New! MS Access 2.0

Posted by bink on September 10 2003, 3:32 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

I was checking MS download center to look for the latest downloads and guess what the latest was? MS Access 2.0 service pack!

What the heck? To my knowledge the 16 bit MS Access 2.0 isn't y2k proof and not supported by Microsoft. Examining the file shows an executable from May 1995, but there is an EULA file added in july 2003.

Weird.

Maybe MS is looking in all corners for downloads that aren't in the download center database yet. Let's hope some good old DOS utils will be posted soon!

Download Access 2.0 service pack :-)

Office 2003 Resource Kit tools

Posted by bink on September 10 2003, 3:03 AM. Posted in Office.

Office 2003 Editions Resource Kit Tools, including Custom Installation Wizard, Custom Maintenance Wizard, Customizable Alerts, HTML Help Workshop, International Information, Office Converter Pack, Office Information, Office Profile Wizard, Outlook Administrator Pack, Package Definition Files, Policy Template Files, CMW File Viewer, MST File Viewer, OPS File Viewer.

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Micrsoft Shadow Copy Client

Posted by bink on September 10 2003, 2:59 AM. Posted in Windows (general).

Shadow Copy Restore is a component of the intelligent file storage technologies in Microsoft Windows Server 2003. It enables you to prevent data loss by creating and storing shadow copies of files and folders on your network at predetermined time intervals.Before a client computer can access shadow copies, you must install the Shadow Copy Client. The operating systems that require the Shadow Copy Client include:
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000 (SP3 and higher)

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Longhorn Developer Preview

Posted by bink on September 9 2003, 10:38 PM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

Microsoft says it will finally give developers a peek at the next version of its omnipresent Windows operating system, code-named "Longhorn," in October at its professional developer's conference in Los Angeles. However, conference attendees should not expect to get their hands on a full beta version at that show, as the folks in Redmond are promising only a "developers preview."

Still, Microsoft execs insist that they will come through with more than just slideware. In fact, the company is expected to distribute hunks of Longhorn's source code and to provide attendees with a real taste of the look and feel of the new OS. They also plan to hand out SDKs and tools that support Longhorn's new "managed APIs."

The new Longhorn client is expected to include a radically overhauled file system, a controversial new security architecture called the Next Generation Secure Computing Base, as well as extensive interface changes. Microsoft is billing the much-anticipated Longhorn OS, the next major Windows client release and the successor to Windows XP, as a key part of a major "technology wave" that will include a range of products scheduled for near-simultaneous release in 2005.

Along with the new OS, expect to see Windows Server Longhorn, Microsoft Office Longhorn, Microsoft Visual Studio Longhorn and a slew of other products built to run on the underpinnings of these new platforms.

Many industry skeptics contend Microsoft will not make its planned 2005 launch. Jupiter Research analyst Joe Wilcox believes that it is more likely that the OS release will not be generally available until 2006. In his recently published report, "Longhorn: Implications of Next Windows' Ship Date," he writes: "Given that Microsoft is delivering not just one but many Longhorn products, we don't expect this next version of Windows to be generally available until 2006. Microsoft will also want to give software developers and end-users time to prepare for the new file system." At the top of Wilcox's reasons for the delay: Longhorn's revamped file system, which will rely on a new file storage structure, called Windows Future Storage (WinFS). The new file system was derived from servers to manage data on desktops via a relational database, and will supersede FAT and NTFS, which are currently used by Microsoft's operating systems.

Would such a delay matter much? XP adoption is still far from complete, Wilcox points out, with older editions of Windows in businesses currently outnumbering XP nearly 3-to-1 by some estimates. "Businesses are just on the edge of adoption for XP," Wilcox said.

Interest in the new OS is intense. Purportedly leaked alpha builds of Longhorn began appearing on the Internet this year. And several purported screenshots of the Longhorn interface, code-named "Aero," appeared to be leaked to the public last May.

Microsoft, which has kept the UI strictly under wraps, moved quickly to "debunk" these leaks. The images reportedly came from a presentation by Steve Ball, program manager for Microsoft's Windows Audio Video Devices Group, at the WinHEC 2003 event. However, Microsoft said that the screenshots were likely early concepts and not Aero itself.

Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2 Review

Posted by bink on September 9 2003, 10:31 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

The new Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer in Black Leather ($65) isn't really covered in leather -- just black plastic with a faux leather finish or faintly etched texture. It looks very handsome, but doesn't feel particularly softer or sexier than its plainer siblings. And you can save $10 by buying the Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer in platinum, metallic blue, or metallic gray.

The main attraction of Microsoft's newest (dubbed "version 2.0") Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer and Wireless Optical Mouse ($45), however, isn't how they look. It's how they scroll -- horizontally as well as vertically, thanks to what Microsoft calls Tilt Wheel Technology: a scroll wheel that rocks from side to side as well as rolling forward and backward. To move left or right through a vast expanse of spreadsheet columns or sideways through an extra-wide Web page or other document, you can push the wheel to the side without having to move the mouse itself.

The company's IntelliPoint 5.0 driver offers separately adjustable vertical and horizontal scrolling speeds, defaulting to the slowest possible setting for both. That feels normal speedwise for scrolling up and down -- though we found it took some getting used to the new scroll wheel's smooth or continuous motion, without the detents or steps we're used to from other mice (e.g., two steps to scroll the Outlook calendar up an hour or one nudge to scroll a Word document down three lines).

By contrast, while the tilt wheel itself moves smoothly, horizontal scrolling is more herky-jerky or choppy unless you specify the fastest available rate. And the scroll wheel only moves along two axes -- your instinct at first touch is to see if you can also move diagonally, as if the wheel were an IBM ThinkPad pointing stick, but no go.

Still, after a bit of practice, the horizontal flow becomes intuitive and extremely convenient when navigating wide spreadsheets or artistically panoramic Web pages or zoomed-for-editing images. (With the more versatile scrolling, Microsoft even felt free to change the default "middle button" or click-the-wheel function from auto-scroll to an Alt-Tab-style switch between active applications.) But you won't use it often, if ever, for most Web browsing, word processing, e-mail, or other applications, unless you're restricted to a narrow window or low display resolution.

If only serious Excel addicts will really appreciate the tilt wheel (also found on the left edge of the keyboard of Microsoft's new $105 Wireless Optical Desktop Elite keyboard-and-mouse bundle), there are other reasons to enjoy the new Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer and Wireless Optical Mouse. One is their refined 27MHz radio-frequency technology, which not only uses 65,000 random security codes to avoid interference with other cordless devices but boasts Microsoft's most battery-efficient design yet. In fact, though we've hardly had our test unit long enough to confirm, the company claims that once you put a pair of AA alkalines (included) into each mouse, you won't need to replace them for five to six months.

continue

Microsoft responds to not working IE patch

Posted by bink on September 9 2003, 7:44 PM. Posted in Internet Explorer.

Microsoft's response to broken Cumulative Patch MS03-032On Monday 08 Sept 2003 Neowin reported that Security expert http-equiv on Full-Disclosure had managed to exploit the flaw that the MS02-032 patch was supposed to fix.A Microsoft Spokesperson responded to the concerns raised by Neowin and other sites today in this statement she issued to Neowin. "Microsoft is investigating public reports that one of the vulnerabilities that was fixed in the original update appears affected. It appears there is a new variation of the vulnerability that has caused the scare".She continued "There are no reports of user being affected by this problem, but Microsoft are committed to keeping customers data safe and are aggressively investigating these reports".She also gave advice for customers and what they should do in response to this issue. "Microsoft continues to advise customers to keep there windows systems up to date using icrosoft Windows Update website, specifically the customers should still install the Internet Explorer cumulative update ms-03-032 to help protect the original vulnerability, as well as the otherissues addressed by that security update".

Exchange 2003 review

Posted by bink on September 9 2003, 6:29 PM. Posted in Exchange.

The newest upgrade to Exchange 2003, based on our testing of the Release to Manufacturing version, is a welcome one, offering performance, security and anti-spam features that many users have longed for. The new Exchange Server 2003 includes an impressive list of features and enhancements and while this version might not boast enough new features to lure non-Exchange users to switch, the veteran Exchange shop will truly enjoy the enhancements.

Exchange requires Microsoft Windows Server 2000 Service Pack 3 or Windows Server 2003 software. Win Server 2003 provides some additional functionality to Exchange, such as support for an eight-node cluster. Also, the Volume Shadow Copy services, new in Win Server 2003, can provide database replication for the Exchange message stores. This copy of the database can be used for immediate failover, or can greatly widen your back-up window (if your back-up software also supports Shadow Copy).

Win Server 2003 is different than previous versions, with most of the services disabled by default. To ensure a successful Exchange 2003 installation, new deployment tools are included to help users configure Windows Server and Active Directory correctly, and then deploy Exchange 2003. The tools function like checklists to ensure that you've followed the necessary steps. For example, the deployment tools not only explain to first configure Active Directory, but also show how to check the configuration. It will not let you proceed until you've checked off each task in the list. Installing or upgrading, all at once or in pieces, the deployment manager can explain how to proceed.

A welcomed new feature in Exchange 2003 is the ability to combat unwanted e-mail and spam (Microsoft calls it 'junk e-mail.'). Exchange now has some additional filtering available at the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol gateway, the entry point where the outside world delivers e-mail to you. Messages can be blocked based on the user or domain where the mail claims to be from, or based on who the message is intended for. Delivery connection attempts can be denied based on the origination address. Several anti-spam features are also included on the new Outlook client.

Another tool that many will appreciate is the Mailbox Recovery Center. In the past, if the Active Directory account became disassociated from the user's mailbox (through corruption, deletion and the like), the only solution was to create a new, empty mailbox for that user. The Mailbox Recovery Center now gives administrators the ability to discover "orphaned" mailboxes and re-link them with Active Directory accounts. It also will warn of conflicts, for example if one mailbox is assigned to two users.

Distribution lists also received some attention in this release. First, the caching process was redesigned so membership and other queries against a distribution list are completed much faster. We didn't benchmark against an older Exchange system, but Microsoft says that on average, 60% fewer Active Directory queries are made in Exchange 2003. Instead of making a new query to Active Directory, the results are more frequently available in cache. Second, a new type of distribution list was created, the Query-Based Distribution Group. A query can be used to select users or other groups based on many of the fields in the Active Directory. For example, you now can find everyone in sales or everyone with the title of "manager." This query is executed each time it is invoked, so it is always current.

Another performance enhancement is better virtual memory usage. Exchange now makes variable memory requests, based on the size of the system, instead of using "hard coded" values. Older versions would allocate many small blocks of memory to perform a task. Exchange 2003 now optimizes these requests into fewer, larger requests in order to not waste portions of memory. If Exchange discovers that it is not configured optimally, it sends a note to the Event Viewer to provide an idea of what changes to make.

Continue the review

Windows Group Policy Common Scenarios Using GPMC

Posted by bink on September 9 2003, 6:28 PM. Posted in Group Policies.

Group Policy is a rich technology allowing the management of users and machines throughout an organization. This package includes a series of Group Policy Objects (GPOs) illustrating a number of common desktop scenarios. These include Lightly Managed, Mobile and Kiosk scenarios plus others.By importing these GPO's into your environment - using the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) - you can understand how Group Policy can be leveraged for a range of management needs. This installation package includes the GPO's, a whitepaper describing the concepts illustrated by the scenarios and both a spreadsheet and Group Policy Reports referencing the policy settings within the GPO's

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Windows XP SP1 USB 1.1 and 2.0 Update

Posted by bink on September 9 2003, 6:09 PM. Posted in Windows XP.

This update addresses the "Availability of the Windows XP SP1 USB 1.1 and 2.0 Update" issue in Windows XP and is discussed in Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) Article 822603. Download now to install the Windows XP SP1 USB 1.1 and 2.0 update. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. Power Management

  • You may not be able to use your USB mouse (or wake your computer with the USB mouse) after you suspend or hibernate your computer while you are continuously moving the USB mouse. When this problem occurs, you can still wake your computer with the power button without any loss of functionality. Generally, it is best practice not to move your USB mouse until your computer has completed the suspend or hibernate operation even after you apply this update.
  • Your computer automatically restarts instead of resuming from hibernation, or you receive a serious error (STOP 0x000000A in Usbport.sys).
  • Your USB 2.0 controller does not enter the selective suspend mode. Because of this behavior, your processor cannot enter a C3 (Clock-Stopped) power state after you disconnect a device from the USB 2.0 hub that is connected to a USB EHCI controller. 
  • Your USB device does not work after you resume from an S1 or S3 power state. When this behavior occurs, your computer may stop responding (hang) when it restarts.

Plug and Play

  • Your computer may automatically restart, or you may receive a serious error (STOP 0x0000007E in Usbhub.sys) when you use the Safely Remove Hardware utility, and then immediately remove a USB storage device that is connected directly to your computer.

Hi-Speed Isochronous Devices

  • Your Hi-Speed USB isochronous device uses over 80 percent of the processor (CPU).
  • When you stream video through a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 isochronous camera, other USB devices may stop functioning or perform poorly. For example, USB speakers may stop streaming audio, or a mouse on the same hub may become choppy. If the camera streaming is stopped, your speakers may start streaming again. Otherwise, the audio may have to be restarted after the camera has stopped streaming. This behavior only occurs when all the devices are attached to the same USB 2.0 hub.
  • A microphone built in to your Hi-Speed USB 2.0 isochronous camera may not work. Contact your hardware vendor for additional details about this behavior.

Download: Update for Windows XP (KB822603)View: Knowledge Base Article

New Office site live

Posted by bink on September 9 2003, 6:04 PM. Posted in Office.

Microsoft has revamped the online resource site for its Office software line, bringing together help resources, software add-ons and other content.

The new Office Online site, launched Monday, is tied to the release next month of Office System, a wide-ranging revamp of the company's productivity software.

Many of the changes in the new Office focus on using Extensible Markup Language (XML) to integrate Office with corporate databases and Web services. The Office Online site reflects the Web services push by offering help resources that can be viewed directly within Office 2003 applications, meaning that people don't have to launch a Web browser to see them.

"A new benefit is the ability to access the most up-to-date content directly through task panes in the Office system programs, so they won't have to leave the document, spreadsheet or PowerPoint deck they are working in to get the information they need," Chris Linnett, group manager for Office Online, said in a statement.

The Office Online site offers downloadable templates and clip art for Office documents, program updates and multimedia training programs. It also features the Office Marketplace, a collection of links to third-party sellers of Office-related software and services. (XML-based functionality in Office System applications has been a springboard for Microsoft to forge new relations with partners, especially Web services specialists.)

Office 2003 is set to go on sale at retail outlets on Oct. 21, but PC makers should begin offering models with the software preinstalled by late this month. Microsoft is focusing on enterprise-related additions, such as XML tools and new digital rights management capabilities, to woo businesses that passed on the last few rounds of Office upgrades.

Microsoft's Knowledge Worker business unit, which produces Office, is among the company's most profitable divisions. The unit will generate roughly a third of Microsoft's product revenue in fiscal year 2004, according to analyst estimates.

Also check:

One of the best features of the new Microsoft® Office System doesn't come in the box. It’s on the Web. Microsoft Office Online is the Web resource for tools and assistance for Office 2003. In this preview demonstration brought to you by Microsoft Insider, we'll show you how you can use Office Online for assistance, step-by-step training, great time-saving templates, clip art, product updates, and more. Download: Office Online Preview Demo

Windows Media Codec 9 up for standard

Posted by bink on September 9 2003, 5:36 PM. Posted in Windows Media.

Microsoft said on Monday that it will open the specifications for its video compression technology, which would allow other companies to make products based on its technology.

The world's largest software maker, which launched its latest video and audio standard, Windows Media 9 series, in January, said it submitted the standard to the society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers on Monday for review.

Acceptance by the international standards body would allow Microsoft's Windows Media 9 to be more easily adopted by other companies since the specifications would be open for all to see.

"We really wanted to think of a way for companies to use Windows Media 9 without ever having to contact Microsoft," said Jonathan Usher, Director of Microsoft's Windows digital media division.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft competes with RealNetworks Inc. (RNWK) and Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL) QuickTime format in the market for video compression and streaming software.

With open standards, other software companies could create applications that use Microsoft's video-encoding technology, although they would have to pay a license fee, which Usher said would be "low-cost and straightforward."

Hardware makers could create digital video cameras that use the technology, for example, he said.

The SMPTE will consider the standard when they meet next week, kicking off a process that could last 6-12 months, Usher said.

"I am optimistic (the standard will be accepted), I think this is technology that has been proven in the industry," Usher said