Posts Tagged ‘network’

Redirecting Lotus Notes Data to a Network Share

Posted in Blog, Tutorial on January 11th, 2011 by Matt – 3 Comments

I currently redirect users' Lotus Notes data folder (the folder that contains their ID files as well as other personal files) to network shares. This allows for users to roam from computer to computer in our office and always have their data available. As far as IBM is concerned this is an unsupported configuration, they will not help you if you have issues. We're currently using the 8.5.1 client with FixPack 4 installed.

Preparing Users Data for the Network

The first step is to copy a users Data folder onto a network share. The location of the share should be the same for all users. For example; each of our users has a "home" drive mapped to H: where they store their personal documents. Under this drive we have a folder titled "lotus" that we place a copy of the contents of their Data folder.

After you've copied the contents to the network share, you'll need to edit the users notes.ini file thats located within that share. The line you'll need to change in that file is "Directory=C:\..." change it to the location where you've copied their data. In my situation I change that line to "Directory=H:\lotus"

Redirecting Lotus to Look in the Network Share

Now that we have our user data in a network location, we need to tell lotus to look there and not in the usual Data folder location. There are a couple of methods to do this. First is using a registry entry and the second is actually editing the shortcuts. In my experience the shortcut method has been much more reliable.

Registry method:
For each user add the following registry entry (maybe as part of a log on script)
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Lotus\Notes\8.0] "NotesIniPath"="H:\\lotus\\notes.ini"

Redirecting via the Registry

 

Shortcut method:
Edit the shortcuts on the all users desktop and the start menu so the target line is as follows (quotation marks and all)
"C:\(Install location of Lotus Notes)\notes.exe" "=h:\lotus\notes.ini"

Redirecting via Editing Shortcuts

Some Notes (Get it?!)

Currently on Windows 7 I do a Single User Install of the Standard Client. I've found that if I do a multi-user install I get prompted for my ID password for ntaskldr.exe. Googling has not returned a way to correct this.

While this modification does allow users to roam between computers, they can not have more than one instance of Notes open at a time.

After you've successfully got Notes functioning redirected you can delete the Data directory from the local machine. As long as your redirects are in place, it will never be recreated.

My users are not administrators on their machines. A single user install by default stores the users Data folder in the Program Files directory, which a user can't write to. But since we're redirecting that folder to a writeable location the users never have any permission issues.

Stream Music To Your Home Theater Wirelessly

Posted in Blog, Tech, Tutorial on June 1st, 2010 by Matt – 8 Comments

Big home theater systems are now ubiquitous. Everyone seems has at least a 5 to 7 speaker setup with big subwoofers. Yet, why is it that when I go over to someones house, they have their computer speakers cranked up playing either iTunes or Pandora Radio and their big theaters idle? I asked around. Most people never thought about it. In their minds their computers and home theaters were two separate systems. They don't have to be.

Here's a how-to that covers getting music from your computer to any stereo system with a focus on simplicity that anyone can set up.

Before we jump into this, we need to talk about what kind of equipment you already have. For the sake of brevity I'm going to assume you already have a computer, a wireless network and a home theater. If you have all that then lets move on, if not, then get that setup and continue from here.

Here's how its going to work:

We're going to put a program on your computer that will send the music over the wireless network to a device plugged into your home-theater.

AirPort Express To Home-Theater Streaming Diagram

Other than the equipment you already have, we're going to need one piece of hardware and one piece of software.

The hardware consists of an Apple Airport Express and one audio cable. Apple's Airport Express has a number of features. It can extend your current wireless network to cover more area, host a printer, host a USB hard drive, be used as a cat5 to wireless bridge or stream music over your wired or wireless network.

Setting up the Airport Express is easy, plug it in to a socket, hook up the cable for audio to your home theater and run the included software CD on your computer. During the initial setup you'll give the Airport Express a name (a good name is where the unit is located, in case you end up with a bunch of these), tell it to join your existing wireless network and give it the network password if you have one. That's all there is to it.

The Airport Express supports two audio output methods: via 3.5mm headphone jack or 3.5mm optical output. The simplest method is a male to male 3.5mm headphone jack cable if your receiver has 3.5mm jack input. My home theater does not, so I went with a 3.5mm headphone to dual stereo RCA connectors. When in doubt, go with the RCA cables, every home-theater supports them.

3.5mm Headphone Male to Male

3.5mm Headphone Male to Dual Stereo RCA Male

If you want true digital audio to your home-theater, go with the optical audio option. You'll need a funky cable that's specific to Apple audio output. Optical cables work exactly like other cables, but they use light pulses instead of electrical pulses to transmit signal. Just plug one end into the Airport Express's output and the other to your optical input on your home theater receiver.

Apple Mini Optical to Toslink

That covers the hardware setup. Now we need to get a program that will send audio to the Airport Express from our computer. We have a couple of options.

iTunes: Since the Airport express is an Apple product, iTunes has support for it built right into it. Just play music like you normally do in iTunes, then look in the bottom right corner of your iTunes window. There will be a little box (unhelpfully not labeled) that defaults to "Computer". Click in the box and select the name that you chose earlier for the Airport Express.

Speaker Output Selection in iTunes

The downside of iTunes is you can only stream music you have currently in your library. What if you wanted to stream music from Pandora, Last.fm or Sirius Satellite Radio's web interface? You'll need something different.

Rogue Amobea's AirFoil: This gem of a program is available for Mac or PC and enables you to stream the audio output of any program on your computer to an Airport Express unit or other computer with the AirFoil software running.

Rogue Amobea's Airfoil

It's another one of those programs that I consider a "must buy". Nothing else I've used has come close in terms of quality and reliability. To use: You select the name of the program who's audio you want from a drop down box. Then select click on the speaker icon next to the speakers you want the sound to come out, in this case that would be our Airport Express. Away you go.

Now you too can have great party tricks like taking a laptop out by the pool and change the song, play a different internet radio station or adjust the volume. All without going inside. Or use Apple's iTunes remote software, available in the App Store, to change the volume or song currently streaming from iTunes. All from your iPhone or iPod touch.

For the price of $125 you can have any music you can play on your laptop or desktop computer streamed to your home theater and I bet it wasn't as difficult to set up as you were expecting.