..: Seat of My Pants :..

Monday, October 07, 2002

Quiet day again today.

I installed a PC workstation up in ReportOnBusiness magazine (Dell GX150 and M991 monitor - I call 'em Vaders because they're black and forbidding). I needed to install Quark 5 to allow the user to update Quark documents relating to an antequated billing system for Editorial (writing) freelancers. However, I was dismayed to find that the CD in the Quark box was an upgrader CD and not a stand-alone installer. Crap. I sent the CD to the Editorial Admin responsible for software purchasing and she called SoftChoice, the reseller. Well, ulp. We're all idiots because the box has a gatefold cover as well as a tabbed interior. I never opened the gatefold flap and the installer exists thereunder. The updater to the installer in the disk I found inside the box (presumably this method allows for late-release updates to the product just prior to the product-ship).

I received approval for the jukebox project I have previously mentioned and am awaiting a phone call back from the reseller. The cost will run to over US40 000.00. But we may have run into a problem with the configuration scheme. The quote has allowed for two SCSI controllers - the two DVD-ROM readers will feed into one SCSI bus and the DVD-R will feed into the second SCSI bus (the box even allows for a third, optional bus). However, the Archive servers we have installed for the jukebox to point at only have two slots at the back (they are rack-mounted Compaq DL360s), and one slot in each rack (we have two servers, one redundant to the other) is already taken up by a fibre optic card that is the conduit for information flow to/from the SAN. What to do? Again, I am awaiting a callback from the reseller on this issue.

The re-insertion of all text records into the database (that is, the importation of the FileMaker pro database of actual film negative information that was employed previous to any digital archiving at the Globe) went very well indeed. The single "proprietary" field used by FMP to indicate DATE was included in an upgrade and renamed TEXTDATE. Now, when I construct an onscreen view of the data the date the negatives were shot (of a particular shoot) is displayed. Well and good. This required a remote login to the server from the software developer in Atlanta, GA.

We don't allow VPN services at the Globe due to possible security leaks in data transmission, so the poor buggers have to dial in via 56K. If anyone out there is snickering at our no-VPN rule and how silly it might seem, ask yourself what sort of environment might be more tempting to a hacker - A national newspaper and the opportunity to disrupt publication, or, say, a mom and pop shop for digital reproductions/service bureau/ad agency? We are definitely a target in a malicious circle of would-be digital assailants, located in a city known in Canada as a data centre and a hub of national,financial activity.

Cheers and welcome to the post-9/11 world.