Friday, September 29, 2006

Lotus Notes 7.0.2 - NOMAD Review

Updated installation procedure on 10/04/2006.

Since Notes/Domino 7.0.2 is now available at Passport, I would like to write up a review of NOMAD. Formerly project "Wanda", NOMAD is Notes on a USB stick (or any device that can be addressable as a drive letter in Windows). I think NOMAD should stand for Notes On My Agile Drive!

I've had the privilege of testing NOMAD since September 12 (I'm writing the first draft of this on 9/16). I understand that it's a final build of the client, but since I have had no issues with the client, it's irrelevant if it is slightly "beta". I picked up a 512 MB memory stick for only $9.99 after rebates. But, sometimes you can get them even cheaper than that. If you want to have a local replica of your mail file, that may not be enough space.

First things, first. You may wish to have a roaming user profile for Domino in order for this to best work with your desktop. This was really simple, and I have all my bookmarks, addresses, and journal entries replicated. The base installation of NOMAD was ~375 MB for me. That seems quite hefty! Then after the first launch I replicated over my roaming files which account for 58.5 MB. Then you have desktop6.ndk and cache.ndk that are created along with perweb.nsf. This is 22.5 MB for me. That put me up to 456 of my 489 usable MB!

Here's the how to install NOMAD. See some of the "gotchas" at Susan Bulloch's site.

Complete these steps to install IBM Lotus Notes client on a USB drive:
1. Insert the USB drive into the USB port on your computer.
2. Make note of the drive letter that is assigned to the USB drive because this drive letter assignment is dynamic and will change when you use that USB port in the future.
3. Extract the C94QIEN.exe file. This is the filename of the self-extracting executable downloaded from IBM. This is just the Notes Client. (The C94QAEN.exe is the Full Client package with Admin and Designer - do not attempt to install nomad from this as it was not meant to work this way.)
4. In a command prompt window, navigate to the folder where you extracted the C94QIEN file (there should now be a setup.exe), and then enter this command to install Lotus Notes on the USB drive:
setup /a /v"NOMAD=1 TARGETDIR=F:\ /qb+"
Where F is the USB drive letter.
The parameters /qb+ allow for the display of the basic user interface and a message box at the end of the upgrade. Don't forget the last quotation mark!
5. When the install process completes, run the command AUTORUN.EXE from the root of the USB drive by double-clicking on the filename or by typing the command on the command line.
6. Lotus Notes client is installed and will automatically launch. Complete the Notes setup process as usual.

Post Installation Cleanup (optional):
So, here's what you can remove to regain some drive space:
- Mail templates - you can leave the one you use if you would like
- Document library, discussion templates, phonebook template, or other templates you may not require
- modems folder - do you really need the modem files?
- Help folder - do you need help if you know what you're doing? :)
- Dictionary files - I don't need canadien.dic or uk.dic
- Java Documentation - go to \lotus\notes\jvm\ and there is a file that is 33 MB. Get rid of this!

After removing all that, my NOMAD install was down to 336 MB from the 456 MB (and that includes the 52 MB that's from the Admin and Designer Clients! - see below). If you have a clean enough mail file or choose selective replication, you should be able to fit that on a 512 MB stick. I decided to throw Portable Firefox on the stick instead. I have about 85 MB still free. And don't forget to defrag. You may want to move the bookmark, desktop6, and cache files off the drive temporarily to get enough free space to have a really good defrag. Then move the files back over and they won't be fragmented (to start with). I still see that those files get fragmented quickly (just like with the Windows Notes Client).

Loading Administrator and Designer:
After installing the client, the first thing I did was follow Declan's advice to load Domino Administrator and Designer. To do that, just copy admin.exe, designer.exe, events4.ntf, and domadmin.ntf from your PC's Notes installation into the respective directories on the portable drive. It takes a little bit to create the domadmin.nsf the first time, but after that, Administrator and Designer Clients work well. This will create an evens4.nsf and domadmin.nsf. With the template and nsf files, this is 52 MB.

You can also see more information at Chris Miller's site.

Now that all of that is out of the way, just remember that it's the Notes client on a stick and it has Sametime support as well. It's another way that IBM is making Notes available for different scenarios (Linux, Mac, Windows, and NOMAD). It works great and performs well on USB 2.0 (don't hope for much success on earlier USB versions - it's slow!!). I used it last week a lot and didn't have any problems (except when my drive space got down to 2 MB free...), but that's my own fault! If you travel a lot, this could come in extremely handy. I just had to reformat an old laptop at home that we keep in the kitchen. This comes in handy for me not to have to load Notes on that. After you close the client and remove the drive, a cleanup process will remove any traces of the client. Enjoy!



Selena said...

Lotus Notes is a great piece of software. I have had a lot of success with it over the years.

Webmaster at Cellulean

Anonymous said...

Thank Chris for compiling these instructions, its great!!

Couple of additional question:
1. How we can install fix-packs over already installed notes on USB?

2. Is it possible to have Standard configuration on USB ?


Chris Whisonant said...

I don't believe that fp's can be installed over them.

These instructions were out prior to 8.0, but if I recall IBM enabled Standard Config installations with Nomad starting in 8.0.1 or 8.0.2.