btw, easier than telnet, i found a utility for querying ports that you may find useful one of these days.
new features and functionality in portqry version 2.0
i ran the following command to see whether i was getting through the firewall or not.
c:\> portqry.exe -n xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx -p tcp -e 1433
Querying target system called:
Attempting to resolve IP address to a name...
Failed to resolve IP address to name
TCP port 1433 (ms-sql-s service): LISTENING