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RE: O.T.: "VPN and Document 'Check Out'"

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I don't know much of anything about VPN, but I do know quite a lot about the rules and regulations that govern the practice of engineering in Texas.  I would caution you that your proposed employment scheme with a part-time, off-site engineering intern appears to be in violation of the TBPE rules requiring direct supervision.  I urge you to spend a minute in the archives and retrieve my post of 04/13/04, entitled "Direct Supervision in Texas". 
Whatever happened to your Alaska plans?
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas
Sidebar:  I am currently serving as an expert witness working in the defense of a structural engineer who is unjustly accused of negligence.  This individual is a reputable engineer who has been in private practice for more than 25 years.  A few days ago, I read his deposition and was astonished to discover his testimony that he does not own a computer, has never operated a computer, has never sent or received an email, nor browsed a website, nor run Word or Excel, nor any structural or CAD software.  While this is shocking, it is also strangely refreshing! 

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 11:22 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: O.T.: "VPN and Document 'Check Out'"

I’m about to start using a part-time engineer intern on a continuing basis. I would like to have him grab files from my server here at home to work on, then restore them again when he’s finished.


I can do this by regular FTP, or when I can spare a moment I’m going to try to set up VPN to my server (thanks to my using Linux, this is cost-free, taking only the time to set it up, unlike MS-Windows which would require purchase of expensive server software).


Anyway, since at this point I only have cable modem, which is only moderately fast when downloading from my network, it wouldn’t be prudent at this time to have him work remotely directly from files on the server; he’d need to download then upload when finished.

Is anyone aware of any sort of “check out-check in” system, similar to the CVS that is used in distributed software development, that might be available for this kind of thing? That is, where files would be “locked” while checked out from the server so that we don’t have the problem of accidentally forking two versions of the same file? At first this won’t be as much of a problem but if I’m going to have others working remotely (as is distinctly possible), I can see it becoming an issue as time goes on.


Any info would be appreciated.



Bill Polhemus, P.E.

Polhemus Engineering Company

Katy, Texas USA