Work Journal For Week of December 13, 1999

Last Update: Wednesday, December 22, 1999 10:03 PM

 

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I am slowly finding out more about the Windows 2000 rollout at work. There are 8000 PCs which have to be upgraded, and the target date for completion is February 17, 2000. For those of you who do not recognize this date, February 17, 2000 is the date Microsoft is targeting as the official release date for Windows 2000. I also learned that a recent inventory of installed software was done using SMS and there are allot of PC which do not have the proper versions of software on them. Looks like we maybe busy not only supporting the rollout of Win2k but updating the software on many PCs.

My install of OpenLinux does not include Samba. I would like to install the Samba client so that I can access my NT server from Linux. The documentation I have been using on the Caldera site does not cover the installation of Samba very well, so I need to go searching the net for better instructions. I know that the installation files for Samba are on my CD I just can't find them. The logical thing to me would for the file to be named something like samba, smbfs or smb but searches on these have not gotten me very far.

 


 

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My search for info on installing Samba is moving slowly but surely. I have some good leads, and some web pages to read. In the mean time I am going to do another install of OpenLinux, but this time I will do the server install which includes Samba so I can take a look at the product. 

I am starting to rely on VMware allot now, and I am only using the trial version. It looks like it is time to purchase a licensed copy.

I find it interesting that documentation on the RedHat site and the Caldera site do not offer any significant info on command prompt commands. All the information targets the new user who is likely to use KDE or Gnome instead of the command prompt. I hope the documentation that comes with a retail package is better. It seems to me as I try to teach myself Linux that as far as the Net goes Linux resources are geared towards the intermediate and up user, or the the Windows users who never wants to use or see the command prompt. 

I ran a search on Yahoo for "linux commands" and found a number of listings but most were broken links or very poor listings. One good listing of commands and some other Linux info is http://tech.buffalostate.edu/~barker/charlie/unix_intro.html. An even better Web based reference for Linux commands is Mastering Linux on the Web.  The latter site is a support site for a Sybex book called Mastering Linux.

 


 

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I made a big mistake the last time I rebuilt my primary PC. I forgot to take security measures to try and keep those nasty hackers out of my data. Lucky I found out about my mistake from Shawn Wallbridge, and not by having my PC tampered with by some hacker. It seems that Shawn was checking the log for his web site, saw what he thought was a log entry from a friend accessing his site, used the information in the log to backtrack and actually get my logon ID, computer and domain name from my computer. Needless to say I have now have my PC secured much better from intrusion from the net.

This makes me think more on the idea of setting up a firewall at home. I have a PC sitting in the corner that would make a nice little Linux powered firewall. Now I just have to keep working on my Linux knowledge so I can get to the point where I can build a firewall using Linux.

For those of you with kids, you might want to check out tukids, which has lots of educational shareware and freeware geared towards kids.  

 


 

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Attended day one of two Windows 2000 training today, and I have a splitting headache. Staring at fuzzy monitor on my desk, plus a fuzzy screen used by the instructor has done wonders for my head.

The course is being taught by the Microsoft Consulting Services team lead for Telus. He says that the rollout of Windows 2000 that we are about to start is currently the largest in the world he is aware of, 8000 units to be upgraded to Windows 2000 Professional.

According to Microsoft ,HP dropped out of the Windows 2000 Data Center project because Data Center was out performing HPs own Unix product. Data Center is not a product you buy, but you buy a server plus Data Center as Data Center is apparently coded to the hardware.

The current scoop on future service packs and feature additions for Windows 2000 is as follows. There will be a service pack every 6 months and service packs will not include new OS features. New features will be available yearly as an OS update which will be implemented in a similar fashion to how Internet Explorer updates are currently done over the internet.

From my understanding of the theory behind how Active Directory has been designed by Microsoft, it should work very well ( in theory ). There are no longer Primary and Backup domain controllers, just domain controllers. Only changes get replicated, so if you change information on a users account only the changes get replicated not the entire account. Active directory leverages the use of DNS instead of using WINS.

All beta versions of Windows 2000 from RC1 up can be upgraded to the release version of Windows 2000. I am sure most people would rather do a fresh install, but the option is there to upgrade instead.

If you run winnt32.exe /checkupgradeonly from the Windows 2000 CD you get a report on compatibility of your current hardware and software with Windows 2000.

 

 


 

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Nothing to report from my Windows 2000 training today. Today was mostly hands on stuff. Other than going to class today, I had to take care of my house insurance, collect my pay cheque and do some shopping.

I have a request for a report on what I did on Wednesday to secure my PC from intrusion via the web. I will see what I can put together over the next few days.

One thing of interest I just remembered about Windows 2000. All of the administrative tools are to have a command line equivalent so that operations can be scripted. Another nice thing about the management tools is how easy it is to add snap-ins. In Microsoft Management Console simply select Console > Add/Remove Snap-in > Add select the snap-in you want, click on Add > OK and you are done.

 


 

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From a support point of view I think using USB keyboards and mice is a great idea. If a clients keyboard or mouse goes on the fritz, simply unplug the faulty unit, plug in the replacement unit, and the user is back in business. No shut down required. But then Windows 2000 only supports PS2 mice and keyboards in safe mode. So if you are using USB mice or keyboards you will have no input device if you need to start a Windows 2000 PC in safe mode. I think Microsoft really missed the boat on this one, especially since they sell USB mice and keyboards.

Been trolling the net today for computer security information. I have followed so many leads to information from web sites and search engines that have turned out to be dead ends. Time to start concentrating on the useful stuff I have found and move on.

 


 

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As I read up on tools and methods for verifying the security of a computer, I find that the majority of the information comes from the Unix/Linux world. To make much use of this information in any practical way it looks like I need to change the priority on my Linux project. I also need to work at increasing my knowledge of TCP/IP.

 

 

 


Copyright 1999 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved

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