Ezine 134 - DevCon and also Antigen
The DevCon utility is
a command-line utility, which you can use to restart or disable devices. The 'Dev' syllable refers to the Device Manager, while the syllable 'Con' refers to the shell where you can type
commands. Actually, DevCon's commands are richer than the Device Manager GUI. You may have deduced that DevCon is aimed particularly at those that like to script tasks.
Installing DevCon was as
straightforward as can be. I was wondering about making the 55k file available to you, but then I saw the phrase 'non redistributable'. Whilst I cannot find the word redistributable in any
dictionary, I believe non 'redistributable' means that I must not pass the file on to you. Nevertheless, I can provide a link for you download it from Microsoft (and have a look around for other free utilities).
I am in a semantic / pedantic mood, and I was curious about DevCon's findall command. Help says about Findall : 'Find all devices including those not present'. While that phrase makes no sense logically,
in practical terms it's useful for tracking those 'Ghost' devices that you know you have un-installed, but the operating system still thinks are attached.
With DevCon I started from the position of
not needing another utility to interrogating system, especially now I have PowerShell. The only reason that I even looked at DevCon was because of my respect for Paul DeBrino, and his wonderful record of
unearthing utilities that ezine readers love. I finished up being quietly impressed with DevCon and at 55k, coupled with an easy install, I will give it room in my toolkit.
Calculating IP Address
ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom
Excel spreadsheets. IPAT cracks this problem of allocating IP addresses
in networks in two ways:
For Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet
calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT
works out the usable addresses and their ranges.
For Mr Lazy IPAT
discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers.
Download the Free IP Address Tracker
As the name suggests, Antigen Microsoft Antigen detects and removes spam,
viruses and worms. There are versions for Exchange 2007, 2003 and even 2000. It works by integrating with real-time Blackhole lists (RBL) and also by filtering on keywords in the message body.
Installing Antigen: if you are running Exchange in SMTP Gateway mode, you need to switch to VSAPI (Virus Scanning Application Programming Interface) mode. One advantage of VSAPI mode it also scans internal email,
thus prevents one 'Psycho' user infecting all the rest of the company.
As with most software, you can get a trial version for 30 days, but then you have to pay. I am afraid that I don't have a precise cost
for Antigen, the variables of number of users, version of Exchange, whether or not your servers are clustered make it too hard to give an accurate costing, however, I am sure that Microsoft will give you a
price for your particular configuration!
One of the few complaints about Antigen is that it's too cheap! The beef is that Microsoft is pricing it artificially low to kill of rival products from
Symantec, McAfee and Trend. Others say that the other companies had priced their products too high, what ever the truth, my point is that Antigen seems like a good deal for the consumers, at least for the mid-term.
as there are zillions of goodies on the Sysinternal website, so there are even more add-ons at the Microsoft site, try the /downloads folder of Microsoft's main site.
Service Packs and Beta
Cricket is a strange game. Amongst its many quirks is the statistic that every week of the year there is an Cricket international somewhere in the world. The tenuous link to Service Packs is that every week there seems to be a new Service Pack for one or other of Microsoft's products.
SP3 for XP is one
such service pack for your notebook. At the
moment it's been released only to Beta testers. My suggestion is that you plan ahead and decide if, when, and how you are going to deploy it. Apparently some of the Vista features will be
incorporated in this last service pack for XP.
It seemed like just the week before there was an update of IE 7.0 for XP, (Actually it was back in October).
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Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Official looking statistics from w3schools say that IE 7.0 has a 21% share of the browser market. The same statistics say IE 6.0 is down to 34%. My Computer Performance site shows IE 7.0
at 43% and IE 6 at 28%. As this site is meant for techies you may expect skewed statistics for browsers. However, Fashion-era (50,000 visitors a day) shows: IE 7.0 with 37% and IE 6 with 39% of
market share. The browser stats at guy-sports are 40% IE 7 and also 40% IE 6. My point is that whichever way I look at the figures, the uptake of IE 7 seems greater than the official statistics
Update: IE 10 in Windows 8 »
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