Windows Client UPDATE, July 1, 2002

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June 27, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Windows OSs and Tunnel Vision

2. NEWS AND VIEWS

  • Mozilla Off to a Fast Start, but IE Dominates
  • Submit Top Product Ideas

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • SQL Server Magazine—Get Your Free Preview Issue
  • Win a Free Digital Video Recorder from SONICblue!

4. RESOURCES

  • Tip: Displaying Text Clearly on Your Laptop Screen
  • Featured Thread: Open New Windows in Maximum Size

5. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Create and Customize XP Icons
  • Free Web Browser Extensions for IE

6. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY
(David Chernicoff, News Editor, [email protected])

  • WINDOWS OSs AND TUNNEL VISION

  • Last week, an IT administrator I've known for a long time called me in panic mode. His agitation surprised me; he's incredibly meticulous with his network. My friend rarely has any major problems because he's extremely careful to test and retest changes to system configurations, applications, and OSs before rolling out the changes.

    However, a barrage of angry users were calling him. He had just finished rolling out Windows XP onto 150 existing systems (upgrading a mix of Windows 2000 and Windows 98 machines), and half of these users had called the Help desk to complain that they couldn't log on and that all of their password-automation functionality had disappeared. My friend was concerned—the behavior wasn't apparent during his tests, and the upgrade wasn't affecting any of the new XP installations.

    He wasn't too thrilled when I told him that what he'd experienced was a known problem, and that if he checked, he would find that all of the affected computers had been running Win98 before the upgrade. Passwords for logons, domains, network shares, and DUN connections aren't preserved when you upgrade from Win9x to XP because password storage in Win9x isn't secure. To make matters worse, recovering the passwords is impossible after you complete the upgrade.

    Unfortunately, this kind of problem is difficult to foresee. The problem doesn't show up when you run the application-compatibility testing, and you probably won't discover the situation in lab testing. The problem is minor and solvable, but when you multiply the situation by dozens or hundred of users, the problem can suddenly become an IT administrator's headache.

    My friend's experience served as a reminder that I shouldn't forget about Win9x and its problem set. I've used XP, Win2K, and Windows NT 4.0 almost exclusively since the release of NT 3.51, and readers occasionally remind me of Win9x when I write tips for this UPDATE. But for me, Win9x is a minor problem because I'm not required to support or deal with Win9x users. All of my business environments use some derivative of NT. My only ongoing Win9x experience occurs on one computer in my home network that runs the OS to provide a platform for older games that my children play.

    When many other IT professionals and I think about the Windows client OSs, we do so with a curious tunnel vision. We all need to keep the Win9x situation in mind and take steps to hack away at our tunnel vision before it causes problems.

    EDITOR'S NOTE: We need your help to make this and other email newsletters from Windows & .NET Magazine as useful to you as they can be. To help us with our editorial planning, please answer the Windows & .NET Magazine Network Email Newsletter & Web Site Survey, available at the following URL. If you provide your email address at the end of the survey, we'll put your name in a drawing for a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt. Thank you! We appreciate your help.
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    2. NEWS AND VIEWS
    (contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

  • MOZILLA OFF TO A FAST START, BUT IE DOMINATES

  • Mozilla and its Netscape 7.0 Preview Release 1 (PR1) sibling are off to a strong start, according to a recent survey by market researcher OneStat.com. The company says that the Mozilla Web browser has a global usage share of 0.4 percent after just 2 weeks of availability, whereas Netscape 7.0 PR1 has a global usage share of 0.3 percent after one month. Not surprisingly, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0 continues to dominate the market, with its global market usage rising 1.7 percent since April 2002. Overall, IE 6.0 has a global usage share of 46.4 percent, according to OneStat.com.

    OneStat.com says that all versions of the Microsoft browsers account for 95.3 percent of total worldwide market usage. However, Microsoft's total global usage share has dropped 1.3 percent, from 96.6 percent to 95.3 percent, in the past 30 days. The total global usage share of Netscape has increased by 0.6 percent, from 2.8 percent to 3.4 percent. The top five browsers are as follows:

    1. Microsoft IE 6.0 - 46.4%
    2. Microsoft IE 5.5 - 23.9%
    3. Microsoft IE 5.0 - 23.6%
    4. Netscape Navigator 4.0 - 1.4%
    5. Microsoft IE 4.0 - 1.2%

    OneStat.com's research is based on a sample of 2 million visitors divided into 20,000 visitors of 100 countries each day, according to the company.

  • 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 What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • SQL SERVER MAGAZINE—GET YOUR FREE PREVIEW ISSUE

  • We know you're trying to keep up with important topics such as Web databases, security, and XML—not to mention the basics like configuration and backup. Take action and grab a copy of SQL Server Magazine, the best resource for database administrators and developers. Get a free preview issue today!
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  • WIN A FREE DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDER FROM SONICBLUE!

  • Visit the Connected Home Virtual Tour and check out our summer feature on networking your home. Sign up for prize drawings, too, and you might win a free digital video recorder from SONICblue. Take the tour today!
    http://list.winnetmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=eMTa0DRxWI0CBt0LTe0AP

    4. RESOURCES

  • TIP: DISPLAYING TEXT CLEARLY ON YOUR LAPTOP SCREEN

  • (contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

    Recently, I was working on my laptop on an airline flight, and the person next to me pulled out a laptop that was identical to mine. As I worked, I noticed he would glance at my screen, then at his, then give me a confused look. Eventually, he asked if he could interrupt my work to ask a question: "Why doesn't my display look as good as yours?" He realized that the laptops were the same model with the same display, both running Windows XP. But he said that the text displayed on my screen was significantly easier to read. I thought about it for a moment, then remembered that I had enabled ClearType. After I showed him how to turn on ClearType, his computer screen looked exactly like mine, and he was very happy.

    To turn on ClearType on a laptop running XP, perform these steps:

    1. Right-click Desktop and select Properties from the context menu.
    2. Click the Appearance tab.
    3. Click the Effects button.
    4. Select the "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts" check box.
    5. Select ClearType from the drop-down menu.
    6. Click OK.
    7. Click OK to exit.

    ClearType works well with at least a 16-bit color display, but works

    significantly better with a 24-bit display.

  • FEATURED THREAD: OPEN NEW WINDOWS IN MAXIMUM SIZE

  • A user wants to know how to set the Windows system to open new browsers or windows in maximum size. To read more about the problem or to help, join the discussion at the following URL:
    http://www.winnetmag.net/forums/rd.cfm?app=83&id=107565

    5. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Judy Drennen, [email protected])

  • CREATE AND CUSTOMIZE XP ICONS

  • Aha-soft announced IconXP 1.10, software that lets you create icons for Windows XP that contain a smooth edge over any background. Version 1.10 offers new functions to make better use of opacity and transparency, including the ability to capture transparency when moving or copying images. IconXP runs on XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x and costs $19.95. Contact Aha-soft at [email protected] or go to the Web site.
    http://www.aha-soft.com

  • FREE WEB BROWSER EXTENSIONS FOR IE

  • Paessler released Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Booster 1.4, a freeware tool to extend the context menu of IE 5.0 and later. IE Booster offers a collection of tools that bring an assortment of functions into the browser, and all the functions are instantly available with a right-click of the mouse. The software lets you view the page source and partial page source, style sheets, a list of hyperlinks, the images in a Web page, and all available image data. IE Booster runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x. IE Booster is a free application for personal and commercial usage. You can find further information and a 350KB download at the Web site.
    http://www.paessler.com

  • SPECIAL NOTE

  • Because next Thursday is the Fourth of July holiday in the United States, Windows & .NET Magazine won't be sending out a Windows Client UPDATE. The newsletter will resume on July 11.

    6. CONTACT US
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