Sysinternals

Billy already mentioned this but it deserved repeating.

If you have anything to do with Windows Support, you should be reading Mark Russinovich’s Sysinternals weblog.

And if it’s over your head (and parts at least are likely going to be) – then dig into the article and figure out what it is saying. Articles like the Explorer Registry Polling and Mark’s troubleshooting process give you a glimpse of how components are tied together in Windows.

While I (thankfully) don’t have a daily frustration with Windows and Windows programming anymore (now that I’m becoming a manager with a macintosh) – Mark and Bryce’s work at Sysinternals was instrumental in helping me understand more about Windows architecture – which in turn helped me write things like the infamous NCSUGINA, and more, understand how to troubleshoot Windows and Windows applications as a system administrator – much better than I ever would have just dealing with things at the surface/observational levels.

You’re cheating yourself and the folks you support if you don’t learn about some of these details. Heck, I still read it and I don’t plan on (personally) using Windows as a system admin ever again, except to check websites under IE.