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Hit the Road

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Anne Fritz

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Posted: 1 Jun 1999
 

Whether you're a high-powered honcho on a business trip to clinch that bazillion-dollar deal, or a low-lying underling with a deadline and a framed picture of Pepto Bismol on your desk, if you work away from your corporate office, you need to stay in touch. (Although if you had your druthers, you'd get away from it all and have your paycheck sent to the Bahamas!)

This is where your Remote Mailbox comes into the picture; a solution among many from GroupWise that keeps you savvy and well-connected. (Watch for future articles about other GroupWise solutions.) A Remote Mailbox is a copy of the Mailbox you have in your corporate office, what we call the Master Mailbox. Having a Remote Mailbox means you can still send and receive messages, documents, phone mail, faxes, and other important stuff even when you're away from the bustle (or humdrum) of the office. This way, you won't miss a beat.

If you're the road warrior type whose job it is to pound the pavement and mingle with the jet set, you can set up a Remote Mailbox on your laptop computer. Or, if you telework, the Remote Mailbox can sit right there on the desktop computer that your progressive company gave you so you can slave away at home. (At least, you don't have to get dressed!) Either way, make sure that GroupWise is installed on your computer so you can use your Remote Mailbox.

Packing for the Road
You like getting there. But let's face it. Packing for a trip is a pain?whether the trip takes you across the globe to meet important clients or across town to your work space at home.

Since you have all the regular business grind to contend with, we thought you deserve your personal GroupWise butler to whiz through your electronic packing. After all, packing your e-stuff shouldn't be as hard as deciding how much to lug along before they send you by freight instead of plane. And if you forget anything, your e-stuff is only clicks away.

Introducing your personal GroupWise butler?Hit the Road. Sexy sounding and much better than Archibald, don't you think? So, what does Hit the Road do to earn its keep? Well first of all, Hit the Road sets up your Remote Mailbox. And if you want it to, Hit the Road also copies your e-mail, addresses, documents, files, and all that e-stuff to your Remote Mailbox; everything you need to accomplish your mission with chop-chop gusto.

To use your Remote Mailbox, GroupWise must be installed on your laptop or home computer. You will also need a password for your Master Mailbox. Make sure you have the password before leaving your office. Otherwise, you may have to call your system administrator (you know, the geek who lives in the basement and thrives on pizza and coffee) to set one up for you?and he or she may not be in a good mood.

To Create a Password for Your Mailbox, do this:
1. In the Main Window, click Tools, Options.
2. Double-click Security, then click the Password tab.
3. In the New Password box, type the password.
4. In the Confirm New Password box, type the password again, click OK, then click Close.

Now back to the business of creating your Remote Mailbox. Run GroupWise in your office, click Tools, then click Hit the Road to wake up your e-butler. To make sure you're the rightful Mailbox owner, you're asked for the Master Mailbox password. Now you can tell Hit the Road to create your Remote Mailbox on the docked laptop you are currently running GroupWise on, or you can tell Hit the Road to create a setup diskette for another computer, such as a home computer.

If you're setting up your Remote Mailbox on a docked laptop, you're also asked to select the items you want to take with you. We tend to bring our whole wardrobe along on a trip, but end up wearing only half the things we bring. So take it easy and select only the stuff you need, especially if disk space is limited. But if you're lucky and have a muscle machine with lots of disk space, then go ahead, get all the e-stuff you think you'll ever need (since it's faster to do it from the office than when you're on the road). Then, you're all set to go!

If you're setting up a home computer (that is, if you selected Another Machine when running Hit the Road), stick in the diskette that Hit the Road created for you, then run SETUP.EXE to copy your Remote Mailbox files to your home computer. Now you can send and retrieve your e-stuff and start slaving away!

For those who don't have the luxury of a personal laptop and have to share one with other users, we empathize with you! (Those muffin crumbs in the keyboard can get pretty gross.) Meanwhile, here's a solution to tide you through the lean times?multiple Remote Mailboxes residing on a single computer. When running Hit the Road to set up each user's Remote Mailbox, create a separate folder for each user. In addition, everyone should log in to Windows on the shared computer with a unique username. GroupWise will remember the path of each user's Remote Mailbox when he or she logs in to Windows.

Isn't it comforting to know that your business information is only a call and a few clicks away? Bon voyage!

Ways to Connect
There are as many ways to connect to your Master Mailbox as there are roads that lead to Rome?sort of. The three ways you can connect to your Master Mailbox are through modem, TCP/IP, and network connections. Connections are sort of like maps your Remote Mailbox uses to reach the Master Mailbox.

When Hit the Road sets up your Remote Mailbox, your intelligent e-butler also looks at how you're currently running GroupWise and uses that information to create the connections you can use to send and retrieve your e-stuff. (Imagine the twists Agatha Christie could have created if she had an e-butler!)

For example, if you run GroupWise with a drive mapping, then run Hit the Road, it creates a network connection for your Remote Mailbox. Or, if you're running GroupWise in client/server mode, Hit the Road creates a TCP/IP connection for your Remote Mailbox. In addition, Hit the Road also creates modem connections for all asynchronous gateways detected in your master GroupWise system. Read on to find out which connection works best for your situation.

Modem Connections
In most cases, you'll be using a modem connection to send and retrieve your e-stuff. For example, if you're in a hotel room, you can plug your computer's modem into a phone jack and you're ready to update your Remote Mailbox with just a phone call.

Here are a couple of tips from an old salty traveler: many hotels have digital phone jacks, so make sure your modem is plugged into a compatible phone jack. For example, if you're using an analog modem, check with your hotel for an analog phone line. Otherwise, you may end up with a fried modem for breakfast. If you're traveling within the United States, your company may have a toll-free number to avoid costly hotel phone charges. (Be sure to drop a hint to your boss about how you're once again boosting the company's bottom line.)

Since most hotels require a dialing prefix to call out, such as 9, you may have to fudge with the dialing properties of your modem. Windows lets you set up dial settings for each of your remote locations. For example, you can create two remote locations: one with the dialing prefix 9, and the other with the dialing prefix 8. When you're at one of these locations, just select the remote location when connecting to your Master Mailbox and all your dial settings are in place. To add a remote location with its unique dialing properties, click Tools, Options, then double-click Remote. Next, click Connections, click Connect From, then specify the settings and you're ready to sail.

In some places, someone (such as an operator) may intercept the call. Here's where manual dialing comes in. Click Remote, Send/Retrieve, then click Configure. Next, click Modem, click the Options tab, then select the Operator Assisted or Manual Dial checkbox. Now, when you click Connect, you'll be prompted to dial the phone number manually. After your tango with the operator (or whomever) and when you hear the modem answer on the other end of the line, you can click Connect.

TCP/IP Connections
The fact that you're peeking in these pages suggests that your company is probably rocking the Net and you're already running GroupWise using an IP (Internet Protocol) address and port.

If you use a toll-free Internet provider while you're away from your office, you can avoid phone charges by using a TCP/IP connection. And unlike a modem connection, you don't need to exit an Internet connection and hang up the phone to connect to your Master Mailbox. Just use the same Internet connection to send and retrieve your e-stuff.

Network Connections
Also called direct connection, a network connection has been the traditional way to connect to your Master Mailbox when you're at the office. A network connection is useful for retrieving lots of information before leaving your office, such as your system Address Book. That's because a network connection transfers information faster than a modem connection and saves long-distance phone charges.

While You're Away
You're wheeling and dealing in Singapore (or wherever) and it's time to send your boss an update on the latest intricacies. You're also expecting scoops from your assistant who will help you nail this deal. How do you update your Remote Mailbox while you're on the road?

Just run GroupWise the way you normally do (double-click the GroupWise icon on your desktop). The Mailbox that opens is your Remote Mailbox. The difference between your Master Mailbox and your Remote Mailbox is the Remote menu that is now eyeballing you. This menu is the hub of your retrieving and sending activities. Now, to send your boss that message and get any new messages waiting for you at your home site, prepare new messages the usual way (such as clicking Create New Mail on the toolbar). When you're done, click Remote, Send/Retrieve, then select the items you want to retrieve. Since you don't need the whole enchilada from your Master Mailbox, click Advanced and use the date, size, folder, and item type restrictions to get only the story you need. If you're retrieving documents, be sure to click Documents to select the ones you want. If needed, click Configure to change your connections. When you're ready to hook into your Master Mailbox, click Connect. GroupWise automatically delivers all the new messages you created and gets you the items you selected.

The transmission process may take some time, depending on the info load involved, the traffic on the communication lines, and the modem speed. If updating your Remote Mailbox is not urgent, you may want to wait for off-peak business hours to connect (not that you're cheap or anything, just shrewd and looking out for your company's bottom line). So sit back, relax, paint the town red, or catch up on your beauty sleep.

Cost-Saving Tips
You're smart. You know which side your bread is buttered on. Here are a couple of tips to save $$$ and time while updating your Remote Mailbox. And when it's time for reviews, you can toot your own horn a little about how cost-effective you are.

All you need is a little planning. For example, it's time for a short break from your intense business deals and you're ready to hit the beach for some cool iced tea. Don't leave your hotel room yet! If the time of day offers the best phone rates, why not get that link going between your Remote and Master Mailboxes, so your messages are sent and your e-stuff retrieved when you get back? GroupWise will send and retrieve your stuff and then terminate the connections. Getting work done while enjoying yourself is one of life's serendipitous pleasures?compliments of GroupWise.

Get Your Stuff Before You Leave
Updating your Remote Mailbox from your home or hotel room can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you're getting lots of stuff from your Master Mailbox and if long-distance phone charges are incurred. If you have to foot the bill, it's twice as painful. There are lots of things you can retrieve before you pound that pavement.

While you're at the office, use Hit the Road to copy your personal address books and parts of your system Address Book to your Remote Mailbox. A system Address Book is usually huge, because it contains all your organization's addressing information. Since you don't usually send messages to everyone in your company when you're on the road (office socialite though you may be), you may want to retrieve only the addresses you'll need. To do that, click Remote, Send/Retrieve, System Address Book, Filter, then list your retrieval criteria. For example, you can retrieve addresses from a specific department.

In addition to addresses, retrieve the documents, rules, and items you'll need to slice and dice your way through the project.

Limit the Stuff You Retrieve
When you're on the road, weigh the need to download the whole kit and caboodle from your Master Mailbox, especially when time and long-distance phone charges are at a premium.

When you click Remote, Send/Retrieve, you're presented with a menu of stuff you can retrieve, such as personal address books, items, and documents. In addition, you can further limit the items by clicking Advanced. For example, you can set size restrictions or request only those items that were received during a specified date range. If you decide to request only the subject lines, you get to scan those subjects and decide which messages are really germane to your work and important to retrieve. And when you're ready, just select the items you want, then click Remote, Retrieve Selected Items.

Do the Side Step with a Calling Card
You can side step those exorbitant hotel phone charges by using a calling card when sending and getting your e-stuff. All you need to do is set up the dialing properties for your remote location. Ready? Here we go. Click Remote, Send/Retrieve, Configure. Next, click the Connecting From drop-down list, then select the remote location. Click Connect From, click Dial Using Calling Card, then specify your calling card details. That's it!

Send Several Messages in One Fell Swoop
Every time you create a message, you can blast it off right away. But why do that if the message is not urgent and when phone charges are involved?  Not to mention the time it takes to connect?precious time that you have better use for.

You can kill several birds with a click, so to speak, when you wait till there are several messages before connecting. And while you're at it, retrieve new mail and whatever is needed as well. But hey, if you've gotta shoot off that message right away, well, you've gotta. We won't stand in your way!


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