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An Open Letter to the Home Server Show Community


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For Christmas of 2009 my wife bought me an HP MediaSmart Server EX490. Being the geek that I am, I couldn’t leave the server alone, and I found my way to Home Server Show in very short order. But the geekiness didn’t stop there—I felt the need to develop an add-in for Windows Home Server, and on January 21, 2010, the very first version of Home Server SMART was born.


Thanks to colleagues over at Home Server Land and their WHS Add-In Management tool, I was able to see that Home Server SMART was downloaded and installed by well over 10,000 users! And despite the fact that it had some shortcomings, it scored well in user reviews (4/5 stars). I was honored to have provided an application that provided value to so many users.


Over the last three and a half years, I have been blessed and honored to be a part of such a great community. Despite the ups and downs of the IT world and the demise of the Windows Home Server product we know and love, this community has weathered the storm. I don’t just consider you colleagues, but rather I consider you all friends. Thank you for helping make my endeavors so rewarding.


That said, you all may be wondering what the future holds in store for the original version of Home Server SMART, which on my website is listed as Home Server SMART Classic. It’s been almost two years since it was updated, and I’ve gotten emails from folks wondering if it’s dead.


Fear not, because I have good news! Home Server SMART Classic has gotten an extreme makeover. It still has the UI you know and love, but under the covers it has the same features and capabilities of its newer counterparts, Home Server SMART 2013 and WindowSMART 2013. This includes, but is not limited to, support for SSDs, mobile notifications, disk self-tests, exporting of results and more.


The news gets even better—you can download it and give it a test drive today! Just click here to visit the Home Server SMART Classic page.


But wait…what do you mean by “test drive?” I thought Home Server SMART was free!


You’re right. Three years ago when I released Home Server SMART, I promised it was and always would be free. While there are days when I regret that choice, it nevertheless was a promise. A promise made is a debt unpaid, and so yes, Home Server SMART Classic remains free. The reason I call it a “test drive” is because it’s a beta version. It is a major overhaul to the original Classic code and thus it needs to be tested much more thoroughly in the Home Server Show community.


Donations of course, are always welcome. Development of Home Server SMART Classic and Home Server SMART 2013 represents thousands of hours of work over a three-year period, oftentimes making my wife question why I disappeared for hours at a time into the basement to work on it. If you find that Home Server SMART Classic or 2013 has been of value to you, especially if it helped you avoid serious data loss, please consider making a donation, which can be accessed via the beta page.


Installing Home Server SMART Classic: HSS Classic now uses version 3.5 of the Microsoft .NET Framework. Version 3.5 is really just an extension of .NET 2.0, unlike .NET 4.0 which is a whole new version. Before installing HSS Classic please be sure you’ve applied the Microsoft .NET 3.5 update. Otherwise the add-in will not function properly and may cause the Console to crash when you open it.


Next, the WHS Console will see HSS Classic as a separate add-in from HSS, so it is possible to install HSS Classic without uninstalling the older version. Do NOT install them side-by-side! Please UNINSTALL Home Server SMART before attempting to install Home Server SMART Classic. Also, if uninstalling HSS or installing HSS Classic prompts you to reboot, make sure you do so. If you don’t reboot, HSS Classic won’t work correctly until you do.


Please feel free to leave your feedback in the forums here, as well as on MediaSmartServer.net. Bugs should be logged @ https://www.dojonorthsoftware.net/bugtraq.


Kindest regards,

Matthew Sawyer (msawyer91)

Owner, Dojo North Software, LLC

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I have never used or tried your Home Server SMART and probably never will but I wanted to put a reply up to your post anyway.  You deserve a GIANT THANKS not just for your time & effort developing H.S.SMART but more so for GIVING something back and IMPROVING the world of Home Servers & computing for everyone.  I may not be a supporter of Microsoft nor a user of WHS but I am a huge believer in FOSS (Free & Open Source Software) and the good it does for software & computing as a whole.


You made something that has value and chose to let people use it for free.  I hope from this choice that  you are rewarded with valuable feedback, direction, donations, and thanks from all that use and/or benefit from your contribution.  


Once again thank you & I hope that H.S.Smart succeeds in whatever direction you take it.  

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks Matt, I just joined this forum and found your open letter today. I just finished downloading the Classic version and installed it on my WHS v1. Looks good so far.

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