Friday, January 30, 2009

LS09 SpeedGeeking Presentation

Sorry this took all week, it was on my Ideapad which has been sitting quietly waiting for me to play with it again. Next week when I go towards Tampa to see clients it will get used again.

So what is/was Speedgeeking you ask?

SpeedGeeking!
Tuesday, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
WALT DISNEY WORLD DOLPHIN Pacific Hall B

Expanded for 2009 with two tracks! One track for app dev and one for admin! It all started here at Lotusphere, and it's a condensed, immersion-style and rowdy approach to hearing from some of the best and brightest and a wildly popular approach to learning about the tips, techniques (and sometimes crazy) ideas that they have been working on. Participants will migrate as a group around the room from one 5-minute demo station to the next, while stop watches, buzzers and a loud-mouthed emcee keeps things fast-paced and on track!



My session, repeated about 15 times in an hour and a half was about errors and troubleshooting strange jvm and domino or customer problems. Regular readers knwo I get all the fun ones and although I did not elaborate on the slides, if you were there you know what I mean.

Remember, NEVER use nlnotes.exe on your server unless you absolutely, positively MUST because whatever you do with it overwrites anything else you do in your NAB.

Sametime does not have a DNS but it DOES check every server reference in ANY directory it is supposed to see to validate the server and a IP address/DNS lookup match.

The slide with the FUC IT has links to where to find ALL of the switches for those tools, make sure to grab it.

There is no substitute for customers to keep one amused, really.

Enjoy! Any questions post them or email me and I will elaborate further.

If you want my speedgeeking presentation, you can get it here for .odp (Use Symphony like I did!) or here for .pdf.

Also remember the places to look for other help and information are here

Thursday, January 29, 2009

IBM Support has changed, have you?

Keep in mind my original posting about how to work with Support.

I, like many of you, received an email(well at least 4 of them) saying that I will no longer have to endure waiting on hold when calling support.

They will now put remote technical software support for Lotus products (with the exception of Lotus Foundations and LotusLive) provided exclusively in call back mode and we get to wait for someone to reply to our request. Starting Monday February 16, 2009.

Huh?

Rarely do I ever wait on the phone when I call in with an issue and usually they let me know if it is in call back mode already and I am ok with it, unless it's a major server failure issue, category 1 and even then the wait is short. I must be one of the lucky ones I guess since I rarely sit on hold.

You will still be able to open support requests electronically as well via the Web-based Electronic Support Request (ESR/SR) tool.


By the way in at least one email the URL was incorrect for the ESR tool, it should be this http://www-01.ibm.com/software/support/probsub.html, the link above is corrected.

Great news and when I have been in a situation with Internet access and a browser not locked down it has worked well, BUT the next line says:

our new Web-based tool that will be extended to handle ALL software related electronic service requests over the next two years.


Hopefully all of the products we support are on there already.

Further along...
Our customers tell us that increased access to information and the ability to be self-sufficient in finding the solutions they need, when they need them provides the optimum capability to manage their IT infrastructure.


Yes, and we do appreciate everything IBM/Lotus can offer in this area, but if I am calling them it really is because I have already done the following (covered in my speedgeeking session, slides coming):

1) Wracked my brain of 15+ years of personal Lotus support knowledge and that of my coworkers
2) Searched with the IBM Support Toolbar(get it NOW! for Firefox or IE)
3) IBM Support Assistant
4) IBM Support Forums (and BP Forum), you can go direct to the forums from the IBM Support Toolbar
5) Lotus Self-Assist Support Site
6) Fellow Bloggers posts, usually searched from Planetlotus.org
7) Twitter / Facebook posts/questions
8) Bleedyellow.com pinging on Sametime other admin buddies
9) Pinging on Sametime IBM internal people I know if it's their area of specialty
10) Emailing other people I can't find online or on IM or any of the above
11) Posting to Linkedin Forums, like Lotus Software Professionals
12) Posting to l-Notes newslist or other similar ones
13) Google as a last resort, thus lucky #13

Edited 3/29/2009: 14) Brian's notes.ini add-on for Firefox and IE7
So there are at least 13 ways I can track down a problem, more if I use all the IBM self assist routes(the support toolbar covers 90% of them), before I call into Support.

So who has spent the time wisely or more efficiently? Now I must wait longer to get a reply? Hopefully not and this is just a formality to hand over a call to someone who will return my call within a few minutes.

Just remember when you call or get your call back, the people on the other end are just like you and me and have their own internal issues and deadlines and quotas and please try to work with them not against them. It makes everyone's life easier.

Fud Buster Friday #25 - Analysts have a $%*$(#^ Clue

EDIT NOTE: wrong day, but can't pull it now. Guess I have a quieter Friday to look forward to.

Mr. CEO, you pay Gartner a huge amount of money annually to "tell you what is going on". Should we as your employees infer you are a moron?
Or should we infer you don't have time to dedicate to staying aware of your environment because of all the golf outings?
Or maybe if you listened to your own internal staff(sales, marketing, IT or even janitorial) you would have way more insight than these jokers.

Mr. CFO you pay an accounting firm to audit your books, but you don't really believe they do, yet you continue to keep paying the money to them year after year and pray you never get called on anything by the IRS or some lawsuit. Very nice, have fun with your buddies from Enron.

Mr. CIO you rely on so many different vendors and their ideas plus the notorious analysts with their mythical percentages and poorly futuristic views into the future to help guide your ouija board of a business plan. Don't you think it's time to step back and realize it's all fluff?

Loyal employees, well there are none anymore especially after this past 2 weeks, if they even existed since 2000, must truly question what goes on in the minds of executives or more so in the Analysts minds. I do too, but I know too many and few have shown any aspects of intelligence beyond CYA. IBM puts way too much into quoting these fools too.

For years we have read how Microsoft was so great. Then Vista comes and although they hailed it, they now pan it.
See this article from the BBC(usually love Microsoft), Nov 30, 2006
He points to forecasts by technology consulting firms like IDC, who predict that within one year 100m computers will be running Vista.

David Smith at Gartner agrees: "In 18 months you will see the majority of [business] computers running on Vista."


The same article says Let's not forget that Vista is late. Very late.

Instead of three years, it has taken Microsoft five years and 10,000 workers to get Windows Vista ready for the big time.


Now compare with this article from tech Crunch from april 11, 2008.

Gartner analysts Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald told a conference audience yesterday that Microsoft’s Windows product is collapsing and must make radical changes to its operating system or risk becoming a has-been.


Inside Gartner I bet they say "Dang, we got it wrong, but they still pay our fees, ROTFLMAO!"

Yes there are journalists with integrity, no question, but the analysts, it's hard to say what their agendas are and there in lies the problem.

So the next time you or your CXO ask for analysts opinions, just laugh and then type something up and say its from FBF Analysts team because everyone loves acronyms.

Look for FBF Analyst postings wherever FUD can be analyzed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lotus Foundations vs.The World

In speaking with a few people(shielding them) and reading some blogs lately(again protect the innocent) I see more interest in Lotus Foundations. Excellent news, especially for my portable server but what is the interest?

Some see it as an SMB toehold against Microsoft.
Others see it as a chance for Linux(in the Nitix form) to reach new areas of business.
Still more see it as another way to layer services or software on a solution.
I originally saw it as a DRP/BC (Disaster Recovery Plan/Business Continuity) appliance and still do given I am in a Hurricane zone.
We also see it as a home server setup for professionals(non-IT).
IBM probably thinks of it for some branch site, a la the way Nitix positioned itself previously. Except that was for Exchange because you NEVER want to go over a WAN to an Exchange server, so it was the right idea.

However, Lotus Domino has always been excellent over the WAN and thus it does not find itself in the same MUST need class.

While I certainly can see the possibility, the problem for me, and possibly for you, is putting Foundations in a Branch office will not help connect it to your existing Domino infrastructure today. Future changes in software may allow it, unknown.
Thus you would need to have an entire infrastructure of Foundations Servers and I am not sure that will work for everyone.

The world works in funny ways and my clients, yours or IBM's all see it differently. This is one reason why Business Partners exist, we go to market where IBM can't, and why we need IBM, to help seed the market and promote the opportunity and product lines. Maybe in South Florida or Brazil or New Zealand or Manchester some one does need Foundations and it works for them and that's what it's all about. It's not about selling IBM hardware, it's about software, services and connecting with new/young business, in my mind.

I also see Foundations as a consumer play, IBM doesn't or maybe is still not ready to jump back on that band wagon so quickly. Why doesn't IBM offer it through Office Depot or Walmart for instance? Aren't the people you want to find just setting up their offices? Interesting enough this is one possible plan of distribution for the Mycubus line of designer computers.

I understand in Africa there is a store which caters to entrepreneurs and startups and Foundations sells well there. I think my solar server would sell better possibly, but I digress. It's an interesting idea. As I myself expand offices I am finding so little out there to help people looking to setup/kit out an office from furniture to electric to computers to telecom.

So can Foundations take on the world, like Symphony has? Only if IBM backs it the same way and I wonder if it will happen.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lotus Approach or Approaching Lotus

When nothing else works, Lotus Organizer to the rescue or in this case Lotus Approach

As I twittered today, I was engaged by a client to discuss this Lotus NotesSuiteprogram, in their words.

Eventually I got to see the application and yes indeed, it is in Lotus Approach. A program which I have loved in the WAY distant past. On the bright side it is very customizable and still workable and the client is happy if I start bringing in reports and views from a different program, in this case Notes. While I would like to see them on Lotus Forms(they have many, many forms) the road to greatness will be a parallel course over the year.

We discussed that no matter what the front end may look like, the data is still good to go and can be ported easily. The forms, views and reporting, not so easy.

I imagine many similar businesses out there run on approach still, hopefully if you are one of them you will help me expand your program too as this client.

One problem was they do not have the design locked down or passworded so ANYONE could mess it up at any time. Scary! Suggested they correct that in the mean time.

This client came to me from Linkedin, and not even someone I know. So for those still on the outside of social networking and media, just remember your future clients are out there, but they can't find you if you don't make the effort to be known.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Time Travel, Lotus Domino Style, Please Help

An urgent call from my partner in crime, Heather Hottenstein, whom many of you met at Lotusphere, for a problem which I am afraid to say we may not have an easy way out.

It seems a customer has inadvertently, inexplicably forwarded their server dates at the OS level by a few months. Those of you in the business know what's coming next.

Nothing works anymore, replications are off, clustering is off mail only shows up in the All Documents View, well you get the idea.

I have worked with this over the years and usually it is only a few databases.
The problem is someone did it late at night and yes, a bunch of server tasks ran and well, it's a mess.

IBM support replied with what I was afraid of, we need to recreate all the databases.

Now I know in the past we had created an agent to touch each file programmatically and then reset the replication history.

The problem is I can't find any references of mine for this, anyone have an agent or a pointer for Heather to follow in this endeavor, or are we SOL?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lotusphere Thoughts and PostSphere Ideas

"Beyond your wildest dreams" that's a line I heard from so many people, BPs, custmers, even IBMers.
"Best Lotusphere ever!!!!"
And that came from almost all the bloggers and even the Turtle, whom I finally met in person and thanks for his Gonzo Lotusphere page from oh, 99 or so. And his lovely wife, Nora.

I must say, although I was occupied with my server and other plans which I can not blog about here, yet, it really was a great week.

And it is a week for some who come in on Friday or Saturday. From the Friday dinner to BALD, Penumbra, Special Bloggers, Press passes, Exhibitors sharing ideas it was just a great show.

And while I know many thought the economy would hurt the show, and I am sure some exhibitors may think it, the truth is there was a 2% increase in registrations and lunch was always overflowing, as were many sessions.

Nice to have BDDay in the Swan and the logistics of getting everyone to/from lunch was great too.

I received 3 passes for exams(I think we were supposed to get 2) this year and I actually made it to the lab to take one.
The new Quickr for Domino cert exam. As usual, I failed, once again proving that theory rarely equals the reality of knowledge or how to accomplish the task in front of you.
My 12 years or so on Lotus Quickplace and Lotus Quickr obviously does not equate to exam questions. Such is life. I knew there was a reason i don't have any certs even after 15+ years on Lotus Notes and Domino.
For those that pass these exams, I hold nothing but respect for you all, especially some of my fellow bloggers who have all of these.
For customers who ONLY ask for them, well, call us after so we can help you.

Speaking of customers I saw many, spoke to some new ones, finished discussions with potential clients and even got to take some pictures of my server cube around Lotusphere. Pictures will get posted some day.

It looks to be a great year, economy be damned, and I look forward to perhaps having a pedestal next year to sell my servers from given how many people wished I had brought more to the show.

I can't do it all justice and will stop here. Next year I promise to not keep Bill up all night and to show up to Gurupalooza and the bloggers photo shoot.

Friday, January 23, 2009

An Interview with David Kajmo, Quickr PM

David Kajmo, Product manager for Lotus Quickr, was kind enough through the efforts of Erica Topolski to spend a 1/2 hour with me and discuss Lotus Quickr and some past/forward topics came to life.

After reminiscing about when I was on the inside and he was working on the K-Station or Discovery Server or one of the other turn of the century add-on products we got down to some business.

We discussed how amazing it must have felt inside when Quickr started getting traction. After all Quickplace had been in a maintenance mode for so long most people hadn't thought of it for years. I had beta'd it and supported many installations, but probably had gone about 6 years in between an installation or even a discussion on it.
Amazing what a difference the last 2 years have been on it.

It may have been the first steps in bringing Lotus back to where it used to be.

We then discussed topics around 8.2 and one which connected well with me, and my so to be converted Domino.doc clients to Quickr is wait for 8.2(due in Q2) as it will run on 8.5, which is REALLY important if you want/must use DAOS. What a difference that is going to make for your attachments, server size, sites capacity and backups.

We also discussed my recent topic of the J2EE vs Domino versions and where they are going. I will leave it as an open answer, the path of Quickr for Domino seems well defined. J2EE side is under discussion as more and more pieces of Quickr and Connections merge or at least integrate both among themselves and the Lotus Notes 8.5 client. Stay tuned on this one for more in the future.

The 2 versions of Lotus Quickr will unlikely ever be equal on all levels and IBM recognizes this may have caused some confusion at points but they do intend to provide a clear path and with the options for upgrading from Doc to Quickr with Filenet and the ECM options it raises Quickr's document capability.

Quickr will be receiving some additional document management functionality, possibly enough in 8.2 for me and others to begin our Doc migrations. I have lined up, any one else need help, inquire within.

Thanks Dave, see you next year.

Fud Buster Friday #24 - Lotus GM's don't get it

Kimonos anyone?

NOTE: Edited per Ed Brill's comments.

Actually this one is true prior to April 2008, for quite some time we have, um, hung on, with a few GM's(General Manager's) IBM threw at us.
It's been a while since we had one that really even got mentioned by anyone for doing, well, anything, not just for the Lotus brand but the greater Lotus world or seeming to care about it all, in a way beyond IBM's coffers. For that matter, who ever talked to some of them aside from when they were on their ceremonial Lotusphere tour, if you even knew what they looked like.
This does not diminish the work the previous 3 gentleman have done, some of which led us to where the Lotus brand is today so thanks does go to them for their subtle but helpful steps.

But combined, I don't think they would equal what anyone who was at LOLA (I wasn't) or Lotusphere(I was) or the press/analyst dinner(I was) or anywhere Bob Picciano may have gone or visited, felt after talking with him or seeing him in Kimonos not just one time or one night but TWICE!! And this attitude now permeates across the company it seems, every session I attended, including the Beat the Developers one was interposed with rants, kicks or slingings at competitors products or lack of them.

What more could I or you ask for?

When was the last time in your organization you not only saw your boss, the GM(or in your own companies case, your CEO), and most, if not all, of the executive team in a bar together and then his doing Karaoke?

"I'm a Lotus Man" will ring throughout the year to those of us privileged to be there at the time, and someone, I am sure, is holding the video for ransom.

Everyone not only wanted to sing it with him, I'd imagine most wanted to be on stage with him to do it too. Shame it didn't make it to the closing session, although he did reference it.

And that, my dear readers is leadership which is rare to find these days, especially from an organization the size of IBM. On top of it all, Bob really wants to help you and I and all of the Lotus Software Group change the world view of the Lotus brand and if it happens to hurt Microsoft or other competitors along the way, he wouldn't want it any other way.

In fact if it doesn't happen, maybe we can get Bob to stay for another few years because Rome wasn't built in a day, although it only takes 1 day to start migrating users off Exchange.

So if you keep hearing the Lotus brand is dead or they don't get it, call IBM, ask for Lotus, then ask for Bob, he probably would answer the phone if available. It's that important, to him, and the greater company. And even if he wouldn't, I imagine the gatekeepers will form a moat, he will certainly want to know about it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

NerdGirl: Women in Lotus, Part 2

Apologies, I did not get to the BoF. Part 2 was never meant to be about it, just I wanted to break up what was becoming a long post.

In response to the perceived male way of life, some of the panelists expressed how they viewed their way to work through the male work process, sad but true, they were right in many of their opinions on how to do it.
Mary Beth Raven put it best when she said "act like a guy, just do it, don't ask for consensus".

Gabriella discussed the idea that men enjoy arguing, but women shy away from it. Not sure I would agree entirely, but if, as some panelists said, they "feel", rightly or wrongly, that they aren't always sure of their own knowledge and in those cases would defer, in their earlier careers but now know better. It's better to express any opinion, right or wrong, then not to at all as it can be viewed in a subservient way and repeated outcomes like this can lead to further detriment in the workplace.

Jess Stratton discussed her road racing and how until she won an event was ignored for the most part. Presumably because she hadn't proven she knew enough or was good enough to the male society of racing.

In parallel, I experienced much of the same when first going to work for Lotus in EMEA as an American. And until I could validate I knew technology, wouldn't be accepted in various countries.

Lastly, my interest was in trying to understand what we can do to go forward to encourage new women to IT/Lotus technologies.

In addition what should IBM/Business Partners do to encourage more women or hire more women? What is anyone doing on this topic?

We are looking into working with some local social service groups by retraining the women and then providing them positions and helping them grow in their respective areas.

If you want to be part of the solution, step up and help us figure it out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NerdGirl: Women in Lotus World, part 1

Yesterday I attended an open session Geek102. A concept from Kristin Keene about women in Lotus. Or as its subtitle said,
NerdGirl:Making Geek Chic.

EDIT: forgot to say Libby Ingrassia, Notesgirl was the Moderator.

The panel session included some well known bloggers and IBMers.
Gabriella Davis from The Turtle Partnership
Irene Greif of IBM
Maureen Leland of IBM
Kathleen McGivney, the Domino Chick of Sakura Consulting
Mary Beth Raven of IBM
Jessica Stratton of Solace Consulting and the Momelettes site

So what was I doing there?

I, along with Jess Stratton, had submitted a BoF to the powers that be for Lotusphere 2009 on helping women get into Lotus and what can we do to help and what should I, as an employer and well, a guy, know or think about in pursuing this line of thinking. How can we interest women to pick up the Lotus world?

As we learned, women make up a minute amount of attendees at Lotusphere, yet it is still more than you will find at almost any other similar event.

The panelists each discussed their progression to where there are today, along with the detours imposed and obstacles (teachers/organizations/managers) which can occur along the way. Also the luck of being in the right place at the right time to get exposed to Lotus Notes and Domino or take on something new that hadn't existed before. Some opined that they always liked the idea of developing and when finally given the chance, and the right tool, Notes, they never looked back. It also helped that their parents let them know they could do anything in this world, if they wanted to do so. Something not every parent imparts to their children unfortunately even today.

Interestingly a few panelists also shared similar backgrounds in English, Writing, Rhetoric and Reporting. Communication and sharing or consensus of agreement were mentioned quite a bit as well.

SO...What did I learn?
All men read /. (slashdot.org for those who don't read it...like me),lie about their technical prowess, try to one up each other with technical geek details or obscure Star trek references. Additionally, men seem to have the latest and greatest code/device the day available.

Stereotypes for sure, yet how the panelist choose to work with these items was more telling. Tune in to Part 2 to read more when I have free time soon.

LDAP Stands for...

A piece from my speedgeeking which I forgot to post.

LDAP = Last Domino Administrator's Problem

And who's is it today? YOURS

And who's might it be tomorrow? MINE

Lotusphere...Sleep is for ....

Can't really say but suffice it to say in the 3 days I have been here the world has indeed shaken, changed and gone freezing.
This morning was 32, 24 with the wind chill, Universal will be VERY cold tonight.

Yesterday 2 highlights for me. One the session of the women of Lotus, more on that later. Second the Speedgeeking. My first time doing it and if you listened to me, thank you and if you didn't, well the slides will be posted next week.
Did the same presentation about 12-15 times and under the 5 minutes so I hit what I set out to accomplish. Topics included LDAP, BES, nlnotes.exe and other tidbits of useful information.

So many meetings though is inhibiting my time on the show floor and in sessions. On the bright side, our portable server is getting great interest in and outside of IBM and if you have any interest in OEM or rebranding it for your needs, please contact me ASAP.

Thanks to Paul Mooney for adding my video to his Adminblast Video, the Admin is your master!

Monday, January 19, 2009

LS09 Come see the DOMCUBUS at...

After some meetings with the Foundations teams, can't say anything about that other than it was an interesting Round Table, and I got to meet Jimmy Bracco, even if briefly, maybe more time tomorrow. he has a BoF which should be interesting.

Yes Lotusphere really is about connecting to everyone. Last night at kimono's I got to meet so many Bloggers/Twitters it was great. And for reference you can get food at kimonos till midnight. Thanks to Uffe for my late snack and drinks.

So everyone that wants to see the DOMCUBUS or buy one or discuss OEM deals, today I had 2 different vendors ask if I can rebrand it for their solution, one hardware, one software, so please do ask me any questions.

Anyway, come visit the machine and it's yellow keyboard and mouse, available separately if you want a set.

Pedestal 324, my friend Michelangelo Gambacorta was kind enough to share some ped space for the day for me. Please be kind enough to look into his RSA and Fax solutions, it should be of interest to some of you. Pick up a brochure or a card or a flyer and then find me, you know you want one. And don't forget about the Lotusphere special!

And on Wednesday you can see it in the Foundations lab, from 9-1, Scott Hooks of Lotus911 is letting me hangout with it there. Perhaps other places too. Inquire within.

R.I.P. Domino.Doc, LS09 Day 1

Jelan Heidelberg announced today something we have known in the market place for almost a year or more. Document manager is being phased out in favor of FileNet and Enterprise Content Manager at the high end and Lotus Quickr at the low end.

May 2009 will be the end, support will continue until Sep 2012.

Some highlights are an expected Office 2007 point release fix, sometime in mid to late H2 2009. However, no expectation should exist around R8 support.

A trade in or trade up option for those on Doc currently will be offered.
Free to Lotus Quickr full version and to the restricted Filenet/ECM. Restricted means you will not be able to use the API's unless it is to meet a Dom.Doc customization. And you can not use the add-on products from Filenet/ECM.

Quickr will get some additional help in it's document management support but don't expect Dom.Doc level.

There are some caveats which are based on processor licenses but in the end IBM will do what needs to get done to help you move forward.

Expect some updates, finally, to the Doc website, wiki, etc.. over the next few months. assessment programs.

So the bottom line is, what are you doing with Doc? what will you want to do, what can you do? The lotus Quickr connectors make life much easier for everyone especially if you want to share the data.

In discussions with some IBM people around this topic I asked if Quickr can scale to 60GB files and the answer I received was internally at IBM the Lotus Quickr server is hosting 300GB+ of sites.

While some of my clients will be happy to know the end game, they have choices to make and they want to move fast to a new platform. that's my job for them and we hope to get them there with IBM's help as well when required and available.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Project Liberate - Hits the Microsoft Wallet, LS09 BDDAy

My interest, and it should be yours, your CIO and CEO and especially your CFO, is not just save money or convert clients to Lotus.
It's to provide a logic to understand, the Microsoft Tax, as some have called it.

Microsoft is hurting, the companies that said they would go to Exchange, never did and they are still trying to get them to do the migration. But in this economic environment, why would you pay over $3million dollars to move a moderate size company and still just have email?

Microsoft is aware of Liberate and may now start digging in their heels even more to stop the losses. Google hits them, IBM hits them, but Microsoft still hurts themselves.

If they do not discount any pricing, but will do it for "free", where does that leave you in your organization?

If you can't explain to your C executives why it isn't free, you need help, ask me, or you can go to the IBM group itself. http://www.ibm.com/software/info/liberate

Nothing is free in life, even death is expensive. So get over the free discussion already and face reality. If you don't believe it, numbers don't lie. YOUR numbers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fud Buster Friday #23 - IBM is Dropping Lotusphere

Microsoft spoilers abound, but this one is perpetual.

Every year Lotus reminds us that next year we will be back in Orlando and gives us the dates.
Every year Microsoft touts that IBM is dropping Lotusphere, just like Devcon, Lotusphere Europe and similar events.

IBM renewed it's agreement with the Swan/Dolphin for another few years, I think we are good to 2012, but if anyone knows better let me know.

Should IBM expand Lotusphere is really the question. In looking at my calendar
see it here:
Double and Triple booked is crazy you know for Lotusphere

It is obvious that I need more hours in my day and Lotusphere needs more days in it's week. Or Lotusphere maybe needs to get broken down further and bring back Devcon so all the AppDev has a proper place and time. Then the Sphere could be about the infrastructure, products and of course, Admin. But then I am a little biased.

But seriously, the show is so large and so difficult to match your time, coupled with client meetings, IBM partner meetings, special on site meetings, company business and of course support still of our clients, it does take it's toll.

So as we all hunker down and fly(no more water landings please, kudos to Capt. Sullenberg!), drive (congratulations to Goodyear you just sold me 2 new tires this morning for my bald and flat rear ones) or Bus(Lotus911 doing it again?) remind everyone you meet, see or bump into anywhere in the world Lotus is alive, well and kicking and this year will see some heavy hitting from IBM.

So for the Microsoft lover in your organization, and all Star Trek fans, remind them
Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold?
RIP Ricardo Montalban.
It's 32F in Seattle right now.

We don't have a pedestal for it, so if you can help

Due to my lateness, I was unable to sneak into the Foundations lab.
So does anyone have ped space or not using theirs and wants extra traffic?
See the previous post for more details on the demo unit and Lotusphere Special offer of an Ideapad.
I do not need a ticket, i have mine thanks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It happens again, BES Knocks off Traveler

When last we left it in my post a few months back, we had found the 4.1.6 version of BES added a cute little line that disables Traveler. Of course this presumes both run on the same server.

So it is also with MR3, the latest update which I installed in an attempt to resolve a dropping of BES from our Lotus 8.5 Domino server.

Now can anyone tell me how to update the dll for the security patch? I presume I need to copy them over, but the readme was not readable for me.

And why can't I access my server NAB in Traveler when emailing staff? My phone is on its last legs, just has to get through Lotusphere 2009, so am not worrying too much.

So onward to Lotusphere now that everyone has Blackberries buzzing and Traveler's traveling.

And yet another day delay in the website for this:
Domcubus from Mycubus, portable servers for SMB, Home or all things Lotus

Monday, January 12, 2009

Speedgeeking am I, Admin Side of Course

Rocky was kind enough to let me take part in this boondoggle of an event as a presenter.
Since I have not made it to previous years, my bad/meeting conflicts, I am looking forward to it even more than you.
Want to know what I am discussing?
Errors. yes, those excellent wordings from developers that help you as an Admin resolve the situation.
Officially the title is something like Strange,But True, fixes for errors and jvm problems.
JVM, routing, SMTP, Replication, ID login, passwords, recertification, Traveler, Quickr, BES, well almost anything really.
How do you understand these esotericisms? Do they have guiding forces to help you in their secret codes? Tune in to find out more.

So if you are an Admin and you have errors you'd like resolved, post them my way, yours might get picked for usage. I will also post/reply any answers....after Lotusphere, so I know you will visit us at Speedgeeking :-)

And I hear they serve beer at it too! So come have some fun and learn a thing or 2 maybe.

9 Rules to Live by When Building Demo's

If you followed my twitter stream you would see I had started this, but figured I would post, add your own pieces to this as well.
Some of these are for small demo's, others would be for larger ones or hardware demos.

#9 - Like The Beatles said on the White album, #9, #9, #9 (ok, it was a sound technician at EMI) it's all about testing your demo and make sure it works, even after rebooting, dropping a LAN connection and logging in a someone else.

#8 - Documentation of login/DNS/IP information couldn't hurt...the alternative REALLY hurts

#7 - Backup your demo, not once, but 5 times, email it to yourself at an accessible email address NOT on Gmail, a USB device, an extra time on your hard drive, and put a copy in Gmail. What is all that extra memory space for anyway?

#6 - Drink heavily AFTER the Deno, or in the case of Lotusphere, drink regularly in moderation until Kimono's/ESPN/Jelly Rolls.

#5 - If you will be showing a demo in a language you are not too familiar with, get advice from someone that speaks the language.

#4 - If your demo is too long, you lose them, if your demo is too short you went too fast, if it was easy everyone would be doing it, so lighten up and have some fun.

#3 - Always use the same demo login/passwords, it helps so you don't have to scrap it all 1/2 way through.

#2 - Plug in the LAN Connection for devices that aren't wireless. It helps when you can't see the server doesn't it?

#1 - Make sure if you use TRIALWARE you have enough days left to use it. DOH!

S10e Update, Ideapad to the Rescue

I started my review of the Ideapad from Lenovo and while Lotusphere will be the true test, I have some feedback to everyone.
Especially @olufsphere who really wants one.

1st I have a 3cell battery. Do I care? No, because on full power it lasts for over 2 hours .....easily.
On extreme power saver(or whatever you want to call it) it seems to last forever. Again, Lotusphere 2009 will be the test, live blogging indeed!

So for those that ask, it runs an Atom processor, you know I bumped the RAM up to 1.5GB total and comes with a paltry 80GB drive. Note to Lenovo, small doesn't mean limited disk space! There are larger drives, ahem, available, but my guess is they are more than this cost($50 more upfront if I could get that model, not likely to be $50 to upgrade the drive). Still if any Lenovo people will be at Lotusphere I would be happy to test drive your larger drives on a long term basis.

So how did I test it? Well I loaded Lotus Domino 8.5, Lotus Notes 8.5 and Admin client, throw in twirhl(my Twitter program), Skype, Norton whatever came with it(being removed as I write), plus the usual pieces and parts and was running it along with Firefox on a site with a video on how to remove your door panels for a 2002 Camaro, hint, don't do this while your baby daughter(1.5 yrs) is sitting in the from driver's seat. Although she learned a lot about wiring and taking the door apart :-)

I had to replace my front passenger side speaker, um, blew it playing something too loudly, toss up between Hendrix, Guns n Roses, Aerosmith and Billy Squier. But the new speaker sounds beautiful, maybe I will review that one day, in any event I couldn't drive to Lotusphere with a bad speaker for 2.5 hours could I?! Taking Notes Podcasts would sound horrible.

So all this was running in the background, occasionally closed the lid for sleep mode when busy, but worked on battery power alone at the lowest energy configuration and after about 2 hours only used 25% of the battery life. And Domino was still running processes for me in the background.

So the answer from me is go get it and have fun!
Or if you are in the US, or don't mind a US keyboard I should say, I have a deal for you coming out in a day or 2 which you might appreciate.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fud Buster Friday #22 - iNotes, Who Cares?

So nice, who wants a fat client?

A part 2 from last week?
Well 8.5 came out and I can honestly say that if you have not been using webmail or iNotes before you got to go look at it now.

Beautiful, functional, 3 choices of clients full, lite or Ultralight (iPhone users) and all from 1 template, Sametime panel on the right, 5 easy buttons which open into their own tabs for calendar, to do, notes, tasks...see the picture!

Wait it gets better, it even tells you what is wrong if some parts aren't working properly, say your Lotus Sametime awareness and functionality. And it provides multiple options for you to choose from to try to resolve it(for admins only, users can't fix this stuff).

What can I say, the people who have used it will use it more and those who have stayed away will run back to it.

Dead technology? Not from where I sit and not form your users either. So if you are still running R5,6,7 get with it and move forward, we can help, just ask me how.

Remember 9 days to go to Lotusphere!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Disk Space Savings from 8.5 and how to do it

In one client which I have data from so far the reduction in disk space from doing the following was 13% on average per user with a high of 37%.
Note some users already used some of these settings, imagine if your network never used ANY of them!

load compact -c from the console to move all your files to ODS 51(on whole server or just mail directory up to you)
DAOS (but this only went into effect today, but should be interesting 30 days out)
LZ1 compression
Compress Document Data
Compress Database Design

Plus a few more could be done but we don't want to use them right now.

Want to do it in one quick process?
1) See my previous post on DAOS enablement and the DCT tuner. DCT can provide some more pros/cons to some other benefits in this area.
2) open your 8.5 lotus Admin client
3) Go to the Files Tab then your mail directory
4) CTRL-A to select all
5) Select Advanced properties from the Database tools on your Right column.
6) check off the ones to use

And don't forget to run compact -c and CREATE_R85_DATABASES=1 in your notes.ini so all future files get it too!

Disabled....but Completed

Odd message for a Notes client install

There I was minding my own business installing an 8.5 Notes client with designer and admin under Eclipse and saw this message. I don't feel disabled.

But all good things come to those who wait

But it ended well

LND 8.5 SNTT - Basic Things NOT to Miss

Little Greeme at Lotusphere? Nah just Microsofties

Quick pieces of advice for those not yet with 8.5.

Remember Traveler is still a separate download.

DAOS
DAOS is enabled in your NAB, each server has a new tab, Enable it, then set the date for expiration to whatever you need.
You will also need to enable Transaction Logging, under its tab, and set its parameters as you desire.
AND disable shared mail if you are using it under its tab.
Save and restart your server.

DCT - Domino Configuration Tuner
Very cool but you MUST update your admin client. The Admin client is now only available as a downlaod with the other 2 clients even though it's not an Eclipse product..yet.
Find it under Server - Analysis tab (not sure where the docs tell you this as even the help file doesn't!?).Once it sets you up, then you must restart your admin client. Open it up again and set up your servers and then scan and read the results. Go get depressed or exhilarated at how many issues it finds in your notes.ini ALONE.

ODS 51
Lastly but far from least, one could post this stuff forever, go to ODS 51 using compact -c or with any specific files in mind. Likewise use the parameter CREATE_R85_DATABASES=1 in your Notes.ini, but your DCT will let you know if you haven't.

one thing for Notes Clients
Pulled straight from the Help file, there is a GO FASTER notes.ini setting now:-)

The Notes start-up sequence has been reordered as part of performance enhancement in this release. Notes users are now prompted to authenticate (log in using their Notes password) before the Notes workbench appears on-screen. The new NOTES.INI setting for this sequence is "ENABLE_EARLY_AUTHENTICATION" which has a default setting value of 1 enabling the new mode. Disabling the setting reverts to the old (pre-8.5) start-up mode. If the ENABLE_EARLY_AUTHENTICATION setting is disabled (0), the Roaming user functionality introduced in release 8.5 is not functional and performance enhancements gained in the reordered start-up sequence are not realized.

Enjoy and post your own tidbits of joy.

ST-SNTT LDAP and DA, Forgot about this Issue

When are support people right but wrong?
When you only look at one side of an equation.

We have a Lotus Sametime server which started having problems the day after new years.
Error messages like this: Problems uploading this graphic for some reason, never mind just yanked it out of the log file.

01/02/2009 12:19:44 PM HTTP JVM:
-----Servlet Information-----
Servlet name: scs
Servlet class: com.lotus.sametime.configuration.DominoConfigurationServlet
Servlet state:
Configuration parameters: ServletURL=scs
Info for: com.lotus.sametime.configuration.DominoConfigurationServlet@34903490
01/02/2009 12:19:44 PM HTTP JVM: javax.servlet.ServletException: Unable to get configuration object: Exception while generating Server List: Database open failed (%1): Unable to get configuration object: Exception while generating Server List: Database open failed (%1)


Something must have gone bad, right? Well we had some DNS issues left over from the data center move so who knows what was relevant, right?

I tried updating the Sametime Server to 8.0.2, didn't fix it.
Updated Domino to 8.0.2, still no changes.

Then on the 6th 8.5 came out, yes, updated it to 8.5IF1 (yes a fix was out the same day). Still error messages but Sametime works now. ST Logger and ST Community still fail. hmmm.

Also got this message on the LDAP server:
01/07/2009 11:22:57 AM Error attempting to access the Directory *ILove.lotusphere.COM:389 (no available alternatives), error is LDAP
Server is NOT available.


So updated the LDAP server to 8.5If1 too. As an aside it took 40 minutes! 32 or so to back it up, 7 or so to install it. Got to love Domino. Try that with an Exchange Server!

Was informed this error message is because the Directory Assistance (DA) database on the LDAP server should NOT have the LDAP server referenced. Meaning you need to have one DA.nsf on the LDAP server which does not replicate to all other servers and they in turn need a DA.nsf with LDAP in it.

Confused? so was I. IBM Support is still working on the ST Logger issue.

The moral of the story is if you don't tell your tech guy/team/support person on the phone everything about your environment you may end up hurting yourself more. Luckily I am not new to this and almost created more havoc had I just disabled the LDAP reference in the DA.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

8.5 is Out, but not Available

Partnerworld's site lists them all and some are available, others are not.
How odd. I can download Domino server luckily but not clients.
Don't forget the interim fix on Fix Central for Domino either.
We eagerly await this to be resolved.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Lotusphere Must Have

I rarely write reviews of products, in fact this might be the only one.
But as some know I received my Lenovo Ideapad (netbook)S10e on Friday. E stands for education.

Unfortunately for me some server issues cropped up and I was not able to really enjoy the unit until late in the day and the weekend.

It's small, light, moderately fast at processing, good battery life, webcam, built in mic and speakers(loud), wi-fi works well too, has an option to open up a browser or some apps without starting the full machine. Haven't got that to work yet, wireless issues it seems.

Stuck an extra 1GB ram in it, max is 1.5 anyway on this XP home version.
80GB drive, which is only 72gb accessible and about 50Gb free before i do too much to it.

I don't like the mouse pad buttons. They make a loud annoying click, prefer the thinkpad soft touch. Screen is a tad small, but then what did I really want to do with this device anyway, its about convenience and weight for me.

This will make my life so much easier in Orlando. Live blogging or just taking notes it will be much smoother and also on my back. Leaving the 17" monster at home.

Pricing for it is about $375(you can find it on lenovo site for $349 at times or via discounters. Mine is black, not pink or the other colors but for the price(dealer rate plus an end of 2008 $100 off and some other discounts put it in a range that we could not turn down. Plus clients will want this once they see it.

So if you haven't seen it or used it, catch me in Orlando.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fud Buster Friday #21 - No One uses iNotes/Webmail/DWA

Happy New Year
In a recent encounter on Twitter I was discussing with an individual who harbored the false perception that no one uses iNotes or Domino Web Access or Webmail or whatever you want to call the browser based access to one's Domino mail.

Should have asked him if he meant no one uses OWA, the Outlook Web Access.

Many college campuses use Webmail, as do numerous hospitals, logistics companies, manufacturing plants and regular everyday users.

Why? Because they can do so with little effort on the administrator's side, especially in R8 where there is only one template now for web and non-web usage.

Compared to Microsoft where one usually has separate servers specially setup to run OWA, Lotus Domino servers can handle the dual connections of web and Notes client access. Admittedly some earlier servers, say over 5 years ago, limited the #'s on a machine, today I have a client with over 2,000 people(we expect scaling to 2,500-3,000) on one mail server and it houses multiple clients, templates and access form the web, phones and notes clients.

Oh and it runs on Linux and did this as an R7 and now even better as an R8 server.

If you have a Microsoft Exchange server which can do all of this and does...let's hear about it.