In-Depth

Editor's Choice: Training

<b>Winner:</b> DameWare Development DameWare NT Utilities<br> <br> <b>Honorable Mention: </b><a href="#vmware">VMware Workstation</a>

DameWare NT Utilities $189.95 for a single license  DameWare Development; 985-871-7519; www.dameware.com

The computer classroom can be, at times, difficult to manage: multiple students simultaneously working on a lab exercise, all demanding the instructor’s attention and guidance. It’s nice to have a technology tool to help manage this environment, which can serve as a virtual teacher’s assistance.

DameWare NT Utilities is a versatile management program that allows you to control and manage network computers remotely. It centralizes, in one interface, all the major diagnostic and management functions that would normally require many different native operating system utilities, as well as other third-party utilities, to replicate. Don’t let the program’s title throw you; DameWare for NT utilities is also optimized to work on Windows 2000.

What I really like about DameWare is that you don’t have to preinstall client software on the remote computer. Instead, the client agent is installed automatically when needed. As a traveling instructor, this gives me the flexibility to walk into a new classroom and take “control” of it immediately. I can then interact with individual student computers and check up on how a student’s doing on a lab exercise. It supports all the major Windows platforms.

DameWare NT Utilities
DameWare NT Utilities consolidates all major remote management tools under a single interface. (Click image to view larger version.)

DameWare really shines in centralizing all the essential information you need to diagnose a remote computer problem, as well as consolidating all the major utilities for maintaining the remote system. It also provides more detail than Task Manager ever could. Factor in that native remote management of Windows 95/98 in Win2K is non-existent, and you can see that DameWare is a tool that can really do it all.

I’m sure that DameWare was designed with the helpdesk in mind, but it can be used as a technology-training tool, as well. Technology instructors, especially those who travel, will find that DameWare can serve as a virtual teacher’s assistant and help bring an unruly computer classroom back into order. Its extensive remote diagnostic and management capabilities provide you a wealth of information you’d be hard-pressed to replicate with native utilities.

Honorable Mention
VMware Workstation
$299 for the download and $329 for full packaging
VMware
650-475-5000, www.vmware.com

My next favorite utility is VMware Workstation. This is a virtual machine environment that allows you to boot into a number of different operating systems virtually.

VMware has allowed me to play with different operating systems without having to mess with my computer’s normal boot loader process. I need that sometimes.

About the Author

James Carrion, MCM R2 Directory, MCITP, MCSE, MCT, CCNA, CISSP has worked as a computer consultant and technical instructor for the past 16 years. He’s the owner of and principal instructor for MountainView Systems, LLC, which specializes in accelerated Microsoft Certification training.

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