Our first rant (with thanks to Jerry Solomon)

This blog is for all the news about Gatehouse and our productions, so a rant is the last thing that you are likely to see here, but if you bear with me you will see why I am writing this:

Gatehouse upgraded our IT infrastructure in early 2007 away from one hacked qmail server and a bunch of laptops to a centralised server for file sharing and Microsoft Small Business Server 2003. This allowed us to become much more efficient at retrieving data from old shoots and to make sure that when a laptop hard-drive failed (’cause they always do) that we did not lose data and have much crying and wailing about how computers are crap (they are).

Fast forward to 2010 and we can email clients without getting stuck in their spam-filter and can retrieve all information about the shoot we did in 2005. Yay? Yay!

Earlier this year Apple upgraded their native mail app to interface with Exchange 2007. At that point we started finding out about upgrading our server software only to find out that Microsoft truly are evil (but we all knew that right?).

SBS (Small Business Server) has zero upgrade path. By this I mean if we wanted to upgrade to Exchange 2007 we would have to buy the entire server software from scratch. This to say the least is pretty galling. Most software companies will reward loyal clients with a subsidised upgrade path, not Microsoft. You paid full price 3 years ago, you pay full price now buddy! Needless to say we shelved the idea.

Now Microsoft released Office for Mac 2011 (it’s about time). I installed this yesterday only to find out that the new mail client program is not compatible with Exchange 2003. So that is the version behind the current version of 2007. Not only that, our hardware, which has been perfectly adequate in terms of speed and power, is now out of date too – 32 bit instead of 64 bit – and we not only have to replace the software, but the box it sits on too. If I could afford to I’d take these monkeys to court.

Bye bye Microsoft, you are the embodiment of pure evil. Google, while not a blameless organisation, will let me host my email for 50 dollars a year. I never have to worry about boxes, power-loss, upgrades, any-damn-thing. It just works. I have to use your office suite, because the free version is just not good enough, but if I could, I would.


The Gatehouse IT / Marketing etc. Guy