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Guy’s Litmus test is a concept that you can apply literally anywhere. Each test gives you an instant answer to the basic question: – ‘Are you dealing with a professional, or is 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.
Whilst my tests are designed for computer networks, you can develop the concept and apply it to where ever you go. Guy’s ‘Litmus tests’ asks one question, and the answer tells you instantly if you’re dealing with amateurs or professionals. More than anything, I see Litmus tests as an ideal way to combine business with fun. Don’t we all work just that better when the job has an amusing twist. What would make my day is if you apply the idea of a simple test to your network best practices.
Where the idea came from
Each Litmus testgives you an instant answer to the question: – "Is this a good idea or isthere a better way?” The brainwave for Litmus tests came to me when a delegate said: "Guy, I havejust joined a company; how do I know if our network and servers arerunning properly?" So I suggested simple checks that he could make to testif his network was run by amateurs or professionals.
As I was wondering what title to give the check list, my mind flashed back to my schoolboy days. Suddenly I remembered my chemistry teacher ‘Sniffy’Pugh showing us Litmus tests. Perhaps you remember the test? What happens is you dip Litmus paper into a liquid, if the paper turns red it means acid, whereas if it turns bluethe liquid is alkaline. It struck me that Litmus test was the ideal name for a quick test wherethere are only two possible results, one good the other bad.
Take Guy’s Litmus Test challenge for your network
- Site Home
- Active Directory Planning tips
- Backup and Restore – Try a restore
- Circular Logging – by Ed Jones
- DHCP – Set Automatic IP addresses
- DNS and WINS Which to use?
- Disk Quotas Administrator’s delight
- Dynamic Disk – Use Dynamic on Servers, Basic on XP.
- Event viewer Eliminate red dots
- Fewer Reboots – Down from 152 to 7
- First impressions – At the site
- Group Policies Control the desktop
- Installation Service (RIS)
- Logon Scripts Where to configure?
- No more reboots – Be smart and restart services
- Organisation Units – Delegation permissions create OUs
- Partitions – FAT or NTFS?
- Performance Monitoring – Check for bottlenecks
- Permissions – Beware the defaults!
- Printer Pools Create one for you!
- Protocols – TCP/IP or NetBEUI?
- Readme files – by Ian Stanley
- Recovery Tools – Take a minute to install
- RRAS Do you need remote access?
- Security – Administrator’s Account
- TCP/IP Suite – How many can you name?
- Universal Groups – Amateur’s settings are ‘greyed out’
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:
Litmus tests sent in by readers
- Readme files – by Ian Stanley
- Web Page Security – by Arian Heald
- System State and LKG – by Chris Porosky
If you would like a whole collection of Litmus tests to test your computer network, then download my ebook.
Over 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.