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October 17, 2002—In this issue:
- Windows XP Support for Bluetooth
2. READER CHALLENGE
- September 2002 Reader Challenge Winners
- October 2002 Reader Challenge
3. NEWS & VIEWS
- MSN 8 Advertising Blitz Kicks Off
- The Exchange Solutions You've Been Searching For!
- Planning on Getting Certified? Make Sure to Pick Up Our New eBook!
- Tip: Listing Installed Computer Services on Windows XP
- Featured Thread: Win2K Printer Problem
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Delete Data from Stolen Computers
- Accelerate the Development and Debugging of Windows Device Drivers
7. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(David Chernicoff, News Editor, [email protected])
Every now and then, in the reams of email that I get about wireless computing, the subject of Bluetooth comes up. Bluetooth is a wireless-device specification for connecting enabled devices within a very short radius (approximately 30'). For more information about Bluetooth, see the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SI) Web site at http://www.bluetooth.com.
Despite the optimistic lists of available devices and OSs with Bluetooth support, Bluetooth's reception in the market has been less than stellar. On the surface, that lukewarm reception is a little hard to understand. Getting rid of all the cables that connect computers in a small office/home office (SOHO) environment sounds like a good idea, and you can buy products that convert existing hardware, such as printers, into Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Part of the problem was that until September 27, 2002, Microsoft didn't provide Bluetooth support for Windows XP, so convincing vendors and consumers that the future was bright for devices that use the Bluetooth standard was difficult. But on October 15, Microsoft released the Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop—a package that contains a wireless mouse and keyboard as well as a USB-connected Bluetooth transceiver. (Information should soon be available at
Although it works only with XP, the Wireless Optical Desktop is a good solution for an office that has too many cables snaking around the desk or for a conference room that uses a dedicated PC for presentations and displays. The 30' radius of operation is more than enough for most rooms, and product installation is a simple matter of installing the software and plugging the transceiver into the USB port on the host computer.
The Bluetooth keyboard and mouse each require two AA batteries, and the transceiver can support as many as five additional Bluetooth devices should you want to add Bluetooth connectivity to your printers or cell phones. The keyboard is a standard QWERTY design (not the split "natural" style) and has dedicated controls for the Windows Media Player for Windows XP (MPXP) as well as a number of other one-button application-launching setups. The keyboard software is preconfigured with a wealth of shortcut keys for Windows applications and uses an onscreen display to show the current status of such things as Caps Lock and Num Lock.
Although I can easily see using this wireless configuration with the recently announced XP Media Center Edition, the Wireless Optical Desktop doesn't lend itself to activities such as game playing, due to the latency inherent in wireless devices (the latency is unnoticeable or insignificant with knowledge-worker applications). And you'll still need to have a wired keyboard handy if you want to launch the Setup or BIOS program on your computer because the Bluetooth keyboard isn't available until the device driver has loaded.
Bluetooth isn't a cheap solution, either—Microsoft expects to sell the keyboard/mouse/transceiver combo for $159. But if you need a wireless console for an XP computer, tight integration with the OS makes the Wireless Optical Desktop a very good choice. A wireless-mouse-only package (mouse and transceiver) will be available in November for $84.95.
2. READER CHALLENGE
(contributed by Kathy Ivens, [email protected])
Congratulations to our September Reader Challenge winners. Karalyn Seigel of Portland, Maine, wins first prize, a copy of my book, "Admin911: Windows 2000 Registry." Second prize, a copy of "Windows 2000: The Complete Reference," goes to Verino Conte of Manchester, England. To read the answer to the September 2002 Reader Challenge visit
Solve this month's Windows Client problem, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to [email protected] by October 25, 2002. You must include your full name, street mailing address, city, state or province, and phone number (all required for shipping your prize).
I pick winners from the pool of correct answers. Because of the number of entries, I can't reply to all respondents. Look for the solution to this month's problem at http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/print.cfm?articleid=26994 on November 14.
If you have a Windows 2000 network, you're immersed in TCP/IP, which constitutes a big change for many network administrators who previously worked with Windows NT networks. Troubleshooting Win2K network connectivity problems is difficult if you don't have at least a basic understanding of TCP/IP. Can you answer these questions?
Which of the following is not a core protocol of TCP/IP?
- Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)
- Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)
- IP Security (IPSec)
Which utility would you use to determine whether communications between your computer and other computers on the network are secure?
What does the LMHOSTS file do?
- It maps NetBIOS names to IP addresses.
- It maps IP addresses to NetBIOS names.
- It maps IP addresses to MAC addresses.
3. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
This week, Microsoft launched its MSN 8 advertising blitz, centered around the theme "It's Better With the Butterfly," a nod to the service's rainbow-colored logo. MSN 8 will launch October 24.
"We are investing $300 million to communicate with people about MSN 8 because we want consumers to know that finally there is a better alternative to the status quo when it comes to Internet services," says Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft vice president for MSN. "We believe when consumers compare MSN 8 with their existing service, MSN will win, hands down, because it allows consumers to communicate better, protect their family better and browse better than ever."
MSN has 9 million subscribers but lags behind market leader AOL, which has 34 million subscribers. To lure AOL customers to its new service, Microsoft has equipped MSN 8 with innovative new features such as parental controls, virus-filtered email, access to exclusive online content, and PDA synchronization. Of course, AOL isn't sitting still either. Its new AOL 8 software hits the streets today with a customizable Welcome screen, an AOL Companion for consolidating alerts, and other new features. Battle of the 8s, anyone?
Our popular IT Buyers' Directories (ITBDs) are online catalogs of the hottest vendor solutions around. Our latest ITBD highlights the solutions and services that will help you protect, migrate, and administer your Exchange server. Download your copy today at:
"The Insider's Guide to IT Certification" eBook is hot off the presses and contains everything you need to know to help you save time and money while preparing for certification exams from Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and CompTIA to have a successful career in IT. Get your copy of the Insider's Guide today!
(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])
You'd be amazed by how much email I receive from people who ask, "What are those dozens of services that my computer runs, and how do I figure out which is the service I just installed that's causing problems?" A quick look at my own Windows XP system shows almost 100 services running. However, despite all the applications and hardware installed on my computer, almost all of my services are directly from Microsoft. In fact, on my computer, only 10 of the 97 listed services are non-Microsoft applications.
How did I get that information so quickly? On XP, it's easy: Just go to Start, Run and launch msconfig.exe. Click the Services tab to see all the installed services and their current state (running, paused, or stopped). Click the Hide All Microsoft Services check box to see what's installed that isn't from the OS or a Microsoft application.
A user has upgraded Windows 2000 to Service Pack 3 (SP3) and installed all the security patches. Now, however, the user's printer has disappeared from the printer folder. Trying to add the printer displays a low-resource error message. To add the printer, the user must log on as Administrator, then start and restart the print spooler service. To read more about the problem or to help, join the discussion at the following URL:
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Judy Drennen, [email protected])
Absolute Software announced Data Delete, an enhancement to ComputracePlus PC tracking and loss-control service. Data Delete provides ComputracePlus customers with the option of wiping valuable data from a stolen PC, preventing a thief from having access to or publicly exposing sensitive data such as passwords, sales contacts, and trade secrets. Data Delete runs on local, remote, and mobile PCs. Contact Absolute Software at 604-628-5118 for pricing information.
Compuware announced DriverStudio 2.7, a suite of tools that accelerates the development, tuning, and deployment of Windows device drivers. DriverStudio's new host/target architecture lets developers debug, test, and tune drivers on a remote machine from their development machine. DriverStudio 2.7 runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x and costs $2499. Contact Compuware at 800-521-9353, or go to the Web site.
7. CONTACT US
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