Ezine 152 Guy’s Comes out of the Closet – The Server Closet!

Guy’s Comes out of the Closet – The Server Closet!

For years I have been too embarrassed to admit that instead of running XP, I preferred to run the Windows Server 2003 operating system as my desktop.  Now with Vista replacing XP, it seems that others are also coming out of the closet, and admitting they employ the Windows Server 2008 operating system to run their email and Office programs.

Why Use Server 2008 as a Desktop?

Our reasoning is this: every feature of a server just has to be rock solid, anything in Vista that could remotely harm a server, the development team ruthlessly removed from Windows 2008.  The result maybe overkill for a desktop, but Windows Server 2008 makes for a fabulously stable work-horse.

I don’t know about the other IT staff, but my hidden agenda for using Windows 2008 as my desktop is that I can easily test features before I consider deploying them on a production server.  My other reason is that I can ‘alt +tab’ and test settings if I am writing articles or answering readers questions.


The incredulous amongst you will point out that a genuine Windows Server 2008 licence costs ten times more than Vista licence, and you don’t get ten times the benefits.  Here again I am embarrassed because Microsoft give me a free MSDN subscription as part of my MVP award.  Therefore, I admit that this advice is only suitable for those fortunate enough to have access to a cost-little, but genuine Windows Server 2008 licence.

Clarification:  I infered that you could use an MSDN licence for PERSONAL use.  I was wrong.  You can only use such MSDN licences for TESTING.

To finish on a practical note, one solution to getting a secure Vista experience is to deploy Windows Server 2008’s Terminal Services.  Clients get the Vista desktop but with the stability and control of the latest Windows server.

Useful Utilities

NUTS (Network UTilities Set)

What Paul DeBrino and I particularly admire about NUTS (Network UTilities Set) is the tools have been produced for administrators by administrators.  With NUTS the emphasis is on Utilities SET, thus there is something for everyone in this tool kit, examples include, RegToAdm to convert .reg files into ADM templates. Also GPO templates to control Internet Temporary files.

Many readers may consider such tools as ‘amateur’, but as someone who has tried to create such utilities, I regard their creator Yizhar Hurwitz as a genius.  Get your NUTS!

Guy Recommends: Tools4ever’s UMRAUMRA The User Management Resource Administrator

Tired of writing scripts? The User Management Resource Administrator solution by Tools4ever offers an alternative to time-consuming manual processes.

It features 100% auto provisioning, Helpdesk Delegation, Connectors to more than 130 systems/applications, Workflow Management, Self Service and many other benefits. Click on the link for more information onUMRA.


Graph Visualization is another recommendation from Paul DeBrino.  This is another free utility, and as its name suggests GraphViz is for representing information diagrammatically.  Paul says its main use is for creating automatic drawings of networks and visual interfaces.  Guy’s initial reaction was it’s hard to get started, and more specialist than other tools that I recommend.  However, there is a comprehensive user guide, which is always the sign of a good utility.  Get your free copy here.

Summary of Guy’s Comes out of the Server Closet!

If you have access to a low cost Windows Server 2008 licence, consider using this operating system as your desktop.  My own justification is that I can combine testing servers while carrying out workstation tasks on one machine, rather than switching between Vista (XP) and W2K8 (W2K3).

Will and Guy’s Humour

Do you ever seen comical notices in shops, or amusing signs on the roadside near where you live?  This week Will and Guy give you a glimpse of their penchant for collectingpictures offunny signs.

Windows 8 Features:

Windows 8 New Features   • Windows 8 Metro UI  • Windows 8 Tips  • Windows 8 FAQ  • Ezines

SLA Monitor  •Network Performance Monitor (NPM)  • Windows 8 Home  • E 128 Win Update

E 174 Win 8 Traps  •E 168 UAC  • E 163 Update  • E 152 Closet  • E 139 End Msoft