May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Unix Command Line Tools and Unix protocols (X11, NFS, VNC ) in Windows

(Advocating usage of classic Unix command line utilities in Windows)



Recommended Links Resource Kits Recommended Books Xming Cygwin Cygwin/X
NFS on Windows



VNC for windows Command line Net Tools Samba Windows NX servers  
Teraterm screen syslog Free FTP clients for Window Command line mail clients Conversion of files from Windows to Unix format Disk Backup Dual boot
Native Win32 port of Unix utilities Free Process Map Tools Console Unixification Windows Command Prompt Customarization Classic Unix tools Unix Utilities   Technology of Working with ISO Images
uwin SFU
(version 3.5)
Perl Expect Apache Humor Random Findings Etc

A powerful command line environment which is so characteristic for Unix can be more or less successfully replicated in Windows and provides the same advantages: a better, more "scriptable"  environment especially to use in tandem with Unix/Linux server (my preferred configuration).

Classic Unix command line tools are part of  "orthodox ecosystem"  and in the opinion of the author they are underutilized in the Windows environment.  At the same time ripping out Windows desktop and installing Linux doesn't change much because the same clueless users are there: many linux users does not really understand Unix and use it more like 'alternative to windows" then on its own merits.

The phrase "GNU not Unix" have a very special meaning indeed, probably unanticipated by Richard Stallman  ;-). For me often (but not always) using GNU utilities and other software ported from Unix to Windows is easier and provide more consistent environment then usage of native Windows tools. Unixification of Windows means maximization of the usage of command line tools and scripting including classic Unix tools and utilities. It also means provideing emulation for some important protocols like X11 nad NFS. among them

One of the tremendous advantages of Windows over Unix is that Microsoft managed to enforce a single macro language (to be more exact a pair of macro languages: VBA and JavaScript)  for many of its tools (including major workhorses like FrontPage, Ms Word, Excel, Visio,  etc). It is also used in some third party tools like Lotus Notes) and as an internal scripting language. In this respect only OS/2 can compete with Windows. At one point Sun has chances to match Solaris with Windows by using TCL but they never managed to pull it off. 

Windows has a powerful capabilities on the command line that are severely underutilized by most users. Actually Microsoft supports developers well and provides a lot of free or semi-free utilities. Windows Resource Kits are one such example. They are essentially collections of pretty powerful command line utilities. Unfortunately they are not very popular and are definitely underutilized.  I see creating your own powerful collection of command line utilities as an optimal way of using Windows in both personal and enterprise environments and Resource kit utilities as SFU are important components of this collection.

Generally competition with OSS somewhat helps to control Microsoft in the same way Microsoft used to control IBM: in the past the great achievement of Microsoft was that it prevented (or at least limited) the ability of IBM brass to use its competitive advantages to push sub-par software.  Please remember that that catch phrase "GNU not Unix" can mean things quite different that RMS originally intended ;-). Actually a lot of commercial software both on Unix and Windows and first of all Oracle needs a reality check from open source. Switching to an open-source database can slash costs for one of the most expensive segments of the software budget by as much as 90%.  In such cases who cares is Oracle replaced with open source database (Postgres, Ingres, or MySQL) on Windows or on Unix as long as the result is reasonable reliability and lower costs.

It's interesting to note that Microsoft has pretty high level open source specialists in staff: in May 2005 Microsoft hired Daniel Robbins, the founder and former chief architect of Gentoo Linux, probably the best and definitely the most innovative among popular Linux distributions. Ballmer recently said that Microsoft has listened to customers who've demanded better support for non-Windows machines in Operations Manager software, Microsoft's key management product. Also, he said, the company will step up support for running Linux-based virtual machines in a service pack update to its Virtual Server product later this year.


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[Jun 2, 2009] OpenSSH for Windows

OpenSSH for Windows is a free package that installs a minimal OpenSSH server and client utilities in the Cygwin package without needing the full Cygwin installation.

The OpenSSH for Windows package provides full SSH/SCP/SFTP support. SSH terminal support provides a familiar Windows Command prompt, while retaining Unix/Cygwin-style paths for SCP and SFTP.

[Jun 1, 2009] HOWTO setup the Cygwin SSH daemon on a Windows 2003 server

Note : This set of instructions has worked for me at our institution. You should read /usr/share/doc/Cygwin/openssh.README after installing cygwin and check the cygwin mailing list if you encounter problems.

puttycyg - Google Code

PuTTYcyg is a patched version of PuTTY that, in addition to telnet, rlogin, ssh, and serial connections, can also be used as a local Cygwin terminal instead of the Windows console or xterm. See README.txt for more information.

Download the latest release (20071202).

PuTTYcyg may require a recent version of Cygwin. PuTTYcyg version 20071202 has been tested with version 1.5.24-2 of cygwin1.dll and several users report success with 1.5.25.

Problems? Please read the (very short) FAQ and the (very short) README before filing an issue.

[May 15, 2009] MinGW Minimalist GNU for Windows

MinGW, a contraction of "Minimalist GNU for Windows", is a port of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), and GNU Binutils, for use in the development of native Microsoft Windows applications. Offered in easily installed binary package format, for native deployment on MS-Windows, or user-built from source, for cross-hosted use on Unix or GNU/Linux, the suite exploits Microsoft's standard system DLLs to provide the C-Runtime and Windows API. It is augmented by additional function libraries for improved ISO C-99 compatibility, and further, by community supported add-on tools and libraries, many pre-built, many more in the form of "mingwPORTs", to be built by the end user.

MinGW provides a complete Open Source programming tool set which is suitable for the development of native MS-Windows applications, and which do not depend on any 3rd-party C-Runtime DLLs.

MSYS, a contraction of "Minimal SYStem", is a Bourne Shell command line interpreter system. Offered as an alternative to Microsoft's cmd.exe, this provides a general purpose command line environment, which is particularly suited to use with MinGW, for porting of many Open Source applications to the MS-Windows platform; it includes a small selection of Unix tools, chosen to facilitate that objective, and using it is a necessary prerequisite for building mingwPORTs.

mingwPORTs are user contributed additions to the MinGW software collection. Rather than providing these "add-ons" as precompiled binary packages, they are supplied in the form of interactive Bourne shell scripts, which guide the end user through the process of automatically downloading and patching original source code, then building and installing it. Users who wish to build any application from a mingwPORT must first install both MinGW and MSYS.

[Dec 3, 2007] UnxUtils

Port of common GNU utilities to native Win32. In this context, native means the executables do only depend on the Microsoft C-runtime (msvcrt.dll) and not an emulation layer like that provided by Cygwin tools.

[Feb 24, 2007] Useful Tools for Windows XP from the Server 2003 Resource Kit

Many of the command-line tools from the Windows Server 2003 resource kit can be used in Windows XP. Some are described here.

Microsoft provides a large assortment of command-line tools, which can be obtained in a variety of ways. For users of Windows XP Professional, there are three major sources. One set of "native" tools is part of the standard installation and these are listed on another page. A second set, called "support tools", can be installed from a full version of Windows XP Professional or downloaded. These are the subject of this page on the present site. A third set is part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit but are applicable to Windows XP. They can be downloaded here and are the subject of this article.

As would be expected, the Windows 2003 Server tools are intended for large networked systems and many are not appropriate for typical home systems. Nonetheless, many can be useful in a simple system. I have made a somewhat arbitrary selection of those that seem most helpful and discuss them below. Note that some of these tools are actually graphical (GUI) tools that are opened from the command line and this is indicated where it applies. A full list of the tools is available at the Microsoft download site. Once they are installed. the Help and Support Center will contain a list with descriptions and syntax for their use.

Cdburn.exe: ISO CD-ROM Burner Tool
CDBurn is a command-line tool that allows the user to write data images from image files located on the hard drive to a CD. The data image can be any kind of data, even raw data. This tool can also be used to erase CD-RW media.
Chklnks.exe: Link Check Wizard
Link Check Wizard (ChkLnks) is a GUI tool that scans all the link (shortcut) files on a computer to determine whether or not the shortcuts point to existing applications or documents. When Link Check Wizard does not find an associated application or document, the wizard lists that file as a dead link, giving you the option to remove it.
Cleanspl.exe: Spooler Cleaner
Spooler Cleaner (CleanSpl) is a GUI tool that restores the print spooler to its original state. It deletes all print jobs, printers, printer drivers, and spool files on a specified local or remote server.
Creatfil.exe: Create File
CreatFil creates a blank file of a specified size, filled with space characters.
Diskraid.exe: RAID Configuration Tool
DiskRaid is a command-line tool that enables configuration and management of redundant array of independent (or inexpensive) disks (RAID) storage subsystems.
Dvdburn.exe: ISO DVD Burner Tool
DVDBurn is a command-line tool that allows the user to write DVD images from image files located on the hard drive to DVD media. The data image can be created by any program capable of producing DVD image files. You can also use this tool to erase DVD media.
Empty.exe: Free Working Set Tool
Free Working Set Tool (Empty) is a command-line tool that frees the working set of a specified task or process, making those page frames available for other processes.
Iniman.exe: Initialization Files Manipulation Tool
IniMan is a command-line tool that enables you to add, delete, modify, or query sections or keys in an .ini file.
Instsrv.exe: Service Installer
Service Installer (InstSrv) is a command-line tool that installs and uninstalls executable services and assigns names to them.
Kernrate.exe: Kernel Profiling Tool
Kernel Profiling Tool (KernRate) is a command-line tool that is a CPU sample profiler. A sample profiler monitors performance and reports back to the user. KernRate reports on kernel and user-mode processes to provide information about CPU activity. Use KernRate to identify which processes are causing a CPU bottleneck.
Linkspeed.exe: Link Speed
Link Speed is a command-line tool that displays the speed of the connection between computers on a network.
Memmonitor.exe: Memory Monitor
MemMonitor is a command-line tool that monitors the memory a process uses
Memtriage.exe: Resource Leak Triage Tool
MemTriage is a command-line tool that detects a possible resource leak on a running system. MemTriage records process information or current kernel pool information and saves it to a log file.
Now.exe: STDOUT Current Date and Time
Now reads standard input (STDIN) and then displays, on standard output (STDOUT), the current date and time followed by the STDIN. Used alone, it displays the current date and time.
Ntimer.exe: Windows Program Timer
NTimer is a command-line tool that measures how long a program runs. NTimer shows elapsed time, time in user mode, and time in privileged mode.
Oh.exe: Open Handles
Open Handles is a command-line tool that shows the handles of all open windows. OH can also be used to show only information about a specific process, object type, or object name.
Oleview.exe: OLE/COM Object Viewer
OLE/COM Object Viewer (OLEView) is a GUI tool that allows you to manage all Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) classes installed on your computer.
Pathman.exe: Path Manager
PathMan is a command-line tool that adds or removes components from system or user paths.
Pmon.exe: Process Resource Monitor
Process Resource Monitor (PMon) is a command-line tool that displays several measures of the CPU and memory use of processes running on the system. The PMon display appears in the command window.
Printdriverinfo.exe: Drivers Source
Drivers Source (PrintDriverInfo) is a command-line tool that is used to collect information about printer drivers and is primarily used for support purposes.
Qgrep is a command-line tool that is used to search a file or list of files for a specific string or pattern and return the line containing the match. QGrep also allows you to search multiple files and subdirectories. Qgrep is similar to the UNIX tool "grep".
Remapkey.exe: Remap Windows Keyboard Layout
RemapKey is a GUI tool that changes the layout of a keyboard by remapping the scan codes of the keys.
Robocopy.exe: Robust File Copy Utility
A versatile utility for maintaining an identical copy of a folder and its sub-folders in more than one location,
Setprinter.exe: Spooler Configuration Tool
Spooler Configuration Tool is a command-line tool that is used to set configurations of local and remote printers
Sleep.exe: Batch File Wait
Sleep is a command-line tool that causes the computer to wait for a specified amount of time. For use in batch files
Splinfo.exe: Print Spooler Information
SplInfo is a command-line tool that collects information from the print spooler and displays it.
Tail is a command-line tool that displays a user-specified number of the last lines of a text file, such as a log file, in a console window.

[Nov 14, 2006] A Comparison of Solaris, Linux, and FreeBSD Kernel

Re:wishfull thinking (Score:5, Informative) by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Monday October 17, @02:08AM (#13807631)

Win32 subsystem is TOO much tied to NT kernel and closely coupled to achieve the performance it has today.
That is why NT 3.51/3.53 was more robust than NT 4,0 which moved major parts of the UI code to kernel mode.

Please actually read Inside Windows NT 3.51 by Helen Custer and THEN read Inside Windows NT 4.0 to know the difference.

Sorry, hun, read both and even had this discussion with a key kernel developer at Microsoft a few years ago. (1997 in fact, as we were starting to work with Beta 1 of Windows 2000)

NT 4.0 ONLY moved video to a lower ring. It had NOTHING to do with moving the Win32 subsystem INTO NT - that did not happen.

That is why Windows NT Embedded exists, and also why even the WinCE is a version of the NT kernel with NO Win32 ties.

Microsoft can STILL produce NT without any Win32, and just throw a *nix subsystem on it if they wanted to, but yet have the robustness of NT. Win32 is the just the default interface because of the common API and success of Windows applications.

I think you are confusing Ring dropping of the video driver with something completely different.

NT is a client/server kernel... Go look up what that means, please for the love of God.

Win32 is a subsystem, plain and simple. Yes it is a subsystem that has tools to control the NT kernel under it, but that is just because that is the default subsystem interface. You could build these control tools in any subsystem you want to stack on NT. PERIOD.

Slashdot Microsoft Partners With Zend

EWeek already thinks WinPHP best


by hirschma (187820) on Tuesday October 31, @06:33PM (#16666341)

See the pretty charts [] and the article [].

Pretty much, EWeek found that the OSS stacks run best on Windows. Now, is this because EWeek ran everything without tuning? Possibly. But then again, so do most folks, so the results are pretty valid.

I bet that someone at MS was reading that, too.

Why are people freaking out? (Score:2, Interesting)

by moore.dustin (942289) on Tuesday October 31, @04:12PM (#16664465)

This is good news as far as I am concerned. Additional support from a major provider of server OS's to a widely used OPEN SOURCE language can and will help. It is not like PHP is only thing out there now and its flaws are more apparent now with the whole web 2.0 and its corresponding languages. Maybe some support and extra innovation will keep it viable and maintain its developers/users. I know I have been looking to other languages more and more as time goes by.

What does this mean for ASP though? Short answer is probably nothing I am guessing, but could this mean something down the road?

Re:Why are people freaking out? (Score:2)

by oohshiny (998054) on Tuesday October 31, @04:33PM (#16664821)

Maybe some support and extra innovation will keep it viable and maintain its developers/users.

If PHP developers wanted "innovation", PHP wouldn't have succeeded as much as it did. PHP has succeeded because it's for people to develop web applications with, and to do so with little more than a text editor. It also doesn't look to me like PHP needs more support (and what kind support would Microsoft offer anyway?).

This is simply what it looks like: Microsoft wants PHP to run better on Windows servers so that people who want to run popular PHP applications aren't forced to switch to Linux in order to get good performance. It's understandable, it's reasonable, and it's not particularly nefarious.

Maybe Microsoft will add a little more support to their development tools for PHP, or maybe not, but I doubt that will make a difference to anybody; people who develop with Microsoft tools probably aren't all that interested in PHP (yes, I know, I'm an insensitive clod because you, gentle reader, happen to be one of those people, but I suspect there aren't so many of you).

[Oct 28, 2006] Slashdot/Will Red Hat Survive



by steve_l (109732) on Saturday October 28, @09:41AM (#16621982)

Windows pricing is hard to compare, because its so variable. A copy of XP pro over the three year life of a PC is less than RHWS; but add on the cost of CAL licenses to network infrastructure (exchange, file servers) and the price of a PC rises. Same for server installs -the cost of the database scales with the number of users you want to support.

On the other hand, if you are a developer with an MSDN subscription, you get all of windows, office, much of visual studio for a flat rate, less than an AS subscription. Microsoft treats developers well.

But Fedora? To increase the value of the paid products, RH had to reduce the value of the free ones. Fedora achieves that. I don't see why we 'community' developers, whose of us who write the stuff that ships with RHAS, have to suffer on an unstable distro with no support for products like VMWare. Here I am, working on things for no money, and yet RHEL still treat me as a leech who deserves low stability junk. If I want that, I'd use MS Vista :)

Re:Prices--Red Hat way more expensive

(Score:3, Informative)

by lukas84 (912874) on Saturday October 28, @10:50AM (#16622560)

I work in sub-200 people environments in switzerland. So my perpspective might differ a lot from yours, but i've found microsoft to offer good value for their money.

1 CHF (Swiss Franc) = 0.80 US$

If you're a sub-15 people company, and only have one machine, Microsoft Small Business Server is a good bet. You can get the Standard Edition for 800 CHF, and the Premium Edition (includes SQL Server and ISA Server (no idea why you would want that)) for 1300 CHF. Each includes 5 User CALs, So for 15 people you need two more five packs or about 1000 each. This price doesn't include support, though. Also, i'm not much of a fan of SBS because of several restrictions (only a single domain controller, Exchange and DC on the same machine), but these are the standard practice in such small companies.

Microsoft offers their SBS server for up to 75 users. I don't think thats a good idea.

Companies in this size usually don't have any IT staff, so self help is important. With windows, the people at least feel that they can try to fix problem themselves (which they usually can't). With Linux, this isn't the case. (Just because windows server offers a GUI for 80% of it's functions doesn't mean that it's simple).

Windows is mostly the only choice if you are cooperating with other companies. Some might offer their shipping calculation program only for windows, some specialized ERP software might only be available or windows, etc. pp.

I've found windows to offer the best SMB desktop management, everything from redhat etc. seems to be geared at big companies with a standard desktop images. Group Policies are a fucking cool thing.

Re:Prices--Red Hat way more expensive


by lukas84 (912874) on Saturday October 28, @02:15PM (#16624188)

The answer is, of course, it depends.

If you are a information technology company, it might be possible and might even have lots of advantages to use linux exclusively.

However, if you are not an IT company, i don't see linux to stand a chance. There are some technical reasons here, but also social reasons:

The technical reasons:

* Software, which the company needs might not be available under linux. Using VMs or WINE might solve the problem in the short term, but what if the a new version doesn't work anymore?
* Especially for low end hardware, there isn't much support for linux. But if we're honest here, low end hardware causes lot's of trouble under windows.
* Integration with linux is very difficult. All kinds of mobile phones, pdas, mp3 players, etc. can be hooked up to windows with the help of a CD. With linux, it isn't as easy. While some devices might be supported, some of them won't be. Unfortunately, this also includes high end hardware (like Windows Mobile PDAs).
* Groupware with Linux seems to be a problem still. I lack experience in this area, but last time i checked solutions here weren't as well integrated (for example lacking support for Direct Push, Blackberry, etc.)

The social reasons:

* There usually are no people with linux knowledge ("Power Users"). This means for every so little problem, external support is required, adding a lot to the cost of linux. A technicians hour is usually the same as a single CAL. This problem will solve itself over time, though.
* People are afraid of Linux. It is new and unknown. People like to have something to blame. If they can't get their document out because they have to use Linux to write it, they will blame Linux. Irregardless of facts.

As it is now, linux can't be adopted by small companys. Larger companys have much more resources available, and might save money when deploying linux.

[Aug 10, 2006] .NET and Java to get better dynamic language support

By Ryan Paul | Published: August 10, 2006 - 08:07AM CT

With highly expressive syntax that is easy to read, write, and maintain, dynamic programming languages like Python and Ruby are extremely conducive to rapid development. Microsoft and Sun Microsystems have observed growing interest in dynamic programming, and plan to integrate more extensive support for dynamic language features in their respective managed language platforms.

Microsoft developer Jim Hugunin reveals that the Redmond, WA software company is in the process of augmenting its popular .NET platform to simplify development of dynamic programming languages. Hugunin, the developer of a Python implementation for .NET called IronPython, says that the .NET Common Language Runtime will be extended in order to add additional support for dynamic language features. New libraries will be added as well to provide framework components that can be used by language creators. Microsoft hopes that the new features and the availability of the IronPython source code (which will act as a reference implementation) will encourage developers to bring other popular dynamic languages to the .NET platform. Several useful dynamic language features have already been added to .NET 2.0, most notably Lightweight Code Generation and DynamicMethod.

Hugunin is also very enthusiastic about the opportunities created by PowerShell, Microsoft's next-generation command line architecture. Built on .NET technology, PowerShell provides a highly sophisticated dynamic language that includes impressive support for first-class functions and other desirable features. PowerShell also comes with a broad selection of useful libraries and utilities that simplify common computing tasks. Hugunin hopes to expose much of that functionality to Visual Basic and IronPython in order to provide users with a broader selection of options for scripting.

In my overview of PowerShell (then called the Microsoft Command Shell), I pointed out that lack of support for defining classes in scripts represents one of the most significant limitations of the language. By enabling users to leverage the power and functionality of the PowerShell libraries and classes in an elegant and sophisticated dynamic language like Python, Microsoft can provide developers with the best of both worlds.

Python isn't the only dynamic language making its way to .NET. Canadian developer John Lam is currently developing RubyCLR, a bridge that will make it possible for developers to create .NET applications with Ruby. Other dynamic languages ported to .NET include Lisp (Rob Blackwell's L#), and Smalltalk (SmallScript Corp's S#).

Sun Microsystems plans to expand its own Java platform to provide stronger support for dynamic languages. In an uncharacteristically perceptive statement from Sun, Sun Computational Theologist Gilad Bracha admits, "It has come to our attention that some people want to program in things other than Java."

Sun has been steadily laboring to improve dynamic language support, and plans to include a JavaScript implementation in version six of Java Standard Edition. In order to simplify development of dynamic languages for the Java Virtual Machine, Sun has issued a Java Specification Request describing a new bytecode operation called invokedynamic, which Bracha describes as "a loosely-typed invokevirtual." Sun also plans to add support for dynamic metaprogramming facilities (runtime code generation mechanisms analogous to macros in Lisp and metaclasses in Python). Although several dynamic languages are already available for the Java Virtual Machine, including JRuby and Jython, the new features are important because they will simplify the language development process and expand the scope of functionality accessible to those dynamic languages. Dynamic metaprogramming is a particularly exciting feature that has a lot to offer in the field of domain-specific language design.

Many dynamic language enthusiasts are also interested in Parrot, an open source virtual machine designed specifically for dynamic languages. Initially conceived as the foundation for Perl 6, Parrot provides some extremely impressive features including a built-in grammar engine that vastly simplifies the process of language development. Although Parrot is far from complete, a number of languages built on top of it are at various stages of completion, including ports of Python, Ruby, Tcl, Lisp, and basic. Perl 6 developers claim that Parrot will eventually provide better performance than the JVM or .NET for dynamic scripting languages, but performance claims are currently debatable since Parrot is still in early stages of development. There are several significant architectural differences between Parrot and other prominent virtual machines, particularly the fact that Parrot is register-based, whereas Java's bytecode and .NET's Common Intermediate Language are stack-based.

Released yesterday, Parrot 0.4.6 includes new partial Ruby and Javascript implementations, improvements for the grammar engine and abstract syntax tree generator, and new opcodes for accessing globals, as well as numerous bug fixes and improvements.

Managed language platforms have a lot to offer modern dynamic languages, particularly performance (IronPython is one and a half times faster than the standard Python implementation in some contexts), interoperability, and broader library support. As dynamic languages continue to grow in popularity, widely used development platforms like .NET and Java will expand to meet that demand, and Microsoft and Sun will continue to strengthen their commitments to the dynamic language community. Parrot will also eventually catch up and provide a robust, open source alternative.

[Apr 28, 2006] Port25 Recovering remote NT-W2K-XP desktops with a network boot CD-DVD

In the comment below it's unclear why just don't let create students to use Norton Ghost and create thier own images ? Also only amateurs use one partition (C: for all the drive) on modern laptop, and if University wants to train idiots this is definitely a way to go ;-). It's very easy to link major user directories to the second drive.

re: Recovering remote NT/W2K/XP desktops with a network boot CD/DVD

Friday, April 28, 2006 12:58 PM by fluke g4u is a very interesting project. I have been using Novell's ZEN Image which boots a light (less than 12MB) version of SuSE to do imaging. And just like g4u, it supports be started via CD boot or PXE network boot.

However, you did not answer the question about *RECOVERY* of an existing installation at all.

At the University, we have several students that are getting hit with the "Blackworm." Several of these Dell laptop users don't even have a Windows install CD, but rather a Ghost boot CD that puts the drive back to OEM default (in some cases also without SP2). It would be nice to have a "Live CD" based on the XP kernel. This way, even if the user has hardware not supported by alternative OSes, a recovery enviroment could be booted that is ensured not automatically start any rootkits from the hard drive. We could then use network access to the "Live CD" enviroment to try to remove the infection or at least remotely back up critical data files.

But the problem is one of license terms instead of any technical issue. While several people claim that Windows is simply a victim of it's own popularity and if Mac OS or Linux became the popular desktop then it would also be the target of malware. To some extent that might be true but the people that make this claim do not seem to take into account what methods of recovery could be made available to the different personal desktop users.

If a Mac OS port of Blackworm came out, we could create a bootable recovery CD based on Darwin that uses Apple's offical HFS+ file system code and is able to support all the same hardware drivers as the hard drive installed OS. Once such a recovery CD is created, we could then redistribute it to the students under the licensing terms of Darwin.

If a GNU/Linux port of Blackworm came out, we could create a bootable recovery CD based on the GNU/Linux distribution that uses the distribution's offical file system code and is able to support all the same hardware drivers as the hard drive installed OS. Once such a recovery CD is created, we could then redistribute it to the students under the licensing terms of the GNU/Linux distribution.

But now that XP version of Blackworm is out, we have tried creating a bootable BartPE CD that uses the offical MS kernel, NTFS driver and other XP drivers. But, then the terms of redistribution on any work derived using the XP kernel and other resources prohibits us from redistributing it to the students.

We don't want to cheat Microsoft but we don't want to cheat our students either. Ultimately, copyright law wins out and our ability to help the students is greatly hindered. Our Microsoft sales rep will only confirm that we don't have any reasonable method of redistributing BartPE CDs regardless of what our intentions are.

Much like you, Dell and Microsoft's answer involves re-imaging the laptop which does not address keeping any of the data they need to pass their classes.

"and went for coffee (anytime is a good time for coffee J )"

Well... if you can recommend any good coffee, it might at least make our students feel better about loosing to the Blackworm their end of semester papers that are due today.

If only malware authors where restricted by the same laws that hinder us from fighting their creations.

[Apr 1, 2005] SOX-related slang

[Mar 28, 2006] Port25 Welcome to Port 25

Tim O’Reilly has talked about the importance of architectures for participation. The value of building an architecture to allow participation was never more clear than reading (and responding!) to thousands of these emails. Now you may be reading this saying “Amazing, it took this guy how long to learn about blogs?” and that’s a fair criticism, and Jason Matusow and Robert Scoble have been telling me to do this for a long while now. But hopefully by the time you finish reading through this site, you’ll understand why Port 25 is somewhat more than just a place to blog.

So why is it called Port 25? Some background on port numbers first. SMTP is short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and is the protocol for sending email messages between servers or from a mail client to a mail server. On a server, the port for SMTP is 25. When you open a port on a server, such as to allow for SMTP traffic, it is commonly referred to as ‘listening’ on the port. Port 25, therefore, is a metaphor for how we are opening the communication lines to for a discussion around Open Source Software and Microsoft. Cute, huh?

As someone who has many hours at the command line, debugging things such as protocol states (LISTENING?) and getting software and servers working to provide some type of service, the concept of server ports and being open is well engrained in how I and the team here in our lab think about communications – so we thought it was applicable to how we want to start the dialogue around this subject. I guess it just took a Slashdot interview and a couple thousand emails (and consistent nudging from friends) to really drive the point home that having a participative discussion around OSS and Microsoft technologies is a good thing, not –as many people may believe- something we want to ‘hide’ or shy away from.

What will you find here? This will be the place we not only blog, but also where we put analysis from our OSS labs and also where we discuss and show other parts of Microsoft that we think are just plain cool or interesting. I think what you’ll see here over time is how a bunch of open source guys inside Microsoft think, as well as people and technologies inside Redmond that we think other folks like us would find interesting as well.

[Apr. 6, 2006] Microsoft to open the doors of Linux labs

Windows Server 2003 R2 includes a variety of UNIX-based services like Network File System (NFS) and Network Information Service (NIS).
Microsoft’s Open Source Software Lab is an ambitious research project. Located on the company’s main campus, the lab houses more than 300 servers, which collectively run more than 15 versions of UNIX and 50 Linux distributions. It boasts a team of senior-level programmers and system administrators, some of whom were architects of popular Linux distributions or authors of well-regarded books. In short, the lab is one of a few such facilities in the world dedicated to open source research.

The driving force behind the lab is Bill Hilf, General Manager of Platform Strategy at Microsoft. Hilf joined the company in 2004 after working at IBM, where he was instrumental in driving IBM's Linux technical strategy for its emerging and competitive markets organization. Prior to his stint at IBM, Hilf was VP of Engineering at E-Toys, where he helped build the company’s e-commerce infrastructure.

When Hilf speaks about the lab and his involvement, the usual response he gets is, “At Microsoft? Why run Open Source in a mixed environment at Microsoft?” While theories abound—ranging from “Microsoft is working on its own Linux implementation” to “Microsoft is considering porting Windows to Linux”—the truth is far simpler. The lab provides Microsoft with deeper insight into the world of open source software, and it helps the company improve how Microsoft products work with open source software.

“Contrary to the belief that Microsoft is anti-open source, the reality is not so black-and-white,” says Hilf. “Most customers don’t live in an either/or world, nor do they choose a technology based on its development model. Instead, they choose a technology based on its ability to serve a business need or solve a particular problem. By running open source software in a Windows environment, we’re learning how those technologies can work better together so that our customers can benefit from a broader range of choices.”

One of the issues being addressed in the lab is how Microsoft management tools can do a better job in heterogeneous environments. For example, for customers who are using Microsoft Systems Management Server or Microsoft Operations Manager and need to manage a Linux or UNIX server, the lab can provide input on which third-party technologies can enable that scenario.

Another example is the testing it has done with Windows Server 2003 R2, which includes a variety of UNIX-based services like Network File System (NFS) and Network Information Service (NIS). Collectively called the Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications, the lab tested those services extensively to see how well they could interoperate with open source software in a data center environment.

Practicing the Art of Coopetitition

Although testing interoperability between Microsoft products and open source software is one of the lab’s primary roles, it’s not the only one. The lab also helps Microsoft to build better products through a deeper understanding of open source software.

“Licensing restrictions permitting we analyze and benchmark open source software in areas where Microsoft competes or has an interest,” says Hilf. “We share those results with other teams at Microsoft, who use the data to determine how we can improve our own products.”

One recent example is the work the lab did for the Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, which the company announced in late 2005 as part of its entrance into the high performance computing (HPC) market. Today, that market is largely dominated by Linux.

“When the product team first began building Compute Cluster Server, they asked us to find the best HPC solution from an open source perspective,” says Hilf. “We built a large, clustered system using Linux and did extensive benchmarking, then we wiped out that installation and ran the same tests for Compute Cluster Server. The data we collected will help us to deliver a more compelling product.”

“Both Windows and open source software will continue to be around for years to come, so it’s important that we test and analyze interoperability with open source software even if we may sometimes compete with some of this software – this is the real world where mixed environments exist,” says Hilf. “Coopetition – cooperating and competing – is part of the real world. Customers exist in the real world so we focus on what they care about, not what people philosophize about.”

Although there are many different ways that Microsoft could gain that desired knowledge about open source software, Hilf believes that one of the most effective ways is through a hands-on approach in which his team must address the same challenges as customers who run open source software in real-world scenarios.

“Deeply understanding a technology without actually using it would be like trying to deeply understand a foreign country without spending any time there,” says Hilf. “Listening to Berlitz language CDs or reading travel guides might help familiarize you with a foreign culture before you visit, but you’ll remain a tourist until you’ve lived there for a while.” Rather than function as a third-party trying to understand the open source phenomenon by looking in from the outside, the Microsoft Open Source Software lab is immersing itself deep into this space, relying on hands-on experience and hiring the necessary technical expertise to generate fact-based, unbiased information.

“We’re out to find the science that proves or disproves the statements made about open source software, so that we don’t need to guess or draw abstract conclusions,” says Hilf. “By being a center of knowledge and competency, we’re able to provide hard facts to Microsoft product teams when they ask questions on the state of management for open source software or the state of a certain open source application.”

[Apr 3, 2006] Microsoft to host Linux virtually Company said that it has now made Virtual Server 2005 R2 a Free Download

Microsoft made Virtual Server 2005 R2 ... a free download. It will support Linux

Mar 30, 2006 (CNET The announcements were made in conjunction with the LinuxWorld conference in Boston this week.

Virtualization, an emerging technology which is garnering growing interest from corporate customers, allows a server to run multiple instances of an operating system. This makes it easier for corporations to consolidate many applications on a single hardware server and provides a level of reliability.

Microsoft said that it has developed software to simplify the installation of Linux distributions from Red Hat and Novell SuSE to run on Virtual Server 2005 R2 on Windows. In addition, Microsoft will provide technical support customers running Windows and Linux side by side.

"We’ve made a long-term commitment to make sure that non-Windows operating systems can be run in a supported manner, both on top of Virtual Server and our future virtualization products," said Zane Adam, director of Windows Server product marketing, in a statement.

Microsoft has said that the server edition of Windows Vista will have virtualization built into it. Specifically, it said it is developing so-called hypervisor software, code-named Viridian, to host multiple operating systems on one machine.

Microsoft faces competition in the market from EMC subsidiary VMware and increasingly the Xen project that's being built into forthcoming versions of Suse Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

[Mar 27, 2006] VMware Server Replaces VMware GSX Server VMware Server—a free virtualization product for Windows and Linux servers

VMware believes that the benefits of server virtualization should be universally available. Period. VMware has introduced free VMware Server Beta for immediate download.

VMware Server is a robust yet easy to use product for users new to server virtualization technology. VMware Server enables companies to partition a physical server into multiple virtual machines, and to start experiencing the benefits of virtualization. With VMware Server, companies can provision a new server in minutes without investing in new hardware, run multiple different operating systems and applications on the same physical host server, move virtual machines from one physical host to another without re-configuration, and much more!

VMware Server can be used to streamline software development and testing, evaluate software in ready-to-run virtual machines, re-host legacy applications or simplify server provisioning. In addition, users can leverage a wide variety of plug-and-play virtual appliances for commonly used infrastructure.

VMware Server offers more than GSX Server

In addition to the VMware GSX Server capabilities, the generally available release of VMware Server plans to offer the following unique features:

Learn more about VMware Server.

Support and Subscription Options

VMware is fully committed to GSX Server customers' continued success. Notwithstanding VMware's Support and Subscription agreement terms, GSX Server will be fully supported by VMware for two years after VMware Server becomes generally available. GSX Server customers will be able to renew existing support contracts during that period.

Upgrade Options

The free VMware Server represents the upgrade path for all GSX Server customers. Once VMware Server is generally available, which is currently planned for Q2 2006, it will replace GSX Server as VMware's hosted server virtualization offering. At that time, VMware will also start offering Support and Subscription services for VMware Server for purchase.

VMware also offers very favorable terms for upgrading from GSX Server to VMware Virtual Infrastructure products—VMware ESX Server and VirtualCenter. To learn more about the terms of purchasing Support and Subscription for VMware Server or upgrading to ESX Server and VirtualCenter, please read VMware Server Order Information.

To learn more, please read the GSX Server FAQ.

Start experiencing the benefits of server virtualization

  1. Download VMware Server.
  2. Download pre-built, ready-to-run virtual appliances from industry-leading ISV partners, open source partners and the VMware community.

[Mar 25, 2006] AutoHotkey - Free Mouse and Keyboard Macro Program with Hotkeys and AutoText

Nice addition to Windows. Windows 3.1 used to have a built-in macro recorder, but it disappeared in lat4r versions of OS

AutoHotkey is a free, open-source utility for Windows. With it, you can:

Getting started might be easier than you think. Check out the quick-start tutorial.

More About Hotkeys

AutoHotkey unleashes the full potential of your keyboard, joystick, and mouse. For example, in addition to the typical Control, Alt, and Shift modifiers, you can use the Windows key and the Capslock key as modifiers. In fact, you can make any key or mouse button act as a modifier. For these and other capabilities, see Advanced Hotkeys.

Other Features

License: GNU General Public License

[Feb 14, 2006] Free Microsoft compilers

[Jan 14, 2006] Windows XP/2000 Commands and Tools

Here's a list of some new tools mixed up with the old favorites that will make any Linux user feel at home with the command prompt. A lot of these commands are intended for administrating a network, but they are great for savvy home users as well. We even listed which OS you need for these commands.

With most of these commands, you can just type the command without any options and a list of possible arguments will be displayed.

Microsoft Windows 2000 Command Reference If you think these commands were handy, check out our list of helpful Windows Shortcut Keys.

[Nov 9, 2005] The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities A very interesting selection; definitely gifted author !

There are a lot of great freeware products out there. Many are as good or even better than their commercial alternatives. This list features my personal pick of the "best of the best."

All these utilities in this list have been featured in past issues of of my free monthly newsletter "Support Alert" More freebies are featured in every new issue. If you are interested in great utilities and freeware you really should consider subscribing. It's free.

You'll get the most from this list by browsing through it at leisure. The pathologically impatient can consult the index.

This page is updated regularly. Last update: October 20, 2005.

[Oct 2, 2005] Microsoft decided decision to build PDF support into Office 12.

October 2, 2005 (Pdfzone) Microsoft will build into its forthcoming Office 12 desktop suite a "save to PDF" capability, according to Office program manager Brian Jones.

Jones communicated word of Microsoft's PDF plan for Office 12 on his blog on Saturday afternoon. He posted that Microsoft will add native support for PDF in Word 12, Excel 12, PowerPoint 12, Access 12, Publisher 12, OneNote 12, Visio 12 and InfoPath 12. picked up Jones' posting, with a number of posters noting that Microsoft Office rival OpenOffice already offers a similar save to PDF capability.

Jones' disclosure was somewhat surprising, given Microsoft's announcement earlier this year of plans to incorporate "Metro," Microsoft's PDF/PostScript alternative, into Windows Vista. (Microsoft currently is using the XML Paper Specification (XPS) to refer to many of its Metro components.)

And Microsoft's Metro announcement was seen by industry watchers just one of a growing number of direct shots by Microsoft at Adobe's PDF/PhotoShop/Illustrator empire.

Jones' post also is somewhat puzzling, given the fact that Microsoft forbade the Office 12 Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) who attended last week's Global MVP Summit from disclosing particulars about Microsoft's next-generation Office suite, which is due to ship in the latter half of 2006.

Microsoft officials did acknowledge to Microsoft Watch that the Office team did provide pre-Beta 1 Office 12 bits to MVPs who attended the conference, albeit under strict non-disclosure-agreement (NDA) terms.

"Microsoft Office MVPs will receive a pre-beta release of Office "12" code under strict NDA," a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed late last week. "The MVPs form an essential part of Microsoft's customer feedback processes and are now being involved earlier than ever in providing feedback about next version of Office products.

[Sep 2, 2005] Microsoft makes Unix changes CNET

Microsoft will integrate SDU into 2003 R2 and stop further work on SFU as a separate product.

... ... ...

Microsoft plans to include some of those features in Windows Server 2003 R2, an update to the server OS due at the end of this year. At the same time, the company said it is not planning any further releases of the standalone Services For Unix product.

Samm DiStasio, a director in the Windows Server unit, said Microsoft has done more than just add a few components of SFU onto the Windows Server disks, noting that the company has done significant work to more deeply integrate the features with the operating system.

"It's not a bundling thing," he said.

In particular, DiStasio said that with R2, there is a new architecture for allowing applications to run on Windows, making use of both Windows and Unix programming interfaces.

DiStasio said the plan is to build Unix tools into releases beyond R2 as well, but he did not rule out that there might be some tools offered separate from the OS.

As was the case with SFU, DiStasio said, the goal is to support customers with mixed Windows and Unix setups as well as those looking to bring their Unix programs onto Windows.

"I think it gives them the tools to do that (migrate to Windows) and to coexist, if they think that is their endgame," DiStasio said.

[Aug 9, 2005] Microsoft No Monad scripting in first Windows Vista

Monad was removed from client, but will survive on the server: "On the operating system side of things, Monad is then expected to be included in Windows Server Longhorn, expected in 2007"
August 08, 2005 (IDG News Service)Computerworld Just one day after the first public reports of viruses being written for an upcoming feature of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system (see "First Windows Vista viruses unleashed"), the company said it will not include the feature in the first generally available release of Microsoft Vista, due out in the second half of 2006.

The feature, called the Monad Shell, provides a way for users to access the operating system using text-based commands rather than the traditional Windows graphical user interface. In the past, Microsoft has said that Monad will be part of Longhorn, the code name for both the next client and server versions of Windows.

In an interview Friday, Microsoft director of product management Eric Berg said Monad will not be included in the first commercial version of Windows Vista when it is released. But the product is expected to be included in Windows over the next "three to five years," he said. "Our intention is to synchronize it with both client and server operating systems."

Security experts had worried that if Monad were included in a widely used client, it might become an attractive target for hackers -- especially if the shell were enabled by default.

Whether it will be enabled by default is unclear. "There are multiple ways that we could introduce this technology to the client stream," Berg said.

The first Microsoft product to use Monad will be the next release of Microsoft's Exchange messaging server, code-named Exchange 12, which is also due in 2006, Berg said.

On the operating system side of things, Monad is then expected to be included in Windows Server Longhorn, expected in 2007, and could be available in a future Windows Vista release, said Rob Helm, director of research at Directions on Microsoft Inc. "Presumably, as time goes on, all of Microsoft's products will have Monad scripting interfaces," he said.

[Aug 8, 2005] Slashdot New MS Shell Will Not Be In Longhorn

New Windows shell? Looks like it'll be yet another technology that won't make it into Longhorn. 'It will take three to five years to fully develop and deliver,' said Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia this week at Tech Ed 2005. However, it's not dead yet--despite not shipping in Longhorn in 2006 or Longhorn Server in 2007, the article says 'Exchange 12 administration functions will be built atop Monad, which would enable users to do everything from the command line that can be done from the graphical interface.'"

Re:Let's try making a list! (Score:4, Informative)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 10, @09:08PM (#12786084)
People, let's try making a list of that which we do know that (for now at least) will be in Longhorn. Each person who replies just has to copy paste the previous list and add his content :P
... ... ...

I'll try my best:

* Avalon: a new user interface subsystem and API based on XML, .NET, and vector graphics.
* Indigo: a service-oriented messaging system to allow programs to interoperate as part of the .NET framework.
* WinFX: a new API replacing the current Win32 API (there's of course still Win32 + Win64)
* .NET framework 2.0 (the foundation for Longhorn)
* WGF - Windows Graphic Foundations
* DirectX 10 which will further merge pixel and vertex shaders and introduce new technologies for 3D rendering.
* Lower user privileges (IE 7 will run in these on Longhorn)
* Included compiler (msbuild)
* New driver model and improved kernel/driver loading (drivers get "unloaded" in realtime if they become unstable) - also drivers get loaded quicker in the boot process so you can enjoy higher res/color depth while booting - also improved is boot speed and install time.
* New MS Installer
* New document format competitive to PDF
* An application deployment engine ("ClickOnce")
* Improvements in the ClearType font rendering technology + new system fonts
* New desktop search capabillities
* Improved security through lower privileged accounts and services
* Full support for the "NX" (No-Execute) feature of processors.
* New graphic user interface (Aero) using vector graphics for rendering.

That's everything I could come up and google within 10 minutes. Those are pretty much the biggest improvements that we know about. Then there are of course a lot of improvements on the device drivers, the way Windows handles drivers, wireless conectivity etc. The main code branch is built upon Windows Server 2003 SP1.

This is still 2 years away from release so I'm sure they can come up with more stuff. Hell, AFAIK Monad and WinFS will be available as free add-ons later on (SP probably).

Split reality (Score:5, Interesting)
by ProfaneBaby (821276) on Friday June 10, @05:48PM (#12784612)
While the standard DOS shell is nearly useless, WMI is still pretty damn powerful. It has problems (most people in production lock it down, which will break a lot of the truly useful uses for it), but it makes this statement:
Microsoft Watch reports that Exchange 12 administration functions will be built atop Monad, which would enable users to do everything from the command line that can be done from the graphical interface.
Almost redundant. You can already write scripts with WMI that will let you do MOST of the things in Exchange that you would want to do from the command line, and once it's in the script, it's at least semi-permanent.

Even in UNIX, I tend to write scripts when there's more than 5 commands (even if the commands are all piped together into a single command) - I may know it well enough not to see it later, but my assistant tends to find the scripts very useful for his learning and library.

Re:Monad the name? (Score:3, Informative)
by Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) on Friday June 10, @06:31PM (#12785112)
I'm glad you asked so I can finally get my money's worth out of a philosophy class I once took.

The name comes from the philosopher Gottfried Leibniz. He had this idea that existence was made up of these atomic building blocks of experience. They link together and form all that we know about the world around us. These Monads make up the composite of possibilities that form our "best of all possible worlds."

[ Parent ]
  • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
Re:Monad the name? (Score:2)
by snorklewacker (836663) on Friday June 10, @06:33PM (#12785124)
It's not related to Haskell monads, no. However, Haskell syntax tends to be a lot like piping, and lazy lists act like streams. One of monad's biggest features is the ability to pipe arbitrary objects around, and this will allow in its own way lazy evaluation to become ubiquitous in C# code (especially if you can take your same lazy list generators from C# and plug them into Cw code). I suspect the name is just paying homage.
[ Parent ]
Re:Monad the name? (Score:2, Insightful)
by Bambi Dee (611786) on Friday June 10, @06:33PM (#12785128)
The word's ancient (and Greek) and does not imply functional programming. The Monad shell follows an object oriented approach. The Wikipedia article on MSH [] explains this. There's an external link to what might just be a video I've seen before: a developer demos Monad and the way objects, rather than plain text, are piped between commands... or whatever; I'm not the one to explain this.
Monads and Unix Pipes (Score:2)
by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Friday June 10, @06:54PM (#12785302)
(Last Journal: Monday January 06, @11:36PM)
It may have something to do with this []. (Though to be honest, it wouldn't take much stretching beyond the ideas in that web page to argue that BASIC is a functional programming language that uses monads.)

[Jul 10, 2005] - Software Wholesale Price for Business Guarantee 100% Reliable Software!

[Jul 10, 2005] Microsoft's Ballmer tells lurvely partners to stick it to IBM The Register

Steve Ballmer has lambasted IBM, Linux and SAP while exhorting thousands of partners to bet their next 10 years on Windows and Microsoft services.

A pumped-up and sweating Ballmer informed Microsoft's Worldwide partner conference on Sunday morning that IBM is a spent competitive challenge that is pushing sub-par software, while he worked the crowd's concerns over IP and patents by talking of so-called "rumors" that Linux violates more than 200 patents.

Highlighting planned advances in Microsoft's search technology, mobile platforms and integration across Microsoft's applications, Ballmer urged partners to target legacy installations of Novell's NetWare, IBM's Lotus Notes and Microsoft's NT 4.0.

Screaming multiple "thank-yous" Ballmer said he loved partners for helping increase Microsoft's revenue and market share during its recently closed fiscal year. Looking ahead Ballmer said: "There is still plenty of NetWare and NT business out there. Let's bring them over."

Microsoft's high-octane chief executive continued: "We have Lotus Notes opportunities coming out the yin-yang. I've never seen [such] a customer base waiting to be plucked."

Ballmer, though, sent a coded message to partners warning them that their trusted platform provider could turn competitor, as Microsoft would continue to enter new markets - as it has done by adding Business Intelligence to SQL Server and buying Great Plains and Navision in business applications - to "extend the footprint" of general purpose products.

"Customers like this notion of being able to do most of their important tasks from within applications that they understand... I don't think that should be an issue for us and the partners in this room," Ballmer told delegates.

Instead, Ballmer said, partners should look to build functionality on top of general-purpose Windows platforms, like Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS). "We see MBS as a horizontal platform which will need thousands of partners to bring vertical experience, solutions and IP... we want and embrace those partners."

Ballmer added that if Microsoft didn't buy companies and help consolidate the market, then someone less likely to partner with small ISVs would step in. "SAP will consolidate that market, and SAP is less interested in ISV partners who write vertical solutions," Ballmer warned.

Having beaten up partners on the need to love Microsoft, Ballmer proceeded to tell companies why they need-not fear the might of IBM or the rising tide of Linux.

During an on-stage Q&A with three specially invited, and prepped, partners, Ballmer was asked by Dimension Data chief executive Brett Dawson how to compete against the combined might of IBM hardware, services and consulting.

"That sounds like the three [blind] mices instead of three musketeers," Ballmer said, padding around the conference stage. "Does IBM have the best software? They don't even have the second best software," he said, adding - incorrectly - that since IBM's $1.25bn sale of its PC business to Lenovo IBM "won't sell you the hardware anymore. "

"IBM's not the compelling value proposition it was 10 years ago. It's important to disabuse the notion it all comes from IBM... the [IBM] value is significantly less today than at any time in my 25 years in the business," said the moist Ballmer.

Turning to Linux, Ballmer focused on patents. Responding to a question on IP, Ballmer - again inaccurately - cited an Open Source Risk Management (OSRM) survey from last summer that highlighted the existence of 287 patents in the Linux kernel. "Rumor is Linux violates 286 patents," Ballmer said before moving on quickly.

Linux vendors had to find ways to launch products that are "appropriately packaged" with IP and indemnification from prosecution, he added.

Ballmer then launched into a description of future opportunities for partners who resell Microsoft's current and planned products and services. He outlined opportunities with the up-coming Longhorn, Office 12, SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 and a list of MBS applications.

Ahead of new products, Ballmer told partners they should use existing products like Office 2003 to deliver desktop productivity and collaborative offerings anchored on Window Server 2003, to unseat those legacy NetWare, NT and Notes installations. Just 15 per cent of all PCs currently run Office 2003, two years into its life, Ballmer said.

Resources For Windows XP

Microsoft looks to extinguish LAMP CNET

In November, Microsoft will release Visual Studio 2005, which will include a new edition called Visual Web Developer Express designed specifically for relatively small-scale Web development, where LAMP is often used.

At the same time, Microsoft will release two low-end versions of its SQL Server 2005 database, including a free Express edition. The Workgroup Edition of SQL Server, meanwhile, will include business-intelligence software for generating business reports--typically a costly add-on.

How to Script In-Your-Face Alerts

Ensuring that machines are online is one of the most important tasks that network administrators perform every day. The moment a machine goes offline, administrators need to be alerted so that they can get the machine back online. With time being such a crucial factor in high network availability, administrators need a monitoring tool that can quickly notify them when a machine is offline.

Perl is the perfect scripting language for writing such a tool. However, although writing a Perl script to monitor machines is simple, scripting a notification system isn't so simple.

To be fair, you can easily write a monitoring script that produces a log file, registers Win32 event log entries, or even sends an email message or a page. But if you're working on a computer when something goes wrong, you need an alert that jumps out and is in your face. You could decide to write code that pops open a dialog box with a message. But if you use that approach and many alerts occur while you're away from your computer, you have to wade through numerous dialog boxes and click OK in each one. A better way to provide alerts is to use the taskbar status area (TSA).

The TSA is the region of the Windows taskbar (typically at the lower right of your Windows display), where icons appear alongside the system clock. This area provides the user with information about what an application is doing. For example, when Windows Update has downloaded a new system patch, an icon appears that informs the user a patch is ready to be installed.

[Jun 4, 2005] The Register/Hack can upgrade XP Home to XP Pro Lite

C'T writes in its latest print issue (in German only) that you need to copy the root directory and the i386 directory of the WindowsXP CD to your harddisk, and change only 2 bytes in i386\ by using Regedit. In fact all you have to do is edit the binary key "default" and change "01" to "00" and "02" to "00" in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Homekey\ControlSet001\Services\setupdd, C'T claims.

There is one big drawback, though. Users won't be able to install Service Pack 2, unless they integrate SP2 in the installation CD. And that's probably too much trouble for most users, who of course are better off buying a legal version anyway. It is expected that Microsoft will change the setup files soon to prevent this hack.

See also

Slashdot News for nerds, stuff that matters

The Register reports that many of the features of Windows XP Pro, such as Remote Desktop and user management, can be enabled in Windows XP Home simply by changing two bytes in an installation data file. Another explanation can be found here."

[Apr 2, 2005] Windows XP X64 goes gold

MICROSOFT HAS released the final version of Windows XP 64 to manufacturing, meaning that those with machines that have 64-32 bit processors in from AMD and latterly Intel can now see what the extra addressing brings to the party.

No doubt people can also look forward to future service pack releases from Microsoft, but we mustn't be too churlish about this, even though the OS is long delayed. Only the most absurdly cynical would suggest that it's been delayed because Intel was hurriedly racing to catch up and make its chips similar enough to AMD64 processors to run the OS.

Despite this, Microsoft has plumped for the Opteron and already uses the AMD processor to run some of its own inhouse systems. Microsoft was always a big fan of the Alpha chip.

Both Intel and AMD believe that 64-32 processors are the way to go, although Chipzilla was slow to convert to the idea. It has accomplished its volte face by putting its Itanium processor into a niche and hopes that it will topple RISC chips from the enterprise space.

[Mar 28, 2005] WinSCP Freeware SFTP and SCP client for Windows WinSCP is an open source freeware SFTP client for Windows using SSH. Legacy SCP protocol is also supported. Its main function is safe copying of files between a local and a remote computer. Project Info - FileZilla FileZilla is a fast FTP and SFTP client for Windows with a lot of features. FileZilla Server is a reliable FTP server.

[DOC] Building a Windows 2000 Boot Disk for Automated Installation Favorite Utilities, Tools, Software for Windows

As far as I know, all of these tools are free unless otherwise noted.

Use any ZIP program, such as WinZip or InfoZip's FREE Unzip to extract the ZIP files.

Disk & File Utilities

Lets you create DOS and Win95 boot sectors for the NT Loader (NTLdr.exe). IT also lets you fix broken NT boot sectors. Very nice little freeware tool. For more information about NT Boot Sectors, you can check this direct boot page.
Old Microsoft utility to delete partitions -- ANY partitions. Great for removing NTFS partitions from a bootable DOS floppy, or for those times when FDisk confuses itself and will not let you remove an extended partition because it says there are logical drives, but when you try to delete the logical drives it says there aren't any...

SpiderTools: Running Windows Inside of Linux

The school created a LTSP server ( using Win4Lin Server from Netraverse ( to provide a Linux desktop that could run an Internet Explorer 6.0 browser. Windows 98 SE was installed with licenses that were not being used as the school moved other Windows desktops to XP and reduced Windows licenses by moving to Linux. This decision makes sense for a lot of organizations that have a number of Windows licenses that are not being used. Currently, Netraverse is working on a port to Windows 2000. Using regedit.exe the Windows desktops were locked down so that students could only run the browser and a few minor programs. No applications were installed on the Windows desktop except Internet Explorer. This may seem strange but the reality is that this lessened possibilities of virus infection and configuration issues. All of the applications students needed were available in Linux, including OpenOffice, a calculator, and a Mozilla web browser for research.

Magical Jelly Bean Software - Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder v1.5B3

This is a freeware utility that retrieves your Product Key (cd key) used to install windows from your registry. It can even view remote keys, if you have remote registry rights, and it can tell keys of Office products too.

The tool uses the method described in HOW TO: Change the Volume Licensing Product Key on a Windows XP SP1-Based Computer (328874).

[Jan 12, 2005] Slashdot End Of Support for Windows NT 4.0

If only... (Score:5, Insightful)
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, @10:16PM (#11330596)
If only we could expect a Linux company to support their distribution as long as Microsoft supported NT 4.
Re:If only... (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, @12:33AM (#11331599)
Most Linux vendors charge annual fees, so they could care less if you upgrade or not. In fact they probably would rather have you not upgrade because a static system is cheaper for them to support.

(Note also that this annual fee business is the exact same business model that allowed Microsoft to destroy most of the old midrange market.)
Re:Linux is a kernel, NT is an OS (Score:1)
by LatePaul (799448) on Wednesday January 12, @12:12PM (#11336743)
Are you suggesting that someone running RH 5.2 or whatever, who finds a security flaw in their ancient version of fileutils just upgrades to the latest and greatest since it can "be compiled against any 2.x.x" kernel?

Or are you suggesting they can go find the source for that old version in the GNU archives and patch that?

How many different packages would this person have to track and patch manually? (remember we're talking about a distro no longer supported by the vendor) How many conflicts and inconsistencies would need resolving?

What is it that you think distro vendors do anyway?

I wasn't arguing the comparison with NT per se, just the notion that it doesn't matter when distro vendors drop support since we have the source for Linux going back to 2.0.x. In theory perhaps (though I'm still sceptical that everyone involved has kept all their old source), in practice it'd be a nightmare.

Continued at unixification2004 bulletin

Recommended Links

Softpanorama hot topic of the month

Softpanorama Recommended

Major unixification suits:

Writing portable code:

Internet sites:

Recommended Papers

Archivers and Compression

RAR as a Backup Tool

Info-ZIP Home Page

Windows 9x / ME/ NT / 2000 / XP / etc. Win32 binaries (mainly for Intel, but also Alpha AXP, MIPS and PowerPC) -- including command-line versions, two graphical flavors (WiZ and Pocket UnZip), and a 32-bit Windows DLL -- can be found at:

See also CInfoZip and CGZipLibrary in the Related Links section for VB and MFC wrappers to the DLLs.

Windows Net Tools

TFTP server

Another repository for Net GNU-Win32 contributions Windows 95/98 Network Information Tools Windows NT Network Information Tools

NetLab from: Alexander Danileiko. NetLab is a 32-bit Winsock-compliant application that provides the following features: asynchronous Finger service, Whois service, DayTime service, PC clock synchronization, DNS lookup, port scan, and a quote of the day. This version can now scan a range of IPs for host names and/or services.

STerm This freeware client from the Netherlands supports telnet, ping, trace route, finger, lookup and getmail. STerm supports up to four serial terminals and offers an MS-DOS/Windows NT prompt shell. 512 kilobytes.
(For Windows 98/98 and NT). for the PC - Sam Spade -- multithreaded structure -- you don't need to wait for one query to complete before initiating another. The output from each query is hotlinked, so you can right-click on an email address, IP address, hostname, or Internic tag to run another query. Sam Spade also features online help, including tutorials, background information, links to online resources, and the program manual itself. The program's many query tools include ping, nslookup, traceroute, finger, Whois, IP block Whois, dig, DNS zone transfer, keep-alive, and more. SMTP VRFY asks a mail server whether an email address is real and whether it's being forwarded to other addresses, and email header analysis checks the received lines in an email header for consistency, helping to track the source of forged email. Take a peek at this screen shot to see the program up close. You may report bugs to for the PC - CyberKit -- CyberKit returns Ping queries to show if a host is up and running; Traceroute queries to show the number of hosts you have to pass before your message reaches its destination; Finger and Whois queries to access information about users on a specific host; keep-alive to ensure activity so you won't be disconnected from certain providers; and more.

Some other features include AXFR (zone transfer) and choice of UDP or TCP protocol in DNSlookup; support for
multiple email accounts and nonstandard POP3 port numbers; command-line parameter for dialing a connection at
start-up; a dialog for searching text in lengthy responses; a tip of the day; separate histories for Whois host and query;
and shortcut keys for saving and printing results. for the PC - TJPing Given a host's IP address, TJPing can perform Ping, Traceroute, and lookup functions while allowing the user multiple options. TJPing has several features that enhance its user-friendly quality; it's threaded to allow users to maintain control of the program during a Ping or Traceroute, and it remembers an unlimited number of names/IP addresses, as well as all of the options entered by the user. The results window and the Host box are editable, and upon startup and after every ping, the cursor focus always returns to the Edit box. Recent features include an updated interface with dialog bars and a resizable main window, and additional options are now available through a right-click pop-up menu. for the PC - NetTools  -- NetTools is a suite of networking utilities and diagnostic tools written in Java. It emulates common Unix TCP/IP utilities such as DNS, Finger, Ping, Time, and Whois. It also has some additional utilities such as a multithreaded TCP port scanner and a default gateway finder.

Ping Plotter (freeware) 1.0

ICMP PingTraceroute ActiveX Control 1.0.0 for the PC - Network Toolbox  --shareware

Command line mail clients

BLAT for Windows

Blat is a Public Domain Windows 95/NT console utility that sends the contents of a file in an e-mail message using the SMTP protocol. Blat is useful for creating scripts where mail has to be sent automatically (CGI, backups, etc.), or just as a quick way to send a file or message quickly from the command line. It will store relevant configuration details in the registry for ease of use. Optionally, blat can also attach multiple binary files to your message.

In early 1998, I wanted a way to mail binary files quickly and reliably. The closest thing I found was BLAT v1.5, which would mail ascii files from the command line. From that version, I added modifications to allow mailing of multiple ascii or binary files as well. Christophe Henquin has added some other useful options -- port specification, retry level, and multiple profiles. His Blat page is at

Also, check out Getmail for Windows, which is a command line tool to automatically download mail, including the ability to automatically extract binary attachments. It's the perfect companion to blat!

The original authors homepage for Blat is As of October 1998, I have officially assumed responsibility for the maintenance of Blat.

The most recent version compiled for intel is version 1.9.4. It was released on December 12, 2001. The most recent version compiled for Alpha is version 1.8.2b. Please let me know if you can compile and provide me with a newer binary for the Alpha platform!

Gilles Vollant has created an intel binary which is only 35kb in size. This is distributed in the above ZIP when possible. To see how he has done this, check out his MSVC++ 7.0 project file

Blat DLL
Toby Korn has created a DLL version of blat. It is available from his page at

Visual Basic & Blat
Joel Limardo has created a VB class that uses blat. His page is at

Mailing List: A Blat mailing list was created Sept 20, 1999. click here to browse the archives, or...

Toby's Blat Page

Yahoo! Groups - blat

Blat v1.8



Lynx for Windows is working OK.


Pavuk - Last changes Pavuk is UNIX program used to mirror contents of WWW documents or files. It transfers documents from HTTP, FTP, Gopher and optionaly from HTTPS (HTTP over SSL) servers. Pavuk have optional GUI based on GTK+ widget set.  Among the features:

Yahoo! Groups : pavuk


Scripts by Rick Kasten

To use these scripts yourself:

Click on a script to see the text.

Copy/paste the script to an editor (vi, Notepad) and save it with the proper extension

Windows NT Command Line Scripts Windows Script Host Windows Script Components Active Server Pages Perl Scripts UNIX Shell Scripts

Windows NT Command Line Scripts

Script (.CMD)


FS Monitors the free space of the drive sent as a parameter.
FSM Monitors the size of the file sent as a parameter.
MM Monitors the free space of a drive and the size of a file hardcoded in the script. Combination of FS and FSM above.
MMService MM script above that runs as a service.
ReplicateWeb Script suite that automates and logs a Site Server replication project.
ReplicateWeb Calls all scripts and sets the order and number of replications.
Replicate Does the bulk of the work.
ReportState Provides report checking for the replication project.
LogWrite Writes string to logfile and the active window. If /t switch is used, the string gets written with a timestamp.
RemoveReadOnly Removes read-only attribute from files and directories within hidden directories. Good for resetting attributes of webs copied off of CD.
CycleLog Cycles Windows NT logfiles in UNIX format, i.e. logfile.1.txt -> logfile.2.txt, logfile.txt -> logfile.1.txt
CycleAuthorLog Cycles the FrontPage Extensions author.log file. Offshoot of the CycleLog.cmd
DelAll Deletes all files and folders from a directory. Includes all hidden and read-only files.
DelDirs Deletes all folders from a directory. Just a different flavor of the above script.
KillProc Searches for and deletes all processes matching the name given.
NewIP Script suite that automates adding a second IP address to a machine and later removing the original. Designed to be used in a logon script to assist in moving a large number of machines to a new IP range.
AssignNewIP Assigns a second IP address to the local machine.
RemoveOldIP Removes second IP address from the local machine.
Automated IIS 4.0 Security Checklist Automates many of the recommended security steps mentioned in the Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0 Security Checklist. You can download the whole suite or check out the script and the registry changes.
SecRecs.reg This registry file can be imported, implementing most of the registry-based security recommendations.
SecRecs.bat Performs all of the non-registry recommendations and some of the registry changes that cannot be imported in a .REG registry file.
Tripwire Email Reporting This suite does a few things. First, it contains Tripwire policy files for two web servers that I setup. These would be a good place to start when designing a Tripwire security policy. Second, it contains a configuration file that implements a sendmail-type of service for Tripwire running on Windows NT. The sendmail-type mail client is "twmail.exe" and it is a very simple RFC822-compliant mailer that allows you to set the From: address of the Tripwire report to anything you want (fixes a potential SMTP/firewall security issue). Third, it contains a Perl script that runs on the server end - the destination address to which the Tripwire report is mailed. The script parses the email and breaks it down into the added, changed and removed files, and then breaks each of those lists down further. If there are any files changed to the wwwroot directory, it emails an alert to a pager. Also, if there were any registry changes, an email page is sent.

For more information on Tripwire security products, check them out on the web.

TWReport.cmd Command-line script that is designed to execute a Tripwire security check and then a database update as a scheduled job. The Perl script that parses the Tripwire report.
twmail.exe Tripwire mailer. I don't know if this will work in any other function than with Tripwire.
SetDate Sets the date of the system to a variable %Date% in YYYYDDD format where DDD is the day number of the year. For example, October 9, 2000, would be 2000283. Completely leap year compliant.
SvcStat Spans all the servers in the domain, checks for the status of a service and reports the servername if the service is stopped.
MakeUserShare Creates a folder share in a Windows 2000 cluster.

Script (.VBS)

Description - VBScript-based

CycleAuthorLog.vbs A "port" of the CycleAuthorLog.cmd. Copies the FrontPage author.log file to a date format and then opens a command shell to compress it.
FixDT.vbs Just a script that sets little items on my desktop the way I like them (Explorer settings, Control Panel, etc). An example of file/folder access and registry editing.

To run the script, click here, select Run and hit OK.

TimeSynch VBScript-based suite that installs a time synchronization process
InstallTimeSynch.vbs Installs the proper version of the SynchTime.vbs script on the client.
SynchTime.vbs The script that does the work. It just runs a shell that does a "net time /domain" and makes an entry to the Event Log.
TimeService.vbs Installs the NT Time Service and starts the service. Currently (v1.15) requires the Time Service files and the INI file to exist in a certain location. That can be edited, but I am working on adding those settings automatically to the script and on putting the TimeService files on the web, so the script will automatically install everything with just a click.

To run the script, click here, select Run and hit OK.

ChangeLogDirectory.vbs Goes through all the webs on the local IIS 4.0 server and changes the directory where the web stores its log files to the "\logs" subdirectory of the local path.

For example: Local Path = C:\InetPub\wwwroot
LogFileDirectory = C:\InetPub\wwwroot\logs

Windows Script Components

Script (.wsc)


QuickSort Update to component by Michael Harris which encapsulated QuickSort algorithms implemented in VBScript by Jim Staricka. I added some basic error handling.

Active Server Pages

Script (.asp)


One-Day Password Enabler This ASP searches through an LDAP tree for accounts which match the account name of the client and return accounts named ~*. The client can then set the password of the '~' account. The account name is also added to a database which is parsed nightly by a process which disables the passwords on all the accounts whose passwords were set that day.

This is designed to be used in order to allow logon access one a day-by-day basis.

OneDayPW.asp The main ASP that searches for the matches and handles the POST.
RemoveOneDayPW.vbs Disables the passwords of the One-Day Password accounts that had their passwords set that day. Runs as an automated process.
One-Day Password Enabler Administration Main page foir administrators to promote users to One-Day Password managers and to remove those rights.
AddManager Grants a user administrative permissions to One-Day Password accounts.
RemoveManager Removes a user from having administrative permissions.

Perl Scripts

Script (.pl)

Description Parses the logs from Netscape Proxy Server and creates a comma-delimited report file. It handles nslookups, non-HTTP protocol handling and translates requests from unknown users into true users. Finally, it sends the report with BLAT (this runs natively on NT). The Perl script that parses the Tripwire report. See the Tripwire suite above.
Dictionary Editor Adds and remove words to your local dictionary. For use with pine and spell. Set the following environment variable:

SPELL=spell +/home/uid/.dictionary

To add a word: -a word

To delete a word: -d word Searches for an LDAP group and creates an LDIF file that lists the attributes for each uniquemember of the group.
Parse through Netscape Proxy Server logs and create new daily access and errors log files.

UNIX Shell Scripts

Script (.sh)

Description Adds a script to your crontab. I use this to run jobs via cron only when I am logged in. I execute this script from within my .profile. Removes a script to your crontab. I use this remove the job I added with AddCron when I logout. I execute this script from within my .profile.

Free DOS and DrDos

Random Findings

Welcome to the WUGNET® Shareware Hall of Fame!

Other Ports of GNU Software


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Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

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The Last but not Least

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