PermaLink The weirdest Notes replication thing I ever had to do03/28/2008 12:52 AM
Hark ye back to the days before TCP/IP was blowing in the wind or sniffing your cellphone's farts.  We still had to connect Notes servers.

In my day job, I work with federally-funded dildos.

And you have to insert your own batteries.

Back in the early days of the Gonzo Lotusphere, I was using the early iteration of the site to justify the then-insane cost of $995 per person for attendendance at Lotusphere.

Yeah. Less than a thousand dollars.

Anyway, Gonzo Lotusphere 1997-1998 was a Notes database hosted on my 80486 Notes server in my office, and a clone that I owned in my house. The agency for whom I worked didn't have a clean TCP/IP public link upon which I could rely to stay in touch with my home office while I was in Orlando.

But... I had an EarthLink account.

And two 26.4 modems.

Follow me here for a second.

I had a dialup FartLink account. I gave the "work" Notes server all the appropriate data, and once per hour, it would dial up FartLink, and then echo its own TCP/IP information to a text file. A script then ftp'ed that information to a known location on my home ISP's server.

Wherever I was with the "portable" Notes server, which happened to be the Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista that year, it was set to also dial up FartLink and retrieve that textfile from the same known location from my home ISP's server. An agent would grab the file, then parse it, and modify the "mobile" Notes server's connection documents to magically find the other server and replicate with it.

All at 26,400 bits per second.

It worked.

My "management" back then could see my crude digital pictures of Lotusphere, and say, "damn, yeah, he's putting our $995 to good use!"

All those people are retired now. That camera is retired now. I gave up my Earthlink account in 2001. Those Notes servers died a fine death in 2002.

You young'uns think the world started with GPRS.

Byte me.

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1. Dave Armstrong03/28/2008 12:25:15 PM

Ha. I remember those days.

For a brief few months in '94, I ran META Group's Notes servers, with which the replicated DBs to hundreds of customers twice a week.
By Modem.
14.4 at the time. We upgraded to 28.8, and that seemed like a whole new world.

But imagine a modem-based replication schedule to 300 servers, all also on modems. I spent every morning calling Notes admins, and we'd figure out why our modems weren't talking, and we'd try again.

But I learned more about Notes replication than I ever wanted to know.

2. Wild Bill03/28/2008 04:36:23 AM


Try replicating data between Foxpro databases. Over cc:mail. Over satellite data links. From ships in the Indian Ocean/Atlantic/North Sea.

This happened at a company I was IT manager of between 1990 and 1995. We got cc:Mail up and running company wide by 1994, and then used it as a store-and-forward replication target, with databases that were not *simple*. One was a complete purchasing system, and one a marketing system.

Each time a delta (change) would occurr, the deltas would be spun off to a table, zipped, and then piggybacked onto the next connection event.

Yes, sticky tape and glue, but yes it worked. And at 9.6kb - and $6/minute!

Ahh. Those days were *fun*. Men were men and all comms was over serial cable...

---* Bill "Nostalgia aint what it used to be" Buchan

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