Archive for June, 2007

Sharepoint Blogging

June 27th, 2007 3 comments

More servicesI’m using Windows Live Writer Beta 2 to write this post.  It will automatically post to my Sharepoint blog that resides on my Windows Home Server, running Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 Actually, this is cross-posted to my WordPress blog.  The steps to do that, click Weblog, click the other blog, click publish.  Boy that was hard!

Oh my, I’m becoming a Windows Fan-Boi!

Actually, I’m impressed, the Live Writer tool, also posts to my Word Press blog, without a hitch and uploads pictures and allows me to write pretty much WYSIWYG type posts.  Which means, while I may not say much of anything of meaning, at least it might look pretty.

It also has spell checking, like I’d need to use it. HA smile_shades

Categories: /dev/null Tags:

Live Writer blogging

June 27th, 2007 Comments off

This post is authored by Live Writer, instead of the Word Press back end.

Squee! I’m becoming a MS fanboy.  Can it do picture easily?


What is I modify it and save again?100_9324

Flickr plugin for Live Writer. sahweet.

Technorati Tags: ,

Categories: /dev/null Tags:

Back up early and often…

June 21st, 2007 Comments off

That is the old adage from the times of text based Adventure gaming, yet something that you always ignore until your hard drive craps out.  Or in our case, a laptop gets yanked to the ground embedding the read heads into the platter of the spinning hard drive and in 10 seconds the whole she-bang goes up in smoke.  Getting and new HD and reinstalling the OS, no problem.  Salvaging years of data and photos. Not so much.

So after that I started thinking about how to keep our tenuous laptops backed up in an easy manner.

For about two years I’ve been using a Linksys NSLU2 as a mini home server.  I had a 200GB USB drive hooked up to it, and had installed an alternate firmware that enabled it to run as a mini Debian based Linux server, hosting shares for the home network.  It worked, but I never really fully integrated the sharing or backups on Angie’s computer, because, okay well I was lazy.  But it was also a complicated multi-step process, and sometimes
trying to yank the computer out of SweetBippy’s hand is like pulling a porter house steak out of a rottweiller’s mouth.  So I never fully implemented it.  I had copied over her pictures here and there, and so I was able to restore some data to her new machine, but it wasn’t everything, and it certainly wasn’t current.

Post crash, I taught her a bit more how to back things up to the network shares on the SLUG, but again, not something even I do automatically.  Backing things up is a chore, and a hassle.  Setting up automated backups is something that everyone should do.  It is sorta like going to the Dentist.

Then I read a few posts and articles about Microsoft’s new Windows Home Server (WHS), supposed to automate backs up, yadda yadda.  All well and good, but c’mon this is Microsoft… easy?  fast?  Certainly its just another money grab from Uncle Bill.  But then I read that they’d opened the Release Candidate to anyone that signed up.  Well… my geek creds needed some polishing, and the kids computer needed to be upgraded, hard drives redone, etc…  So why not.

I backed up their stuff to DVDs, including another old copy of Angie’s pictures (ugh, there’s gotta be like a frillion of these attempts scattered to the winds in my dusty network!)  Then plopped in the Home Server RC1 DVD that I had burned from my laptop.  It didn’t want to install.  Oh yeah, I have the hard drives attached to some funky sooper speedy blah blah card, that really wasn’t faster than the motherboard’s IDE slots.  Open the case to change the hard drive cables.  Two hours of dusting later, I uncovered the cables and moved them (o.m.g. more dust!) to the other slots, and re-try.  huzzah! success! (beware, this install will want to totally wipe any attached hard drives, so use caution when installing, hard drives with stuff you want can’t be added back in post install to more quickly copy stuff… more later)

Hmm… Windows Server 2003 based, coolness, since I’ve spent the last two months muddling with SBS Server at church, maybe this is a solid platform.  Booted.  Login screen.  Windows Home Server Console.  Okay, lets install this connector disk thingy to my laptop and see what that does.

Plop in another burned disk (another fyi, the connector software is also present on a network share on the server, if you ever lose the CD…) and the lappy finds the server and I have a neat little icon in my toolbar, that when I click I can log into the Home Server Console.  I set up the backup parameters, have it skip my 20GB of movies and music, and let run.  The first backup failed (chkdsk on the lappy fixerated it) then a manual backup took.

Also the Server has a set of Shares (Music, Video, Pictures) that it installed automatically to the lappy.  Cool.

Install the connector thingy on Angie’s laptop, and same thing.  handy.  Do the automatic backups really work?  Yes.  Wonderfully.  The WHS is an intelligent backup, and smart for home use (well any use really) and saves a ton of space from a file-based backup or even an image based backup.  For all the computers in the house it stores a file only once.  So if you have a house full of Windows XP computers, the OS and applications will reside in one backup, saving a TON of space.  Also for things stored on the network shares, if you have more than one hard disk installed, WHS will balance that and make sure that each file will be stored completely on separate hard drives.

For the non-techies, this is uberneat.  For techies, it isn’t a RAID array, or as complicated to set-up as a RAID array.  If you want to add another disk, connect it via USB, or internally, and then add it to the pool via the console, and that space gets added to the store of disks.

Simply for just the back up qualities WHS fits the bill.  There are some other things that it can do as well, but those are for other posts.  Seriously, this install change my perspective.  I’ll be pushing this to anyone with more than one PC, especially laptops.

Since I’ve installed it, I’ve copied my NSLU shares to the WHS (over a wireless connection, it took a while) then moved that hard drive to the new WHS.   So the NSLU is looking at me like a puppy that lost its bone.  But I’ve still got a job for it to do, just won’t be with big hard drives.

More on WHS coming, there is just too many goodies to  fit into one post.

Life up til now…

June 18th, 2007 Comments off

Not a bad week last week. I took Tuesday – Friday off, to spend with the Fam, and to help with the timing of going to VBS each night at our church. I taught the 4th grade class, using LifeWay’s Game Day Central curriculum. I had three awesome helpers, and a class of 8-10 each night. Pretty good week of getting to know some new kids, and enjoying time spent with the rest of the PCBC VBS team. The whole week was well planned, and also a lot of work.

Also got to do some vacationy things, Tuesday we went in the morning to a splash park in north Dallas. Then later swam at the pool. Then swam a couple more times during the week. Caught up on a lot of sleep, and then stayed up late to make net sleep deficit practically nil, but at least I’m caught up.

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and I got cool cards and drawings from my girls, and hugs from my boys. Then in the afternoon Dan and I went golfing with Bobby2, and the younger Bobby passed onto Danny his old clubs. So we got to play 9 holes (and it was free thanks to the rumbling stumbling rainstorms that deluged us the past few days … soggy course … free golf… bout evens out) of carefree golf with no one rushing us. If only I could hit a golf ball close to where I want it to land. I guess I need to practice more.

On the geek front, I’m evaluating the Microsoft Windows Home Server (RC1) on my old home built machine (800MHz PIII, 512 RAM, a few hundred gigs of hard disk space). For an RC this is fairly well polished. The jist of Home Server is to automate backups and provide a place to share files within a home network. The guts are Windows Server 2003, and it is designed to run headless (no attached monitor and keyboard). Cool concept, and the implementation is actually pretty good. After installing it Saturday, both of our laptops have been backed up twice, and I’m moving over files from the drive attached to my NSLU2 onto the server. The kids have given up their WinXP machine, but I’ve figured out how to give them console access to give them computer time (fyi, this isn’t what this is designed for, and really not a ‘best practice’ but until a new PC falls on my doorstep, I gotta do what I gotta do). Another post with a review is most likely forth coming.

Categories: /dev/null, Gadgets, Life Tags: ,

If only I had a two story house…

June 11th, 2007 Comments off

Floating Head of Death

I think Larson might have something here.  ‘Course if we tried it Michael would attack it growling his dog growl, biting into the floating head of death, popping it and falling into the bushes below.  Then I’d have to buy new bushes.

Categories: Blaaawg, Comics Tags: ,

I’m with Fred

June 6th, 2007 Comments off
Categories: /dev/null Tags: