Monthly Archives: June 2006

Windows XP

Office 12 – A New Look

I originally posted this at http://www.318.com/TechJournal

Microsoft has released the beta version of Microsoft Office, version 12. This new version is packed with new features and of course, a new look for documents.

Office 12 no longer has drop down menus. This has been a hallmark of Microsoft Office since the first version. Nearly every other productivity suite has been built around drop down menus on every platform since the days before point-and-click. Microsoft has replaced drop down menus with a new concept that they are calling the ribbon. When you click on what were once drop down menus, the toolbars change to include only the features relevant to that option. By placing buttons and menus in the ribbon, Microsoft is able to include many new features without forcing users to have so many toolbars that their workspace is greatly reduced. The ribbon is not resizeable, so users of bigger monitors will likely approve of this feature than users of smaller monitors.

Other new features in Office 12 include the ability to save files into read-only PDFs, an Inspector that allows users to hide text or reveal text, the ability to remove the document creators name and contact information, a live preview feature that allows users to view the effect of changes before making them and tighter integration with OneNote.

There are also new features specific to components of Office 12. Word 12 includes a new zoom bar, which is meant to help zoom in and out of text rapidly as well as a new bar at the bottom of the screen that includes word count, page count and other information about the document. Conditional formatting in Excel 12 allows users to spruce up their spreadsheets with colors and effects based on formula outputs. PowerPoint 12 now gives a greater sense of control with more streamlined features. Outlook 12, unlike the rest of the Office suite, did not receive the ribbon. It did get the sleek new interface, a To-Do bar and color coded users, a feature useful in shared environments. Finally, Access was given a new interface to make it easier and faster to rapidly create databases.

Microsoft Office has given the world a standard for documents that has enabled sharing to a level that might not have otherwise been possible. With their latest version they are making their format for documents open source, or freely useable by other organizations, in order to enable people to share documents between applications more freely. With this innovation in the way that Microsoft goes about business, they are joining the packs of companies such as Novell, RedHat and Apple. While Microsoft has been criticized in the past for their fierce competition, this change will actually foster innovation in the field of word processing, spreadsheet creation and presentations. The new format will also allow users to make larger files and shrink existing files, as it splits each file into separate components stored in a .zip format. The new format will have an x at the end of the name of each extension for old formats. For example, Word files would be .docx and PowerPoint files would be .pptx.

There will be an initial learning curve for adopters of Microsoft Office 12, but the productivity enhancements will quickly offset this with the proper training and planning.

Uncategorized

Change OD Passwords using HTTP

2 projects for changing Open Directory passwords using a web portal:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/osxpass/

http://ps-enable.com/software/MOSXSWebPassword1.5L.dmg/view

Uncategorized

lsof

See all the traffic for port 548:

sudo lsof -i:548

Articles and Books Mac OS X Server

Review of my Mac OS X Server Little Black Book

Title: Mac Tiger Server Little Black Book, Author: Charles Edge Publisher: Paraglyph Press, distributed by O’Reilly Published: 2006 Price: $34.99 URL: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/1933097140/

Roger Smith, SVMUG, June 18, 2006.

Audience: Users and system administrators trying to get the most out of Mac networking with Tiger Server.

Content: The book is divided into 18 chapters, each focused on some aspect of server functionality.

My opinion: Very much task-oriented, this would get a lot of use next to the console of a Tiger server. It is setting next to my server and will stay there.

There is an embarrassment of riches these days when it comes to OS X Server books. Until 10.2 there was nothing except some material on the Apple Web site.

Then Schoun Regan came out with Mac OS X Server Essentials, the first good book on Mac servers (Peachpit Press, Apple Training Series). But with each new edition, Schoun’s book is more oriented towards the budding Apple Consultant who wants to understand the various components of OS X Server and then pass his or her Apple certification exam. Several sections of Mac OS X Server Essentials are titled “Understanding this” and “Understanding that”. It is thorough book, but not suitable as a reference. It is also physically very heavy.

In contrast, “Mac Tiger Server Little Black Book” is intended as a handy reference for whatever task is at hand. Most chapters have an introductory “In brief” section that is two or three pages long. It is assumed that you understand, for example, the basics of networking. The rest of each chapter is “Immediate Solutions”, checklists and screen shots of how to accomplish the task at hand. Even the planning and installation chapter has “Immediate Solutions” like Choosing your Network infrastructure, Creating a Maintenance Plan, etc. Each chapter ends with a page or two of “Tips from the Trenches”, real world experience of these previous solutions in practice. The author has been there and done that, in the real world. “Troubleshooting …” is also a frequent topic heading.

The major Chapters are: Planning, Directory Services, Windows Services (I did mention it is real-world based, right?) Sharing Files, Network Services, Printing, Web, Mail and Streaming Servers, etc. Subjects also get into the more advanced area like VPNs, WebObjects, MySQL, Java Server Pages and Collaboration.

The Little Black book isn’t tiny at 377 pages, but is a convenient 6 by 9 inch format and is printed on light weight paper. It has index tabs on the margin so you can quick locate the section, and then the 2 or 3 page solution to your problem. The book was actually designed to be used!

— Roger Smith Complete System & Network Administration Windows, Mac, Sun, Cisco Apple Authorized Business Agent Microsoft Registered Partner 408-736-7200

Uncategorized

On the Road: Charleston

Of course I’m gonna’ love a city with my name!  My family once visited here for vacation.  Another positive, good memories.  But the history, the richness of culture, the vibe.  This is a great city.

Xsan

Xsan: cvadmin

Xsan Admin is a little wonky sometimes.  This isn’t to say there are bugs, just that sometimes given the environmental factors it can be slow to respond.  But once your SAN is up and running you can pretty much do all the admin tasks you’ll ever need using cvadmin rather than Xsan Admin.  cvadmin is an interactive command line environment and will always need to be run with escalated priveleges (er, sudo).  

So use the following command to see which Metadata Controllers are available and to see which is your primary per volume:

sudo cvadmin man

Now you can use sudo cvadmin and from within the interactive cvadmin command line to actually use the fail command to fail the current mdc over from one host to another.

Mac OS X Mac Security

Mac OS X: User Templates

To setup a template user account, create the directory structure and settings here:

/System/Library/User Template