Windows Client UPDATE, October 10, 2002

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October 10, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Finding Support for USB 2.0

2. NEWS & VIEWS

  • Bargain Computers: A Threat to Microsoft?

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott Are Bringing Their Security Expertise to You!
  • Announcing the New Windows & .NET Magazine VIP Site!

4. RESOURCES

  • Featured Thread: Win2K Clients Won't Connect to the Server
  • Tip: Cleaning Up After Applications

5. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Find Files Fast
  • Run Portable Email Application Without Installation

6. CONTACT US

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

1. COMMENTARY

  • FINDING SUPPORT FOR USB 2.0

  • (by David Chernicoff, News Editor, [email protected])

    If you're one of many users who have complained about USB 2.0 support in Windows XP and Windows 2000, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that both OSs fully support USB 2.0. The bad news is that neither OS offers native support; adding the support can be a little complicated.

    USB 2.0 hardware is fully compatible with USB 1.x devices, so if your computer has USB 2.0 hardware, you have no good reason not to upgrade your drivers to support USB 2.0. The only downside to using USB 1.0 devices with a USB 2.0 controller is that all the devices in the chain will run at the lowest common speed, which means you'll slow any USB 2.0 device on that channel. Fortunately, most computers have at least two USB channels (Intel motherboards can support as many as six), and the channels operate independently in terms of bus speed.

    I've heard complaints from XP users who have USB 2.0 hardware and USB 2.0 devices, but while installing the devices they receive error messages from the OS reporting that the USB 2.0 device has been plugged into a non-Hi-Speed port. Users see this error message because XP as shipped doesn't include USB 2.0 support. You can easily add USB 2.0 support to XP by downloading and installing Service Pack 1 (SP1). Or, you can go to the Windows Update Web site and download the Microsoft USB 2.0 driver.

    If you have Win2K, you need to download the USB 2.0 driver to add USB 2.0 support. Go to the Windows Update site and download Microsoft USB Driver Version 5.1.2600.0. With either OS, if you've installed a third-party USB driver, you might need to uninstall it so that Windows Update can direct you to the correct Microsoft driver.

    The Win2K driver supports only the following USB 2.0 controllers:

    • NEC (NEC PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller B0 and NEC PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller B1, PCI\VEN_1033&DEV_00E0&REV_01 and PCI\VEN_1033&DEV_00E0&REV_02)
    • Intel (Intel PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_24CD)
    • VIA (VIA PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller, PCI\VEN_1106&DEV_3104)

    The first release of the XP USB 2.0 driver is even more limited, supporting only the previously mentioned NEC controller, according to Microsoft's USB 2.0 and Windows Web site.

    You can find details about Win2K support for USB 2.0 at
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q319973

    And you can find details about XP support for USB 2.0 at
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q312370

    Win2K natively supports USB 2.0's competitor, IEEE 1394 (FireWire). But because most PC motherboards now include USB 2.0 hardware, FireWire's days might be numbered in the consumer market. Even Sony, which branded FireWire under its I-Link name, now puts USB 2.0 connectors on its digital video cameras.

    2. NEWS AND VIEWS
    (contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])

  • BARGAIN COMPUTERS: A THREAT TO MICROSOFT?

  • The growing trend of bargain computers is threatening to damage Microsoft's hold on the desktop software market by attacking the company's core market: PC bundles. Microsoft sells most of its Windows OS and Microsoft Office licenses preinstalled with new PCs, but as PC prices fall—to as little as $200 a box this year—the cost of Windows and Office licenses as a percentage of the total system cost is rising dramatically. That's causing increasing numbers of PC makers to look at alternatives to both of Microsoft's core products.

    Wal-Mart's inexpensive PCs are leading the charge. Available in versions with Windows, various Linux distributions, or no installed OS, the Wal-Mart PCs are rebranded Microtel boxes and generally sell for $200 to $400, sans monitor. The machines contain the kind of inexpensive components you might expect, including VIA Technologies microprocessors rather than more powerful models from Intel or AMD, and low-speed, low-capacity hard disks and CD-ROM drives. But for just a couple of hundred dollars, even the thriftiest customers can pick up fully functional computers. And some of those PCs are shipping without any Microsoft products on board.

    One Wal-Mart system runs the controversial LindowsOS, a Linux distribution that originally claimed full software compatibility with Windows. Lindows.com, which makes the LindowsOS, has backed off from that assertion in recent days, but the company is still in the hot seat—this time with AOL Time Warner—for claiming that its system, along with a beta version of AOL for Linux, constitutes an inexpensive "AOL Computer" that consumers could buy specifically for accessing the AOL online service. Despite claims and counterclaims between the people at AOL and Lindows.com, this AOL Computer is what it appears to be—an inexpensive way to access the AOL service by using a machine that doesn't run any Microsoft software.

    On the office productivity front, the move to non-Microsoft alternatives continued this week when Sony—the fastest-growing PC maker in the world—announced that it would bundle Corel WordPerfect 2002, rather than Microsoft Office XP, with all its desktop machines. And for laptops, Sony is pursuing a low-cost Microsoft option that many PC makers are using in lieu of the more expensive Office suite: a standalone copy of Microsoft Word 2002. Some PC makers are using Microsoft Works 2003 instead. These decisions come down to cost: Sony and other PC makers can't justify the high Office license price on machines with ever-lower prices. Software is just like any other system component; PC makers reevaluate software bundles from a pricing perspective, and when the cost gets too high they trim or replace the software.

    A few years ago, Microsoft could brazenly tout the amount of money it made per PC and rely on the income from hundreds of millions of annual PC sales to bolster its bottom line. But as computers become more of a commodity—thanks in part, ironically, to Microsoft's success—and are sold at much lower prices than before, the cost of Microsoft software hasn't fallen to match this trend. As Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson noted in his landmark antitrust ruling against the company, one mark of a monopolist is that it can price its products in a way that bears no resemblance to market realities. Clearly, in the OS and office productivity markets, Microsoft is doing just that. Analysts predict that the company will partially respond to this situation by issuing new, lower-cost versions of Office 11 next spring. But in the meantime, many companies are busy looking for Microsoft alternatives.

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • MARK MINASI AND PAUL THURROTT ARE BRINGING THEIR SECURITY EXPERTISE TO YOU!

  • Windows & .NET Magazine Network Road Show 2002 is coming this October to New York, Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco! Industry experts Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott will show you how to shore up your system's security and what desktop security features are planned for Microsoft .NET and beyond. Sponsored by NetIQ, Microsoft, and Trend Micro. Registration is free, but space is limited so sign up now!
    http://list.winnetmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=eNtR0DRxWI0CBt03lK0AG

  • ANNOUNCING THE NEW WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE VIP SITE!

  • The Windows & .NET Magazine VIP Site is a new subscription-based online technical resource. For a limited time, you can access this banner-free site where you'll find exclusive content usually reserved for VIP Site members only. Only subscribers will be able to enjoy this new site after October 14, so check it out today!
    http://list.winnetmag.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=eNtR0DRxWI0CBt05Ih0AC

    4. RESOURCES

  • FEATURED THREAD: WIN2K CLIENTS WON'T CONNECT TO THE SERVER

  • SwampedWithWork has Windows 2000 clients that won't connect to the Win2K server, although the Windows 9x clients successfully connect. Read other readers' suggestions or offer your advice on the Windows & .NET Magazine forums at
    http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=37&threadid=47649

  • TIP: CLEANING UP AFTER APPLICATIONS

  • (contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])

    When you've removed applications or an application crashes while in use, sometimes you'll find the application has left behind files that even the Administrator account can't delete. Something might be holding the file open (a problem you can solve by rebooting), or the underlying file system might be corrupted (which you can fix by using chkdsk /f or chkdsk /r). But if neither of these problems applies, you can recover the right to delete the file by using the Cacls command to manually change the file's ACL. For example, to give the administrator account permission to delete the file named test.txt, enter at the command prompt:

    cacls test.txt /G administrator:F

    This command grants the Administrator full control over the file "test.txt."

    Entering cacls /? Returns the following list of parameters:

    CACLS filename \[/T\] \[/E\] \[/C\] \[/G user:perm\] \[/R user \[...\]\]
                      \[/P user:perm \[...\]\] \[/D user \[...\]\]
    				  
          filename      Displays ACLs.
          /T            Changes ACLs of specified files in the current
                        directory and all subdirectories.
          /E            Edit ACL instead of replacing it.
          /C            Continue on access denied errors.
          /G user:perm  Grant specified user access rights.
                        Perm can be: R  Read
                                     W  Write
                                     C  Change (write)
                                     F  Full control
          /R user       Revoke specified user's access rights (only valid
                        with /E).
          /P user:perm  Replace specified user's access rights.
                        Perm can be: N  None
                                     R  Read
                                     W  Write
                                     C  Change (write)
    								 F  Full control
          /D user       Deny specified user access.

    You can use wildcards to specify more than one file in a command. You can specify more than one user in a command.

    You can append the following abbreviations to the file descriptions.

    • CI - Container Inherit (the access control entry—ACE—will be inherited by directories).
    • OI - Object Inherit (the ACE will be inherited by files).
    • IO - Inherit Only (the ACE does not apply to the current file or

      directory).

    5. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Judy Drennen, [email protected])

  • FIND FILES FAST

  • Pankhurst Algorithmics released Rocket Retriever 2, file management software that lets you quickly search any or all files on your hard drive and execute or open files or directories for viewing. The product searches by using an internal file listing that displays matches to the text while you type. You can use the program to check for moved or misplaced files, check for new file entries such as virus payloads, or keep track of favorite files (such as MP3s) across multiple hard drives and directories. Rocket Retriever 2 costs $14.95 and runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x. Contact Pankhurst Algorithmics at 250-480-0867, or go to the Web site for more information.
    http://www.pankhurst.com/rr.htm

  • RUN PORTABLE EMAIL APPLICATION WITHOUT INSTALLATION

  • Poco Systems released PocoMail Portable Edition, a portable, secure email application that runs on any Windows computer without installation. PocoMail Portable Edition contains antivirus and antispam features of the standard Poco email client, while providing true application portability. Users can load PocoMail Portable Edition onto a Zip disk or other removable device and run it securely on any computer in the office, at home, or on the road. PocoMail Portable Edition costs $39.95 and runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x. Contact Poco Systems at 877-413-3232, or send email to [email protected]
    http://www.pocomail.com

    6. 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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