So what’s this contract thing like?

The org that I’m contracting to is fairly large, very busy, and much more of a professional services sort of outfit than I’d realised.Like a lot of other places, they use MS-Windows (2k and XP Pro) as their desktop, and they have a heap of Novell NetWare servers for fileserving. I’m ok with that, I was in a similar environment back at UQ Library all those years ago.What I don’t like is that their mail system is GroupWise.As far as I can determine, GroupWise was written by people who do not understand the internet. Or SMTP. Or IMAP. Or that you should not top post. Or if you’re going to be sending/receiving emails all day that you should not be forced to use the mouse. The other thing they don’t understand is that their “cross platform client” written in Java isn’t. It’s chock full of linux/i386 JNI libraries so it’s not pure Java.And I cannot, for the life of me (yes, despite having read the manuals and help files available) figure out how on earth I can make our weekly team meeting appointment actually repeat!I’ve been playing with a new BrandZ zone (having futzed around to get it to run Centos3.8) so that I could try out the “cross platform” yet linux/i386-only GroupWise client. Unfortunately that hasn’t been successful so far and I can’t really spend any more time playing with it because I actually have to provide the value that I’m being paid for.So today I caved and rebooted into MS-Windows XP. I installed the NetWare client, found the GroupWise client and a few other now-essential apps on the network and installed them. I also made the mistake of installing Outlook. I say mistake because (apart from the security problems) it had conniptions at the thought that I might not want to use it for my addressbook or as an email/calendaring client.So I uninstalled it and Clippy too.I’ve got access to all the subtly-overlapping systems that they run, some via NetWare, some via Citrix MetaFrame (any pointers on how to get Tarantella to play nice with Citrix urls?)…. but I still need to get some training on the major system.And courtesy of a stressed-out project manager (aren’t they all?) I managed to find the shared drive which has all the document templates which the rest of my team had been unable to point me to last week and which had been leading to a general feeling of DOOOM! about the whole gig.So yes, it’s not quite as bad as I thought.But as far as I can see right now it’s still pretty disorganised.