Monday, May 26, 2008

Lotus Notes Installs, nothing but clicking Enter

123 get out of my way here comes the master installer. Yes I can and will script your install so all we need to do is click Enter after setup.exe.

Well not exactly, still neede to find the file and password.
Now, this causes some clients problems.
Why do we need a password and ID file.
You don't need one to setup Outlook, or so I was told, once you log on.

There's the rub, the fact that you logged in to the PC under Windows lets you in all over the place. And naturally lets anyone else in too everytime you walk away from yoru machine.

So it's not that you are not logging in, you are just logging in a 2nd time. And if a PC support guy needs your id and password to do this, that could be a breach of security.

How do you get around this conundrum?

Smartupgrade for one.
Also the active use of incremental updates is second, if not part of the same solution.

By using incremental installers you should be able to update the underlying Notes code without a user id or password. This has nto always been the case so I will not say across the board every incremental does it, but most do.

Still not happy, then you need to see or hear about what's coming in 8.5 and be happy that you may not have this problem much longer. I could tell you more but NDA stops it. If you went to a Lotusphere Comes to You event you saw or heard about it.

On my way to a client in California, Sacramento and will discuss this more after I get their installs moving.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What is the Life Expectancy of Corporate IT Staff?

In working on some numbers it occurred to me that what if my, or your, life as a Business Partner or even as an internal IT person is about to end?

Seriously, what do I or others have to offer you Mr./Mrs. Customer once you have outsourced your IT to the all knowing Borg, I mean "The Cloud".

RIM is already half way there, you COULD let them handle all your BES.

Now IBM and Google claim they want to take you higher in the Cloud.
Of course Microsoft does their "me too" until they realized they can't buy the cloud, they thought Yahoo had some ownership int he cloud evidenlty.

Is it all a smoke screen from the big guys because they just don't know what to say next?

Where do you go after the Cloud? Why do you go there?

Is this the Mainframe cycle in modern times?

So you outsourced everything, now what? What stops the company from outsourcing you, the CIO or CTO or CSO or whatever you may be.

In short, I'm thinking a run as CEO in a larger company than I am now would be more helpful than anything else.

Anyone else have a theory?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ever lose your passwords to your Domino Server?

Over the last 3 days I have been rebuilding a client's Lotus Domino environment because a few things have occurred.
1) Admin ID expired
2) Certificate ID ( is without a password to be found
3) Other Admin ID is expiring in 10 days
4) No backup exists for anything

Previously (I believe in R5 or earlier) one could merge the IDs, copy and paste some public key strings and be okay.(I simplified this to protect the non-up-to-date installations).

Tried the old way, this was an R7 server, so no luck. Spoke to my partner in crime, support guru extraordinaire, and she was also stumped.
But she found a technote which covers this. (EDIT from January 2020, IBM sold to HCL everything and killed the support sites.
However, I was able to find the technote on the internet archive so here are the links to them: end of edit)

I called Lotus Support and they verified it's the only way, and works on R7, forgot to ask about R8.

Scary as the option is, the alternative was worse.

Happy to report all is well and Certificate Authority (CA) is running now as well.

Then today I get a call someone corrupted their R5 and and all backups were bad.
Sadly they are SOL and will be reinstalling the server as new.
Just when you think you heard it all....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Foolish Mortals

We interrupt the usual blog postings for another "what was he thinking" technical/marketing effort by this author.

While attempting to gain access to a hallowed grooup of individuals which requires a vote of acceptance and possibly some other almost secret society mischief, I was dumbfounded to find our website had been hijacked.

By me! And Google Anlaytics.

He was the first to let me know he had issues with my site, this was on my cell email so I couldn't see everything he sent me.

As soon as I could get on a PC I looked up our site, and sure enough, it was not our homepage. Argh!

Eventually realized the "tests" we were doing with Google had hijacked our site so badly no one could get past the first page.

Resolved the immediate problem. Now need to resolve the secondary pages.
The moral of the story is never mess with your homepage, it is a God.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Microsoft Enterprise CAL Suite, You paid what!?

They got you sucker!

And you love them for it.
My good customer, what is wrong with your thinking?

If i told you there were 2 similar cars, but one included everything (or nearly everything) in a simple tier of A, B, C and the other required an a la carte menu of numerous choices, which would you prefer?

In most cases the cheaper solution and/or the one which comes in Ferrari Red or better yet Lotus Yellow. OK some of you will argue best mileage per gallon or performance if all else is equal. But what if all else is not equal, especially the price.

I can not provide pricing here that is up to date as I don't have it, BUT I will question why someone would buy an Enterprise CAL Suite (ECALs). Why anyone would buy Office or a "Core CAL Suite" is just really a waste of money in today's world of open productivity tools from Google, Lotus, OpenOffice, Zimbra.

Even if you have a Windows infrastructure, you have choices, go investigate them.

If nothing else, did you know when you buy the ECALs you are basically paying:
2 CALS's for Exchange?
2 CALS's for Sharepoint!?
2 different CAL's for Communication Server, and this takes guts from MS, Standard and Enterprise??!!

Not enough for you?

How about the System Center Operations Manager Client that is part of the ECAls.
This product, among other things, promises to provide Agentless Exception Monitoring for "client crash" monitoring.

WOW, so you have just paid them to be a tester of their software too and they admit it crashes enough to warrant such a program...and YOU STILL PAY FOR IT!

To be fair, Microsoft is trying to build a BMC or Tivoli like product but failure should be the exception not the rule which requires this.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Exchange 2000 lives for at least 25%, Go Get them now!

Now how do I find these people?

From a sales perspective, the Exchange 2000 Server base is the “low-hanging fruit”
for upgrade opportunity for the following reasons:

• Mainstream support ended for Exchange 2000 Server on January 10, 2006. Extended support continues until 2011.
• According to an Osterman Research report, Exchange 2000 Server represents 25% of the Microsoft Exchange installed base.
• SA has likely expired (or is nonexistent) for Exchange 2000 Server customers, so the revenue upside is larger to move these accounts.
• Exchange 2000 Server customers are more likely to have fully depreciated their existing hardware or be close to the end of manufacturer’s support.

Courtesy of this site from a document they have available on upgarding to Exchange 2007.

Help a Newbie AppDev out and Get paid too

Someone in the Virginia area, with a background in VB apps and years of experience would like to work with an experienced appdev person to create an internal Notesapp on Lotus Domino R7(presumably his office uses R7) something this person has never done before.
He would like to webex the work so he can learn some basics and ask questions with you or work in shifts where you might do a section at atime then review it with him.

So if you are atraining/mentoring kind of person, and could use an extra $30-50/hr for what I don't believe is a major application(meaning a few days of your time ot a week is my guess), please contact me so I can provide more details.
So who's game to train?

IM me on the sametime server or email me or send me a twitter.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Step by Step guide to upgrade to Domino 801 AIX

Takes 10 minutes to upgrade to 801 then restart the box.
Hours to download the AIX updates and patches and get the server ready.
By the way there is a 32 and 64 bit AIX Domino code available depending on what you prefer.

You may want this page as a starter if you are new or lost to AIX:

The 801 docs may have some discrepancies. In our case the AIX server was at tech level 5300-04, which is what R80 asked for.(1.5GB)
However 801 asks for 5300-05.(300MB)
Naturally updated it to the latest one, 5300-08SP1. (2Gb)

Steps to follow:
1) Get the updates from the nice IBM site of Fix central.

2) While downloading the AIX updates, get the latest Domino server code from Partnerworld or Passport or your CD or Business Partner.

3) Make sure you have the root password and start a ftp session to your server(presumably you have FTP running on it) and move the Domino code to a place with enough space to untar(like zip format) it. DO NOT UNTAR in Windows, always use the AIX OS for this.

4) FTP the AIX OS updates to the server.
5) At the AIX console, or via telnet to it, login, then type SMIT this will bring up the program to help install the updates.
6) Select the first option which should say Install Software or Update OS
7) Select Install, Install All
8) Will prompt for a location, put it in the format of /dir/filesdir and hit return.
9) Hit Return at the details screen as the defaults should be acceptable, if not, change them accordingly.
10)Press Return again as it asks to make sure you want to upgrade.
11) You should see the system either start the upgrade or review what it will install and continue or press Return until it starts scrolling very fast.
12) Once done scrolling, in our case 456 patches later, it will return a prompt and you need to restart the AIX server.
13) At the AIX console tell the server to Shutdown -Fr
14) once the server has come back up and you relogin as Root, you will untar the Domino code. Type tar -xvf filename(801 32 bit is C18XQEN.tar). It will create a directory called AIX in the same directory where the *.tar file is located.
15) Make sure your Domino servers are stopped on the box, then type the following:
cd aix
cd domino
export DISPLAY=DominoAIX:0 (this command sets up a display variable if you didn't have one)
16)Install will either popup in graphical mode(hopefully) or not. In our case it wasn't going to happen so we did it via console mode.
17) As long as you can read the screen, it is just as simple as a Windows install.
asks for locations, names, logins, etc. and then runs the process.
If it does not return to a command prompt you had a problem someplace with disk space.
18) Once you get a command prompt restart the AIX box.
19) If you can see your console from the Admin client or Java console, if enabled, then click Yes if prompted to update your names.nsf.
20) If you can not access it from the clients then you need to login as the Lotus login and password after you have telnet back in or see the console come up if in front of the server.
21) Now type cd /serverdirectory

This will bring up the server in your session and see if it asks to upgrade or just runs the process. Once it is done and finished with all updating et al, type Q to shut down the server.
22) At the AIX console tell the server to Shutdown -Fr and if your server is on automatic you are done.

Check it comes up from a client and go on your merry way.

Anything I missed or need to change let me know. Should have made this a Wiki. hmmmm

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

TwitTime - Sametime acts like Twitter

Twitter, for those that don't know is a microblogging site or a simple updater or a virtual water coller or perhaps just a persistent chat room.

Lotus Sametime can do this and act like this as well, but you get added benefits of a secure IM session, encrypted, saved chats and a Persistent chat room, using Sametime Advanced.

Would a persistent chat room help you or your organization? Yes it would.

As a virtual water cooler, it can act as a place for out of office people or home workers to convene and meet up with the office staff.
Why is this different from normal chat or IM? Because everyone is in on it not just 2 or 3+ people.

So if you like Twitter and what it can do for you, your clients, customers and especially employees, ask me or your Lotus rep/Business Partner about how Sametime can help you today accomplish the same, if not more, productivity in a secure way.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Series P Brought to you by the letters A..I..X

As some know, my mission for the last few months was to upgrade a P series/AIX box to Domino R801. I will refer to it as an AIX box because that's how old it is.
And I think P series was a lousy name for a product which excellent brand recognition.

What you may not know is I am not a Unix person, sure I have installed Domino all over on everything, but one really needs to use this everyday to remember it all. If you must know I prefer AS/400's and Mainframes but bread and butter is Windows.

So I put it off while looking into more details. We did move the files there and install it, but it never took.

So as our machine comes to a halt figured it was time to do it again.

First stop? OS. Seems it is not the latest version and Domino threw a warning that we needed to update it.
Fine, go to IBM's site, locate a download spot for AIX, fill in the version, and it gives me what I need.

1.5GB of download updates.

Yes, 1.5GB, so let it run, then when done need to ftp it to the AIX box.

After some miscommunication with passwords of the root user I was able to install all 315 or so patches.

Decided I was too tired to install Domino now. Will do it tomorrow.
I have now relearned more about AIX than I remember and you know what, it feels good to do something different for a change.

Next up, Sametime integration with Quickr after rebuilding the Sametime cluster.
The fun never ends.