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The Joy of Windows 2000 Server - 23/06/2011

I do like Windows 2000.  I know it's old hat now, barely supported and completely out of date, but it still works.  It works in those situations where you don't need to achieve anything remarkable or cutting edge, you just want it to do a job quietly and simply.  

I have a customer who works for himself, like me he's a one-man-band.  Unlike myself though he's a consultant, a tree consultant of all things.  He spends his days going to various places assessing trees to see if they are safe, if they're impeding someone's property, if they are infected or if they are likely to make your house fall down.  As such he takes a lot of pictures, creates a lot of documents, stores a lot of maps and keeps a lot of data.  All this needs storing.  

In this day and age storage is cheap.  In simple terms at the time of writing you can expect to pay around one pound per month for one gigabyte of storage.  It would make sense to use this, but there is a downside.  Speed.  Internet speeds are increasing too but if you have 200 images and 30 large map files to move then this can take quite some time to upload.  Then of course there's the time to download them again when you wish to work on them further.  

It made sense for my customer to have a server.  Of course being a poor small business there was little hope of shelling out for an all singing all dancing Poweredge server complete with redundant power supplies and RAID arrays.  Nope.  I had an old PC and a copy of Windows 2000 server so that's what he got.  He got that 5 years ago, and apart from one fried hard drive, replaced and recovered from the backups I create, the now ancient machine works just fine.

And it is very stable.  As you can see from the image below this server has been running for at least 161 days.  The last time it was rebooted was dues to a windows update not a crash or hardware failure.  The point is that if you don't need anything special, if all you are doing is storing and sharing files, then you don't need to go mad with expensive hardware and costly software.  This machine is now over 9 years old and it has been a server for at least 4 years.  Today there are plenty of "boxes" that can do this job for you.  Just look up the word "NAS".  

Windows task manager showing a long uptime
That's not bad at all...

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