Brett Finch (Edmonton, Alberta, IT Pro)
Windows 2000, XP and SBS 2003
Brett Finch is a member of the executive for the Edmonton Microsoft Users Group and recently told me about how he gets tickets to see his hometown Edmonton Oilers. I gotta say, after trying to get myself some Toronto Maple Leafs tickets I wish I had a connection like this 🙂
A few years back, I ended up supporting an engineering firm just through a fluke meeting (my ex worked there and as a trade off for her to take my son from kindergarten to day care, I offered my services in lieu). As years passed, hardware dies and disk spaces decreases, the time was right for an upgrade.
Though nothing was wrong with Netware, I said, "you know Windows 2000 would fit here pretty good as all your stations are Win2K now, it would simplify your support needs." So in 2001, we upgraded with a tier 1 server, created a domain and quite frankly, it's the easiest site I have to support and the Windows 2000 server has performed well. The Remote Desktop for Administration and Windows Update really set it up nice for these scenarios.
Well as time goes by, the 'ex' moved on to another company, I ended up sticking it out for a few pairs 'gold hockey tickets' to our home NHL club, the Oilers. It's addictive to get those gold seats (especially when you take your son), friendly servers in bow ties presenting those refreshments on trays, no lines ups at the gate, oh's it's hard to go back to the regular seats.
Here we are late in 2006, and all the stars are aligned again for a upgrade to the server. All the desktops have long been XP Pro. The server is performing well though it is long in the tooth and the idea of increasing disk capacity for such a old box really doesn't make sense. I said, "we pretty much all know, any electrical appliance has a shelf life, I think this one's said for itself, time to look forward." So as we discuss, complaints about using the ISP mail system, the need for the road warriors and office staff to have a better idea of the who is where, when and why, we began to look for additional functionality not previously considered to be needed in house.
I was quite open, the word 'open source' was on the table, it was an option and we talked about those solutions and compared them with Windows 2003 SBS. The owner asked, what do you use at your real work? Exchange 2003 now" I replied, "were very happy with it". Is there something where we can share some files with a couple outside clients without a email volley? "Sure, it has Windows Sharepoint Services, works well", you have plenty of CAL's to work with.
A week went by, their company got a fax from the same tier one server provider, special on, included SBS 2003, lots of disk space, lots of power, RAID 1 preconfigured, sweet price.
I was in the following weekend to do a power upgrade, create a new domain, have their ISP create a MX record, and then made the foolish mistake of allowing him to watch me install his new server. Now for those unfamiliar with tier one servers, when you fire them up, use their boot wizard CD, you select the OS and it's rather painless after that, I 'almost' felt bad for what I was charging, as he watched me just follow the prompts like a drone,
within a couple hours we had a happening 2003 SBS server, ready to take mail and service the shop. Oh, and the remote access, always a big hit.
So I think, well I better impress with some knowledge and went in to set the tarpit value, activate the forms based auth for OWA over SSL and ensure the correct directories were made. Well what a jip! SBS 2003 does all that! I mean, I run Enterprise Windows 2003 software, why do they make me do all that leg work, geesh. I did set a URL to properly download the root CA for those stations not joining the new domain, that's something right?
So I figure, I'll probably get a rather mild bonus for all my 'labour', it was pretty easy. Surprised I was last week when I received a email, asking me to pick out 2 additional games for gold tickets, everything is great, everyone is happy, they got a managing hand on SPAM with the free IMF and he's even placed his wife and kids on the SBS 2003 server so he and his wife can manage all the appointments of the family.
So I better take those games in now, my beloved Oilers are in tight to make the playoffs.
Brett Finch served onboard Royal Canadian Submarines in the Combat Systems Engineering department until 1996 and since has been employed with a large western Canadian University as a Faculty Information Technology Coordinator. Along with some obvious side bar consulting services, he has a love for