BlackBerry Passport - have you seen this new device yet?

BlackBerry is at it again with the new BlackBerry Passport coming out. A square looking device with full 1440x1440 resolution.
BlackBerry Passport verus older BlackBerry
I have waited to write about it to read more of what it will offer.  The reasons are solid   Continue Reading here" BlackBerry Passport - have you seen this new device yet?" »
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    On Thursday, August 7th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

New in Blackberry OS 10.2.1 is IBM Lotus Traveler connection type

I upgraded my Blackberry Z10 to OS 10.2.1 to get my hands on a ton of new features. IBM Lotus Traveler now shows as an account type when adding email, calendar and todo.

Blackberry 10.2.1 IBM Lotus Traveler

I was surprised at the number of new features, not just fixes, that are available in this release.
See my posting comparing the Blackberrry Z10 and Q10 devices. See more updates and hands-on with the BlackBerry 10 devices on BlackBerry Today.
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    On Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014   by Chris Miller        

Tampa General Hospital calls Notes "Stone Age" at Lync event

The Lync Conference 2014 was held in February 2014 and they had some case studies on stage. Tampa General Hospital sounds like they had bad admins
The second Lync deployment story session I attended was delivered by representatives of Tampa General Hospital. They opened by saying as recently as three years ago, the hospital was in the "IT Stone Age." This was defined as being dependent on a mainframe and using Lotus Notes, Sametime, WebEx and BlackBerrys. Three years ago, the hospital replaced Sametime with Microsoft OCS for IM and presence and moved to iPhones and iPads. Two years ago, they moved to Lync for not just IM and presence, but audio and video conferencing as well, decommissioning WebEx.

I mean they did have 3000 pagers still in use. I am not sure what Notes, Sametime and BlackBerry had to do with that Stone Age portion of their infrastructure.

Read more on the story here
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    On Monday, March 17th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

Upgrade of Notes Traveler servers recommended to address issues with BlackBerry 10.2.1 devices

I have written quite a bit about BlackBerry Z10 devices and some about using it with Lotus Traveler, IBM has released the following information on issue and the fixes
IBM Traveler logo

Issues:   Continue Reading here" Upgrade of Notes Traveler servers recommended to address issues with BlackBerry 10.2.1 devices" »
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    On Friday, February 7th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

BlackBerry, Smart Tags and BlackBerry AppWorld

Yes BlackBerry you have done something dumb again, this time with Smart Tags and BlackBerry (AppWorld) World. It all started when I found a cool app I wanted to load.
BlackBerry World logo

It all started when I wanted to try out BlackBerry Express. An awesome new presentation creation tool for the BlackBerry devices. The article took me to BlackBerry World which had the QR code on the page.  From here the experience sucked.
Continue Reading here" BlackBerry, Smart Tags and BlackBerry AppWorld" »
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    On Tuesday, November 19th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Setting up BlackBerry BBM for iOS devices

BlackBerry has launched BBM for iOS and Android devices today.  Here is a recap and review.  I first loaded BBM on iOS (on the iPad) in this first posting.

Image:Setting up BlackBerry BBM for iOS devices

You had to have an early access account established by email address with or get an invite email for BBM on iOS or Android from BlackBerry.  It is a good plan to help them build PR and stagger the rollout even with the app available.  Imagine the load is being put on the Apple and Google stores.
Continue Reading here" Setting up BlackBerry BBM for iOS devices" »
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    On Monday, October 21st, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Seidio Prime Power Case review for BlackBerry Z10

Seidio sent over the Prime Power Case for the BlackBerry Z10 to review.  It is a 2600mAh battery as part of the hardshell phone case for always available power.
Seidio Prime Power Case for BlackBerry Z10

The back of the Prime Power Case has a power button to turn the charging feature on and off. You simply hold the button 3 seconds to enable or disable the charging capability.  This was extremely helpful to just use enough recharging until I knew I could get to a plug. The battery holds whatever charge it has for months so it can always be at the ready.

The LED indicator lights next to the power button show you the remaining charge and if the Seidio Prime Power Case is actively charging the BlackBerry Z10.  I was almost able to get a full recharge after running the Z10 down to red battery status.

The Prime Power Case does cover the micro-USB port (since it uses it to charge) so attaching anything for Mass Storage Mode is not possible. Everything else is exposed properly for easy access.

Get your hands on the Seidio Prime Power Case if you have a BlackBerry Z10.  It currently comes in black and only for the Z10 at the time of writing this.

Also, make sure to subscribe to all the Spiked Studio product reviews
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    On Thursday, September 19th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

BlackBerry announces BBM for iOS and Android by Sep 22 2013

BlackBerry announced the dates of September 21 and September 22 2013 for the Android and iOS releases of BBM (BlackBerry Messenger)
BlackBerry Messenger icon

Previously exclusive to BlackBerry, BBM will now be available on Android devices on September 21 and iPhone devices on September 22.
 BBM brings a broader audience the level of security, control and sense of immediacy needed from a mobile messaging platform.

For new users, a variety of features are available – including 1:1 chat showing when messages are read, delivered and in-process; multi-user chat rooms;
 photo/status updates from your contacts; and a unique PIN so you don’t have to share your phone number or email address

What this means is a direct competitor for applications like WhatsApp and GroupMe.  BBM has also released Channels which allows a single person to distribute to mass audiences at once.  I have been in that beta for some time and it works great.

System requirements are Android with Ice Cream Sandwich and higher and iOS devices running iOS 6 and higher.  You can register and get the links to download at

Do not forget to read my other recent BlackBerry articles:
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    On Wednesday, September 18th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

BlackBerry launches the Z30

BlackBerry has launched the Z30 smartphone with a longer battery life, 5" Super AMOLED touchscreen and improved antenna.
Images of the new BlackBerry Z30

Let's run down the list of differences that are upgraded over the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10
  • The BlackBerry Z30 smartphone includes a new 2880 mAh battery for up to 25 hours of performance
  • A new 5” Super AMOLED display with the same all touch screen experience like the Z10
  • BlackBerry® Paratek Antenna, a new generation antenna technology that dynamically tunes reception to give you better connectivity in low signal areas
  • A 1.7 GHz processor with quadcore graphics
  • BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2
  • You get a preview of any message as it arrives in whatever app you’re using, and immediately dismiss it or tap it to read the full content and respond. If a BBM message arrives, you can instantly reply to the message without even leaving the app you’re in
  • If your phone is in lock mode, you can tap the various icons on the Lock Screen to see an instant preview of your most recent messages and notifications.
  • The new BlackBerry Priority Hub can now learn what conversations and what people are important to you making it fast and easy to find the messages and information you need

See my video comparing the BlackBerry Q10 and the BlackBerry Z10 as IdoNotes Episode 139

Also subscribe to BlackBerry Today and watch all the episodes
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    On Wednesday, September 18th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

5 Tips for sideloading Android apps on BlackBerry Z10

As I use my BlackBerry Z10 from Verizon more and discover more things it does, sideloading Android apps is a highlight. Here are some top tips
sideload Android apps on to BlackBerry 10

1.        Load the very latest BlackBerry updates from your provider. Numerous native and Android apps will fail to work without the recent updates.  For example, Verizon is currently in the 10.0.10.XXX version.  If you were still running then apps like WhatsApp would fail to install or update. See this Verizon community thread for an example
Continue Reading here" 5 Tips for sideloading Android apps on BlackBerry Z10" »
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    On Wednesday, September 11th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Comparing the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 | IdoNotes Episode 139

I chose a quick commentary on comparing the BlackBerry Q10 versus the BlackBerry Z10 to get back into the IdoNotes podcast swing. I ran the BlackBerry devices for about two months each to get a feel for what I liked and did not like. The decision was obvious just a week into using one of them.

See more updates and hands-on with the BlackBerry 10 devices on BlackBerry Today.

See the video for the whole story and make sure you subscribe to the IdoNotes podcasts and Spiked Studio channels on YouTube,.
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    On Tuesday, August 20th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

BlackBerry lets 250 R&D employees go and we offer BlackBerry Today Episode 23

On the heels of us publishing BlackBerry Today Episode 23 covering the Z10 on Verizon, the missing applications I need and some new ones we found, it seems BlackBerry has let 250 R&D employees go.
BlackBerry (originally RIM) laid off 250 more employees on Tuesday as part of a continued effort to turnaround the company.

The layoffs, which were first reported by Bloomberg on Thursday, affected employees at BlackBerry's product testing facility in its hometown of Waterloo, Canada

While this is small compared to around 3,000 back in late summer 2012, it still has a mental impact to investors and the public.  I think dropping the Playbook is a smart move and focusing on strengthening the enterprise ready devices in their possible market outside of small countries.

Devices like the proposed A10 will do well in many countries while in the US and Europe we are looking for awesome performance, great camera and decent screen real estate.  Gone are the days of the need for a real keyboard for most users.

You can subscribe to BlackBerry Today on the YouTube playlist or the podcast version on SpikedStudio

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    On Thursday, July 25th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

BlackBerry 10 application discussion from BlackBerry Today

BlackBerry Today did a special show where we discusses porting Android versus native OS 10 application development with special guest Paul Steel.

Catch up on all the BlackBerry Today shows over at Spiked Studio or subscribe to the YouTube playlist for the show.
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    On Wednesday, February 27th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

BlackBerry 10 hand-on review from IBM Connect 2013

BlackBerry Today

Over at Spiked Studio, the BlackBerry Today show was given dedicated time to record hands-on with a BlackBerry 10 device.  Head over to the blog posting for all the details and watch the above video.

You can also subscribe to BlackBerry Today on iTunes or watch and subscribe on YouTube as a playlist
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    On Wednesday, January 30th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Creavures invade BlackBerry Today Episode 20

After a small break, BlackBerry Today is back with episode 20 News on OS 10, new devices, LinkedIn 2.0, Creavures and tips highlight this episode.

You can stream the show in HD or subscribe to the YouTube playlist and even catch us via iTunes.

Learn More

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    On Friday, November 30th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM interested in RIM enterprise services. What would that mean?

According to CNET, IBM is poking around looking at RIM enterprise services as a possible acquisition in this article.  While not the entire company, this type of capability could greatly enhance the Lotus Traveler offering.
Research In Motion has been approached by IBM to discuss a possible sale of the BlackBerry maker's enterprise-services division, a new report claims.

Imagine a network offering secure email services to devices for Lotus Traveler? A network that already expands globally and could contain some of the data center assets required to run it? This could be a huge move into the mobility space IBM is carefully going after with numerous resources and directives.

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    On Friday, August 10th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

Load Lotus Traveler and move to BES Express to save costs. RIM Whitepaper explains how

I ran across a Research in Motion whitepaper about saving costs by moving from BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) to BES Express.  It then had me thinking that with the huge BYOD  movement and growth of Lotus Traveler this would be perfect for everyone to read so I am able to get you the whitepaper here.

We are gaining lots of  requests around managing both BlackBerry Enterprise Server for those slowly removing them from the infrastructure and also growth in Lotus Traveler hosting and device management.  With the whitepaper from RIM, it shows how moving to BES Express for smaller userbase sizes can save money and even shows some example cost savings.

It now makes sense for most organizations to create a dual BlackBerry® environment and move at least some users to BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express--a free, slimmed-down version of its larger cousin. The extra effort is minimal, the essential features and security are nearly identical, and the benefits are impossible to ignore. This paper looks at why and how to get this done.

So what does this mean to BYOD and existing BlackBerry implementations? You can start thinking about Lotus Traveler implementations while saving money and with the enhanced device support in each release of Traveler you don't have to worry as much about controlling corporate data on employee owned devices.

Don't forget that last week I got you a free ebook copy of Cloud for Dummies by IBM that is still available for a few more days.
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    On Monday, May 14th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 122 - Lotus Traveler on BlackBerry Playbook via Android

After numerous emails about the best way to load Lotus Traveler on the BlackBerry Playbook and much dispute of what worked, I went ahead and tackled it for you in this video.

I was unable to hit and load the Lotus Traveler server via the Playbook by using the servlet/traveler web interface or going via ActiveSync.  Some of you have emailed and commented  success and a lot depends on versions of servers, policies and more it seems.

So take make it easy for you I created a signed .bar file that you can sideload onto your BlackBerry Playbook if you must have Traveler working and want to use the Android player built into OS 2.0.  It just works!

Here is the signed Lotus file from Spiked Studio.  This must be sideloaded onto your Playbook while developer mode is enabled (no rooting it is just a switch in preferences). I used DDPBInstaller to do it, you can find that free on the web.
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    On Monday, March 5th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

Blackberry Playbook OS 2.0 walkthrough

With the release of Blackberry Playbook OS 2.0 just yesterday, we had to record an episode of Blackberry Today a day early and get it out the door.  Kathy and I cover the new OS 2.0 from the viewpoint of someone that has never seen a press release or demo to find and explore the new features.

We cover:
  • Messages
  • Calendaring
  • Contacts
  • Video chat enhancements
  • Print to go
  • the new UI
  • at about 18 minutes in Kathy says Chris had a good idea!

Do not forget to visit our new sponsor GoToMeeting for your free 30 day trial with the promo code "podcast"

Also please subscribe today to the YouTube channel to keep up to date with all the recent Spiked Studios shows.
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    On Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012   by Chris Miller        

The Express Version and Pimpin Pinner

If you do not follow along all the shows in the Spiked Studio portfolio, now is the time get involved.  This week had three shows hit the intertubes for streaming and downloading.
You can find the videos on the SpikedStudio YouTube Channel and in iTunes for each show.

The content is amazing and the shows growing fast.  Look for some more places to watch and interact with us shortly!

Image:The Express Version and Pimpin Pinner
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    On Thursday, February 9th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

BlackBerry launches Business Cloud for Office 365

Research In Motion joins the rank of software and hardware vendors handling their own BlackBerry cloud services with the beta launch of integration with Office 365.
BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is available at no additional charge to Microsoft Office 365 Midsezed Business and Exterprise plan subscribers. This secure service, hosted by Research In Motion (RIM), directly links Microsoft® Exchange Online with BlackBerry smartphones to offer reliable, mobile access to synchronized email, calendar, contacts, tasks and memo pads.

The beta is launching in 30 countries.  Did you notice the quoted section about it being free?

Here at Connectria, we like the following portion:
Managed service providers, systems integrators, carriers, resellers and other partners can also use the cloud service to manage BlackBerry deployments on behalf of their customers.

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    On Tuesday, October 25th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 113 - BlackBerry Bold 9930

Don't forget you can watch this in HD on YouTube, just click through!

I had the opportunity to open and review a BlackBerry Bold 9930 in this first of two parts. I have some thoughts on the sizing of the device, the touch and keyboard, the lack of international power adaptors like other previous BlackBerry devices I have owned and all the specs that are listed.

This episode covers everything up to activation, which we will cover in part 2.

But if you want to see more on BlackBerry tips, applications and news you should be subscribed to BlackBerry Today!
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    On Tuesday, September 27th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

BlackBerry Today Episode 8 is out - with dancing

BlackBerry Today Episode 8 - It's Magical from IdoNotes on Vimeo.

We had a blast recording this one, including a live interview with Paul Steel, Research In Motion, while at IamLUG.  You can catch him in the middle of the show.  Pay special attention to about minute 13:30 for twenty seconds or so.  There is dancing that just has to be seen.

Make sure you head over to Spiked Studio to watch all of the shows, subscribe in SD on iTunes, HD on Playbook or stream it anytime in HD format from Vimeo, Mevio or YouTube.
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    On Thursday, August 25th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

BES vulnerability announced around image processing

Image rendering could allow remote code execution on the BES server:
Vulnerabilities exist in components of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server that process PNG and TIFF images for rendering on the BlackBerry smartphone. The BlackBerry® Mobile Data System – Connection Service component processes images on web pages that the BlackBerry® Browser requests. The BlackBerry® Messaging Agent component processes images in email messages.

There is an update available across the board found right here in this technote #KB27244
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    On Monday, August 15th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

BlackBerry Today Episode 6 - 100,000 strong and growing!

If you have not see BlackBerry Today video podcast from Spiked Studio Productions, you are missing out on a fast growing video show.  It was happily announced that in just the first 5 episodes over 100,000 downloads have been done across HD, SD and streaming combined.

You can subscribe via the BlackBerry Podcast application (both HD and SD) , iTunes, Techpodcasts and more.  You can also stream in HD via YouTube, Vimeo and Mevio.

Head over to see the latest episode or subscribe.  You can also follow BBerryToday on Twitter, email or call with tips & news.
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    On Thursday, June 30th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

AutoWifi - a nifty little BlackBerry application

If you have a BlackBerry device with wifi capability, turning it on and off and managing the different settings becomes a pain.  A cool little application was dug up and highlighted in BlackBerry Today Episode 5 from Spiked Studio. If you haven't been watching and/or subscribed I suggest you get on board.

AutoWifi controls turning on an off wifi (and even Bluetooth) automatically based on location. So over a few times of manual intervention it learns and then begins to do it for you.
Conserve battery by automatically turning off WiFi when your BlackBerry is connected to a Bluetooth device such as the BlackBerry PlayBook, your car Handsfree Link or the desktop computer and automatically turn WiFi back on when disconnected from the BT device.

AutoWiFi can handle upto 32 different Bluetooth devices.  You determine which Bluetooth devices for AutoWiFi to manage WiFi connectivity.   When Bluetooth connection is made AutoWiFi will automatically turn off WiFi and when connection is disconneted AutoWiFi will turn WiFi back on.  However, if WiFi is already off when the connection is made AutoWiFi will not turn WiFi back on because it was original off.

So after a week with this, I found that it did a great job of learning and adjusting on it's own.  Saving battery and speeding up some of the data access for the BlackBerry.

You can subscribe to BlackBerry Today in iTunes, BlackBerry Podcast app (both HD and SD), Vimeo, You Tube, Mevio Techpodcasts and even join in on Facebook. We even embed each video in HD in the new episode posting.
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    On Tuesday, June 14th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Free Playbook news and BlackBerry Today launch

Spiked Studio Productions has launched a new show called BlackBerry Today.  It will cover the hottest trends in BlackBerry including applications, Playbook, cases, models, Enterprise corner and more.

It is produced in HD and will be found on iTunes and more importantly pre-loaded in the carousel for BlackBerry Podcast applications on Playbook.

The first episode covers the great Playbook giveaway from RIM. All you need is a haiku and a tweet.  They are giving away 20 so your odds are good.  Also top app picks and BlackBerry Travel.

Make sure you head over and watch the first episode and subscribe today. It should hit iTunes shortly, but the feed it live and you can also stream it online in HD.

You can also follow BlackBerryToday on Twitter or send your tips and questions in via voice to (443) BBToday.

Image:Free Playbook news and BlackBerry Today launch
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    On Thursday, April 14th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Micrsoft and RIM launching new FREE hosted Blackberry service

ZDNet ran a blog posting, which is now confirmed by Microsoft, that they will be launching a free hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) offering.  Microsoft will host the servers and they are betting it will also be covered on a webcast RIM has tomorrow.

We have exciting news for Microsoft Online Services customers. We are in the process of updating pricing for Hosted BlackBerry Service for Exchange Online to make this service available free of charge.  Starting today, BlackBerry mobile e-mail for new Exchange Online customers is now free through our Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).  For existing customers, we expect to be able to provide more information later this month on how you can take advantage of this change.

The service will be hosted, licensed and supported by RIM who have committed to offer their new BlackBerry cloud based service for Exchange Online starting at $0 per user per month.

With Lotus launching LotusLive Notes Hosted BlackBerry just a short time ago (read my live blog posting), this will be another layer in the battle for places comparing the two offerings.
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    On Wednesday, March 16th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

IBM LotusLive Notes Hosted BlackBerry Service (live blog)

This morning IBM kicked off it's first call on the LotusLive Hosted Blackberry option with a TechTalk after the press releases yesterday.  I captured some of the points from the call.

The meeting started late as the operator got on the call and stated they are having problems with the e-meeting.  Fifteen minutes in it was still the case... But we got it!  And they said there is really no slides.  The event was attended by over 190 people and most all were IBM.  I counted ~17 without the IBM tag behind their name.

A quick LotusLive strategy slide set was presented for the partners on the call.
Ed hinted at the upcoming releases past the third iteration that took place this past weekend.  There should be more this year.

What's new in GA3 that came out:
  • Additional mail manager controls, such as content older that "n" days removal
  • Support for limiting inbound emails including attachments
  • import contacts in any supported language
  • options to purchase add-on for Traveler (Android) and Blackberry
Now a look into the Blackberry portion, the biggest part of the GA3 release.  A big portion to pay attention to is that it ONLY supports the hosted users.  You cannot get BES access back to your other users in the on-premise deployment side.  (You will needed dedicated BES hosting to service cloud and internal users in one sweep).  BES is not multi-tenant, so they have to dedicate like any provider.

There is NO service level agreement (SLA) around this portion. There is around LotusLive Notes.  None around BES at this point.
  • Two flavors, MDS and non MDS
  • Provides hosted BES - redirects email messages and sync contatcts with cloud servers
  • 99.9% up-time SLO
  • Dedicated deployment environment - for every customer that says yes they physically get an image with BES.
  • Administrator and user self-service portal (remote wipe, password reset)
  • Sold in 12 month blocks at $10USD for non MDS and $15 for MDS
  • Available for only the Hybrid or service only environments
  • Corporate Directory lookup
  • No additional costs for licensing, BES upgrades included

Next was a list of gotchas for the service.  Pay attention to the minimum, MDS options and time to deploy.
  • Available for LL Notes users only
  • Decide which flavor.  You cannot mix MDS and non-MDS
  • Juniper SRX240 Services Gateway is only VPN/gatewway supported
  • 300 seat minimum purchase
  • Non-MDS takes a few days to a few weeks to onboard
  • MDS takes two to four week or longer to onboard
  • Documentation in English only
  • MDM in English only
  • Only features found in wiki are supported
  • customers must accept RIM terms of use
  • Blackberry devices must be running 4.0 and later (expected)
  • Migration of a current Blackberry is not supported, you must reactivate
  • After config you can not swap to MDS or non-MDS. pick carefully
  • Customer must place a Juniper SRX240 device on premise and give IBM an IP address for it
  • Proxy server is required
  • Customers firewall must allow UPD access over ports 500, 4500 and 10000 for LotusLive

If you are looking for hosting of Blackberry below 300 users, feel free to contact Connectria.

Find out why we offer the best in Lotus Software hosting and management.

Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.

Image:IBM LotusLive Notes Hosted BlackBerry Service (live blog)

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    On Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Exclusive HANDS ON with the Blackberry Playbook live from Lotusphere 2011 #ls11

Lotusphere Podcasts - Blackberry Playbook hands on from Lotusphere Podcasts.

Paul Steel, Technical Services Manager for RIM, takes time out of the busy vendor floor to bring 2 (two) Blackberry Playbooks along for a hands on demonstration.
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    On Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Lotusphere Podcasts - Blackberry Playbook HANDS ON #ls11

Lotusphere Podcasts - Blackberry Playbook hands on from Lotusphere Podcasts.

Paul Steel, Technical Services Manager for RIM, takes time out of the busy vendor floor to bring 2 (two) Blackberry Playbooks along for a hands on demonstration.

Only here at Lotusphere Podcasts
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    On Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011   by Lotusphere Podcasts        

Lotusphere Podcasts - Tips from a 3 year Lotusphere veteran #ls11

 I had the chance for a rare interview with a 3 year Lotusphere veteran.  I learned about a new iPad app, mobile technology and what to bring to Lotusphere.

LotuspherePodcasts Tips from a 3 Year Lotusphere Vet from Lotusphere Podcasts.

    for this posting

    On Thursday, January 27th, 2011   by Lotusphere Podcasts        

Lotusphere Podcasts - Marc Gingras, CEO of Tungle, on being a Lotus Award finalist

I had the pleasure to grab Marc Gingras, CEO of Tungle, to see what impact being a Lotus Award finalist has had on Tungle and to get the scoop on all the new enhancements.  We cover:
  • Notes integration
  • LotusLive integration
  • the Pro program
  • their manifesto
  • Blackberry integration
  • Facebook
  • Google Apps
  • the list didn't stop...

Don't forget you can always register today for your free Tungle account right here.  Then go ahead and try their promotional Pro plan for a while.  Quite impressive.

Lotusphere Podcasts - Interview with Tungle CEO Marc Gingras from Lotusphere Podcasts.

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    On Tuesday, January 18th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

FREE Blackberry Enterprise Server Express hits the streets for Domino

Finally, RIM has launched the Free Blackberry Enterprise Express server for Domino customers.
It provides advanced BlackBerry smartphone business features with no software license fees or additional per user license fees, and works with most personal BlackBerry data plans or BlackBerry enterprise data plans.

The site says it all.  Download -> Choose Deployment option -> Install -> Add users

So what is missing?
  • Sametime support
  • Lotus Connections support
  • High availability

What is included?  Apparently everything else from the PDF comparison chart.

It looks to me like RIM is doing the right thing with Lotus releasing Traveler for free to everyone.  They need to make a stance into the market and keep control of enterprise mobile messaging in the US for sure.
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    On Friday, November 5th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Blackberry App World 2.0 released

I was lucky enough to be on the beta for this and now it is released to the public.  You can head to this link via your Blackberry browser to get the recent update (version as of this posting) and load it up.
  • Scanning a barcode
  • Top 25 apps
  • More categories added
  • More billing options (PayPal, credit card and carrier billing)
  • and more..

Image:Blackberry App World 2.0 released

There is also numerous enhancements that allow it to be Enterprise Distributed and controlled.  Billing controls and more are included.

My Review
While it loads a bit faster and seems to be more streamlined, they need more apps!  Ones that matter.  I have said it before that Blackberry had the chance to take over the enterprise devices with applications but came to the party late and without much fanfare.  I still love it as my go to enterprise device for so many reasons. But the amount of apps and easy of integration with Appworld could be much stronger.
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    On Friday, August 20th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

BES users and Out Of Office issues and fixes

It seems that users of Blackberry's really like the Out of Office feature even though the idea of a Blackberry is to be connected out of the office.  Lotus has delivered a nice technote on some of the issues, fixes and patches needed.  From technote #1395880 here are some items are covered:
What is the first version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) for Lotus Domino that supports the Notes/Domino 8.x Out of Office service?

Notes/Domino Out of Office service does not synch properly with BlackBerry devices through BES servers.

An editor level user has enabled their out of office agent from a BlackBerry Smartphone in the Domino environment.  This results the following error:

Unfortunately these are cropping up more often as we deploy more and more BES servers.  Just passing it along.
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    On Tuesday, July 13th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

New survey on support from RIM frightened me today

I received a request to fill out a survey from RIM on support.  I imagined it to be a check on how well they are doing in responding to our needs, tickets, issues and more.  Instead, I got a small chill when the crux of the questions hit me.

The questions were driven heavily to make you decide which was more important from a list of options.  Then each option was compared one against one in further questions.  These included:
  • faster response time
  • core hour or 24x7 phone support
  • software updates included
  • phone support at all
The list went on.  After running through the multiple pages, it appears as if they are looking into reducing costs and restructuring offerings included in T support levels.  You might pay for enhanced services or better offerings.  Maybe self service will become a forefront.  Either way, look carefully for this survey.
    for this posting

    On Friday, March 26th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Do you use Blackberry Messenger? Big updates are coming according to RIM

Some of us are heavy users of Blackberry Messenger.  With the new 5.0.x code it is easy to add another person by scanning their barcode immediately.  One of the other key items is that what service provider you utilize or where you are in the world does not matter.  It just works.  Well, RIM announced that as long as you are at versions then you will see some exciting new changes coming in the next few days and weeks.

Insider sources say that time travel, the ability to make popcorn in your device and to cook bacon are imminent.  Yeah, I really have no clue but I am anxious to see what more features they include.

The next issue of the IdoNotes newsletter is coming up, don't forget to subscribe in the upper right.  If you are a new subscriber, the previous newsletter will show as a link in the sign up area.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, March 17th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Mobile platform expenditures in 2010 survey results. Guess who won?

Osterman Research always has interesting results in the survey results I receive and this one page stood out.  With all of the talk to the iPhone and Traveler, it seems all of these respondents had something else in mind.

Image:Mobile platform expenditures in 2010 survey results.  Guess who won?

It seems RIM is still top of the charts as the mobile device of choice for enterprise deployments.  While the iPhone pops up in third, the over 3-1 ratio makes a huge statement in the impact it has on mobile access to corporate data.  To me this shows a simple answer, that the iPhone is pretty as a consumer device, but lacks much of the needed function to be truly effective to have mobile apps and secure, controlled connectivity at this time to things outside of email.

P.S also SaaS email took a beating too.  Way down the chain in terms of thought and planned deployment.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, February 11th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

RIM compares their Enterprise Messenger demo to Sametime 6.5.x and previous

As we talked to a customer about the choice between implementing Sametime Mobile or Enterprise Messenger on the new Storm 2 devices (which will not work right with Sametime Mobile right now), we can across this gem of a demo on the Blackberry site.   We were a bit stunned.

Image:RIM compares their Enterprise Messenger demo to Sametime 6.5.x and previous

You would think they might update the demo a bit to include new devices and the new features that 2.5 supports.  Plus , with the IBM relationship, possibly update the client they use in the demos.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, November 19th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Day 1 with OS5 on the BlackBerry Storm

I bit the bullet yesterday and went with the "gold" version of OS from Verizon.  One word, WOW.  Speed, performance of memory and overall little changes make it very pleasant.  Windows open quicker and close easily.  Scrolling is fast and responsive.

When typing email in landscape mode, the SureType takes a whole new look and feel as shown here (fuzzy but I couldnt capture and use the SureType together so we took a nasty picture instead):

Image:Day 1 with OS5 on the BlackBerry Storm

I can say it made the Storm even more useful and user friendly.  One of those times where you say they would have gotten better press if it had come out the door like this.

UPDATE: I have had only one application issue and that was Google Voice with the new 1.6 that crashed.  Otherwise everything else seems to be working great and just as fast, if not faster for some, as before.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, October 28th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

MyBlackBerry launches with no pilot at the helm

I had some early sneak peeks at MyBlackBerry, but now it is fully public and ready to go.  What you will see is:
  •  a 1990's discussion board
  • some applications
  • some basic tips with rating stars
  • a horrific tag cloud

That about sums it up.  I had thought we would see all sorts of social integration and tighter integration of the AppWorld, highlighting many of the free apps that are available.  They had the ability to bring both of these together and make a much larger community.  Even using authentication from other systems would not have hurt, like Facebook Connect, oAuth for Twitter or OpenID.

Currently, the BlackBerry community is very heavily defined between business and casual users.  Business users don't always get to load and play with the best applications, with security policies and software load controls in place.  Casual users load every application they can and use the phone for more SMS and leisure activities.  Showing the benefit of both sides would help move users across as well as grow the fight against the every imposing, non-business iPhone in the workplace.  (We are still yet to see policy management for iPhones).

They do have a BlackBerry application for MyBlackBerry that you can fins in AppWorld.  But, alas it is the same thing.  Imagine if they had simply allowed BlackBerry Messenger integration where you could share your online status or even PIN (if you so desired) to make a chat community around the secure Messenger service.

The tips section was some very simple articles but there seems to be a Tips forum that is where the good stuff really is.  They need to find a way to bring these two together and make full articles from them.  The highlighted tips were light and not in volume.  The questions people were asking and answering had some good ones in there.

Lastly, I noticed one thing missing.  There was no device specific way to filter applications or topics.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, September 9th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Watch Facebook make my BlackBerry contacts better. What about Lotus Connections profiles?

We were having an issue with certain BlackBerry devices not being able to turn on integration features on the updated Facebook application.  In short, the new Facebook app should allow you to integrate messaging, calendar synchronization and contact matching.  However the calendar and messaging option was grayed out on our BES devices, but enabled for those not BES server connected.  So off we went to the BES server policies.  A sample of what we saw on the devices is below.

Image:Watch Facebook make my BlackBerry contacts better.  What about Lotus Connections profiles?

What we discovered after reading a ton was there was no policy that controlled the options,  only for a BES 4.x server.  There is a new policy in BES 5 that let's the administrator control how Social Applications interact with devices that have applied policies from BES servers.  It not only controls Facebook, but has very special settings for Lotus Connections individually.  It definitely shows how Lotus and RIM are working together.

So what did we do for the BES 4.x server??  BlackBerry just released a downloadable policy update for BES 4 servers.  You import the policy update, make the necessary changes, apply the updated policy to the users and they are almost instantly able to work with the new features.

The new policy area allows the BES administrator and to control data access on the device for social networking applications.  You can read about the policy update from this technote . It will also point you to a secondary one where you should download the additional policy.

What we did notice missing was the same integration for Lotus Connections.  It would be nice to have profile information, including pictures, pulled in to match my address book like the Facebook application.  Also, the ability to bring Activities into the calendar would be of huge benefit.  Moving into Bookmarks (Dogears) and having those sync to the Blackberry would make Connections a seamless integration point as well.

I'm just saying.
    for this posting

    On Friday, August 7th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Blackberry Storm - 3 months in

I blogged back in January about my first days with the Blackberry Storm.  I was frustrated and still learning.  It had issues.  It boggled me sometimes.  But here is what is different.
  • We upgraded the OS on the Storm from the crappy Verizon version of .74 to a wonderful .109 (do not get .113 yet as it screwed us up)
  • I updated all the applications that came with it or that I installed.  A tremendous difference
  • Crashes virtually went away outside of one where I run the camera off and on too much and I get a reboot.  But they are rare and I live with it
  • The small screen protector film was not noticeable at first until it peeled on a corner.  I thought the screen was broke.  Easy fix, they sell them in packs and protect the screen well.  Just clean it very well before applying a new one
  • I tend to work in landscape mode most of the time.  I like the QWERTY keyboard and got used to it now.  Some apps only work in portrait so I am prepared to swivel as required
  • I do not like the phone dialer.  I was used to just typing a name or number and it would guess.  I now have to go into the phone app, then the contact tab to find someone
  • Screen scrolling is great since the new OS, so no more complaints there
  • I installed a little free app that locks the touch screen when on calls automatically.  You just slide your finger to unlock and access the menus.  It saves you from accidentally hitting some button on the screen with your face
  • There is slight hesitations sometimes when typing, mainly after long use and no restarts.  No big deal.  They are not often enough to be of concern.
  • I like the type ahead guessing (T9 basically) or words and I find it very accurate most of the time
  • I had to get used to where they put some symbols between the numbers icon and sym icon
  • I am finding using the camera to send to Flickr and twitpics quite easy.  It really makes sharing easier
  • More applications are being made for the Storm, increasing the productivity

Just overall I am liking it much more and finding it useful and easy to work with.  This was all after the OS upgrades and application patches.  So do not run away, be prepared to do some work to get it right for now.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, April 21st, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Day 3 with the Blackberry Storm

Day 3 started out a bit better.  I could not immediately get the Blackberry version of the Sametime client working, so I went with Sametime Mobile 8.0.1 and that seemed ok.  There are some issues with the keyboard size overtaking the amount of the chat you can see, but it worked overall.  The new OS has made a difference in the touch screen response, to me that is.

I added a couple more minor applications and found how to organize the screen to my like, well some.  Disappointing that there are still not more themes out there.  But they will come in time.  I found a couple.

As for working with the keyboard for mail, well it worked.  Mainly when you trust the pop up choices for guessing words to interact.  It made typing messages quite easy.  You get used to not rolling over keys with the full qwerty keyboards, but it is an effort to make the switch.  Clicking down on the screen is fine, just wondering how long it will last.  The device should come with a screen protector until I learned that even cold fingers will not work right.  So a screen protector might be as bad.

One downside driving me nuts is the ability to turn off the 'ding' for new messages when it is not in a holster.  I like ti to be silent unless a phone call comes in.  Heck, it didn't even come with a holster in the box itself.  For such a premium device I would expect more.

Another bummer is the different pin setup for the mini USB cable.  Now all my other chargers and cables everywhere do not work.  That is pure insanity that a new cable set is needed from the same manufacturer in the mobile space.

lastly a small config issue on my part I am sure.  The camera keeps taking pictures like it should, but they are nowhere to be found on the device or the memory card as I set the preference.  I am investigating further.

Oh, the lack of wifi sucks based on the size of the device.  Imagine apps to connect up and stream content via wifi?  Now that would rock.. But no.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, January 28th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Day 1 and 2 with the Blackberry Storm

So yesterday upon arriving back from Lotusphere, a shiny device in a box was calling my name to test and see what it can do.  I was weary of it after reading many postings  But after much cajoling from certain admins (*cough* Troy), he did the switch.  Ok, here we go to what happened.

Day 1
  • Upset it had no case that came with it like other ones
  • Didn't like the total weight at first
  • I had played with one sooner so the keyboard was not a huge shocker
  • Limited amount of themes (one isntalled), but I went with the default
  • I was able to easily type, send mail, use the keyboard in landscape or portrait.
  • Great integrations with Flickr, Facebook and many IM clients
  • I am not sure what some of the things do yet, but I am getting there
  • The speaker was cool and videos were nice on the larger screen
  • I didn't like not being able to turn off the dings when it was out of the holster, pet peeve of mine.  Just blink dammit
  • Reception seemed very low
  • But something was amiss

Day 2
  • I loaded OS 4.7 and the interface got smoother
  • Sametime 8.0.1 worked finally
  • Reception got better, much better.  More bars all the time
  • Loading new apps was a breeze, same as yesterday
  • I still am taking pictures and can't find them saved anywhere
  • I started playing with the camera and other apps
  • I still didn't like the weight but you get used to it like anything else

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, January 27th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Blackberry Developers Conference opens registration

I got a ping from the wonderful folks at RIM to let you all know about this as it was being announced.  There are savings for registering this week.  The conference is from October 21-22, 2008  in Santa Clara, CA.  If you develop now or want to develop on the platform, this is the place for you to be.
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 25th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

my not well received thoughts on Lotus Connections for Blackberry

Many of my fellow bloggers have posted and express excitement over Connections for Blackberry.

I, unfortunately, do not share the same enthusiasm. I have already let RIM know those thoughts through some surveys that I already provided.

Lotus Connections for Blackberry screenshot Since this (see screenshot above) has been under development for such a long time, I expected one simple thing. I , without hesitation, expected all five services to be primed and ready. Only have a native Profiles and Dogears makes it useless for my suers to load. For the other 3 services, you have a link that launches a Blackberry browser session that you must log into once again. Humorously I see how Chris Whisonant of Lotus911 only pointed out connecting to BleedYellow via the new client.

Profiles and Activities are arguably the most important parts. But in my opinion, any hook into social software should expose all of the services, or just don't present them until they are ready. Accessing the Connections information via that tiny browser is a terrible experience and I don't want my users doing it. I have been getting deeper into the social networking over the past year or so and see Lotus attempting to make strides. But having a Facebook application for Blackberry that works better and offers more, makes the Lotus Connections one a hard sell.

    for this posting

    On Friday, May 9th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Update on ’Click to Map’ and ’Convert to Call’ Blackberry posting

I posted a couple days ago on the missing feature that we saw at Lotusphere2007, but didn't seem to surface in the Sametime or Blackberry messaging client.  Well I finally got some updates from same avid readers to the blog across timezones (I love the Internet) :
The demo that was shown at Lotusphere used the Ascendant to bridge all the Sametime users into a conference call.

Then another update showed from someone else putting it all together
Today, you are "linking" a Sametime user to an entry in your address book so that you get the added menu items of "Email, Call, SMS, MMS."  RIM will add the Click to Map feature

Looks like a winner when it arrives!
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, December 19th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

’Click to Map’ feature with Sametime and Blackberry - where did it go?

I happened to be poking around Lotus Greenhouse and saw a bookmark from January 2007 (Lotusphere2007) for a press release between Lotus and RIM.  It highlighted the new "Convert to Call" and "Click to Map" that would be possible.
RIM Showcases Unified Communications Breakthrough for Blackberry Users At Lotusphere
RIM is showcasing a new feature called "Click to Map" that will allow users to generate maps on a Blackberry handset within the context of a Lotus Sametime session.  The "Click to Map" feature will launch Blackberry Maps from within the Sametime client software and generate a map that illustrates a colleague's location based on presence information retrieved from Lotus Sametime.

This is a cool feature I would love to see in place.  I know the "Convert to Call" is kind of there, but that seems to not be in place either.  Maybe I missed something in implementation or does this need the Sametime 8 Advanced Server that is not due out till next year some time?  Also, does the map render from the location they type into the client?  I am not sure how that would work either looking at the preferences in the Sametime Connect client for the Blackberry as shown in this screen capture:
Image:’Click to Map’ feature with Sametime and Blackberry - where did it go?

I can't seem to find a menu item for mapping the user in the Business Card or main screen.  Anyone?
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, December 18th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Facebook is released for the Blackberry, Lotus Connections is still in testing I hear.. here is a screenshot of mine all loaded up

Image:Facebook is released for the Blackberry, Lotus Connections is still in testing I hear..  here is a screenshot of mine all loaded up

You can grab it at  by the way
    for this posting

    On Thursday, October 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

My Diary - 4 days as a Blackberry only user, no PC access

So it all started on Sunday when I went to the airport to head over to Finland via New York.  Of course I check my flight status, get last minute emails and other weird things people do to waste time on the Blackberry.  I land in New York and check the next flight as I walk across the terminal, looking with half an eye so I do not run into anyone.  Or anyone else checking their Blackberry or smartphone that happens to be walking towards me.  

We don't look anyone in the eye anymore, we stare at tiny few inch screens.  Or we walk with the Borg attachments in our ears in circles in the airline lounge talking to seemingly no one.  Quite loudly.  In circles.  Loudly.  Talking to no one.  We have cords strung from our ears to our waists and can type 40 words per minute without looking and with one hand.  We can re-book a flight while everyone else stands in line, but we can't remember how to communicate with people verbally.  Heck, half the people try to mimic smiley faces with gestures now just to act like they are sending chats

I shut down all electronic devices as required and prepare to get some rest on the flight.  Which does not go as planned, but not as bad as getting no sleep at all.  Once off the plane it is time to turn the Blackberry back on to check if the car service is there and if any other plans had changed.  All is well and on schedule.  I arrive at the customer site and get straight to work.  They don't have an extra network line ready for me in the conference room and I accept that I cannot get on the wireless.  No problem, the corporate housing awaits that evening (or 8am my normal home time)  So I would not have missed much of anything and I got email all day.  well the housing has one TV in a common area and one PC line in there also.  No lines in the rooms, no wireless.  I can live with that.  Until I discover that the PC line there only accesses their Intranet and you need a username and password for the proxy.  I send a quick email with the Blackberry to the team I worked with.  Some answers from their Nokia phones.  We can check tomorrow.  I say hey, I have email and a bunch of DVD's  haven't watched anyway!  Time to relax for a night.

The next day I load JiveTalk to consolidate all my IM services onto my Blackberry instead of individual clients.  More on that later.  I like it though.  I also have the office set me on tether modem on the Blackberry but overseas it gives me some weird error.  Maybe because you dial that weird #777, who knows.  I work on that later.  Word comes from the security team that they are very unfriendly and do not have or will issue a temporary proxy account so I can use the network there or at the housing.  So I am full fledged Blackberry and accept my fate.
  • Lotus Notes email access - well duh, BES server
  • Sametime - Yes, Sametime Mobile 8
  • Chat - JiveTalk for AOL, Yahoo, ICQ, Google and MSN
  • Google email - yes I have the downloaded Blackberry mail app from them
  • Other emails already configured to go to the Blackberry device through BIS
  • News and such - many choices.  Bloglines for Blackberry and Pocket Express
  • Facebook - Blackberry access in browser at
  • Jaiku - Blackberry access via JaikuBerry
  • Blackberry Messenger - for all the time chat to the wife on her 8830 and also friends with Blackberry that have connected
  • Tethered Modem - heck no, Verizon Access manager needed which takes a PC to get.  Their website is not Blackberry friendly at all and really needs a WAP interface.  All the darn scripts drove me nuts using the Blackberry browser

So where do I sit now?  Thumbs really do hurt some, the battery goes faster when you constantly use it, I expect no less.  Could I make it my lifeline, sure.  Do I need some of the Domino apps, sure.  That is how we do business.  having them offline is great, but not being able to sync does no one any good.  The Blackberry stepped up when it needed to and covered all the basics.  It does have me on the hunt for even more and better applications for it too.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Update on the Blackberry and Domino 8 posting I made

An excerpt from the pdf found

BlackBerry servers may crash unexpectedly when the server Name and Address Book (NAB) is upgraded to the new Notes/Domino 8 design or when users switch to the mail8 template. On your server console, you may see an error similar to the following:
Process E:\domino\nBES.EXE (4172/0x104C) has terminated abnormally
In addition, NSD may or may not activate. In either case, the BES task is not functioning, and BlackBerry users will be unable to receive mail.
Workaround Administrators should upgrade to the latest BES release that has Domino 8 support.

It's page 18 and 19.

Read the pdf right here

    for this posting

    On Monday, April 9th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Blackberry and Domino 8 beta issues

If you are running Blackberry server version 4.0.x or something below 4.1.3 (so far in our testing) and then load the Notes 8 client or server and change your mail template you make the BES server go boom over and over and over.  We had a mail template modified to Domino 8 and then the BES 4.1.0 server hit it and it crashed continuously for some time until we found it.  Our internal server is 4.1.3 and we have had no issues with the Domino 8 templates.

However!  RIM states no support of Domino 8 in any fashion at this time so run at your own risk
    for this posting

    On Friday, April 6th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Real-Time Collaboration Seminar in Frankfurt recap days 1-2

Everyone in the room just about had a Blackberry.  So all those talks about not many European countries having them is way off in this attendee group.

Sametime 7.5 was not widely deployed, it was only in testing at a couple sites.  Scaling the current sites as they migrate was a key factor to the entire group.  They had many wishlist items, some of which I posted into the necessary forums.

There was no chat logging requirements or demand from anyone here.  Most of the concern seemed to be, from my angle, how this gets deployed, how I manage the new Sametime Connect client, what kind of plug-ins are available and issues around current deployments.

Now one thing I hold close is the Sametime Gateway.  Eyebrows were raised when we covered this topic as the business need could not be defined.  Each of the US cities we did for this seminar wanted more time for this topic.  Here, it was well received, but we spent extra time on reasoning and doing live demonstrations showing the differences live in how a user would appear using a public name versus a corporate name in the public systems.  I had a couple side questions after the sessions that showed there was some interest now that it was better understood.

More after we start the Blackberry sessions.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, March 13th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

DST steps from the sweep we did

I said I would type this up so I went one better and recorded a mini podcast from the St Louis User Group meeting today where we talked about the DST changes we did at Connectria. I will compile that tonight and get that published.

But as a quick note, look for another new agent ( to come out and fix some of the looping script errors we received on numerous servers while running the server based agent against the mailfiles.  We saw this on more than a few customers across versions of templates as well as Domino versions.  It drove us nuts, and wasted a lot of time to have to go into the text files and remove the offending user mailfile to get the agent to run on.  Until it encountered another one and looped again.  Now some ran without incident.  Others stopped more than 20 times on larger sites.

I also talk about the order we did things and across the product lines.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, February 27th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

My attempt at a full day of Sametime Mobile work ... errors and usability

So today I went all day trying to use Sametime Mobile for my normal day to day activities while on the road.  This just didn't cut it for a power user that is used to manipulating around the client.  This would have been one of those areas that should have been in beta for some testing.  I don't know if it was, some let me say that also, it might have been.

1) I had a chat, invited another per the menu item but it opened another chat window instead.  Ok, I might have did it wrong, but the way it shows the screens does not make it clear how to select multiple people at once or to add someone correctly to an existing one.

2)  Now, the new chat window only had one menu item in it for some reason., the word Close.  I took that to be close that chat.  No, it closed Sametime Mobile entirely!!  I then had to log in again to go the #3

2) Finally figured out how to do group chat.  Once the 3rd person joined it threw an error  Cannot chat with cn=xxxx/O=Connectria.  Error code = -2147475456.  Now after clicking the OK button, it took me into the group chat.  I think this is a bad closing of the single chat moving it to group mode.  The icon changed to a group symbol with my name instead of the normal of whom I was chatting with as an individual.

Of course, I still do not like the blue and black where everyone in the group is blue.  Can we get different colors for each person?  Now that would be a huge benefit too
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, February 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Day 1 - Real Time Collab Seminar and a Nasty sametime.ini variable

During the day, which had decent turnout even right behind Lotusphere, a question arose revolving around trusting the IP address of the Sametime Gateway in the Sametime server.  The person stated that they had placed the following:

in the sametime.ini thereby allowing all IP addresses to be trusted.  So in turn, did they still need to go into stconfig.nsf and list the IP address of the Sametime Gateway.  Some research says this is not the setting they are using and that if they are using the one I think:

instead, then they are allowing any server to connect to their Sametime server.  The first ini variable should have been a list of IP addresses and not a 1 (one).  This setting should only be utilized during debugging connectivity issues and then should revert back to the trusted list.  If they are running this in production, we will cover it tomorrow in how to clean it up.

Otherwise it was good to see everyone in the room was running Sametime, outside of 1 person, already.  A few had test installs of 7.5.1 running but no one had gotten near the Sametime Gateway.  The user ranges were from under 50 to over 10k.  Which gives a nice slice of environment sizes to cover examples with.  It seems there are still not enough Sametime marketing campaigns for some reason to reach everyone.  While they have it in place, so much of the capabilities and architecture were still unknown to them.  Wait till Day 2.

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, February 20th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Update to yesterday’s DST patch and Sametime Mobile issue

I mentioned we found the issue with the DST patch issued by RIM that caused Sametime Mobile on the Blackberry to stop working.  Well removing the entire Sametime Mobile program and downloading it again fixed the issue.  Sametime Mobile works once again.  This was posted as a comment to my blog posting and also we had confirmed it earlier in the morning today on our own Blackberrys.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, February 15th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

New DST bug found for Sametime Mobile and Blackberry

We went ahead and moved on with more internal testing with all the DST patches before our big outage.  This test was to push the Blackberry DST patch to the handhelds and have them restart.  Patch went on great.  However, after the patch was loaded, Sametime Mobile client for Blackberry will not start.  As soon as the client code begins it crashes.  No log in screen, nothing.  Blackberry without the DST patch loads the Sametime Mobile just fine still.  Yes we did this on more than one BB device of different versions too.  Sucks to be them (for some reason my DST patch didn't download).

Update: After this point I got one IM saying they had the same issue and now an email with the same result. Blackberry Enterprise Messenger will still work however.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, February 14th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Overview of Real-Time Collaboration Seminar - Philly

So today ends the 3-day seminar.  I crammed in a podcast, announcing the Lotusphere2007 t-shirts with the Taking Notes guys and even digging deep in the conversations around the Sametime Gateway.

As for here, the normal array.  Only a couple hands running older versions of Sametime, from 3.1 and below.  No one really had a full implementation of 7.5 outside of a couple small shops.  One site even used the integrated calendaring feature to invite the Sametime server for all of their meetings.  I do not see that often at all.

The demand for scalable and clustered architectures was the largest I had seen so far.  There were some larger enterprises represented that were asking about architecture design and deploying everything from clusters to MUX's with load balancers.  It was nice to see that Sametime 7.5 is becoming a commodity and looked upon as a business tool.  The session on plug-ins showed some of the capabilities, and now that I have tested and actually ran the auto updates from the server side, it made the push in that direction stronger for myself.  I took great interest in the new redpaper Carl mentioned and can't wait for it to hit full redbook.  It has a couple cool plug-in ideas.  It will offer some sample code download too.

Deployment was a concern, mainly over the amount of features.  I posed a question to Adam G offline asking about the ability to reduce memory load by removing feature sets from the client.  This was asked more than once by attendees here and other cities.  Basically the thinking is that if I am not using it or deploying it, why do I have to show it and can I save from that in memory.

Dinner the second night (the first night I missed a connection due to mechanical issues on the plane) was at Bella Trattoria.  Excellent food, thanks to Andy P for choosing.  Otherwise I got to see nothing outside of the hotel and a walk to a local sports grille.
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    On Wednesday, December 13th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

More Sametime 7.5 Mobile on Blackberry

  • I received a comment yesterday asking about the 7100 and SureType.  Well an answer was presented in the Sametime Forum that says SureType is possible with a quick manual user intervention.  You need to go into Preferences on the mobile device for Display and select Full Screen Input.  But then enter doesn't just send the text, you have to click the wheel.  I didn't like that much.  Luckily mine is the 8703 so I don't have that issue.
  • Setting text size bigger than small made it easier to read but took up a lot of real estate which meant scrolling.  So the default small font worked for me. Emoticons looked the same.
  • Chat history on the mobile device is great.  When you jump into a chat it pulls the previous bit of history.  That is very cool
  • The icon for the 7200 series is just a big blue square.  However, on the 8703 it shows as the familiar Sametime icon, even if it was a bit larger than the other desktop icons.
  • Port 80 access for tunneling seems to work as Gerco reported, we went for the default 8082 to test.
  • The ability to flip between multiple open chats and the buddylist is nice.
  • N-Way chats are very cool and interesting.
  • Get ready for the standard blue and black text
  • Get used to the option in the click menu.  I thought would back me out until I realized it did close Sametime instead of the window I thought I was in.   is at the bottom of the scroll list instead of towards the top
  • I didn't test Quick Find yet, will do when more are online with the new client
  • Alert Me should be fun to play with.  I wonder if it carries over into the client too, or just the mobile device.

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    On Wednesday, November 1st, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Real-Time Collaboration and Mobility Seminar - Chicago Day 1

Now the humorous part is that the total hotel lost power this morning at around 7:15am.  So that meant walking down the stirs from upper floors, power generators in the meeting room for the projector and laptops and candles on all the tables for some light.  (it was quite cloudy and dreary outside)  About halfway through the first session it all came back on.

I have had the link to the
Real-Time Collaboration and Mobility Seminar on the side of my blog for some time.  An excellent turnout for the first city with over 120,000 Sametime users represented with versions ranging from 3.0 to 7.5.  Many did not have Sametime installed anywhere at this point.

After covering the bandwidth and basic server build session, many were left for lack of better words, stunned.  You can consume unbelievable amounts of bandwidth with audio/video in place and configured for higher quality.

IBM took the stage to do two sessions (one in progress) on Web Conferencing and one on IM.  They were built around the high end of show and tell, not just marketing, but not highly technical.

After lunch we jumped into plug-ins in the Sametime client.  From building to deploying and where they get updated from.   Peeked at a couple samples and showed some security concerns around them

Last session of the day was opening your environment to the public networks with the RTC Gateway.  More on that shortly.

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    On Monday, October 23rd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

WebMessenger loaded on Blackberry for Skype

That is what the Skype looks like on the Blackberry.  Not bad.  Uses SkypeOut to make the calls and runs as a plug-in for the desktop Skype for the free version.  A good compromise in some ways.  Sucks in others.  The documentation was a bit misleading on how to get it configured, plus it gave 2 icons on the Blackberry with no reason what the difference was.

  Also, the Skype id was to be used locally on the Blackberry (one would think) but in turn, you have some weird id name you enter into the WebMessenger plug-in that links the two together.  Keep that in mind if you download this freeware portion.  Just a step that you have to mix the guide and online help in figuring out.

Next up is the Sametime integration.  I already had Skype for the U3 working successfully, this is a nice addition so far.
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    On Tuesday, July 25th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime, Skype, Blackberry and WebMessenger

Talk about a mix.  I came across an article found here that then linked to WebMessenger.  Now I had seen this product when we started doing Blackberry rollouts for customers (and ourselves) but never investigated further.  I found the first part interesting in how the company states that their mobile client is used by IBM.  I never have seen anyone mention it from IBM or seen it in action.  I am curious to see how that would function as an extension to our Sametime environments.

Next, Naylor says, WebMessenger will be expanding beyond Skype. "We have SIP compatibility as well, and so we're going to be rolling out similar capabilities for various SIP-enabled networks and telephony systems," he says.  "On the enterprise side, we're close partners with IBM - in fact, they deploy our mobile client internally as the extension to Lotus Sametime on the desktop."

But this is the part I really enjoyed.  Grabbing connectivity to other SIP providers for integrated click-to-call and conferencing.
The release of Lotus Sametime 7.5 this fall, Naylor says, will add a full set of voice capabilities. "They'll have click-to-call and Web conferencing, all tied into various telephony systems from Avaya, Siemens, Nortel, and so forth - and all of those are SIP-compliant systems as well, so we can provide that same capability out to the mobile device for them," he says.

I grabbed the Sametime integration for WebMessenger and will play with that and the Skype part on the Blackberry.  Here comes the review.

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    On Tuesday, July 25th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Completed ’training’ for Advanced Admin for Blackberry for Domino and Exchange

We are starting to host more and more Blackberry so we imagined it would be best to have the official class from RIM to make sure we haven't missed anything.  Well, it seems we haven't missed much.  There was a few tips and tricks we picked up.  But, having done so much of it now, we had a good grasp.

The diagrams of the internal flow were very nice to have and reference though.  Those were a huge help.  The instructor knew his stuff and only put off a couple questions he needed answers for.  Most were specific to things we were trying to do but fall outside the normal scope.

Now, I have had talks with the product managers at RIM at conferences and follow-ups.  They are still missing the boat on a couple things with true scalability and deployment in a large hosting environment.  Recently, RIM announced a hosting package but it was not well defined and the instructor had no knowledge.  From all of my readings it still lacks some true scalability features we require.  True clustering and failover are not there and policies need some more granularity and inheritance control.

But send us your hosting needs for Blackberry, that area is growing quite rapidly
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    On Wednesday, July 19th, 2006   by Chris Miller