NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Settling some differences

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Settling some differences

Well, the tide may actually be turning with Amber. Not only did she beat me to the cabin and surprise me last week, but she had the place all ready to go, a fire in the wood burning stove, and she made me a nice dinner — complete with fried oysters.

One of my spies encountered some problems with Computer Associates’ software. His licensed copy of eTrust EZ Antivirus, which has four months to run on its one-year license, was suddenly unable to auto-download updates for its virus signature files. When he went to their Web site to download an update manually, Internet Explorer warned that CA’s certificate was invalid because it was issued for a site with a different name than the actual site it was being used on. There is no way on CA’s site to contact a human, not even to report site problems, my spy said.

So, after taking a leap of faith by accepting the site as trustworthy, he found the update and entered his customer number. The spy was then told there was a newer version of eTrust EZ Antivirus that could be downloaded free. He did that, installed it, and the auto-download works again. But he had to take it on faith that the site was trustworthy. Surely CA can do better than that?

A sad storage story

A gumshoe I know ordered a NAS (network attached storage) unit from Dell, having been told by sales folks that the unit would do what the customer wants: install Oracle on Red Hat. They ordered and received a Dell machine. The Oracle install is in Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1. The NAS piece uses a stripped down Microsoft Windows Advanced Server 2000 as its operating system. They installed Oracle up to the point where the install process blew up and they wound up sending the NAS piece back. The kicker is that Dell sells this thing as network storage for Novell, Macintosh, and Windows. What Dell does not tell you is that file names must conform to Windows naming conventions, so Mac and Unix systems could well find this system beyond their use.

Levelling out

Genuity was purchased by Level 3 Communications on February 6. Already the company is threatening to shut down the service of a business that one of my spies works for, which happens to be a large entertainment company. Unless, that is, my spy is willing to renegotiate their contract at a higher rate. Hmmm.

“I just thought it would be nice if we could get away from distractions and finally settle this,” Amber said. Things are looking brighter now. And, yes, she let me ride the Harley home.

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