We’ve been networking with Microsoft Windows for pretty much 20 years. Two decades, starting with Windows 95 (Might even have been Windows 3.11 for Workgroups, can’t remember, it’s been… 20 years).

And for all of those 20 years, we’ve had the PCs on a workgroup called “FOO* SYSTEMS”. Note the space.

Because now I have a Windows 7 32-bit box, and a Windows 7 64-bit box, and my venerable Windows 2000 box**. And lo, the Windows 2000 box can see both Windows 7 boxes in the network neighborhood, and copy files from the one Windows 7 box to the other, but neither Windows 7 box can see (1) itself, (2) the other Windows 7 box, (3) the Windows 2000 box, or (4) pretty much anything else in the notwork*** neighborhood.

So I started experimenting (what the Brits would call a spanner and Erin would call knobdicking). Frobbed with the firewall settings, IPV6, homegroups, 56-bit encryption, enabling NetBEUI, standing on my head and holding my breath, and who knows what else.

And you know what the problem is?

That fscking space in the workgroup name.

That space has been supported for 20 years, and that support has finally worn out.

* Usage #2 of course.

** Which has absolutely nothing wrong with it. Except that it won’t run the latest version of FireChromePera. Which is required to run the latest version of Flash. Which in turn is required to browse anything running on port 80 these days, primarily to support their revenue stream.

*** Not a typo.

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