This in response to a podcast touting mswindows home server and mswindows 7
In ten years of doing an mswindows admin and client support for thousands of machines less than ten times was defragging ever needed, Unless you are adding and deleting files incessantly, there is no need for it. Defragging only puts unneeded wear and tear on the drive. In fact we could always tell an amateur tech support person, because they would recommend defragging as the all cure.
Secondly it is very easy to use winrsync (as well as other programs) with freenas (as well as Llnux/unux backup boxes) to backup mswindows clients either totally or piecemeal. Normally I leave my backup server turned off unless I know I am going to do some data backup. So the power issue is not that critical. With linux and mswindows you can start and shut down a server either manually or with batch files very easily. You can have the server (with hardware that supports it) turn on at night when backups can be done at a low peak usage period. Large files are burned to dvd to conserve server space. I have no problem using 200 to 500 megabyte storage for a server since media and other large data files and etc are offloaded to dvd. If I want to look at a dvd it is just easy as picking up a dvd and throwing into a machine.
Lastly, I did spend quite a bit of time with Windows home server with the disk media I was sent directly from Microsoft. The un-upgraded version ran pretty well, for a mswindows os, but once I upgraded nothing worked, anymore including our tv card. It was a piece of crap. There has been documented multiple issues with it security wise for windows home server. Our linux server box could do twice as much with half the horsepower that mswindows home server requires and not be limited to ten users. You could do the same thing with os/x 4.8 on a ppc box and still be better than whs.
I saw a full demo of Google wave. It seemed interesting. I have not seen the software (basecamnp) that Veronica recommended, so I can not compare. In the demo of Google wave I saw, it was mentioned that they might have a local version for free that you could install on a local area network but they were still working out security issues. I wonder if that is also true on the Google hosted version since there is so much delay in bringing out the product.
As for Windows 7, it does not seem to like via chipsets with integrated video and etc, That may have changed by now. I have installed W7rc on several name brand dual core machines that were vista ready without a hitch except for the the long time it took to install the os and all the basic software. Personally have used osx, linux, bsd, and microsoft windows XP, I saw no real advantage of using mswindows 7 over the others except for emptying the bank account for having to upgrade to get new hardware to run w7. Even Microsoft now admits you really need a 64 bit machine with honking memory to run it right. MS allegedly just came out with a bunch of security and other updates for w7. If you have W7, be sure and get them. I do agree with Daymoo about updating hardware drivers directly from the vendor. Microsoft update is just a quick fix. Getting the drivers from the vendor is true for all operating systems. Unless you get a qualified tech to do it for you. there is no easy way around it. When Microsoft is already touting mswindows 8, it makes me wonder how much faith they really have in their own product.
Linux public service annoucement:
Your computer has problems? Want to hear the industry solution? That’s right! Your software is not working. So what do they suggest? Use more software to solve the problem. Listen to what you are being told. They want you to purchase software so the software you already purchased will work. What? The problem is we come come to think this as being perfectly acceptible. So stop accepting. There has been a solution all along, but you have rarely hear of it. That’s right! You have spent hundreds maybe thousands of dollars over the years that you did not have to. It is time for the secret to be told. Thousands of businesses, universities, and even Wall Street has been using Linux, for years. What do they know that you do not. Linux is Free. It does not need any virus protection and ninety-nine point nine percent of all the software you will ever need comes free as well. It is just as easy as clicking a mouse. That’s it. No more crashes. No more viruses. No more blue screens of death. And get this. With linux, you do not have to reboot after installing new software. Linux runs on old hardware. No need to buy a new computer everytime the industry decides to boost profits and release another buggy system. So, why are you still paying for the priveledge of using your computer? There is a better way, Linux!