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Forums for Windows Admins?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the searching-for-your-peers dept.

Links 114

Work-w/-MCSEs asks: "I work with Microsoft products for a living, as well as for fun. I've been lurking in Slashdot discussions for a while now. I find a lot of the stories interesting, but it is obviously geared more toward Unix people. Stories about MS products are often full of flames. I can see the reasons why Microsoft users aren't accepted as 'true geeks'. I acknowledge that Unix people are more technical (by necessity since they often compile their own software), and I'm not asking or expecting the attitudes here to change. However, I do wish I could find a similar forum for us to talk about our chosen operating system, applications, viruses, and other issues. Usenet is just too full of spam to be useful. Where is a Windows user to go for good discussion?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Just use usenet. (1)

eurleif (613257) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097392)

I know you don't want to hear this, but the good posts makes the occasional spam well worth it. Oh yeah, and FP.

You forgot to mention... (4, Insightful)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098368)

...that we're "more technical" because we have better toys. Having any modern Linux distribution is like having a honking great Lego (tm) [lego.com] collection (top toy, and it runs under MS-Windows as well [leocad.org] ). Having MS-Windows is like having Barbie dolls - sure they look pretty, and have all of these neat (and expensive) accessories, but after you've posed them in variations of six different ways, that's about it for imagination. For kids, it's time to rip the legs off and see what makes them go.

The shiny stuff in modern Linux distros (KDE, GNOME etc) is like modern Lego in that it is kind of pre-built. This takes some of the fun out of it but also saves doing some repetitive tasks (e.g. "assemble Bob the Builder model") and more accurately represents small objects.

PS, I very seldom "compile my own software" (although I've been doing a lot of it this last week for customers). When I do, I sing halleliujahs for the ability to do it, sadly absent in much MS-Windows software. But for 99% of what I do, eminently suitable "shrink-wrapped" versions exist, and most stuff is modular enough that BASH will glue it together if the existing stuff falls short.

Oh... that's right, you don't have BASH. Well, try the CygWin suite [cygwin.com] which includes it, and/or pull down a free PERL [activestate.com] and have a go with that as a glue language.

I haven't had time to er, use usenet for ages. Google's interface [google.com] is a pretty good newbie gateway to it.

Best Windows Discussions... (4, Insightful)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097394)

Usually take place over at symantec.com. They're full of all the information you need to secure your machine against the latest exploits and viruses.

I mean, that's what you want to talk about, right? The exploits?

-----------------

On a more serious note, I'm not sure such a true forum exists simply because of the way Windows is run. Linux (and slashdot) are much more meltingpot, and the ideas here are really just a community reflection. I mean, supposing someone *does* come up with some great code ideas and additions to Windows, how will they go about getting those changes implemented?

Most Windows forums that I've seen are either "ask the experts" things or "games games games". Lots of good Linux info can be found on slashdot, lots of good windows info can be found scattered around by means of the google.

Re:Best Windows Discussions... (1)

UPi (137083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097594)

I don't want these forums because I need a new place to advocate Linux/BSD/Mac... honest!

Re:Best Windows Discussions... (2, Informative)

linzeal (197905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098016)

Try MSDN newsgroups [microsoft.com] , when I was admining some SQL/2000 Advance Server boxes that place came in handy.

Re:Best Windows Discussions... (1)

Net_Wakker (576655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098447)

admining some SQL/2000 Advance Server
ad-mining a server... maybe you should use adawre or spybot s&d?

Re:Best Windows Discussions... (1)

Baikala (564096) | more than 10 years ago | (#8101151)

Back then, when XML extensions for IIS 4 - SQL 7 where being developed (yes I used IIS once, forgive me) you could go to news.microsoft.com and post on the same newsgroup were actual microsoft developers hang out, it was like a beta testing group for several new products. On the sysadmin side there were several large comunities, newbie friendly, with very helpfull advices from guys that were once in your shoes. All that went to crap when they started that MSDN Universal Subscription "Service".

One place not to go (-1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097400)

Heh, well for starters, i'd avoid slashdot

Search (1, Troll)

HRbnjR (12398) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097401)

Heh, well, normally I would say go Google [google.com] for it, but in your case, you may feel more comfortable with an MSN Search [msn.com] :P

p.s. Perhaps here [winnetmag.com] ?

Hmm (3, Informative)

Medgur (172679) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097420)

I've been using this one for years: http://www.experts-exchange.com

It's mostly help forums, but I haven't really felt a strong desire to get in touch with people on the grounds of a single software paradigm.

Re:Hmm (2, Funny)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097592)

Previously known as http://www.ExpertSexChange.com, but they renamed it after a bunch of people started making "off-topic" posts relating to the domain name.

There's a lot of great info there for Windows developers.

Not anymore, man (4, Informative)

tres (151637) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097743)

You mean Expert bait-'n-switch, don't you?

I feel sorry for all the schmoes who put their time and energy into giving Experts Exchange their hard-earned knowledge.

I searched the other day on an issue with Exchange server; when I did a Google search for the relevant information I was pointed to Experts Exchange. The problem was, the page was no longer available--unless I paid for a subscription.

I had to read the google archive to get the info.

Experts Exchange is the epitome of what defines open vs. closed source products and knowledge. (And as much as I love the BSD's) Experts Exchange shows exactly what kind of protection the GPL provides us, as the valuable assets we are--whether it's our knowledge of building products, or building the documentation they require.

Re:Not anymore, man (1)

BigJimSlade (139096) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099766)

Experts Exchange is the epitome of what defines open vs. closed source products and knowledge.

I agree, but where's the open-source equivalent? Come on, it can't be that hard to put together. I'd love to see something like this that was free to use. I'm sure hosting would be the biggest issue.

The challenge is out there. Somebody do it. Meanwhile, I'll keep reading the Google cache of expert-exchange <grin />

Re:Not anymore, man (1)

Medgur (172679) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099780)

That's rather sad. I hadn't seriously used it for about a year so I never noticed.

Too bad, it was a great forum.

Usenet (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097436)

Learn to filter. Learn to use groups.google.com. Also, even when no one else is helping you and you find the answer elsewhere, post back to the board in question with the answer, if for no other reason, that you can find it again in groups.google.com -- embarassingly, I have plugged in complete questions into google and found the forum where I asked the exact same question 2 years ago.

Re:Usenet (2, Informative)

scott_davey (552885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098017)

I also find Google's web and usenet search invaluable to my MS solution searching.

Those not-so-helpful error messages like 'Application error C05482375' you find in the Event Log are great when pumped into Google. Good signal-to-noise ratio with searches like 'C05482375' :-)

And be helpful to others and reply to posts, even if they are two years old. Chances are there's 200 other sysadmins with your problem, too.

Yeah? (2, Funny)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098376)

And I quote:
Your search - C05482375 - did not match any documents.

Re:Yeah? (1)

scott_davey (552885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8104597)

Sorry, Leon... what was I thinking.

I should have taken the time to cross-reference a link to a real example [google.com] .

I forgot that some people on slashdot take things literally.

fanboy sites (1)

paradesign (561561) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097466)

Like Paul Thourout's (sp?) winsuperduperxxxtrasite should lead you in the right direction. Then again in the windows world, news == a MS press release == FUD/propaganda so good luck sifting the BS.

Some sysadmin support sites... (2, Interesting)

databank (165049) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097467)

Most good sysadmins have to wear multiple OS hats so here's a bunch that I frequent when researching for solutions....

http://www.sysinternals.com...it's a decent place for windows related discussions...

For sun stuff, the best place is really sun itself http://forum.sun.com...

For tru64 stuff go subscribe to the tru64 mailing lists, I think it's the only thing that's staying alive for that stuff...

as for Linux, well...really you could look just about anywhere for that...

Re:Some sysadmin support sites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8098027)

Try the Novell Community Chat forum and the developers forums, they are frequented by knowledgeable admins that support many different platforms and can usually solve most problems.

ps. Go direct to their nntp servers, don't use the web interface or google news feeds.

http://support.novell.com/forums/index.html
new s://support-forums.novell.com/novell.community. chat

Novell Community Chat Roolz
http://www.ncci.org

a couple places to start... (2, Informative)

tvadakia (314991) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097480)

http://bink.nu/

http://www.only4gurus.com/v2/index.asp

Hope that helps.

Why not ... (1)

fiori (45848) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097485)

Start your own forum. It worked for Slashdot, it might work for you.

Re:Why not ... (2, Funny)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097637)

"No Windows questions on Slashdot?! Well, fine! I'll start my own website, with blackjack, and hookers! In fact, forget the website!"

Re:Why not ... (1)

Micro$will (592938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100861)

Add alcoholic beverages and I'll be your first lifetime subscriber.

I'll stand up and be flamed. (5, Insightful)

bluephone (200451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097488)

*nix people are NOT more technical by nature. I know DOZENS of Linux "geeks" who compile their own software only because of easy compile scripts and easy packages. I started on non-DOS systems, but found DOS _extremely_ usable with QEMM and DesqView, later found Win98 tolerable, and find NT/2k/XP very usable. I'm far more techincal than at least 50% of the programmers in the wild becaus eI know _hardware_. I can't tell you how many coders over the years I've met and known who can write magnificent code, but couldn't install a SIMM in their old 386 if their lives depended on it.

By default, Windows is very insecure, and does need adjusting to become a fast, tech-friendly environment, but so does any Linux distro (although it's usually more secure by default). Being a Windows admin doesn't have to mean a dearth of techincal knowledge. EDUCATE YOURSELF. Don't rely on your PC or OS to educate you. Read technical books, play with hardware, get Cygwin and play with the command line tools. Compile your own programs, too. There's lots of open source Windows software. Learn to program, also.

Don't be intimidated by someone just because they use Linux. Don't be intimidated by the OS holy wars that have been raging since before DOS even existed. Anyone who says ONE OS is better than all is a fool. They're all around because of various niches that needed filled. Linux is growing while Windows is flattening (they're BOTH fattening, too...), sure, but that doesn't mean you're not a useful Admin.

Now, that said, I'll preemptively defend myself. I'd never put Windows up as a server, unless we're talking a home net where the server is also used as a PC. Putting Windows as a server on the net is insane. Linux is far superior there. But, as it stands, Windows is still a better desktop OS. I do sincerely hope Linux keeps improving there, though. Competition is good.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (3, Interesting)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097610)

*nix people are NOT more technical by nature. I know DOZENS of Linux "geeks" who compile their own software only because of easy compile scripts and easy packages.

Actually, I suspect *nix people may well be more technical; *nix encourages the idea of (for example) stringing together awk | sed | cut | sort | grep to do things that under Windows would almost always be implemented as a monolithic program.

But let me second (part of) the parent poster's comment: compilation is so ridiculously easy these days on linux-y systems.

I remember when I -- a professional programmer -- hesitated to compile unfamiliar source, because of conflicting headers, non-standard "Standards" (before C++98/C99, everyone and his brother had a different idea of what bool should be), and other gotchas.

These problems have largely disappeared on linux-y systems, thanks mostly to configure scripts. Nowadays, I have no real worries about downloading source I'd never heard of before, and I'm surprised if it doesn't compile cleanly the first time.

Funnily enough, I do most of my compiling not under linux per se, but Cygwin. And most of what I've been doing recently has been cross-compiling, for the SH-1 and the StrongArm processors. Still, I have few problems, mostly because of the configure scripts.

If you've never used a configure script, it compiles a battery of test code in such a way as to test for any particularities of your environment, and adapts the Makefile to your system.

Nor are decent Makefiles limited to linux-y environments; Neil Hodgson, in addition to writing the excellent SciTE editor, also makes the source available with Makefiles that perform flawlessly for a number of compilers -- I was able to compile using the Borland command line compiler "out of the box" using Neil's Borland makefile.

What I dread these days are "Integrated Development Environments" with "projects" or other proprietary replacements for Makefiles. True, the Makefile is a dated and awkward format that goes so far as to (disastrously, if you don't know about it!) make semantic distinctions between spaces and tabs. But it also works most anywhere.

Recently, I took an app written for Qt on some linux distribution, and after a few days of compensating for the fact that it used the 3.x QT libraries and I was using 2.3.3, I was able to cross-compile it under Cygwin for my Sharp Zaurus. Other than implementing Qt 3.x functionality using Qt 2.3.3 classes, the configure script took care of all the work for me.

The parent poster also wrote "Linux is far superior there. But, as it stands, Windows is still a better desktop OS."

With Cygwin under Windows 2000, and a policy of using programs -- like Mozilla -- that are Open and exist in both MS-Windows and Linux -- I really think I have the best of both worlds.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

bluephone (200451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097715)

I didn't mean *nix people aren't technical people, just that saying a person is techie just because they use Linux isn't always true.

As for the setup, I use XP (without the damn Luna crap), and Mozilla for web/mail/news. I'm a HUGE Mozilla supporter, as noted by my URL. :)

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098501)

> stringing together awk | sed | cut | sort | grep to do things

Ew. I sometimes string together grep and sort with ls, ps, or whatnot, but
when you get the urge to use awk or sed, it's time for a Perl one-liner.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098813)

>when you get the urge to use awk or sed, it's time for a Perl one-liner.

That depends on which you learned first :)

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099380)

With Cygwin under Windows 2000, and a policy of using programs -- like Mozilla -- that are Open and exist in both MS-Windows and Linux -- I really think I have the best of both worlds.

I've tried this, for when I had to work on a Windows box at work. It has a lot of issues.

A) Setting up and getting software working in Cygwin, unless packaged for Cygwin, is somewhat akin to setting up a Slackware system back in the Bad Old Days. There are all kinds of interesting little oddities in Cygwin (I admit that things have improved enormously in the last few years).

B) Cygwin software is significantly slower. It acts kinda like a slower Linux box.

C) Cygwin definitely has bugs. I never tracked it down, but I'm pretty sure that there is at *least* a problem with select() in Cygwin -- I've seen a number of systems where a program is doing file or network I/O, stops, and just sits and does nothing. Tap a key, and everything wakes up and continues.

D) The Windows virtual terminal (the "DOS Box") really, really sucks compared to a nice xterm. You can use bash, but you're going to be using it in that damn awful virtual terminal.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that a Windows box used by a techie absolutely should have Moz and either Cygwin or UnixUtils on it.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8101326)

You guys need to head on over to http://www.jpsoft.com and download the latest version of the 4NT command-line interpreter. Think of it as "Zsh for windows" (assuming you like zsh...).

Tab filename completion, aliases, the whole schebang. You pipe stuff together (Which works in command.com too BTW) and do whatever you want. Hell, just the script that defines my defualt environment variables is now about 10 pages. I'm more engrained in my windows command-line environment than my unix one.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (3, Interesting)

unixbob (523657) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097732)

*nix people are NOT more technical by nature. I

I disagree with this completely. The original story appears to come from a professional windows admin. By the nature of ths OS, that is an easier job to be competent at than a UNIX admin.

I'm not flaming. Here's 2 examples:
If you need to setup an email / groupware server then go and install MS Exchange on a Windows 2000 server. I've done it. Click, Click, Click and you're done. For your clients you can install MS Outlook, point them at the Exchange server, give it a username and your done. Try and do the same thing on UNIX. You'll need to install an IMAP server. Then a separate LDAP server (which the IMAP server must be able to use). Then work out which of the myriad of Groupware options is the best for what you need. Then you'll need to configure each of the clients for the IMAP settings, LDAP settings, etc. Neither of these systems will work just by running ./configure, make, make install. You'll need to have an understanding of how they work and how to configure them to play nicely together. And shared calendars from Windows clients communicating with a UNIX server? Not the simplest thing in the world.

What about a web server. Add Remove programs, Windows Components, Internet Information Server. Stick in the CD, away you go. Sure, it's simple to install apache on a linux box. But for dynamic pages? Well you can unstall PHP, but should you enable track vars? Which XML options should you choose? which database is better? Want to use mod_perl instead? should you install it as a DSO option or compile it into Apache? Or should you go the JSP route. then which version of tomcat do you choose?

Microsoft's product is designed to be easy. It's meant to be simple to setup a server. And as such it allows for less skilled individuals to get something working. If you actually did what I suggested in my examples then you would be having issues with your Windows Servers pretty quickly if they get reasonable load on them. For someone to understand exactly what their Windows server is doing and for it to be a scalable and reliable system, then they will need to be as knowledgable and experienced as their UNIX counterparts have to be. But the nature of the platform allows for lower skilled techs to get the systems running and that's why it's perceived to be a less technical solution to UNIX

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

Bazouel (105242) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097824)

You got it wrong. Windows *appears* easy, but to configure it the right way (tm), you really need to dig for infos and sometimes go through obscure steps. Unixes are even worse in this domain, but it's not something to brag about. So, I would rather say that it's easier to be a lazy admin on Windows than on Unixes.

About dynamic pages, what about ASP.NET ? I know PHP, Perl, Java, ASP but I must admit that from a programmer point of view, ASP.NET beats them all hands-down. If only it was supported on Apache ... Mono may make this possible.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

unixbob (523657) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097937)

I think you missed my point. I agree (and thought I'd made this point) that to configure it the right way (tm), you really need to dig for infos and sometimes go through obscure steps. However it's possible to not know all this info and get something which works(tm) at an acceptable level.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098079)

No, it doesn't work in the long run. Having a poorly configured Exchange server is just ASKING for abuse. And it normally leads to the box being owned, your IP's being banned, and you spending days trying to recover from backups and fix your initial mistakes. I'm trained on Exchange but I wouldn't take a position admining it without actually doing it under someone elses tutilage for a while. If you want to be a halfass admin that ultimately gets fired when your house of cards falls down then sure you can do that. It's usually after such a situation that consultants make the big bucks fixing things.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

Spoing (152917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098636)

Agreed. The skill level needed for good administration of either Windows (NT branch) -OR unix-like systems such as Linux are about the same. It's just;

* Easier to screw it up under Windows.

* Harder to find the obscure parts of Windows by guessing; it's all "special sauce" below a certian level.

* Harder to find a good Windows admin since the basics are so simple and most stop at the basics!

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

bluephone (200451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8103229)

You got my point exactly. Glad to see my original comment sparked a healthy conversation instead of a flamewar. Maybe /. doesn't suck as much as some people say. ;)

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (2, Insightful)

NemoX (630771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097830)

I see where you are coming from but that is not always as clear cut as you make it. I have experience with Linux, Solaris, Windows, and DNS, E-Mail servers, Web and Database servers in all three environments.

UNIX takes more understanding when initially setting up. I know more UNIX commands then I could write down in one day (ok, an exageration :) ). I can do seeming more advanced administration from *NIX platforms, but that is because of the cool tools that come with the systems by default (windows requires a "resource kit" to get many similar, but not nearly all, of the admin functionalities as a *NIX)

Windows on the other hand is more *click* *click* crap, and yes, VERY easy to install by comparision.

HOWEVER...what determines an admins knowledge? The ability to set something up or fix it when it is broken?

I can set up either with ease. But, because windows is constantly randomly breaking, I have learned SO much more about networks and OS' then any class or certification course has ever taught me. I feel much more challenged when a *NIX station suddenly goes dumb, mostly because it rarely happens (I think I can count the number of times on one hand with out my tumb or pinkie :D) I have to scratch my head and think about what I once read in order to fix it. If a windows box goes down, I know that system inside and out, because I have been everywhere fixing so many problems with those boxes. All of the books I read stay fresh in my head, because I have to use its information more frequently. Whereas, on *NIX stations, there are several places I have not ever had to venture.

I have learned more about DNS from setting it up in UNIX, but more about network data packets from constantly monitoring oddities with windows. (for example)

So, while one is more challenging to setup and remember its commands and purpose/functionality, the other is more challenging to keep up and running. Herein lies the knowledge differences. Different, but oddly equal in their own respect.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

unixbob (523657) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097960)

I agree with everything you said there. My argument was kind of example driven to make a point. I know that to configure a Windows server properly takes a good amount of knowledge and skill, and it's much more of a pig to debug problems with it.

I think you actually provide examples that underline my point. If you actually know what you are doing then to manage any OS you need to gave a good in-depth skillset. However the OP was saying that *NIX people are not more technical by nature and in my experience that isn't true.

That's not exactly true (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098413)

Installing software on Mandrake (and SuSE, Fedora, most modern distros) is also a click-click-all-done process, and configuring it usefully is no harder than MS-Windows and often easier since little details aren't squirrelled away somewhere fifteen menus deep with a nebulous title. In fact, you can just click on mod_php in rpmdrake, click on yes, and it will install Apache and everything else it wants as a consequence of that. The absence of scripting-by-default is a feature: users and attackers don't have the same opportunities to mess about with things.

The difference is that the MS-Windows services are typically flat on their backs and legs spread from a security perspective, and it takes a fair bit of configuration work to make them properly secure. I can bung a Mandrake CD in, install stuff, pull down the updates (mandatory for MS-Windows too, of course) and be happy.

The only time I really need a firewall on a Linux box is when I'm using something like Samba, which is constrained by the hopeless SMB/CIFS protocol to always have one port open on all interfaces. MS-Windows, on the other hand, hasn't always been entirely honest about exactly what it does have open (nmap is your friend).

It's also worth noting that over 90% of the useful security tools like nmap, Ethereal and Nessus started life in Unix/Linux land and now have MS-Windows ports available only thanks to the properties of the GPL, so remember to burn incense to Saint Richard of Stallman whenever you use one to save an MS-Windows box's bacon. (-:

Re:That's not exactly true (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099279)

MS-Windows, on the other hand, hasn't always been entirely honest about exactly what it does have open (nmap is your friend).

You've had a time where the local netstat output disagrees with an nmap scan, and nmap is correct?

That and... (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099555)

...a time when the GUI's opinion of routing differed from textmode's opinion (ie actual) routing, in weird ways.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (3, Insightful)

jonadab (583620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098817)

> The original story appears to come from a professional windows admin. By the
> nature of ths OS, that is an easier job to be competent at than a UNIX admin.

Actually, I'd say it's much harder to be a *competent* Windows admin. I have
more experience with Windows than with *nix (though not as *much* more as I
used to have), but I'm definitely more competent with *nix.

> If you need to setup an email / groupware server then go and install MS
> Exchange on a Windows 2000 server. I've done it. Click, Click, Click and
> you're done.

Heh. Rose-tinted glasses you're wearing. More like Click, click, click,
(most of those clicks are on "Next" BTW) and then you're just getting
started, because next week you're going to be googling for some obscure
error message trying to figure out what the heck it means. (Granted, this
happens with Linux too, but less often -- and when it does happen on Linux,
it's usually when you were making changes (e.g., installing a new version),
not out of the blue. Unless you have a hard drive start to quietly go bad,
in which case all *sorts* of weird things happen, as I know from experience.)

> For your clients you can install MS Outlook

Sure, and then your whole network goes down for two days at a time once or
twice per quarter. See, that's what I'm talking about; it's easy enough to
be a novice Windows admin, but competence is harder; you have to learn things
the hard way. For Windows desktops, you install Pegasus Mail for email, or
at least Eudora, or Agent, or *something*. No competent admin would install
Outlook for a fresh deployment unless directly ordered to do so by management,
because Outlook is virtually impossible to keep running smoothly over the
medium term. But you don't find that out (unless you're the kind who does
research on every piece of software before you deploy it) until you've been
running it for a few weeks/months, and by then your users have invested time
in learning it that you don't want to take away from them, so you're stuck
between a rock and a hard place. So you scour the internet for tips on
securing Outlook and Exchange. Now you have to learn five or ten times as
much (as you would have needed to learn if you installed a different option),
because you have to filter all the mail traffic, removing not only certain
content types, but also *any* content-type with certain filename extensions,
and you need to block outgoing connections to port 110 and 143 and 220 and
maybe 993. So you need to set up a firewall that all of your network's
traffic goes through... Now you've branched out into content-filtering
*and* firewalls, two relatively technical subjects, just to keep email
working properly. This is typical with Windows administration.

> Try and do the same thing on UNIX.

It takes longer to be "done" on *nix, yes, but when you're done your
actually mostly done. Say for example you install Postfix. (This is
really hard: in rpmdrake you click on the checkbox for postfix and hit
the "Install" button.) Now, granted, before you're "done" you have to
configure it, because otherwise nothing's going to work. So you fire up
a text editor and read through the config file (which is well commented,
as virtually all config files are on the major distros these days) and
change the options you need to change. Now, this *does* take longer than
installing Exchange, *and* it requires more technical knowledge, such as
how to use a text editor.

However, once you're done you can hire a chimpanzee to administer it, provided
you tie up the chimp so he can't touch anything. Security is mostly a matter
of scanning the slashdot headlines once a day just in case there's a big
exploit (in which case, you fire up the "update" utility, look for a Postfix
update, click its checkbox, and hit "install".)

> What about a web server. Add Remove programs, Windows Components, Internet
> Information Server. Stick in the CD, away you go. Sure, it's simple to
> install apache on a linux box. But for dynamic pages? Well you can unstall
> PHP, but should you enable track vars? Which XML options should you choose?
> which database is better? Want to use mod_perl instead? should you install
> it as a DSO option or compile it into Apache? Or should you go the JSP
> route. then which version of tomcat do you choose?

You act like having choices is inherently a bad thing that makes life harder.
Let me let you in on a secret: it doesn't *matter* whether you choose PHP or
mod_perl. It makes *no difference* which XML options you choose. What are
track vars? Who cares? (I suppose they're a PHP thing? I use Perl, so I
wouldn't know about them then.) Just pick one and go with it.

Now, that still leaves the need to configure Apache, yes. You have to read
through the whole httpd.conf file (or commonhttp.conf or whatever) and change
whichever options you want to change, yeah. The first time you ever do it,
you don't know what you're looking for, so it takes maybe an hour. (That's
generous, but let's say you're careful and take that long the first time.)

Here's the thing: you set that up, and you can hire a beagle to keep it
running smoothly, as long as you put the beagle in a cage where he can't
reach the keyboard. Put it on a UPS and it will run until the hardware
goes bad. (Yeah, once in a while there will be a vulnerability discovered,
and you'll want to fire up the updates thingy, but you won't have to touch
your configuration at all, and it'll be all over slashdot the day it's
discovered, weeks before there are any exploits in the wild.) If you want
IIS to run like that, you're going to need to put more time into learning
about firewalls and content filtering.

If you think I'm full of hot air about this, run a webserver and look at
the logs once a day: every *single* day the logs will have a whole bunch
of connections in them from infected IIS servers. *Every* day. (Every
*hour*, just about.) This is from incompetent Windows admins who have
installed IIS while *not* behind a firewall and got infected before they
had a chance to install the patches. (What, you have to be behind a
firewall just to *install*? But I thought it was click, click, click!)
The internet is full of incompetent Windows admins, millions upon millions
of them. Windows administration basics are easy, but competence is hard.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

unixbob (523657) | more than 10 years ago | (#8100511)

then i guess you are more eloquent than I am because "The internet is full of incompetent Windows admins, millions upon millions of them. Windows administration basics are easy, but competence is hard." was the point I was trying to make

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (3, Insightful)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099882)

Click, Click, Click and you're done.

But have you ever tried to set up a web hosting scenario where you have multiple clients acessing their sites in a secure way? On unix - just create a group, chown/chmod and you're done. On Windows you'll be clicking till sunrise, only to learn that there is no way to change permissions from command line.

So it's clickity-click on Windows until you run into one of these gotchas. Unix tends to be easier on you this way - once you've mastered the basic stuff, there is no limit to what you can do. On Windows, there is always a catch, and M$ is working hard on coming up with more.

No, You my new friend are incorrect (2, Informative)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8101202)

Just pointing out.that you can do exactly that with win xp. What don't believe me? ok, take a look at This [uksecurityonline.com]

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 10 years ago | (#8101302)

Ahem... the command cacls does the equivalent user level permission changing on windows.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

Bazouel (105242) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097786)

I wish I had mod points for your post ... I wouldn't have said it better.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097796)

*nix people are NOT more technical by nature

Well, if by 'nature' we mean platform on which people learn the work, I can't agree. UNIX/Linux systems are structured in much more logical way than Windows/NT ones. Additionally, you get to find out heaps more stuff on *nix computers, sometimes by just reading through config files, let alone proper reading of TFM. This opportunity to see the guts of the system and its inner workings is invaluable on the path of becoming 'technical'.

Doing things Microsoft way does not necessarilly teach you to be technical. Hell, I've fixed NT's DHCP servers quicker (by editing config file - yes, there is one and it's text file) than MCSE was able to open network applet in control panel.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8098411)

Nonsense. With a good disassembler [datarescue.be] and the MSDN library [microsoft.com] at hand you can delve in much deeper than you think. It really is fascinating, you should try it some time.

Re:I'll stand up and be flamed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8103190)

+5 insightful?

The most off-topic ranty linux fanboy ramblings I've read in the last 20 minutes.

Oh and you didnt answer the fucking question you sack of shit

Mailing Lists (4, Informative)

shyster (245228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097521)

The problem with web forums is that, by and large, they get inundated with Windows users looking for help. USENET, as you mentioned, is a haven to spam, plus there's multiple groups and NNTP servers to track.

Microsoft does have a news server which I use occassionally, both on the Web [microsoft.com] and through NNTP [microsoft.com] . There's alot of granularity in the groups, which is nice when I'm, say, working on a scripting problem, I can hit the .NET Scripting group and get good responses. There's also multiple languages available, perhaps useful for non-English speakers. But, unless if you're looking for more general discussions like Slashdot has, I don't think you'll find it there.

For general sysadmin and related discussion, problem solving, tips, etc., I've found mailing lists are much more manageable and informative. A real good provider is Sunbelt Software [sunbelt-software.com] . The NTSysAdmin and Exchange lists are the most popular and general (and the only ones I'm a member of), but there's also ones dedicated to Windows security, Active Directory, etc. Be aware, though, that there's a LOT of traffic on some of these lists. Mine go into a Public Folder, but you can also get the digest if you prefer. One other one that I have used and recommend is the WinNT-List [lsoft.com] . I'm not on it currently, but mainly because of time restraints. Then again...I hardly check the Sunbelt lists anymore either....

And, of course, I've yet to find a similar forum to replace Slashdot's unique blend of tech, news, and politics...that's why I'm still here.

Re:Mailing Lists (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099222)

The problem with web forums is that, by and large, they get inundated with Windows users looking for help.

There's the problem. The ratio of knowledgable users in the Linux world is high enough that it isn't just a flood of people asking questions. Also, a lot of those folks are motivated (and able -- I have to admit that it's a lot harder to find out what's going on on a Windows box to troubleshoot it) to try to find stuff themselves.

I see a not insignificant number of people coming into Linux assistance channels like #linpeople (FreeNode) and asking questions like "How do I do X in Excel?" because the people in there actually know computers well and a fair percentage actually provide answers.

Microsoft newsgroups (2, Informative)

dedazo (737510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097549)

news://msnews.microsoft.com/

Look for the microsoft.public.windows* hierarchy. Keep in mind many of these are not very active and some of them (for some reason) are pretty much abandoned because they're duplicated. But use Google to see which ones are more active [google.com] .

The servers have very little spam and as most non-technoreligious deals they're mostly technical and to the point, though you do see the occasional flame war.

Plus, it's Usenet so just use whatever NNTP reader you like and post away.

who sells the software? (3, Interesting)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097552)

I write for Windows boxen all the time. I use MS's own site, where they host newgroups, BBSs, publish white papers, host sample code, and have entire ".NET channel" TV-like programs to suck bandwidth.

All in all, MS wants nobody to feel confused or threatened using their software, including admins. This means everything is hosted, or sysadmin'd by people who just get to the fact, no BS. So, your slashdot-like knockabout sites are elsewhere. There are lots of them (google Expert/Advice/Programming) in various flavors of competance.

Those thick books people layer on their desk are great now and then, but at ~$50 a pop, you may want to just register for an online book resource. Sorry, no link, but Books24x7 and stuff like that.

So if you want technial knowledge, MS shovels it out. Magazines, websites galore. If you're looking for general "science news" and the resultant BS chatter, then /. is your best choice. Sorry.

Personally I reconcile the two by not trying to change the world everywhere. My company pays me to do technical, and mostly interesting work. If it's on an MS box, an automotive-microcontroller, or just DSP math research in school, you're still in the tech world. So just put up with the flames and read /. for the fun of it. I won't tell anyone you're not a "real geek" if you don't bring it up ;)

Re:who sells the software? (1)

HRbnjR (12398) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097687)

I write for Windows boxen all the time.


OMG! You aren't a real geek! :) :P

Re:who sells the software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099066)

Following up on your suggestion, informit.com seems to have some fairly decent pricing.

Asking for it ? (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097616)

I work with Microsoft products for a living, as well as for fun. ...

you sadist !

Re:Asking for it ? (2, Insightful)

kinnell (607819) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098037)

you sadist !

I think you mean masochist. A sadist is someone who forces other people to use windows for fun.

[OT] tagline (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098432)

If I seem short sighted, it is because I stand on the shoulders of midgets

If I seem short-sighted, it is because I stand in the footprints of giants.

I also like:

Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and he sits in a small boat drinking beer.

or:

Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish.
Teach a man to fish, and you have a new competitor.

Re:[OT] tagline (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 10 years ago | (#8099020)

A personal favourite of mine from one of the Discworld books by Pratchett:

Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day;
set him on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

Ars Technica OpenForum's (4, Insightful)

harakh (304850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097627)

Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] , known for alot of good articles often referred to on slashdot and other sites, have a very active forum which includes NT, Win2K and XP Technical Mojo [arstechnica.com] . From my limited knowledge it seems like the place you are looking for.

Re:Ars Technica OpenForum's (2)

sp1nl0ck (241836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097894)

Another vote for Ars here. There is, as mentioned above, the NT, 2K and XP Technical Mojo forum, which concentrates on systems management and the like, and there's the MSOS&SC [arstechnica.com] (aka the Microsoft OS and Software Colloquium), which covers more application and home PC-related issues.

There are plenty more forums to have a look at if you go the Ars OpenForum Homepage [arstechnica.com] .

Neowin (2, Informative)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097631)

Its known for its Windows bias, but still has the other interesting geek related articles common to slashdot.To some of my geeky windows buddys , this is their slashdot.
I personally find the windows bias rather annoying but then Im a linux guy!

Oh, and the link http://www.neowin.net/

To a linux-oriented news site, of course (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097633)

But you seem to have figured that out already.

NTBugtraq (2, Informative)

molo (94384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097642)

When I used to work with Windows, I found Russ Cooper's NTBugtraq mailing list to be an invaluable resource.

More info at http://www.ntbugtraq.com/ [ntbugtraq.com]

-molo

You are very welcome on Slashdot. (4, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097666)


You are very welcome on Slashdot. Those aren't flames you are seeing, they are people trying to cope with Microsoft's abusiveness. With Linux and BSD, the users come first. There are no billionaires to spoil the party.

Slashdot published my questions about drive imaging software and about mirroring controllers. Both discussions were very valuable to me in my work on Windows systems:

Experiences w/ Drive Imaging Software? [slashdot.org]

Mirroring Controllers - What have been Your Experiences? [slashdot.org]

Microsoft has serious management problems. People don't always know how to respond to this. Sometimes they become very upset.

On the other hand, I feel some sympathy for Microsoft's managers. It is not easy to run a large corporation in a caring way.

Re:You are very welcome on Slashdot. (1)

demmegod (620100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097724)

Nope, they're flames.

Cause and effct (2, Interesting)

the_womble (580291) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097735)

I acknowledge that Unix people are more technical (by necessity since they often compile their own software

I think you have cause and effect mixed up here.

New forums - Adminforums.com (1)

Merkins (224523) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097749)

I just found out about a new site, www.Adminforums.com [adminforums.com] . It's not bad, and just getting off the ground so it's a great way to get in and help shape it.



commercial OS = commercial support (2, Insightful)

ajagci (737734) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097762)

However, I do wish I could find a similar forum for us to talk about our chosen operating system, applications, viruses, and other issues.

It's called MSDN and microsoft.com. You can also hire consultants, subscribe to commercial newsletters, and go to commercial training courses. You picked a commercial platform, your support is going to be commercial and you get astroturf for a community. I mean, what do you expect?

Linux and open source isn't as much about the software, it's about the community. If you want an open source-like community, you have to use software that comes out of that community, even if you would prefer something else in terms of software.

Occasionally, you will find a commercial platform with a vibrant and enthusiastic user community. But such situations usually only arise when the commercial platform is a technological breakthrough, and they usually don't last more than a few years. Eventually, people ask themselves: why should I work for free, only so that the company that's making the product can cut back on support and increase their profits?

my favorites... (1)

NemoX (630771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097787)

I use one of 3 resources for windows administrating:

www.eventid.net [eventid.net]
support.microsoft.com [microsoft.com]
and microsofts, relatively spam free, free public news forums:
news.microsoft.com (ok, or deja/google which ever you like better...i'm still old school with the newsreaders and such)

For up to date information, i subscribed to the following mailing lists:
bugtraq
multiple securityfocus lists
symantec
(word of caution: bugtraq and securityfocus groups have been having ocassional spammer breakin's who have spammed the list, and/or stolen the emails and handed them out like candy! ...all I know is that is my only email account that gets spam and those lists are all that it's used for...and i don't post, just read.)

Other then that the rest is just propaganda/FUD type of news crapola.

Actually, for solaris/linux/windows news I rely mostly on the mailing lists.

Oh, yeah theregister.co.uk [theregister.co.uk] is another all around good news source, too.

Roll your own (1)

winchester (265873) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097801)

Since the source code to slashdot is available, domains come pretty cheap these days and even dedicated servers aren't just for the richest anymore, why don't you build your own slashdot-like WIndows community?

I am positive you are not the only Windows user lurking on slashdot for a good discussion... I know I was back in my WIndows admin days. (Which have long since passed)

Re:Roll your own (1)

sebastiencharland (660727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098360)

I got first bid on:
www.backslashdot.org :-)

Yeah, call it BackslashDot (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098434)

Hey, it works for me! (-:

In C, for the command line, that's BackslashBackslashBackslashBackslashDot, of course. <g/d/r>

Become a troll here. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097990)

No really. This is actually a good idea. I am a troll here who mostly as an anonymous coward but I have got accounts. Anyway, the troll community are really experianced at most operating systems. I for one have over 3 years Linux experiance and know many of its flaws, and can successfully get unsuspecting linux newbies to do stupid stuff. From the always fun alt+print-screen-b option (Linux equivalent to CTRL+ALT+DELTE) to the ultra dangerous cat /dev/urandom/ > /dev/hda.

Anyway, you as a Windows admin can Troll here. We like trolls from all Operating Systems. The secret to Operating System Trolling is to make up a post full of bullshit that gets modded up 5, interesting, then all the "Experts" of that Operating System will then either Flame you or "educate" you with their "Enlightened Knowledge". We trolls troll about all Operating Systems, some Operating System "experts" get annoyed more than others. In order from highest to lowest, it Goes Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Windows, DOS, Solaris.

Here are some ideas to get you started.
Google Zietguest quotes
Links to lists of security vulnerabillities.
Links to pro-Operating System websites that run on another Operating system. For example OpenBSD runs on Solaris.
My computer takes 20 minutes to copy a 17Mb file.
Operating System sucks because it only has X% market share in sector.
Operating System sucks because it dosent have certain types of applications written for it.
Operating System sucks because it forces me to pay $$$ every few months.
Operating System crashes by doing this operation....
Operating System is gay/for nerds/eleetist jerks.
Operating System is dying.

And my favourite, translate-o-matics. The Gnome, Apple and Gentoo ones are hilarous.

So become a troll, and join the troll community. Always looking for fresh faces. So be a troll, and be a good troll, not a whack one.

Re:Become a troll here. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8098431)

That's an excellent point. I too have much more fun here trolling than I do making serious posts. This weblog is a haven for arrogant yet largely incompetent 'geeks', many of whom have not got the social skills to realise when someone is taking the piss. Hilarious to wind them up.

Anyway, do keep up the good work, old chap.

MSDN (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098008)

The Microsoft Developers Network. If you are not a member join. You will get more information than you can shake a stick at. IF you are looking for the social aspects... Good luck.

Re:MSDN (1)

Specialist2k (560094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098053)

Actually, MSDN is focused on developers. TechNet [microsoft.com] migth be better suited for an admin.

Call me crazy, but I like MS (1)

jbravo18 (695516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098061)

Of Course, as one the most populer desktop OSes out there Microsoft has it's niche. I myself like Microsoft. Business parctices, security and such have jaded me, but when it comes down to it, I am a MS fanboy. Maybe it's ignoramce with program compatibility and for that matter driver compatibility, Ms has and does what I need for a desktop OS. Now I am still curious about Macs, there are cute, and have much less issues, the eye candy of course is pretty, but I do not own one. In the end it will come down to the coke vs pepsi debate, but MS has done so much for the development of PCs and hopefully will continue. On a side note I am very interested in Sun's desktop OS, looks very cool , new features, very useable. Only time will tell

Re:Call me crazy, but I like MS (1)

Drunken_Jackass (325938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098589)

You're crazy.

Re:Call me crazy, but I like MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8100537)

PC vs. Mac is not like Coke vs. Pepsi. It's more like cardboard shack vs. palace.

What I did for Linux... (2, Interesting)

Isomer (48061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098065)

I wanted a place for highly technical information about Linux, particularly programming documentation. I'd read the HOWTO's and had used google, but was irritated that google tended to find me the question, but rarely the answer.

My solution was to set up the WLUG Wiki [wlug.org.nz] . If you can find a group of like minded people to "seed" the community with your problems (and solutions) then slowly, over time other people join in. We've been running the wlug wiki for 18 months now, and it's now the top hit on google for all kinds of things, and is linked from all kinds of official pages as documentation.

Theres been several people that have said that they'd love to have a general "system administration" wiki for Windows, but there are none (and I'm not going to set one up -- I don't know enough about administering windows!)

So, set one up, it's not difficult. Try and write down what problems you've solved each day and what their solution were into the wiki, and try and get a couple of other people to join in. Pretty soon you'll have created you're own resource

Some of us go to www.sleepwalkers.org (0)

siyavash (677724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098142)

Well, some of us go to www.sleepwalkers.org :) I would recommend u to IRC! :) specially DALnet , #SQL is a nice channel.

Unix == less techincal than windows (2, Insightful)

smoon (16873) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098254)

"I acknowledge that Unix people are more technical (by necessity since they often compile their own software)"

I disagree. Yes, paper MCSE-morons are less technical since they view the world as a series of wizards, magical patches, and religious rites (like reboots).

However, true windows experts are _way_ more techincal than Unix type people. Unix people get to look at source code to figure out how things work. Unix people get to rely on published standards for reference. Unix people get to draw on decades of collective experience and can often see how things evolved over time, and usually have some kind of known-good reference site to emulate.

Windows, on the other hand, requires you to work with closed, buggy code, figure out where the bugs are and how to work around them, figure out what proprietary 'extensions' MS has 'helpfully added' to otherwise standard protocols, figure out how to script an essentially unscriptable system, deal with mysterious registry problems, malware, viruses, virtually no security to protect important files, etc. Ever try to replicate an IIS metabase to several servers? Ask an apache admin how hard it is (copy a few text files), then a seasoned windows person (buy a really expensive tool from Microsoft, or try to script it, or use ghost to move _the_entire_operating_system, or more likely manually point and click through the whole thing). Then think about which has the more challenging job. The Apache guy just needs to know a text editor and some copy commands. The Windows guy needs to understand, at a fundamental level, how the metabase file is used, why it cant be copied directly, and how to work around the situation. Frequently this type of problem then requires you to purchase a tool, either from MS or a 3rd party which means the ability to understand the problem well enough to explain it to management, evaluate the options, etc.

So, no, I don't think Unix people are more technical, they just aren't as masochistic.

Re:Unix == less techincal than windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8098444)

I totally agree. And I share your frustation with incompetent Windows 'admins' who don't dare delve into the workings of the system, relying only on what they are told from the official sources. It annoys me that such people can be employed in jobs that are well past their real level of competence. And it especially pisses me off when I have to explain something technical to them, knowing that they aren't understanding the concepts at all.

Mind you, most Unix people are no better. They just tend to have a larger layer of arrogance.

Re:Unix == less techincal than windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8100708)

Over generalizations are useless. If I may rephrase the original question, the submitter might have said "where can I find knowledgible windows experts, who know windows inside out?" Experts in each field exist, but finding them isn't always easy. From my own biased opinion, I've met equal number of unix/windows flunkies, but more unix experts than windows. The true hardcore windows experts knows HAL, the history of NT kernel and how it evolved to NT4.0 and Win2K. How many windows experts know the source code of windows? Far fewer than Unix experts that know unix source. this is because Unix has a different culture. There's a greater value placed on reading and understanding the source. It is also easier to get your hands on unix source than windows. That should be chaning now that MS is opening up their source.

I don't agree that Unix people are less "masochistic", since there are plenty of CGI dorks who write insanely complex PERL scripts becase "they can". Culturally speaking, when I suggest to microsoft centric developers read the source, they look at me like I'm crazy. In contrast, the more than half the unix people I've worked with (good and bad) tend to say, "I wish i had the source, so I could just fix the damn thing." One thing to remember about Ego. Small minds use Ego to hind the fact they don't know and are afraid of looking stupid. Experts realize how little they know and often question their own assumptions to make sure tunnel vision isn't setting in. As far as finding windows experts who have done hardcore windows development, I don't know of any. and I don't know where to find them either. Most of the sites like MSDN, and .NET related sites have a handful of experts.

Re:Unix == less techincal than windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8103121)

> There's a greater value placed on reading and understanding the source. It is also easier to get your hands on unix source than windows.

For example, I couldn't get this SCSI controller to work on Linux. Read the HOWTO -- didn't help. Searched Google -- no answers. Same with Google Groups. Then I actually read the source code comments in the driver and found the "undocumented switch" that made the thing start working.

Now the puzzling thing is that *nix people actually think this is a great way of doing things -- "USE TEH SOURCE LUKE" they like to say, as if having undocumented crap was cool or something. And this isn't just a Linux attitude either -- there's a whole section on this in the Unix Haters Handbook.

Now, I agree that Microsoft suffers from the serious problem of having their tech docs written by the Marketing Department. But once you've worked with a *reputable* closed source vendor like IBM, you realize good docs and a good knowledge base go a long way.

The other big problem with Microsoft Culture is a lot of the "experts" in the forums are just standard MCSE rubes with 2 years of experience or somehting. Quite often the "unsolvable" problems are very solvable if you understand what's going on.

ActiveNetwork Forums (1)

Julius X (14690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098379)

You may want to try the Active Network Forums [anetforums.com] .

It's run based off a site that is dedicated to technical information of Microsoft Products, and the forums tend to be a good place to ask questions and get some results. As with any forum, there'll be a fair bit of chatter, but overall it's pretty good.

Check it out.

ArsTechnica fora (1)

Finni (23475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098531)

High-end Technical Voodoo only. [arstechnica.com]

Administration, high-end troubleshooting, and system architecture for all things New Technology (Win2K, XP, and .NET). If you don't know what "HAL" stands for, you should probably post in MSOS&SC for the best results.

Are we talking about the same Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8099348)

I think perhaps you have not been reading Slashdot long enough. While granted, the vocal minority here is very anti-Microsoft, the vast majority of readers are viewing the site with Internet Explorer, and are emailing with Outlook.

There's good discussion to be had in various Windows-centric articles here... You've just got to wait for one to show up, and deal with the occasional elitists who pen lengthy attacks on Microsoft.

Yes, I know there are lies, damned lies, and stats, but the stats here have always shown that most of the Slashdotters are good little Microsoft customers using Windows and IE.

The best Windows admin forum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8100295)

goatse.cx

Tek-tips (help forum) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8100554)

Tek-Tips [tek-tips.com] is pretty useful. There is some decent advise on there, although if you have a really obscure question, don't expect an answer. It's free. There servers are kinda slow, though, and wouldn't survive a good Slashdotting.

Not really a good "chat" forum, though, like in the way that Slashdot is.

Try AA (1)

smartin (942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8101835)

I know thats where i'd be if i had to administer windows boxes.

ntfaq.com (1)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8102498)

I've been reading Ntfaq.com [ntfaq.com] for years and IMO it's at least a good place to start when beginning to administer Windows platforms. I am not sure if the forums are what you've been looking for but you can see it for yourself.

Why not use the official channels? (1)

antiher0 (41258) | more than 10 years ago | (#8102499)

You can always find more information on the Microsoft community here [microsoft.com] .

windows in the webb (1)

io-waiter (745875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8103063)

This is an ok place to start. http://labmice.net www.googel.com is always a good start /io-wait

Windows Forums (1)

major.morgan (696734) | more than 10 years ago | (#8103144)

To actually try and answer the question at hand:

Forums & News Servers
http://www.dalantech.com
nntp://news.mic rosoft.com
http://www.anandtech.com
http://www.t echrepublic.com
http://www.tek-tips.com

Resource Sites:
http://www.labmice.net
http://www.msexcha nge.org
http://www.isaserver.org
http://www.slip stick.com
http://www.jsiinc.com
http://www.moman swers.com
http://www.eventid.net

Just some of the sites that I have used for work in the Windows world. Some are really good, some less-than. I am not endorsing or claiming this is the best definitive list, but should be a starting point.

Usenet: microsoft.public.* (1)

aquarian (134728) | more than 10 years ago | (#8104010)

I've found the best Windows help to be on the microsoft.public newsgroups. Most ISPs carry them. If yours doesn't, you can connect to msnews.microsoft.com

Stick to this issues, ask good questions, and refrain from adolescent anti-Microsoft and pro-Unix rants, and you'll get plenty of good advice. Don't do this, and you'll be ignored.
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