Windows Home Server RTM

Thanks to www.komplett.ie (and payment of course), I got my RTM copy of Windows Home Server yesterday and installed it last night.

I’m a happy bunny now that my RC copy won’t expire, and I can get access to all my music, photos, etc. anywhere in the world via my personal homeserver.com sub-domain.

This product is going to be HUGE, maybe not with the V1 we have now, but with the suggestions being posted to MS for future inclusion (media server with multiple TV cards feeding recorded TV to local PCs, etc), watch this space.

If only I could buy shares in Home Server…

Read all the features and FAQ

Good sites to visit on WHS are We Got Served and MSWHS

Just like a bus – none for ages and then three come at once…

Firstly, I got an e-mail from MS saying that Server 2008 RC0 was available…started downloading that, then Vista SP1 Beta…started downloading that too…but then…an e-mail from Amazon…”Halo 3 has been shipped by DHL Express”!

It’s going to get busy ’round here…

Creative Drivers (or lack thereof)

I have an X-Fi Elite Pro.  I know, I’m very lucky, but I got it because of the excellent sound quality.  I had hoped that the RTM drivers for Vista (and associated apps, EQ etc.) would have been available at the lastest yesterday or today, given the public launch of Vista.

No.  The following is an extract from a moderator posting on the Creative support forums:

Due to additional requirements in the Windows Vista driver certification process, the release of the final signed drivers for the Sound Blaster range will move out beyond our initial projected date until early March. The current Beta drivers are still valid for use under Vista and are required to take advantage of the benefits of Creative ALchemy with the Sound Blaster X-Fi range to restore multichannel audio and EAX to your games. We appreciate your understanding for this change to the schedule as we work to bring you the best experience for your Sound Blaster series cards while adhering to the requirements of this new operating system.

I have my cake, but I’d like to eat it please…

WebGuide from ASCII Express

I always hated the fact that, living outside of the USA (Ireland), I couldn’t use the MSN Remote Record service to remotely set my Media Centre PC at home to record certain programs.  ASCII Express have a product I stumbled upon called WebGuide4, which not only achieves what MSN Remote Record does, but will give me access to my pictures, music, videos, download recorded tv (dvr-ms files) and will let me stream recorded TV remotely to any device, PC, Windows Mobile device, etc.

I installed the demo, and after about 17 seconds of investigating it, got out my credit card and signed up.  One of the best $15 I ever spent!

Kudos to Microsoft

I love it when a plan comes together.

After a very long beta program, Vista (as I’m sure you’re aware) has gone RTM and retail offerings are imminent.  As a special “thank you” to official beta testers, Microsoft has offered a free (that’s £0.00, $0.00, or €0.00) copy of Vista Business or Ultimate to all testers who submitted at least one bug through the Microsoft bug tracker application.  I thought we’d get a mug, cap, mouse-mat, mug-warmer or the like if we were lucky, but it’s unheard of to get a full licenced OS product.  If we’d received Vista Home Basic, I would have been impressed enough.  Here’s the speil:

 

“We would like to take a moment to thank you for your contribution to Microsoft Windows Vista. Quite simply, it would not be the product it is today without your time, dedication and thoughtful feedback. You should be proud to have helped us develop the highest quality, most secure and most reliable Windows to date. To say “thank you” we would like to provide you with a complimentary copy of Windows Vista for your use.
Please visit >> removed << to accept your copy.
If for some reason you are unable to accept this gift you may decline by clicking “Decline Invitation” on the “My Participation” page on Connect.
We would like to offer you a copy of the software and a product key for Windows Vista Business Edition or, if you are eligible Ultimate Edition. You are eligible to choose Ultimate Edition if the machine on which you intend to install Windows Vista already has a DVD drive and is currently licensed for DVD playback, i.e., you have already licensed one or more pieces of software for playing back DVDs

  • This is a full retail copy intended for your personal use and not for resale.
  • It is being offered as a download only. No media will be mailed.
  • Only currently active, invited members of the Windows Vista technical beta program who filed at least one bug are receiving this offer.
  • Please visit >> removed << to accept this offer and indicate your preference for Business or Ultimate editions.
  • After accepting the offer terms you will be immediately be given access to download the software.
  • You may install and use the edition you chose for 30 days without a product key. Simply click ‘next’ at the product key prompt during setup, continue on and choose the appropriate edition from the list. You will be able to enter your product key at the activation prompt at a later time.
  • We will email you when your product key is available for retrieval on Connect. In general this should happen within one week of your acceptance of the terms.

Again, we thank you for all your contributions during the beta!!
Thank you,
The Windows Beta Team”

 

Way to go Microsoft!!!

Buffalo TeraStation 2TB

I finally got my TeraStation last week, and it’s been sitting under a coffee table in the den since.  It’s not totally quiet, but my wife and kids haven’t complained yet, so I suppose that’s good.  I set it up with RAID 1 to give two 500GB shares on the network.  All my Recorded TV from my MCE2005 and Vista Ultimate (X64 build 5744) boxes are sync’d to one share on the NAS box using the free Microsoft SyncToy nightly.  All my pictures, videos and music are on the other share.

The best thing is that I now have about 300 hours of TV recorded without having to delete stuff I haven’t yet watched.  The worst thing is that I now have 300 hours of TV I haven’t watched…

There’s no noticeable network lag when watching recorded TV from the unit (all the DVR-MS files are recorded in High-quality – about 3GB/hour).

The web interface to the box is clean and straight-forward, although the help text popups could do with being re-translated into english, as it appears as if that was an afterthought.

If you’re short of disk space, I’d definitely recommend this unit.  Along with the 2.0TB unit (4x500GB), it’s also available in 0.6TB (4x160GB), 1.0TB (4x250GB), and 1.6TB (4x400GB) configurations.

www.buffalo-technology.com

It’s Hammer Time…

Well, Longhorn…sorry, Vista Time.  Jim Allchin finally posted the announcement ending five years of development to the Vista Blog.  Build 6000.16386 has gone gold (RTM, Released to Manufacturing).  Microsoft expects to have 18 languages at the January launch, and 32 within 100 days of English RTM.

No sign of RTM on MSDN yet, but Saturday is looking promising.  According to the MSDN Downloads page, “Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be available through MSDN Subscriber downloads within 7 days of release to manufacture”.  Still no word if/when it will appear on Connect.

Well done to Microsoft on reaching this goal.