Monday, December 28, 2009

Quickr Customisation Samples

As I sit here, all alone in our soon to be ex-office on the last days of the year, I found this little gem that got posted to the Quickr wiki last week.

As it turns out, when the developers are away I get to act like one.

Don't worry, they earn their keep, and I really don't as a developer.

But nonetheless in an effort to help others, and at our own company potential expense, if you want to customize Lotus Quickr on your own, (Danger Will Robinson)here you go. And if you don't want to do it by yourself, get a hold of us, we are happy to help.

The Quickr Wiki page that discusses this is here. has the download here.

Kudos go to Ferdal McKenna for updating and posting it and Steve Castledine for putting it together on Openntf.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Roaming Users, Who Enabled them? Just Stop it

As some know, I posted on twitter today that I had the unique experience of having a client engage roaming for everyone, without our intervention on a new 8.5.1 Lotus Domino server we are building.

Still doing forensics on it to sort out how it was turned on. Especially since no Policies have been in place yet on the new server.

But what is important is the ability to turn it off was broken and prevented installation of users.

Not funny.

If you are having problems disabling Roaming users, here's one thing to think about.

The AdminP database may be corrupt. Delete it and make a new replica to the server and try again.

Also, use the administrative server to disable roaming, just in case. This is how we found the Adminp database was problematic when we compared the 2 we saw no request in the 2nd servers.

The steps to disable roaming, with out regard to a policy, are:

Open the administration client
Go to the People's tab
Select the user to turn roaming off
Select from people-Roaming in the right column
Then check the box to perform it in the background

And normally AdminP does its magic. But as you read it wasn't so in this case.

But now all is well. Hope this helps someone sometime and if so let me know.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ST-SNTT - Sametime Build Information

Syntax gets me every time. So if I write it down, or blog it, it stays in my memory better.

Hopefully for you too.

Ever want to know what version of Sametime is running on your server?

You can type without the brackets at a Domino console to get the Domino version but what about Sametime?

Go to a browser, enter the server name with /sametime/buildinfo.txt at the end, example:

And this is what you will see, for Sametime 8.5

Sat Dec 5 19:24:10 EST 2009

Date=Sat Dec 5 19:24:10 EST 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sametime 8.5, Console Message

This came in from our internal server.

12/22/2009 01:00:05 PM HTTP JVM: WARNING: '[ERR 0635] Some generated functions
exceeded the JVM method size limit and were automatically split into smaller fu
nctions. You may get better performance by manually splitting very large templa
tes into smaller templates, by using the 'splitli
12/22/2009 01:00:05 PM HTTP JVM: it' option to the Process or Compile command,
or by setting the '' transforme
r factory attribute.'

Note for IBM, this website does not work. I believe it is looking to go here instead:

Some methods generated by the compiler might exceed the JVM method size limit, in which case the compiler attempts to split these methods into smaller methods.

* If the compiler splits the method successfully, you receive the following warning: as shown above

Where it basically says ignore this message it is working as designed.

Great so now the server is telling us it is being more efficient, but it's explanation is incorrect. Either way, don't worry about it for now, but what can we do to change this on our end?

Steppenwolf Fans look inside Sametime 8.5

By now we are all used to seeing odd error messages and funny snippets of code, but this one was fun to find this morning, although I believe it existed previously.

John Kay and Steppenwolf had a song, Magic Carpet Ride and well evidently there is a magic carpet ride in Lotus Sametime 8.5. IF only there was an Easter Egg to go with this, would love to see it.

While customizing the set up of a new Lotus Sametime 8.5 connect clients for download I came across this line in the plugin_customization.ini.

# the number of magic carpet worker threads available to dispatch events

So there you have it, 3 magic cartpet rides per person? 3 magic carpet workers? Or is it the carpet is only made of 3 threads?

Maybe it's a nod to where Lotusphere is but if it comes with this Genie voiced by him, I'll take it.

EDIT Update: Matthew Perrins, Executive IT Specialist,IBM Software, on Twitter related this about the magic carpet:
That came from the internal SWT version of Sametime client I love the name of that API. have programmed it a few times. It's the API that you use when subscribing to sametime conversations so if you are writing add ons you get notified. Thanks!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Webmail Redirection and Configuration Documents

Previously (April 09)I had posted a detailed "how to" setup the mail redirector.

This morning I forgot an important step, but also realized I had neglected some people's setups.

So with these ideas in mind let's provide everyone some updates.

First, I neglected to include the simple ?open at the end of the redirector.nsf so my server only would go to the "home page" which is the black background with links to the help files or in one case went to the NAB. Change the document and it's fixed.

Wait, which document? In this case, unlike my previous post, the client was using Configuration documents and Internet sites.

8.5.1 created the doc below and I have used mailredirect as the db name.
redirect the URL for iNotes

By adding the file name to the home page you will now be prompted for a login and be blocked from accessing the server.

Note this is found under Web -> Internet Sites -> Web site
Edited 2/4/2010: Please be aware that various products like Traveler, Sametime, Quickr can and will add their own web documents and this will wreck havoc with your environment as well. So either delete them or edit as I showed here. And let me know if there are things I missed too.

Also on the Security tab in this document make sure to set TCP Authentication to Anonymous=NO
Name and password = YES

And SSL if you are using it set accordingly.

In this way you will be able to force login when hitting the server and redirect accordingly.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

If kids were like a computer

I was joking to my wife tonight that a good reboot would be nice on one of them.

Somehow in the great development project called Parenting, some rogue error causes certain attitudes and personality issues which conflict with the primary program.

Naturally it is the mistake of the developer which has been shaping and adjusting the daily builds, forever, with no end in sight. An expensive and long drown out program indeed that at times may lie dormant while other sub routines are running.

Don't think the administrator is not to blame either! After all, some guidelines and policies must be in place to provide a framework for the developer to do their jobs and provide the program boundaries to work. And these policies are always evolving as future capabilities become accessible.

But sometimes it would be nice to have the ability to step through your code, find your errors and fix them and then restart it all. But this process doesn't run very well on human life forms. No, it's easy to reboot a server or change some code on it.

The real effort is from those of us that just look at what we have and just make it work or fix what is broken within reason and sometimes upgrade the software when all else fails. You can upgrade your kids software also but you have to work much harder to do it because you are the developer creating the fix pack. Start with the end in mind helps and if you haven't yet, now is a good time to do so.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Know Thine Enemy

If you could help the enemy? Would you?

What would you tell them? Why would you do it? Would it hurt anyone? Would it help your business?

Strange mergers over the years started because someone went to their enemy/competitor and asked the basic question, "What if we..."

In these economically challenged times almost anything is possible. Banks suddenly thank you for short selling your house so they don't have to deal with it. Credit card companies offering up to 5 year fixed payment plans for those in need. Car companies will take your car back if you can't make payments, with no problems afterward.

So why not ring up your competitor and see what can happen.

Perhaps you might find an interesting idea or new business.

Hubble vs. Mars Rover which is your client?

Space....the final frontier, poppycock!

Messaging is the final frontier and always will be. IM, email, voice, chat, video, but still messaging or in the words of Pink Floyd and Stephen Hawking... Keep Talking. Without communications we would not be very collaborative now would we? So why don't we take better care of it?

Based on some posts and discussions, let's look at this from a completely different view....Space.

Out in space, NASA sent some objects to learn about the galaxy and planets. One they continue to fix, maintain, update, clean the other they left to die, once it finished it's goals.

By the way the greatest motivational posters can be found on this site, Trekkies indulge.

The Hubble telescope sits floating in space above the Earth taking photos and other great images of the world.

NASA has had the shuttle send up new glasses, power, various add-ons and improvements. Basically it serves a great purpose and the powers that be want to keep paying for it and enjoy the benefits from it.

The Mars Rover
, while personally much cooler than the Hubble, was sent on a lonely mission to seek out the red planet and map it, test it, experience it. Sadly it took a few tries but there it is, barely hanging on for life.

No updates coming, no antennae fix, no power pack update, no booster to send it back home even! It's on a clear mission to die a slow and not so painful death most likely. But maybe the solar wings will keep it humming, who knows.

Do you see your clients this way? Do you present this to customers stuck on Exchange 2000 or 2003? If you can not spend the money on a solution that continues to enhance your business then you are inevitably waiting for the day when the power pack gives it up.

What will you do then?
It's cold in space and no one can hear you scream, but you work in IT or are the executive in charge and reading this.
What will you say when you reach this point?
Here's a hint, better have a huge budget available because emergency repairs always cost more than a fresh new system or one which is properly maintained.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sorry Ray, They Like Their Kingdoms

In a Computerworld article today they posited that Ray Ozzie may be giving up, or forced out, at Microsoft.

Don't cry for Ray just yet, he was after all blessed by Bill and is sure to get a nice pay check before leaving.

Microsoft is not a sharing/caring organization. It is a silo/kingdom group of people/organizations. Always was and always will be. They like to hire sales people to feed that belief too. Intelligent people with no sales ability, not going to hire you, no sir, best to keep going with what hasn't been working for them for a while.

I admit I don't know Ray, but did apply for roles at Groove during it's brief stint as a business because it was a new way to share, maybe an improvement on Domino, maybe not, but I liked the idea. So did many other people as can be seen on the internet with social networks and instant sites.

There is something about people that get sharing and collaboration and those that do not. Microsoft doesn't get it, Lotus got it, Google sort of gets it in a Borg type of way.

So is it any surprise that Ray's hope he could enlighten Microsoft hasn't panned out exactly? Not really. Could he have wanted to take over from Steve Balmer as CEO and that isn't going to happen now so he will leave?

I can see how Ray being CEO, could, I repeat could, have changed Microsoft for the better. But now we will wait and see what happens next.

If you see Ray at Lotusphere by some chance make sure to get contact details, he'll be hiring again soon and you might not get another opportunity.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

ST-SnTT - The dreaded STPOLICY.EXE Error

Attention bleeding edge people, this is for you most likely.

Sametime 8.0.2 as we all know is NOT certified to run on Domino 8.5 or 8.5.1.

But as we also know, it does work.
(these are Windows servers I had problems with and I am ONLY discussing Windows 2003 server)

However some details must be known to get this to work correctly.

First, Install Domino 8.0.2, then Sametime 8.0.2.
Once all of that is okay, then upgrade Domino to 8.5 or 8.5.1.

Sametime will NOT install over Domino 8.5/8.5.1 so don't waste your time.

Great? All good? no

You may start to see this error(100's of times!?) in your server console and logs:

12/10/2009 07:35:33 AM Process C:\Program Files\IBM\Lotus\Domino\stpolicy.exe (6968/0x1B38) has terminated abnormally

This has plagued me before and I have fixed it. But as some asked me about it here are some more details.

A hint to fixing this came from IBM Technote # 1279888

It outlines how to fix this by stating:
The following JVM argument should be provided under the [Policy] section of sametime.ini file:

POLICY_VM_ARGS=-Xmx128m -Xms128m -Xgcpolicy:optavgpause

Possible workaround:
1. Shut down the Domino/Sametime server by executing the quit command.
2. Using Task manager, if nnotesmm.exe still exists, terminate it.
3. Delete pid.nbf from the data directory
4. Restart the server.

Great, why didn't I just use this after all its from ST 7.5?
Because the policy line is already in my servers!
If it isn't in yours, do this first, then do the next steps.

You see, I had fixed this earlier as I see the line in my sametime.ini.

BUT now we have one more thing to do, with a few steps to it.

1) Shut down the Domino/Sametime server.
2) Check all the Sametime and Lotus Domino services have stopped
3) Open the Services running on the server and tell the Lotus Domino Diagnostics to stop running
4) Run NSD -kill on it if services are still running or server looks like it is not completing the tasks

Keep in mind, if you have not updated the Java code on the machine lately, do this as well, get it at

And if there are OS updates now is as good as time as any to add them, after all the server is down anyway.

Then bring the Domino server back up and all is well.

While I can not substantiate this yet, I believe that Microsoft and/or other updates, perhaps even Java which get pushed down without one's intervention may be causing the server to restart without waiting for all the Sameitme services to fully complete shut down. Which could explain why this error just "pops up".

EDITED 12/22/2009: If you still get the stpolicy error, try adding this to the end of the sametime.ini line above so after "optavgpause" add -Xrs with a space after pause. This shortens the java cycle to clean up.

Q-SnTT - Quickr Qpconfig.xml Errors

Bart agrees about the qpconfig.xml

All together now, repeat after me, I will NOT edit the qpconfig.xml while sleep deprived or during the night while attending Lotusphere. I will not...

If you like the above graphic, go make one here.

Here is why:
12/09/2009 07:25:48 PM JVM: Java Virtual Machine initialized.
12/09/2009 07:25:49 PM Agent error: [Fatal Error] :69:5: The element type "user" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "</user>".
12/09/2009 07:25:52 PM org.xml.sax.SAXParseException: The element type "user" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "</user>".

What is this error in my server console telling me?

I have an agent run amok? A java agent at that.

And some org.xml.sax whatever? Come on guys, I'm an admin not a miracle java debugger.

But that /user thing rings a bell....

So here is what happened. It seems in my over zealous creative way, I had edited the qpconfig.xml and misplaced a reference. Who knew HTML was so unforgiving, or in this case XML. Raise your hands, me too, yes I know, my bad.

But in any event, here is what it looked like:
qpconfig bad

and what it should look like:
qpconfig good

Mote the juxtaposition of the /user field.

So if you get odd java/xml errors in your server console after editing your Qpconfig.xml file, guess you know where to start now don't you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Black and White, the colors of a new millenium

Adam posted about color and what role/emotions it provides in logos and brands.

I questioned what does it say about iPhone users? they only get to choose between Black and White. Sure you can skin it, but by default why not Red apple color or Granny smith(never mind The Beatles would sue I guess).

Coke zero is black and white(and marketed to men specifically).

Why are (soccer)footballs black and white? Got to be better than, so one can see it in the grass.

Why are roads black with white or yellow stripes? Don't you think that the grumblings in traffic are worse because there is nothing but black out there?

All the talk about customizations and how this is the time for what you want the way you want it and some things still think like Henry Ford a hundred years ago?

Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black. -Remark about the Model T in 1909, published in his autobiography My Life and Work (1922) Chapter IV

Is it a case of not now, later or is it cheaper? No idea, it would seem to me that once you are dyeing or painting, color should be the same cost. If I was producing millions of iPhones I would provide a bunch in colors, limited editions or whatever you want to call it, to those that would pay for it.

I had the same complaint against HTC since all their phones are either gray or black or silver mixes. tried to get a yellow one, but I will probably order a yellow pouch, so I can find my phone at least. Any one else want a yellow pouch for Lotusphere let me know or watch my blog for some info how to get them in a few days.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Always On Social Media and Winning the Lottery

Do you ever feel like you live out of place or time?

Technology which was to make our lives easier, has enslaved us more to a point that any device gets us connected to people or things 24x7x365 or in my case 24x6x300+/-.

Do our clients, friends, children, spouses, pets now take second stage to someone or something else on a daily, if not hourly basis?

When will companies start paying you for the true hours you work? Or better, when will they start letting you work on your preferred hours to accomplish your tasks?

Me, I'd prefer to work from 5am till 1pm but reality of my kids and carpools makes my days start around 9 usually. But then I am up fixing things, editing, blogging, tweeting and just "working" all night so to speak.

This must stop, not just for me, but for civilization as we know it. Some of us are happy to be online always, others, like me, drop it all 1 day a week.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, would you still be on Twitter or Facebook or blogging? Personally, I wouldn't, but I am sure some of you would. Right now it all helps business, each in it's own way.

And if I didn't have the business I wouldn't bother.

This may be why the pickup in companies for social media is up and down, if you have no stake in your company, why would you do it? And if you do take part in it all, and have no stake, why bother? A chance to be "known"? A chance to stand out, perhaps for advancement? And for how long? Business is not just about Q4, but you got to play all year long, always.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

SAHD Understands Single Parents

For the last few days I have been a SAHD. For those that don't know what that is, it's a Stay at Home Dad.

To be fair I have been working too, but with my wife away I have been living a double life.

Carpool in the morning and afternoons, making breakfast(which I do anyway every day), lunches, and dinner, laundry, iron a brownie patch(damn thing won't stick), dish washer, homework review and whatever else. The pinball machine flipper needing to be fixed is still waiting though.

Then work from 9:30-12:30, 1:30-3 then whatever else after 8 or so every night.

So do I miss my wife? Has it been hard? Do I appreciate her more?

My friends today asked how I am doing, do I need help or how am I coping.

Did I mention my grandfather went back in the hospital also the other day after his valve surgery, which went well 2 weeks ago, but he has some fluid issues in lungs and heart.

The answer is I appreciate more what my mom went through as single parent raising us.

The issue isn't that I miss my wife, I can and do cook and always have, but you need a respite sometimes. Just to go shopping for simple things or even food. When you have little kids (2,5,7) you can't just leave them at home.

The hard part is when the baby is up at night as only you are there for the morning...and I don't drink coffee.

Luckily Lotusphere (college did too, but that was an eternity ago) helps! Getting 2-4 hours of sleep a night for a week proves one can do anything if they want to.

My Mom has helped by coming over on days I have 2nd carpool duty to wait for the sleeping 2 year old. Otherwise I'd have to wake her up which might not be a good thing every time. Thanks Mom.

I do feel sorry for all the guys out there that can't survive when their wife is away, what kind of a man are you then?

Those of us that travel for business and leave our spouses at home probably rarely get to experience it in reverse. If nothing else it is enlightening and if you have friends that are divorced or widowed with kids do them a favor this holiday season and help them. Take their kids with you if you go to the movies or something fun, invite them to a bbq or meal, have a kid sleep over at your house and try to sort the rest of them out too so your friend gets a real "night off". Maybe just give them a call and go watch the game at their house or bring over a beer or cigar or wine or whatever since they are not likely to get out much.

Trust me they need it and will be really thankful and happy for the offer.

Friday, December 4, 2009

In Place upgrade of Windows for Exchange? NOT

Thanks to VoWe for finding this. For the most part it discusses Exchange support in Windows 2008.

The simple detail is you can not run Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008 R2 until 2nd half of 2010. Exchange 2003 however is good to go now.

They must really have screwed up Exchange 2007.
Later in the post comes this request, which most people have asked for from the start:
Finally I do want to update all on one other piece of feedback we have received - allowing the in place upgrade of the operating system under Exchange. Technically the work required to provide this capability is consistent with the work we would need to do to support an in-place upgrade of Exchange itself. As such the amount of work needed is outside the scope and complexity of what we can do in a post release product update. Still we do understand the demand and desire and it is something we will continue to look at for future versions of the product.

In other words, too bad, we don't care, go buy new hardware and pay your Microsoft Business partners more money.

Sometimes I wish IBM would do this, then I remind myself that while it would make us more money, it also makes life much harder as we would have to convince customers to upgrade which as can be seen, if there is such usage of Windows 2003 still, the Microsoft faithful don't sound so faithful do they?

Do you use this line in your contracts?

sleazy weasels
Don't waste your time, I am going to make you read this to find the line.

This is the point as well. Who reads contracts? Raise your hand!

Now who writes their contracts?

How many of you ask your client if you can steal money from them on every project?

Yes you read that correctly.

In subcontracting some work we received contracts which include a line that says something along the lines of:

This project may run over our estimates, we will provide additional billing upon client approval.

So this is a license to steal. Why you ask? Because what incentive do you have to finish the project? What stops you from saying, in the middle of it all, we need 100 more hours and if you say no, well it's not finished so we will leave you in a mess.
And I have seen this many times happen through the years, used to be SAP projects or .Net applications, SEO companies, website designers, roofers/construction and movers.

I bet every single Microsoft Business Partner uses this line as projects from any of them came in under budget or under time. Especially those laughable attempts at rewriting Domino applications in .NET.

This is probably the best way to admit you have no idea what you are doing.

Now, I admit things happen, problems arise and delays occur but didn't you take any of that into consideration when you wrote the estimate? Even if you are double charging someone(like the armies $400 hammers) why would you include this line?

Our contracts never say this. We due exempt us and clients from acts of God, after all I live in a hurricane zone, but that doesn't change costs, just sometimes delays in completion.

If I quote a project, that is the price, don't ask me to discount it, unless you are paying upfront in full, in cash. I am not a sales person. I am a business man. Business needs can never be discounted, otherwise they are no longer needs are they?

So if you get proposals which include this line, just toss it and the vendor and find someone open and honest and upfront. You will save a ton of money in the end.

Or spend double having someone clean up the 1st vendor's cheap price or over time heavy project that is still not completed.

Refunding a Contract? Huh?

I have been in business for 20+ years and can safely say this was a new one to me. Sure we have had accelerators before and pay per goal/deadline but never a full refund.

We provided a proposal to an organization which was deemed to be too expensive. Upon further review it was in actuality equal or less than their other estimates when viewed item by item.

That's not the point.

One of the key individuals asked for a complete refund if within 6 months they don't like the solution or want to drop it or go back to what they had. If we would agree to this they would do the project with us. Individually I would, as a business, we can not and will not commit to such a thing. It is an embarrassment to my business and theirs if such a thing occurred. I know this happens all the time, but we are not the size of EDS or IBM and can just shrug it off.

Never been asked that before. Really.

My reply was we were happy to do so, if they would agree to pay us twice the amount of the project cost if in 6 months they kept what we rolled out. So if it was a 10K project so pay an extra 10K. Seemed reasonable to me as a request, but we would still be on the losing side in many ways as it's their choice not ours.

Needless to say they decided it was too expensive. We await their next server failure and "woe is us" story when their vendor asks for more money than the contract stipulated when they run into problems.

See tomorrow's post to better understand where this is going.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

3 Different Conversations from the Yellowverse

In the last 12 hours I had very different conversations about Lotus, IBM, Business Partners and Lotusphere.
To protect the innocent will not state my friends names.

One posited that the idea of development is very different today from years ago. I agree, but I, as an admin, did not know some of the ideas tossed about and how they could help a specific issue. Again reminding me why I don't code and why discussing with other professionals, is truly how one learns. Even someone doing this for 20 years like me can learn something new.

Another, an ISV, is unknown to most of you reading this. They want to change this. The problem is they are well known at a level we all wish we are on. So bringing them down to our level, think Fortune 5 vs 1000, may or may not be a good choice. Pricing alone will make a difference for them. Still I like their products and maybe will post about some of them in time.

Lastly, a third discussed the state of development and applications. Is the iStore the answer? Can Domino applications be sold or both $1.99 and $199,000? Where is the true creativity happening? An interesting view as well from someone who has made an effort to do what few others have recently. When asked why I don't produce applications, the truth is I propose many applications to clients, but few get picked up for interest due to costs/expectations. My bad I know, but I work on there are no bad ideas, just bad timing. Seeding the information is sometimes just as important as the idea itself.

What is interesting to me is all three really are about marketing, sales and business decisions and one was about finding the customers. But each sees their world as easy, yet sees the other ones as difficult or at best just different.

It's not about back stabbing or stealing clients, but trying to work together to provide a better future. Some of us see it on a grander scale and some of us have the answer without a question and vice versa.

Either way it all is leading up to Lotusphere and the time when we all get together, put aside various past histories and enjoy hanging out and learning from each other.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Reasons to Upgrade/Migrate Domino.Doc to Quickr

I have mentioned it before and for the sake of those still on the fence, let's revisit Domino.Doc for a minute and why it is important you upgrade it.
I know few admins out there even know anything about it or ever maintained it, but having worked with Domino.Doc since it was in beta in 97/98 (Quickplace as well since it's beta) I am happy to see a resolution finally coming from IBM.

From the IBM page of Domino Document Manager:
As of May 12, 2009, the software will not be available for purchase; end of support will take effect on September 30, 2012.

1) IBM is granting you license for license "free" swaps from Doc to Lotus Quickr.
This is important to you because it means there is no upfront cost and in most
cases your support licensing costs will go down next year over this year.
There are also Filenet licenses for some circumstances.
NOTE: This offer only until September 2010

2) The tool is available to move your File cabinets to Lotus Quickr sites.
It works well and takes some time to configure all the tweaking you want for the
new site but once ready to go, can be done at your leisure.

3) You get to upgrade your Lotus infrastructure finally so all servers run 8.5.1.
The tool in #2 requires a Lotus Quickr 8.2 server running Domino 8.5 or newer.
Now you have the perfect reason to get some funding for your upgrades,
Piggy Back the Doc upgrade and start taking advantage of Traveler, DAOS,
ID Vault, DCT and so much more efficient systems compared to the R6 or R7
version you are stuck on currently.

4) Read the Redbook if you need to know more. Link to it is here.

5) Connectors/Enablers/Plugins what ever you want to call them make your life,
the life of your employees, and your extended workers lives so much easier.
Connecting from Windows Explorer, Lotus Sametime, Lotus Notes, Stand alone client,
Lotus Symphony and Microsoft Office makes storing and accessing yoru data
simple, fast and efficient.

Please don't jump in with anyone to do this. Make sure they know and understand about Domino, Quickr and Domino.Doc, not just Quickr. Also keep in mind that your preferred partner may be using us or others to handle the work so always ask who will be handling your data.

As we get closer to Lotusphere some of you may want to discuss this further with us so please get in touch and we will set something up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's About We, not Me

Found this excellent poster and tempted to buy it
A twitter post caught me today and I replied that until it's not about me, but about we, one can't "get" Lotus.

This isn't the entire story of course, but it is critical.

The greater good, of the individual, or the company, is from the sharing of information and data.

It's NOT about:
Face to Face time

It's about everything as a whole and recognizing that what you know, someone else may not and by helping them you create a tsunami of savings in time, resources, money, family time, overtime and many other ways as well.

Yes one should be a part of everything, but not for the sole purpose of doing a job. The ability to share with others without recourse and without fear is a hard one for many people to understand. You may at times get something wrong, but that happens when you give of yourself to others because the greater good is what matters.

When you look around in your organization, do you see people that want to share or do you see people that want to win at all costs or are secretive or evasive?

The answers tell you a lot about where and who you work for and what systems they run internally. I don't care if you are a Lotus, Microsoft, Google or Novell shop but although the tools might exist and be available to you and your fellow employees, is there a true sharing and freedom? Or is it just more silos and sideline discussions?

So the answer to anyone that asks why you use, sell or manage Lotus products is we believe in the greater good and sharing everything will all of us.

Not an elevator pitch, just a simple answer to a question from someone who really does not understand what the question implies about themselves.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Truth or Myth? Password Resets are #1

In a discussion at lunch today I suggested the #1 call to a help desk is about passwords. Notes ID, Windows logins, FTP sites, Web usage for Sametime as an example, VPN login, Mobile devices, Voice Mail etc..

If you manage an infrastructure or are an admin in an organization or a help desk member or a manager who has dashboards for Remedy or Paradigm or whatever help desk solution, can you please comment?

So have an opinion? Is it #2? And if you have the metrics, how long does it take to make the change for the person? Keep in mind:

Time to call
Get user ID/info
Discuss problem
Login to the system or find the user
Find the ID(or start the process)
Complete the process
Have user test it(when applicable)
Hang up
Enter the details in the Help Desk system

I put it at about 5 minutes per call.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Microsoft not using the Transporter in 2010

An article posted on the site says Microsoft will not be creating a tool to migrate users from POP/IMAP or Lotus.

They claim 3rd party vendors have better tools and that the lack of a free tool may reduce the migrations due to the cost involved.

Michael Crowley, an enterprise/ messaging administrator with Germantown, Md.-based Microsoft product integrator Planet Technologies, Inc., said Microsoft's decision to stop offering its free tools is "a bigger deal than people realize."

Crowley said Lotus moves are usually done for cost reasons -- not because of any issues with IBM's mail server products, and POP3/IMAP4 to Exchange migrations are far more common.

Just what we have been saying for a long time, the issue is NOT the server. Of course the issue is not the price either when it is broken down properly.

And he goes on to say, and perhaps he is slightly confused by the Lotus admins as well:
"Generally the Domino administrators are happy with their software and sometimes even resist the migration," Crowley said.

Resist it? Sure we resist it, because it's a waste of money to leave a perfectly good platform for another one.

Most likely licensing is an issue, but really, aside from the initial expense, keeping your maintenance up is cheap next to whole new licenses. But if you had an older version, say 5,6,7 and stopped maintenance, then what do you expect IBM to do?

The licensing issue doesn't go away in the Cloud nor does it go away by going to Microsoft. In fact other licensing expenses go up, as does hardware costs.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Abstracts for me this year

But it works out in your favor.

Some were about how to enhance your support methods or build up your documentation for SOX or Disaster Planning or Business Continuity, I will most likely blog these at some point, with dbs to help get you started as well when applicable.

Other sessions submitted were based on articles and presentations I did this year which are of interest to a core group of (Quickr mostly) people, but maybe not the vast audience. Back to the white board for next year.

We had discussed on Twitter about doing an Un-Sphere for those who really wanted their sessions to be heard. I suggest when Ed and team open up Lotusphere Idol you try again, but otherwise blog it, pod cast it or slide share it. That is if you want to go through with it all, which as some pointed out is unlikely. I encourage you to be disciplined, create a deadline and just do it. It might make your session better for next year or the next LUG event coming soon. Or you may come up with a better idea for next time.

Some of us had wondered if we should do a 15 minute thing for people at Lotusphere but to be honest, aside from Lunch, not sure when that would ever work. And, in my case, I think I would prefer to just have more Blog posting material. But if this idea is of interest, to do some at lunch, sort of a lunch and learn thing, we can try it, I guess on the Monday at lunch and if it works do it each day?

Go see the people that are speaking, especially the new ones, they deserve your time and maybe, you might like them too and add them to your list of "must sees" for LS11. Many bloggers are speakers, so you probably have a fair idea already what to expect, but live is always more fun. Remember the speakers are other Lotus lovers, just like you, and for that reason, there really are no bad sessions at Lotusphere.

You always learn something from every session.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

eWeek on Google Wave, What a Lark

David retweeted about this online slidedeck from Novell.

10 Persistent Messaging Problems that Google Wave Solves by Clint Boulton

You can see it here.

I appreciate that Novell is working on their Wave Server/services and it's an intriguing idea, but what does that say about Groupwise's future?

But I want to focus on some points in the slides, which were simplistic and in one case just blatant FUD.

Slide 1(Screen2) says Wave is free and open source. Great, just how long will Google support your file storage junkies for free? Last I checked there was no impediment to using Lotus products with other open source pieces. True the core Notes & Domino is IBM owned and not "free" but then it is more open to integration than Outlook and Exchange. You can even use Wave from your Notes client, or so I have been told, probably a sidebar app.

Slide 4 (screen5)Wave gives the same view to everyone, which to me is difficult to figure out the last development. But maybe I am just linear. I prefer a standardized way to see my information so every time I go there I don't need to relearn how to find information.

Slide 6 (screen7) FUD alert. 10MB limits exist because it's a default standard, which most admins never change and most companies never know they could change. Google has no such limits, per se. Just wait and see, corporates will limit it, when they start paying for the usage. Oh and tell your admins to raise the attachment limit or better yet use a Lotus Quickr server running DAOS on Domino to reduce the disk space used.

Slide 7 (screen8) a reminder that Outlook doesn't reply with attachments which drives people crazy, and why Notes clients have the options to send email with or without attachments. Wave will keep the attachments in place. Right, like Quickr does or Wiki's to a lesser extent.

They also discuss clean threading and error correcting data. So no one else has any live documents? IBM and Microsoft would argue differently. Yes past items might be stuck in a thread, but if you are using a modern platform, aside from your email to work in a collaborative manner, editing is not only available but open/secured as well to a much greater degree.

I liked Wave when I saw it but now that I have had time to play with it, I am not happy with how it works, for me, for business. Business needs a logic, sometimes bad logic, but needs logic for others to be able to work, repeat, reuse and provide training. If one has to jump around everywhere in a thread to find what could be easily defined or found using existing tools, this has a way to go to be ready for the business world.

What are your Developers Afraid of?

Or for that matter, what you afraid of?

I recently had some requests for Domino Web development work which were beyond my scope/interest and time due to some family emergencies.

What was interesting to me, as an admin and a business person, is how many people turned me down to do the work. And I know what's involved in doing it, and maybe you even had it done someplace, but nonetheless everyone I asked turned us down.

Paying jobs with have some trickle effect of business too I might add if anyone had said yes. I even offered a few people to take the time and do it, no rush and we would work out a deal.

This has me concerned. Now as an Admin I might not know how to manage an SAP environment, although I am sure I could manage if I needed to do so, and I would normally turn this down. However just because I haven't done any administrative work on a service(for 10 years or so), like MSD(Mobile Services for Domino) for example, I'm not adverse to handling it, especially if it is not an emergency, and even if it was I would still handle it.

So why aren't some developers as amenable to working on something new or at least different? Is coding for a Notes client application that different than coding for the Web? Is it Java/Javascript that scares you? Is it Quickr, Connections, Domino.Doc or Sametime code that has you afraid to touch it?

What do you tell the boss when they need something done or propose web applications?

Do we evolve? Do we stay in our comfort zone? Are we waiting for our company to get on R8.x before pushing ourselves to learn more?

In business, the best companies are the ones that not only expand their wings and try other venues of business but expand their core offerings as well. We spent some time looking at business and while it works for us, we have had to augment some parts which were not on the horizon, but now see how they will fit nicely.

Maybe this was a bad example and the reasons are much larger than they appear to me.

But what if this project, or a similar one, led to other work and a whole new line of business for you?

You will never know.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My S10e goes Ubuntu, You can too..Really

Been almost a year since I got my S10e and it's been great to have, while in London for the summer, Chicago for MWLUG, Lotusphere 2009, clients and flights.

But I was kind of lazy about updating it's OS, drive and loading Linux on it.

Now that I had a spare drive, and encouragement from Darren, who did it the other day, I figured it's time.

The spare drive is bigger than the default drive and came from my HP and runs Vista on it. I wanted to see if it would work first under Vista and with nothing changed it just worked. I need some screen drivers, etc.. but it was fine. Good thing as it's going to Windows 7 next.

Before I start this, if you put this on a USB you can run it from a USB if you don't want to mess with your hard drive. It's a bit slow, but works well.

Back to Ubuntu, go to this site, to grab the latest file for your netbook. Download the .iso file to your PC.

It then has a link to this page to help you put it on a USB. I had no luck with this, but did when I went to this page and the UnetBootin program as I did this on a Windows machine, Linux server is, um, in parts right now.

The program is straight forward, just tell it where the .iso file is and where your USB is. The program will set up the USB to boot and run Ubuntu. Once you boot your laptop with the USB, you will have the option to install Ubuntu on your PC itself.

So you have the USb ready to go, now set your laptop or pc to boot from the USB drive. Plug it in and wait for it to start.

Great graphical UI, and one item which shows on the main window asks to install Ubuntu to a PC. Let it do it. It has a built-in partition selector and divider so you can run it in parallel with Windows. Or just wipe your drive and go whole hog. I shared space.

Also updates will come, especially to Firefox so maybe wait for the updates to install before trying to install and download more. Once you can get online, go get the Linux code for Sametime, Notes and anything else you want.

Ubuntu also will let you interact with your windows partition so I have the best of both worlds right now. Go play and learn. I'm much happier with this version than one I tried on my previous Linux box.

So next up is to find out just what else I can toss on this machine and demo, work, maybe the big HP laptop will have to go Ubuntu soon too.

One last link, in case you need it:
Notes install issues

Do you know your CXO?

And better still, do they know you?

Yesterday when I discussed how to tackle "the talk" when management wants to discuss moving away from Domino or anything for that matter and their issues I wanted to follow up on one section, namely the CXO and what to do about them.

How do you get the CXO's attention? How do you keep them up to date? How do you make yourself heard, without upsetting politics and the common day actions of everyone?

Easier said than done of course, but maybe these ideas will help you.

Start with do you even know who they are and where they are located? This may sound simple or obvious, but when you are the low woman/man on the IT totem pole you might not know, or care. You should care if you read yesterday's post as your job is at stake potentially.

Great, now you know who the top people are and you can focus on who to help. Why help? Because they need it, but don't know it. This is your job, to help them learn from you, in various ways which are up to you.

Every time you upgrade a server or client template or really anything, you should be sending out an email to them to let them know what is new. Most companies don't do this, so step out there and be different.

If there are new mobile features let them know, if there is better access to an application, let them know, but don't just say we updated to R8.5.1 and your iPhone is now supported. Pitch them like it was a new idea for the company.

You may find that tailoring those emails for the CFO vs. the CEO are time consuming but will mean a lot to them.

Some of you are saying, yeah right my boss won't let me send such an email. Ok, let your boss know it's good PR for IT to do this and you are sue the execs will be happy to hear IT does anything aside from play video games(yes, I hear that still from some people, I think they mean twitter now)send it to everyone in the company, but send the execs a slightly more tailored one if you can.

Still not allowed? Post it on the company intranet somehow. No Intranet? Email the execs assistants and let THEM know how their job will be easier because of X,Y,Z and so will their boss and ask that they let them know as well.

Maybe none of this works for you, the mahogany halls scare you or the CEO's assistant can fire you on sight, well cheer up you have other ways to help.

There is an interoffice mail in every company. You can use it as well, print it off and send it to them.

If you are on the support or development side it might help you if you had a few minutes of a discussion with some execs about how they use your application or phone or whatever product in question. Your immediate boss might laugh this off, but remind them that a true user experience is based on the people using the system and if you want buy in from the CXO's, they have to see it and feel it and believe in it...and use it.

Guerrilla Evangelist tactics? Slightly, but if your job was at stake you would do whatever you could to save it.

Reality is much harder, it could take weeks to get to talk to the executive. Email and IM have made this an easier way to target them, if they use it. Not that I advocate everyone out there do this, but Bob Picciano, the Lotus General Manager, is usually on Lotus Sametime and if you wanted a minute he might give it to you.

Always be respectful of the executives time and ask if they have a few minutes for you to ask some questions or just relate something they might want to know about or need to get their job done. You might be surprised how often your little nuggets of coolness and/or productivity is just what they were looking for or wanted to know.

Again, it's not easy, in a Birds of a Feather Session at Lotusphere the last 2 years Tom and Gregg and Jess discussed how to be evangelists inside the organization. It was obvious from attendance that it's something people want to do and be a part of, I imagine if a similar session is held at Lotusphere 2010 in January it will be even larger attendance.

So get out there and start publishing, emails, blogs, videos, webinars, wikis, podcasts, basically however and whatever way you need to get the word out to everyone.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Google and Microsoft got you down?

Lotus beats the competition everytime
When a CEO lets you know they want to discuss alternatives, while you are building them a new Domino 8.5.1 server, you know this discussion is not going to start off well. Sales people might know where I am going, but having trained sales and technical people on this type of discussions, few EVER do it in reality. Some of the bloggers on Planet Lotus do this regularly, but not enough of us do in the corporate world sometimes.

You will hear all about how "easy" it is to "just work" with Google or that everything "works with Exchange", "Outlook is much faster", "everyone uses x" among other nuggets of generalities. There might be a list a mile long or only 2-3 items but either way, what will you do when faced with this test of your integrity and defense of your workhorse Domino infrastructure?

Before you get all defensive, remember, it's your job to teach, train and help the client/customer/employee/executive. If they are asking these questions then you at least have a good relationship and don't do anything to change it. Otherwise you would have been told "we are moving to X" next month.

But if they are asking these questions, you also have not been doing your job as well as possible and this can happen too. To be fair, you may not always get the CEO's time to "train" them but I will tackle this issue in a related post today or tomorrow.

So what do you do? Show up for the meeting or call or online conference, take a minute to ask about work/family/sports whatever just to relax yourself, then ask if the executive can elaborate on their thoughts for you so you can better assist them in their efforts and then SHUT UP. Seriously, let the person talk, however long they need to, because you should be TAKING NOTES on everything they say. Oh and let them know you are taking notes or working off an email or list they sent you already.

You can and should ask them to repeat something or ask for clarity but DO NOT under any circumstances try to defend or reply to anything they are saying.

When they are finished, thank them for bringing all of this to your attention. If there is a major point or thread that all else flows from, you must hit it first. If you don't see any logic, start with what you do understand or know about, then work your way backwards to items you may not have the details.

Many times the real issues stem from one thing and if you can address it first the rest does flow very well. In this case, an issue which had to do with an application was at fault. There were also issues about a lack of awareness or training about some newer benefits in the 8.0.2 and 8.5 and 8.5.1. Not entirely our fault as we have been waiting for them to commit to new hardware for a while and we just sat on it for a little too long.

After addressing the application issue, which really was more a configuration problem than an issue, we go to the discussion about everything from Traveler and it's benefits to iCal and backing up phone contacts among other items. It wasn't easy, the boss had read online forums complaining about this and that, Traveler was a heavy client he didn't want to use, (never heard that one yet) he was using Google to synch corporate details(we discussed security as well as why IBM Mobile Connect might be of interest) because "no one used Notes for calendaring". This of course is never true, and usually means they do not use it but nonetheless one must work out each point. He had no idea he could easily send and reply to Outlook users or Gmail users and have it all work well. He had never tried is my guess.

Keep in mind you may have to be honest and open about what does or doesn't work in your environment, but also be positive that it can be resolved if it doesn't work. Sometimes the promise of fixing it works really well. (See anything Microsoft has claimed for the last 20 years that is always coming in the next release) If you can't be honest with your client, boss, then you will not get any place with them.

Ask more questions, ask how they tried or what was wrong. Let them know you understand the issue and then when you think you have finished, ask them what else to cover or anything they still have questions about. If you have been asking and following your notes there really should not be anything major left to discuss.

So when all is said and done let them know what you will do for them and also what they need to do for you. Without buy in from them, you may be wasting your time. If you say you may need their help to troubleshoot some issues, and they don't say they will help, then you missed a step, possibly the honest answers part, go back and find the problem. You may not get a second chance.

If your job responsibilities included anything that was mentioned during the initial monologue from the boss, apologize for having not provided them the information appropriately and ask what the best way to keep them updated is. You may be pleasantly surprised to get 15 minutes a week with them because of this or at least sending them an email once a week with new ideas that will be read.

In the end, this post can't tell you what to say or how to say it for every possible discussion nor would I want to as it also would help the competition :-)

I can only provide you with the basics, the rest is up to you. If you don't feel comfortable in these discussions, ask me to help you or ask someone else you trust, because that's what we are here for, to help you and in some cases even save your job because of discussions just like this one I had today.

If you have a sales force that doesn't know how, that is doesn't WANT to discuss the competition with the client, let me know! We have ways of making them talk, or walk, but at least you will know when it happens and can protect your business before it gets too late.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why Google Frustrates me

I like Google usually, aside from when they try to act like a corporate provider.

In this case, as a consumer, they have some issues.

While working on our AdWords campaign I was sent an email to share access to it. You would think it would be easy enough, just login using my Google ID.

One problem...which ID is that? Keep in mind each of the ones listed below are absolutely 100% different logins and passwords.

My google Wave ID?
Gmail ID (I do not use gmail so don't bother emailing me there)
Other corporate login (not primary domains)
Blog login (Google bought Blogspot)
Adwords ID (don't recall but from at least 2 years ago)

The last one is the problem. Evidently I was supposed to use the same login for all adwords accounts. I chose to assign yet a new one, because Google wouldn't let me login with any of the above ones.

Then the page shows up in chinese when I try to login!
My Chinse is rusty

And if you had seen the screen before you would realize that my login is accepted but still not getting redirected to adwords or our campaign.

I don't know what Google's Directory plans are, but so far they don't have one as far as I can tell. I understand the average company has one Directory(or so google might lead you to believe) and so maybe that works for Google, but I don't think so.

Just wondering why I can't use an universal ID for all the Google pieces.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Installing the 8.5.1 clients on a Windows 2003 Server

While I still get nearly an hour of lunchtime from an install on Vista, the same can't be said about my recent install to a server.

One has enough time to get a drink and that's it.

Clocking in at just under 11 minutes to install all 3 clients(without Symphony) is pretty impressive.

Would have created a video but honestly who wants to watch paint dry for 11 minutes?

How are the times on Windows7?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Windows 7, Same As It Ever Was

Many years ago in some discussions with Microsoft I was asked what they should do to get companies to upgrade from Windows 2000 or 2003 to Windows 2007, I don't recall exactly, but the answer was the same from me.

Make it an in place solution and they will follow, like IBM does with Domino.

Now it is true, you may be out of luck if trying to install Domino 8.5.1 on a Windows 2000 server(it works, but unsupported) as one client found.

But this is a rare case. After all, that OS is now +/- 9 years old .

But every Domino version in memory just installs over itself, from version to version. Like any product should. Exchange however needs an OS refresh first.

Now look at Windows 7 and what do we, as consumers at home get? An error message when we try to update our XP machines to Windows 7. And it then proceeds to tell you there is no path from XP to Window 7.

You know this already, but what do you tell consumers? Buy new equipment? In truth it is probably cheaper in many ways to do so.

Microsoft still doesn't get the fact that the reason so many people stayed on Windows and Exchange 2000 or 2003 is the headache and cost of doing what could be a simple upgrade.

The IBM way for Domino makes it so simple, I even did a video of a server being updated in 3 minutes. If Microsoft had done that, where would the apple commercials be? And where would the majority of the world?

IBM continues to win customers by showing how resources can be used, not wasted, to build productive environments that can be maintained for years to come.

Corporations and individuals do not have an IT "Old Age Home" where they maintain extinct Operating Systems and other software just in case they need old data. Some keep those machines running forever, but at what cost? My data, as I have said many times, is still accessible to me just like it was in 1993 when I first started using Lotus Notes.

That is Data Mining.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CIO Magazine Email survey

I was just asked to provide my input for a survey which asked:
What features of functions are lacking within your company's current messaging environment? What do you see as the potential benefits of cloud computing? Let us know your thoughts in our new 6 question quick poll below. Results will be posted in the Downloads section later this month.

But it really is a survey about Cloud computing. As usual a flawed poll from the CIO group. Why is it so hard for them to accept that some systems really do work well?

At least they included Lotus Notes and Domino as an option this time.

They asked in 3 different ways about problems in your email system, then turned around and asked why you were moving to the Cloud. If only this was the truth.

If the majority of companies run Exchange as so many claim, then if CIO believes you hate it, that would imply that Exchange has issues. But if you ask about it, no one claims any issues at all! So what's going on?

The questions asked about what's wrong are as usual generic and could be any company without an intelligent admin. But there is the problem. They should have asked about their admins and if they are any good or need training, or if they ever provide them training or if they resolve issues efficiently. Maybe even ask how much is invested annually to maintaining it?

But then you get to where CIO is going, costs reduction. What if you only analyze the Cloud by costs reduction, is that fair or responsible? I understand there are tax/budget implications for capital expense versus expenses themselves. But there is also a state of mind for your business that just may backfire, even if it is only once a year and for some companies, however malcontent their infrastructure is, it's theirs and they want to keep it that way.

Maybe next time they will ask if one would stay with their vendor or switch or bring in outside parties to manage it, correctly. Because if they don't, wouldn't you fire them like employees? Sadly no, because the contracts are written to guarantee too much, in favor of the vendor.

Naturally I said, truthfully, that I have no problems with our mail infrastructure and only would think about the Cloud from a cost reduction (hardware, electric, etc.).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ROI in 30 Days

While discussing the benefits of training employees how to make proper usage of graphics and email with Chris, it seemed to me that this has been going on since day one of email systems.

Wait till you see this picture, all 1.5MB of it.

What if that 1.5MB picture was sent out to everyone in your contacts list because it was your latest PR release? And what if you send this type of information regularly, like once a week?

If you have a list like mine, of over 5,000 people, one can start to see some serious numbers and dollars, being wasted.

Simple math(not including the size of the email for simplicity sake):
1.5MB x 5,000 = 6,500 MB or 6.5GB per weekly email sent is going out of my network.

That's a lot of bandwidth!

Plus the time involved to send each email, let's be really nice and say it takes 1 second per email to create and send from your server.

1 x 5,000 = 5,000 seconds or 84 minutes or 1 hour and 24 minutes
(Servers are multithreaded these days so this is purely theoretical # which is probably 4-5 times as large as it should be)

You think you just sent out a little email, but what you do not understand is you have now probably prevented others from sending perhaps for as long as an hour or more. Not to mention incur the wrath of your Administrator.

Now imagine if you did this inside your company with a new HR manual or employee time sheet or price guide? This gets a bit nastier.

6.5GB x 4 weeks = 26GB a month in new storage on your SAN or hard drives and email accounts. In theory. Why? Because presumably everyone will detach the attachment and store it locally and delete the email. Or at worst keep it until next week's version comes out.

Sadly I wish I was joking when I say that more than 75% will not delete the emails.

So you have now increased the daily, weekly and monthly backups(which includes tape, SAN, clustered servers, offsite storage, etc..) and over the year this would be 312GB or 234GB based on my 75% rule.

Big deal disk space is cheap, right?

Bandwidth? Internally? We have 1GB or more who cares?\
Your telecom people do if you need to keep that Quality of service up and running for that great VOIP system you have connected to Lotus Sametime. Every time you flood the network, you create a potential dam that blocks other traffic, important traffic, that needs to run efficiently so your CEO doesn't drop his calls every Monday morning.

Dollar value of this? Being nice and presuming $1-$5(real number is between $27 and $40 per month so based on this Forrester post from June 2009) a person to cover all expenses related to the bandwidth, backups, virus checker, mail system, disk space we could end up with $5,000-$25,000 lost or spent EVERYTIME this message goes out.

So monthly that's $20,000 - $100,000
Annually, $240,000 - $1.2 Million
3 years - $720,000 - $3.6 Million


Or, you could run Lotus Domino (8.5.1 is the latest) with it's DAOS (Domino Attachment and Object Service) which provides a one stop save for the attachment and sends a link to everyone else in your company.

So if you have DAOS setup to manage any attachment over 1MB(default is 4mb) you would only see a small blip of 1.5MB plus the text size of emails every week which even at 5,000 users is not more than 25MB per week.

A reduction in disk space of 99%! And all other costs as well.

Now, on top of this, use Lotus Quickr with it's built-in places for special groups or projects, with auto emails (links only no attachments)and group calendars to keep everyone involved and up to date and you can see some amazing ROI.

This is why we can promise a 30 day ROI to most companies.

Even if the licensing and consulting fees equals $100,000 it's still an ROI of one month at the higher end or 5 months at the low end. And this is on the low end and very generic.

If you or your company resembles even part of what was discussed, please allow us to provide more specific details to you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

New IBM Commercial Ideas

With the future well known, and sadly someone has probably already stole this thunder, but imagine what a cool ad campaign it would have been if there was "there's a plugin for that" for websphere or Domino, Sametime etc..

Or in Notes parlance, there's a db for that, well there used to be, now there's a sidebar widget :-)

Maybe we should be creating a set of ads making fun of the UI issue? Even use MBR as the spokes model, like the UPS commercials using the original designer?

There's a UI for that :-) Perhaps a past/present thing, like the college photo vs today which is better? Or look at what some cars were versus today?

Something that shows the product, enjoys the past but encourages the future as well as provide a variation on themes.

Are you a Silo or a Share?

The web has provided some great benefits to the world, but the greatest is the idea that together we can accomplish more than being alone.

In a blog at Computer World which Ed Brill opined about, I posted a comment.

Many of my clients enjoy sharing data because 1+1=3 and provides better information, faster details and endless possibilities in the future.

Some clients have a mixed environment and the comparison between the Lotus side and the non-Lotus side(usually Microsoft) is at times in sharp contrast and almost typical of what you imagine.

The Lotus side lives and works together in one happy office building is mobile and travel happy and help desk calls are more about "how to do something" instead of "this is broken". This office also uses Sametime extensively and prefers all customer projects be "in the system" and secured on various levels. Allows all employees, provided security levels, access to all servers regardless of location. Many have MAC users and tend to be looking a little ahead of the curve, not much, but a little.

The non-Lotus side likes to work in their office, away from others, likes to keep their servers local and for their office only. They also tend to not be MAC fans and not always ahead of the adoption curve. They understand they would gain from the switch to Lotus but can't give in to this urge....yet.

When we hear a CXO is new and immediately starts saying he wants Lotus out, we suggest to our contacts there that if you can fight it properly, do so, otherwise be prepared for a rather paranoid and close door policy coming.

When we hear a CXO wants to extend the Lotus infrastructure, I try to buy stock in the company as they will be better off later (any students want to entertain a thesis idea, let me know).

Google is a different discussion. They want to encourage sharing but it seems also encourage silo's, since not all their pieces come together yet(although Wave looks to be a "glue"). Don't get me wrong, IBM doesn't have everything talking perfectly either, but there is a strong push to ensure this is the case moving forward and I have seen or read about more of it coming and I am impressed.

It's not about needing more pieces to make the network work, it's about making all the pieces you have, whatever they may be, to work together and with external parties. IBM is pursuing this by leveraging Sametime, Quickr and Connections to integrate with what is inside your organization aside from your IBM items. Domino has always done it since it's inception.

It is this sharing which is most important. If you can share the infrastructure, across the world or a city, you have beat half the companies who can only share in one location at a time or act like this is the only way to work.

With IBM and Lotus you have the tools, in fact you had the tools for the last two decades but sometimes it takes a while for great ideas to catch on.

Don't believe me? Try it yourself.
Give me 30 days of one of your staffers time.
Like GM, if you don't like it, drop it, but at least try it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

iPhone vs.HTC which to get?

So I have decided to stick with an HTC device or get an iPhone.

Sorry no Blackberry unless I work for them as we have no reason for a BES server and to be tied down like that with a limited browser.

If I have to commit to a 2 year agreement, I want a phone that I will be happy with which includes the following:

Worldwide usage/access
3G and high speed network of course
Wi-Fi a MUST
Touch Screen a MUST I am spoiled now after 3-4 years of my old HTC
Keyboard I know the iPhone doesn't have one and this keeps coming back to me
Fast processors
No limits on data storage(over 5,000 contacts for example currently)
Camera/Video purely nice to have, that's all
RDP/Terminal services for emergency connections - This might be an issue for the iPhone. Any thoughts on this would be helpful.
Of course run Sametime and Traveler

If there is a Nokia that makes sense let me know.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

SnTT - Running Compact on a Notes Client

Those who know me realize I can't remember switches which is why I keep the long list of them accessible.
What was interesting to me is I found my 851 Notes client never updated the ODS on my local files, like PNAB for instance and well, it should but given my laptop gets enough rebuilds anything is possible.

Decided to run compact against the directory and my data directory and bring everyone up to ODS 51.

One should have CREATE_R85_DATABASES=1 in their notes.ini by now as well to ensure all future files are created with ODS 51.

Actual syntax to upgrade to ODS 51 is part of the compact task which is run like this: C:\yournotesdirectory> ncompact c:\yournotesDATAdirectory -C
ncompact c:\lotus\notes\data -C

IBM shows a Technote for the Server ones which look like this but not in alphabetical order like below which you get when asking for help from compact.

Purpose: Compacts one or more database(s).
Usage: Load COMPACT [path] [options]...
[path]: One database, one folder (recurses), or omitted (all, recurses).

-A Archive and delete documents without compacting.
-a Archive and delete documents, then compact database.
-B Recover space and reduce file size (inplace-style).
-b Recover space without reducing file size (inplace-style).
-C Copy-style compaction.
-D Discard view indexes (copy-style).
-daos on Enable 'Use Domino Attachment and Object Service' database
property. (Use with -C to move current objects into DAOS)
-daos off Disable 'Use Domino Attachment and Object Service' database
property. (Use with -C to move current objects out of DAOS)
-e No-execute: Show effective arguments only, since some arguments
affect others.
-F Enable 'Document table bitmap optimization' database property
-f Disable 'Document table bitmap optimization' database property
-g Copy-style compact the DB2 group associated with this database
or databases (for directories). Recovers disk space in DB2.
-G Copy-style compact the DB2 group name passed in as a parameter.
Recovers disk space in DB2.
-H Enable 'Don't support specialized response hierarchy' database
property (copy-style).
-h Disable 'Don't support specialized response hierarchy' database
property (copy-style).
-i Ignore errors (for copy-style only).
-j Just Delete (must specify -a or -A to be valid).
-K Enable large UNK table (>64 KB).
-k Disable large UNK table (>64 KB).
-L Don't lock users out during compaction (for copy-style only).
-M Set maximum database size to 4 GB.
-N Disable 'Compress database design' database property.
(Use -C with -N to uncompress current database design documents)
-n Enable 'Compress database design' database property.
(Use -C with -n to compress current database design documents)
-o Check for overlapping objects.
-p Convert to an NSFDB2 database.
-r Revert to previous ODS format (e.g. on an R8 system,
keep/convert back to R7 format).
-R Revert one ODS based on the current ODS of the database.
(e.g. Converts an R8 (ODS48) database to R7 (ODS43) format)
-S nnnK Compact database if unused space estimate >= nnn KB.
-S nnnM Compact database if unused space estimate >= nnn MB.
-S nn Compact database if unused space estimate >= nn percent.
-T Enable transaction logging.
-t Disable transaction logging.
-U Enable 'Don't maintain unread marks' database property.
-u Disable 'Don't maintain unread marks' database property.
-V Disable 'Compress document data' database property.
(Use -C with -V to uncompress current document data)
-v Enable 'Compress document data' database property.
(Use -C with -v to compress current document data)
-Y Recurse through subdirectories (default).
-y Do not recurse through subdirectories.
-ZU Enable 'Use LZ1 compression for attachments' database property. (Us
-C with -ZU to compress existing attachments using LZ1.)
-0 Process NSFDB2 databases only. This will ignore NSF databases
and is to be used with other switches.
-* Include *.ntf and *.box when processing a directory

"The Social Factor" includes my interview

Laurisa Rodriguez had contacted me about the book back in December 2008 to discuss my use of social media.

Never expected to be included, surely they had better examples I thought.

But we received a full page in the book. Page 112 and also a note of thanks in the foreword right next to Ed, Luis, Luis and Andy among others.

We discussed Linkedin which at the time when I could devote more effort was the leading Lotus group. This has slowed down in favor of other social media for us that have produced better business discussions. This blog and Twitter bring me more business than Linkedin ever did or does.

The bottom line of Social Media is the person must make the effort but in a world of rapidly changing sites it's nice to see more and more integration between some of them so one can post once and publish everywhere.

Thank you Laurisa.

Why do you still work with Lotus?

I was asked this by a good friend of mine the other night and like many, he figured Lotus is a dead product, he hadn't seen in 10 years(he's been the MS IT guy for 8 now so understandable) even though he knows I have been with it since 92.

I rarely chide him about it, although I am usually the one he calls when he has issues with Exchange.

About 10 years ago, I had a similar discussion with a good friend of mine...while I was working inside Lotus.

The 2 of them share one thing in common, they are both private people and the idea of sharing personal information or business information, even among their own employees was/is foreign to them. I believe this trait is the primary one that defines a Lotus or a non-Lotus person.

Most of my friends are not in IT or care about coding this or that so it's really lost on them in various ways. Email to them is email, via phone or Gmail or whatever they use.

But Domino is so much more than email....but not to the people who don't use it.

They don't care if it's java, AIR, FLEX or a Notes database as long as it works or is what they are supposed to use or told to use.

I discuss the benefits of sitting in one client for everything, they say we can do that in a browser. OK, not the same but I get where they are coming from.

What about personal productivity? Don't you want to keep certain information accessible? How do you do it? Spreadsheet? Postit note widget? Notepad text files?

How does one track information for processes your office doesn't track? Like paper work or faxes, copies? these days probably scanning documents direct to one's email. I had clients that did this instead of sending the documents direct to a database or even a file server.

Sharepoint perhaps makes the effort to tackle some of this and that is well and good but my friend's from above don't use Sharepoint. They like file servers.

So why do I keep pushing Lotus? Because it works with so many things and one doesn't even need a server to really gain any benefit from it, a regular Notes client will do nicely.(Just backup your data more often, just in case you have to do this sometime.

I work on/with Notes and Domino for:
email, calendar, meetings, to dos, general notes when I am out of the office(via my phone), sales tracking, invoicing, quick configured mockup demo's that really work, backing up my contacts from my cellphone(via Lotus Notes Traveler), working at 10,000 feet, blogging, providing clients with live documentation that we can update at our leisure without bothering them at any time, school projects, time cards/billing times, directions to clients, historical information from the last 18 years or so of my business life and it keeps growing with me as time goes on.
Oh and many of these applications are either on my phone or accessible via web on my phone to be fully useful.

One doesn't have to recode their Outlook macros every time, translate their old access database or Excel spreadsheets to a new version just to use them, worry about the software dying with every new windows revision, trying to find a long gone 3 1/2 floppy to reinstall an app that got corrupted when the drive failed or needs to get reinstalled on the new Windows 7 machine, wonder if that Palm app will run on an iPhone.

In short, I worry less about my technology because I am secure in knowing the Lotus brand and IBM have a long history and pedigree of working no matter the version, operating system or phone I choose to use and that makes my life and the lives of my clients one less headache we all have to think about.

Call me complacent, old man or slow on the uptake. In this case I may not always be working on the bleeding edge of technology, although I do follow it. If that is what you want, the risk and reward is always there.

After you have had enough forced upgrades, surprises, over budget meetings or delayed projects, come back and see what Lotus Notes and Domino can do for you and your organization. In some cases, paying you back for choosing it within 30 days.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seeing is Believing? Google Apps Fail #2

I wasn't kidding that Google Apps doesn't work! Here's the video I just did of trying to get some data stored in their spreadsheet online.

Or the URL is here.

Lotus Symphony
, sure isn't office, but I've been using it since January with no issues. Free is good, imagine your budget gaining back all that licensing cash you been giving Microsoft every year. Go get it now.

Happy to recant this if Google or anyone else explains how to do this at all.

Who needs Social Media? My Banks!

I realized my outburst on Twitter today was incorrect.

Meant to say that Banks need to really be more accessible to their account holders. My other bank still lives in the 18th century and refuses to do anything over the phone. This post is about my local bank.

Banks shy away from zip files, large attachments, emailing of signatures/files/documents, loaning money these days... but I had no idea they won't even give out phone numbers.

Wanted to talk to my local Citibank branch person and not having their phone number with me figured I could call the branch and get connected. Didn't want to waste a 1/2 hour drive to find they were out today. Sure I should have their # on speed dial, but my phone is still synching.

As it turns out the number listed is an automated number that never asks to connect you to your branch! Banking is a relationship or so we are told by the banks, yet when we need them....where are they?

Could Citi be on Twitter? Like Airline, Comcast and Dell people? Sure
Could they post the phone number for the branch on their website? Sure
Would it help Citi to correlate other IBM Business Partners they manage accounts for? Sure
Should the local Citi office be blogging? Sure
Would I read it? Maybe, depends on what they wrote but I'd like to know if there are new businesses in town or various suppliers or a million other business development efforts.

If you want people to do business with you, you must be doing business the way they work as well. So my next bank will be a social media using bank, which MUST be local or provide check scanning for free and clear all local state checks in one day.

Sounds like a Lotus Connections ad doesn't it? Or a business plan for a new bank.

Either way, my money is walking to new places, one BP recommended Regions Bank any others you would recommend?

Lotus Knows Ad Spotted Online

Lotus Knows One True Media

Was looking at online video sites and One True Media suddenly popped up with a Lotus knows banner/ad.

The campaign that is everywhere...finally.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"We are going to use Google Apps"

Heard this from a client and no matter my discussion they were sticking to their idea.

I thought maybe it is better than Symphony and anything would be better than Office and the Ribbon.

So needing some spreadsheet work done, thought I should try it again as the previous time it was in beta.

Anyway, so I took my data, copied it and figured I would paste it into Google spreadsheets and start trying again.

Opened quickly and smoothly, looked simple and nice.

Selected a field to paste to, it has a built-in label field so I selected A2 just in case as I didn't want it to ruin the formatting.

Hit paste/CTRL-V, wait a few seconds and .....everything ended up in one CELL of one column. Not multiple cells or multiple columns or rows.

It treated everything as one giant piece of data.

Thank you, but that is 100% unhelpful if I can't import it as designed.

What does Google think, only elementary school children will create spreadsheets, one item at a time? Mixed data must be able to be entered in a simple way.

I tried all the options but none would keep my data in any logical sense at all.

Thanks Google but even Lotus 1-2-3 version 1.0 could do this much out of the box.