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12:31:38 AM
Written By : Richard SchwartzCategory : IBM Lotus Notes And Domino
Location : Nashua, NH

The first computer I bought for myself was a Mac Plus in 1985. I frequently used Intel boxes professionally in those days, but at home I was strictly Mac. I upgraded to a Mac IIsi in 1991, and to a PowerBook Duo 230 in 1993 -- which was also the same year that I bought my first Intel box to be thet Notes server for my PowerBook. Having the Mac did put me in position to do some work integrating AppleTalk with Notes 3, but I was spending far more time integrating Novell and TCP/IP with OS/2 and Windows boxes. By 1995 I was through with owning Macs. It was partly due to my own poor choice in models... all three that I had bought were dead-end architectures that reached the limits of their upgradability within one technology generation. It was partly due to frustration over software incompatibilities that kept on coming up when I switched from one model to the next, or when I upgraded from one MacOS to the next. It had a lot to do with poor warranty coverage, poor service, and poor reliability -- especially with the PowerBook. It was partly because there was so little to do professionally that required Macs... I knew enough to deal with the fiew Macs that a few of my clients had, but nobody was ever putting "must know Mac" on their requirements for Notes consultants,so using a Mac as my primary machine just no longer made sense.

About a year later I did sign on for a two month project developing an LSX for a Lotus customer who wanted to access Video Notes from the Mac Notes client, and that turned out to be my first actual money-losing project ever, because I engaged a Mac guru to do all the Mac-specific stuff for file handling and I had to pay him for what he delivered even though I wasn't going to get paid because integration testing had found that although our LSX worked fine, something in the LSX toolkit was corrupting data structures in the Notes client, which would inevitabily cause it to crash shortly after we retrieved a video file, and Lotus was't going to have a fix for the bug until two MRs down the cycle, which missed the client's business deadline so the project was canceled. (update: I know that I have a tendency to sometimes write monster-long sentences, but this one is unbelievable! :-))

Today I embarked on a tour of Mac-land. One of my clients, who recently uprgraded all their Wintel infrastructure to 6,5,4, has a location where all they use are Macs, and they want to bring them on-line. I got them the media, and one of their IT guys bravely tried some installs. I got reports about "pernames.ntf not found" and a variety of other things, and one case of "It works when the admin runs it, but when we swith to the user account it goes back to setup mode and gives the "ernames.ntf message."

It took about two and a half hours, but I did solve the problems. First suspect was file permissions. I uninstalled everything (or so I thought!), and then re-installed under the user account instead of the admin account, and when that didn't immediately solve the problem I figured it was time to actually look at the file permissions. Having a Unix background helped me look like I knew what I was doing, going in and doingls -al and chmod a+w in a couple of folders. Of course, if I had remebered about Get Info and guessed that that was the way to get to file permissions from the Mac GUI I wouldn't have had to spend ten minutes figuring out how to get a command shell window and reminding myself what the chmod syntax was. I'm not sure changing the file permissions actually helped in any real sense, although a few posts in the ND6 Forum on Notes Net suggested that it would. What really made a difference, though, was killing the correct Notes Preferences file. Little did I know that the one in System Folder/Preferences isn't used any more. It's just an artifact from an old install of Notes 5, possibly when the machine was MacOS 9. Once I realized that deleting the Notes Preference file had not cleared out the remembered paths in the client setup sequence, I went looking for more Notes Preferences files, and sure enough... in Users/User Name/Preferences... there it was! I trashed it, tried again, and yeeehah! Setup completed.

I brought home a borrowed PowerBook G4 Titanium to do some Mac-specific testing of some development that is needed for this branch office. I do have to admit, these things are nice. It would not be impossible for me to consider going back to the Mac -- though I think my primary business laptop will probably continue to be Wintel,

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