After a painful hard drive crash in my laptop I finally extended my home network and added a dedicated server machine with a RAID5 disk array to minimize future data loss from hard drive failure. This also allowed me to finally separate the web serving duties from my gaming rig, but it caused a couple of days of downtime for my blog while I was juggling hardware and reassembling and reinstalling the machines. Now everything is done and up and running again. And I think the only people who noticed that the blog was down were probably the comment spammers anyway ;-)
I am running Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit on my file server and Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit on my gaming rig. While this might seem a bit reverse it makes sense for me, since my gaming rig is also used for software development and 3D rendering jobs, and it has 4 GB of RAM as opposed to the 2 GB my file server has. Also, it makes automatic processing of recorded TV shows on my file server easier, as I use the excellent and free DVR-MS Toolbox software to automatically detect commercials for me.
That is also the reason why I am running Windows Vista and not Windows Home Server on my file server, since Windows Home Server is lacking any Media Center functionality which is crucial for me since I am using my file server with my Xbox360 Media Center Extender to play back recorded (commercial-free) HDTV programs.
I called this blog post A fresh Start because I am also getting back to the roots of why I started blogging in the first place. After my first (surprisingly popular) posts about different Subtext configuration scenarios on Windows Vista and IIS7 I fell into the habit of rehashing news from other blogs without adding a lot of value to it. Back in March I wrote a blog post about Upcoming Articles, unfortunately none of which ever got written. The problem was that I wanted to produce more content then I had time for while trying to match (or excel) the quality level of people that get paid to blog all day long.
Now, 9 months later, some of the beta products I wanted to write about such as Windows Home Server and Visual Studio 2008 have been released as final products already, and I better leave it to people such as Paul Thurrott to review and write about them in a more timely manner. I have been working on some of the programming projects I announced back then, but with a full-time job and family & friends I simply haven't had the time yet to bring the results into a format that others can understand and use.
So I am taking a fresh stab at my blog by doing what I did in the beginning: When I hit a problem that I cannot find a solution for on Google and I manage to solve it, I will blog about it. Consider this my mission statement! I had such a case today with my latest blog post about Virtual Server on Vista. If I don't have anything to write about in a couple of months, then I won't talk about things you can find on any other blog already. Most people find my blog through keywords and Google anyway, which means I don't expect anyone to ever hit this post and actually read it :-) It is more of a reminder to myself and a marker in time in case I look back at some point in the future and wonder what I have been thinking about.
Enough said, see you when I solve the next problem!