I support an older AppleShare IP Server (ASIP) that has been in service for us for years. It does everything we need it to do, is reasonably fast, and is easy as pie to maintain. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?
This particular ASIP machine primarily serves Mac clients (OS X and OS 9) but is also accessed by a handful of Winders clients, and has done so very well for years. Until last week that is. Any XP machine that has had Windows Update KB885250 applied can’t access the server. At all. Remove the update and all is well again.
I’ve suggested to the guy that maintains the PC’s that he just disable auto update and remove the update on the machines that need to get to the server, but he’s (understandably) reluctant to do that because it’d be a hassle, and other machines may one day need to get access to that machine; he doesn’t want to go back & undo a bunch of updates after the fact. His attitude is a lot like what I’d expect to hear from Microsoft; the client machines work fine for everything else, so the problem lies with the server. Fix the server.
ASIP is pretty much a retired product, having given way to OS X Server a few years back, so there are no forthcoming updates for the server. The only “update” would be to spend $1000 for an unlimited client license for OS X Server, which would be overkill in this case. No response yet to my complaints to Microsoft, and I’m not holding my breath waiting for one. I’m sure they’d be glad to sell me a Windows 2003 server to replace this one.
I’m certainly not the only one in this boat. There are still thousands of ASIP servers still in use around the world… Lots of them in schools with limited budgets. Are all of these places going to dump a perfectly good server that’s worked well for them for years because Microsoft broke something?
Reading Joe’s rant made me think of this issue. How many times does a Microsoft “update” or “bug fix” have serious unintended consequences that end up costing us money?