Cool Solutions

Happy Anniversary, ZENworks!



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May 30, 2008 11:19 am

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Wow, time flies! ZENworks celebrated its 10th Anniversary this week, and it got us all nostalgic. Share your fondest and oldest ZENworks memories.

From PR Blog:
“Ten years ago this week, Novell launched a new product designed to help organizations manage their IT environments and save countless hours and effort — it was known as Z.E.N.works, because it gave IT admins a Zero Effort Networking solution. Today, with more than 40 million ZENworks users worldwide, ZENworks is all grown up and an integral component of Novell’s IT management strategy, with comprehensive offerings from the desktop to the data center.”

Here at Cool Solutions, we have very clear memories of the inception of ZENworks, because it was our second Cool Solutions site (after GroupWise). Matt Brooks and his team were passionate and committed to making software distribution painless, and they would personally respond to questions about it on the site.

It was a heady time. The only downside was its original spelling — YOU try typing periods after Z.E.N. over and over. We were all deeply grateful when they nixed the periods.

We also remember the hilarious observations of some ZENworks users who discovered an unanticipated weight-gain after 2-3 years of product usage. As one of them famously wrote, “Now that we don’t have to walk around with CDs to install products, my whole team has gained an average of 15 pounds. We just sit on our chairs and type (and eat) all day now.”

We did notice that requests for XL and XXL shirts began to increase since the product got entrenched. But that could be just be coincidence…

Anyway … we’d love to know your oldest memories of ZEN. Do you remember when you discovered it? Do you remember life without it? What kinds of things did you find most useful in the early product?

Post your memories below via Comments. We’d love to reminisce with you.

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3 Comments

  1. By:skapanen

    10 years!!!

    We started with the StarterPack in ’98, NAL window was opened for everyone, and still is! Nice way to centrally control a lot things.

    We went a long time with the StartPack, then upgraded to ZfD3.2 -> ZfD4.01 -> ZDM7 where we are going to stay for a while.

    SnapShot, the rescue of many things ;D (and creator of some problems later on…)

    Imaging & PXE was really nice feature when it came, but it has always had problems with the new hardware support ;/
    ofcoz for admins, zen inventory info and remote control features have been a must too.

    For some reason, we have had big problems delivering _Novell_ software via Zenworks.. like updating ZfdAgent.. or Groupwise client, argh. One would think that other Novell products would be easy, with ready .aot files and such.

    The worst product decision has been the missing support for Vista in ZDM7.

    And now there is the all new ZCM…
    Well, we are on hold, have to wait and see.

    Hope to see many more years ;D

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  2. By:awills

    As an instructor, I remember when Novell first incorporated ZENworks into their courseware. It was ZEN Starter pack. Oh the fun we had with login scripts calling up nalexpld.exe (which was coined none other than nalexploder). It was so easy to lock up a 98 workstation back then.

    Then there was Inventory Services in ZEN 3 that would attempt to load, and then error out. The digging through .ncf files and correcting Set path statements was a fond memory.

    Today, installing and configuring ZENworks is a breeze. Maybe I have been doing it for so long, but my students are amazed at how easy it is to install and get to a productive state very quickly. The best feature is pushing the Desktop Management Agents to workgroup computers.

    ZENworks cool solutions site has been just fantastic. Whether you need drivers for imaging or you need to do Folder Redirection in a workgroup environment, Coolsolutions has been there for us! Thanks for all the hard work.

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  3. By:dlcarraw

    We were users back in the 1.0 days under Windows 3.1. But my fondest memory is building Netscape Communicator 4.0 under Zen 2.0 and populating a signature file for new users using info in NDS, accessed through macros in the app object…using the ability to write lines to a text file plus modify an INI file. It was AMAZING! The power of the directory! It was the height of our civilization. Yep, I still remember when ZEN stood for “Zero Effort Networking”. How things change…

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