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Favorite Scripting Editors
I read Michael Otey's "Just Say No to Notepad" (September 2004, InstantDoc ID 43573) but didn't find my favorite editor, JGsoft's EditPad Pro (http://www.editpadpro.com). EditPad Pro has all of the general-editing features listed in the article's feature comparison table and many of the scripting-specific features. Hardcore scripters might prefer something more robust, but EditPad Pro is a fine editor for the occasional scripter or for someone who scripts in a less common language.
Check out IDM Computer Solutions' UltraEdit (http://www.ultraedit.com). The product is probably the best text editor on the planet.
Xarka Software's (http://www.xarka.com) excellent Perl editor, OptiPerl, is also worth mentioning. The Pro version is a full IDE for Perl scripting, complete with step-by-step debugging, variable watchers, and IntelliSense. If you manage Windows and UNIX systems, a tool like OptiPerl is a must.
Thumbs Down on SharePoint
While waiting for some software to load, I read Karen Forster's Hey Microsoft!: "Collaborate with Us" (September 2004, InstantDoc ID 43567). My company had hoped to use Microsoft SharePoint as an inexpensive document management tool, but SharePoint is extremely cumbersome to use and maintain. And no one cares about the collaborative services part—our email and file shares do an adequate job.
The scariest feature is the document storage. All of the documents imported into SharePoint are saved in the database. If you want to restore a single document, you have to restore the entire database. We'll probably only ever use this product for storing static archive documents; the rest is too much trouble. Our boss wants to use the portal feature as a replacement for our homegrown intranet, but frankly, it isn't very easy to use or customize. Your article will help us drive that point home.
Extending Group Policy
"Extending Group Policy" (August 2004, InstantDoc ID 43203) is just what I needed to finally start using custom Administrative Templates. The article mentions that you need to disable the "Only show policy settings that can be fully managed"filter.
I'm having trouble seeing the Administrative Template settings in my policy. When I use the GPMC to highlight my Group Policy, then click the Settings tab to see a Group Policy Results report of what the Group Policy does, the report shows all the other configured settings but not the settings configured by my custom Administrative Template. Is there an equivalent to the "Only show ... fully managed" flag in the GPMC so that I can view my settings?
A fully managed policy setting is one that is a true policy—it's a registry value that lives in either HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies or HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies. Anything outside those paths are "preferences"—they remain in the registry after you remove the GPO that implemented them, they aren't secure, and they overwrite user preferences, all of which are bad.
By default, the GPMC doesn't display preferences, but you can display them by clearing the "Only show ... fully managed" flag. On the assumption that you've added your custom .adm to the GPO (right-click Administrative Templates to add the .adm file), my guess is that your policy settings are preferences, rather than true policies. If you write to the aforementioned paths, the policy settings will show up in GPEdit without your having to clear the "Only show ... fully managed" flag.
The GPMC (through Group Policy Results) shows only settings that are explicitly configured. So, if you configure (i.e., Enable or Disable) a policy setting, you should see it in Group Policy Results. If the GPMC cannot find the .adm file when it builds the Group Policy Results report, it will show the configured policy setting under Extra Registry Settings.
Versatile Remote Management
I've been following Mark Russinovich's articles for years. Most recently, I read Windows Power Tools: "PsExec" (July 2004, InstantDoc ID 42919). PsExec, which lets you execute processes on a remote system and redirect output to the local system, and the other PsTools are great—just what I need. Because you can find so much information on the Web, I thought about canceling my magazine subscription, but I'll continue it for articles such as this one!