Archive for April, 2010
Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Microsoft released a beta today. From preliminary information, it looks like they’ve addressed most of my gripes with Windows Home Server 1.0. Interesting new features –
1) The ability to backup the entire WHS to a remote drive, at scheduled times. That’s nice for snapshotting the whole setup all at once.
2) Scheduled backups of Shared Folders. 1.0 supported quasi-raid style duplication of shared folders, but not regular backups – that was a feature limited to the PCs on your network. It’s nice they’ve integrated the content on the server into the nightly backups mechanism.
3) Shadow copy – real time backups of important areas of your file system on computers in your home. Very nice, I can think of a few areas (Documents, Mail, Desktop, my mozilla patches folder, etc.) that I’d like to have this for. Nightly backups are great, real-time backups for certain areas of your file system are kick ass. This should also (hopfully) integrate in with the existing Shadow Copy features built into Vista and Win7.
4) Simplified setup and configuration for the average Joe, with fine grained control for those that need it.
One bummer, Windows Media Center is not built-in in this rev.. That’s unfortunate, but not a deal killer. Your media can still sit on the the main WHS, and a secondary PC running Windows 7 can serve up the interface and content to the living room. This really isn’t a big deal since kicking into WMC from a 360 will automatically wake the PC serving up Media Center.
All-in-all, looks very promising. Generally speaking, if I knew setting up nightly backups and Shared Folders was as easy as it is with WHS, I would have done this two years ago. It’s really quite impressive, the system is “plug and play” for average users – buy a headless system, plug it in, and your up and running and your data is secure in minutes. Yet for power users like myself who just can’t help but want to get into things and tweak the crap out of them, the options are endless. Very cool.
Monday, April 26th, 2010
Something obscure worth feeding to the internets – converting a pc system from headed (with a video card/display) to headless by removing the display AND video card to save on power can have some strange effects on your system. For one thing this will enable the default vgasys video driver within windows. On older systems (Windows Server 2003 and potentially XP) this vga driver is not ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) compliant. When windows loads this driver, it can prevent you from placing the computer into sleep mode.
For Windows Home Server users – if you’re running Lights Out and you suddenly find the ‘suspend state’ missing from the post-backup options, and you’ve been messing with video drivers, check to make sure the currently loaded driver supports ACPI. You can do this by opening a cmd window via Remote Desktop and typing ‘powercfg /availablesleepstates’.
I’ve been messing with WHS on my old dell XPS 210 after a recent upgrade to a newer four core Dell system (sweetness) for development work. I should have a review out here in a bit. I really wanted to give WHS a spin before plunking down $ on a pre-built system. All-in-all, the backups and file/media sharing worked great out of the box. (I do have some gripes though, power management is one of them.) I’ll post about the experience down the road. My personal suggestion would be not to build one on your own, buy one of the headless preconfigured systems out there. (Windows Server 2003 driver issues with my dell system were my biggest frustration.) Better yet, wait a year until the new Win7 based ‘Vail’ systems come out, which is what I’m planning on doing.
Sunday, April 25th, 2010
“In short, GM is using government money to pay back government money to get more government money. And at a 2% lower interest rate at that.”
Thursday, April 15th, 2010
“This is mind-boggling. There’s no possible technical justification for this. It’s pure evil.”
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
I just touched up a number of encoding issues post a Word Press upgrade. A number of old posts might show up as recent… sorry for the blog spam.
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
For a company whose CEO professes a hatred of DRM, Apple sure has made DRM its alpha and omega. Having gotten into business with the two industries that most believe that you shouldn’t be able to modify your hardware, load your own software on it, write software for it, override instructions given to it by the mothership (the entertainment industry and the phone companies), Apple has defined its business around these principles. It uses DRM to control what can run on your devices, which means that Apple’s customers can’t take their “iContent” with them to competing devices, and Apple developers can’t sell on their own terms.
For years I’ve listened to Apple fans proclaim monopolies as being “bad”, yet today they seem perfectly comfortable in accepting the same model now that it’s enforced through the content and devices of their favorite company. complaint > dev/null.
Boing Boing Link
Monday, April 5th, 2010
As for the Treasury Department, they’ll be selling a whopping $165 billion in debt this week including some $82 billion in long-dated issues – $40 billion 3-year notes, $21 billion in 10-year notes, $13 billion in 30-year bonds, and $8 billion in 10-year TIPS. This has become almost a routine, every-other-week affair that could see its first big headwind in the days ahead if yields keep rising.
Friday, April 2nd, 2010
In short, if you believe that the economic growth since 1996 was robust enough to justify the doubling of home prices during that time, then perhaps home prices are now at the ‘correct’ levels. But if you believe that most of the economic growth since 1996 was built on bubbles and debt, then it’s hard to find a reason why homes should be twice as expensive.
Inflation may play a role in the second leg down in housing – prices would remain flat while the buying power of the almightly dollar falls. Also of note, the FED recently completed it’s 1.25 trillion buying spree of mortgage backed securites. It’ll be interesting to see where rates and the stock market head from here. Long term, it’ll be interesting to see if the FED gets back what it put in. If it doesn’t excess liquidity will be left floating around in the money supply. The next few years should be interesting.