Max Payne 2 on Xbox Originals

Awesome, in a word.

Max Payne® 2- The Fall of Max Payne

Wins my award for most heartbreaking game ever. With some pretty funky action along the way.

I wasn’t as much of a fan of the first one, though if you play them back to back, they run very well together.

(Though the part in MP2 that always troubled me was how the people you’re shooting at don’t get damaged per se; they just take an endless supply of bullets and get tossed around. Breaks suspension of disbelief. Well, that and the whole “Bullet Time” thing, which was done very well in this one.)

On the ISA Server Security Update

Rambling my way to a point

One of my most favourite “Favorites” (read: “he snarled”) in recent weeks has been the ISA Server Product Team’s Build Numbers post.

They helpfully list the version numbers of each ISA Server, um, version, along with a link to the most recent hotfix for that version. That’s so helpful.

But: In most cases, you had to use the self-service hotfix feature to get that hotfix. Which is better than calling someone, but still not quite one-click conweenyence.

And there was some useful stuff fixed in each – you can do the research (hint: research is typically along the lines of “isa server hotfix” in whatever search engine you use).

Back to the security update: if you look at the file list for the security updates, they look a lot like the file lists for the recent hotfixes.

(Aside from a little while ago: nice that we’re again using KB articles for file information and not just “you should read the bulletin” placeholders. Makes it easier to reliably find file version information in the one place. No idea who changed it in the first place, but my blunt message to you: that was suboptimal.)

I know you love short versions, Glenda

So, long story short, by applying the security update, you’re getting the most recent build of those binaries for your ISA Server.

Just one caveat: remember that with this patch, you’ll need to reapply it if you make any significant installation-level changes to ISA later (see the bulletin for that).

Antivirus software on ISA Server

There are two major classes of Anti Virus software (yes, I know I used one word above, it’s called SEO, okay?) that can be used on an ISA Server computer:

  • ISA-integrated antivirus scanning products

  • Regular desktop/server antivirus products

The first category is the cooler of the two, and typically involves a Web Filter and/or an Application Filter. It’s been designed to work with ISA Server, and will likely scan HTTP streams while ISA is processing them.

The second category is more common – a desktop or server antivirus product is installed on the ISA Server. That’s probably a good idea from a Defense In Depth perspective.

But if you’re using the second category (or it’s just part of your server build), did you know that there are a set of exclusions we recommend you should use?

The ISA Server product team did some great work in pulling together a set of recommendations for when Antivirus is used on ISA Server. Have a read, have a think, and then check whether yours is implemented correctly. If it isn’t, outages, poor performance and other issues might arise.

And (sorta getting into the ramble here) have you ever noticed that Support people tend to make uncomfortable noises about Antivirus products when you mention they’re installed (if not outright suggesting that you disable and/or uninstall them straight-off)? Well, that’s because when they’re not configured in a way that doesn’t interfere with the operation of other software, they really have, statistically, experientially, and commonly, been known to cause problems.

It’s almost a cliche to be asked to remove AV software while troubleshooting a problem – but the cliche came from somewhere to begin with. Configuring the AV as recommended is an excellent way of minimizing that risk.