Windows Client UPDATE, March 20, 2003

Windows Client UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network http://www.winnetmag.net

********************

~~~~ THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY ~~~~

Windows & .NET Magazine Network Web Seminars http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~ SPONSOR: IT'S SPRING TRAINING AT WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE! ~~~~ Windows & .NET Magazine has new Web seminars to help you address your Active Directory and security concerns. There is no fee to attend, but space is limited so register today! http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 20, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Solving SOHO Networking Problems in Windows XP

2. NEWS & VIEWS - Here Come the Centrino Notebooks

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Join the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show! - Get a Sample Issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator

4. RESOURCES - Tip: Changing an Organization Name in Windows XP and Win2K - Featured Thread: Group Policy Security Settings Won't Apply

5. NEW AND IMPROVED - Repair Nonbooting Tablet PCs - Inventory Remote Assets - Submit Top Product Ideas

6. CONTACT US See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

********************

1.

COMMENTARY

(David Chernicoff, [email protected])

* SOLVING SOHO NETWORKING PROBLEMS IN WINDOWS XP

I hear from a lot of readers with a small office/home office (SOHO) who have basic questions about setting up networking with Windows XP. Almost always, the questions are prefaced with, "I just got broadband networking and want to share..." Often, such sharing involves setting up a notebook from work to access the Internet from home, or giving the kids' and spouse's computers access to the Internet through a single connection.

Most of the time, I recommend Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), particularly if the reader is using XP. Before you send me an email message disagreeing with me, keep two considerations in mind: ICS is included in XP, and it works. Yes, there are some problems with ICS, and yes, the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) isn't as spiffy as many third-party products, but between ICS and ICF the OS incorporates a good, basic, functional connection-sharing methodology.

I'm amazed at how often the messages concerning networking in XP give me details about all the router hardware, extra networking software, and firewall tools that SOHO users have convinced themselves (or been convinced) that they absolutely need to buy. I'm also amazed at how often these readers have installed multiple products that are, if not mutually exclusive, at least attempting to accomplish the same tasks. These messages are often desperate pleas for help in getting systems running because these small businesses don't have IT staff, and friends or the salesperson at the local megastore who recommended all the extra equipment can't help with setting up and operating the equipment. I often receive arguments in follow-up messages when I tell these readers to return to the lowest common denominator: Use the built-in OS features before trying all the new toys. Let the Networking Wizard run, let it create the setup disk for other computers, and follow the directions. Then, you'll have established at least a baseline state if networking doesn't work, or doesn't work the way it should. I can easily send readers directions for making various file- and printer-sharing tricks work after their networks are running in the somewhat restricted state that the Networking Wizard establishes.

Curiously, I don't receive too many messages asking what to do with all the extra software readers have bought if using ICS and ICF solves their problems. I get the feeling that a lot of stuff is sitting in boxes, gathering dust.

Thinking back over the more than 15 years I spent specializing in networking technologies, I realize that my advice hasn't changed much since that time: To diagnose networking problems, simplify as much as possible. Whether you're a SOHO user or work for a Fortune 50 company, that advice remains valid. So many good and useful applications are available to pile on top of networking infrastructures to help you manage and maintain them that you can easily lose sight of the truth in this simple philosophy.


XP Prefetcher Follow-Up

In response to the tip I offered in the March 13 Windows Client UPDATE about the XP Prefetcher, many readers sent me messages with the following information. The registry key EnablePrefetcher has four values:
0 no prefetch
1 prefetch applications only
2 prefetch boot only
3 prefetch both applications & boot

Thanks to those readers who passed this information along.

2.

NEWS AND VIEWS

(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

* HERE COME THE CENTRINO NOTEBOOKS

Intel unleashed its Centrino mobile computing platform on March 12, ushering in a new era of ultra-mobile yet ultra-powerful notebook computers. Unlike previous mobile efforts from Intel, the Centrino chipset offers Pentium 4-level performance without any of the traditional tradeoffs of heat, weight, and battery life. The Centrino chipset is powered by the new Pentium M processor, which can run at speeds up to 1.6GHz and integrates wireless capability. Those two features, Intel says, make the Centrino perfectly suited to address the needs of the mobile workforce.

"I think people are ready for this technology," Intel CEO Craig Barrett said at the Centrino launch in New York. "People want to use their computers anywhere at any time in any configuration. There is a groundswell of desire, there is a need, and there is a coming together in the industry to provide this. This is really--after 20 years of talking about it--the most tangible evidence of the convergence of computing and communications."

The Pentium M processor runs at speeds of 900MHz, 1GHz, 1.3GHz, 1.4GHz, 1.5GHz, or 1.6GHz, but the chip is specially designed to dynamically sense the processing needs of a system and can change its output to match those needs, saving battery life and keeping heat output low. As a result, the Pentium M features substantially better battery life than Intel's other mobile chips, the Pentium III Processor M and the Pentium 4 Processor M. However, thanks to a new processor design, the Pentium M can perform at levels similar to the high-end Pentium 4 Processor M, despite running at a lower clock frequency.

Integrating wireless capability directly into the chipset also reduces power consumption while freeing up space in the notebook, allowing for thinner and smaller designs. Current Centrino models ship with 802.11b wireless networking capability, but support for faster 802.11a and 802.11g is coming soon, Intel says.

Also at the launch, Intel announced that numerous PC makers, including Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and IBM are all shipping Centrino-based notebooks, effective immediately. Prices for the machines start at about $1400.

3.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

* JOIN THE HP & MICROSOFT NETWORK STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW!

Now is the time to start thinking of storage as a strategic weapon in your IT arsenal. Come to our 10-city Network Storage Solutions Road Show, and learn how existing and future storage solutions can save your company money--and make your job easier! There is no fee for this event, but space is limited. Register today! http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/nas

* GET A SAMPLE ISSUE OF EXCHANGE & OUTLOOK ADMINISTRATOR

Exchange & Outlook Administrator, the monthly print newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine, gives you the in-depth articles you need to secure, maintain, and troubleshoot your messaging environment. Try an issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator, and discover for yourself what our expert authors know that you don't. Click here! http://www.exchangeadmin.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei233xup

4.

RESOURCES

* TIP: CHANGING AN ORGANIZATION NAME IN WINDOWS XP AND WIN2K (contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

Recently, a reader asked how to change the organization name in the Registered Owner field that Windows XP and Windows 2000 use. His company had changed its name, and he wanted to make sure that future application installations used the new name. Although you can find applications that will make this change, the simplest method is to change the name in the registry of one machine, export the branch, then edit it to reflect only the changed value so that it can be applied to any machine. A batch file that executes at logon then changes the Registered Organization name in the registry. To edit this value, take the following steps:


1. Launch regedit.
2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion.
3. Double click RegisteredOrganization in the right pane.
4. Enter the new organization name.
5. Exit the registry.

* FEATURED THREAD: GROUP POLICY SECURITY SETTINGS WON'T APPLY

Forum member "Conall" can't apply local policy security settings to any Windows 2000 computers in his domain, even though the settings take effect on the domain controller (DC). Conall has heard that rebuilding the DNS server might solve his problem, but he wonders whether he can implement a less drastic solution. He is having the same problem in his test domain, which he created from the live domain before performing an in-place upgrade on the live domain. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=37&tid=56161

5.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected])

* REPAIR NONBOOTING TABLET PCs

imagine LAN announced support for the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in CPR System Health Suite, a set of systems protection, repair, and diagnostic services that supports desktops, notebooks, and servers. Using CPR System Health Suite and a compact USB flash drive, you can repair systems in a nonbooting state without losing data or applications if the systems have firmware that allows USB-based booting. The suite also lets you off-load data files and folders to a USB flash drive or other portable storage device; protect against and reverse faulty software installations; and safeguard system components. Pricing is $45 per license. CPR System Health Suite Supports Windows XP/2000/Me/98SE. Contact imagine LAN at 603-889-3883, 800-372-9776, or [email protected] http://www.imaginelan.com

* INVENTORY REMOTE ASSETS

Compulsion Software released AssetDB, an application that inventories and records details about your remote networked PCs' hardware and software. You need not install AssetDB on your client systems before scanning them. In addition to inventorying a system, AssetDB compiles a system history that records software installations, uninstallations, and service and hardware changes. You can generate reports about individual or groups of computers, or about all the computers in the AssetDB database. Pricing is $200 for a 100-computer license. AssetDB supports Windows XP/2000/NT. Contact Compulsion Software at [email protected] http://www.compulsionsoftware.com

* 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]

6.

CONTACT US

Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT THE COMMENTARY -- [email protected]

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- [email protected] (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

* TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.net/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- [email protected]

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS CLIENT UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Customer Support -- [email protected]

* WANT TO SPONSOR WINDOWS CLIENT UPDATE? -- [email protected]

Windows Client UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network http://www.winnetmag.net

********************

~~~~ THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY ~~~~

Windows & .NET Magazine Network Web Seminars http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~ SPONSOR: IT'S SPRING TRAINING AT WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE! ~~~~ Windows & .NET Magazine has new Web seminars to help you address your Active Directory and security concerns. There is no fee to attend, but space is limited so register today! http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 20, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Solving SOHO Networking Problems in Windows XP

2. NEWS & VIEWS - Here Come the Centrino Notebooks

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Join the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show! - Get a Sample Issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator

4. RESOURCES - Tip: Changing an Organization Name in Windows XP and Win2K - Featured Thread: Group Policy Security Settings Won't Apply

5. NEW AND IMPROVED - Repair Nonbooting Tablet PCs - Inventory Remote Assets - Submit Top Product Ideas

6. CONTACT US See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

********************

1.

COMMENTARY

(David Chernicoff, [email protected])

* SOLVING SOHO NETWORKING PROBLEMS IN WINDOWS XP

I hear from a lot of readers with a small office/home office (SOHO) who have basic questions about setting up networking with Windows XP. Almost always, the questions are prefaced with, "I just got broadband networking and want to share..." Often, such sharing involves setting up a notebook from work to access the Internet from home, or giving the kids' and spouse's computers access to the Internet through a single connection.

Most of the time, I recommend Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), particularly if the reader is using XP. Before you send me an email message disagreeing with me, keep two considerations in mind: ICS is included in XP, and it works. Yes, there are some problems with ICS, and yes, the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) isn't as spiffy as many third-party products, but between ICS and ICF the OS incorporates a good, basic, functional connection-sharing methodology.

I'm amazed at how often the messages concerning networking in XP give me details about all the router hardware, extra networking software, and firewall tools that SOHO users have convinced themselves (or been convinced) that they absolutely need to buy. I'm also amazed at how often these readers have installed multiple products that are, if not mutually exclusive, at least attempting to accomplish the same tasks. These messages are often desperate pleas for help in getting systems running because these small businesses don't have IT staff, and friends or the salesperson at the local megastore who recommended all the extra equipment can't help with setting up and operating the equipment. I often receive arguments in follow-up messages when I tell these readers to return to the lowest common denominator: Use the built-in OS features before trying all the new toys. Let the Networking Wizard run, let it create the setup disk for other computers, and follow the directions. Then, you'll have established at least a baseline state if networking doesn't work, or doesn't work the way it should. I can easily send readers directions for making various file- and printer-sharing tricks work after their networks are running in the somewhat restricted state that the Networking Wizard establishes.

Curiously, I don't receive too many messages asking what to do with all the extra software readers have bought if using ICS and ICF solves their problems. I get the feeling that a lot of stuff is sitting in boxes, gathering dust.

Thinking back over the more than 15 years I spent specializing in networking technologies, I realize that my advice hasn't changed much since that time: To diagnose networking problems, simplify as much as possible. Whether you're a SOHO user or work for a Fortune 50 company, that advice remains valid. So many good and useful applications are available to pile on top of networking infrastructures to help you manage and maintain them that you can easily lose sight of the truth in this simple philosophy.


XP Prefetcher Follow-Up

In response to the tip I offered in the March 13 Windows Client UPDATE about the XP Prefetcher, many readers sent me messages with the following information. The registry key EnablePrefetcher has four values:
0 no prefetch
1 prefetch applications only
2 prefetch boot only
3 prefetch both applications & boot

Thanks to those readers who passed this information along.

2.

NEWS AND VIEWS

(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

* HERE COME THE CENTRINO NOTEBOOKS

Intel unleashed its Centrino mobile computing platform on March 12, ushering in a new era of ultra-mobile yet ultra-powerful notebook computers. Unlike previous mobile efforts from Intel, the Centrino chipset offers Pentium 4-level performance without any of the traditional tradeoffs of heat, weight, and battery life. The Centrino chipset is powered by the new Pentium M processor, which can run at speeds up to 1.6GHz and integrates wireless capability. Those two features, Intel says, make the Centrino perfectly suited to address the needs of the mobile workforce.

"I think people are ready for this technology," Intel CEO Craig Barrett said at the Centrino launch in New York. "People want to use their computers anywhere at any time in any configuration. There is a groundswell of desire, there is a need, and there is a coming together in the industry to provide this. This is really--after 20 years of talking about it--the most tangible evidence of the convergence of computing and communications."

The Pentium M processor runs at speeds of 900MHz, 1GHz, 1.3GHz, 1.4GHz, 1.5GHz, or 1.6GHz, but the chip is specially designed to dynamically sense the processing needs of a system and can change its output to match those needs, saving battery life and keeping heat output low. As a result, the Pentium M features substantially better battery life than Intel's other mobile chips, the Pentium III Processor M and the Pentium 4 Processor M. However, thanks to a new processor design, the Pentium M can perform at levels similar to the high-end Pentium 4 Processor M, despite running at a lower clock frequency.

Integrating wireless capability directly into the chipset also reduces power consumption while freeing up space in the notebook, allowing for thinner and smaller designs. Current Centrino models ship with 802.11b wireless networking capability, but support for faster 802.11a and 802.11g is coming soon, Intel says.

Also at the launch, Intel announced that numerous PC makers, including Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and IBM are all shipping Centrino-based notebooks, effective immediately. Prices for the machines start at about $1400.

3.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

* JOIN THE HP & MICROSOFT NETWORK STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW!

Now is the time to start thinking of storage as a strategic weapon in your IT arsenal. Come to our 10-city Network Storage Solutions Road Show, and learn how existing and future storage solutions can save your company money--and make your job easier! There is no fee for this event, but space is limited. Register today! http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/nas

* GET A SAMPLE ISSUE OF EXCHANGE & OUTLOOK ADMINISTRATOR

Exchange & Outlook Administrator, the monthly print newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine, gives you the in-depth articles you need to secure, maintain, and troubleshoot your messaging environment. Try an issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator, and discover for yourself what our expert authors know that you don't. Click here! http://www.exchangeadmin.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei233xup

4.

RESOURCES

* TIP: CHANGING AN ORGANIZATION NAME IN WINDOWS XP AND WIN2K (contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

Recently, a reader asked how to change the organization name in the Registered Owner field that Windows XP and Windows 2000 use. His company had changed its name, and he wanted to make sure that future application installations used the new name. Although you can find applications that will make this change, the simplest method is to change the name in the registry of one machine, export the branch, then edit it to reflect only the changed value so that it can be applied to any machine. A batch file that executes at logon then changes the Registered Organization name in the registry. To edit this value, take the following steps:


1. Launch regedit.
2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion.
3. Double click RegisteredOrganization in the right pane.
4. Enter the new organization name.
5. Exit the registry.

* FEATURED THREAD: GROUP POLICY SECURITY SETTINGS WON'T APPLY

Forum member "Conall" can't apply local policy security settings to any Windows 2000 computers in his domain, even though the settings take effect on the domain controller (DC). Conall has heard that rebuilding the DNS server might solve his problem, but he wonders whether he can implement a less drastic solution. He is having the same problem in his test domain, which he created from the live domain before performing an in-place upgrade on the live domain. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=37&tid=56161

5.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected])

* REPAIR NONBOOTING TABLET PCs

imagine LAN announced support for the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in CPR System Health Suite, a set of systems protection, repair, and diagnostic services that supports desktops, notebooks, and servers. Using CPR System Health Suite and a compact USB flash drive, you can repair systems in a nonbooting state without losing data or applications if the systems have firmware that allows USB-based booting. The suite also lets you off-load data files and folders to a USB flash drive or other portable storage device; protect against and reverse faulty software installations; and safeguard system components. Pricing is $45 per license. CPR System Health Suite Supports Windows XP/2000/Me/98SE. Contact imagine LAN at 603-889-3883, 800-372-9776, or [email protected] http://www.imaginelan.com

* INVENTORY REMOTE ASSETS

Compulsion Software released AssetDB, an application that inventories and records details about your remote networked PCs' hardware and software. You need not install AssetDB on your client systems before scanning them. In addition to inventorying a system, AssetDB compiles a system history that records software installations, uninstallations, and service and hardware changes. You can generate reports about individual or groups of computers, or about all the computers in the AssetDB database. Pricing is $200 for a 100-computer license. AssetDB supports Windows XP/2000/NT. Contact Compulsion Software at [email protected] http://www.compulsionsoftware.com

* 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]

6.

CONTACT US

Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT THE COMMENTARY -- [email protected]

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- [email protected] (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

* TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.net/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- [email protected]

* QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS CLIENT UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION? Customer Support -- [email protected]

* WANT TO SPONSOR WINDOWS CLIENT UPDATE? -- [email protected]

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish