Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lotus Notes Traveler and BES 4.1.6 Resolution

After some discussions with RIM and IBM, the good people at IBM support, thanks to Steven Kyle who handled my PMR, were able to recreate the problem on a test server.

It seems the installation of BES 4.1.6 alters the notes.ini file

Lotus Notes Traveler has two components, a Server and an HTTP Servlet. The Server communicates with the users mail servers, stores history information etc and the HTTP Servlet communicates with the devices. When I installed the BES 4.1.6 Server it added this parameter to the notes.ini file which basically disables any Java based HTTP Servlet:

They removed this field from the notes.ini file and restarted the Domino Server and the Lotus Notes Traveler servlet started without problem and the device began syncing again. If the Lotus Notes Traveler Servlet starts successfully you will see a message similar to this on the Domino Console when the HTTP Server is starting:

HTTP JVM: com.lotus.sync.servlet.TravelerServlet: init
HTTP JVM: Traveler debug = false

So the questions for Blackberry and us in production are:

1) Why do they add HTTPDisableJVM=1 to the notes.ini file?
2) Will BES break if this parameter is removed?

Haven't tested it yet, harwdare failure this morning, but if it resolves it for you. Great.

PS - Don't forget IBM released a hotfix on the 24th for Lotus Traveler. Go get it, read the instructions first and then upgrade it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

BES 4.1.6 upgrade may break Lotus Notes Traveler

Lotus Notes Traveler servlet reply
A technical posting, ask for help and others who have this setup and it works or doesn't work.
If like many small companies you run a Domino server and it also hosts BES and traveler, you may have a problem.

We upgraded a BES to 416 from 415 this morning and since then Traveler has stopped. It is running on the server fine, but the clients can't connect, error 36 usually.

Something has affected the servlet engine and Traveler clients can not connect to the server.

You can test it by going to your server from a browser and typing servername.com/servlet/traveler

You should then see something that looks like this picture.
If you get a 404 error, you have problems.

Perhaps this is the issue: Default port number is 50125 for IPC (Inter process socket connection between Lotus Notes Traveler Server and its HTTP server servlet).

All feedback is appreciated. My phone thanks you.

MS relying on office Sales to Beat Lotus?

Fellow bloggers, Greg Eldred and Glenn Irvine both found this article ahead of me.

What neither pointed out is the ruse Microsoft makes, well Kevin turner makes, that:
"This past year we sold in 4.86 million seats of our collaboration solution – SharePoint, Exchange and Office – into IBM Lotus Notes accounts"

Office is now considered a collaboration product. Right.
So Microsoft can use this product any way they want, what companies do not use Office, any version?

Would like Mr. Turner to provide a better break down when you take Office out of the picture.

For that matter take Exchange out of the picture as well since the likelihood of a Lotus company using Exchange as well is nominal which leaves Sharepoint.

Sharepoint, and the Microsoft people love telling everyone, sells like water at a baseball game in Miami in the summertime. What they don't tell you is every Enterprise Agreement includes CALs for Sharepoint, by default, in addition to other licensing areas which require a CAL, even if you don't use it.

Or as some say, Microsoft gives it away for free and gets you on year 2 licensing maintenance.

Just more FUD from Redmond, and I expected better from Kevin Turner.

Maybe the Lotus Symphony team has some similar numbers we can play with against Microsoft. And it's free, really it is, go get it now and try it, http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.jspa.

Vista Insecurity from yesterday's MS FAM

From the Seattle Times

Microsoft's annual financial analysts meeting, referred to as FAM, typically covers the breadth of the world's largest software maker.

Bill Veghte, Microsoft senior vice president of Online Services and the Windows Business Group, talked about Windows Vista and the improvements in the product and its adoption in the past year.

On security, for example, Windows Vista is 62 percent more secure than Windows XP SP2, he said.

Thanks, Bill. How comforting to know there is no secure operating system from Microsoft yet. Shame about all that money spent on it.

OpenID, it took people 15+years?

The premise of having an ID file which allowed one access to a Lotus Notes and Domino application has been a mainstay from Release 1.
Of course over time the encryption key got better, went through a few government regulation changes but the ID is still with us and going strong.

Now the new age Web 2.0 people have decided they don't like logging in to 10 different sites, there should be a better single sign on way.

SSO is important, funny how the "legacy" SSO is just not good enough though, or perhaps LDAP is not as useful as once thought.

Do you physically need an ID file? Well Lenovo and IBM thought so with their biometric readers and obviously Lotus did. SecurID or some other digital ID format as well.

So once again the world has finally caught up to Lotus. So far ahead of everyone else, really they were and still are in some cases if you were in the Lotusphere side room where the new projects were shown.

Universal ID, for the US is basically your social security number but no one would use that on the internet.

I have an openID, came via Yahoo or some other site recently.

Really this is about one giant LDAP but in a more granular approach I think. I wish my Directory mentor would discuss this, Dr. Goodman you out there?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Winows Activation Circle of Hell

Learned from my last post a few things.
1) Focus on which keyboard and mouse you are using, involuntary deletions occur.
2) Don't stray towards areas I don't swim in regularly like development.
3) Never go against a Sicilain when death is on the line.

And clean up disk space running low on the laptop.

So now I am on PC #3 trying to get it activated because that's what you do with WIndows OS's.

Fine, the license is on the PC, I type it in and says thank you.
Problem is after a bunch of updates, from Microsoft's update page, it will not let me log in.

I get a this is not activated message. Click on it, goes in to activate and says it's done activtaing.
Then restarts me with the not activated error.
This is annoying, especially as I as doing what the system asked, getting updates from Microsoft to make my machine more secure and provid the most up to date versions of their code.

Good thing PC #2 is still alive, but #3 must get moving as it has a lot of work to do. Anyone have ideas? Haven't tried system restore yet. That's next.

Sorry for the post

This post has been removed due to my mistakes which after trying to edit it just went awry.My apologies to everyone involved

Nothing but the net or is it the RIM of the net

Let's suppose RIM bid on the unused wireless spectrum. What would it gain?
TV capacity to your phone in an efficient way? Perhaps.
A stronger presence for remote areas and consumer usage, possibly.
A private network to kill off At&T, verizon, et al? Definitely.

Does the Cloud need RIM? Not really.
Do you need a Blackberry? Why?

What does it do that you can not do from almost any other device?
Not talking about iPhone right now.

What does BES do that the Good server can not?

What do you really need from your phone?
Voice dictation for sending emails would be nice.
A 3d holographic view of web pages or text would be helpful as the tiny screens we read are slowly going to kill our eyes.
Intelligent controls on the device. If I am pulling mail from a site without a spam control at the server side like my ISP, thanks Comcast, why can't I run one on my phone? Maybe this exists, haven't checked, sorry.

What about elderly people that need bigger keys or larger screens/fonts?

Also why can't my blackberry, or any other phone handle multiple streams of BES/Traveler or Good? That would be helpful in this day and age when the average person has a 1/2 dozen accounts, even if they only read 2-3.

I have the following (leaving out all my business clients that I have email with and forward to my main corporate email):
Comcast NEVER checked
Yahoo in use
Gmail rarely used
MSN very rarely
Netscape forgot password
corporate daily
personal daily
kids they are just learning to type
This blog's email
previous personal domain
previous business domain

But can I get more than one of these on my phone via BES, Traveler or Good's usage of PUSH email? NO. Even if I had a BES or whatever server to handle them all, the answer is still no.

So we are almost there...but not quite. And as more devices are internet connected does it look better to have a phone or a web device with a built in speaker and mike for VOIP?

Some questions I have been thinking about as I am in search of a new phone and look for a realistic answer to my dilemma.

Anyone from RIM, Google, Nokia, At&T or anywhere have some inputs I 'd like to hear them. otherwise if you know a VC I have a pitch to make.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's Good is Bad, the Microsoft Way

There are those out there in the world that can't stop their thought process and change tactics.
Sharepoint is so easy to use.
It's just email, Exchange can do it.
I hate Lotus Notes, it doesn't connect with anything or the UI is not nice to look at.
Lotus is dying.
Lotus stopped writing code, it's in maintenance mode.

And in Microsoft terms it's true.
Lotus does not wholly rewrite their architecture every few years and make your software useless, as Microsoft has done to Exchange(a few times) AD, Office, even to a point Sharepoint where MOSS v2.0 was/is required to be running as there is no migration path from it.

Lotus in comparison provides that all basic applications and possibly with some adjustments in code to allow for advances in more elaborate applications, can run on the latest version just as the earlier ones.

If you don't believe me, I can show you my mail file, from 1993, Lotus R3 and still functional.

Can you do this with Jet mail? MS Mail? Exchange Mail(came before Outlook for you young kids reading this)? Outlook(2000, 2003 or 2007)? Without some special preformatting?

Now think of mail or data fidelity and keeping those records and tapes of data. How are you going to use that data if it is not even available anymore when the court comes asking for it? You Microsoft lovers have a lot to pay for, yet again some day.

Microsoft makes a living out of taking their mistakes and trumpeting them as successes! As in my previous post where they proclaimed Vista was only half as bad as XP in security flaws.
Thanks, my car runs on 2 tires now too and I should be happy because your design flaws slashed my tires?

And customers keep paying them for this?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vista has 50% fewer security vulnerabilities than XP? LOL!

hmm, so less is better, agreed, but still nowehere near ZERO!
In case you forgot the history, here is one example, from the NY Times.

In a mix of online and print material(Online July 8, print July14), J. Nicholas Hoover points out, with the help of Brad Brooks(no relation to me), VP of Windows Consumer marketing that "We broke a lot of things" when discussing Microsoft Vista.

And we should be happy that the safest most secure version ever to be released by Redmond, has:
"According to Microsoft, Windows Vista had fewer than half the security vulnerabilities Windows XP had in its first year. Brooks even made a bold claim that Windows Vista was the most secure commercial operating system ever in its first year of release, and said "you don't hear Apple saying that," though he didn't lay out the evidence for that claim. "

So now Microsoft has turned around their inability to write secure code and make it sound like that is a good thing?

Think Brad needs some reassigning or a promotion, depending on how you view this info.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Symphony to the Rescue, thanks again to Microsoft

Sad to admit it, but I do not usually use Symphony for all my work. I have slowly been moving newer work to it, but older docs/clients limited me in this.

Today while editing a spreadsheet, it crashed while saving. Never a funny thing.
Luckily Office 2007 has a built in autosave function, which I use extensively for years since it was introduced, wonder why?

Great it had my spreadsheet with my changes, went to save it again, as a 97-03 doc so 95% of the world could read it and BAM! Same problem.

Can't even screenshot it because it automatically sends Excel to a tailspin of closing.

Now to be fair, something wanted to get installed last night when I shut down my laptop. Probably from Microsoft but who knows, it took hours. Perhaps it was Vista SP1 or some other item.

In any event, nothing works as it should today, except Symphony is humming along fine as is my Notes client and Twirhl, the Twitter client I use.

And my spreadsheet, opened in Symphony, edited and saved as xls and all is well.

Here's hoping you have an easier time with Office 2007 and Vista in your travels, if not, look into Symphony, your hair and wall will appreciate it.

http://symphony.lotus.com/software/lotus/symphony/home.jspa or find it in your R8 client.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

iPhone Utilities for free?

So not only is Lotus giving away mobile utilities, Apple is now doing so as well.
Sadly they made a great effort to show Exchange is workign with the utilities.
While we know IBM had announced Iphone support, it appears now that was more about web browsing than "push" email. Nathan Freeman had a few things to say about this at his blog.

Windows, Mac, and Mac OS X go get them and use them.

The page says:
iPhone Configuration Web Utility lets you easily create, sign and distribute configuration profiles using a web browser.

Configuration profiles are XML files that contain device security policies, VPN configuration information, Wi-Fi settings, APN settings, Exchange account settings, mail settings, and certificates that permit iPhone and iPod touch to work with your enterprise systems.

For instructions on how to use iPhone Configuration Web Utility, see the iPhone and iPod touch Enterprise Deployment Guide, available for downloading at:

The problem is there is no Enterprise guide, no matter how many clicks or links send you in circles. Perhaps a joke to all the Enterprise people to lighten up and see that you don't need a whole infrastrcuture from RIM to support these.

Perhaps my post from yesterday is more knowing than I that it was at the time.

IBM to buy RIM

Blackberries will be renamed Blueberries.
In their own way, RIM has gone down a path where they may want to think about it.

About 4 years ago while interviewing with Microsoft about competitive positioning(don't sweat it, I think they just wanted free consulting), I posited that SUN would release Java as Open Source within 2-3 years. Got it.
I suggested they buy SUN(stock was not even $5 then) to ensure:
1) Java dies, rather than go open source(they thought C# would work for people)
2) Provide Windows servers with a fully integrated hardware platform and built in distribution
3) It was cheap, pocket change even for Bill and he could kill it if he wanted
4) Or it could help Microsoft get into Linux on their own terms

Also suggested IBM would buy Novell as they were already following a path of past IBM M&A when the money provided to a partner eventually was returned in stock and then finally in a new IBM division. This one hasn't made it yet, but Novell hangs on with Linux, I still see this as a great opportunity for IBM and Novell.

Back to RIM. Lotus worked with RIM very early on(remember the mushroom shaped blackberry) and we were thinking it would kill server revenue to RIM, instead it made email stronger as RIM made it clear they really did not want to be a contender for email messaging system of the world. I think in this case they made a wise choice.

However the last few years has seen growth for RIM, but at the same time, competition from places unexpected, Apple and Google. Can RIM beat them, possibly, but I do not think by themselves. Would it help RIM to have a "native" email system? Most definitely and in many cases if you understand the architecture of a BES you will see what appears to be the logic of architecture like a Domino server. Not 100% mind you, but as RIM had to scale they took a familiar approach(to me at least).

Now RIM provides Lotus Connections clients, similar to the 2 different IM versions for Sametime. A great partnership is in place, and a merger of Lotus with RIM would be catastrophic to Microsoft in many ways...unless Microsoft too has an iPhone killer in their plans.

My guess is they don't as Bill has left the building and with him went any original thoughts of how to corner a market.

If I was the Product Manager at RIM working with Lotus, I would be expecting to hear such thoughts, I wonder if this is the case.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Lotuscube Coming Soon, taking orders

Decided to test the waters with our new product. As we found the Lotus Foundation Micro2 server not really practical for my clients, we decided to up the ante.

What if that micro2 was a little bigger, and had 2 drives, 4gb of RAM or more and a really fast processor?
You could load Lotus Foundations, Linux, Windows or whatever else you want on it too!
And it was preloaded with Domino with Sametime or Quickr or ...
What if you could pick it up and take it ANYWHERE, ANYTIME?
And what if it came in Yellow?

Our clients in Florida, or other areas of natural disaster, may appreciate this portability.
Or perhaps you do a lot of trade shows, but hate shipping big boxes.
Or maybe Lotusphere wants to ensure everyone has the same hardware.
Maybe you just like yellow.
But wait, it gets better, what if you need one for development or staging/testing, we can help with other colors, just ask to help prevent confusion.

Whatever the reason, we got it, who wants it?
Labor Day availability, if not sooner for beta testers.

the Lotuscube or D-Cube, naming to be finalized

Product is NOT available from IBM or Lotus as a SKU.....yet, but give us time.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Exchange your Exchange Server or Sharepoint

Yes, I know, crazy words. No one would think of dumping Exchange these days.
After all Microsoft invesnted email don't you know.
They also invented spresadsheets and the infamous blue screen of death, my personal favorite, which was substituted in XP and Vista as a frozen machine.

You write and complain in magazines, blogs, websites, newsletters, pubs and doctor offices that your technology executives don't get it.

Yet, what do you do to change this scenario?

When was the last time you really looked into a product and thought, we could use it, it meets security standards, comes in multiple languages, has a small memory footprint, we shoudl try it.

Well? Anyone?

In every company I worked with I was always able to appropriate an extra PC or laptop or even a server for testing of other software and ideas.

There is nothing stopping you from doing the same. Become friends with the IT guys or help desk, if you are not an IT person and, trust me on this, they have stacks of machines available. Formally you may need to sign for it or somehting but informally, its available.

Doesn't matter what you play with as long as there is a meaning for your company with it.
Naturally I prefer to hear you are tryingt Lotus Foundation Server as your OS or Lotus Symphony or Lotus Notes/Domino or Quickr. But I know you only have so much time on your hands given all the twittering you do.