Build and Maintain a WSUS Server

For those that are in charge of your IT department, or if you are the IT department, Ars Technica has an article on how to build and maintain a tiered WSUS infrustructure. While this may be overkill on home networks (unless you are studying or playing around with AD and advanced Windows networking), it is a Godsend for business networks.

What WSUS gives you, out-of-the-box, is a way to consolidate updates on one server, distribute them out to clients, and apply only approved updates from approved categories at approved times. It also includes some useful, if somewhat lacking, reporting capabilities. However, all of this still isn

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New YouTube Channel

I have decided that some things are better shown than just described. I have started a YouTube Channel that will showcase various FAQ’s, guides and information on Windows and other Microsoft products. This should help out with clarification of ideas and help you to see what exactly is being done. To start off, I have uploaded a new way of opening Windows 7 Jumplists: just drag them open with your left mouse button. Simple, but not a well documented way to open the jumplists.

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Bing’s Outage Compared To Sally Field?

PC World compared Bing’s outage to Sally Field. I thought that the Bing outage was longer than 30 minutes, but probably not. Just pretty noticable! Although it wasn’t too big of a deal for me, as I just went to Google in the meantime, others were missing out on the Bing Cashback program.

In case you missed it–and most of you probably did–Microsoft’s Bing search engine was offline for about 30 minutes on Thursday evening. What’s noteworthy here isn’t that fact that a Web service was down briefly (just ask Gmail users) but that the short-lived outage resulted in a flurry of media coverage, including a couple of stories right here on PCWorld.com.

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Microsoft Pulls Windows 7 Family Pack

Microsoft has killed their money saving Family Pack offer for Windows 7 home users. This was a great deal for a lot of users with multiple PC’s around the home that are wanting to upgrade to Windows 7. Sad to see it die off so soon. And right before Christmas, too!

The special offer, which debuted shortly before the Oct. 22 retail launch of Windows 7, let buyers upgrade as many as three PCs from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7 Home Premium. The $149.99 price of the Family Pack represented a savings of $210 over three separate copies of Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade, which lists for $119.99.

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Black Screens Of Death Not From Microsoft Updates

Microsoft says that the “Black Screen of Death” is not caused by the recent updates in November. I haven’t heard much about people having issues with them, but I guess some people have.

“Microsoft has investigated reports that its November security updates made changes to permissions in the registry that that are resulting in system issues for some customers,” Microsoft security response communications lead Christopher Budd said in a statement. “The company has found those reports to be inaccurate and our comprehensive investigation has shown that none of the recently released updates are related to the behavior described in the reports.”

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Microsoft Office 2010 Beta FAQ

PCWorld has a pretty thorough writeup about why and how you should install the new beta of Office 2010. I’ve been running the technical preview and now the beta, and I have to say that it is a worthy upgrade. I agree with the “expert” quoted in the article:

But what does our expert say? “Anyone interested in Office should get a copy of this beta,” wrote Preston Gralla in his first-take review. “It was solid and performed well without crashing once. I experienced none of the slowness that you sometimes do with betas.”

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Windows 8 Coming In 2012?

So, Windows 7 has been out (officially) not even a month. But, as the way it is in this industry, speculation over Windows 8 started quite a while ago. A release date has been shown on a roadmap slide from Microsoft, showing 2012.

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NSA Helps Microsoft With Security For Windows 7

The NSA (National Security Agency) of the USA has been helping Microsoft with security for the Windows OS. This is some great news, and should be great in the long run. Of course, I did find one thing disturbing.

The NSA and other cybersecurity experts say that simple precautions (such as installing system updates regularly and running anti-virus software and firewalls) should protect against about 80% of the attacks out there. This means that if users took these steps, the NSA and others could focus on the more dangerous 20%, or so the theory goes. Put another way, of course, that means about 20% of attacks are sophisticated enough to theoretically defeat standard security measures.

The emphasis is mine. I wonder what types of firewalls the attacks can bypass. Scary.

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WindowBlinds 7 Available

For all those that like to customize the look and feel of your operating system, Stardock has released the Windows 7 compatible WindowBlinds 7. I’ve always been a fan of WindowBlinds, and have been awaiting the release of this version. Give it a try, there is a free trial download to test it out.

Customize your entire Windows experience with WindowBlinds. This one-of-a-kind program can change virtually every element of the Windows graphical user interface.

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