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Web Design
Notes Client
Notes on a USB Memory Stick
I installed Notes on a USB memory stick the other day. There's some information in the Notes 7.0.2 release notes, and also some other web sites with information, so I'll give credit where credit is due. But I thought I'd share some things that I did that might be unique, or might not be.

First, I did some "pre-work". I have my one Notes installation at home and, when I'm at a customer site, I will use DWA to access my mail with a web browser. I've never been set up as a roaming user. The first thing I did was convert myself to be a roaming user. I followed the instructions in the Administrator Help database to the letter. It took a while, but it all ran in the background (a combination of replication by my Notes client and processing by AdminP). There was no indication that anything was progressing, which was strange. But it all worked and after a while I was a roaming user.

The next thing I did was some cleanup on my workspace and bookmarks. I knew those were going to be on the memory stick, so I wanted them to be as "lean and mean" as possible. So I deleted a bunch of old database icons (and even some workspace pages) and compacted my workspace, and did the same with my bookmarks.

The next thing I did was download the Notes Client Only install package. I heard multiple times that it won't work with the "big 3" package (the one I usually download that has the Client, Designer, and Admin). So I went to Passport Advantage and started that download.

I also did one more setup feature. Since I was never a roaming user, and I use DWA to access my mail file quite often, I never set up a local mail file. Because I was going to now have a local mail file (not a requirement for the USB, but a nice to have since you replicate things anyway being a roaming user), I decided to implement archiving in order to keep the size of the mail file down. Having control of the server (in my case) meant I could set up my archive on the server instead of somewhere locally. So I can still use DWA - through DWA I can get at the archive mail file on the server.

Once I set up archiving and created the program document to kick off the archive process, I was ready to go. I launched the C94QIEN.exe file, which expanded files into a temporary directory and then started the Notes Client install. I canceled the Client install when I could, which left the expanded files in the temporary directory. I opened up a DOS prompt, navigated to the temporary directory, and typed in the command (found in the Notes 7.0.2 release notes, or on Susan's site or Chris' site so I won't repeat it here). It took a while to install the files on the USB drive - one of those instances where it said "x minutes remaining" when it was actually "x times 2 minutes remaining" or whatever. But it wasn't too terrible - I didn't have to go out to dinner in order to wait for it or anything.

Once the install finished, I started up Notes. It went through all the setup and replicated my roaming information and all that. I then shut down Notes, copied over desktop6.ndk and cache.ndk to the data drive on the memory stick, and started Notes up again. My workspace was identical to what I had at home.

Next, I followed the advice of Declan Lynch and copied over the designer client and the admin client. (I do have a 2 GB USB drive, by the way, and all my files specific to Notes take up 447 MB). Then I verified that those work.

I also followed some advice I saw in the release notes but didn't see documented anywhere else. There's a file called autorun.ini in the root of the USB drive. I opened that file and changed the line that read AUTOLAUNCH_NOTES=Yes to instead be AUTOLAUNCH_NOTES=NLNOTES. With this change, the USB installation will launch the nlnotes.exe file instead of the notes.exe file. This means that if you go to a machine that already has Notes installed and running, you don't have to shut down Notes to use the USB instance - both will run simultaneously.

I also downloaded Firefox Portable from the Portable Apps web site. I wanted that to be my browser when I was on the USB drive. So I edited my location document, went to the Internet Browser tab and choose Other as the browser. Then you have to choose the path to the file from a dialog. I chose the path to Firefox Portable, but Notes put in the drive letter. Since the drive letter is going to be dynamic, I used my edit any field button to update the WebRetrieverPath field. I removed the drive letter, but left the first slash which indicates it can be found at the root of the current drive (which will be the USB drive letter).

Finally, I did some cleanup mentioned on Chris' site by deleting modem files and some templates and such. Even though I have the space on my USB drive, if I'm never going to use the files, there's no need having them take up space.

The only "problem" I had was not the fault of the USB drive at all. This was my first experience with being a roaming user. I also have some other ID files that I use every once in a while for signing design elements and responding to emails and such. They are design elements shared between myself and others at Breaking Par. I didn't convert these ID's to roaming because I use them so infrequently - I didn't want to have more copies of bookmark.nsf and names.nsf on the USB drive.

I have distinct location documents for the different ID's that automatically switch. (By the way, in the location document, I removed any reference to the drive letter in the path to the ID - I made it relative to the data directory since the USB drive letter is going to be dynamic). When I switched to that location to verify things, the Notes client switched me off roaming. When I switched back to my ID, it switched me back to roaming and forced me to create brand new replicas of bookmark.nsf and names.nsf, which tied up my machine while they replicated and then forced a restart of Notes. If anyone has some experience with roaming users and can help me with my situation, let me know - post a comment with some advice.

I hope this helps others looking to install Notes on a USB device!