Windows Client Update, September 2006: Desktop Travel Via Windows Live Local

Desktop Travel via Windows Live Local


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- Desktop Travel via Windows Live Local - Editor's Note: One-day Event About Interoperability


- August Reader Challenge Winners - September Reader Challenge Contest


- Vista Details Emerge


- Tip: Handling a Windows Update problem - Thread: What's going on in the Windows XP forum this week? - Featured white paper, Web & live events, announcements


- Actual Window Manager 4.1 - Tell Us About a Product; Get a Best Buy Gift Card!


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==== COMMENTARY ====

by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Desktop Travel via Windows Live Local

Like a lot of people, I'm on the road traveling from client sites to business appointments and, in the middle of the day, running one of my kids to the doctor’s office. And like many of you, I use a navigation system in my car. I generally use one that runs on my PDA, but recently I bought a Garmin StreetPilot i5. Although it’s not as user-friendly as my PDA, it's almost as accurate, and it contains nationwide maps, making it indispensable when I travel for business.

One thing that my various navigation systems lack is the ability to store and reference routes while I’m at my desk. Often I’ll need to plan a couple days' travel, but these systems don’t easily plan multiple-destination routes according to factors beyond the basic options such as quickest or shortest route. For planning these driving trips, I've recently been using the mapping and routing capabilities of Windows Live Local ( Its ability to store multiple collections of end points lets me get a feel for travel time between locations, regardless of the order in which they're arranged, and doesn't require me to program the trip into one of my GPS devices.

Windows Live Local also lets me share both public and private collections of these end points and travel directions with other users on the Internet. For example, recently I set up a meeting in a fairly rural location (the type of place where roads might suddenly become unpaved and often lack names). I used Windows Live Local's mapping capabilities and aerial-photo maps to find the actual building the meeting was being held in and set that as a location. When I created a set of directions from a common location to that endpoint, the directions included information on turns and travel distances on unnamed roads, including the gravel road that leads to the building from the unnamed road on which it's located. I then sent these directions as email to the meeting attendees, and by clicking the link in the provided email message, they were able to get a map and detailed driving directions to the final location.

I’ve just started digging into the capabilities of Windows Live Local (currently still in beta). If you find existing Web-based mapping solutions lacking, give Windows Live Local a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Editor's Note: Dealing with interoperability issues? You might want to check out TechX World. You'll spend a day with technical experts Michael Otey, Gil Kirkpatrick, Dustin Puryear and Randy Dyess and hear about OS interoperability, data interoperability, directory and security integration, and virtualization, all in a Windows-plus environment. This one-day event will visit four cities between October 24 and November 2: Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco. For complete agenda and speaker details, go to the URL below.

==== READER CHALLENGE ===========================

by Kathy Ivens, [email protected]

August 2006 Reader Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our August 2006 Reader Challenge. First prize, a copy of "Windows XP Annoyances for Geeks, Second Edition," goes to Jason Milligan, of Nevada. Second prize, a copy of "Learning Windows Server 2003, Second Edition," goes to Don Straka, of Connecticut. O'Reilly & Associates Publishing publishes both books.

September 2006 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 Sept. 14, 2006. You MUST include your full name, and street mailing address (without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win, so your answer is eliminated, even if it’s correct). I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. I’m a sucker for humor and originality, and a cleverly written correct answer gets an extra chance. 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 on Sept. 15, 2006 or in the October issue of this email newsletter, WinClient Update.

The September 2006 Challenge:

I received an interesting request for help from a reader. Her employer created a peer-to-peer network for the accounting department where she works. Now, the IT administrator has moved all of their computers to the company domain. She shares her Windows XP computer with another user, and she misses the Welcome Screen that made it easy for her and the other user to log on. She doesn’t like having to replace the other user’s name with her name and password every time she wants to use the computer (everyone logs off whenever they leave the computer because the department’s data is so sensitive). She says her IT administrator refuses to make the Welcome Screen available again, so she asked me how to accomplish this change. What did I tell her?


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==== NEWS & VIEWS: Vista Details Emerge =========

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

On Tuesday, Microsoft finally announced its plans for shipping Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) to over 5 million people around the world. But in various RC1-related briefings, the company also talked up some of its plans for the final version of Vista for the first time.

Though the company has not publicly committed to this date, Microsoft still plans to complete the final version of Windows Vista on or before October 25, 2006. The term "final," in this case, however, is a misnomer. Microsoft will certainly find issues with the so-called RTM (release to manufacturing) code between late October and the expected January public release, and will most certainly ship various hot-fixes and other updates for the system via Windows Update during that time.

In a briefing last week, Microsoft Group Product Manager Chris Flores also hinted that the software company has a surprise of some sort in store for Vista customers. "We're not going to just sit around between RTM and the public release," he told me, refusing to elaborate. "We'll have a few surprises by January." (It's worth noting too that Microsoft will issue a major kernel update to Windows Vista in Service Pack 1, SP1, by the end of 2007 to bring that system's internals up to date with the kernel in Longhorn Server. It's currently unknown whether Vista SP1 will also include major new end-user features.) Microsoft plans to schedule separate launch events for the business and consumer launches of Windows Vista, though details of these events are in flux.

Microsoft also used the RC1 announcement to admit that recently published reports about the pricing of various Windows Vista product versions were correct. Depending on which version you purchase, Windows Vista will set customers back $89.95 to $399.00, identical to pricing for corresponding XP versions.

To read more, please visit the Windows IT Pro Web site below.

==== EVENTS AND RESOURCES =======================

(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

Can you distinguish between the facts and fiction of Linux? Get the straight answers about Linux, UNIX, and Windows in head-to-to head comparisons. Read articles and download free resources today! You can also test your Linux skills and enter to win a $150 MSN Music gift card!

Linux + Unix + Windows--TechX World Pure-play IT shops are a nice idea, but the reality today is that we're all faced with interoperability issues. TechX World 2006 gives you access to leading experts in the field and will prepare you to master interoperability issues in your environment.

Tired of using separate products on your Microsoft Exchange server for antivirus, antispam, attachment filtering, disclaimers, content auditing and filtering? This Webcast will address the latest threats to messaging security and spotlight Sunbelt’s Messaging Ninja that enables systems administrators to easily secure their messaging infrastructures and stop threats at the Exchange Server.

Randy Franklin Smith outlines five evaluation points to consider when choosing your antispyware solution. Free podcast. Download it today!

Integrate fax services with business applications for major increases in ROI. Find out how fax technology can benefit your bottom line and improve business processes. Download the free ebook today!

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==== TIPS AND THREADS ===========================

Tip--Handling a Windows Update problem

I get a fair amount of email from readers experiencing problems running Windows Update. They're either looking for ways to reinstall updates or are getting error messages when they try to run upgrades.

A recent error message readers have queried me about is error number 0X800B0109 being returned when users attempt to access the Windows Update Web site. This problem occurs because malware has infected the client computer. To solve this problem, follow the directions in the Microsoft article at the URL below.

Thread—-What's going on in the Windows XP forum today? "I want to quickly set up Internet connection sharing on one XP laptop to share its Wi-Fi connection to all the other laptops. All ideas and speculations welcome."

Windows IT Pro Web article link--"Vista 2007's User Account Control Examined" by Mark Minasi. Mark decides UAC is not such a bad feature in Vista after removing spyware from a user's computer.

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==== ANNOUNCEMENTS ==============================

(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

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==== NEW AND IMPROVED: Actual Window Manager 4.1 ===

by Caroline Marwitz, [email protected]

Actual Tools announced Actual Window Manager 4.1, a desktop enhancement tool. In this version, you can set up your Windows desktop to display across several monitors. You can also stretch a window between two monitors or clone one window to display on several monitors. You can move windows between monitors, and Actual Window Manager will automatically resize the window. Among its other features, Actual Window Manager offers a transparency display that lets you see the application window beneath the window you're working in. You can configure the percentage of transparency from 0 percent to 100 percent. You can also use the ghosting option, which lets you work in the lower window with the transparent window above. Actual Window Manager 4.1 supports Windows 98 and later and costs $39.95. To download a 60-day trial copy or purchase the tool, visit the URL below.

Tell Us About a Product and Get a Best Buy Gift Card! Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Best Buy Gift Card if we write about the product in a future Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]

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