Outlook Rollout at work commencing / New SSD is now up and running / DAS Keyboard cable replaced

Implementing MS Outlook at Work

I’m not actually doing any of the conversion or migration work, but I’m doing my best to support the one who is. I try to grab what tickets I can do and of course answer the questions that come in. No matter how many emails and posts we provide there are those who don’t know what’s going on and need help. There are types of people who don’t care how things are supposed to work only that they do. These are the types of people who will pretty much receive and send email, accept invitations and maybe bother with filing emails into folders. Then there are types of people who want to do it all. They assign new quick steps, try to create new shortcut keys for repeating task, the whole works. Then there are those in the middle who want to do a bit more but still only use about 30% of the functionality. It’s touch to come up with solutions that help all these people. In general, the younger the employees, the more they’ll do with the tools. The older ones tend to do it only because they have no choice.

In the US, we have a few more weeks of migration, then we start migrating the rest of the Americas (North and South). The rest of the world has either started or will be starting in February for the full roll out. It’s challenging but it’s also a bit rewarding too.

New SSD is finally working in my Mac Pro

In my last post I talked about the issues with the replacement SSD I got from OWC (MacSales.com). This was to replace another SSD card that I had used to upgrade my Mac Pro 2013 last year. When I attempted to work on the before I couldn’t get it to be seen no matter what I did. After filing a support request and waiting a couple of extra days, I finally got a response. I decided to give it the old college try once again and sure enough by the time I was finished and actually issuing the right start up command keyboard sequence the drive was found and I’m currently running on that. I creating this post on my laptop though because I’m having to move my home folder from an external spinner to the SSD I just installed. I will keep everything just in case I need to revert back to it, but I think I’ll be good for a while.

The main mistake I was making was to hold the Command+Option+R key down for recovery. I was holding the Command+R down and since there was no drive in the machine it was reaching out to the internet to download and run a disk image from there. However, it wasn’t pulling down the right recovery console as expected, but the one for the OS of the machine when I got it. By holding down the Command+Option+R, I was able to get the right recovery tools and was able to see the drive in the provided disk utility in that version. Once I saw it, I was able to then use the restore from Time Machine backup to the new SSD and I have my full system back. Now it’s just moving my home folder back to the SSD so I can get the best performance from it.

DAS Keyboard replacement cable

The USB cable needed to repair my DAS Keyboard came a couple of days ago in the mail. Looking at the cable, it appeared to be a standard USB 3 Micro-B with some extra stuff to secure it in place on the keyboard. I would have discovered this before had I only completely pull the cable the first time I took the keyboard apart. It had a blob of plastic holding it in place (like hot glue) so I didn’t since the keyboard was actually still working (at times). In any case, I was able to take the cable the support team provided (at no costs to me by the way!) and fix the keyboard. Before installing, I put a pretty heavy coat of dishwashing liquid soap on it to deter the cat from biting and chewing it. Tech wise, things are looking up for a bit!

Mac Pro’s SSD updated and other news

2013_mac_pro_smMac Pro Updated

I’ve updated my Mac Pro (late 2013, cylinder) from the 256 SSD to a 1 TB from OWC (macsales.com). So now my machine is rocking 64 GB memory and now a good bit of space too! I was constantly having to move data around. I have about 12 TB of external storage connected via Thunderbolt 2, and that’s fine for those things, but I needed a boost in internal storage. Overall the process went pretty good, and OWC (Other World Computing) does provide some information to help. Though they could do a bit better job on the recovery aspect, pointing to what appears to be documentation from 2011. It worked, but there were some questions that a few links or a bit further explanation could have helped.

Looking into Adding Some New Software Development Skills

Exploring other things. Our company is evaluating moving away from IBM Notes for email, contacts and calendaring, most likely heading over to the Microsoft Exchange land. That being said, we have a huge amount of other applications built within the Notes/Domino world that will either need to be rewritten or replaced with other tools. Somethings, I’m hoping we can move from Notes into SAP – the primary system we use for order processing, billing, servicing, etc. There are quite a few functions that SAP can handle and we’re just not using them. Over the next few years I can see us moving further into trying to use the tools we have instead of always creating new ones.

Visual Studio GraphicSo on my work Laptop, I’ve install the Visual Studio Community version so I can explore and play. We have Visual Studio licenses at work, but I’m not able to use them at this time. By using this software package I can explore alternatives to what I do in Lotus Notes. I have to do all the things that Notes just does for a developer (mail, data storage, etc.). Replacement applications will most likely be server based and web front end or even mobile versions for iOS, Android and perhaps even Windows (tiles).

I’ll also have to figure out a bit more on the non MS side of things. I can do some PHP work and can store things in MySQL databases, but I don’t do that all the time so every time I have a new project I have to figure things out again. I’m sure there are some frameworks out there to help with my endeavors and I just have to be sure to pick the right ones. For example, I was all up on Dojo (a javascript framework adopted by IBM and thus Notes), however, I later discovered I’m better off using JQuery instead of Dojo. I’m just exploring and do have a few projects that I can use to test out the different tools available. Mostly its going to be a matter of having (making) the time to do it.


Memory installed, now running 32 GB

I was hoping that I could keep 2 of the 4 4GB memory sticks in the Mac Pro, but it wouldn’t boot when I did that. So I had to remove all 16 GB (4x4GB) and only run with the two new 16 GB sticks. Thats OK. It leaves room now that I can later upgrade to another 32 or more based on the two empty slots. I kind of new that it wouldn’t work going in based on some documentation and the type of memory that is installed by Apple. If I’d gotten a higher memory configuration, it would have been OK, but then I wouldn’t have 1) gotten it the day I wanted it and 2) needed to get the memory upgrade to start with.

It’s all good for now. I’ll let it run for a while and see what happens.

32 GB of memory on my desk waiting to be installed.

So, I’ve ordered and received my first upgrade to the Mac Pro. It came with 16 GB memory, but I really wanted to have 32 GB which is what was in my iMac. Do I need it? maybe not all the time, but it really allows me to edit videos with more in memory. I’m not really doing a lot of that at the moment, but I hope to get back into it and start creating more video content for the training site at work. Anyway, that’s a project for this weekend – the laborious tasks of removing opening the “monster”.

Okay, I exaggerate. It’s actually really easy. OWC is always good at producing really high quality videos to tell you exactly how to do it.