Bink Newsflash 15

Hi, remember me? sorry it took so long, it has been a month since my last newsflash.

I've been very busy with work work work and a little social stuff, I'll keep you from the details.

Obviously a lot has happened in the last month, the whole world has changed.

I'll focus on the things that happened in nerdy world as you aspect from me. This flash is longer then normal and has a lot of cool downloads, so take your time... :-)

My server died on me 2 weeks ago, while I was adding memory to it. So now my workstation is my server and replaced XP with win2k server. After a night work my mail server and websites were up and running again.

I have bought new hardware (P4 1.7Ghz) but haven't had the time to move my server back to the new box. I was thinking when doing the swap, why don't run all my services on .NET server Beta, but I'm too depended of my servers now with 10.000 visitors a day so Beta is risky. On the other hand I want to play with it and I like risk so when Beta 3 is out I may turn to .NET server.
I run win2k on the server since Beta 2 but had no website back then.

Enough of me...

 

 

 Counting down.....

 

20 days to go and Windows XP is on the shelves in the computer stores!!

The launch will start in London attended by Steve Ballmer a few hours later XP will break loose in New York City by Mr.. Gates himself.

Wanna go to? In my country nothing is planned but maybe you are lucky.

http://www.windowsrsvp.com/overview.asp?uid=78506,37159.495589351849

In the US  you'll receive:

  • A $50 rebate coupon for Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition
  • A $50 rebate coupon for Microsoft Office XP Standard, Professional, Professional SE, or Developer Edition

Pricing at Amazon (US) XP will be more expensive in the UK then US!

Wininformant told last week that Windows Update would have a lot new gadgets in store for XP. Unfortunately the Java Virtual Machine is the only update available. Considering the source I would keep an eye on Windows Update

 

New Beta XP Power toys!

There were 2 releases of powertoys for XP this week, still beta and still not complete.

Some cool new tools are included, some are in the readme but not yet available

Read more on the tools here: http://www.windowsxp.nu/powertoyreadme.htm

Get them here (thanks to IexBeta.com)

 

XP forum: 12,722 members!!

subscriobe too to duscuss Windows XP get tools and wallpapers.

http://forum.windowsxp.nu

 

 

Reader Home

 

Read e-books? Get MS Reader 2.0!

I read my last book in high school :-) I did get MS Reader 1.0 because it had cleartype included. This special font rendering feature gives you a more "clear" view of fonts on TFT and LCD screens. Now this is natively included in Windows XP. Anyway get this and have a try, you can get an Encarta Dictionary for free! Get them here

 

 

 Microsoft finally released my dream mouse.

         It is ergonomic

         It has a scroll wheel

         No mouse ball, but Intelliy Eye

This is not new but now it is

Wireless!!!

I thought it would come with a cradle where you put it in after your computer session to recharge. The batteries won't last a day with the IntelliEye light. But it seems batteries will last 6 months!!
Here is why:

Breakthrough power saving technology conserves battery life. Intelligent Touch engages the optical technology when you touch the mouse and puts the mouse into "sleep" mode when you remove your hand. Intelligent Illumination allows the mouse to illuminate brightly on a dark surface and dimly on a light surface. Intelligent Surface Detection senses when you lift the mouse off the surface below and responds by placing it into "sleep" mode.

While we're talking about it, MS released new software tools for the mice. Intellipoint 4.01. This software is for all MS mice and add extra features to it. Now it is compatible with WindowsXP !! Get it  here.

Keyboard Home
The same goes for the MS Keyboards, new software is out with support for the new OfficeXP keyboard and is compatible with Windows XP.

Get it  here

 New build released to testers

 

While XP is finished and being pressed on CD's, its bigger brother .Net Server is still in Beta stage. September 20th MS released build 3451 of .NET server to its testers. Unlike the XP builds this one didn't leak and spread as fast as XP builds. This is of course less people are interested in the Server version but I think the uniquely identifying of the ISO files downloaded by the testers also a reason.

This is a pre-beta 3 release and I have had no time yet to play with it. Maybe I'll wait when Beta 3 is released in November.

 

New names for server editions:

.NET standard server

.NET Enterprise server

 


I will start a new email based forum for only .NET Server. I'll let you know when it is up!

 

URL Scanner for IIS/ New Security Toolkit

IIS has been under attack cause of its flaws. Gartner recently  stated it is better to get rid of all your IIS servers and replace them by apache. That don't work for me cause I only know MS software, so I keep patching :-). Sunbelt tells in its newsletter: "over the same time frame of about a month, 16 holes were found in IIS and 13 in Apache." Hmmmm.....

MS did release another tool to secure your IIS4 /IIS5 servers: The URL scanner, this tool looks at the url requests, detects unusual ones then denies it. before you install this, RTFM first, because my Outlook Web Access did not work after implementing it.

 

Get and Stay Secure: Microsoft Unveils Major Security Program

In my last issue I told you about other IIS  /win2k security tools. Now MS has put them together in one security toolkit. You can order the CD or if you are a TechNet subscriber you will receive it. You can also get the tools via download.

 Order the CD or get the tools online here

 

 

 

Check your system for known holes  at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/mpsa/start.asp

Network Config tool at the command prompt!

 

A cool tool to backup restore network configuration, ideal for network administrators and mobile users.

I haven't played with it much and it is too much to explain here so jump to this URL:

http://support.microsoft.com/directory/article.asp?ID=KB;EN-US;Q242468

 

 

Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) JDBC driver for SQL Server 2000

Java for SQL 2000: JDBC beta

 

The SQL Server 2000 JDBC Driver is a best-in-class Type 4 JDBC driver that provides highly scalable and reliable connectivity for the enterprise Java environment. The SQL Server 2000 JDBC Driver provides JDBC access through any Java-enabled applet, application, or application server. It delivers high-performance point-to-point and n-tier access to SQL Server 2000 across the Internet and intranets. The driver is optimized for the Java environment, allowing you to incorporate Java technology and extend the functionality and performance of your existing system

 More Info

 

 

NT4  Beginning of the End

Source Wininformant

Over five years after its initial release, Windows NT 4.0 edged into retirement on October 1st, when Microsoft discontinued the sale of the product through its volume licensing programs, though support for the product is still available. The announcement comes almost simultaneously with news that shipments of Windows 2000 Server are far outpacing demand for NT 4 Server, according to Microsoft.

"Customers are moving to Windows 2000 in record numbers, and anyone that's made the move to Windows 2000 has no interest in going back to NT for any reason," Peter Conway, Senior Director in the Windows .NET Server Solutions Group told me Tuesday. "The shift to Windows 2000 has happened more quickly than we expected. Customers are making the migration very quickly, and they want Windows 2000, not NT 4. We're very excited about the foundation in the base 2000 platform."

As part of its NT 4 scale back, Microsoft has also removed all upgrade versions of NT 4.0 from retail locations, though full versions will still be available for the foreseeable future. And NT 4 isn't the only Microsoft product getting a pink slip: As of December 31, Windows 95, Windows NT 3.5, and all versions of MS-DOS and Windows 3.x will be retired, and Microsoft will offer no further support for these products. For more information about Microsoft product life cycles, please visit the Microsoft Web site.

Twin Towers removed from Flight Sim 2002

source Wininformant

 

Microsoft Flight Simulator in Terrorist Controversy
 
Within days of last week's te
rrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., Microsoft was at the center of a controversy because of reports that the terrorists used its popular Flight Simulator game to help plan the attacks. Recent versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator include realistic city landmarks, including the World Trade Center in New York, and sensationalistic news reports have included footage of the software simulating the pilot's view of one of last week's doomed flights. However, Microsoft says that the software could only help hone the skills of an already trained pilot and couldn't be used as the sole instruction for such an act. But the company will remove the World Trade Center from future versions of Flight Simulator in deference to the victims of the recent attack.

  
"We did decide, after some careful consideration, that we want to do the appropriate thing, the right thing, so we decided to remove the towers [from the next version of Flight Simulator]," Microsoft spokesperson Matt Pilla said this weekend. "Obviously, everyone's hearts are in this here, too. We don't want to have any imagery in [the game] that would upset anyone." Flight Simulator 2002 is scheduled to go on sale October 18, and Pilla says that the change won't affect that release date. The company is also considering a patch that would remove the landmark from previous Flight Simulator versions.

 

Prior to the company's decision, various software sellers around the world had already removed the current version of Flight Simulator from store shelves. In London, Virgin Megastores reports that it removed the software "as a mark of respect" for victims of the US terrorist attacks.

 

Windows Installer 2.0

Source: Activewin

Microsoft has released a new version of Windows Installer for users of non-XP systems... Please note that Windows XP already ships with the latest Windows Installer binaries and therefore doesn't need to be updated!

Windows Installer 2.0 for Windows 95, 98 and ME 
Windows Installer 2.0 for Windows NT 4.0 and 2000

Office XP updates

Just like Windows Update you can automatically update your MS office with the latest patches.

First updates for Office XP are online

Update Your Software

 

 

 

MSN Explorer 7.0 Beta build 2117

 

 

It leaked then went public but now the download link is dead.

 

 

Direct X 9.0 testers needed

DirectX 8.1 RC2 released to testers

source: Iexbeta.com, Neowin.net

 

Microsoft is currently looking for hard-core gamers, who want to participate in the upcoming DirectX 9 Beta Program... If you are a interested in testing the next major version of DirectX, go to BetaPlace and use the following account to access the site:

User-ID: DX9Beta
Password: DX9Gaming
 

Direct X 8.1 Release Candidate 2 Build (0710)

For the RC2 release, we have provided you with the DirectX 8.1 Runtime and SDK downloads. Your assistance in quickly evaluating the quality of this RC is appreciated! We ask that you install the Release Candidate as soon as possible and provide us with your immediate feedback. Bug reports must be received by October 12th to have any chance of affecting the final release.

The only change between RC1 and RC2 is one fix in D3D8.dll relating to alpha in texture palettes. If you have not encountered this issues, you do not need to download RC2.

Go to Microsoft Beta Place Password Required. Usually this leaks fast so keep an eye on www.Neowin.net.

 

 

My sites

I put back my sites on my server so the UGLY URL problem is gone.

I updated my bootCD page with info in unattended installs and To Boot or Not To Boot in NT4 section.

My XP page conatins new downloads.

Start here http://www.bink.nu

 

 

 

Ok that's it,

 

I hope the next issue won't take so long,

 

 

Steven Bink

 

Amsterdam