First Impressions

What first impression does your network make?

Best Practice (Litmus Test)

Professionals would say ‘Here is a diagram of our network’

Amateurs are struggling to fix old machines

First Impressions

In the course of my work as consultant and trainer I have the privilege ofvisiting customer sites.  Whilst I would never divulge company secrets orname names, I would like to share my first impressions with you.  In my line of work, a rapid assessment of the customer is essential.  The reason is two fold, on the one hand it is vital not to tell professionals things they already know; on the other hand I want to avoid talking over the head of those less experienced.

First impressions – indicators of professionals

  • As I sit down and they say: – ‘Guy, here is a diagram of our network’.
  • As I enter the server room, someone says: –  ‘That SMS package worked a treatlast night’.
  • On the screen I see a techie just finishing a terminal server session to aremote server.

 First impressions – Indicators of amateurs

  • As the client and I walk through a site, we pass some users.  One looks up and says: – ‘My file share is not working on thisWindows 95 machine.’ (This was in 2003 and I think shares should be on the servers; also Windows 95 should be upgraded!)
  • I say: –  ‘Could you show me the application log in the event viewer’. They say: –  ‘Where do you find the event viewer?’
  • When we arrive in the server room, the first thing I notice is the 3-D screen saver on the domain controller. (3-D Screen savers are fine on clients, but they drain valuable processor power on servers.
  • See more litmus tests.

Kiwe CatTools - Free downloadGuy’s Challenge – Download this free device backup utility


Kiwi CatTools is a free program for backing up configuration settings on hardware devices.  Here is Guy’s challenge.  If you download CatTools, then it will not only take care of backups, but also it will show you something new about the hardware on you network. I could give you a money back guarantee – but CatTools is already free!  Thus, I just make a techie to techie challenge, you will learn more about your network if you:

Download your free Kiwi CatTools configuration backup tools


Download my Jumbo Litmus Test eBook $5.95

Litmus TestsOver 40 of Guy’s litmus tests.  Have fun while you learn about aspects of computing.  Stacks of ideas to check your servers, networks and security.

Your eBook has printer friendly pages and lots more screen shots.


Litmus Tests

Guy’s Litmus test is a concept that you can apply anywhere.  Each test gives you an instant answer to the simple question:-  ‘Are you dealing with a professional, or are they an amateur?   Is this the real deal, or is it a turkey?’   The Litmus Test concept is rather like Best Practice, but it reduces a 27 page report to one sentence. 

Try another of my Litmus tests »

Learn about Windows 8 and Active Directory

Windows 8 New Features   • Windows 8 Remote Desktop   •Windows 8 Install and Boot

Windows 8 Performance  •Windows 8 Overview  •Permissions

Organization Units Litmus Test  • Universal Groups  •Permissions Analyzer