Posts Tagged ‘Windows XP’

Todays Tech 5/24/2007

Here are some of the latest technology stories floating around the internet today.

Wal-Mart to begin selling Dell PCs Initial word was that the Dell PCs would go on sale this weekend. A representative for Wal-Mart on Thursday morning said that the PCs are slated to be in stores on June 10, with two models each offered in a bundle priced below $700. Details on the PCs were not provided. Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart Canada stores will carry different models.

Copying HD DVD and Blu-ray discs may become legal Under a licensing agreement in its final stages, consumers may get the right to make several legal copies of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies they’ve purchased, a concession by the movie industry that may quell criticism that DRM (digital rights management) technologies are too restrictive.

This is crazy. I can’t believe I just posted a story that said users MAY get the right to copy their OWN property. The movie and music industries suck and they are killing it all by themselves.

Flexible, full-color OLED On May 24, Sony unveiled what it is calling the world?s first flexible, full-color organic electroluminescent display (OLED) built on organic thin-film transistor (TFT) technology. OLEDs typically use a glass substrate, but Sony researchers developed new technology for forming organic TFT on a plastic substrate, enabling them to create a thin, lightweight and flexible full-color display.

Dell Offers Three Consumer Systems With Ubuntu 7.04 Later today, Dell will offer U.S customers three different systems with Ubuntu 7.04 installed: the XPS 410n and Dimension E520n desktops and the Inspiron E1505n notebook. These systems will be available at www.dell.com/open by 4pm CST today. Starting price for the E520n desktop and the E1505n notebook is $599; the XPS 410n starts at $849.

Why Are CC Numbers Still So Easy To Find? Some “script kiddie” tricks still work after all: Take the first 8 digits of a standard 16-digit credit card number. Search for them on Google in “nnnn nnnn” form. Since the 8-digit prefix of a given card number is often shared with many other cards, about 1/4 of credit card numbers in my random test, turned up pages that included other credit card numbers, and about 1 in 10 turned up a “treasure trove” of card numbers that were exposed through someone’s sloppily written Web app.

DOG (Distrust/Disdain of Google) moves in Me? Google is too secretive. Too unwilling to engage. Too aloof. Oh, and Eric Schmidt, Google?s CEO, has lost touch with how normal people think (if these quotes are correct, and that?s a big ?if?). If they are correct I think it?s evidence that he?s been hanging around too many advertising execs lately. Their goal is to put impulses into your mind so you take certain actions (like buy Diet Coke instead of Diet Pepsi). Believe it or not advertising execs talk like that. So, when Eric is reported to have said, during a visit to Britain this week: ?The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ?What shall I do tomorrow?? and ?What job shall I take??? we all get a little freaked out. We don?t want Google to know that much about us.

Windows XP SP3 in the Works – Microsoft Confirms They have confirmed service pack 3, but the date on that article is wrong, according to Microsoft the release date will be 1st half of 2008, whatever that means.

Cyber Crooks Hijack Activities of Large Web-Hosting Firm Brian Krebs talks about IPOWER Inc, on of the hosting companies that was recently featured by Stopbadware.org as one of the largest hosting companies that are currently silently installing malicious software, as detailed here, Exposing Hosting Companies with Malicious Websites. Brian says organized crime is responsible and IPOWER says it was one compromised server run by another company.

Google is failing the Microsoft litmus test If you want to evaluate the ?evil? quotient of any company?s strategy/behavior, consider how you?d feel about it if it were Microsoft in the driver seat.

Vista no panacea for PC sales Although Microsoft has characterized itself as happy with Vista adoption so far?and Bill Gates said last week at WinHEC that Microsoft had shipped 40 million copies?the release of the new operating system has not resulted in a significant bump in PC sales.

Skype Worm Variant Targets Other Instant Messaging Clients Yesterday, I discovered what appears to be a new collection of “Skype Worm” infection binaries in circulation – it uses the tried and tested methods employed by similar infections over the past few months, with the ultimate payload being the Stration Worm. Aside from that, there’s another little surprise waiting but we’ll get to that shortly…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 24, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Categories: Dell, Google, Malicious Websites, Microsoft News, Tech News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Computer News for 5/20/2007

Symantec false positive cripples thousands of Chinese PCs A signature update to Symantec’s anti-virus software crippled thousands of Chinese PCs Friday when the security software took two critical Windows .dll files for [tag]malware[/tag].

According to numerous blog entries from Chinese computer users, a virus signature database seeded yesterday mistook two system files of a Chinese edition of Windows XP SP2 as a Trojan horse which Symantec dubs “Backdoor.Haxdoor.” The anti-virus software — Norton AntiVirus, for example, or the anti-virus component of the Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security suites — then quarantined the netapi32.dll and lsasrv.dll files.

“With these files removed, Windows XP will no longer start up, and even the system Safe Mode no longer functions,” said one user writing to the alt.comp.anti-virus newsgroup this morning.

Google Licenses Technology for 3D Maps Google has licensed technology that will enable [tag]Google[/tag] to map out 3-D versions of cities world wide.

According to a Mercury News report, the technology was developed by a team of Stanford University students and was used to run a robotic car that won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.

Although Google is the market leader in mapping, to date it has lagged behind Microsoft?s Virtual Earth in terms of 3-D functionality.

Dell announces the models for Ubuntu We will be launching a Linux based OS (Ubuntu) on the E520, 1505 and XPS 410 starting next Thursday, 5/24. We expect these systems to be less than 1% of our OS mix for the entire year which is ~20,000 systems annually. Please cover the huddle deck below with your team by EOB Sunday. If any questions come up, please let me know so I can address them before launch.

The goal of launching Linux is to continue to give our customers more choices to customize their new Dell. Providing more options to our Linux Enthusiast customer group will hopefully create even more Raving Fans!!

Governments using filters to censor Internet, survey finds With the aid of sophisticated software, government censorship of the Internet is spreading into a global phenomenon, with tech-savvy governments filtering forbidden themes from politics and human rights to sexuality and religion, according to a new academic survey of 40 countries.

In the past five years, the practice has grown beyond a handful of countries, including Iran, China and Saudi Arabia, to 26 nations that block a wide range of topics as they adopt filtering techniques, according to an OpenNet Initiative report to be issued Friday in Oxford, England.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 20, 2007 at 6:13 am

Categories: Ramblings, Tech News   Tags: , , , , ,

How To Get Ready to Upgrade from XP to Vista

Microsoft has posted a nice little summary to get you ready to upgrade your Windows XP machines to Windows Vista. It talks about backing up all of your files, as you should be doing anyway, of course you have to be at Service Pack 2 level, you need to verify the upgrade status of your computer, make sure your programs will still work and that you have enough hard drive space on your NTFS file system.

Verify the upgrade status of the Windows XP-based computer
To determine whether you can upgrade the edition of Windows XP on the computer to Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradepaths.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradepaths.mspx)
Additionally, you can use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor to help determine which edition of Windows Vista you can install. For more information about the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx)
If you cannot upgrade the version of Windows XP to Windows Vista, perform a custom installation. (This kind of installation is also known as a clean installation.) When you perform a custom installation, you cannot migrate the Windows XP settings to Windows Vista. For more information about how to perform a custom installation of Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
933178 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933178/) How to install Windows Vista Source: How to prepare to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista

Some of the other KB articles you may have to visit:

308422 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308422/) How to use the Backup utility that is included in Windows XP to back up files and folders

322389 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389/) How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack

933178 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933178/) How to install Windows Vista

931359 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931359/) How to determine whether there are program-compatibility issues before you install Windows Vista

306542 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306542/) How to use the Desktop Cleanup Wizard in Windows XP

314097 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314097/) How to use Convert.exe to convert a partition to the NTFS file system

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - May 18, 2007 at 6:28 pm

Categories: Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tech, Google, XP, and Microsoft in China

Here are a bunch of tech stories for today.

Dell brings back XP on home systems Amid significant customer demand, the computer maker said on Thursday that it has returned to offering the older Windows version as an option on some of its consumer PCs.

How Security Companies Sucker Us With Lemons More than a year ago, I wrote about the increasing risks of data loss because more and more data fits in smaller and smaller packages. Today I use a 4-GB USB memory stick for backup while I am traveling. I like the convenience, but if I lose the tiny thing I risk all my data.

Vista, IE7 help Microsoft boost search market share In a rare bit of good news for Microsoft on the search front, web metrics firm comScore reported that for the month of March, Microsoft’s search engines saw their first market share increase in nearly a year. Microsoft’s search market share jumped 0.4 percentage points from February to March, giving it 10.9 percent of the total market.

April ’07 Back Compat Update April showers have yielded us a Back Compat update The latest backwards compatibility update is now available over Xbox Live (or will be very soon.) This free update brings the complete list of original Xbox games that you can play on your Xbox 360 to over 300.

Back to basics So we’re renaming Froogle as Google Product Search. We’re taking the opportunity to refocus the user experience on providing the most comprehensive, relevant results in a clean, simple, easy-to-use UI. Who cares.

Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) Latest Ubuntu released, I may as well download this one and try it.

Google Video powering some pirate sites Google, already being sued for copyright infringement on its YouTube service, may have another copyright tempest brewing on its older Google Video site. The site hosts numerous full-length movies which are now being exploited by “guerilla” video sites; in essence, Google is one part of the engine that powers video piracy.

MySpace News Launches Thursday On Thursday morning MySpace will launch its much rumored news property at news.myspace.com. Expect the site to go live and a press release to be issued around 7 am EST.

Microsoft aims to reach next billion PC users Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is using a speech in Beijing to unveil a new low-cost bundle of Office and Windows, one of several new initiatives aimed at getting PCs into the hands of more people in emerging markets. Especially considering they have only sold 244 copies of Vista in China.

Widgetsphere: New Playground For Marketers If you’re in the online marketing game and are not yet hip to widgets, listen up. Two emerging Web 2.0 technology firms focused in this space have a message for you. Those companies are Widgetbox and ClearSpring, both of which presented in a session on Tuesday afternoon at Web 2.0 Expo that was billed as “Using Widget Syndication for Online Marketing and Measurement”.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - April 19, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Categories: Google, Microsoft News, Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Windows Vista News 3/31/2007

More news about windows vista.

Microsoft makes copying Vista a monster task With Windows XP, antipiracy measures were a bit of an afterthought. But with Windows Vista, Microsoft had pirates in its sights from the get-go.

Apple Adds Vista Support to Boot Camp Apple on Wednesday pushed an update to its Boot Camp dual booting feature, providing support for the 32-bit version of Windows Vista, as well as updated drivers for various hardware included with Intel Macs.

Update on Microsoft Security Advisory 935423 Little more info from Microsoft on the Windows animated cursor vulnerability, how long they have known, time of the first attack, how they are fixing it, etc.

Microsoft: Rise in attacks on Vista loophole Just a day after release, the vulnerability in the ani files has caused hackers to pick up the pace on their attacks on some versions of Windows.

Windows Vista Update Solves IPod Issues Microsoft patched a bunch of bugs earlier this week, including the one involving the iPod. Grab the update here.

3 reasons Vista lets down gamers Hardware incompatibilities, backward incompatibility and lack of directX 10 games, visit the site for details.

3rd Party Patches Critical Windows Flaw Not content to wait for Microsoft to remedy the issue, independent security firm eEye released a temporary patch for a critical flaw affecting Windows that can lead to a crash-restart-crash loop. But Microsoft does not recommend such third-party patches.

Windows Vista ATI Radeon Kernel Mode Driver Denial of Service A weakness has been reported in Windows Vista, which can be exploited by malicious, local users to cause a DoS (Denial of Service).

Living With Vista: First 30 Days With the new version of Windows finally out, early users say they’re bedeviled by hardware and software problems–but some love the OS anyway.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 31, 2007 at 6:27 am

Categories: Windows Vista   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Windows XP vs Windows Vista Lab Tests

PCWorld did some testing and the end of the year, comparing Windows XP and Windows Vista running on the same machines, from an older Pentium 1.8Ghz notebook to a 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 and Radeon X1600 graphics card. As always Microsoft has said Vista will run faster, but they have always said that in the past, and everytime, you usually had to have better hardware to run the same speed. Things to note, at the time of the testing, graphics card manufacturers were still testing and tweaking their drivers, so expect some improvement there, and they used an updated version of Photoshop for Windows Vista, so, it wasn’t exactly the same.

With Microsoft’s Windows Vista finally released to manufacturers and on the verge of making its way to retail, we can at last get down to the business of examining precisely how well the new OS performs. In our first tests, we discovered that while Vista’s hardware requirements may be steep, it should run just fine–even with the Aero bells and whistles active–on machines that meet Microsoft’s Premium Ready specifications (1GB of RAM, and a DirectX 9-capable graphics board with at least 128MB of dedicated memory).

  • Vista is generally slower than XP, but it’s better at multitasking on dual-core PCs.
  • Your PC should have 1GB of RAM at the bare minimum.
  • Aero won’t slow you down if you use a discrete graphics processor and enough memory.
  • Apps run slower on the 64-bit version of Vista, but adding RAM closes the gap.

Source: Lab Tests: Vista’s Fast If You Have the Hardware

Some of their conclusions say they did not see any improvements with Readyboost, the system actually slowed down some. The Dual Core machine had a big difference in the multitasking tests, Microsoft had already said there would be a difference because Vista was better at running multiple threads of code. The multitasking and gaming tests did not show much of an improvement in going from 1GB to 2GB of memory, but the comparisons to 512MB showed them to not go under 1GB of memory. The real difference will be whether you are using an integrated graphics card, a decent video card or a high end card, they concluded you should not run Aero if you are using an integrated card, while using a graphics card it did not affect the performance of the machine at all. So, PC’s from the past couple years should run it pretty good, but may need more memory if it is less than 1GB.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 20, 2007 at 7:45 am

Categories: Reviews, Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , , , ,

Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server
In his keynote speech at CES, one of the products Bill Gates introduced was the Windows Home Server, a small form, headless, meaning with no monitor, computer that you can set anywhere on your network. The Home Server will backup every computer that connects to it every night, and make it available online using your Windows Live ID. They have a website up at www.stopdigitalamnesia.com, it’s trying to be funny and informative at the same time, be sure to check it out for more information. One of the developers notes below that he has been working on it for three years.

I am writing this from the Windows Home Server blogger’s lounge in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Bill Gates just finished up his CES 2007 keynote where the product I have been slaving over for the last 3 years was finally formally announced to the world!

The photo you see in this post was taken today in the blogger’s lounge (with my Windows Mobile phone; hence the picture quality). This is a Windows Home Server Prototype that we built to explore innovative hardware design. I put my hand in the shot so you could get an idea of just how big (small) this particular device is. This prototype uses 2.5″ hard disks and thus has less storage expansion capability than the HP MediaSmart product will, but it was built to show another perspective of what a Windows Home Server could be. Source: cek.log

From the Microsoft Press Release,

Delivered on hardware from leading partners, Windows Home Server will help families with multiple PCs connect their home computers, digital devices and printers, in order to easily store, protect and share their treasured photos, music, videos and documents. By automatically backing up home PCs, centralizing a family’s digital “stuff” and allowing access to it away from home, Windows Home Server will help simplify and enhance family life.

Simple to set up and use, Windows Home Server takes advantage of the familiarity of the Windows operating system to help families easily store and organize digital content. As consumers use Windows Vista to create, find and enjoy digital media, Windows Home Server will be an ideal solution to help manage, protect and access that content. Families using the product will be able to automatically back up every Windows Vista or Windows XP-based computer in the home and completely restore, or ?rewind,? a PC to a time when it was working well. They will also be able to use Windows Home Server to centrally monitor the health of their Windows Vista-based PCs, to proactively identify and resolve problems.

Windows Home Server customers can use a personalized Windows Live Internet address to connect to Windows Home Server from outside of the home. As a result, they can share photos with friends and family and enjoy their music and videos. Families can use the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system or other Windows Media Connect-supported devices to view or listen to digital media stored on Windows Home Server, as well. They can also connect a printer to Windows Home Server in order to print from any connected PC in the home. Source: Bill Gates Unveils Windows Home Server at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show

Windows Home Server will be available from many harder providers, AMD is announcing the AMD LIVE! Home Media Server, at CES this week. Inventec Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. are also demonstrating hardware designs, complementing the HP MediaSmart Server product demonstrated in Bill Gates’ keynote address and in the Microsoft booth. The HP MediaSmart Server comes with four hard drive bays and four USB ports. It also comes equipped with HP Photo Webshare.

A post from Jesse Lewin has a video and some more info,

As a small, headless box that lives on your network and in your closet, a Windows Home Server can quickly grow the pool of storage from which all of your shared files for each of your users lives. The backup engine in Windows Home Server also silently backs up the entirety of each machine connected to it every night. And because the data is always online, using the built-in remote access abilities, you?ll also be able to access your data from any machine on the planet. Source: 10

A post from InsideMicrosoft, which is huge and contains loads of information, some of it I will quote here, says that it will store all of your files, data, MP3, photos and video, and it will stream to digital media extenders, like the Xbox 360. They plan on it pretty much being plug and play, although you will have to setup some things like the remote access, the hard drives can be of any size, and it will be accessed as one big drive. You can remove the drives and the Server will tell you how it affects the file system and will move the files to other drives. He also predicts that if Microsoft adds wifi to computer sharing, the Zune will be able to download music from it. You will be able to configure a free internet address, yoursite.homeserver.com, for example, and you can access it from a networked computer or a web browser to upload or download files. It says its three primary purposes are,

Automated Computer Backup – Home Server will sit in the middle of your house and completely backup the entire hard drives of every computer connected to it, automatically. Lose anything, even an entire computer, and you will be able to restore it. You will even be able to restore older versions of files, taking advantage of a valuable feature in Windows Vista.

Access Everything From Anywhere – With a Home Server, you will be able to access all of your files from any computer, inside or outside your home, as well as accessing your home computers from outside the home. You will centrally store your files to make them easier to access at all times.

Grows With You – Home Server will be designed to make it easier for users to expand its capabilities, especially making it easy to add more hard drives. Source: EXCLUSIVE: Windows Home Server In Detail

According to Microsoft’s projections, Beta 2 of Home Server will arrive in just two weeks, on January 22. Pre-Beta 1 was reached last July. They are also projecting Release Candidate status by May 15 and the final Release To Manufacturing on June 22. I haven’t seen any pricing information yet, I will add it when it is released.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • 1 GHz Pentium 3 (or equivalent)
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 80 GB internal hard drive as primary drive
  • Bootable DVD drive
  • Display (only for software installation)
  • 100 Mbps wired Ethernet
  • Keyboard and mouse (only for software installation)

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - January 9, 2007 at 4:58 am

Categories: Microsoft News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wireless Client Update for Windows XP

Microsoft has finally patched the hole in their Wireless Security Client that I posted about here, as detailed on the Security Fix website here, although most would consider this a security update, Microsoft apparently does not, as it does not show up on Windows Update, even when you look under optional updates. You can read about it and install it from Microsoft’s site here.

The upshot of all this is bad guys can take advantage of these behaviors, as I wrote in January at the Shmoocon hacker conference, where security gadfly Mark “Simple Nomad” Loveless called attention to this problem. Loveless showed that by sniffing the wireless requests sent out by a target XP machine, an attacker can learn the name of a previously associated network and force the target to connect directly to the attacker’s PC, which for all intents and purposes appears to the would-be victim as just another wireless access point (assuming the victim is even paying attention during all of this.)

“In a hall of 400-500 engineers, we hijacked upwards of 100 clients instantly, enough that our Linux laptop became unstable from all the wireless traffic passing through it,” Dai Zovi recalled in a write-up sent to the Bugtraq security mailing list. “In practice, since nearly every roaming laptop has at least one unencrypted hotspot network in [its] preferred/trusted networks, almost all Windows XP and Mac OS X laptops are susceptible to this kind of attack.”

Dai Zovi continues: “The rogue access point coerces the client into connecting to the attacker’s machine, thus obviating the firewall. This usually requires the user having Web or mail software running, but automatic outbound network requests from [those kinds of programs are] very common and these may be attacked.”

This is possible because a laptop with a wireless connection looks for access points it has previously connected to, so it will auto connect to a laptop that says it is one of those previous access points. From Microsoft’s site,

A computer that has the WPA2/WPS IE Update installed lets users manually configure options for WPA2 authentication and encryption. However, until the Wireless Client Update is installed, network administrators cannot centrally configure WPA2 options by using the Wireless Network (IEEE 802.11) Policies node of Computer Configuration Group Policy. Computers that have Windows XP Service Pack 2 and the Wireless Client Update installed can apply these configuration options when they configure the computers by using Computer Configuration Group Policy.

On a computer that is running Windows Vista or that is running Microsoft Windows Server Code Name “Longhorn,” you can specify WPA2 options when you configure wireless networks by using the Wireless Network (IEEE 802.11) Policies node of Computer Configuration Group Policy. Source: Microsoft

This article from Bugtraq talks about how this has been around since 2004.

Our driver responds to EVERY Probe Request as it operates in HostAP mode. The wireless network is “cloaked”, so it does not send out any beacons, but when a client in range sends a Probe Request for a network (“tmobile”, “linksys”, “megacorp”, etc), the driver will respond as if it were that network. In this way, it acts as a virtual AP for any network requested. This yields an extremely effective attack that is able to cause nearly all unassociated wireless clients within range to join the rogue network. KARMA also includes a tool for passively monitoring probe requests sent out by nearby wireless clients and a framework for exploiting client-side vulnerabilities once the client has joined the rogue network (no live exploits are included, though).

In addition, our driver uncovered vulnerabilities in drivers for 802.11b-only cards where they probe for randomly generated network names when the card is not associated to a network. When the KARMA driver responds to this probe, the card and host will join the network and DHCP an address, etc. I reported this to both Microsoft and Apple in the Spring last year. Apple has subsequently fixed the issue [3] and Microsoft said that a fix would be in the next service pack.

Again, this is not entirely new stuff. Max Moser released his HotSpotter [4] tool in April 2004 to create a HostAP based on sniffed Probe Requests. We first released our driver implementing the parallel attack in February 2005 at Immunity’s Security Shindig in NYC. However, awareness of these issues appears to still be low.

Update: I just noticed the date on the Microsoft site, guess I need to be better at following up on my posts, looks like this has been out about three weeks already.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - December 15, 2006 at 1:42 am

Categories: Security, Windows XP, Wireless   Tags: , , ,

Remote Desktop Connection 6.0 Client Update

Microsoft has released a new Remote Desktop Connection 6.0 client, one that helps you use the new Terminal services features, that are introduced in Windows Vista and Windows Longhorn server, or whatever it is going to be called. They released clients for Windows XP 32 and 64 bit, and Windows 2003 32 and 64 bit. Some of the new features include Network Level Authentication, Server authentication, Resource redirection, Terminal Services Gateway (TS Gateway) servers, TS Remote Programs, Monitor spanning, and some Visual improvements.

Network Level Authentication is a new authentication method that finishes user authentication before you establish a full Remote Desktop Connection and the logon screen appears.

The advantages of using Network Level Authentication are as follows: It requires fewer remote computer resources at first. The remote computer uses a limited number of resources before it authenticates the user. In earlier versions, the remote computer starts a full Remote Desktop Connection.
It uses remote computer authentication that helps protect users from connecting to remote computers that are set up for malicious purposes.
To verify that a computer is running a version of Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication, follow these steps:1. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Remote Desktop Connection.
2. Click the icon that is in the upper-left corner of the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box, and then click About.
3. Make sure that the phrase “Network Level Authentication supported” appears. Source: Microsoft

KB article is here and the Windows XP 32 bit download is here.

Remote Desktop Connection (Terminal Services Client 6.0) provides a way to use any new Terminal Services features introduced in Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows Server Code Name ?Longhorn? from a computer running Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1.

Related: Access Your PC from Anywhere - Free 30 Day Trial

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 29, 2006 at 7:26 pm

Categories: Longhorn Server, Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , , , , , ,

No Such Thing as a Final Product Anymore

In a post from Microsoft’s Jim Allchin, he compares the Windows Vista RTM and the Windows XP RTM, comparing the number of drivers released on the “final product”, 19,500 for Windows Vista and 10,000 for Windows XP, over 11,000 when Vista went to RTM and only 2,000 when XP went to RTM. Windows XP is one of the finest operating systems I have used, the only times I have had a system lock up is when installing a new driver, and usually going and grabbing the latest edition takes care of that little problem. XP is solid, if Vista is anywhere near as good as XP, I will be happy, although I’m sure I will end up cussing it occasionally, as problems with other software packages arise. I can see using XP well beyond the day Microsoft stops supporting it, because even if they do quit, or when they do quit updating it, with just a few precautions, I can see my kids running it on their computers for a long time.

While we worked hard to get a comprehensive set of drivers on the DVD prior to release-to-manufacturing (RTM), the magic of Windows Update and Automatic Updates makes this “frozen in time” distribution problem basically a non-issue. For Windows Vista we are excited to have over 19,500 device drivers on the Windows Vista DVD (in contrast to just 10,000 for Windows XP when it shipped). The number of device drivers is really a small way of looking at it, since each driver can usually support numerous actual different device models. Indeed, sometimes a single driver can support hundreds of different models, as often is the case with video drivers. But, what is even more significant is that at the RTM for Windows Vista, we already had an additional 11,700 device drivers on Windows Update compared to just 2,000 for Windows XP when it RTM?d in 2001. And while we will have significantly more drivers online by official availability, we will continue to add more drivers even after the launch. Because of the improvements in Automatic Updates for Windows Vista, users that choose the recommended setting for Automatic Updates will have the latest drivers installed and available when they add a new device.

While it may go without saying, I also recommend that you take the default setting for Automatic Updates when you setup Windows Vista so that you also get recommended updates. That’s the best option for getting the best experience in my view. Source: Windows Vista Team Blog

Of course you should always update when it asks, the only updates that piss me off are the ones that pop up and say they are rebooting unless you stop it, those can really screw you up, if you have unsaved documents open and it shuts down, you’re hosed.

I thought about making a separate post for this, but, nah. Saw a post on Robert McLaws Windows Now website, called The Worst Windows Vista Review Ever, so I assumed he was reviewing it, but he was referencing a post from PCWorld by Stephen Manes called Full Disclosure: Windows–New! Improved! Yada Yada Yada! with the tagline Every Microsoft upgrade sets a new standard–in hype.

Well, I will agree with Robert, this guy is already complaining about Windows Vista and all he has ever seen are videos, he has seen the demos and read the propaganda and first looks. Talking about how you will be tearing your hair out figuring out the new features, Yada, Yada, Yada, as he says in his title. I can understand being skeptic, but how can you complain about something you haven’t seen yet?

Less time “shutting down the PC”? To this day my XP machines often hang until I hold down the physical on/off switch awhile. A Windows that goes 90 days without a single crash? Yeah, right. Hey, XP won’t go even a month without a forced reboot to install security fixes!

Apart from Microsoft hype, one thing never changes when the latest version of Windows arrives: the time you have to waste coping with the peccadilloes of the new regime. Will the upgrade really deliver productivity increases that let you get that time back? Not bloody likely.

He most have done something to his copy of XP, as I never have trouble shutting down or rebooting or lockups at all, and I think most people are the same. Every pc in our house runs XP and we never have any trouble at all. Might be time for a reload Steve. I read some of his other posts, and all he does is complain about stuff, every post seemed negative. If he hates computers so much, maybe it’s time for a job change?

Oh, and another post by Robert says that Microsoft is giving Windows Vista beta testers free copies of the Business or Ultimate editions to “any invited technical beta tester who submitted a bug. Period.” So, if you submitted one bug, you get a free copy. Sounds pretty cool and much better than what the Office 2007 beta testers got, he said they got the shaft, so I don’t know if that means they got nothing or some other crap.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 18, 2006 at 6:26 pm

Categories: Drivers, Windows Vista, Windows XP   Tags: , ,

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