Tuesday 26 July 2011

Please give to Domino Danderers Dander for Dosh 2011

Folk of the yellowverse and others that come to read my wittterings i make no apologies for coming to you cap in hand looking for $'s £'s and €'s for this year's Domino Danderers Dander for Dosh.

Eileen and I are going to walk the Moyle Way, 26 miles of mainly off road dandering in the Glens of Antrim on the 19th August this year. We may well will be joined by some of the "AVX Bog Faeries" and perhaps a couple of bods from ni-wild.org this will be a long hard dander for this old grumpy codger and I fully expect to be punctured at the end of it.

So why am I and the rest of the team here cap in hand looking for cash of my friends, colleagues and totaly strangers? Well for the past couple of days the news out of East Africa is getting pretty grim. Only last night I was in tears watching the 10 o'clock news as a child to weak from starvation and dehydration to scream was brought back from the brink by the doctors working the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. Built to care for 90,000 it has swollen to 400,000 with 1000 new arrivals everyday each arrival brings chilling tales of horror and anguish like this...

...A mother of six was forced to decide today whether to leave behind her daughter, who is simply too sick to travel, in order to save the rest of her family. Suffering from malnutrition, her daughter wasn't strong enough to continue with their 30-day, 50-mile journey from Somalia into neighboring Kenya. The mother, who was so traumatized that she couldn’t continue describing her ordeal to the doctors or to even give her name, had to leave her child by the side of the road to die where she was left.
 I sit here at my desk, comfortable, warm , well fed and watered and I feel guilty as well I might that I am so well served by my lifestyle. Death does not sit as an un-invited guest at my table each evening I am never faced with making the choice as to which of my family will live and which will die ... I and you gentle reader are lucky, really really lucky!

Eileen, I and our dandering friends will be walking a mere 26 miles, in comfy boots, well supplied with liquids and sandwiches. We will end up in a pub and raise a few glasses to our achievement but that achievement will be as nothing to those now on the road to the refugee camps right now. There are children dying NOW and we can help NOW.

If you know Eileen or myself and would buy us a pint at the bar at a LUG please please please buy us a pint now, buy us 2 or 3 or even 4, whatever you can manage. Visit our Just Giving page and click the DONATE button and give what you can ...

To quote Bob Geldolf  at live aid  "Give us your F***ing Money NOW!" :-)

Thank you for reading this far and thank for giving!

Friday 22 July 2011

A javascript for reconizing a URL in text and linkifying it

On a similar theme to the one below. here is a JS function that will linkify any http:\\ in a text strream for you

String.prototype.linkify = function() 
   var url1 = /(^|<|\s)(www\..+?\..+?)(\s|>|$)/g
   var url2 = /(^|<|\s)(((https?|ftp):\/\/|mailto:).+?)(\s|>|$)/g
   var myresult = myresult.replace(/&/g, '&')
                         .replace(/</g, '&lt;')
                         .replace(/>/g, '&gt;')
                         .replace(url1, '$1<a target="_blank" href="http://$2">$2</a>$3')
                         .replace(url2, '$1<a target="_blank" href="$2">$2</a>$5');
   return myresult;

A Javascript regexp for getting tags out of a textarea

If you are ever faced with , as I was recently, with a loading a text area with some text that has HTML tags in it and you want to get rid of them for say an abstract and you can't be arsed going back to the server here is a wee Javascript function that will do the job for you.

function fStripTags(a)
    b =  a.replace(/<\/?[^>]+>/gi, '')
    return b;

Thursday 14 July 2011

A wee problem with FIrefox and Quickr

Came across a problem with Firefox 4 and 5 today. It is a rather esoteric problem but it is a pain in the arse if you get it. I upgraded to FF4 last week and as soon as I did Quickr stopped working. When I went to the quickr home page I got 6 errors logged in Firebug starting with an "unterminated string error". this only seemed to be affecting me, the tech support chappies were all OK with both Firefox 4 and 5.

I started disabling plugins and addons and it was when I disabled the Lotuslive chat extension that the problem went away. Rather than just blame the Lotus Live extension I uninstalled FF and all the add-ons and extensions and installed a clean version 5.0.1 with no add-ons and re-added Firebug, Flashbug and the LotusLive chat extension (in that order) and Quickr continuted to work normally, so I would guess that it was a more complex issue that just the Lotuslive chat extension that caused the problem.

So if you come across Firefox not working for quickr and you get 6 errors starting with an "Unterminated Sting" error I suggest you uninstall FF and then do a clean install and everything should be fine

Wednesday 6 July 2011

WARNING the Domino 852* ID Vault does no play well with 850* client code stream and there is no fix!

This is by way of a warning to anyone who uses ID Vault and has clients on the 850* code stream and is considering moving their domino servers up to the 852 code stream - DON'T DO IT!

Last week we moved one of our production servers up to Domino 852FP2 (300+ mail clients) and the Admin server for the domain started to get very very very slow, bandwidth vanished and everything all over the 20+ servers suddenly got very groggy.

We quickly tracked the problem to ADMIN4.NSF it was 2.4Gb in size and had over 6 million documents in it. 5,996,891 of them where HTTP Password Change requests originating on the server we just upgraded to 8.5.2FP2. A morning of testing showed that any Notes Client attaching to the affected server that was on the 850* code stream was generating an HTTP Password request everytime it started an NRPC session with the server. In some connection senarios 1000's of these requests were appearing a second. These then replicated from the affected server over to the ADMIN server in Ireland where is was actioned, updated the NAB and then replicated the NAB and ADMIN back to the affected server in the Czech Repulic and then out to all the other servers in the domain ... what fun!!!
A road warrior user reported a client directory replications of 26,000+ updates over the space of 12 hours.

We got around this initially by changing the ACL on ADMIN4.NSF and Denying Access to the affected server. This stopped the HTTP Requests appearing in ADMIN4 and allowed the network to return to normal. In the meantime I turned off the SYNC Internet password in the sec policy for that server pushed out the policy and then relaxed the ACL and the HTTP requests disappeared a quick agent run later ADMIN4,nsf had all the rogue records deleted and it had been compacted.
Now the change to "non-syncing the HTTP password", while being outside the strictest interpretation of our security policy was no "real" problem short term as the password change intervals gave us a couple of weeks of grace before this becomes a real problem.

I opened a PMR with IBM and informed them of the situation and the facts of the case. Their response was quick and unexpected- Ok upgrade all your clients to the 851 or 852 code stream ... that is the fix ... can we close the PMR?
Sorry what?
Could you repeat that?
A potential server and domain threatening bug which IBM acknowledge is a problem in code that at both 850* and upwards are within support and there is and will be no fix, just the advice to upgrade all your 850* clients to fix the problem ???

I rechecked the Upgrade Instructions and not a hint, link or suggestion that this could or would be a problem. Needless to say had there been a "If you are running... etc" warning I would NOT have upgraded the fecking server until all the clients were on the 851 code stream or better. There are Tech Notes that mention it at other releases but not the combination we had. Since there were no actual errors as such and the problem was silent when tested on a standalone server in a standalone domain where the rogue HTTP server requests were all created and actioned and resolved quickly and with no replication or heavy user load, this problem went un-noticed.

Now a quick check on the interweb showed that this has been a problem on an off for several 8* releases and it has been addressed previously ... I am asking myself how does the same bug get back into the code stream with such seeming regularity ? The answer to that I will leave you to make your own mind up about .. but I am thinking change control.

So "Upgrade all your clients or roll back the server" were the only options we were given to answer our PMR followed by a request for it to be closed. Well in the situation why the hell ask me if the PMR can be closed?  For me there is still a problem, it is a bug and it has NOT been addressed other than to provide something unexpected, unplanned and unbudgeted upgrades to 200 odd clients before the end of the month. Even so I am assured that the PMR will not result in a fix and that old chum is that!

I made sure that my reluctance to close the PMR was noted and that I thought my expectation of "support" for an active code stream was very markedly different from IBM's I also stressed that it would have been helpful if this problem had been written in a nice large font in the upgrade notes.


would have helped more than the suggested fix.

A colleague had encouraged me to open this PMR and even though my already somewhat jaundiced view of support being offered not only by IBM but other big companies made me reluctant to do so, however the idea that "Well things will never get fixed if you dont report them" convinced me that I should be a good upstanding net-citizen and report the problem.

I did .. and it gives me no satisfaction to report my experience was a factor of annoyance many times worse that even this grumpy 30 year IT industry cynic could have imagined. Will I waste my time reporting an issue the next time we have one, or will I just not bother and find my own way to work around the problem?

Bah Humbug!

Anyway rant aside.. please do be careful if you are planning an ugrade, while this will not crash your servers it does have the effect of ADMINP jobs taking 70+% of the CPUage and your bandwidth will probably drop to 1989 speeds and remember IBM don't mention this in the upgrade notes so it will take you by surprise.

** UPDATE ** I forgot to mention the Replication Conflicts in the NAB if you have HUB and SPOKE servers.. since the NAB is being updated several times a second you get lots and lots of replication conflicts when the remote servers can't keep up

Friday 1 July 2011

How to answer a "Would you like to take part in our customer satisfaction survey?" question

After a frustrating and entirely unsuccessful trawl through a support site of a well known and very large IT company I was presented with a pop up asking me did i want to take part in a survey? ... In Hind sight this was probably a mistake to give me the opportunity to respond, but they did ask and given a nice wee [textarea] for Other comments I add this ...
My visit to your support site was one, and I can say this without fear of contradiction, that filled me with a mixture of raw despair, sphincter tightening anguish and the urgent need to increase my anti depressive medication! I can only imagine that the reason your support site is such a heap of Rhino diahorrea left festering in the raw heat of the Serengeti sun is to allow the employes of ****** to relaxin the warm glow of schadenfreude radiating from the pain this site brings to us, the users.

I have left feedback about the careless nature with which you scatter hundreds of characters willynilly in your URLS. I have waxed long and lyrical about the less than purple nature of your prose in ***** documentation. I have gloried in the princely obfuscation with which you commission even the most simple of Installation Instructions. I have marvelled at the depth with which you can iterate the humble footnote ... but satisfaction? Alsa no! Satisfaction and myself are not loving bedfellows when it comes to the ***** Support site. I would go so far as to say that no longer do we share a bed but we have had expensive counselling followed by an acrimonious divorce and are now happily existing at either end of the universe!

I would love to be able to say "Thank you" but it hardly seems appropriate does it?

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