Windows Client UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network http://www.winnetmag.net
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* MARCH 2003 READER CHALLENGE WINNERS
Congratulations to our March Reader Challenge winners. I tried a subtle trick question, but it's hard to fool you, and I was surprised at how many readers "got it." Vince Streiff of Washington, D.C., wins first prize, a copy of "Windows 2000: The Complete Reference." Keith Stenger of Louisville, Kentucky, wins second prize, a copy of "Admin911: Windows 2000 Registry." Visit http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38349 to read the answer to the March 2003 Reader Challenge.
* APRIL 2003 READER CHALLENGE
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 April 24, 2003. You must include your full name, street mailing address, and phone number (all required for shipping your prize).
I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents. (My email software doesn't respond to a request for a receipt.) Look for the solutions to this month's problem at http://www.winntmag.com/articles/index.dfm?articleid=38639 on April 24, 2003.
I was chatting with a consultant the other day, and he told me he was planning to upgrade his laptop from Windows 98 to Windows XP to gain the Alternate Configuration feature for TCP/IP settings. This feature lets a computer automatically switch to a second, alternate, configuration for TCP/IP when the primary configuration doesn't work. It's a nifty way to take a laptop to another site and connect to a network at that site.
The consultant's office runs SDSL, and each computer on the network has a fixed IP address. At his client sites, he runs Windows 2000 domains with DHCP services. He told me he'll set up his laptop's NIC with the assigned TCP/IP address, then use the Alternate Configuration tab to enable the option "Obtain an IP Address Automatically," which will let him connect to his clients' networks with an IP address that the DHCP server gives. My response was "Yep, that Alternate Configuration feature is really nifty. Lotsa luck, I'll be happy to help when your plan fails." Why did I say that?
* MICROSOFT AGREES TO DOJ'S MINOR CHANGE IN WINDOWS XP
On April 3, Microsoft said it had agreed to implement a small change in Windows XP that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) requested. The company will move its "Set Program Access and Defaults" icon, currently buried in the All Programs menu, to a more prominent position in the Start Menu so that users can more easily choose which Web browser to use. Users can also use this icon to change which media player, email program, Instant Messaging (IM) application, and Java Virtual Machine (JVM) they use, Microsoft says. In my tests of this feature, however, I've discovered it to be a mind-numbing and painful way to configure such programs. Surely there's a better way.
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* GET THE EBOOK THAT WILL HELP YOU GET CERTIFIED!
* TIP: CONFIRMING INSTALLATION OF DVD DECODER SOFTWARE (contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])
Recently, a friend sent me an email message complaining that something was wrong with his brand new computer. Every time he tried to play a DVD, an error message appeared, announcing a failure in the video subsystem. He was ready to take the computer back to where he had purchased it when I told him I thought I knew what the problem was: The machine had no Windows XP-compatible DVD decoder software. He thought the software was installed, so I walked him through the following simple process to determine whether a valid decoder exists:
1. Open a CMD prompt.
2. Type in "dvdupgrd /detect" (don't type the quotation marks).
3. A Windows dialog box will open with identifying information about the installed software. If "No decoders found" appears in the box, no decoder is installed.
You can purchase Windows DVD decoder software from the Windows Media Web site for less than $20. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/default.aspx .
* FEATURED THREAD: FILE SECURITY
Forum member "ekrum" would like to know how to let users create a folder and files but not allow the users to modify the folder and files. For example, if a user plugs in a digital camera and copies images from the camera to a location on a server, how can the user be allowed to view the images but not be allowed to modify them on the server? If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=37&tid=57280
* RECOVER ENCRYPTED FILES
ElcomSoft released Advanced EFS Data Recovery, an application that recovers (by decrypting) files encrypted on NTFS partitions in Windows 2000. The software can decrypt files on a system that can't be booted, in cases where encryption keys have been violated, and when Syskey is used to protect the system. Advanced EFS Data Recovery supports Windows XP/2000/NT and requires administrator privileges. Pricing is $99. Contact ElcomSoft at [email protected] http://www.elcomsoft.com
* AUTOMATE PATCH MANAGEMENT
St. Bernard Software announced UpdateEXPERT 6.0, an automated software solution that manages, tests, and validates patches on networked workstations and servers. New features include an optional client agent that lets you manage locked down and isolated machines and simultaneously manage multiple machines that might or might not have agents installed. The software supports user-defined validation criteria inside the Custom Fixes feature; adds patch-file-version management to the intelligent version-checking capability; and fully supports Active Directory (AD), letting you use organizational units (OUs) to manage machines. Pricing is based on 1- to 3-year subscriptions and starts at $1400 for 1-year support of as many as 100 workstations. Contact St. Bernard Software at 800-782-3762, 858-676-2277, or [email protected] http://www.stbernard.com
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