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Mindbridge Saves "Bunches of Money" In Switch To Linux 177

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the yet-another-success-story dept.
While Mindbridge didn't start out as an open source company, it has since managed to save what they can only describe as "bunches of money" by switching to Linux. "Today, Mindbridge has repurposed itself as an open-source-friendly company, and revamped its infrastructure to run completely on Linux and other open source software. 'Having deployed [Linux servers] to our customers, we turned around and said, we can do the same thing internally and save bunches of money. We began a systematic but slow flipping of servers from the Microsoft world over to predominantly Linux — although there are a few BSD boxes around as well,' Christian says. 'It's to the point that today I only have two production Windows servers left, out of 15 or so.'"
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Mindbridge Saves "Bunches of Money" In Switch To Linux

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  • Headline (Score:3, Funny)

    by thebear05 (916315) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:28PM (#20517461)
    Mindbridge Switches to Linux Saves Bunches of Money is it me or is this headline a wet dream for most slashdot posters ?
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm done.

      Was it good for you?
    • Not news (Score:5, Interesting)

      by OrangeTide (124937) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @01:06AM (#20517999) Homepage Journal
      Having lived in silicon valley for several years now, it is not news when a company tosses out Windows boxes and replaces them with Linux boxes as an alternative to buying more Windows licenses (for upgrades or for expanding their collection of systems).

      Business as usual is when companies adopt Linux for practical business reasons. It happens all the time in the valley, probably because there are many IT guys here with the experience to manage large networks of Linux, BSD, etc machines.
      • probably because there are many IT guys here with the experience to manage large networks of Linux, BSD, etc machines.

        And growing.

        It isn't the IT technical types holding up Linux deployment. It is the CIO that likes lobster with MS sales and the people who know nothing of OSes including MS. Maybe a little to do with "bundling". Thought that was illegal, but OK for M$. The last thing I/T wants to do change and learn. Like when the PCs came in, I/T was the last to adopt. When Linux comes in, I/T will

        • It's easier for guys with MBAs to trust others who also have MBAs rather than dirty hippies from engineering schools.

          But when it all boils down to it, a good CIO will switch to any technology if he can be convinced that it saves him money, time and improves reliability (and therefor the perception that he is doing a good job).

          As long as he doesn't have to give up the machine on his desktop that took him 5 years to figure out how to open up a spreadsheet. (you can train any animal to do almost any trivial ta
    • It would seem that Mindbridge is being run by the fanboys and not the accountants or shareholders.

      Let's not bother to actually QUANTIFY "bunches of money" or do any kind of cost/benefits analysis and just make a headline out of it to get some free publicity.

      Obviously nobody has done any kind of credible study on the TOTAL cost of ownership. YA, just train a few admins and we're good to go. No extra costs there. Sure, customers want Microsoft, and we'll give it to them if they want to pay extra. We don
  • Linux... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nozsd (1080965) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:29PM (#20517473)
    Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on your operational cost.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by jt2377 (933506)
      "Puckette says it takes some extra time to get an open source infrastructure configured the right way. "The challenge as opposed to buying solutions from one vendor is that when you buy from Microsoft, you can assume it works with other Microsoft products. With open source you have to take more time to make sure all the products interact and all the pieces fit together. But the cost benefits clearly outweigh going with all Microsoft."

      I don't see how OSS can take over Microsoft or Microsoft take over OSS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by doxology (636469)
      So easy, even a caveman (read: RMS) can do it!
    • by corsec67 (627446)
      Yep, definitely not using Gentoo...
    • Scale (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Erris (531066) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @12:02AM (#20517673) Homepage Journal

      Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on your operational cost.

      Dropping the number of computers needed to do a job by an order of magnitude will save you more than 15%. The time spent nursing sick servers is better spent making new product for more revenue.

      When you are big enough, 15% is a big deal. Walmart, for example, has more revenue than any company besides Exxon [cnn.com], but is only able to keep 3% of it. If they were able to drop their costs by 15%, they would have proffits five times M$'s.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Maxo-Texas (864189)
      Like a good server... Linux is there.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kaizokuace (1082079)
      It's so easy even a cavewoman can do it!
    • Shouldn't that be 15 Linux could save you fifteen percent or more on your operational cost.

  • by fembots (753724)
    If they threatened to swich to Linux, then they'll get to use the same MS products at Linux price.
    • by Erris (531066) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:52PM (#20517619) Homepage Journal

      To make up the difference, M$ would have to give them the software, pay the electric bill and donate engineering time for custom applications. If you read the article, you will see that the company dropped from at least 60 servers to 15. I say at least, because the only count they give of how much hardware they were using is the 50 or 60 that "were giving them trouble." It's clear that time spent nursing that mess was better spent moving to software that works better and allows easier customization. Their continued good results with other software proves their competence as well as the poor quality of what they were using before. Quality that poor is a bad deal unless it's heavily subsidized, so your imagined extortion can only work for a few prominent customers. When that does work, the rest of the customers will pay that much more to keep M$'s profit to revenue ratio at 35%.

      • 100,000 desktop PCs, 1000 file servers, 500 email servers etc etc.

        Really. Think about the mathematics of that situation. Think about the relationships between the machines, work out the complexity. As far as I can see there are a lot of CEOs and CIOs out there who simply can't multiply two numbers together. And if they can't do that...

         
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:36PM (#20517511)
    Was this thing written by a 4 year old? I was expecting to see OMG PONIEZZZ!! at the end.
  • In other news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wangotango (711037) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:36PM (#20517513)
    Software costs nothing.... Compared to the cost of supporting it.
    • by thebear05 (916315)
      this is from an it standpoint, be a small business owner who needs a legit copy of auto cad , ms office, and photoshop software costs are the bulk of startup costs yes i know this is why they get there copy's illegally and yes if they choose open source they will have a hard time delivering to clients ( YES THEY WILL )
      • I was going to write a witty reply to this post. But I couldn't figure out what the hell "thebear05" was saying. So I'll settle for this: Learn to use grammar and spelling properly, child. An inability to use correct grammar and to spell right is a mark of an underdeveloped mind. So you're either 12, or a person of towering stupidity. (That's XOR for the boolean logic folks)
        • So you're either 12, or a person of towering stupidity. (That's XOR for the boolean logic folks)

          Actually, as I've met some really ignorant 12-year-olds, I'd have to lean more toward the good ol'-fashioned OR, IMHO.

    • by AJWM (19027)
      Software costs nothing.... Compared to the cost of supporting it.

      Yep, and the ratio of software cost to support cost for both Windows and Linux is roughly the same...
      • by piojo (995934)

        Yep, and the ratio of software cost to support cost for both Windows and Linux is roughly the same...
        Not so. limit(200/x) as x->infinity = infinity, while limit(x/x) as x->0 is 1.
    • Re:In other news (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kripkenstein (913150) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @02:44AM (#20518489) Homepage

      Software costs nothing.... Compared to the cost of supporting it.
      Don't forget the hardware cost involved. If you pick an OS that requires twice the amount of servers, then your hardware costs - and other related maintenance costs, like technicians, electricity, etc. - go up very significantly.

      In addition more hardware can mean more potential security breaches, and so forth.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:37PM (#20517521)

    two production Windows servers left, out of 15 or so

    Is this "Mindbridge" a real company? I know geeks with 15 servers in their basement...
    • by poopie (35416)
      A company with 15 servers?!

      15 servers where I work is barely a ROUNDING ERROR
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by u235meltdown (940099)
        FTFA

        CEO Rick Puckette is enthusiastic about the change. "When we were using Microsoft, we had a lot more than 15 servers," he says. "We had upwards of 50 or 60 that were becoming difficult to manage. So as part of this open source initiative, we also chose a virtual machine called Xen, which allows us to put multiple machines on one physical server, to consolidate." Puckette says that Mindbridge evaluated other virtual machine software, including VMware, but Xen was "very cost-efficient and pretty bulletpro

    • I know geeks with 15 servers in their basement...

      Goto any technical school school and you might find one in most dorm rooms!
      I have one heating my room this winter in addition to my laptop.
    • by wvmarle (1070040) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @12:25AM (#20517797)

      two production Windows servers left, out of 15 or so

      Is this "Mindbridge" a real company? I know geeks with 15 servers in their basement...

      I don't know what business they are in (Safari crashes on TFA), but then: I have a very real company, two of them even, and I have only one server. It's doing what I need. But then I'm not in the business of selling web access, or server space, or so. Most companies have only one or two servers, because most companies are not in the business of selling server space. Besides, modern servers can handle a huge lot of work, one server now can easily handle what 10 servers did a decade or so ago.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by archen (447353)
      Depends on what they do. In a windows environment that's nothing because each windows server application seems to demand it's own server - note that the article states the 15 or so mixed is down from 60 pure windows. Assuming no other software aside from windows server (not advanced server or anything) that's around $48k saved right there - before extra software. The big buzzword of the day is consolidation. Instead of having a billion servers and trying to manage security and updates on them all, keep
    • From their webpage:

      Mindbridge Software ... business innovator ... managed solutions ... integrate ... continuously improve work-related tasks across your organization ... intranet offerings significantly improve the ability of people at all levels ... effectively collaborate ... securely manage their corporate data ... bottom-line cost efficiency.

      Only a REAL company could string so many meaningless buzzwords together!
  • by nickthecook (960608) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @12:02AM (#20517677)
    Are those metric bunches?
  • by JoelKatz (46478) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @12:09AM (#20517713)
    This story has no credibility with me. The article is ridiculously light on details and seems to be an attempt at self-serving cross-promotion. There is no discussion of how they saved money or what those servers are actually doing. They talk about how much is costs them to "support" a Microsoft box, but they're such a small company, it's hard to imagine what their "support" even consists of.

    They're a Linux company. They're telling us how great Linux is. They're not giving any details.

    Personally, I have quite a bit of experience operating, maintaining, and supporting both Linux and Microsoft servers. I have found that both work well for the vast majority of applications. I've found other people's Linux servers to be easier to support than other people's Microsoft servers, but this might just be because the average Linux server contact is more knowledgeable than the average Microsoft server contact.

    One huge difference is that it is *much* easier to figure out what a Linux server is doing and to start analyzing why it's not doing what it's supposed to do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by belmolis (702863)

      They're a Linux company. They're telling us how great Linux is. They're not giving any details.

      No, they aren't a Linux company. They don't sell Linux and their own products are not Linux-specific. The article says that they started out as a Microsoft shop but switched most of their servers to Linux after observing their customers' good experience with Linux.

      • by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @01:07AM (#20518005) Homepage
        It's a Linux.com article- a Linux company, telling you how great Linux is and not giving any details. It's what I'd be referring to if I was in his place.
        • by belmolis (702863)

          The quotes are so extensive that unless the article is making them up it is clear that the article reflects the point of view of Mindbridge, not merely Linux.com's spin. In any case, if the OP had meant to refer to the article, he ought to have written "Linux.com" or "the publication". The obvious referent of "the company" is Mindbridge, the company discussed in the article.

    • by zlogic (892404)
      Not much different from Microsoft's case studies in their "get the facts" or "compare" campaigns.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by JoelKatz (46478)
        *Absolutely* true. While that obviously justifies pointing out when Microsoft's case studies are erroneous, self-serving, or both, it doesn't justify other people using the same tactics.

        Not that I'm saying this article is as bad as most of those articles. It's not. No specifics is a lot better than completely false and misleading specifics pulled out of your corporate ass or intentionally deceptive test methodologies you pick but then get a "neutral third-party" to perform so they will "fairly and without b
    • "The article is ridiculously light on details and seems to be an attempt at self-serving cross-promotion. There is no discussion of how they saved money or what those servers are actually doing"

      'part of this open source initiative, we also chose a virtual machine called Xen, which allows us to put multiple machines on one physical server [linux.com], to consolidate .. We also use Hyperic to monitor the health and happiness of the servers'

      "Personally, I have quite a bit of experience operating, maintaining, and su
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @12:27AM (#20517803)
    I will quote...

    "Today, Mindbridge has repurposed itself as an open-source-friendly company, and revamped its infrastructure to run completely on Linux and other open source software.
    . . . Then later in the introductory piece...

    We began a systematic but slow flipping of servers from the Microsoft world over to predominantly Linux -- although there are a few BSD boxes around as well,' Christian says. 'It's to the point that today I only have two production Windows servers left, out of 15 or so.'"

    Emphasis mine by the way; the two words in bold appear to be contradictory...or are they?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by belmolis (702863)

      Strictly speaking, yes, it's a contradiction. He should have said "almost completely". Big deal. It hardly invalidates the story.

      • by bogaboga (793279)
        Did the GP talk about `invalidation' at all? Or you did not fully understand what he meant....sheesh!
        • by belmolis (702863)

          I am unable to make any sense of your comment. You asked whether the words are contradictory. I agreed that they are. I then went on to point out that it makes no real difference to the point of the article. No, you didn't use the word "invalidate", but your title does say that the article is "misleading", which amounts to the same thing in this context. Use whatever words you like, but the fact remains that his description of his experience does not depend on whether the conversion was complete or almost

    • by Bottlemaster (449635) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @01:19AM (#20518075)

      Emphasis mine by the way; the two words in bold appear to be contradictory...or are they?
      Not necessarily. The article said their infrastructure was revamped to run completely on open source software, and later that there are two production Windows servers in the shop. Considering part of their business is hosting, and (as they stated), some of their customers wish them to host Windows software, it's possible that these two Windows servers are part of the service they provide and not part of their infrastructure.

      That being said, it's probably a domain controller and an Exchange server.
      • That being said, it's probably a domain controller and an Exchange server.

        I would guess you are 100% corrrect about that. But aren't DCs and email servers a very central part of the infrastructure? If those 2 things are still Windows boxes then I'd say there are 2 large and very critical aspects of their infrastructure that rely on Windows servers.
        • I would guess you are 100% corrrect about that. But aren't DCs and email servers a very central part of the infrastructure? If those 2 things are still Windows boxes then I'd say there are 2 large and very critical aspects of their infrastructure that rely on Windows servers.
          That was my point, though I wasn't very clear. After demonstrating that the facts in the article are not necessarily contradictory, I concluded that they probably are.
  • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Saturday September 08, 2007 @12:48AM (#20517901) Journal

    when you buy from Microsoft, you can assume it works with other Microsoft products.

    Assume?! MS is known for all sorts of lock in. Of course their products work with each other! But only the most recent versions, that too is key to MS's overall strategy. It's when you don't want to upgrade or they don't have some need covered that you're out of luck. 3rd party stuff that works with MS is always chancy. Never know when MS might make an internal change and break half the 3rd party stuff as well as old MS stuff.

    .. had only ever administered Microsoft boxes in the past, and had to get used to the idea of command lines.

    Can such a person exist? A system administrator who has to get used to the idea of command lines?!

    ...looked specifically for new hires who were eager to learn. "The people I like are pretty inquisitive type people. I tried to filter out the others in the interview process."

    Sounds like the way we wish hiring decisions were made. Sounds too good to be true.

  • Real Company? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @01:06AM (#20518001) Journal
    Well, it's not like you can't run an "Enterprise Business" on 15 servers. I am CTO of a software company servicing school districts in California. We have 70 school districts, hundreds of users and tens of thousands of students in our databases, we make it work with a surprisingly small cluster of 4 4-way Opteron servers, running at just under 5% of capacity. (mid-day load average)

    Our annual sales exceed $1 million dollars this year, we've been growing 40% - 70% annually. No, we're not a megacorp, but still quite legit. (and our servers are all 100% Linux)
  • ...have never heard of Mindbridge.
  • Not even a fake "some_slashdot_user writes..." Just a summary+link of a lame article from an OSDN affiliate posted by ScuttleBot.
    • by rs232 (849320)
      "Not even a fake "some_slashdot_user writes.."

      yea, they have to be lying ...
  • by --daz-- (139799) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @01:51AM (#20518221)
    Company fires IT director, hires new IT director who fires all the worthless IT staff who were responsible for 50-60 (insert OS here) servers that were poorly managed -- hires new IT people (fewer of them) that are competent and set up 15 servers running (insert OS here).

    I've see that story dozens of times with the (insert OS here) being Linux or Windows.
  • Keep you warm and close to the microsoft boosum.
  • by brundlefly (189430) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @02:12AM (#20518351)
    To anyone who knows Linux (or BSD, or any Unix) it's a no-brainer to run the fast, open, free, fully-configurable stuff.

    It's only a legitimately difficult decision to make when a company doesn't have Unix expertise. (Which is often.) Pay the cost to replace your IT staff, or pay the cost to rent software from Microsoft?

    I wish people would do cost/benefit analyses on this latter point. After all, everyone knows Unix is cheaper. But is it cheaper than replacing your Win32 GUI point-n-click admins with their Unix replacements? I honestly have no clue... and I suspect it really depends upon the company, the culture, the size, the market, etc.

    These "I switched to Linux and I saved money articles" are old and meaningless.

    "I switched my career from real-estate to oncology and now I make more money!" Great, but what's the real-world cost of doing so, if it's not already a simple option?

    (I'm a multi-platform guy with a hybrid environment at home, so save your breath if you're going to point the Finger of Anti-Linux SentimEnt at me.)
    • Complex decission (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @09:22AM (#20520143) Homepage

      But is it cheaper than replacing your Win32 GUI point-n-click admins with their Unix replacements?

      In terms of personnel it's not always fair to compare admins dollar for dollar. If I've got an admin who can run a Linux environment that performs reliably with a minimum of downtime, that person is worth more to me. They are saving me thousands in licensing costs and thousands more in potential headaches. They're saving me from vendor lock-in, which might be worth a lot somewhere down the road. With Linux I can scale at will instead of the headache of trying navigate Microsoft's byzantine license fees and restrictions. How much is that worth?

      It's worth a lot of money to me to keep Microsoft out the mix, not all companies see it that way. Like with any commodity, value is a perception based on a point of view.

      Then there are the intangibles. A vendor calls with some zippy-dippy piece of software that's going to make my life so much easier. It's so funny to ask, "Does it run on Linux? Because that's all we use here." Used to be that was inevitably followed by a long pause, not as much lately. More companies are answering that they do support Linux. Which has kind of taken some of the fun out of sales calls. "You don't have any Windows servers?"

      Hehe. Priceless.

    • by Ruie (30480)

      I wish people would do cost/benefit analyses on this latter point. After all, everyone knows Unix is cheaper. But is it cheaper than replacing your Win32 GUI point-n-click admins with their Unix replacements? I honestly have no clue... and I suspect it really depends upon the company, the culture, the size, the market, etc.

      Problem is "point and click" admins are usually completely incapable to troubleshoot anything. Do you want them to keep reinstalling drivers when the problem is flaky ethernet cable ?

    • by sjames (1099)

      I wish people would do cost/benefit analyses on this latter point. After all, everyone knows Unix is cheaper. But is it cheaper than replacing your Win32 GUI point-n-click admins with their Unix replacements? I honestly have no clue... and I suspect it really depends upon the company, the culture, the size, the market, etc.

      While a competant Unix admin will tend to be more expensive than a Windows admin, you'll need less of them to get the job done. While Unix requires more knowledge to reach entry level

  • Whenever a positive article about Open Source appears on slashdot, totally ignore the contents, trash the source and question their honesty .. :)
  • For Christian, the biggest deal was sysadmins who had to learn Linux.

    No, the biggest challenge would have been sysadmins capable of doing basic math.
    Now lets see... from 60+ servers to 15 (*), reduction of at least 75%.
    ((*)15 PHYSICAL servers, plus a few VIRTUAL ones thanks to Xen. Still a significant reduction)
    Even if you keep the same admin/server ratio that's a change of admin staff of..... let me do the math.....

    To aid the process, Christian looked specifically for new hires who were eager
  • I'm sure there are cases that running all Linux is cheaper, server-side especially, but I would say that this story in particular is about as credible as any of these - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evalua t ion/casestudies/r2casestudies.mspx [microsoft.com], and at least the Microsoft "studies" provide figures, and specifics of why they got a saving.

    In the complex world of IT, neither closed source nor open-source is the perfect solution for everything.
    • Re:Remember Folks (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DaMattster (977781) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @08:55AM (#20519975)
      Yes, the issue is not so simple. It really depends upon the company, its situation in the market, and the like. But, generally speaking there is significant cost savings in using some things as open source. In the case of a small contract call center in my area, open source was the saving grace for the company. Their IT overhead was so great that the company felt it could not longer be competitive and was considering closing doors. Indeed, the IT department shrank to three people. But these three intrepid people replaced the proprietary Nortel Telephone system that was bleeding them dry on maintenance, support, and just plain babysitting with two Asterisk servers and SNOM telephones. The second largest expense was on the maintenance of their exchange server. So, exchange was phased out in favor of Zimbra. Zimbra was brought online in a week's time and has seen 99.999% uptime with only looking at the logs once a week versus babysitting an exchange server every day. This is not some case study, this is my friend that achieved remarkable results. Asterisk and Zimbra have put this call center back in the black. My friend does see some merits to proprietary, i.e. Active Directory. Simply put, he needs it to adaquetaly manage his workstations. He thinks once Samba4 [samba.org] hits a release, there is potential for phasing out the windows domain controllers. Soon, Windows will be relegated to a SQL server. My friend says that programmers are working furiously to convert to an *AMP solution.
  • Other cost savings (Score:4, Interesting)

    by o517375 (314601) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @09:12AM (#20520075)
    Having converted most of our servers to Linux from Novell/Microsoft, I can say with confidence that there are savings beyond just hardware, power, Microsoft software and server support hours. The real expense lies in the mindset between the two system architectures. In an open source environment, the goal is to do everything with free software. In a Microsoft environment, the propensity is to buy everything including all the maintenance agreements. _There's_ the killer cost: upgrade and maintenance agreements hold companies hostage to complicated licensing schemes. It's really highway robbery which can sink an IT dept. We have about 140 Microsoft desktops and 25 servers (17 Linux) across 4 offices. By far and away the cost of desktop swamps server by a _huge_ margin. It's pretty sad when a loaded laptop costs more than the server that supports it.
  • It's not news to anybody that's competent that Linux can save you money. In my industry (web hosting) I'd say 90% of servers are Linux systems. We do have some Windows servers but that's only because customers ask for them and MS literally bribes us to sell them (free licensing, training, cash, etc.)

    In the long run Linux servers are much, much cheaper. We have servers that have been running for over 440 days without an issue and these are Redhat 7.3 servers. No viruses, no worms, no break-ins, nothing.
  • Enough TCO slashvertisements for companies we've never heard of, please. Ooh, "corporate data monitoring" from a company whose webserver has a three second round trip. I bet we're all kicking to find out what their monthly OS costs were.
  • by not_hylas( ) (703994) on Saturday September 08, 2007 @05:44PM (#20523469) Homepage Journal
    Here's the setup, Installing a Win 2k Server on our intranet for our Windows clients and Freelancers [inwards looking only]. I briefly jumped on the WWW for updates [yes, I know it's not actively supported] having already updated to SP4 manually along with the latest rollup - yada, yada.

    OK, now I've been schooled by some of the best on this particular server - in Seattle, mind you, so I got a pretty good handle on this, but hey, I'm no Mark Russinovich.

    So, on this "other OS" I was able to quite easily find all things "Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server", home page, oodles of info.
    Jump on the 2000 Server and off to the download section of MS, [Windows Update and Microsoft Update don't work without IE 6] 20 mins of clicky-clicky and I'm getting nowhere. Weirdly, the word "server" is absent where I'd done the same search earlier on that "other OS".

    Three-card Monte:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-card_Monte [wikipedia.org]

    Next, IE 6.1 SP1.
    The stub doesn't work, [as usual] so I try the Run trick for the full update, ("C\Download\iesetup.exe /"c: ie6wzrd.exe - something like that).
    Broke.
    [not to mention the frequent STOP errors, disk controller errors, etc. on known good hardware]

    4 hours on just this. FOR A FUCKING BROWSER UPDATE.

    OH LOOK:
    Great, some help!

    AutoPatcher 2000 August 2007 Core Release & Update:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancement s/AutoPatcher.shtml [softpedia.com]

    AutoPatcher description
    AutoPatcher 2000 requires Windows 2000 SP4 to be installed (works with Windows 2000 Pro, Server, & Adv. Server)

    "August 29, 2007: The development of the Autopatcher project was officially ceased today, when the Microsoft Legal department contacted the Autopatcher team demanding them to put an immediate stop to any further releases. For more details, please read this article."

    Classsssy.
    Along the way, I got great offers for Windows 2003 Server, lots of links - rich content ... Web 2.0 goodness!!!!

    Here's the punch line Guys and Gals:

    Like Sony - I'm banning Microsoft, Windows and all things Redmond from our office. I've wasted my time before [and we formally quite supporting Windows here], but this is the last time I do this - it's ALL going, lock, stock and barrel, down to the books and the media it resides on, OUT.

    I don't have these problems on the "other" servers - period {.}.

    I'm ripping this install out and installing Linux or Solaris, fuck it, at least if I have trouble I haven't got people trying to hide the software I need to get the GOD DAMNED thing running.

    Thank you for your attention.
    I feel MUCH better. :-)

    hylas

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