Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE, August 20, 2002

Windows & .NET Magazine UPDATE—brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies.
http://www.winnetmag.com


THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY

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Insider's Guide to IT Certification eBook
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(below COMMENTARY)


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August 20, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Looking at Digital Media in the Enterprise

2. HOT OFF THE PRESS

  • Dell: No-OS PCs Aren't Designed for Linux

3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT

  • SP3's Unexpected Automatic Updates Behavior

4. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Take Our Survey and You Could Win a Free T-Shirt!
  • Need to Keep Your Servers Running 24/7?

5. HOT RELEASES (ADVERTISEMENTS)

  • New From Winternals: Defrag Manager 2.0!
  • Security Workshops from Microsoft and NetIQ!

6. INSIDE WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS

  • September 2002 Issue
  • Query Workstations the Easy Way

7. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Licensing 6.0
  • New Instant Poll: Voice over IP

8. RESOURCES

  • Featured Thread: Win2K Shares XP DSL Line

9. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Analyze Patch Configurations
  • Back Up Data to Any Type of Storage Device

10. CONTACT US

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

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected])

  • LOOKING AT DIGITAL MEDIA IN THE ENTERPRISE

  • As part of a continuing look at some of the intriguing new features in Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server), I want to examine Microsoft Windows Media Services (WMS), which the company has updated significantly in this release of Windows Server, and the reasons why organizations might transmit digital media content throughout the enterprise. I'm often amazed by the resistance I see to the idea of enterprise-based digital media, despite the fact that the rise of commodity computers and broadband Internet connections has led to a raft of geographically dispersed businesses and telecommuters and frequent travelers that rarely show up, physically, at corporate offices. You can save time and money by using streaming media to deliver important corporate information, especially if you use the technologies available for free with Windows server and desktop versions.

    Microsoft does, however, face competition in the enterprise digital media market. Both RealNetworks and Apple Computer offer viable players and server products aimed at enterprise users, although the products come with various price, availability, and performance caveats. But the real value of the Windows platform—Microsoft might call this its "richness"—has always been the amount of free technology that you get in the box. And in the case of WMS technologies, the digital media wares are surprisingly high quality, often technically better than the alternatives.

    Win.NET Server includes the awkwardly named Windows Media Services 9 for Windows .NET Server. Set for release only as part of Win.NET Server Standard Edition and later (but not Web Server Edition or previous Windows Server versions), this new WMS version includes support for Fast Streaming, which essentially eliminates buffering on broadband connections; dynamic content programming so that you can insert advertisements, music, breaking news, and other content into a live server-side playlist at any time; better scalability and reliability than previous versions; and a friendly new administration console that even media-wary administrators can comfortably use. (Likewise, content creators who aren't necessarily current on administration matters will find the console easy to use, as well.) Win.NET Enterprise Edition and Win.NET Datacenter Edition also include multicast content-delivery functionality, cache and proxy server support, and other unique high-end features.

    So what type of content might you want to deliver with such a system? Speeches by CEOs and other executives are an obvious answer, as are corporate training videos, which you can enrich through an HTML/streaming media combination such as the one Microsoft Producer, a free add-on for PowerPoint 2002 users, offers. Even if you haven't seen this tool, you've probably seen some of the Web-based training sessions it creates. The resulting Web page generally features a small video window featuring the presenter and a larger display of the PowerPoint presentations. Enterprises can deliver such Web-based presentations live, but usually the company stores them on a server and delivers them on demand. These Web-based training sessions can be effective teaching tools, retaining much of the impact of a live presentation without the expense, time, and travel downsides.

    By making the editing, encoding, and distribution tools easy to use and low cost (well, free), Microsoft gives enterprises the ability to develop content in-house, again saving money. And enterprises that roll out this kind of solution don't necessarily want to touch every desktop, so the WMS solution works with Windows Media Player (WMP) 7 and later, which is available on all modern Windows versions, and any other third-party players that support Microsoft's formats. And content delivered over the Web is accessible to remote users over lower quality connections, say, for employees on the road or at offsite locations.

    On the client side, Microsoft is working to improve WMP, and the results will show up by year-end in WMP 9, although a beta will be available September 4. This player adds client-side support for the WMS Fast Streaming feature and the new Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV) Series 9 codecs, although WMP 7.x and Media Player for XP (MPXP) will be upgradeable to support the codecs, as well. And unlike MPXP, the new player will be available for the most recent Windows versions, including Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, and Windows 98 SE. . I'll have more information about the player and its new enterprise features after the September 4 beta release.

    Digital media gets little consideration by many enterprise decision makers and administrators these days, but with the advances we'll see in Win.NET Server and WMP, the technology will reach the point at which many Microsoft-oriented shops—especially those with dispersed workforces—need to consider this option as a way to keep employees up to date without requiring costly travel and time management. If you're deploying or considering any unique corporate-oriented digital media rollouts, please drop me a line. I'm very interested to hear what you're working on.

    Resources

    Microsoft Producer

    Windows Media Services 9


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    2. HOT OFF THE PRESS
    (contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

  • DELL: NO-OS PCs AREN'T DESIGNED FOR LINUX

  • Dell, the world's largest PC maker, has found an innovative way to get around a Microsoft licensing requirement that restricts the manufacturer from shipping PCs without Windows or any other OS preinstalled on the system. Dell says it will ship a new line of n-Series desktop and workstation PCs without preinstalled OSs. However, contrary to some reports you might have read, Dell's plan isn't designed to satisfy Linux enthusiasts but rather to help its largest customers avoid purchasing multiple copies of Windows for the same machines. For more information, visit the following URL:
    http://www.wininformant.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26268

    3. KEEPING UP WITH WIN2K AND NT
    (contributed by Paula Sharick, [email protected])

  • SP3'S UNEXPECTED AUTOMATIC UPDATES BEHAVIOR

  • Several readers reported experiencing the same problem with Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) Automatic Updates: the Automatic Updates client fails with the error message "Send error number to Microsoft (0x800A1391). Note this sends error information but does not create a support incident; you may or may not receive a response." Because of the lack of documentation about the problem, I spent many hours testing manual and automatic update processes. I have some insight into the problem, a couple of suggestions for avoiding update problems, and several unanswered questions. Visit the following URL to learn what I discovered.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26310

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

  • TAKE OUR SURVEY AND YOU COULD WIN A FREE T-SHIRT!

  • We need to hear your thoughts on the future of technology! Take our reader survey, and you'll be entered to win a T-shirt, compliments of Windows & .NET Magazine. All responses are completely confidential.
    http://www.up2research.com/windotnet

  • NEED TO KEEP YOUR SERVERS RUNNING 24/7?

  • Join Morris Lewis for SQL Server Magazine's next Web Seminar, "Planning Highly Available Database Server Environments," on August 27. This seminar will explain methods for achieving high availability and detail the criteria you must evaluate to determine which options will best suit your tolerance for risk and your budget. Register today!
    http://www.sqlmag.com/sub.cfm?code=mlei322hmu

    5. HOT RELEASES (ADVERTISEMENTS)

  • NEW FROM WINTERNALS: DEFRAG MANAGER 2.0!

  • Defrag Manager is the powerful new enterprise defragmenter from Winternals. FEATURES: defrag systems enterprise-wide from single console; fast, thorough defrag engine; easy-to-use schedule wizard; drag-and-drop system scheduling; Active Directory-compatible; competitive licensing. FREE 30-DAY TRIAL CD!
    http://www.winternals.com/es/HotReleaseTrial

  • SECURITY WORKSHOPS FROM MICROSOFT AND NETIQ!

  • Join Microsoft and NetIQ, the Elite Force in Enterprise Security, to get the hand-to-hand tactics you need to fight dangerous hacker exploits during our technical workshop series, Digital Crime Prevention Labs. Register before 8/15 to save $100!
    http://www.netiq.com/events/seminars/digitalcrimeprevention/default.asp

    6. INSIDE WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS

    Windows Scripting Solutions is a monthly, paid, print newsletter loaded with news and tips to help you manage, optimize, and secure your Web-enabled enterprise. NONSUBSCRIBERS can access all the newsletter content in the online article archive from the premiere issue of Windows Scripting Solutions (December 1998) through the print issue released 1 year ago.

    In addition to receiving the monthly print newsletter, SUBSCRIBERS can access all the newsletter content, including the most recent issue, at the Windows Scripting Solutions Web site ( http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com ). Subscribe today and access all the 2002 issues online!
    http://secure.duke.com/nt/win32scripting/index.cfm?action=sub&code=wi26xhm

  • SEPTEMBER 2002 ISSUE

  • To access this issue of Windows Scripting Solutions, go to the following URL:
    http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/articles/index.cfm?action=usprint&issueid=585

  • FOCUS: Build Up Your Scripting Toolkit

  • This issue can help you build up your scripting toolkit. It provides scripts that terminate a program, query workstations for data, administer printer locations, and perform a variety of other tasks.

    The following article is available for free to nonsubscribers for a limited time.

  • Query Workstations the Easy Way

  • Do you need to keep track of the status of numerous workstations? Here's an easily adaptable script that lets you query workstations about their status and their applications. Just plug in the operations that you want to run.
    —James Adair
    http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26054

    7. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: LICENSING 6.0

  • The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Will Microsoft's new Licensing 6.0 program cause your organization to evaluate alternative enterprise software solutions?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 376 votes:
    • 5% No, Licensing 6.0 will actually lower our upgrade costs
    • 23% No, we don't like Licensing 6.0, but we'll stick with Microsoft products
    • 66% Yes, we're looking at alternative solutions
    • 7% I don't know yet

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: VOICE OVER IP

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Has your organization deployed Voice over IP (VoIP) technology?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) No, but we plan to within the next 6 months, c) No, but we plan to within the next 12 months, d) We're investigating VoIP but won't deploy it in the near future, or e) No, and we have no plans to pursue it.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/magazine

    8. RESOURCES

  • FEATURED THREAD: WIN2K SHARES XP DSL LINE

  • Lisa used to share a DSL line with her work machine, a Windows 2000 laptop, and her home Windows 98 laptop. She recently upgraded her home laptop to Windows XP and now she can't connect her Win2K machine to the Internet. For more information about her problem and to join the discussion, visit the following URL:
    http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=36&threadid=44658

    9. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

  • ANALYZE PATCH CONFIGURATIONS

  • Ecora Software announced PatchMeister, a patch management tool that autodiscovers domains, servers, and workstations and analyzes existing patch configurations for each system. The software compares what you have installed with the latest available patches for Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), IIS, and SQL Server. You can then receive a report of what patches you need to install. PatchMeister is available to download for no charge at the Web site. Contact Ecora Software at 877-923-2672.
    http://www.ecora.com

  • BACK UP DATA TO ANY TYPE OF STORAGE DEVICE

  • Novosoft released Handy Backup 3.5, software that can back up data to any type of storage device including CD-R, CD-RW, remote FTP servers, local network drives, Zip drives, Jaz drives, and floppy disks. You can use Handy Backup to synchronize files between two computers on a network. Handy Backup's multithreaded transfer engine executes backups in the background. The software records all backup activity in a log file. The scheduler lets you run backup tasks automatically from an hourly to monthly basis. Handy Backup runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x systems and costs $30 for a registered single-user license. Contact Novosoft at 866-849-0354.
    http://www.novosoft-us.com

    10. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

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