There'll be a dozen flavors of Windows 2000 to suit just about every IT professional. Plus, fan mail!

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There'll be a dozen flavors of Windows 2000 to suit just about every IT professional. Plus, fan mail!

It seems that my fondness for junk food has preceded me. I was recently contacted by a major beverage manufacturer to test a new line of drinks intended to compete against my beloved Yoo Hoo. My tastebuds jumping at the chance to be doused in corn syrup, I nevertheless declined the offer because my conscience simply wouldn’t let me consort with The Enemy. Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple, as in the case of Yoo Hoo. Other times, variety is the spice of life—witness Windows 2000.

Win2K comes in four versions; Professional (aka, “son of NT4 Workstation”), Server, Advanced Server, and Data Center Server. The biggest difference between Server and Advanced Server is clustering support. Data Center will be out a couple of months after the other three, with increased SMP capability and more goodies for your nuclear-powered back office.

Then there’s Microsoft “Comet,” some ultra-secret project that’ll come on the heels of W2K’s release. Comet ties together networking and security, but it’s really just a red herring to throw you off the trail of these new, ulta-secret versions of Windows 2000:

  • Windows 2000 ShoppingCenter—This version of the OS is specifically designed for retail enterprises, and includes a laundry, supermarket, hardware store, pizzeria, and Chinese takeout. W2KSC will also function if several of its retail “nodes” cease operation. Purchase of this version is subject to local zoning laws.
  • Windows 2000 Extra Crispy—Chock full of Colonel Bill’s secret blend of spices, “features,” and undocumented APIs, W2KEC is the perfect accompaniment for the IT professional’s routine du jour, from three-box shops to thousand-server, engulf-and-devour enterprises. Order the combo with a mega-Jolt Cola and french-fried Help Desk, and check under the label for your chance to win a free perforated ulcer!
  • Windows 2000 Lite—For those who prefer a lean, mean OS, it’s W2K Lite, aka Da Operating Smoothie. Retro is in and so is W2K Lite’s styling, with a GUI streamlined into sleek monochrome. You don’t even need a mouse! Just type in your commands at the “C:\>” prompt, which might seem oddly familiar, but hip and innovative. With W2K Lite’s support for cassette tape drives and paper tape puncher/readers, just imagine how much you can save on storage media.
  • Windows 2000 Sort Of Advanced Server—All the features of W2K Server, plus the ability to cluster one node! Great for dual-boot laptops.
  • Windows 2000 CAL—Not an operating system, but a generic Client Access License for every version of every Back Office product Microsoft has released since the Reagan Administration. This cost-effective solution may be purchased Per Server, Per Seat, or Per Remaining Hair on Your CIO’s Head, take your pick. Now, who can say Windows low TCO is a myth?
  • Windows 2000 IAD—This version features an InActive Directory for users who are just too darn fond of NTLM security, bogus domain models, stream-of-consciousness trust relationships, non-granular administration capabilities, and a flat, inherently-limited namespace. Just because Redmond loves us all, users are required to find the sole accurate entry in their WINS database at every logon, then corrupt it (in case it isn’t already hosed).
  • Windows 2000 Episode One: The Federal Menace—A completely interactive experience. You’re one of two Codi Knights who discover a young boy with immeasurable potential and a really bad haircut on a far-off planet. Can you evade the evil JustSith and deliver the boy safely for training so that he can grow immensely powerful and force you to upgrade at his whim? Stay tuned for Episode Two.
  • Windows 2000 South Park Special Edition—Publishing deadlines being what they are, this is the first chance Auntie has had to reflect on Bill Gates’ brief but pivotal appearance in the summer’s “South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut” extravaganza, a cinematic cameo worthy of Hitchcock, Woody Allen, or even Dudley Moore. I’ve just heard word of the special W2K release commemorating the film: WKSPSE, when installed, checks all text files on your system against the movie’s credits and if it comes up with a match, it low-level formats your system drive. Isn’t that a hoot? The bonus AVI features an animated Steve Case of AOL filling in for Kenny.

The holidays are coming up sooner than you think, and Auntie wanted you to know about these goodies well in advance of the shopping hordes. Why not pick up a few for that special office party or New Year’s Eve survivalist huddle?

Hitting the Fan Mail

I'm kind of new to the IT industry and I have to admit it's harder than heck to find work without a millenia of experience. It's almost as if three years is the magic number. I'm an MCP and a CNA and I thought after certifying the masses would come to me. Guess what? They didn't. Now where's this humungous butt I have to kiss to at least get my toe in the door? I'm anxious and ready to implode if nothing happens soon. Help!!!
Starving, Jose A.

Humongous butts are all over the place (have you checked Washington, DC, for instance?), but you might as well unpucker those lips. If you're new to the field, consider that there's more competition at the entry level than a few years ago. What else do you bring to the table besides those certs? Sell your other skills as well as your MCP and CNA certifications, both of which are pretty much entry level. You'd probably be well off continuing to study while you job hunt, and consider looking for first-level Help Desk work. It doesn't pay that much, but it'll get you in the right environment where you can demonstrate your skills. Good luck!

The Em C. Pea articles I have seen in recent issues of MCP Magazine have a style, insight, and tone of Kim Kommando, a technology writer for Popular Mechanics as well as a syndicated column in many major papers. In fact, I would have to say you were both of the same caliber.
     I don't like her either.
James W.

You're off my Christmas list, Jimmy boy! Her Auntieness does not at all appreciate being compared to someone who made her rep through an infomercial. I work for a living—pundit and IT deity is a side job I do out of the weirdness of my heart. As far as I can tell about Kim K., to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, "There ain't no there there." Guess I'm off her Christmas list now. Darn! I really wanted to use her tapes to teach my cat Excel.

About the Author

Em C. Pea, MCP, is a technology consultant, writer and now budding nanotechnologist who you can expect to turn up somewhere writing about technology once again.

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