Nik's Technology Blog

Travels through programming, networks, and computers

Novell Suse Linux 9.2 Pro Supports Bluetooth and WLAN

I saw an advert in PC Pro claiming that the new Novell Suse Linux, version 9.2 Professional has improved support for mobile devices.

If you've read my previous post concerning Linux and WLAN you'll probably have guessed my reaction to this news.

I checked out, which is in the process of being moved to the Novell site, and read the product description with baited breath.

It seems that YaST (Suse's installer of choice) has been updated to include better support for WLAN, Bluetooth and IrDA.

It reads...

Improved WLAN support and configuration with YaST (including Centrino).

New YaST configuration modules for IrDA and Bluetooth.

Bluetooth support with autodetection for synchronization with Bluetooth cell phones and handhelds.

It's all very exciting stuff and for around 56 GBP it's competitively priced considering it comes bundled with over 1000 open-source software products.

Peer-to-Peer Software and XP Service Pack 2

After installing Windows XP Service Pack 2 many fans of various peer-to-peer software will find that they no longer function. This is due to changes made to the TCPIP.SYS file in SP 2 effectively limiting the amount of connections a PC can make.

Quite why this change has been made under Windows XP is anyone's guess. A few reasons spring to mind though...

1.) Minimising the effect of SPAM sent out from hijacked computers

2.) Throttling peer-to-peer networks.

I've found a site that purports to have a fix for the problem, but I haven't tried the hack, although I've included the link if you are brave. (I will accept NO responsibility for any concequences of using this hack though.)

All this news will be a blow to the rising number of BitTorrent fans, who use it to legally download Linux distros and other open-source software.

Perhaps this will help Linux gain more ground over Microsoft's Windows?

Web Browsers For Web Developers

A couple of years after the release of Internet Explorer (IE) version 6 and it's starting to feel dated. The competition (Mozilla, Opera, Safari) have superceded any advantage IE had over them with features such as tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking and built in multi-search toolbars. Microsoft's announcement of future revisions being shelved is another nail in the coffin for IE.

XP Service Pack 2 recently introduced a much-needed pop-up blocker for Windows XP users but I don't think this can save IE.

Mozilla's Firefox is gaining ground fast and I'm one of it's avid users. It's fast to load, has tabbed browsing (so you can avoid having 15 IE windows open at once), it's skinable and has a built in RSS reader and the best thing is it's FREE!

What's more it's open source meaning anyone can help in making it better.

What more could you want from your browser?

XP SP2 and Netgear MA111

I installed XP Service Pack 2 last night for the second time after rolling it back previously.

The first time I installed it I couldn't get my Netgear MAlll wireless 802.11b USB device to work, I've since installed it on various other XP machines and with each install i've had different issues with the device.

I learned fairly early on that the supplied Netgear software wouldn't work under SP2, instead you have to opt for Windows XP wireless configuration, which incidentally has been slightly improved since SP1. Having said that it's still not perfect, since you have to enter your WEP in manually rather than use a password to create it like the Netgear software.

There are also issues with driver installation when you do a fresh install of XP and patch it with SP2 before installing the MA111.

The joy of computing :)

Active Directory Exports using CSVDE

CSVDE - Comma Separated Value Data Exchange

If you need to export all or part of Active Directory a handy Windows utility exists called CSVDE.exe which is located in the System32 directory of Windows 2000 servers.

CSVDE exports to a .CSV file which you can then manipulate in Excel or import into SQL Server.

CSVDE is run from the command prompt and has various switches to enable you to obtain the information you require.

The simplest export, which would export the whole Active Directory would be:

CSVDE -f activedirectory.csv

This would export a file called activedirectory.csv to the directory where CSVDE was run from and would contain all the fields, and there are a lot!

To specify certain fields like the NT logon and email address for example you would use the -l switch:

CSVDE -f activedirectory.csv -l "mailNickname,mail"

CSVDE uses the current users account to log into Active Directory by default, to use another account use the -b switch and specify username, domain and password.

CSVDE -f activedirectory.csv -b username domain password

CSVDE also allows you to create an LDAP search filter, so you can choose to only export only users who match certain criteria. Use the -r switch. The following only exports your details based on a surname match:

CSVDE -f activedirectory.csv -r "(&(objectClass=user)(sn=yoursurname))"

If you have more than one domain controller you can use the -s switch to select the correct one.

Active Directory imports can also be performed using CSVDE by using the -i switch, which sets the mode to import otherwise export is the default mode.