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Forums for Windows Admins? 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?"
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Forums for Windows Admins?

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  • I know you don't want to hear this, but the good posts makes the occasional spam well worth it. Oh yeah, and FP.
    • by leonbrooks ( 8043 ) <SentByMSBlast-No ...> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:49AM (#8098368) Homepage
      ...that we're "more technical" because we have better toys. Having any modern Linux distribution is like having a honking great Lego (tm) [] collection (top toy, and it runs under MS-Windows as well []). 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 [] which includes it, and/or pull down a free PERL [] and have a go with that as a glue language.

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

        It's pretty good, but slow. Your posts don't usually appear to other people for several hours after you post them and vice versa. If you just want to ask a question and get an answer, this may be fine, but for a back-and-forth discussion, it can be frustrating. By the time you see something and respond to it and then wait for others to see your response, the discussion may have already ended.
  • by Ieshan ( 409693 ) <> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @02:27AM (#8097394) Homepage Journal
    Usually take place over at 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.
  • Search (Score:1, Troll)

    by HRbnjR ( 12398 )
    Heh, well, normally I would say go Google [] for it, but in your case, you may feel more comfortable with an MSN Search [] :P

    p.s. Perhaps here []?
  • Hmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by Medgur ( 172679 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @02:36AM (#8097420) Homepage
    I've been using this one for years:

    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 (Score:3, Funny)

      by dtfinch ( 661405 ) *
      Previously known as, 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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by tres ( 151637 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:09AM (#8097743) Homepage
      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.

      • 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 />
      • 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 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @02:40AM (#8097436)
    Learn to filter. Learn to use 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 -- 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 (Score:2, Informative)

      by scott_davey ( 552885 )
      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.

  • 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.
  • Most good sysadmins have to wear multiple OS hats so here's a bunch that I frequent when researching for solutions....'s a decent place for windows related discussions...

    For sun stuff, the best place is really sun itself

    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...

    Hope that helps.
  • Start your own forum. It worked for Slashdot, it might work for you.
  • *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.

    • by orthogonal ( 588627 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:29AM (#8097610) Journal
      *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.
      • 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. :)

      • > 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.
      • 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 t
        • You guys need to head on over to 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 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.

          • Tab filename completion, aliases, the whole schebang. You pipe stuff together

            Um, cmd also has tab completion and aliases. But I'm going to go check this thing out anyway, since I like zsh.
            • I have no idea what CMD does anymore. 4NT (which used to be called 4DOS, and before that, NDOS, part of norton utilities in the DOS age) had it YEARS before CMD/ did. You will enjoy it. The INI file can be a bitch but it's a once-in-a-lifetime effort.
      • Not to flame, but your statement:

        I have the best of both worlds

        Can be done on a linux point of view by saying that I also have both worlds, when running linux, by using win4lin. Win4Lin [] has been great to me by allowing me to make my mothers computer run linux while using win4lin to be the graphic display. She has all the functionality of windows she needs, while I have all the peace of mind of linux I need.

        Your cygwin under windows 2000 may have the linux functionality you need, but If my mother
        • Can be done on a linux point of view by saying that I also have both worlds, when running linux, by using win4lin.

          But win4Lin is almost $90 more than Cygwin, and it doesn't support Windows 2000 or XP. No way I'm going to run Windows 98 ever again, emulated or not.

          But thanks for the info; it is an alternative that works for you and, I assume, others.
    • by unixbob ( 523657 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:06AM (#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
      • 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
        • 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.
          • 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
            • 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!

      • 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 requ
        • 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 experie
      • 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
        • 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?
      • > 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,
        • 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
      • by gtrubetskoy ( 734033 ) * on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @11:28AM (#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.

      • Try and do the same thing on UNIX.
        # apt-get install your_favorite_MTA your_favorite_IMAP your_favorite_POP3 ..... (some minutes later) ..... # make fun
      • Try and do the same thing on UNIX.
        # apt-get install your_favorite_MTA
        your_favorite_IMAP your_favorite_POP3
        (some minutes later)
        # make fun
    • I wish I had mod points for your post ... I wouldn't have said it better.
    • *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 do

  • Mailing Lists (Score:5, Informative)

    by shyster ( 245228 ) < minus city> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:04AM (#8097521) Homepage
    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 [] and through NNTP []. 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 []. 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 []. 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.

    • 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 assistan
  • Microsoft newsgroups (Score:2, Informative)

    by dedazo ( 737510 )

    Look for the* 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 [].

    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.

  • by mugnyte ( 203225 ) * on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:13AM (#8097552) Journal
    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 ;)

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

    you sadist !
    • Re:Asking for it ? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kinnell ( 607819 )
      you sadist !

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

      • 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.


        Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish.
        Teach a man to fish, and you have a new competitor.
        • 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.
  • by harakh ( 304850 ) <> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:34AM (#8097627)
    Ars Technica [], 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 []. From my limited knowledge it seems like the place you are looking for.
  • Neowin (Score:3, Informative)

    by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:36AM (#8097631) Homepage Journal
    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
  • But you seem to have figured that out already.
  • NTBugtraq (Score:3, Informative)

    by molo ( 94384 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:40AM (#8097642) Journal
    When I used to work with Windows, I found Russ Cooper's NTBugtraq mailing list to be an invaluable resource.

    More info at []


  • 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? []

    Mirroring Controllers - What have been Your Experiences? []

    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.
  • Cause and effct (Score:2, Interesting)

    by the_womble ( 580291 )
    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.

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

  • by ajagci ( 737734 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:14AM (#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 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?
  • I use one of 3 resources for windows administrating: [] []
    and microsofts, relatively spam free, free public news forums: (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:
    multiple securityfocus lists
    (word of caution: bugtraq and securityfocus groups have been having ocassional spammer breakin's who have spammed the list
  • 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)
  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
    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.
  • 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
  • by Isomer ( 48061 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:11AM (#8098065) Homepage

    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 []. 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

  • by smoon ( 16873 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:11AM (#8098254) Homepage
    "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.

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

    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.
  • High-end Technical Voodoo only. []

    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.

  • by smartin ( 942 )
    I know thats where i'd be if i had to administer windows boxes.
  • I've been reading [] 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.
  • You can always find more information on the Microsoft community here [].
  • This is an ok place to start. is always a good start /io-wait
  • To actually try and answer the question at hand:

    Forums & News Servers
    nntp://news.mi c

    Resource Sites:

    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
  • 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

    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.
  • Hell.
    That's where all the windows luser will be.
  • Not necessarily to replace what you do with Windows. But since there's obviously a lot of discussion going on about Linux, you shouldn't have trouble learning it, and you will learn more about Windows that way. Maybe until you become an expert yourself.

    By then, you'll want to find a forum to use. But by then, hopefully you'll have decided to use Linux anyway.
  • As a Linux consultant who works largely with mostly-Windows organizations, I find it especially difficult to find good discussions of cross-platform issues.

    For instance, I'd like to get the copy of SquirrelMail I'm running on a Linux server to use the LDAP functionality of my client's MS Active Directory server. Unfortunately, as in all LDAP-related things I've tried, it's definitely not just a matter of pointing the client at the server. And, even though I can find stuff at Microsoft on things like thei
  • A good windows site something similar to Slashdot that I just discovered this week is ActiveWin []. There doesen't appear to be very many users there and I've only seen a few posts on the site but I think that it has potential. From the few posts that I have ever saw there seems to be a lot of Linux haters, kind of reminds of the all windows haters on slashdot. The site is almost some type of strange backwards Slashdot about Windows and windows software that has very few users.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie