Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


GroupWise twice as stable

Filed under: Certification,E-Mail Entry,Geek Work,Linux,MicroSoft,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:36 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Even though I use Microsoft Windows Server 2003 at work, I’m an unabashed Novell fan.

This is a total geek-out post, so if you’re not into server operating systems or e-mail systems or if up-time doesn’t matter in your world, ignore it, okay?

Now, for the few of you who are left, let me emphasize, I am a total Novell fanboy.  I mean, I totally drank the Kool-Aid on this one, okay?  I don’t have a Novell tattoo or anything, but I have been a Novell Certified Engineer since Jesus was a baby.  And, I’ve maintained that certification through the years, even though I have to admit, we’re kind of hitting the law of diminishing returns here.
Novell’s e-mail solution is called Groupwise.  It started out life as something else, but it’s been improved to a very reliable, stable platform that was actually pretty easy to maintain.  Of course, that’s relative when it comes to e-mail packages, but it was a good trade off between ease-of-use and robustness that made it a really nice solution.  And, obviously, it integrated very cleanly into the rest of Novell’s network management systems.  So, once it was all setup right, you could make a user and a new e-mail account in pretty much the same step.  I loved it.

Naturally, there was always a rivalry between Novell and Microsoft.  They each fired shots back and forth about who had the better, more reliable product.  Die-hards like me always argued in favor of Groupwise.  Guess what?  It turns out, we were right!  Google did some testing and polling and compared e-mail packages.  Naturally, they came out as the most reliable system, though, if they lock your account, good luck getting it unlocked again.  But, go to their blog entry about their e-mail findings and scroll down until you get to the graphic.  Go ahead, click the link and look at the graphic.  I’ll wait.
Did you notice the shortest bar, next to Gmail?  Yeah, Novell’s Groupwise.
Groupwise, on average, has half the down-time of a Microsoft Exchange system.  Half!  And, I bet if you loaded it in a multiserver configuration, or even a Linux server, that number would drop even more.  But, still, half as much downtime as Exchange!

So, why don’t more people use it?


E-Mail Issues

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,E-Mail Entry,Geek Work,Personal,The Dark Side — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:02 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Damn mailservers.
Okay, look, I know that e-mail as defined in the original RFCs is not the most reliable service in the world, but this is getting pretty ridiculous. I know that I’ve missed several automated e-mail from my blog notifying me of incoming comments, but I have no idea what else I’ve missed. At least one person wrote a comment on this blog that mail she’d sent me bounced back, but I don’t know how many other e-mails haven’t made it to me. And, no, it does not help that I fix things like this for a living because I don’t have access to the servers that are misbehaving, not to mention all the various points of failure between me and the sent mail.
Anyway, if you sent me e-mail and didn’t get a response, please, send it again. Or, leave a comment on the blog. If your comment/e-mail is private, just add that to the start of the comment and I’ll keep it hidden from the rest of the world. I moderate every comment on my blog, so no worries about something accidentally rolling live that shouldn’t. Just be sure to mark the private stuff “PRIVATE:”, okay?
We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog obsession.


Killer Knife Holder

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,E-Mail Entry,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:09 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

No, trust me, this is really cool.
Okay, Gizmodo had this on their site weeks and weeks ago, but now, you can actually buy it. And, I just may. It’s the VooDoo Knife Holder, and, as I said, it’s for sale, or it will be in June. You can get it here. Though, you have to put down a $20 deposit, according to the article, and you can contact the company who makes it, ViceVersa, at this page, if you can manage the Italian. The total is going to be $40, but, I think it’s worth it for the shock value. And, when I start dating again, it will be a good test of my future wife’s sense of humor. If she doesn’t find the VooDoo Knife Holder amusing, she won’t be my future wife.

Anyway, it’s been another crazy week and we all made it to Friday, so go ahead and click the link. You know you want to do it!




Filed under: E-Mail Entry — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Sheep which is in the early afternoon or 2:06 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

No, I’m not training to be a moyle!

Hey, if you didn’t get that joke, I am NOT going to explain it to you. Actually, I’ve been thinking a lot about the content of this blog lately. Originally, I had intended it to be an unflinching look at what it’s like to be a Network Engineer in today’s marketplace. But, there have been so many news stories about people being fired for the contents of their blog that I’ve tried to be careful what I say about who. Well, I haven’t been all that careful about ThatDamnBoatPlace, but that’s mainly because the fired me in favor of someone I felt was severly underqualified. And, since they had to bring in numerous contractors to do what I could have, but she couldn’t, I guess my opinion is close to Reality. After all, good Network Engineers don’t just magically appear, even in Houston.
But, I digress. I don’t know that things I said about how foolishly money was being spent, or “saved”, at ThatDamnBoatPlace had any bearing on their decision to “let me go”, but it might have. Shoot, I don’t know that anyone is actually reading this thing, but I pretend that people are when I write the entries. I know, actually, that a former co-worker from ThatDamnBoatPlace read it at least once, because he commented on how he couldn’t wait to see what I was going to say now that they’d kicked me out. Of course, that was more than a year ago, so I don’t know if he’s read it since then. I sort of hope that he has, though, so he can pass the info along that I think they’re stinky, poo-poo heads.
Reguardless of whether anyone is reading it, or read it, or not, I’m playing it pretty safe. Why should I screw up the job I’ve got? It was damn hard to come by in this economy and I’d be in big trouble if I lost it. Shoot, I’m having a hard enough time making our finances work even with the job! Of course, now that the market is starting to even out, and all the greedy people have finally bailed out of the IT industry, things ought to get easier for someone with my experience to find jobs. Only time will tell, but I hope that the IT job market will imrove again. God, I hope it will. In the meantime, I’m going to do my best to beef up my resume so that I’m the Senior Network Engineer that everyone in Houston wants to hire!

[ Posted by mail via mail2mt.pl ]



Anonymous Blogging

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,E-Mail Entry,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:46 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Blogging for the paranoid.

At least, that’s how I see this new service at invisiblog. And, actually, that’s how they sell it to the public, too. Of course, in the FAQ, they readily admit that they’ll sell you out if anyone puts any legal pressure on them. I guess that’s to be expected in today’s litigious society. After all, why should they protect your privacy? What have you done for them?
Really, isn’t that what this is all about? Protecting one’s own posterior? I mean, really, who would go to jail for a principle these days? Not me, I can tell you that for sure. Especially not to protect some nut-case who’s pissed off the government or big business. Then again, those kind of rabble-rousers are the sort that actually founded this country… Still, who needs the hassle? Right? So, that’s why they recommend using MixMaster, which is an anonymous remailer. With that, one can post somewhat more anonymously. Of course, now we’re starting to get into more hard core privacy, so only the most dedicated need apply.
And, that, my dear readers, begs the question… Who needs this service? What can someone possibly post to a blog that is so dangerous that the blogger needs to worry about their identity? Well, I can think of several things, some of which are actually legal, but fewer are both legal and moral. So, yeah, there’s the political activists that will want this. (Read that as, “Nut-case, type A”, original recipe.) And, then, there will be the “sexually oriented businesses” that will want to use it. (Read that as, “Nut-case, type B”, extra crispy.) The truly sad thing is, if this runs to type, it will be the “adult” industry that pushes the technical envelope on this, just like they did with things like secure transactions and streaming video. It’s a sad, sick world, isn’t it?

Well, maybe the cypherpunks will prove me wrong. Either them or the Libertarians.

[ Posted by mail via mail2mt.pl ]


Nina Simone

Filed under: E-Mail Entry — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:10 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

A jazz great passes.

Nina Simone was a far more remarkable woman than I realized, until I read her obituary at MSN.com. I knew her from a movie called Point of No Return, which was an American remake of La Femme Nikita. The American film starred Bridget Fonda as a street kid trained to be an assassin. Her character in the film listens to none other than Nina Simone. In particular, there is a scene that involves her “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl” that is quite memorable.
In any case, Jazz fans will know her better and appreciate her more fully than I did. I was, however, quite sad to hear that she’d died and thought I’d mention it.
I hope she passed peacefully.

[ Posted by mail via mail2mt.pl ]

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