Just the FAQs, Ma'am

One of the most common questions readers ask me is where I find the information and tips that I write about. The answer is rarely what the questioner is hoping for—it's research. I get some information from readers, and I discover some things in the course of using or testing products, but I spend a significant amount of time searching the Web and checking vendor sites for product information.

Almost every vendor has an FAQ page on its Web site. The information quality varies, but usually these FAQs are good sources of basic information about the vendors' products. Many vendors also have downloadable versions of their FAQs for handy reference when you don't have Internet access. I'm an information junkie, and I have a directory on one of my servers that contains nothing but vendor FAQs and documentation that I've downloaded over the years.

In case you don't have the same obsession with accumulating information, let me point out a couple of FAQ resources for you. You'll find FAQs for most Microsoft products on the company's Web site. Microsoft even has a detailed FAQ for Windows XP even though the OS has been available only for a few weeks. The Microsoft FAQs are a good place to look for information about Microsoft products that you use or plan to install.

For your problem-solving needs, I'm going to do something I rarely do—recommend a FAQ site sponsored by the provider of this newsletter. (Not that Windows 2000 Magazine doesn't have great information—I just don't want readers to get the impression that this newsletter's purpose is simply to promote an excellent magazine at the expense of other resources). In this case, John Savill's Windows NT/2000 FAQ is an excellent resource. You can find answers to hundreds of obscure questions that regularly plague Windows system administrators.

If you're looking for information about Internet Requests for Comments (RFCs) or FAQs from any Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) newsgroups (Usenet newsgroups), the ultimate site is the Internet FAQ Archives. This site lets you use the search engine to search through the FAQ or RFC collection, without having to go through each FAQ or RFC individually.

Hide 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.