• United States
by Readers

Letters to the editor: “The case of the sneaky daughter and the wireless card”

Feb 20, 20065 mins
Data Center

Also: speeding file tranfers, H-1B visa cap, call for a national networking policy, more

Kid-proof solution

Regarding the Help Desk item, “The case of the sneaky daughter and the wireless card”: I just solved this problem for a client who needed a similar solution for his kids. I invoked the “net user” command with the appropriate arguments to disable the child’s logon access to the PC after a certain time (12 a.m.-6 a.m., Sun.-Thurs.).

Since XP has no force logoff option for the local machine, I also installed a freeware app that will logoff all users at a preset time. The kids now get a message at 11:55 p.m. informing them that they have four minutes to save their work before the machine logs them out. After that happens, they cannot log back in until 6:00 a.m.

Of course, security policies can only go so far, and in the case of a teenager, may simply encourage them to “black hat” their way around the solution.

Ultimately, user education and parent/child communication should carry the day.

John Wells


AYC Technology

Conroe, Texas

Need for speed

Regarding the Dr. Internet item, “Speeding up file transfers through IP subnets”: The question is written such that the user did not state he would move his computer to the same subnet. He merely stated that it was on the same subnet. No improvement of speed will be realized. If the person did move and no longer traverses a router, depending on the router, they may see minimal improvement. If it was a slow router, then yes… significant increase in throughput by relocating the machine locally. Also, whether the address is statically assigned or dynamic (via DHCP), there will be no impact on speed.

Daniel Schultz

Microsoft Certified Trainer and Consultant

Network Services Group


Americans should come first

While you report that President Bush advocates lifting the H-1B visa cap, you ignore that Bush also stated, “Of course, we want every job that’s ever generated in America filled by Americans…” (see: Remarks by President Bush on American Competitiveness). Since the H-1B visa provides for the wholesale displacement of qualified U.S. workers by cheaper, indentured, foreign workers, Bush is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

Before calling upon Congress to increase the H-1B cap, the president should call for minimal safeguards in the H-1B program, such as those proposed by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) in his “Defend the American Dream Act of 2005” (H.R. 4378). Many employers legally hire exclusively H-1B workers, and then shop them in direct competition with U.S. workers. Other employers force Americans to train their H-1B replacements. A recent study found that H-1B workers earn significantly less than U.S. workers with the same skills.

The Programmers Guild represents many qualified but unemployed U.S. tech workers. H.R. 4378 merely requires employers to consider qualified Americans before hiring an H-1B. Mr. President, are you with us or against us?

Kim Berry


The Programmers Guild

Summit, N.J.

Deregulation’s drawbacks

Regarding Mark Gibbs’ call for a national networking policy: At one point in time, it could very easily be argued that those of us in the U.S. market enjoyed the finest and most sophisticated array of telecommunications services the planet had to offer. What we had worked, and it worked rather well. It has been a painful death spiral since deregulation.

While I am a staunch advocate of free enterprise and free markets, perhaps it is time that we admitted things may have worked better under a regulated monopoly structure. At least, way back then, someone actually answered the phone when you called for service. Someone actually showed up who could fix your problem on the first service call and had all the parts they needed.

For large telcos, it hasn’t been about service for a long time, and it isn’t even about customers any more. It’s about someone squeezing one more nickel out of somewhere before leveraging something in yet another round of financing and/or acquisition, then telling us how life will be better in yet another re-configured arrangement of otherwise well-meaning individuals who don’t quite know what they are supposed to be doing in the first place, because the rules change every day.

George Nezlek

Associate professor, information systems

Grand Valley State University

Allendale, Mich.

Standards vs. practicality

Regarding Scott Bradner’s column, “Apple and the value of standards”: I think it would also be fair to say that standards are not always the best implementation of a particular technology. When one looks at the complexity of X.400 vs. SMTP, or Skype vs. trying to roll your own Session Initiation Protocol-based solution, the issue is not the standard used, but the practicality of the solution.

Waleed Hanafi



Kidding around

Regarding Mark Gibbs’ column, “Digital lifestyle, Part II”: I find it interesting that Gibbs’ experience is that kids seem to have a better grasp on the bugs of their forefathers. More than once my daughter has found a solution to a problem using “non-standard” troubleshooting and discovered workarounds that would not normally be part of the “logical” solution tree. To me, this is not the “new age” of technology, but very poor alpha/beta testing of a product’s firmware or software.

Joseph Coffman

Information Services

Hermance Machine Company

Williamsport, Pa.