Network Activity Lights for VPN connection

Posted: 10-27-2007, 11:53 AM
Why did they remove "Show icon in notification area when connected" from
Vista?

Are there any actual users there in the design department at Microsoft? Why
do they assume people just don't use certain features?

I have Vista's single network activity light, which blinks as an overall
indicator for every interface on the system.

Three problems:

1. What if the VPN connection drops. How do I know? The taskbar doesn't tell
me this any more.

2. I could see routing issues at a glance before. If I had inadvertantly set
the machine to set the destination machine as the default gateway, I would
notice my internet activity being sent through the VPN connection. Not any
more.

3. Even if this single useless activity indicator was of any use, which is
isn't anyway, the contrast between lit-up (activity) and un-lit (no
activity) is not enough.

What is going on?

Honestly, I am coping OK with Vista, but there are some real issues here.
Issues that I thought I might encounter had I been using Ubuntu, not
Microsoft's sucessor to Windows XP.

Network Activity Lights for VPN connection


Responses to "Network Activity Lights for VPN connection"

rtk
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Network Activity Lights for VPN connection
Posted: 10-28-2007, 11:14 AM
"Carl Farrington" <carl@noitsnotcss-networks.commy.invalid> wrote in message
news:5ogn5fFmrfnnU1@mid.individual.net...
<snipped>
> 1. What if the VPN connection drops. How do I know? The taskbar doesn't
> tell me this any more.
I find the pop-up in the middle of my screen to be a decent enough
indicator. http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/4169/capturekb7.jpg
> 2. I could see routing issues at a glance before. If I had inadvertantly
> set the machine to set the destination machine as the default gateway, I
> would notice my internet activity being sent through the VPN connection.
> Not any more.
Either you set this once, in the case of a permanent VPN, or you have to
remember to always uncheck this when creating new VPNs with regularity.
Maybe there's a group policy setting or something for always use or don't
use remote gateway, that might be handy.
> 3. Even if this single useless activity indicator was of any use, which is
> isn't anyway, the contrast between lit-up (activity) and un-lit (no
> activity) is not enough.
I never diagnose by blinking light, so the animation is just for fun.

Overall though I tend to agree, there's some great new functionality in the
overall networking subsystem, but there is definitely room for improvement.

rtk

Carl Farrington
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Network Activity Lights for VPN connection
Posted: 10-28-2007, 06:43 PM

"rtk" <notta@chance.com> wrote in message
news:6AC97C73-C4E4-4382-BBB8-61D5AAE1494B@microsoft.com...
> "Carl Farrington" <carl@noitsnotcss-networks.commy.invalid> wrote in
> message news:5ogn5fFmrfnnU1@mid.individual.net...
> <snipped>
>> 1. What if the VPN connection drops. How do I know? The taskbar doesn't
>> tell me this any more.
>
> I find the pop-up in the middle of my screen to be a decent enough
> indicator. http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/4169/capturekb7.jpg
Fair enough I hadn't thought of setting the redial if dropped option.
I still prefer the old way. There was more information available at a
glance.
>
>> 2. I could see routing issues at a glance before. If I had inadvertantly
>> set the machine to set the destination machine as the default gateway, I
>> would notice my internet activity being sent through the VPN connection.
>> Not any more.
>
> Either you set this once, in the case of a permanent VPN, or you have to
> remember to always uncheck this when creating new VPNs with regularity.
> Maybe there's a group policy setting or something for always use or don't
> use remote gateway, that might be handy.
>
>> 3. Even if this single useless activity indicator was of any use, which
>> is isn't anyway, the contrast between lit-up (activity) and un-lit (no
>> activity) is not enough.
>
> I never diagnose by blinking light, so the animation is just for fun.
>
> Overall though I tend to agree, there's some great new functionality in
> the overall networking subsystem, but there is definitely room for
> improvement.
>
> rtk
Carl Farrington
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Network Activity Lights for VPN connection
Posted: 10-28-2007, 06:52 PM

"rtk" <notta@chance.com> wrote in message
news:6AC97C73-C4E4-4382-BBB8-61D5AAE1494B@microsoft.com...
> "Carl Farrington" <carl@noitsnotcss-networks.commy.invalid> wrote in
> message news:5ogn5fFmrfnnU1@mid.individual.net...
> <snipped>
>
>> 2. I could see routing issues at a glance before. If I had inadvertantly
>> set the machine to set the destination machine as the default gateway, I
>> would notice my internet activity being sent through the VPN connection.
>> Not any more.
>
> Either you set this once, in the case of a permanent VPN, or you have to
> remember to always uncheck this when creating new VPNs with regularity.
> Maybe there's a group policy setting or something for always use or don't
> use remote gateway, that might be handy.
>
Following up on that one, I never forget to remove the use default gateway
option, but it's still useful to be able to see traffic activity at a
glance, perhaps if I'm at somebody elses computer I could see from over the
users' shoulder whether they are incorrectly routing all Internet traffic
through their office link.
> Overall though I tend to agree, there's some great new functionality in
> the overall networking subsystem, but there is definitely room for
> improvement.
I'm glad you agree anyway.

GTS
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Network Activity Lights for VPN connection
Posted: 10-28-2007, 07:59 PM
I concur, less because of the issue of connection dropping, but because I'm
seeing VPN users forgetting to disconnect when finished with work. Without
the visual indicator it's very easy to go off and leave the connection open
all day.
--

"Carl Farrington" <carl@noitsnotcss-networks.commy.invalid> wrote in message
news:5ogn5fFmrfnnU1@mid.individual.net...
> Why did they remove "Show icon in notification area when connected" from
> Vista?
>
> Are there any actual users there in the design department at Microsoft?
> Why do they assume people just don't use certain features?
>
> I have Vista's single network activity light, which blinks as an overall
> indicator for every interface on the system.
>
> Three problems:
>
> 1. What if the VPN connection drops. How do I know? The taskbar doesn't
> tell me this any more.
>
> 2. I could see routing issues at a glance before. If I had inadvertantly
> set the machine to set the destination machine as the default gateway, I
> would notice my internet activity being sent through the VPN connection.
> Not any more.
>
> 3. Even if this single useless activity indicator was of any use, which is
> isn't anyway, the contrast between lit-up (activity) and un-lit (no
> activity) is not enough.
>
> What is going on?
>
> Honestly, I am coping OK with Vista, but there are some real issues here.
> Issues that I thought I might encounter had I been using Ubuntu, not
> Microsoft's sucessor to Windows XP.
Dave P
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Network Activity Lights for VPN connection
Posted: 10-28-2007, 11:13 PM
While my needs are more simple in nature, it was valuable to me on a dial-up
connection in XP to see the bilinking or lit-up icon when the connection was
active (not just connected). I have the animation in the on position. It is
blue when connected but if there is any animation, it is inperceptible to me?

"GTS" wrote:
> I concur, less because of the issue of connection dropping, but because I'm
> seeing VPN users forgetting to disconnect when finished with work. Without
> the visual indicator it's very easy to go off and leave the connection open
> all day.
> --
>
> "Carl Farrington" <carl@noitsnotcss-networks.commy.invalid> wrote in message
> news:5ogn5fFmrfnnU1@mid.individual.net...
> > Why did they remove "Show icon in notification area when connected" from
> > Vista?
> >
> > Are there any actual users there in the design department at Microsoft?
> > Why do they assume people just don't use certain features?
> >
> > I have Vista's single network activity light, which blinks as an overall
> > indicator for every interface on the system.
> >
> > Three problems:
> >
> > 1. What if the VPN connection drops. How do I know? The taskbar doesn't
> > tell me this any more.
> >
> > 2. I could see routing issues at a glance before. If I had inadvertantly
> > set the machine to set the destination machine as the default gateway, I
> > would notice my internet activity being sent through the VPN connection.
> > Not any more.
> >
> > 3. Even if this single useless activity indicator was of any use, which is
> > isn't anyway, the contrast between lit-up (activity) and un-lit (no
> > activity) is not enough.
> >
> > What is going on?
> >
> > Honestly, I am coping OK with Vista, but there are some real issues here.
> > Issues that I thought I might encounter had I been using Ubuntu, not
> > Microsoft's sucessor to Windows XP.
>
>
Carl Farrington
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Network Activity Lights for VPN connection
Posted: 10-29-2007, 09:27 AM

"Dave P" <Dave P@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:4F12F891-73E2-4700-81AC-07F83DFB2F03@microsoft.com...
> While my needs are more simple in nature, it was valuable to me on a
> dial-up
> connection in XP to see the bilinking or lit-up icon when the connection
> was
> active (not just connected). I have the animation in the on position. It
> is
> blue when connected but if there is any animation, it is inperceptible to
> me?
It does light-up, just. This is what I meant about the lack of contrast.
It's too subtle.
Also, when a connection was established pre-Vista, the connection's icon in
Network and Dialup Connections would be lit up brightly as well. Again this
feature has gone with Vista.

Dave P
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Network Activity Lights for VPN connection
Posted: 10-29-2007, 11:23 PM
This is the subject of other threads with the same problem. Perhaps if we all
'sugjest' to Microsoft a rollback to the icon used in XP, or at least the
option to, we will all be happy. This would certainly be a very simple fix
for MS.

"Carl Farrington" wrote:
>
> "Dave P" <Dave P@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:4F12F891-73E2-4700-81AC-07F83DFB2F03@microsoft.com...
> > While my needs are more simple in nature, it was valuable to me on a
> > dial-up
> > connection in XP to see the bilinking or lit-up icon when the connection
> > was
> > active (not just connected). I have the animation in the on position. It
> > is
> > blue when connected but if there is any animation, it is inperceptible to
> > me?
>
> It does light-up, just. This is what I meant about the lack of contrast.
> It's too subtle.
> Also, when a connection was established pre-Vista, the connection's icon in
> Network and Dialup Connections would be lit up brightly as well. Again this
> feature has gone with Vista.
>
>
Carl Farrington
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Network Activity Lights for VPN connection
Posted: 10-30-2007, 10:16 AM

"Dave P" <DaveP@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:4F64E529-6DCB-4BA2-8ACC-CA1F3301D4D6@microsoft.com...
> This is the subject of other threads with the same problem. Perhaps if we
> all
> 'sugjest' to Microsoft a rollback to the icon used in XP, or at least the
> option to, we will all be happy. This would certainly be a very simple fix
> for MS.
>
> "Carl Farrington" wrote:
>
>>
>> "Dave P" <Dave P@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>> news:4F12F891-73E2-4700-81AC-07F83DFB2F03@microsoft.com...
>> > While my needs are more simple in nature, it was valuable to me on a
>> > dial-up
>> > connection in XP to see the bilinking or lit-up icon when the
>> > connection
>> > was
>> > active (not just connected). I have the animation in the on position.
>> > It
>> > is
>> > blue when connected but if there is any animation, it is inperceptible
>> > to
>> > me?
>>
>> It does light-up, just. This is what I meant about the lack of contrast.
>> It's too subtle.
>> Also, when a connection was established pre-Vista, the connection's icon
>> in
>> Network and Dialup Connections would be lit up brightly as well. Again
>> this
>> feature has gone with Vista.
I'm glad I'm not alone then.
Overall, there is much less UI "feedback" with Vista. It's very much Mac or
Gnome-like. For instance - pre-Vista, I would often wait for disk activity
to subside before going about a task, say logging on, but with Vista there
is lots of disk activity a lot of the time. Now I realise that this is no
doubt due to improvements in multitasking, and therefore indexing in the
background not being a hinderance any more, and that one should no longer
wait for disk activity to subside since the machine performs perfectly well
whilst this is going on, but it's another piece of feedback that's gone.
The mouse cursor doesn't seem to provide the feedback that it did before
either. There seems to be more going on behind the scenes which is not
reflected in the GUI. It's like the GUI and system processes have somehow
lost their synchronisity, and this network notification stuff is just
another example of it.
All of this feedback seems to have gone and the UI has become a bit
disconnected.
I'm sure we'll all get used to it, but I liked the feedback mechanisms.

Dave P
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
Re: Network Activity Lights for VPN connection
Posted: 10-30-2007, 02:56 PM
Agreed. Another example is the Defrag utility. Now you have no idea how
scrambled your drive is or the progress it has made to clean it up. Greater
processing power enambles the OS much more latitude in doing backround work,
but that doesn't mean it shouldn't give feedback if asked.

"Carl Farrington" wrote:
>
> "Dave P" <DaveP@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:4F64E529-6DCB-4BA2-8ACC-CA1F3301D4D6@microsoft.com...
> > This is the subject of other threads with the same problem. Perhaps if we
> > all
> > 'sugjest' to Microsoft a rollback to the icon used in XP, or at least the
> > option to, we will all be happy. This would certainly be a very simple fix
> > for MS.
> >
> > "Carl Farrington" wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> "Dave P" <Dave P@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> >> news:4F12F891-73E2-4700-81AC-07F83DFB2F03@microsoft.com...
> >> > While my needs are more simple in nature, it was valuable to me on a
> >> > dial-up
> >> > connection in XP to see the bilinking or lit-up icon when the
> >> > connection
> >> > was
> >> > active (not just connected). I have the animation in the on position.
> >> > It
> >> > is
> >> > blue when connected but if there is any animation, it is inperceptible
> >> > to
> >> > me?
> >>
> >> It does light-up, just. This is what I meant about the lack of contrast.
> >> It's too subtle.
> >> Also, when a connection was established pre-Vista, the connection's icon
> >> in
> >> Network and Dialup Connections would be lit up brightly as well. Again
> >> this
> >> feature has gone with Vista.
>
> I'm glad I'm not alone then.
> Overall, there is much less UI "feedback" with Vista. It's very much Mac or
> Gnome-like. For instance - pre-Vista, I would often wait for disk activity
> to subside before going about a task, say logging on, but with Vista there
> is lots of disk activity a lot of the time. Now I realise that this is no
> doubt due to improvements in multitasking, and therefore indexing in the
> background not being a hinderance any more, and that one should no longer
> wait for disk activity to subside since the machine performs perfectly well
> whilst this is going on, but it's another piece of feedback that's gone.
> The mouse cursor doesn't seem to provide the feedback that it did before
> either. There seems to be more going on behind the scenes which is not
> reflected in the GUI. It's like the GUI and system processes have somehow
> lost their synchronisity, and this network notification stuff is just
> another example of it.
> All of this feedback seems to have gone and the UI has become a bit
> disconnected.
> I'm sure we'll all get used to it, but I liked the feedback mechanisms.
>
>
 
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