New Year tips for systems integrators

By Joel Shore, ITworld.com |  Business

Here it is, about 1 p.m. on New Year's Day, and here I am, slaving over a hot
keyboard as the snow falls and accumulates outside. In the American tradition
of doing as little work as possible on a federal holiday, let's jump around
and take a brief look at several topics.

#1. Microsoft Home Server

It hasn't been around very long, and the installed base, fortunately, is limited.
That's a good thing, because MHS (yes, I know it once stood for Novell's Message
Handling Service, but that was long ago) has a penchant for, well, corrupting
data under certain circumstances. This occurs when MHS is under an extreme load
while doing a large file copy. Furthermore, it happens only when server's cache
is full and the user simultaneously edits a file previously saved to a shared
folder.

A Microsoft Knowledge Base posting,
titled "When you use certain programs to edit files on a home computer
that uses Windows Home Server, the files may become corrupted when you save
them to the home server," urges users not to use Windows Vista Photo Gallery,
Windows Live Photo Gallery, OneNote 2003, OneNote 2007, Outlook 2007, Microsoft
Money 2007 and SyncToy 2.0 Beta under some conditions. It also has happened
to files from Intuit's Quicken and QuickBooks.

Fortunately, I haven't run into the problem -- yet. But I do use Outlook, Money,
SyncToy, and QuickBooks. I'm being very careful. If you've recommended MHS to
any of your clients (in response to the inevitable, "you've taken care
of my enterprise, so what should I do at home" queries) this is something
you'll need to understand fully.

#2. Netscape, R.I.P.

As the sun was setting on 2007, so too did it set on Netscape, the venerable
browser that launched household use of something called the World Wide Web,
which itself was a piece of a larger entity called the Internet. Until then,
we lived in an online universe driven largely by CompuServe, MCI Mail, and thousands
of dial-up bulletin board services.

On Dec. 28, AOL, which long ago acquired Netscape and CompuServe in separate
transactions, finally put a needle into the arm of Netscape Navigator, the browser
we all once used and that few people now remember.

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