What's Going On?

We're changing currencies

December 30, 2016

A quick note to let you know that from today, we're making a change to how we price products at the store. 

Previously, all of our eBooks were priced in GBP (Pounds Sterling), as we started the business in the UK. As some of you may know, we've moved from the UK to North America and therefore need to update some of our behind the scenes administration (and accounting) in line with the relocation.

So, you'll see that products are now priced in US Dollars - we've simply converted the old GBP prices over, so there's no "real" price increase, so to speak.

If you have any questions about the changes, or if you spot any errors, please do let us know via the contact form. 

We've been working hard over the last few months preparing our guide to Microsoft's latest release of Windows. I'm delighted to announced that We Got Served's Building a Windows 10 Home Server is now available to pre-order and will be released on Wednesday July 29th - the same day as Windows 10 itself!

Pre-order pricing is just £9.99 through to July 28th, a big saving on the regular price of £12.99 on release day. 

Stay tuned too for a host of bonus chapters that will be available to purchasers over the coming months. There's a ton of additional content in preparation, which you're going to love! With the changes Microsoft have made to the way in which they're releasing Windows 10, there simply wasn't time to research, test and write-up everything we wanted to for launch day. So you can expect to see the book regularly updated over the next few weeks. 

Until then, here's the low-down on what's in store - pre-order today and you'll receive an email as soon as the book is released on July 29th. 

Building a Windows 10 Home Server

Building a Windows 10 Home Server

Released Wednesday July 29th 2015

Windows 10 is Microsoft's all-new release of the PC operating system, with significant enhancements over its predecessor that you'll want to learn all about.

Building a Windows 10 Home Server is our latest step by step guide to installing and configuring Windows 10 as a powerful home or media server. Packed with tips, tricks and guided walkthroughs, you'll quickly get to grips with what's new in Windows before configuring your PC as the heart of your home network.

Written by eight-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional awardee, Terry Walsh, Building a Windows 10 Home Server lifts the curtain on Microsoft's new Windows-as-a-Service proposition, guiding new and experienced users through upgrading to the new release on an existing PC or installing the software on freshly built hardware.

Get the low-down on this year's media server hardware and software recommendations and deep-dive the latest technology, like new M.2 storage modules, the latest motherboard and BIOS features, real-time media transcoding and much more.

With hundreds of detailed, full-colour screenshots, this 890 page step by step guide walks you through the steps to configure a first-class home server setup, using Windows 10, supporting applications and a PC you may already own.

Detailed walkthroughs include a full guide to building a home server PC, configuring network settings for local and remote access, managing storage pools and Windows RAID arrays, protecting family user accounts and integrating Microsoft's latest cloud services. 

Vital topics such as managing data security and family safety are covered in depth, showing how features already built into Windows 10 can be configured to protect the things and the people that matter most.

Building a Windows 10 Home Server updates and significantly extends our previous guide, Building a Home Server With Windows 8.1, offering additional tips, tricks and walkthroughs to further optimise and enhance your setup. And we're not yet done! Stay tuned as the book is extended over the coming months with bonus chapters covering a range of third-party media applications to take your home server to the next level!

Spend some time with Windows 10 and you'll realise its the best reelease of Windows for many years - Building a Windows 10 Home Server will help you get up to speed quickly with what's new and support you in creating a fabulous media server that will serve you for years to come. 

Chapter List

Part 1: Building Your Windows 10 Home Server 

1. Planning Your Windows 10 Home Server
2. Introducing Windows 10
3. Selecting Windows 10 Home Server Hardware
4. Assembling Your Windows 10 Home Server
5. Configuring Your Motherboard BIOS
6. Installing and Upgrading to Windows 10
7. Optimizing Windows 10 Power Settings
8. Configuring Network Settings for Your Home Server

Part 2: Configuring Windows 10 as a Home Server

9. Discovering the Windows 10 Start Menu and Desktop
10. Managing Home Server Storage and Storage Spaces
11. Pooling Storage With Stablebit DrivePool
12. Creating Windows RAID Storage Arrays
13. Securing User Accounts with Microsoft Family
14. Sharing Windows 10 Files and Folders
15. Protecting Data on Windows 10 and Other Devices 
16. Securing Data With BitLocker Drive Encryption
17. Accessing Your Home Server Remotely
18. Integrating Microsoft Cloud Services – OneDrive
19. Installing an FTP Server on Windows 10

We're currently hard at work on a brand new range of home and small business server guides for 2015 and we're delighted to launch the first of our releases today!

Building a FreeNAS Home Server is our fully-illustrated, step by step guide to the awesome FreeNAS home server platform. Following the publication of many successful Windows and OS X guides, this title marks our first foray into the NAS (network attached storage) world. It won't be our last for sure!

If you're thinking of building a new home server, curious about what FreeNAS can do for you and your family, or you're seeking a new computer project, you'll find Building a FreeNAS Home Server packed with insight, help and guidance that will help you master FreeNAS in no time.

Check out Building a FreeNAS Home Server to view a description, chapter list and grab a free excerpt.

Today's an exciting day here at We Got Served as we flip over a new page and get to work on our forthcoming Building a Windows 10 Home Server eBook. We've now sold thousands of copies of its predecessors, Building a Windows 8 Home Server and Building a Home Server With Windows 8.1 and so the bar has been set to make the new title our best yet!

As many of you will be aware, Windows 10 is still in development at Microsoft and with beta releases flowing thick and fast to Windows Insiders, the initial stages of planning and writing a guide to an unreleased platform can be precarious. I generally won't begin to write about a new platform until its in its Release Candidate phase (meaning that features have been locked, the user interface is mostly complete and the majority of serious bugs have been fixed). It provides security that what I write will correspond to the same features and user experience that you see in the fully released version of the platform.

Release candidate phases can last several weeks, if not months, providing plenty of time to get everything written and released within a few weeks of a platform launching. However, Windows 10 development has changed radically from previous releases of the OS, with incremental beta updates replacing larger, slower build releases and rumours of a July RTM (Release to Manufacturing) well ahead of a typical October platform release.

So, with a couple of test machines already running Windows 10 beta, it's time to build a new Windows 10 Home Server that will be featured in the forthcoming book. This time, I'm looking to create a compact but powerful home server setup that is equally adept at displaying media directly as it is serving files to other network devices - locally or remotely. A multi-drive, private cloud server that's comfortable working with public cloud services such as OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox. A powerful media hub that can serve as a DVR, media server, home theater PC and media library manager, integrated with leading music, TV and movie metadata providers.

We'll cover all of this and more in Building a Windows 10 Home Server.

In the meantime, here's a rundown of the hardware I've selected for the new project:

Chassis:

Fractal Design Node 304 ($103)

Compact, understated good looks, supports up to six 3.5" hard drives with the usual fine build quality we love from Fractal Design, the Node 304 is a couple of years old now but still rocks. I considered the SilverStone DS380B for its accessible drive bays and copious capacity but reviews indicate there are some outstanding quality issues (on both build quality and technical stability) that drew me back to the Node 304. It's not flashy, but it's good quality and offers decent value. 

Motherboard:

ASUS Z97I-PLUS ($166)

This small, Mini-ITX form factor board packs in a lot of new technology, including support for Intel's latest Z97 chipset, the latest Intel processors as well as new, high-speed storage connectors like M.2, which will fit the SSD I'll be using for the Windows 10 boot drive. There's four SATA 6 Gb/s sockets fitted alongside the M.2 port for data storage with support for Raid 0, 1, 5, 10. HDMI, DisplayPort and Optical Audio sockets are available for direct AV connections, Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth 4.0 and integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi for networking. Add eight USB ports (4 x USB 3.0) into the mix for peripheral connection and you have an incredible motherboard that's going to be a lot of fun to work with.  ASUS' boards are premium, but they're always great quality, easy to build with and simple to configure. 

Processor:

Intel Core i5-4590 Processor ($198.99)

A strong, mid-range processor that would be too power-hungry for simple file-serving use. However, for more advanced features like media transcoding or virtualization, your home server needs this kind of horsepower. The Core i5-4590 has full hardware virtualization support and I estimate will be able to handle three simultaneous HD transcoding jobs in Plex Media Server.

 

PSU:

Corsair CX500M 500W Modular Power Supply ($59.99)

The minimum PSU spec for the ASUS Z97I-PLUS is 350W and the tight dimensions of the Fractal Design Node 304 mean that you need a compact PSU that's going to be neat and tidy from a cable management perspective. The Corsair CX500M offers additional wattage to support multiple hard drives and is modular, meaning that you only need to fit the cables you really need to power the PC and its components. No straggling, unwanted cables to tie down.

RAM:

Crucial 16GB Kit DDR3 PC3-12800 RAM ($99.99)

16 GB is certainly more than we really need to power this home server, but it's not expensive and will give us plenty of capacity for the future.

Boot Drive:

Samsung XP941 128 GB PCI-E SSD ($149.99)

The new M.2 connector I mentioned earlier is set to replace the m.SATA connector currently seen on many motherboards. While traditional 2.5" solid state hard drives have come down in price and are probably the best value pick today, I was keen to showcase the blistering speeds available from the new class of "naked" storage devices. They slot straight into the motherboard, reducing internal clutter, and deliver up to 1170MB/s read and 950MB/s write sequential data transfer rates - equating to super-fast boot performance. Now, the M.2 socket on the ASUS Z97I-PLUS only has 2 PCIe lanes (10Gb/s) feeding to it though, so I'm expecting maximum sequential throughput around 650-700MB/s. 

Storage:

Western Digital Red 3 TB Hard Drives ($119 each) 

These specialist NAS drives offer enhanced features that ensure optimum responsiveness when used in RAID configurations. Again, they've been around for some time but at just $119 for 3 TB are a complete steal.  

I'm really looking forward to getting this new home server built and tested out with Windows 10. Stay tuned for more news on Building a Windows 10 Home Server over the coming weeks. 

 

 

Ahead of the holidays, we're delighted to announce the release of two new We Got Served "How To" Guides for Windows Server. 

Run Virtual Machines on Windows Server Essentials is our step by step guide to running multiple operating systems virtually on Microsoft's small server platform. Whether you need to support old applications running on legacy operating systems in your business, or you want to create test environments for Windows PCs, Windows Servers, Linux or Unix computers then forget about buying dedicated hardware - simply run them as virtual machines on Windows Server 2012 Essentials or Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials!

In this guide, we walk you through the basic principles of virtualization, and get you up and running with a powerful, free application called VirtualBox on Windows Server Essentials (2012 and 2012 R2 both supported). You'll learn how to install and configure the VirtualBox application, and manage your virtual machines through the web browser on any compatible network-connected device.

You'll also learn how to set-up and install a guest operating system, such as Ubuntu, in VirtualBox from an ISO file, configuring and tweaking your virtual hardware settings for optimum performance.

Also released this week is Run Any Application as a Service - also for Windows Server (Essentials, Home Server and standard Server platforms). 

Ask any home or small business server expert, and they'll tell you that one of the essential skills to learn - making life with a server much more convenient - is the ability to run an application as a service: that is, configuring programs to run when a server starts-up without the need for any users to log-in. 

Servers, unlike client computers, are generally designed to be set-up and then locked away securely - unless you're really attached to your server, you may not log-in and use it directly on a day to day basis.

You may need to install a program that normally requires a user to log-in to the server for it to run. That can be a real hassle - who wants to have to log-in every time you need to use the app? Sure, you can log-in remotely, but wouldn’t it be easier if this application started automatically when the server boots, without the need for a user to log-in to the server?

How do you do get a application that is not installed as a service to behave like one? We will show you a variety of methods, using both free and commercially available software that makes it very easy to do so on Windows Server Essentials, Windows Server snd Windows Home Server.

Both guides are available now, priced at £2.99 each. If you're in search of a fun holiday project that'll make life with Windows Server more convenient, grab both guides while they're hot!

Hello again!

 

Apologies for the two-day store closure, but as you can see, we've been working on something very exciting - a brand new design for the store! It's a fabulous new look that we really love, but it took a little time to get everything ready!

 

The changes aren't just visual, though - we've thoroughly reviewed every element of the store to make buying from us quicker, and simpler. Here's a quick rundown of what's new:

 

Support for Multiple Currencies

Check out the "GBP" option at the top. Click it and a dropdown appears allowing you to switch currencies - British Pounds is the default, but you can also see our prices in US Dollars (USD), Canadian Dollars (CAD), Australian Dollars (AUD), Euros (EUR), and Japanese Yen (JPY). Note that your checkout will always be in British Pounds, however, as we can only support payment in one currency. One to work on for the future, maybe.

 

New Support Center & Email Address

We're gathering all of our FAQs and help documents in a dedicated mini-site, reachable at http://support.wegotserved.com. It already has a number of support documents available, and we'll continue to build up the resources there as needed. If you want to ask a question, you'll find an Email Us link there, or you can email us direct at support@wegotserved.com. If that's not enough, the new store also has a beautiful new Contact form.

 

Download Improvements

We know that some of you had difficulties receiving your download links by email following your purchase. So, we've switched to a new third party service which improves how we can get your download links to you.

From now on, when you purchase from us, you'll see a download link to your guides in:

  • a. The checkout confirmation screen
  • b. Your Order Confirmation email
  • c. A dedicated Order Download email.
Furthermore, when you sign into your account, you'll be able to click on any order placed from today onwards, and be able to access your download link from there too. We hope that ensures you receive your download link as safely as possible, and should you lose it, makes it easy to find once again.

 

Improved Mobile Experience

While our previous store design was responsive (the technical term for sites that render flexibly for mobile devices), the new design works even better on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, with a fully redesigned checkout design that works really well on those smaller devices.

 

Seamless Credit Card Checkout and Payment

Those of you who have bought from us previously with a credit card will be aware that our payment design had to redirect you to a third-party payment provider (Nochex) to complete your credit card payment, before bringing you back to finish up the order. That's been nailed too, and credit card payments are now fully integrated here on the site.

 

New Product Categories

We tidied up the store navigation menus - all of our guides have been clustered into three categories - OS X (for Apple Mac and Mac Server), Windows (for Windows PCs) and Windows Server (including Windows Home Server and Windows Server Essentials). Or just hit the Guides option to view everything.

 

Having opened up the new store, we hope you love what you see - there may be a couple of final bugs to iron out, so if you spot any issues, please do get in touch with a report and we can sort them out quickly!

 

And with that, it's time to get back to sorting out our next few eBook releases!