Thursday, October 31, 2013

SnTT - Who Blocked my Activities in Notes?

It may be Halloween but I doubt the ghosts in the machine caused me to find this situation.

IBM Notes 9 introduced a slight UI change which you may not see if you are not using IBM Connections or installed the option.

There no longer is an Activities option when you look at your File->Preferences view.

There is now a Connections option and Activities is now a sub option under it.

Why is this important? It isn't per se. I happen to come across this problem where my Connections details in preferences are greyed out. Not through a policy setting or anything else i could come up with at the time.

However, there is a Community Article at the Wiki that states the following, it still worked for me on 9.0.1:

Q. I am unable to set up the Activities sidebar in a Lotus Notes 8.5 client to connect to the SmartCloud Engage Activities server because the Activities preferences are greyed out (that is, disabled) when trying to edit the sidebar.

A. If the Activities Preference is greyed out, it means the Activities sidebar was in Local/Offline mode at a time when the server became unreachable. 

The Activities sidebar in Notes 8.5 is designed so that if you are working off-line, the Activities Server Settings cannot be modified, thus the option is disabled or greyed out. This design causes problems when your password on the server is changed while in Local/Offline mode and the server is no longer accessible.

To recover from this scenario, perform the following steps:
  1. Close the Notes client.
  2. Edit the following file in a Text editor:
  3. Set the following parameter:
  4. Start the Notes client.
The Activities preferences should now be available.

For a Macintosh OS, the path of the settings file is [home]/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor/Applications/.metadata/.plugins/org.eclipse.core.runtime/.settings/

Hope this helps some of you out there.

The Social Zombie

I was working in the lab late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie site, a new social site popped up asking me to join them.

What crazy thing is this I thought? Join us it said. Join them? There must be social sites I bet even for vampires, werewolves and zombies. (Yes they are real sites, may not be safe at work for obvious reasons.)

Social sites? Don't they know people have work to do? Talk to your buddies after work or on the weekends.

It was then I heard a knock on the lab door and opened it to find one of the guys in a vampire costume. It being Halloween and all, I laughed and asked what he needed, aside from my blood.

He replied, "we don't do that anymore". We suck people's lives away by their social sites they visit. It's much less headache for us.

Okay, how can I help you again I asked?

We have noticed you rarely use any social sites. It is your prerogative, but you are hurting my fellow, shall we say, comrades. I was sent to outline to you all the great things you could be doing and helping us at the same time.

I'll bite, what do you want me to do? Post a picture? Tweet?

Nothing that simple, he said. We need you to help our zombies mobilize.


You heard me, we need the zombies to organize. They have started bugging us, we the undead, but we have better things to do. Since the zombies all follow whatever the hottest social site is, we want you to start posting misinformation. Something like how Google has Zoggles, some reader for zombies that have lost their eyes.

Are you crazy? Why would I do this? I would be lying and not be authentic at all, which is what being social is all about.

At this, he fell over laughing.

That's a good one, authentic, nice, who put you up to that? Some politician?

Look, try it, you might have fun, anything is better than hanging out in a lab all by yourself waiting for a vampire to visit.

He had me there. Off I went to wreck havoc with the zombies.

Happy Halloween because even Social Media deserves some fun.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Update to IBM Notes 9.0.1 in 20 minutes

This was for all 3 clients, Notes, Admin and Developer.

Fast or slow? Convenient or difficult?
You make the call, but if you jump at the chance to update your Apple devices the second a release comes out, you should do the same for Notes, Domino and Traveler.

After all, what is more important? Games and apps or your living and breathing inbox/sidebar/portal/streams?

And don't forget there is also a new version of SwiftFile to make life that little bit easier to get to inbox near zero.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

IBM Sametime 9 Installation Spreadsheet

Better late than never, I have posted here a spreadsheet for installation of Sametime 9, similar to my IBM Connections 4.5 installation spreadsheet.

I took this IBM Sametime Wiki page provided and broke it down by topics (WAS, DB2, MUX, Media Manager, etc).

For those that need, that is, should be, documenting your installation details, hopefully this helps make your life easier.

You can download my spreadsheet from the link below:
Sametime 9 Installation Spreadsheet for Documentation

Oct 2016 Edit: Some DNS issues on my server, so if the original link does not work, use this one:

Hope it makes your lives easier.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

SnTT - Replication is NOT Disabled, But it says it is

Show and tell thursday, lotus, replication, keith_brooks
Did you ever wonder about what makes some changes more difficult than others? Why do people fear the upgrade? What paralyzes them from taking action? Usually it is because they got burned one time.

One day I decided to load Windows8 on an existing Windows7 machine to play with it and test IBM Notes and other apps. The upgrade went fine, but some things were not compatible with Windows8. In time I downloaded patches and updates and resolved messy security errors.

One of the errors was on IBM Notes and seemed to be the software firewall. resolved, started Notes and it replicated. Great. An hour later when I realized I had not gotten some emails i expected I checked replication and it had not replicated since logon. I asked it to replicate and it did.

An hour later, same thing. After looking at everything I saw the information on the bottom of the screen that says "Replication is disabled". It most certainly was not. I then proceeded to do the following, from my own past blog post, and this one, before calling IBM, with the same outcomes:
Disabling replication and then restarting it. - "Replication is disabled"
Tried restarting Notes - "Replication is disabled"
Change location to a different account - "Replication is disabled"
Login as a different user entirely - "Replication is disabled"
Check log on server and client and only saw - "Replication is disabled" or replication I forced
Tried IMAP - "Replication is disabled"
Domino 8.5.x server - "Replication is disabled"
Domino 9.0 server - "Replication is disabled"
Replaced design of template of PNAB from local - "Replication is disabled"
Replaced design of template of PNAB from server - "Replication is disabled"
Changed template of PNAB to a different template, then replaced it back as PNAB - "Replication is disabled"
Created a brand new PNAB with nothing but one server details in it - "Replication is disabled"

I began to wonder if I was missing some patch for Windows8 so I called IBM Support with a PMR.

I worked with Kristin T. who was great about working around my schedule and provided a number of areas to look at to see what else might be going on. Unfortunately she did not have a Windows8 machine at the time to play with so we both kind of flew blind.

In the end, it was not a Windows8 issue. The problem may have been caused by a rogue policy from one of my location documents that for some reason decided to kick in only after I loaded Windows8.

In order to see the policies and clear them if necessary, do the following:

  1. Open your personal address book (names.nsf on your client)
  2. Go to the Location document
  3. Press the CTRL and SHIFT keys at the same time then 
  4. Click on View -> Go To-> and find ($Policies)
  5. Click Ok

You will see your policies. If anything looks wrong or just want a blank list, delete it and then restart Notes.
A fresh set of policies will come down to you.

Only after we cleared the system policies and created a clean PNAB and then added one location and connection details back we were able to get replication rolling again.

Moral of the story is, you may know what you are doing, but the order of the troubleshooting could be holding you up from completing your task.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Who Saw Your Slides? Part 2

The 2nd part of my "Who aw your slides?" post is live at the IBM Social business Insights Blog.

After you give a presentation at a conference, do you remember to post and share your slides with those who didn’t attend? Besides posting through the organization that ran the conference, you can also publish your presentation on your blog or at SlideShare, which can both feed to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. But in order to get shares, first you’ll need memorable slides!

In my previous post I shared four starter tips on improving your slide presentations to increase the likelihood of them being shared among your colleagues. Here are some further suggestions to strengthen your presentations and increase your shares.
Read more here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

ADINTL: Why IBM Notes is Secure

This post is ripped from the headlines, literally, my Facebook headlines.

Many times I am questioned why IBM Notes requires it's own password. People are quick to point out Outlook does not and they do not like the interruption. (Technology people stop laughing! Talking about end users here) By the way, Outlook does have it, but, well, read this where they state:
This password feature however shouldn’t be regarded as a sturdy protection mechanism though and it was never intended as such either. The passwords are easy to crack via various tools such as Atomic Pst Password Recovery and the encryption of the pst-file isn’t based on the password either.
Yes, well you know Facebook, Twitter, et al have passwords which you can choose to bypass via your browser saving password option. Outlook does it similarly via Windows server and clients, this is called Single Sign On or SSO in my world.

IBM Notes has a similar SSO option. Not going to debate the pros and cons of it. If you know the topic, you get it already. In short, we need more security in some organizations and in others we need the users to just get work done and not have to remember yet another password.

As a computer user you have the option to set your Windows or Linux or Mac screen saver or timeout setting to ask you login after some amount of unused time. Same thing in IBM Notes.

However, if you make your password for IBM Notes different from your primary system login, you have an extra layer of security for your email client. In my case, where I leverage many widgets in my sidebar that connect to some important systems, this is very helpful. I rarely worry about someone logging into my email client.

But, if you choose to leverage SSO or just make all your passwords the same and never set a logooff time, you could end up with, as an example, a Facebook messages like this one day:

And yes the comments are growing and quite amusing as well. What could there be on Facebook that anyone would care enough about to secure it?

Why do I bring this up? Because in the time it takes for you to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water or a coffee or in some places get the document you printed, you could be the victim of an internal or external security breach.

It may be funny and a nice prank on your friends, but in business, some serious problems can be started this way. Hackers know it is easier to get to you from inside your own company than outside of it. The hackers may look like gardenersfire rescue people....or your spouse.

I am open and trusting in my collaboration at work and at home, but when I am traveling or at a client site ,I always manually turn on the screen lock whenever I leave my desk.

If you do not make use of the security your systems have already, you have no one else to blame when these things happen to you. IBM Notes has been and always will be a very secure product and if that is important to you or your company, I can help you leverage it.

I can also get you over your fear of people writing on Facebook as you.

ADINTL= A Day In The Life

Monday, October 7, 2013

Who Saw Your Slides?

As part of the IBM Redbook Thought Leaders, I had originally wrote this post for the IBM Social Business Insights blog. This is my first two part post there.

Who saw your slides? Four tips on getting more shares (Part 1)

Has this ever happened to you? You spend weeks working on your presentation for the big conference and when your day arrives you get into presenter mode, show up early to your appointed room and prepare to take the stage. You think to yourself, this is going to be a great session¸ and progress through your slides. Before you know it, you’ve reached the time for Q&A, you say thank you and it's over.

Go read more over here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Want Tabasco with that Bruce?

Many years ago on a Lotusphere exhibition hall floor at a pedestal for OpenNTF or TheView, I met this crazy guy who gave me a mini bottle of Tabasco and told me he had the special sauce.

He was right, I just had no idea who he was at the time.

Little did I know just how busy Bruce Elgort was then and always is.

We spoke different languages, I speak Adminese and he spoke Developese but we shared at least one thing in common, our love of Notes and Domino and the experience our employees and clients should have, and receive, from us.

That discussion continues today and in general whenever we speak, skype, chat or when he visits in Boca. (I promise Gayle less shop talk next time).

Here's to the man that always stops bitching and gets doing!

No doubt he reminds his students of this all the time.

Thanks for everything over the years, and occasional Skype chats that remind me to just do more.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A New IBM Redbook is out on CCM

Happy to announce that after a few months of effort, our Redbook is available for everyone.

Making the move to IBM Connections 4.5 and IBM Connections Content Manager

Our leader, Whei-Jen Chen deserves the credit for getting us all to finish on time and stick to her plan.

Hopefully it will help you in your quest to migrate from Lotus Quickr and into the IBM Connections.

Thank you to everyone that took part in it, including the IBM team behind CCM who answered our numerous questions around what was still in beta code when we were writing this Redbook.

I am also pointing everyone to Luis Benitez who provided these two great blog posts:

Demo: Deep Dive of IBM Connections Content Manager 4.5

A Little About IBM Connections Content Manager 4.5