Journal For Week of August 21, 2000

Last Update: Monday, August 28, 2000 06:47 AM


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Monday August 21, 2000 

How depressing, a sure sign that fall is coming, I now have to turn a light on in the morning.

Oh my melon hurts! At work I bent down to pick something up and went I stood up I nailed my head on the plastic cover on the fire alarm. Of course the plastic is harder than my head, so I get not satisfaction from the cover breaking. Then just to keep with the theme my PC crashed and burned, then the boss informed my that one of the bar code machines is failing. The production supervisor in keeping with the way manufacturing types are does not want to give us a reasonable window of opportunity to work on the equipment. Should be an interesting week. The dental work I am getting done on Friday may just be the easy part of my week!


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Tuesday August 22, 2000

It is almost noon and I finally have a PC to use again. I thought I had my old PC working again after the primary IDE controller died by using the secondary controller, but it too died on me. Ended up moving my hard drive and a few other bits and pieces into my Linux box. After a bit of struggling with drivers everything is now working sans Linux. For a Pentium 166 with 64 Mb of RAM it runs NT well enough for some light network admin work.

Then dove into a licensing problem with NetWare and my/our wish to run all print services off the new server. The problems is that when a user wants to use a resource on a server, a user license is required. Seems logical enough, but what if you only need to access that resource once a day. Well you send your print job to the printer and NetWare connects you to the server and issues an available license to you. But when you are done you still possess the license till you logoff at the end of the day. So do we buy 250 user licenses just so a few can be used at any one time? Can also get NetWare Enterprise Print Services which I found today, which allows unlimited users to access print services. I am going to investigate all these options, plus see if I can automate a batch process which will disconnect all unused user connections from the new server say every 15 minutes, or find a setting on the server which limits user connection time to only the short time required for a user to send a print job.

I find it interesting how when you first read information on networking, irregardless of who's product it is, there is no mention ( or very little ) of how licensing will come into play. If you want or need to break your network resources up and run several servers, licensing will become an important issue for you. Then when you finally figure out that you need more information on user licenses, type of licenses and implementation, the available information ( which can be a bear to find ) just about takes a law degree to figure out. For those who have been managing multi server environments for some time, this may all seem like old hat. To me who has run single servers only in a business environment, thought I had read a lot, am seeing how it would be nice if the people who put together documentation would address things like the how putting a resource server next to your file and print server will affect your licensing requirements. It seems to be over looked and a server is of no use to your users if they cannot access it.


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Wednesday August 23, 2000

Spent some time today getting a start on creating my own Windows 98 install for the new Dell computers in the office. Currently we are using the install that Dell supplied, which while generally doing the job, many of the Dells do not shut down properly. Getting an initial Windows 98 install done was painless, but getting drivers working correctly for the NIC was another matter. Problems with NIC drivers seems to be the story of my life lately. 

My co-worker was wrestling with a SCSI adapter which he could not get installed properly under Windows 98. I took a look at it for him and found that good old plug and play was not assigning resources correctly. A little tweaking and a reinstall of some scanning software and everything was in working order.

Well the heat of the day is waning as the sun sets so it is time to get out side for a while. TTFN.


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Thursday August 24, 2000

Nothing like having a system dying, knowing nothing about it's configuration, then saying that you can have a replacement system up and running in 30 minutes. Well that's what I did today and for the most part succeeded. I ran over the 30 minutes, but was up and running in well under an hour. The system runs the completes process for our bar code system. Basically it is a 486 which runs a process for the bar code system to convert data from the source to a format that another system can use. The original PC that I replaced had seen better days. I pulled it out of the server room and it was very hot to the touch. I copied the contents of it's hard drive onto the network, then moved it all onto the replacement PC. Made a few edits to the config files, did a few tests, buttoned everything up, put the PC in server room and fired it up. It connected to the network, loaded the completes program and proceeded to process all the jobs that had piled up while I was doing the migration.

Since I can't sleep ( insomnia strikes again ) I started to do some research on the problem I have at work with the integrated NIC on some Dell PCs not getting an IP address from the DHCP. Found what may be some good leads on TechNet which I will followup with at work.


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Friday August 25, 2000

Made another trip to the dentist today. Another wisdom tooth pulled and more deep cleaning above the gum line. The tooth extraction and cleaning I can deal with, but not the trainee receptionist who can't seem to follow the treatment program we have planned out and wants to add in an extra appointment. I wouldn't let her book the appointment and asked that someone please book the pre planned appointments and call me to confirm everything.

Upgraded to VMware version 2 today, in preparation to do some more Linux work without having to dedicate a computer to the project. Next I need to update to a new Linux distribution to get things rolling. 

All the loonies are out in full force on the roads today. People were rear ending each other in the fast lane on the highway, fighting at the side of the road and giving lane drift a whole new meaning. Not a good day to not drive defensively.


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Saturday August 26, 2000

The download of Caldera eDesktop 2.4 Linux distribution last night failed so I now have started a second download which hopefully will run to completion. 

I picked up some rechargeable batteries last night at Radio Shack. With the price of disposable batteries these days I can't imagine not using rechargeables. I have rechargeable batteries which are going on being 10 years old and they still do their job perfectly well. 



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Sunday August 27, 2000

Morning post: Yesterday while out picking up some new running shoes, the sales person at the store invited me to join the store running club for a Sunday morning run. So this morning I headed over to the store and went for a run with the novice group. The pace of the faster people was OK for me but they only run for about 20 minutes. My Sunday run on my schedule today is suppose to be 55 minutes. So after the group run I went for a make-up run so I could get my full run in for the day. Next week I'll check out one of the more advanced running groups.

I installed my CD-RW drive into my Compaq Deskpro EN last night. I sure like the way Compaq has designed their cases. To install the drive I merely had to install four screws on the drive which come supplied as spares with the case. The screws slide into slots in the case and lock into catch. To remove the drive I only have to push on the catch release and the drive slides out. Hard drives install the same way which makes swapping out a dead drive quick and easy.

Still having trouble down loading the full iso image for eDesktop. This morning before heading out for my run I found Caldera's ftp site and started a download using Leachftp, which I hope work. If this fails I may just run out to Future Shop which after the mail in rebate is giving eDesktop away. TTFN

Evening post: Strike three on the download of eDesktop, and the trip to Future Shop for a copy was also a bust as they were out of stock. Started another download, but if this fails I will go back to one of the older Linux distributions I have buried in my stack of CDs.

Copyright 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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