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December 5, 2002—In this issue:
- Wireless Networking Quirks in Windows XP
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Microsoft: Windows Cheaper Than Linux
- Planning on Getting Certified? Make Sure to Pick Up Our New eBook!
- Winguides Tweak Manager - The Ultimate Tweaking Companion!
- Tip: Manually Adding an SSID to Windows XP's List of Preferred Wireless Networks
- Featured Thread: Win2K Installation Problem
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Enable Remote Desktop Sessions in Windows XP
- Back Up, Protect, and Recover Data
6. CONTACT US
(David Chernicoff, News Editor, [email protected])
Over the past few weeks, I've received email messages from readers commenting about odd behavior in Windows XP that they've noticed when using wireless networking. XP's support for wireless networks is unparalleled in comparison with other versions of Windows (and most other OSs, for that matter) but nevertheless displays a few odd quirks. Let's take a look at three of the problems I've heard about most often.
The first problem shows itself after XP's Service Pack 1 (SP1) has been installed. Many users have noticed that, after SP1 installation, the wireless connection icon that formerly displayed in the system tray disappears when their notebook powers up from standby mode, although the network service is still running. This problem is a notification bug in SP1. If you need the icon, open Network Connections, right-click the wireless network connection, then disable it. Right-click the wireless network connection again and enable it. The icon will return to the notification area in the system tray.
The second quirk affects networking and booting in Safe Mode. A wireless network connection that uses the Zero Configuration Utility or the 802.1x authentication mechanisms built into XP won't be available when you boot XP in Safe Mode because the services related to the utility and the authentication mechanisms don't start in Safe Mode. Some wireless devices might work despite this quirk, but reliable networking in Safe Mode requires a wired network connection.
The last problem is the one I hear the most about. One of the much-touted features of XP's support for wireless networking is the ability to configure wireless networking with the Wireless Networks tab. XP adds this tab to the Wireless Network Connection Properties dialog box when the OS detects that the connection is wireless. I've received a lot of messages that say "I added a wireless networking NIC and it works, but I don't get the Wireless Networks tab, and my computer doesn't identify the new wireless device as a wireless network connection." This problem occurs because not all wireless networking devices fully support the services that XP offers—in particular, the Wireless Zero Configuration service, which alerts the OS to the presence of wireless devices and enables wireless networking support. Some wireless drivers will work fine with the Wireless Zero Configuration service; however, when you use devices with these drivers, you won't see the Wireless Networks tab or the wireless connection system tray icon.
In my experience, XP doesn't identify the vast majority of wireless PC Cards and PCI NICs as wireless network devices. The samples I've used have never failed to function, but the Wireless Networks tab and system tray icon don't appear. Conversely, XP has identified every one of the half dozen USB wireless network adapters I've used as a wireless network. These devices display correctly in the Network Connections window, the Wireless Networks tab is available in the network connection's properties dialog box, and the system tray icon to access the wireless connection status and properties is launched.
You might run across other problems with wireless networking in XP. Keep in mind that although XP supports wireless networking for Infrared Data Association (IrDA) devices, you'll find the configuration information and properties for these devices in the Control Panel Wireless Links applet.
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
A study by IDC reports that organizations running Windows spend less money in the long run than those implementing Linux because of the open source solution's complexities and training and support costs. The argument over total cost of ownership (TCO) has become heated in recent days, with Microsoft refuting claims that Linux is less expensive than Windows simply because Linux is free. Most of the costs associated with an OS, the company says, come after the initial purchase. The IDC study, predictably, was commissioned by Microsoft.
"Linux requires more care and feeding, basically," said Al Gillen, a research director in IDC's System Software group. "That's what the results are really telling us. The amount of manpower required to run a particular \[Linux\] environment is going to be higher."
The TCO study looked at five specific workloads that IDC says are typical for corporate IT departments, including network infrastructure, print serving, file serving, Web serving, and security applications. In four of the areas, Windows was less expensive, but Linux was deemed less expensive for Web serving. In the areas in which Windows was deemed less expensive, IDC judged Windows 2000 to be 11 to 22 percent cheaper than Linux over a 5-year period. Windows has more mature and easy-to-use management and software development tools when compared to Linux and requires less training and outsourced support, IDC says.
The IDC study comes on the heels of a controversial report by the Aberdeen Group, which found UNIX, Linux, and other open source software (OSS) solutions to be greater security risks than Windows, according to security issue tracking performed by CERT. Meanwhile, a Microsoft representative said on December 2 that the market would decide the fates of Windows and Linux. "We recognize that there has been a lot of hype around Linux, which directly competes with Windows," says Kevin Hou, the country manager of Microsoft Philippines. "We view it as a healthy situation as it keeps us focused on building software to bring the best value and experience to customers. In the end, the market has the final say."
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(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])
If you lose your Internet connection or IP address when you move between different wireless networks in Windows XP, the problem is likely that the Service Set Identifier (SSID) for the network you're accessing isn't on the list that XP maintains of preferred networks. Typically, a wireless network can broadcast its SSID, and when connected to that network, XP automatically adds the SSID to its list of preferred networks. However, if this process isn't working, you can add the SSID manually by taking the following steps:
- Open Network Connections.
- Right-click the wireless network you want to add.
- Click Properties.
- In the text box labeled "Network name (SSID)", type the name of the new network.
- Click OK.
Forum participant "ardg194" is trying to install Windows 2000 on a new MSI MB system, which generates stop error 0.00000004E. He has checked the MSI MB system's RAM, hard disk, CPU, CD-ROM and DVD drives, and power supply unit (PSU), and all seem to be in working order. He can install Windows 98 on this system without difficulty. To read more about this problem and join the discussion, visit the following URL:
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected])
ThinSoft released WinConnect Server XP, software that enables a Windows XP computer (as the host PC) to allow as many as 21 remote desktop sessions. RDP-enabled thin-client devices can connect to the host PC over a wired or wireless TCP/IP connection to run Windows applications simultaneously and independently, and to create and edit documents and share peripherals such as printers. The price for a three-user license is $299.95. Contact ThinSoft at (510) 450-0865 or [email protected].
Software Pursuits announced SureSync 4.1, a file replication and synchronization software solution with a new tapeless archiving feature. Available in a Server Edition and Workstation Edition, SureSync 4.1 includes file versioning and archiving with point-in-time restore functionality from disk media. You can give end users the ability to recover their own data without assistance. For pricing or more information, contact Software Pursuits at 650-372-0900, 800-367-4823, or [email protected].
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