E-mail upgrades leave system with glitches for short period

Jessica MacIntosh

During the weekend of April 7, Novell GroupWise received a facelift.

“We needed to upgrade to keep in compliance with our vendor, and we also needed to make some improvements to some backhand processes,” said Al Stadler, director of infrastructure and security.

Stadler said this was an internal issue.

“To get their support, we had to be at this level,” he said.

Stadler said information services made the changes during their normal maintenance window, which is 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. every Friday.

“[It] doesn’t mean everything will be down, but the potential’s there,” he said.

He said they worked on changing the e-mail on April 7, and it was working fine on April 8. On April 9, they began having problems. From there, they placed in the last patch on April 12.

“It’s been stable since,” Stadler said. “We’ve had no issues.”

In the process of upgrading the new e-mail, which took three days to complete, they had a memory leak.

“We actually patched it two different times,” Stadler said.

Stadler said a patch is a fix or an update. He said for example, Windows XP Service Pack II is a patch for the Windows operating system.

He said they had an operating system patch to apply, which helped with the memory leak, and then another GroupWise patch. Stadler said there were three patches total applied.

Stadler said they have upgrade Novell from version 6.5 to version 7.0.

He said there have been several changes in the new version compared to the old version. When on the sign-in page, there is an option to enable either high-speed or low-speed connection.

“[The] address book is better for faculty,” Stadler said.

He also said multiple windows can be opened, and one can copy and paste information from one window to another.

“I’ve had a lot of comment on that,” he said.

The speed and spell check have improved as well. He said there is also a language option in which the menu headers will be in the language selected.

“It’s (Novell) brought it back into a more traditional Web portal view,” Stadler said.

Stadler said the only Web browser the e-mail will not work in right now is Opera.

“We are working to correct that problem,” he said.

Stadler said he likes the new e-mail interface.

“For me, it’s definitely faster,” he said. “The Web access is kind of handy. It’s a clean interface. The other seems a little cluttered.”

Bob Walker, vice president for information services, said he likes the new Webmail client.

“I am hoping that others find it to be equally useful,” Walker said. “The new GUI (graphical user interface) should be a more familiar messaging environment for those accustomed to using Yahoo, Netscape or Hotmail accounts.”

Stadler said they are working out all the links for the Web site. When going to the site, it redirects it to the new e-mail. He also said they will put the regular link out in time.

“When in doubt, go to MSSU’s homepage, [click] on the little ‘at’ sign or go to information services,” he said.

If anyone has any comments or problems with the new e-mail interface, contact information services help desk at [email protected].