Andrew Pollack's Blog

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  1. 10/21/2014Quick update on the Domino SSL v3 "POODLE" , TLS, and SHA-2 issues -- Good newsI've been more than a little sidetracked on some family things for the last week, but my good friend Gab Davis forwarded me these two links today that should address these critical issues. They're long overdue already, and will be another couple of weeks, but let's be glad to be getting them. TLS Support in a fixpack for 8.5.1, 8.5.2, 8.5.3, 9.0, and 9.0.1 within a "couple of weeks"http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21687167 And ......
  2. 10/16/2014Summary Recommendation for dealing with the POODLE SSLv3 Vulnerability on Domino serversRather than repeat what everyone else is writing about POODLE today, I want to give Domino server administrators a few quick items as it relates to them. In Brief -- and based on what I've been able to quickly learn: IS Domino affected? Yes. All Domino servers that are accepting direct HTTPS connections are impacted. THIS MEANS ALL TRAVELER SERVERS AS WELL. What is the risk to my server or data? The most immediate risk is access to user data and user impersonation. POODLE is the type of attack we call "Man ......
  3. 10/14/2014Speaking tonight ath the ICU One (aka NE Notes Users Group)For my Boston area friends in the Notes and Domino community, I'm speaking tonight at the ICU One (aka NE Notes Users Group) meeting in Cambridge. Come say hi. ......
  4. 10/09/2014Presentations from AdminCamp 2014These are the presentations I gave at AdminCamp 2014 Extreme Domino HTTP Configuration The HTTP task is more powerful and complex than it looks. We`ll go through the configuration and show you how to make your server respond just the way you want. We`ll talk about virtual web sites, multi-homing, URL redirection, headers, and path substitution. Learn how you can use more than one SSL certificate on the same server. Domino Server & Application Performance in the Real World When it comes to performance, ......
  5. 09/17/2014IBM Domino Servers STILL don't support SSL SHA-2 Certificates - and it is about to be a PROBLEMI haven't blogged about anything, much less an IBM Domino issue in quite some time, but as Mooney pointed out today, this one is moving quickly toward being critical. Read the article, then call your IBM sales rep and start demanding they update to include SHA-2 SSL support immediately. The only people who can get this done are big IBM Domino customers. Since this doesn't have a direct net positive effect on EPS (Earnings Per Share) for 2016, nothing is going to get done on it as long as they keep having ......
  6. 02/09/2014Changing what I do at the Fire DepartmentSo, here’s a bit of a change. A couple of weeks ago I let the chief know that it was time for me to step down as the Lieutenant of our Engine 1. Once a replacement is chosen, I’ll still be a firefighter but won’t be an officer any longer. There are a number of reasons for this, but the best explanation I can give is that it is time to let someone else grow into that role and make their own contribution, while at the same time I’ve got plenty of other things going on that keep me from putting as much time ......
  7. 02/07/2014Dammit. I think I broke facebook. ......
  8. 02/06/2014Sochi Olympics Pub Chat - Now OpenAs in years past, I've created a group Skype chat room for anyone who wants to use it while watching the Olympics. We've had fun with this in the past, as long as nobody takes it too seriously. Here's a link: skype:?chat&blob=1-XgYKMLG_kK5fqEsq4t4Jd4GLxHZxbMIqSYtCRXS9DiF5WNjBtuljOtcSDqaGdkOv5mX6paJQSuNuI ** Don't expect much traffic in there until Friday's opening event ** A few recommendations: 1. Definitely use the skype command '/alertsoff' so when you're not watching you won't get bugged by the rest of ......
  9. 02/05/2014Question for mobile app developers - what development platform do you recommend?I've got a need to build a couple of mobile apps, and I'm looking for platform recommendations. Here are the things that are important to me: 1. I prefer a true, compiled app -- not a wrapper around a web page, and not a PaaS (Platform as a Service) 2. I'd like to develop once and deploy on both Android and IOS, but but that's not a show stopper. The more I can share between the two the better though. 3. I'd like to have built in support for web services -- so that if I drop some WSDL on the development ......
  10. 02/03/2014Are you using a Surface Pro 2 or another Windows 8.1 Tablet? Want to use Traveler on the touch screen? It works!While I like many things about the Surface Pro 2, when I'm using it as a tablet without the keyboard it is almost impossible for me to use the Desktop client for Notes. The touch spots are just too small. Microsoft provides a nice little Mail, Calendar, and Contact app (that seems a lot like Traveler on Android) meant for interaction with the touch screen, so I thought I'd see about getting it to work. [] First of all, make sure you're running the very latest version of the Domino Server and Traveler. For ......
  11. 02/03/2014Some thoughts from IBM Connect 2014My participation was limited this year. I did get to see the Opening General Session, and to spend time on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday talking with many of my favorite IBM developers and product managers. My limited participation was simply because I had chosen not to submit a presentation proposal – and for me, sitting in sessions has never been a priority so I’ve opted to spend my travel budget on “Engage” and some of the other “LUGs” this year. That said, here are some things that struck me in ......
  12. 01/28/2014Understanding the decision behind Connections MailSo IBM has announced and shown mail in Connection. Why? This one's easy. For the last few years the reseller channel has been hearing a near constant drumbeat of promises about one feature or another in Connections "that will really drive utilization". Translated, this is saying that although our big customers have used their license entitlements to deploy connections all over the place, actual desktop users are not going there unless they have to. Even with the nonsense of "gamification" to get people in ......
  13. 01/19/2014Snap Review - Microsoft Surface Pro 2 - Tablet, Laptop Replacement, or BothI'm trying something new next week as I head to Orlando for a few days. I'm leaving my laptop at home. I haven't travelled anywhere without a fully functioning laptop in twenty years but I'm going to do it next week. Instead, I'm just bringing a tablet...and some accessories. My new Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is the size of a tablet, works like a tablet, looks like a tablet, and has all the power of a full sized laptop. It can run all my software and do all of the things my Thinkpad T510 can do without a ......
  14. 10/31/2013You Need to Wish Gab Davis a Happy Birthday Today[] Today is Gab Davis's birthday. [] Gab Davis is a dear friend, one of the most kind people I have ever met, and one of the most tireless advocates for the IBM Notes, Domino, Sametime, Connections, and other related products. You need to wish her a Happy Birthday.Tweet to @gabturtle!function(d,s,id){var ......
  15. 10/14/2013To connect or not to connectI am considering a change in my earlier decision to skip "Connect" this year, and instead submit a session proposal around SAML and other Single Sign-On techniques and technologies. I've done a lot of work with this and written my own SAML stack for Domino at one point, so I do have the information. I'm curious to hear (privately) any thoughts anyone in my Yellowsphere crowd thinks about this as I've not yet made my decisions. I'm still a more than bit angry about last year, but I realize that is largely ......
  16. 10/02/2013Thanks BruceBruce Elgort didn't just talk about a need, he stepped up and helped get something going in our tech community called "OpenNTF". Many people had talked about the need for an open source mechanism like this for sharing techniques, skills, and even full blown applications that were specifically relevant to our technology. Bruce is one of a small group of people who put a lot of time into actually making it work. His work included a focus on bringing in big players including IBM rather than going it alone ......
  17. 09/27/2013Slide Decks from AdminCamp 2013AdminCamp 2013 was great. As always, Rudi put on one heck of a great show. If you ever have a chance to attend, you should take it. Here are my slides from the event. [] Lock Down your Domino Web Server The Domino server makes a fantastic platform for delivering web based content. Whether you use it for iNotes, Traveler, or custom web sites you need to make sure that you're not exposing yourself to risk by not using all of the security features available. In this session we'll talk in depth about the ......
  18. 09/23/2013The glamour of business travel - Flying Lufthansa and Driving an A3 on the AutobahnI opted to take a different route this time to AdminCamp in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The idea was a non-stop flight from Boston to Frankfurt, then over night in Frankfurt and drive the two hours or so the next day. To begin with, Lufthansa have managed to design the least comfortable cattle class seat ever. It's basically a thin bit of plastic with a semi-padded foam backing and polyester cover. I ended up next to a grossly overweight, hairy east asian man who didn't fit the width of his window seat and ......
  19. 09/18/2013Updated Presentation for AdminCamp 2013 -- Understanding SAML et. al.I just finished updating my slides for the AdminCamp 2013 conference in Germany next week. I've added more than 20 new slides to the presentation on "Understanding SAML, OAUTH, OpenId, etc.." from when I delivered that presentation at IAMLUG. Now there's a bunch of information specifically on configuring Domino 9 for SAML. If you've never been to AdminCamp, you're missing out. It's a great conference. If you can't make the conference but you want the slides -- well you'll have to wait until after the ......
  20. 09/13/2013Time Warner Cable Internet – How a company can ruin a good service with bad support.apwin, .twwin { font-weight:bold; color:green; padding-top:6px; padding-left:3em; display:inline-block; .twfail, .apfail {font-weight:bold; color:red ; padding-top:6px; padding-left:3em;; display:inline-block;}TWFAIL] : No such information is available. [TWFAIL] : Rep is unable to determine a problem with my equipment. [TWFAIL] : Rep cannot schedule an appointment until next week. 3. I then attempted to diagnose the problem myself, using another old cable modem that wouldn’t really connect, but would ......
  21. 08/21/2013Performance Test - Homework for readers of this blogIn Domino Designer Preferences, check out the settings under "Source Control". This is an important feature, but not one that everyone uses. If you do not use source control, try turning off the two options: "Enable automatic export of the design elements (from NSF to disk) on modification" "Enable automatic import of the design elements (from disk to NSF) on modification" I'm not sure if you'll see a performance gain or not. I'm trying it for another reason. I've found Domino Designer 9 to be crashtastic ......
  22. 08/19/2013List of past US Holiday DatesFor something I'm working on, I needed a simple list of past US holiday dates. Surprisingly that's not easy to find. I came across this post: http://stackoverflow.com/a/13631254/1243582 which is perfect, and just what I needed. I thought I'd share it here so I could find it again if needed, and so could ......
  23. 08/16/2013If you work with JSON and use the Chrome or Firefox browser - you NEED this extensionWhen you're working on websites and using JSON data, from time to time you open a browser tab and point directly at the JSON data source. Instead of adding spaces and tabs and newlines into your source so you can see it while your working on it, just group [JSONView]. It will automatically perform validation (using a client side version of the well know "JSONLint" validator), flag any problems, and format the JSON for your browser so it's easy to browse, color coded, and has collapsable sections. ......
  24. 08/14/2013Here is a really fun Domino sever administrator prank or puzzleSuppose you had a maintenance period during which you took the server off line and ran "Compact" so that the directory and other busy files got compacted. It's not a bad idea once every decade or two, right? Now, suppose you set the flag for "Do not support a specialized response hierarchy" when you did this. What do you suppose would happen? Well looking at the databases and views you'd find no differences when you were done. All your response documents would be where they go and behave normally. HOWEVER ......
  25. 08/09/2013Domino Designer 9 - Crashtasic feature in the Eclipse based LS editorHere's how to have some REAL fun screwing up everything with the new(ish) eclipse based ls editor in the Notes 9 client (probably earlier as well). A hold over from the origins of the languages, is that it's legal to use the ":" colon to put more than one line of code in without a newline. For example... case 23 : myString = "This new thing"case 24 : myString = "This other thing" Do that in the new eclipse client and it compiles and seems to run. STRANGE things happen though. Crashtastic things somethings. ......
  26. 08/08/2013The massive recent project failures at IBM strike at the heart of why outsourcing failsOne of the most respected I.T. columnists for the last 25 years or more points out some of the latest failings at IBM in his most recent article here, entitled "Fulfilling customer requirements is a weapon at IBM" Cringely has made a solid career and reputation by listening to what insiders at a company say about it. He's done it so long, that his channels for information are probably as good as those of the NSA or Volker Weber. A sure sign he's on the right track, is the report that "there is now a filter ......
  27. 07/19/2013Have you ever needed to unescape a bunch of JSON data at once?I don't really know if this is "a thing" for anyone else, but I have a whole bunch of JSON data that comes down from a provider as a multi-level object and all the string data is escaped (as it should be). I got tired having to unescape() each string value as I went to use it, so I went looking for something someone else had posted online about doing a "deep unescape" and didn't find it. Given that I didn't find other people asking about it or getting answers, I have to assume that: a) There's a parameter ......
  28. 07/10/2013If my IBM Partnerworld EMAIL "Opt-in" preferences say [NO] - why do I get 3+ Emails a WEEK from Partnerworld?If my IBM Partnerworld EMAIL "Opt-in" preferences say [NO] - why do I get 3+ Emails a WEEK from Partnerworld? Do the people in charge of sending those emails not care, or does IBM have no idea how to do collaborative marketing? It has to be one or the other, ......
  29. 06/23/2013Continuum - A premise with promise, lost in lazy writingA bunch of people have recommended this show, and as the summer re-run season starts I thought I'd check it out on Netflix. I've seen most of the first season now, and I wish I could really like this one. The potential is there, but the execution -- particularly on the writing -- falls far short of what it could be. The basic story is about a cop from the future, only the cop works for the evil corporations that now control the world. The cop accidentally gets tossed back to 2012 along with a gang of ......
  30. 06/05/2013A conflict or rights: My question to my Libertarian friends about vaccination.Ok, Libertarian friends – where do you stand on this? I’ve used things like building codes, workplace safety, and similar topics before to frame the discussion of why we need government, but here’s one of best and most thorny conflicts in that debate for you… Vaccination is one of those really difficult subjects that pit personal freedoms against societal requirements. This article in Scientific American spurred me to ask the question. The basic conflict begins with your right over your own body. While ......
  31. 05/13/2013Successfully moved away from POSTINI to SPAMHERO - some thoughts...It's been almost a year since Google announced the changes in their "Postini" offering. I've been looking around, and finally chose to give [Spamhero] a try. As of today, I'm 100% switched over. Here's what I found, and a tip... Accuracy: I'm can definitely tell you is that Spamhero is accurate. I've had no false positives so far, and just a few spam messages that have gotten through. I had many more of both with Postini. For what spam does get through, you get a custom email address to forward the ......
  32. 03/22/2013BLUG A3 : Stuff Andrew Thinks You Should Know - The Presentation is now available for downloadThe BLUG conference was amazing. I had a great time, saw many people I really like, and watched a great deal of technical skill transfer take place as well as some wonderful peer to peer mentoring happening between some of the most experienced in our community and some of the newest members. Scott Souder gave a fantastic opening keynote talk that was fresh, frank, and encouraging. I love his energy and attitude, as well has his respect for the core products. Louis Richardson also did a great job. He makes ......
  33. 03/15/2013Looking at SAML and OAUTH in the Notes and Domino 9 Public BetaAm I reading this right? Seriously? Like many people, when I read that next release of the Domino Server and Client were going to support OAuth and SAML, I was pretty happy with that. I've been a bit late getting around to looking at the beta though -- after all, IBM has made it quite clear that my opinion isn't all that welcome any more -- and I'm just now reading the documentation on how IBM is going about this. I'll know more when I talk about this stuff next week at BLUG, by the way. First SAML. I know ......
  34. 02/11/2013Just made plane and hotel reservations for BNUG -- my first time at that event. Looks like I'm going to get to see a bunch of you next month in Belgium. Looking forward to a good ......
  35. 02/03/2013Can Software be Too Social to Succeed?There’s no question that “Social Software” is the big push right now. I keep seeing advertisements and slogans that claim email isn’t “Social” enough and that the more you share the better. Users, however, seem to like email quite a bit and are proving extremely resistant to switching. Why is that? I suggest that it’s a social problem. It’s true that it is human nature to work together to get a common result, and we’re at our best when collaborate. That isn’t the whole story, however. Humans do need ......
  36. 02/01/2013Thoughts about the Opening General Session at Connect 2013 -- Do you have any?For the first time since 1997, I watched the OGS from my home office. First of all, GREAT JOB to those who put the live stream together. I don't really care if it was done with IBM products or not. Someone picked the right technology this time because the sound and video were clear, crisp, and very minimally delayed. There were only two very brief pauses right near the end. I was working, but had my laptop next to my desk with the video on full screen. The session flowed well. There were no boring customer ......
  37. 01/27/2013Who is to blame for the failure of Domino as public web server? IBM (Lotus) Product ManagementIf you were a venture capitalist and someone came into your office tomorrow with a web server that could run on a single, fairly standard, Windows or Linux machine and that had a [list of capabilities] as I’ve [described below] -- and that was actually stable and functioning right now -- you couldn’t possibly bring yourself to invest in it fast enough. The simple truth is that there is only one product on the market with even close to this full list of capabilities out of the box in a single install. ......
  38. 01/21/2013Small progress taking the first real steps in moving Second Signal off IBM DominoI've been dealing with some serious analysis-paralysis with this project. Between not having a deadline and having so many choices to look at -- with virtually no experience with any of them -- I've found it very difficult to take the next step. As a result, the site is beginning to suffer from inattention and that needs to stop. I've finally decided to break off a big chunk and get working on a back end database. You don't know how spoiled you are working with IBM Domino as a development platform until ......
  39. 01/08/2013Does the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government (the President) have the Constitutional Authority to _NOT_ spend money allocated by the Congress?Congress passes the budget and spending bills. That's where all the taxes get decided, and all the spending gets decided. The executive branch is supposed to manage the organizations that go and spend that money as allocated. Suppose Congress passes a budget that includes $100 Billion for tanks for the army. The army says it doesn't need them, but the money will go to a district with a powerful congressman so it ends up in the budget. Now, the President KNOWS that in six months the budget is going to run ......
  40. 12/29/2012Have made some progress in chosing a new platform.The more I look at other platforms, the more saddened I am by the need to pick one. If only IBM hadn't utterly failed in the market to the extent that building a service provider application based on Domino virtually ensures it will be nearly impossible to sell as a business in the future, I would almost be willing to suffer through their horrendous service provider licensing nightmare. Even in the "legacy" state that the core Domino server platform finds itself, it's head and shoulders above the other ......
  41. 12/15/2012My views on gun control have been varied - but are now codifed. Here what I think is needed in the U.S.Keep in mind, I'm speaking here of what I think is needed in the U.S.A., based on where we are now and our culture. I am not saying these should be the laws in other places. Here's what I want for gun control laws: #1. No gun ownership if you are under the age of 18. Period. Your parents own it, and you can use it. When you turn 18 you can study for an obtain a license and the gun can be transferred. #2. License requirements for ownership, for carry outside the home, and for concealed carry. Three ......
  42. 12/13/2012I can not wait to see the new documentation and improved speed and stability in Notes 9While the addition of a massive new embed-feature to house Connections content isn't going to do anything for me, I'm sure the radically faster load times and smaller footprint will really help. Also, thanks to the recently re-hired QA and Documentation teams, no doubt this will be a huge improvement over current versions. Wait. What? Oh. Never mind. At least we get a new color ......
  43. 12/13/2012Enterprise Social Software – Yet Another Boondoggle This has all happened before. In 2001 "Knowledge Management" was all the buzz. Everyone had to have it. IDC was predicting a massive market for this new sector ($5.4 Billion by 2004). How's your IBM KDS server doing these days? (Source1 - IDG, Source2 - The Free Library, Source3 - KM World) I used to ask someone I know who worked in the I.T. department of a clothing retailer to try standing up in a meeting now and then and ask “How will this help us sell shirts?” It’s a serious question. I’ve seen ......
  44. 12/11/2012Learned something new about driving my new Subaru today -- love this carI've had my new Subaru XV Crosstrek (known in Europe as the Impreza XV) for nearly 1000 miles now, and I'm really enjoying learning how get the most out of it. Today I learned something new. The car surprises me with its agility and stability all the time, and even it's responsiveness is really amazing for such a tiny engine. That's mostly thanks to its new "Continuously Variable" Transmission, which is amazing to drive (there's a great little video of how it works here). Driving with the CVT feels a ......
  45. 12/11/2012These people should NOT be buying their own beers at Connect 2013. Congratulations, IBM's latest Champions. It's great to see so many friends on this list, and also sad to see so many notable names missing. These people (and I'm including all the ones that didn't make the list but also contributed) do the lion's share of what should be IBM's job of documentation, QA, and training, and they do it all without being paid for it. Without the people on this list and their peers who should also be, the product line would long since have died out from the minimal documentation ......
  46. 12/10/2012What has me so disgusted and disappointed with IBM these days?* Let me first say thanks to those who helped me edit this and take out a few cheap shots... In one form or another I’ve had a lot of people ask me this question since posting the last couple of blog articles and so on. What it comes down to is what I consider bad faith partnering and behavior that falls well short of what I personally consider honest and ethical. Obviously others will feel differently and would have a wide range of rationalizations for their actions, but I’m talking about my opinion and ......
  47. 12/07/2012Second Signal will migrate off Domino for Web Services - help me pick an alternate platformI've decided to move forward with migrating Second Signal away from Domino before the end of Q1 2013. There are a number of platform choices to consider and I'm looking for suggestions. Since I know the majority of readers on this blog will of course be Domino fans, let me point out that I'm fully aware of the strengths of Domino as a platform. I did pick it, after all. There are reasons to migrate away, however, even if it means I've got to do more of the work for security, replication, and indexing ......
  48. 12/06/2012I am 99% certain that I will not be attending Connect 2013This is the first of a series of posts related to IBM, to Notes, to Connections, and to Connect 2013. I hinted the other day that I had a lot to talk about in this space, and this is the first (and most innocuous) in that series of posts. As I said on FB earlier, I will not be seeing you in Orlando in January. This fall I came to the conclusion that if I was not speaking at Connect 2013, that I would probably not attend. That has come to pass, and even if I were to give the benefit of the doubt to IBM and ......
  49. 12/03/2012Sharpening my blogging pencil...All kinds of interesting yellow-sphere news has been dumped my way in the last few days, and more keeps pouring in. If this keeps up, I'll start to think I'm like Volker. It's going to take me a few days to assimilate stuff, but I think it's time to open up with some large caliber blogging. Stay tuned, while I attempt to aim a bit better (or, if not aim, at least ......
  50. 10/07/2012Fear and lies tactics in the political discussion are bad for the country - no matter what side you are onThese kinds of lies simply have to stop. Exaggerations and out right lies about what Obamacare, non-existent tax changes, and other such things are "going to do" (note that it's never about things that have already happened, because it never does) are part of what's holding back our recovery and growth. How does any responsible business owner who hears these things feel confident enough to invest in hiring people and buying equipment? Last night I ran into one of the worst examples of fear-mongering and ......
  51. 08/21/2012VERY bad news for those of us who use POSTINI -- it is going awayGoogle will soon be turning off its popular spam filtering and e-mail archiving product, Postini. It will shift Postini users to Google Apps. I use Postini, and have for years. This is going to be a real pain the butt for me. http://www.businessinsider.com/google-plans-to-kill-its-popular-postini-spam-filtering-service-2012-8 I'm probably going to give These Guys a try: ......
  52. 07/27/20122012 Olympics Skype Chat -- Join if you likeIt's been kind of a tradition during some major sporting events and other global things that I've set up a skype chat room and invited people to drop in. They've been a lot of fun in the past, and in one case has evolved into a 4+ year old continuous conversation. Remember: People will be joining (I hope) from all kinds of sources. Friends, family, yellowsphere, facebook, G+, and twitter, and other extended contact groups. Be excellent to each other and it will go well. Why Skype? It has some really ......
  53. 07/01/2012Some myths about the Affordable Care Act -- Explained, and a link to some helpful informationYou can start here: Consumer Guide to Affordable Care Act, Everyday Health, Kaiser News Network How Will the New Health Care Law Affect Me?, Lifehacker.com How People Get Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act, The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation What Does The Affordable Care Act Mean For People With Cancer?, The American Cancer Society Health Reform Fact Sheets, AARP Health Reform Law and Small Business Owners, AARP Fact Sheet Health Reform Law for Small Business Employees, AARP Fact Sheet Kaiser's Health ......
  54. 04/24/2012The next iteration in using Twitter to market -- if Twitter doesn't find a way to control some of this, it will die off in favor of something else.Twitter becomes more and more a vector for marketing and less and less a path for valuable (or even just fun) information. If Twitter can't find away to curb this use of their system, they're leaving themselves wide open to be replaced by some other simple tool. To combat almost ubiquitous "reply spam", many of us have closed our Twitter accounts so that our tweets are not public. By keeping them out of the public timeline, we don't get reply spam most of the time. It reduced the value of Twitter, however, ......
  55. 04/21/2012IBM, this is the worst way to handle browser compatibility issues.What you succeed in doing with this method of handling browser compatibility is take something that MAY NOT work, and turn it into something that DEFINITELY DOESN'T work. I know for a fact that this browser works just FINE with the template, because if I change the browser's identifier to claim it is a different version the template works. More important, you've removed the decision from me. This is the kind of arrogant, unthinking, over-controlling, poor user interface design that has users hating the ......
  56. 04/13/2012The usefulness and utility of Notes browser plug-in - promised for 8.5.4 around the end of 2012Sorry for the long time between posts. I've been working on things most of you wouldn't be interested in, and with other social media outlets better suited to the day to day trivialities, I've wanted to keep this blog for things less quotidian. I've also been spending almost no time keeping up with what we call the "Yellowverse". I keep half an eye out through friends in the community but mostly I rely on them to tip me when something really interesting is happening. I'm happier staying out of the rest of ......
  57. 04/01/2012Really enjoying XPages and thrilled to see the market so attracted to it.As I sit writing this, it's a very special day. I've come to realize just how much I love the XPages development tools. The amount of time saved in my development projects is amazing. I'm starting to think I understand why so many companies are halting installation of Sharepoint and rushing back to the Notes and Domino platform to stay ahead of the huge numbers of new IT graduates hitting the streets eager to get their hands on this fantastic technology. April really is off to a great ......
  58. 03/02/2012Ok. I was wrong. This is me eating crow. You CAN separate the validation events on the XPagesEarlier today I wrote a very frustrated complaint post about how with multiple different documents on a single XPage, the validation events would fire off on all of them no matter which document you clicked a button for. I also posted on Stack Overflow with details of the problem. I thought I'd tried everything, and I'd searched the web and found only comments about "IBM knows about this and..." Well, I hadn't tried everything. Paul Withers pointed me toward this fix: I just had to check this box on the ......
  59. 03/02/2012Agh. Just when you think your XPage is behaving -- something else IBM failed to do right. Validation on multi-document XPagesUPDATE: This is actually something already fixed. Paul Withers pointed me to this fix: I just had to check this box on the button event. Now I'm off to eat some crow.... You have got to be kidding me. It turns out that if you have multiple data sources (documents) on different parts of your XPage, although you can individually toggle them into and out of edit mode, save them or discard them individually, and generally act on them as you'd expect; if you attempt to use the built in XPages validation ......
  60. 03/02/2012XPages - Suggestion and a Tip for Newbies on Repeat ControlsI've created a two new categories on my blog called "XPages Newbie Tips" and "XPages Feedback". In posts under either of these categories, but especially "Newbie Tips" my goal is to be positive rather than my usual bitching about the product. The idea for the newbie tips is that as I'm digging into serious development with XPages, I'm coming across things that would really have helped me if I knew them at the start. I plan to make these newbie tips into blog entries, and then as I get a good solid list of ......
  61. 03/01/2012Making progress working with TrialandErrorPages. Some things I've learnedWarning. Despite finally getting to the point where my XPage does the things I want it to do and finally having the code patterns I wanted to start building a real application that users will interact with, I'm writing this blog post entirely in sarcasm font, specifically to blow off steam after an incredibly frustrating day working with this environment. If you came here looking for deep technical insights for xpages -- you're really too early. I don't have any yet. What I can offer are opinions born of ......
  62. 03/01/2012XPages bug - computewithform option for data sources with some formula language commandsBug Specifics: The document you are attempting to save from your XPage may fail to save when the following conditions are all met: 1. You are using the XPage in a web browser (the issue does not seem to happen in the Notes client) 2. You have selected to computeWithForm "On Save" or "On Both" for the bound document ("On Load" does not seem to manifest the bug) 3. There is a computed field on the form which uses the "@UserAccess" function as part of its formula Note: You can work around this by testing for ......
  63. 02/25/2012Companies that avoid telling the truth about their products and services to avoid losing customers, lose customersIf you're going to disappoint your customers, even if you firmly believe that "in the long run" they'll be better off, just tell them. Flying US Airways last night really brought this home, but there are parallels in our software industry that you'll recognize if you stick with me through the airline part of the story first. As a traveler, I understand that some of these delays cannot be avoided. Within the same airspace is Philadelphia, Newark, JFK, and Laguardia with Boston, Baltimore, Washington ......
  64. 02/23/2012Were my website and blog off line today? No, and that's because I use DominoChances are, the web site you're using when you read this blog is an 8.5.3 server running on a Linux virtual machine on a VMWARE ESXi host at a big data center in Dallas, Texas. But not always. For most of the day today, if you'd read my blog or been to my website, you were using a different 8.5.3 server running on a Windows 2008 virtual machine on a different VMWARE ESXi host at a smaller data center in Seattle, Washington. Did you notice? Was anything missing? Probably not. That's because built in to the ......
  65. 02/20/2012Delving into XPages: Wins, Losses, and abject FAILs -- What it has been like to start transforming an existing application I've waited a long time before trying to write anything serious in XPages. I've known about them, and even extolled the potential of them as far back as late 2007 when I wrote the very first public article about them. I said then, and continue to say that whether or not XPages really live up to their potential will depend entirely on how well they're implemented in the client. Until 8.5.3 I have not had any confidence that they were stable enough to be worth working in. Thanks in large part to the work of ......
  66. 02/18/2012Personal Disaster Recovery -- Do you have a plan?This is a little grim, I guess, but what have you done to prepare for possibility -- remote as it may be -- that you one day you couldn't come home? For most of us, a living will, life insurance and a list of our credit cards and other obligations are probably enough. For those of us with small businesses, customers, confidential data, and other people counting on us it may be important to go a step further. I've been working on a "just in case" packet, to be kept locked away in a safe place where my wife ......
  67. 02/17/2012Jeff Eisen moving on from the Notes worldCongratulations, Jeff! Jeff Eisen who has been with the Notes core team for 18 years is moving on. It's a huge loss for those of us who love the core Notes and Domino platform, but it is a huge step forward for Jeff. He's announced he'll be the Chief Architect of Watson Core Technology (the team charged with making Watson do things on the commercial front that actually make money). I've known Jeff a long time and say without the slightest hesitation that he's been one of the best people on the Notes team ......
  68. 02/13/2012No longer in the Design Partner Program, a good news/bad news kind of thingMy participation in the various iterations of the "Design Partner" program started prior to the version 6 release of Notes and Domino. In those days, we had a multi-day invitation only event at the IBM Lotus campus in Westford where a serious discussion took place between the development teams and the design partners that had been invited. The program has changed over the years, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. In all that time, I've offered very pointed (as you can imagine) and ......
  69. 02/07/2012Religious Conservatives in politics should take careful note of the recent Komen foundation mistakeWhen the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation cut funding to Planned Parenthood, they weren't at all prepared for the backlash. Some outlets have reported that the initial decision was essentially the result of pressure from right wing conservative organizations, though the foundation itself says otherwise. In any case, the Komen foundation made the mistake of underestimating the size and strength of the majority in the United States who generally remain silent on the issues of birth control and abortion ......
  70. 02/06/2012Extended Review: EZOPower Ultra High-capacity Rechargable USB Battey PackSometimes you buy several versions of a thing before you hit on the one that really does what you wanted. This is the case for me with battery packs for my USB powered devices. I included this product in my pre-Lotusphere list of power tech to bring along, but it worked out so well that I wanted to give you a more detailed look. Portable Power - 10,000mAh rechargeable USB block($59.99 @ ......
  71. 01/19/2012Lotusphere 2012 – Far better than I expected. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.This will ramble a bit, but after a lead in I’ll try to point out some highlights, a few low lights, and an overall feeling moving forward. It turns out our friend Lotusphere was only MOSTLY DEAD. There is a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. With mostly dead, there’s still partly alive. With all dead, there’s nothing left to do but go through the pockets and look for loose change. The week turned out to be very good for me, even if at the same time it presented the most challenges I’ve had ......
  72. 01/19/2012BP121 - Performance Programming -- Presentation and Demo database as presentedBP121 - Performance Programming, as presented at Lotusphere 2012. This zip file contains the presentation along with the demo database and instructions for using it. I didn't get time to do much with the demo so I promised to post it here. It wasn't really meant for distribution, but it should be fine. Feedback is welcome, but please don't expect much tech support on it. [BP121PRES_and_DEMOS.zip] ......
  73. 01/16/2012Some people know all about RIGHTS and nothing about WHAT IS RIGHT. Here is the story behind #OccupyPelican After the tweets around the community today, a lot of people have asked me what the story was that led to the almost cancellation of a popular session and the social media comments that followed. Here’s the information… The short story is that the IBM lawyers for the Lotus software group – apparently led by Thomas Hagen who is the same person who caused me to decide no longer to do CULT shirts after last year (thagen@us.ibm.com for those who would like to email him with feedback) have been unprofessionally ......
  74. 01/12/2012The Geek Travel Gadgets - Keep yourself powered upAfter seeing Kathy's geek travel gadget list, I thought I'd add some of my own. Most of the gadgetry here is secondary -- the actual gadgets are the phone, camera, tablet, and so on. You know about those already. These are the things to make the other things work better and stay charged on the trip. Here goes (with links to Amazon if you want to buy one) --Power Strip Liberator PlusHigh Power Slim AC Wall Plug to 2 x 5V USB ......
  75. 01/09/2012Apple: I'm just not that into you. Leave me the hell alone!Damn if Apple doesn't still want to take over my PC every chance it gets! You guys know by now that I'm not a big Apple fan. The only Apple device I own is a second generation iPod Touch that I like for listening to audio books and sometimes music. I don't have or want an iPad (though my wife loves her's), I don't have or want an iPhone, and I don't buy music through iTunes. I have nothing against people who have and like these things, I'm just not one of them. Since I use my iPod Touch to listen to audio ......
  76. 01/09/2012Laptop prep for LotusphereWhen I'm not traveling, my trust Thinkpad T510 is used as a secondary machine -- for when I'm working at night on the couch or if the desktop is busy. The desktop machine is where I work most of the day. At a show like Lotusphere I'll be exclusively using the laptop for 8 days so it really helps if I make sure it's in good shape. Taking a few extra steps once in a while keeps things smooth, stable, and quick. Here's what I do to make sure it's all set... 1. I go through my installed applications and remove ......
  77. 01/08/2012Four days of prep time left, then the annual pilgramage to OrlandoI have to say, I'm really looking forward to having a good time at the show this year. This week I'll be working on some code demos for my "Performance Programming" session, some scary stories for Sunday's "They Really Are Out To Get You" with Gab Davis, and getting my tech-kit charged and packed for the week. I'll have time to get to karate at least twice this week as well, before missing a week while I'm in Orlando. If weather permits, I may try to find a quite place in the sand near the Swan to practice ......
  78. 12/19/2011TIP for converting slides from previous formats into Symphony and updating all your formattingLike a lot of you reading this, I'm working on my slides for Lotusphere 2012. IBM wants the slides in Symphony's ODP format -- and has "strongly requested" that we use Symphony to present. I hate Symphony. Truly, deeply, hate it. That said, I've got to use it in this case and I've got a bunch of existing slides I want to drop into my presentation. What's difficult, is applying the appalling templates provided without manually changing every single slide. Here's what I did to really speed things up. 1. In ......
  79. 11/01/2011Fixed my WAN connection failover problem tonightFor the last couple of weeks, my WAN connection here has been failing over from the Cable Modem to the backup DSL connection pretty frequently and the root cause has left me baffled. Until tonight. The failover is handled by my trusty old Sonicwall TZ-170 firewall. It handles both the cable and dsl connections and can handle load balancing and failover. For me, this combination makes sense since my public facing servers are all located at hosting centers so there's no need for a commercial network ......
  80. 10/28/2011Here is an obscure mail routing problem I ran into - and the solutionProblem: Some mail servers are unable to route to #######@subdomain.domain.com In this environment, the Windows based Domino servers were affected, but the Linux based Domino servers were not. It turns out that the affected servers are those running Microsoft Windows server operating systems, and of those, only those sites where the local dns domain use a "default" address for misspelled or incorrect server names within the domain. In other words, those where typing wwww.domain.com would work just as well ......
  81. 09/27/2011Electronic Publishing formats may soon replace PDF -- get ahead of the curveBen has article up right now ( link ) that explains the term "reflowable". In it, Ben explains why the de facto standard for distributing documents has been PDF for a while, but may soon be switching to ePub for good reasons. If you've ever tried to view a complex PDF file on your Kindle, you'll understand. I fully agree with Ben on the value of ePub, and I think that the seemingly unassailable PDF is going to fall more quickly than anyone could have predicted. My advice: Get to know ......
  82. 09/08/2011CULT Shirt RetirementWith mixed feelings, it is time for me to announce that I will not be producing a CULT shirt for the 2012 Lotusphere season and do not anticipate producing them in the future. I've spoken to Rocky Oliver about this and he agrees that the time is at hand to end on a winning note. The CULT shirts were first created by Rocky Oliver and Henry Newberry more than 10 years ago. When Henry stepped away from the process in 2004, I took over the bulk of the production work and as Rocky became increasingly busy I ......
  83. 09/01/2011Mission Ridiculous: Attempting to Upgrade Phones with Verizon WirelessVerizon is literally beginning to crumble under the weight of its own regulations. Mission Goal: Upgrade my Daughter’s old Verizon Wireless phone to a new phone that can handle the Family Locator, and upgrade my old MIFI to a new 4G Version. Both devices are eligible for replacement under the “New Every Two” plan, provided I renew the contract for two more years. This story gets better and better the further you read. It's a shame, because they really do have the best phone network by far. Step 1. ......
  84. 09/01/2011Simple Rules For Partnering With Another BusinessForgive me readers, for I have sinned. It has been two months since my last submission, and I have committed the sin of omission. Mae Culpa. Over the last few months I've been deeply saddened to watch more than a few generally good partnering relationships go sour. I suppose its the economy right now that has really exacerbated what are normally fairly small and unusal problems, but in my opinion it is even more important than ever that good working relationships are maintained rather than abused. Those ......
  85. 06/08/2011CNN - get rid of the awkward new living room style set from your morning newsFor the last couple of weeks, when CNN is on I've been noticing that the anchor women seem to be uncomfortably staring into the camera from strange angles when their co-host is talking. I realized this morning that its because they've switched from sitting behind anchor desks to sitting on a couch in what is meant to look like a living room style set. It's not working for me. They assume these strange poses that you'd never really see if you were talking with someone in your living room. Some of the women ......
  86. 06/07/2011Fantastic tool - "Connectify" lets you easily share your Wifi connection from your laptop with other devices.If you travel, no doubt you've connected to wifi hotspots in hotels, cafes, airports, other people's offices. A lot of these hot spots require click through agreements and many require payment. Sharing this connection with your camera, phone, ipod, e-reader, and even friends can be difficult. Connecting with each of the other devices is frustrating and not always possible. It isn't difficult any more. Free tool "Connectify" loads on your Windows 7 machine and makes sharing whatever connection your have ......
  87. 05/12/2011Why it makes sense for Microsoft to buy Skype - and why they'll have a very hard time making it their ownSo Microsoft is buying Skype and a lot of people are questioning the reasons and the price. While the price does seem high, virtually all tech world buyout prices seem ridiculous to me and frankly, Microsoft has a ton of cash laying around that they need to invest, so I'm going to table the price discussion and let the wall street types argue over that part. From a tech perspective, if you start by agreeing that voice and video over the internet is going to be important over the next decade, you're halfway ......
  88. 05/08/2011Follow Up HOW-TO: John Deere L100 Lawn 42" Tractor/Mower Brake RebuildThis entry is a follow-up to a how-to I wrote in 2009 about adjusting the brakes on your John Deere L100 mower. Even if you're planning to do the full rebuild I show here, you should probably read that first. (link) Back in 2009 when I wrote the original posting, I had no idea that 3 years later I'd still be getting positive feedback from people on it. I'm glad that I've been able to help people get their brakes working right, and I've decided to follow it up with more detail. For me, the adjustment was no ......
  89. 03/29/2011Do you need a new server hosting or colocation provider? Here's a great site to help youI'm setting up new VMWARE ESXi server at another hosting provider. The one I have is excellent, but as Second Signal grows, I'm looking for as much diversity in my fail-over location as possible. The new provider will be in a different geography and with a different hosting provider. Finding a new provider can be difficult. The market is very fluid and very competitive. I came across "Hostvoice" quite by accident and decided to use their form to submit a request for quote. My needs are very specific, and ......
  90. 03/20/2011Is it time for an entirely new Notes Client?The venerable, powerful, all encompassing Lotus Notes client is more than 20 years old. Its hallmarks include a complete backward compatibility that covers virtually all of those years. While that complete backward compatibility has been one of the product's greatest strengths, it is also one of its most challenging aspects as the development team works to continually modernize and add features. Being fully backward compliant has been a huge advantage to the product. Upgrades of Lotus Notes and Domino ......
  91. 03/16/2011Oh what a relief.... I'm no longer using godaddy.com for my DNS or SSL needs.I have finally had enough. Enough of the renewal notices and letters months in advance, enough of the automatic billing to renew certificates, and most of all enough of 4 or 5 screens full of high pressure add-on sales just trying to pay for a new domain name or ssl certificate. I didn't care about the juvenile and tasteless TV ads. What I did care about, was getting 3-5 emails a week from them plus postal mail 2-3 times a month, plus phone calls once in a while. What I did care about was the constant ......
  92. 02/28/2011The best way to make social software is to make the best softwareIBM did an excellent job focusing and defining the conversation with this year’s Lotusphere. While the rest of the IT industry is rushing to get their cloud strategy in order, IBM asks the question “What is social software for business?” It’s a great question, but may not be one with the answer IBM wants. Software isn’t social. People are social. People have been using social tools for business for as long as there have been people and businesses. Ask any sales person and they’ll tell you that all business ......
  93. 02/22/2011Lee Child's "Jack Reacher" series - and an appology to DuffbertIn a chat some time back, we were talking about the kind of over-macho crime-drama books that make for good brain candy and travel reading. I'd brought up characters like Lucas Davenport (John Sandford) and and John Corey (Nelson DeMille) who I enjoy for their thick sarcasm and thought patterns unadulterated by modern human resources department filtering. Both authors allow their characters to think all the things we're generally better off filtering out of polite conversation. Tom recommended I take a ......
  94. 02/07/2011Lotusphere 2011 Wrap-UpIt may not have been the most exciting, but from IBM’s perspective it may have been one of the most successful Lotusphere events in recent memory. From the Opening General Session right through to the last minute, IBM set the tone and topic more effectively and more in tune with customer demand than I’ve ever seen them do before. While the rest of the industry is talking excitedly about magic cloud computing solutions and social interactions like Facebook, IBM asks the question “How can we use this for ......
  95. 02/07/2011Presentations from LS2011These presentations were delivered at Lotusphere 2011: JUMPSTART: Defense Against the Dark ArtsGabriella Davis and I have revised our pre-conference jumpstart this year, organizing it not by security feature, but rather by threat vector. We've broken down the security around Domino into the risks as they come from different kinds of characters and what you should be doing to counter those risks.Best Practices: Performing Your Own IBM Lotus Domino Security ReviewThis is a strategy and technique session, ......
  96. 01/20/2011Credit where it's due - IBM Finally made the Sofware Access Catalog on Parterworld Useable!It's years overdue, and they've taken a lot of criticism for years about it (including from me) -- but IBM Partnerworld actually --IMPRESSED-- me with the changes to the software access catalog. It only took about 5 clicks to find it from the Partnerworld login page (and you can make your own shortcut that gets you to within 2 pages of it). Once there, the minute I started typing my search term ("Traveler" in this case) the correct matching options dropped down and the top option was the latest version. ......
  97. 01/17/2011Here's why your Snow Thrower may be leaking gas all over your garage.Eighteen months ago I wrote a little article about how to adjust the brakes on a lawn tractor because I couldn't find the information myself when I searched. It's turned out to be one of the most appreciated articles on the site, and I still get "thank you" notes on it regularly. In that spirit, here's a similar article for owners of Tecumseh engines on snow throwers (aka snowblowers) and lawn mowers. The same thing has happened again. I found very little helpful information on this problem when I ......
  98. 12/17/2010The small shop upgrade - Here's a customer that really loves their Notes client.I'm on my way this morning to perform any upgrade for an customer of mine. They're moving to Notes 8.5.x on the server as well as the client. That in itself isn't all that uncommon. Here's what you may find surprising. There are only two people in this office, and they don't use any Notes apps any more. They just just love the Notes client and they trust it, in combination with the server, to provide a reliable and highly functional mail system. This customer originally was given a Notes client while at a ......
  99. 12/12/2010The Lotus Awards – Formerly the Beacon Awards -- no longer represent the BEST of what’s out thereI’ve been fortunate enough to have been nominated for the Lotus Awards three times. I’ve been a finalist twice, and I’ve won an award category once. Peer recognition is very gratifying and I certainly felt honored by the experience -- especially as one man shop, where I have to imagine,propose, sell, develop, deliver, and support the solution personally from start to finish. That’s why I’m so disappointed with the direction the award has taken recently. The awards are meant to represent the very best work ......
  100. 12/07/2010Sad to say that I have some CULT SHIRT sponsorships still openWith just a day or two left before I have to commit to the shirt order, we have fewer sponsorships this year than we have had in many years. That's going to mean a few less shirts will be out there. With one last minute drop-out due to the economy, as of now we'll have a bit over 1300 shirts -- that's down 400 from our biggest year. The shirts will still be out there, but they're going to be a bit harder to get your hands on. Last minute sponsors are still welcome today and tomorrow, but by Thursday I've ......
  101. 12/06/2010TOP GEAR USA: UPDATE -- It's getting much better. Show #3 was excellentI just thought I'd update my previous review -- show #1 definitely sucked. Show #2 was better. Show #3 was funny as hell. Nicely ......
  102. 12/03/2010Even if you don't ski, consider SKILUG this year - it's going to be different, and funGet together with your LUG friends without ditching your family. Bill Malchisky has been working really hard to organize a different kind of 'LUG and I think it's got real potential. He's just announced SKILUG for 25-27 Feb 2011. The idea is to mix a FAMILY weekend with both conference and fun. Bill has been organizing ski club trips for years and wanted to mix that up with a user's group meeting. The concept is outstanding. He's arranging for airport transportation shuttles, food, lodging, group rates for ......
  103. 12/03/2010Here's what I'll be presenting at LS11This year at Lotusphere 2011 I'll be presenting the following: 1. On Jumpstart Day, I'll be presenting with Gab Davis about security. The session is called "Defense against the Dark Arts". Gab has been doing a lot of work on this already, and I'll be jumping in to work with her on it in about a week when I'm visiting with them. For the last several years, we've done our A-Z of Security in this space. The problem has been that it is increasingly difficult to cover so much material in under two hours. Gab's ......
  104. 11/22/2010Top Gear USA – It’s a great joke, told badly.I’ve watched Top Gear for years, so with a bit of trepidation I turned on History Channel to watch the first show of Top Gear USA. The idea was to bring the hit British show to the US market. They’d use our roads, our presenters, and some of our cars. Overall impression: They copied the format, but they didn’t get the joke. It’s like they took the UK version of the show and sucked out all spontaneity, humor, and class then moved it to the ugliest settings imaginable. If Top Gear is steak, potatoes, and a ......
  105. 10/26/2010CULT LS11 will be a limited run unless we have a few more sponsorsAs of right now, we have only half the sponsor slots filled for CULT shirts. Please pass the word around, or you'll find that we have far fewer shirts to hand out this year and you're far less likely to get one. I'm going to get mine either way, and having 50% fewer boxes means it will be far easier for me - so no problem there. Still, I'd love to make sure everyone gets one. Sponsorships are open to nearly anyone in the community. Typically this is IBM BP's and ISV's. It costs $1200 and you end up with at ......
  106. 10/20/2010The C.U.L.T. 2011 Top Ten List! Please add your suggestions here!Every year, the back of the C.U.L.T. shirt (Certified Unofficial Lotusphere Tshirt) includes a top ten list of one kind or another. This year is no exception. The topic for this year is Cloud Computing, and I'm looking for the best ten one line items in the following category: "Top Ten Things to Know about IBM in the Cloud" By "Best" things, I'm looking for things that are clever, funny, snarky, witty, subversive, and eye catching without being overly wordy, slanderous or libelous in any actionable way. ......
  107. 10/18/2010Where Lotus Live may present opportunities for Services PartnersThere’s been an understandable grumbling from the IBM Business Partner community surrounding the Lotus Live and Lotus Live Notes offerings. For years, IBM has pushed for Partners to sell licenses and then gone directly to those end customers to make the sale for renewals. In larger accounts, partners have complained of being undercut on licenses costs and generally not being treated well by the IBM sales force. I don’t sell licenses, but people I know and trust who do seem to give these stories a fair ......
  108. 10/17/2010Dear IBM - Wake the hell up. Your utter failure in enterprise identity management is killing all your products.What’s killing Lotus Notes as a first choice for Enterprise Mail in so many companies is not Lotus Notes. We know that with the work of DAOS, ID Vault, and other advances; the Domino server is kicking serious ass in terms of platform efficiency, server consolidation, resource management, and performance. We also know that the client has improved to the point where it no longer compares as the backward, ugly, hick relation to Outlook. Indeed, there are plenty of people who find it better looking and more ......
  109. 10/16/2010End of one era, start of another - on the same day.In 1991, one of the first consulting jobs I had was for Chipcom Corporation. I was working with a consulting firm out of Southborough, Mass at the time and they wanted a way to distribution information to their resale chain around the world. The world wide web we think of today wasn't an option in those days. We built a solution using a Lotus Notes server, with an "Octopus" 8 port serial card connected to a bank of modems. The modems allowed partners to connect and replicate using their Lotus Notes version ......
  110. 10/06/2010Got some cool stuff done with vs.Net combined with Domino Designer this weekThe remote software I use for Second Signal to relay audio data to the PBX and also to pick out the activation tones is written in Visual Studio, while the web server is Lotus Domino, and the PBX is Asterisk. The remote client communicates to the Domino server using Web Services, but until now it has only really been to post log data and send an alert when a tone-activation occurs. Setting up, configuring, and managing the the remote software had to be done using something like VNC to remotely control the ......
  111. 10/01/2010It's official (unofficially) -- There will be CULT shirts - Sponsorships are 1st come, 1st serveThere has been a surprising amount of interest in the shirts this year, so if you want to sponsor, get email to me quickly. I need to gather the sponsors over the next week or two so I know how many shirts to order. Follow this blog entry and the linked information to learn what you need to know. Sponsor or not, comment here if you have a favorite! You know the shirts: The first four years, managed by Henry "NEWBS" Newberry, with Rocky "Lotusgeek" Oliver --- 2000 - "Notes World Order" 2001 - "Domino ......
  112. 09/10/2010Time to talk about the CULT shirt for 2011Here's the official trial-balloon. Should there be a CULT Shirt for 2011? How many people/companies are interested in sponsoring it? Anyone have any great ideas? To be honest, I want to see some enthusiasm before I start down the road of gathering sponsors, ordering shirts, and doing ......
  113. 09/02/2010Linux ext3 file system performance wierdnessI've had trouble off and on with a couple of Domino servers on linux. The server goes pear shaped and when I ssh in and look at the console, Domino is reporting drive errors. If you attempt to do anything on the OS at all, you quickly see that the whole file system has shifted into a "read-only" state. This is a bit like a car with a transmission problem shifting into "limp-home" mode. Needless to say, Domino doesn't like being unable to write to the disk. It has happened to me specifically with the most ......
  114. 08/31/2010A few tips for car sales people - if you ever want my business.I've been shopping for cars again. This one is a replacement for the spousemobile, so unlike the one for my daughter, this will be new. Having done a fair bit of shopping, here are some tips for you car sales people out there. #1. Do not bullshit me. I may know more than you think. It's just possible that I know how to build that car you're showing me. One lady insisted that I could ignore the EPA mileage sticker on a new Honda or Nissan (which happened to be what is on her lot) because (and I quote) ......
  115. 08/22/2010Creating a form generating tool that lets non-technical publshers create rich web formsI've been working on a tool for a client that wants to be able to create web forms to use on their site without learning any programming at all. At the same time, I don't trust any data from the browser side on a web site. I always assume that the browser side is open to hackers. That means any submitted form data has to be validated before it is accepted. Here's what I did... For publishing, I used the CKEditor, which is the web browser rich editor I've standardized on. For most web publishing uses, I use ......
  116. 08/13/2010That didn't take long. Oracle is suing Google over the use of Java. Is IBM next?According to this report, Oracle is suing Google over the use of Java in its Android operating system and applications. It hasn't been that long since Oracle bought Sun, and with it gained a controlling interest in the way the Java license is interpreted. On the one hand, it seems unlikely that this suit will go anywhere. On the other hand, by betting your operating system and application strategy on a run time environment that is controlled by one of your top competitors, you are only asking for trouble. ......
  117. 07/20/2010IBM has invented the time machine - and not in a good waySteve Mills is now in charge of both hardware and software. According to The New York Times.... The management changes, announced in an e-mail message to I.B.M. employees, were intended to improve the company’s products and services, Mr. Palmisano wrote. For example, computer hardware and software are for the first time being placed under the oversight of one executive......Increasingly, Mr. Palmisano wrote, computer systems must be “designed and brought to market as tightly integrated” packages of ......
  118. 07/18/2010A lot of work, but something I've always wanted to do -- Fixing up a car for one of my kidsOne of the things I've thought about for years and have always wanted to do, is to fix up a car for one of my kids. I'm not sure why, but its just something that I've thought about since they were really small. Of course, daydreams being what they are, the reality is never quite as grand in scale -- the 70's era muscle car turns out to be a 2002 Kia, and instead of an old pole barn to work in, the car is up on ramps in my driveway. Still, I'm really enjoying getting to do the work, being able to do the ......
  119. 07/13/2010Old Spice -- Their marketing team fully groks social media. You know the old spice guy (I'm on a boat)? I don't care for their products, but their ad people have gone social nuclear. Read this to see how they've totally "Got" social media promotion. ......
  120. 06/22/2010Product Review: Plantronics Savi Office wireless headsetOverview While at The View conference in Boston, on the recommendation of Chris Miller I took at close look at the Savi Office wireless headset from Plantronics at the display booth. What I was looking for was a good wireless headset that had better range and quality than the various Bluetooth devices I’ve tried. The representative from Plantronics and I had an interesting conversation about the future of various VoIP products, after which he decided to give me his demo display model to try out and ......
  121. 06/16/2010Ed Brill has a blog. Peter O'Kelly has blog...Ed is an executive at one of the largest corporations in the world. Peter is not an executive. He's a smart guy and he works for Microsoft, but its not the same. When Ed makes a statement about a product, he is literally speaking for IBM. When Peter makes a statement, he's sharing his opinion. I'm not discounting Peter's opinion. He's a smart guy and he's got a lot to say. On Ed's blog, any lunatic with an axe to grind can post pretty much anything they want without moderation. At most, truly crazy or ......
  122. 06/15/2010How about Traveler for Desktop?With Traveler for Apple iPhone et. al; the host OS provides the client. With Traveler for Android, however, I understand they're building the mail, calendar, and address book clients. I wonder how hard it would be to make a Traveler implementation for native Java. The Android stuff should be 90% there already. Better yet, is the interface to the traveler servlet documented anywhere? Could we build an OS "Native" implementation for Apple, Windows, and ......
  123. 06/15/2010Why XPages is not LCD any moreLCD (Lotus Component Designer) failed in the marketplace. Since the bulk of it was repurposed for Notes & Domino as the XPages designer, one of its criticisms has been that heritage. While I'm not a big fan of the architecture -- the fact that it relies on J2EE is a huge turn off for me -- I'm not willing to buy the argument that because it came from LCD it must be no good. First, while I agree with Rob's comments up to a point and while the intent was clearly to just slide in LCD as a low-cost and ......
  124. 06/15/2010Fixing Domino Designer - I’m limiting this post to things specific to fixing the Domino Designer Client. I may talk in another post later about next steps and new features, new design architectures, library interfaces to other design tools, and changes to the client strategy – but for now those are off limits. First – Move XPages to a standalone tool. The XPages application has no business being inside the old Notes Designer Client, and keeping it there has a strong negative impact on one of the key goals of XPages – attracting ......
  125. 06/14/2010Bandwagon: Why the decline in Notes seats, when the Domino server is still the best value on the marketplace? Here's why....The Domino server still represents the best value in the industry as an application platform. So why is the market clearly still losing ground on corporate desktop seats? More important, what can be done about it? The problem isn’t lack of advertising – though that could certainly be better. The problem isn’t IBM’s website – I agree, it stinks in all kinds of ways, but that’s not what is causing problems in the marketplace. To think it is, is to think major IT decisions are getting made by CIO’s surfing ......
  126. 05/17/2010Unified Comunications Server? That ship sailed -- it's time to move on.While nobody was looking, "Unified Communications" has already happened -- just not the way you were told it would. UC was supposed to be about turning your PC into a telephone system. While several companies were pushing hard for this to come true -- Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Avaya, etc... other companies made it happen in reverse. RIM and APPLE have lead the way with Nokia and Google close behind. They've put your PC in your telephone. I'd say I fall in to the category of "early adopter" on the idea of ......
  127. 05/09/2010Risky Business; plus Weekend Work -- Crappy Equipment, a plague of mice, and tired feet.Hi all - It's been a busy spring and I've been lax with the blogging. Here's an attempt to catch you up. Work first - There's a lot happening with Second Signal right now. I hope to be making an announcement soon about the next steps toward global domination. That's meant a fair amount of work both on the business side as well as the technical. Given how busy I've been with regular (paying) work this year so far, it's been difficult to reconcile. That's the risky part. I've been able to help a friend out a ......
  128. 04/15/2010"It just isn't possible" -- Sure it is, you just don't know how to do it.How many times has the voice of customer service told you something isn't possible? I had a bit of a frustrating morning dealing with Fidelity. It did turn out OK, but it shouldn't have been that hard. Each year, as Saint John the Accountant finishes my taxes, he tells me how much I can put into my SEP IRA (the equivalent of a 401k for us self-employed types). Since this is a pretty serious deduction, the amount I put in impacts my taxes quite a bit. In fact, if I were to have put nothing in the SEP IRA ......
  129. 04/15/2010I believe it is time to improve the auto-update capability of the IBM Lotus Notes and Domino InfrastructureI probably make as big an effort at keeping up with new versions of the Domino server and Notes client software as almost any admin, but with the increasingly rapid pace of change it's getting somewhat more difficult all the time. Many of us have wished for some better automatic update capability for a long time. It's starting to get important enough to demand attention. With 8.5.2 due fairly soon, we'll have had several fairly important updates all within the space of a few months -- 8.5.1, 8.5.1 fp1, ......
  130. 03/28/2010Firefighter's Ski Race -- ......
  131. 03/25/2010Stopping http, ldap, and smtp password dictionary attacks and worms - Domino for LinuxIf you're a regular reader here, or if you've seen me speak at conferences, you know that Security is a big focus of what I do. I've been recently trying out a nice tool for Linux servers that's designed to stop dictionary attacks and worms and such. The tool comes with pre-made configurations for common linux packages like ssh, ftp, and apache web server but it can be easily expanded to include other applications. Fail2Ban essentially watches log files for entries showing failed password or other such ......
  132. 03/24/2010Here's some free code - a Lotuscript library you may find useful.I built this originally for use with a client -- but there's nothing client specific in here. This is a straightforward implementation of the SHA1 hash algorithm. SHA1 is commonly used for credential hashing and token validation in single sign-on applications. When given a string data, it returns a specific hash value, which will be the same every time for the same input string, but which cannot be "decrypted" back to the original. The hashed value is much smaller and easier to store. Hashed values are ......
  133. 03/23/2010Notes & Domino tech people - you NEED to read, print, and save this document.Understanding the IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.x client directory structure - Thank you Susan! http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/dominowiki.nsf/dx/Understanding_the_IBM_Lotus_Notes_8.5.x_client_directory_structure Very very very good stuff here. It should be translated for MAC and LINUX, but if you use either of those platforms, the information here is still useful and very easily ......
  134. 03/18/2010File this under "Damn, I should have known that" -- CSS and Relative PathsI was whining about a feature being missing in Designer 8.5.x yesterday in a closed forum for "Design Partners" when I learned something I wished I'd known a long time ago. I'm writing this to share it with you, so you can be saved the work I've been doing. The feature I wanted (and still want) is for file resources that use the new editors (e.g. CSS, HTML, JAVASCRIPT) to allow "" values or at least some form of tokenization to allow you to include things like "@webdbname" and profile document values in ......
  135. 03/16/2010The CKEditor - with Domino -- will be better than rolling your own!If you don't know the CKEditor, you soon will. Maureen (and others) have recently gone public with the announcement that starting in near term release of 8.5.x, that fantastic rich text editor will be shipped built in with the Domino server and will be integrated for easy use for XPages. One thing that's hard to do at present with the CKEditor when you integrate with Domino, is handle the built in browsing/uploading/embedding for file attachments, images, flash, and so on. There are plug-ins for ftp and ......
  136. 02/14/2010Great weekend sleddingI'm from "away" -- a term which in Maine speak means that I wasn't born here, and while I've been here for nearly 20 years I am very easily spotted as a non-native to pretty much anyone with long time family roots in the area. Being from away, there are things I just hadn't had a chance to do that most Mainer's take for granted. This weekend, I got the chance to scratch a few of those off the list. These included going 'upta camp', being significantly north of Bangor, and spending a fair bit of time on a ......
  137. 02/10/2010Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?I got this press release today from someone I really should learn to just ignore -- but I couldn't help myself. I actually read it. What struck me as the most odd set of statements in it focused on the idea that small and medium businesses are migrating away from Notes and into hosted exchange environments. In other words, that the move for small business into the cloud was somehow based on ISV's hosting off-site Microsoft Exchange mail servers for people. I suppose there must be some out there. This one ......
  138. 02/06/2010When does an application stop belonging to its owner?When an application becomes truly successful and people start relying on it for things they consider important, is there a point at which the application starts to belong to the owners? Facebook's latest change brings the topic to mind, but it can happen to you with internal applications as well. There comes a time when users begin to have a personal stake in the design of a good application. Facebook makes a great example for when your users really own your application. Its user base is both extremely ......
  139. 01/29/2010Lotusphere 2010 - Session Survey ResultsSession results are always a bit strange to go through. I want to share what they looked like for me this year. Nearly all the comments were outstanding - but there's always one that really leaves me scratching my head. Like most speakers who take that part of their work seriously, I try to look at every survey, and pay extra attention to ones with written comments to see if there are things I can do better for next time. You have to grow a bit of a thick skin sometimes because there are always some ......
  140. 01/27/2010Is UPS just plain broken? * Updated* Updated January 27th -- Notes at the end of the original story. UPS is usually pretty reliable. My experience, however, has been that if the smallest thing goes wrong the whole process grinds to an inexplicable halt. Let me show you an example. On the 20th (a Wednesday) Lenovo shipped three packages to me. Two of them came from China. The first made the trip in the expected (and paid for) two days. The second seems to have spent days sitting in Shanghai and has so far chained itself to the wall in ......
  141. 01/25/2010My presentations posted here from Lotusphere 2010I've posted my slide decks from LS2010 here. Please keep in mind, this site is the ONLY place you'll find the actual slide decks I used, along with any updates made when people point out issues, additions, or errors. Please use these slides to advance your own skills, but do not redistribute them or copy the content into other forms or presentations. It is not cool to re-upload these to a drop-box, to scribd, to slideshare, or anyplace else without specifically asking me first. I've been extremely ......
  142. 01/24/2010Me - in bobblehead form[] On stepping down from my term on the Board of Directors of The Penumbra Group, I was presented a token of appreciation. The presentation of a small gift is fairly traditional, however the gift itself was most definitely not. Gab & Carl worked with my wife to gather the necessary photos and have made what may be the most odd parting gift ever. A bobblehead figure of me, in fire gear. The accompanying plaque says "Bravery in the face of Penumbra" along with my dates of service. I've placed the idol on the ......
  143. 01/23/2010Announcing the C.U.L.T. Shirt 2010 Winner ......
  144. 01/19/2010Great round table with Kristen Lauria about the Lotus Knows campaignAs you may have seen posted from some of our more fleet fingered friends, Kristen Lauria, VP of Marketing and Channels, IBM Lotus hosted a round table for those of us in the "Treat Bloggers as Press" program. The topic was the "Lotus Knows" campaign, and let me say that I'm impressed as hell. I'm not a marketing wizard, so I can't tell you she's right -- but I can tell you that everything she's saying and doing resonates with what I want to see said and done. To me, that means she's a genius. Keep in mind ......
  145. 01/19/2010The Review: Lotusphere 2010 – Opening General SessionI know there are tens of thousands of you out there slowing turning blue as you hold your breath waiting for my personal take on this year’s OGS. You may now begin breathing again, as I’m about to impart this vast wisdom. Just a note, if you fail to restart breathing, try passing out and flopping around on the floor until you draw someone’s attention and they can call 911. That usually helps. Disclaimer: Once again, I’ve been invited to participate in the “Treat Bloggers Much Better Than They Deserve By ......
  146. 01/10/2010The LiveScribe Pen - Reviewed [] It's been a busy few weeks getting ready for LS10, In the mean time, Barb bought me a new toy for Christmas and I'd thought I'd do a review. The [LiveScribe Pen] makes note taking in meetings & presentations a lot easier -- if it works. The question is, Does it? 1. What does it do? Basically, it's a pen with a good voice recorder built in that remembers where it was in the recording at the time you write any particular note on your pad of paper. The paper itself is "active" with microprinting so the pen ......
  147. 12/11/2009Comparing the iTouch/iPhone with the Blackberry Storm from a Notes Mail user & Geek perspectiveI'm living a redundant mobile access kind of lifestyle right now. I've got a Blackberry Storm connected to a BES as well as an iTouch wifi connected to Traveler. As I've been in the UK for the last few days, and was in Phoenix for several days already this month, I've had a time to get a fairly good idea of what it's like to live and work with these devices. Here's my take. Connectivity Since I'm using an iTouch and not an iPhone, the comparison isn't quite even. I have to be near a known wifi router to ......
  148. 12/03/2009Traveler - for the Non-Mac Admins Like MeToday I bought an iPod Touch and installed Traveler on my 8.5.1 Domino mail server. It was so easy as to be shocking, and works perfectly. I thought I'd give a run down on it in very quick and dirty terms for those of you who, like me, aren't really Apple fans and don't have an iPhone to play with -- but are getting requests from your users for this functionality. First of all, understand that I've never owned an iPod Touch or iPhone -- and while my kids and wife have iPods, I don't. I don't use a Mac, and ......
  149. 11/26/2009Montezuma's Castle, Sedona, Oak Creek CanyonOn the way to my father's place in Parks, Arizona (near Flagstaff), we took a side trip to see Montezuma's Castle, then up through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon -- which I consider one of the top 5 most stunning places I've ever been. ......
  150. 11/26/2009The Phoenix Zoo - Dad with CaitlinWe spent several hours checking out the Phoenix Zoo, which gets better every time I go. One of the things that was interesting is an area they have for visually impaired people. These exhibits have molded models mean to give a tactile impression of the size or features of some of the animals. Hands on life sized models of several animals are included, as are larger sized examples of reptile scales, alligator skin, and tortoise shells -- and many other things of that nature. ......
  151. 11/26/2009Caitlin with Dad at "Hole in the Rock" - Papago Park, PhoenixI took Caitlin with me to visit family in Arizona this Thanksgiving. Here are some pictures from "Hole in the Rock" near the Zoo. ......
  152. 11/18/2009Help settle a bet... ......
  153. 11/18/2009If you didn't get chosen to deliver a Lotusphere Session........well, I'm sorry to hear that and can understand your disappointment. For most of you, you have my best hopes that next year you get a better result. If you think I can help you refine your presentation skills or your presentation submission skills, drop me an email or talk to me at Lotusphere. If, however, your response to not being chosen to deliver was to write a complaint, demand an explanation, or make statements deriding other sessions or speakers, then I believe that is itself a sort of proof ......
  154. 11/17/2009Busy and Fun year for me at LS2010 - Here are the presentations I'll be delivering in JanuaryThis is, as far as I know, the complete list of presentations I'll be doing at Lotusphere. I'm really looking forward to delivering them. The ones I've done before all have a good bit of new content, others are brand new. They're some of my favorites. The A-Z of Domino Security (With Gabriella Davis)IBM Lotus Domino Server & Application Performance in the Real WorldRunning your IBM Lotus Domino server on LinuxPerforming your own IBM Lotus Domino Security Review If you have ideas or specific things you'd ......
  155. 11/16/2009Lotuscript Editor Next Steps - My wish list for "Code Templates"I've spoken about Code Templates before, and how I think they're one of the best new features in Designer. Now I want to suggest a next step. I want to be able to define a different subset of code templates for different kind of agents. In other words when I create a new agent, I'd like the option to select what kind of agent it is and have different (or additional) template code dropped in. For me, the biggest key would be for what I'd call "Web Action Agents" I would include some standard code I use to ......
  156. 11/07/2009JFGI replaces RTFM. Just [Freaking] Google It. I thought I'd run into the first important software I couldn't use on my laptop with Windows 7. The Vsphere client for VMWARE ESXi. It wouldn't run at all., so I googled it and found two documents. The first, from VMWARE's site, said it wouldn't work: The very next document I opened was written by someone who'd gotten it to work, and gave very detailed and functional instructions. It's hard to remember what we did before the ......
  157. 10/30/2009Awesome fire pictures from Thursday nightSome really cool pictures of a huge bonfire -- The Greely HS homecoming rally held at Twin Brook on Thursday night. Engine 101 was there for safety and to put the coal bed out after everyone went home. Heavy Rescue 103 was there to provide power and lighting for the rally. ......
  158. 10/30/2009Ran into a really oddball bug while working on a 7.03 Domino web app.It took me a long time to figure out just what was going on, but here's the detail: There is a FORM with an embedded View. The embedded view uses the "ShowSingleCategory" value to change what is shown. There is a picklist field on the form, which is populated by a lookup and allows you to pick the category, which is then used by the view. The picklist field is marked "RefreshFieldsOnChange" so that the page will reload using the new value, and thus repopulate the embedded view with data from the newly ......
  159. 10/21/2009Anyone want to be a test case for some hardware that I think will instantly resolve server performance for most servers?I'm talking with a company that makes a bit of hardware that isn't cheap, but that I think would potentially allow Domino servers that are I/O bound (like you, my friend up in Canada) to get as much as ten times the scale and performance without any other changes. I'm talking to them about potentially doing a white paper. The project would require a few sites willing to try it out and be noted on the paper with some performance results (nothing proprietary, just some raw data numbers). If you think your ......
  160. 10/19/2009Comments are fixed. If you posted a comment recently, please check here to re-post.A bug cropped up in my javascript. I don't know why it was suddenly an issue, but it's fixed now. If you posted a reply in the last 10 days, I don't have it. If you want it seen, you'll have to re-post. ......
  161. 10/19/2009Windows 7 - Finally, something worth upgrading to.Last week, I moved Ari's laptop from Vista to Windows 7. That was a no-brainer, because Vista sucked. Her upgrade went very well, and I was impressed enough to try it out on my own laptop -- a much more demanding environment. By living with it on my laptop for a while, I'll know if the next laptop can be a PC or will need to be a Mac. First, before you do what I did you should be aware that current versions of Notes are not officially supported on Windows 7 (which can't happen until it is released and the ......
  162. 10/12/2009If you're just getting to try out Domino Designer in 8.5.1 -- Don't forget to set up "Code Templates" -- it's quick and easy.Sorry for the recycled blog entries today, but a few of these things really need to be widely talked about or they'll get missed. If you haven't see "Code Templates" yet, please check out this note from a few weeks ago: ......
  163. 10/12/2009Speeding up Notes 8.x Start and Run Time -- Technote Updated for 8.5.1Some time ago, I posted a blog entry on how to make Notes 8.x start up much faster. It has been one of the most popular entries on my site. That technote has now been updated to reflect a change to the location of the jvm.properties file. The file is now located in [notes]\framework\rcp\deploy\ -- it's part of the re-organization and optimization done in the 8.5.1 client and this is a much better place for the file to live. You can view the original tech note -- still very relevant -- here: ......
  164. 10/12/2009Installing Domino 8.5.1 on Linux - If you're having trouble with the installer....I've run into this before and had to go looking for the details again today. I thought I'd post it here for easier reference. When installing Domino on Linux -- especially on unsupported Linux Distributions (I'm using CENTOS 5.x) sometimes you'll see the install script crash out with no error when it tries to load the setup.jar. This is caused by a problem with the jvm version or configuration. There's an easy way around it. Use the command: # cd /[PATH]/linux/domino/tools Where [PATH] is the location ......
  165. 10/10/2009Windwos 7 - The Upgrade Process, and First ImpressionsAri's laptop came with Windows Vista and it's been a big pain in the ass all along. It had so many problems that it wouldn't take Microsoft's updates. Now that Microsoft shipped me a release version of Windows 7, I decided to give it a try and fix up Ari's laptop at the same time, since a re-install was due anyway. The Upgrade Process First off, I backed up all of Ari's stuff, expecting to have to reformat the drive. I booted with the Windows 7 dvd and tried to "upgrade" -- but it said I couldn't do that. ......
  166. 10/08/2009The Laptop Conundrum - Have the vendors got lazy?Have the hardware vendors got lazy? Have they just conceded all innovation to Apple? My laptop is nearing the end of its useful life for me. It's a good machine, but is nearing the time when the battery won't take a charge (again), the OS will need a re-install, and the touchpad is getting flaky. I could fix these things easily enough, spending a day or two on it along with a few hundred dollars -- but tossing a bunch of cash at a 4 year old machine isn't smart. Here's the problem -- there doesn't seem to ......
  167. 10/06/2009Is the Notes 8.5.1 release stable? Should you upgrade to it?I started using the 8.5.1 "Code Drops" from the time they became available to us as "Design Partners" with IBM. That means I've been running 8.5.1 as my PRIMARY mail and development client now since BEFORE Lotusphere 2009. Even in its earliest code drops, with most features still incomplete, I found it better than the 8.5.0 release -- and hated dropping "back" to that for Lotusphere 2009. My advice is this: Install it, use it, and take the time to get to know it. The designer especially can take a bit of ......
  168. 10/06/2009Example showing two views that LOOK and ACT the same, but one is 153 times largerView indexes are the real culprit in performance on so many servers. One reason they're too big, is the use of the wrong @Function. Here's the result of a simple test I tossed together. I did this for my presentation on performance at AdminCamp a week ago. I thought I'd share it here. Setup: New database with two forms, both the same other than the form name. Form one has two documents created. Form two has two documents created. What's the difference then? The two documents using form two has have 30,000 ......
  169. 09/24/20092010 C.U.L.T. Shirt Sponsorship Information - Jump on this quickly!It's that time again this year. If you want a free shirt at Lotusphere, direct potential sponsors to the page linked below. You know the shirts: The first four years, managed by Henry "NEWBS" Newberry, with Rocky "Lotusgeek" Oliver --- 2000 - "Notes World Order" 2001 - "Domino Survivor" 2002 - "Fellowship of the Domino Ring" 2003 - "Collaboration League versus Just-Us League" The shirts I've done since taking the reigns, also with Rocky "Lotusgeek" Oliver --- 2004 - "CULT SHIRT ON HUMAN" 2005 - Zen & The ......
  170. 09/06/2009Horray! We can finally talk about what we've been seeing in Notes and Domino 8.5.1I can say without question that every script I write will be better than it would have been in any previous version. The feature I'm about to show you is one of the reasons -- but not the only one. There is a lot to talk about, so first let me dispense with the disclaimers -- Notes 8.5.1 is still in beta. Absolutely anything I say about what I've seen, heard, or used is still subject to change without notice, and no ship dates that I can talk about are confirmed. In fact, it may be an entirely different ......
  171. 08/27/2009Extrication Training - Pictures of us tearing cars apartHere are some pictures I took at tonight's "Special Operations" training. Three cars were set aside in a junk yard and our crews were able to practice using the cutters, spreaders (aka jaws of life) and other tools of destruction. If you're not a firefighter, you probably don't get to see tools like this being put to use. Enjoy. ......
  172. 08/27/2009Ever wanted your own VMWARE ESXi Server? Here's what I built - hardware that worked, and tips for good results.For a small office or home office lab like mine, where the customer facing and public facing services are hosted at co-lo facilities, I'm always needing scratch servers and temporary trial run equipment in addition to my local mail and development server. VMWARE always seemed to make sense for this, and I'm very pleased with how it works on my PC's using their free "VMWARE Server" product. The ESXi product is a next step up. This is what they call a "bare metal hypervisor" -- which means it doesn't run ......
  173. 08/05/2009Lotus Knows MarketingNo, really. Seriously. Marketing. Ok, I fully understand you don't believe me. Let me explain..... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.... At the recent user conference, a new marketing campaign was announced called "Lotus Knows". This is a bid deal by itself, because for years we've been told never to expect a direct marketing campaign that is deeper than general "IBM Software". Suddenly, the LOTUS brand is going to be getting some love. The idea behind the campaign is to really show off the things ......
  174. 07/24/2009Vegas - The appearance of luxury, done on the cheap as always. Same old crap.I'm in Las Vegas for a Penumbra meeting this week. We're at the NYNY hotel and casino, which is very interesting on the outside, and to its credit is creatively and attractively designed in the casino area. Vegas is what it is though. A giant machine designed to suck as much cash as possible from the vast hoards of occasional middle class vacationers. Chief among its tactics is offering the illusion of luxury and opulence when in fact there is very little real luxury to be had. The real win in marketing ......
  175. 07/20/2009Grow. The. Hell. Up.You know who you are. All of you. On all sides. You are behaving like stupid, spoiled children. You're not winning people over to your sides, you're turning people off and reducing the chances that anyone who's watching will ever want to do business with you. Enough ......
  176. 07/13/2009Catching you up - #2 What's going on with the Fire Stuff?I know some of you read this blog only for the Domino tidbits, but some of you have also told me you like the things I post about the fire department. Others want to hear about the kids and the house (hi Mom!). I'd say something like "I try to mix it up" but that's not true. I write whatever random stuff comes to mind. This time it's a fire department update. To begin with, over the last few months we've "renumbered" the apparatus a bit. The move to county dispatch spurred our Chief into trying a numbering ......
  177. 07/13/2009Some words on OpenNTF and Big Thinkers trying to make it workThe OpenNTF project has been at the center of a great deal of hand wringing, finger pointing, and general posturing behavior that only a well established troop of bonobos could love. Where people stand on it seems to depend in large part on what they hope the project to do for them. There are issues of licensing, issues of control, and issues of association. For IBM's part, they're putting time and money into the project and expect to have some serious influence in the result. In additional to a general ......
  178. 07/13/2009Catching you up - #1 New features to not talk aboutSometimes I think the real reason they let me in the Design Partner program is to shut me up. It's been a long time, yeah? On the Domino & Notes development side it's difficult to have much to say right now because all my work is being done in the latest and increasingly greatest code drops from IBM. I'm prohibited from talking about the exciting new features so that leaves me a little speechless. As seems to be the case in so many things, the more you know they less you can say -- conversely, the people ......
  179. 06/23/2009OpenNTF Licensing ChoiceOpenNTF should settle on the Apache Licensing. It allows IBM to consume OpenNTF released software for inclusion into the core product base -- which means really good stuff could get added in as default templates or parts of the mail file, etc. It also means developers can use Google code and other Apache Licensed software without worrying about being excluded from OpenNTF. As far as I'm concerned, if you don't agree, you're wrong -- and you should fork off (your own source tree) -- maybe call it ......
  180. 06/23/2009Web Developers and Artists -- What does a color really look like?The two images in the sample to the right - which LOOK like different colors, are not. they are the same web page and being displayed on the same computer with nearly the same settings. In both cases, the color is defined as "#15433D". [] The only difference, is that the one on top is shown in Firefox using the relatively little known feature introduced in version 3.x which uses the color profile configuration you have set up for your monitor when it renders images. These settings are ......
  181. 06/04/2009Product Review: Verizon's MiFi™2200 Intelligent Mobile HotspotYou're not as connected as I am. If that's not true, you're a pretty unusually connected person. When I'm not in the office, I've used cellular tower based connections for several years. Originally it was just a cellular modem, then Verizon upgraded the network to "1xRTT" which gave speeds comparable to a dial-up line at home. EVDO came out and we boosted to the speed of a cheap DSL connection, and now with EVDO Rev A we can be connected almost anywhere with speeds nearly as good as any hotel or coffee ......
  182. 05/27/2009Second Signal - Starting to see the kind of growth I've been looking forward toThe last few months, Second Signal has really picked up. It's still pretty small scale, but when you consider that I haven't spent any time or money marketing it, any growth is significant growth. Here's some really interest thresholds it's crossing: 1. We'll cross the first major goal of 10 fully committed, independent sites this June. That may not sound like much, but these are customers making significant regular monthly payments for the service, and we're already ahead of "break even" on the books. For ......
  183. 05/26/2009Memorial Day 2009 - Slideshow of the parade, the marching band, the kids' bike parade, etc...This is what it's like to live in a great small town. On Monday morning, Coryn biked up to the middle school to get read while I biked up to main street to get some good pictures. Caitlin and Ari joined us after a bit. Enjoy. Starts off with some shots of the CFD Flag Detail. I put them first because they don't dress that well very often. ......
  184. 05/21/2009Speaking at events that are not specific to our industry - Interesting ReactionLast week, I was in Sacramento to help long time client and friend Laurie Webb with a presentation at the Government Technology Conference. This is a conference entirely geared toward the California state government's I.T. needs. Laurie had taken a booth and sponsorship at the event and had a one hour speaking slot, with the topic "Reaching Citizens through Web 2.0". My job was to help her prepare and deliver that presentation. If that seems a bit outside what you think I do, keep in mind that as a ......
  185. 05/19/2009Corporate Protectionism is as bad as the nationalistic kindI want to talk about Corporate Protectionism in general first, and then I’ll speak about industries in specific. Corporate Protectionism is the term I’m using to describe vendor lock in through long term contracts, through exclusivity agreements on products, and through business process patents. We’re Americans. We’re brought up with the jingoism of freedom, capitalism, and of democracy in what it supposed to be the purest forms possible. We’ve allowed the reality of these to become severely distorted, ......
  186. 05/17/2009Skippy, the Omega Dog! Freedom - thanks to the new "Dogwatch" fenceHere's a slideshow.... Skippy is learning the limits and enjoying the freedom offered by the new "Dogwatch" fence. Dogwatch is a competitor to "Invisible Fence" but we believe it to be more reliable, less likely to trigger in error, and much less expensive over time. The system uses a buried antenna wire in a loop around the house. The dog is warned with a beep if he approaches within 5 feet of the wire. If he gets closer, he gets a small shock. If you train the dog carefully, he understands the warning, ......
  187. 05/17/2009This blog interrupted by the Lotus Design Partner ProgramThere are things I want to tell you about. I've decided it's time to make a statement about some of them. Why haven't I been posting all kinds of neato Lotus Domino tricks? It's this weird side effect of having access to more information. The more you know, the less you can say. A few cynical bastards have suggested that the only reason I'm IN the design partner program is to shut me up. If that's true, it's working and I'm grateful for it. There's no rule against me telling you that I'm in the DP program. ......
  188. 04/24/2009Even more cool integration with the XLight FTP & SFTP Server to Domino - Upload/Download notificiations to the the Domino serverThe other day () I talked about how the XLight FTP server for Windows machines was able to be integrated via Domino's LDAP service for not just login credentials, but for almost complete configuration including individual user home paths, permissions, quotas, speeds, ratios, etc. Here's another very cool feature: When any file is uploaded, downloaded, or deleted from the FTP server, you can have it run an executable program and pass it parameters that include the file path and name, size, the status of ......
  189. 04/23/2009The End for this old Maple TreeThis tree on the side of the house -- right outside my office -- has being slowly declining since we did the addition several years ago. Today was the day to finally have it cut down. ......
  190. 04/21/2009Does anyone need an FTP & SFTP server that can use your Domino Directory for authentication & configuration?For a client project, I needed an FTP -- and preferably an SFTP -- server integrated into the web site. Of course it is possible to use the one built into IIS, or else use a linux server or some other solution. Instead, I found and tested one that gave us a lot more integration. The Xlight FTP Serverruns on just about any flavor of Windows, installs is a few seconds, and can be configured to run multiple virtual ftp and sftp servers. I've opted for the Professional version with the SFTP add on module, and ......
  191. 04/19/2009Some photos of spring in Maine -- Before and After the cleanup ......
  192. 04/19/2009HOW-TO: John Deere L100 Lawn 42" Tractor/Mower Brake AdjustmentUpdate 5/8/2011 -- I decided to update this post with a follow-up that covers a more complete rebuild of the brake assembly. You still need this part for the adjustment, but if you want to go further, take a look here: How-to Followup - the Brake Assembly ......
  193. 04/15/2009Man, I just love working with my enterprise email and calendaring system!Have you every heard anyone not directly involved in managing these systems just declare their love for them? No? Of course not. Just like I don't go around declaring how much I love the way the lights work every single time I flip the switch. If the lights didn't work -- or if I didn't like the way the switch worked -- then I'd bitch about it frequently, but otherwise why would I say anything at all? Does anyone, at any company, stand up now and then and say "Wow, I love my email program!"? Of course not. ......
  194. 04/09/2009Installed YTria EZSuite Today -- Finally; Here's some first impressionsFollowing up from Lotusphere 2009, the folks over at Ytria have gone out of their way to make sure I could take a look at their tools. The demo was extremely impressive at Lotusphere and I've been very remiss in not taking advantage of the chance to try them out. Since the software version I run is almost always some kind of pre-beta or beta, I'm pretty cautious about installing any add-on tools -- that plus lack of time have really delayed me looking at this. The suite consists of tools to manage many ......
  195. 04/03/2009What can IBM do to help grow the Lotus community?In a side conversation this week, I was talking with some people about what kinds of things might increase the size and power of the Domino community. I've heard some suggestions that are pretty radical but I don't think its necessary to go so far. If the goal is to increase and empower the community, I think the best place to start is the community. Think of the Domino community in two or three levels. First, there's a sort of loud, showy, dog and pony show blogger community. I'm in it, some of you are as ......
  196. 04/01/2009Happy Birthday MomHappy Birthday Mom -- and best wishes for many ......
  197. 03/29/2009This site is now running Domino 8.5 on LinuxOver the weekend, I've upgraded my public facing site to IBM Lotus Domino version 8.5 for Linux. After some initial challenges, (how Fascinating!) the site is running nicely and performance is ......
  198. 03/23/2009A few tips for "Graphic Designers" who are creating page mockups for developers to code into web pagesSo called "Designers" take their artsy-fartsy training with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to create "Mockup" pages, then ask us as developers to make web pages that look the same way. Sometimes I think they don't really know when what they're asking us to do is particularly difficult. These are my tips to "Designers" -- I hope they'll understand what they're asking us for. I realize that these are "best case" recommendations. Sometimes you want color fades or other things for the look they achieve. Its a ......
  199. 03/21/2009Survival Guide for Lotus Notes and Domino Administrators - Got mine Friday ......
  200. 03/20/2009Why do traditional boxed software companies have their heads in the cloud? ......
  201. 03/17/2009Images not showing up from your Web Applications? I spent hours tracking this down...I've been working on an application for a client, and needed to store file resources both on documents and as design elements (file resources). For some reason, they simply weren't showing up on the web browser when viewed as part of any page. * The images showed up when you would put the URL directly into the browser to view the image itself. * The images showed up when you put the same code and image -- the same document -- in any other databases. * The "Firebug" debugger for Firefox showed the image ......
  202. 03/14/2009New Facebook setup means if you're posting your Twitter feed to it, you're being obnoxious.Here's something to think about. If I want to follow you on Twitter, I will follow you on twitter. That way, when I bring up my twitter client because I'm in the mood to look at that kind of low-level banality (which is fairly frequent) I'll see your tweets where they belong. Within the twitterverse. If you insist on posting your tweets directly as a feed to your Facebook home page, the new interface means that not only am I forced to sift through them when I go onto Facebook -- which is NOT why I'm on ......
  203. 03/09/2009A quick tip that may speed up your laptop or workstationIf you've had your laptop or workstation a while -- especially if you've installed things like vmware -- you may not be getting the network performance you once did. Here's a little thing to check. ......
  204. 03/07/2009I'm looking to try outsourcing some HTML/CSS coding - However.....For outsourcing html/css, I don't dare do a web search on it and just pick -- and I sure as hell don't want to pick from the ones that spam me. Who are you using? I get pages in Illustrator that were put together from a "designer" (who just can't seem to understand that this is NOT a good design tool for the web). This happens at least once a month. I need to turn them into html/css. Once that's done, I rip sections of code out and replace it with dynamic content using Notes fields. I'm considering running ......
  205. 03/06/2009Why so negative now? Domino & Notes are on the UPSWING for a change. ......
  206. 03/03/2009The ZOOM! -- The Gelsenkirchen ZooWhat a fantastic surprise! Coryn and I along with Ben's wife and son went a few miles to the Gelsenkirchen Zoo -- called the "Zoom!" We expected a couple of animals and a ten minute tour. We were wrong. We spent a few terrific hours there and saw more animals than we could possibly have expected. They were all well cared for and appeared happy and active in the nice spring weather. Here's some photos. ......
  207. 03/03/2009Coryn & Dad at the Koln (Cologne) Cathedral - Some very cool picturesI had some challenges in taking these pictures -- you can't use a flash inside the dimly lit Cathedral, for example. These were all taken with my little Casio EXILIM pocket camera without flash or tripod. Where possible, I held the camera against something stationary and gave the shutter as much time as possible. ......
  208. 03/02/2009AP Phone Home - Cheaper. -- Calling anywhere from my cell in Germany, using my home VOIP ratesMy cost to call home to the US from my German cell phone is now essentially the same as it is for anyone in Germany calling to anyone else in Germany from a cell phone. Call costs in Europe are very different from the pricing structure in the US. Calls TO cell phones cost more than calls to land lines. Call from cell phones have various rates depending on your carrier, plan, and who you're calling. I'm using an O2 Loop account with an unlocked Nokia phone I bought for 40 Euro last time I was here. With ......
  209. 03/01/2009Coryn & Dad in London - Some pictures via Flick'r streamOn our way to the software developer's conference in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Coryn and I overnighted in London. Gab & Tim were kind enough to meet us at the airport and after a nice dinner we strolled around central London a bit. And yes, its a Sprite she's holding, not a beer.Attention GMS StudentsThis site is to be used within the appropriate context for family, friends, and coworkers. All workstation addresses are logged.You're at school right now, pay attention! -- Coryn's ......
  210. 02/26/2009Some new tools I'm tryingI'm trying out a couple of tools for the Domino product line. In particularly I'm finally getting around to testing DEFRAG.NSF -- I'll let you know how that goes, I'm hopeful but skeptical. I'm also going to be installing and working with Ytria's development tools. In the interest of full disclosure, both vendors have made those available to me to try out, and if I like them I'll say so here on the blog site. If I don't like them, I probably won't say anything about them unless they're truly terrible ......
  211. 02/24/2009Cutting through the B.S. -- Should you deploy DAOS right now or not?As posted on Ed's blog, there's a lot of talk going on right now about DAOS. I thought I'd try to clarify some of the benefits and potential pitfalls as clearly as possible to help some of you make the decision. First the Potential Benefits Most sites are reporting between 40 and 60 percent reduction in disk storage requirements without making any policy changes or requiring users to change behavior. I personally believe you will be hard pressed to find any site with more than 50 mail users that isn't ......
  212. 02/23/2009Web Design Influences on Classic Notes Client ApplicationsI spent the day working on a classic Notes Client application. It wasn't anything overly complex -- just a few views and forms, some action buttons and agents. Fortunately for me, UI design wasn't a priority on this. Its a single use case tool for one site-admin person to use as a time saver for an otherwise onerous task. One thing I did notice, however, was that the expectation we have of the way things look and work has changed pretty drastically. We've learned to ignore the "frame" and focus on the ......
  213. 02/15/2009PCI Compliance - Is it important to you that Notes & Domino play nice in this space?If your company takes or stores credit card data, you may be required to meet PCI Compliance standards. Not all credit card processing requires this -- it has to do with the volume of transactions and other things. If you have to comply, you know what a challenge it can be. I spent a good part of last week working on an issue which was related to PCI Compliance and data being stored in NSF databases. While I can't go into details right now due to NDA, there are a couple of things I'd like to press for in ......
  214. 02/09/2009Yes - its time for an actual Notes and Domino Technical Tip Blog Entry!I don't do these that often because I don't usually have that much to add. When I do, its because I think something may really help. I've been driven crazy recently by a couple of type-ahead names in my 8.5 client. You see, someone I communicate for business with all the time sent me an email from an alternate account. Like a Gmail account only even more of a problem -- its an address at one of her clients. Ever since, whenever I type her name the wrong one comes up and if I'm not careful I send the ......
  215. 01/29/2009Pictures from the Snow-PocalypseOk, it didn't turn out to be that big a deal. We got about a foot of snow, with a crust on top of ice. It looks good though, on top of the 8 inches or so we already had. ......
  216. 01/29/2009A couple of photos I took this evening of the fire trucks on scene -- came out really interestingI'm not much of a photographer. The nice thing about a cheap little digital camera for someone like me is that its size means its almost always there. I snap a bunch of pictures and every once in a while I get something really interesting. Take a look at a couple of lucky shots that came out cool -- at least I think so. As always, click to see the full size. ......
  217. 01/29/2009Returning to the Village – Are you ready?Our nature is to live in small communities. For all of history up until the last hundred or so years, we knew the people around us fairly well. We knew what they did at work and what they did at home. We did business with friends, relatives, and other people in the village. Then we stopped. Instead of living near the people we grew up with, we live in different communities entirely. We commute to yet another community for work. In the process, we’ve built home lives and work lives. We re-invent ourselves ......
  218. 01/25/2009Hey! Everyone welcome Richard Schwartz to the twitterverse....Richard Schwartz -- truly one of the pioneers of using Lotus Notes going all the way back to the L-Notes-L mailing list -- is now a twit. er.. I mean a twitterer. That is to say, he's tweeting. Follow him here: ......
  219. 01/24/2009How far can you take Guerrilla Marketing in a community setting?Guerrilla Marketing - using crowd tactics, community influence, and other techniques to get attention at low cost through other peoples media is no longer revolutionary. Its common as dirt. We all do it to some extent. The C.U.L.T. shirt is a bit of it. The idea is to get yourself of your product known on someone else's dime. But what happens when you over-apply these tactics in a community? When a group of people who are essentially competitors come together in a tight community like a conference setting ......
  220. 01/24/2009Careful timing for a 2 hour jumpstart session - A picture is worth a thousand wordsGab & I did our Jumpstart session on security again this year. We did it twice last Sunday. The jumpstart is 2 hours long and covers so much material that we really need at least 4 hours to cover it all. It took Gab and I several hours just to refine the topics and timing when we go together in early December to finalize it. There's a technique I use when I'm presenting and I know other presenters use a similar tool to manage their delivery. We write down the time (not the number of minutes, but the actual ......
  221. 01/24/2009For FSCK sake, Barak Obama is not going to be using a Blackberry. The press has been jabbering on for days about how President Barak Obama will keep his beloved Blackberry. It's not true. He will not be keeping the device he loves, he'll be allowed to use a PDA created by General Dynamics -- or should I say bastardized by General Dynamics -- which is based on Windows CE. It's a competitor to Blackberry, not a Blackberry at all. I suppose RIM is allowing the news people to proliferate this mistake because it's good press for them when people hear how much he likes their ......
  222. 01/23/2009Special Thank you to all 6 of my readers -- and a happy birthday shout out to one....In 12 years of Lotusphere I have never once been in Kimonos until tonight. Anyone who has suffered through my singing can tell you why this is the case. After an insane round of miniature golf in the "Blogger's Open" and then an amazing dinner with five great friends (Gab, Tim, Carl, Mike, and Sue) I was headed back to the hotel for bed when I decided to drop in at Kimonos. Those of you who know me also know that I don't drink much if at all. All of these facts together make it even more astonishing to me ......
  223. 01/21/2009Watching the inauguration with a few thousand of my closest friendsWhat an amazing day. I watched the inauguration from Lotusphere. At first I was in Rocky & Bob's session on busting myths around the software. They finished with one last myth. The slide showed as a myth that there would never be a black president -- then they cut directly to the CNN coverage just as Obama was about to be sworn in. As that session was ending, I went out side to watch the coverage on the information screens the conference uses. There were dozens around each screen silently watching. After a ......
  224. 01/19/2009Best. Lotusphere. Ever. So far, this is the best Lotusphere I have ever attended. I don't say that lightly. I'll detail the key things in the OGS at the end because there's a lot of content and I don't want a few things I have to say first to get lost in it..... ......
  225. 01/19/2009My "Live Blog" stream is on Twitter -- I'll do a real blog post summing it up laterMy LS09 OGS comments can be found here: http://twitter.com/FirefighterGeek The stream so far (from most recent to least) beanbag chairs are great -- but after an hour I can say that at 41, maybe not a good long term solution + mine will need tougher 'beans' :-) 4 minutes ago from twhirl reduction of disk, i/o, and cpu use (40-60%) over Exchange servers. Important to sites who deploy on VMs, rather than boxes. #ls09 9 minutes ago from twhirl slide about reduction of disk, i/o, and cpu use (40-60%) over ......
  226. 01/18/2009Lot's of highlights from Day -1, and Day 0 at Lotusphere 2009 The shirts are done (for me). The Fulton's dinner is done. The Jumpstart Security sessions are done (4 hours of talking) are done. Now I can have some fun! If you're one of the six people who read my blog, come up and tell me so during the week. Don't be shy, I love to meet the people who read my rants. Bob Picciano - the new man running the show for Lotus - is poised to do some fantastic work. I'll blog more later because some of it should wait until after the OGS. For now, let me say that he's a Notes ......
  227. 01/18/2009Debora Cole awarded the Penumbra Prism Award for 2009As a member of the board of directors of the Penumbra Group, I had the distinct honor of presenting Debora Cole with the Penumbra Prism Award for 2009. The Prism Award is given by Penumbra to someone at IBM who we believe goes above and beyond the expectations of their position to work with Lotus Business Partners in a way that helps us keep customers running smoothly with Lotus Software. Debora has been active in the various partner forums and events for a long time, but on top of that she is frequently ......
  228. 01/09/2009National Car Rental called this morningAfter yesterday's post about the Emerald Club problem, I heard back by voicemail this morning. They're sending the agreement over by email and I can then fax it back. Apparently my whining caught the attention of someone with a sense of customer service. (Yesterday's post: http://www.thenorth.com/apblog4.nsf/0/4D1B7DC2F8F514C0852575380075A2DA) I'll follow up and tell you how it ......
  229. 01/08/2009National Car Rental - Emerald Club Signup - Epic FailSo in making my car reservations for Orlando, I decided to try National's Emerald Club. The idea being that you walk to the cars in the row you want (or an upgrade row if they're in there) and get in, they check your license at the gate and you leave. Done. If you want a more expensive car, just get in it and they'll fix it at the gate. In concept, I like the idea. I have Gold service with Hertz and "wizard" service with Avis. Both offer bypass services, but not with that kind of flexibility. I'm not a ......
  230. 01/04/20092009 starting off HOT! CFD run #2 for 2009 is a huge structure fire! Photos, Video, & Audio here...I'd already mentioned in this previous postthat our first run of 2009 was a structure fire on a really cold night. Well, shockingly, our SECOND run of the new year was also a structure fire. The weather wasn't as cold -- this time it was just below freezing -- but the fire was much, much larger. I rolled up in our Ladder 7, and just our luck we were 20 seconds behind Falmouth's Tower truck. They ended up putting their stick in the air and running their master stream for hours, while we ended up "staging" ......
  231. 01/02/2009Starting the year off HOT and COLD with a Structure Fire on a sub-zero nightWe don't get that many structure fires here in Cumberland. I've been to more fires out of town than in. That makes it all the more strange to have Run #1 for 2009 come in as a structure fire -- but that's exactly what happened. With temperatures hovering at around 0 degrees Fahrenheit ( -17 C for you Europeans reading this) and winds gusting from 5-20 miles an hour it was extremely cold. To make matters worse, the part of town where this home is has no hydrants or town water system. All the water to fight ......
  232. 12/30/2008Quick product review: Eye-Fi - a wireless card for your digital cameraForgive me, FSM. It has been 9 days since my last blogfession. The Flying Spaghetti Monstera religionmade up as aprotest to the Kansas School Board. protest to the Kansas School Board. I consider myself a member of that religion (a Pastafarian) in as much as I consider myself a member of any religion.Sorry to be away so long. First we had the ice storm, then a few quick days to catch up before our big snow storm, then the holidays. Wow, time does fly when you're running behind. A few neat gifts this year ......
  233. 12/21/2008Stormcam is up if anyone is interestedWe're expected 18 inches of snow and blowing wind this evening. I've hooked up a web cam out my office window, and cobbled software together to snap the pics and send the up to the web site every 2 minutes. A live, auto-refreshing page is available here: EDITED: 12-22-2008 -- Took down the storm cam, but here's some pics of the aftermath: ......
  234. 12/16/2008There are HOW MANY prizes this year for wearing your C.U.L.T. Shirt?Count 'em baby -- FOUR prizes this year! Oh, and the prizes don't suck at all. Each is worth at least $100 US. We've given away a prize each year at the Wednesday night party to some random, unsuspecting person who happens to be wearing a C.U.L.T. shirt. This year we're not just going to top that, we're going to blow it out of the water. The four prize giveaways are as follows: Prize Number 1 - To be given out as usual at the Wednesday night party. At a secretly chosen time, our super under-cover spotter ......
  235. 12/14/2008The 2009 C.U.L.T. Shirt Top Ten List - Submit Your Ideas Now!This year's theme is "Three Delicious Flavors" I'm really late in getting this done -- and Rocky and I talked several times about what to make for a top ten list. We had a breakthrough that seemed brilliant to both of us, but then we didn't write it down so its gone complete. You're stuck with what we can remember. Even worse, you're stuck with what I can recall of what we remember. Here's the list: "Top Ten Slogans or Statements Not Chosen for Notes 8.5 Data Sheets" Some Examples: * Designer Sold ......
  236. 12/14/2008Is the "Users want Outlook because they use it at home" argument valid?Without digging into Notes much, Ed points out on his blog, that he's done a survey that makes this idea that Outlook Express at home is how people are used to working less valid. A few things come to my mind as I read what he wrote. Usually, I'd respond on his blog site but to be honest I didn't want what I had to say to be lost in the noise over there this time around. Regardless of his survey method being decidedly self referential -- There's validity in its results if you look at them in the right ......
  237. 12/14/2008Maine Ice Storm Update -- 3rd Day w/o Power, 15 Degrees ( -9 degrees C)Think it's no big deal? Into the 3rd day here in Maine, and nearly 100,000 residences remain without power. Here's what happens if you can't heat your house. That means no heat. No heat for the house also means no way to keep the pipes in the house from freezing and bursting. We're not just talking about the water pipes in the kitchen and bathroom here -- houses here are usually heated by pumping heated water through pipes that run through all the rooms to baseboard registers. Those pipes also freeze and ......
  238. 12/12/2008Ice Storm 2008 - Deady Beauty - Pictures finally uploadedIts been 10 years since we've had an ice storm of this severity here. We've been without power since 7:30am today (about 8 hours as I write this) and without cable TV and cable broadband internet for about as long. We knew it was coming and had planed an EOC (Emergency Operations Center), but it has still been a lot of work. Starting at around 5am the down power lines calls started coming in, and for several hours we didn't get a break. This afternoon as been quiet, with temperatures warming a bit, but ......
  239. 12/10/2008How can we help IBM make better core level decisions about the Notes client and Designer?Note: I originally wrote this commentary in another venue, and have edited it to be more appropriate to the blog audience. When it comes to the vision for Notes and Domino Designer, I strongly believe there is a huge hurdle to consider that stems from the very nature of IBM as an organization. Directions get taken based on talking with large IT shop management, but also very much on trends and goals within IBM which is itself one of the biggest customers of the products in the world. It is not, however, a ......
  240. 12/05/2008Gab and I aren considering putting a security class togetherGab is here and we're working on our Security Jumpstart. If you've been to this before, you know that we cram an insane amount of information -- an attempt at virtually everything security related in Notes & Domino -- into a 2 hour overview. This year, in the same time, we have to add information about the new file server based roaming, ID Vaults, and the new workstation Single Sign-on features. We've come to the realization that if we took this and really gave a full level attention to each piece instead ......
  241. 11/27/2008VLC -- The open source media player -- continues to amaze me with its flexibilityTo catch up on some videos that I'd missed, I pulled them down to my PC. Little by little I've been watching them, using VLC because it seems to have enough codecs to play just about anything. The only real complaint I could make is that the PC isn't the best place to watch video. The video card on my PC is good enough that it can output to the HDTV with a pretty good picture. It works great, and lets me sit in my comfy chair with my laptop while I work and have the video on at the same time. The only ......
  242. 11/25/2008Rocky and I need your help. We're a bit stuck finalizing the topic for the CULT shirt top 10 list.Since I took over the production side of the C.U.L.T. shirt in 2004, I don't recall ever having so much trouble picking out a top ten list. We'd really like to get it posted out there but need some help. Here are some ideas that Rocky and I came up with. We think some are close, but none ring the bell. The goal for these is: 1. Must be fun, and lead to some good funny entries. 2. Must be in good spirit, though a little bit of a poke isn't out of the question. 3. Must not be too "insider" 4. Must be fun. ......
  243. 11/24/2008I suspect prospects for the Somali pirates are not good at this point. ......
  244. 11/23/2008I tried out the new Blackberry Storm yesterday. Here's my review of it, and Verizon's pricingShort answer: Looks good, going to it would means some sacrifice for me. The Storm is Blackberry's current best swing at the rapid market share gain of the iPhone. Its a touch screen of a little different nature, but with all the blackberry goodness that you addicts love so much. Its also a dual mode phone, which includes a GSM SIM card in addition to its CDMA primary network. Unfortunately, according to Verizon it cannot be used in Europe on the GSM network as anything other than a phone. It looses its ......
  245. 11/21/2008New MEME Friday (NMF): Create Your New Persona Candidate -- Here's Mine: Sally StoneheadI thought for some fun on Friday, I'd come up with a new Persona (look how Agile I am). Ok, its a little bit tongue in cheek -- but I suspect there are a lot of people making decisions out there in the same way, even if they don't quite have Sally's unique experience. Then I thought I'd see if anyone else wanted to give it shot. So, introducing "New MEME Friday". ......
  246. 11/20/2008Ever wonder about just how much Oil prices impact Gasoline Prices at the Pump?Well, not really a Domino related post, but I've wondered for a while now why it seems that gas prices go up faster than they come down. It took a few minutes to search out some real statistical data, and I put this chart together. It shows the percent change in price for a barrel of US Oil and the average consumer price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline for the US. The dates are close, and both are weekly, but they're not on the same day. Still, the trend analysis works fairly well. The charge tells the ......
  247. 11/20/2008Fairly large project put on hold -- looking for something interesting to work onIn the course of the last month, I've had two fairly good sized projects either scale way back or get put on indefinite hold. Sign of the times? In one case it is related to the economy so I guess you can say that. In the other case its a fairly typical thing where the people who want the work done got stopped by the I.T. department who wants to do it themselves with different (though as yet undefined) technology. That one will come back to me in the spring once they fail. In any case, I'd love to find ......
  248. 11/19/2008Can Lotus Sell Me on Portal? What would it take to make me a believer? ......
  249. 11/19/2008The first unofficial Lotusphere 2009 Track Breakdown by Product AreaI've been making some aggressive statements about track planning, and I've been tossing some warning statements about trying over-play the hand on pushing products that don't have following. I can now much more more clear about what's good and what's not. I imported the preliminary session list from the web site into a spreadsheet, and just marked off which sessions fell into which categories. Keep in mind not all sessions fit in a category as I didn't make a million categories. I'm likely wrong about a ......
  250. 11/18/2008Cloud Computing Concepts - Part 4 - Cloud Computing in the Long RunWhat does Cloud Computing look like in the long run? The best thing about predictions is that you very rarely get called to account. In this case, I’m going to make some pretty broad predictions. Some will come true, some won’t – but here’s how I see the market in ten years: The Internet is the Cloud. Just as there is no “The” internet, but rather a lot of interconnected networks owned by a huge variety of people, nations, and companies; there will ultimately be no “The” cloud. Instead there will be a few ......
  251. 11/18/2008Cloud Computing Concepts - Part 3 - Picking a Cloud Computing StrategyHow to pick a cloud computing strategy That’s the billion dollar question. Some vendors are starting to offer real solutions in the cloud computing arena. Before you decide to turn over your company jewels to a cloud based solution, consider these things: 1. Data Security – Is what you’re putting out there going to stay private to your company and never every get into someone else’s hands? Will it be more easily obtained by government with or without subpoena? 2. Data Availability – Is the data being ......
  252. 11/18/2008Cloud Computing Concepts - Part 2 - Why Businesses Like it, and Why They Don'tWhy Business Likes It, and Why Not? I.T. Shops bring it on themselves A move to Cloud Computing is a huge commitment for a business to take. When your applications and sometimes even your data isn’t stored, managed, and controlled by your own business you’re talking a huge risk that the provider of those things could disappear or have some major catastrophe. Why would any business take such a risk? For those of us in the I.T. industry – those who consider themselves technology savvy, there would seem to be ......
  253. 11/18/2008Cloud Computing Concepts - Part 1 - What is Cloud Computing?What is “Cloud Computing” – and why is it so attractive as a concept to business? Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, and IBM are all talking about their “Cloud Computing” models and Sun has been saying for years that “The Network is the Computer”. What does this really mean, and what will it take to make it work? Part 1 - What is it? Like any other new buzzword, no exact definition is possible. You have to strip out the marketing spin associate with how each vendor wants to use it. When you get down to it though, ......
  254. 11/18/2008Lotusphere Plans: Open Live Photo BloggingI'm going to take something I built for Second Signal and apply it to Lotusphere 2009. The application works like this: The Basics 1. Take a picture with your camera phone. 2. Send that camera phone picture and a short text caption to a mail in address that I'll publish3. The site will receive the photo, create a snapshot, and add it to a live index page The Details Who can use it? Anyone - but you could get banned if you try hard enough. Photo Limits? There will be a maximum size per photo -- its meant to ......
  255. 11/17/2008Presentations posted from AdminCamp 2008In the fall of 2008 I had the privilege of participating in the AdminCamp show in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The whole show was fantastic. If you ever get the chance, you should attend. The focus of the event is deeply technical, but no small amount of effort is paid to making sure that every attendee and every speaker is well fed and has a good time. I've never seen a show done better. Confessions of a Penetration TesterAndrew Pollack, 60 Minutes, Closing SessionPutting the best lock on a rusty chain isn't ......
  256. 11/16/2008Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?I have to admit that I'm swept up in the hysterical wave of idealistic hope around this newly elected President. I'm not foolish enough to think that's going to last. He'll make mistakes -- he may already be making a big one -- and his administration will do things I don't like. They may even do things I detest, though I hope not. For now though, I'm hopeful that we've made the choice to put a man who is capable and well meaning into a position with the power to do great things. On Tuesday, January 20th ......
  257. 11/14/2008I've noticed a trend in customer demand over the last few weeks: InteroperabilitySametime, ST Advanced, Quickr, Domino, and Websphere SSOMicrosoft IIS with Dominox.509 Certificate AuthenticationLDAP with damn near everythingTool vendors and ISV's -- pay attention. This is a serious customer pain ......
  258. 11/14/2008VPN Hell -- I hate when I have to work through people who can't get things rightI've spent all day working on an agent to correlate some data and produce a report for one of my clients. By itself, that's not hard. Unfortunately, the VPN connection supplied by their I.T. department cannot stay connected this week at all. I've got the connection set to auto-redial, but it literally couldn't hold up for 5 minutes at a time. The system log shows 64 reconnects over the course of my working on this thing. Ever tried agent code debugging when your session drops out every 5 ......
  259. 11/11/2008Dear Apple, why do you insist on telling me about music I won't buy?Dear Apple - While it is true that I have in the past purchased iPods, and in one case a desktop computer from you, I have never been even the least bit interested in purchasing music, videos, or other content from your on-line store. Quite aside from the fact that I don't like the way you sell these things, the DRM and the proprietary nature of your gear and software; I simply have no need of your store. I have even less need of your weekly "New Music Tuesday" electronic mail. Why? Because I don't like ......
  260. 11/11/2008Speaking at Lotusphere 2009So yes, it looks like I'm speaking at Lotusphere this year. I'm not sure which or how many sessions, however, as I submitted several and the number of accepted/rejected doesn't equal the number of submissions. I'm guessing that Postini snagged some as spam due to the repeated subject and sender. I'll dig through tonight and figure it out, then ......
  261. 11/11/2008Thank you for flying the desperate skysI used to travel a lot. No, really, like every week. I glad I don't any more. Travel gets more difficult and annoying every week. Its been an unusual month and I'm finally back from a long series of trips that have had me away from home for something like 15 of the last 20 days and logging something close to 20,000 air miles. To top it off, I've been flying on old-school airlines that are desperately seeking to exploit every possible method to extract the last dollar from every traveller. This means adding ......
  262. 11/10/2008Reading "Halting State" by Charles Stross -- He's really nailed consulting, high tech startups, and contract employmentCharles Stross has written "Halting State" -- a near future high tech mystery novel. It reads like it was written by a cross between William Gibson and Kurt Vonegut Jr. Its that good -- at least what I've read so far. I'm not Tom Duff and I don't digest these things in a single sitting. Each of the main characters has their part of the story told in the second person. That's a little hard to get used to. "You" -- the reader -- switch perspectives with each chapter. It puts you right there in the middle ......
  263. 11/09/2008US Airways - Once again, the most difficult airline to put up withOn business, particularly flying to Lotusphere or other conferences I always to try book airlines that I've got confidence in and with as few stops as possible. Each connection you have to make reduces the likelihood of getting to your destination on time. US Airways has a track record with me that's just abysmal. I knew I was asking for trouble when booked this flight, but with the prices it really was the only way to go. Flying to Phoenix with my oldest daughter for a wedding, we were scheduled to fly ......
  264. 11/09/2008Why isn't it possible to have a political conversation with someone, that doesn't involve the repeated talking points of a celebrity media person?I've had some really interesting conversations lately, but they quickly seem to devolve into a repetitive litany of talking points and off the wall statistics that clearly come from some media personalities research time. Its a shame, because from that point forward I'm not having a conversation with the person in front of me -- or on the discussion site -- I'm playing a game called "combat the out of context research guy talking points." That bores me. Anyone who wants to come and talk politics with me ......
  265. 11/07/2008Travelling again, and there's an important reason why I'm blogging this morning...Well, there are two reasons I guess. The first is to put a bit of warning out there for those of you who haven't yet gotten back to me about the spots you want on the CULT shirts for Lotusphere 2009. We are probably going to do less shirts overall this year, but they're going to be good fun. We're overdue posting the Top 10 list, but that will happen within days. If you haven't contacted me yet, but plan to sponsor -- your time is running out. I'm headed to Phoenix now with my oldest daughter. She's 15 ......
  266. 11/06/2008Creating new kinds of content for the full Notes 8.x client -- what I struggle withNotes 8.x gives us this rich platform to work with as developers. There's this ability to do stuff at the GUI layer, to hook into the framework itself and do ....stuff. So why aren't we seeing more stuff being done beyond the "example" level of complexity? To me, as I try to get my head around building for this environment there are four challenges. Three are technical. I'm not going to attempt to answer these here. I just want to start by identifying what I see as the challenges that need to be address by ......
  267. 11/05/2008John McCain -- You came back to us last night, but where have you been?John McCain's gracious concession speech last night -- delivered in earnest and without reservation -- was dead on the mark. For the first time in over a year, the John McCain that has been honorably serving our country and keeping his own conscience for decades reappeared on national television. It was as if an exorcism had been performed. What a shame that for all his years of service, most of the world will only know him by the show he put on in the last few months. I said during the nomination process ......
  268. 11/05/2008Sometimes we get it right. As a nation, we've shown something important to the world - The best night in my memory of politicsLast night the strong center of American political thinking stepped out and said "Enough". It isn't every day that any idea or candidate can capture the support of such a wide cross section of our country. In nearly every measurable demographic other than the most hard core neo-conservative right wing base, Americans united to say that no matter what differences on individual parts of the Democratic message they can no longer stomach the abuses of power that have defined the last eight years. That's what ......
  269. 11/04/2008I'm holding Ben personally responsible....Ben, with all his business success surely has plenty of power and influence in Ohio. I'm counting on you, Ben, to "deliver a result" (as they say in Futball) in Ohio. I mean it, Ben. Get with the program ......
  270. 11/04/2008The disgusting dirty tricks are out in full forcePersonally, I think any new or changed advertisement of a political nature less than 72 hours prior to an election is highly suspect. Today is the first time I've seen the negative "Rev. Write" ads in months -- but they sure are prominent and as misleading and slanderous as ever. Its the same crap as every year. Save the stuff that's most ugly until the last minute when there's no time for it to be refuted or for the candidate to respond. There are robot phone dialers in key places making calls to mislead ......
  271. 11/04/2008Planning to stay up late and watch the returns come in? Join our chatI've set up a Skype based public chat for anyone in the greater Domino community that plans to stay up and watch the results come in. We've done this on other topics and it works fairly well. Get a skype account if you don't have one already, then join in: The Lotus Domino Election Eve Skype Chat Be warned, topics will range and may not always be ......
  272. 11/03/2008Structure Fire - Saturday; links to coverageSo Saturday wasn't spent on Lotus Domino much at all. After getting in at 2am from London and sleeping till 8, we had a minor call around 11am and then while I was raking leaves at around 2:30pm we had a call come in for a structure fire. The fire, on the part of town we call the "Foreside" was a really fast mover. We pulled in and the second floor was already heavily involved. By the time I had the truck set up and a pack on to go in we heard on the radio that the roof had self-vented (burned through so ......
  273. 11/03/2008Election Day - From a public safety perspectiveI won't get a chance to do much Domino work tomorrow. Voting tomorrow is expected to be at record turnout. I thought I'd take a minute to give you some insight into what that means from a public safety perspective even in a small town like Cumberland, Maine. First, with polls opening at 7am and a heavy turnout expected in the morning, we're going to have to staff the Town Hall with a fire watch crew. That happens because we expect the building to be over-capacity during that time. Next, since the town hall ......
  274. 11/01/2008Battery Killing Utilities -- Find them and shut them off.My flight back from London on a relatively old 767 that seemed (to me) to be configured for domestic travel rather than international wasn't too bad -- but only because there were enough open seats. The power supplied by the aircraft to some of the seats was barely workable. My Dell wants about 95 watts inbound to the block adapter and that's close to the advertised limit of the seat power. Add a little loss on the inverter and it gets iffy. Viewing a movie from the hard disk, the on again/off again ......
  275. 10/31/2008For those of you Europeans who don't care for how Americans do wireless services -- your system has fully pissed me off.Instead of paying $125 for a week of renting a pre-setup "Orange" subscribed cell phone as I have done in the past when I left the US, I decided to try doing the local thing this time. Once arriving in Germany, it took me a few hours but I was able to find an unlocked Nokia phone (a very very cheapo one without bluetooth or anything else) for 40 Euros -- I think it may have been used as a demo, but its hard to know with the language barrier and to be honest I didn't care a bit. Then I puchased a SIM -- ......
  276. 10/30/2008Why I have such a hard line on the risk of Portal being over-pushed at LotusphereEarlier today I posted a list of things I think should be closely considered in the planning for Lotusphere 2009.... In among that list, I was pretty strong in my caution against over-pushing WAS and Portal in the way it was done for 2004. Ed came in to the defense of the Portal team, reminding me of the current date and of how there are several hundred people who came to Portal conventions earlier in the year. A couple of others have decried the value of that platform, which I still contend is a niche ......
  277. 10/30/2008The Lotusphere Thread -- What should IBM pay attention to this year in the planning?Every year there are good things and bad things at the Lotusphere conference. If you've got anything in mind for what they should really be aware of, lets post it here. I'll start... Food & Food Tent -- Having just the one was really great last year in that you could meet anyone you wanted to have lunch with. The downside was that it was very far away from the Swan, where all the "Best Practices" sessions take place. That's where I spend most of my conference time. Late Busses -- Many people have mentioned ......
  278. 10/29/2008A few pictures from AdminCamp 2008 in Gelsenkirchen, GermanyThis is the view from the balcony here at my hotel room.The lead organizer of this conference is Rudi Knegt. His has been a well known name in the IBM Lotus Business Partner community for about as long as I have, but I've never spoken at one of his conferences until now. I have to say I'm very impressed. As a speaker I can tell you that Rudi, his beautiful wife, and his conference team have gone to remarkable lengths to make sure I've had everything I could possibly need ---- and beyond that, also had a ......
  279. 10/27/2008AdminCamp - Another succesful Domino conferenceThis is the first time I've spoken at one of the AdminCamp conferences, and I'm quite impressed. The turnout seems to be excellent, as is the facility. Our hosts have been quite gracious in providing everything we could possibly need to provide a solid presentation and also to be comfortable and have a good time. Its good to see such a thriving community in Europe dedicated to the Domino ......
  280. 10/26/2008A long week of travel - finally settling in for Adminkamp in GermanyThis has been a really long week, but at least for a few days I should be able to catch my breath. Take a gander and you'll see what I mean. Tuesday: Leave home 10:30am Leave car at Bus in Portland 11:30am Arrive at Airport in Boston 1:45pm Leave "big" suitcase at Airport Hilton Catch Flight to Phoenix via Chicago 3:30pmWednesday Arrive Phoenix and get rental car 11:30pm (local time -- 2:30am for me) Arrive at my Mom's house 12:30am (3:30am for me) Spend the dayThursday Leave Phoenix by car for Flagstaff ......
  281. 10/25/2008Never forget the first rule of holesWhile I've been traveling a lot this week and had a very hard time keeping up with the blogging community, a certain train wreck just continues. I'd say I was speechless but we all know that's unlikely to ever happen. Lets say I'm a bit surprised to some that there are people still out in the blogging world without the slightest understanding of when they're doing themselves more damage on a daily basis. I suggest to anyone who reads this that in many things - blogging included - you should remember this ......
  282. 10/20/2008I'm leaving the country.I'm getting on a plane tomorrow for Arizona, where I'm presenting about Second Signal to a regional Chiefs meeting up near Kingman, then flying to Boston where I'll pick up my other suitcase and catch a flight the next morning to London. From there its on to Germany and Rudi-Con. I can't say I'm going to miss the political ads for the week I'm gone. They, along with some of the conversations I've had, have been increasingly shrill and irritating. When I travel overseas, I feel distinctly American. ......
  283. 10/20/2008More annoying McCain campaign speeches. What a shame he's abandoned so many principles.[] Here's a test: Watch any McCain speech from the last few weeks, and count how much time is spent talking about McCain's plans, McCain's ideas, and McCain's beliefs while also counting how much time is spent talking about Obama. I'm starting to forget why I ever liked this guy. He seems to have pretty much abandoned any attempt to manage his campaign toward a discussion of ideas at this point. I'm seeing his stump speeches devolve into little more than name calling and character bashing. The thing is, ......
  284. 10/19/2008I see dumb people! -- And not just the ones with with the wrong political signs in their yards...I do a lot of security review work, I write a lot of software in a lot of different languages. I sit in meetings with I.T. executives arguing about security issues. Do you know how many people make the same mistakes? Nearly all of them. When I do penetration testing for a major company, about 90% of the time I end up with a whole category of findings that comes down to "big new lock on a rusty old chain." Essentially, it comes down to the idea that you should never ever halfway lock something. You're ......
  285. 10/19/2008An amusing and productive -- if slightly irritating -- weekendAs I get ready for a long bout of travel I always get a bit rushed with things not done. It is exactly at this point that extra work pops up. First it was Ari's laptop that sucked a day of my time from me in a way I'll never get back. Just when I thought that was it, we had a power outage yesterday and the generator failed. All this while for some reason, I wasted too much time trying to be nice to someone who didn't even realize it. I don't do "nice" very often, so maybe I'm just not that good at it. lol. ......
  286. 10/18/2008Obama in a landslide -- while most media claim its a close race, in the actual EC votes that count, it isn't at all.One of the most unbiased, reliable, and clearly presented sites is FiveThirtyEight.com. That site combines all the polls and produces actual data you can read and interpret for yourself. They don't make predictions with it. They show you where things stand, and what the trend has been. As you can see from this image, the way the Electoral College plays out, this election is in all likelihood going to go Obama in a landslide of epic proportions. [] Why does the media want to show you stats that make it seem ......
  287. 10/17/2008If you make a bad blog post and don't like the result, what's the best way to deal with it?First of all, those of you who know what inspired me to write this, please keep it to yourselves. I do not mean this entry to be a dig at anyone or to re-open an argument. There is a valid topic for discussion here though. Here's my take: 1. It is perfectly valid, as a blogger, to remove an entire entry -- the original post as well as all the comments. Its your blog, and if you've made a mistake by posting a topic or responding to comments in a way that doesn't look like what you want on your blog, it is ......
  288. 10/15/2008Press Cancel to Continue -- A full day wasted on Windows VistaLast night, Ari's new laptop was issued a bunch of patches from Microsoft. This morning, the startup process ended with a blue screen. Every time. I started working with it at about 7am. I'll spare you the longest and most boring part of the story and just say that I was finally able to get a normal boot out of it by about 4pm. Here's a few things I learned: 1. If you start Vista in safe mode, you cannot use the Windows Installer to remove software. Brilliant. 2. Vista does have a better interface for ......
  289. 10/14/2008The C.U.L.T. Shirt preliminary design plan has been chosen!In a secret meeting held deep beneath the surface of the earth, protected from the sophisticated eavesdropping gear used against us, Lotus Geek and I met to discuss the shirts for Lotusphere 2009. We held a planning session with the aid of some good friends -- one of whom is a former candidate for the Nobel prize for fashion and design, another of whom is a graduate from the Sorbonne with a degree in humor, a masters degree in wit, and a PhD in repartee, and a third -- who's presence was unknown even to ......
  290. 10/11/2008Fair is Fair (thanks D.)I've had my share of problems with Dell Support, but today a representative did a good job for me and I figured I should point that out here, since I'd pointed out the problems in the past. My Dell D820 laptop -- now just over 2 years old -- has been getting some attention from me lately. The new drive is in, and I'm planning to keep this machine for at least another year. The keyboard is tired, though. One of the keys is loose, one sticks, etc. I decided I'd buy a replacement part and put it in. They're ......
  291. 10/10/2008Encrypting the new laptop drive - Truecrypt is free, incredibly secure, incredibly flexible softwareIf you have customer data, medical data, or anything confidential on your drive and you travel -- you owe it to everyone who counts on your security to encrypt your local data. Sure, your Notes databases can be easily encrypted but what about the rest of the stuff on your drive? Truecrypt - http://www.truecrypt.org/ -- is free, open source, and very powerful. Spend a few minutes on their site reading through the documentation and you can start to see just how paranoid some people are about their data. ......
  292. 10/08/2008Screen redraw problems with Firefox & Notes 8 -- or other big GUI apps? Here's a possible bandage...This is something that's getting increasingly reported in several forums. Among them are the Firefox Q&A forum, and some of the deeper tech Domino ones. Switching between applications -- particularly Firefox along with either Notes 8, DDE, Photoshop, Visual Studio, or other highly graphical applications -- seems to produce screen redraw problems after a while. The screen only partly re-draws, leaving the application that was last up "ghosted" on the screen. I've been searching and reading and testing, and ......
  293. 10/08/2008Ordered a birthday present for myself -- well, for my laptop anywayI've purchased almost no new computer hardware this year. The truth is, I've been focused this year on getting to zero debt (other than a reasonable mortgage which is about half way finished). To get there means not buying a new car and resisting the temptation to by a massive new desktop or really big server. It also means sticking with the Dell D820, now just over 2 years old. I like the D820 a lot though, so no real hardship there. Its a dual core 32 bit machine with plenty of battery life and RAM. What ......
  294. 10/08/2008Now, I'm really in my PRIME.[] No, not Optimus Prime. About a half hour from when I write this, my birthday comes around again. This year is a big one. No, not because it ends with a zero of a five. That's just silly. Those have nothing remotely interesting about them mathematically. No, this is a big one because its a Prime Number. The nice thing about making a big deal out of only PRIME number birthdays, is that the older you get, the less frequent they become. ......
  295. 10/07/2008What makes Vista so painful -- and why IBM had better learn from it.Microsoft Windows Vista hasn't been quite the glowing success they'd hoped. Despite years of effort, massive pre-rollout testing, and a marketing budget that would make MTV proud, it was met with a negative reaction by even those users who really don't understand what it is. Chris Linfoot's blog about Vista's problems happened to catch me with a similar subject in mind. Between that and a conversation with Volker yesterday, I decided to write about some of the things that IBM had best learn from the fall ......
  296. 10/07/2008Things I wish the client side rich text editor did in the Notes client.The more I write, the more I wish the classic editor in the Notes client would handle just a few more things in a reasonably intelligent way. Lately, these small annoyances have really compounded for me. Let me list a few here. If you agree, maybe someone at IBM who finds themselves in a role with some influence {*cough*edbrill*cough*} can pick up these and do something about it. #1. Let me use the control key with the mouse to select more than one thing at a time, even if they're not connected. For ......
  297. 10/05/2008What stops Linux from being a mainstream workstation operating system choice?Brad Linder over at Downloadsquad wrote an interesting little rant about trying to un-install something he didn't like on his Linux workstation. He's touching at the edges of the really important part of the problem. It takes a lot more than a stable kernel and some good packages of software to make a good end user desktop operating system. If you want to really understand how much work it really takes to turn Linux into a solid desktop OS, take a look at how much work Apple had to do on top of BSD to make ......
  298. 10/04/2008In light of Ed's promotion at IBM, I have some questions about how things work there. Maybe you have some too.As most of you in the Domino blogging community already know, Ed Brill -- long one of the strongest and staunchest supporters of the platform -- has been promoted to Director, End-User Messaging and Collaboration at IBM. That's a big deal. Its a big deal for Ed, of course, and its a big deal for all of us, as I believe Ed to have been very empathetic to the "right" side of many of the product battles you've seen referenced here and other places. I chose that word carefully, because I don't claim for a ......
  299. 10/04/2008Fantastic scenery today in Maine -- Twin Brooks Recreation Area and the Maine Pumpkin Festival - 30,000 pumpkins?Today was really beautiful in Maine. Caitlin had a soccer game this morning at Twin Brooks, so I took the camera along. Thanks to Photoshop, I made this 360 degree panoramic view from where I was standing. Click the link to see it much, much larger (500k). The rest of these pictures come from the Maine Pumpkinfest. This was held here at the Cumberland Fairgrounds today. Their goal was to break the world record for the number of lit pumpkins at something on the order of 30,000. I won't know until later ......
  300. 10/04/2008New Acronym: AYFKM -- Are You (Freakin) Kidding Me?I'm just back from a fire call not long ago. A fairly typical call. An alarm sounding at a home. No source of smoke. Homeowner has no idea why the alarm is going off. The 911 dispatcher instructs him to evacuate the residence while we're on the way. We get there, and he's out front. Though he's told dispatch that he's evacuated the house, as we're checking things out we come to find out that his wife and his young daughter are ASLEEP IN BED. AYFKM? True, this turned out to be a faulty detector. It happens. ......
  301. 10/03/2008Its time for C.U.L.T. Shirt Sponsorship Again! Don't ignore this then call me in November pleading for an open slot....Last year we gave away 1800 shirts. For those who don’t know, the C.U.L.T. shirt (Certified, Unofficial, Lotusphere, T-shirt) is a tradition that was originally started by Rocky Oliver (Lotus Geek) and Henry Newberry. In 2003, Henry decided to focus on other things, so for Lotusphere 2004 and ever since I’ve been doing that part of things. Generally speaking, Rocky and I – with help from our friends – come up with a theme for the shirts. The idea is to be somewhat topical, but mostly fun. Sometimes we make ......
  302. 10/03/2008Making Notes 8.x (including 8.5 beta) in Eclipse feel much faster.I've been reminded of this gem, given to me by skilled person I trust, which really speeds up the way Notes 8.x in Eclipse feels. I can't say if its actually faster, but it does feel much faster. I've heard some interesting stories about why this isn't set to a higher default, but since they're only stories I'm going to hold off repeating them. Use your file explorer to find this directory: UPDATED 10/12/2009 for Notes version 8.5.1 The file "jvm.properties" is now located in a new place. ......
  303. 10/02/2008SNTT: A very fast, very helpful reporting method from the Domino serverI don't do SNTT very often. When I do, its because I think there's some trick or other that you may actually find really useful. This week, a client needed a report out of a Domino application. There were a lot of ways I could have done this, but the one I chose ended up being very fast and made the client particularly happy. I thought I'd describe it here. The application is one in which files are posted for users of the site to download. Once made active, the system emails the users a special link. The ......
  304. 10/02/2008Speaking of office environments....here's mineI guess Paul started this -- or maybe someone else. I've seen other people's little work areas. All well and good if you don't need to ever put something down I guess. Here's my office from a few different angles. You can see that I've blocked or shaded the windows, made a ton of space around me to put stuff while I'm working, and generally created a cave environment. The office was built as part of the addition several years ago just specifically for use as my office. Its built so that it could be used as ......
  305. 10/01/2008The claim that these "Mortgage Backed Securities" (aka Mortgage Soup Cans) can't be properly valued is crap.How many times, when oil goes up over $150 a barrel, when home prices skyrocket to ridiculous levels, or for that matter when Disney charges you five bucks for a bottle of water, have you heard that "The Market Sets The Price"? Oil was worth $150 a barrel because that's what the marketplace said it was worth. A few weeks later it was only worth $90 a barrel. What changed? The opinion of the market on its value is what changed. The latest gem of a deregulatory ruling by the SEC (Securities and Exchange ......
  306. 09/30/2008The US House of Representatives has to limit inbound mail. Anyone remember what mail system they're using?The excessive load from actual non-spam email from constituents is more than the Exchange servers at the House can handle, apparently. They've announced that they've had to limit inbound mail. You may get an auto-response back indicating that you should try again another time. ......
  307. 09/26/2008Limited time: A usually private torrent tracker of which I am a member is accepting open referrals.If you are at all into torrents as a means of gaining access to content, you'll want to use this link: [ FYI: As this site has now announced its going to be private again, you'll need to ask me for a link ] This torrent site is quite good (stunningly so, actually). Membership is ranked and there are some rules to follow. Please make sure to read the rules and the faq. They're short, but you'll get the point. The most important thing to remember is that if you download a torrent, don't immediately shut off ......
  308. 09/24/2008My submissions for 2009 Lotusphere Best Practices - Come tell me which you would go to or suggest to others -- please...These are the sessions I've submitted for Lotusphere 2009 in the Best Practices track. If you are a player on the IdeaJam game, click on these and promote them please. ...please wait while they load from IdeaJam.... inwidth = 500;inheight = 320;id = "78C187F92050B897862574BF0004C15F";//-->inwidth = 500;inheight = 320;id = "E5AACB4D686CAE4F862574CE0067CBB1";//-->inwidth = 500;inheight = 320;id = "1AB8F22D926817F4862574CE006805C1";//-->inwidth = 500;inheight = 320;id = ......
  309. 09/24/2008Are you a fan of the original Star Trek series? Did you know there is another season?The original Star Trek series only ran for 3 seasons, from 1966 to 1969 and produced less than 80 episodes. After 42 years from its original air date, it can still be found playing on re-runs and can still be ordered in collections on DVD. The series is an icon for generations of idealistic science geeks, but its also so saturated through pop culture that references to it are still made in nearly every other genre. There are hundreds of Star Trek references in popular shows like Heroes, The Office, ER, The ......
  310. 09/24/2008Adobe Acrobat Reader has been DROPPED from all my systems, in favor of FoxitNot just good enough, its better. Foxit Software has a free replacement for Adobe Acrobat Reader for download. They offer a "Pro" pack of additional tools and utilities which are quite good as well, but the free reader is not only good replacement, it is better in many respects. How is it better? To begin with, its much faster to load. The difference is immediately noticeable. Adding to that, it doesn't bug me with updates every time I load it, then fail to properly install those updates. It doesn't load a ......
  311. 09/23/2008I have received a copy of the letter from Mr. Paulson to a state Senator, asking for funds. I post it here for your interest.DEAR ESTEEMED SENATOR; REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP FIRST, I MUST SOLICIT YOUR STRICTEST CONFIDENCE IN THIS TRANSACTION. THIS IS BY VIRTUE OF ITS NATURE AS BEING UTTERLY CONFIDENTIAL AND 'TOP SECRET'. I AM SURE AND HAVE CONFIDENCE OF YOUR ABILITY AND RELIABILITY TO PROSECUTE A TRANSACTION OF THIS GREAT MAGNITUDE INVOLVING A PENDING TRANSACTION REQUIRING MAXIMUM CONFIDENCE. WE ARE TOP OFFICIAL OF THE UNITED STATES TREASURY WHO ARE INTERESTED IN EXPORTING OF LOANS OUT OF OUR COUNTRY WITH FUNDS ......
  312. 09/19/2008Thinking about the current real estate crisis -- what's being done, what's not, and maybe what should beAs a result of the most recent abuse of good sense and lack of feduciary responsibilty, a lot of banks and a investment houses are stuck with a lot of houses that aren't worth the money they've loaned out on them. The problem then, is that the houses aren't good investments for the short term. We also have a need for housing for many people -- good people. It seems to me that what's missing is two things, not one. The first one is being tackled by the Fed -- spreading enough money into the credit system ......
  313. 09/16/2008The Completed Snowthrower Rebuilding ProjectI find it much easier to work on and repair a snow thrower on warm September evenings and weekends than on cold February mornings when I'm trying to get the car out. This year will be the 13th year of service for this MTD 8hp snow thrower. MTD products fill the lower cost market niche in equipment but my experience with their products has always been extremely positive. There are more expensive machines that are built to supposedly last longer -- and maybe they would. Would they last twice as long? They ......
  314. 09/15/2008The big "Mass Casualty Drill" on Saturday. I got to apply some cool tech proof of concepts.On Saturday, Cumberland Fire Department held a big "Mass Casualty" drill at the fairgrounds. More than 8 months in the planning, we invited dozens of agencies to take part including hazardous materials teams, the Red Cross, rescue departments from several towns, and of course victims volunteers. [] The scenario was fairly straightforward. An accident during the fair involving a school bus and a tanker full of gasoline in which the tanker began leaking product all over the place. It could happen. If you'll ......
  315. 09/09/2008Intel's new ATOM chip + Asus EEE PC 901XP - FTW!Before deciding on the new ASUS EEE PC 901 XP, I read as many performance reviews as I could find. I was trying to compare it with the VIA thin client chipset or even the Intel Celeron but none of the tests really gave me what I was looking for. See, the clock speed (the mhz or ghz of a chip) doesn't tell the whole story. [] If a chip has fewer base instructions, it needs a higher clock speed to do the same things. At the same time, chips with more complex instruction sets can run fewer cycles and get the ......
  316. 09/08/2008Hundred Pushups Challenge: Day 0 - The initial testI saw a couple of other people giving this a shot and I thought it might be a good, simple way to improve my strength so I've started their simple (free) program. Take a look at the [Hundred Pushups Challenge] for more information. The initial test is just as simple as doing a series of good, honest pushups and counting them up. Compare this on a chart for your age, and you get the initial ranking. For my age, I come out in "Rank 3" to start with -- so that's got me starting about a third of the way ......
  317. 09/08/2008Do you care about Domino performance in a way you can do something with? Say so on ideaJamMac has asked that if we're planning to submit a session in the BP track that we post the idea up in IdeaJam to see what kind of support its got. I want to do a Performance session in the BP track this year. I usually do security, admin, mail routing, and linux -- and I'll probably post those as well -- but this year I want to do "Performance" in a way that makes sense in the real world. You see, real world Domino performance issues aren't all about the simple stuff like memory and number of disks. There's ......
  318. 09/08/2008Could we finally be seeing a good E-Ink product hitting the streets?Imagine if the newspaper organizations could get back to spending their money on reporters and research in depth instead of the materials, infrastructure, fuel, and overhead associated with distribution? []Plastic Logic] seems to be one of the first to actually near market with a reasonable E-Ink alternative. Their product is about the size, shape, and width of a magazine – and is at least somewhat flexible. It also has a long battery life, and can display several standard formats – including PDF. Best of ......
  319. 09/07/2008Saw a pretty cool bit of tech on Discovery Discover Channel (http://www.Discovery.com) has a new series called ["Project Earth"]. The series seems to feature each week a new experiment aimed at solving some aspect of the energy or climate challenges we're told we all face. It looks like some of the shows in the series are pretty oddball -- I saw one that involved giant rotating balloons that were supposed to float all the way up at altitudes where the wind is fast and constant. It looked kind of crazy. I watched one tonight though, via the DVR, ......
  320. 09/04/2008If you could pick the topic you wanted from me at LS09, what would it be?Fall is here. Lotusphere 2009registration is open now, as is the call for abstracts. If you could pick my topic, what would you want me to cover? In the past, the Security Jumpstart I do with Gab has been very well attended with a repeat and both sessions really full, so we'll update that with all the new 8.5 stuff and submit that one for sure. Other than that, there's a ton of stuff I'm thinking about. Is there one you've seen me do that you think is worth repeating? Is there a new topic you think I ......
  321. 09/03/2008Trendspotting: What Google is really starting with ChromeAside from being a fairly cool -- if a bit undercooked -- new browser, Chome has another lesson for us. Google has very specifically NOT created an incremental bloatware version of existing code. They've built something new from nearly the ground up, embedding the proven technologies they needed -- javascript by V8, and rendering by Webkit. Only by starting from scratch were they able to get some of the size, memory management, and security enhancements that form the core of their promising new ......
  322. 09/03/2008Using the management of their campaigns to learn about the candidatesSome things about these two political campaigns have struck me recently as glimpses of what to expect from an administration led by either candidate. It isn't a perfect picture, but it is telling in a way. It also matches what I think about these two men so clearly my own viewpoint is mixed in richly in the interpretation. To be clear about that bias, I should state here that I am currently planning to vote for Obama, though will not vote an entirely Democratic party ticket. We have some very good ......
  323. 09/02/2008Chrome - Google's new Web Browser. Super tool, still needs a few things.Google's new browser, called "Chrome" made a rocking debut today. Its got a lot going for it, and a few things to catch up with. First, what's great: 1. Fast. Damn fast. Really really fast. The more AJAX on a site, the faster it will seem. 2. Tabs turn into windows - just tear them off. You can do it with an add on for Firefox, but there you go. 3. Much better "sandboxing" for security. 4. Each tab is its own operating system process. That makes for way better memory management. 5. One tab that's hung or ......
  324. 08/30/2008Notes 8.5 Public Beta 2 - First impressionsNotes 8.5 Public Beta 2 came out the other day and its now running as my production working environment. ......
  325. 08/28/2008Have you used the Asus EEE PC? I've got a couple of unusual questionsI'm considering the Asus EEE PC as an option for Second Signal base station units. The 900 looks fast enough by specs, and in all other regards is more than sufficient. I do have a few questions about the units though, that can be answered by people who have owned one. 1. Is there a fan? Is this unit passively cooled or is there a cooling fan that comes on? 2. Can the unit run in an "Always On" state reliably? 3. Can the unit run with the laptop screen closed without overheating? Did you have problems with ......
  326. 08/28/2008Blogging Respite - A long couple of weeksJust a heads up. Its been a long week or so between the unexpected kitchen remodeling, and some other things that took too much of my time. On top of all that, This week the kids are home from all summer programs but school hasn't yet restarted. That's been true for two weeks but this week is my turn to "stay home" from work to watch them. Ari made her Junior Varsity soccer team and has been having either two practices a day or a practice and a game every day for two weeks -- and she needs a ride to and ......
  327. 08/23/2008The disturbing case of the Fridge, and cabinets built by Dr. Seuess. * Updated with picturesAfter 20 years of wanting one, I've finally got a fridge that has an ice maker. Unfortunately, that's the beginning of the story not the end. You see, our kitchen cabinets where built by Dr. Seuess. When I measured for the width of the fridge, I checked the measurement at the floor, at counter height, and then again with the upper cabinet. All were fine. Tight, but fine. Then the fridge came. Although all the widths were fine, they were unfortunately offset from one another by as much as half an inch. I ......
  328. 08/17/2008From Caitlin: "Dad, are the Olympic medals solid gold?" The answer is interesting...Gold is not a practical material to make solid objects from. They won't tarnish, but they will not last either. The first and second place medals are solid silver, while the first place medal is plated with at least six grams of gold. This year's medals also use Jade in their construction and are quite special. The host nation has some flexibility in how the Olympic medals are made and their materials, without strict standards of the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Here's a brief article that talks ......
  329. 08/12/2008The mis-use of Twitter as a chat room - and what to do about itTwitter has ripped through our community like a wave, capturing the time wasting cycles and a few more than that from quite a few people. The problem is, its totally the wrong tool for us. Twitter is meant to be a tool to tell your friends and followers "what you're doing" so they can meet up with you. It isn't meant as a chat room at all. Most messages should be one line saying "I'm here, doing this." Twitter has become -- for many in the Domino Blogger community -- a kind of limited chat room. Why? ......
  330. 08/12/2008Olympics Coverage Chat Room - Will continue for the duration -- and a side question: Did the Mongolian Team have to breach the Great Wall to come play?The skype based Olympics coverage chat room was reasonably cool last night. I'm going to leave it "Open" for the duration. Just follow the link here: http://bit.ly/3A23oV And you can join or leave at will. You do need skype, but that's free and quick. You do not have to exchange details with others in the chat. Its public. It seems to be most active during the East Coast Prime Time coverage on NBC, but since there are like fifty different channels and online streams feel free to us it whenever and however ......
  331. 08/11/2008The Smarmy Comments Public Olympic Chat RoomI've set up a Public Chat on Skype. Its new functionality so you need a recent copy of Skype -- just follow this link, download Skype if you need to, and join the sarcasm fest. ......
  332. 08/11/2008Cumberland Explorer Fire Academy 2008Cumberland Fire Department Explorer Academy 2008Explorers and Junior Firefighters from several towns were invited to participate in this year's Academy. The students lived at the station for five days, training in all aspects of firefighting. They ran calls with the fire department and were able to do nearly everything firefighters do.These pictures were taken at the Yarmouth, Maine training site. This structure has three floors and a basement and has been made safe for training. It has shutters for the ......
  333. 08/09/2008Running OSX in a Virtual Machine under Windows XP - Blasphemy?Behind me as I sit at my desk, there currently sits an Apple eMac G4. It has only one purpose - testing web pages with a real copy of Safari running on OSX. I realize there's a Safari for Windows now, but I don't trust it to always give me the same results. What I really hate most about it is the size of the thing. I never should have gotten one with a built in screen, but all I can say is that it seemed like a good idea at the time. That was a few years ago. I've wanted to run OSX in a VMWARE session for ......
  334. 07/29/2008Major software switch - Dropping Grisoft's AVG and trying out Avast!I used to love AVG, the free anti-virus software. Each version has gotten worse however, not better. The latest changes have it so intrusive that I've decided to drop it. On recommendation, I'm trying Avast! and from what I can tell, it is much more powerful, much less obtrusive, and seems to use less system resources. I was able to quickly configure it to watch my P2P connections, instant message session, smtp & pop mail sessions, and of course in memory viruses -- but also to leave my Notes data alone. I ......
  335. 07/25/2008What image to project in a professional photo?I've been asked again for a suitable photo to use in publication. This happens from time to time if you speak and write and isn't that big a deal. The problem is that the last one I had done by a pro is now something close to seven years old. That's it on the left. It was taken by friend who is a professional photographer. You can see that he did a hell of a job making me look better than I should. In fact, my favorite comment ever about this photo was from someone who said "He did a great job. It really ......
  336. 07/25/2008The most fundamental things missing from web browser standardsDeveloping content for the web is frustratingly limited. That's no secret. What are the top must fundamental missing features that should long ago have been fully and completely solved? Here's my quick hit list: #1. Fonts. Any font should be able to be easily referenced on a web page universally. I know you can embed fonts for some browsers but there are no good ways to really embed a custom font that everyone will see. As a result, we spend all day looking at boring (though readable) fonts. Now, I know ......
  337. 07/21/2008Favorite Tools #4: MagicDiscIts all about the Magic. MagicDisc (aka MagicISO) is another of those tools you won't be able to live without once you get to know it. Remember when software used to come on CDROM and later DVDROM disks? Back in the days before you downloaded everything? Well, it still does. Many of the downloaded software you get will be in "ISO" format or one of a dozen or so other "virtual drive" formats. These files are meant to be burned to CD or DVD and then used as a disk in the drive. MagicISO sits in your system ......
  338. 07/21/2008Extended Validation Certificates -- Or "How can top level registrars screw you even more?" (already hacked, btw)It isn't enough for Verisign and their ilk to suck a hundred bucks a year from every mom and pop internet shop on the market. Now they've created a new standard with the purpose of turning that $100 cost into $500 a year. By paying for this "Extended Validation Certificate" you get a new special certificate that turns the address bar "GREEN". The browser makers have been talked into supporting this apparently. Next comes the big advertising campaign that tells all the shoppers out there that if it doesn't ......
  339. 07/20/2008Lots of Fire stuff this weekend. Fireworks detail, and a bunch of people who just don't think.So this weekend, between working on Domino and Asterisk, I had a lot of firefighting stuff to do. First, on Saturday afternoon a down power line call came in literally 500 yards from my house, just over on the next street. I went direct and had someone toss my gear on the first due Engine. It turned out the line was a high voltage service line that feeds the transformers which then feed the houses a few at a time. This line had come off the pole and was laying across the grass and driveway of someone's ......
  340. 07/19/2008Data Dashboard challenge in Notes - Better sometimes, than using an RDBThis challenge is about dealing with a significant volume of raw data, and reporting on in a useful way. The fundamental difference in working with data in Notes versus working with it in a relational database, is that while typically an RDB can handle more raw data, viewing that raw data through reports only gives you exactly what you ask for. Notes on the other hand presents data in "Views" which are much more organic -- particularly if you've designed them well. You don't just see what you're asking ......
  341. 07/17/2008The hunt for a laptop for Ari - What is the perspective of a 14 year old on this purchase?The middle school here has a laptop program so for the last couple of years, Ari has had the use of a little Mac laptop. She also has a PC in her room that she's had for some time. Its not a great one, but its sufficient. As we're getting ready for High School this year, we've been looking to get her a laptop. We're willing to pay for what she needs -- enough that it will be a good machine -- but we're not paying for extras. She'd have to make up the difference. I think manufacturers could learn a thing or ......
  342. 07/17/2008Favorite Tools #3: Desk PinsContinuing my recent theme of talking about the little tools that I use on constant basis to make my work more efficient, this one is called "Desk Pins", ......
  343. 07/16/2008One form to rule them all....I've just completed a major piece of automation work for Second Signal. When I add a new department, there are quite a few things that have to get set up. Asterisk has to be configured with connection information for the remote software. Access groups have to be created. Time zone information looked up and entered in. Scripts for managing audio files need to be updated. Directories on the Linux file system have to be created, telephone numbers have to be linked to the right audio data locations. Pager ......
  344. 07/15/2008Favorite Tools #2: MWSnap! Fantastic tool for taking partial screenshotsWhen I'm speaking at conferences, I try to put plenty of screen shots in the presentation. I do this so you can take my presentations and print them out to work with as guides. The tool I use for taking screen shots is "MWSnap". ......
  345. 07/14/2008Great free file degragmentation tool -- from the same people who make CCLEANERI was updating my copy of CCLEANER this evening when I saw they same people have a new tool out. Defraggler seems to work very well, its very fast, and its free. I've used other tools by these guys with good success. One of the things I like most about Defraggler is that you can see what files are fragmented, sort them by pathname, and select which ones you want to bother defragmenting. I couldn't care less if a bunch of temp files are fragged. CCLEANER is going to delete them anyway. Instead, I degragged ......
  346. 07/14/2008Critical Security Patch - Did you miss this? Update your DNS servers immediately.Several days ago a major announcement was made about a fundamental flaw in the DNS protocol -- one of the most important underlying bits of infrastructure that makes the internet possible. This is not a flaw in the implementation by any specific vendor. This is a fundamental flaw in the protocol itself so: Nearly every single operating system and appliance that provides name service caching is susceptible This Network World article has details, as does this CNET "D3F3NS3 1N D3PTH" feature. You'll find a ......
  347. 07/14/2008Project Atlantic is the Killer App if you're an SAP shop - Updated IBM Website has examplesIBM's project "Atlantic" is a joint work between IBM and SAP that is going to blow the doors off any previous integration with SAP by IBM, Lotus, or Microsoft. To make it even better, No Portal Server Required. This is a Notes solution at its very core, and the work is done very well. I think this is going to stop a lot of migrations away from Notes in their tracks, and drive many customers who may have been on the fence about a client side upgrade toward the 8.5 client very soon after it is ......
  348. 07/14/2008What is the best data plan for roaming laptop access when I'm in the E.U for a week this fall?The only real down side I have with the Verizon Wireless laptop card I use is that because it is CDMA based it won't work when I go to Europe. In the past I've always just rented a cheap phone and that's been good enough. This year, I want to do better. I've gotten very very used to the idea of my laptop being able to get a decent speed connection to the internet pretty much everywhere whenever I want. I'd like to be able to do the same thing in Europe. I've found data connectivity in hotels there isn't ......
  349. 07/12/2008IndyMac bank failure - Does this mean my mortgage payments are over?I realize the news reports all seem to make it look as though these failing financial institutions were all spending their time defrauding each other and their investors, bilking innocent unwed mothers out of their savings, and stealing houses. Clearly that doesn't tell the whole story, because our experience with IndyMac has been positive. ......
  350. 07/11/2008Updated Blog Template - Finally on-lineThis is a new template applied to the existing data, so all your comments and feedback should still be here. I plan to extend this template to the main NCT site very soon, and then the links across the top will make more sense as the whole of the "NCT" site and the "BLOG" site will finally be a single integrated user interface. Let me know if you see anything that isn't working. Try using the site search, that is the biggest change I've ......
  351. 07/10/2008To our shock and amazement, Nathan T. Freeman.......is no longer a candidate for the Darwin award. His wife (and what a saint she must be!) has been able to summon the patience to provide him an heir. Soon, the first of Nathan's progeny will begin its own exploits. Now that the Freeman genetic transfer project has forked, one can hope for a better result with the new code. Having briefly met Nathan's wife, we can at least look forward to a much improved User Interface on the new model. Best of luck to Mother and Child. They're going to need ......
  352. 07/10/2008Insane pictures from the July 5th tanker fireIncredible pictures from the July 5th tanker fire in Golden Valley, Arizona..... Here is the story on CNN's ......
  353. 07/10/2008Long term Notes success and interesting Sametime traction at a new SMB client siteI don't normally pitch product in the kind of engagements I take on. Usually, I'm there for quick and specific purposes and then gone again. It may be a security review, some help on performance, or a project in trouble -- but in most cases its not a "sales" kind of engagement. That's why yesterday's call was so interesting. There's a company here in the Portland area that we consider to be fairly big in Maine, but most of the you would put in the SMB market. They've got a few hundred mail users in four ......
  354. 07/06/2008Surprisingly good zombie movies seen from my comfy chairHere's the thing - I love movies. I don't actually go to the movies very often. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that I've got two businesses I'm trying to run, three children, a second career as a firefighter, and I live in a place where there are almost no modern theaters. The closest stadium seating theater is a half hour drive away, and the next one after that is about forty five minutes drive. The nearby theater is in what used to be a K-Mart and its like watching a big TV at ......
  355. 07/05/2008Breaking News: Gasoline Tanker fire on US 68 near Kingman, AZ -- Second Signal Audio from the call here!The audio below is taken directly from the Second Signal system. The incident is still ongoing as of the time of this blog posting. There is at least one, possibly two semi-trucks on fire. At least one is a gasoline tanker. US-68 is currently closed near Kingman, AZ. http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-42978 Golden Valley Fire Department is one of the first departments in the country using Second Signal to provide information to call-responders in real-time. For more information about Second Signal, click this ......
  356. 07/05/2008Setting / Changing the UNID on documents - a fantastic hack for fixing problems or creating development copies of databasesCredit where it's due, Nathan brought this one to my attention. He's using the technique for something else he'll be blogging about later with a great deal of excitement. When he told me what he was doing, I wasn't as interested in how he was using it as he was (have to keep that part a secret) but I was pretty interested in the little hack he's taking advantage of. You can set the Universal ID on a Notes Document. I wasn't aware of this, but in lotusscript, NotesDocument.UniversalID is not a read-only ......
  357. 07/04/2008Geek move review! "Untraceable" -- Does it pass the geek test?I watched this one while doing some other things, but what caught my attention was the effort they went to in making the tech stuff at least close to plausible. They actually went overboard a bit explaining that right near the beginning. The idea is that this serial killer uses a website to stream live video of captured people being slowly killed. The gimmick is that the more people who watch the video the faster the death. The site can't be traced because (and they go to great lengths to explain this) the ......
  358. 07/04/2008A must watch video for CSS developers - Even if you don't use YUIMost of you know that by this time of day (7pm as I write this) I have the attention span of a gerbil on crack. That should add some weight to the recommendation I'm about to make. I just watched (most of) a 42 minute presentation on CSS that is geared toward jumpstarting the viewer on using the YUI tookit. The presentation is by the author of the CSS files themselves, and manages to include some fantastic background and detail about exactly how different browsers calculate fonts widths and scaling. By ......
  359. 07/04/2008Config driven CSS websites in Domino - What do you tokenize?I'm soliciting ideas & best practices on building configurable "theme like" CSS for a Domino site. I'm in the midst of a design refresh for this blog, as well as the main NCT site. They are both functional but truly ugly. I've decided to merge the two into a much more integrated self -- but more on that later. As part of the redesign work, I've been hand crafting a bit of HTML and CSS that will eventually become the framework into which all the active content will be placed. Every time I do this, I try to ......
  360. 07/03/2008Declaration of Independence - Take a minute or two, and read itWere it not for the events leading to, and following from this document; we in this part of the world would be speaking English, would be disliked by the French, and would...oh, heck, just read the thing. It's a great work.#dofi {xwidth:100%; color:black; margin:15px; padding:25px; background-image:url(/apblog4.nsf/0/0734560CA88260728525747C000F479F/$file/parchmnt.jpg) ; border:solid 1px black; #dofi p {INCONGRESS, JULY4, 1776A DECLARATIONBy theREPRESENTATIVESof theUNITED STATES OF AMERICA,INGENERAL ......
  361. 07/03/2008All your YouTube viewing history will now be available to ViacomAs if my post earlier today wasn't enough, here's some further emphasis. According to Wired, a judge has ordered Google to turn over its entire history of user viewing data to the media giant. The ruling is based in part on the idea that IP addresses which are tracked don't constitute sufficiently identifying information to be considered a privacy problem. IMHO this is a massive hypocrisy. If the data isn't revealing enough to be a privacy concern, then it has no value as a proof of violation and thus ......
  362. 07/03/2008Designer in Eclipse (Domino Designer 8.5 Beta) "Error creating new project" Dialog BoxIn Domino Designer 8.5 Beta 1, you may have seen this dialog box when attempting to view the design of a database: The "Project" it is referencing is an Eclipse project that is part of the Eclipse workspace. Your NSF database is being presented to the Eclipse framework as a project. The problem appears to be the result of already having a project with the same name. This happens if you already have used Designer in Eclipse to look at the design of a database with the same name on another server. To resolve ......
  363. 07/03/2008George Orwell would have been so proudWell, actually I doubt he'd have been "Proud" as it were, given that his work was meant to be a warning as much as a predictor. It may be that instead of "Proud" I should say he would have been dismayed by our inability to avoid so much of his forewarning. Stories today by Mike Gotta and Ian White (writing on the Collaboration 2.0 blog at CW) have got me thinking again about how much data is being compiled every day about us. A great deal of what we watch, read, write, and who we talk to is logged and can ......
  364. 07/03/2008Bush Administration ends up supporting the Internet Porn industryIn a recent press release, an independent organization of the Adult Entertainment industry is reporting that on-line memberships had a significant jump in volume as a result of the Bush Administration's economic stimulus package. The story can be found in many prominent locations and was referenced today in The Huffington Post. It appears that for many Americans, it wasn't the economy that needed stimulating. According to Kirk Mishkin, Head Research Consultant for AIMRCo, "Many of the sites we surveyed ......
  365. 07/02/2008Extremely frustrating problem with Domino Directory "Global Domain" document - Causes you to waste hours looking for the problemDo you see anything wrong with this? I'll give you a hint: The server accepts mail for three of the four listed domains just fine. The fourth one fails. Why does it fail? Because there is a SPACE character after the end of the the domain "thisoneisbroken.com " Unlike the "Members" field on the "Group" form, which has a translation formula as so: @Trim(@Unique(Members)) The "LocalInternetDomainAliases" field on the "Domain" form has no translation formula. If you have a space there (from copying a domain ......
  366. 07/02/2008XPages: Is this a show stopper for you?There's a control missing from XPages in Beta 1. I honestly don't remember (if I was ever told) if its in the plan or not because I never thought to ask about it. I guess it never even occurred to me that it was missing until I tried building a version of this blogsite using XPages. At present - speaking of Domino 8.5 Public Beta 1 - there is now way to drop a Rich Text control onto an XPage, bind it to a rich text field (e.g. BODY) on a document you've bound as a data source, and have it render the rich ......
  367. 07/02/2008XPages in Beta 1 -- Not done enough yet for me to use in productionI've spent 20 or so hours working with XPages now against my local server and have come to the conclusion that as excited as I am about them - its going to have to wait. There are a number of features not yet complete, a few bugs, and a lack of help that leaves me looking in anticipation for a next beta. It's frustrating that I can't talk about what isn't there that I'm expecting, because that would be breaking NDA. It's even more frustrating that I have to wait before I can go live with some of the things ......
  368. 07/02/2008Killing Spree!This morning I've had to go on a bit of a killing spree. Relax, its not about people. I've had to use various pesticides and herbicides to reclaim the area around the pool from the rapidly encroaching wildlife of Maine. Where I live, summer is short but the soil can only be described as 'fecund' and we've had plenty of rain to keep things healthy. The result is a riotously fast growth of every kind of weed, bug, amphibian, and rodent you can imagine. ......
  369. 07/01/2008DAOS (Attachements stored outside the NSF in a pool) after 1 week - The VedictIt's a winner! After one week, the most important thing I can say about using DAOS on my mail file, is that I'd totally forgotten about it. DAOS enabled servers use a file system data store as a shared pool for file attachments across many databases to prevent duplication, drastically reduce file storage space requirements, reduce disk fragmentation, and improve NSF file performance and reliability. After one week of using DAOS, my mail file remains about half the size it was before, but otherwise I'm ......
  370. 06/30/2008Mixing @Formulas and Lotusscript on Web Pages? Now that XPages are set to take over the world, did you think your Lotuscript skills were wasted? The short answer is absolutely not. As you can see from this image (taken from another fantastic XPages example by John Mackey), there's something funny going on here. This looks an awful lot like Lotuscript. It isn't really Lotusscript, but instead it's JavaScript with objects created to do most of the same things you can do with both Formula languages. Most people who program in Lotuscript mix up two ......
  371. 06/29/2008Free the Bookmarks! (or "What we should learn from the OSS movement")Firefox 3.0 has been out for about 1 week. There are more than 280 community created "Themes" -- color and icon sets. There are over 475 add-on tools for it which make managing bookmarks better for people. There are nearly 150 add-on tools just for better handling the tabbed interface. Why? What's the deal? Do the thousands of contributors to the Mozilla project all just suck at creating user interfaces? No. It means the open source movement recognizes that no matter how good their UI skills are, a huge ......
  372. 06/29/2008Wanted: Guest Bloggers - Looking for a few good lurkers willing to try their hand at one or two brief storiesI'm moving toward an updated and much move community focused kind of venue for this site. One of the features I'd like to add is a place for those in the community who don't blog, but may have one or two hot button topics they'd like to hold forth on. Initially, I'm going to ask for people who want to talk about something related to Domino. I'd love to get perspective pieces talking about what's important from corporate I.T. people involved in the data to day business of Domino & Notes Admin, Security, ......
  373. 06/29/2008Nearly 5 years of blogging -- with comments -- as a wordleNot content with just Cut & Paste, I exported this entire blog -- every subject and body field in it -- to text. I stripped the HTML tags and frequently re-used URL links (like the links to where I store photos) and then took the entire text over to http://wordle.net/create Its less interesting than I'd ......
  374. 06/27/2008I'm thinking about packaging up some services around security, court ordered mail search compliance, and performance.I've been considering taking some of what I've been doing around security and compliance and creating some packaged offerings. They would all be priced under $10,000 and would be soup to nuts offerings targeted at the following: 1. Response to court or lawyer requests for document search across mail, discussion, and other Notes databases --- The idea would be to bring in my tools to do a comprehensive, unbiased search across an entire mail domain, putting together in place all of the uses of a term, ......
  375. 06/26/2008Gab & Tim go on a fire call! A short story in pictures...Good friends Gab & Tim Davis came to visit The North today. The got a bit more excitement than they bargained for when we went down to the fire station. With the idea of just a bit of tourism, I brought them in to our Central station to show off the trucks and gear before we went for lunch with Barb. After getting Tim all decked out in bunker gear -- fully encapsulated, breathing off a bottle -- we went for a ride in Engine 1 for a few minutes. The surprise came when just as we were getting ready to leave, ......
  376. 06/25/2008What is the root of your application?I got stuck a bit today. It took me getting out of the programming tools and back to paper to get myself unstuck. By diving into code too soon, I'd painted myself into a corner without understanding the nature of the problem. It took more thought and less code to solve the riddle. Now that I've got some really powerful tools to play with, I'm having to think about things I never did before. For example, where does an application's data begin? A user hits my XPage and that user is new. There's no profile. ......
  377. 06/24/2008Meta-Blogging: What can be learned from watching Planet Lotus hit countersI've been chatting a bit with Yancy and others about Planet Lotus. The site has really become a great resource. I've been watching the stats. Here's a few things of note: 1. Interest in XPages massive. Any good story about them generates a ton of hits. 2. Admin stuff is under represented. Admin posts generate a lot of hits as a result. 3. More and more people are contributing real value. 4. It still pays to be famous for just being famous. What else can you ......
  378. 06/24/200850 Percent Reduction in mail file size with no loss of data or functionalityThis morning, I set up DAOS on my Domino 8.5 Beta server. Its a Win32 machine running in my office. My customer facing servers are not upgraded yet. Since my mail file is replicated onto more than one clustered server, I saw no danger in giving DAOS a try today. So far, everyone I know who's been testing it is increasingly comfortable with its ability to handle problems as well or better than data stored in the NSF natively. DAOS pulls file attachments out of the NSF and stores them in an arcane file tree ......
  379. 06/24/2008Enough theory! Here's how my first real foray into building something with XPages is goingAfter all the time at the workshop doing walk throughs, all the demos, and all the talking -- I decided to try building something useful with XPages today. Even with all the background information, I'm finding my knowledge to be a little too theoretical and when it comes to practical code I'm really having to work for it. The idea is simple enough -- but revolutionary from a pure old-school Notes perspective. I have two forms. One has company data, the other has record data. The records have a many to one ......
  380. 06/24/2008XPage - Quick Example: Save Time adding view page controls to a view on an XPageThis screenshot shows a quick example of how easy it was to add view paging controls to a view container on an XPage. I'm creating a custom control, which is really like a sub-xpage. You create custom controls to tie blocks of user interface together that work with specific data or functionality. You can then use them on your top level xpages, on other custom controls, etc. Unlike subforms, they're not limited by not being allowed to have the same field names, or by having some functionality that only ......
  381. 06/23/2008George Carlin - A place for my stuff; Was he talking about Notes? Link to the routine on YouTubeIt may not have been about Lotus Notes, but one of the things that always makes me think of George Carlin is how much Lotus Notes has become a place for my stuff. As my little tribute to Mr. Carlin, take a look at this few minutes of video. ......
  382. 06/22/2008Introducing Skippy! Ari gets a new puppy. I would say it was cute, but that would be redundant. Ari has wanted a puppy for a long time. She's saved the money needed, gotten good grades, been helpful around the house, and done a huge amount of research into understanding the different breeds. We ended up adopting from a local shelter. Skippy is 5 months old and some kind of Corgi/Lab/Other mix. He's good tempered and seems to learn very fast. ......
  383. 06/21/2008Gaming Planet Lotus is juvinile and destructively arrogantSomeone pinged me on IM today and pointed out that it was very likely someone had used a hack similar to one I pointed out to Yancy a few months back that could allow someone to "game the system" as it were and rack up endless link count numbers on Planet Lotus. It's not a difficult hack to accomplish and fairly tricky to defend against (though not impossible). I don't really know if the post in question is actually being manipulated that way. I'm told it has more link hit numbers than there are daily ......
  384. 06/21/2008IBM's Project Atlantic -- SAP Integration with Notes that's compelling and approachable on day 1I got a preview yesterday of IBM's new Project Atlantic. Since I don't do much SAP integration myself, I expected another hour or so of slow, painful, death by slideware. Boy was I wrong. I'm still working out just what was disclosed under NDA and what was public information, so I'm going to post impressions here, and ask you to follow the links for details and to see aProject Atlanticlive demo.Here's what made such a great impact on me: 1. It's a real integration, not a database driver. IBM and SAP have ......
  385. 06/19/2008Themes in XPages - More insane powerSo for now they work just against elements (components) on XPages - but its what they do that's cool. Imagine if you could say that anywhere you place a "Button" in your application you want to make sure that an html class type is set to "styleButton". A couple of lines in your theme, and now all the buttons on your XPage have a class set that will let you identify them in your CSS. It isn't just CSS properties or even just html properties. STYLES can change, replace, or append to the default settings of ......
  386. 06/18/2008A somewhat hidden gem in 8.5 beta - Make your Workspace look better!I saw over the shoulder of an IBMer today that his workspace was much nicer looking. I wasn't peaking at what he was doing, just happened to be sitting behind and to the side and it caught my eye. I asked him about it, to see if this was a "what's next" kind of thing on a private build. "No," he said, "it just turned on like that one day in the Beta." We spoke a bit, showed Maureen, and eventually one of them suggested it could be related to the use of "Textured Workspace". His was turned off and mine ......
  387. 06/18/2008Tabs, tabs, tabs, tabs ....wonderful tabs... -- Will most XPages sites use tabbed navigation?XPages provides a really natural way to create tabbed interfaces for web applications. You drop a tab control onto the XPage, then drop a custom control (remember, that's just another XPage built to be use-case specific) onto the various tabs. My application has four interrelated forms so it makes perfect sense to create a custom control for each as well as a custom control representing the access method for each (e.g. for those with multiple documents, a control which displays them in a view or a fancier ......
  388. 06/17/2008XPages continues to impress the heck out of meSo today I'm taking a pretty deep dive into XPages development as it currently exists in the Domino Designer 8.5 Beta. What continues to impress me is the success of Phillipe and Maureen -- and of course their entire teams -- at integrating the things learned in the process of building newer things like Portal with Maureen's unrivaled depth of understanding when it comes to the root core problems we struggle with in Domino and Notes development. There are dozen or so places as you get deeper and deeper ......
  389. 06/17/2008So a bunch of Notes guys walk into a bar.........Actually, its not a bar, its a conference room. It will probably end up being a bar later. I'm sitting here with - among many others - Nathan, John, Rob (Captain Oblivious), Howard, George, and many others. Its a hands on seminar environment. Do I need to go into much detail before you start to imagine just how fast the actual conversation is diverging from the planned ......
  390. 06/13/2008Pluto - and Notes - get the last laughPluto finally gets some love from the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Two years ago the long running battle of Pluto's status as a planet looked to be over. The IAU declared Pluto to simply not be a planet. Pluto, they said, was more like a comet with a relatively round orbit. Terms like dwarf planet and planetoid were used. In 2003, at the IBM Business Partner Day opening session, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (who later returned as the Opening General Session speaker) declared "Pluto is not a planet. ......
  391. 06/11/2008It isn't necessary to run down some features to make the point for othersI've enjoyed watching the reaction to the Notes 8.5 beta. As a member of the "Design Partner" group, it is very easy to loose perspective when we're discussing things over time and making predictions of how this feature or that lacking will be received. I've been right in my predictions but wrong in the volume and criticality of those reactions. I'm glad about that. What has me a bit concerned though, is that I'm hearing some otherwise rational people being critical of some fantastic features just because ......
  392. 06/09/2008One heck of a weekend. Fire hose failures, 9 year old birthday party, Car Crash Calls, etc. etc. etc.I didn't do much Domino related work this weekend. There was too much else to do. When summer finally comes to Maine, there's no mistaking it. Everything is completely lush and green. We had a few days of rain during the week, but Saturday was in the 80's and Sunday was well into the 90's -- that's a rarity up here. Saturday morning I started out getting the pool area cleaned up and the last of the work done to make it ready for the swimming season. That means bolting in the stair rails and ladder, running ......
  393. 06/05/2008Notes Client and Designer -- My list of comments after a week of useOverall, for a BETA 1 version its been a good experience. Its been at least as stable as 8.0.1 if not more (which is a bit sad, really, for 8.0.1). There are a few annoyances however. I've been keeping a couple of notepads open while I work so I could toss in comments. Here's the list as this weeks nears its end: Notes 8.5 Client feedback Workspace got uglier - unread mark window is odd Its not inset any more. Its a border that changes color with mouse over. It looks like something someone did to test ......
  394. 06/05/2008Building and managing a hot failover server for DominoA pair of clustered servers behind a network dispatcher in your building is easy to manage. What about failover machines that aren’t located in the same city? I may be a day late and a dollar short, as they say, but I’ve spent a good bit of the last couple of days implementing a new server at a data center in Dallas. The new server will act as a hot standby. While Domino has built in cluster replication to keep itself up to date, there are many other aspects of a complex system to think about. Here are ......
  395. 06/04/2008The Birth of a Conspiracy -- I love this and hate this at the same timeGet out your tin foil hats, people. You're witnessing the birth of a new conspiracy. According to a few people who mostly go nameless, rather than a fire and explosion at the Houston data center, the whole thing has been some kind of bit theatrical exercise to cover up for.....here it comes.....a government raid. http://tinyurl.com/5hm7hw Now I'm all in favor of some creative writing, but c'mon people lets get this right if we're going to do it. Depending on your favorite brand of government evildoers, ......
  396. 06/04/2008The Planet's H1 Datacenter -- Still having issues on 1st floor. Secretaries, Janitors, and Accounting staff helping physically move servers off siteOf the 9000 servers in the H1 datacenter, about 3000 of them were on the first floor. The 6000 second floor servers are pretty much back on line but those on the first floor have taken much longer. Replacement generators had to be found, parts replaced, and frantic electrical from very tired people have all led to more down time. Because restoring power to the first floor was taking so long, the offered to physically move anyone's server who wanted it moved to another data center. About 500 servers were ......
  397. 06/03/2008Data Center explosion in Houston takes down 9000 servers - what happened, and what you should consider about disaster recoveryHaving been impacted by the outage at The Planet, obviously I followed it closely. Through many telephone calls and chats with staff there and with people I know personally in the area with professional relationships on staff at The Planet, here's the best take I can give you on what really happened. What Happened? At about 17:45 CST on a Saturday, a fire and explosion took down an entire data center in Houston, TX belonging to hosting provider "The Planet". The state of the art facility manages more than ......
  398. 05/31/2008Downtime here - a fire at the provider data center took us outIf you're reading this, of course, the incident is over with - I'm writing it on my local server and it will replicate when it can. My public facing servers are at The Planet. They've been an excellent provider, and I've been happy. Right now though, the servers are down. According to the reports at The Planet, they had a fire in a transformer. Word is, none of the networking gear or servers were damaged, but the fire marshal in Houston made them shut down the generator standby systems. Now I'm waiting, ......
  399. 05/30/2008Lotus Notes 8.5 Beta 1 - The Verdict after 1 DayI've been running 8.5 Beta 1 as my production client and designer all day on my desktop. It has proven stable and fast enough for me to decide to switch the laptop as well. I'm going to go into test mode on the servers next week and if all goes well I'll be using the servers in production -- including DAOS (file storage outside the NSF, without duplicates). There are some oddities, but hell, 8.0.1 isn't all that stable and so far 8.5 Beta 1 isn't any worse -- and in some respects its better. The Designer ......
  400. 05/30/2008The LS editor is only MOSTLY dead in 8.5. If it was TRULY dead, could I do this.....So, how is it done? In desiger, right click on File Resource to create a NEW file resource. Name it something.lss -- anything with an LSS extension. The editor will come up. Be warned, however -- there is probably a good reason why its NOT supported yet. As John puts it, it is probably "Crashtaststic". On the up side, I grabbed an LSS file I had on disk and popped it in there, and the class browser ......
  401. 05/30/2008Designer In Eclipse - The first impact on my designs it will makeIt's no secret that the IDE you use will change the way you write code. Down the line a bit, I'm sure XPages will have the biggest impact. The first impact however is a bit of surprise. Right now, I frequently use "PAGE" elements as CSS, Javascript, or HTML content. Editing them is weak but it works out fairly well. Along comes Domino Designer in Eclipse. I had hoped that the editors would work against regular "Page" elements just by defining them as one kind or another. Instead, the new editors for ......
  402. 05/30/2008What's your first impression - one sentence - of Designer in EclipseI think there's a lot to say about Designer in Eclipse. There's some great potential there, and there is some massive user interface work needed. There are things missing, and there are new features added in that are great but not fully usable against existing applications without serious re-work. My one sentence first impression: "DDE in 8.5 Beta is a giant bucket full of features blended in a mixer and poured into an eclipse bowl that someone forgot to clean out first." Some of the user interface -- like ......
  403. 05/30/2008Bleedyellow chat room for beta 8.5 random chatterNathan has set up a chat room at Bleedyellow for the sort of random stream of consciousness observational stuff we're all chatting back and forth about with regards 8.5 Beta. To get in, open a browser and go to: http://imadv.bleedyellow.com Then log-in (you need a BleedYellow.com account). Once you're logged in, go to: ......
  404. 05/30/2008If you're trying to get the 8.5 Domino/Notes Beta - Keep tryingThe web servers IBM is using seem to be overwhelmed but once you get through the transfer is still very fast. IBM isn't having a bandwidth problem (see the 900KB/sec transfer rate below). Just a scalability one with their choice of servers for this task. They probably should have used ......
  405. 05/30/2008Today should be an interesting day on the blogs. Eyes open Domino bloggers - I can't wait to hear what people have to ......
  406. 05/28/2008Zero-Day Exploit in the wild today, and fairly widespread. Exploits FLASH browser plug-ins. Today is not a good day to go to web sites you don't know well. Even many known sites are being used as exploit redirects. http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/29386/info Adobe Flash Player SWF File Unspecified Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Symantec has observed that this issue is being actively exploited in the wild. Continued investigation reveals that this issue is fairly widespread. Malicious code is being injected into other third-party domains (approximately 20,000 web pages), most likely through ......
  407. 05/24/2008Properly using GPS is very much like religionI'm down in MA today at a soccer tournament being played on 38 fields in about ten different towns. Finding all these parks and schools isn't always easy. The GPS is a real help for team parents. A few people who have them have still had trouble though. They see the written directions and try to half follow those and half use the GPS. It doesn't work that way at all. To change from using maps and directions to using a GPS requires a conversion of faith a bit like a religious conversion. You must stop ......
  408. 05/22/2008Am I ignoring XPages?In a conference call yesterday, where I was continuing to advocate for a few points that quite frankly aren't going to go my way, I was told that I shouldn't ignore all the new things going in to the 8.5 release like XPages. (XPages are not a secret, and have been fully announced and committed to so I'm not breaking any rules there) Hello? Is there anyone out there reading these pages who does not feel I have been supportive enough of ......
  409. 05/22/2008American Airlines makes a singularly stupid move in the ever escalating "war on customers"In 1993 when I was just starting to travel frequently on business, my preferred airline was American. Later that year, when my wife and I went to take my first born to Arizona, the gate attendant in Chicago hit is with a $40 on the spot fee for gate checking our stroller. Over the next ten years I spent well over $100,000 on Delta -- most of it in Full Fare Coach, last minute business travel (the highest profit margin seats on the plane). Welcome to 2008. American has decided that they'll now charge ......
  410. 05/19/2008Some parameters that I have added which have really help out an ailing server or two.I'm not a big fan of making changes to your INI files to tune up your Domino server. Most of the time, I've seen servers in worse shape due to excessive use of everyone's favorite parameter changes. It goes without saying that there is no such thing as "RunFaster=1" -- there are not universal "always set this" parameters. If there were, they'd be set that way by default. That said, here are a few I've found that have helped me deal with some issues lately. -- And a shout out to Gab Davis, the top Domino ......
  411. 05/19/2008Thank you for your feedback. I don't know if we accomplished anything grand, but.......I can say with certainty that it was read and discussed by the people you would hope are reading and discussing these things. In the last two weeks, the IBM Lotus team has had an earful about what the community wants, needs, and expects out of the next release and the ones after that. They've heard it here, and they've heard it much louder in private. Now its time to get back to work, because at the end of the day, where are we gonna go? Microsoft? Not until they come up with something that can ......
  412. 05/15/2008What are YOUR expectations from a Notes & Domino 8.5 Release?When Notes & Domino 8.5 comes out, what are the "Must Address" or "Must Have" features you demand in the three major components - Client, Server, and Designer? It isn't a secret that I'm in the Design Partner program. Because of that, I can't (and won't) talk about what is or is not getting done in the pre-beta releases and information we're seeing. I won't even hint at it by telling you what my expectations are for the release. I don't want you to glean from me what I think is good and bad in the current ......
  413. 05/14/2008A few life lessons that first-responders learn quicklyFirst responders, medical interns, and all such learn a few things that translate well as good advice for everyone. Some require a little more imagination to adapt as regular life rules, while others are going to click right away when you read them. 1. It's not your emergency. Calm Down. 2. Calm and Panic both spread quickly. Which will you be? 3. Don't skip meals. The alarm goes off when you're least ready. 4. Don't hold off going to the bathroom - see rule #3. 5. Slow down. Don't create your own ......
  414. 05/14/2008The secret ingredient in most of these Web 2.0 social applications is EgoWhere is the real force that pushes people to Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, and other such things? The answer, I think, is made clear in examining how Twitter finds a niche between IRC (Group Chat Rooms), Mailing Lists, RSS Blog feeds, and Instant Messaging. Surely RSS is capable of doing what Twitter does without the need for expensive infrastructure if keeping track of your friends is all you're after. So, what does Twitter add to the mix? Twitter offers the competitive ego a platform that COUNTS how ......
  415. 05/12/2008Ok., I guess I have to give Twitter a try.For those of you who want to, I'll start updating the thing tomorrow. If you are interested in following me, I may follow you back. I do plan to have twitter automatically updated with fire call status from Second Signal. That should be interesting. Who knows what else will get put in there. An auto feed from my calendar could be interesting. http://twitter.com/firefightergeek If you have suggestions on who or what I should follow, send em over. I'll pop Twitter over on a second monitor and see if its ......
  416. 05/12/2008When is it the responsibility of leaders to do some following?Imagine our leadership taking polls, talking with important people, and building support for something big. The big thing is expensive. Its going to be controversial. If all goes well it will change the world. What if it doesn't go well? Of course it will go well. We're big and powerful. We have the best technology and we have the best force for deploying that technology. We know things. Sure, there are dissenters. They don't matter. Our constituency really likes our Big Idea. We'll even bring in some of ......
  417. 05/10/2008At this point, even Hillary Clinton's supporters have to know how bad for her party it would be if she somehow pulled off a win.Imagine for a second the impossible happens, and Hillary Clinton wins the nomination. The unlikely event could only happen through a back room deal at this point that either suddenly convinced most of the "Super Delegates" to vote for her or else she talked the credentials committee into counting the unauthorized primary data from the two state in dispute. I can't imagine it happening, but if it did -- tell me that an entire generation of his supporters won't feel completely blown off. Now tell me she ......
  418. 05/10/2008Place like this really do exist - and I live where I can enjoy them as part of every day livingAri had a soccer game today at Fort Williams Park. It happens there is a field there. It is a park after all. It is also the home of a classic New England lighthouse, breathtaking shoreline cliffs, and an unbelievable view of the Atlantic Ocean. Click any of these links to see the pictures in a larger resolution. For more information about Fort Williams - click here. img.linkImage { margin:.5em; border:solid 1px blue; a { text-decoration:none ......
  419. 05/08/2008What should the Notes desktop really look like?Are you still using the same desktop workspace in Notes that you were 10 years ago? Truth be told, it is a desktop paradigm that even looks ugly when compared to the Mac Finder interface in 1991. Although there have been attempts at a replacement, most of us still use this dog of a UI with 32x32 pixel 16 color icons set into square blocks about 3 times that size. We can organize these application icons any way we like - as long as we like gray on gray in a grid pattern. We can even have folder tabs to ......
  420. 05/07/2008The Urban Dictionary definition of Borked.....is borked.I love this. Tech people use the term "borked" pretty freely now, but for those who actually remember it is a reference to nominee Robert Bork who's confirmation hearings were driven off the rails in the midst of partisan politics. No matter which side you agree with, it was clear that the process itself was totally broken as a result. The argument over the definition of the term, is suffering the same fate. Check out the use of alternate definitions to continue the very same argument. ......
  421. 05/06/2008Iron Man - Best. Comic. Book. Movie. Ever.I took my (nearly) 13 year old as an excuse to see Iron Man this weekend. What can I say that you haven't already heard? it totally rocked. The suit? it rocked. The house? It rocked. Pepper? She rocked. repeatedly. I do wish they'd have have played more Black Sabbath tracks during the film. There were a couple of spots where just a few really heavy guitar licks would have fit. In all other respects -- Awesome. ......
  422. 04/30/2008One of the best quotes I've ever read from "Quotes of the Day"I cant help but really like this quote: In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George ......
  423. 04/30/2008For the second time in as many weeks, Notes & Domino are getting positive commentary on Slashdot!This story in particular is a good one for the Notes community because it very publically points out how ridiculous the idea of an "Upgrade" to Exchange really is. I particularly like one comment that called the practice of moving to Exchange "Faith Based Computing". I didn't think I'd live to see the day when you could mention Notes on Slashdot and not get deluged with outdated complaints about the UI or whatever. ......
  424. 04/28/2008The part came from Hong Kong, finally, so I was able to fix Ari's Nintendo DS Lite screenAri had dropped her DS Lite a couple of weeks back. Thanks to the magic interwebs I was able to find a replacement part, and today I did the work of putting the new top screen in. It wasn't terribly hard, though some soldering was necessary and the ribbon cable is a pain to get routed through the hinge to the main board. How's this for some fine solder work ......
  425. 04/24/2008A busy week on the fire department side this weekAnother structure fire today. This time all the way in Freeport. That's two towns over. At 15:30 or so both Engine 1 and Engine 3 from Cumberland were dispatched to Yarmouth's North Street station for coverage. Yarmouth had an all hands brush fire going on (it is brush fire season here, from now until when things green up in a couple of weeks). We left our Central station with a crew of three and were almost immediately re-directed to the town of Freeport (one town over from Yarmouth) where they had a ......
  426. 04/24/2008HBO Films John Adams - AmazingI've just finished watching the final part of the HBO Films production "John Adams". What a fantastic mini-series this has been. Though I studied American History (I realize to many of you in Europe this would seem a fairly short course) in school, my understanding of the events immediately surrounding the American Revolution always felt very distant and out of touch. Since moving to New England - and particularly since joining the fire department here in Maine I've gotten to know the places where these ......
  427. 04/21/2008Too many emails makes me rescind permission to send.There are two sites I do business with that I've given permission to email me from to time with updates that I may find of value. Unfortunately, these two sites have confused this permission with what they seem to perceive as a desire to get these emails daily -- or sometimes several times a day. As a result, I'm removing this permission from both sites. The idea of "opt-in" email updates is a good one, but companies need to understand the difference between "Yes, send me an update if something good comes ......
  428. 04/17/2008Speaking Nightmares -The old Water in the Laptop trick...The biggest nightmare I can foresee would be to immediately follow Paul & Bill’s flying circus. Fortunately I’ve never had to do that. I have had some….challenges, however. At the H&T Verlogs conference in Munich a few years back, about 3 minutes into a presentation that included live demos on integrating IBM DB2 with Lotus Domino, I managed to knock a 5 ounce glass of water directly into my Dell laptop’s keyboard. The laptop shut down, and when it tried to boot came up with the fantastic error message ......
  429. 04/15/2008Playing with fire -- and learning to not like CAFSCAFS (Compressed Air Foam System) is a fairly new technology for the fire service. Some people swear by it, and other people don't like it at all. Until today I held no real opinion as I hadn't used it, though I'd expressed some trepidation. At just after 4 this afternoon, Cumberland toned out for our RIT to respond to the next town over, Yarmouth, for a possible structure fire. By the time we were on the road, Yarmouth had gone to the All hands, and about the time we got there they went to a 2nd Alarm. ......
  430. 04/12/2008How many times a week does having access to the internet save your bacon or change your life?My oldest daughter, Ari, tripped and fell while carrying her Nintendo DS-Lite. This is something she saved for for a long time. A broken top screen led to tears. Because we all know that I'm way too soft when it comes to such things, I told her I'd see if it was something I could fix. Enter the Internet. Within seconds I'd found multiple sites with instructions for replacing the top screen of a Nintendo DS-Lite including a full write up at Instructables. The instructions even recommended getting the ......
  431. 04/11/2008Cars left out of the sunshine for too long burst into flame in Portland, Maine!Early this morning, the city of Portland, Maine was busy. Within a few minutes and all within a few blocks of each other 8 or 9 cars burst into flames. Three buildings -- at least one apartment building -- became involved and more than 20 people are left without their home and belongings. Fortunately, there are no reported injuries. At 4am my fire pager went off with a Box 700 for Ladder 7 and Squad 1 (our heavy rescue) to cover Portland for their 3rd alarm fire. This happens a couple of times a year. ......
  432. 04/10/2008Scary Fire Stuff -- probably the scariest blog entry I've ever posted.At last night's officers meeting, one of our deputy chiefs presented a follow-up from a fire in Price William County, Virginain which a firefighter was killed. Its something we do as part of training, so its not that it was unusual but this one really hit home for some of us. This was presented in much the same way as the last one we did (the tragedy in Charleston, SC). We listened to the audio recording timed with photos showing the fire's development and some 3D models showing the layout and the heat ......
  433. 04/07/2008Ok. Memes being what they are... How the hell did I ever get into Lotus Notes?It's always been about the collaboration for me. I'm a geek, but it isn't what I'd planned to do for a living. I'd gone off to University of Arizona to study a program that I hoped would eventually take me to veterinary school so that I could take care of horses. That was, I admit, a vague idea at best. Mostly what I was studying was living with my girlfriend. School was a distant second. Although I'd been into computers for a while they weren't more than tools and toys at that point. Then my cousin's ......
  434. 04/03/2008Lotus - The Mike Rhodin YearsBy now, if you don't know Mike Rhodin is leaving the Lotus organization and being replaced by Bob Picciano from the DB2 side of the house, you probably aren't someone who cares and will want to skip this posting. I don't know anything about Mr. Picciano other than what I've read on other people's blog posts, but it seems he comes from a technical sales and executive background and has very high credibility within the IBM organization. Those are good things. While I didn't agree with Mike Rhodin in some ......
  435. 04/01/2008Happy Birthday MomThis isn't an April fool's joke. My mother's birthday is in fact April 1st. I also know that she tends to follow this blog -- probably because I am otherwise absolutely terrible out getting pictures and letters about the kids out to her and she lives a very long way from here (in so many ways). If I'm following correctly, she is now 39. Still. I realize that's odd given that I'm 40, but one doesn't question these things. By the way, if you think its unusual to have a one parent born on April 1st, consider ......
  436. 03/30/2008IdeaJam Remembers You! Now powered by NCT Remember Me! To celebrate, I've made it cheaper.It's finally happened! NCT Remember Me! is now up and live on IdeaJam! You won't have to re-authenticate just to vote any more. Just check the box. The product, NCT Remember Me! provides true Domino session based authentication credentials. Its not a trick where an anonymous user is recognized and their name pops in. Reader Names fields, Database ACL's, and the other things you associate with being logged into Domino on the web are all supported. NCT Remember Me! is for sale. You can use it on your own ......
  437. 03/30/2008Lotscript Error Handling LibraryThis is a cleaned up version for your use -- in my own case, its a bit more complex as I use a logging database to log much of the agent activity I do. In that case, the script library opens that database and automatically creates a document with fields for database name, agent name, start time, end time, etc. It also writes logging output to that file in any agent using with a debug_print() function used instead of "print" or "msgbox" throughout the agent. My version also handles the functionname as a ......
  438. 03/29/2008A shout out to Kohler - yea, them.A bit of a plumbing job that I had to do went much easier thanks to some good support from Kohler. In our master bathroom, we have faucets and valves from the Kohler Fairfaxfamily. The bathtub valve was dripping, but I couldn't find a replacement cartridge at any of the hardware stores I frequent. When I called Kohler, I found out why. They don't sell replacement cartridges. They give them away. Simply through my call, within 5 minutes I was talking to an expert who agreed with me that it needed ......
  439. 03/27/2008A couple of comments on some recent teapot scale tempests in the Domino communitySorry I've missed playing in the latest round of who has the biggest ego. I've been working hard lately -- mostly to make up for a dreadful second half of 2007 while I worked on Second Signal and therefore didn't do enough consulting. It wouldn't be a good meaningless argument however, if I didn't weigh in. Here's an invoice for my two cents.... Grand Ruckus #1: Volker Weber posted a carefully aimed groin-kick of truth in the form of his "10 common beliefs in the Domino community", to which Nathan ......
  440. 03/27/2008Spring? I suppose.I took this picture today, March 27th at 07:39. As you can see, the pool's location can now be accurately determined beneath the remaining snow cover. The diving board is poking out just a bit, and the slide is almost fully visible. No sign of the pool cover yet, however. This is obviously in an area fully exposed to direct sunlight most of the day and not impacted by snow plows or anything. Its just natural snow pack. Just think, only 5 weeks till this is opened up and ready to swim ......
  441. 03/24/2008Where have you been? I haven't heard from you in days! This post will ramble some, but I'm in a good mood so I'll share.Has it really been 10 days since my last post? Wow. Its been busy around here. To begin with, spring is trying to sneak its way in. Its less than 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) tonight, but during the day its been up around forty and little by little we're getting rid of the snow pack. There is still upwards of two feet of icy remnant left in many spots, but in sunny places in the center of the yard there's ground showing through. We had a white Easter. We had a white Christmas. We had a white everything else in ......
  442. 03/14/2008Some good old back to basics Domino code this weekThe nature of my practice is that I focus on the real specialty stuff and don't really get to do basic web apps very much. The last few days I've enjoyed working on classic Domino web app though. With all the time spent focusing on Javascript fanciness, AJAX, and pages that don't look like pages you can forget what a joy it can be to just let the server do the work. Some of the built in features have come a long way since the last time I used them. Embedded html views with selectable entries and buttons ......
  443. 03/12/2008Follow-Up - My take on Open ID - It takes us the wrong way. This is a problem that already has better solutions.Open ID is an attempt at the concept of an ID Vault for browser based access to web sites. As a vault, it gets fairly close. Unfortunately, it's storing credentials that are themselves inadequate. If the open ID method of sharing credentials could be applied to the storage of real credentials, it would be much more powerful. I've looked into Open ID a bit more since I started talking about it in a previous blog entry. I've come to a few initial conclusions about it that are fairly disappointing. It isn't ......
  444. 03/08/2008Is there any interest out there in an Open ID implementation for Domino?Open ID (http://openid.net) is an attempt to allow you to use the same credentials to log in on many web sites without having to remember different id and passwords. The idea is that you authenticate with any site that accepts Open ID based on credentials that you control. Your AIM address, for example, can be used as an Open ID. You may have many Open ID's, but a single Open ID can only be owned by one person. This site explains it better, I think: http://janrain.com/openid/ Anyway, I don't think it would ......
  445. 03/03/2008Creating an SSL Certificate for IBM Lotus DominoA great many people have asked me for a simple How-To on creating an SSL certificate for your Domino server. Here's a very clear step-by-step guide that should do the job for you. ......
  446. 03/02/2008Guess what's getting added to IdeaJam?Bruce posted this on hisideaJam blogtoday. Who else needs to automatically re-authenticate users when they return to a secure web ......
  447. 02/27/20086 More inches of snow tonight. This time, the heavy kindIt doesn't sound like much, but you have to understand different kinds of snow to get it. I'm glad the key remaining parts for the snowthrower came in today. It took me about 90 minutes to install the new friction ring and plate, drive clutch spring, and drive clutch cable. The machine performed like a champ with tonight's 6" of new snow. I know, 6" doesn't sounds like very little compared to the snowfalls we've had this year. Those were mostly lighter, more powdery snows that you get in really cold ......
  448. 02/26/2008SmashLab == Cool Technology, Juvenile ImplementationsI've been watching Discovery's new series "SmashLab". I've watched enough now to give it an official Geek Review. The concept is simple enough. Take some gifted people with complimentary backgrounds, give them some new technology and a safety problem to solve with it, and see what they can prototype to try out the idea. Now, lets break down how the show stacks up: 1. The Technology. Extremely Cool. In the shows I've watched they've used Aerated Concrete in an attempt to show down runaway cars, a kind of ......
  449. 02/25/2008A Happy DaySome good things grace my desk today. To begin with, I got the letter from the bank today with the title to my car. I'm finished paying it off now, and it still has a few years of excellent driving. Those who've read this site for some time, may recall that my last car burned up in the garage in February of 2005. Since then, I've been stuck with a car payment. Once again, I am car payment free. Oh happy day. If I were a good planner, I'd keep making that payment into savings for the next car, but it ......
  450. 02/24/2008- CORRECTION - Having just wasted a good bit of the afternoon, here's a technote on setting cookie expiration dates for IE* Corrected on Feb 24. Many of you super JavaScript programmers already know this, but since I didn't have it quite right I thought I'd post it here so that if someone else is searching for information they'll have an easier time of it. When you set a cookie in JavaScript, you make it 'permanent' (make it last through browser restarts) by setting a parameter called "expires". There are web pages all over the place that will tell you about lots of different formats you can set that expiration date in. Many ......
  451. 02/23/2008NCT Remember Me! Just got even easier to useDrop two html tags onto any page on your server, and your users can Auto-Login to Domino when they return to your site. I've been playing with the code for NCT Remember Me! today, and I came up with the easiest deployment method you can imagine. Here's the code you can add to any web page: Or you can get fancy, and do it this way:' cellStyle='border:solid 1px black; background-color:black; color:yellow; padding:1em '>The optional parameters in the second example, will result in a "Remember Me" checkbox ......
  452. 02/21/2008Does anyone believe that this was the only anti-satellite trick up Uncle Sam's heavily armored sleeve?If you haven't seen the newsyet, the U.S. Navy used a "standard" missile launched off a navy cruiser with a special 3rd stage which is effectively a self-guided hunk of mass (a big rock) designed to home in on the target in an airless environment and simply slam into it using the differential in speeds between an orbiting body and the missile itself as the kinetic energy to cause the destruction. Does anyone believe that plans for this sort of thing haven't been in place for quite a while, and that the ......
  453. 02/17/2008Imminent unplanned satellite re-entryHave no fear, FEMA is here. Our government is protecting us from the imminent unplanned satellite re-entry. Here you'll find the documents forwarded through our incident management chain of command. For those of you reading this story from outside the U.S., you can likely follow the same procedures. Guys, I've seen this in the movies a dozen times and I know just what happens. You may wish to acquire this critical information to supplement your skills if the worst happens. ......
  454. 02/16/2008A few days of sunshine, then back to workFor the next few days, I am on Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. What a difference 12 hours makes. Thursday night I was in 20 degree weather lighting a scene for the town of Falmouth where they were dealing with an overturned oil truck dumping 1700 gallons of Kerosene into a river. The coast guard, epa, everyone got to play. Now, I'm in 80 degree sunshine with a beach and pool within eyesight. Forgive me if I hold off the blogging a ......
  455. 02/11/2008Snowthrowers age at about the same pace as dogs.We had three snowstorms last week. During the first, my old snowthrower (which at one time looked a lot like the one pictured), broke just as I was finishing my driveway. It took me about an hour or so to disassemble the drive system and make a workable repair. The repair held for the next driveway - a neighbor's as he's injured his shoulder, and the following two storms as well. It won't hold forever, but I've got replacement parts on the way that should put it to rights again. When I went to order the ......
  456. 02/05/2008NCT Remember ME is official!Automatically log-in returning Domino usersNCT Remember ME!True Lotus Domino CredentialsInstalls in Minutes to existing or new web pagesDoes not require a DSAPI filterFully Supports ACL's, Reader Names, Groups, etc.Fully Supports Multi-Server Session Based AuthenticationFind Out ......
  457. 02/03/2008Congrats to the NY Giants - What an amazing football game.I don't watch football that much (not the American kind with an odd shaped ball anyway) as I prefer the other kind -- played with a FOOT and a BALL. Still, even though being in Maine I'd have loved to have seen the Pats win, I can't begrudge New York that win one bit. They managed to shut down Brady's offense so consistently that he almost never had time to do anything. I've never seen him so hammered. Credit where due, the man continued to use every opportunity given him until the end -- he just didn't ......
  458. 02/02/2008NCT Will be announcing a new product on Monday, and many of you will want it.Consider this a pre-announcement and offer via my blog since I have yet to integrate the blog with the home page. The official announcement will be on Monday, for a product called simply "NCT Remember Me". This will be a "nearly instant" drop in solution for Domino based web sites that allows you to add "Remember Me" functionality to your site with almost no effort. Users who return to your site will be recognized and re-issued valid Domino session tokens. They will actually be logged in users -- this is ......
  459. 01/31/2008What if it all just goes quiet?On February 17, 2009 all the analog TV signals transmitted in the US are scheduled to go dark. After that time, its digital or nothing. Just consider for a second, how few of us have ever lived in a place where we were not under constant full time exposure to transmissions measured in thousands or even tens of thousands of watts from the analog TV stations at VHF radio frequencies. Just consider this for a second. What if they shut all the stations down, and a whole bunch of stuff that we had no idea was ......
  460. 01/31/2008Nuclear Duct TapeFrom the department of "I gotta get me one of these!" (Will Smith, Independence Day) Hillas Packaging, Inc. offers the followingproduct:Item Number : Nashua 357 Red Nuclear 3" x 60Yd ETDescription: Duct Tape, Nuclear Grade, 3" X 60 Yard Et, RedProduct SpecificationsMSDS (Materials Saftey Data Sheet)Presumably, this is for HAZMAT response but if you're going to get some serious duct tape, why not get Nuclear Regulatory Agency specification approved duct ......
  461. 01/30/2008Please jump in here - A debate question about an XPages concernPlease chime in on this one, as I know it’s a heavy topic in Westford as well. A very smart friend of mine has a concern about XPages. I think he’s wrong. More specifically, I think he’s making an origami mountain out of a map around a molehill. Even if you normally just ‘lurk’ here, I’d like to see as many people chime in here as possible. Here’s the issue as my friend sees it: There is not any 1:1 relationship of an XPage to a specific document. There may be zero, one, or many data notes or other kinds ......
  462. 01/28/2008XPages: The Most Important New Feature You Didn't Know You NeededHint: It isn't all about the UI features. XPages are not a secret any more, but I think you'll find a perspective here that you may not get elsewhere. XPages: The Most Important New Feature You Didn't Know You NeededWriting anything in conjunction with the IBM Lotus people can be a real exercise in frustration. This is the third or fourth time I've done it, and will likely be the last attempt.this ugly page.Back in mid 2007 as part of a design review team I was given the opportunity to see XPages for the ......
  463. 01/28/2008Too Much Availability; Follow-Up from Lotusphere; Plans for the next few monthsA good Lotusphere this year. Despite some minor disappointments with the priority on announcements this was a great Lotusphere. The message, for the first time in many years, is all about the core products and their various accessories -- which is how I still think of Sametime, Quick'r, et. al. I realize that bothers some, but I can only call it like I see it. Best of all this year, as in almost every year, was time spent with good friends. There's always a bit of a let down after Lotusphere for me. It ......
  464. 01/22/2008Why the Opening General Sessions fall flatI've been thinking about what happens in the planning process that lets this happen. Particularly in a year like this where there is so much to get excited about, it left me slack jawed to see how badly stepped on the excitement was. In years past, they built excitement only to step on it hard at the end. This year, they avoided the problem by building little or no excitement. So what happens? You bring in a production company to help you may a big exciting event. They don't have ANY idea what the stuff ......
  465. 01/22/2008Some things done right in the LS2008 Opening General SessionComplaining about the OGS is like a favorite sport, and while great fun, isn't all there is to talk about. There were a few things done pretty well so I thought I'd talk about them. Kudos #1 - To begin with, Mike Rhodin's talk was much better done than in years past. Sure, if you're a geek it wasn't what you wanted to hear so it seemed long and boring. That's his job, to say long boring things to geeks that the money people care about. What he did right, was to keep it reasonably brief and not jump back in ......
  466. 01/21/2008What a shame. The OGS compressed Maureen's content into a few minutes that should have been the lead. 4 minutes for Designer in Eclipse. 15 minutes for F'ing Portal.This year's OGS leaves me a bit sad for the missed opportunity. Anyone within range of this text needs to get to the Designer sessions at LS to see the exciting things that just didn't get shown at the OGS. Apparently, the people organizing this thing still haven't learned how to decide what is and isn't important at all. I get angry most years about the OGS. More so this year when there is SO MUCH NEW and LONG AWAITED being built and ready to show in Designer now that its in Eclipse. All the editors, all ......
  467. 01/21/2008What ever happened to Lotus/IBM and their big Second Life Plans? Lets take a look. It isn't pretty.I'm in the second Opening General Session. As I had nothing better to do while Bob Costas was speaking to the 20% of the room who both know who he is and also care, I decided to pop in on Second Life and see who was watching from the Lotus venue on IBM's island. Remember that from last year? Well, after downloading the updates to Second Life, I 'flew' over to the Lotus venue from last year. It was nearly empty. There was one person outside -- not from IBM of course, and fast asleep. An abandoned avatar. I ......
  468. 01/21/2008Impressions from the "Salon" at LotusphereThe conference is big enough that the opening session -- the big draw -- is being split into 2 groups. The "Salon" is a demo and panel discussion led for the other group as a side show. They've got these "artists" and "thinkers" in the "web 2.0" space. Impressions: 1. Although I've nearly completed Web 1.0, I may play it again and go for a higher score. I'm not seeing a good reason to upgrade to 2.0 yet. I also can't get anyone to tell me what the upgrade license costs rather than just buying it straight ......
  469. 01/17/2008Greetings from Orlando!Here's the story in Orlando..... #1. I'm here, and you're not (well most of you). #2. It's very hot here. This evening, dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) fell from the sky in LIQUID form! I'm fortunate to have gotten under cover before being burned. #3. It could be the heat, but I think something terrible has happened to the snow here. It all green and fuzzy -- like its covered with some kind of mold. I think the heat and humidity have caused it to go bad. Maybe they can get it all nice and clean and white by the ......
  470. 01/17/2008It is amazing to me how many supposedly tech-savy people fall for the same B.S. over and over again.A simple article about the iPhone supporting Notes (through iNotes I think) generated yet another long list of people who want to talk about how much they don't like Notes based on using many years old versions, and completely ignoring the facts of vendor lock in and proprietary vs. open data access models. http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/17/iphone-putting-on-a-lotus-notes-suit/ How can anyone who is locked into Active Directory + Exchange + Outlook + SQL Server + Sharepoint + Win2k3 servers serious ......
  471. 01/16/2008Even if you're not going to LS, don't miss seeing the Opening General SessionThis year you're going to see the payoff for all that work and all the overhead associated with running Notes 8 in Eclipse. Usually, either live or shortly after, there is a way to view the Lotusphere Opening General Session. Do not miss this year's OGS. The Notes 8.0 client has a huge potential for new stuff, but you're not seeing too much use of it just yet. I liken it to having a brand new high end sports car that came with a governor set to 55 miles per hour. This year you'll get to see the payoff ......
  472. 01/15/2008The Y2K+38 Problem - It could be your opportunity this weekendFor those who don't know, Y2k38 is "short" for 1/19/2038, when many currently used computers and devices will again have a problem with digits. This time, it is because most Unix based system store dates as the number of seconds since January 1, 1970. Many of those numbers are still stored in 4 byte (32 bit) integers. Since dates can of course exist before 1/1/1970, the 32 bits must be used for both positive and negative numbers -- meaning the most significant bit is reserved as a +/- indicator. So, ......
  473. 01/15/2008The Shirts Have Arrived in Orlando!According to UPS, the shirts are at the shipping depot in Orlando, waiting for me. There are 36 boxes, at 40 pounds each. Yes, over 1400 pounds of ......
  474. 01/15/2008If you are reading this, and will be at Lotusphere 2008 .....Please make sure to at least wave and say hi. There is only one real reason why most people blog. Ego. If someone says otherwise, they're full of crap. To blog regularly, you have to either truly believe that what you have to say carries some kind of importance or you have to not care a bit. Either way, blogging is a clear indication of someone with an ego. NOTHING makes a blogger happier than to hear from people who read their mindless, poorly written drivel. If you read mine, let me know. Finding me at ......
  475. 01/15/2008Weekend Update: Finished, thankfully, with my drywall project; 14 inches of new snow; Countdown to LS08New Snow Fourteen inches of new powdery snow fell Monday. That was enough to cancel school, giving us a three day weekend. More snow is expected on Friday but I should be fine getting out on Thursday afternoon in time to pick the shirts up in Orlando on Friday. I've scheduled the flight early enough that in a worst-case situation (like last February where Jet-Blue abandoned Portland, Maine for over a week due to the storm in New York) I can drive. It's about 21 hours straight driving, so I'd sure like to ......
  476. 01/11/2008Are "CAPTCHA" losing their value for security? New bypass method completely avoids the problem of reading them.You might be a hacker. If you've ever been asked to read an image of distorted letters and numbers, then type them into a field on a web form, you're using a Captcha.The thing is, even though the programs that make the images are keeping ahead of the programs that read them, it is quickly loosing its effectiveness. Hackers are now using YOU to do the work. Suppose a comment spammer wants to automate adding stuff to your blog, but you've got captcha codes set up. These spammers are resourceful people. ......
  477. 01/11/2008Slingbox -- It isn't about T.V. over the internet. It's about my OWN T.V. over the internetI mentioned a few days ago that I got a Slinboxwith the gift certificate Barb gave me for Christmas. I'm really enjoying it, with all the time I spend waiting for the kids at one practice or another. What's interesting, is that lots of services are offering video over the internet, and most of what I'm watching I could get in other ways. Most of the networks offer their stuff a few days later for on-line viewing, iTunes sells the stuff, etc. The thing is, its a pain the backside to use those things. When ......
  478. 01/11/2008Want to learn to do surface mount soldering and repairs? Hands down, this is the best 8 minutes you could ever spend to learn how to solder properly. http://www.curiousinventor.com/guides/Surface_Mount_Soldering/101 The video is zoomed in super tight, the speaker is very clear, the demo is relevant, and the advice is both practical and accurate. He shows soldering and de-soldering of small, surface mount resistors, larger chips, and chips with very small ......
  479. 01/11/2008How to kill your own network.I woke up this morning to no network connectivity here in my home/office. Given that I have both a cable and dsl connection, with failover managed through my sonicwall firewall this is an extremely rare event. How did it break? I broke it. I recently moved from two servers at Serverbeach to a single more powerful server at The Planet. Having put the order in to cancel the two at the beach, I'd forgotten about it. My firewall, however, did not. It is configured to monitor the two connection paths by ......
  480. 01/10/2008Someone is picking on Gab. Not fair! Gab Davis, who is one of the most gifted Domino admins within our light cone has made a resolution to blog more. Only a few days in, some "Friend" (as if) has told her she should "tighten up" her style. Apparently this person thinks she should write less and edit more. Go check out Gab's blog and help us give feedback to whoever this person is, that they need to go get their own blog, and leave Gab free to say what's on her mind. I think if this person would give less advice, and spend more time reading ......
  481. 01/09/2008CULT Shirts 2008 Preview + Many Changes to the Lotusphere Wiki!Don't miss going to the Lotusphere Wikifor lots of stuff related to the conference. I've just added preview images of the 2008 CULT shirts, and a full 1280x1024 transparent background image of the "Don't Hate Me" logo suitable for desktop and presentation use. Have at it people. ......
  482. 01/08/2008Slingbox Rocks!Here's a tease for you. I'm in my car, parked outside the indoor arena where Ari is practicing her soccer. I've got the EV-DO card turned on, and am connected to my brand newSlingbox. I'm watching Jon Stewart and the clarity is perfect. I did adjust the buffer to a full 15 seconds, because this is a kind of bursty connection. In the first minute or so of the stream, it can be a little jittery, but slow the buffer fills up and the picture gets better and better as the "slingstream" uses the available ......
  483. 01/07/2008My most hated home repair jobs - wallpaper removal and drywall patchingWhen I was very little, I would not finger paint. The reason for this, discovered later, is that I have an aversion to any kind of dust, fine powder, or things that feel like they're coated with dust. This includes newsprint, chalk, and even dry soil. The idea of purposely spreading talc on ones body makes my skin crawl just to think of it. The idea of working with and even sanding down dry wall joint compound is enough to send me into full procrastinate mode for very long periods of time. Interestingly, ......
  484. 01/04/2008Microsoft Patents Frustration Detection System - so I've created a User Interface for it.According tothis article, Microsoft has patented a software and biofeedback based "Frustration Detection System". From TFA:I can't imagine anything more annoying then my PC waiting for me to get frustrated, then at just the point where I'm ready to toss it against the wall it interrupts me with a modal dialog ......
  485. 01/02/2008Video - Come for a Drive in the Snow! Bonus: Pics of my kids an Barb playing the snow!img {margin:3px; border:solid 1px blue;Today we got about 10 inches of perfect snowman snow, on top of 8 fresh inches of dry powdery snow just two days ago. All that went on top of a base of maybe 6 inches of older, icy stuff. The little boy in the picture is our neighbor.Just in case you've forgotten what it's like to drive in this stuff, take a look at this video, or just click any of the thumbnail pictures to see it larger. The driving was done just as the second storm was getting going, so all the snow ......
  486. 12/31/2007New Year's ResolutionsNew Year's Eve is here, and its as good a time as any to reflect on the stuff you know you should be doing but haven't been. Resolutions aren't so much about sticking to them like an iron clad contract. If we could do that, we would already have done those things. They're about thinking through some of what's going on with you and what you can do to make things better. In that light, here are some of mine: #1. Refocus on some of my core business products. Resisting the temptation to endlessly tinker with ......
  487. 12/28/2007Finally picked a replacement phone. Its almost a smart phone - and it wirelessly synchs my DOMINO mail, calendar, and contacts ......
  488. 12/24/2007According to the BBC, The UK is set to release beavers back into the Scottish Highlands.Barb had a funny reaction to this article. According to the article "Plans are in the pipeline for beavers to be released into the Scottish wild for the first time in 500 years." Reading further, it seems the beavers they'll be using will come from Norway. Barb got a very concerned look on her face when she heard this. From Europe, to Scotland, about 500 years..... she asked "they're not going to name the first one 'William' are ......
  489. 12/24/2007Christmas Eve Day here at TheNorth.comMerry Christmas to all of you. Even those of you who don't celebrate Christmas. No harm in wishing you a merry one. Here at thenorth, Barb and the Kids are already up at her parents place. My tradition is to put a good movie on, sit and wrap gifts, and wait for the FedEX and UPS trucks to bring the last of the last minute fun. Most years that works out. One year it didn't. At 9am on the 24th one year a fire call came in that kept us busy until late into the evening. Here's hoping that doesn't happen this ......
  490. 12/22/2007I'm thinking of unifying at least two of my three web sites, what do you think?I have three sites I try to maintain. This blog site, the main NCT site, and my Second Signal web site. I don't think I'm quite ready to fold in Second Signal yet -- it probably needs its own identity. Do I really need to be all that distinct between NCT and my blog? Many of my peers spend a great deal of time making web sites that look like they're big consulting agencies. I know one guy who's web site almost makes you think he's one of the big analyst firms. I can't imagine that the charade holds up for ......
  491. 12/22/2007The state of the cell phone market. What happened when I went shopping.I need a new phone, as I've stated before. I use a Motorola e815 and generally like it, but if I have to buy another phone (I have to replace one for my daughter) I thought I'd check out Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Motorola, and so on. I spent hours on this yesterday and came away disgusted. I tried the Blackberry 8130, and I liked its size and form factor. The typing for text messages was pretty great even with two keys per button -- I did have trouble finding the period when doing a web address, but I ......
  492. 12/21/2007Shit Happens - A old favoriteThis is an old favorite of mine, I thought I would look up and re-share. As we reach this time of such religious fervor in the U.S. and around the world, it will be of value to understand each other's viewpoints a little better. This is the shortest comparative religion course you can ever take. Taoism: If you understand shit, it isn't shitHinduism: This shit happened beforeConfucianism: Confucious say 'shit happens'Buddhism: Shit will happen to you againZen: What is the sound of shit happening?Islam: If ......
  493. 12/21/2007Sounds like they need a really really big VACUUM cleaner!10,000 Earths' Worth Of Fresh Dust Found Near Star Explosion ScienceDaily (Dec. 21, 2007) — Astronomers have at last found definitive evidence that the universe's first dust – the celestial stuff that seeded future generations of stars and planets – was forged in the explosions of massive stars. Check out this ......
  494. 12/20/2007A December for the books, surely.I just went out and took these pictures to show you that yes, we got another 6-8 inches of snow today. It is getting hard to find places to put all the snow, allowing the UPS guy to get to the door. img { margin:10px; border:solid 1px blue ......
  495. 12/20/2007Certified Unofficial Lotusphere Text!A new wiki has been set up to help people plan and have fun around Lotusphere. It won't work if you don't go play. Everyone gets to be an editor! http://ls2008cult.pbwiki.com/?full_access=sBKGMIyPKI&l=S Go make good things happen, ......
  496. 12/20/2007Northern Collaborative Technologies Recognized by IBM for Second SignalSecond Signal has been named as a Finalist for "Best Industry Solution" in the 2008 Beacon Awards!Second Signalis helping save lives and property by improving response to emergencies by fire departments.Find out more"This is the third time I've been recognized by IBM as a finalist or winner in these prestigious annual awards. This kind of consistent industry recognition is a huge achievement for any sized consulting organization, and an even bigger one for a small one like ours."Andrew Pollack, President ......
  497. 12/19/2007Oh Joy - More snow tonight, tomorrow, and then again this weekend...I like snow, but enough is enough - its only December! We're set up for another 6-10 inches of fresh snow tonight. That will make something like 25-30 inches in the last two weeks. Our winter doesn't usually get started this way. December in Maine is not normally a heavy snow month. Its a few cold days and some warm ones, with January getting really cold and February being our big snow month. No so this year! I'm off to get my stuff together, we're staffing the station again tonight -- the third time this ......
  498. 12/18/2007Quick, call for the Dread Pirate Roberts!Scientists have discovered that there really are ROUS (Rodents Of Unusual Size) living in the jungles of New Guinea. According to this BBS article, "A giant rodent five times the size of a common rat has been ......
  499. 12/17/2007Another Storm, Another Fire, & Driving a Bus in the SnowSome of you who've worked with me have commented that I tend to be very quick to change direction if things aren't going the way I'd planned. I don't marry an idea. I try hard to know when its time to go in another direction. Last night's events are a case in point as to why that's not a bad way to work. This has been a heck of a December for snowfall. I don't think we've seen the front yard uncovered since the beginning. We got another 8 inches of very cold, very dry snow yesterday which was then covered ......
  500. 12/15/2007O.K. I've relented and got rid of the ugly CSS. At least I hope so. You'll have to tell me if this is better. What this has really been all about is an update to the site. Aside from generally cleaning it up, standardizing the fonts, and other such junk, I've built in a bit of a color scheme management feature. I can now create and save color schemes using a form (as in the picture below). Then, in a configuration record for this blog site, I can switch between them using a simple radio button to pick between the defined color schemes. The CSS for this ......
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