Work Journal For Week of April 24, 2000

Last Update: Monday, May 01, 2000 12:00 AM


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Monday April 24, 2000

Interesting thing happened in Outlook today. MY pst file is on my e-drive which I happened to have run out of space on. So when I went to download my mail, Outlook gave me an error about not being able to access the pst file do to lack of disk space and only downloaded a few small messages. I cleaned up the e-drive and Outlook was happy again and downloaded the mail with attachments I sent myself from work.

This morning, the office tower is deserted and I couldn't find a light switch. Luckily I sit near a window which gives me some ambient light. There is also a light under the shelf above my monitor but turning it on gives my monitor a case of the shakes.

If there is basically no one on the network but me and I assume a few others so why is SMS still a dog? Took SMS its usual few minutes to open the data base and now for the past 5 minutes I have been trying to run a workstation query, but SMS won't even bring up the query dialog box. Finally after repeated tries SMS works but the workstation I want to work on is not responding. Probably a laptop which the user took home. Well they can't say I didn't try to get some work done.

Reading up on the contextless login feature in Netware 5, and it seems to me that it may provide a bit of a security problem since anyone with access to a PC can view a list of user names. What contextless login does is allows the Network Administrator to create a catalog of NDS information, with the primary benefit being that users do not need to know the context of their user object in the NDS tree to be able to login. They only have to provide their ID and password and the Novell client uses the catalog services to match the ID with the correct user object so that the user can be authenticated to the network. But you can also type in any user ID, press the tab key and get a list of user IDs, unless the ID you entered was a valid unique ID.


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Tuesday April 25, 2000

What happened to Monday, or even Tuesday for that matter. Usually I want the week to fly by, but with this week I feel a little different. I still have preparations to do for my exam on Friday morning and the days are evaporating like spilt gasoline on a hot day. Only two more days to cram some extra information into the gray matter, doesn't feel like enough with the way time is flying by, but in reality things should be OK. I have a good idea of what items I need to work on, mostly trying to remember the NDS objects which are associated with things like DNS, DHCP, and the order of the steps required to do a migration for Netware 3 and 4 to Netware 5.


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Wednesday April 26, 2000

OK! fess up, who stole those hours from me, I need them back ASAP. I am sure they're worth something on the black market to some other hapless sole who needs more hours in their day, but maybe you could try stealing time from someone who can afford to give them up. How about like maybe some over paid hockey or football player who can afford to pay someone to do the things they don't have time to do.

It is a lovely night out and I took advantage of it by parking myself out on the front porch with a book. Almost felt like a kid again, sitting cross-legged on the porch, leaning back against the railing while reading about the remote control features of ZENworks. I should invest in a chair for out on the porch some day.

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!"


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Thursday April 27, 2000

Is it possible for your head to implode from over use. Yes I chose the term implode intentionally. While others may think their head will explode from over using their brain, I feel the inverse is the case. An over worked brain will seize up like a hot Briggs & Stratton engine with a dry crank case, then shrivel up like a prune causing one's head to implode from the resulting vacuum created by the shrinking brain tissue. Wait I can hear it! The squeak of the un-lubricated crank seizing in the main bearings at this very moment.

Thanks to Jan Swijsen for returning hour he stole from me. I intend to make good use of it over the weekend. He intends to only steal time from bored people like Chris Ward-Johnson in the future. I believe this a fair policy which I intend to adopt.


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Friday April 28, 2000

Well I survived my mental seizure and loss of time earlier in the week, and was able to pass my exam this morning. It was not a climatic event at all. No exclamations of joy and happiness when I was done, merely commented to myself "well done, you passed". I should be happy I passed my exam this morning, and becoming certified at the CNE 5 level, but I don't. I think that this is because other exams I have done were a means to an end. The goal was to get certification to make myself more marketable. This exam was just to upgrade my certification so that I don't lose it in August. Also I was expecting this to be tough, my confidence was not high, and I also expected it to be a traditional exam. It turned out to be an adaptive exam in which I only had to do the minimum number of questions to pass. If you get more than the minimum number of questions on an adaptive exam it is because you bombed one or more topics and the exam software is giving you more questions on the failed topic(s).

Now this evening, the phone is ringing with calls for Winnipeg. A good friend who I used to do lots of running, cycling and speed skating with called. We chatted about how neither of us is getting as much exercise as we would like, and about just about every other topic under the sun. Then I had just put the phone down and and it rang again with a call from my parents with whom I had a nice chat with.

Not a bad day, but now that the studies are done I have to lay out plans on what to tackle next. My neighbour who is a computer security analyst suggests that being a jack of all trades is good, but it does not get you quality employment. Specialization leads to quality work. I have taken his words to heart as nothing else seems to be working for me. I have been thinking about taking the momentum I currently have working with Netware 5 and running with it. Get to know the NOS more in-depth, do some more practical work with NDS enabled products like ZENworks and GroupWise. this is not written in stone yet but I will hopefully work it out over the weekend. On top this I have to get my novice Linux skills going again. In the back of my mind I came up with the idea that if I can get a good high level of skill with NDS and NDS enabled applications on the Netware platform. Maybe then if I also can get a handle on Linux, I can transfer some of the NDS skills over to NDS for Linux. Maybe a little too ambitious, but then at this point these are only ideas in my head. Who knows if when planted if they will bear fruit!


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Saturday April 29, 2000

Started off last evening kicking back and relaxing. But that didn't last very long as I started to tour around on the CNE Net web site checking message boards etc.. Then my certification status and exam listing sheet needed to be undated along with my resume.

I copied all the data files on my server to a workstation in preparation for resizing the partions on the server. Some of the products I may want to install, can only be installed on the Sys volume of a NetWare server. Why in this day and age programs are still developed that have to be installed in a specific location to work eludes me. Anyways my Sys volume is only 1 gig currently, and I need about 2 gigs of space to be on the safe side.

There is an article in today's Calgary Herald about a lady who has a home business and had her PC stolen. Guess what? She is now out of business because all her business data was on the computer which was stolen. The lesson here is that you should have a backup of all your data put away in a safe place, and an off site copy is even better since it will protect you incase of fire etc.. 

You don't have to go to much expense either for off site storage. You can use a safety deposit box, give one to a neighbour or relative. Also make sure that the media you are using is of a technology that is still available. Nothing like having your PC stolen, then going getting a new one only to find that the old tape drive you were using is no longer available, so even though you have a backup, you cannot read it. This was worsened by some older tapes, which could only be read by the specific tape drive model it was written with. I remember working with what appeared to be two identical tape drives and using then to move data between two systems. Neither drive would read a tape made in the other drive. I ended up having to move the drives to other systems to be able to migrate the data on the tapes. 

You may also want to make sure that the software you use for your backup is still available, or you may want to keep a copy of it else where. For those who like to use the backup that comes with your Operating System, beware that the files it creates may only be readable by that particular version of the OS. Not a real problem with most versions of  Windows, which are all still in use, and relatively easy to find. But then there the multiple versions of DOS which are hard to find these days, and each version had a slightly different backup file format. 


I removed the NSS volume from my server and then before I went any further archived a copy of the autoexec.ncf file on the sys volume. I put some work into setting up this file, so I don't want to lose my work to date. I poked around in the NWConfig utility to see if the Standard Disk Options provides any way to resize the sys volume. It doesn't which is what I expected, so looks like I have to toast my sys volume and reinstall NetWare 5 to get my partitions setup the way I want them.

Looks like I was wrong. I can't resize a NetWare partition, but I can create a second partition and expand the Sys volume to include the new partition. So I created a second Netware Volume 1 Gig is size. I was then able to expand the Sys volume to include the newly created partition so that now I have a 2 gig Sys volume. 

Then in NWConfig I used NSS Disk Options to take the existing free space and create a new NSS volume where I can store data.


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Sunday April 30, 2000

Mostly quiet on the computing front today. Did a little reading up on Linux, and fought with the new Monster Job Board resume creation tool.

Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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