The Best & Worst of Windows 2000
The AD Revolution
- By Greg Neilson
My Favorite Toy
How can I isolate just one feature? That’s like
trying to pick my favorite toy after Santa has left me
with a roomful. I’m sure most people agree that the
addition of Active Directory will completely revolutionize
the way that medium to large enterprises work with Microsoft
networking technology. But I think the power of Windows
Script Host (WSH) combined with the AD Services Interface
(ADSI) will make a major change in the way that many of
us administer the network environment. Using GUIs for
configuration changes and user maintenance is incredibly
time-consuming, so being able to create and run scripts
that can do this will make huge differences in productivity.
Therefore, I think we’ll see more and more MCSEs
venture into system programming the same way that our
Unix brethren do now. Since ADSI includes providers for
NetWare NDS, NetWare bindery, and NT 4.0 domains, this
could mean that heterogeneous network administration can
be done from the same place using the same scripts. I
don’t think it’s an accident that this technology
has been available for download for the past couple years—I
think Microsoft wanted as many as possible to be familiar
with it before Win2K was released.
And don’t forget to check out the new CD Player
program—it looks great and can optionally download
the names of each song on the CD.
More Trouble than it’s Worth
I know Microsoft has a reputation for innovation in user
interface design and for extensive usability testing,
but I think the Personalized Menu feature is more trouble
than it’s worth. Thank goodness it’s easily
turned off without requiring us to go directly to the
Also, I hate to sound like an old fogy, but I’m
not a fan of the “Windows 2000” name. I still
prefer “Windows NT,” but I guess Microsoft didn’t
have me in mind when it made that decision.
And finally, a feature I wish Microsoft would implement
now. The more I work with Linux, the more I like it. No,
I’m not predicting that Linux will soon take over
the known world, but it can have a place. In particular,
it can make use of older server hardware that doesn’t
meet Win2K’s minimum (recommended) requirements.
So, I wish that Microsoft would work to reduce the hardware
required for Win2K and not automatically assume that IT
managers want to keep buying newer and bigger PC servers
just because their NOS of choice requires it.
Greg Neilson, MCSE+Internet, MCNE, PCLP, is a Contributing Editor for MCP Magazine and a Professional Development Manager for a large IT services firm in Australia. He’s the author of Lotus Domino Administration in a Nutshell (O’Reilly and Associates, ISBN 1565927176).