Archive

Archive for September, 2005

TRIM Upgrade Fixed Our Bug

2005-09-28 Comments off

After some testing yesterday, I’m happy to see that the upgrade Bart and I did to TRIM 5.2.4 fixed the bug I talked about here. Thanks to the Tower support people for helping us with this.

I only wish they would fix this bug, which still exists. According to a Tower employee who blogs under the name of Fuzzy, Tower Software has known about the bug since 2003. The funniest part about Tower’s response to it, according to Fuzzy’s blog, is that it isn’t an issue because only users running “secure environments” would run into it. Hello!

Categories: Records Management

TRIM Upgrade Done

2005-09-27 Comments off

Bart and I upgraded TRIM last night to version 5.2.4. The upgrade went smoothly except for two things. The first thing was that I must have misremembered a password for a user that the TRIM services run as. One dialog in the install asked for this user name and password. When the installer got to the point where it needed to use that password to reconfigure the TRIM services on my TRIM server, it realized the password was invalid and rolled back the install. It would have been nice if it had just said the password was invalid and let me re-enter it, but the rollback was a good fallback position as well, because when it had finished rolling back, the old version was still functional.

I verified the passwords and did the install again and this time the upgrade went smoothly. After the upgrade I used the TRIM Enterprise manager to update the schema of the Oracle database holding my TRIM data. That was pleasantly uneventful.

Finally I upgraded the client application on my Windows 2000 Terminal Server, so the users would get the current client. That’s where the other minor glitch occurred. For some reason, the TRIM Context client on the Terminal server forgot where the data set was after the upgrade, so we had to login as each of our 20 users and just run TRIM and point it at the correct location for the data set. I’m almost sure that I caused that problem somehow, and it was a minor issue.

If all installs went that way this job would be easy.

Categories: Records Management

Tonight’s the Big TRIM Upgrade

2005-09-26 Comments off

We have a minor but irritating problem with TRIM, our records management software. We use it for keeping track of our paper records (of which we have bazillions). We have a couple of custom fields in our records definitions (TRIM is extensible to allow you to track whatever info you need about your records). For some reason, when our users fill out the custom fields with data in mixed case, and then save it in TRIM and retrieve it later, the custom fields have been converted to upper case. No data gets lost, but sometimes it causes the records workers to have trouble printing folder labels because the upper-cased fields don’t fit on the labels.

Anyways, I was working with one of Tower Software’s good technical support people, and in the process of troubleshooting, it came to light that we were running an older verison. I thought it was somewhat old, being as I installed it about a year ago, but the tech support guy acted like it was prehistoric. Anyways, Tower asked us if we could upgrade to the current release because that would make it very much easier for them to figure out what our problem was. I didn’t think it was too onerous a request, and since we pay for support we don’t have to buy a new version or anything.

I’ve got the latest greatest shiny CDs with TRIM 5.2.4 build 3611 ready to go. I hope that it’s still the current build by the end of the day. There seem to be a lot of builds, because I think our old one is build 2158. I’m sure that 99.5% of those were internal-only builds, but sheesh! Wish me luck.

Categories: Records Management

Upgrading NetWare/Netscape Enterprise Server to OES Linux/Apache

2005-09-24 Comments off

We have used Netscape Enterprise server on NetWare as our internal web server and servlet platform for years. We are starting to deploy Apache on OES Linux as an upgrade. This presents an interesting problem for our web administrators, because Apache is case sensitive on Linux while Netscape Enterprise Server on NetWare was not. We upgraded Edmonton’s web intranet web server Thursday night, with the expected result (lots of broken urls due to case sensitivity).

Anyways, James and I had all the OES Linux SP1 CDs ready to go Thursday night. After backing up the server we booted from OES Linux CD1. We made a couple of false starts with the hardware configuration because we added and external array chassis, and then I discovered that OES Linux can’t boot from a software raid, so we moved all the disks into the external array and made two hardware raid 5 arrays.

Then I booted OES Linux SP1 CD1. That finished successfully and it asked for CD2. When I inserted CD2 it refused to recognize it. We tried again from a cold start, with the same result. Then we re-downloaded the ISO file from Novell, checked the MD5 sum, and re-burned the CD. It still didn’t work. I attributed it to a bug in the installation routine on Novell’s part. We fell back to the pre-sp1 CDs, which I had already used successfuly several times in Engineering but we had similar problems with first CDs and then just files not being recognized. At that point we decided that it wasn’t the installation program, but that we had a bad (failing) cd-rom drive. We finally got pre-SP1 OES Linux installed, and then just installed SP1 via Red Carpet instead. We didn’t lose too much time, because we restored the web server data at the same time as the SP1 download was happening from Red Carpet.

Once that was done, we configured NCP to serve the web server home directory out to the eDirectory users who are responsible for web content, so they should theoretically have seen no major change. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, as I will elaborate upon once I figure out the problem. Suffice it to say that when they edit web server data content via a mapped drive using the Novell client, and save the html files, the web server can no longer read the files because the posix permissions are set to a mode that disallows apache from reading them.

Other than that it worked great ;-)

Categories: Linux

Repairing a Broken DirXML Driver

2005-09-21 Comments off

We use Novell’s DirXML (now called Identity Manager) to manage our GroupWise email system. Our identity store is called eDirectory, from Novell. It’s like Active Directory in concept for you Windows users, but it actually works very well, is easy to manage, and has been stable for over 10 years.

When one of our local network administrators creates a new eDirectry account for a new user, DirXML notices and copies that user to our enterprise eDirectory. From there, another DirXML driver creates a new GroupWise account.

A couple of weeks ago while I was on vacation, the power supply failed on the machine that runs the GroupWise DirXML driver. James fixed it, but after it came back up the DirXML driver wouldn’t communicate any more with the rest of eDirectory. The DirXML engine runs on one of our NetWare boxes, and the GroupWise DirXML driver runs via a tool called the Remote Loader, on a virtual windows box.

I tried all kinds of stuff to fix it, including updating the driver, reinstaling the engine, etc., but it didn’t change anything. Then I found this TID, which states that the certificate inside a SUN java component called the Java Cryptography Extension (JCE) expires July 28. That happens to be right around when I went on vacation. The expiry prevents the remote loader drivers from talking to the DirXML engine.

The TID has simple instructions on how to update the component, and that fixed the problem right away.

The moral of the story is that simultaneity does not necessarily imply a cause-and-effect relationship.

Categories: Identity Management

FreeBSD –> OpenSUSE Linux 10 –> Ubuntu

2005-09-19 Comments off

I had a fairly nicely running FreeBSD box at home, with my massive mp3 collection on it. The drive with all the mp3s on it was formatted in FreeBSD’s filesystem ffs. I also use this box as my main desktop and I wanted to be able to run and write mono applications, so it made sense to me that I should run Linux rather than FreeBSD even though I really like FreeBSD.

Anyways, I spent several hours backing up my mp3s onto an external USB disk, which on my machine was really slow in FreeBSD for some reason. Then I installed OpenSUSE Linux 10 RC1 on it, intending to update that to the official 10.0 release when it comes out in October. Then I restored all my mp3s onto the big disk, after formating it with reiserfs. Then I started using the system for day-to-day tasks. Unfortunately, it was not a fun experience. Gnome looks nice and all the apps are there, but there was a maddening pause of anywhere from five to 20 seconds where the whole system became unresponsive, and it happened every minute or two. That’s not usable.

I still want to stick with SUSE, because we are a Novell user at work, and we have lots of Novell servers, so SUSE Linux is most similar to our Linux server environment, and that has a lot of advantages for me. However, I needed a quick fix for my unusable box. On top of my monitor, there was this shiny Ubuntu 5.04 official CD sitting there. I figured I could install Ubuntu, not have to backup and restore my mp3s, because they are on a separate drive already formatted in Reiserfs, and then later when OpenSUSE comes out for real, I can install that.

And that’s how a planned OS installation became two OS installations.

Categories: Neat Geek Stuff

FreeBSD –> OpenSUSE Linux 10 –> Ubuntu

2005-09-19 Comments off

I had a fairly nicely running FreeBSD box at home, with my massive mp3 collection on it. The drive with all the mp3s on it was formatted in FreeBSD’s filesystem ffs. I also use this box as my main desktop and I wanted to be able to run and write mono applications, so it made sense to me that I should run Linux rather than FreeBSD even though I really like FreeBSD.

Anyways, I spent several hours backing up my mp3s onto an external USB disk, which on my machine was really slow in FreeBSD for some reason. Then I installed OpenSUSE Linux 10 RC1 on it, intending to update that to the official 10.0 release when it comes out in October. Then I restored all my mp3s onto the big disk, after formating it with reiserfs. Then I started using the system for day-to-day tasks. Unfortunately, it was not a fun experience. Gnome looks nice and all the apps are there, but there was a maddening pause of anywhere from five to 20 seconds where the whole system became unresponsive, and it happened every minute or two. That’s not usable.

I still want to stick with SUSE, because we are a Novell user at work, and we have lots of Novell servers, so SUSE Linux is most similar to our Linux server environment, and that has a lot of advantages for me. However, I needed a quick fix for my unusable box. On top of my monitor, there was this shiny Ubuntu 5.04 official CD sitting there. I figured I could install Ubuntu, not have to backup and restore my mp3s, because they are on a separate drive already formatted in Reiserfs, and then later when OpenSUSE comes out for real, I can install that.

And that’s how a planned OS installation became two OS installations.

Categories: Neat Geek Stuff
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