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NT 4.0 SP7 available, but not on planet Earth

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NT 4.0 Service Pack 7 is available - but not on this planet. Sharp-eyed reader Jon Bright, who has interesting tastes in bedtime reading, points us to a few clues to this bizarre piece of Microsoft channel segmentation.

If you check the January crew logs for the International Space Station, and you don't nod off immediately, you eventually find extraterrestrial tech support fixing the server. "Shep and Yuri," it says, "update the file server with service pack 7. No problems. We reboot the server and it runs well all day."

And clearly, they are running NT. Jon (who still doesn't seem quite able to close his eyes) refers us to the December crew logs, where the chums are caught musing about memory management and storage: "We do the MPV update on the file server per the OCA note. MPV load does not seem to copy completely and server has a number of error messages. We are apparently out of memory space on the disk, although we're not sure exactly how NT manages its memory. Wait to talk to Houston. We discuss this later in the day, and then delete all the MPV files which frees up about 800 Mb. We also plug in one of the 1 Gb PC cards, so at least for the short term, the server has some more storage space. We would like to know a little more about the long term plan to manage storage on the server--we were kind of wondering when the hard drive was going to get full. Answered that question today."

Further into the December logs there's some indication of why a service pack became necessary. "Backup took a while. Kept getting messages that "registry" was full, [uh-oh...] although backup eventually completed itself. We believe that the server is trying to handle a lot of program transactions, and this is taking most of the computing power it has."

But maybe the trouble's something to do with Sergei getting dubious attachments in Russian: "Everyone at a laptop to read mail and sort through the message traffic. We all are seeing some problems. Sergei moved all his mail to a personal folder, yet his ".ost" file is still over 1 Mb. Shep can't run outlook at all on the MEC configured with the SSC 2 hard disk. Yuri is having trouble doing mail in Russian. He needs help on fonts."

So all things considered, it's a good job they got SP7 in January. Especially as SP7 doesn't exist, and got cancelled in April. And even the page at microsoft.com that said it did exist last week doesn't exist any more. You think maybe we could get the Space Station crew to upload it to an FTP site somewhere? ®

Related links:
Space Station December crew logs
Space Station January crew logs
MS marketing droids release imaginary NT 4.0 SP7

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