The sad truth is that, despite not thinking of myself as a pocket protector wearing, Wired reading, Monty Python watching geek, the activity that I'm about to describe and recommend to you brands me as a Geek with a capital G. If you are looking for a way to do some great proactive analysis and to have one revelation after another about your environment, the thing to do is READ THE KNOWLEDGEBASE!
Each month, I sit down with the kBase and a custom view that I built that just shows the products and releases installed in my environment, sorted by published date. I create a folder for all the documents that I'm interested in and copy each interesting document into the folder for more in-depth analysis. I categorize these documents by whether they are issues that I am currently experiencing at a client, issues that -- based on one of my environment configurations -- I'm likely to face, documents that might be an issue if I were to execute a planned upgrade, and documents that are just plain interesting. To give you an idea of the amount of effort involved in 2004, they have been averaging about 200 ND6-related posts per month.
Even if you don't memorize what is in these documents, the gist of them will stay in your head. So when you are troubleshooting a problem weeks later, you will have that vague feeling that you have seen that before and it will draw you back to kBase!
Just to show how valuable and interesting this can be, here is my annotated monthly abstract for Sept./Oct. 2004. I have inserted comments in many entries to show why I think they are each so interesting or valuable.
To access the Knowledgebase, go to www.lnn.com and follow the instructions. You need to be x-certified with the server to replicate it. It is available on the Web, but not in as friendly a format at www.lotus.com/support.
About the author: Rob Axelrod is vice president and a principal technical consultant at Technotics, Inc. He has been working with Notes/Domino since 1993 and has worked with organizations of all sizes helping them to execute complex migrations, implement best practices in administration and application management and to support day to day operations. He has lead operational teams in a hosting environment managing messaging systems for Fortune 500 corporations. Rob has a long list of public speaking credits including all five Admin 200x events, The Lotus SuperHuman Software tour and is currently one of the featured presenters on The View's Administration Bootcamp tour.
When I went to register for access to the Lotus KnowledgeBase, as per your recommendation, I was informed that ordinary Passport Advantage Customers are no longer eligible:
"Access to LNN is now limited to Business Partners, Enterprise Support Customers and Priority Service Program (PSP) Customers. Passport Advantage Customers are no longer entitled to this service, unless they are also a Business Partner, Enterprise Support Customer, or PSP."
If LNN states that you do not meet their criteria for replicating KnowledgeBase, contact your IBM/Lotus representative.
—Rob Axelrod, tip author
The RSS feeds are a good way of keeping up with all of the KB updates. See the 'Lotus RSS Feeds' option on IBM's Lotus Domino Support Services page.
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