WServerNews Special Edition: Happy 25th Birthday!!!

In this issue:

WServerNews is 25 years old today! Let’s celebrate!! Plus lots more — read it all, read it here on WServerNews!

Our newsletter started back on September 20th, 1997 and has been mailed out each week now for 25 years! Wish us happy birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚ Photo by Nick Stephenson on Unsplash

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Editor’s Corner

This week we are happy to announce that WServerNews our weekly newsletter is now 25 years old! WServerNews was started by Stu Sjouwerman back in September 1997 and quickly grew to tens of thousands of subscribers. Back then it was called W2Knews in anticipation of the next release of Windows NT 4.0 being released in the year 2000. Of course that was a prescient naming decision since Microsoft decided to call the mew version Windows 2000 instead of Windows NT 5.0.

Stu was at the helm of this newsletter for the first 15 years of its existence and has since moved on to found KnowBE4 a leading security awareness training company. TechGenix acquired WServerNews in 2012 and handed over editorial control to Ingrid and myself, and for the last 10 years we’ve provided you, our wonderful readers, with news, insights, tips, tools and fun stuff to help you do your IT job—and keep you from getting bored!

So to celebrate this amazing track record of an IT newsletter running for two and a half decades, we’ve devoted a portion of this issue below to a look back at what our IT world was like back when our newsletter was started. Enjoy the rest of this issue, and help us celebrate by wishing us happy birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers, Mitch

This Week in IT from 25 years ago

Instead of our usual compendium of recent IT industry news compiled by Your Editors, this week we’ve included excerpts of news items from the first year of our newsletter’s existence along with a few Editor’s Notes to draw attention to some things you might find interesting. We hope you enjoy this look back in time to the glory days of our IT profession! Here goes…

From our 20 Sept 1997 issue:


Just when the NT 5.0 beta is supposed to be released at the DevCon this week, we get the new code-name for the next generation: “Millenium.” Looks like they plan to come out in the year 2000! It is very likely that one if it’s flavors will be the version that replaces Win98 and becomes the “Personal Version” that gets preinstalled on any new piece of hardware you will buy. The Server and Enterprise flavors of “Millenium” will nicely coincide with Intel’s 64-bit Merced chips, so there is a good chance these will be tuned for one another.

[EDITOR’S NOTE” Actually “millennium” is spelled with two “n”s ;-)]

From our 6 Oct 1997 issue:


Microsoft told the press last week that this year they will up their R&D budget from 2.1 to 2.5 Billion dollars. Their research team is laying the foundation for Millennium (2 n’s).

They have decided that the future of operating systems is in distributed processing, they are now working on an O/S that will span more than one computer. It basically will again raise the level of abstraction to a higher level, and is pretty revolutionary they admit.

Millennium is going in the direction of self-configuring, self-monitoring, self-tuning, secure and easily scalable. Architectures such as higher abstraction, just-in-time binding, O/S introspection and irrelevance of storage and location are going to make it happen.

This of course has a lot to do with Zero-Admin as well, it sure is going in that direction! Self-repair would also be an item that would fit in this list, but practically nobody is willing to have their servers hooked up 100% of the time to Microsoft, and have new chunks of O/S automatically loaded onto their servers. I think _that_ is going to be taking it a bit too far ๐Ÿ˜‰

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Re-read that last paragraph and laugh (or cry) depending on how you feel today about Windows Update in Windows 10 and 11.]

From our 2 Nov 1997 issue:


As you may already have found out, Microsoft has increased their Premiere Support Fees with about 30%-50%. (The reported percentages are a bit different per country). From a user perspective, this is not a particularly justifiable move. Microsoft claims that this new fee will include a visit from one of their engineers once a year but you can understand that this has caused some people to wonder if it is worth it.

Well, that depends completely on the cost of your downtime. In the mini- and mainframe world this is the dreaded “d”-word as in these environments you can easily get a cost of $100,000 per hour of downtime. But this is getting more and more true of Mission Critical NT installations as well. If you look at tens of thousands of NT Workstations on Wall Street you will see what I mean. One hour downtime of a top trader can cost a few million.

Windows NT Servers do crash now and then. There are different kinds of crashes as well. Sometimes it’s a BSOD and a reboot fixes the problem. Sometimes the server cannot be booted anymore and then the real trouble starts. A recent survey we did showed this happens on average once every 9-16 months and workstations crash (unbootable) more often. The latter probably due to user errors one would presume. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But what IS the cost of unplanned downtime? For some reason the system crashed and you are in an sudden “unscheduled maintenance” crisis. A server that is operational 99% of the time is still going to conk out on you 80 hours per year…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: When was the last time you had a visit from a live Microsoft engineer? Or were willing to view an SLA of 99% uptime as being reasonably acceptable? My, how times have changed!!]

From our 26 Dec 1997 issue:


Microsoft has updated a security alert for NT. It’s for both 3.5x and NT 4.0 servers. The default values for some of the security keys allow anyone with a valid user or domain name to log on and gain administrative rights, or run programs that can cause server damage.

The problem is with the following registry keys:


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsCurrentVersion\RunOnce; and


To be sure only authorized administrators get these rights, fire up your RegEdit and for each key

1) Click Security, Permissions;

2) Select “Replace Permissions on Existing Subkeys”;

3) Click on Everyone, then change the Type Of Access to Read, Click OK.

It’s an easy fix, better do this on critical servers…

[EDITOR’S NOTE: So I guess the default security for Windows NT Server was a bit weak, eh?]

Want to read more? You can access all the back issues of WServerNews from Sept 1997 through Aug 2019 on our old newsletter archive site. More recent back issues can be found on our TechGenix archive page. Enjoy!

Upcoming webcasts, workshops and conferences

Got an event, conference or webcast you want announced in our newsletter? Email us!

Microsoft Ignite is coming on October 12-14 in Seattle, Washington USA – In person and virtual – Register now!

Also be sure to check out the following event listings:

Got comments about anything in this issue?

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Meet the Editors!

MITCH TULLOCH is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written more than a thousand articles and has authored or been series editor for over 50 books for Microsoft Press and other publishers. Mitch has also been a twelve-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in the technical category of Cloud and Datacenter Management. He currently runs an IT content development business in Winnipeg, Canada that produces books, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, courseware, documentation, newsletters and articles for various companies.

INGRID TULLOCH is Associate Editor of WServerNews. She was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press and collaborated on developing university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. Ingrid also manages Research and Development for the IT content development business she runs together with Mitch.

Subscribe today to WServerNews!

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IT Workshop – tools, guides and useful stuff

Got a product or solution or some other resource you’d like to tell our readers about? Email us!

Our TOOL OF THE WEEK is Power Automate, a service from Microsoft that helps you create automated workflows between your favorite apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, collect data, and more. And for an example of how you can use Power Automate see this article on TechRepublic.

Organizations often encounter unexpected incidents that cause disruptions to service delivery and quality. Learn how to manage cyber security incidents with this guide from TechGenix.

Worried about ransomware? See this guide from Threatpost on how to survive a ransomware attack.

Tips and Tutorials

Got tips or tutorials you’d like to recommend for our readers? Email us!

Some tips and tutorials this week for those using Hyper-V as a virtualization platform:

Important Things to Consider before Deploying Hyper-V Replication (TechGenix)

Compact Hyper-V VHDX files using PowerShell (PowerShell Is Fun)

Saving electricity in your home lab using Powershell – part 1. Automating graceful shutdown (Just Another Windows Noob)

Saving electricity in your home lab using Powershell – part 2. Starting the previously running vms after power on (Just Another Windows Noob)

Saving electricity in your home lab using Powershell – part 3. Using WOL to wake the lab on demand (Just Another Windows Noob)

And for more Hyper-V training see Windows Server Hyper-V and Virtualization from Microsoft Learn.


Got a freebie you want to offer our readers? You can reach almost 200,000 IT pros worldwide with our newsletter—email us!

Veeam is a premier sponsor of Google Cloud Next 2022 on Oct. 11-13 and they’re giving away a FREE Veeam t-shirt and the opportunity to win a SONY PlayStation 5 plus other great prizes! Register here!

Factoid: Is the NFL fumbling the ball?

Here’s a new factoid for our readers to chew on:

Fact: The National Football League (NFL) is breaking into the direct-to-consumer streaming business.


Question: Are any other readers annoyed by the tsunami of niche streaming services appearing? Do you miss the days good old 500 channel cable TV? Our family here in Canada loves soccer (or football to those of you out there in the rest of the world) and we currently have to subscribe to FOUR (ack!) streaming services in order to get our weekly fix of Champions League, Europe League, Premier League, Belgian Pro League, Bundesliga and other soccer games we want to watch. That’s a LOT OF MONEY—argh! How do readers feel about this explosion of new streaming services for sports and entertainment? Email us your answer and we’ll include it in our next issue!

Fun videos from Flixxy

Let’s get away from it all this week by going away to Africa:

Hexacopter Flying in Cameroon, Africa – Exciting flying with an R/C hexacopter in Africa – in between bushes, bridges and close to people.

Sneaky Lion – Dexter the lion is sneaking up on his friend Dean Schneider at the Hakuna Mipaka wildlife sanctuary in South Africa.

African Grey Parrot Talking (with subtitles) – The African Grey parrot is considered to be one of the most intelligent birds. Here, “Ruby” shows off his vocabulary and speaking skills.

Dog Cam: The Carefree Life Of A Dog In Cape Town ­– A happy dog’s life in Cape Town, South Africa, recorded with a GoPro camera on his back. Music: ‘Hearts’ by Johnny Neon

And Finally

The odd, the stupid and the remarkable. Good for your mental health.

Canva, the $26 billion design startup, launches a productivity suite to take on Google Docs and Microsoft Office (Fortune)

[Frankly I’d rather use WordPerfect from Corel!]

Microsoft Teams stores auth tokens as cleartext in Windows, Linux, Macs (Bleeping Computer)

[What’s to worry about your privacy? The NSA probably decrypts all your Internet traffic anyways.]

[What’s to worry? The NSA probably decrypts all Internet traffic anyways.]

Google cancels half the projects at its internal R&D group Area 120 (TechCrunch)

[Better to kill them off early instead of letting them die from abandonment the way Google usually deals with their failed products.]

Google Deepmind Researcher Co-Authors Paper Saying AI Will Eliminate Humanity (Motherboard)

[Forget about worrying about UFOs and alien invasions, this could be way more serious!]

Hey reader! Got an amazing or weird or funny link you’d like to suggest for this section of our newsletter? Email us! But please make sure that it’s G-rated as in “Gee whiz”, “Golly!”, “Good grief!”, “Gaaahh!!” and so on. Thanks!

Please tell others about WServerNews!

We hope you enjoyed this issue of WServerNews! Feel free to send us feedback on any of the topics we’ve covered—we love hearing from our readers! And please tell others about WServerNews! It’s free and always will be free—and they can subscribe to it here. Thanks!!!

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