Saturday, March 31, 2007

ORKUT---- Dhoom~Crazy Kiya re..

copy-n-paste following code in ur browsers address bar / navigation bar / url bar N hit enter!


javascript:R=-1;DI=document.links;DIL=DI.length;function A(a,b,c){return Math.sin(R/350*6.28*b+a)*c+c}function B(a){DIS=DI.item(a).style;DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=A(5,100,500);,60,150)}setInterval('R++;B(R%DIL)',15);void(0)

Google Talk Hack: Talk more... much more!!!, run google talk more than 1 time from different google account!

If u r using GoogleTalk and want to use it more.... here is a simple tutorial to demonstrate how to run multiple GoogleTalk on your pc...

A Shortcut to google talk on your desktop / start menu / quick launch bar will have a target address like this....

”C:\Program Files\Google\Google Talk\googletalk.exe”

All you got to do is to change target to....
“C:\Program Files\Google\Google Talk\googletalk.exe” /nomutex

The /nomutex is the key here and now run multiple googletalk.

Step-by-Step Procedure:

1. Right-Click on any shortcut (preferably on desktops shortcut).
2. Select properties from context-menu!
3. U will get a window like below!
4. Go to shortcut tab!
5. Edit target as mentioned above!
6. After editing it should look like below!
7. Thats it save n just click on that shortcut everytime u want to run a new instant of GoogleTalk.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Great Expectations—The Changing Role of IT in the Business

This report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Capgemini, Cisco Systems, and SAP, presents findings from a global survey of senior business and IT executives. The research points to a yawning gap between IT capabilities and the demands of senior management.

here is the pdf file..

Software piracy exposed: Meet the suppliers

These days almost everyone knows about P2P networks, but few are familiar with the top sites, couriers, and other shadowy aspects that comprise the software piracy scene. Take a comprehensive, insider's tour of the unique underground world of software piracy. Explore the personalities and motivations of those behind much of the illegal software distribution on the Internet in this sample chapter from Software Piracy Exposed. Based on aggressive investigation and reporting as well as exclusive interviews with some of the industry's most notorious individuals, the chapter illuminates a different kind of supply chain management and allows you to tag along and perhaps even share the rush as competing suppliers race against each other to win a release.

here is the pdf file...

Microsoft tries to stop Vista piracy

Microsoft has issued an update to Windows Vista that's intended to stop a piracy monster.

The software maker said Thursday that the update is aimed at thwarting a technique that was letting some people use pirated versions of the operating system without going through the software's built-in product activation. Microsoft has dubbed the approach "frankenbuild" because it works by combining test versions of Vista with the final code to create a hybrid version.
"Windows Vista will use the new Windows Update client to require only the 'frankenbuild' systems to go through a genuine validation check," Microsoft said on its Windows Genuine Advantage program blog. "These systems will fail that check because we have blocked the (product) keys for systems not authorized to use them."

Although Vista was only released to businesses last month--and won't hit retail shelves until late January--it has been making the rounds on the Internet, and there have been several reported hacks to bypass its built-in security mechanisms.

A second known issue, Microsoft said, involves using virtualization technology in conjunction with the mechanism Microsoft uses to allow large businesses to activate multiple copies of Vista.

"Piracy is evolving and has made the expected jump from Windows XP to Windows Vista," David Lazar, director of Genuine Windows, told CNET "We are already starting to see some workarounds to the Vista licensing requirements."
In a statement, the software company said it hoped the actions would help discourage people from trying to bypass its security mechanisms.

"Microsoft hopes that by taking this action now, we can send a message to counterfeiters and would-be counterfeiters, and help protect our legitimate customers from being victimized by further distribution of these tampered products," the company said.

Microsoft has been more aggressively targeting pirates over the past two years, including a stepped-up program for checking to make sure software is properly licensed. With Vista, software that doesn't pass such authentication will go into severely reduced functionality after 30 days. At that point, only the Web browser will work and then only for an hour at a time.

In addition to that reduced-functionality mode, users can also still boot into Windows "safe mode." That allows full access to data and applications, but offers limited screen resolution, fewer colors and prevents the use of most third-party software drivers.

While Thursday's update addresses only the "frankenbuild," Lazar said Microsoft is also working on a method to counteract the other hack, which uses virtualization and Microsoft's Key Management Service.

"The update that we are releasing today does not specifically address that, but we are working on an update that will specifically address the KMS workaround," Lazar said.

Vista represents Microsoft's strongest technical effort yet to build antipiracy features into its software. In addition to the activation requirements, some features within the operating system require the software to be validated as genuine. Those include the Windows Defender spyware fighter, Aero user interface and ReadyBoost, a technology that uses USB flash drives as added system memory.

"Vista is the hardest system to pirate that we have yet released," Lazar said.

Microsoft makes copying Vista a monster task

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

Even the unique Vista retail packaging--a plastic box with one round corner--was designed, in part, to thwart counterfeiters. And the packaging is just the start; most of Microsoft's antipiracy work is built-into the software itself, meaning that just copying the code and getting a product key isn't enough.
"It's a different game for the counterfeiters," Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative, said in an interview. "They're having to resort to this full attack on the product."

One such exploit was dubbed "Frankenbuild" because it merged bits of the beta versions of Windows Vista with the final product in an effort to defeat the validation checks built into the software. But, thanks to technology built into Vista, Microsoft was able to update its defenses and start flagging such systems--even those that initially passed activation--as illegitimate.

The antipiracy effort has been building slowly inside Microsoft. Microsoft began quietly testing a Windows Genuine Advantage program in 2004 with an optional check that offered no benefits for taking part, nor penalties for machines that didn't pass. The company quickly expanded the program, adding some incentives for those machines that were verified. The company later made the checks mandatory to download most Windows updates and add-ons.

Microsoft has seen reducing piracy rates as a way to boost its sales, particularly given that the fastest PC sales growth is coming in emerging markets where piracy rates tend to be higher.
With Vista, checking for pirates was always part of the plan. Technology built into Vista allows Microsoft to periodically evaluate the OS to make sure it is legitimate, rather than just having one opportunity, when the product key is first entered at activation.

That's important if Microsoft learns, say, that a once-valid product key has been compromised. Microsoft also used the validation mechanism after Frankenbuild was discovered, forcing machines to go through validation, which the Frankenbuild systems failed because the software was not an intact copy of the OS.

There are a number of features, including the new Aero user interface, that require genuine validation. As part of Vista, machines that fail validation go into reduced functionality mode if not remedied within 30 days, meaning such systems can be used only to browse the Internet for an hour at a time.

Microsoft has also tightened the rules on volume licenses, largely eliminating the ability for businesses, even those with bulk purchase deals, to use one product key across an unlimited number of machines. Microsoft has two options with Vista. Companies can either use their own PC or server as a sort of hall monitor to make sure which Vista systems are out there, or they can get a multiple-use key from Microsoft, though such keys have a set number of activations. Businesses can also use a combination of the two approaches.

It's a little early to tell how all of the efforts are working, but Hartje said there are some reasons for optimism.

"We see indications from our channel that they are concerned they get genuine product," Hartje said. "We're optimistic the technology changes are going to make a difference. The fact we haven't seen any high-quality counterfeits is a good sign."

While engineering is a big part of Microsoft's efforts, the company is also doing other things. One recent move was to change the way copies of Windows are produced. Rather than just license replicators to build as much of the software as they might need, such disc makers are now required to pay a part of the cost of the software when the discs are first burned, discouraging large stockpiles of authentic discs from building up in warehouses.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Confessions of an IT pro: My nine biggest professional blunders

What's the worst mistake you ever made during your IT career? Was it as bad as deleting all the VP's files... irretrievably? How about modifying a payroll program so that nobody received any overtime pay? IT pro Becky Roberts has spent the past 16 years building a solid tech career, but that doesn't mean there haven't been a few bumps in the road. Here's a look at what she remembers--with no small amount of embarrassment--as her most appalling professional mistakes, along with the painful but invaluable lessons learned.
We've all had at least one or two embarrassing moments on the job, whether they involved inadvertently wreaking havoc on a system, making a social gaffe, or mishandling a project. IT pro Becky Roberts decided to come clean and share her worst career moments--along with the lessons she took away from each experience.

This article is also available as a PDF download.

Over the past 16 years of being paid to make computers and people work together in perfect harmony, I have collected a number of incidents that make me wince and blush in embarrassment when I think of them. The mistakes I've made fall roughly into three categories: technical, political, and career management. Here, in no particular order, are my most outstanding screw-ups and the lessons I have, I hope, learned.

#1: Accidentally deleting the VP's files without having a backup. I don't even remember how I did this. Not only did I delete the files, but it wasn't until the format was in process that I realized my mistake. I spent a nervous 30 minutes deciding how to deal with the situation. Should I lie and try to shift the blame? I couldn't blame any other person, as I was the whole IT department. Should I just return his computer and act dumb? "Well, the files were there when I gave the computer to you." Nothing I could think up felt right. In the end, I simply walked into his office, handed him his computer,and confessed, "I have screwed up. I deleted all your files and have no means of getting them back. It was completely my fault." Silence. Then: "Okay. Please be more careful in future." That was it. That was all he said. I could've kissed his feet, my feeling of relief matched only by the feeling of abject stupidity and incompetence.

Lesson learned? BACK UP BACK UP BACK-UP. Never delete, move, modify, upgrade, update, patch, flash, or format without making at least one backup. I have never knowingly lost a file since.

#2: Modifying the payroll program so no one received OT. This was at a ceramics factory in the Midwest. Payroll consisted of a Basic program on a minicomputer. A new rule for calculating overtime was to go into effect, and I was given the assignment of making the appropriate modification. I made the required change on a copy of the live program and did a walkthrough. The logic seemed flawless. I showed the program to my boss and he gave it his blessing. He said that he would put it into production at the start of the next pay period. Alarmed, I asked if we had a test system. I had been working for the company for just two months and was not familiar with the infrastructure. He grinned and said we didn't have one.

Two weeks later, a virtual riot broke out as the employees opened their checks to discover the awful truth: no overtime, none, nil, nothing, nada. My boss said I could go home early as I was looking horrifically pale.

Lesson learned? This is a tough one. Obviously, I had made a programming error and needed to improve my skills. But should I have realized that my abilities as a programmer weren't up to the task and tried to refuse the assignment? I did express my qualms about putting an untested program into production, but perhaps I should've done so more forcefully. Probably the most important lesson I learned from this incident is to ask very detailed questions about the infrastructure when interviewing for a new position and try to identify and avoid companies that don't support best practices.

#3: Going live on a demo copy of Exchange. I was a new hire into a two-person IT department and given the project of installing MS Exchange. The company was using a text-based freeware e-mail system, but it was so difficult to use there was no mail to migrate, so this could be a simple install.

I obtained a demo copy of Exchange, installed and configured it, and selected a small group of test users. I set up training for all users who were interested and soon expanded the "test" group to include all the employees. As days turned into weeks, the amount of data being stored grew rapidly. Users created folders and archives and entered their contacts. I ordered the appropriate Exchange licenses, assuming that they could be applied to the demo version. Finding no way to apply the license, I called Microsoft only to learn the heart-stopping truth that there was no way to apply the license, and worse, after 90 days the demo system would simply cease to function. This was day 88. Needless to say, I spent the next 48 hours on the phone with Microsoft tech support setting up a new server to replace the demo one, migrating data, and changing client configuration. It was one big, panicky mess. The only good to come out of this situation was that it turned into a great opportunity for learning.

Most salient of the many lessons learned?

* Don't go live on a demo application without first checking that it doesn't self-destruct on its expiration date.
* Make a project plan and stick to it. I should not have expanded the test group to the whole company.
* Improve communications with the users. They should not have been allowed to use the test system to the extent that they became dependent on it.
* Insist on being allowed to attend training before assuming responsibility for a new system.

#4: Taking backups for granted. Server backups were my sole responsibility. I set up the backup server and religiously changed tapes every day. The very first time a user needed a file restored, I discovered that the folder containing the file had not been successfully backed up for more than three months. Worse, the particular file in question had never been backed up. Suppressing the urge to blame the failure on a software fault rather than my own negligence, I went to the user and apologized. He was not at all impressed.

Lessons learned?
* Never take backups for granted.
* Check backup logs in detail daily.
* Practice restores on a routine basis.
* Set up a schedule for reviewing the backup strategy.

#5: Possessing unique knowledge. Although it may seem that possessing unique knowledge and skills within a company should offer some job security, not only is this a delusion but the possession of such knowledge can also become a burden that negatively affects your personal life. On several occasions throughout my career, I have allowed myself to be in just such a situation, where my failure to share my knowledge led to interrupted weekends with the family, phone calls at all hours of the night, phone calls while on vacation, and my favorite, a phone call to the ICU less than six hours after brain surgery.

Lesson learned? Document, share, and train. Sometimes, in a small company or during an implementation, it can be impossible not to possess unique knowledge. But staying aware and alert to the danger can minimize this risk. When provided with the appropriate documentation, it is surprising what even a relatively unskilled alternate can achieve in a crisis.

#6: Creating inadequate self-documentation. In addition to failing to document procedures for the purpose of sharing knowledge, I have shot myself in the foot on more than one occasion by failing to document a procedure or configuration I was sure I would remember. While working under pressure, with users breathing down my neck, it's all to easy to take shortcuts and make worthless self-promises to document later, when the crisis is over. Unfortunately, the next crisis hits, and then the next, and soon the documentation is forgotten until it's needed in the midst of yet another crisis.

Lesson learned? This lesson hasn't been fully learned yet. I've started taking screen shots and brief notes while working under pressure, but I still procrastinate in doing a full write-up after the crisis is over.

#7: Failing to establish the extent of my authority at the start of projects. Over the years, I have been the project manager for a variety of implementations, upgrades, and migrations. With one exception, each project was successful, in that the defined objectives were met by the deadline. But the process by which this was achieved was not necessarily the most efficient or the least stressful.

I hadn't seen the need to establish my authority at the start of a project as, until recently, all the members of each team had respected it. On a more recent project, in a very hierarchically structured company, my team consisted of a few peers, my boss, a couple of managers, and a VP. A more experienced PM suggested that I call a meeting specifically to determine exactly how much authority I had over the members of my team. I thought this was unnecessary and soon began to suffer as a result.

The project had various critical path items that had to be complete by specific dates, but despite my fervid attempts to communicate this to the team members responsible for the items, they would frequently thwart me: "I'm taking Friday off. My boss approved it." "I can't do that today; I need to do this." I had all the responsibility for the success of the project but none of the authority necessary to ensure its success. As a result, it was my first project not to meet the deadline.

Lessons learned? The first step of any project I am managing will be to establish what authority I am to be accorded. And if it's not sufficient to guarantee the success of the project, I'll have the temerity to either ask for more or suggest that a more senior project manager be appointed.

#8: Sending an insensitive e-mail to an employee. I received an e-mail from an employee detailing an extensive list of problems she was experiencing with her computer. Without any malicious intention, I shot off a reply saying that it sounded like new computer time. Thinking no more about it, I added her problems to my list of tasks for the day. A few minutes later, I was summoned into an emergency meeting with my supervisor and his boss. As I walked in the door, I was handed a printout of my e-mail reply to the employee and told to explain myself.

Thoroughly confused, I stated that I didn't understand what was going on. My boss explained that the employee was extremely offended by my e-mail as she had interpreted my levity as a refusal to take her problems seriously or help her. I was shocked that a few innocent words, an attempt at a lame joke, had been so drastically misunderstood. I was instructed to apologize to the user and fix her problems immediately.

Lessons learned?

* Do not attempt to be funny or clever in e-mail; play it completely straight.
* Have a formalized procedure for handling requests for help.
* Always inform users of when they can expect their problems to be addressed upon receipt of their request for help.

#9: Not taking advantage of free training and certification opportunities. Each time I have updated my resume in preparation for seeking a new job, I've regretted not having formal certifications to accompany my experience. This has been particularly irritating when the company I am trying to leave has a policy of paying for any classes the employees want to take, whether they're relevant to the business or not. It's kept me from applying to several jobs I was otherwise qualified for simply because they required possession of particular certifications.

Lessons learned? Take advantage of all free training opportunities, even if they have to be pursued out of business hours.

2007 IT Salary and Skills Survey: What Impacts Salaries?

This report from Global Knowledge details the key factors that impact salaries in the IT industry. It includes a detailed listing of salaries by job function, industry, and education level. Based on responses from over 1,600 IT professionals, the top paying certifications are also revealed.

here is the pdf file

Create your own Windows XP icons in Paint

Feeling creative? You can make your very own icons for your shortcuts with Windows XP's built-in Paint program. Here's how to paint yourself some new icons without having to clean brushes afterward.

Are you tired of searching the Internet for icons to use for your shortcuts? Then check out how easy it is to use Windows XP's Paint program to create your own icons. Follow these steps:

1. Launch Paint from the All Programs | Accessories menu.
2. Pull down the Image menu and select the Attributes command.
3. In the Attributes dialog box, type 32 in both the Width and Height boxes and click OK.
4. To make the image easier to work with, click the Magnifier tool and select the level 8 magnification setting.
5. Press [Ctrl]G to add gridlines.
6. Use the tools and colors to create your icon.
7. Press [Ctrl]S and save the file with an ICO extension.

You can now assign your custom icon to any shortcut you wish.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

Do you have the “vision” thing?

If you are like me, you probably pass a number of signs on the way to work each day that offer “words of wisdom” for all travelers to see and reflect upon. I passed one such sign this morning in front of a bank that read: “It takes someone who can see the invisible to do the impossible.” Pondering the statement, it seemed to me that what the quote was referencing was “vision”—the ability to "see" an idea or plan for the future. It also suggests the possibility of being able to predict the future.

In any case, vision is often listed as a desirable characteristic for a leader, and I do not disagree. I happen to think that the best leaders have a vision of where they want to take themselves and their organization. However, being a visionary does not necessarily make you a great leader. History is filled with many visionary characters that were often viewed as crackpots and only hindsight has proven them correct.

A great leader is not only a visionary, but also has the ability to make the vision “real” for others. They also know whether the timing is right for their vision and whether the environment they are in is capable of embracing it. There is nothing worse than trying to spread your vision to a constituency that doesn’t get it; gets it but doesn’t want it; or wants it, but there are other more powerful forces at work that do not allow for success. I am reasonably certain that Peter Quinn, the former chief information officer for Massachusetts, had a vision for his open document format, but didn’t fully appreciate the political wrath of Microsoft when he set out to make his vision a reality.

So if great leaders have vision and visionaries are not necessarily great leaders, can you be a good leader without vision? The answer is yes. I will use the military as an example, but this is applicable to all occupations. I am sure over the thousands of years that the human race has engaged in organized armed conflict there have been many soldiers who led men in combat but did not share the same “vision” as their government or higher commanders, yet were determined to keep their men alive and were skillful in doing so. These officers and non-commissioned officers would be described as good leaders by their men, yet the extent of their vision may have been mere survival.

I’m sure you see this everyday—a unit or departmental manager does not particularly buy into the corporate “vision,” yet he manages to run an excellent business unit. In these cases, he may not have a vision and is just skilled at planning, organizing, commanding, controlling, and coordinating (i.e., management)—or they might have a vision and are just sitting on it till the time is right.

It is usually apparent when you are working for someone who is a leader with vision as opposed to someone who is just a competent manager. It is apparent in the way they approach problems and opportunities and how they interact with others around them. I’m not talking about charisma here either. Visionary leaders are people who need little direction from others, know where they are going, and are determined to take others with them. It’s often hard to characterize in words, which is why people often refer to it as a “vision thing.”

I once attended a meeting of an executive committee in which the performance of a particular director was being discussed. Part of the committee focused on how well this director’s unit was performing, while others said that it wasn’t enough, and the unit had so much more potential. The discussion boiled down to whether the group wanted a “caretaker” as their director or someone with “vision” to take the unit to the next level.

At executive levels of management or key positions in organizations, vision—or a lack of it—is often a determining factor in whether someone’s career dead ends at a particular level or whether they can continue to rise. This is why I tried to distinguish between great leaders and good leaders in the paragraphs above.

So, if vision is important in leadership, how do you go about acquiring it, developing it, using it? I encourage you to do some research of your own on this topic. I believe vision is a personal thing, and even if you feel that you have it, it's not something that is easy to communicate to others as a trait to be developed. I am interested in hearing what you think on the topic: Can vision be acquired or developed like other skills, and if so, how can you? Do you think it's just something you either have or you don't? And do you think that it's essential to leaders at the highest rank of organizations? There's some food for thought–let me know what you think!

Top 10 Windows Vista annoyances

If you've been working with Vista for awhile, it's reasonable to assume that you've gotten used to the changes. Anything that still bothers you isn't about adjusting to something new... it's just annoying.

This article is also available as a PDF download.

With most new software releases, there's usually something missing or different from the previous version that annoys at least one user. You can eliminate some annoyances with a few simple changes. Others you have to live with.

During the past year of working with Windows Vista, I have run into several features and changes that get on my nerves. Based on that experience, I've come up with my list of top 10 annoyances in Windows Vista.
#1: No more Boot.ini

Customizing the boot menu was much simpler in Windows XP. If you ran multiple operating systems, all you had to do was open the Boot.ini and make your changes. For example, you might change the names of the installed operating systems to make them more recognizable.

It's much more complicated in Windows Vista. You no longer edit the Boot.ini file. Instead, you use a program called bcedit, which is not user-friendly, even for experienced users. A quick glance at this program and you will likely not want to see it again.
#2: Buried display settings

Why change something for the sake of change? That was my thought when I went to modify my display settings for the first time in Vista. It used to be that changing display settings was as simple as a right-click on the desktop.

There is now an added level of complexity. You still right-click on the desktop, but when you select Personalize, a new window appears with a slew of Appearance and Personalization options. You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the window to find the Display Settings option.

As you start using Vista, you'll see that this is not the only instance where it seems there are unnecessary changes.
#3: Control Panel clutter

The Control Panel in Windows Vista, shown in Figure A, is cluttered and more difficult to maneuver. It seems to take more clicks to reach your destination. Going back to Windows XP, I now appreciate the simplicity of its Control Panel.
You can eliminate this annoyance by switching back to the old style Control Panel. When you open the Control Panel, select the Classic View option.
#4: Shutdown options

Performing a shutdown in Windows Vista is overly complicated. There are at least nine shutdown choices on the Start Menu—from Switch User to Hibernate to Sleep. Power users will have no problem choosing the appropriate option. However, try explaining how to shut down a laptop or desktop to new users when they're facing nine choices. This is where the real annoyance comes into play.
#5: Application support (or lack thereof)

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that the applications you run under Windows XP will run under Windows Vista. In fact, there's a good chance that they will not. This is a big reason why I haven't upgraded my working computer to Windows Vista. I've had problems with Paint Shop Pro, McAfee Virus Scan, AutoCAD, and Adobe applications. For testing purposes, I tried installing Office 2000, but it didn't work. And my line of business apps also won't run properly.

Not being able to perform necessary tasks because an application doesn't run right under Vista is frustrating. In all fairness, it is the responsibility of the software vendors to provide support for Vista—not vice versa. However, it is still an annoyance.
#6: Aero hardware requirements

Windows Vista's new Aero user interface is absolutely beautiful—if you have the hardware to support it. Aero Glass is the high-end interface that's available only with the right video card. To enable Aero Glass, your computer must be equipped with a 3D video card that supports DirectX 9 and has a Longhorn Display Driver Model (LDDM) driver. If you don't have that, you're out of luck and must fork out even more money to upgrade your hardware. Also, remember that this feature is not available in the Home Basic edition.
#7: Too many flavors

Having too many options to choose from annoys and confuses many people. Purchasing an operating system used to be simple because your choices were so limited. You could choose between this or that. With Windows XP, we saw four versions of the operating system. Now, with Windows Vista, things get even more complicated. The latest release of the Microsoft Windows family comes in five versions: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate.

So which one do you choose? It all depends on what you plan to use it for or what type of environment you work in. You need to do some research and find out what Vista features you need (or want). This will definitely help to narrow down your choices. Who knew choosing an operating system was so much work?
#8: UAC prompts

The new Vista feature that people are grumbling about the most is User Account Control, or UAC. Each time you attempt to perform a task that requires administrative rights, a window appears prompting you for permission (Figure B). In other words, you tell Vista you want to perform a task, but it needs to ask for your permission before doing so. Although the intention is good (it prevents unauthorized changes to your computer), the window that continuously pops up is annoying.
If you can live with the constant prompting for permission, hats off to you. Otherwise, you can eliminate this annoyance by disabling UAC through User Accounts And Family Safety within the Control Panel.
#9: Budget breaker

If you don't like rising prices, you will certainly be annoyed when you go to purchase Windows Vista. Although you can buy Vista for as low as $100, all you're getting for this price is Windows Vista Home Basic. This version is so basic that most people will not want it. It does not even support the Aero interface (see annoyance #5: Aero hardware requirements). As a result, most people will move to at least Windows Vista Home Premium, which costs $239 retail for the full package. The price only goes up—topping off at a whopping $399 for the full package of Windows Vista Ultimate.
#10: Usability issues

Finally, this one relates back to some of the previous annoyances I have discussed. Windows Vista has managed to make what used to be simple tasks too complex. Tasks that should take one-step now take four or five steps. I am a fan of simplicity and this is something Windows Vista lacks.

What E-Mail Hackers Know that You Don't

E-mail systems such as Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes and GroupWise were constructed with a single purpose in mind: accept and send the maximum amount of mail, and route that mail as efficiently as possible. Without question this has succeeded; e-mail is the most commonly utilized business communication tool on the planet, and its use is projected to continue to rise.

Unfortunately, e-mail's sharp rise in popularity makes it an attractive target for individuals seeking to do harm, either for their own misguided personal satisfaction, or more likely, for financial gain. The first e-mail hackers found simple vulnerabilities in the operating systems and protocol stacks of e-mail systems, and exploited these known weaknesses. Now, however, hackers and virus writers have become specialists, constantly developing new and innovative methods of overcoming the improvements made in today's security systems. The game of cat-and-mouse is unlikely to end any time soon, if ever. With every improvement in defensive techniques, hackers and virus writers modify their tactics in an attempt to circumvent these defenses and wreak havoc on corporate networks. This document outlines how hackers are exploiting vulnerabilities in e-mail systems, and describes the widely available hacking tools they use. As a collection of already published risks to e-mail security, this white paper is written to educate IT security managers on the challenges they face.

here is the pdf file

Download Managers - A Better Downloading Experience: An In-Depth Analysis of How Download Managers Help You Download Content From the Internet

A download manager is a utility designed to fix all the problems you may be having downloading content from the internet. They have quickly become a must-have utility for all internet users. Download managers can accelerate your downloads, allow you to resume broken downloads and contain numerous features that allow to you get hard-to-get files from the internet. This white paper will explain the benefits of download managers, the different types of download managers, the various types of content on the internet, and how download managers assist you to get this content.

here is the pdf file link


The certification game. Do you want to play?

These days certification isn’t cheap. Between providing training and study time, a typical certification may cost your company from $700 to $2,000 per employee.

And this is on top of the costs of the certification tests, which can range from $100 to $500 per test. With all this expense, the question I’m sure many an employer has asked is: Is it worth it?

Let’s first explore some of the benefits and follow that up with what I think is a very viable alternative solution.

Certification conveys a number of conceptions about the individual. In an employee, the image of personal commitment and drive is attached to certification.

The certification(s) indicates that the employee has the dedication to pursue professional development outside of the arena of his or her full-time career. It shows a passion about her field of interest and for her personal development plan.

And when screening job applicants, certification has become an obvious litmus test for employers. When considering applicants with experience in the field, the one with certifications will often fare better because of the above-mentioned notions that accompany certifications.

And when looking for entry-level employees, many companies look for professional certifications to open the door to that potential first job. The earned certification is supposed to be the qualifier: proof to the employer that this prospective employee has the required aptitude to get the job done.

As an employer, you are expected to assume that, with this credential, the candidate has the minimum level of knowledge about the products he works with.

Also, as a business, you receive certain vendor incentives for having certified individuals on your team (such as being labeled a solutions provider with Microsoft).

These incentives may serve to comfort or impress your clients with the quality and technical expertise they hope to receive in their relationship with you.

Getting Burned

But in reality, do these letters after the employee’s name really deliver on all that’s promised?

In a word: No.

Using certification as a minimum aptitude is now a waste of time. There are countless ways to beat the certification testing system and just as many Web sites dedicated to just that.

These “brain-dump” sites (not to mention professional Web sites) make a living bucking the system. If a certification exists, it can be cheated on.

There are people that will study posted test questions for a couple of days, take the test, and pass. Most of these certification tests only require a C-average.

And while the majority of employees actually do seek certification to support continuous learning and to improve their own knowledge and performance, many seek certification for entirely different reasons altogether.

Some earn the certification to gain the financial token offered as incentive by the employer. Some earn it because they fear losing their job if they don’t. And some earn it so that they may go find a more lucrative job elsewhere.

Yes, that’s right. I mentioned that these certifications are costly and many in the IT field just can’t afford to earn them. So it is quite common for an employee to specifically seek out a company that will pay for certification.

Once they certify, they move on to greener pastures because they want more money than the current employer is willing to give.

So, is it worth it to certify in your company? That depends on your motivation for encouraging the certifications. If you need to be able to show your clients and your public that you have a percentage of recruits who are safely and securely certified in order for them to maintain their faith or loyalty, by all means yes. Continue on with the certifying.

But if you are strongly urging your people to certify in hopes that you will have a top-notch, highly trained, special forces level of employees in your arsenal, my answer for you is no. Seek other training options.

The Four-Step Remedy

My dream solution for this education vs. certification battle is to offer four things within each company: ongoing education/training, community experience, trade magazines, and a computer lab.

Encourage ongoing education/training. Allow your employees to pursue excellence in the area that they are passionate about in the field. And offer similar encouragement to pursue topics that will foster excellence in their position in your company.

Provide classroom training in-house. Offer computer-based training (CBT). Approve funding when an employee takes the initiative to choose to attend a seminar or conference.

Let them explore their potential. The whole purpose of training is to better oneself. If an employee works with Microsoft technology and they want to learn about Cisco firewalls, encourage it. Help them grow.

Give them the training that makes them love your company and be loyal to your company. In the end, you will find yourself with an excited, knowledgeable, fulfilled employee who feels appreciated and valued by his employer.

Open the door to experience in the IT community. Allow your employees to grow within the IT communities around the world by participating on message boards and blogging.

Encourage them to speak at conferences if their subject is accepted. Troubleshooting solutions to the problems of others and then providing helpful information to the masses is a great learning tool.

Offer subscriptions to trade magazines. If your employees are interested in certain computer subjects, consider allowing them to subscribe to a magazine that will provide cutting-edge information.

Support their need to read about emerging technologies. Providing your employees with resources to grow and learn and gain experience will likely be more valuable than any four-letter acronym out there.

Finally, and most importantly, make the investment in a computer lab.

One thing I would love every company to have is a lab for learning. There is nothing better than a computer lab to test out things and learn through hands-on participation.

You may even want to have your staff configure lab time into their job to explore new technologies or to dig deeper into familiar ones. I can’t tell you the number of certification tests I have taken but I didn’t even break the surface of many issues until I was faced with them in my lab at 2 a.m.

Real learning takes place when setting up these programs and labs and by working through them until you really feel the product and what it’s about.

As a highly certified IT professional, I believe there is a better way for many companies to prepare their staffs. Allow your company’s finest to ignite their passions. You will be (happily) surprised what the freedom will bring.

What you think???????

Video: The Future of IT—Aligning IT with Business

IT industry editor and analyst Joanie Wexler sits down with Cisco vice presidents David Aungle and Lance Perry to discuss the evolving expectations and opportunities of IT professionals. Aungle and Perry share their insights on where IT is headed and how decision makers can prepare for success.

It's a video file... just selct yes in the combo box and then click on submit button and you can download the video.

here is the link

Illustrated walk-through: Creating a bootable USB flash drive for Windows XP

A bootable flash drive can come in handy--but trying to create one might have you pulling out your hair. Windows expert Greg Shultz shares the method he followed, from configuring the BIOS to allow the USB port to act as a bootable device to creating a bootable image of Windows XP using the free PE Builder software (and a pair of Windows Server 2003 SP1 files) to formatting and copying the image onto a UFD.

here is the link

10 Windows XP tips and tools to simplify your work

Whether you're trying to iron out problems with users' systems or you just want to optimize your own PC, these tips will help you work more efficiently with Windows XP. Learn how to launch System Restore from a command prompt when XP goes belly up, customize the Start menu's pinned items list, speed up the Search Companion, and take advantage of tools like BGInfo, Duplicate Finder, and RoboCopy GUI.

here is the link


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

50+ keyboard shortcuts to move faster in Windows XP

For ur comfort i am giving you the link of the pdf file... download it..or save it as you wish....

50+ keyboard shortcuts for moving faster in Windows XP


10 things to look for in an antivirus application

Antivirus programs are no longer a best practice; they’re a requirement. If a system has a power supply and runs Windows, it must have a first-rate antivirus application current with the latest signatures. Don’t make it easier for attacker to compromise the systems you’re supposed to be keeping secure. Insist on these 10 elements in any antivirus application you implement.

1. Potency
An antivirus program is useless if it fails to identify and isolate viruses, worms, and similar infections. Productivity losses quickly mount when you have to clean machines of malicious software. Removing infections from systems supposedly protected by antivirus applications only adds insult to injury. Avoid such frustration by ensuring that the antivirus platform you deploy effectively prevents infection.
Don’t let persuasive ads or persistent channel partners talk you into specific brands. Research your options thoroughly and talk to other IT pros to learn their recommendations. The insight you’ll gain is invaluable, especially when comparing notes with colleagues within the same industry—those who are responsible for maintaining the same type of business and enterprise applications.

2. Low overhead
Some mass-market antivirus programs have been known to bring minimally configured Windows systems to a standstill. An effective antivirus program must constantly work behind the scenes to monitor active applications. That’s understood. But protective software apps requiring (or commanding) significant system resources often do more harm than good.
When selecting an antivirus application, review the program’s system requirements. Before committing to a solution, test the application on several workstations to determine the true load that the program places on real-world equipment. Don’t settle for manufacturers’ claims. Verify performance data firsthand.

3. Centralized administration
No one enjoys having to visit every workstation within the organization. That’s just what you’ll have to do, though, if you standardize on an antivirus application that doesn’t support centralized distribution and administration.
Make sure the antivirus solution you select works well with Windows Intellimirror and other mass client-deployment technologies (or has its own native deployment features). Although some smaller organizations aren't as dependent on time-saving deployment tools, remotely managing and administering antivirus applications is still most efficient, even in businesses with just 20 employees. By eliminating the need to visit those systems to configure scans, review logs, and maintain updates, strong centralized administration features more than pay for themselves.

4. E-mail protection
It goes without saying that any antivirus solution should guard against infectious code sent or received in e-mail. However, not all applications provide such protection. Even if your organization maintains an e-mail server- or router-based antivirus program, seek client antivirus apps that provide secondary e-mail protection.
Client-side e-mail security offers essential protection for your organization. It also safeguard's its reputation, preventing users from infecting external customers, partners, and suppliers and keeping your organization off one of many troublesome spam lists.

5. Compatibility
In addition to confirming that an antivirus application operates well with your operating system, check that it doesn’t create errors when installed alongside enterprise applications, proprietary programs, and other software packages. Some IT newsgroups—and occasionally, antivirus manufacturers—do a good job of warning about known conflicts. But the best bet is to install the solution (prior to a department- or organization-wide deployment) to test the antivirus software’s interaction with other programs.
Pay particularly close attention if you're working with Microsoft Vista. Don’t expect Windows XP-based antivirus software to work well with the newest desktop OS. In fact, in most cases, it won't. If your organization has moved to Vista, confirm that the security software is certified for use with the newest Windows platform.

6. Effective reporting tools
Some antivirus solutions enable you to review reports from all configured clients via a Web interface. Others produce reports indicating threats, scans, and infections but require that an administrator visit each client to obtain that information.
Review your organization’s needs and determine which method will work best. Consider reporting features carefully. A program’s logs and report information will prove invaluable in alerting you to problems before or as they occur.

7. Technical support
Antivirus programs fail. It’s inevitable. Sooner or later, you’ll encounter strange failures, bizarre error messages, or inexplicable system freezes. Having access to the antivirus manufacturer’s development staff is essential for successfully identifying a solution.
Before purchasing any software, check out the manufacturer’s Web site. Find out whether the manufacturer provides a toll-free number for support, review any troubleshooting forums, and check which live assistance options exist.

8. Certification
Just as an antivirus solution’s potency is critical, so too is certification. Manufacturers can make all the promises and claims they want in marketing materials, but industry certification is hard won. ICSA Labs, Virus Bulletin, West Coast Labs, the National Associate of Specialist Computer Retailers, and others all require antivirus programs to meet stringent requirements to receive certification.
Of course, certification isn’t foolproof. But one way to know you’re purchasing a trustworthy application is to confirm that the program has earned certification from these leading labs.

9. Simplified licensing
Once you’ve identified an antivirus solution that’s potent, compatible, and backed by quality technical support (among other elements), it’s time to turn your attention to licensing. Some manufacturers complicate licensing to the point that you can install a dedicated license on only a single machine. If that system’s hard disk or motherboard fails (or the entire system goes down), under OEM terms your organization is likely required to purchase another license, even if the original term is yet to expire.
Review license requirements with care. It’s often best to purchase client licenses by seat. Thus, if a workstation or server fails, migrating an existing license to the replacement system becomes a simple matter. (But expect to pay more for the privilege.)
Remember to factor in growth considerations when purchasing a specific number of seats. It’s all too easy to exceed licensing limits signed six months ago. Keep detailed notes on how many systems receive antivirus software and keep the documentation current as workstations and servers are replaced or upgraded.

10. Reasonable cost
When purchasing fewer than 50 licenses, expect to pay approximately $30 to $45 per seat for an annual antivirus license. As an organization exceeds 100 licenses, costs can drop to as low as $25 per user.
Unless an application includes firewall, anti-spyware, or antispam features, prices should fall within the above ranges. Any organization tempted to add firewall or anti-spyware tools to its antivirus application, especially for 20 or more users, might be better served pursuing a hardware-based solution (such as the ones provided by SonicWALL, Barracuda, and other manufacturers) instead of a software-focused product.

Abobe all, Just to see what Anti-Virus Softwares are gaining popularity now-a-days you can check this link to see the Top 10 Antivirus Softwares Reviewed By Top-Ten-Review who do the R&D for us.