Problem with Printer in Lotus / IBM Notes?

Do you have problem when printing in Lotus /IBM Notes?

Lotus /IBM Notes always hang or crash, or not responding?

You can try to modify the notes.ini and add line BrowserRenderPrintNotes=1 .

Try to print again, and see if it solves the problem or not.

This tips from RAY BILYK at http://thepridelands.com/?p=912

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How to convert multiple vcf files into single vcf file

This is my first post since 2012

Wow, it’s been a long time.

Just a quick how to

Open your command prompt, and go to the directory where you keep all the vcf files,  and then do this

Copy *.vcf new_single.vcf

That’s it, just as simple as that.

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Problem (bug?) with reply to all function

There are problem with lotus notes or lotus domino that we have to deal with it every day. Lotus notes is a good software, but still it have some bugs and problems that we have to deal with it. Specially when users start to compare it with other email client, like MS Outlook.

Recently, few of the users complains about problem when they try to “reply to all” certain emails, the email addresses somehow changed into something else, that cause problem when sending the email.

This is the screen capture of the emais, that the email addresses has changed.

Problem is, for some email we can reproduce the problem but for some emails we can’t, and this problem not happen to everyone that received the same email.

So, when user A and user B received the same email, maybe only user A that having the problem, while user B do not have the same problem.

If you have the same problem and have the solutions, please let me know by comments with this post.

 

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How to Speed Up Lotus Domino Transaction Log

Transaction Log is a must have feature in Lotus Domino. If configured correctly, it’s almost speed up the whole Lotus Domino process. You can read more about Lotus Domino Transaction Log in here.

Transaction log need the fastest disk available, and also support failover. So, at least you need to have a dedicated raid 1 configured hard disk for transaction log files.

So, I follow the steps, using 2 x 15 k RPM SCSI hard disk and configure it as raid 1, and dedicated only for transaction log.

But, I still fell that the configuration is not fast enough, and I can’t get the faster hard disk, something is wrong.

After carefully studied, I found that to improve the hard disk performance of transaction log you need to use the non standard allocation unit size. The standard allocation unit size is 4092 bytes, don’t use it, manually change it to 32 kilobytes or even 64 kilobytes.

If somehow you already format the transaction log hard disk using the standard allocation unit size, to improve the transaction log performance, you need to re-format it with the new allocation unit size. There is third party software where you can change the allocation unit size without re-format, but you can do it with your own risk.

  • Shut down the Lotus Domino server
  • Backup all the transaction log files in ( no need special backup, just copy it into another disk).
  • Format the disk, but do not use the standard allocation unit size (normally 4092 bytes), but change it into 32 kilobytes or 64 kilobytes. Do not use the quick format, use the slow format (just be safe)
  • Restore the transaction log files.
  • Start the Lotus Domino server

Now, your transaction log will work faster.

Last, do it in your own risk. It works in my Lotus Domino environment:

  • Windows server 2003 x64,
  • Lotus Domino 8.5.2 FP2 x64

And full backup will never hurt.

 

 

 

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How to Safely Delete Lotus Domino Transaction Log File

Transaction Log is a must have feature in Lotus Domino. If configured correctly, it’s almost speed up the whole Lotus Domino process. You can read more about Lotus Domino Transaction Log in here.

If you enable the feature, and you should, than you need to have a proper backup system that support the transaction log. Without the proper backup system that support transaction log, the disk will filled up by the transaction log files. The backup system will backup the transaction log files and then delete them, thus will free up space in your hard disk.

But, what happen if the backup system somehow not backup thing properly? What happen if the backup system do not backup the transaction log files and do not delete them? What should we do?

Recently, I had the same problem. Somehow my backup software did not delete the transaction log file after backup. My raid 1 transaction log disk was almost full, and need to free up some space quickly, before it crashed.

The first rule is you should not delete the transaction log manually, it will crashed the Lotus Domino server, believe me, I tried.

This is the workaround.

You can disable the transaction log, restart the server, enable the transaction log again, and then restart the server again. The minus point is, after you re-enable the transaction log, the Lotus Domino will do some database fixup on all of your databases in the server, it may take hours or even days.

Or you can,

  1. Change the transaction log from archival style to circular style
  2. Restart the server. It will safely delete the old transaction log files, and than it will create around 4 GB of transaction log files.
  3. Change it again to archival style
  4. Restart again, it will delete the transaction log and than again re-create the transaction log files again.

With this method, you can safe the time for database fixup.

Last, always do it in your own risk. It works in my Lotus Domino environment:

  • Windows server 2003 x64,
  • Lotus Domino 8.5.2 FP2 x64

And full backup will never hurt. :-)

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What new in Lotus Notes 8.5.3

IBM just released lotus notes 8.5.3, available from IBM Passport Advantage website.

This is the new features of lotus notes 8.5.3

Lotus Notes 8.5.3 delivers significant enhancements to support social businesses and help users get their work done fast, for example:

  • Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3 includes entitlement to the IBM Connections files and profiles components adding significant capabilities to help clients become a social business
  • Enhanced new mail notification which optionally provides a pop up preview (containing both sender and subject) of new mail messages as they arrive.
  • Improved sorting on email subject content that ignores the “Re:” and “Fw:” prefix, from reply & forward respectively, providing a more accurate sorting of your data.
  • A new option to search by sender or subject available when you right click an email.
  • Optionally leave countered meetings on your calendar. Allow countered meetings to show up in a unique color, with the time the meeting was originally scheduled for as well as maintaining the ability to act on the original calendar invite and with hover text indicating the new proposed time.
  • Optionally notify existing invitees when adding or removing attendees from an existing meeting, informing them of the change and updating the invitee list on their calendar invitation, as well as other options which negate the need for a user to process any meeting updates for anything other than a change in time, eg. a reschedule.
  • Significant improvements to recent contacts, allowing end users more control over who gets added to recent contacts and improved data integrity.
  • Geographic and time zone information is be displayed in the business card.
  • Apple Mac usability improvements for e-mail gestures include the ability to drag one or grouped files to the Lotus Notes icon on your dock, and a new mail message will be created with those files attached.
  • Embedded IBM Sametime is upgraded to V8.5.1 with an incremental installer to IBM Sametime 8.5.2, and embedded IBM Lotus Symphony is upgraded to V3.0.
  • Additional platform support includes RHEL 6.0 Desktop, Citrix XenApp 6.0, and enhanced 64-bit toleration for Microsoft Windows.
  • Added ability to remove signature file from a thread

What is interesting is that is now lotus notes can sort the subject easily, without problem.

Prior this version, user have difficulties to sort emails based on their subject, because the “Re: ” and the “Fw: ” are treated differently. Outlook users do not have this kind of problem, but now lotus notes client too :-). Better late than never.

Hope that IBM much more open mind to user inputs than before.

 

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How to speed up Lotus Notes client 8.5x

The first time I migrated MS Outlook to Lotus Notes, most users complain about the speed, and they said that MS Outlook is faster in any operations when compare to Lotus Notes.

I had to agreed with them.

I had to live with it, and thought that because it just they way it is, because Lotus Notes is not only an email client, but also a collaborations tool, that why it is slower compare to MS Outlook.

But I was wrong.

When I brought this up to IBM support, they came with a suggestion that I modified a file to increase the performance of Lotus Notes. And they were correct, with it Lotus Notes performance is a faster than before.

These are the steps:

  1. Close lotus notes.
  2. Open the folder/directory where you install lotus notes client, in my case c:\lotus\notes
  3. Find the file “\Lotus\Notes\framework\rcp\deploy\jvm.properties” and edit.
  4. Within the file, find the line “vmarg.Xmx=-Xmx256m” and change it into “vmarg.Xmx=-Xmx512m”
  5. Within the file, find the line “vmarg.Xms=-Xms48m” and change it into “vmarg.Xms=-Xms96m”
  6. Save the file.

Now, try to run Lotus Notes and see the differences. You can also play the setting, depend on your work load and your RAM. If you have more than 2 GB ram, you can try to increase the settings to:

vmarg.Xmx=-Xmx1024m
vmarg.Xms=-Xms256m

This improvement not only affects windows client, but also Linux or maybe Macs.

Please note that, if you apply the fix pack, the setting will be restores, so you need to re-edit it again.

 

Added: 2011-09-26

This also come from IBM support

If you feel that you have a network problem while using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can follow this suggestion.

Run this command (without the quotes) from command prompt from Windows vista or Windows 7, make sure you run it as administrator.

“netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled ”

This command will disable the windows network auto tunning, see here

And better to apply the latest fix pacth, the latest fix pacth  as I’m writing this post for Lotus notes 8.5.2 is FP3.

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About Lotus Domino Transaction Log

One of the feature  of Lotus Domino that I can’t live without (as Lotus Domino administrator) is Transaction Log. Transaction Log help me a lot when the server crash (very rarely) and backup time.

Without the transaction log, when the server crash, it will take hours for the server to recovery. It will check every databases one at a time and try to check and fix if it found any problem. And when the database if being fix, the user can’t access it. If the database is big, more than 10 GB, it will take hours to complete it.

With transaction log, after the server crash, the server will ready in less than 15 minutes.

Without the transaction log, the backup procedure will become a problem. In my case the total databases size is more that 1 TB, and it will take almost 24 hours to complete the full backup. And it’s almost impossible to me to run full backup everyday.

With the transaction log, I only to run the full backup every week, and I only need to backup the transaction log  for daily backup. Yes the full backup will take up to 24 hours for 1 TB data, for for daily backup, it take less than 1 hour backup.

So, if you have a medium size or large lotus domino server, I highly recommend that you to run it with transaction log enable.

Before that, these are a few tips.

  1. Use the fastest and dedicated hard drive that you can use for transaction log. I’m using IBM SAS drive with 15000 RPM, and that still too slow to me.
  2. Use raid 1 for transaction log, it recommended by IBM. So if one drive is failed, you still have one to run the transaction log.
  3. Backup, backup, backup. Transaction log rely on good backup that support transaction log, it will only clear up the old TXN files after the backup is complete. Without a good backup, your hard drive will filled up by the TXN files.
  4. If possible, use the latest Lotus Domino version. I have problem with Lotus Domino 8.5.2 FP1 that crash because the size of the transaction log, even the hard disk still have many free space. After consult with IBM support, they suggested me to upgrade the fixed pacth to FP2, after that the problem is gone.
I will keep on update the tips for the transaction log, and hope that you can added one or two tips.
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Recent Contacts, the goods and the bads

Personally, I like the new feature of lotus notes 8, Recent Contacts. Where as default, it will automatically added any names (or email addresses) to Recent Contacts, where than user can use it to look up email address. Later, names in the Recent Contacts can be moved to Contacts if you like.

For me, it saves time. I do not have to add manually the sender to my contacts, and it only able to add sender, not all people in the To or CC. Now, with Recent Contacts, all the To and CC names (or email addresses) will automatically added to my Recent Contacts list, and saves a lot of time.

But, there are users who do not like this feature, specially users who like to have their contacts clean and manage able, they only want to add names to their contacts only if it important, while Recent Contacts will automatically add all of them.

Luckily, Recent Contacts have many options, you can choose it in Contacts preferences.

You can choose that Recent Contacts DO NOT automatically added:

  1. Any names to Recent Contacts, for short to disable the Recent Contacts feature.
  2. CC and BCC names to Recent Contacts, so it only add names in the TO field.
  3. Names from emails that I receive (Only add names from email that I send), that already explain it.

So, for users who really hate this feature, they can simply disable it.

One of the annoying thing about this feature, it will add invalid or junk names (or email addresses) to Recent Contacts, specially when users received spam emails with a lot of email addresses in the TO and CC fields.

Do you want to go with this features or not, is your choice. I personally like this feature, and once in a while clean up the Recent Contacts for junk names.

 

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Steps to upgrade Domino 32-bit to Domino 64-bit in windows platform

Just did the upgrade both Windows server 2003 32-bit and domino 8.5.2 32-bit to 64-bit version.

After all it run well, then I found this technote.

Duh, I hope I found that technote much more earlier, before I upgrade my windows and domino into 64-bit version, that will make it a lot easier.

Please take a special attention on point seven (or six), “7. Before restarting the Domino server, run the offline maintenance on the following system databases from command prompt.”

If you have a large domino databases, and you have only limited down time, than copy entire domino data directory may be is not an option. In my experience, copy 1,2 TB of domino data will take more than a day. And after we start the new server, it give a lot of  error messages and the fixup process run almost on all databases.

So we did it with another way, we create a additional server, create replica of all databases to the new server, and after that we only need to switch server id. It take a longer time to replicate (almost a week), but the down time is minimum, less than a hour.

So, which way is your choice, either copy the data all create replicas.

 

 

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