Here's a neat little trick you might find useful for your workstation, or that of some machines you administer.
No doubt you are familiar with the dial-up networking icon that lives in your system tray whenever you're online. Were you aware that could also be set up to display local network traffic?
To set this up in Windows 2000, bring up the Local Network Properties. To accomplish this, either right-click on My Network Places or in the Start menu, bring up Settings | Network and Dial-up Connections, and right-click on Local Area Connection. In either event, select Properties from the mini-menu.
This will bring up the Local Area Connection Properties window, at the bottom of which is a checkbox next to "Show Icon in taskbar when connected" Select that, close everything, and you're done.
Now you'll see that friendly icon in the system tray blink with the incoming/outgoing data, with some limited stats for you to look at. Not exactly the most powerful traffic analysis tool at your disposal, but at least you'll know at a glance that there is connectivity, and it's not just that your machine isn't responding.
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