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Showing posts from 2009

December 2009 GRANITE Meeting and Holiday Lunch

The December 2009 GRANITE meeting agenda is now posted at the GRANITE web site, . 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.

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 c

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.

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 Bat

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.

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.

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 co

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 . We will have the PDF version available very soon.

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 Partne

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.

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 an

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.

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 Ju

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.

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 w

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.

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 Kenos

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 litt

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.

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

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 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. htt

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:

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.

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.

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

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: Amazon is now accepting pre-orders for this book.

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.

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.

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 LearningDocs for Lotus Notes 8.5

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 .

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.

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

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

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

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.

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 strat

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?

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 separ

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,

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.

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

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 . Registration for this conference will open on June 1, 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.

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 It is cheap, $20.00 for an all day event. If you are coming let me know. I will be there.

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 becom

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 espe

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.

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).

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.

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 St

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.

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, blog was created on 01/18/09 11:46 PM.

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.

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.

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.