It’s a small world, after all . . .

But then again, that’s not exactly a news flash to most SBSers – we know just how small the world is.


Case in point:  Almost 2 weeks ago, Paul posted feedback to my blog asking what fax modem we used with SBS.  (Hi Paul!)  He indicated that he was from Brisbane, Australia – so besides sending him a link on the modem, I also asked if he was familiar with the Brisbane SBS User Group, and cc’d Stuart Applegate who heads up that group (Hi Stuart – and I hope your voice has recovered :^)


So I’m sitting here catching up on the newsgroups, and Stuart cc’s me on an email sent out to the Brisbane User Group introducing a new member – Paul.


Maybe I’m just weird – but how cool is it that as a result of posting feedback to a blog owned by someone literally on the other side of the world, Paul ended up finding a local user group when he wasn’t even looking for one??   I’m sorry – but THAT’S cool.


Just another example of how the SBS community ROCKS!  The best way we can help ourselves is by helping each other.  When we communicate and share, we all win in the end – especially the growing number of users who depend on SBS day in and day out. 

Preparing XP SP2 for deployment on SBS 2003

Ok, before we can install the update for SBS2k3 listed in my previous post, we first need to deploy Windows XP SP2 to the SBS.  But just how do we do that? 


1)  Find your ClientApps directory.  (C:\ClientApps by default, however I always move mine to a data partition)


2)  Create a new folder under the ClientApps directory named wxpsp2


3)  Make sure the XP SP2 installation file is available on your server (either by downloading it or inserting a CD with SP2)  If you downloaded the file, it will be named WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe  –  if you have the SP2 CD, then it will be xpsp2.exe


4)  Open a command prompt and navigate to the location where your SP2 installation file is located.


5)  If you downloaded the file, enter the following command:
           windowsxp-kb835935-sp2-enu.exe /x


     If you have the CD file, enter the following command:
           xpsp2.exe /x


6)  You will be prompted for a location to extract the files to.  Enter the location of the wxpsp2 folder you created in step 2.  (e.g.   D:\ClientApps\wxpsp2\)


7)  Once the extraction is complete, run the SBS update (SBS2003-KB884032-X86-ENU.exe) and you should be good to go!

Update for SBS 2003

Download details: Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003: KB 884032:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=a8f72fdd-6d82-4c2b-8078-114460826a40&displaylang=en


Overview


By default, Windows Small Business Server 2003 Client Setup deploys Windows XP Service Pack 1 to all client computers running Windows XP Professional. This update changes Client Setup so that it deploys Windows XP Service Pack 2 instead. Client Setup deploys Service Pack 2 only if the language setting of the operating system on the client computer matches the language setting of the operating system on the server.

Good stuff on the download site . . .

Download details: Moving Data Folders for Windows SBS 2003:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=a1d0af69-1287-4225-bd8b-59c89f44984b&displaylang=en

Download details: Backing Up and Restoring Windows Small Business Server 2003:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=487736f8-f6f5-436d-a82d-0c8d66e2a634&displaylang=en

Download details: Feature Guide for Windows Small Business Server 2003:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=013027ac-8544-461b-a176-9eff46d49aa4&displaylang=en


Download details: Forrester Software Assurance ROI Tool and User’s Guide:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=6cee6d9d-cbe2-4aeb-bf49-253709a02cb0&displaylang=en

The end of an era . . .

Passionate
Intelligent
Patient
Dedicated
Trustworthy
Kind
Honest
Considerate


Great men have been called such for only having a few of these qualities.  We have been truly blessed to have someone who exemplifies them all in our midst.  Someone who’s influence and contributions have gone far past technical answers.  Unfortunately, Microsoft has chosen not to re-award MVP status to one of our own, and this is something new for us – while we’ve had an SBS MVP move on to other products, we’ve never lost an SBS MVP before.


Grey is, and always will be the patriarch of the SBS community.  I have the absolute utmost respect for him, and am truly grateful to know him.  He may soon be retiring from active MVP status, but he’ll always be a friend.


For those of you who aren’t aware of it, the SBS community is a bit of a mystery to MS.  Completely off-the-charts, 180 degrees from the ‘norm’ of the other communities.  Why?  Well there’s no concrete answer, but here’s my take:  we’re different because we aren’t here to simply consume information – we’re here to contribute, to share and to grow.  Being small we understand that we can’t do things alone – we need help.  We ‘pay it forward,’ helping others while keenly knowing that one day we’re going to need help ourselves.  We care – about our businesses, our clients, the great product that is SBS, and mostly we care about our friends in the community and the members that will undoubtedly become our friends.  In short, we care because Grey cares.


Still Grey still Rocks!   … we love ya, Gramps!


** Edit **
Just an FYI – Susan, Wayne & Nick have blogged about this as well . . .

OT: Interesting document that hit the download site today . . .

Wireless Provisioning Services (WPS) technology is a technology for a future release of Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). This paper describes a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) network that allows you to provide pay-per-use, monthly service, and long-term Internet access to new and existing customers through wireless access points deployed in public areas, such as airports and shopping malls. With WPS technology, new and existing customers can connect to your Wi-Fi network without manual configuration of the computer or network connection. This document describes the components of WPS technology, how WPS technology works, and provides deployment scenarios using a future release of Windows Server 2003 with SP1.


Download details: Introduction to Deploying Wireless Provisioning Services (WPS) Technology:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=9adf7496-0d50-4138-848e-9bc810b83c01&displaylang=en


Not exactly something you’d normally do with SBS – but I thought it was interesting nonetheless . . .

Selling Sharepoint Customizations . . . .

So I’m at SMB Nation, and was visiting with someone (who shall remain nameless) about Sharepoint.  They were just starting to see just how flexible and robust WSS is, and they commented that they thought they’d try to go in to the client next week and customize their Sharepoint site to give them some cool features.


What’s wrong with that statement?  What was wrong was that nothing was said about the client’s needs.  You guys want to get your customers exited about Sharepoint and get some billable hours from customizing it for them?  DON’T show them the “cool” features to do the sell.  Most smallbiz customers really don’t care that you can pull RSS feeds into Sharepoint, or that you have the MSNBC web parts for news & weather.  Many won’t see the value of a Sharepoint contact list (after all, we’ve already sold them on Outlook / shared contacts), etc. 


I suggest starting off small – use Sharepoint to solve a relatively simple problem for the client.  Something that may be simple enough that the client doesn’t see it necessarily as a problem – but you see it as at least an inefficiency.  Here’s an example:  we have a client who had an Excel spreadsheet they used to list their job numbers.  These job numbers are classified depending on what type of job they are, so the client has A-jobs, B-jobs, C-jobs, etc., and they had set up a separate worksheet in the Excel file for each job type.  The problem was that there were 10 people who needed to access this information to either create new job numbers, or lookup job numbers for POs, time tickets, etc.  They had configured the Excel file for sharing, but were getting repeated corruption.  While the Volume Shadow Copy was nice, it was still a pain to determine what changes everyone had made since the last VSS snapshot.  So, our solution was to import this information into their Sharepoint site as a simple little 6 field custom list.  They haven’t had a problem since, and now we’re looking at adding additional functionality for them.


Most small businesses have some sort of data that it seems several people need, but it almost always ends up that they have the receptionist or whomever be the keeper for that data.  So you’ve got people either calling the receptionist or coming up to their desk to ask for some sort of info from this data.  Another example are those customers who have the notorious whiteboard that has some sort of list / data on it, which may be either static or dynamic – but whenever anyone needs that info, they’ve got to go to the whiteboard to get it.  This is the stuff that you should be moving into Sharepoint for your clients.  The great part is that it is very easy to train users on this – out of all of your computer applications, the web browser is arguably the environment that all users are familiar and comfortable with, and basic lists are very intuitive to use, especially with the filter & sort options.  Once you’re able to introduce Sharepoint to many of your customers as an effictive tool to solve a problem / increase efficiency, they’re going to be much more apt to look at it, and you’re going to get more business on customize Sharepoint than you ever would simply by showing them the “cool” stuff.