Fresh Win2k Install and Windows Update Error

I needed to re-install a Windows 2000 Pro system today because the HDD was failing and we wanted to convert from ATA to SATA at some point anyways. We have nice gzipped dd images of the system, but that’s with the ATA drive and a different SATA controller. The install is also old and crufty. We need a system in a better known state and so fresh re-install it is.

As to why I’m installing Windows 2000 in 2011? This application requires Windows 2000 Pro as it is an instrument controller and thus the proprietary control software is finicky and we only receive support with the manufacturer-mandated OS and software stack version(s). There are a few other reasons why we also need to keep Windows 2000 Pro at this point but they aren’t relevant or interesting.

Now on to the problem.

Windows Update no longer works from a fresh install of Win2k Pro! The issue is Internet Explorer 5, the version of IE bundled with Windows 2000 Pro. Windows Update now requires at least IE6 in order to function properly. I don’t know when that changed but presumably some time ago as I haven’t run Windows Update on a fresh 2000 install in years. Luckily the solution is fairly simple, just download IE6 from and get rockin’.

It struck me as strange at first but quite understandable after a few moments of reflecting on it, especially considering Windows 2000 reached end-of-life in July 2010.

Yeah, that post pretty much sucked. Sorry, folks.

I’m in z-push Limbo

Sparked by the purchase of a new phone with Internet connectivity and native support for push email (ableit with ActiveSync), I decided to see what I could do about pushifying the IMAP server at work.

We run Dovecot 1.1 with a MySQL backend and Postfix for MTA duties. Everything requires both TLS and SSL for authentication and everything requires authentication except for sending mail from the local subnet. It works pretty well. I never touch the thing anymore, it just runs. However, it doesn’t support push email and it certainly doesn’t support ActiveSync. So I went looking for something that could do push email to my spankin’ new phone.

I was surprisingly happy to discover z-push, an open source, standalone ActiveSync implementation in PHP. Well hot damn!

I initially installed the latest stable release, but then quickly tried the SVN trunk for any potential fixes that have yet to make it out to the stable release because I wasn’t having much success. After a few simple problems got resolved and I was updated to the SVN trunk things started to work… kind of. The initial sync takes forever! I didn’t have the patience to wait for all my mail to download because it appeared to be taking several minutes per email. The folder list loaded right up and my nearly empty inbox too but any folder with more than a few messages was taking forever to sync. Not to mention the apache server started to churn CPU pretty hard on the server. Also, it seemed the sync would only even start to work if I had “No Limit” selected on the iPhone for history of emails to sync. Maybe the large volume initial sync by using “No Limit” is just too taxing and that’s why it’s brutally slow but I kept getting “Cannot Get Mail – The connection to the server failed.” on my iPhone if I selected any option besides “No Limit”.

On top of that, push didn’t work!

I’ll keep plugging away at it next week, maybe post on the z-push forums to see if I can get this figured out. Cheers for now.

Microsoft Campus Agreement Double Dipping

I’m not a lawyer nor a business analyst nor a licensing expert but I’m annoyed at Microsoft’s double dipping on Windows licenses under their Campus Agreements. Apparently, Windows and Windows only, under the Campus Agreement is an upgrade license and not a full (albeit leased) license like every other product falling under the Campus Agreement.

What this practically means is that for a PC to qualify for a Windows license under the Campus Agreement one must have purchased that PC with an OEM version of Windows installed. How is that not double dipping, Microsoft? Is it simply because you call the CA license an upgrade? Why not apply the same rules to Office or would that be too obvious of a rape for your customer base to handle? I also find it humorous that if you buy a Mac from Apple, apparently the upgrade clause doesn’t apply! I wonder why that is? Perhaps it’s because Microsoft would like keep Mac users dependent on their software by offering it under the CA without the big “gotcha” you’ve snuck in for other manufacturers PCs because it’s impossible without Apple selling OEM copies of Windows? Why wouldn’t Microsoft want to “convert” some Linux geeks with whitebox or custom built PCs back to their platform the same way as Mac users? Not a big enough install base to care?

Am I the only person that thinks this is double dipping? Am I missing something here?