Web mail going down for users in one site but not others, and replication failing between domain controllers (DCs) in different sites.
I read "Microsoft Talks About Windows Server 2003 SP1" and enjoyed the article. I want to pass along something I was told by a tech support person from McAfee. I was told not to install Windows 2003 SP1 on the server that runs McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (EPO), my antivirus administration software. I was also told that it could be months before McAfee will certify SP1 for use with this product because Microsoft tested Windows 2003 SP1 with an old version (2.0) of EPO, which currently is in version 3.5.