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# Monday, August 7, 2006

I've begun to notice that several people are unaware of a very important feature of terminal services that can come in handy.  When a server is setup for remote administration mode Microsoft allows two remote administration sessions.  There are at least two issues with this  The first one is that there are only two, so if you have three different administrators trying to remotely log into the same server then the third administrator who tries is going to receive a message informing them that they cannot log in.  The other issue is that some applications output their messages to the console, so if you are logged in remotely you may not be able to view a critical message.
    So what's the solution to this?  Well what few people seem to be aware of is that you can remotely connect to the console session.  This allows you to view any error messages that may get outputted directly to the console, and this also gives you one more remote session to utilize.
    In order to access the console session by way of terminal services you'll need to invoke mstsc from the run prompt using the /console parameter, enter in your address as usual, then log into the remote system.
    It is extremely simple, yet can come in very handy, especially when s few administrators need access to the same server.  This trick could save you a long walk to the server room.  Just remember if you're logged into the console session remotely that means no one can log in directly at the keyboard.  If someone has the console locked when you try to log in remotely to it you will be prompted if you want to continue and end their session.  This will work on servers in application mode, but you must be an administrator on the server to be able to log into the console session.

Monday, August 7, 2006 5:00:00 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback - Save to - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter
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# Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Well, I recently passed the Microsoft 70-290 exam, Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment and the primary book I used for studying was a book published by Que titled MCSA/MCSE Training Guide: Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment.  The book was an easy read, but I don't feel it was enough alone to pass the test even though I did manage to do so on the first try.  I do consider the book a good introduction for someone who is not very familiar with Windows server environments.  It goes over all the basics of the features of 2003, but I don't feel the details were covered enough to allow someone to successfully pass the test.  My suggestion would be to go over plenty of practice tests and have hands on experience with Server 2003.  You can download a free six month evaluation period version so you should have sufficient time to go through all the examples in the book and try setting up your own functioning server environment.  The test has a handful of simulation questions so someone with hands on experience should feel more comfortable on these questions.  The book assumes previous knowledge of activity directory and domains so you should consider it a good idea to pick up a book on these topics before beginning this book.   

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 6:00:00 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback - Save to - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter
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# Monday, July 24, 2006

  Originally the mail server for was running on a FreeBSD box using the qmailrocks setup.  IMHO, this is the best mail setup you can have and it’s all free except for your hardware.  This setup has built in spam and virus filters, webmail access, web administration features, and an excellent mailing list setup.  So what's the only drawback to it?  Well you have to setup and administer it yourself.  Not a problem for day to day activities, but when it comes to upgrades and troubleshooting errors it can get a little hairy.  The support mailing list it full of very helpful people, but trying to get things fixed when you really need to get them fixed fast can be complicated unless you know all the in's and out's of the multiple software packages that are involved in the install. 

   As a result has been switched to Gmail For Your Domain Beta.  Granted it doesn't have nearly the amount of features that the qmailrock setup has, but it does have the power of Gmail, and best of all it's all running on the very reliable servers at Google.  There are a few significant drawbacks that will hopefully be resolved soon.  The first one is that total storage space is limited to 2GBs.  This is extremely low for most domains.  Also, the quantity of email accounts for the domain is limited to 25.  This as well is fairly limited for most domains.  One final thing that needs to be added is secure IMAP access to the servers as for now there is only the Gmail web interface and POP access.  (Okay, one more.  Multiple domain aliases would be nice as well.)

  So why do I think this is so great?  Well because of the reliably of the servers and the ability to uses the features of Gmail.  Also, the folks at Google are always working hard to add new features so you know something excellent is on the way….

Monday, July 24, 2006 6:00:00 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback - Save to - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter
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