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Operating systems news, solutions, and analysis for IT professionals, covering desktop, server, and mobile operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS
  • Unix Tip: Finding services on a Subnet, part 2

    Posted May 18, 2007 - 11:09 am

    Last week, we looked at how nmap, the well known port mapper, can be used to help monitor applications and services on a network or subnet with very little overhead and surprisingly little effort. In this week's column, the findAppl script has been enhanced at a reader's request that it include the system name for each line of output.
  • Windows Tip: Disabling system tasks

    Posted May 17, 2007 - 12:19 pm

    Ever had a scheduled task on your computer that you can't disable or configure? This can happen if an application running under the built-in SYSTEM account creates the task, and even if you are logged on as the local administrator you may not be able to configure the task. If you find yourself in this situation, you can try doing the following:
  • Windows Tip: Clustered DHCP Servers

    Posted May 17, 2007 - 11:19 am

    DHCP servers are at the heart of network client availability, and I've seen administrators bend over backwards trying to build some sort of high-availability solution that can kick in when their main DHCP server fails. And believe me, seeing your average administrator try to bend over backwards isn't a pretty sight. One company I heard about recently apparently does the following: They have two DHCP servers configured with identical scopes, but one of the servers (we'll call it the fallback) has its scopes deactivated. The administrator created a netsh script that is scheduled to run periodically on the main server and which first backs up this server's DHCP configuration and then restores the configuration onto the fallback server. So is this a good idea? Probably not.
  • WINHEC: Microsoft expands sales channel for home server

    Posted May 15, 2007 - 4:45 pm

    Microsoft Corp. has signed up more vendors to build hardware for its forthcoming Windows Home Server, expanding the sales channel for the company's first server OS aimed at home PC users.
  • Unix Tip: Finding services on a subnet

    Posted May 14, 2007 - 12:23 pm

    If you have ever needed to survey a large group of systems to find out which of them supported some particular service, such as ftp, telnet, ssh or some other particular application, you have probably thought of numerous ways to query the systems for the required information and display it in some usable fashion. Many methods of obtaining information from servers, however, require some sort of login or a remote shell request that either takes more time than you want to spend or requires you to configure some sort of trust on the part of the systems with the information for the system on which it is being collected. In today's column, we will look at a way to find out about services running on systems without setting up any access ahead of time.
  • McNealy says Sun evaluating OpenSolaris on GPL

    Posted May 10, 2007 - 12:47 am

    Sun Microsystems Inc. is evaluating whether it should release OpenSolaris under the GNU GPL (general public license), company co-founder and chairman, Scott McNealy told reporters in Bangalore on a conference call Wednesday.
  • Ubuntu plans mobile Linux version

    Posted May 7, 2007 - 4:53 pm

    Ubuntu Linux developers plan to extend its open-source software development to handheld Internet-enabled devices.
  • Dell joins Microsoft, Novell in Linux collaboration

    Posted May 7, 2007 - 8:56 am

    Dell Inc. is backing the Windows-Linux partnership set up by Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. As part of the deal, Dell will buy Suse Linux Enterprise Server certificates from Microsoft for corporate customers that are not already using Linux, the computer maker said Monday.
  • Digium preps Asterisk Linux distribution

    Posted May 1, 2007 - 2:42 pm

    Asterisk, the popular open source PABX, is about to get even easier to install and configure with the imminent release of the AsteriskNow Linux distribution by Digium, the company that started it all.
  • Windows Tip: A classic Active Directory mistake

    Posted April 30, 2007 - 10:22 am

    If you're spinning off a part of your business into a separate unit, migrate your Active Directory, don't split it. There's a risk you could put it into an unsupportable state.
  • Windows Tip: VBScript and security policies

    Posted April 30, 2007 - 9:43 am

    You can't prevent VBScript from running on client computers in order to comply with a corporate security policy. Instead, replace the the policy with a more reasonable one that requires all scripts to be signed and that uses Group Policy to allow only signed scripts to run on client machines.
  • Windows Tip: Killing hung applications more quickly

    Posted April 26, 2007 - 10:02 am

    Ever been right in the middle of working on something and your application hangs? I get that from time to time with Outlook when I try to rush things, especially when accessing large mail folders over a slow connection. Here's what to do next time that happens.
  • Microsoft releases first Longhorn public beta

    Posted April 26, 2007 - 8:05 am

    Microsoft Corp. is posting the final beta and first publicly available and feature-complete version of Windows Server "Longhorn," marking the final time the product will be available for testing and feedback before the long-awaited server update is available later this year.
  • Sun, Canonical strengthen Ubuntu ties

    Posted April 19, 2007 - 3:18 pm

    Sun Microsystems Inc. and Canonical Ltd., the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, announced Thursday a further deepening of their existing partnership.
  • Red Hat creates global services center in India

    Posted April 19, 2007 - 9:37 am

    Red Hat Inc. has set up a global services center in India that will assist its customers with deploying open-source technologies. The center will hire about 100 staff over the next 12 months.
  • Windows Tip: Forcing a remote reboot

    Posted April 16, 2007 - 11:46 am

    Unfortunately, sometimes when you try and reboot a remote system it may not behave as expected. For example, one business I know has scheduled reboots for one of their servers using Task Scheduler and the shutdown /r, but from time to time the reboot fails for no apparent reason, even when using the /f (force) command. How can you make sure your server reboots when you tell it to?
  • Microsoft pressures testers after software leak

    Posted April 13, 2007 - 9:20 am

    Microsoft Corp. is taking tough measures to find out who leaked a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Home Server to The Hotfix.net blog after the software preview was posted on the site by a user named "Richard" soon after it was released to a small group of testers.
  • Apple delays Leopard, blames iPhone

    Posted April 13, 2007 - 8:59 am

    Apple Inc. said it won't release Leopard, the next version of the Mac operating system, in early June as planned, blaming the delay on the iPhone.
  • Microsoft delays release of key virtualization software

    Posted April 12, 2007 - 1:38 pm

    Microsoft Corp.'s plan to catch up to competitors in providing virtualization has hit a snag. The company said this week it has pushed back the release of both a beta of virtualization technology for Windows Server and a service pack to its existing virtualization software.
  • Time is running out for Windows XP

    Posted April 12, 2007 - 11:29 am

    Microsoft will force PC makers to stop selling machines running XP by the end of this year, despite ongoing compatibility problems and demand for XP from users.
  • Microsoft's top lawyer happy with Vista Ready info

    Posted April 12, 2007 - 9:21 am

    Microsoft Corp.'s top lawyer said Thursday that he is happy with the information the company provided about its Vista operating system, and its compatibility with existing PCs, ahead of the software's launch in January this year.
  • Mandriva puts Linux on USB stick

    Posted April 11, 2007 - 12:41 pm

    Now the geeks can have a full-featured Linux OS booted from a USB stick or thumb drive. Linux distributor Mandriva's Flash 4GB provides Mandriva Linux 2007 KDE 32-bit, which needs no installation -- being ready to boot off the USB 2.0 stick. Plug in the stick, turn on the PC, and Mandriva Linux is ready to use in a few seconds.
  • Microsoft: Vista Capable site description unchanged

    Posted April 11, 2007 - 9:27 am

    Despite reports to the contrary, Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it has not changed wording at its Web site to explain more clearly how hardware with a "Windows Vista Capable" label will perform when running the OS, in light of a class-action lawsuit filed against the vendor last week.
  • Debian 'Etch' finally sees light of day

    Posted April 10, 2007 - 9:51 am

    After several months of delays, Debian developers have released Debian 4.0, code-named "Etch."
  • Linux Foundation updates Linux Standard Base

    Posted April 9, 2007 - 11:14 am

    The Linux Foundation updated its Linux Standard Base (LSB) server specification Monday to include new automated testing toolkits to make it easier to develop applications for different distributions of the open-source operating system.
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