Saturday, March 31, 2007

Taking Dad's Car to G3!

Should be a fun trip on this beautiful day in SC in this little car... :)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Got My PCLP!

I guess it's actually my "IBM Certified Advanced System Administrator - Lotus Notes and Domino 7". I finally took the "Notes/Domino 7 Configuring Domino Web Servers" exam this morning! So that's out of my way now. I put off taking it for a while for some reason...

In other news, it's been rather slow on the Lotus front for me. I've been testing out the Notes 8 Client a good bit and have found a couple of minor issues with some custom apps in our shop. I just found out that an SPR was created on one of the issues I reported. Overall, it's really great! I even like the "old school" Notes 8 Basic edition. It has some nice updates to graphics, etc... The new personal address book template is really clean too! Very nice.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pic of the day

We're all doing great!!!

I Was Quoted In Computerworld

I'm quoted in the Computerworld article "Notes fans hope upgrade ends e-mail client's ugly-duckling status". Update: In my earlier haste, I forgot to mention that Nathan Freeman and John Head were also quoted in the article.

At the point of the article when the apparently poor performance of the Outlook 2007 client is being mentioned, they put in the following quote from me:
Chris Whisonant, a senior systems administrator at Comporium Communications, a telecommunications service provider in Rock Hill, S.C., said the increased functionality in Notes 8 means that the upgrade "does use more RAM than before." But Whisonant said that Notes 8 "is easy to get used to because you just like using it more."
I did say that more RAM is used, but only in passing. In fact, that was possibly the only negative statement I made in my e-mail to Computerworld. Note 8 is very impressive - both the Basic and Standard clients. Sure there is more overhead, but there is a ton more functionality! It's a great article for Notes. I just wish that they had put the short paragraph I sent them about performance instead of just the sentence. Here's what I sent them:
Even though this is still a beta (please keep that in mind) with debug code and some kinks to work out, it still runs very well and I haven't noticed too much of a difference from my 7.0.2 client I previously had installed. But it does use more RAM than before. At the same time, it has a lot more functionality so that offsets the jump in system requirements.
Notes 8 should be a great .0 release after some more tweaking. If you want to see some of the other things I've written about the client, check out some of my posts at the Public Beta forum.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Welcome Oliver Thomas!!

Ollie was born at 11:54 today. He was 8 pounds 9 ounces and 22 inches! Mom and baby are great!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Pi Day

Todays date is 3.14, at least in America, for those of you who do dates wrong, happy 14.3 day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gmail Down?

My wife was complaining that her gmail is down too, so I tried their SSL version:

This takes a little longer to load and you'll have to accept a certificate, but it lets us in...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sola Scriptura by Neal Morse

The new Neal Morse album, Sola Scriptura, is nothing less than spectacular. It's based off the life of Martin Luther - the title is one of the "Solas" of the Reformation meaning that "Only Scripture" should be our guide. The back of the CD insert has the Latin text of the first 6 phrases of Luther's 95 Theses. Before getting into the musical aspects of this album, I would like to post some of the lyrics that really stand out to me. First, Jeff posted the tracks back in January. There are only 4 tracks on this epic:

* The Door (29:14)
* The Conflict (25:00)
* Heaven In My Heart (5:11)
* The Conclusion (16:34)

The Content
Some lyrics from the section "Mercy for Sale" in "The Door" really get to the heart of what Martin Luther was battling - especially with Indulgences:
In the name of God you must pay your penance
If you don't well that's a crime
If you want to buy your way to heaven
We'll indulge you every time
Also from "Upon The Door" in the same track, we have:
Sometimes comes a moment when there is no escape
A man by candlelight reads "The just shall live by faith"
And a rushing ray of light comes and hits him at the core
I will write my words upon the door

History is hinged on him playing out the role
The dawn is coming after the dark night of the soul
This simple act has changed our world forever more
I will write my words upon the door
I will write my words upon the door

In the section "Underground" in "The Conflict", we have the following - and we should all be thankful that Luther translated the Bible into German because that opened the way for us to have English Bibles:
I thought I was coming to die
And that's what they're thinking outside
But I will stay lost
'Til it's safe there to be found

Writing the book in the day
In words that my people can say
Here I will stay tucked away
I'm underground

And I'll just leave you with the section "In Closing" from "The Conclusion":
God can change the world with just one willing soul
Who will stand up for the truth and give him a starring role
So come in to the fullness and open up the door
Maybe it is you he's looking for
Maybe it is you he's looking for......

The Music
If you're familiar with Neal Morse's prior works, this is very much like those. "The Door" starts off with heavy keys and then gets into the powerful lyrics. Mike Portnoy's drumming is awesome throughout and the fills he adds really make the songs. As I mentioned in my previous post about G307, Paul Gilbert is really amazing with his solos. The fills at about 16:00 into "The Conflict" and the solo at 27:00 in are superb! After the powerful first song that's over 29 minutes, one feels like an entire album has been covered with the various styles. And then "The Conflict" starts with a really crunchy guitar intro. Then the usual prog-rock style comes back and about 14:00 in we come to an amazing flamenco classical guitar part delivered by Gilbert. The next song "Heaven In My Heart" could almost be a radio song if it could be separated from the remainder of the album. It's still a really good prog song but it's fairly slow. With so many different sections in the first 2 songs, we've already run the gamut from fast to slow, heavy to soft, and even classical. It's extremely eclectic! "The Conclusion" starts off with "Randy's Jam" - a bass led section featuring Randy George. It's pretty wild - I need to listen to it on my system with a subwoofer! The rest of the album continues the theme of great rocking prog!

Like I said earlier, this album is really spectacular and you should check it out! At the end of the liner notes we find this from Neal:
Also, I am not trying to point to only one church that needs to be reformed, but rather that we should ALL look at the scriptures afresh to see what truth God wants to restore in THIS generation! If Luther brought back salvation by faith; the Wesleys brought sanctification, and the Pentecostals restored the baptism of the Holy Ghost, what is there for US to restore? Remember, the latter house shall be greater than the former!

Satriani, Petrucci, and Gilbert - G307

I just found out yesterday that G307 starts this week!! Better yet, I found out that it's coming to the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. Since that's the weekend of our Easter production at church, I have to be at church Saturday and Sunday mornings. That means that Saturday afternoon I'm off to Myrtle Beach and then back after the show!!

Satriani has always been a guitar hero of mine. I have a number of his albums and had a cat named Satch! Petrucci is, of course, of Dream Theater fame. Just search this blog for Dream Theater and you'll see tons of posts with them in the "Now Playing" section! The OLP guitar I had was very close to Petrucci's MusicMan guitar. It wasn't the licensed Petrucci model, but I did replace the pickups with those like Petrucci used. But it's no Les Paul!! Paul Gilbert, of Mr. Big fame, has his own solo guitar album now. Oh, and he plays on Neal Morse's album (see "Now Playing"). The solo at 27 minutes into "The Door" on Sola Scriptura as well as the Flamenco section at 12 minutes into "The Conflict" on the same album both demonstrate why he's on G307! Should be an amazing show!

Now Playing: "The Conflict" by Neal Morse

Downloading Notes 8

It's going at a smooth 50 KB/sec on my cable modem and I'm only at 15%. I may get to it later! And yes, Greg, you can get a copy of it next week! :) But, wow, 638 MB for the client. Wow!

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Golf Course I Live On...

...will be no more:

It was just a 12 hole par 3 that I only played twice, but they're starting the process of tearing it down. In the top half of the picture, there used to be a lot of really big trees - they are no more! A developer is going to be putting in about 300 units. About half of the units will be townhomes, and the majority of the other houses will be around 1,500 square feet. And then about 10-20 homes that will be around 3,000 square feet. We know that 10 are supposed to back up to the homes across the street from me. These are bigger than our homes and will probably do good for our property values.

A Quick Update

After we got our new System i up, it went back down that same day (Tuesday). So on Wednesday IBM came back down and swapped out the backplane on the tower in question. The server has stayed powered up since then. Maybe we'll move our Domino data back over to it in a few weeks.

I would move the data this weekend, but we have two guys out next week and on Thursday they are supposed to induce my wife!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Picture of the Day

I took this pic with my Pearl of a dvd-ram we opened from IBM. Notice how it is stapled... Nice QA job!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My Electric Guitars

I only have 2 electric guitars and got around to taking some decent pics the other day, so here they are!
My '04 Gibson Les Paul Standard (bought new in May '06):

My '04 Standard with her older brother - a '97 Jackson Performer PS-4 bought in December '97 (I added a Duncan 59 PAF in the neck position, Duncan George Lynch Screamin' Demon in the bridge position and a Mini Screamin' Demon in the middle position - I want to find a good single coil for the middle, though...I was experimenting with the "triple bucker" sound.)

This Is Why Our System i Was Failing

After nearly 18 hours of continuous downtime troubleshooting, we found the culprit with IBM. Since there was something pointing to a perceived power failure being the problem, IBM decided to isolate the specific frame that was the issue. But we had to find it first. Since we have two 570 system units and 6 0595 expansion towers in the rack, that would take a lot of power ups and downs. This morning IBM decided to disconnect the SPCN cables from the 570 system units and we were able to power up the box. After eventually isolating it to the second expansion tower (via multiple power up attempts focused on daisy-chaining towers), we isolated it to having something to do with the 2nd tower.

We already banked on having to simply replace the backplane on one of the towers, so we had a backplane en-route. But when one of the IBM techs opened the tower and removed the power supplies, he saw this wedged underneath the power supply against the T14 9-pin connector (this is the connector that a UPS can connect to which alert the system of a power loss...):

This is one of the 4 small electro-static insulators that are placed around the opening of the hole through which the power cable connects to the power supply. Apparently there was enough contact to short out the connector and alert the system of a power loss. And it's been up for about 5 hours now...



No, I'm not talking about the TV show - the one I missed last night! I'm talking about the number of hours I've been awake now... Saturday night we moved our production Domino data over to our new System i 570. Things were wonderful when we left - everything checked out.

Then we came in Monday morning to find that the entire server was powered off. Since 9:30 PM Sunday night. So we turned it back on and it came up well. Then Monday evening at about 5:30 it powered off again! My manager called me about 6:30 pm to check on it and we both headed on over because this time it wouldn't power up... And all night it hasn't powered up. We've had IBM technicians here since about 10 pm and they've been on the phone with L3 product engineers. We can't figure it out yet and I just threw back over to the data from our old server. So it's replicating back from our cluster and everything seems to be running along smoothly so far. I'll be up for many more hours I'm sure...

For those interested, we've been thinking it's the FSP (Flexible Service Processor), but it doesn't appear that's the problem. I'm not sure if it's something in the backplane (motherboard) or one of the main 570 units. But, as always, I'll let you know!

Friday, March 2, 2007

I'm going to THE VIEW Lotus Developer 2007

Who out there is going or speaking? I hope to meet up with some of you! I've never been to this conference, but I've been told that it's really great and I need a good kick in the dev... I've never been to Boston, either. That should be fun too! I'll be flying up on that Sunday afternoon.

Let me know if you're going!

500th Post!

Just saying hi! Wow, in just over 2 years I have 500 posts here. Thanks to all of my readers. I hope you have a great weekend - I get to migrate 3 Domino servers to new hardware! :)

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Think Long and Hard Before Upgrading to 7.0.2 FP1

Unless you're in dire straits for some fixes in 7.0.2 FP1, I urge you to really think about whether you upgrade.

Well, that's the word on the street...

When I migrate from our old System i to our new one on Saturday, I will not be using 7.0.2FP1 with a hotfix like I have on my current box but will use 7.0.2 with my hotfix. I'll manually do the java updates for DST. I'm not one who would generally recommend to not upgrade, but in our environment it's been suggested to me on two separate support calls that I may wish to remove FP1...

Quick Tip for System i Domino Shops (SnTT)

One important thing that System i shops have to keep in mind for Domino is making sure that the owner of all Domino data objects is the user QNOTES. In the past this has been a little difficult because you would have to specify each subdirectory in the path with the CHGOWN command.

But that has changed with Version 5 Release 4 of i5/OS. There is a new SUBTREE parameter for the CHGOWN command.

We have 3 Domino Partitions on one of our System i boxes. The data directories are similar to the following:


Now, if I want to make sure that QNOTES is the owner of all of the objects in all of the data directories, I just have to issue the following command:


Now Playing: "Seven Days Into Nevermore" by Balance of Power