One of my favorite scenes in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid occurs when a particularly persistent posse chases Butch and Sundance for miles and miles. Many hours into the chase, Butch turns to Sundance and says, “Who are those guys?”
The same question may pop into your head if you pay a visit to the NetAdminTools.com Web site. With equal persistence, the site lists link after link of network administrator information, much of it solid—yet no one claims responsibility or credit. In fact, the creators of NetAdminTools go out of their way to remain anonymous.
The site uses the traditional “lists of lists” layout. There are no flashy graphics or animation, except for a lone ad banner across the top. The lists are well maintained and lead users to various noteworthy sites containing information about network administration tools, bug fixes, troubleshooting, network services, security, UNIX resources, server utilities, and certification information. The ICE search engine provides global searching of the site.
Perhaps the most interesting area of the NetAdminTools site is the Tricks of the Trade section. Here, you’ll find various tricks for such down-and-dirty activities as installing and using Telnet service for Windows NT and adjusting UNIX and Outlook Express interoperability. The tricks are technically savvy and very specific. This area is designed for the network administrator desiring a walk on the wild side in the hacker’s tradition of experimenting and taking risks.
While not the most sophisticated site pertaining to network administration and the obligatory tools that come with the profession, NetAdminTools does offer numerous links to where those tools can be found. However, the subject matter and the anonymity of the content means that the site is more suited to the network administrator willing to accept a higher level of risk. Sometimes accepting that risk is the best way to accomplish a task, but attempting a hacker’s solution is not an activity for the squeamish. The site is obviously a labor of love for its creators, but NetAdminTools is not for everyone.
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Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.