Windows Client UPDATE--Room to Roam--December 9, 2004
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1. Commentary: Room to Roam
2. Reader Challenge
- November 2004 Reader Challenge Winners
- December 2004 Reader Challenge
3. News & Views
- Microsoft Ships Windows X64 RCs
- Tip: Using OWA After Installing Windows XP SP2
- Featured Thread: Recovering Offline Files
5. New and Improved
- Control Remote PCs from Your Desktop
- Prevent Spyware
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
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==== 1. Commentary: Room to Roam ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]
Screen real estate is one of those things that you can't usually get enough of. I hear from readers who run all sorts of multiple-monitor setups in which they've invested some serious money, and I've never heard a complaint about the cost. I've been considering going to a dual-display setup myself, but the aggravation of getting a new video card with support for dual monitors and the cash outlay for a pair of 20" 1600x1200 LCD panels keeps me from jumping on that bandwagon.
But as I write this column, I'm working with a display area 3600 pixels wide and no less the 1050 pixels tall--and I didn't even buy any new hardware to do it. Instead, I'm using a $49.95 software application called MaxiVista that lets me extend my desktop onto any available Windows computer screen. In my case, I'm extending my typical 1920x1440 desktop (which runs on a 22" NEC monitor) onto my notebook computer's 1680x1050 screen.
MaxiVista lets me do this by installing a virtual video adapter in my desktop system. When you install the application and look at the Settings tab of the Control Panel Display Properties applet, you see that there is now a second video adapter installed. The primary computer runs the MaxiVista server application, and the target computers, which can be any networked computer running Windows 98 or later, installs and runs a tiny MaxiViewer application. When you launch the server application, it finds all viewer applications and extends the desktop as configured to those other screens.
I'll be the first to point out that not every application will work like this; I've noticed that certain video playback applications don't like to run on the virtualized screen, while other applications will work when windowed on the virtual screen but revert to the primary screen when you maximize their window. But all Microsoft Office applications that I've tried work on the virtualized screen as if it were actually attached to the primary computer.
The really trick thing about this software is that it lets you use your notebook computer as a secondary screen--it even lets you use that old notebook that you've stuffed in the closet because it's too much of an antique to do any real work. You can use up to three additional displays (though I've tried it only with two virtual displays) to further extend your desktop.
Although especially useful to people who need to have lots of open applications, more screen space to examine spreadsheets, or simply the space to organize their workflow, I've also found MaxiViewer very useful for network management. I manage my servers using RDP connections to the headless servers in my office. I usually just need to check on running tests or system/application status, so I launch the RDP client, take a look at what I need, then do the same with the next server. With MaxiVista, I opened two 800x600 RDP windows side-by-side on the virtual display and was able to monitor the tests I was running in real time while having my primary display available to work on the Microsoft Office Visio 2003 network diagram I was developing.
For people doing presentation work, a Mirror Image setting mirrors your screen to the target computer. This feature is very useful when you have a dedicated presentation system--you can simply hook up an old notebook to the system and network and be able to drive presentations from your desktop or current notebook system without needing to reattach cables or reconfigure video.
Although MaxiVista isn't a replacement for a dedicated dual-display system, most people simply don't have a real need for such a setup or can't justify the cost. If you ever need a multimonitor setup and you have an old notebook or two lying around unused (or even a new notebook that you only use while traveling), the MaxiVista software is too useful and inexpensive to overlook and can maximize your existing investment in notebook computers. I've shown the software in action to a couple of IT friends, and the universal reaction has been "That's really cool!"
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==== 2. Reader Challenge ====
by Kathy Ivens, [email protected]
November 2004 Reader Challenge Winners
Congratulations to the winners of our November Reader Challenge, who won copies of "Windows Server Undocumented Solutions: Beyond the Knowledge Base," by Serdar Yegulalp (McGraw-Hill Publishing). First prize goes to Steve Jacobs of West Orange, New Jersey, and second prize goes to Edward Braiter of Montreal, Quebec. Visit http://www.windowsitpro.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=44507 to read the answer to the November Reader Challenge.
December 2004 Reader Challenge
Solve this month's Windows Client challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to [email protected] by December 22, 2004. You must include your full name and street mailing address (without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win).
I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for a receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem at http://www.windowsitpro.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=44760 on December 23, 2004.
The December 2004 Challenge: During the research for one
of my books ("Home Networking Annoyances"), the publisher (O'Reilly Publishing) opened a forum for user questions and complaints to provide fodder for the book. The book presents the questions, and, of course, provides answers and solutions. In this month's Challenge, I present a couple of the questions I found on the forum. I answered them; can you? To test yourself, click the link below.
==== 3. News & Views ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]
Microsoft Ships Windows X64 RCs
This week, Microsoft issued release candidate (RC) builds for the x64 versions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP to beta testers; both builds are scheduled for release in the first half of 2005. Microsoft declared build 1289 of Windows 2003 x64 Edition and XP Professional x64 Edition as RC1 on Monday. To read more, click the URL below.
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==== 4. Resources ====
Tip: Using OWA After Installing Windows XP SP2
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])
I've heard from a couple of readers that after they installed Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), they could no longer use Mimcrosoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) to access their corporate email. This problems occurs because the security changes introduced into Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) in SP2 prevent some of OWA's functions from executing. To allow OWA to work properly, follow these steps in IE to add your OWA address to the Allowed Sites list for Pop-Up Blocker:
1. Open the Tools Menu.
2. Select Pop-up Blocker.
3. Type the OWA URL in the "Address of website to allow" field.
4. Click Add.
5. Click Close.
IE will now be configured to work properly with the OWA server at that URL.
Featured Thread: Recovering Offline Files
Forum member PGrant changed file servers without knowing that a user was using offline file synchronization. As a result, the user might have lost some files. PGrant would like to know where Windows stores files it has synchronized for offline use.
If you can help, join the discussion at http://www.windowsitpro.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=36&tid=128334
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==== 5. New and Improved ====
by Barb Gibbens, [email protected]
Control Remote PCs from Your Desktop
Anyplace Control Software has released Anyplace Control 2.6 remote control software. The Admin Module displays the screen of a remote computer and lets a user control the remote system through the mouse and keyboard on a local computer. The Host Module, which must be installed on each computer you want to control, communicates with the Admin Module, transmits screen shots, and executes commands entered through the mouse and keyboard. The product costs $29.95 and includes two licenses. For more information or to download an evaluation copy, contact the vendor through email ([email protected]) or go to the URL below.
ActualResearch has announced RegFreeze, a spyware-prevention and -scanning product. RegFreeze not only scans for and removes spyware from your computer, but prevents it from being installed by prohibiting it from modifying certain registry keys. The product doesn't interfere with installation of legitimate browser add-ons. RegFreeze costs $29.95 and includes a database of more than 12,000 spyware definitions, which is updated weekly, and a lifetime of free spyware-definition updates. RegFreeze runs on Windows 98 and later. For more information, contact the vendor at [email protected] or visit the Web site at the URL below.
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