Letters to Redmond

Letters@Redmondmag.com: June 2006

Extreme computing, beta testing, password tips, Microsoft Live and more.

At the Cutting Edge
Just read the "Extreme Computing" article [April 2006]. Wow. I would love to read more about this sort of thing. Building a network and getting it running in an office...yawn. Yea, OK, it has to be done, but working at the limits? Well that is great. That's where the cutting edge is. It might not be the very latest kit but it's the best use of equipment. Really enjoyed the piece -- thanks.
Paul Darcy
Hull, U.K.

Worth the Headache
I agree in full with Mary Jo's column ["Windows Vista Testing: The School of Hard Knocks," April 2006], to me it's worth the headaches of dealing with constantly changing terms, as well as the plethora of other issues we've been having (bad keys, inability to activate product, etc.).

I enjoy testing, and I've enjoyed it for a few years now. I think that the COSD [Microsoft's Core Operating Systems Division] has been doing their job, and if it weren't for the changes that they made, this test would've been horrid.

There are some things I miss about the old build process, and having only seven labs. First and foremost, I miss the frequent builds we had during the Whistler test. Second, I miss having the hunk of extra features, albeit they weren't all that stable, but they were still fun to test and discover. It's gotten to the point now where almost everything that was Longhorn has been removed, even Aurora has been dumbed down to something not even worth mentioning. On the flipside, the new build process ensures us only stable components and features will make it into each daily build. So no more pre-Vista sidebar issues (4053 anyone?). It's a pretty even battle in my humble opinion.

For us testers and consumers, I feel that the old build/testing process was much better, however, I feel that they are saving tremendous amounts of money with the refined processes.
Chris Sabo
Columbus, Ohio

"I have to say that ['9 Perfect Password Pointers'] is a must-read for Windows admins everywhere."

Password Perfection
I just finished reading Roger Grimes' latest article, "9 Perfect Password Pointers," in the April 2006 issue of Redmond magazine. I have to say that this is a must-read for Windows admins everywhere. Passwords are always one of the weakest links of any security infrastructure and it gets straight to the point with these nine simple tips on strengthening password security, which should be implemented on any Windows system. Applying tip No. 4 (To Decrease Complexity, Increase Length) alone would increase the security on any system tremendously. Great article.
Kelly Burton
Portsmouth, Va.

Mixed Emotions
Great read! I've been reading the magazine since it was called Microsoft Certified Professional, which, by the way, I liked better. I have some issues with the way the content is going. It seems to me that it's steering more toward "Carpet Row."

My main concern is the ScriptLogic advertisement that's always on the front cover. It's interesting to me that they keep coming up with "new" ideas that already exist in Active Directory. For example: If you deleted an OU. Any "good" admin would laugh at this. I guess paper MCSEs are here to stay!

Even though I'm complaining, I still wait at the mailbox for my latest copy to arrive each month.
Stephen Anderson
DOD, USMC, ISMO

Breakfast of Champions
Here's a one-sentence description of Live: Live is Google for Windows Vista. When Vista becomes the standard in two years time, Live will eat Google for breakfast. Live will have a native Vista XAML look and super-rich functionality while Google will stick to Firefox compatibility and go down the toilet. You can't have a Web technology without a client device, which today is comprehensively owned by Microsoft. Google relies too much on HTML and JavaScript but all AJAX attempts to make it a feasible UI are failing miserably. This will be exposed when Vista and XAML come out.
Brad Freeman
United Kingdom

About the Author

This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at letters@redmondmag.com and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.

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