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Windows Client UPDATE--Enhance Web Browsing with Avant Browser--February 17, 2005

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Top Ten Survivor Tips for Active Directory

Free util: Scan your site for system slowdowns


1. Commentary
- Enhance Web Browsing with Avant Browser

2. News & Views
- Microsoft Updates AntiSpyware Beta

3. Peer to Peer
- Tip: Disable Internet Connectivity Alert
- Chat: Troubleshooting Group Policy

4. New and Improved
- Provision a Customized PC Environment
- Streamline Migration, Support, and Other Core Operations
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

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==== 1. Commentary: Enhance Web Browsing with Avant Browser ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Readers often ask me to suggest Web browser enhancement tools. Usually the readers are looking for antispam tools, pop-up blockers, or ad blockers, but occasionally they ask about adding toolbars to Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) or even whether they should continue to use IE in light of the constant security problems.

I'm sure that many of you are thinking “Tell them to use Firefox,” which is what I suggest to many of these reader queries. But some users don't want to add a new application to their computer, and some, because of strict adherence to safe browsing techniques, are less concerned about protecting themselves from attacks that can affect IE. Although Firefox ( ) is a good product, the majority of requests I receive are from users who are happy with IE and simply want to enhance their IE experience. They're looking for tools that will streamline browsing and tools that can improve their ability to use the Web.

To this purpose, I've recently started recommending that users download and install the Avant Browser ( ). Unlike Firefox, Avant Browser doesn't replace IE; it uses IE's structure as installed on the users computer and adds an enhanced UI. The most noticeable difference is that it uses the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) and gives users a tabbed browser in a single window. This approach lets you have multiple Web pages open within one instance of Avant Browser (as opposed to multiple copies of IE running simultaneously), which results in a significant reduction in system resources required to have multiple Web pages open.

Avant Browser adds many other features to the IE experience. One of my personal favorites is its ability to create groups of Web pages that you can open simultaneously. For someone like me, who does a lot of research via the Web, this group functionality is incredibly useful. To create a new group of Web pages, you simply click the Create New Group menu option and select the desired Web pages from a list of the current open Web pages. The group then appears as an entry in the Groups menu, and you can open all the pages in a group with a single click. (You can also open each page individually.)

Although Avant Browser hasn't supplanted IE for all my Web browsing tasks, it's a significant enhancement to much of what I use the Web for and well worth the 1.3MB download. And you can't beat the price--it's free.

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==== 2. News & Views ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Updates AntiSpyware Beta
One month after Microsoft shipped its first public beta of Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware, the software giant has released a second public beta version of the product. Since that first release, Microsoft has cleared up some licensing and pricing concerns surrounding the product: This week at the RSA Conference 2005, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced that the company would give Windows AntiSpyware for free to consumers using Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). For the complete story, visit the following URL:

==== Events and Resources ====
(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in a City Near You
Get the Facts about Migrating to SQL Server 2005. SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a best-practices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your database computing environment. Receive a 1-year membership to PASS and 1-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now!

Keeping Critical Applications Running in a Distributed Environment Get up to speed fast with solid tactics you can use to fix problems you're likely to encounter as your network grows in geographic distribution and complexity and learn how to keep your network's critical applications, such as Active Directory and Exchange, running. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity--register now!

Fax Servers: Integrate. Automate. Communicate
Attend this free Web seminar and receive a complimentary 30-day software evaluation, industry whitepaper, and a Starbuck's gift card! Join industry expert David Chernicoff and learn how leading organizations are incorporating fax technologies to empower users and enhance existing investments in infrastructure and applications while providing substantial ROI. Register now!

Sensible Best Practices for Exchange Availability Web Seminar
If you're discouraged about not having piles of money for improving the availability of your Exchange server, join Exchange MVP Paul Robichaux for this free Web seminar and learn how to maximize your existing configuration. Survive unexpected outages, plan for the unplannable, and evaluate what your real business requirements are without great expense. Register now!

Discover All You Need to Know About 64-bit Computing in the Enterprise
In this free Web seminar, industry guru Michael Otey explores the need for 64-bit computing and looks at the type of applications that can make the best use of it. He'll explain why the most important factor in the 64-bit platform is increased memory. Discover the best platform for high performance and learn how you can successfully differentiate, migrate, and manage between 32-bit and 64-bit technology. Register now!

==== 3. Peer to Peer ====

Tip: Disable Internet Connectivity Alert
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

I've heard from several readers that they're constantly being notified by Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) about Internet connectivity problems, yet they rarely, if ever, notice an actual connection problem. After a few questions, I determined that their DSL connections had intermittent connectivity problems that lasted just long enough for XP to send an alert about the now non-existent problem. To prevent the popup alert message, simply disable the notification.
1. Open Network Connections.
2. Right-click the Internet Connection.
3. Select Properties.
4. Clear the "Notify me when this connection has limited or no connectivity" checkbox

You can also do this in the registry if you need to propagate the change across multiple machines.
1. Open the Registry Editor.
2. Navigate to (or create) the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Network Connections\NC_IpStateChecking (Reg_Dword ) registry subkey.
3. Set the data value to 0.

Chat: Troubleshooting Group Policy
Darren Mar-Elia will answer your Group Policy troubleshooting questions in a chat on February 25th at 12:00 pm EST. Look for his article in the February cover story of Windows IT Pro and join the chat at the following URL:

==== Announcements ====
(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

Try a Sample Issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator!
If you haven't seen Exchange & Outlook Administrator, you're missing out on key information to help you migrate, optimize, administer, backup, recover, and secure Exchange and Outlook. Plus, paid subscribers receive exclusive online library access to every article we've ever published. Order now!

==== 5. New and Improved ====
by Gayle Rodcay, [email protected]

Provision a Customized PC Environment
VMware announced the availability of VMware ACE, a product that lets IT desktop managers rapidly provision a customized, secure, and standardized PC environment to any unmanaged endpoint. Its Virtual Rights Management (VRM) technology lets managers control desktop lifecycles, secure enterprise information on PCs, and enforce compliance with IT policies--all while maintaining end-user autonomy. The VMware ACE Starter Kit is available for $995 and includes ACE Manager and four VMware ACE client licenses. Additional VMware ACE client licenses are available for $99 per licensed PC. You can download a full-featured 30-day trial version from the VMware Web site.

Streamline Migration, Support, and Other Core Operations
Computer Associates International announced the availability of the Unicenter Desktop DNA r11 PC management solution. Unicenter Desktop DNA automates the management, transfer, and maintenance of end-user information such as application settings, system settings, user profiles, and data, thereby simplifying PC upgrade/replacement processes and reducing costs. Pricing for Unicenter Desktop DNA starts at $22 per node for 100 nodes, with volume pricing available. For more information, contact Computer Associates at 631-342-2283 or at the company's Web site.

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
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 Windows IT Pro T-shirt 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].

==== Sponsored Links ====

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