Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"Do You Want Fries With That"

Ed Brill's post today made me think of a new country song I heard this weekend. Our church praise band went with our youth group to lead a praise and worship service for them before they went on to camp. We went with them to one of Atlanta's suburbs.

My wife and I were hauling drums, guitars, etc... in our Envoy XL and she was getting tired of listening to Liquid Tension Experiment: 2 and Joe Satriani, so we turned on the radio. She said she felt like listening to country. I said "Well, we are in Georgia - wanna bet the first station the seek button finds is country?" Sure enough, I hit the seek button and the NASCAR race was on! Not to outdo myself I hit seek again and there was another country station! Anyway, we heard Tim McGraw's new song "Do You Want Fries With That". Here's part of the chorus:

"Man you took my wife
Man you took my kids
And you took that life I
used to live
My pride, the pool, the boat,
my tools
My dreams, the dog, the cat
Yeah I think that’s everything
Oh yeah, I almost forgot
Do you want fries with that"

Friday, May 27, 2005

More Helpdesk Fun

Two Notes helpdesk calls today for the record:

1. I recently developed a workflow application for a user. She calls me today saying that she received a document with a Word doc attached. When she opened the Word doc it would not print. I tried explaining that this was a Word problem and she would just need to call the PC support helpdesk. Funny how when Word won't print it's because of a new Notes application.

2. Here is the text from the call record: "She had an email from a customer and she cannot find it anywhere. She also had a folder named Comporium and now it is a sub folder under Misc folder." Talked to the user and she vehemently stated that she did not move that folder and she definitely did not delete the e-mail . We kind of went back and forth a little and I tried in the nicest fashion to tell her that she did do it. I ended up telling her that it's possible someone sat at her computer and did this but that e-mails and folders don't just get up and walk away. She said that it could have been that, she could have been delusional, or aliens could have done it. I also showed her to hit F5 when she leaves her workstation to lock out Notes.

More fun than a human being should be allowed to have...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Notes Smart Upgrade

I must admit that this has been a little quirky in the past, but now that we've got all clients at 6.5.1 or higher it's been much better. The Upgrade Tracking database is pretty slick too, but we've only been able to get it working for 6.5.3 Clients or higher.

Notes 6.5.4 has been GA for 2 months now. Here are my client numbers:

- 6.5.4 - 47%
- 6.5.3 - 26%
- 6.5.2 - 16%
- 6.5.1 - 11%

As you can tell, we're doing fairly well with the upgrades.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

More Malware

ZDNet Article

Researchers at Symantec have seen the malicious program used in the ransom attack. The "Trojan.Pgpcoder" searches a victim's hard disk drive for 15 common file types, including images and Microsoft Office file types. It then encrypts the files, removes the originals and drops a note asking $200 for the encryption key, Friedrichs said.
A Websense customer fell victim to the attack. Luckily, in this case the encryption wasn't very sophisticated and Websense was able to decode the customer's files, said Dan Hubbard, senior director of security and research at Websense. "In this case we could help, but every variant can be different," he said.

Websense, however, doesn't see a trend yet. Attackers leave a trail if they ask for money, Hubbard said: "This type of attack is not that difficult to perform. However, in order to collect money the attackers are leaving themselves open to investigation and tracing."

See also: AZCentral Article


If you are not aware of this, there is an issue with embedded categorized views (at least in the Lotus 6.5.x releases) on a Lotus Notes form. We are seeing the following symptoms when we leave the embedded view open:

(1) the view will just go blank and display nothing, or
(2) the view will show the wrong category.

Closing the document or refreshing the view (F9) is a workaround. Alternatively, there is an auto-refresh feature with this application using the NotesTimer class. We fought some issues with getting that working properly and Lotus fixed it in 6.5.3. Prior to the fix, the client could hang when that NotesTimer was run. In testing the problem with the embedded categorized view, setting the view refresh timer to 3 minutes hasn't helped. We've also set it to 15 seconds without too much success - it will switch to the wrong category or go blank between refreshes in that short of a time period. We're testing it at 10 seconds now to see if that helps.

I spoke with Lotus support again yesterday regarding the SPR DCOE68MQZM. I was told that it "is currently open for investigation in version 7.0." That release of the client will not be out until towards the end of the year. I'm downloading the Notes 7.0 Beta 3 client now to see if it has been resolved.

If you're seeing any of these issues, let Lotus know. This is really annoying for us. Call Lotus and let them know if you're having this issue and refer to this SPR - maybe the squeaky wheel can get the grease. It's good to know that they said 7.0 instead of 7.x.

What's Your Star Wars Name and Title?

My Star Wars Name: Chrwh Prroc

My Star Wars Title: Tnatab of Efiw

Your Star Wars Name and Title

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Nuclear Option

The news stories today from AP, etc... are stating that a deal has been struck that "pulls the plug" and "avoids" the nuclear option on Senate judicial filibustering.

Just for the record, the "deal" was struck by 14 "bi-partisan" Senators (7 Libs and 7 RINOs). The nuclear option is still on the table and should be used to give these nominees their up-or-down vote.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Box Office Smash

It's pretty much official that Revenge of the Sith is a box office smash. Over the first 4 days (Thursday-Sunday) it grossed $158,449,700 according to the article above. It grossed over $50,000,000 in its first 24 hours! It also grossed another $144,000,000 worldwide taking it's total 4-day gross to just over $300,000,000.

Thinking back, one of the most hyped movies last year was Fahrenheit 9/11. It's total worldwide gross after all was said and done, according to the above link, was $222,446,320 with $119,194,771 coming domestically bringing in $23,920,637 opening weekend. This movie, hoped to be the "chosen" movie to "bring balance" for the DNC, was hyped as being the highest-grossing documentary ever with the highest grossing opening weekend (though it's possible that Jackass: The Movie [a TRUE documentary] grossed more than Fahrenheit).

All that said, a measly sci-fi flick doubled the FH's opening weekend in just 12 hours and has far surpassed FH's worldwide final talley in the Sith's opening weekend.

Funny how insignificant Fahrenheit 9/11 was in retrospect...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Revenge of the Sith - Best Yet?

Personally, I think George Lucas saved the best for last. My wife and I went to the 12:01 AM show this morning, and I've been meaning to blog about it all day, but I took the day off. From the opening skyfight scene to the final scene with the Skywalkers holding Luke gazing at the double sunset, this movie was amazing. We got to see Kashyyk, the Wookie planet and many other landscapes. Stop reading here if you don't want any spoilers...

This movie, as we all know, is the final Star Wars movie that George Lucas is saying he will make. There were many loose ends that he needed to tie up in this movie. The main things involved Anakin's turn to the Dark Side, the betrayal and murder of the Jedi, the end of the Clone Wars, and the birth of the twin Skywalkers.

You could truly see the anger that Anakin possesses right from the beginning - especially in the duel with Count Dooku and in how Anakin killed him out of rage and revenge. I thought that Hayden really pulled off the part of Anakin in this movie. There were several sappy scenes between Padme and Anakin, but I thought that they were really necessary in telling the story of his love for her. Ultimately, though, that love is what separated them and turned him to the Dark Side. Anakin, in Episode II, stated that he would one day be able to stop death, pain, and suffering. The Emperor knew this and really played off of it to turn Anakin.

At first, Anakin was reluctant. However, it all changed when he betrayed the Jedi order and told Mace Windu to let the Chancellor live. Mace had him beat, but hesitated. It was after Palpatine killed Mace that Anakin pledged his allegiance to the Dark Side for three reasons - (a) to save Padme's life, (b) to bring peace to the Galaxy, and (c) to eventually gain absolute power for himself. We see this third one in Episodes III, V, and VI. Anakin tells Padme in this movie that he will kill Palpatine and they could rule together. In V and VI he is trying to turn his son to the Dark Side to rule together.

The saddest part of the movie was seeing the "betrayal and murder" of all the Jedi except for Yoda and Obi-Wan (who are forced into exile). Anakin (now Darth Vader) was relentless in killing the Jedi including the pre-adolescent younglings. This was really gut-wrenching. It was also sad to hear Yoda exclaim, after a brilliant battle with Darth Sidious (Emperor/Chancellor Palpatine) that he had failed.

Beyond this, Obi-Wan was amazed that "the Chosen One" would turn to the Dark Side. Anakin was the One who was to "bring balance to the force" by destroying all of the Sith. Yoda alluded that this prophecy may have been misread and I take the prophecy to mean either that Anakin's offspring would bring balance (Luke killing Sidious and Vader) or Anakin returning to the Jedi order by killing Sidious.

Well, I've rambled enough tonight...going to have to see this again!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Firefox 1.0.4 Issue?

In lieu of IBM's recent announcements to support Firefox internally, I find this ironic that this just started happening for me when I try to submit a new Lotus Support ticket online with Firefox 1.0.4 (Sorry for poor image quality - I really need to get Gimp or something...):

And here it is in IE and a copy of Firefox 1.0 I have on another PC:

Friday, May 13, 2005

BlackBerry as Sys Admin Tool

We've been having some issues with hangs on our Mail server. The other morning I noticed that I didn't have any e-mails on my BlackBerry. I generally will get an overnight spam/vendor e-mail or two, so I knew this was odd. Tried sending an e-mail to myself and it failed. So, I went upstairs and found that the mail server was hung. This was about 7:15 and I was able to restart my mail partition and avert users coming in and having a DOA mail server and receiving a call from my EVP...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

MS Windows XP Commercials

Is it just me or does it seem crazy that Microsoft is running a TV ad campaign aimed at home users to get them to use Windows XP?

Several thoughts come to mind:

1) XP is a 3.5 year old OS released around October of 2001 - why market something that archaic in the computer industry?
2) "IDC estimates that of the roughly 514 mln paid-for copies of Windows on desktops and laptops worldwide at the end of 2004, almost 21% were the aging Win 95, 98 and Millennium Edition releases." (link) I guess it's possible that they would like to get those people upgraded.
3) Feeling pressure from Mac OS and *nix systems being installed and gaining market share. "5% of all PCs in 2004 shipped with Linux"

Just my random thoughts before I leave work for the day...

Congrats Kelly & Ron!

Well, last night was the only night I watched Amazing Race. I had to see if Kelly and Ron would win. They finished 3rd - couldn't quite catch that flight in San Juan. I went to North Greenville College with Kelly. I'm not going to be one of those people who says "I knew her before she was 'famous'" but I did...

Anyway, congrats to both of them for their efforts and Bronze finish!

Monday, May 9, 2005

Talk to me!

An anonymous blogroller got me thinking about adding Sametime awareness to web pages. I tinkered with it a bit this afternoon and got it working internally. So I thought I would test it on my blog too. If you haven't noticed, there is now an "Online Status" section on the toolbar to your right. I'm usually only online between 8 and 5 EST. Got a few minor UI tweaks I want to look into, but it's working. So chat with me if you wish...

Sunday, May 8, 2005

05/19/2005 00:01 EST

At 1 minute past midnight EST (in about 10 days and 2.5 hours) I will be sitting beside my wife (who volunteered to go - awesome wife!) watching the last new Star Wars movie to ever grace theaters. It's going to be awesome - so much so that Steven Spielburg even weeped at a pre-screening!

We will see the following scroll for the last time:

Revenge of the Sith
Episode III

War! The Republic is crumbling under the attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.

In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate.

As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage, two Jedi Knights lead a desperate mission to rescue the captive Chancellor...

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Domino 6 Easter Egg

Trackback to Ed Brill's blog today

Someone posted:
- Open the webadmin DB on any R6 box using the web browser.
- Switch to the quick console.
- Type "about:" and press enter.

Well, here's the output - it's hilarious because the console automatically types all of this in slowly. It was a great little break today. Sorry if the graphic isn't so hot - I'm just a sysadmin... Remember to set the image to full size if your browser resizes it.

Nice Try Ms. Spammer! - Redux

Well, I sort of won a round with this spammer. Remember my previous blog about how I received an email and I replied telling her that she did not comply with the CAN-SPAM act by not having her company's physical address listed?

Well, I did receive another message. But it wasn't a reply, thank-you, or anything. It was another UCE! But now, at the bottom of the message we have an actual mailing address. This lets me know that (a) they received my complaint about not complying with CAN-SPAM (b) they don't care and (c) they weren't smart enough to see my complaint to them as a request to remove me from their mailing list. Instead, the new UCE I received states:

Dear Chris,
Thank you for taking the time to let us introduce our company.

Wow, I'm sure this will be fun for me to get taken off their list. I will complain again. This time making sure that I put REMOVE in the subject line...

Newsflash - Microsoft Into 64-bit Computing

Saw the following blurb on an RSS feed for a Computerworld article:

"it could take years for 64-bit computing to become pervasive in their companies."

I just thought that was ironic since our main business applications have been running 64-bit for years. In fact, I thought I would get out an old book I have here at the office titled Inside the AS/400 by Frank G. Soltis. I have the edition from way back in 1997:

"The AS/400 is the first and only system in the world to have completed the transition to 64-bit computing.... The challenge for the computer industry is how to enable existing software to take advantage of the new hardware designs. The AS/400 is the only system to have met this software challenge - all AS/400 applications are fully 64-bit enabled. No one else is even close.... In contrast, the AS/400's technology-independent architecture protects the system's customers and ISVs from such disruptions as they move to the new 64-bit RISC processors. Existing application software can immediately use the full capabilities of the new hardware." (Inside the AS/400, pp. 1-2)

Then on page 206 we find this: "Our original RISC processor that we started to design in 1990, which we called C-RISC (the C was for commercial), had a 96-bit address. We had the room for this large address in the pointers and decided to go all the way. When we decided to use the PowerPC architecture in 1991, we scaled the address back to 64 bits."

Even new applications to our company such as Lotus Domino (we switched from mostly Outlook POP mail in 2002) now running on our iSeries (formerly AS/400 currently i5) are 64-bit. One interesting quote in that article from Computerworld was:

"One application that will not be supported on x64 Windows is Exchange Server 2003, according to John Borozan, a senior product manager in the Windows Server group. He said a portion of the application runs as a kernel mode driver and any code touching the Windows kernel must be 64-bit."

So, from recent quotes from Microsoft, they will not be updating Exchange 2003 until probably the late 2006 timeframe. This means two things - (1) Exchange 2003 will not be able to take advantage of the benefits of 64-bit hardware, and (2) Microsoft will not have a 64-bit corporate mail platform for about 2 more years. I know that Microsoft is sometimes an easy target, but it is true that the blame doesn't lie with them. To their credit they could only move their CISC-based software and OS to 64-bit when the processors would support 64-bit.

Since Microsoft's direction is 64-bit in 2005, I'm happy to say that we have been ahead of the Microsoft curve for nearly a decade by going with IBM! That's one good thing when dealing with a company that not only produces the software but the hardware and processors.