Systems Staff Meeting Notes 5/14/01

Systems Staff Meeting Notes
May 14, 2001

Present: Rich Bennett, Cynthia Bowker, Will Chaney, Bill Covey, Debra Harris, Winston Harris, Bobbie Meng, Suzy Shaw, Hilton Soto, Geoffrey Stewart, Ying Tang
  1. Geoffrey was a master electrician this weekend.
  2. Bill reports that he had quite a bit of feedback from people that were grateful to be warned about the Nigerian banking email scam.
  3. SACS accreditation lectures feedback: Win Phillips seemed to be the most interesting speaker. His topic of developing our products for resale to outside sources could be of special interest to Systems – Geoffrey recommends PAULA based on his experiences in the billing world. Internationalization topic – software must be coded with hooks to enable language changes. Future role of the Libraries – Rich feels that people will need better road maps to the information that is available out there, via both public services and a mechanical approach. Library-wide planning groups will be meeting to discuss visions and strategies. There is an all-staff meeting this Friday and all are encouraged to attend.
  4. New Systems conference table should be arriving soon.
  5. Bill will be out at W2K training Tuesday-Friday this week.
Ongoing Systems Updates
Equipment Received/Installed/Repaired
  1. Final flurry of ordering will probably start this week.
  2. PSP license – Geoffrey wants to know if another user needs to be added to the number of licenses since DLC have a version installed directly to a machine – not from the server. Bill says it’s OK – they’re not all in use at the same time.
  3. Extra form-feed page when printing Web pages – Emily Madden reported the problem of an extra page printing with a header & footer when she printed from certain (but not all) Web pages. She installed a postscript driver in an attempt to rectify the problem. It was not the correct driver. Default settings are for ‘letter’, spare paper has form feed included. The pages that printed this way were Hebrew sites, but it probably is not related to the Hebrew characters. You can tell it to print an exact number of pages or choose memo style. The problem is not caused by a flaw with the printer or print driver. There’s no way to really resolve the problem, you just have to live with it.
  4. Vault door still needs to be adjusted. Also, we need to know about the structural supports in the tape vault. No one has heard from Facilities on these problems. Need to email them for a response.
  5. Vault inventory – inventory sheets are not being kept up-to-date when items are moved in/out of the vaults. Please mark off an item and write your name & the date on the sheet when making a transaction. Will try to keep the inventory list updated each week.
  1. SACS accreditation lectures are viewable on the Library Web site – on the Staff Tool Box. You just need Real Player. It downloads well on ISP, not so well on a 56K modem. People are hungry for streaming video access – we may eventually end up with a streaming video server.
  1. Exchange server problem - We've been forced to reboot the server, as often as three times in a day, because it suddenly refuses to let people send or receive mail with attachments. Ordinarily, we'd just restart the mail services, but this problem causes the restart of the Information Store to hang in an intermediate state that can only be fixed with a server reboot. This, of course, disrupts print queues and access to user files as well. The cause isn't clear, but the problem seems to appear when there is a large amount of attachment traffic. This week, one of our user groups did something creative with subscribed folders through Exchange that effectively led to an enormous amount of attachment traffic on a continuing basis. When this stopped, the problem died down. Of course, this isn't much of a solution: there shouldn't be anything that a user can do that will crash Exchange, and there shouldn't be anything that Exchange can do to require a server reboot. Bill’s chief suspect at the moment is some kind of major memory management problem in Exchange. It may be either a traditional leak, or it may just be some kind of highly inefficient thread-spawning that occurs when large numbers of attachments are handled at once. It may be cured by brute force when the NT2 replacement comes online this month, but we ultimately may need to increase the paging space for the mail server far above recommended levels.
  2. Homepage Virus - The good thing about mail this week was the bad thing that didn't happen: the Homepage worm was stopped cold by the Trend scanner at the server. We had as many as a dozen of them arrive, but none made it to the users or back out into the world. It is possible that this load triggered or contributed to the attachment problem, since the Exchange AVAPI hooks used by the scanner were the culprit in the previous attachment problems. However, Microsoft claims to have solved that as of Exchange SP3, and we are on SP4 (which Bill re-applied Friday just for luck).
  3. Web attacks – happened last Monday – all UF was scanned. Fortunately, all of our patches are up-to-date. Approximately 45 sites on campus got defaced. Source is unknown.
  4. Temperature in West closet is still in the 80’s.
  5. Room 100 wireless – laptop with W2K installed was given to Hang Soo Hoo. Had a little trouble with the PowerUsers authority not working.
  6. New server room – rack to house two Dell 6450 servers, one 650F SAN, DLT 7000 tape backup, flat screen monitor & keyboard, switch box & huge UPS 3000. Everything is installed, just waiting for server set-up on Wednesday. This will be the NT2 replacement, configured as a cluster.
Software Projects Status
  1. Borrower System for Circulation – they want a database to make processing for special borrowers (not affiliated with UF) easier.
  2. Library Statistics – four new forms, one is complete.
  3. DLC tracking – Phase 1 is complete. Total amount of phases is unknown. Next phase will probably be vendor tracking.
  4. ILLIAD – Winston is scheduled to go on a trip to USF to talk with their Systems department.
  5. SQL server – refreshed for another 4 months.
  6. Winston demoed the Personnel System to Melody & Evelyn, should be wrapped up soon.
  7. ILL Content Site – total electronic delivery on anything scanned. Initially, it will process a maximum of 200 documents at any one time.
DP Coordinator
  1. Three new students for the summer semester: Laura Williams, Heather Simpson & Jena Fraas. Their schedules are listed on SELMA.

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Last updated May 21, 2001
by Debra Harris