In my initial post, I wrote about the process of installing WHS. It was much more challenging than expected; however, to be fair, most people purchase systems pre-installed with WHS. In this segment I will review the installation of WHS’s client software which is required to manage and operate the unit.

  1. Installation
  2. Client Configuration & basic operation
  3. Backup and recovery
  4. NAS
  5. Conclusion

The client installation

A WHS system is more than just a shared NAS system.  It is architected as an entirely self-contained backup and recovery system, and the added functionality requires custom software which they call “Windows Home Server Connector.” (WHSC)  The software only runs on Windows so Mac and Linux users are out of luck. (Note that they can still access the fileshares, but cannot administer the system or use the backup features.)
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This is the first of a multiple part review of Microsoft’s Windows Home Server (WHS).  A big thank you to my friend John Obeto from Absolutely Windows who provided the copy of WHS.

  1. Installation
  2. Client Configuration & basic operation
  3. Backup and recovery
  4. NAS
  5. Conclusion

A quick intro before getting started:

I am an avowed LINUX server guy.  I have multiple LINUX servers in the basement and use a LINUX-based NAS box.  However, all of my desktop machines run Windows and so the opportunity to try WHS was compelling.  In the review, I will compare WHS to LINUX alternatives including an integrated Netgear NAS box.

Configuration:

Before we get started, let me share my system configuration:

  • Server: DL380 G3
    • Dual Xeon 2.8GHz
    • 4 GB RAM
    • 6x36GB SCSI HD in a RAID 5 configuration
  • Base OS: VMWare ESX 3.5
    • WHS is based on Windows 2003 Server which is qualified with ESX.  However, it does not appear that the WHS flavor of Win2003 has been qualified.

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I was recently listening to the Infosmack Podcast #50 over at StorageMonkeys and the speakers were discussing location-based social networking applications. Specifically, they talked about Foursquare although the same discussion could be had with any social networking tool where you disclose your location. For example, if you are a California Twitter user and Tweet about attending a show in Massachusetts. I think that there is value in sharing thoughts and locations, but it also creates new concerns about privacy and risk.

The proliferation of data on the Internet means that it is simple to find detailed personal information on almost anyone. For example, you can find someone’s general location from where they work, GPS coordinates included in Twitter or references in blog posts. With the location, you can use an online phonebook to search for the person and easily find their home address and phone number. This is the reality of today’s Internet and anyone who is an avid user of social media must recognize it, and learn to live with it. However, the addition of location-based services adds another level of detail that I find troubling.

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The use of flash is critical when shooting in limited ambient light and many photographers try to minize usage due to discomfort.  They set their camera in automatic mode (P in Canon parlance), pop-up the small embedded flash and just shoot away. The resulting images usually do not meet expectations and the photographer may wonder why.  The three tips in this post can dramatically improve the situation.

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Mayoral sports gaffe

Boston is a rabid sports town.  The fans obsess about the local teams and are currently enthralled with the Boston Bruins playoff collapse, the Celtics success versus the Cavaliers and the struggling Red Sox.  On Monday, the Bruins unveiled a statue of Bobby Orr commemorating his Stanley Cup winning goal in 1970.

Boston’s five term mayor Thomas Menino spoke at the unveiling about Boston sports teams and embarassed himself with two major gaffes.  You can see video clip below.

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