Some Kudos for Dell

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Howard Nelson, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Howard Nelson

    Hank Arnold Guest

    We have meetings???? When was someone going to tell me about them????? ;-)
    Hank Arnold, Aug 12, 2005
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  2. Howard Nelson

    Leythos Guest

    If you want it to be subjective in your mind, then yes, it's subjective
    to you. Do you have any numbers from your personal experience that
    disagree with my statement?
    Leythos, Aug 12, 2005
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  3. Howard Nelson

    Leythos Guest

    I feel lucky as most of our customers are corporate or non-residential
    users. The only residential types we service are the ones that are
    managers of the clients we have, so we have it a little easier most
    I don't defend MS's business practices, it's what made them what they
    are today, and it should be respected for what it is, even if we don't
    agree with it - Bill didn't create MS by being fuu-fuu nice.

    While many companies create great products, I would think it makes sense
    for MS to purchase ones that fit its business needs - if you can
    purchase one that has a great product, without screwing it up (See
    Diskeeper), you can add a lot of value to your system.

    I've never found Windows to be hard to setup, not since Windows 3.11,
    and I've found their servers to be easy to setup and maintain also. I
    have 4 Fedora Core 3 workstations running here and I'm still unable to
    get them to mount Windows 2003 Shares with full R/W permissions to the
    file. I also found, due to my own inexperience, fixing a FC3 system to
    be much harder than a Windows XP system. The area were Microsoft wins
    hands down is support for devices - I see a never ending list of
    complaints from RH/FC users about devices not being supported, but
    almost everything you could imagine is fully supported on Windows. I
    hope that vendors get the idea and start building more Linux ready
    drivers, but, unlike Windows, they have to create installer packages for
    the different variants of Linux - what works on FC3 may not work on
    I've seen many ZA personal installations compromised due to User error.
    In fact I've only seen personal firewall applications properly
    maintained on Network Administrators laptops and some quality developers
    laptops - almost every home user I've seen them on has at least one
    opening that should not be there.
    I agree, but if we properly setup their machines, and it's easy to do,
    they only need the NAT border device and don't need a firewall.
    Agreed - it's a PITA for network administrators.
    But, if the IE was configured properly, according to MS's own security
    methods, none of that would be an issue.
    It goes back farther than just tight-integration, it's about the OS
    model they picked - they wanted a OS that could be used out of the box
    without any need for an Admin. What they didn't do was offer a
    install/setup wizard that provided for multiple configurations based on
    installed need. MS wanted the OS to be easy to use in all environments -
    and they succeeded quite well - the default install (even after SP2) of
    XP is very easy to use, easy to work with other hardware, easy to use
    with any application, etc... That's is it's single weakness and it's
    real problem - providing a simple/easy to use platform that tries to
    work with everything (not just MS apps).
    Yes, but there are problems with FireFox and several other apps created
    by Open Source teams - have you tried to install FireFox as a "user"
    level account? You can't. You have to be an Administrator to install
    FireFox. The other thing about FF (and I use it myself) is that it
    doesn't support ActiveX, which is great for most of us, but there are
    many intranet sites designed around applications that were replaced by
    web-screen applications with ActiveX controls to provide the functions
    needed (many companies move their old 'green screen' apps to web based
    applications and picked IIS/ActiveX as a means to do it).
    What would be really great is if MS were to come out with LongHorn and
    not provide any backwards support for applications or services - to
    make the full OS a truly secure OS and offer the performance and
    benefits we expect today on these newer systems. I don't expect to see
    them drop legacy application support, but it would sure be nice.
    Leythos, Aug 12, 2005
  4. Howard Nelson

    Ben Myers Guest

    A communicable disease transmitted among golfers? I dunno. I do not play golf.
    Too slow.

    I prefer non-stop soccer action. As non-stop as it can get at my age.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 12, 2005
  5. I beg to differ, a large number of new users are "Boomer" coming late to
    the field and most don't know enough to really screw them up. They do
    however know have issues with thinks that most experienced users take for
    granted and off shore support seems fail completely in dealing with this.


    Kevin Childers, Aug 12, 2005
  6. Just because you have a car, doesn't mean you know how to get to
    everywhere on the planet. Call most major ISPs and ask them about NNTP or
    Usenet Newsgroups, the answers won't be what you might expect.

    Kevin Childers, Aug 12, 2005
  7. Usenet access is not a computer side issue, it is a service provided by
    the ISP, and not all ISPs offer it. There is also the question of what
    Usenet Newsgroups the ISP chooses to carry, again not all ISPs carry all
    Usenet Newsgroups. Usenet is not a money making service so most just offer
    as little as possible and rarely bother to keep anyone on staff strictly for
    their knowledge and support of it.

    Kevin Childers, Aug 12, 2005
  8. Most ISPs acknowledge the issue, but many end users either don't
    understand or choose to ignore it. A bellwether on the issue is that the
    big three (MSN, AOL, Earthlink), et al are spending money to offer at no
    additional cost antivirus, antispam, malware, and firewall protection to
    their customers. And you just know they aren't doing this out of the
    goodness of their hearts.

    Kevin Childers, Aug 12, 2005
  9. With most ISPs in the USA, you're leasing access and services on their
    network with access to the internet.
    The ISP is responsible for ensuring the availability of said services.
    Most have established procedures to protect the network and it's access.
    Beyond that there is a limit to the protection they are willing to offer to
    individual end user systems due to cost and liability. I've worked at a
    number of ISPs, network services companies and computer shops. In the end
    cost and liability trumps all else.

    Kevin Childers, Aug 12, 2005
  10. Howard Nelson

    Ben Myers Guest

    All too true. The Usenet feed from went flaky for a while this
    week. Sometimes I could not access it at all. Sometimes it would refuse to
    send to a newsgroup. Sometimes it worked the way one would expect.

    I contacted Charter twice. The first time, I was given the phone number of the
    company which supplies usenet under contract to Charter, a company called
    Highwinds. The second time, I was given the phone number of SuperNews support.
    SuperNews will provide you with your own individual Usenet feed at a monthly fee
    based on number of megabytes you want to download. So Charter tech support is
    simply clueless. After I raved and hollered a 3rd time, Charter apparently put
    the screws to Highwinds to fix the usenet feed. The last two days, it seems to
    work OK. My fingers are crossed, making it difficult to key in anything.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 12, 2005
  11. You must have got a tech that missed the change, Supernews was Charter's
    old Usenet services provider.

    Lucky you, they got it fixed so quickly. When they first changed, I had
    a lot of issues, I could post, but not receive from Usenet via
    Charter/Highwinds for a couple of months. every time I talked to Charter,
    the techs took me through setting up NNTP all over again and every time the
    set-up was slightly different. I think I know more about
    NNTP/Usenet/Newsgroups, but I called them, so I tried whatever they said.
    It didn't help, but then it didn't hurt either. When they finally gave me
    Highwinds number, they offered to sell me a direct Usenet access account
    through them. It took a while but finally the problem was resolved. In the
    interim I would read Usenet post via a free service, and then post via
    Charter. Still lately from late in the evening until some time in the wee
    hours of the morning you can get an error message that there are to many
    connections from Charter to Highwinds servers. The problem is sporadic and
    it may go away in a few minutes or it may persist all night.

    Over the past few nights Charter has been experiencing network failures
    that have blocked Internet, telephone and television services in my area,
    (Harvester, MO, USA). There techs are always on it, but as of last night
    haven't totally corrected the problem.

    Kevin Childers, Aug 12, 2005
  12. Howard Nelson

    Leythos Guest

    They are doing it for one reason - Compromised machines are a serious
    drain on bandwidth for any ISP. If they can find a cheap way to limit
    compromised machines they in effect gain capacity for more users.
    Leythos, Aug 12, 2005
  13. Howard Nelson

    Leythos Guest

    Enabling NAT on the DSL/Cable modems that support it doesn't COST
    anything in actually increases the capacity of the network by decreasing
    the number of newly compromised machines. It's hard to get that idea
    into the head of the managers and CFO's - if you provide NAT and free
    virus software for clients, that your network becomes cleaner and less
    used due to viruses not spamming outbound around the net from your
    Leythos, Aug 12, 2005
  14. Howard Nelson

    S.Lewis Guest

    S.Lewis, Aug 13, 2005
  15. But as of last count that still leaves a large majority of internet
    users on dial-up unprotected. Not all service providers have the capacity
    or the desire to provide free home networking services to residential
    customers. These come at a cost that most providers would rather avoid.
    Additionally there comes the question of liability. Surprisingly this what
    keeps many smaller service providers out of the antivirus/antispam venue.
    Ideally each end user machine should have it's own anti-virus protection as
    well as the network servers and the network it's self. In the USA the legal
    climate is such that were said services provided by the ISP and they were to
    fail in some way the potential for a law suit is quite high. We made a tidy
    profit helping to keep them clean. Add to this the total disregard of any
    possible virus/malware threat by many P2P users, it just becomes over

    Not to mention that there are a number of commercial apps, and not all
    are in true legacy status, that do not work and play well with antivirus
    programs. I know of several companies we supported that required their
    agents/representatives to use said apps.

    The filtering of Email becomes another nightmare due to the sheer volume
    of spam on top of viruses that an ISP must shift through. Then there is the
    risk of a false positive that delays or dumps some vital business
    correspondence. The only way we were able to implement anti-spam and
    antivirus on our Email servers was to first get a blanket best efforts, etc.
    waiver from the end users or the domain owner and then add a small charge to
    cover the additional resources required.

    So when you add the human, technical, and financial barriers most ISPs
    simply can't afford it. As a minimum we and most other ISPs I know of
    did/do provide a rather extensive section on the company web site warning
    about the potential threats that exist on the web as well as best practice
    to protect networks and end users. The monthly hit count on those pages
    though was never very high.

    Kevin Childers, Aug 13, 2005
  16. Kevin Childers, Aug 13, 2005
  17. Howard Nelson

    Ben Myers Guest

    The first two times when I spoke with the Charter tech, I pinged , and ended up with both the numeric IP address and a
    Highwinds-something-or-other address. In the face of that evidence, the
    dunderhead Charter tech still wanted me to call SuperNews! Doh!

    As you said, ISPs don't know usenet very well... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 13, 2005
  18. SHHH!
    Sparky Spartacus, Aug 13, 2005
  19. Howard Nelson

    Leythos Guest

    It does not involve "home networking" any more than their routers do
    now. In fact, some of the Cable and DSL modems are setup to provide a
    192.168.x.y address by default in some locations I've been in. We just
    setup a SBC DSL connection for one small company where their SBC DSL
    router provided a address to our hardware. Since we wanted
    to provide remote support we had to get SBC to allow us to use Bridge
    mode in order to get a public IP so that we could manage the NAT on our
    Many ISP's already provide free AV software and even Free Spyware
    detection/removal software - it's not a issue of Liability as it's
    perfectly clear that the ISP is not liable, the AV/ASW vendor could be,
    but the ISP is just providing a free service without any responsibility.
    And there will always be issues with some users systems, but, NAT would
    not be one of the problems with a system, only with communications, NAT
    is implemented outside of their home network (at the ISP's router), and
    if they choose to not use free AV software they can, the ISP should
    still provide / encourage its use.
    Actually, we fight with this all the time. Since we setup our customers
    email systems we have/do find means to combat spam/attachments, and
    we're more aggressive than an ISP would be, but many ISP's also take the
    path of moving the email to another location and sending the user a link
    to a site where they can review it before downloading it. If ISP's
    filtered attachments based on file extension alone, it would block 90%
    of that crap - don't let .EXE through (yet, still let .EX_ through as
    ..EX_ won't autorun on anyones machine), same with .SCR, .PIF, etc...
    This would not keep anyone from sending a .EXE to anyone, but it would,
    by renaming it, keep anyone from accidentally executing it.
    A passive warning means nothing - I bet less than 20% of an ISP's users
    actually even know about the warning on their sites. As for the count,
    if it's part of the IE startup page, then it's only getting hits because
    the users open IE, not because they read what's there.

    Implementing NAT on ISP's hardware at the home, if it's supported by the
    ISP's device, as a default installation method, costs the ISP nothing
    and provides a great first barrier protection method. Any user that
    needs a public IP should be able to get it just for the asking, as any
    user smart enough to know the difference is very likely to also know how
    to protect their system.

    Providing a Disk to the users on installation that gives them a FREE AV
    program and a free browser like FireFox, even if they don't install it,
    would be great - since many users would install it.

    Don't say cost is a factor, most ISP's oversell their services and user
    performance suffers due to it - if users were not compromised or not
    reachable to attack, the ISP would have greater capacity and not require
    additional investment to increase their users performance or to add more
    users to the clean system.

    Dial-up users are in another situation, but, there are inexpensive means
    to protect them - you don't have to give them a public IP, and for
    $9.95/month they don't need a public IP. You could give two phone
    numbers - one for protected one for unprotected..... Sure, this might
    actually cost, as the initial change would require some effort, but, in
    the end they might actually get more customers by being able to
    advertise their security measures - and the fact that normal dial-up is
    no more secure than broadband.
    Leythos, Aug 13, 2005
  20. You, for a small company? What about John Doe, computer user sittiing
    at home with one or more PCs trying to set up on any connection? He
    expects his ISP to support whatever hardware he has, but can he also expect
    them to provide, install, configure and support additional hardware to
    protect him? Also are these fixed addresses or dynamic?
    A matter of scale, the biggies can afford bulk licenses, but the little
    guys are still out there. During my time as a tech at one small ISP, the
    question came up about providing at cost Antivirus software. The only
    problem was that the cost quoted by NAV & McA was close to retail and they
    required that we provide hosting for the downloads. Not cost effective to
    our operation nor the customer.
    But connections need to be robustly dynamic and support a plethora of
    technologies. Cost of management becomes an issue. There is also an issue
    of replacing hardware.
    A good plan, but not very functional in the real world due to the
    diversity of interest one has to support. Believe it or not some people do
    send legitimate attachments with those file extensions. You also mention
    customers Email systems. Yes we did that , but the issue is with John Smith
    Internet user, not corporate clients. With a corporate system you can
    execute a much tighter control scheme.

    One of the best and actually least expensive set-ups we implemented for
    a customer on a budget was a series of old servers (zero hardware cost) they
    already owned set up in three layers to handle their Email. Layer one was
    antispam and consisted of two servers running Free BSD and Postfix, software
    cost zero. The second layer had two servers running Linux and a modified
    antivirus application that utilized NAV to scan all in inbound Email and
    attachments, this included compressed files, software cost about $600.00.
    The third layer was the actual mail server running NT and Imail software
    cost $12,000 at the time(approx).

    But again this is not a viable option on a public Email server.
    Active warnings don't seem to have much effect either. We produced a
    monthly newsletter to our users an even with large red flashing letters
    announcing a new threat and linked to the very item on the threats pages did
    not do much to increase customer awareness. Though there would always be a
    small bump in customer calls to tech support wanting help to deal with the
    problem. People seem to want a tech support guided tutorial on fixing the
    problem rather than taking a few minutes to read. All that being said maybe
    there are just more ethnically inept people out there that we gave the
    population at large, or at least the portion covered by our customer base,
    credit for
    Broadband yes, and BTW with the FCCs new ruling on DSL the provider list
    is about to get a lot smaller. Smart users yes, but there are any number of
    illuminated idiots out there that only have half a clue and scream bloody
    murder when they finally realize they are over their heads.
    Mozilla is not perfect, but a good answer. All you would have to do is
    change peoples habits a bit and get them to accept something that is not
    exactly like what they are using now. For the early adopters and the
    technically proficient, this is unnecessary as they don't need anyone disk,
    just the basic settings and addresses for the servers and their off and
    running. A 3x5 note card would suffice. For others no disk will ever cover
    all they need to know should they ever take the time to fully utilize what
    is offered. There is and always will be hardware (MAC, x86, ???) issues.
    What works on a shiny new Dell et al, may or may not work on some ones
    legacy machine. Then there is the issue of OS, what are you running, today?

    At present I have a client that has one machine that just doesn't like
    NAV '05. NAV tech support has yet to resolve the issue and looks to lose a
    dedicated customer. He has several machines from a 486sx running Win95 to a
    Gen 4 with XP, but one of his two older matching 550 MHz WIN Me machines
    can't seem to get a good install. Surprisingly it's the one with a true
    Intel chip (the other is a Celeron). Going to try AVG this after noon on
    it. Sad part is the guy is a real straight arrow and actually own licensed
    copies for every piece of software he's got on his machines. I think he
    still has every machine (up and running) he's ever bought and they are his
    extended families home network.
    You have over simplified this a bit. For the big national/regional
    providers, usually they are being hosted by a third party server farm that
    is subject to limitations that vary from company to company. For the little
    guy it is a balance between performance and cost to eak out a profit.
    Speaking of cost, the install disk are cheap, but the licensed install
    software is not unless it is home brewed and even then programmers aren't
    that cheap even if you go overseas. That's why most offer dynamic IP
    addressing and charge extra for fixed IP addresses. Though a good router
    makes this a non-issue. Then to there is a side benefit from this in that
    it reduces bandwidth hogs who want to set up servers and do low end
    web/FTP/wares hosting, massive P2P file sharing, etc., on a residential
    account. The original provisioning of the first residential broadband
    providers did not for see this and got slammed by such inconsiderate types.
    And this upped the cost as well for said services
    Human nature isn't that savvy. Most folks will go with the cheapest
    they can get for the minimum reliability they can stand. That's how the
    profit. Many don't even offer Usenet.
    Kevin Childers, Aug 13, 2005
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