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Nov 2004
27

 

In this issue:

  • It's Issue 6...
  • GPanswers 2.0 -- New year, new design
  • Moskowitz, inc. Technology Takeaway®
    • Correction from Newsletter #5
    • Three juicy tips and tricks
  • Upcoming conferences, appearances, and classes
    • Free live events
    • Classes and seminars
    • Upcoming conference appearances
  • Get a signed copy of Group Policy, Profiles and IntelliMirror
  • Subscribe, unsubscribe, and usage information
     

Moskowitz, inc. and www.GPanswers.com -- Issue 6

It's issue 6, and welcome again to the Moskowitz, inc. / GPanswers.com newsletter. Here's hoping you had a great Thanksgiving !

The personal news here is that I've hired a new assistant--well, I guess that makes it "personnel" news. His name is Jon Seitzer. If you'd like to drop him or note or just say "Hi," you can reach him at [email protected] .

As always, you can forward this newsletter to your friends --but please do so in one whole piece (please don't just cut and paste).
 

GPanswers 2.0 -- New year, new design

GPanswers.com is a little over one year old. And, well, it was time for a makeover. We've got some very exciting changes to the web site available immediately, and a little more coming up really soon.

First of all, we have an updated look and feel. Not just for the sake of doing something new, but rather because I kept hearing the same report: People told me they had trouble finding "where to click" to find stuff on the web site. I've had that all changed to be easier to find!

Additionally, GPanswers.com URLs are now "on their own." No longer are GPanswers.com URLs really just pointers to Moskowitz-inc. Of course, you can still get to Moskowitz, inc. pages in various ways on GPanswers.com.

Those are the changes as of today. Here is what's coming up in the next several days/weeks:

  • New searchable FAQ section
  • New Tips and Tricks section
  • Annnnnnd...the Big News! We are diligently workingon a sponsored "Group Policy Solutions Guide" whichenables YOU to easily locate 3rd-party softwarethat enhances Group Policy!

We're aiming to get each and every vendor that offers a Group Policy product to join the club! If you think there's a company and product that should be listed, just let me know! Additionally, we've updated the 2005 class location list and schedule. Be sure to click on "Group Policy Workshop" to get a full list of the updated schedule and/or to sign up for a class.

I hope you enjoy GPanswers.com 2.0 in our second year! PS: I'll likely send out a mini-announcement when the "Group Policy Solutions Guide" goes live.
 

Technology Takeaway®, a service of Moskowitz, inc.

Here's what's on people's minds recently...

Correction from Newsletter #5

I hate to have to start out with an apology. But, alas, it happens. That is, my Bonus Tip #1 in Newsletter #5—the "TWO Remote Desktop Sessions" tip--didn't pan out to be true. I did test it ... but I tested it with a Beta of SP2, and, well, that functionality was removed last minute from the ACTUAL SP2.

D'oh! My bad.

Three juicy tips and tricks

TIP 1

Recently, I've been searching for a way to avoid going to the task bar (oops, I mean "Notification Area") in order to disconnect various hardware. Often, I'm just "ready to roll" but, alas, it takes multiple mouse clicks to get the job done to disconnect USB flash disks, Firewire hard drives, or my USB camera.

Here's a tip you can use to save some time. It comes from this Microsoft KB article: "Remove hardware from a command line".

The syntax is a little hard to follow. In this case, I'm going to list the active USB devices.

C:>devcon find usb*
USBROOT_HUB4&1B96DD0A&1 : USB Root Hub
USBROOT_HUB4&23036E4B&1 : USB Root Hub
USBROOT_HUB4&A2AFF59&1 : USB Root Hub
USBROOT_HUB204&18075F55&1 : USB Root Hub
USBVID_05DC&PID_A400415DEF11191525121004 : USB Mass Storage Device
5 matching device(s) found.

Let's say I want to remove the USB Flash Disk that is currently attached. In the example, I can see that my device has a unique ID of "415DEF11191525121004." To remove it, I can quickly type in a command (or, better yet, batch file) that removes this device based on a string within the device. C:>devcon remove "@USB*525121004*" USBVID_05DC&PID_A400415DEF11191525121004 : Removed 1 device(s) removed.

In my short time using this utility, here's what I've found:

  • Some devices complain when being "ripped" out of the system like this. Couple your batch file with the Sysinternals tool called "Sync" which can flush the data to the disk before removal. I'm not saying it'll 100% prevent data damage, but it's certainly better to sync before removal.
  • When specifying the device to remove, be sure to put the unique device name between quotes.
  • Additionally, proceed it with an @ sign. Not really sure why, that's just the deal.
  • It seems that each time I remove a device (then plug it back in), I'm essentially re-forcing the PNP subsystem to do its thing when the device is plugged in next. I guess I'm really looking for a command to "eject" a device and not "remove" it.

The closest I've come is this:

"RUNDLL32.EXE SHELL32.DLL,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll"

It starts the "Unplug or Eject Hardware" wizard, but that's about all it does. If anyone figures out the command syntax for disconnecting a device WITHOUT "removing" it, please let me know!

There's a nice website dedicated to things like this little utility here.
If you have any neat tricks to add to this, do let me know!
 

TIP 2

Everyone I know has cell phones. But heck if I know what carrier they're using. So, when I want to send a little text message (known properly as SMS messages), I have to just GUESS which service they're using.

Is it @vtext.com ? @tmomail.net ? @cingular.com ? Who knows?

And now, you don't have to. Just send an email to
@teleflip.com and -- voila! Instant SMS message to your friend or co-worker.
 

TIP 3

Ron Hrehirchuk is one of my most active GPanswers.com forum members. He's constantly knocking tough questions out of the park. Indeed, Ron is going to be helping me with enhancing the "Tips and Tricks" section.

Recently, Ron found this little gem.

The goal? To use Group Policy to control your EnergyStar-compliant systems. I checked it out, and it is very, very nice! I didn't actually use it though, because I don't have the right kinds of hardware. But it's certainly an interesting example of how Group Policy can be used in ways not normally considered.
 

Upcoming Conferences, Appearances, and Classes

Something new... On www.moskowitz-inc.com (or www.GPanswers.com) I have a neat-o calendar that I'm updating with any public (and private) appearances. So, check it out any time for up-to-date information!
 

Free Live Events
GROUP POLICY POWER HOUR Webinar

New date: Friday, December 03, 2004(was November 19th):
8:00 AM -- WEST COAST
11:00 AM -- EAST COAST
Seminar #3 in the "The Group Policy Power Hour!" It's 1/2 hour of talk and demos, and 1/2 hour of Q&A!

Here's the intro:

One of the key skills to master is to know what's going on at your client system. In this talk, Jeremy will demonstrate the various methods to get the Resultant Set of Policy, or RSOP, for your client systems. Both command-line tools and the GPMC can be used to gather this knowledge, so join Jeremy for this Power Hour session!

Registration is available here.
 

Classes and Seminars
Not free... but worth it! Upcoming classes!

I'd love to see you in one of the two-dayGroup Policy intensive training and workshop classes.

These two-day classes get you up to speed, working with Group Policy, Security settings, ADM templates, and just about all you need to know to hit the ground running -- Fast!

Or ... if you think you might want your own in-house training of the course (with all the personalizedattention that affords), I'd love to join you on-site!If you have even a handful of in-house people interested in the training, the course pays for itself (as you don't need to ship people offsite!). I'll even travel overseas to the U.K., other parts of Europe, or Japan -- or wherever! Have passport, will travel!

Again, while the training course isn't officially _endorsed_ by Microsoft, the class does the have distinction of being a suggested avenue for intense Group Policy training by members of the Group Policy team at Microsoft.

At the MMS 2004 and TechEd 2004 conferences, Mark Williams from the Group Policy team encouraged the throngs of attendees to check out the new Group Policy book and the training!In fact, he dedicated a whole slide to the book, the training,and GPanswers.com for each of his sessions!

Wow! Thanks again, Microsoft!

How do attendees feel about the class? My favorite email this month was from Chris Curran from Sullivan Data Management.

Great Class!! Ever since the training everything GPO justseems to make a heck of a lot of sense. It's like you filledan eyeglass prescription or something.

Chris Curran

Sullivan Data Management

That's me ... Jeremy Moskowitz, your GPOptometrist.
Just contact me at [email protected]or call me at 302-793-3957.

 

Get a signed copy of Group Policy, Profiles and IntelliMirror for Windows 2003, Windows XP and Windows 2000

We've had dozens of people order books directly from GPanswers.com. If you'd like a copy, it's easy to order, and I'll sign the book to you, free!

Please note that I'm not set up to accept credit cards directly; however, you can enjoy the security of ordering through your PayPal account (and they take credit cards, including AMEX just fine.) Thanks for understanding!

Order your signed copy today by clicking here.

Oh, and if you own the book, and want to say nice things on Amazon, please do so! That would be great. Thanks! You can do so here.
 

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Thanks for reading!

Jeremy Moskowitz
Author, Instructor, Infrastructure Architect
Moskowitz, inc.
[email protected]
Learn more about Group Policy at GPanswers.com !

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