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November 21, 2002—In this issue:
- Automatic Updates — Not Just for Windows XP
2. READER CHALLENGE
- October 2002 Reader Challenge Winners
3. NEWS & VIEWS
- Intel Launches 3.06GHz Pentium 4 Processor
- The Microsoft Mobility Tour Is Coming Soon to a City Near You!
- Sample Our Security Administrator Newsletter!
- Tip: Disabling Most Recently Used Lists
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Prepare Applications for Deployment
- Access Files Remotely Without a VPN
7. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(David Chernicoff, News Editor, [email protected])
As we were grabbing a quick lunch last week, a friend who provides client support at a Fortune 1000 company remarked to me that the best thing about using Windows XP is that the Automatic Updates feature lets him relax in the knowledge that the latest security patches are being propagated to remote and mobile users who aren't under his direct control. I'm a big XP fan, especially for notebooks, but I pointed out to my friend that if the only reason he was upgrading stable Windows 2000 notebook users was to give them XP's automatic updating, then he was upgrading unnecessarily. All he really has to do is add that feature to Win2K. Automatic Updates for Win2K has been available since July and was released along with Software Update Services (SUS).
The Automatic Updates feature is also part of the Win2K Service Pack 3 (SP3) update released in August. You can acquire SP3 here. If you don't want to update to SP3, you can download the Automatic Updates feature separately from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
After you've installed either SP3 or the standalone Automatic Updates feature, I recommend that you configure the feature immediately. Theoretically, after being installed, Automatic Updates defaults to an off state and prompts the user 24 hours after installation to configure the tool, but some users have reported that the tool has defaulted to an on state and begun downloading updates without user intervention.
You can configure the feature from the Control Panel Automatic Updates applet that the download adds to your system. You need to be logged on with Administrator privileges to configure the Automatic Updates settings. You can also use Group Policy to configure Automatic Updates or edit the registry. You can find details about using Group Policy or editing the registry to configure Automatic Updates in the Microsoft article "How to Configure Automatic Updates by Using Group Policy or Registry Settings," http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=328010.
You aren't required to use SUS with Automatic Updates; the tool works on a standalone Win2K computer in the same way it works by default in XP. However, if you're already using SUS with Win2K and want to install Automatic Updates on individual Win2K computers, you'll need to download the installer package for the Win2K SUS client, which you install on the client.
If you don't give your local administrators privileges to the computers under their control, you need to configure Automatic Updates so that it won't significantly impede administrators' typical workflow. Make sure to thoroughly test your Automatic Updates configuration before you deploy the feature. You don't need to worry about traveling users not being connected to the Internet for long enough periods of time to download the updates; the feature is smart enough to know when a user is connected and will pause the download when the connection is lost and resume downloading the next time the user connects to the Internet. Keep in mind that if you apply Group Policies to Automatic Updates that affect the group that includes your remote and mobile users, then Automatic Updates will apply those policies to your traveling users' computers when they next connect to the corporate network.
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2. READER CHALLENGE
(contributed by Kathy Ivens, [email protected])
Congratulations to our October Reader Challenge winners. Tammy Carlyle of Goddard, Kansas, wins first prize, a copy of "Admin911: Windows 2000 Registry." Second prize, a copy of "Windows 2000: The Complete Reference" goes to Chris Wong of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Visit http://www.winnetmag.com/articles/print.cfm?articleid=26994 to read the answers to the October challenge. Editor's Note: Look for the next Reader Challenge problem in the December 5 issue of Windows Client UPDATE.
3. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
On November 14, microprocessor giant Intel rolled out its 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processor, further widening the performance gap between the company and its rivals. But Intel's latest chip isn't using only raw megahertz to beat back AMD, Motorola, and IBM. Rather, Intel has infused the new processor with its Hyper-Threading Technology, which further boosts performance by letting the chips perform a greater number of simultaneous instructions concurrently. The effect, Intel says, is similar to that of a dual-processor setup.
"Just as people multitask to get more done, we expect our PCs to do the same," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Desktop Platforms Group. "Hyper-Threading Technology is a breakthrough computing innovation that helps consumers and businesspeople accomplish more in less time." Hyper-Threading Technology lets the Pentium 4 work on two different applications at the same time or, in properly written applications, two different parts of the same application at the same time. This capability will increase performance for users who want to multitask heavily: For example, users can burn a music CD in the background while playing a computer game. The technology is also useful for applications that are typically resource-intensive, such as video editing.
Hyper-Threading Technology won't double a system's processing performance, Intel says, but does provide measurable advantages. The company notes that multimedia tasks such as DVD and CD burning, background tasks such as Microsoft Outlook folder compression or virus scans, and other typical PC activities occur 20 to 35 percent faster on a Hyper-Threading Technology system, as compared to an otherwise identical system without the technology. Modern OSs such as Windows XP Home Edition and XP Professional already support Hyper-Threading Technology. Major PC makers such as Dell, Gateway, and Hewlett-Packard (HP) have already released new computers based on the 3.06GHz Pentium 4.
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(contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected]) The Most Recently Used (MRU) list is a useful feature in many Windows dialog boxes. The MRU list is the dropdown list that appears when you begin to fill in an entry in a common dialog box. The list consists of the most recent entries to the dialog box; if the list contains the entry you want, you can select it, rather than continue typing, to complete the entry. However, situations exist in which disabling the MRU list is a good idea. For example, I recently received an email message from an IT administrator who uses a pool of loaner notebooks that he hands out to traveling users as necessary. Because many different users handle these notebooks, the MRU lists present security and privacy problems. The admin knew that he could use Group Policies to turn off the MRU list feature on the notebooks, but he was concerned about the machines that users rarely attach to the corporate network. Fortunately, you can disable the MRU list feature in the registry. To do so, take the following steps:
- Launch regedit.
- Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Comdlg32.
- Create a subkey and name it NoFileMru, of type REG_DWORD.
- Set the DWORD value to 1.
- Exit the editor.
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected])
Wise Solutions released Wise Package Studio, software that helps you prepare applications for the deployment process. The product includes new features such as a Web-based application gateway that tracks applications from request to distribution; universal importing of any installation, regardless of current format, without requiring that you repackage the installation; and virtual capture, which lets you perform multiple application captures on a nontest machine without reimaging between captures. For pricing, contact Wise Solutions at 734-456-2100, 800-554-8565 (orders only), or [email protected].
ITWorx announced FileWay, a Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) add-on that lets you access documents on file servers and personal PCs securely through a Web browser. FileWay leverages existing OWA security without requiring client software on the source or destination PCs. FileWay supports Windows 2000, Microsoft SQL Server 2000, IIS, Internet Explorer (IE), Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 5.5. For pricing, contact ITWorx at 781-272-6222 or [email protected].
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