Work Journal For Week of May 1, 2000

Last Update: Sunday, May 07, 2000 07:00 PM


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Monday May 1, 2000

The start of a new month, and I am refreshed from a weekend in which I did not have do any studies.

Computer security at work has been given a mandate to aid in stopping the waste of bandwidth and company time, thus they are going to increase the monitoring of peoples internet use, email use and check PCs for none approved programs like games. As usual it is likely a few bad eggs making things difficult for the rest of the people who do not abuse company resources. Also it is a shame that the managers of these people, who likely know who the bad offenders are, can't just deal with these people themselves. But no, now the already poor moral is going to take another shot as people become paranoid of being watched all the time.

The DHCP service on my server stopped leasing out IP addresses. I unloaded the service then loaded it again and all was well again. The server has only been up for 2 days since I changed the storage volume sizes. Something is not quite right when my little network has DHCP problems.


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Tuesday May 2, 2000

I was unable to publish my post last night due to lack of connectivity to the internet. so tonight I am publishing for Monday and Tuesday.

I may have found the source of my DHCP problems and definitely my connectivity problems. My main workstation, on which I am writing this page, and from which I will publish it to the web, had been leased the same IP address as my router has assigned as a static address. I thought I had excluded the routers address from the range of addresses DHCP can lease out, but obviously I didn't. Strange thing though, while both the router and my PC had the same IP address, I could still access the router and the web via my test PC. Anyways using DNS/DHCP Manager I deleted the old IP address range and created a new range, making sure the address for my router was not included in the range of addresses.

Then I had a short but tough fight with my PC to get it to drop the IP address it was using and get a new one from the new IP address range I configured DHCP with. I won out in the end and connectivity to the internet is now restored to my production PC.

I think that having the static IP address on my router and the dynamic IP address on my PC the same may have given the DHCP server fits, which is why it may have stopped serving out addresses the other day. I can't prove it, but it seems to be a likely cause of the problem. Time will tell now that I have sorted out my IP addressing.


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Wednesday May 3, 2000

Ain't the web great! I don't have to wait for my certificate from Novell to come in the mail for proof of my upgraded certification. A quick check of my certification status on the Novell web site confirms that Novell received my test score from Sylvan Prometric and added CNE 5 certification to my file.

Netware Users Group meets tomorrow with a presentation on Storage Area Networks. Should be an interesting meeting if I can escape from work early so I can attend.

Installed GroupWise 5.5 tonight. The install is done from a workstation. The install wizard is very simple to use. A few mouse clicks to confirm the NDS schema to be extended with GroupWise objects, then the schema is extended and files are copied to the sys volume on the server. One reboot of the Workstation required to get Network Administrator ( NWadmin ) to work with the added GroupWise add-ins.

Installed the GroupWise client locally on the Workstation, setup user GroupWise account information via NWadmin and a functioning internal mail system is olperational.



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Thursday May 4, 2000

It's been a "Love Letter Day", with IT people around the world trying to keep the latest worm variant virus out of their computers, and fixing those for which it was too late. I spend hours walking the floor telling people to reboot their computers so that the SMS drop that the server group put together would update the virus signature files on their computers. Most were willing to do as asked, others just saw it as another interruption in their work day.

The Netware User Group meeting was OK. It was made better by the fact that one of the members works for the competitor for the product being presented. That product is a Storage Area Network solution by XIOtech. I can't recall the name of the competitor company, but their rep helped keep the XIOtech sales guy honest. An engineer was suppose to accompany the sales guy, but he got held up in Quebec City on a support call.

A SAN is a storage system which uses RAID storage to create a single point of storage for an enterprise. The SAN can hold data for multiple server types i.e. Novell, NT, Unix. The SAN does not hold data in a files system i.e. NSS, NTFS but stores data at the block level. The servers are connected to the SAN via fiber optic link.

XIOtech claims that with their management software you can manage volumes without ever having to reboot. For example you can add several new hard drives, have them be detected, configure them as RAID 5 array, create anew volume and have your servers see the new volume with only a few key strokes and a few minutes work.

Now time to dig around the online book stores for a good GroupWise book. I went to Chapters today and found nothing, but did come away with a novel to read.



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Friday May 5, 2000

The daynoters backchannel does it again. I have been getting better information on the loveletter virus, through backchannel emails and posts on peoples web sites than corporate security is providing us front line types at work. In fact yesterday I had info on this virus through my own research before corporate security even acknowledge that there may be a problem. I understand at least one of the IT managers may have taken the security types to task on their lack of communication with the rest of the company.


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Saturday May 6, 2000

Online book stores in Canada would do well to add a summary on books they sell. Amazon does a fair job of this, but others only list a title and author. This is fine if you know the particular book you are looking for, and just want to find the book and buy it. But if you are like me and searching for a new book, some additional info is required. 

While most of the media has done a very poor job of reporting on the latest computer virus, it was refreshing to see CNN spend a few minutes with a security expert, ask intelligent questions, and allow the expert to give good full answers. For a story that has such large financial implications world wide, it is too bad that the media does such a poor job at covering it.

So much for news paper delivery this morning. I checked all the paper boxes in the neighbourhood and no Saturday paper to be found. Could be the strike at the Calgary Herald has finally affected delivery. At least the Web site is still up so I can check the Saturday job ads.



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Sunday May 7, 2000

The address book in the GroupWise client for Windows NT has not been working for me. I could not locate a fix in the Novell knowledge base, and a reinstall failed to accomplish anything. So I removed Outlook and Outlook Express, reinstalled the GroupWise client. Then went into the Control Panel, selected mail and added a Novell GroupWise Address Book. Opened GroupWise, clicked on the address book icon and up came the address book listing the available GroupWise clients I have setup.

A quick reinstall of Outlook Express, a quick reboot, test GroupWise functionality, Outlook Express functionality and all is well. I can once again send internal mail, internet mail.

I grabbed a couple of quick snap shots of the GroupWise 5.5 client and the address book for those of you who maybe curious as to what they look like. This also gave me a chance to learn how to create thumbnail images in FrontPage. Turns out it is extremely easy to do. There is a built in function which is found on the pictures menu which is used to create thumbnail images.

grpwsbx.jpg (38368 bytes)


address.jpg (26402 bytes)

GroupWise is starting to come back to me. It has been over a year since I had to do end user support for GroupWise. I am also becoming very aware how having worked in ( at the time ) well designed environment. Now that I am doing things from scratch I am seeing things that I didn't have to before. For example where I worked before, I never had to install the GroupWise client as it was run off the network, and all the required settings were pre configured into the Windows 95 builds we were given to use. Now am working with Windows NT, so settings have to be set for each user that logs onto a PC, and I am running the GroupWise client locally. I either have to setup the address book settings manually or automate it. I did a bit of an automated setup in that I created a registry hack that I run manually as soon as I log in using a new test ID. The hack sets up the address book settings so that the GroupWise client is immediately fully functional. I could run the registry hack via a login script, or if I use ZENworks to install the client, I could make the registry hack a part of the install.

Thunder, lighting, snow, hail, and rain, I have it all this afternoon. Some of the thunder is booming making the windows rattle. Wow I could actually feel that last thunder boomer, which sent bugs bunny scurrying down the back lane and out into the field across the street.


Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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