The things I learnt today

1. If a computer freezes every 20 minutes, is it safe to upgrade the bios (which might solve the problem)? A tricky question and in my case, the answer is no. The computer crashed during the bios update and consequently was Columbus’ biggest doorstop. Fortunately I had made sure the machine was under warranty before I began but still had to endure a 45 minute phone call with Dell as they troubleshooted the call. The last 2 minutes went something like this
Dell: Sounds like you need a new motherboard.
Me: Yep
Dell: Sounds like you knew I was going to say that.
Me: Yep!
The engineer will be on site tomorrow to swap out the part although they asked if I wanted to do it. Very cheeky on their part seeing as though the company is paying for the warranty and the coverage – why do their job for them? That and the engineer can sit and wait whilst the lengthy diagnostics runs and I won’t.

2. If you use Lotus Notes as your mail client and synchronise your databases to the server, it doesn’t synchronise your address book (which doesn’t need a replica on the server either to confuse matters). Instead you go to Actions/Synchronise Address Book. Why you have to do this I don’t know *cough* you don’t have to do that in outlook you know – its all included in the synchronisation/offline capabilities *cough*. I’ve also not worked out how to get that command onto a toolbar so I have one click access rather than going to the menu to do it (or even better to automatically do it). I’ve also yet to work out what they synchronise journal does as I dont see an option for a journal in my notes client – this notes client lark is a steep learning curve.

3. If users complain they can’t see unread email in outlook, make sure that the messages view does NOT have the “Use Group” menu item selected otherwise it is possible to hide last weeks mail, including unread emails, in this one line within the view (and its too complicated for the users to go to the unread emails view)


  1. Richard Schwartz

    The traditioanal way of managing data in Lotus Notes was to keep mail and contacts in separate databases. Putting your address book on the server was possible, but not often done. When IBM introduced Domino Web Access, they decided to keep the local address book in a separate database, but allow it to be synchronized into the mailbox database. That way making your contacts available to you over the web would not require that your administrators create address book databases on the server for all users.

    There is another new feature in versions of Notes 6.x and above, called “Roaming User Support”. If your adminsitrators set this up for you, then a replica of your local address book will be made on the server. BUT… if you want to access contacts from Domino Web Access you still have to do the synchronization thing because DWA does not use the separate address book that Roaming put on the server. IMHO, if you want to *cough* about something, that’s a pretty good reason.


  2. Stuart Cowen

    As for the Dell call, I recently replace my 19th motherboard two weeks ago and I cut my 45 minute call to 10 minutes by saying something like “… and the last time this happened, you guys shipped out a new motherboard.” Worked like a charm. Do you think I just got lucky or does asserting our position really work with Dell?

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