Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Bathroom

We have a small problem with our bathroom. Her name is Lucy. When we moved into our house it didn't have a bath, just a fancy shower.

This was fine when Lucy was a baby. But she is now on the verge of being two and a half and doesn't really fit into the baby bath. So it was time for a new bathroom.

Quite aside from Lucy and the shower situation, the old bathroom was a bit crap. Pink tiles and faux marble are not a good look in 1989 never mind 2009.

First job, get rid of the awful pink tiles.

Fit a bath where the shower had been.

Now the very laborious job of putting fresh new tiles up.

Using the new bath as an impromptu work bench. Very enterprising.

Tiling round corners is a bit tricky.

All done with most of the spacers removed.

Next up is the grouting. Starts looking worse before it looks better.

In with the toilet and new sink.

Now that is starting to look better.

A shower curtain and a place to put the shampoo.

A lick of paint on the side of the bath and it is finished.

And a new mirrored cabinet and shelf finish off the sink.

Lucy loves her new bathroom but especially her new bath.

Friday, August 21, 2009

e:Mail is a part of collaboration

Lotus Knows that collaboration means people working together to achieve better more productive results. Sometimes this means participating in finding expertise, sharing files, discussions, instant chats, collaborative applications, workflow, knowledge management and sometimes it means sending an email or scheduling a meeting. Lotus Notes and Domino allows all of these types of collaboration (and more) on a single platform via any client (Rich, Web or Mobile) on any O/S (Windows, Linux, Mac).

Competing solutions require multiple platforms to achieve these capabilities. Why would you want to use one solution to send an email or schedule a meeting but then require a different solution to book a holiday or participate in a collaborative team space? They are all collaboration. Email is the TCP/IP of collaboration and should not be thought of as a different product. (Remember when calendaring was separate from email (cc:Mail and Organiser vs. MS Mail and Schedule+) - would you ever want them separate again? of course not. So why do it with collaboration?

If you agree, vote for this thought on the LotusKnows Ideajam

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lotus Knows: How to integrate Notes and Connections Business cards

In honour of it being Yellow Day and for those of you who missed MBR's Notes 8.5.1 update at IamLUG, here is one of my favorite forthcoming features. Lotus Connections in the Notes 8.5.1 Business Card. Nice.

And here in the integrated Sametime. It's never been easier to know who you are talking to.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Many a word spoken in jest

I was chatting with my frolleague Rick Robinson a couple of days ago about Enterprise Social Networking. Specifically we were talking about how people may feel inclined to put more accurate information in internal Social networking systems such as Lotus Connections than they might do for external sites such as Facebook. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I gave the example of my own Linkedin account. In a vain attempt to divert attention from my meagre academic achievements (an O'Level in Woodwork) I invented what I thought was an amusing spoof degree, "Applied Quantum Philosophy" which I assumed anyone would see for the joke that is was meant to be.

Imagine my surprise then when Dr Rick said, "Oh yes, I studied that at University. Fascinating". Later on he followed this up with an email "PS you pulled "quantum philosophy" out of the air as an example subject when we spoke about collaboration ... I'd very much recommend the following book on the subject ;-) In Search of Schrodinger's Cat by John Gribbins". That is certainly the philosophy of quantum mechanics. I think I might have to leave the "applied" part alone for the time being though. My cats are stating to look worried.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Lotus Notes on The Wire

I love the TV show The Wire. My Wife and I are halfway through watching the fifth and final season on DVD. It's brilliant TV. All the better for seeing what software Bunk uses for his colloborative needs ....

Maybe that is why crime is going down in West Baltimore. (Season 5, Episode 5, 47.14). You feel me?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Access to Archive from Preview Pane

John Lance wrote a couple of days ago about how cool it is that in the next release of Lotus Notes (8.5.1) You will be able to access calendaring functionality from the preview pane of your mail. This is indeed a very welcome improvement and being able to accept or decline a meeting without having to open the invitation or your calendar is great and will save time.

But personally I am more pleased to see this innovation. If you have a message that has been archived (as can be seen by the little "torn paper" icon next to it) there is now a button in the preview pane to say "Open in Archive". Obviously this was always possible using the "Open Archived Document" in the Actions menu but putting it as a preview button (also there when the message is opened) is far more intuitive. It is only a little thing but these things really matter.

*As always these things are subject to change

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

Pig dancing to ABBA

A cute pig dancing to ABBA. My twin sister is the Svengali behind Mickey the pigs genius dance.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lotus Notes on BBC News

I was half watching the BBC News tonight in the middle of the Red Nose Day charity bash (do give generously). However, my attention was caught when I saw this interview with Geordie Greig the new editor of the London Evening Standard. What would he choose to have displayed on his monitor during this high profile appearance? The Standard web site perhaps? Publishing staples like Quark or Photoshop? No, he's gone with Lotus Notes mail.

I'll be honest, I don't think I'm gonna get a job as a photographer any time soon. But this is clearly a valid Lotus Notes on the TV sighting. (Looks like Notes 7 - the latest version is Notes 8.5)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A sneak peek at LinkedIn integration into Lotus Notes

The Profiles component of Lotus Connections is a great way of finding expertise and information about people within your organisation. This has been greatly enhanced through the tight integration into Lotus Notes 8.5. So whenever I see a name in a Notes document "Live Text" recognises that it is a name and allows me to search Profiles for that user. This is great for finding out about people internally but there is also a need to be able to find information about people who are external to your organisation. So Lotus announced at Lotusphere that they are working with LinkedIn to produce similar integration and I have just installed it to see how well it works. And the answer is brilliantly. When I select a message in my inbox;

It automatically enters that name into the LinkedIn sidebar application and returns a search matching the name (I had to manually edit the "J" our of my name since it does not appear in my LinkedIn profile).

Clicking on my name in the search results brings up my profile in the sidebar. So if I receive an email from a partner or customer it is that easy to find their LinkedIn profile and understand. There is still a little bit or work to do on the installer (you can't just drag it into your widgets sidebar yet) and I'm not sure if it will be released as a standalone plugin or as part of maintenance release but it is going to be well worth the wait.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jumping cursor when typing on Thinkpad

I have been suffering from a most infuriating problem for the last few months. Every now and again when I'm typing my cursor will jump to the beginning of the line. Since I don't touch type I spend quite a lot of time looking at my clumsy fingers and not at the screen so when this cursor jumping happens and I don't notice it can cause carnage to my document. At other times it was causing a seemingly random word to be selected and as I continued to type would overwrite it. As you can imagine this weird behaviour started messing with my head.

Having worked in IT Support in a previous life I am well aware of the need to find a reproducible set of circumstances in order to trouble shoot a problem. Since I spend most of my life in my beloved Lotus Notes client that was where I first spotted the problem. My initial thought was that it could be a bug in the editor since there had been loads of improvements to it in recent releases (drag and drop stuff mainly). However, it didn't take long to spot the problem happening in other applications including Firefox and even Notepad. With my support head on I might have suspected "Finger Trouble" but even though my typing is not great it isn't that bad.

However, I just had a stoke of luck. For no particularly good reason whilst in an web based editor I just happened to tap my Trackpoint and witnessed my cursor moving to the beginning of the previous line! But that is dumb - since when have trackpoints behaved like mouse buttons? Well after a bit of research I found out that this behaviour is called "Press-to-Select" and can be configured in the Control Panel/Mouse. I have been using Thinkpads for 13 years and I am sure that it has never been turned on in any of my previous machines - I wonder why the default has changed to on now. Whatever, at least I understand what is happening so now I need to decide whether to turn it off or to take advantage if it.

From the Trackpoint tab in the Mouse menu you can configure your trackpoint.

Ticking enable Press-to-Select allows you to configure that particular function.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Multiple Domino instances on a single machine.

Although it is completely unsupported, I have a requirement to have two Lotus Domino server installed on my Thinkpad at the same time. One is my super stable environment for performing standard cusotomer demonstrations which includes Domino, Quickr, Traveler, iNotes and Sametime. This is currently using Domino 8.0.2. Then I have a more experimental server which is running the latest build of the code I can get my hands on which I use for playing with the new toys like DAOS, Xpages, ID Vault, DCT etc. The problem I am having is that when I now upgrade either of the servers (they are just installed locally on my C:\ drive) it causes the other to show the following error when started:

This is a known issues and you can see the Technote here. The problem is easy enough to fix, just reinstall the code and the server is fine again. The problem is that in fixing one you have knocked out the other. This has only just started happening to me in the last month or so - prior to that I could have as many servers as I like installed and they would all work fine independently of each other. I am pretty much sure that the problem relates to how Domino reads or writes to the windows registry.

A similar scenario happens with the Notes client. IBM do not support having multiple versions installed on a machine at the same time. But clever folks in the Lotus community have found ways to get it working. The best description I have found is this one from Thomas Bahn which even allows the versions to be running simultaneously. So my question to the community is has anyone found a similar workaround for having multiple versions of Domino installed on a Windows laptop (not running simultaneously of course!).

p.s. I know I could use VMware workstation and the problem goes away but I hate using VM's for customer demos. I don't like introducing additional moving parts.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Windows 7 Beta: How well does Lotus Software work?

When I first tried installing Windows Vista I used a Thinkpad T41. The results were very poor. Whist the operating system did install it was pretty much incapable of doing anything useful. I quickly reverted to using Windows XP again. With the launch of the Windows 7 Beta1 I thought I would try the same test again. And I am very encouraged by the results. It is clearly a step up from Vista both in terms of stability and performance.

From downloading the code (over 2GB) to burning it onto a DVD to installing it onto my venerable Thinkpad only took a few short hours. Within a couple of reboots it was recognising my Wireless Lan, Graphics Card and the other computers on my network. Impressive although nothing you wouldn't expect from a Mac or Ubuntu.

But the big question is does Lotus Software work on it? The answer is a resounding yes. The first thing I installed was Lotus Mobile Connect to get VPN access to IBM's internal systems. Then of course it was Lotus Notes. It installed a treat and after I copied my bookmarks, workspace (OK I'm occasionally old school) and ID file it was like working on my main PC. As you can see, Lotus Sametime also works brilliantly as well.

I also checked out the Lotus Symphony editors and they all worked faultlessly.

All in all you would have to conclude that Windows 7 is a massive improvement on Vista. I happen to know that IBM Lotus Quality Engineering always test out latest software on older hardware. Specifically, they have used a Thinkpad T30 which is over 5 years old to ensure that performance would be fine. Despite a slow start with Notes 8.0 the performance optimisation in 8.0.2 and 8.5 is really impressive.

So in conclusion, Lotus Notes 8.5, Sametime, Symphony, Quickr and Portal all work fine on Windows 7 Beta 1 on a three year old computer. But beware if you want to edit a picture, watch a video or play a simple card game!

Update: The first version of Lotus Notes that officially supports Windows 7 is release 8.5.1 Fixpack 1. See Here