Ramblings from another nerd on the grid
It was a sad day. After a couple of years of non stop service, I flattened my Small Business Server (SBS). I feel so naked without the strength of ISA Server guarding the perimeter. I feel depressed that I'm back to pop3 downloads instead of the rich synchronization of Exchange Server and Outlook 2007.
You might be asking why the hell would I flatten a perfectly good server? Well, it's a long story that became the perfect storm.
First, the "server" was end of life. It's one thing to rely on a machine for your production web farm, email and firewall. It's another thing to use such a machine for syncing your Zune, gaming, email and web surfing. In other words, it hasn't been put out to pasture, yet. The machine has been re-purposed and will be used by another family member.
Second, you may recall my rant about the evils of HDTV, or more accurately, how the content owners rule. In my case, the local cable provider has continued to increase the price of services, but has offered inferior service. After eight years, my cable connection goes dark on March 2nd. The company in question is already in financial dire straights so it probably makes good sense to go on the offense now anyway.
So the astute reader will notice these changes aren't trivial. Shutting the SBS server down meant moving the websites and domains. It meant moving the email. I also took the opportunity to move the website technology forward and remove the use of FrontPage extensions. This meant learning a new website developer toolset and how to use Dynamic Web Templates among other things. I also installed Office 2007 on my wife's laptop during this transition and shifted her email back to pop3.
Of course prior to any of that, web hosting needed to be evaluated, dev tools needed to be evaluated, testing needed to take place, etc. Sound familiar? You might be asking yourself why on earth would I evaluate website dev tools. Well, primarily because I wanted to see how the other half lives.
Needless to say, that was a lot of work over the past few weekends. Everything went smoothly except I forgot ATT (SBC Global) uses some high security for their SMTP server. This of course cropped up after my wife was using that connection at her shoppe and yours truly was in Houston for the big freaking Vista/Exchange/Office launch event down there.
Now that the SBS server is gone, what's next?
I am "downgrading" my fiber connection from a static ip business plan, to a residential plan. This will allow me to use Verizon FIOS TV. Unfortunately, I'll have to eat some downtime. Apparently Verizon cannot cut me over from the business circuits to the residential circuits on the same day. Sux. Oh well, that's why I have EVDO.
After I get up on FIOS TV, I plan to buy or build a Windows Vista machine that uses two or more ATI Digital Tuners hooked up to a big freaking array of disks. Who knows, that may change if the HD DVR market takes off and you can get a 1TB DVR. I'm not holding my breath for a set top box from Verizon that will meet my needs and I'm not ready to pay TIVO. Vista to save the day!?!?
With any luck, I'll have everything in place and working by the time the summer heat starts cranking here in Texas.
No DIY with those tuners; only sold with new PCs (from large manufacturers that can afford the certification fees). CableLabs has to certify the machine itself.
Are we placing bets? :)
If you hear of a company selling these as standalones (replacements) I would love to know about it!
I'm back in the speed zone. Thank heavens for Verizon Wireless EVDO Broadband as an interim solution.