Things I've learned the hard way


bulletThe Palm V cradle's optional serial to USB converter still needs power to be supplied from the external transformer - it doesn't take power from the USB bus, so will hotsync but not charge the battery. This is well documented, but counter-intuitive if you think you know what you're doing... <abashed grin>


bulletThe auto-recovery feature of Supermicro's BIOS flash utility does not need to have an odd combination of keys pressed while booting to launch itself, as documented… It will run automatically from the boot floppy after the flash completes, given the opportunity, so remove the disk as soon as the system resets or it will undo the upgrade!


bulletManually editing the Windows 2000 DNS hierarchy is a very bad idea - and once you've severed the links between the DNS and the AD, there appears to be no way to rebuild them without removing and reinstalling AD on the server... Microsoft's DCDIAG and NETDIAG utilities will fix some problems, but by no means all...


bulletIf you start messing with pools and schedules in Legato Networker, you are very likely to bollix it beyond recognition. I currently have a pair of servers that are backed up perfectly for full backups, but fail in a variety of interesting ways on the nightly incremental runs - sometimes they fail completely, sometimes they are backed up to the wrong tape pool, and occasionally they backup repeatedly until aborted!... I don't like it one little bit...


bulletThe PsiWin app needs it's com port parameters set explicitly in the Device Manager when running under Windows 2000 - 7 Data, Odd Parity, 1 Stop Bit, Hardware Flow Control.


bulletWhen using two UDMA/66 IDE drives, the master controller should always be at the connector on the end of the cable. A single drive may work on the middle connector, or may not...


bulletFrontPage 2000 occasionally loses the navigation buttons defined in a theme, and publishes the web with plain underlined text links. There are two ways to fix this: firstly, flounder around madly deleting and re-creating all the navigation bars and shared borders... eventually it will work. Secondly, close and re-open FrontPage, select the properties of the navigation bar on the root page and toggle the link style from buttons to text, save, and then back again.


bulletModern networking hardware is so sophisticated that the side-effects that occur when it is misbehaving can look like anything but network issues.