Monthly Archives: January 2008

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Less patches?

On Dr. Jesper Johansson’s blog he lays out the evidence for the fact that Vista has had less security patches than XP during the same time frame.  The operative word there is “security patches”.  As for the rank and file, the reality is that it ‘feels’ that Vista has been patched way more often than XP during the time frame (and I haven’t honestly counted for sure) because of all the performance and application patches.


One author in PC Magazine has the same feeling…


http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,2254104,00.asp


‘Scarcely stopping for a breath and not noticing that I had long ago left behind conversation for a full-fledged speech, I added, “The UAC [User Account Control] is a prime example. Microsoft Vista is inherently more secure than its predecessors, and, in fact, I cannot recall a recent successful attack—but on the other hand, I get more Windows Updates than I’m really comfortable with.” ….’


He then goes on to make a statement that showcases that Microsoft hasn’t communicated well the UAC experence at all.


“As I was saying, the UAC. For everything I do, and I mean everything–whether I’m installing an app, a game, or a Microsoft product–the UAC is always jumping in to warn me. It appears with such jarring regularity, and I do mean jarring—what’s with that crazy screen shift, Bob?—that I no longer read it. I simply say ‘OK’ to everything. Is this what Microsoft intended? I ratchet it down in the OS, but then, am I disabling a key portion of Vista’s security features? No feature should be so in-your-face that it becomes faceless.”


Lance, you are SUPPOSED to get it when you install software… all the things you say you are doing … your “I mean everything”… the installing an app, a game or a Microsoft product… “installing” is an administrative function.  You are supposed to get prompted.  And how many times do you install stuff?  When I roll out Vista for the very first time, I see it a lot the first couple of days, and then after that… nada.  Like on this Vista here at the office I have not seen it once all day long.  Line of Business apps, the whole shebang, not a single time have I seen it today.  None.


Then Lance loses me completely…


• “Do an Apple and start with new code. Forget about supporting every piece of hardware and software ever written. For people with major compatibility issues, keep Vista Premium around. You’ll be surprised at how many people simply want to move forward.


When you have 90% of the marketplace to Apple’s 4% … you can’t dump the entire partner eco-structure and ‘do over’.  Like the guy on Todd’s MS blog  – http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/130605.asp who is having issues with printers, I don’t buy the argument that ‘start with new code’ will give you cleaner code, more secure code, and that there’s enough of the marketplace that is willing to rebuy everything.  When the first comment on that SeattlePI post, Keith states that Quickbooks 2006 and prior have issues with Vista when it’s documented by Intuit that they support 2007 and 2008 on Vista, you can tell that people don’t buy new, upgrade, etc nor even read the fact of what is supported on what platform. 


For the record you can get 2006 and prior running on Vista, just follow the guidelines of what we had to do to get the program to run as non admin back in that day.  Hack up the registry and set user/full control for the folder and registry locations of Intuit.  In fact I have to do some more testing as I hit an issue the other day in my network deployment of QB 2007 on Vista opening up and attempting to update a payroll tax table update in Vista and until I loosened the permissions on the Intuit location in the Program files, it wouldn’t update.  (This didn’t occur in a standalone Vista deployment on a single computer so I’m going to have to do some testing and see if it’s due to the data file being parked on the server drive).


But bottom line, new code creates just as many problems as old code and ticks off a large vendor ecostructure in the process (not to mention with the DOJ and EU once again firing up a review… get real).

It’s not me

The other day I got the TechNet magazine and saw this in the Letters to the editor section…


 


You can see this down at the bottom of the “From the Editor: Dealing with Information Overload — TechNet Magazine, February 2008″ section of the TechEd Magazine:  http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technetmag/issues/2008/02/FromTheEditor/default.aspx


And honestly, for a moment there I went… “uh, I don’t remember doing anything for that Magazine..” and then it hit me.  That’s the OTHER Susan Bradley.  The Microsoft employee who works in Redmond somewhere in the Server team, somewhere in technical documenation or something like that who shares my name.  There’s been a rare occasion I’ve gotten an email meant for her, and visa versa, sometimes she’s gotten one meant for me.


In case you are wondering exactly how many Susan Bradleys there really are….


There’s the fictional Susan Bradley who was played by Judy Garland in The Harvey Girls – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Judy_Garland_performances


There’s the one who does wallpaper.  http://www.susanbradley.co.uk/


There’s the one that does the books on Sudden Money.  http://www.rightonthemoney.org/experts/bradley.html


There’s the Love Doctor one.  http://www.saveyourlovelife.com/matchmaking.cfm


There one that does Film titles  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0103412/


But if you see on a Microsoft publication the name “Susan Bradley”… it might not be me.  It might be her, THE Susan Bradley that works for Microsoft.  I just hope she doesn’t get a lot of “oh are you the SBS Susan Bradley?” too much, and doesn’t get too annoyed that we share the same name.

Vista lite

Microsoft doesn’t recommend creating Vista ‘Lite’ | Beyond Binary – A blog by Ina Fried – CNET News.com:
http://www.news.com/8301-13860_3-9861474-56.html

“Microsoft does not recommend using any tool to strip out applications from Windows Vista prior to installing it on your system, as it may affect your ability to download future Windows updates and service packs, and may cause your system to become unstable,” the company said in an e-mail to CNET News.com.


Yes, indeed it does damage the ability to patch the system.  So don’t create “Vista lite”.

The Hold Music Video

[YouTube:WUSJiI4L5lw]


Did you catch this on the blogs?


There’s a couple of Songs I’ve heard on hold… WAY too often.  Gateway and Dell has annoying hold music.  The IRS is classical (which isn’t relaxing as it should be).  I wonder who the guy is who does the recordings for the Live Meeting…because I hear him a lot.


 

Yes size does matter


 


The Acer 24 inch at NewEgg online – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009113



Three Acer 24inch monitors in action (click here for a better view)…. Vista, Office 2007 and then on the right, a virtual XP image of the exact desktop just in case I forgot something during the migration for one of the partners in the office. Notice the high tech monitor support in the middle.  I have matching 22inch Widescreen Acer’s, he has three matching 24inch widescreen monitors.


We like them so much we bought two more for two other Accountants in the office.  They make a spreadsheet to die for (It ends up from A past Z in column width on the spreadsheet).


(For those keeping track, that’s a FASB book, a Business Law book and an Intermediate Accounting Book being used as a temporary stand to see what height he wants the monitor at before he finds or builds something permanent.)

The Official SBS Blog : SBS Clients Lose Access to Shares and/or Cannot Get DHCP Addresses:

The Official SBS Blog : SBS Clients Lose Access to Shares and/or Cannot Get DHCP Addresses:
http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2008/01/30/sbs-clients-lose-access-to-shares-and-or-cannot-get-dhcp-addresses.aspx


(due to Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0)



 



Today’s SBS blog moment brought to you by Mike Lieser

New Guide for Windows Mobile 6 and SBS 2003

News & Views for Irish SBSC Partners : New Deployment Guide for SBS 2003 & Windows Mobile 6!:
http://blogs.technet.com/sinead_o_grada/archive/2008/01/30/new-deployment-guide-for-sbs-2003-windows-mobile-6.aspx

Coming out in Vista sp1 —

A Windows Vista-based computer is frequently unresponsive for 30 seconds if the Documents folder is redirected to a shared folder, and the folder is made available offline:
http://support.microsoft.com/Default.aspx?kbid=937228

But if you can’t wait you can email for the hotfix now.  I got it within about an hour.

Accounting Apps on Vista – part 2

Another of our internal apps that runs perfectly on Vista is a classic example of INSTALLING it on Vista is the hard part..once you have it running it works just fine.


The first step I noticed after running the usual install routine is that it did not use the mapped drive letters but the unc path.  I had to edit the properties of the short cut on the desktop to point to the right locations.



The start in of I:\WinCSI\PS was originally \\Server\Share


Second up, it installed under the subdirectory of ART\ART not plain ART…causing another tweak to be needed. 



Location of Program Files\Microsoft Office\ART edited to be ART\ART where the actual file is located


Then for the first launch I needed to run it with a XP sp2 compatability which launches the ‘are you sure’ you want to launch this button. 



Once I loaded it the very first time, installed the local file at the c:\local location (manually setting up that folder in case it had issues, the program runs perfectly WITHOUT the compatibility flag.


Moral of this story is once you get it installed, try removing a few hacks and what not to see if it’s just the installation and not the operation that’s bumpy.


It runs without a UAC prompt with no issues.

The consensus view

You remember this post right? Microsoft wants to learn from us – The Official Blog of the SBS “Diva”:
http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2008/01/22/microsoft-wants-to-learn-from-us.aspx

So the other day a few folks on a Yahoogroup weren’t too sure about giving feedback to Microsoft as lately they’ve been moving into the IT Services space.  So when today, someone else posted up in another group the same info, someone said “wasn’t the consensus that this was a means for Microsoft to learn from the MSPs how to be a MSP” (not quite worded like that but you get the drift).  And it reminded me of this article about the community thought process….. 


Slashdot Founder Questions Crowds Wisdom – Bits – Technology – New York Times Blog:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/slashdot-founder-questions-crowds-wisdom/


Especially this part of the article:


But Mr. Malda could not help using the discussion about Idle to address problems at Digg, and what he sees as the flaws of the community news model.


“A lot of these community news sites are all about Ron Paul,” he said. “Ron Paul may be a valid candidate. But what that is really demonstrating is that you are seeing 1 or 2 percent of a community shaping where the whole community is going. A small dedicated group of people can manipulate these sites very easily.”


Recently a group of us were asked a question and it was interesting to see how one community that I know on one side would answer the question as compared to another community.  And it begs the question sometimes that I have about whether or not Microsoft or any vendor that looks to a vocal community gets the right input. Am I the right voice?  Am I the right view?  Sometimes I wonder who exact Microsoft talks to when making some of the more insane (okay my opinion anyway) decisions that they do.  And it concerns me when I see either someone looking too narrow of a focus and asking not enough folks.. or conversely…asking for feedback and the feedback is not given. 


For the record the folks asking for feedback to write software not IT services.  And Microsoft needs to get a lot better at being evil before anyone is a trusted relationship role needs to worry.  Talk to your average business owner, and either he or she is indifferent or not trusting of Redmond.  It’s a business tool, not a relationship.  You are the one that has to walk the tightrope of the relationship with Microsoft.  And I don’t see either role changing soon.


But it’s of interest to think about.  If a firm doesn’t get feedback from the right people…what then?