Saturday, July 21, 2007

Finally Vacation

With our IBF Portal finally completed, I can finally spend some time away from all the technology and enjoy one of the things that I like to do, hiking. This year instead of going to places like Zion National Park and Grand Canyon, our family went to a place close by that I found out about last year, Pictured Rock National Lakeshore in Michigan, Upper Peninsula. This place has great hiking trails. Weather was pretty good with the exception of Thursday morning which was cloudy, rainy, and extremely wind. I was expecting 80 degree weather but with the wind and rain it was more like 50s. I had to quickly go buy some heavier clothes. I only had shorts and t-shirts. We stayed at Munising which is right next to Pictured Rock. It is a nice small town. The motel we stayed at was Sunset Motel by the Bay. It is a small family run motel that look like nothing but it was clean and very nice. I have been to many fancy and expensive hotels during my many hotels stays. This beat most of them. I was tired of going out for breakfast, lunch and dinner when I was on vacation. So with a full kitchen we could cook when every we wanted to. They also had grills for us to cook outside with all the tools and equipment you needed.

The best of all the motel was right on the Munising Bay which is part of Lake Superior. It had an incredible view. As you can see, there is a reason why it is called Sunset Motel. It had its own private beach. It is the only hotel or motel on the lake.


View from Sunset Motel



Pictured Rock was beautiful with many water falls and beaches. I highly recommend Pictured Rock for hiking and camping. If you want to stay there, I also highly recommend Sunset Motel.




If you are there, take the Pictured Rock boat tour. It is very nice. However, since Lake Superior is a very cold lake be sure to bring heavy clothing. It will get very cold.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Ugly Duckling

It has been a long time since I blogged. It has been a very busy late spring and summer. We are finally completing our IBF Portal module that handles all interactive between a user and the Integrated Business Framework components on the Domino server. For years now Notes has been the "Ugly Duckling" of the IT world and both pro and con Notes users have complained about it. The new Notes 8 interface will bring a great new look and feel that has been lacking for years in the Notes interface. However, the standard version of Notes 8 also has a much heavier hardware requirement especially with Vista. For companies that have older hardware or will not be able to have the necessary hardware soon, they can upgrade to Notes 8 basic but it still has the same interface that everyone complains about.

In the last beta, IBM has done a great job in improving the loading speed of the client but not as fast as the Notes basic client. But the Basic client has an advantage, speed. Since it is smaller and lighter than standard client, it runs faster and load faster even if you have older hardware. Given the size of the standard client it will be interesting how fast the Nomad 8 client will be. USB 2.0 is only so fast. Yes, it is true that the Notes 8 basic client can not provide you access to some of the new capabilities. This is a trade off that most organizations will need to assess in the future.

But not to despair, for current users using 6.5 and 7 and future users of Notes 8 basic, Notes does not need to be a "Ugly Duckling." It takes thinking out of the box and the understanding what Notes can truly do. When developing the IBF Portal, we needed to have an interface that worked not only for large Notes organizations but for small organizations whom might never have used Notes, but was familiar with Microsoft. We wanted an interface that could work with our IBF applications and with applications developed by other organizations. The interface needed to work in a hosted environment and on a local server environment. It had to run well not only in a LAN environment but also on the Web. And here is the results. I will talk more about the techniques and tricks over the course of the next few months.