Monday, August 31, 2009

TroubleShooting Post #1

Discussed at MWLUG and although some numbers were stated, my own background/experience provided the simplest and most agreeable answer.


Hours that is. If you are stuck on a problem in your server, environment, car, whatever, don't spend more than 2 hours on it trying and retrying the same things.

Walk away. Forget about it. Get something to eat, go have a drink, just drop it. sleep on it.

It will come to you usually within an hour.

The subconscious is smarter than we think and is always working on what causes us problems.

Caution: Some people this will not help because they don't have the proper knowledge, but presuming you do, this should work for you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

8.5.1 Domino, Sametime & Quickr running on one Netbook

Traveler too I might add and DOLS.
ST 8.0.2, Quickr 8.2 rest 851.

Late at night your brain goes silly, but thank you for this post from not long ago with the entries I needed to keep it all working for my MWLUG demo.


Oh and this configuration is not approved or recommended and IBM will not support it.

I on the other hand just might. Will test it all some more but so far so good.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Domino Admins Know more than

Almost any other Admins on Earth.

Why? Because we have to and we do it all while ensuring our servers are built to withstand whatever you customers can throw at it. And do we ever get thanked for it? Training for it? Respected at salary review time?

So pity those pathetic Microsoft Exchange admins that just need to understand this year's version of AD and other peculiarities of security.

Your average Domino Administrator may know any, all or most of these items:

  1. Java, Oracle, SAP, SQL, DB2, Websphere/WAS (they will soon if not)
  2. Telecom - Everything from running cables to QoS and even configuring your Cisco routers and wireless gateways.
  3. BES, Good and god knows how many devices they need to support
  4. LDAP, SSL, SSO, POP3, IMAP, MAPI, SMTP, H.323, T.120
  5. TCP/IP, IPX(yes, still), Netbios, Host tables and Firewalls
  6. Modems, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  7. DOS, OS/2, Novell, Windows, AIX, OS/400, Mac, Linux, Mainframe, maybe even Cobol
  8. Lotus products, Microsoft Products, Google products, Novell products, Social media apps, Firefox, Safari, Opera
  9. Updated: Anti-virus and anti-spam products, filtering/rules, blacklisting, whitelisting, journaling, archiving, Clustering, DNS, Backups/restores, Policies (user/group/domain)
  10. So much more from Business Continuity/Disaster Planning to paper reduction and power consumption and how to reduce your licensing costs with Microsoft.
  11. Some even develop their own applications for your company

So the next time you think you know what your admins do, remember they make your world better every day.

See you in Chicago at MWLUG.

Friday, August 21, 2009

An 8.5.1 tidbit my wife will be happy about

There is now a preference setting to set unread mail to one of 2 choices, BOLD BLACK or normal red.
A color picker, along these lines would be nice, but I can always use it for demo's when I need it.

And so much more to discuss, but this was my wife's number one issue.

Friday Findings #2 - Lotus Knows or Does it?

By now many of us have been involved in the IBM run Lotus Knows Ideajam which is running on Elguji's Ideajam product.

If you as a customer, reader, Lotus lover or even a Microsoft or Google employee haven't been there it is filled with interesting ideas.

At the time of writing this, there are:
842 ideas | voted 15253 times | 1887 comments

Which on one hand sounds great, on the other hand sounds small.

The voting is interesting, though skewed in favor of ideas that have comments or votes leaving some potential good ideas, which may have been posted in the early hours or overnight left off the chart.

Of course IBM will review all the postings because Lotus Knows sometimes a Mashup of ideas is really what will work, take a piece here a piece there.

The idea with the most votes is not something new, but it's obviously something we all feel very strong about. With currently over 275 votes is to get Lotus software into students hands around the globe.

Personally I am watching to see if I have the #1 demoted idea. So far at -40 it's doing well. I don't mind, it gives me something to discuss at MWLUG next week, but I did like the Yellow Netbooks idea.

Interesting how so many developer/application ideas get large votes, could there be an abundance of developers voting?

Hello fellow admins, where are you?

The next step should be interesting, the video and ad mockups submissions which will show everyone's creativity to try to beat the current IBM advertising companies ads.

After all the time we asked for IBM to change, they are listening and trying something new so it's up to everyone to give advice and be part of the change, one person or group of people can not do it alone, it does take a Yellowverse.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

SnTT - When Pointing Fingers Just Won't Work

Lotus error or blackberry this code 259

Wish clients wouldn't update without us :-)

In this case, we had installed the 8.5 Notes client in a new location on their pc and the Blackberry Desktop Manager had not been informed by anyone and when they went to synchronize at their desktop this was the error they received.

A cryptic message, but one which was resolved after a few minutes of questions and checking the synchronization advanced setup/settings for each of the items being synched.

The notes.ini and names.nsf must be correctly found otherwise this error(possibly others) will occur.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Open Season on Domino.Doc to Quickr Conversions

In the last 48 hours I have written documents/SOW for 4 migrations so if you have Domino.Doc and fear it, let me know and we will take care of it for you, it can be done faster than you can imagine.

As one of the few Business Partners entrusted with the code to handle these conversions I wanted to provide a few items to help you plan for the migration to Quickr.

1) In order for the tool to work, you MUST be using Domino.Doc/LDDM versions 6.5.1 or 7.0, it doesn't matter what Domino version. So if you are NOT using these versions, we will first have to upgarde you to them.

2) The Quickr server must be running 8.2 on top of Domino 8.5 and we need the Notes 8.5 client to manage the task as well running the desktop enabler.

For more, you can read the Redbook, Self Assessment and Strategy Guide for Migrating from Domino Document Manager

The MOST Common question asked?
1) What version of Domino.Doc am I running?
Not as easy as Quickr to find out. But if you open your main file cabinet/library of Domino.Doc in a browser and click on the Lotus/LDDM/Domino.Doc logo in the upper left corner you will get a pop up telling you which version and what date it came out.

Of course you could also go straight to the url which would look like this:
Domino.doc version information looks like this
2) What version of Quickr am I running?
This is much easier. You can either look at your server console when http starts or view the page source of any Quickr website and in the first few lines you will see this:

<-- Copyright (c) IBM Corporation 1987, 2008. All Rights Reserved. -->
<-- IBM LOTUS QUICKR VERSION: 810007.004 | Built On Domino: Build V801_02072008-->
<-- IBM LOTUS QUICKR VERSION: 810007.004 | Release: 8,1,0,7 | Build: QRD8.1.0.7-004c -->

And this server has not been updated yet to 8.2 as one can plainly see.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lotus Notes Traveler Common Directory Questions

While I have been using Traveler for some time now and enjoy it, a few items have come to our Inbox and as others ask, here is the number one requested item.

Client asks why they can't do lookups on their Corporate directory.
Great question! Technote #1376605 says it all when it says:
There are currently no plans to add such a feature in Notes Traveler 8.x.
Although an enhancement request has been submitted.

A sub-question is about LDAP look ups. Technote #1306641 which says:
Lotus Notes Traveler does not support using corporate LDAP, Global Address List (GAL), or Domino Directory email address lookup. Email addresses can only be pulled from the personal address book local on the device.

The work around is to copy any people you need (not a perfect solution) to your local PNAB and that gets synched to your phone. This works fine in a small company, but how do you do it when you are in a 1,000 person company? Could copy everyone over but some phones would hit memory limits.

Why isn't email like a Wii game?

Maybe it is and we just don't realize it.

How often do you wish you could turn your Excel spreadsheet into Flight simulator still?

Or that Domino did things like this. Or you prefer the Quickplace Quips?

Seriously, why isn't email fun? Why does it have to be a textual based item? Why can't it be more graphical and, shall we say, personal?

True, if sending external to one's organization it usually MUST be textual, but internally, why MUST it always be text?

Where is the LEGO font, imagine typing in colored bricks :-)(Warren I bet has this or something similar)

Network bandwidth abuse aside(surely the problem could be resolved) sending html emails is not exactly what I had in mind.

Think of postcards, remember those things you used to purchase from a tourist shop and send back home or to friends with the whole back of the card written on, upwards, downwards, in circles, sqaured, in prose, in colors well you get the idea.

IM is like this with the emoticons, why can't email?

And email is a game, hide and seek, usually.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Roll Back Domino on AIX

Greg Eldred posted this information and it goes hand in hand with my post on installing/upgrading AIX.

I encourage you to read his post and mine, especially if you never looked at an AIX box.

I am posting Greg's text here, just in case.

The installation of Domino on AIX is fairly well documented, and one place to learn is from a posting by Keith Brooks. Before installing the new version of Domino, you will want to back up the existing install. An easy method is to use the tar command for this purpose. However, you will want to make sure that you have enough disk space for this file, probably about 600MB (more or less). To create the tar file, at a command prompt, type:

tar -cfv * <===Note: the "splat" is part of the command

The v switch puts the command in verbose mode, so that you can see the files being added to the tar file.

Now, install the new version of Domino, following the steps outlined in, for example, Keith's post. Start your server, do your testing to confirm that mail is routing and any Domino add-ins are functioning properly. However, should you install, for example, 64-bit Domino 8.5 on AIX and find that some add-in does not work, you may be required to rollback to your previous version.

[Blog intermission - this is where you realize that operating systems like OS/400, AIX, Linux, and Solaris are really, really good].

Stop the Domino server. The Domino program files, for example, might be found in /opt/lotus/domino. Delete the domino folder. Change your directory to the location of the tar file that you created before you performed the upgrade. In that directory, type:

tar -xvf

This command might look like this:

tar -xvf domino801.tar /opt/lotus

Once you have extracted the files from the tar, start the Domino server. You will see that you are now running the previous version. At this point, check the core Domino files, admin4, names, and events for the template versions. You may have to replace the design of those files to use the older version's templates.

Please note: the tar commands and Domino file structure may not be exact, but should provide enough information to assist you.

Friday Findings #1 - Messaging in the Enterprise

I love Visio. I do and have since it came out in 1993.

Sure some competitors are out there but with over 15 years of Visio charts I am embedded to them, probably forever.

Similarly many customers feel the same way about their email servers, although rarely the same when it comes to application servers.

Why is that?

Could it be because applications change as business changes?

Maybe email, like a telephone, can be a commodity while applications, usually, are not.

Perhaps the uniqueness of something new or different provides some answers.

Email, for better or worse, hasn't changed in the 20 years I have been working with it. Sure it has come along way from dumb terminals and green monitors (or has it if you see the latest touch screens and browsers?) and this is usually why one sticks with the original one you installed.

Now compare that to your telephone/cell phone provider and how people change vendors every few years. The ease of change is relatively easy as long as your phone number is portable all is good.

Not so easy with email.

Your email address and naming stays the same of course, but changing 10/100/1,000 or 10,000 people is NOT an easy undertaking. So many pieces of the puzzle can be involved from calendar appointments, mobile device reconfigurations, personal contacts, archiving and many other issues can arise.

Almost as bad as changing bank accounts. Just a big pain in the ...

Is it any wonder when an organization doesn't leave their software, it's just so much better to stay where you are. Pay the renewal and maintenance fees and keep that email flowing, even if 85% of it is SPAM.

Now imagine if you could expand that email inbox so it could not only handle your email but your instant messaging discussions, online meeting events, applicational workflow, authorization notices, travel plans, detail awareness within your emails to provide background information on a client or location or their Linkedin details?

Changing email servers should never be about getting email for giving up email. Doing this, is a blatant disregard of your company standards, policies, financial guidelines and line of business decisions.

I can trade in my car for another car, but if that new car doesn't lower my payments or get better gas mileage or sit a family of 5 comfortably or doesn't have a convertible top or some other way to make a difference(unless my car was totaled) then why have I bothered?

So if you are looking, or your customers are, at a new email server you should point out to them the truth which is email is just a transport mechanism. What do they/you want to transport through the system is more important and how that information is accessed and stored is even more important.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Welcome back to Florida and Lotus Proof of Technology

Little did I know my welcome back to Florida included losing power(it's hot here and humid, who knew ;-)) for a few hours, my domains failing(for 10 minutes) and that a stack of rack servers would be blocking my way into my office. (Thanks Paul and congrats on the new son, looks like the other 2).

There was also the flat tire on the Camaro? Or the speaker which is loose suddenly as well? Honestly, what did my grandparents do to my car while I was away? And I had dropped AAA before we left too. Yep a great day overall.

Today, for me, the travel weary and unshaven(shaver left in London) went to a PoT at my local IBM office here in Boca Raton.

Danelo and Michelle did an excellent jith the slides, but I would have preferred more live action.

LiveText for example doesn't come across very well until you show it in action, and that IS impressive.

So many new people I met at the event, some I had never heard of, one not far from my office too! So it goes to show you the customers are out there but you got to track them down.

Interesting discussions around Foundations and Quickr Personal as well as lots of love for DAOS. We usually see a 30-40% reduction in disk space so go upgrade to Domino 8.5 and conserve space and energy. If you can't get it done, we are here to help you.

If you are a Lotus shop and haven't been updated on what is happening, let me know and we will do it with you, in person or online depending on availability and location.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Super Bowl Domino Application?

Don't know about you, but the Super Bowl is in Miami this year and as a vendor to it, we would really like to:
A) Get tickets for it and go to it
B) Provide the NFL with something really cool, useful and interesting enough to the NFL or the people interested in the Super Bowl to do business with them, and hopefully get A resolved at the same time.

No promises of tickets, BUT we are looking for a developer or group of them, who either have an idea to pitch or would like to work on this project with us.

Prefer a Lotus solution, but am open to others as well.

So if you want to be part of something huge, well known and most likely an excellent chance for future accolades and business opportunities let me know and I will have some calls/emails/IM with you over the next week or 2.

Don't wait up for me, I am on a flight back to Florida from the UK today.

Friday, August 7, 2009

FUD Buster Friday #52 - Enough Already

This is the end, beautiful friend, the end. - Jim Morrison

Some of these have been fun, others serious, some more detailed than imagined, others off topic but usually back to Lotus and business.

A whole year of these postings!

Some people ask for more business arguments and the truth is I am involved in some weekly and probably should write more about them,perhaps I will in the next few weeks.

With some advances in IBM Marketing, namely the "Lotus Knows" upcoming campaign among other initiatives from within IBM, and externally, I decided it's time to move along and find something else to write about.

There are some new areas I want to focus on and they are more about business than technical so that may be one direction as well. Also if Elguji ever lets us use IQJam, I may start posting more technical posts there so this stays more focused.

So thanks for reading, the future may have some other topics that become weeklies, after we return to Florida next week.

IBM, where is the versions page?

Often we get asked what version is IBM up to for Quickr or Domino, or well, everything.

It seems to me that if IBM wants people to really know about Lotus they should also make it easy for customers to recognize how behind they just might be in their infrastructure. Yes these customers are out there.

Some will argue other companies don't do this why should IBM?

I would counter just because others don't do it, doesn't mean we as customers don't need it. We'd be using it weekly if not daily.

Hopefully someone out there can prove me wrong and there exists such a page, for Lotus specific items or any IBM products that could be copied for Lotus ones.

I'd like to see a simple page, like the IBM Software Support Lifecycle page that informs which versions are ending and when.

But instead of end of life, it would be updated (probably weekly or so) to show product name, version, General release date, this should also include fix packs and updates as well so one can decide if they need to update. Links to the locations would be helpful too, where appropriate.

Perhaps putting this mixed with Fix Central is a good idea.

Just something I was thinking about which doesn't really fit any place on yet.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Job Posting: Senior Lotus Notes Administrator

Before I give you the details, this is what I know:
The role is NOT with my company, I am not hiring, right now.
There is a group interview on the phone to flush out people who don't have the technical knowledge.
The job is for onsite only N. Florida.
Must know Notes, Domino, BES very well.
Best way to interview with people like this, is to ask your own technical questions that only a true admin would know so you balance them out.
If interested let me know. Contact details on the side of the blog.

This is perm position with a salary range of 90k to 100k
Re-location is currently not included.

The Senior Lotus Notes Administrator will be providing hands-on administration and engineering support to ensure overall availability and stability of all critical technologies including Lotus Notes Domino, Blackberry, Sametime, Anti-Virus, SMTP Gateway, Email Retention, and Internet Messaging Infrastructure.

The selected candidate will provide 3rd level support and escalation, and monitor and resolve incidents and request escalated to the email infrastructure team. This includes a 24/7 on-call rotation. He/She will perform all aspects of Lotus Notes/Domino systems administration associated with directories, calendar & scheduling, policy, clustering, replication, agents, workflow application deployment, ACL security, mail routing, etc, and perform in-depth analysis of Domino server hangs and crashes, perform root-cause analysis and implement solution or workaround. The Lotus Notes Administrator will also be responsible for the development and documentation of procedures and standards to increase stability and high availability of technologies responsible, support and coordinate scheduling and execution of system maintenance release updates, upgrades, fine tuning, or new technology deployments and manage multiple critical projects to completion with minimal supervision.

In order to qualify, candidates must have

5 to 7 years experience with Lotus Notes/Domino Server software administration, installation, configuration, fine tuning, upgrade, troubleshooting, etc.
Have expert knowledge in administration/engineering of Domino, Sametime, Blackberry, TrendMicro, IronMail, SMTP Gateways, and IBM Content Manager.
Candidates must have a strong working knowledge of Networking, DNS, Windows 2000/2003, TCP/IP, anti-virus, anti-spam, SAN, Netbackup, and SMTP messaging.
Certification in IBM Lotus Notes Domino 7x/8x would be preferred

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

SnTT - Why is my Domino Web Server Unavailable?

Bet you wonder about that too sometimes?

In the course of working on my MWLUG slides on my demo server on my netbook had this problem. Keep in mind, none of us would EVER do this in production, right?

Odd, it worked yesterday. Hmm.

After some trial and error I found that there is a little fact about Skype which I must have overlooked when configuring it or maybe one of the updates wrote over my settings.

Either way, if you go to Tools-Options-Advanced-Connection in Skype you will see this:
Conflicts with Domino port 80 too, duh

Make sure this option is NOT checked and you will be good to go. Otherwise Skype takes over your HTTP port and well, disables your web server feeds from Domino.

Why is this important? Because some time you will be working on a server in a rack someplace without any connection to the outside and just "load" Skype to get some help or whatever because you want it or need it.

But you are smarter than that, aren't you?

Monday, August 3, 2009

2 Domino Add-ins That you may not have heard of

While searching for a graphic for my slides I came across these 2 references to Domino/Notes add-in tasks.

Anyone have the code from them? Especially the 2nd one would be nice to use.

Signing on with Domino Remote:DISPLAY

In Focus with Domino.Remote:CAM

Dear Iris, please come out and play again, we miss teh sandbox we all used to play in.

MWLUG Presentation Help please

I want to make sure I cover all points related to my topic, so if I forgot anything let me know in the comments please.

I am discussing all the ways which Lotus causes confusion when you layer installations.
i.e Domino with Traveler on it causes http to go to the traveler download page, unless you change the reference is one example.

So with this in mind, the following items I have included(well outlined):
1) Mail Redirect
2) Traveler
3) Sametime
4) Quickr
5) Virtual Websites/Multiple Domains
6) BES (more about config issues than http)

What else am I forgetting?