Journal For Week of August 14, 2000

Last Update: Monday, August 21, 2000 09:58 PM


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Monday August 14, 2000 

Mostly a busy but uneventful day at work other than finding an old Pentium 90 buried in a corner. Quickly claimed it for myself so I can setup a Linux box on my desk. Now for those days when I have some time during lunch I can play with Linux.

Put a little time in at home moving servers around and trying to get my work bench organized. Still haven't installed NetWare on Larry yet, but I should be able to get started at it tomorrow.


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Tuesday August 15, 2000

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery.

 Today is a gift, that's why it's called the PRESENT!

My attention span was very short this morning. Bouncing between jobs, I knew what needed to be done but my mind was drifting off into space. Then as the day progressed my concentration improved and I was able to be productive. Also helps that today is pay day, so no matter what happens in the end it will be a good day.

Not sure about the rest of the world, but my internet mail is moving at a snails pace lately. Some messages come through at the expected rate while most are taking half a day or more to sift through the net and make their way to me. None of it is critical, but it makes it difficult to follow the tread of a discussion when mail arrives wildly out of context.

Modified my multi NIC boot disk to work with a Netgear NIC so that I can use it to boot Larry ( soon to a NetWare server ) and logon to Brain. The reason I need to do this is that Larry does not have a CD-Rom drive, so I mounted the NetWare5 install CD as a volume on Brain, which I can then map a drive letter to and run the install across the wire. My brain being a bit addled after a days work, it took me a few minutes to get logged on and a drive mapped, but once that was accomplished the install moved along nicely.

Stumbled upon this link today when trying to back track an email I received. I didn't spend much time on the site, but it looks to have a good set of links to a wide variety of sites from Microsoft patch lists to BIOS updates.


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Wednesday August 16, 2000

Busy multi tasking day with my regular work, then trying to work with a consultant who is working on our bar coding system. He does not understand TCP/IP networking or the Unix system he has to work with which his company installed. Me, and my boss try repeatedly to tell him and teach him how things work but he does not get it. Things are complicated by the fact that a utility runs on SCO Unix which allows all the RF bar code readers to logon to the Unix box and share a single user account and license. I know nothing about how this is all setup, thus do not know how to get a PC to connect the same way, which is what the consultant wants to do. On the drive home I came up with a few ideas to try in the morning. Trouble with those ideas is I was so intent on not forget them before I got home so I could email them to work, that I never made it to the dry cleaners.

The original PC I found to use as a Linux box turned out to be a dud. Lucky me I found another one today and it is now sitting on my desk waiting for me to install Linux. My boss saw me setting up the soon to be Linux box on my desk during my lunch hour, and asked what I was doing. He had no objections to a Linux box making it's way in to our work environment, especially when it can be used for security testing in the future.


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Thursday August 17, 2000

What a day! Spend about 80% of the day fighting drivers for the 3com PCI NIC in one of the developers PCs. In the end I installed a slow but trusty and true 3Com 3c509 ISA NIC and got all the networking behaving on the PC. The developers insist on using Windows 95, and I know that Windows 98 Second Edition comes with drivers which makes their hardware play nice. This leaves me in the position of having to figure out how under Windows 95 I am going to keep their hardware working. I have more important jobs to do and this one eats way too much of my time. Then again I took this job cause it offers lots of variety, and I am getting my share of different jobs to do. I also have no idea how the old support staff worked around this problem and they have left no notes or drivers behind for me to use.

Then I find this afternoon that one PC in the purchasing department has the Wscript.KakWorm virus. No bad payload but it does propagate by attaching itself to every email you send. I found good notes on how the virus works and the fix here. Looks like I got about half the suggested fixes for an infected machine done already. In the morning I will have to do some more fixes.

During my very late and short lunch break I made a start on my Linux computer, but made no head way. After a failed install of Caldera Linux the hard drive is not longer visible.

The bar code machine consultant returned for about a half hour to test a few theories all which failed. He is more on the right track today than yesterday, but I still think he has missed the boat and is failing to get DataConnect configured properly. I think my boss has the right idea in that we need to get our hands on the manuals and do this ourselves. Not likely to happen though!

I also managed to get my own PC about 90% moved over to Windows NT. I still have a few management utilities to find and install and I can kiss Windows 95 good by for my own day to day use at work. 

At home I have hit a snag with the home network. The utility I have for making licenses for evaluation purposes only makes one unique license for NetWare 5.0. So I can't install a server license on Larry which causes the following message to keep popping up on my workstation.

wpeD.gif (6487 bytes)

I have a few CDs to check to see if I can locate a different license or alternately I can upgrade Larry to NetWare 5.1. Found a server license but it is useless to me as it is time bombed, and the expiration date is long past.

Enough of this computer stuff for one day. My addled brain needs a rest so I am heading out to do some road work while there is still a little day light available. Anyone else notice how soon night fall comes these days?


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Friday August 18, 2000

Is it really Friday evening already, where has the week gone? I must be busy and having fun for the time to slip by so quickly.

Finally beat the driver problem I have been having with 3com 3C90x series NICs. I found the drivers by doing a search using google. Got the drivers off the support sight from some PC maker I can't recall the name of right now. I did a few tests to verify that I can repeatedly setup a 3C90x series NIC in Windows 95 with the new drivers, and all test were positive. I have put the new driver disks away in a safe place and put copies on the network.

A intranet home page at work is in the works, and I proposed that a tech support page be included. This was well received so I have started to piece together a rough outline for content. I plan to put in some simple instructions like how to change your password or connect to a network printer. Also want to include a schedule for on call people, a list of contacts, and news about viruses.

My research shows that my evaluation package only allows me to license one of each type of NetWare server, so looks like either Brain or Larry is going to be upgraded to Netware 5.1. So I started work on upgrading Larry to NetWare 5.1 tonight. One of the first things the install told me was that I needed more than 64 MB of Ram, but did let me continue with the install. The lack of sufficient RAM was evident by the slow performance of the Java based upgrade wizard. 


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Saturday August 19, 2000

I left the upgrade running on Larry last night and when I checked on it this morning it was stalled due to the CD Rom drive in Brain having failed. I am trying to get things running off the CD Rom drive in Pinky, but it will take a while as the Java based install GUI is running very slow.

No luck getting getting the install to run of Pinky. The installer sees it but that is all. So I copied the contents of the NetWare 5.1 CD to the data volume on Larry and after a few hiccups the install is continuing to copy files and complete the install. 

While waiting for the install to do it's thing, I did some work on my truck. The trim strip which holds the floor mat down by the drivers side door had lifted and lots of dirt had gotten under it , which trapped moisture when it is wet. I have tried to fix this problem before but finally got the fix right. Used the vacuum to clean out all the dirt, found that one mounting screw was broken which needs to be replaced. I moved one existing good screw to hold the edge of the trim and now everything looks much better.


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Sunday August 20, 2000

Files are still copying on Larry as part of the upgrade to NetWare 5.1, which makes about 32 hours and counting since I started working on the upgrade. I attribute the slow file copying to the install program eating up so much RAM that there is little memory left for file caching. 

Windy and a bit cool today which makes for good running weather for me. Took off in a new direction for my long Sunday run which worked out great. Spread the hills out a bit and added the required 5 minutes to my run, which keeps me right on my program schedule.

Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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