Windows Client UPDATE, March 27, 2003

SUBJECT LINE: Windows Client UPDATE, March 27, 2003

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

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March 27, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Take a Look at Microsoft Security Update

2. NEWS & VIEWS - Microsoft Limits Hotmail to Stop Spam

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Get a Sample Issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator - Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

4. RESOURCES - Tip: Lock the Current System Restore Setting - Featured Thread: "Restrictions in Effect" Error Message

5. NEW AND IMPROVED - Automate and Centralize PC Life-Cycle Management - Prepare Applications for Deployment - Submit Top Product Ideas

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

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1.

COMMENTARY

(David Chernicoff, [email protected])

* TAKE A LOOK AT MICROSOFT SECURITY UPDATE

Sometimes, when you discover a helpful new service, you just have to say to yourself, "It's about time!" That was my reaction earlier this month when Microsoft announced the Microsoft Security Update for home users and small businesses.

I always recommend that readers who email me for advice sign up for the Microsoft Security Notification Service (available at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/?url=/technet/security/bulletin/notify.asp ). This TechNet-based service sends an email notification every time Microsoft provides a security-focused patch, hotfix, or alert. The service can be a crucial source of information for busy IT departments. In addition, many of the bulletins apply to virtually every Windows user.

However, a significant percentage of the readers who email me for advice (approximately 10 percent) get back in touch with me after they receive their first security alert, requesting that I translate the bulletin into English. Many Windows Client UPDATE readers are power users or small office/home office (SOHO) users with small networks; most aren't technically proficient. These users have a greater interest than the average user in computer technology but don't have the level of expertise that a professional IT worker would have. So these folks, who are most likely at greater risk of attack than the average enterprise IT department, also have the least understanding of the information that the Security Notification Service provides. Microsoft's response to this situation, in the form of the Microsoft Security Update, should provide usable information for the less computer-savvy and serve as a resource that IT professionals can recommend to their families and friends. You can find details about Microsoft Security Update at http://register.microsoft.com/subscription/subscribeme.asp?id=166 .


More About SOHO Networking


Last week's commentary about keeping SOHO networking simple garnered quite a few responses, which, surprisingly enough, were all in agreement with the commentary's point of view. I was amused that many of the messages were from people who are using inexpensive hubs and routers that provide Network Address Translation (NAT) and DHCP services, rather than using Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) and Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) with Windows XP. Those routers and hubs were the original inspiration for the commentary because they're the cause of the problems that SOHO users are encountering. Although this hardware is in many cases easy to set up and configure, a significant percentage of users have problems with it. I received an almost equal number of messages from readers who have had bad experiences with these easy-to-use networking devices as I received from people recommending them for their ease of use.

These responses demonstrate what we probably already know: that although many one-size-fits-all solutions can work, the situations in which those solutions don't work can cause the most aggravation. Because the hubs and routers that I wrote about are targeted at the SOHO user who doesn't have the technical skills to easily diagnose and troubleshoot potential networking problems, when they fail, the problem can seem bigger than it truly is.

2.

NEWS AND VIEWS

(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

* MICROSOFT LIMITS HOTMAIL TO STOP SPAM

Microsoft revealed last weekend that it has limited a feature of its MSN Hotmail service to better combat spam, or junk email. Effective immediately, Hotmail subscribers are limited to sending 100 email messages each day, which is far more email than most Hotmail users send daily. However, that limit will help Microsoft prevent spammers from using the service to spread junk mail. This tactic follows a similar change last year that prevented Hotmail users from sending email to more than 50 people at a time.

Microsoft says that only 1 percent of its users regularly send 100 or more email messages a day, so the change will likely affect a relatively small number of customers. But the change should have an awesome effect on spammers, who regularly use the free service to ferry bulk email around the Internet. Microsoft has come under fire regularly over the past few years for providing a safe haven for spammers. However, beginning in 2002, Microsoft started fighting back, and its MSN 8 email client was the first product from the company to include sophisticated spam controls. The same technology, developed by Microsoft Research and similar to the Bayesian junk mail filters in products such as The Mozilla Organization's Mozilla 1.3 and Apple Computer's Mail for OS X, will also be included in Microsoft Outlook 2003, the company told me recently.

With over 120 million email customers using Hotmail and MSN, Microsoft has a tougher job controlling unwanted email than most companies, especially considering that spam delivery has risen more than 500 percent since late 2001. Other large email providers, such as AOL and Yahoo!, are also working to decrease the amount of spam delivered through their networks, and AOL included spam controls in its latest client, AOL 8.0.

3.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

* 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

* GET THE EBOOK THAT WILL HELP YOU GET CERTIFIED!

The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money on your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today! http://winnet.bookaisle.com/ebookcover.asp?ebookid=13475

4.

RESOURCES

* TIP: LOCK THE CURRENT SYSTEM RESTORE SETTING (contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

After finding that many of his users were playing with their Windows XP System Restore function settings, a reader asked me whether he could lock the settings. You can edit the registry to lock the current System Restore setting. To do so, take the following steps:


1. Launch regedit.
2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\SystemRestore.
3. Create a subkey of type REG_DWORD and name it DisableConfig.
4. Set the value of DisableConfig to 1.
5. Close the editor.

* FEATURED THREAD: "RESTRICTIONS IN EFFECT" ERROR MESSAGE

Forum member Rob Nelli is suddenly unable to install programs from CD-ROM on his Windows 98 Second Edition (Win98SE) computer. He regularly installs all the latest Microsoft updates on his computer, which has 512MB of RAM. When he tries to install an application from CD-ROM, he receives various error messages: for example, "Program has performed an illegal operation and will be shutdown. Setup caused an invalid page fault in module at 0000:00000000," or "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer." Rob has no problems using Windows Explorer with the CD-ROMs, but if he attempts to execute autorun or setup programs, he receives an error message. If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=39&tid=56519

5.

NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected])

* AUTOMATE AND CENTRALIZE PC LIFE-CYCLE MANAGEMENT

PowerQuest announced PowerQuest V2i Builder, a PC life-cycle management solution to automate and centralize management of your OS deployments, migrations, and software distributions. Centralized remote management and deployment eliminates the need to visit each workstation in your environment. You can build management policies through "action sets," policy-based tasks that define complex, rules-based policies. Action sets dynamically determine actions to take according to policy and the history of specified users and PCs. PowerQuest V2i Builder includes PowerQuest DeployCenter 5.5, which deploys OS and application images and offers a unicast option. The software fully supports Windows platforms. Available in April for $39.95 per seat. Contact PowerQuest at 800-379-2566 or 801-437-8900. http://www.powerquest.com

* PREPARE APPLICATIONS FOR DEPLOYMENT

InstallShield Software introduced AdminStudio 3.5, software that prepares applications for deployment to Windows XP/2000 systems. AdminStudio 3.5 provides repackaging, testing, application conflict solving, package conversion, updating, and final posting to your software deployment mechanism. Automated quality assurance and a wide range of distribution options help with corporate deployments. A single database repository, the Application Catalog, coordinates application migration and life-cycle management data and tasks. Contact InstallShield at 800-809-5659 or 847-466-6000. http://www.installshield.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]

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