Win 2000 - Exploring lesser-known utilities

Mainly used by advanced users, the utilities are not familiar to many people, so here's some information on a few of them. Note that you have to be logged on as Administrator to set up most of these services. Windows 2000 Professional doesn't usually come with all the optional stuff installed. If you look under Add/Remove Windows Components in the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel applet, you'll find some curious utilities.

Indexing Service

As the name implies, this searches your disks and indexes documents (HTML, text, Office 95 and later versions, mail and news files) for quick information retrieval. It runs as a background service, creating a catalogue file with the index information. Note that running the Indexing Service with lots of documents can hurt performance, so decide if you really need this. Indexing Service is managed through Control Panel-Computer Management, underneath Services and Applications. You can query the catalogue, and set more options for the Indexing service than any sane person would like to know about.

Management And Monitoring Tools

These are in fact only a single utility, a set of Simple Network Management Protocol agents and an MIB (Management Information Base) file. If you're running SNMP on your network, you can now monitor your Windows 2000 workstation that way. It's more useful than it sounds, although SNMP is very arcane to set up.

Message Queuing Services

Unless you're part of a big network and require guaranteed message delivery for distributed communications applications, you won't need this.

Networking Services

This is more interesting for smaller networked environments. There's an RIP Listener that might come in handy if your network sends route updates with the Route Information Protocol. Unfortunately, only version 1 is supported, not 2.

Simple TCP/IP Services

These are somewhat incorrectly named as most use UDP instead. You get the Character Generator (does exactly that), Daytime, Discard, Echo and Quote of the Day services and they are useful in some circumstances, for debugging. Any sensible UNIX administrator would turn off these services immediately in a multi-user or Internet environment, because they are so easily abused.

Print services for UNIX

From 'Other File and Print Services', this can be quite useful. It creates an 'lpd' (line printer daemon) that listens on port 515 TCP. UNIX boxes on your network can then send print jobs to your Windows 2000 workstation.

Script Debugger

This is for developers writing Active Server Pages scripts for Internet Information Server (IIS). It works together with Internet Explorer, and lets you view and edit scripted HTML pages.

However, if you are doing scripting, make sure you visit http://msdn. microsoft.com/scripting/ first, to download the latest version of both the Script Debugger as well as the Windows Scripting Host - older versions have nasty security holes that are remotely exploitable.

IIS

Finally, there's Internet Information Server (IIS). This is such a big topic, however, that I'll save it for my next column.

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Juha Saarinen

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