The World’s Fastest Small Business Server

One sunny day while mowing the yard with the old John Deere I thought, “How cool would it be if I could mount a Small Business Server on this lawn tractor?"

The answer (as you already know) is “not very cool”. Nobody wants to see a lawn mower running Exchange and SharePoint.

Obviously, I need to drink more fluids when mowing the yard in the hot sun, but that’s neither here nor there. The proverbial wheels were turning, and I started brainstorming for something much faster and infinitely cooler than a green and yellow tractor…

Matthew SnoddyEnter Matthew SnoddyMicrosoft Small Business Specialist, Texas LLC formation consultant and owner of Network Therapists in Lexington, Kentucky.

a.k.a. “The Stig” (nobody knows for sure)

Not only is Matthew a fantastic network engineer and wheelman, he’s got some beautiful muscle cars,
like this supercharged 2008 SRT8 Dodge Challenger:

Matthew Snoddy–2008 SRT8 Dodge Challenger on the dyno

 
A Challenger is much cooler than a John Deere, but it gets even better!

Recently, Matthew expanded his stable with the addition of a rare (one of only 20 ever made) 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR convertible. A street-legal race car.

Matthew Snoddy's 2010 Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR convertible

(More pics of Matthew Snoddy’s Viper ACR here)

VIPER SRT10 ACR SPECS – BONE STOCK

  • 8.4-liter aluminum V10 engine
  • 600 horsepower
  • 560 lb. ft. of torque
  • 0-60 in 3.4 seconds
  • Top speed 184 MPH (202 MPH w/o the rear wing, but you’ll die)

If you’re a gearhead, you know all about the ACR. Matthew’s red ACR is a convertible model of the car that broke the Nürburgring track record.

Video of the Viper ACR record-breaking run (7:22) at Nürburgring

 
This video of a white hardtop ACR on the twisting Virginia City Hill Climb
(Nevada State Route 341) is pretty terrifying.

Car and Driver–Video of Virginia City Hill Climb in a Viper ACR

 
Suffice it to say, the word ‘awesome’ does not even begin to describe this car.

So one night Matthew and I discussed the viability of mounting a Microsoft Windows Small Business Server in the Viper, and “Project Daffy” was born.

“Why a goofy name like Project Daffy” you say? Check out what happens when you invert the Viper ACR logo:

Normal Dodge Viper ACR logo Turn the Viper ACR logo upside down and it becomes Daffy Duck

Can you see Daffy Duck on the right? Thought so. Winking smile

We took some measurements of the ACR and (shocker) it’s not really designed to hold a standard server like an HP ProLiant ML370 G6, or even a smaller one like the HP ML110 or ML150.

Trunk of the Viper ACR - empty

The trunk is so small, there’s not even a spare tire – just an air pump (left).

Greg Starks - SMB Solutions Program Manager, Hewlett-Packard.Enter Greg Starks – SMB Solutions Program Manager at Hewlett-Packard. Greg has been with HP and Compaq for over 20 years, has presented at over 10 SMB Nation events, and he really knows his stuff.

a.k.a. “Mr. Awesome” (of that we *are* sure)

We needed something that had enough horsepower to run a server OS, but not so big that it wouldn’t fit in the Viper. With limited space, heat and power requirements, it was a tall order. Greg hooked up Project Daffy with the brand new HP ProLiant MicroServer and got it to us in time to make it to the racetrack!

HP ProLiant MicroServer

HP MICROSERVER SPECS:

  • AMD Athlon II NEO N36L processor 1.3 GHz
  • Supports up to 8 GB PC3 DDR3 RAM
  • Embedded NC107i PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Server Adapter
  • OCZ Vertex 2 200GB solid state SATA II drive*
  • Cold boot to SBS 2011 login – 2 minutes 45 seconds
  • Shut down – 14 seconds
  • Operating System – Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

*We took out the stock 160 GB LFF SATA drive and used the SSD instead to mitigate vibration from the car. (The SSD isn’t a factory option.)

View inside the HP ProLiant MicroServer with the USB drive plugged in for OS loadThe HP MicroServer is physically small enough (10.5" x 8.3" x 10.2") to fit perfectly in the Viper trunk with room to spare. The MicroServer doesn’t come with a DVD drive, so we took an ISO of SBS 2011 Standard Edition and made a bootable flash drive and installed SBS 2011 that way – no problem.

After the OS installation, we did some testing with the UPS to estimate battery life (about 55 minutes). SBS 2011 runs on that SSD like a scalded dog!

The next step was powering it and mounting it in the car.

ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT:

Due to the irregular shape of the Viper trunk, we used a spare piece of cardboard as a template to map out the shape, and then transferred that outline onto a plank of 3/4” plywood (“The Surfboard”). After some lengthy trial and error moving things around, appropriate measurements were laid out to make sure that there was sufficient room for the equipment, padding, cabling, and tie-down equipment.

HEADING TO THE TRACK:

It’s a pretty long drive from Louisville out to the Mt. Park Dragway in Clay City, Kentucky (about 120 miles). When we got there it was so cold out that the grass in the shadows was still frosted even though the sun had been up for a few hours. Sadly, that morning one of Matthew’s friends lost control of his Corvette on the track and put it into the wall! Fortunately he’s OK, but the same can’t be said for the Vette. Even with safety equipment, racing is still a dangerous occupation.

Mounting the server and network equipment in the Viper trunk went surprisingly smooth. All of the planning and measuring paid off and it fit like a glove. We powered up the server and the router and ran some connectivity tests while Matthew drove around the track. As long as we kept the Yagi antenna (attached to the netbook in our makeshift pits) pointed at the Viper, we never lost a single ping. That’s pretty impressive considering that the antenna was INSIDE the trunk. The car body is fiberglass (except for the carbon fiber rear spoiler) so there was nothing externally on which to stick the antenna.

Side note: One of the coolest parts of the whole project was seeing the looks when people walked around to the back of the car to see what was in the trunk.

The phrase of the day was, “You put a *server* in a Viper!?”

Everybody thought it was cool! So did we. My face hurts from grinning.

Using the netbook back at the pits, we logged into the HP MicroServer via RDP and ran System Information for Windows (SIW) to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the CPU and SSD drive with the trunk closed. Since it was such cool day, all the temps stayed nice and chilly in the server. In fact, the only moving parts in the entire trunk were one cooling fan in the server and another one in the UPS. The rig doesn’t build up much heat anyway.

By design, the Viper ACR doesn’t have electronic traction control. On a cold day with cold tires, the lack of traction control meant that Matthew couldn’t safely punch the pedal to the floor without risking having the Viper suffer the same fate as the Vette. We know what the car can do in warmer weather, so there’s no doubt that that we truly have The World’s Fastest Small Business Server on our hands.

PICTURES OF THE COMPLETED PROJECT:

Viper SRT10 ACR - Showing off the V10 engine Viper SRT10 ACR - The blue tape keeps the burning hot rubber from sticking
A view of the Viper SRT10 ACR 8.4 liter 10-cylinder engine.
 
The blue tape keeps hot tire rubber from sticking to the paint.
 
SBS 2011 - Left Rear The World's Fastest Small Business Server
Left – HP ProLiant MicroServer
Right – APC Smart-UPS
 
Behold! The World’s Fastest
Small Business Server.
 
Closeup of The World's Fastest Small Business Server What happens when you burn too much rubber
Close-up – You can see Buffalo wireless B/G/N router in the front and the “Surfboard” underneath. The APC and all other equipment is mounted rock solid and can’t move even 1/4”.
 
This is what happens when you burn too much rubber – they have to literally scrape it off the track! I think they’ve been saving this for a while at the track, but I’m not sure how long.
 

If you’ve got questions about the project, please feel free to post them in the comments below.

PICTURES – You can see the rest of the pictures on Flickr (test fit before tie-down and different views of the car, etc.)

VIDEO – Matt Hester (IT Pro Evangelist for Microsoft) shot some video of Project Daffy today, so you may see it on his blog soon. If he does, we’ll link to it here.

THANKS – Super-special thanks go to Matthew Snoddy (Network Therapists) and Greg Starks (Hewlett-Packard) for making this dream a reality. Props to Andrew McIntosh too for the UPS, and to Lauren for assistance in the pits.
You guys absolutely rock!!

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Webcast – Office 2010 Launch May 12, 2010

image Are you ready for the next version of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010? Tune in tomorrow to watch the webcast to see what’s new.

Date: Wednesday May 12, 2010
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Title: Announcing the Future of Productivity!
Keynote: Stephen Elop, President, Microsoft Business Division
URL: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/2010launch

Description:
Meet businesses already benefitting from the future of productivity and view on-demand sessions that focus on Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Project 2010, and Visio 2010, as well as Exchange 2010, Office Communications Server 2007 R2, and SQL Server 2008 R2. Watch the keynote, join the virtual launch conversation, and participate in on-demand sessions where you’ll learn more about how Microsoft products can solve the unique productivity challenges you’re facing as you look to the future.

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Changing the Companyweb Timeout in SBS 2008

Another one from the mailbag:

Question – How do I change the timeout in SBS 2008? Users are complaining that Companyweb times out when they get involved in a phone call or when someone walks in their office.

Answer:

  1. Click Start | Administrative Tools | Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager (not IIS 6.0 Manager)
  2. Expand the Server name | expand Sites | click on SBS SharePoint

    Click Server name, Sites, SBS SharePoint

  3. On the Actions pane on the right side of that page, under the Configure section click Limits… 
    Click Limits...
  4. On the Edit Web Site Limits dialog box you can configure your Connection time-out (in seconds), limit bandwidth usage and limit the number of connections. Below is a screenshot of the SBS 2008 default settings for Companyweb / “SBS SharePoint”.
     Choose your timeout length in seconds
  5. Adjust your settings as needed, and click OK.

Here’s what each setting does:

Element Name

Description

Limit bandwidth usage (in bytes)

Select this option to limit the amount of traffic allowed to a Web site based on bandwidth usage. In the corresponding box, enter a value (in bytes) at which you want to limit the Web site traffic. The value must be an integer between 1024 and 4294967295 (unlimited).

Connection time-out (in seconds)

Type a number in the box to set the length of time (in seconds) before the Web server disconnects an inactive user. This setting guarantees that all connections are closed if the HTTP protocol cannot close a connection.

Limit number of connections

Select this option to limit the number of connections allowed to a Web site. In the corresponding box, enter the number of connections to which you want to limit the Web site. The value must be an integer between 0 and 4294967295 (unlimited). Setting the number to be unlimited circumvents constant administration if your connections tend to fluctuate. However, system performance can be negatively affected if the number of connections exceeds your system resources. Restricting a Web site to a specified number of connections can keep performance stable.

 

Link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731169.aspx

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SBS Ports

Just because a port is open in RRAS or ISA (circa SBS 2003) doesn’t mean that it isn’t being blocked elsewhere, like at the ISP or because port forwarding isn’t setup properly in your firewall. Sometimes you need an outside view of the external ports on your internet connection.

DISCLAIMER – Only open the ports you absolutely MUST have. Example, if you’re not running the POP3 connector or FTP, don’t open those ports! If you’re not sure about a port, check the Port/IP Lookup on Sans.org or ask someone who knows!

To check all of the commonly used SBS ports at once:

  1. Go to www.grc.com/default.htm
  2. Scroll down & click ShieldsUP!
  3. Click Proceed
  4. In the center box on that page, paste this string:
    21, 25, 80, 110, 123, 143, 220, 443, 444, 500, 987, 1701, 1723, 3389, 4125, 4500
  5. Click User Specified Custom Port Probe

image

This scan will come back with a list of ports you entered and show the status.

Sample scan of commonly used ports in an SBS environment. 

Below is a handy chart that I stole from Susan and Windows IT Pro and updated a couple of times over the years.

Common Ports for Small Business Server (SBS)

TCP Port

Service

Description

21

FTP

Enables external and internal file transfer

25**

SMTP – Exchange

Enables incoming and outgoing Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) mail for your Exchange Server

80

HTTP – IIS

Enables all nonsecure browser access, including: internal access to IIS Webs including the company Web, Windows SharePoint Web, Windows SharePoint administration Web, and server monitoring and usage reports Enables internal access to Exchange by OWA and OMA clients (SBS 2003)

110

POP3

Enables Exchange to accept incoming Post Office Protocol (POP3) mail

123
(UDP port)

NTP

Enables the system to synchronize time with an external Network Time Protocol (NTP) server

143

IMAP4

Enables Exchange to accept incoming Internet Message Access Protocol v4 IMAP4-compliant messages

220

IMAP3

Enables Exchange to accept incoming Interactive Mail Access Protocol v3 IMAP3-compliant messages

443**

HTTPS – OWA, OMA, Outlook Anywhere, & RWW
(SBS 2008)

Enables all secure browser access, including external access to Exchange for Outlook 2003/2007, OMA and OWA; required for external access to server monitoring, usage reports and RWW (SBS 2008). OMA has been deprecated from SBS 2008. See SBS 2008 RWW video here.

444

WSS (SBS 2003)

Enables internal and external access to Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) Companyweb (SBS 2003)

500

IPSec

Enables external VPN connections by using IPSec

987**

WSS (SBS 2008)

This Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) port makes Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) Companyweb site viewable through Remote Web Workplace (SBS 2008). See SBS 2008 RWW video here.

1701

L2TP clients

Enables external L2TP VPN connections

1723

VPN – PPTP clients

Enables external PPTP VPN connections

3389***

RDP – Terminal Services

Enables internal and external Terminal Services client connections (see Note below)

4125 (Note: you can change this port in RRAS)

Remote Web Workplace
(SBS 2003)

Enables external OWA access to Exchange, plus internal and external HTTPS access to the client Web site (SBS 2003)

4500

IPSec

Internet Key Exchange (IKE) Network Address Translation (NAT) traversal

 

**Note: The ports listed above in bold are required by SBS 2008, per Microsoft TechNet article “Managing Windows Small Business Server 2008 Remote Web Workplace”, including port 3389, but see article below.

***Question: Should I open port 3389 for remote administration or remote desktop connections?
Answer from Microsoft: “You no longer need to open port 3389. Windows Small Business Server 2008 uses Terminal Services Gateway to redirect traffic from port 443 to a selected desktop or server for RDP connections. You would need to use RWW or configure the Terminal Services client to use TS Gateway.”
Source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sbs/cc817589.aspx

There’s also a post on the Official SBS Blog that talks about an IPSec issue back in 2008 that affected ports 1645-1646, 1701, 1812-1813, 2883 & 4500.

I’ll try to keep this form updated as time goes on and will keep a permanent copy at http://www.nogeekleftbehind.com/sbs-ports/.

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SBS 2008 Unleashed Book

SBS 2008 box shot standard edition Back in 2005 I was privileged to be one of the co-authors of “Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 Unleashed”. As I’m sure most authors can attest, working on a book is a very unique and eye-opening experience.  It takes a lot of time, work, testing, research and commitment to crank out a book, but in the end you have something tangible to show for all the effort. You make some great friends and learn something about yourself along the way too.

Then we skip forward several years and Eriq Neale invited me to be one the co-authors once again. This time the book was titled “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Unleashed.” I looked at the calendar and figured, “Wow, this is really awesome. We’ve got *tons* of time – the operating system isn’t even baked yet!” So I signed on. Interestingly, time moves quickly. Very, VERY quickly. And as SBS 2008 got closer to being finished and as work on the book continued, it seemed like every movie on TV was about an author with looming publishing deadlines or writer’s block like Duplex or Stranger Than Fiction. No pressure. 😉

At any rate, as the book project moved along, you could really see it transform slowly from an idea, into an outline, to a rough draft, through revisions, technical and grammatical editing, screen shots, page layouts, and eventually all the way into a finished book. And while you’re writing and doing testing and research, the software itself (code named “Cougar”) changes. It goes through various builds, into private and public betas, Release Candidates and eventually it becomes the final RTM code for SBS 2008. Believe me, it’s a pretty long trip!

So, the writing has been done for a while, and now comes the waiting part. The book is being printed and shipped, but I haven’t held a hard copy in my hands yet. And today it was cool to get an email from Amazon.com that really hit home:

Windows Small Business Server 2008 Unleashed

All of the sudden the book seems much more real. 🙂

Getting to this stage was a group effort, and I was just one person in a large team of folks that made this project happen. The whole team worked really hard through deadlines, daily responsibilities, lots of writing and zillions of emails.

The writers of this book include:

And here’s what’s in the book:

Table of Contents:

  1. Welcome to Small Business Server 2008
  2. Planning for the SBS 2008 Deployment
  3. Installing and Configuring SBS 2008
  4. DNS, DHCP, and Active Directory Integration
  5. Internet Information Services 7.0
  6. Remote Web Workplace and Other Remote Access Solutions
  7. SharePoint and Companyweb
  8. Exchange Management
  9. Exchange 2007 Client Connectivity
  10. Exchange Disaster Recovery
  11. Group Policy in SBS 2008
  12. User and Computer Management
  13. Macintosh Integration
  14. Additional Servers
  15. Managing Workstations Through Group Policy
  16. Monitoring and Reporting
  17. Managing Server and Workstation Security
  18. Backup and Disaster Recovery
  19. IPv6 Overview
  20. PowerShell
  21. Advanced Installation Options

Windows Small Business Server 2008 UnleashedI’m sure I speak for everyone on the writing, editing and publishing teams when I say that we’re really proud of this book! And I’d like to send a special “thank you” to Eriq Neale and Acquisitions Editor Loretta Yates for letting me be on the team again,
and for not killing me when they wanted to. 😉

We look forward to seeing the book hit the shelves and we’re certain that it will help people understand and support this amazing new operating system.

I hope you enjoy it!

Title: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Unleashed
Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (December 6, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0672329573
Paperback: 816 pages
Language: English
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com | InformIT / Sams

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Get Your Search On

search_server_express_2008 Recently announced: Microsoft Search Server Express is now available as a free download! It’s available in x86 or x64 versions too.

Download URL: Click here
File name: SearchServerExpress.exe
Size: 248 MB

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

  • Processor: 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) (minimum)
  • Memory: 2 gigabytes (GB) RAM (minimum)
  • Operating System: Any of the following editions of the Windows Server 2003 or newer operating system with the most recent service packs: Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, Datacenter Edition, and Web Edition.
  • Hard disk: NTFS-formatted partition with 3 GB of free space (minimum)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 with ASP.NET 2.0 enabled
  • Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
  • Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation Runtime Components
  • Note: Search Server 2008 Express can be installed on one computer only. It supports an unlimited number of Web front-end servers, but only one application server.

RESOURCES:

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Download – Selling SBS and WSS Kit

wss_logo Title: How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2
File Name: Selling_WSS_and_SBS_Kit.zip
Version: 1.0
Date Published: 11/15/2007
Language: English
Download Size: 3.2 MB
Download URL: Click here

Description: 
A new partner enablement tool that helps you create solutions using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. Access the toolkit’s resources—including a process cookbook, technical documentation and marketing materials—to learn how to build your business by selling and deploying customized solutions.

Contents Include:

  • Application Templates Overview for WSS v3
  • Asking the Client to Agree to a WSS Demo Final.doc
  • Helpful Technical Resources from Microsoft.doc
  • Identifying Potential WSS Clients.doc
  • Making WSS into a Secure Extranet.doc*
  • Preparing Your Business to Sell and Support WSS.doc
  • SBS Business Benefits Highlights.doc
  • SharePointBackups.exe
  • Site Administrator Homework Sample.doc
  • Visio Windows SharePoint Process Flows 061107.pdf
  • WSS 3.0 User Training Guide.doc
  • WSS 3.0 Admin Training Guide.doc
  • WSS 3.0 Site Demonstration Script.doc
  • WSS 3.0 Site Intake Template Starter Site.doc
  • WSS 3.0 Technical Setup.doc
  • WSS Admin Training Agenda Sample.doc
  • WSS Future Opportunities.doc
  • WSS Packaged Offering StarterSite Sample.doc
  • WSS Process Flow Steps Documents Objectives Toolkit Readiness.xls
  • WSS StarterSite Intake Template.doc
  • WSS User Training Agenda Sample.doc
  • Your Ideal Pilot Client.doc

*If you’re looking for the document on creating a secure extranet using WSS v3 on top of SBS, it’s in this download.  This is the same WSS / SBS content released at Worldwide Partner Conference 2007 that everyone has been asking for over the last several months.  Basically, this stuff is a gold mine!

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Download – Daily Dilbert Web Part for SharePoint

I love SharePoint.  I love Dilbert.  Put them both together and it’s like peanut butter and chocolate.  In fact, I love SharePoint and Dilbert almost as much as I hate monkeys (that’s a lot!)

THE FRUSTRATON
And as much as I’ve always adored SharePoint (even back in the STS 1.0 days), user adoption was always sluggish.  To this day I’m still floored by how many IT Pros / SBSers and even SBSCs don’t use their own http://companyweb site.  Unlike the ‘Field of Dreams‘, if you build it, they won’t necessarily come. 🙁

THE STING
Daily Dilbert web part shown on http://companyweb WSS v2 site So for several years I’ve been sneakily using the Daily Dilbert to lure reluctant end users into SharePoint sites.  Many users have absolutely no desire to hit http://companyweb or set it as their IE homepage. But add the Daily Dilbert to your intranet, add in a traffic cam web part, a weather radar, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly and consistently users hit the site.  And once users and small business owners are in the habit of using Companyweb, it opens their eyes and they start thinking about what else they can do with SharePoint.

Customer – “Hey, can we put links to our vendors on this site? What about HR documents? What about… “

You – “Sure, we can do that. Let me show you some of these ‘Fabulous 40’ templates Microsoft has released for SharePoint… “

They start recognizing that it can drive *tremendous* business value. And you can be there to provide those value-added services. Win-win. 🙂

Daily Dilbert web part shown on Windows SharePoint Services WSS v3 siteTHE DOWNLOAD
What you’ve been waiting for, the link to download the Daily Dilbert web part:

  • Daily_Dilbert.dwp (1.66 KB)
    (Right-click and Save As)

    Note: This one web part works with both Windows SharePoint Services WSS v2 and WSS v3 sites.

THE INSTRUCTIONS
The SharePoint pros have already snagged the web part and left the building along with Elvis. But if you’re new to SharePoint, you’ve probably already tried to open the web part and didn’t know what to do with it.  So here are the step-by-step instructions to install that Daily Dilbert web part on your own SharePoint site (Note – make sure your SharePoint permissions let you upload web parts):

  1. imageRight-click the Daily_Dilbert.dwp link above, and save it to your desktop
  2. Open http://companyweb
  3. In the top-right corner, click:
    – Modify Shared Page
    – Add Web Parts
    – Import
  4. imageClick the Browse button
  5. Locate the Daily_Dilbert.dwp web part you just downloaded, click OK
  6. Back on the Add Web Parts page, click Upload
  7. You should now see the uploaded web part directly under the ‘Upload’ button you just clicked, like this:

    image 

  8. Drag the uploaded web part to the left to the location you would like to see it on your web page, and then let go.
  9. Finally, click the “X” in the top right corner next to “Add Web Parts”. You’re all done!

THE PROPS
Major thanks and shout out to Brian Ritchie for developing his mega-cool Dilbert Web Service, and for letting me link to it. Check out Brian’s site at www.dotnetpowered.com

***Bonus Material ***

THE GUTS / HOW IT WORKS
Actually, the web part is the easy part. It’s like the peanut butter and chocolate mentioned earlier. This is just a combination of my ghetto image web part and Brian’s rockin Daily Dilbert Web Service that is doing the heavy lifting of calculating the daily URL.  So basically, this is just a) an image web part that b) points to a static URL, that c) contains a picture updated daily by Brian’s web service. 

Alternately (and VERY cool), you can use the code and instructions on Brian’s site to run your own Daily Dilbert web service (sa-weet!)

Here’s the code for the Daily Dilbert web part if you want to see what it looks like inside:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
<WebPart xmlns:xsd=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema” xmlns:xsi=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance” xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebPart/v2″>
  <Title>Daily Dilbert</Title>
  <FrameType>Default</FrameType>
  <Description>Thanks go to Brian Ritchie for kindly providing this web part! Be sure to visit his website at: http://www.dotnetpowered.com/dailydilbert.aspx by clicking on the help button.</Description>
  <IsIncluded>true</IsIncluded>
  <ZoneID>Left</ZoneID>
  <PartOrder>2</PartOrder>
  <FrameState>Normal</FrameState>
  <Height />
  <Width />
  <AllowRemove>true</AllowRemove>
  <AllowZoneChange>true</AllowZoneChange>
  <AllowMinimize>true</AllowMinimize>
  <IsVisible>true</IsVisible>
  <DetailLink>http://www.dilbert.com</DetailLink>
  <HelpLink>http://www.dotnetpowered.com/dailydilbert.aspx</HelpLink>
  <Dir>Default</Dir>
  <PartImageSmall />
  <MissingAssembly />
  <PartImageLarge>/_layouts/images/msimagel.gif</PartImageLarge>
  <IsIncludedFilter />
  <Assembly>Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=11.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c</Assembly>
  <TypeName>Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.ImageWebPart
</TypeName>
  <ImageLink xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebPart/v2/Image”> http://www.dotnetpowered.com/dailydilbertservice/dailydilbert.axd
</ImageLink>
  <VerticalAlignment xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebPart/v2/Image”>Middle </VerticalAlignment>
  <HorizontalAlignment xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebPart/v2/Image”>Center </HorizontalAlignment>
  <BackgroundColor xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebPart/v2/Image”>transparent </BackgroundColor>
</WebPart>

***Extra Old Skool Bonus Material***

Back in the day before Brian’s Daily Dilbert web service, I used a similar WSS v2 stock image web part and linked it to a Dot Net Nuke site that hosted the Daily Dilbert.  Straightforward, but effective. 

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, you can’t use a stock image web part in WSS to link directly to the Daily Dilbert website GIF, because the image name changes every day.  For example, today (11/21/2007) the image name is dilbert2002222371121.gif.

THE END
Again, much respect to Brian for the web service. Also, props to Scott Adams, the talented creator of Dilbert. If you liked the web part, be sure and leave a comment below. And if you like the Dilbert cartoon, be sure to click the words “Daily Dilbert” at the top of the web part each day – this will take you directly to the www.dilbert.com website where Scott can get the traffic he rightly deserves for creating such an awesome cartoon. Enjoy!

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Notes from November 2007 KYSBSUG Meeting

kysbsug Thanks to everyone who attended the November 2007 Kentucky Small Business Server User Group (KYSBSUG) meeting last night on "Best Practices".

SPECIAL THANKS:

  • Thanks to all who attended, especially those traveling from Lexington.
  • Also, MAJOR thanks to Matthew Snoddy from Network Therapists for presenting!  We’re really looking forward to the Lexington SBS group launch in January!
  • And thanks to those who stayed after to attend the WHS build

GRAND PRIZE WINNER:

  • Windows Home Server Lee Johnson from Sentry Computer Systems took home the copy of Windows Home Server

    Congratulations Lee on finally winning something 😉

URLS MENTIONED LAST NIGHT:

  • SBS 2003 Best Practices Analyzer v1.3 (1.1 MB)
  • Exchange 2003 Best Practices Analyzer v2.8 (6.8 MB)
  • ISA 2004 Best Practices Analyzer v5.5 (2.8 MB)
  • WSS v3 & MOSS 2007 Best Practices Analyzer (1.4 MB)
  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer v2.1 – Beta 2 (1.3 MB)
  • Visio 2007 Connector for MBSA 2.1 (1.1 MB)
  • lookinmypc LookInMyPC (1.2 MB) – LookInMyPC generates a complete, comprehensive system profile that includes information on all installed hardware and software. Additionally it provides system diagnostic information such as details on running processes, installed services, startup programs, Windows updates and hot fixes, active network and Internet connections, TCP/IP port usage, event log detail, and much more. All this is provided in an easy to read, formatted report that you can view and print using your web browser.
  • AccessEnum v1.32 (51 KB) – AccessEnum gives you a full view of your file system and Registry security settings in seconds, making it the ideal tool for helping you for security holes and lock down permissions where necessary.
  • JDiskReport JDiskReport v1.3 (0.6 MB) – JDiskReport enables you to understand how much space the files and directories consume on your disk drives, and it helps you find obsolete files and folders.

    The tool analyses your disk drives and collects several statistics which you can view as overview charts and details tables.

    This is ad-free uncrippled no-charge binary multi-platform software that never expires.  (Requires Java).

  • The Dude 2.2 The Dude v2.2 (1.8 MB)  – The Dude is a network monitor that will enable you to scan all the devices within a network subnet and then draw a map of the network devices and tell you where your workstations are connected and warn you of service problems.

    Better still, your network doesn’t need to be internal. If your company has a network between offices, The Dude will enable you to map the entire network.

  • PsEXec v1.9 (1 MB) – PsExec, from Microsoft / Sysinternals is a light-weight telnet-replacement that lets you execute processes on other systems, complete with full interactivity for console applications, without having to manually install client software. PsExec’s most powerful uses include launching interactive command-prompts on remote systems and remote-enabling tools like IpConfig that otherwise do not have the ability to show information about remote systems.

    Note: some anti-virus scanners report that one or more of the tools are infected with a "remote admin" virus. None of the PsTools contain viruses, but they have been used by viruses, which is why they trigger virus notifications.

  • SIW - System Information for Windows System Information for Windows (SIW) v1.71 (1.3 MB) – SIW is an advanced System Information for Windows tool that gathers detailed information about your system properties and settings and displays it in an extremely comprehensible manner.

    This standalone utility does not require installation (Portable Freeware) – one less installed program on your PC as well the fact that you can run the program directly from an USB flash drive, from a floppy, from a network drive or from a domain login script.

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