Monday, January 13, 2014

Save Time - SAVE THE DATE!

clock-31I’ve been using my Gateway 7210 Server since it first arrived in the early spring of 2000 and it’s been a workhorse for the past 14 years. It’s major tasks have evolved over the years, once it was my primary render machine for Lightwave3D, then my primary workstation when my Pentium Pro couldn’t handle the graphic design software, and then became a test bed for many different incarnations of Fedora and Ubuntu. Recently I’ve purchased a copy of Windows Server 2000 and I’m in the process of maxing out this server to see how long I can keep it going and usable for my business needs.

In other words, I’m getting it to it’s most optimal condition that it would have been in a decade ago if I had the funds!

For a reasons I discovered after finding this forum thread via a Google Search, I couldn’t get my other computers to see the Gateway 7210. I spent a couple of ours working the problem on my and was stumped – I tried everything from changing the username and passwords, trying different variations of the path labels, and even triple checking all the connections.

The actual solution was synchronizing the time and date on all the machines. When I set the time and date on the Gateway 7210 after installing the new operating system, I told the machine it was January 11, 2013 – not January 11, 2014! Because both machines were a year apart they couldn’t see each other and connect. It never occurred to me that could have been a problem until I came upon this specific thread In the Microsoft TechNet forum; “windows 7 refuses to login to windows 2000 server…” The thread starter, “The Madz” found the solution on his own after some trial and error combined with back-and-forth conversation with other members.

It was a simple solution to a problem many of us had, a problem that many of us spent hours trying to solve; and all we needed was some kind of error message to let us know what the problem was.

But didn’t we already get the error message? When I first installed the operating system and it rebooted there was an actual loud beep and the warning that the clock wasn’t set. The message continued to say that some features won’t work unless the time and date was correct. I just assumed that since the machine was connected to the next work and the internet it would just correct itself on it’s own. I assumed wrong. Hours that could have been spent doing something else was wasted in my insanity of trying to do the same thing repeatedly expecting different results.

If there’s a lesson to be learned for everyone, especially fellow graphic designers – is to not miss the details. Missing a minor detail can cause you to lose vital hours, especially as a deadline approaches. Don’t just assume a product or program is going to do the right thing – because it isn’t. There are some things that you’re just going to have to do on your own.

Another lesson that can be learned is using the internet to research a problem; simply type the description of the problem in Google’s search bar. One might also want to try different variations in phrasing the problem. Other people may have encountered the same problem as you and they might have already found the solution. If not, you might be part of finding it.

Never be too afraid to look for help, don’t be too prideful to ask for it.

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