Zimbra Web Client Doesn't Download Compressed Javascript

This issue has an updated article.

I have a client using Zimbra that was having problems with the web client failing to start. It would get the the Zimbra logo screen, but not finish downloading everything.

The problem didn't occur everywhere. For instance, on the systems on the same LAN as the server, it worked fine. On some remote systems it worked fine. On the computers at his house, however, it wouldn't load. Only the "lite" HTML client would work.

We flushed the cache on the clients, but it didn't help. We checked for viruses and that didn't help. We called the cable company (ISP) and that helped a little, but still no joy.

We changed the MTU on the router: no help.

We upgraded to the latest 5.x version and still no joy.

The strange thing was, if we brought the system into the office, it worked.

I know Zimbra does some pretty elaborate caching and uses compressed javascript files, so I was pretty sure it had something to do with that...

Zimbra Failing to Re-index a Mailbox

I was getting a fatal error affecting a Zimbra server running 5.0.2. A user with a large mailbox (10gb, 38000 messages) was having problems, so the first thing I wanted to do was re-index their mailbox. This can fix a multitude of sins, but it can also take awhile and it is a very bad thing to cancel.

Anyway, I tried to re-index the mailbox and it would process for awhile and get to about message 2724, then all of a sudden it would start failing to index certain messages, then really crap out. Then it would actually take the Zimbra server down and I would have to restart it each time!

It seemed to be message specific in that mailbox (failed at the same point each time), so I rooted around in the /opt/zimbra/log folder and checked out the logs. I found the message number that it was stopping on, then found it in the message store for the user and renamed it. (The message number in the log is the prefix for the msg file that is stored in the user's store in /opt/zimbra/store/0/##/
where ## is the user's internal number.)

That allowed the reindexing to get past that message, but then it died just a little later.

After a lot of research and turning the problem upside down, I finally figured some things out...

Zimbra Upgrade Saga--Going from 4.0 to 6.0!

I needed to upgrade a client that had been lagging behind on Zimbra release upgrades. In fact, as of November 2009, they were still running 4.0!

Following advice from Zimbra, I decided to do the upgrade in jumps:
4.0.5 > 4.5.0
4.5.0 > 4.5.11
4.5.11 > 5.0.20
5.0.20 > 6.0.2

The problems started with the first upgrade...

Leadership Vision

To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn't know where he is going.
--Joe Namath

One of the key aspects of leadership is the ability to create, and share, a vision.

A vision is a picture of where your group is headed. What are you trying to create? Why does your group exist? Where are we going?

Hire Talented People

"You cannot surround yourself with the smartest and most talented people and then start looking over your shoulder or behind your back, worried that somebody smarter or better might be on your heels."
--Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG, as quoted by The New York Times

Whether you are a one-person show or a large IT organization, you'll find youself having to hire or contract additional labor.

One of the most important secrets to success is to hire people that are not only talented, but more talented and smarter than you are.

Leadership Tips

One of the worst things about your boss taking a trip is that he or she will likely come back with some great ideas for you to implement, usually from reading an airline magazine (the articles appear between ads for duty-free and skymall items, so they must be right).

To turn that on its head, after my recent trip to India, here is a plan I plan on implementing to become a much more beloved leader...


10 Common IT Job Application Mistakes

Here are some quick tips on how to avoid common mistakes people make when trying to get hired for an IT job...

Getting Your Android GPRS Data Connection Working with Airtel

You'll need your SIM card setup and the data capability enabled on the account. You also need to know your phone number.

You'll probably get an SMS message telling you that your phone the HTC DREA100 could not be configured automatically. That's OK.

Got to settings/wireless controls/mobile networks/access points. Click menu/add an access point.

Set the following:
Name: airtel mobile office
APN: airtelgprs.com
Proxy: <not set>
Port: <not set>
User Name: Your mobile number preceded by 91
Password: <not set>
Leave everything else as is.

That should do it. Save your settings and try to open the web browser and it should open right up. Once you have that, your email and calendar should also work.

UPDATE 11/2010:
I replaced my G1 with a Nexus One and was having trouble connecting. The rules above didn't apply. It turns out to be even simpler.

Be Worth Talking To

I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.
--Oscar Wilde

When you don't know what you're talking about, it's hard to know when you're finished.
--Tommy Smothers

When dealing people, I always try to leave things in such a way that they are glad they talked to me.

Sounds a little egotistical spelled out like that, but I'm serious...

Tech Support and You

This really happened to me...

[User] (a nurse, calling my office for help) You have to get over here right away and fix this computer.

[Me] What's wrong?

[User] (getting madder) I don't know. You're the expert. Get over here.

[Me] Can you tell me what you are having problems with?

[User] (angrier) The computer. It won't even turn on. I keep pressing the "on" button and some green lights come on, but it isn't working. Look, I'm a nurse and I'm really busy and I don't have time to fool around with this. Just get over here and fix it.

[Me] Could you take a few minutes to answer some questions? It might be a simple problem.

[User] No! Get over here. Now.

[Me] OK. I'll be there in 30 minutes. I have to get a spare computer and monitor and drive on site.

[User] Whatever. (phone click)

(25 minutes later...)

[Me] (out of breath from hauling computer and monitor up 3 flights because the elevator was taking too long) OK, can you show me the problem?

[User] Yeah. Look, the screen's black.

[Me] (pressing the "on" button on the monitor) Looks OK now.

[User] Oh... (mumbles something incoherent and probably unrepeatable)

If you are in IT, you may have worked on, and definitely will end up calling, a Tech Support help line. If not Tech Support, then at least customer service.

Here's my advice: always, absolutely always, be nice. In fact, be nicer than nice.

Sometimes you have to be firm, but always be nice. Some environments make it difficult for the service people to really help you, but it usually isn't the person you are talking to's fault. If you need something, be resolute, but always be nice...

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