Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Final Stretch For Alias!

Sadly, they are cancelling the TV show Alias. I've been watching this show since the 2nd episode! It's been off the air for several months for a long winter break (maternity leave for Bennifer Garner), but it will return on Wednesday, April 19. I'm so happy to see it finally returning. Some rumors are that ABC forgot to give it a timeslot. It's endured pretty bad ratings due to the shows that it gets positioned against (West Wing, for instance), so it was doomed anyway.

If you're a fan of the show, the "countdown" thread to the April 19 episode is at SD-1.net. This episode is titled S.O.S. and the next one is titled Maternal Instinct. Expect to see Irina in these... I posted about the season premiere back in September. Looking back at that, I still love the line from Marshall (uber-geek who we should all look up to!!!):

"I encrypted it with 4096 bit encryption and it will take him years to figure it out. But that's OK because he's a butt."

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Different Kind of Conference This Week

This Wednesday through Friday, my wife and I will be going to THIRSTY :: 06. It's a conference for church worship leaders and those who work with college students. We will be going with our worship leader, his wife, and one of their daughters. We're really looking forward to this time to be a refreshing and renewing time for us! Have fun with IT - I plan on being disconnected most of the time and maybe catch up on some political/religious blogs in the evenings.

My wife sings on our praise team and I play electric guitar. We do some amazing music - most of it new and sometimes some new takes on old hymns. A lot of it is music by those associated with the Passion organization that's putting on the conference. You should check some of it out at the Passion website.

Now Playing: "Repentance" by Ultimatum

Notes 7.0.1 Upgrade - Spell Checker Feature Not Available

We've only ran into this twice so far, but I'm afraid it may happen more if people try spell checking. After upgrading to Notes 7.0.1 via silent, smart upgrade, a user receives an error that the Spell Check feature is not available. For one user, the smart upgrade was failing because the MSI package was looking for the old network share for the 6.5.4 setup.exe file. So, I had to manually run the upgrade in order to see that this was the actual problem. But prior to that, I notice this in the setup wizard on an upgrade to 7.0.1 from 6.5.4:

I may submit a PMR about this just to see if others are experiencing this. It seems like for some random reason the setup does not enable all of the options previously available. But this may just be a snafu since we've upgraded 78% of all users to 7.0.1 with only 2 known cases of this.

Now Playing: "Mortal Stomp" by Ultimatum

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Star Wars Air Freshener?

We made a run to Wal-Mart last night for some odds and ends. While we were in the automotive department, my wife pointed to some Star Wars air fresheners for the car. I couldn't help myself and had to ask her the question on everyone's mind....

What does it smell like? Bantha Poo-doo??

On a side note, I received 2 disk drives and RHEL 4 to be used for my mail archival server. The xSeries 306m is apparently so new to the market that I'm still waiting on IBM to ship it.

Now Playing: "Kindred Spirits" by Liquid Tension Experiment

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Update On Last Week's Bookmark Bar Question

Last week I posted a question about a "Server Error: File Does Not Exist" error I was receiving when sending out a link for users to automatically create a Bookmark Bar icon.

Here is my code that works (except for not being able to create the icon without restarting the Client). Basically, I added:

Dim ws As New NotesUIWorkspace
Call ws.OpenDatabase("TPDOMINO1/COMPORIUM" , archdbname)

This will force the database to be opened after creating the bookmark. Since I also moved my archive folder, I have been able to test this out with some people and it worked. I should be getting my RedHat xSeries this week that I will use for the production archive server. By the way, apologies to David Jones if this code isn't properly annotated! ;)

Sub Click(Source As Button)
Dim ws As New NotesUIWorkspace
Dim outline As NotesOutline
Dim NewOE As NotesOutlineEntry
Dim s As New NotesSession
Dim db As NotesDatabase
Dim curdb As NotesDatabase
Dim archdb As NotesDatabase
Dim curdbname As String
Dim archdbname As String
Dim archid As String

On Error Goto ErrHandle
Set db = New NotesDatabase( "", "bookmark.nsf" )
Set outline = db.GetOutline("UserBookmarkOrder")
Set curdb = s.CurrentDatabase
curdbname = Strright(curdb.FilePath,"\")
archdbname = "archive\a_" + curdbname
Set archdb = s.GetDatabase("TPDOMINO1/COMPORIUM", archdbname)
archid = archdb.ReplicaID

Call ws.OpenDatabase("TPDOMINO1/COMPORIUM" , archdbname)

Set NewOE = outline.CreateEntry("Mail Archive")
Call NewOE.SetURL( "notes://tpdomino1/" + archid )

NewOE.ImagesText = "Link - Notes Database"

Call outline.save()
Msgbox "Bookmark Created Successfully - Please Restart Lotus Notes To See Icon on Bookmark Bar"
Goto ExitSub

Msgbox "An error occurred while adding the bookmark. Please call the Help Desk for support."
Resume ExitSub

End Sub

This LotusScript was converted to HTML using the ls2html routine,
provided by Julian Robichaux at nsftools.com.

Now Playing: "Animate-Inanimate" by John Petrucci

Lotus Notes 7.0.1 Rollout

We've been using Smart Upgrade to rollout the Notes 7.0.1 Client. Here's the current breakdown:

7.0.1 - 61.3%
7.0.0 - 7.3%
6.5.4 - 26.2%
6.5.3 - 3.2%
6.5.2 - 1.4%
6.5.1 - 0.4%

Now Playing: "Three Minute Warning" by Liquid Tension Experiment

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sametime server defensive fix for Notes instant messaging

This is the fix that we've all been waiting for! (I did not initially post about it but since the hotfix is a public document now I feel OK doing so.)

Sametime server defensive fix for Notes instant messaging

"To obtain the Sever-side defensive fix, please open a PMR with IBM Technical Support."

It is a server-side "fix" that will disconnect any IM users in the Notes Client who are causing the DOS attack against the IM server. Whatever works! Please note that the fix is for Sametime version (Or 6.5.1 HF1) and not for 7.0. I understand that the fix is still being ported to Sametime 7.0.

I have been running the fix for about 10 days now without any issues. But we have also been rolling out 7.0.1 Notes Client the past several weeks (which provides a client-side fix). We have about 55% of all Notes Clients at 7.0.1 now - we are rolling through the Smart Upgrades quickly! I figure with the server-side fix and 7.0.1 clients we shouldn't see the problems any longer. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Now Playing: "At The End" by Arwen

Poll Results: What Is Your Domino Mail Platform?

Voting for the Mail Platform poll is now closed. The map and results can be viewed here and below is a breakdown:

iSeries - 29% - 7 Votes
Linux - 4% - 1 Vote
Windows - 63% - 15 Votes
Solaris - 4% - 1 Vote
Other - 0%

Thanks for your participation! I was hoping to see a few more iSeries and Linux votes.

Now Playing: "House of Cain" by Balance of Power

Thursday, March 16, 2006

"The Da Vinci Code" Movie

"The Da Vinci Code" will be released in theaters on May 19, 2006. As most people probably are aware, this is based off of the best-selling book by the same name. It is a completely fictional work that makes some outlandish claims regarding Christianity and Jesus. The movie is sure to be a blockbuster - directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Ian McKellan, and Alfred Molina (who was in the movie "Luther" just a couple of years ago which is a must-see!).

With the upcoming release of the movie, Pastor Mark D. Roberts is blogging about the book in a current series on his blog titled "The Da Vinci Opportunity: How the Popularity of The Da Vinci Code Book and Movie Can Be Helpful to Christians and Others". He just started the series on Monday. I've read some of his previous series which have been really great and centered on facts rather than emotion. I really urge you to check it out if you have some time.

Link to this series: The Da Vinci Opportunity

Link to the feed: http://www.markdroberts.com/index.xml

Good Game Eagles!

My hometown team (and my wife's Alma Mater), the Winthrop University Eagles, narrowly lost to the Tennessee Volunteers in the first round of March Madness. The 15th seeded Eagles played very strong againt the 2nd seeded Volunteers only losing by 2 points.

Congrats on the great year Eagles!!

Connect Google Talk to AIM, MSN, & Yahoo

I saw this today at BlackBerryForums.com: Connect Google Talk to AIM, MSN, & Yahoo

Basically, you download PSI (a Jabber client) and connect to Google Talk. Then you can browse to AIM, MSN, and Yahoo networks. After connecting to these you will have to "accept" connections for each network as well as each contact. It's a bit of a hassle if you have a ton of contacts (unlike me). Then close PSI and login to Google Talk - voila!

Do you want to make it even more interesting? Get Google Talk for your BlackBerry and you have a single client for all or most of the IM networks you would need! On your BlackBerry, go to http://www.blackberry.com/GoogleTalk/ to download the application over-the-air.

Now Playing: "Shelter Me" by Balance of Power

Quick Tip - Restoring Mail File (SnTT)

We all know that the Domino mail file storage architecture lends itself easily to restoring a single user's mail file. However, this tip may help save you some time in the event that someone needs a message restored that they have soft-deleted and which has subsequently been removed from the trash. I know, why delete something if it's important enough to need recovery? But it's bound to happen and we admins will have to make it right.

The problem with trying to restore that deleted document is that the client will automatically clean out the trash if the current date is past the number of hours specified for the soft-delete setting. The workaround is to restore the file and before opening the database in the client, open the database properties (via Administrator client) and change the soft-delete expiration time (in hours) in the advanced tab to be a value no greater than 65,535. Another workaround is to change your PC date to be the same date as that of the database you were restoring.

I also prefer to restore the file to a location outside of the Domino Data directory due to the potential that the Update and/or Indexer tasks could perform the hard deletion prior to your being able to change the database property.

Now Playing: "Cutting Words" by Jacob's Dream

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And They're Teaching Our Kids?

In South Carolina, there has been a school choice movement underway called "Put Parents In Charge" (PPiC). There are pros and cons with it, but the information is at their website. This past January, John Stossel had an ABC 20/20 special titled "Stupid in America". During this special, he highlighted the abysmal state of the education system in South Carolina and made points that school choice has tremendous value in many situations.

Today I received an email from PPiC and it contained a statement that continually grates on my nerves and is a pet peeve - especially when I hear an educator use the term! The statement was directed at John Stossel from an educator.

"Public schools are what distinguish democracies from every other system in the world," and a country without strong public schools "lends itself to authoritarian thinking."

I've also heard other "educators" describe America as a Democracy. But we're not a Democracy - we're a Republic and the US Constitution makes that clear in Article IV, Section 4: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

In Webster's first dictionary in 1828, he defines "Republic" as follows: (it's useful to use this situation to use this definition as it would be closest to what the framers meant by the term).

A commonwealth; a state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people. In modern usage, it differs from a democracy or democratic state, in which the people exercise the powers of sovereignty in person. Yet the democracies of Greece are often called republics.

OK, enough of the rant on my pet peeve... Please note that Webster (and the framers) knew the difference between a Democracy and a Republic even if some in our current culture and education system do not know the difference.

Now Playing: "Once Upon A Time" by Arwen

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

COMMON Conference Irony?

The theme for this fall's AS/400/iSeries/i5 COMMON Conference is "Disaster Recovery". From their website "Events of the last couple of years in the southeastern United States have brought attention to the issues surrounding physical site recovery."

So where is the irony, you ask? The conference is September 17-21, 2006 in Miami Beach, FL. I guess the probable impending hurricanes that time of year on the Florida peninsula will reiterate the need for DR...

Now Playing: "Beyond Tomorrow" by Jordan Rudess

Technorati Tags: Lotus, Domino, iSeries

Monday, March 13, 2006

Development Question: devWorks Posting With No Replies

The other day I posted the following at devWorks. I haven't had any replies so I thought I would post it here too.

I am in the process of setting up mail archives. I want to send a button to users that will create a Bookmark Bar Icon directly to the DB (by the way, does anyone know how to do this without restarting Notes to make the icon display?).

After my test users try opening the Bookmark Bar Icon, they get the error "Server Error: File Does Not Exist". If I have them go through the Tools > Archive > Open from their Mail navigation frame, the database will open. Then I can have them click the Icon and it will now work. Magic? What's going on with this? Below is my code - you can see that the code traps for the database not being found and can only build the Bookmark if it finds the correct database! I swiped most of the code from another post on the forum. :) Thanks in advance!

Sub Click(Source As Button)
Dim outline As NotesOutline
Dim NewOE As NotesOutlineEntry
Dim s As New NotesSession
Dim db As NotesDatabase
Dim curdb As NotesDatabase
Dim archdb As NotesDatabase
Dim curdbname As String
Dim arcdbname As String
Dim archid As String

On Error Goto ErrHandle
Set db = New NotesDatabase( "", "bookmark.nsf" )
Set outline = db.GetOutline("UserBookmarkOrder")
Set curdb = s.CurrentDatabase
curdbname = Strright(curdb.FilePath,"\")
archdbname = "FASmail\a_" + curdbname
Set archdb = s.GetDatabase("TPDOMINO1/COMPORIUM", archdbname)
archid = archdb.ReplicaID

Set NewOE = outline.CreateEntry("Mail Archive")
Call NewOE.SetURL( "notes://tpdomino1/" + archid )

NewOE.ImagesText = "Link - Notes Database"

Call outline.save()
Msgbox "Bookmark Created Successfully - Please Restart Lotus Notes To View"
Goto ExitSub

Msgbox "An error occurred while adding the bookmark. Please call the Help Desk for support."
Resume ExitSub

End Sub

This LotusScript was converted to HTML using the ls2html routine,
provided by Julian Robichaux at nsftools.com.

Now Playing: "Insectsamongus" by Jordan Rudess

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sametime 6.5.1 and Notes Integrated Awareness - Update

I keep an eye on the Lotus Support feeds - especially for updates to Technote 1206369 dealing with Integrated awareness on Notes 6.5.x results in server outages. There was an update to this yesterday with some information I was not aware of.

First, I really like this quote: "On iSeries this problem will appear as an abnormal termination of the StMux task. You would probably not notice a CPU spike because the CPU has so much processing power available."

Secondly, from speaking with Tech Support in the past, I'm not entirely certain of the validity of this statement: "Verify that the Sametime server is running Fix Pack 1 (FP1) for Sametime 6.5.1 or is running Sametime version 7.0.". There may be some enhancements to slow down the rate of the crashes in comparison with Sametime 6.5.1 without the FP1, but there is not an actual server-side fix shipped in these releases.

Third, "Upgrade the Notes clients to 6.5.4 CCH6, 6.5.5 CCH1 or 7.0.1 Moving to these releases includes a number of enhancements which reduce the Sametime server load that is driven by Notes IM." We're upgrading now to 7.0.1 Clients (already have 21% of clients at 7.0.1!!), so this should help out our situation. I'm also still working with Support on this problem...

Finally, the option that I just enabled this morning was to "Increase the Domino server name lookup cache (for Sametime servers configured with a Domino directory only)" There are some specifics listed in the technote on how to determine if your name cache is properly sized. My peak and max sizes were equal, so I really needed to adjust this. They suggest setting it to 64MB (or 67108864). Mine was around 16.5MB, so this should be helpful.

Now Playing: "Lost Without You" by John Petrucci

Thursday, March 9, 2006

7 Down

Well, this isn't really related to Lotus, so I won't actually tag it for Technorati. But since getting back from Lotusphere, I have dropped over 7 pounds! I've basically been hitting the gym to do the stair climber about 5 days each week. I've been trying to eat a little better during the day and not eat anything after dinner. I just need to keep it up!

Also, call me weird, but I've even eaten some of these:

Now Playing: "Paradise" by Tesla

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Poll: What Is Your Domino Mail Platform?

I have loaded a poll to my blog. Please click through and take the poll to select the platform you are using for your Domino Mail server - it's over on the menu. Sorry for the "Other" category, but I can only list 5 choices. I guess that says a lot for Domino!

Now Playing: "Chemical Imbalance" by Balance of Power

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

BlogFlux Poll - Coming Soon!

I'm trying to think of a good poll for this site... I've been using BlogFlux for a while (it displays the locations of the most recent visitors). It's a slick tool integrating Google Maps. They also have an option of creating a poll. I always overlooked it until Greg Simmons posted one at his site. Go check it out by clicking his name above and place your vote on the Fair Tax plan that's in Congress now.

Here's the Fair Tax website. Take a look around and see what you think. I've read the book and it makes a great case for the plan with robust rebuttals of almost every "issue" people have with the plan.

Now Playing: "Real Life Fairytale" by Plumb

SMTP Routing Question

I have a quick SMTP question that I know someone can answer... I have been working with our ISP on this over the past week. They have had to make some DNS changes, but it still wasn't working.

We are trying to send mail to atmc.coop. Using my standard dnsstuff.com utilities, I get the following reports:

DNS A Record Report: "No A records exist for atmc.coop"

DNS MX Record Report: mail.atlantictelephone.org and mailrelay.atlantictelephone.org.

From my location, I cannot resolve the DNS for that (naturally, since there's no A Record). But, I cannot deliver mail either. I did put a host table entry for the server on my iSeries. This does allow mail to route. Other mail servers route to it fine. Apparently we're the only ones with an issue. And, as the mail server administrator, this is the only server to which we're having trouble with mail delivery.

The question: Is this a Domino SMTP issue (or do I have something configured incorrectly)? Should mail routing not look up to the mail routing (MX) records for resolution instead of just looking up to the DNS A record? I have looked through the help file as well as some devWorks searches.

Now Playing: "Sleep" by Plumb

Friday, March 3, 2006

A "More Secure" and "Easier to Manage" System From Microsoft

I saw this from Colin Williams earlier in the week and have been meaning to post about it. In the Windows XP tour, there is a "Best for Business" section. In that you should click the "More Secure; Easier to Manage" link. This will show you this image:

Don't believe me? If you have Windows XP, open IE and type in the following:

(On my work and home PCs this works, a colleague said that you may need to replace "WINDOWS" with "WINNT"...)

According to Colin, you can see the Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award sticker on each server. The AS/400 (formerly iSeries, now i5) won it in 1990. It's the blue ribbon with the gold medallion most noticeable on the far left server. Compare these systems to the AS/400s here.

I will say one thing, the graphic MS is presenting of these 16 year-old systems is one of a platform that is indeed "More Secure" and "Easier to Manage" (than Windows)!

This JUST in...

RIM and NTP settle for $612.5 million - no shutdown! Settlement was reached this afternoon.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Notes Toolbar Tools I Use (Show-n-Tell Thursday)

I would like to briefly highlight three excellent utilities I use on my Notes Toolbar as custom buttons. Chime in if you have any other utilities that help make your Admin life easier...

1. Paste Information Application This is an extremely helpful utility provided by Alan Lepofsky. Basically, the toolbar button allows you to pick from a list of Rich Text documents that you can have routine information typed into. I have a copy of this located on a server that my entire team can use. We use it for canned replies to users. This is a huge time saver for me. The less time I have to correspond with users, the more I can devote to my other projects.

2. Document Viewer This is an OpenNTF application that I overlooked until I heard Bruce Elgort mention it in the last podcast. After downloading it, the installation documentation is in the "Docs" tab on the OpenNTF project page. This lets you have a toolbar button that will display all of the fields (field type, name, and value) on any document in any view. You should really get this if you hate weeding through the Notes Document Properties dialog box for the fields... (Will this ever get "enhanced" to be resized and show more information about the fields without having to scroll so much?) But I digress - that's why this tool is so handy!

3. Remote Server Console Just create a button with the following formula: @Command([AdminRemoteConsole]). This will bring up a console window that can be used to view the live console and send commands. Requires an Admin client to be installed.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

MS Application Analyzer Tool is Out (Again)

According to Paul, the "wonderful" utility is back online. I downloaded it and attempted to install it. I get the following error (seems that I remember that same error from the discussions about it earlier!) So I guess Microsoft wants us to downgrade our systems to run their analyzer.

Guess you have to be on older versions...

Now Playing: "Solid As The Sun" by Neal Morse

Notes 7.x Smart Upgrade Changes

I am now starting our Notes 7.0.1 upgrades. There was an option in the Smart Upgrade kit that I did not have selected properly. This is new for the Domino 7.0 Smart Upgrade template.

In the kit there is now a yes/no field titled "Release 6.5.4/6.0.5 or previous?" If the source Notes version is in the 6.x range, this must be "Yes." Likewise, if the source Notes version is in the 7.x range this must be "No."

On top of this, if the source version is 7.x, you must also choose the "Install Type" of "Notes client only" or "All Client (Notes client, Admin client, Designer)".

Another update: It also appears that the issue with the client configuration wizard prompt for multi-user installs may be technically resolved. It appears that going from 6.x to 7.0.1 will work. Upgrading from 6.x to 7.0 gives the configuration wizard prompt. Then, subsequent upgrades from 7.0 to 7.0.1 will cause the prompt as well.

The issue is with a registry key that 7.0 doesn't delete. From my understanding, the key will be properly deleted going from 6.5.x to 7.0.1, but if you had upgraded from 6.5.x to 7.0 and later upgrade to 7.0.1 the key will still not be deleted.

Now Playing: "Entrance" by Neal Morse