Do The IBM Hardware Support reduce in quality?

We just received a brand new xSeries 3620 M3 less than a month ago, and after configured and installed the operating system, we noticed that one of the hard disk light (from five hard disks) is not working. It mean not blinking at all.

Because this is a brand new server, and our first though this is only a hardware problem, on Friday we called the IBM support and hope that they can change the hard disk.

After we received the ticket ID, one of IBM support person called us and I explained the problem to him. After discussed, he want me to run the diagnostic tools the check the entire system. I though “What?”, but I followed him anyway, download the diagnostic tools, run it and send the result to his email address.

On Monday, we still do not received any news or any update, and on Tuesday I called the IBM support again and ask about my ticket status. Then I’ve got another call from another IBM support person, mentioned that the first IBM support person is not available so he will take over while he away.

Again, I explained the problem and re submitted the IBM diagnostic tools result to him, and he promised to update me about the status.

About one or two hours, I received his email, mentioned that the result that I just send to him is not complete because my server is not have a IPMI driver. So he gave me the link to download the IPMI driver and ask me to installed the driver. After that, I re run the diagnostic tools, and again re submit the result.

On Wenesday, there no update from them.

On Thursday, the IBM support person called me again and updated the status. And he said that the firmware in my server is not up to date, and require me to update the firmware. I though “What?”.

The problem is simple, the light activity in one the hard disk is not working (while in another four hard disks is working well), thats all. I really sure this only a small problem, maybe only something wrong with the bracket. Why update the firmwares?

On the phone, He mentioned that I need to update several firmwares, I said to him, just give me the list in the email, and I will look into it

When I received the email, I’m shocked.

He mentioned that I need to upgrade not only one, or two but four firmwares..

  • Integrated Management Module
  • IBM System x uEFI update for 3620 M3/3630 M3
  • ServeRAID M1015 SAS/SATA Controller Firmware
  • IBM FW HDD SAS-1.09 Windows 32-64

And not forget, he also add a little warning at the end of his email
“Please backup your data before updating the firmwares”

Great.

I consulted with IBM BP, and hope that somehow they can do something about it.

I used to recommend IBM xSeries to many people, and one of the reason because they have a very good support, but now, I have doubts, BIG doubts.

Update:

On monday,  wrote them email mention that I will not do the firmware upgrade and they responded that they will their support to us to upgrade the firmware.

On Tuesday, one support come and a good thing is that he also bring a new hard disk. He upgraded all the firmware and it took more than one hour, but the light still not blinking. Then he replaced the hard disk with the new one, but the light still not blinking. Then he tried to plug the old hard disk into another slot, and the light now blinking. By that, the support engineer said that the problem is in the backplane of the server. And he will come back again tomorrow with a new backplane.

On Wenesday, he came again with a new backplane. After he switch the backplane with a new one, now the light is blinking fine.

So, the problem was in the backplane, not in the firmware or the hard disk. The diagnostic tools from IBM unable to detect the malfunction in the backplane. And it took more that a week for IBM to identify and fix the problems, that a big disappointing for me.

But the good thing is, that now the server working fine without any problems.

Can’t open mail database, “Can’t find view”

One of the user reported that he can’t open his mail database, and when I tried to open his mail database, I have this error message

“Can’t open view”

and displayed a blank database

Tried to run the following tasks:

  • Fixup
  • Updall
  • Compact
  • Convert
  • Replace design
  • Search the internet
Without any luck. 🙂
Then I try to open the database in lotus designer, and luckily it can open.
Click the list of view, and there is no view, just empty. Now, I see the problem.
So what I do next,
  1. Create one empty view, and close.
  2. Open the database, can’t open, still have “can’t find view” error message.
  3. Replace design, now it working
  4. Open the database, now it working.
It seem somehow all the views in the database got corrupted, and without a view, you can’t open lotus notes database.

 

How to fix a broken usb flashdisk

Ever broke your usb flash disk? That contains all the data for the presentation for tomorrow morning? And have no backup?

My friend did, and I can only imagine how it feels.

He gave me his shattered usb flash disk.
Fortunately, the memory chip that contains the data was not broken, only the usb connector was separated from the main pcb.

After quick search in google, I found that is easy enough to fix the broken usb flash disk.

www.datarecovery-ct.com/data_recovery_ct_flashdrive/data_recovery_ct_flashdrive.html

Based on the website, I connect the usb connector to the main pcb, soldered it back and give it a try.

It works.

So, if your usb flash disk is somehow broken, don’t panicked. If the memory chip is still intact there is still hope.

Christmas Apps for Android

Christmas is coming.

Have the spirits of Christmas by installing Christmas applications for Android.

This is the list of Christmas Apps for Android.

Christmas Tree Live Wallpaper

Make your android more a live with this live wallpaper. There are plenty of live wallpaper for christmas, and this is just one of them.

Christmas Magic Live Wallpaper

Another live wallpaper for your android.

Panda Theme-Christmas Carol theme

Christmas theme for you android.

Bubble Blast Holiday

Like Bubble Blast, where you have to blast all the bubbles in the screen with limited touch? This is the holiday edition, if you like Bubble Blast that you going to love this.

Talking Santa

Talking Santa is funny, makes my kids giggle. You can poke on his head, shake the phone, give him cookies and roll a snow ball on him, and repeat everything you says. But don’t forget, to ask for Christmas present.

Angry Birds Seasons

If you love angry Birds, that you must love this sequel. Please beware, that this game is addicted.

All of these apps you can search it in the market, as far as I know all this apps are free.

There are many others themes, applications Christmas related, fell free to find it in the android market.

Merry Christmas.

10 Reasons to upgrade to Lotus Notes 8.52

IBM just release their latest Lotus Notes client, Lotus Notes 8.52. It have many improvements or features specially for the user interface, that most my users will be happy to have.

These are the list what the new improvements or features that I like the most.

1. Save as EML

What my users like the most, save email as eml, so now they can ‘attach’ email as attachment. Many companies who have tight security, maybe do not like this feature, but for other companies, they just love this feature. It better than IBM can disable or enable this feature depend on the company policy.

2. Close email after Forward/Reply

Now, you can choose if your email will be automatically close after you forward or reply it.

3. Group Icon

Now you can quickly see that the email address is a group or not right from your type-ahead list. There will be an icon in the front of email address indicate the the email address is a group or not.

4. Default font for email

Now you can set your default font for your email.

5. Forward from Trash folder

Previously, you need to restore email in case you need to forward it. But now you can forward it right from your trash folder.

6. Pretty Signature

Now you can use rich text as your signature, rather than that boring plain text or that confusing html file. To bad, you still  can’t have multiple signatures.

7. Make Contact / Group private

You can share your contacts to others people if you give them the right to access it, but now you can also make your contacts or groups private, so only you who can see it. Other people who have access to open your contacts will not see it.

8. Better Recent contacts management

Now you can have the option to include all to your recent contacts list or o Do not put cc and bcc into recent contacts.

You can delete recent contact straight from type-ahead list (just like outlook)

9. Better replication

You have better replication view, now in show in percentage in the right and also can run multiple replication in the same time.

10. View Calendar entries by category

If you like to add category on everything, including calendar entries than you going to love this feature. Now you can view your calendar entries based on their categories, much more easy to find and manage your calendar.

There are many more features that I do not include in this list, what I like the most about the new features is this features mostly affect on users, better user interface, while usually the new features are on the servers, only a few on the users.

For complete list about all the new features of Lotus Notes 8.52 you can go here.

Lotus SameTime entry server

Maybe this is my bad luck, when installing Lotus SameTime Entry server 8.02 I always having problems.

Installing Lotus Domino is not a problem, I use Lotus Domino 8.02.

Problem start when I’m trying to install Lotus SameTime entry 8.02 server, when it starting to install, it always says something about Lotus Domino or Lotus SameTime processes still running.

Unlike Lotus Domino, it seems that Lotus SameTime installation is not as smooth as it should be. It detected others processes as it own. From IBM website it listed mostly because of anti virus software.

But, even I already disable or even uninstall the anti virus software, I still have the problem.

So I try to disable all the softwares and services that running in the background one by one.

All disabled but still having the problem.

One software left, TightVNC that I use to remote the server.

So temporarily I disable the TightVNC and replace it with Remote Administrator.

And it working.

After I disabled the TightVNC, I can install the SameTime server without any more problem.

I’m not sure why there are so much problem when installing sametime server, I also have the same problem when installing SameTime entry 8.51.

Some suggestions when installing sametime server.

  • Copy the source into your local haddisk
  • Disable network connections
  • Disable all anti virus software
  • Run the installation
  • Enable the anti virus sotware
  • Enable network connections

Hope you will not have the problem as I’m.

Posted from WordPress for Android

How to make global out of office

This is a how to enable global out of office for everyone.

Thanks to Maria Helm for her advise.

To continue the steps, you should have knowledge about mail journaling, mail-in database, server rules, and how to create a simple agent. Don’t worry this is a very simple agent, you do not need to write a single script.

1. Create a mail in database, give it a easy to understand name.

2. Enable the mail journaling, make sure that mail journalling use send email to not copy to.
Send email to the mail in database that we just created.

3. Create a simple agent to reply every email with your custom message.
Dont worry, this is a simple agent, no script required.
When you in simple agent, enter will close the simple agent, it is better that you type the out of office notice somewhere else like in the
notepad, and then copy paste it into the agent.
Run the agen from non ordinary users, in my case i run it with an administrator account.

4. Create server rule to journal every documents excepts, email from your own domain, and you can add more exceptions if you want.

So now every emails from outside of your domain will be captured and then sent to a mail in database, where an agent will be ready to reply with an out of office message.

Test Android

Today I just received a new android phone. And what make me happy that android have WordPress application ready in the market. All you have to do is open the android market, search for WordPress, download and it will automatically installed.

Once the installation finished, open the application, type your WordPress blog URL, user name and password. That’s it. The application will try to connect and download any blog posts, comments and many others. After that you can edit your post locally without any connection.

After you finished editing your blog,  go ahead publish it.

Need to add pictures? It have button to add media from your pictures library or take a new one from the camera.

This post is edited with WordPress application for Android.

Things that makes Lotus Notes crash

Lotus notes is a very good software, but still a very good software can
have bugs that may cause the software to run unstabale, or incompatibility issues with other softwares or even with hardwares.

After searched the web, contacted with ibm engineers, I have note down
several things that can makes lotus notes to crash.

FYI, I’m using lotus notes, 8.5, 8.5.1 and 8.5.1 FP4.

If you have found that your lotus notes crash many times in a day, you can check the list.

Anti Virus

Try to disable your anti virus, if necessary remove it. I know its
extreme, but the are some reports that certain anti virus not very
compatible with lotus notes. If you found disabling anti virus solved the problem, maybe you need to check other anti virus that much more friendly with lotus notes.

Links

Embedded Mime Email

Enable the disable embedded mime email. Its reported that embedded
mime email can crash lotus notes. Thanks to Ying Le Jia for the hint.

Links

Basic Version

Switch to basic version instead of standard version. The Standard version have many features with eclipse, but with more features, it have more possibilities  to crash.

Bottom Preview

Use bottom preview rather then right preview. Its also reported that
right preview pane may cause lotus notes to crash. (anybody can confirm this?)

Adobe Reader 9

If you using adobe reader 9, try to download it to adobe reader 8. Its
reported that after user upgraded their adobe reader to version 9,
their lotus notes start to behave unstable. Thanks to Gunawan TW for the hint.

Links

This list is not completed, will never be completed, because there are still many things that can cause lotus notes (or many other softwares) to crash.

AMD X2 5000 temperature very hot

I have a computer at home, desktop computer, mostly for my kids to play computer game.

It’s not fancy, but more than enough to run gcompris or other small games, and my wife to surf the internet.

I don’t know what I did, but suddenly , the computer reach the warning temperature very fast. It only 15-30 minutes, the bios will give the warning, and in the next 10 minutes the computer will shutdown it self.

I set the warning temperature in 70 celsius, and shutdown temp in 80 celsius.

The motherboard is ECS A780GM-A with AMD X2 5000 processor.

My first guess is the processor fan.

So, I take it out, clean it up from the dust, clean up the old thermal paste and then apply a new one.

But still the temperature of the processor increasing quickly, even when still  in bios, I can see that the temperature increasing.

My second guess is my processor fan is damage, but it less than a year old?

But I replace it any way.

But the problem still exist.

Than, my fist guess is that the stock fan is not enough, so I buy a third party fan and installed it.

The problem still exist, but now the temperature increasing not very quickly. but still it become a problem.

I’m running out of options.

But when I browse the ECS website, I notice that they have a new bios.

So, nothing to lose (I already plan to buy a new one), I download the new bios and installed it over the old one.

The result, the temperature now is very stable. 🙂

Then I realize that I did the bios upgrade before, and that the cause of the temperature become unstable. Silly me :).