November 2007 - Posts
Since I can remember myself I love customizing stuff. I love changing thins so
they reflect some individuality. Logon screen and desktops are obviously my
favorites when it comes to computers.
I never had the time to check how the logon screen in Vista can be changed but
by chance I bumped into this neat(free) tool(Logon Studio) from Stardock that
allows you to change the logon screen with your own pictures.
So the next question is where do you get those cool pictures from...well, I get them
from two websites that have very high quality(almost any resolution) pictures:
The websites are not free yet IMHO the price is worth it.
When the Vista sidebar was released, I was a bit skeptical. It reminded me of
the old Office toolbar(ok,but not a big hit-at least not with me). Lately I have started
to view it in a different light-you can actually have quite a useful gadget attached to it,you
can build a gadget that will provide directory information for your companies employee
or direct access to your IT staff.
In addition to that two new gadgets were published on the Outlook teams blog: appointments
and tasks. Take a look at the post.
Basically provides you with remote management tools for Windows 2008.
Also,check out the post on the Windows Server Division Blog.
This white paper introduces Group Policy preferences, a feature new in Microsoft Windows Server 2008,
and describes how you can use Group Policy preferences to better deploy and manage operating system
and application settings. Group Policy preferences enable information technology professionals to configure,
deploy, and manage operating system and application settings they previously were not able to manage using
Group Policy. Examples include mapped drives, scheduled tasks, and Start menu settings. For many types of
operating system and application settings, using Group Policy preferences is a better alternative to configuring
them in Windows images or using logon scripts.
Ok,so we all love them. It's nice to hang them in your office or cube...makes you look
like a pro. But where do you get them?
In the past I links to some,but I found a post that has them all...well more or less:
One issue that quite a few helpdesks and system administrators have to deal with is unlocking
files that are accessed and changed by several users. A neat tool, from Sysinternals (what a surprise...)
can be used to track down the "offending user". The tool is called handle.exe.
Once downloaded it will tell you who locks a specific file by using the syntax in the screenshot (I opened
a file using word-you get the username and the locking PID).
Discover the best practices and processes Microsoft IT uses to secure its network. Provides a brief
overview of the many aspects of network security; including some of the technologies used to protect
against viruses, unapproved access attempts and malicious attacks. Describes the threat analysis and
business reasons why certain practices and procedures were put into action.
There have been many complaints about file copying and transfer
issues with Vista. Based on information found in a post mad on the Windows Server
blog the lessons have been learned. According to the post, file transfer speed over the
network has been significantly improved (up to 45 times faster over Win2k3...).
The full post.
This support tool is intended for customers whose OneCare firewall
reports that it cannot install a required upgrade or cannot turn on the firewall.
For the tool click here.
Hopefully disputes such as the one that has happened in the world cup final between England
and Germany in 1966 will be prevented by the chip and sensors to be employed by FIFA:
Ok,so watching the game between Israel and Russia got me in the mood for this post...
I saw two stories emerge last week that made me ask the question in the title.
The first story appeared in several places: Cnet, TheMacObserver and was cited
by several bloggers (including Yanivf's blog) claiming that an unptached Windows XP (SP1),
connected to an unsecured wireless network could be hacked in 6 minutes.
The second story comes from fastcompany.com (a publication that I personally like)
demonstrating on how easy it is to hack an iPhone.
The first story used the following headlines:
Microsoft exec calls XP hack 'frightening'
Unpatched Windows XP with SP1 Hacked in 6 Minutes
The second story used the following headline:
Hacking the iPhone
The thing that got to me, is that both stories use unpatched systems. In case of the story
about Windows XP the system used had SP1 applied and it used an unsecured WIFI connection.
On the iPhone story, the vulnerability used (libtiff exploit) has been patched for some time now.
So what are we trying to say here: "If you leave you house open, it might get burglarized." or
perhaps "If you leave your car open, with the key in the ignition and in a bad neighborhood it
might get stolen." ?
Some may claim that these stories raise the awareness on the importance of patching
systems. I may agree, yet in our age and day most people are aware of security vulnerabilities
and in my humble opinion headlines such as "Microsoft exec calls XP hack 'frightening'" are
uncalled for(to say the least) and headlines such as "Unpatched Windows XP with SP1
Hacked in 6 Minutes" seem not smart (refraining from use of harsher words).
The headline used in the iPhone story is somewhat unbalanced too but a bit less dramatic. The
reader will be disappointed/glad once he discovers that the hack discussed is no longer relevant
yet he will be aware of the fact that the hack was possible.
So what am I trying to say here? Well, don't look for the drama, give us accurate headlines and treat
us with a little more respect we are able to identify stories that insult our intelligence.
If you need to put a snazzy Visio drawing a good stencil always helps.
Take a look at:
BARCELONA, Spain, Nov. 13, 2007 — Microsoft today announced key additions to the Network Access
Protection (NAP) ecosystem with new third-party products that extend NAP to Macintosh and Linux desktops,
as well as the first NAP-powered appliance. The new products will extend NAP, a policy enforcement platform
built into the Windows Vista operating system and the upcoming versions of Windows Server 2008 and
Windows XP SP 3, to non-Microsoft operating systems in heterogeneous network environments.
Microsoft also announced that NAP has hit a milestone of 150,000 pre-release adoptions worldwide.
Basically no news here, but still if you look closer there is:
Vista was certified for IPv6 Phase 1 logo, which basically certifies the product to be compliant
with the MUST statements in an RFC.
On October 25 (special date... :)), vista earned the Phase 2 logo which certifies it to support
MUST and SHOULD statements.
The certification is provided by the IPv6 Consortium and University of New Hampshire -
InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL).
The following links provide a list of approved applications(Phase 1 and 2 accordingly:
The table found at the link will provide you with the ability to compare the
different versions for Windows 2008 (not an in-depth comparison,but still something).
I am glad to say that it seems that the basic model of Standard,Enterprise and Datacenter
remains. It's easier to have a relatively low number of version to choose from (may limit flexibility
but is a lot clearer).
From the site:
"This is a new community for IT Pros and a sister site to Channels 8, 9, 10 and Mix Online.
We’re still in the process of taking this site live and won’t be open officially for business until
Monday morning. Since you found us though, don’t go away! Feel free to join the site, check
things as we stabilize. Watch out for wet paint!
While you're here, pop on over to the The Perimeter and introduce yourself.
Microsoft Deployment unifies the tools and processes required for desktop and server deployment
into a common deployment console and collection of guidance. The fourth generation deployment
accelerator adds integration with recently released Microsoft deployment technologies to create a single
path for image creation and automated installation. Microsoft Deployment’s tools and end-to-end
guidance reduce deployment time, standardize desktop and server images, limit service disruptions,
reduce post-deployment help desk costs, and improve security and ongoing configuration management.
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