Monday, December 7, 2009

December 2009 GRANITE Meeting and Holiday Lunch

The December 2009 GRANITE meeting agenda is now posted at the GRANITE web site, www.granite-ug.org. In addition to the two great presentations that we have planned, we will be celebrating the holidays with our annual special holiday lunch, December 14, 2009. If you are a member, the lunch is free. If you are not a member, there is a nominal charge of $15.00 or become a member at $35.00.

We will be covering Lotus Connections 2.5 and also document management in the Domino environment. Hope to see everyone there.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Meeting Don Norman

I have not been blogging regularly still I have been so busy. I am hoping that I can get back into blogging and twittering soon. Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to meet with Don Norman who is retiring from Northwestern University next year. Don focuses on technology and user interaction and is a major guru in the design industry.

As an engineer by background, it has take a few years for me to look at developing applications from the user perspective and not from the view of an engineer or programmer. The focus on user interaction and design is so critical that it can make the difference between winning or losing a project. Case in point, we recently won a project by focusing solely on their business and the needs of the users and how they need to interaction with the application. Lotus should be happy to know that this was another win for Lotus technology, Domino.

As a technologist it is hard but necessary for us to realize that technology is secondary. I see too many times companies emphasising the cool things that the technology can do but that is irrevalent. During the meeting, it was interesting to watch one of the principals from one of the companies who is an engineer to understand the importance of user interaction and perspection. After two hours he still did not get it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quickr Versus Sharepoint Comparsion

Does anyone have a comparsion chart of the features and benefits between Quickr versus Sharepoint. I am visiting a new customer next week. I could not locate anything like that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lotus Foundation Branch Office

Last Thursday I attend the Foundation Branch Office Edition which now
allows me more control over setting up Domino. It has many of the features
that I was looking for over the Start version. However, I was surprise to
find out that I cannot use it with Domino express licenses. This seem
counter intuitive, Foundations that is designed for the small business
market and I cannot use it for small businesses unless they purchase the
Domino enterprise level license. If it is only for enterprises then it
should not be part of the Foundations family.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October GRANITE Lotus User Group Meeting

Since the second Monday of October is always Columbus Day, the October GRANITE meeting is on the third Monday of the month, October 19, 2009. So don't show up next Monday. We a have an exciting couple of presentations including virtualization of your Lotus environment.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ken Burns National Park Documentary

On most PBS stations across the nation, the new Ken Burns documentary, National Parks, America's Best Idea is now playing. I have been to many national parks over the past years and enjoyed it much better than visiting a beach resort for vacation. My family also enjoy very much visiting our national treasures. However, my wife does not like the Civil War battlefields. My goal is to visit as many national parks and locations. I still have many, many more to go. Here is a list of the national parks, monument, forest, battlefields, and places that I have been to. Which ones have you visited.

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace
Antietam
Arches National Park
Badlands (2 times)
Bryce National Park
Canaveral (2 times)
Canyonland National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Carlsbad Canverns National Park
Cayon De Chelly
Chickamauga and Chattanooga
Dayton Aviation Heritage (5 times)
Devils Tower National Monument ( 2 times)
Ellis Island
Fort Laramie
Fort McHenry
Fort Point
Gettysburg National Battlefield
Golden Gate Bridge
Grand Canyon National Park - North Rim
Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim (3 times)
Grand Teton
Harpers Ferry
Indiana Dunes (5 times)
Jewel Cave (2 times)
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Kaibab National Forest
Lake Mead
Mammoth Cave
Manassas National Battlefield (2 times)
Mesa Verde National Park
Mojave
Mount Rushmore (2 times)
Muir Woods (2 times)
Perry's Victory & International Peace
Petrified Forest (2 times)
Petroglyph
Pictured Rocks
Pipestone
Predidio Of San Francisco
Scotts Bluff
Shawnee National Forest
Statue of Liberty
Stones River
Sunset Crater Volcano (2 times)
Washington, DC all the locations there (too many times to count)
White Sands ( 2 times)
Wind Cave (2 times)
Wupatki
Yellowstone National Park
Zion National Park

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Notes 8.5 Course Books Now Available

In addition to training courses for the Lotus Notes 8.5 Standard client, 8.5 Basic client, and iNotes 8.5 client, ReCor now has Lotus Notes 8.5 standard client course books available for purchase online, www.recor.com.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

MWLUG Closing Session Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXN0PkSpRGM

Another Buddha for Ed Brill's Collection

Ed Brill was kind enough to fly all the way back from Australia to deliver the keynote presentation at the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009 a week and a half ago. If you read Ed's blog, you know that Ed purchased and shipped home a 400 pound Buddha from Asia about two years ago. So I decide that as a jester of thanks we could add to his collection. Not shown on the video is his reaction when I pointed to the box suggesting that there was 4 foot Buddha was inside the box for him to carry home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uID5mN8kg_E

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pictures and Video from the MWLUG Conference 2009

After spending the past three days landscaping I finally have a chance to upload my pictures and video from the MWLUG Conference 2009. I still have the video of the closing session to upload. However, Youtube has been giving me problems.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/taishanworks/sets/72157622189276849/

Friday, September 4, 2009

Man versus Nature

This weekend is Labor Day weekend. However, it will not be a weekend of relaxation. I have been task by the higher up to get ridden of a yellow jack nest that is right in front of our front door. It explains why I was stung a few times recently. I was going to wait to the late fall to get rid of them when the queen leaves the nest and the rest die off. However, it is in the way of a major landscaping project required by upper management. I am ready with the fogger spray and protective clothing. Let see who wins, Man or Nature.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Announcing Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2010

As announced in the MWLUG Conference 2009 closing session, the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2010 will be held in Cleveland, Ohio on August 19-20, 2010. I hope to see everyone there.

Monday, August 31, 2009

MWLUG Green Project Revealed

On Thursday, August 27, 2009, we revealed the MWLUG Green Project fixture, "Wings of Collaboration" at the MWLUG Conference 2009. It survived being disassembled, moved, and reassembled in addition to being dropped a few times during the move. We were able to save a bit over 1200 pounds of carbon emissions using collaboration tools to share information including Lotus Notes, Lotus Quickr, and Lotus Sametime. In addition, we used Goggle Docs, Skype, and Mebeam.

The fixture is made from recycled corrugated cardboard that uses corn starch glue, recyclable copper tubing, recycled wood pulp and renewable pine wood, and other materials. The fixture includes 21 different wooden balls that represented the different user groups involved, the different sponsors who were graceous enough to fund this conference and Lotus. The copper tubing interconnected the balls to represent the Lotus community. Each ball is painted with the logos of each organization using non-toxic paint. After the conference, each organization will receive their wooden ball.





We are planning MWLUG Conference 2010 and will be create new challenges a new team of students. We are looking at making the 2010 fixture a contest between different teams from different schools. More information will be coming as we develop our plans.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Recovering from MWLUG 2009 and Summary

It has been a great two days at the MWLUG conference. I could not believe how tired I was after the conference. I actually lost weight. For me this has been a great experience. It took much more of my time than I expected. However, this was a team effort involving IBM staff, other Business Partners, Sponsors, and IBM customers to make it happen.

The volunteers and the staff at the IBM Center in Chicago including Donna Hunter, Alan White, and Joanna Bick were great. Thanks to all the speakers who presented at the conference some of who which came from great distance under bad weather conditions. Thanks to Ed Brill for flying all the way from Australia overnight to present the keynote. I hope he enjoys his Buddha and add it to his collection. Attendance was very good. Almost everyone came. Unfortunately, there was a few that had to leave just when they got to the conference because of emergencies. There were a few who could not make it at all because of issues. It seems like there were many server upgrading going on.

Everything went much smoother than I was expecting. The MWLUG fixture, the "Wings of Collaboration" survived the move. The box was accidentally dropped a few times, but it made it.

Most of the keynote presentation will be available on YouTube soon thanks to Keith Brooks. The first part of unfortunately got cut off.

We were worried about the heavy rains that we were having on Thursday, the day of the architecture boat ride. However, for a period of 4 hours the fog and rain stop and we were fortunate to have a great double-decker bus ride and boat ride. I forgot how low the bridges are. Don't raise your hands when riding on the top of the double-decker bus. If not, you will not have any. It was a bit cool but we took what we could. A bit less than half of the attendees came with us. Most were concerned about the rain and did not come.

Right after the boat ride a few more people joined us at the Hyatt Regency for drinks and food. We also had a couple of party crashers which we kicked out. Everyone was there to about 8:30 PM. They closed the bar and eventually forced us out. Many continued their drinking at the Hyatt bar some way past midnight. Some took the time to visit other events that were going on downtown.

I will be posting pictures and videos of the conference on the MWLUG site sometime this week. If you have pictures or video that you would like to contribute, please send them to me. We will have available many of the presentations on the MWLUG site over the next couple of weeks as we collect them.

Thanks to everyone who attended, the great sponsors, the great speakers, staff at IBM, and volunteers. Everyone is part of the Lotus community and building the Lotus community make everyone a success. See you next year.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

MWLUG Wednesday Dinner

About 20 of us got together last night at the Crown Plaza Hotel for drinks. Everyone had a great time. I met some old faces and some new faces. We met Scott Good and his wife who had other plans that night. Alex Kassabov chose the restaurant at the Greektown area which is next to the Crown Plaza. Pretty go food. I went back with the group that left earlier. I needed some rest for today.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MWLUG Registration is Now Closed

We have now closed registration for the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference. See everyone tomorrow.

MWLUG Conference 2009 Ready to Go

Everything is ready for the MWLUG Conference 2009. It took some effort from many volunteers to put this together. We have a number of social events including the boat tour. I just hope the rain stops and we get some clear skies during the boat ride. It is going to be unusually cool for this time of the year. It is normally 85 to 95 degrees. But it looks like it is going to be 70. Since we will be on Lake Michigan everyone should bring a light jacket and umbrella. We are getting very close to capacity and people are still registering.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009 Social Networking Event

I am please to announce that we have added a new event to the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009. After cruising the Chicago River and Lake Michigan on the architecture boat tour, attendees are invited to join us for the MWLUG Conference 2009 Social Networking Event. It will be held at the Chicago Hyatt Regency from 6:15 PM to 8:15 PM. You will be providing more information on Thursday morning at the conference to all the attendees.

Monday, August 17, 2009

MWLUG Green Project Accident

The design fixture for the MWLUG Conference is almost complete. The team had to redesign the fixture because the design could not hold the weight of the structure. I had to put on my old engineering hat and help the team redesign the frame of the fixture. However, in doing so we had an accident that was almost disastrous. The redesign required replacing certain parts of the fixture with bigger components. During the replacement process we had to solder on new components. Even thought we were extremely careful and covered the entire area with aluminum foil, a slip of the propane torch by yours truly set the fixture on fire. Luckily the material does not burn that easily and we were able to put out the fire. If not, all we had to show at the conference was a few sticks and tubing.

North Shore History Bike Tour Blogs Delayed

I started a series of blogs covering my North Shore bike tour many weeks ago. I have not gotten back to it because I burned out the bearings and cone on my front wheel and have not had a chance to revisit the locations so that I wanted to take more pictures of. I will get back on this after the MWLUG Conference. I am waiting for a new parts so I can fix my bike. This is the second time something has broken on my bike this year. I am about 65% to my goal of 1000 miles for the summer. I got a lot of more pedaling to do before the summer is over. Of course all the rain we are having in Chicago does not help.

Guest Pass for the MWLUG Chicago River and Lake Michigan Architecture Tour

Everything is coming together for the MWLUG conference 2009. The efforts of many individuals from the different user groups have made this possible. We have a number of activities planned for this conference in addition to the boat tour. If you are coming to the MWLUG Conference 2009 next week and are planning to bring your family or friend with you to Chicago, we have guest tickets for the boat tour available. Please email me and let me know how many tickets you need so that we can have created them ahead of time. Your guests will need to meet us at the boat dock before 4:00 PM. We will have instructions and maps at the registration desk. The boat tour starts at 4:30 PM and will last to 6:00 PM. The discounted tickets are $15.00/person and will be available for purchase at the MWLUG registration desk. Please bring a check or exact cash.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back from VMware User Group Conference

I spent the end of last week at the Midwest Demo Day VMware User Group Conference in Indianapolis. It was refreshing to learning more about VMware and vendors products. I am impressed so far with what VMware does. We just completed switching one customer to our new VMware infrastructure.If you are using VMware, you should look at Veeam. They provide a series of administration tools at no cost. With ESXi and tools from Veeam you can be virtualizing and managing your server environment at no cost for the tools.

MWLUG Notes/Domino 8.5 Upgrade Workshop is Full

Registration for the MWLUG Notes/Domino 8.5 Upgrade Workshop is now closed. We have filled up the workshop and then some.

Friday, July 31, 2009

HTTPS Security Implementation Flaws

During the Black Hat security conference, Moxie Marlinspike, announced a major security issue with the implementation of https and SSL. The link to the Information Week article is below. Therefore, I ask how secure is the Domino https implementation. For you security experts, are there best practices that are published for implementing a Domino web site with https?

Bombshell From Black Hat: Almost All Implementations Of SSL Are Configured To Give Up Everything

Thursday, July 30, 2009

MWLUG Conference 2009 Agenda is Now Posted

MWLUG Conference 2009 Agenda is posted on the MWLUG Conference 2009 web site. In addition to the 24 sessions that we have planned, there is a two day pre-conference Notes/Domino 8.5 upgrade workshop, plus a number of other activities that we have planned. For the agenda you can go to http://www.mwlug.com/mwlug/mwlug.nsf/fagendaView?openView.

We will have the PDF version available very soon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Announcing the MWLUG Donation Sponsorship Program

Whether you are a Lotus customer, IBM Business Partner, or an IBM staff member, the Lotus community is you. Lotus user groups throughout the world play a key role in educating and evangelizing the Lotus community about Lotus products and services, best practices, and providing a network to collaborate. Lotus user groups are made possible by dedicated Lotus professionals like yourself.

We had an incredible response from the Business Partner community in sponsoring the MWLUG conference. There were many companies who were interested that we were not able to accommodate because of space limitations.

However, we are happy to announce the MWLUG Donation Sponsorship. We have two new programs for IBM Business Partners that are now available to help support the participating user groups of this conference. All proceeds for this sponsorship will go directly to the participating user groups to help run their meetings. So whether you are a small business partner or a Premier IBM Business Partner, this program gives you the opportunity for your company to be in front of the Lotus community.

To learn more please click on the link below.

http://www.mwlug.com/mwlug/mwlug.nsf/donationSponsorship?openPage

Historical Bike Tour Part 1: Great Lakes Naval Station

This weekend I did about 90 miles on the bike. I went on both the Green Bay and Skokie Valley bike trail. The Green Bay trail took me up to North Chicago. It follows along the Chicago Northwestern line which is now the Union Pacific and travels through the North Shore communities that border along Lake Michigan. Fort Sheridan that I discussed last week is among these towns.

Geoffrey Baer does a incredible series of videos for WTTW here in Chicago about the different towns. Since I am traveling back and forth on this trail, I thought I should do a series of history blogs about these towns similar to what Geoffrey has done on video. So here is first of a series of many North Shore History by Bike blogs. The towns that I will be covering are Great Lakes, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Fort Sheridan, Highwood, Highland Park, Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette, and last Evanston home of Northwestern University and Taishan Works.

Great Lakes
Great Lakes is the home of Great Lakes Naval Station. It is beautiful inside. In my past life I had visited a few times. It is the United States Navy's Headquarters Command for training. It is the largest military installation in Illinois and the largest training center in the Navy. The base has 1,153 buildings situated on 1,628 acres (6.59 km2) and has 50 miles (80 km) of roadway to provide access to the base's facilities.

Buildings at the Great Lakes Naval Station is part of National Register of Historic Places. As part of their training, at the Great Lakes Naval Station they have a mockup of a ship where recruits also must navigate a darkened, smoke-filled ship compartment damaged by a faked terrorist attack. This training scenario was inspired by the 2000 bombing of the destroyer Cole.





It is very common to see naval recruits on the weekends traveling on the Union Pacific to downtown Chicago. The Great Lakes train station is right across the street from the gate entrance. One thing unique about the Union Pacific North line is that it follow the English approach where the tracks are opposite. So if you ever use this train line be careful on which platform to wait for the train.

MWLUG Pre-Conference Domino 8.5 Upgrade Workshop

The MWLUG Pre-Conference Notes/Domino 8.5 Upgrade Workshop that is being held from August 25-26 is almost full. If you are interested in attending this workshop please register as soon as possible, http://www.mwlug.com. This workshop is available first come first serve so don't procrastinate.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chicago Flex User Group

If you are interested in Flex, there is a Chicago Flex User Group meeting tonight. For more information go to:

http://www.chicagoflex.org/

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Announcing MWLUG Conference 2009 Sessions and Speakers

The MWLUG Conference 2009 is turning out to be an incredible conference. We plan to have 27 sessions covering administration and infrastructure, application development, and business development. We will have sessions ranging from UI interface design with Chris Blatnick, BES management with John Wargo to business case studies that will be presented by Lotus customers. For business partners who are involved with Lotus Foundations we have an entire session devoted on marketing Lotus Foundations in the mist of cloud computing. We are still finalizing a few additional sessions. Hats off to the MWLUG Session Committee who has help make this possible.

MWLUG Conference 2009 Sessions

MWLUG Conference 2009 Speakers

The two day conference is packed from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day with sessions and fun. The two day session will be kicked off by a keynote presentation by Ed Brill.

If you are planning to come, please register online since we need to have a head count for the Chicago River and Lake Michigan boat ride on Thursday. On site registration will be accepted, but we will accept checks only, no credit card.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kudos to CBS News for Covering the Historical Moment

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. As a space enthusiast I have been fortunate to see Neil Armstrong a couple of years ago at Lotusphere plus meet and shake hands with Eugene Cernan who was the last man to be on the moon. This morning CBS News devoted an entire 30 minutes to this historical event. NBC did a 5 minute piece, but ABC really ticked me off. I guess that feel that a new show with David Cassidy was more important than one of the most important event of mankind. Thanks CBS.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Riding to Fort Sheridan

It was a messy morning where I saw a woman backed her car right into my car as I was coming out of a store. It going to be a few thousand dollars of damage. It will not cost me anything since it was her fault but it is a pain having to get my car fixed.


It was a nice and cool day so to get out my frustrations I took a long bike ride up to Fort Sheridan. It very nice biking around over there. They have done a very nice job transforming the former military base into residential housing and a forest preserve. The Army Reserve still have part of the base. Most of the old barracks and housing have been converted to condos and very expense homes. They have some nice nature trails that including one that takes you down to the lake where there is still one gun emplacement that was used for training during World War II. Something that most people do not know is that there use to be a airfield at Fort Sheridan. When I use to live in Highland Park, we would go to Fort Sheridan for the July 4th fireworks and all the fireworks were done on the airfield. They fired live howitzers along with the fireworks accompanied by the 1812 Overture. It was very nice.


Fort Sheridan is named for Phil Sheridan, an important Civil War general. They built the fort after the Hay Market riots in 1886, because the rich businessmen, The Commercial Club of Chicago, wanted a Federal Army presents to protect their interest. It was originally called Camp Highwood and later renamed Fort Sheridan. Troops stationed at Fort Sheridan were used in 1894 to quell labor unrest during the Pullman Strike.


Friday, July 17, 2009

My Office Brought to You By Lotus Yellow


This morning as I was riding my bike to work around the lakefront and received a number of messages that I needed to address immediately. The signal along the lake is spotty. So the took out my T41 and did all my work disconnected with my Lotus Notes applications that I had on my laptop plus I made a few changes to the design of the MWLUG conference application that I had a local replica on my laptop. When I got a better signal a little later I replicated everything and everyone is happy. As a result, my contacts did not have to wait for me to get to my office and then make the changes. Remember, time is money.

Microsoft and Google. That is the power of Lotus technology.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Final MWLUG Signage Fixture Design Complete

The MWLUG Green Project team have completed the final design of the signage fixture for the MWLUG Conference 2009. The next task is to build the fixture using the selected materials. We had a bit of problem trying to get the materials that we needed. The minimum lot size of our main material, X-board, that we were required to purchase was incredibility large, 100 sheets which would have been $8,000.00. Therefore, we had to find alternative materials that would replace the X-board. The total cost of the new material is about $50.00. If I had it my way, it would have been free. All the materials for the fixture are manufactured within the United States or locally here in Chicagoland area. It will be made from materials that have been recycled, is renewable, or can be recycled. The replacement material uses glue made from corn starch grown in the Midwest. Since the materials are purchased all locally, we saved a significant amount of carbon emission required for shipping. We will unveil the MWLUG Conference fixture on August 27 at the conference. So if you would like to know how the final fixture looks like come to the MWLUG conference.

MWLUG Conference 2009 Abstract Selection

We have a great line up of presentations for the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference. Submitters will be notified starting today on whether they have been selected. So look forward soon for a list of great presentations that we are having for this unique conference put together by the collaboration of many Lotus user groups. So sign up for this conference soon. The cost of the conference is $35.00 with all the admission fees collected going towards support the participating Lotus user groups in their operation.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Cardinals are Back

I don't mean the St. Louis Cardinals, I am from the north side of Chicago, so I am a Cubs fan regardless of whether they win or lose. There is always next year. Maybe in 2100 they will win. Of course, I will have to watch that from heaven.

For many years now I have not seen cardinals, the state bird of Illinois, in our area. However, over the past year it seems that I have been seeing more and more cardinals which are beautifully red. Today is gorgeous so I rode for 25 miles from my home to Highland Park, IL and then to Evanston, IL and back on the Green Bay bike trail. On the trail I saw cardinals five different times. The Green Bay bike trail is a very nice trail that takes you all the way up to North Chicago. In fact you can start from the south side of Chicago and bike along the trails next to Lake Michigan and connected to the Green Bay trail. From North Chicago you can go to Kenosha, WI and connect up towards Green Bay, WI. Unfortunately, from North Chicago to Kenosha it is a bit rough and dangerous because of the roads.

It is the first time I had a chance to ride a longer distance. I kept getting flat tires. So after 5 flat tires, I finally got a professional to take a look at it. It seems that the plastic rim strip that covers the spokes had an edge that was sticking out and each time I replaced my inner tube and started riding, the tube would get another puncture.

Friday, July 10, 2009

It is All About the Interface, Baby !

Lotus Notes is now prettier with the Eclipse wrapper, but making a functional user interface is not about looking pretty. Google's interface for their applications is not as pretty as Lotus Notes. It is simple but logical. Though Lotus Notes now has a nicer looking interface it still has things that are not logical and layout incorrectly for the end user. For example is contact synchronization. You would thing that if you have to synchronize your contacts with your blackberry or other mobile device that you would go to your contact database and there would be a button or link to click on to start the process. That would be the most intuitive approach. But NO!!!! In 8.02 you need to go to your mail file. I understand the reason it is done that way, but come on it is not that hard to have a button in the contact database to start the process. Same thing in Notes 8.5, if you need to go to the replication page if you need to force a contacts synchronization. These are the little things that drives users against a product. Remember C-level executive are end-users.

Midwest Demo Day Area VMware User Group

The Midwest Demo Day Area VMware User Group Conference is on August 6, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. If you are interested in using VMware in your Lotus environment come and attend the all day event. It is free to sign up.

http://campaign.vmware.com/usergroup/invites/MidwestDemoDays_8-6-09.html

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

MWLUG Exhibitor Sponsorship is Closed

We have closed exhibitor sponsorship for the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference. We had incredible response from the IBM Business Partner Community. Due to space constraints we are limited to the number of sponsors that we can have. We have a number of business partners who are on the waiting list in case. We will be opening our MWLUG Donation Sponsorship beginning next week. We will provide information about that soon. Thanks everyone for your support and make sure you register for the conference.

Introducing UX Pages and the DLEX Project

As I was building the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference web site, I became more and more frustrated with what is required in developing a web site on the Domino platform. It is always becomes a cluge of multiple programming techniques, pass thru HTML, and hacks that is required to build a web page in Domino. Not very elegant. I believe it is one of the main factors why more Web sites are not running Domino as the backend considering the great security features of Domino.

The new XPages features of Domino 8.5 really adds new capabilities to create Web 2.0 applications. However, if you currently have existing applications you will need to modify them significantly in some cases to make it work. In addition, your application must run on a Domino 8.5 server and you must have Designer 8.5. Since I have a T41 with only 1.25 Gbytes of memory, I was not going to run Designer 8.5. I tested it once and that was enough. Also, I needed users who do not have knowledge of Domino development to update the content. IBM XPages require users to have experience as Domino application developers in order to build an application.

I looked into using one of the CMS that were available on openNTF but I did not like them. I kept thinking that there must be a better way of creating a web site in Domino. I have been working with Adobe Flex on and off for the past few months. In this environment, a web application is defined by XML declarations of the UI interface as show below:



Therefore, I was wondering whether I could represent a Domino web page also using XML declarations. XPages in fact does a very similar thing. So I decided to create my own XML declaration environment called UX Pages. It would mimic the Flex approach

After many trials and dead ends. I have completed the first version of the UX Pages engine, DLEX. It is very crude, but functional. In the UX environment an entire web page is defined by XML declarations. Like Adobe Flex, there are UX control components like labels and buttons, UX containers, UX navigators, and UX special containers. Currently, the fidelity of the UX components are minimal. The goal is to expand the capabilities of the components over time. Shown below is a sample UX Pages code that represents the sample web page that I quickly created . It was suppose to have been a sponsor site for the MWLUG conference, but I did not have enough time. It demonstrates a number of containers and controls that I have created. Each control or containers have properties and methods.



The DLEX compiler converts the UX XML into standard HTML and CSS. When you open the web site, the DLEX engine displays the web pages using Domino web agents. The DLEX compiler uses a recursive routine so you can have UX controls and containers within each other. I wrote the entire DLEX engine in Lotuscript since I am not very good at Java.

DLEX should work on Domino R5 server and higher. I can only create static web pages at this time. The next goal is to add the ability to read and submit Domino data from within the UX framework. The goal after that is to create UX datagrid containers and list controls that would be used to list data. How Ajax, Dojo, and JQuery plays into the whole thing, I have no idea at this time. I do not know how scalable this whole thing is. However, it works fine for the web sites that I am developing which are mostly for small organizations. After I improve the fidelity of the controls, I will recode the ReCor and Taishan Works web site which are due for a major overhaul using the DLEX engine.

If you would like to see the demo code from above in action go to:
http://twhost01.taishanworks.com/mwlug/sponsorhandbook.nsf

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Eliminating Carbon Emissions using Online Collaboration Technologies

One of the major goals of the MWLUG Green Project is to carefully track the amount of carbon emissions that the team saved from being emitted into the atmosphere by using online collaboration tools like Lotus Quickr during the design process. We used a variety of online collaboration tools including video conference, instant messaging, file sharing, and online meeting. We calculate the amount of carbon emissions that was eliminated based on the carbon emission footprint of each car driven by the team and the distance that they would have traveled to meet.

Every week, we provide an update on the MWLUG Green Project site http://mwluggreenproject.blogspot.com on the amount of carbon emissions that was eliminiated by using online collaboration tools. So far as of July 2, 2009 we have eliminated 851 lbs of carbon emissions that would otherwise have been emitted.

If you would like to determine the carbon emissions of your own vehicle you can go to this site to calculate your emission.

http://www.terrapass.com/carbon-footprint-calculator/

MWLUG Conference 3-D Design Models

The MWLUG Green Project team have completed their 3-D design models of the MWLUG conference fixture. The final design is getting very close and should resemble one of the models or a combination of the three models that they have built. If you would like to see how the current models look like you visit the MWLUG Green Project at:

http://mwluggreenproject.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Still Time to Submit Your MWLUG Presentation Abstract

Didn't get a chance to present at Lotusphere or other conferences? Want to share your Lotus knowledge with others. Join us along with other speakers like Ed Brill and John Head and present at the premier Lotus user group conference. There is still time to submit your presentation abstract for the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference.

Also PLEASE NOTE if you submitted your abstract and did not get a confirmation email from us make sure you resubmit your abstract. We unfortunately had problems with a few submissions.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Final Designs for MWLUG Fixture

The MWLUG Green Project have settled on the final few designs for the conference fixture. The next step is to determine whether these designs can be built using the materials that have been designated by the team as eco-friendly. There is some physics that need to be overcome on some of the designs. The team this week will create 3-D models of the fixture and determine the best approach.

Take a look and express your opinion.

http://mwluggreenproject.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Flat Tire Again !

I cannot believe it, but I got another flat tire on my bike this morning going to work. I just replaced the inner tube before I started this morning. Luckily, it happened on the Northwestern University Campus so it was only a mile walk to my office. I patched it up and hope it holds until I get home. If not it maybe a long walk home.

Announcing MWLUG Conference 2009 Special Event

Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with a skyline next to none. Its architecture is world class. It took awhile to coordinate, but we are happy to announce that as part of the MWLUG Conference 2009 special event, attendees will be treated to an architecture boat tour of the Chicago river and Lake Michigan on Thursday, August 27. This event is made possible by the generosity of our MWLUG Conference sponsors.

We will embark from the IBM Center after the first day of sessions and workshops to the Wrigley Building by trolley where we have reserved one of the largest architecture tour boats. Below is a brief description of the 1.5 hour Lakefront and Chicago River Tour.

There is limited seating so make sure you register for the conference as soon as possible. If you are coming with your family to the conference, there is also a limited number of seats that attendees can purchase at a specially reduced price for your family members.

Wendella 90-Minute Combined Lake and River Tour
Chicago's most comprehensive boat tour. Our signature tour of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River includes a trip through the Chicago Lock and a live narration featuring an overview of architecture and history.

Many guests who took this tour with their parents return years later with children and grandchildren of their own; each new generation creating new family memories. And while Chicago's skyline has evolved over the years, Wendella continues to provide unique perspectives of the magnificent buildings and architecture along the Chicago River before venturing out to Lake Michigan where guests are treated to a rich view of the entire skyline.

The Combined Lake and River Tour is perfect for anyone interested in spending quality time with family, friends, colleagues or others who have an interest in Chicago's rich culture and history.

New book on Blackberry Application Development

If you are interested in developing applications for the Blackberry mobile environment there is a great new book coming out from my friend, John Wargo. You can find more information about this book at:

www.bbdevfundamentals.com

Amazon is now accepting pre-orders for this book.

http://www.amazon.com/BlackBerry-Development-Fundamentals-John-Wargo/dp/0321647424/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245681202&sr=8-1

Monday, June 22, 2009

Announcing MWLUG Conference 2009 Keynote Speaker, Ed Brill

We are please to announce that Ed Brill will be the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009 keynote speaker. He will be leading a list of many great speakers that we are lining up for this unique two-day conference.

Friday, June 19, 2009

MWLUG Conference Abstract Submission Alert

If you are interested in submitting a presentation abstract for the MWLUG Conference 2009, you can use the MWLUG web site to submit your abstract. You should receive a confirmation email back to you that we have received the abstract.

IF YOU DID NOT receive a confirmation email, please send it again. There has been a few of times which we have received a blank submission.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Update to the MWLUG Conference Green Project

Last Monday, the MWLUG Green Project team was able to get a chance to visit the IBM Center in Chicago as part of our GRANITE Lotus User Group June meeting. It gave the team a chance to view the IBM Center in person so that they had a better idea of the surroundings as they develop their designs. Here is a more detailed description of their thoughts and visit.

http://mwluggreenproject.blogspot.com/2009/06/ibm-innovation-center-visit.html#comments

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Lotus Notes 8.5 Training CBT Now Available

ReCor has released their new LearningDocs for Lotus Notes 8.5 training course which includes a whole of new content and features including the expansion of the curriculum designer to include the quick reference cards in the LearningDocs Administrator. Their course books for Lotus Quickr 8.1 will be available also on Monday from lulu.com.

LearningDocs for Lotus Notes 8.5

Sunday, June 7, 2009

MWLUG Green Project Update

The industrial design interns are on schedule for the MWLUG Green Project. On Friday we had our first video conference call since every team member was in a different location.

Visitors to the site will soon be able to track the amount of carbon emissions that was saved using collaboration technology. We were able to accomplished a number of goals. They were able to complete the materials matrix and provide a number of preliminary concept sketches, some which hold promise. If you would like to see the sketches and materials go to: MWLUG Conference 2009 Green Project.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Day Full of Crap

Literally it was full of crap. Last night the toilets in our house start making weird noises and then sewage started coming up the showers and drains. I knew then we had a major problem. I spent the night cleaning up and with no working showers and toilets we went into camping mode. Finally this afternoon, the plumbers arrived after waiting for 8 hours. After they rodded out the sewer pipe we found out the previous owners planted a tree right on top of the sewer line. We can guess what would happen after many years. Sewer line was rooted with tree roots. Lucky the financial damage was not too bad. I spent the rest of the days sterilizing everything.

Monday, June 1, 2009

MWLUG Conference 2009 Registration Back Online

The MWLUG Conference 2009 registration process is back online. Event Brite was having hosting problems. Technology, it works great when it works, but when it breaks it all goes to hell.

MWLUG Conference 2009 Registration Problem

Registration for the MWLUG Conference 2009 is temporary on hold due to problems at Event Brite. Unfortunately, Event Brite host is down.

Midwest Lotus User Group Conference Registration Link

Forgot, here is the link to register for the MWLUG Conference 2009.

registration link

Midwest Lotus User Group Conference Registration is Now Open

The registration for the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009 is now open. The registration includes sign up for the pre-conference two-day Domino 8.5 Upgrade workshop that will be held on August 25-26, 2009. This workshop is limited to the first 30 attendees who sign up for this workshop as part of this conference.

Here is the link to register for the MWLUG Conference 2009.

registration link

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why it would be hard to go back to the Corporate World

Today is a beautiful spring day in Chicago.




It has been 18 years since I left the corporate world. Of course, I am dating myself. It has its ups and downs being on my own. There have been years when we did extremely well and years in which it was a nightmare. My parents thought I was nuts to run my own business, but after many years in the corporate world I was tired of the bureaucracy and incompetents. Even with all its ups and downs, it has been a wondeful experience so far.






There will be ups and downs in the future, but today as I biked to our office in shorts and have yogurt on the shores of Lake Michigan, I thought about what was really important. It is not about the fancy house or car, but having a wonderful family and a job that you enjoy. If I was in the corporate world, I would not be able to come into work in shorts and a t-shirt at odd hours or be with the family as often as I like. Yes, I work many hours each day, but I set the schedule. Oh yes, there is that call or emails from customers at 4:30 AM in the morning, but life is not perfect.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Windows 2003 64bit Terminal Server and Notes 8.5 Basic client

I know this is not supported, but has anyone try using Notes 8.5 Basic client with Windows 2003 64bit Terminal Server.

Midwest Area Lotus User Group at LinkedIn

We have created a new LinkedIn group in conjunction to the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009. Our goal is to continue the collaboration between Lotus professionals in the Midwest Region of the United States even after the conference is over with. If you are interested in joining here is the link.

Midwest Area Lotus User Group at LinkedIn

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Presenting at the June 8th GRANITE Lotus User Group Meeting

I will be presenting at the next GRANITE Lotus User Group meeting, June 8, 2009, on the topic of resurfacing UI interfaces of Domino applications using with Adobe Flex. My friend David Charney from Illumen Group will also present on Understanding the Basics of UI Design. In addition, there hopefully will be a presentation on best practices of virtualizing your Domino and Lotus environments.

Announcing the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference Green Project

The Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009 Green Project focuses on the development of signage and fixtures for the conference using designs that incorporate recyclable and renewable materials. This site follows the progress of the design team comprised of Industrial Design students from the University of Illinois and staff from Illumen Group and Phora Group. The final design and fixture will be unveiled at the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009, August 27-28, 2009.

To follow the progress of the Industrial Design students on developing their design go to: Midwest Lotus User Group Conference Green Project

or

you can access it from the main MWLUG Conference 2009 site.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pubs Endangered in UK

Interested article about pubs in the UK.

Pub Link

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rich Internet Application Conference

Last Friday was the second annual RIApalooza conference here in Chicago which I attended. It is run by a number of Chicago user groups including Adobe User Group and Flex User Group. They did a great job. Hats off to Correy Miller from Magenic for a great presentation on applying UX principles in developing applications. All the food was provided by Microsoft.

There are now great tools out there to create Rich Internet Applications (RIA) including Adobe Flash and Flex and Microsoft Silverlight. Google now is starting to roll out their toolkit. However, one audience asked about IBM's contribution to providing development tools and support for Rich Internet Applications. The only mentioned was the Expeditor platform that most attendees have not hear of or disliked because of how big and bulky it is compared to Adobe's and Microsoft's solution. Unfortunately, the perception is that IBM does not seem to be involved in RIA at all.

It then hit me, what is IBM's strategy when it comes to RIA. It seems to be everywhere. There is Websphere Portal with it tools, now XPages for Domino and we have Lotus Expeditor which includes the Notes 8 client of which the development for the Lotus Notes 8 client seems fragmentated. There must be others that I missed. The question that I raise, will Xpages become the coherent toolset similar to how Adobe Flex and Microsoft Silverlight has become. It seems that IBM needs to have one consistence tool that developers can use throughout all the different development platforms. In addition, that tool needs to work with open source back-ends. If IBM is interested in expanding it presents in the cloud computing and internet social environment, they need to start marketing to this crowd most of which really do not have idea what IBM is doing. If Lotus represents the user facing part of IBM, it need to move forward quickly to be seen as the provider of cutting edge RIA solutions for developers.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Domino Web Pages and Blackberry Bold

I got my new Blackberry Bold this week. It is great. However, there is one problem I that cannot seem to resolve. Web pages from a Domino server that has the home page defined using Internet Site Document will not show up on the Blackberry Bold browser and I get "connection refused." On my old 8700c this was a not problem. If I type in the URL directly, I can display the web page. Has anyone encountered this problem?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Those Damn NRPCs

Since Notes is a client server solution it generates a significant amount of NRPC calls between the Notes client and the Domino server. Thousands of NRPCs are created during simple actions like searches and lookups. If you are developing Notes client applications that are used only inside your LAN you will never notice this because the NRPCs are quickly processed. However, if you are accessing the Domino server through the Web, the time to process the NRPCs grows exponentially as packet jumps from router to router. What took less then a second on your LAN could take minutes or longer. One way to reduce the delay cause by NRPCs is to process as much of your transactions using RunOnServer agents.

For our applications, we package everything as XML and process the XML using RunOnServer agents and return the response as XML which is then process on the Notes client using string manipulation which is very fast. From the response XML, we then populate the form. Therefore, there is separation between the data and form. In theory this should keep the NRPCs to a minimum.

I was on-site at our customers working with them to modify a project management tool that we developed. Since most of the users do not reside in the office where the server is located we spend a significant amount of time creating RunOnServer agents to handle the majority of the transactions. We also spent a significant amount of time on the UI to make the experience pleasant for the user. However, even with all this effort the NRPCs continue to bite us and each transaction is slower then it should be. The problem that I have discovered is that the field population process itself like:

doc.fieldName = "hello"

generates NRPCs though everything should be processing on the Notes client. This was very frustrating.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Quickr 8.1 Course and Books

ReCor has just release their new Quickr 8.1 course. It is in-depth course that covers both using and managing Quickr places plus using the Quickr connectors. Also available soon are the Quickr 8.1 LearningDocs course books and quick reference cards, www.recor.com

Monday, April 27, 2009

It is that time of year in Chicago

Spring in Chicago can be a challenge. One minute it is 70 degrees and sunny and the next it can be rain 39 degrees and windy or snowing. So far this year the spring weather has been up and down, up and down. On Saturday it was nice and warm at 70 degress in the morning when I left to go to my office. When I came out it was thundering, raining with a 40 mph wind gush and it was 39 degrees. Thought I have live here most of the life (except when I was working Washington DC for 4 months), I was naive enough to think it would stay warm and had only a T-shirt on. This definitely does not help me recover from by sinus infection that I have had over the past couple of days.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Minnesota Lotus User Group joins the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009

I happy to announce that the Minnesota Lotus User Group is participating in the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009. We now have seven Lotus user groups participating in this event in Chicago on August 27-28 including:

  • Central Ohio Notes/Domino User's Group

  • GRANITE Lotus User Group

  • Northeast Ohio Lotus User Group

  • Northeast Wisconsin Lotus User Group

  • Southern Wisconsin Lotus User Group

  • West Michigan Lotus User Group
  • Monday, April 20, 2009

    Announcement - Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009 Site is Online

    After 14 months in the making, the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009 site is now online. The conference will be held in Chicago on August 27-28, 2009. The Midwest Lotus User Group Conference is made possible by the collaboration and cooperation of many Lotus user groups throughout the Midwest including:

    • Central Ohio Notes/Domino User's Group

    • GRANITE Lotus User Group

    • Northeast Ohio Lotus User Group

    • Northeast Wisconsin Lotus User Group

    • Southern Wisconsin Lotus User Group

    • West Michigan Lotus User Group



    Our goal is provide great in-depth technical sessions and workshops presented by your peers, promote awareness of Lotus user groups, and provide a venue for Lotus professionals to collaborate and network.

    For more information, go to www.mwlug.com. Registration for this conference will open on June 1, 2009.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    GRANITE Lotus User Group Meeting - April 20th

    Come join us at our next GRANITE Lotus User Group meeting on April 20th. We have two great technical sessions for both developers and administrators. We will have a session on XPages programming and Sametime administration and best practices. I would like to thank IBM and PSC Group for presenting. I hope to see you all there.

    Friday, April 3, 2009

    UI Design and Rich Internet Applications

    If you are interested in rich internet applications or want to learn more about User Interface design, the second annual RIApalooza is being held in Chicago on May 8, 2009. If you want more information, go to http://riapalooza.com. It is cheap, $20.00 for an all day event. If you are coming let me know. I will be there.

    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Creating Composite Application with Care

    A big part of Notes 8 has been the ability to create and run composite applications. Regardless on how you create composite applications whether the IBM way or Richard's way, you need to really understand the audience that you are developing the application for before you venture into composite applications. Composite applications are great in tying different components together to create a visual relationship between data. For the Notes 8 client this can be done by displaying different components in different frames that are linked together.

    However, this is not always the best way of displaying the information. For example, netbooks are now very popular with a number of sales staff that we have been working with. The typical screen resolution of netbooks are 1024 x 576 much shorter that the typical laptop with 1024 x 768. Therefore, screen real estate is very precious. As the results, composite applications like the Lead Manager composite application example from IBM becomes discouraging to use as shown below. The more framed windows, the less space you have to work with visually.

    With limited space you need to carefully design the layout of the application to maximize the space usage. You need to consider other techniques like using a form or page as a composite tool to bring data together from different sources and display the information in a single form or page. The form becomes the display tool not the data source.

    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    I have been Flexed, a New Adventure in UI Design

    Over the past couple of months I have been optimizing our IBF 3.0 technology to develop applications. One of the goals of the project is to develop Notes applications with an interface design that is effective for users, especially small business users. The design team and myself have gone through a number of different designs understanding the limitations of the Lotus Notes Basic client. I thought about designing just for the Lotus Notes standard client, but I do not like it because it is big, slow, and the UI is buggy. As many who know me, I would have preferred that IBM revamped the Basic client rather than go with the an Eclipse framework. I understand why IBM went with the Eclipse framework, my I still do not like it. I am a proponent of small and lite clients. The Lotus Notes Basic client is much leaner and faster, but the UI and controlling it even with all the tricks that I and others like Chris Blatnick and Nathan Freeman has come up with is still lacking. This is especially important since we are developing commercial products that are marketed to small businesses. Each time we ran into design issues that stopped us because of known bugs or design deficities that has never been fixed some of which have been there since Notes 5 and 6. I remember asking IBM at the Ask the Developer session at Lotusphere when the CSS problems would be fixed and the response was in the next version (Notes 7). Well if is still there even in Notes 8!

    With XPages as the new buzz word, we thought about developing our applications as a pure Web solution. However, the response is not there and we still wanted the ability to have offline capability and start off it as an application like we have in the Notes client.

    Therefore, after researching different RIAs we have decided to try creating an Domino RIA application using Adobe Flex. The combination of Flex and AIR hoping will give us what we have been looking for. It might be a dead end, but from all the research that I have done it may provide 90 to 95% of what we need.

    Would this replace the Lotus Notes client, I seriously doubt it. After this exercise, we might be back to the Notes client again. Programming and experimentation many times results in dead ends.

    If you are interested in Flex with Domino there are some good blogs on this subject. So far I have found these blogs on Flex and Domino very helpful. If there are others, let me know.

    Angel Figueroa and Mark Ambler
    http://flexingdomino.blogspot.com/

    Jake Howlett
    http://www.codestore.net/store.nsf/blog/

    There is also a list of videos on Flex from Adobe. I would like to thank Mark Myers for the link.
    http://sessions.adobe.com/FlexInAWeek/feed.xml

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    Balsamiq Mockups is Cool

    Over the next few months I will be involved in a number of Notes application projects that will require design interfaces for our clients. I usually sketch out the interface using paper and pencil and then scan it in and store it in a file.

    I read Daniele Vistalli's blog about "Website designs for lazy developers." He mentioned in his blog about the tool Balsamiq Mockups. I downloaded and tested it out. It is great. It will save me a lot of time.

    With Balsamiq Mockups I can quickly create it and store it as a file and make changes to the UI design with the client on the fly. Thanks Daniele for the blog. It is also very cheap at $79.00.

    I just recommended this product to a few other designers that I work with.

    Friday, March 6, 2009

    Using Icons in your Notes Application

    We are currently working on a new interface for our IBF-based product line and our graphics team sent me this link that I would like to share with everyone. It is blog entry about using icons on your web site. However, it can easily be applied to creating interfaces for Notes client applications (both the standard and basic).

    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/03/how-to-use-icons-to-support-content-in-web-design/

    Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    Lotus for Small Businesses LinkedIn Group is Online

    At Lotusphere 2009, a number of business partners including myself were discussing how BPs who focus solely on the small business market ( small not medium) can collaborate and discuss our needs which is different from BPs who focus on the mid-market and enterprise. Bernie Leung from Mesa Technologies suggested that we start a LinkedIn group as a starter. I also have many others ideas. The new "Lotus for Small Businesses" LinkedIn group is now online. If you are a BP that focuses on the small business market come join our group.

    http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=1775798

    Friday, January 23, 2009

    Lotusphere 2009 Decompression

    Today was the first day to relax and decompress after a week of intense 14 to 16 hour days. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend many sessions with booth duty and meetings that I had with IBM. I finally can get more than four hours of sleep per day.

    One of the great things about Lotusphere that I enjoy every year is meeting the developers face-to-face. The opportunity to talk to them is worth the cost of the event. I was able to also meet with other BPs and customers that I have communicated by email or phone. Some of the customers came as far as Australia and South Africa. It was great to see them face-to-face. Lotusphere is definitely as global event.

    One important announcement at Lotusphere 2009 for Taishan Works is the new Branch Office version of Lotus Foundations. I have been asking this for a long time and I am glad it is finally coming. Lotus Foundations will finally meet my minimum specifications.

    One great session that I was able to attend was Lance Spellman's Jump Start session on Dojomino. They are doing a great job. I did not get a chance to attend sessions on Xpages. I figure that there will be more discussions on this topic in the future.

    I was frustrated by some of the arrangement that they did at Lotusphere. For exhibitors with the blue badge why did they put the username and password for Lotusphere 2009 online on their badges if they were not allow to have access. I tried three times before someone finally told me that the exhibitor badges did not work. Why not give everyone with an exhibitor badge access anyway. It is not as if it will cost IBM any more money especially since a large portion of the event is paid for by us the exhibitors.

    Ben Zanders' closing presentation was incredible. I plan to get his book. I know my wife would have love to been here to listen to him. It is amazing how much energy he has.

    Tomorrow, we will venture back to Chicago which I believe will be at 15 F. I am looking forward in seeing the family but sadness prevails considering the temperature in Orlando on Saturday will be 75 F.

    As in previous years, we will be bring back more than we brought over to Lotusphere. Our annual collection of goodies for our GRANITE Lotus User Group giveway has been very successful. Unfortunately, that means that we will lug a huge and heavy bag back to Chicago.

    See everyone back in Chicago. Remember, the GRANITE Lotus User Group is on February 9.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    GRANITE Dinner at Lotusphere 2009

    I had as great time at our GRANITE dinner get together at Lotusphere 2009 tonight. We did not get as many who originally signed up for the dinner but everyone had a great time. We were join by a couple of others business partners. There were many who were thinking, who is that crazy guy in the Dolphin lobby fountain walking about with a sign attached to his badge.





    It has been another very busy days with hours of booth duty and meetings with partners and IBM. This has turned out to be a very good show for us. Many more announcements coming for at Lotusphere 2009 so stay tune.

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Lotusphere 2009 Opening Session

    After a quick breakfast at the Dolphin, we are here at the start of the opening session. The theme this year is "Resonance". The attendee is up 2%. The surprise guest speaker is Dan Akroyd.

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Lotusphere 2009 Sunday Party

    It was a beautiful evening for the party, unlike the past few years where it was freezing. The food was better than last year. Based on my food barometer as a gauge on how IBM is doing, IBM is doing well, crab cakes are on the menu. So far from what I have seen, a greater number of attendees are from Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, with the recession, a number of companies were not able to go.

    There are a number of great sessions on XPages, Symphony, and Quickr coming up and there is a number of new announces about Lotus Foundations that I am excited about. It addresses some of the issues that I have with Lotus Foundations. IBM is making a good effort towards addressing the SMB market. Still need improvements but they are slowly heading in the right direction.

    Need to get ready for a long day tomorrow.

    Since Blogger does not seem to get updated correctly on PlanetLotus.org, blog was created on 01/18/09 11:46 PM.

    First Day at Lotusphere 2009

    It is a beautiful day at Lotusphere. Got a good night sleep and ready for a full day at Lotusphere. As always too many sessions that I would like to go to but not enough time. Big focus for me is X Pages and web development.

    Saturday, January 17, 2009

    Anti-Social Effects of Technology

    Technology makes it too easy to avoid the basic skills of verbal coummunication. I was in Panera Bread a few days ago and saw one of the saddest things I have seen. There was two girls on their laptops instant messaging each other on their laptops though they was sitting next to each other. Rather than having a one-on-one conversation, they opt to have this non-social conversation. What is this world coming to. This does not help teenagers develop the social skills that are necessary as they grow up.

    Off to Lotusphere 2009 and Warmer Weather

    It is another freezing day in Chicago, but finally we are off to Orlando for Lotusphere. See everyone at Lotusphere. Stop by our booth, #418, to say hi.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    New Sametime and Quickr Training from ReCor

    We are please to announce our new training for Sametime 8.02 and Quickr 8.1. It has been a very busy past couple of weeks getting ready for Lotusphere 2009. We will be demonstrating these two new courses plus the rest of our Lotus courses at Lotusphere at booth #418. Hopefully the weather cooperates. It is so cold here in Chicago and we are expecting more snow for the entire week on top of the 16 inches that we have on the ground. Considering how cold it is, I was hoping that it was too cold to snow.

    Friday, January 9, 2009

    Quickr 8.1 Fixpack Installer Frustrations and Anger

    You would thing that IBM with all its engineers and developers would be able to come up with an fixed pack installer for Quickr that would work seamlessly. After, trying to run the fix pack installer for two hours which keeps hanging up, I had to revert to copying individuals file. Of course, I made a mistaking in copying a file into the wrong directory and overwrote another file with the same name because the directory was named the same in many different locations!!!! Now I have to redo the Quickr server. Am I missing something. This whole process is a simple file copy and replace. Why is it not possible to write code that works. 4 hours of time down the drain.

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    Downloading Notes and Domino 8.5

    I have tried all day to download Notes and Domino 8.5 and still no luck. Did not work with the Download Director or Http. I guess the too many are trying to download it.