Peer-to-Peer Questions #2: Forum Protocol, LDAP Tips, Y2K Updates for Windows 95
April 26, 1999
Editors Note This article, culled from the TechNet Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/technet), answers the most interesting questions received on the peer -to-peer discussion groups over the past few weeks. To post your own questions, visit the TechNet discussion groups at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/newsgroups/default.mspx.
Welcome back to the column devoted to the "most posted" queries from your peers. My name is Devon and I am part of the TechNet answer team. Why trust a man known only as Devon to solve your most perplexing computer problems? Well, let me tell you about my background. A guy who's just plain curious about life and an avid experimenter with computer systems, I have logged serious hours on the phone answering technical questions during the past few years. I am using my experience and Microsoft's vast resources to answer many of the postings I read in the new, easy to use TechNet Peer forums.
Q: I really like your new Peer Forums. What's the best way to respond to questions?
A: When responding to messages, please post your replies on the forums, vs. responding directly to the original poster. Then, if there is any follow up needed, the original poster can initiate a personal thread. That way, everyone will be able to see the question and the response. Some of us may have the same question someday. This will also prevent the original poster from receiving fifteen identical personal responses.
Q: What is LDAP and how the heck can I make use of it?
A: Enterprise Computing Environments need to maintain information in a centralized data store so that it can be added to, deleted from, modified, and queried by users and applications. The information stored could be user accounts, e-mail addresses, digital certificates, component object names, network names, etc. This data store has come to be known as a Directory Service, and must be accessible from within the enterprise and from the Internet.
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is a protocol for clients to query and manage information in a Directory Service over a TCP connection (port 389 It was designed by University of Michigan to provide access to the X.500 Directory while not incurring the resource requirements of the Directory Access Protocol (DAP). This makes it very suitable for use on the Internet. Microsoft has provided support for LDAP in Active Directory and enabled it to be integrated with the Internet. With this LDAP support, customers can deploy Active Directory in a corporate computing environment and inter-operate with LDAP clients from multiple vendors. There are several white papers on this topic available via TechNet:
Additional information for addressing fields for LDAP can be located in the RFC (Request for Comments) database, located at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/. Specifically, check out RFC1778, RFC2252, and RFC1274.
Q: Why is there more than one downloadable Y2K fix for the Windows 95 platform, and which one do I need?
A: I am happy to announce an English only software update for all flavors of Windows 95—ready-to-release or "gold," osr1, osr2, osr2.1, osr2.5. There will be one downloadable executable file that you can run on your machine. It will detect what type of Windows 95 you have, and install the appropriate updates. The Windows 95 Y2K software update was available beginning the week of April 12, and localized fixes for international versions of Windows 95 will be available late spring of 1999. You can receive the English version of the patch by downloading it from TechNet or the Web (http://www.microsoft.com/windows95/downloads/contents/wurecommended/s_wufeatured/win95y2k/).
The Windows 95 year 2000 software update addresses issues such as:
WINFILE.EXE: Windows File Manager currently does not display or sort dates beyond year 2000 correctly.
COMMAND.COM: The DATE command currently does not correctly handle 2-digit dates from 00-79. Entering 2-digit dates within this range returns the error "invalid date"
TIMEDATE.CPL: When the date is set to February 29 the applet will display the 29th day on years other than leap years when using the tumblers to scroll the year ahead or back.
COMCTL32.DLL: When Regional Settings from Control Panel is set to use two digits for years, the Date/Time Picker function may not return the proper date. To ensure proper handling of dates, set Regional Settings to 4-digit date handling.
As a side note, my last column addressed some Y2K issues and mentioned that April 12 was the target date for all U.S. Government computer systems to be Y2K compliant. As anyone in the IT industry can tell you, setting a target date for any IT project can be much easier than actually hitting that target. According to John Koskinen, the White House's Y2K czar, only 13 of the 24 major government departments have brought 100 percent of their critical systems into Y2K compliance. The White House reported that only 25% of its systems were compliant, but it expects to have all of them debugged by October. One final note: As of April 26, this column's release date, there are only 250 days until January 1, 2000—the real Y2K compliant deadline.