Apparently the community college that I go to signed up for the whole Microsoft Dreamspark program thing, and went as far as to set it up so that you can sign up for said program using just your SSN, and while that is a little bit creepy, I'd say it's pretty cool too so it balances out nicely.
For those of you who haven't heard of MS' Dreamspark program, it's this thing that microsoft has been doing for a few months now where if you're a college student, or have been accepted into a college that supports dreamspark, you can sign up and download anything you want from this small pool of software they offer, no charges at all, just relatively slowish download speeds. It's a pretty cool idea in my opinion, but the software list they offer isn't really much; that's not to say it's not awesome, though. Free (usually expensive) software for download? Woo! But if they offered like, Office07 or 03 & WinXP it would be pretty nice.
Then again, they software they offer is mainly geared towards "aspiring software developers" or whatever. They have: VisualStudio 2008pro, MS Expressions (2007?), MS SQL Server, VisualStudio 2005pro, xna game studio, and last but not least, MS Server 2003 standard. The first thing that really interested me was that srvr2003, so I downloaded it right away. And by right away I mean two 600MB ISOs at 230KB/s.
Once it did finish, however, I opened up VMWare and loaded it in to begin playing with it. First impression: just like windows 2000 server. Second impression: just like windows 2000 server with some new added features and fancier logos. New software is new software, though, and from playing with it in vmware I found a lot of neato little serverish things.
Playing with it in vmware, though, got boring. Running an OS like this on real hardware is oh so much more interesting. Realizing that I don't exactly have many capable PCs around here, I began to stumble on what I would run this on. I then remembered "the valtec," which is a generic whitebox PC that I got from a friend of mine for helping him move. It's not really spectacular- PIII 500, 512MB, 20GB, etc. However, that does *almost* fit into the "suggested requirements" for wndwssrvr2003stndrd, and it easily clears the minimum. After converting those ISOs into warmly burned compact disks I hooked up the valtec booted it up off the first disk. The install went like any other install, except it took an epicly long time, about an hour and a half.
From this I expected that it would run about as quickly, or as not quickly, as it installed. Much to the contrary it runs pretty fast, *nearly* wndwssrvr2000 speed, which I suppose isn't too radically crazy considering it's only three years newer, hee hee. So right now it's got remote desktop enabled, so I can hook right into it from the R61i here with no issues. I've got a web server running on it, but I'm not going to open the port until I have some data to dump there, which may take a while, if it ever happens.
Allllsooooo.... I've been making some great strides in my bike engine-ification project, both in using the engine I already have and in possibly getting a new engine off ebay for $150 shipped. The new engine is looking good because it has nice things, like a clutch and is connected to the wheel by a drive shaft, not a roller. The other option is using the engine I have now, but it needs some work and to mount it to the bike I still need some sort of mounting bracket. Making one of those would probably take longer than it would to get the money for an engine.