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Submission + - Why don't we buy sysadmin books anymore? ( 4

Bandman writes: Our needs for good information and documentation have not changed, but the way that we get it has. The ebook revolution has made physical shelves of sysadmin books endangered species. A bigger issue may be that even ebook sales of books related to system administration have not been selling. Somewhere along the line, people stopped buying things like "DNS and Bind" or "Sed & Awk".

Has our need for documentation changed, or just our sources of it?


Computer Competency Test For Non-IT Hires? 369

wto605 writes "As computers are used for more and more vital business functions, small businesses must have office employees who understand the dangers of, and how to recognize and avoid, malware, spam, and phishing. After having been stung by monthly virus cleanups (at $75 an hour) due to an otherwise competent office manager, my parents have realized they need to be aware of their employees' computer skills beyond the ability to type a letter in Microsoft Word (currently the closest thing they have to a test of computer competence). The problem is, as a small business, they have no IT expert who would be able to judge a potential employee's competency. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a good way to test these security/safety awareness skills, such as an online test, a set of questions, etc. I have already pointed them to Sonicwall's Spam and Phishing test, but it definitely does not cover all of the issues facing computer users."

Submission + - Dell Removes (then reinstates) 3rd Party Drive Sup (

Bandman writes: Back in February, a posting by Dell rep Howard Shoobe alerted us to the fact that Dell was removing the ability to use non-Dell branded drives in the Poweredge server line, when configured with the PERC H700/H800. There was immediate backlash.

Recently, however, Dell backpedaled on their stance, saying that third party drives would be able to be used, but not officially supported. This much more agreeable stance was brought about by the thousands of Dell customers who railed against the change. The news is that, apparently, Dell listens.

Comment Re:budget stuffs (Score 1) 290

For the average, locked-down business user, Vista is virtually the same as XP. The only real difference is the start menu, and if that posses such a problem - it can be reverted through Group Policy.

Besides, I thought you open source fanboys only cared about licensing costs and not TCO (at least according to Slashdot, no training is required to move to Open Office or Ubuntu.)

Comment Been there...done that... (Score 2, Insightful) 958

Your first step is to dig through all of the documentation you have to find any and all software purchases. This included going through the previous guy's email (hopefully it's still available) and digging out the license cards from those boxes stashed in the corner. If you are lucky, someone in accounting can start pulling invoices from you. Also, go to the resellers your company has been using to see if they can pull a purchase history or license report (CDW is great for this). Don't forget to try sites like Microsoft's eOpen ( or Adobe's license site (

The next step is to audit your workstations and servers to see exactly what commercial software they are running. Try to match that up with what documentation you found to start with. My rule of thumb is that if I don't have a PO/invoice, license key or box, then I don't own the software. Then go and get quotes from your favorite reseller to see what the costs are to "true-up".

Take all of this to your manager (or the owner) and show them the situation. Be sure to explain the consequences of not licensing the software you are using, and leave the decision up to him whether to true-up, stop using the software, or use it unlicensed. I would personally document this meeting just to cover your own ass, especially if the last option is chosen.

In order to prevent this situation in the future, make sure all software purchases come through your department. Then keep all license documentation in a single physical or electronic location. Be prepared to dig your heels in when someone tries to bypass IT to install illegal/unlicense software.


Submission + - 2 killed in SpaceShipTwo motor test explosion (

RZG writes: Two people were killed and 4 were injured during a "cold fire test" of the motor for SpaceShipTwo. This obviously is a setback for Virgin Galactic and the non-government space community in general. "Aerial video of the blast aftermath showed a charred and twisted flatbed trailer attached to a truck cab with a large silver tank next to it. Large pieces of debris appeared to be strewn for hundreds of yards from the center."

Submission + - America doesn't have a broadband problem

stry_cat writes: According to this story, the new FCC Commissioner believes that "the country doesn't really have a broadband problem."

This statement contrasts sharply with what others are saying. For example a 2006 ars technica article stated "Looking at the statistics contained in the report, we discover that the US is 16th in the world in terms of broadband penetration and 15th in rate of growth. As of December 2005, the US had approximately 16 broadband subscribers for every 100 inhabitants. In contrast, Iceland had almost 27, while South Korea, the Netherlands, and Denmark were right around 25 per 100."

Has our broadband crisis been solved in just under a year, or is the new FCC Commissioner mistaken?

Submission + - Improvements to DFS in Windows Server 2008 (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has announced new features for DFS in Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn). This news comes straight from the DFS Namespaces team at Microsoft, so these features should actually be there in the RTM version of Windows Server 2008. The biggest new improvement is support for more than 5,000 targets in a domain-based DFS namespace, along with access-based enumeration (users do not see folders they cannot access in the directory listing).
  • Windows 2000 Server Mode: This provides the same DFS functionality and scalability that is currently available in Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003, but running on Windows Server 2008.
  • Windows Server 2008 Mode: This new mode provides functionality and scalability, along with support for access-based enumeration (users do not see folders/content that they cannot access).


Submission + - Dell admits preloaded Trailware is annoying

Very Anonymous Coward writes: Dell released a new desktop product line 'Vostro'.

The first bullet point emphasized on this product line is "No Trialware. ". A mouse-over description states "Vostro Systems come without annoying trialware, so you get only the software you want"

Though only Windows is available as the OS, so I guess the above is only half true. dg/hip_msn?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

Submission + - Linus calls GNOME "limiting"

lisah writes: "The flame wars between Linus Torvalds and the GNOME community continue to burn. Responding to Torvalds' recent claim that GNOME 'seems to be developed by interface Nazis' and that its developers believe their 'users are idiots,' a member of the Linux Foundation's Desktop Architects mailing list suggested that Torvalds use GNOME for a month before making such pronouncements. Torvalds, never one to back down from a challenge, simply turned around and submitted patches to GNOME and then told the list, '...let's see what happens to my patches. I guarantee you that they actually improve the code.' After lobbing that over the fence, Torvalds concluded his comments by saying, 'Now the question is, will people take the patches, or will they keep their heads up their arses and claim that configurability is bad, even when it makes things more logical, and code more readable.'"

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman