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What's Hot: Products From Microsoft, Ontrack, and Alloy Software

Access Information Wherever, Whenever

Microsoft, Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition,

Windows & .NET Magazine reader Chris Francosky, from Cincinnati, recommends Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition as a top product. The software lets you use your wireless phone as a combination PDA/cell phone. You can connect to the Internet, use your device's speakerphone for a conference call, integrate your phone with Microsoft Outlook Contacts, and quickly connect with anyone in your Contacts file. Pricing is dependent on the plan you choose. At press time, only T-Mobile and Siemens/AT&T Wireless manufacture devices that combine a cell phone and PDA to run Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition.

"I think I am the first administrator to unlock a user account from a canoe on a river. My contacts and calendar are synchronized with my corporate Exchange server wirelessly every 15 minutes by using wireless ActiveSync. I can test my company's Web site performance and ping other servers from anywhere as well. All this and a mobile phone. I can honestly say my device with Pocket PC Phone Edition has changed the way I troubleshoot and administer my network and organize my work," Francosky said.

Recover Exchange Databases

Ontrack, Ontrack PowerControls 1.1,, 952-937-5161, 800-872-2599

Microsoft Exchange Server senior consultant and author Göran Husman of Stockholm, Sweden, recommends Ontrack PowerControls 1.1 from Ontrack. Husman discovered PowerControls while looking for a solution that would restore a mailbox or public folder without requiring a restore of the complete database.

He had heard that PowerControls could read any Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 5.x database and restore single mailboxes, individual folders, or individual messages directly into a Microsoft Outlook .pst file, then let you copy the needed information to a .pst file to import into the production environment. Because Husman knows that the database structure of the Exchange stores isn't publicly documented, he was skeptical that the solution would answer his needs. He said, "Recently one of our larger customers, with offices in more than 30 countries, needed to do a restore of a public folder that accidentally was deleted. First, we tested the Ontrack PowerControls demo version, and it looked promising, so we decided to purchase the full version. And it actually worked like a charm! Thirty minutes after we installed PowerControls, we had restored the missing data back to the production environment."

Ontrack PowerControls 1.1 is available in a Standard edition for $950 for as many as four servers, a Business edition for $1495 for as many as four servers, and an Enterprise edition with various pricing options. Volume discounts are available for all editions.

Audit Your Hardware and Software

Alloy Software, Network Inventory Navigator,, 201-656-0404

One Windows & .NET Magazine reader recommends Alloy Software's Network Inventory Navigator. The reader uses the inventory tracking software to search for files to determine whether his users are downloading .mp3 or Moving Pictures Experts Group (.mpeg) files. "Once I collect the data, I can export it to an HTML or Excel file for ease of viewing when I have discussions with senior management and when decisions are made to replace PCs, or to see who is using what computer," the reader said.

Network Inventory Navigator audits your network and provides information about installed hardware that includes hard disks, printers, video systems, and attached devices. The software-auditing capability reports on installed software packages and provides detailed file-version information for executable files and summaries of statistics for multimedia, graphic, archive, and other file types. Pricing is $199 for a single-site license, which provides an audit license for 200 nodes.


Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about it! We want to write about the product in a future What's Hot column. Send your product nominations for What's Hot, including information about how the product helped you, to [email protected]

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