Journal For Week of October 30, 2000

Last Update: November 3, 2000

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Monday October 30, 2000

Noon post from work: My meager posts for the weekend never did get published. A mostly uneventful weekend thus not much missed if they never do make it to the web.

First job for the day was to look at what changes needed to be made to the backups for the Oracle server after the database was reconfigured on the weekend. I don't know how but I seem to have more data to backup now. This means I now have to do a two-stage backup. Stage one runs in the wee hours of the night to backup the Oracle database which depending on data growth rates may soon exceed one DLT tape. Stage two will be a regular file backup excluding the Oracle files on a second tape at 8:30 AM.

Murphy strikes again. One of our users brought in her home PC to get work files she created and worked on while on maternity leave, moved on to the network. Well her hard drive is a now a paper weight so we can't pull data off it. The drive spins up but neither her nor one of our spare PCs can see the drive. Likely the data is still on the drive platters, we just can't get to it.

My email problem turns out to be only partially fixed. I can now reliably receive my mail but sending it turns out to be another matter. None of Shaw’s mail servers want to talk to me when I try to send mail, leaving me to use my work address.

The electricians installed the power outlet for the new Dell server on the weekend. Unfortunately the last few feet of the power supply is above the floor and is only armored cable. Thus there is little to no shielding. I am going to have to re route the network cabling for a few servers to help prevent network communication errors due to interference from the 220 volt feed to the new server.

Evening post: My Samba setup at work is missing something which is preventing users from authenticating to the share. I think that there must be something small and simple I am missing but have yet to lay my finger on it. Trying out Samba on the home network to see how things will go, but nickel and dimeing my way at it is not the road to success.


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Tuesday October 31, 2000

Happy Halloween: More storage clean-up today. Found all sorts of Outlook PST files on one of the Novell Volumes. Also found the install files for PC Anywhere which I have been hunting for the last few weeks. Good pay off, I make more storage available plus locate a program I will need to install shortly.

What a hoot! I have been given the go ahead to dispose of all the old PCs stored in the lab. A recycling company will give me 8 cents a pound for dead PCs and monitors, and pay a flat fee for functional colour monitors. So I have started preparing PCs them by fdisking the hard drives. So far I have worked on a functional 286, 5 1/4 inch floppies which still boot, and an old Novell 3.12 server. This after noon I will be at the other end of the spectrum, which will be unpacking my new Dell 8 processor server.

Trick or Treat: Lots of goblins and ghosts of all sizes at my door tonight. Not very many of the wee little guys and gals out which is too bad as they're the entertaining ones. The older the kids get the more they seems to just care about collecting candy. While the little ones seem to be enjoying the experience of being out after dark in their costumes, wondering house to house encountering new people.

Just had two 8 or 9 year olds at my door who look like they are about to fall over. They say they have been out running door to door for over two hours. I don't think they are going to enjoy their candy till tomorrow.


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Wednesday November 1, 2000

Day one of a new month. The way time is flying by is getting out of hand. I have found one way of slowing time down, that is to sit in traffic all morning. My usual enjoyable morning commute was hell this morning as I got stuck in traffic not just once but twice in one trip. Not my idea of a nice way to start my day.

Samba went well today. I did a fresh install of eServer and before I got into making a mess of the Samba smb.conf file I made backup I could reference when I got in too deep. This was good as I was able to confirm that either webadmin or swat were putting duplicate entries in the smb.conf file. So I deleted the duplicate data and stuck to hand editing the file. Managed to get my share available too all users, but restricting access is not turning out to be such a simple thing to do.

The programmer who maintains the bar code program at work got me confirmation on how the wireless bar code readers work in a network. Totally confirms the picture in my head but he still doesn't agree with it. But I discount him as he doesn't know squat about networking. Now I just have to find a tech who knows our bar code guns so I can configure them to connect to my Linux server.

The techs got our new server rack assembled today and put all the pieces in it. Tomorrow we hook up all the wires and take it for a test drive.


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Thursday November 2, 2000

Another active day at work. Almost doesn't seem like work at times, which is nice. The setup guys for the new server showed up later than expected which was not good, then we find that the back plane on one of the new disk systems is faulty. Now we have to wait for Dell to air freight parts so that repairs can be made. Hopefully this will be the only hurdle we have to cross before I can get at setting up Windows NT and the raid array.

I had a short talk with my boss about what strategy he is going to use to get the Oracle and Baan data migrated to the new server. The plan is to install Oracle 8 and a newer version of Baan and then export the data from the current system. This will provide an opportunity to do these software upgrades from what we are currently running plus cleanup so of the mess that surrounds the current configuration.

The programmer came into recompile the bar code software on my Linux server only for me to learn that he is not very adaptive to new stuff and that he needed additional libraries for g++. I chalk this up to a learning experience since I know nothing about compiling software, and maybe I should have asked some questions up front. But I just did a fresh install of eDesktop on my home Linux box and found that all the libraries that I know are required are there as is Samba which is my other requirement.

I found a slightly different smb.conf entry for the share I am trying to configure to only allow specified users to connect. Still no joy though as it didn't work. I know from testing that the user rights on the directory I am try to share are correct so I am not sure what is wrong. Time for more reading and testing.


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Friday November 3, 2000

Printer gremlins visited me today. Ended up spending most of the morning fixing printers. Also got reintroduced to HPs JetAdmin utility which I am learning to hate. Re-configuring a jetdirect card just does not go as well as I think it should. It is never clear to me what ends up making my re-configuration work, as I do things the same each time, I just end up doing it several times before success comes.

I got rid of my eServer install at work, and replaced it with eDesktop which gives me all the libraries I know about for compiling the bar code program on Linux. Only took me about 10 minutes to get Samba working at the same level as I had on eServer. I had a thought that maybe the Novell client on my PC was interfering with authentication to a Samba share but my testing so far does not support this idea. I brought my Samba book home from work so I can try and find some answers.

The replacement parts from Dell never got delivered today so this very expensive new iron is sitting silently in the server room doing nothing. First they were late delivering the server, the setup guys have been a little tardy, now parts to get brand new equipment running are slow to ship. I hope this is not a sign of how future server support from Dell will be.

If you have sent me email in the past 10 days in regards to anything you would have expected a reply, I may not have received your email or my reply may have been lost. I have been experience much email weirdness lately. So if you have not heard from me please let me know and I will get back to you.


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Saturday November 4, 2000

Not much free time today to work on projects but I have made a start at least. Samba is coming together on the home LAN. This requires doing things differently than at work do the lack of any NT servers. Also down loaded CommuniGate Pro so I can do some testing and look into running my own mail server. Yesterday I picked up an old Acer Pentium 133 that one of the people at work wanted to get rid of. I intend to set it up as a second Linux box.

I am sure finding my PDA to a real tool that I use everyday. I continue to refer to my Linux notes and add to them in Pocket Word. Then times like today when a friend gave me directions to their house south of Calgary. I jotted the directions down on the pad by the phone then later entered them in Outlook. The next time I synchronized the PDA the directions were transferred to the PDA where I can reference them any time since the Casio is never far from my reach and almost always in my jacket pocket when I go out the door.


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Sunday November 5, 2000

Wet snow started to fall as I drove south of the city last night. Later in the evening authorities announced that highway travel was not recommended. I ended up not returning till this afternoon which looks like was a good thing as the it looks like the highway was covered in frozen slush most of the night.

Had a nice visit with several good friends, and one couple was out showing off their new born girl. That little girl was the quietest baby I have ever seen. It still never ceases to amaze me how a little baby can turn an intelligent articulate adult into a babbling fool.


Copyright © 1999, 2000 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved

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