Blog might be using your content without permission - beware

LotusLearns is a Blogger based site that is apparently aggregating numerous blog and IBM content and republishing exact duplicates in mass.  While after Nov 2011 they started putting a small link at the beginning of the post to the original content, they are then reproducing your entire blog post or technical information in theirs with no other attribution.

Humorously they often leave information in the posts that specifically state not to do so like this from Bob Balaban found in this posting:

Continue Reading here" might be using your content without permission - beware" »
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    On Friday, April 20th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

For $7500 you too can be a Redbook Author

I was intrigued by the offer that came in from IBM to all business partners about Redguide opportunities via the IBM Redbook program.  Apparently you can now write a guide that uses your company solution and have it placed in the free resource site we all love called IBM Redbooks.
Now, for the first time, your company can leverage the IBM Redbooks brand and audience by creating an IBM Redguide publication featuring your solution and how it solves challenges and provides unique business value.

They had me at this point thinking this would be great to build one around a solution that wasn't over the top marketing.  An enhanced whitepaper was my thought.  I was confused they were using the IBM Redbooks branding since that resource was always free and immeasurable in most instances into deep technical knowledge.  Partners and consultants spent months on site writing these deep dives all day.

I then got to the below:

Image:For $7500 you too can be a Redbook Author

So for one year and $7500 USD you can push your solution into the search results of IBM Redbooks.  Do you find value in this as a partner or a devalue in IBM Redbooks?
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    On Thursday, November 3rd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

How Lotus Greenhouse catalog breaks widget downloads from working

You can also watch the above video in HD on my IdoNotes YouTube channel right here.   A wiki article has been created as well.

After submitting my Lotus Blogger Search Widget successfully to the Lotus Greenhouse Catalog last week (original posting), I was happy to see downloads start.  Then the comments of failure began.  Well after some sleuth work and willing testers, I found the cause and solution which I posted there.  I am more than happy to share those comments and thoughts here as well.  Remember it is not a plug-in, a widget.
In order to successfully download my widget, and future ones successfully, from the Lotus Greenhouse you must do the following crazy steps:

Open your local names.nsf -> Advanced -> Accounts -> entry -> edit -> supply missing credentials -> save and close -> restart Notes -> drag widget again successfully

Basically the widget can only be accessed via a username/password even for the xml file.  So Greenhouse attempts to create a local account.  The local account it creates on the fly can not get your web credentials to the Greenhouse site.  So the error is generated.

Apparently Lotus has known about this for at least 8 months since I found a document addressing it from Feb 2010.  No fix, no solution and a bad way to get it.  I will point users to my blog instead for now.

(Update before this got published)  Lotus has acknowledged this is a Notes regression bug under Spr OAGU88XK87 that worked in Notes 8.5 and broke in 8.5.1 and 8.5.2.  This will make it in 8.5.2 FP1 and 8.5.3 but it is a client fix.  Keep that in mind.

All of this had nothing to do with the widget itself as it only allows you to select text in any Notes document, right click and do a custom search!
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    On Monday, November 1st, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Why not just blog it all?

A great rounds of questions today via Twitter from Mitch Cohen on some of the blog changes at IdoNotes that I began mading last week.  Let me run through them here and hopefully give a better feel for my thoughts in more than 140 characters

Chris, so this blog is now nothing more than an advertisement for your e-mail only subscription newsletter?

Not at all.  I have only mentioned the newsletter twice since announcing the change, giving an idea of what content will start showing up in the newsletter material.  There will be plenty for the blog itself, outside of the podcasts.  Also, the newsletter is free.  So there is no "ads" in that manner.

If someone finds todays post in a month and they are not already subscribed, how do they access the content?

Subscribers will have access to all the archive content.  More on that is coming.  But access will be there.

so if it is all free.. why not just blog it?

There is the million dollar question.  I have been running in this mode for over 7 years and found that I never know who is reading some of the content or what topics they want to see more of.  The newsletter also allows me to expand in editorial without some of the searches and others intermingling the technical documents with the pure editorial.  Also, I can target many of the exclusives that I get right to the readers that want to see it the most and make sure you can take part,.  Instead of blasting it to thousands and then first come first serve.  I have found this to be an issue in the past and I like the idea of the most faithful readers getting the most benefit from the content.

This isn't just an experiment, but an evolving change of many things that are taking place right now across my sharing, reach and futures.
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    On Wednesday, February 24th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Apparently the vendor that pissed me off before doesn’t read my blog

Back in early December, I put the company BitWeld on blast for their marketing tactic.  I was sure that would be the end.  Well they are back again with the exact same thing, just in a smaller envelope.

While the service itself looks to have opportunity, the way they keep sending these private and confidential letters to offices leads me to believe they have shady business practices.  I sat back and thought, well they are selling secure file transfer and message services.  However, there is always an air of mystery receiving something marker personal at work with no corporate sender on the envelope either.   Just the persons individual name and address.

So maybe I was not clear before and will make sure to send them the link to this shortly.
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    On Tuesday, January 26th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

How to piss me off if you are a vendor

Most know, I rarely get noticeably pissy.  I receive tons of blind ads, press releases and the like in mail, email, tweets or whatever.  But this parcel arrived today (nice big expensive padded one for no reason after you read below), from a name and location unknown to me.

Image:How to piss me off if you are a vendor
Once I opened this, cautiously, I found:
  •  a printout of our corporate webpage with big red circles around two parts
  • a white placard with a note from this guy
  • a product sheet from them behind our webpage
  • his business card
All of this was paper clipped together.  So before I shredded the card and failed to pass it on to anyone here, a little lesson.  This should have been sent right to the product managers attention, even blindly.  You would stand a far better chance with selling BitWeld here if you had some tact in how you sent the cold call over.  It might be the perfect product, have everything imaginable at the best price.  But, it certainly has now been put on hold in my office.  Sending a "personal and confidential" letter to an office with no company name included, is a bit shady to me.  Sure, maybe it's a bad day, or I am taking it out, but for some reason that got under my skin.  Am I alone here?
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    On Friday, December 4th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Invitations open for Mauveverse

Mauveverse is a step up from the current Yellowverse.  It is a more calm network of professionals that use the word professional.  We all gather under one flag and fend off the numerous other corporate email and application systems since the Mauveverse pays our bills (in most instances).

We don't have disparate community sites, side chats, forums, web conferences and more.  We kinda hang out together at least once a year to bear our soul for free to anyone that will come into a room and listen while trying to spend 38.98789423 minutes inside a free Disney theme park

We actively test each others products, which are regularly free to others in the community, and give feedback where we can.  We recommend each others services where appropriate, and don't bash the other one when we fight for the same business space.  We just promote ourselves and offer the best package.

We share code, templates and answer a billion inquiries.  This is a rule as being known as one of the people with the freaking knowledge.  Out of 100+ million users, it seems the ~340 blog owners and forum participants (yes that is 0.00035% folks) that are deemed as the elders, wizards, council of elders, whatever the hell, cant peacefully sit back then the underlying followers soon disband and create their own communities.

So registration will be opening soon, who is signing up?
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    On Wednesday, July 29th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

How we in the Lotus world make fragmented islands, not communities (evolving document)

One of the things  currently wrong in how we handle discussions in the Lotus community is the tiny islands we seem to create on a regular basis.  Before we go further, I am not saying any implementation is bad, wrong or whatever.  It is how it all fits together.  I have learned a lot the past year from some of the top social media people out there, and fragmentation is a key issue we face.

Lotusphere has brought that out even more with the beginning of support from IBM on the Twitter account I created last year (that was brushed aside as a communication channel) a new LinkedIn group and another blog for Lotusphere itself.  Yet none of the blogs (myself temporarily included) uses some of the commenting systems like IntenseDebate or Disqus (that then integrates with things like FriendFeed and Plaxo and Seesmic for video comments).  Your RSS feeds can even utilize flares inside of Feedburner to show numbers of comments dynamically and aggregated.  
Just today there were new conversations started on LinkedIn that are good Lotusphere information.  But if you have not joined that group or go back and watch it, you would never know. Even the LotusUserGroup site has weekly forums that fragment the discussions on Notes.Net.  Not to mention the ones that take place inside isolated business partner and company forums.  So where do you go to keep up?

Then we get into the multiple Lotus Connections sites popping up.  From Greenhouse to Paxos (for partners) to BleedYellow, yet more links, blogs and other information is fragmented once again.  Of course, none of these interact with each other and RSS is not a fully acceptable answer since we would have to still log in and out everywhere to actually participate and not just read.

We won't even get into how all of us bookmark.  With LinkJam, Dogear, Diigo (my favorite), Delicious, Magnolia and the 250 other ones.  How to we all get aligned?  We start be trimming down the sites we utilize.  From bookmarks, to shared RSS feeds, to communication channels to comments and conversations.  We begin to include and mix technologies instead of isolating.  We ask what people think of sites and items and if no one has an idea, we go test.  From there we might begin to bring a lot of this together.  I run into Lotus people all over the world that have no clue about the blogs, PlanetLotus or anything else but Notes.Net (LDD).  How do we start including these people in the conversations?
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    On Thursday, December 18th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

NetworkWorld: IBM reaches out to colleges (but leaves out Lotus Notes?)

In a recent NetworkWorld article titled "IBM's answer to IT skills crunch", it discusses all the new ways IBM is reaching out to universities to get them new tools and resources.  Included were such items as:
  • database technology - DB2 Express C in particular
  • Web 2.0 development - WebSphere sMash
  • web server development - WAS community edition and Apache

But wait, I found another one and got all excited:
  • team based development - Team Concept portal based on Jazz

The article goes on and on leaving off everything around the name Lotus.  No Domino, no Connections, no Mashup, No Sametime, no nothing.  For all the touting of how they are winning in instant messaging and social networking as well as enterprise collaboration, what did IBM use to select the models?

Stuart sent me his blog entry thoughts and link to the press release
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    On Friday, June 20th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

ATTMetroFree can bite me as it blocks Notes traffic

Our city allowed AT&T to come in and fire up a free wireless mesh downtown that covers like 8x8 square blocks.  Something like that.  There is 2 mesh networks available.  The first one they offer, called ATTMetroFree is a slower, yet free, wifi network.  It has a banner on your browser, so no big deal.  They attempt to do pop-ups, but anyone in their right mind blocks them nowadays.  But if they think that is working, fine.  So I can do SSL and all the web browsing I want.  However, it will not allow Notes traffic.  I first noticed it when attempting to replicate.  So I fired up NotesPing and watched as they block 1352.  Bastages.  Screenshot here.

Image:ATTMetroFree can bite me as it blocks Notes traffic

I didn't even think about trying their other mesh ATTMetroWifi that charges a daily or weekly rate to browser.  In price it is comparable, like $7 USD a day or $15/week.  Good for the traveler and they guarantee VPN and higher speeds.  But what the heck is going on here?  Throttle my connection is you need, but why are you blocking ports.

So I dutifully switch the networks the local cafe's offer, unrestricted or gosh forbid in an emergency grab a loft wifi that got left open.
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    On Monday, May 5th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Lotus Bluehouse makes me blue

The Lotus Bluehouse homepage shows what is contained as features inside the product.  I even did a great podcast with Martha and Satwik in Episode 49.  Overall the site has performed well with a clean interface.  Past that I can't talk much about what it offers.  My focus here is the idea that business will use Bluehouse as SAAS.

I just don't see the adoption occurring.  With Lotus Foundations floundering in the east; and Bluehouse in the west; with the large Google Apps bringing the cold chill of SMB domination from the north, migrating south to full in house Domino implementations doesn't sound half bad.  I want to see the wrapper of Bluehouse able to integrate with my current infrastructure as an extension point, not  a choice.

Activities integration is cool, online meetings is excellent with the Unyte portfolio, and sharing files always works well.  But with no true email integration it hurts.  You can do Sametime for the chat capabilities, but if Bluehouse is shared, how do they just let me see my co-workers?

I don't know, I might not get "it" just yet, but Lotus has tried SAAS many times over, and as one of their larger hosting providers that has tried every part of it, the attached wings with Domino and SAAS won't fly until things like provisioning, isolation, and proper user management can happen.
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    On Monday, April 14th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Sending blanket emails with in them?

I found this more than hilarious and surprising that it wasn't even registered until 2000.  But if you ever send email with this domain or put your address as this, well he gets it.  From the Washington Post:
When businesses want to communicate with their customers via e-mail, many send messages with a bogus return address, e.g. "" The practice is meant to communicate to recipients that any replies will go unread.

But when those messages are sent to an inactive e-mail address or the recipient ignores the instruction and replies anyway, the missives don't just disappear into the digital ether.

Instead, they land in Chet Faliszek's e-mail box

Amazingly banks and numerous companies do just this
In a blog post cleverly titled "What's in Your Return Address Field," Faliszek posted another bank screw up last month after he began receiving replies from Capital One customers inquiring about various details of their accounts. He says Capital One appears to have used as the return address for automated payment transfers and debits set up by customers.

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    On Monday, March 31st, 2008   by Chris Miller        

(Dis) connecting from is easy to do, since you cant connect

Some of the IBM bloggers (Chris Pepin and Adam G) have recently posted on how strong and wonderful the external Sametime server, known as,  for IBM is.  Now let's clarify a few things.  First, it is not a Sametime Gateway server.  It is an old Sametime 3.1 server as shown in this image here:
Image:(Dis) connecting from is easy to do, since you cant connect

If it was a Sametime Gateway, then everyone would be firing up gateway servers to connect to it, you could not use your Sametime client directly. So moving on.  I am able to log into this site via the web interface (HTTP), I am able to chat via the old Java connect client.  But I cannot log in via the Sametime Connect client, for about the last two years.  This has been pointed out in the partner forums for a long time, and each time the upgrade and fixing of this service gets pushed for numerous reasons.  Adam once again mentions a quarter and change freeze.  What happened to all of 2007 and 2006?  That freeze gets mentioned over and over.  That must be one of the coldest server rooms in existence.  Yet the demo servers in DFW get upgraded on a consistent basis.  Chris pointed out that it worked for Sametime 7.5, yet that was a select few.  Many people got bumped somewhere along the road and the excuse was also made of compatibility issues.  So we have compatibility, freezes, finance and a ton of others for the past few years.

I am one of the lucky ones that do communicate over the Sametime Gateway.  I am on BleedYellow.  But to have a public facing Sametime server that doesn't work right for years is not a good experiment..  Mitch (a hosted blogger here as well as a large customer reference at Lotusphere) even comes out with a blog comment on the state of the server.

So I will go out on a limb here and make a theory. No insider knowledge, just a theory.  Many of the employees do not want you contacting them directly, bypassing support.  Many of them would get understandably overwhelmed with pings form all over.  I really try to be sparing in contact because I know how my chats can be overwhelming during the day sometimes.  So having this take it's little time, and having sites like BleedYellow and make it an extra step for an IBM'er to log in.  Adam does a good job of being online all over, but he is product management and wants the exposure.  Developers really do not.
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    On Wednesday, March 19th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Lotusphere2008 - like an arline, now taking Hands-on standby’s

Apparently an email went out last night to many of you letting you pre-register for hands-on sessions.  Oddly, I am one of many who did not get it and when I finally got the URL forwarded, it said I was not even allowed to reserve a slot in any hands-on session.

I saw this idea floating around weeks ago and had mixed emotion.  While I like the idea of not having the mad scramble, what happens to those that would have waited hours at a door and did not get this email in time?  What happens when someone does not show so the Southwest Airlines stand-by lines begin?  How disappointing to be the 10th stand-by and 9 make it in.  I think the most disturbing was that it was a late at night email in batches (some got it as early as 9pm PST apparently).  How does everyone get a fair shot at sessions and are speakers not eligible?  Is everyone pleased with how they got the chance to attend a hands-on session?  Did you make it in?  Did you make all the ones you wanted?
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    On Thursday, January 10th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Lotus announces Atlas for Lotus Connections but didn’t check their compass

Numerous sites are reporting the release of Atlas for Lotus Connections.  I will link those below.  My thoughts first.

While this is a step in the right direction for giving users a visual tool to extract and work with data that is contained inside of Lotus Connections, why the heck is this an IBM Software Services Asset that must be purchased as a consulting agreement?  That is ludicrous considering the amount of free social networking sites that offer this type of capability inside of their free products.  Lotus Connections is not a cheap purchase and is an investment in the growing world of social networking in the enterprise, this is a toolset that should be available now and included in how you work with Connections.  Staring at web pages all day with no dashboard or visualization makes the product dry.  I have seen many products that were Lotus assets stop dead in their tracks.  Too many places are trying for a piece of the corporate social network pie.  Lotus has to make strides to be far ahead of the competition to keep a hold on this emerging market.

For example, check out the simple site Spokeo for a dashboard across multiple social networks.  I have a podcast with them coming out in a few days, look for it to describe how to make a dashboard and soon to provide some better management of the data you receive.

From Infoworld:
"Atlas looks at the data within Connections and does some visualizations of the information," said Chris Lamb, senior product manager. "The main point is that it is a way to visualize the social data from a line-of-business perspective and a personal level."

The Atlas suite contains four components dubbed My Net, Find, Reach, and Net.

IBM is selling Atlas through its Software Services for Lotus group. Lamb declined to provide specific pricing information.

Good idea and having multiple parts of the product makes it expansible.  Reach is the dashboard tool to navigate the six-degrees of separation and to find expertise.  Find, well it finds things.  How it differs from search is not clear.  Net somehow builds on the ideas of communities, not sure how yet.

The actual IBM webpage on the topic gives some basic description while pointing you to IBM Software Services (ISS) to make a project out of installing, defining, piloting and then deploying Atlas and Connections.  The blog also has the announcement

The Money on CNN page also had another variance on the announcement.

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    On Tuesday, December 18th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

The Sametime 8 upgrade is not an upgrade in reality - lesson learned from yesterday

I made this posting yesterday to an interesting number of comments and this one might go a bit further.  Sametime 8 gets closer to an actual provisioned installation.  Much better indeed.  I praise Lotus for listening to my rants on provisioning and deployment management.  However, this became a noticeable problem here and after consideration and some talks with those deep in the bowels of Lotus Sametime development we (as in they and I) confirmed my fears upon first testing.

Here is what happens.  Sametime 8 does not see the previous install path (as shown yesterday) since it is not upgrading your Sametime 7.5.x client.  It is installing Sametime 8 and then uninstalling 7.5.x from your system.  It reads your settings and places them into a lookaside database to move them across during provisioning of the new 8.0 client.  What this means to you is that you then cannot install into the same directory you had 7.5.x at first.  If you install 8.0 into that folder and then it goes to uninstall 7.5.x it really removes all the new files also.  Quite the conundrum isn't it?  I know I want mine in the same path all the time.  With this scenario, I cannot hit the site and have it upgrade what I have in place.  So if you have company standards on how the client is installed, you may be looking at uninstalling the old version from everywhere, then running the install for 8 afterwards into that same directory.

Lotus also changed the folder structure and naming of the Sametime Connect files.  This adds a new level of change for the plug-ins.   We will cover more on plug-ins on the next posting.
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    On Wednesday, December 12th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

A warning if you run the Premier Audio adapter for Sametime

We ran into this issue the past week and I wanted to share this.  We have a Sametime server that runs the 7.x code stream with the 7.x Sametime code on top.  It also has the Premier Audio Adapter for holding the audio bridge conference portion.  Well it suddenly stopped working and communicating with Premier to begin the bridge.  IBM seemed to be stumped and pushed us to Premier.  Premier says they don't totally "really" support it either since it was developed by IBM and handed to them.  So we get stuck in the middle.

Alas, never mind that portion we found the culprit of why it stopped working.  Premier updated their SSL certificate on October 4th of this year.  The local keyfile had the expired previous certificate.  So it just never connected.  No warning, no alert, no log.  No connection.

We could get no debug variables to place in for the adapter so after a clean install and replace some files I copy in below, all was well once again after a week of running in circles.  Good job to Chris O at my office for sticking this through and beating out of them that they changed their SSL after we told them that was an issue a ton of times before we got confirmation.

The AA install program installs a stkeys.jks file that I cant 'open' using Ikeyman, (haven't tried certsrv). So after a re-install i delete the stkeys.jks file that the audio adaptor creates, and then create a new one using Ikeyman. But the Equifax cert ( the SSL cert premiere uses )  isn't included by default so I had to download it and add it to the stkeys.jks.

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    On Tuesday, October 30th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

When postings conflict..

I just got the recent DominoPower newsletter in my inbox.  The top article is why the author still recommends  Lotus Notes  over Exchange.  The ND8 Upgrade Seminar has an ad at the bottom that appeared on one of the pages even.  But this ad really caught my eye:
GSS Notes to Outlook migration
Global System Services announced its latest email migration tool, NSF2PST. The NSF2PST tool enables large-scale conversion of Lotus Notes email files ("NSF" files) to the popular Microsoft Outlook Personal Store ("PST") format. NSF2PST can be used for email migrations as well as for data recovery and computer forensics

The author of the article and the company pushing this migration tool away from Lotus Notes is exactly the same!!   In the same issue.  Maybe it is just me today..
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    On Monday, October 15th, 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.
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    On Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

TechDirt article - Will History Repeat Itself With Google Playing The Part Of Lotus?

A short article playing on the fact of Lotus entering the office software space full force.  One part of a paragraph stood out to me
He then equates Google to the latter-day Lotus, painting a scenario where Google smugly laughs off a bloated but feature-rich (imaginary) NewSDK from a bratty startup, only to then get disrupted by this SDK when browser capabilities improve. Of course, part of the analogy breaks down because Microsoft was hardly a bratty startup when it succeeded where Lotus failed.

This article goes after the older Lotus office entry with SmartSuite I believe and not the current Symphony part Deux.  I have not said much about Symphony, there is plenty out there.  I used the Productivity Tools during Collaboration University as well as OpenOffice.  I found issues in both.  I use Microsoft Office most of the time because that is where the masses were right?  But will Symphony part Deux take over a huge slice of the MS Office world?  Not in a large percentage.  Can it assist in the SMB space that uses Lotus already?  Maybe not if they move to 8 and use the built in Productivity Tools.  So the press is behind the announcements, IBM is pushing the newswires with the announcements, people are downloading to check it out.  So how fast will Lotus update the software to match and exceed what is out there now is what remains to be seen.
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    On Wednesday, September 26th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Lotus attempts "Lotus Notes" on demand again

We have seen the failed attempts for BumbleBee and even a follow-up Sametime meeting option.  Well today I read the press release from the Collaboration Summit and enjoyed the part on the Productivity Tools Symphony.  Even with the nice icons and the word free

Then came the part that really caught my eye:
Applications on Demand for Lotus Notes - making Lotus Notes 8 as a service enterprise level application hosting.

Available now, IBM's Application on Demand service provides customers with the benefits of the Lotus suite without having to invest in computing assets or skills.  This new offering provides Lotus collaboration customers with a hosted and managed environment for their mail and collaborative applications, helping improve the performance of their messaging environments while enhancing efficiencies and productivity.....  (yada yada here).  Applications on Demand for Lotus Notes currently support Lotus Sametime and Lotus Quickr, and will be extended to other Lotus collaboration products over time.

There is a slew of issues with this:
  • One of which is the direct competition with the few business partners that offer this service on the Lotus arena
  • Secondly is the whole architecture on how they intend to do this by license costs.  Where partners would pass license costs along in this type of model, Lotus seems to be undercutting that also since they of course have no license costs in essence.
  • Third, how do you fit into the giant certification tree and also with the need for multiple client access.  The previous attempt in R5 for the ASP model, was not successful.  Where has the back-end Domino code changed to allow the proper provisioning and billing controls?  Does everyone get their own root level certifier?
  • How are they going to offer multi-tenant Sametime services?
  • Wow, this might just be a web access type offering with the new DWA faster (DWA-r) coming in that same press release

I need to read more on how this will be bundled but I did not see that information released yet.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, September 18th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Part 2 - the Sametime Gateway Open Mic call last night

I went ahead and posted my notes on this since I had answers (posted in each one with italics) to some of the questions they were asking.  Maybe some of the callers will find this posting.  These were quick notes to myself, and I only slightly cleaned them up.  So bear with me.  (I am headed to vacation)
  • Asia Pacific area looking for a proof of concept install for their business and need NAT and public CA documentation.  Caller said they got the wrong certificate purchased, that it didn't support TLS.  Lotus is working hard in 8 to simplify install and config.  As for NAT, they list the restrictions for NAT due to SIP.  Certain NAT providers are becoming SIP aware due to VOIP and other real-time collaboration.  As I posted about the morning call, I will shoot out some diagrams for everyone since this seems to be a main focus.
  • Caller is implementing Sametime 7.5.1 and having client issues, even with CF1, of getting layout and pre-population to clients.  Preference controls like auto-status changes, for example.  Lotus suggested utilizing the   plugin_customization.ini file to change and set some of the settings.  They have no policy control with the 6.5.1 server and Sametime Connect 7.5.1 CF1.  The issue is that they must then match the new policies when going live with the server on 7.5.1 or 8 to make sure they do not change everything back.  This is a big part of rolling out the advanced client and wanting particular features enabled or set a certain way before the server policies are deployed.
  • Another caller emphasizes the issues with SSL config from Premium Server as first caller.  Thawte server worked fine.  Yes, I am seeing in installs that you need to import root certificates in many instances to get it to work.
  • Australia - IBMUS and Australia connectivity problems.  Customer is using dual network cards trying to route public and private address.  asking if the OS will do the routing.  Part 2 - Wants to talk his SIP to their SIP.  Asked about port 443, which is not right.  He needs port 5061 for encrypted, not 5060 which is unencrypted.  No 443 need.  1516 and 1533 open for internal connectivity on 7.5.1.  Then 1516 for 7.5.1 CF1.   Also asked about LDAP server connectivity over 636.  DB2 server, is it encrypted by default and does Express C handle it?  Not by default, and maybe not in Express version, have to verify that.  IBM SIP gateway connectivity actually needs port 5060 for the first connection then 5061 to finish.  LDAP SSL relies only on the LDAP server having a public certificate.  What data is stored in the DB2 database, a security concern question.  Lotus answers that in the DB2 database you can find the gateway configuration data, user id and group id in UNID form.  Last question, checkpoint firewall in front to cover NAT issue?  Lotus has customers with it.  Multiple NIC cards not an issue as long as its config'd correctly.  I say why not use NAT and routing with a single NAT instead of trying the dual-NIC approach.
  • What kind of arrangement does IBM have with the chat vendors in terms of IP address changes?  same question as this am, same answer.  Then MSN connectivity question.  no official statement yet from Lotus.  I see the IP address changes a hard part for firewall teams that are trying to set the port to only allow certain addresses to talk to the gateway.  That is a tough move when you are relying on a 3rd party (IBM) to tell you when they are changing their IP addresses.  How about just moving to a DNS range for the provider and then everyone is happy.
  • SIP phone as PBX install.  Asking for connectivity options as general PBX integration.  Good question but no comment was provided to direct them to the vendors writing plug-ins and softphones.
  • Customer wants an  easy way to find out what other corps are using the gateway?  Lotus does not keep or publish that.  Creating a Sametime Gateway group in Facebook or a posting in the Sametime forum was a recommendation.  There is a Facebook group for the Sametime Gateway already with a good couple handfuls of members

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    On Friday, August 31st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Thoughts on the Open Mic call for the Sametime Gateway 7.5.1 this morning

I attended the Open Mic call on the Sametime Gateway this morning to see what everyone had concerns about. (Do not worry, this call goes live again one more time tomorrow I think, see the website or Partner Forum for details).  Well I came away with concerns myself as I see how this is getting implemented at the larger enterprises.

There were at least 15 calls taken, and I managed to capture and write down the main point of each one.  The majority revolved around a couple key areas, and that is where the concern is.  Participants were asking for network diagrams, port settings and allowable IP addresses and better clustering support.  While some of the questions did receive direct answers, in my opinion some did not.  Now someone there will say it was not official support inquiries, no official statements, yada, yada.  But when you have large enterprises trying to deploy a clustered solution in large deployments with too many network security teams in the mix, well you get confusion.

First thing to the companies.  Too many companies are trying to reverse proxy, put servers in front of server even in the DMZ, build SIP clusters with load balancers/IP sprayers.  I agree with one thing for sure, everyone needs the cluster support to deploy this is an enterprise solution.  As for all this worry over this server in the DMZ, why the stress?  No data sits on the gateway server, it connects over SSL to your internal LDAP (further restricted by port and hosts is needed), it uses the encrypted VP protocol to the Sametime clusters in the back.  DB/2 can sit behind the firewall restricted by host/port access also.  So you basically have a shell running a program that acts as the gatekeeper.  Or gateway as it is named.  Get the security team to understand this.  There is no data to be protected, if the gateway gets bombed or hijacked, then they get an empty shell that you cut off.

Second thing is to Lotus.  Come prepared.  Half answering chat logging questions, diagram requests, proxy support and numerous clustering questions won't fly for long if this is truly an enterprise solution.  Yes you did answer some areas of what is coming, things that are verified in support and even how to map multiple O's through LDAP queries to Domino.  But the lack of testing of clustering and the network outline support is frustrating to most of the callers if my current pings I am getting are right.
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    On Thursday, August 30th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Lotus Sametime Advanced 8.0 thingy - my thoughts on the name

Until Mike Rhodin actually announced the name about the upcoming Sametime changes, it was all hush hush as always.  I said this earlier to IBM'ers...  do not name them Advanced and whatever (looking back it is Entry).

Advanced means that what you have now is not one of the best corporate instant messaging and web conferencing solutions.  It suggests that you have some basic model and there is something better.  I think a much better choice would have been Expansion Pack for example.  They made this same naming mistake with Basic and Standard in Notes 8.  You don't go to market with updated products naming making the older versions inferior to not new functionality, but the core itself.
Sametime Entry takes the IM capabilities already embedded in some IBM products and turns them into a stand-alone offering. The aim is to seed the market and encourage corporate users new to IM to use Entry and later move up to the Standard and Advanced flavors, Morse said

Sametime Advanced builds on the Standard version and adds in features like the ability to share one's desktop with others and ways to store and reuse geographic information. The software also includes persistent chat so that a person can log onto their company's group chat and be able to browse what was discussed earlier, particularly useful in the financial services business where staff in different time zones are continually tracking the markets.

Persistent chat?  Carl, didn't you have that a while ago?

Ok, I am done, back to Lotus Connections
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    On Tuesday, August 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Please join in the conversation on LinkedIn -What is the Future of Lotus Notes (some ex-Loti are answering)

I was sent this link today by a former Loti which made it all the more fun.  It was interesting to scroll down towards the now bottom and see Jim Bernardo, former Lotus Warroom Manager I worked with quite a few times, himself doing some slamming of Lotus in there.  Well then he is at Microsoft the past 7 years in various forms of product management and technical evangelist.

Here are some excerpts and random answers to get you moving over there to post your thoughts:
My impression is that companies are slowly but definitely leaving Lotus Notes. (I think Gartner said more or less the same in one of their reports).

The main problem with Notes (and I'm talking e-mail here) is that it is an incredibly ugly and counterintuitive client on top of an excellent, scalable, enterprise-grade server that runs on just about any OS.

From Jim himself:
I spent 10 years at Lotus, pre- and post-IBM...the vast majority of the people who had the gray matter around Lotus Notes...the people who built that product...left. They left not because they didn't want to work at IBM, but because IBM didn't want to continue Notes. All the hype notwithstanding, Notes 8 is not your grandfather's Notes, and moreover, is not becoming more "open". It's an Eclipse plug-in that runs atop Lotus Expeditor, the technology formerly known as the IBM Workplace Managed Client. That's either good or bad, depending on your perspective, but it's done absolutely nothing to make Notes more "open". Look where IBM spends their the Notes PKI the default PKI for WebSphere and the rest of the IBM Software platform? Is the NSF the new database for IBM software? Or have they even tried to model the NSF in DB2? Is the Domino Directory IBM's strategic directory product?

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    On Friday, August 10th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

In transit to Stockholm watching an old mailfile on the person nearby

I am in transit at the Chicago airport watching a person struggle with Notes 6 and a R5 mailfile template.  Not the most entertaining item, but I can see the frustration.  I spun my laptop around to the full Notes 8 client and new mail interface and said, good things are there, hopefully they will upgrade.  The response?  He was the IT manager and was under orders not to move to 7 yet, let alone 8.  Ugh....
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    On Monday, June 11th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway frustrations on the 7.5.1 upgrade

We went through this before with the FP1 patch for the Sametime Gateway.  If you refer back to my previous posting, once the patch was applied it destroyed the portlets for management of the Gateway portion in the Integrated Solutions Console.  It was easy to fix by uninstalling the patch.

I then mentioned that I went through the 7.5.1 upgrade and it did the exact same thing.  Now I have been getting some help from Lotus, but I don't get how having communities defined would break the install.  I also thought it might just be me until I finished a customer call this morning who had a pilot of the gateway running.  They attempted to upgrade and got the same exact same portlet destruction.

Pardon my frustration..
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    On Tuesday, May 8th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway 7.5.1 upgrade issue - broken in under 3 minutes this time

I first reported this issue back in January, as seen here Link    It seems that if you have existing communities in the Sametime Gateway and attempt to upgrade it breaks it all.  Now how do I get back is what I am figuring out right now.  This was immediately after the 7.5.1 upgrade, WAS .7 patch and launching.  Then a restart and launch did the exact same thing.

Image:Sametime Gateway 7.5.1 upgrade issue - broken in under 3 minutes this time
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    On Wednesday, April 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Things you will see, shouldn’t see and hope get fixed in the Sametime 7.5.1 client

I loaded the new gold client on a couple fresh machines to see what results we got.  While the new UI is shiny and nice like I promised, here is what I saw on the "hope it was fixed" list:
  • The memory utilization is crazy.  Upon launch with no plug-ins loaded yet, it was 67MB of RAM.  Compared to other chat programs, that is an easy 3-4 times larger for some of the exact same functionality (like Yahoo messenger 8.x)
  • If you happened to load the previous Eclipse updates for the Sametime Gateway on your Sametime 7.5 CF1 server, then you get the following prompt that new code was added.  However, this isn't newer as they changed the numbering scheme (see image below)
  • You are not prompted to change your geographic location for the new install and fill out you location information
  • You users will appreciate the icon changing from Sametime Connect 7.5 to Sametime Connect (no version number listed).
  • Privacy settings for different communities is still a single point and not set up to support the feature of logging into multiple communities
  • It seems some people are getting two instances of the client when they install and click to Launch the client right away instead of closing the installer and then launching.

 Image:Things you will see, shouldn’t see and hope get fixed in the Sametime 7.5.1 client
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    On Wednesday, April 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Being a Lotus Instructor doesn’t count for Partner status anymore, nice

I don't need to say anymore than this:
8.  Lotus: Clarification on Lotus Instructor Certification e-mail

Many of you recently received an e-mail notification from PartnerWorld indicating that your Lotus Instructor Certification would be expiring. Please be assured that Instructor Certification for a given product never expires once it has been attained. The PartnerWorld notice was intended to communicate that your Lotus Instructor Certification would no longer be used in determining a Business Partner's eligibility in obtaining Advanced or Premier membership levels in PartnerWorld. This does not affect your Lotus Instructor Certification or your company's status as an Authorized Independent Training Provider (AITP).

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    On Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Final DST comments before it happens

So as I take the flight to Frankfurt for the (current) final city of the Real-Time Collaboration Seminar, I was reading emails that I had replicated before taking off.  I attempted to get a podcast out this week, but, for lack of better words, ran out of time.  The random issues we encountered at each site was time consuming and frustrating at times.
  • THE BIGGIE: We found that the .5 release of the agent had a 'bug' that the agent was processing faster than the document collection.  So this means it possibly could miss some documents while getting others, in the same mailfile.  This meant revisiting our heaviest calendar users again at the end of this week after the big changes on Apr 25th we performed.
  • We had certain resources never take the time changes while others did in the same resources.nsf database
  • We had appointments scattered across patched and unpatched machines like a great attempt at humor
  • We had users parent documents for repeating meetings acting funny when the children documents fell into the new time changes
  • Until the .7 release of the agent the script errors were causing us major headaches
  • We had a site apply the OS patches with the Domino servers running and never had restarted them.  Even through the DST patches we applied in Domino.  So they suddenly were in Baja, California for all their meetings.

This didn't sneak up on anyone, we all just waited till the last minute to start worrying.  Software vendors didn't roll patches  until Nov 2006 for the OS and February 2007 for some applications.  This put testing in a time crunch.  This falls back to careful planning, testing and implementations.

Have no fear, we will all live through it, alibi a little late or early for meetings.  So no harsh words for your administration team, I am sure they worked their butts off by the volume of emails and questions I received the past few weeks.  Not to mention that the DST podcast with Scott Vrusho of Lotus  is the 2nd largest download in the IdoNotes podcasts. (now don't mention it to Scott, he thought no one listened to it until he started getting emails and phone calls, LOL).  So buy them a lunch instead, most worked late into the nights.

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    On Friday, March 9th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Anyone care to explain how McAfee SpamKiller doesn’t work with Lotus Notes emails? I think this is fishy

I came across an article stating how SpamKiller 4.x cannot read Lotus Notes generated emails in it's native format.  I took this to mean that it did not like encrypted mail messages.  So instead of passing it through it seems to totally strip the content of the email body from the message and send the header.

Now normally I would laugh and enjoy the humor.  However., there is a link on the McAfee site that takes you to a simple statement form them that they do not support Lotus Notes in it's native mail format, use POP3 and then it links to an Oct 1998 article on LDD about setting up local POP/SMTP accounts.

So I browsed their site and came across the product page which states it supports Lotus Notes and the other product.  SO I am guessing this article writer is pulling old data out to stir the pot since the link was for the R4 version of the product also.
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    On Wednesday, March 7th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Worst practices, how not to use your mailfile

While troubleshooting an issue of client lag for a customer, we discovered that the user was accessing their 2GB mailfile.  No problem so far.  However, during the day as they deleted certain messages, the system would take up to 7 minutes before timing out.  This would come and go.

After talking to the tech team handling this user, we discovered that all work was being done in the All Documents view of the mailfile, all the time.  So the index would build, they would work fine and then when they read, replied and then deleted mail from within the message (while saving the sent one of course), it would then start this long wait process.  Well using the Domino Administrator we saw that the All Documents view index was 40MB or so.  So each time the user made a bunch of changes, they would force the view update and then download the entire index as shown in the client_console running. Now even with a dedicated T1 this should take 4 mins or so.  Imagine fighting with the other staff for this same bandwidth and you have the failure.

So convincing a user that the inbox and folders is the proper place to work is the next step.  Oh yes, all mail is in the inbox and no folders
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    On Thursday, February 1st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

How to destroy your Sametime Gateway server in 21 seconds

So I willingly placed the fixpack 1 onto the Sametime Gateway server this morning.  In a full 21 seconds flat of install time.  Now as for the install, I am not sure why this couldn't be wrapped into a simpler exe file or even something to use the Websphere Updater.  It required a nice long script to typo in with plenty of room for typographical errors to make you try and try again.

Much to my humor after it was installed, it destroyed the management screen changing the gateway section to portlet entries that would not launch as shown below.
Image:How to destroy your Sametime Gateway server in 21 seconds

So I went back in and uninstalled following the simple task of switching the word install for remove.  Another 21 seconds later and I am back in business, without Yahoo integration, but back in business.

   [delete] Deleting dir



Total time: 21 seconds

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    On Monday, January 29th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

I added some new tags today for Digg and

I had read Ed's posting on too much information and feeds and had just personally deleted my local RSS database (News Miner) a few weeks ago to start from scratch.  I found that weeding it out would be tougher than starting over.

Then before I could act, people had tossed out the Digg idea for Domino where people vote and have one site of aggregated content.  A great idea, but the stuff has to get there somehow.  Sounds like a ping utility inside the blog to get it posted with the right stuff.  Or someone reading has to nominate it.  I think it is a great idea to simplify and find what is going on in the Domino blog world.

Imagine all the RSS with the native feed reader ability inside of the Notes 8 client?  A central source would make life easier than trying to subscribe to so many links.  Most of our users have not fully discovered RSS.  As admins and such, we have played around with it a lot.  But now picture your average user and their skillset and demand for streaming radio, pictures, videos, shopping and add in the constant feed of RSS on just about every site from eBay to their favorite cooking website for new recipes.  This could get overwhelming.

    for this posting

    On Friday, December 29th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Oh why can’t Sametime 7.5 do this?

Sametime 7.5 should grab your local or server buddylist for AOL, Google Talk and Yahoo and import those into the buddy list via script, even keeping groups if there is XML ability like the below image does.  What a way to move people to the Sametime Gateway!!

Image:Oh why can’t Sametime 7.5 do this?

This is the new update for AOL Triton install.  I saw that AIM Pro does something similar, but this is too easy for users.  (Why can't this grab your local Notes address book I wonder too? A simple look-up for online name fields and email names?)  Just one more fight to have some public system instead of Sametime for smaller sites.
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    On Wednesday, December 20th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Remember mood stamps in Notes? Apparently Microsoft patented them now under emotiflags

Ok, this has me laughing and I had to share.   I still use some of the mood stamps in mail messages, they actually draw attention since so many users are 'new'.  But Microsoft has now taken them on in patent under the name emotiflags
An emotiflag is made up of a graphical icon and a text tag, and may also include a textual representation of the graphical icon. A collection of emotiflags is maintained by an email application and made available to users. Users can modify existing emotiflags and create custom emotiflags. Users can also add an emotiflag to an email message they are composing so that when the email message is sent, the emotiflag is sent with the email message

So this old product piece once again becomes a patent for someone else.  There is supposed to be images attached but they would not load for some reason.

In the patent I liked this little section from the 'background" assumptions:
Many existing email applications enable users to apply color-coded flags to received email messages. These flags are frequently used to represent a status of the email messages (e.g., red for follow up; orange for reply; yellow for to do; and so on). Some email applications also enable users to mark a message as important (e.g., with a "!") or unimportant (e.g., with a ".dwnarw.") before the message is sent, so that when a user receives the message, the importance of the message is clearly indicated

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    On Monday, December 18th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 CF1 out, so to follow onto Carl’s postings..

Carl went crazy with a string of posts today on Sametime 7.5 CF1.  There was one minor discussion about utilizing the Eclipse framework to push out this change.  Brett van Gelder points out before I could even get to typing that Lotus did not package the update this way.  I imagine most of you do not have a site.xml in place for beginners to handle the updating.

From there the clients are not set to properly retrieve incremental releases from a central site.  Forgiving all of the config areas on our part, the package that came from Lotus also uses forces an alternate directory for installation (Carl makes a good point in the comments on why they may have made this change) and was not wrapped with the proper feature and manifest files to move into the site.xml for automatic distribution.  However, this screws with plug-ins it seems.  We have found no documentation around this in the readme yet.

I thought that was one of the points, but I am not sure when we can expect this to be available.  I would love to grab a fix from Lotus, update the site.xml section appropriately and let it fly so everyone gets the prompt that the updates are installed and do you wish to restart the Sametime Connect client now, or in 5 minutes as the documentation around it showed as an example.
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    On Monday, October 30th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

the IBM Blogging Guidelines

Ed showed off how IBM posted a "Blogs Go to Work" section right from the homepage.  This in turn linked back to the IBM Blogging Guidelines.  While it refers to when IBM started the wiki internally (around 2005) to discuss the guidelines, it doesn't say when the guidelines were officially established.  But my point is some of the areas they cover have moved from random employees having a website, into main managers and executives that are even asked to document parts of their job and daily lives.  I appreciated one section right away:
"Managers and executives take note: This standard disclaimer does not by itself exempt IBM managers and executives from a special responsibility when blogging. By virtue of their position, they must consider whether personal thoughts they publish may be misunderstood as expressing IBM positions. And a manager should assume that his or her team will read what is written. A blog is not the place to communicate IBM policies to IBM employees"

They are referring to a legal disclaimer that should be placed at your posting (or site) to let readers know that your opinions are not IBM's and are your own. I know I don't have one on mine.  I think this gets into an interesting point about management of user activity outside of work.  While using your employe's hardware to serve up a blog, in the logical sense, shows you are representing the company.  Using outside hosting shows you are your own person, to an extent.  IBM captures this by giving guidelines that state you should not negatively discuss or promote confidential information customers, the employer or co-workers directly in your postings.

I try to follow that theory in my blog postings.  But what I am thinking and asking you, is how many enterprises have a blogging policy?  There was Internet use policies, email use policies and some are now getting smart and introducing IM usage policies.  So now we move into blogging and podcasting policies.  How many of you are prepared to write guidelines around these new areas of technology?

UPDATE: Humorously as soon as I posted this I found this article like 5 minutes later on how lawsuits not only ask for emails anymore, but all forms of corporate and employee data, including blogs and even PDA's.
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    On Thursday, October 19th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

When users don’t get it, and blog about it..

I came across this little quip from my Google alert today on a article/blog entry...
Programs That Reinvent The Wheel
This is mainly about Lotus Notes, but I think it's endemic to the Windows way of doing things. Programs are written under the assumption that there won't be a helping, friendly ecosystem to assist them when a function is called beyond their core values. As an example, Lotus 7 has an embedded version of Internet Explorer -- I can't figure out how to get it to launch an external browser (Thank God for Firefox!).  Some programs use the term Properties, others Preferences. There is no consistency across the line, and the big picture of a family of applications is not considered.

I commented on it, as did Joe Litton (he covered some other areas though).  I basically stated that the blogger has choices:
  • find the administrator who has not set policies in place to control this
  • learn how to use the client help file that explains this
  • notice that Lotus did it right by not forcing you into some browser choices (alibi you could change it later) up front like IE, Firefox or whatever.

Look at it numerous ways and you get the same result...
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    On Friday, September 22nd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

How will you use RSS in 7.0.2 for your users? I think I am starting to get it

As I read more about IE7 I thought about how far ahead Lotus was once again.  So what my new browser can read RSS.  I have had applications doing that for years now.  Where is the workflow and manipulation of data once I get it in there?

With so much information overflow, I see the path Mike Rhodin has talked about.  While I do not agree with dogears and some of the mash-up talk just yet, the consolidation and compilation of all the data I want can now be sent from and into Notes databases easier than ever.

How much time do we spend trying to keep clients gathering feeds all to ourselves?  How does that benefit our business partners, customers and even friends?  It doesn't when only you see Bloglines, your Feed Demon or Atom application.

Right now we all fight over what is important to us by subscribing to RSS feeds individually and hoping the content continues to give us what our minds find interesting.  But, I have to get links from others to find new content I never subscribed to.  In a portal or enterprise scenario I can reach everyone with what is important to the company and then let them see what is important to each other by rankings and how often topics are reviewed.

Who has the first workflow driven, tracking and mashed together RSS database built?
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    On Thursday, August 31st, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Interesting quote in a company’s claim of migrating Notes to Exchange

I found an article about a product set that assist in migrating Notes mailboxes to Exchange.  The lines that stuck out were as follows:
"We seeing larger customers moving to Exchange," says Ron Robbins, product manager for Exchange migration solutions at Quest. "we are seeing 20,000 to 50,000 user accounts moving over..."

Quest, which says it has migrated more than a million Notes mailboxes to date, ...

Where the heck are all these users?

There is a podcast you must listen to, for at least the first minute, that they put on the right side.  The podcast's first question that asks why people are moving.  Ron, quoted above,  actually states that there is confusion around whether Notes will be around and the move to Workplace Messaging replacing Notes.  Of course, the interviewer and Ron are both Quest employees.  The statement that there is more mobile options on Exchange and greater reliability had us laughing in the office.  Oh please go listen and laugh along.  Then taunt them with me.

Continue Reading here" Interesting quote in a company's claim of migrating Notes to Exchange" »
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    On Wednesday, August 30th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

From NWFusion: can Blogging Boost your IT Career?

This has been sitting on my desk in actual print copy for a week but it was one of those "I will get around to blogging it" items.  But I wanted to throw it away so here we go.
With so many widely publicized examples of employees getting sacked for posting their thoughts online, is there any career upside for IT professionals who want to create their own blogs?

I would think that there is for most in the IT industry with careful thought and planning.  If you are providing meaningful technical content you are showing skillset.  If you are bashing your employer or customers, you are likely to get fired.  If you are promoting your employer by driving customers from the blog to your corporate site, you are providing benefit.  If you are scaring off people looking at you as an employee or possible solution provider, you have taken the wrong angle in blogging.

I find it as a great output and even a personal point of reference material.  How many times have I mentioned technotes to issues we have seen?  How many tips or shortcuts?  I don't know but I realize I can go back anytime.  This is the same with my newsletter for LotusUserGroup and now podcast.  As the means to reach more people becomes available, I change they way I produce information.

How much time is too much time blogging?  I knock these out quite quick or come back through the day or night until it is ready.  I have numerous ones in draft mode that never saw the light of day for one reason or another.  I think we are seeing so much information put out there it is hard to keep up as a reader.  Some of us are able to post quite a few topic (hint Ed).  But he is reaching amazing amounts of Lotus information seekers throughout the world.  This serves as a huge benefit to his employer, not just himself.  Sure, most of us knew of Ed previously, but do you think a few of the recent newspapers and magazines would be mentioning him if not indicating him as a blogger?  I would tend to say no.  It is all exposure.

One thing that the article does not address is where the blogging is performed.  Can an employee be fired for having a personal blog that does not contain any indication of the company, but has distasteful content?  We already have precedent on firing over work blogs that cover work content or people.
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    On Monday, August 28th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Yes Lotusphere 2007 registration is open, but have you seen the prices?

We normally have a pedestal which includes some badges so I never pay attention.  But the early bird rate caught my eye in the corner of the screen.  Here is the breakdown:
  • Now to Oct 13 2006 it is $1695
  • Oct 14 - Dec 8 2006 it is $1895
  • Dec 9 2006 it goes up to $2095

Will this inhibit your company from getting budget to go?
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    On Thursday, August 17th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Beware of one thing with the BlackBerry 4.1 Express for Domino (the 10 free licenses)

We had a few hosted enterprises take advantage of this offer and get Blackberries.  One such company has liked it so much they wanted to take a previous paid 20 license they had and apply it to the server.  Unfortunately, the Express server will not go beyond 15 with an upgrade key that cost in the low thousands to allow you to unlock the Express so you can make it Enterprise.

Now the option was to remove the users, take the server down and then use the 20 enterprise keys.  However, that would have meant redoing the users which was not an option.  Luckily, the customer saw the humor in this and also knew that buying the upgrade gave them 30 licenses for a lower cost (since there was some free in there) and the ability to then add license keys as necessary.

Just a forewarning.
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    On Friday, July 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

So yesterday’s post on Exchange scripting prompted a response..

You can read it right here, of course.  But it included a link to another script that was written to gather storage space utilized in an organization.  Now, to get that it had to scour the Active Directory looking for specific ObjectCategory attributes.  It then manipulates, moves around gives a nice hierarchy.

Don't get me wrong, the coding is good and I appreciate the time he is spending offering free code for the Exchange admins.  Heck, we have hosted customers on Exchange.  My only point was that it should be native to the product.

Like opening the Domino Directory, seeing all the nice servers and connecting to the files tab in the Notes Admin client to get disk usage.  Heck, even select just the mail folder and see that count.  Yes you could automate that more, or *GASP* use stats to gather it automatically for you like I mention using the same thing in my last posting.
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    On Wednesday, July 12th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Mental note to self about online presentations (and outloud through the blog)

While watching a live Lotus webcast today, the presenter decided to do screensharing of live slides instead of uploading them or using a slideshow presentation.  This, of course, showed all the possible misspellings that the slides might have.  However, having the actual product name and presenters name underlined as a misspelling leads me to believe they did not have it in their personal dictionary to begin with.

So the note is, make sure you use a slideshow presentation or upload the slides, no live work.
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    On Tuesday, July 11th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Does changing platforms erode your business for a while? (a live busniness case)

I have watched with great interest as a flagship IBM outsourcing customer announced late last year it was moving away from Domino.  In the place of Domino is a whole slew of Microsoft products.  This company ran Lotus Notes for over eight years I believe before taking this plunge:
The rollout consists mainly of five Microsoft products-the Office 2003 desktop suite, Outlook E-mail client, Communicator instant-messaging software, Live Meeting conferencing service, and SharePoint document-sharing portal-plus Windows Server 2003 and other server software. The deal represents the largest license to date of Microsoft's real-time collaboration suite (Communicator 2005, Live Meeting 2005, and upgraded Live Communications Server 2005), introduced in March

I cannot see where the migration attempt for all these applications as well as the 20 terabytes of email.  Where the heck are they migrating that kind of data into Exchange?  How many servers is that going to be living in redundancy while the migration continues?  In the article the CIO notes that you cannot live in hybrid mode forever due to costs.  But no mention of the migration costs for 92,000+ PC's.  I guess there is no Linux clients anywhere :-)

So my question becomes, where does productivity, training, costs and manpower sit to run both at once, perform the migration and then support both systems?

The article mentions "pressing 8 years" for running Lotus Notes which leads me to believe customizations or slow upgrades.  How can a well embedded 8 year old system be harder to upgrade and maintain than an entire multi-product rollout banking on a version that was not even out yet?  I want to see some numbers here...

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    On Thursday, May 25th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Lotus is obsolete technology? According to this former MS person (now offering migration of course) it is..

This article popped up today, from some ePrairie thingy that covers technology and interviews.  The interviewer is some international technology expert named Michael Muth who interviewed Christos Fotiadis (former Microsoft Consulting Services and Microsoft Partner), founder and CEO of ProntoGroup in Chicago.

Here is where he goes awry talking about compliance and standards... bolds are mine
In part one of a three-part Q&A, Fotiadis sat down with international expert Michael Muth to discuss how the realm of technology compliance has changed over the years and how to deal with obsolete technology.

MM: Why has Lotus Notes been impossible to migrate
with tools alone and too expensive to accomplish with services alone?
CF: There's a lot to do in a Lotus migration
. Notes is one product that does a lot of different things (e-mail, workflow, data collection, etc.). Though it was a great product back when, the realization is that it should be retired.

It's impossible to create a tool that can migrate all aspects of Notes to a competing platform
. You will have a mix of services. When you compare what you can do with Notes to what you can have with new technology, things on the other side look a lot more attractive.

MM commentary: Like many golden oldies, Notes was great in its day but isn't today.

So let me get this right.. a person that performs migrations talking about his migrations saying Notes is dead but then right in the middle of the interview states it is impossible to compete with Notes!  I must have fell and hit my head.  Notes is dead while it does workflow, e-mail and a billion other parts and we can't migrate from it to any single package.  So let's go ahead and hire me to do it.   Sheesh

Email Mike and let's let him know what a nice marketing piece this was, and tell him to update his website too :-)
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    On Wednesday, May 17th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

SNARF on yourself? Or is that barf on yourself?

From the depths of Microsoft Research, we find this little oddity called SNARF that was apparently released months ago but got some recent press that I found.  Unfortunately, the recent press is right after Lotus starts taunting the little circle doohickeys in your inbox to let you know how important mail is.  as referred to in this image..
Image:SNARF on yourself? Or is that barf on yourself?

So SNARF sorts mail based on importance, go figure.  An add-on to tell me how important mail is?  Domino does that natively, but you need add-ons for Exchange?  Rankings can be done by what you have sent, but I don't want to now how important it is by what I sent, I want to know how important it is by what is inside it.  Microsoft Research calls it email triagein their product information.  I call it bleeding internally due to lack of functionality and workflow
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    On Tuesday, May 16th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

ITWorld Canada: Is it over for Outlook?

I thought maybe it was a review of the new Outlook 12, but it was simply some opinion of their switch to Thunderbird and IMAP.  Now the comments on Lotus Notes caught my eye though.
Until recently, we used Lotus Notes in the PC Advisor offices.  It's not the nicest of programs to use by any stretch, and some things can be excruciatingly hard to achieve, but one thing it did well was providing access to your mail wherever you were.

All messages were stored on the server until you chose to archive or delete them.  On each computer you used to access your inbox, you could choose to view the messages on the server directly - fine if you're on the office network, not so good over the internet - or synchronize a copy on your system with the server.

Later they go into calendaring, which then leads me to believe that they don't do any.  If Thunderbird has local calendaring and there is no proper backend, where does the ease of using such an application come into play?  How hard was Lotus Notes for them that they could not master that?  Yet they state right above at how easy it was to get your mail anywhere?  What could possibly be excruciatingly hard to achieve? Why was the remote access so hard, maybe it was your network there?  I wish they had made some comments around that.  Better yet, maybe we can comment back.  (registration was free on the site).

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    On Thursday, April 27th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Stop the blog (hold the presses): Ray Ozzie states that Lotus Notes was designed for an earlier era..and more

GCN: Microsoft sounds like it is doing everything it can to lure all remaining Lotus Notes users to Exchange.  How does that make you feel?

Ozzie: Although I've got very warm feelings for the product, the team that built it, the partners who built business around it, and the customers invested in it, Notes was designed at its core for an earlier era.  Today there is a far greater set of choices, and in some cases, a far more appropriate set of choices.

Notes was designed for the world of the early '90's - a "re-engineering the corporation" era where the mandate was to utilize technology to share information across departments within an enterprise or government organization.

This comes from an article you can find right here that came out on Apr 24 2006.  He was asked later in the article about choosing between Lotus and Exchange and was honest enough to say that it would not be easy or sometimes feasible to migrate applications to Exchange.  So why the change, well the article was to be on Groove in more ways than not.  But the interviewer took the Lotus approach right out of the starting blocks to stir some controversy.  There you go, consider it stirred.

There is always choices in everything you do.  I honestly don't find that Lotus is the right answer, but I haven't found Microsoft to be the one either in those.  How could Groove benefit from integration with Sharepoint?  Not sure, but he states it.  Synchronizing seamlessly?  I think Lotus does that, quite well with compression, encryption and grabbing smaller documents first so you can start acting and working right away.  Need to get a doc to everyone?  Upload it once and send a doclink, don't pass the whole do around everywhere.  Sounds like a terrible waste of bandwidth and time.  Need the data via the web, no need for alternate server.  Need secure email, no need for alternate server, HTTP, IMAP or native NRPC.  Need a swift kick in the ass for having to deploy 64-bit architecture on Windows only?

Oops that is tomorrows posting I have queued up.
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    On Wednesday, April 26th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

My thoughts on Nathan’s posting/rant from today

You can find the full posting right here.  I read it through twice and we talked a few on IM.  I promised I would post some of my own thoughts on the matter.  I saw a couple other bloggers chime in on the comments area of the posting.

I am starting from inside his rant area
Static interfaces are yesterday's news.  I want the ability to turn EVERYTHING on and off.  I want the ability to alter every single menu item on the screen.  I want control of everything in the bookmark bar.  I want to be able to set mail preferences that completely hide entire functionality sets

I know Lotus is working hard to control more area via policies, but take a step back and look.  Policies were a major change for Domino 6, undoing years or local client ini settings and management.  Functionality and features are way beyond what policies are currently.  DCC was introduced in R5 behind the scenes for simple location document changes.  I see policies being stronger towards Hannover and Domino 8.  Saying that, there are areas in policy control Lotus should have entered at the same time features get rolled out.  But look at DCC and Sametime.  The ability to natively (without coding a subform on a policy) change and set the home Sametime server, did not appear until 6.5.4.  Yet, integration took place in 6.5.

Now Nathan goes on to another point that makes perfect sense:
GUI design 101 says that users get confused when presented with more than 7 options in a list.  The context (right-click) menu in my Notes inbox has 27 choices!  TWENTY SEVEN!!!!  It fills the screen in 800x600 resolution!  The inbox has 9 action buttons across the top and 18 items in the Actions menu!  How do you digest that?  I've been writing software for this platform for almost 15 years, and I get lost in my own email!

Lotus jumped right into more menu items in 7 with further right-click menu options for Sametime.  You can find almost everything in an Action menu, button, right-click or Smarticon.  There are menu items that Mary Beth is brining  up (like Quote Selection) that I had forgotten about entirely!  So cleaning up the menu choices would be a nice thing.  Mainly if it could be controlled via policies.

However, to keep this short.  The type of granularity needed would be hard to manage.  Most enterprises do not want to entertain explicit policies just to have some menu item function.  So finding the balance on what the user needs/wants/finds are all different.  They need reply and with history and without attachment.  Should that be admin decided?  I say no.  Some say yes to reduce message sizes.  But with the new better mail threading and showing of threads in a message, keeping history is a key thing.  

So where does that leave us? I fully believe in shrinking many menu items.  I fully believe that Mary Beth is attempting that in some of the questions she is asking.  I fully believe that we won't get a lite or stripped client to keep up with functionality.

Official statements on Sametime 7.5 controls and policies are needed as well as any greater policy control in Hannover.  My bet is that it is not finalized, so they won't make statements since something might not make it.
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    On Thursday, April 20th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

’Live Clipboard’ - a Ray Ozzie special

I was reading an article on a new project (yes announced a month ago) that Ray and Microsoft threw together.  This comes with the announcements of all the Live! product announcements.
Live Clipboard uses a simple metaphor, the Windows Clipboard, to let users copy and paste live information - for example, another user's calendar - from one site to another without losing the link to its data source.  The clipboard uses Real Simple Syndication (RSS) and the Simple Sharing Extensions (SSE) to handle data feeds.

I love the idea of moving and copying web data objects without losing where it came from.  But does this allow content to be shown as someone else's with no proper credit?  Can you simply use these to glue things together? They state they have enough interest that a draft specification has been tossed together too.  So this moves beyond taking web text like I do for the posting here and referencing it, it moves into meshing that data with my own and making it part of my entry.  While maintaining the link and integrity of the original posting.
Myself not being a developer, I read this with a different twist.  Some read it as a way to move data easier and bring systems together, I see it as a way for someone to grab your stuff, mark it up some and make it their own while still pointing to you and your resources serving it up.  I might have to reword that.  Here is Ray's comments from his own blog entry:
Where's the user model that would enable a user to copy and paste structured information from one website to another?

Where's the user model that would enable a user to copy and paste structured information from a website to an application running on a PC or another kind of device, or vice-versa?

And finally, where's the user model that would enable a user to 'wire the web', by enabling publish-and-subscribe scenarios web-to-web, or web-to-PC?

On Ray's blog he states there is good threads and feedback, but you still can't comment back on his directly, bummer.
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    On Wednesday, April 19th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

State your opinion day #2 : Do Coke cans need warning labels? Yes, someone sued

From the Bas himself: Court: Coke should have warned of fizziness (scrolling down to e-journal no. 31151, and clicking on the Full Text Opinion link):
Although the Court rejected the theory that the can was defective, it found that the company could be held liable for failing to warn consumers that "the beverage might exit the can at a high velocity upon opening." Expect to see a lot more language on your coke cans in the future.

So have we finally hit the wall people?  A grown ass woman does not know that a can of soda (carbonated water, syrup, some coloring and sweeteners of some kind) could possibly come shooting out.  I am guessing she never drank soda in her life, never had seen one explode before and apparently beer doesn't fit in either.  or champagne or any other beverage that uses any form of carbonation.  She probably follows along the lines that flavored water is still water.  No it is now a soft drink once you change it from water (to quote George Carlin).

Whew, so be prepared for more printing on the cans.  And close your eyes when you open one apparently.  She is stating that it burned her eyes some and gave her SLK and dry eyes.  I am thinking very wet eyes personally that tingle :-)
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    On Thursday, April 13th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

State your opinion day: #1 Does music hurt or help the workplace?

1) I was reading this article on how some love their music and other abhor music in the workplace.  The argument goes both ways.  The pros say it enhances their productivity, brings them up and drowns out office noise.  The cons say it bothers them, hampers productivity and distracts.

Personally I love my music on my PC and also on my iPod when wandering around.  Those of you that see me at conferences know I wear it all the time.  When doing projects I play music to match the mood I need to be in.  Even a tiny video playing in the corner of the screen never hurts.  But now that can be distracting.
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    On Thursday, April 13th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

A magazine complains about Notes calendaring

From Computerworld NZ comes the following:
Last week we detailed our problems with invitations and Notes propensity for deleting them inappropriately.  It seems we're not alone in our loathing.

Now we all know Notes does not just delete your invitations. You have a thing called Preferences for what you want to do with them.  It is called workflow and removing clutter from your inbox.  If I respond to an invite, why wouldn't I want it to add it to my calendar, let the chairman know and then remove it from my inbox in one click?  Do I need a mail message in my inbox to remind me of a calendar entry I already responded to?  Oh wait, they discover their complaint later in the article:
However, another E-Taler, Mac this time, says our invitation problem occurs somewhere between the desk chair and the keyboard.  But he's put us right.

Mac does agree that this might not be the most intuitive place to oput such an option, and that few people need to have it switched off in the first place.  He also, quite pleasantly, points out that Notes is designed with security rather than openness in mind.  He's also offered Notes counseling should it all get too much for us again.

So we know he is referring to user preferences in the mailfile (I had to shrink down the text).  After some careful searching, I found out the origination of his complaint.  He had not turned the preference either way, and the admins did not set any policies to help, so everytime he deleted it from his inbox it removed the entry.

See Notes is a mail-based calendaring product.  Which makes it work so wonderfully well.  It took time for some other vendors to catch up in being able to send invites over the Internet.  A little training and exploration goes a long way in a mail client that you have been using for quite soime time from reading back.

As for the statement that Notes is based on security rather than openness has nothing to do with his issue.  Nor is it a point to address in this posting.  Security and how a calendar invite is handled have no bearing on each other.  Sorry you are secure, let me do exactly what I told you to do in preferences?  Huh?
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    On Wednesday, April 12th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

As Rob Novak pointed out, IE ActiveX issues with new patch. Microsoft answers.."You have 60 days to be assimilated"

Here is the eWeek article that talks about the extension

And my favorite part
The big push now is for developers to recode Web sites and Web applications to cater for the browser update.

If not, users won't be able to directly interact with Microsoft ActiveX controls loaded by the APPLET, EMBED or OBJECT elements without first activating the user interface with an extra mouse click.

Can you say click-click for using that Quickplace, DWA and some other stuff as Rob so eloquently points out right here.

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    On Wednesday, March 29th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

SMTP connection settings humor from one of my readers

Who would think a simple semi-colon in the wrong place would affect the ability to accept connections from everywhere?  One would image there could be some error checking on those fields so a stray keystroke would not interrupt everything.

So I propose a listing of all fields to get some error checking done.  I didn't say I was putting the entire list together, but it needs to be done.
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    On Friday, March 24th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

I received a link from someone for the new Radicati Group survey

It was for the 2006 Messaging and Collaboration Survey. Go click and take it yourself.  It didn't take the full 10-12 minutes to complete.  But there was wording of one question that caught my eye of judgement.  As a person that selected I use Domino, they asked also if we planned IBM Workplace Messaging.  Well a question that followed asked about my future plans on product use.  Notice the choice A entry?

26.         What is your messaging plan?
        A) Stick with Domino for as long as possible  
        B) Move to MS Exchange  
        C) Move to another competitive product  
        D) Move to a hosted solution  
        E) Other (Please explain below) :

What the hell does that infer?  Stick with it as long as possible?  I don't think they read the long terms plans of Notes and Domino at all.  They basically make you state that you know Domino is going away, even though we know that it is not.  What QA person let this slip by, wait I know, the group putting the survey on.
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    On Tuesday, March 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Email, IM, voicemail, cell phone, carrier pigeon. We still need productivity studies?

I read a short article by Michael Osterman (Osterman Research) in Network World.  He has some reader feedback on productivity and interruptions from email and IM.

Firstly, instant messaging (IM) is an interruption. If you are doing work requiring concentration, it requires a significant time to become productive at the original task again. Programming shops estimate this time at between 5 and 15 minutes. E-mail does not have this problem to anything like the same degree, since it is essentially ignored during periods of concentration. Secondly, opening an e-mail is part of a sorting process. You can't generally assess whether an e-mail is important until you've opened it.

I don't necessarily agree that ti takes anywhere near 5 to 15 minutes to be productive.  Plus learn to turn yourself off (that also means marked busy) from these tings.  Are you required to answer every call, every email and every chat all the time at that exact moment?  Nope.  I couldn't find it anywhere in our company handbook, what about yours?

So a quick survey, are you required to act immediately on most (I use this because there are incident tickets and some other things) email and instant messages?  Do you do it because it is there?  Do you actually take 5-15 minutes to get back on task?
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    On Monday, March 13th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Getting in and out of airplane seats

I have a brief complaint, when getting in and out of your airplane seat, is there some hidden requirement that I am unaware of that you must use the seat in front of you to pull instead of using your own to push?  For example, you get up and instead of standing and pushing off the back of yours, you grab the headrest of said person in front of you, who then gets slingshot forward at Mach 7 when you let go.  Forget if they were sleeping, eating or anything that involves a drink near the mouth.

Some people do need the assistance, I really understand that, but I am sure not everyone else has the requirement.  Sorry, long flight.........
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    On Tuesday, February 28th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Cadenza with Windows CE and Palm issues and solution

We have had great success and numerous frustrations with Commontime over the past could years.  Most of the frustrations were at times of upgrades.  After working with Commontime we would always get a resolution, but getting it in hand seemed to be the problem.  So this year we cornered them at Lotusphere on the vendor floor during a slow time.  It seems one of the wireless Palm Treo phones decided it could not sync nor could you set the password.

It had a default password on the screen (at least there were tiny asterisks in place of the password) but we could not tell if it was really there or something they put in.  We tried manipulating the config doc for that person in the control database to no avail.  So at Lotusphere we found out that the code version had a tiny bug that would not let you configure the password on the device.  At all.  They took his Treo for a couple hours, cleaned up some backend log and config things that get hidden and left behind (we were told) and viola, a new version gets installed on it and we can change the password on the device again.  The funny part was that calling support we were told someone there ran the same device but we could never, ever get that person on the phone to see what the deal was.

So we run the Windows CE and Palm integration in Enterprise mode on the server letting multiple device types sync.  Keep in mind that it uses two different services to do that.  The Thin Client Connector is for the Palm devices and the Commontime main service is for CE.  Both listen on different ports by default also.  Port 603 for CE and 608 for Palm.  Huge thing to know for wireless synching and firewalls.  But awesome for me anywhere I can get an 802.11b connection for my PDA.  Or anywhere the Treo can get a signal now.
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    On Monday, February 27th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Microsoft playing the name change game, lets compare Domino in this area

I always take interest in the things that affect LDAP directories and structures, but most don't know all the pieces for AD and LDAP to make it all work as one.

The online article here did not have the grid of the print version.  So I added in the print grid and you can read the rest on your own.

But one quick excerpt:
While the directory has been a core piece of Microsoft's identity infrastructure, it will become the platform for strong credentials, access control, single sign-on, federated identity, information-rights protection, process automation and auditing.

New Name
Former Name
Active Directory Domain Services Active Directory Domain Controller Domino server
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Active Directory Application Mode Domino server with LDAP on
Active Directory Rights Management Services Windows Rights Management Services Domino server with ACL's
Active Directory Certificate Services Windows Certificate Services Domino server with CA on
Active Directory Metadirectory Services Identity Integration Feature Pack Domino server

Oh the confusion for us Domino users?
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    On Tuesday, February 21st, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Another replication versus synchronization posting

This has gotten to be a hot topic in the comments and the hits from the posting last week found here.  I even saw it pop up in the internal Business Partner forum (thanks Sean) looking for feedback.  So let me explain, quote and move along a bit further.

This is not a semantics talk anymore about which word a person uses.  The meaning has been built in for years.  There are major differences to me and others on the proper definition of replication. tosses out a few meanings:
1. A fold or a folding back.
  2. A reply to an answer; a rejoinder.
  3. Law. The plaintiff's response to the defendant's answer or plea.
  4. An echo or reverberation.
  5. A copy or reproduction.
  6. The act or process of duplicating or reproducing something.
  7. Biology. The process by which genetic material, a single-celled organism, or a virus reproduces or makes a copy of itself: replication of DNA.
  8. In scientific research, the repetition of an experiment to confirm findings or to ensure accuracy.

Amazingly I like number 8 here.  Using the words repetition of an event or experiment (called scheduled replication in our world) to ensure accuracy across replicas.

Back to we have the formal definitions of synchronization:

v. intr.

  1. To occur at the same time; be simultaneous.
  2. To operate in unison.

        1. To cause to occur or operate with exact coincidence in time or rate: We synchronized our watches.
        2. To cause to occur or operate at the same time as something else: They synchronized their trip with the annual tulip festival.
  2. To arrange (historical events) in a synchronism so as to indicate parallel occurrence.
  3. To cause (soundtrack and action) to match exactly in a film.

So Synchronization would be more like clustering according to the first line.  So I could see this word used in place of clustering, not replication.  Definition 4 describes replication best to me, an echo or reverberation.  They do not have to be totally in sync (hmmm, interesting placement of the word) at all times.  Replicas can be hours or days different.  They then echo, rejoin or reproduce (or delete) as necessary on schedule or on demand.

So some good quotes for you.  From Gabriella Davis:
I also think synchronization sounds much less feature rich than replication

From Jerry Glover taking the other spin:
I think "synchronize" is far more well-known by the general populace

Of course Sean had a blunt point:
It seems to me to be quite a lot of time and money to change something that does not necessarily need to change.

My two cents have been written, spilled and could go on for pages.  More words from the faithful and new readers?

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    On Tuesday, January 31st, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Rocky did a good thread for Lotusphere N00bs

You can find the thread here.  But I wanted to add something of my own to the thought.  There are so many of us not only in the blogging world that hang out with each other, but also simple friends and professional associates.  I personally make it a point to get to a few minutes of each session one of them presents.  Even if it is to step in for ten minutes and race to another that is at the same time.  I find that you learn a lot about speaking styles, even tips you can use for yourself.  I have one friend that not only blogs but has attended a few of my sessions.  It is awesome to hear candidly how you do as well as hear them say they liked something so much in the way you present they want to encompass it to their own styles.  Flattery I tell you.

So take the time to make eye contact, send a wave, let them know you came through, even if just for a few minutes.  Remember, many of us (like Andrew :-)  ) can't sit still in sessions for long times anyway.  Or business meetings and other sessions keep us running.  I know I am terribly guilty of trying to be everywhere and pulled in different directions.  But I love watching my friends present.
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    On Thursday, January 19th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

DominoPower headline article today on DDM

I got the weekly update for DominoPower and the main article was a vendor's thoughts on Domino Domain Monitoring (DDM) and is it a real improvement or just a smoke and mirrors attempt by Lotus to change the name and update Events and Statrep.  I want everyone to read this article and give me their feedback and your own conclusion.  I am staying out of this for now as I have my own opinions and ideas about this business partner (as I use their product) and on DDM (as I present on it at Admin and the Domino 7 Upgrade Seminar).

I will put my thoughts together for tomorrows posting.  But that means everyone has homework.   Get to it.
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    On Monday, January 9th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Rant: (new) IBM partner software download

Knowing that everyone cannot access the site partners use to download software, I did not link it.  But I am tossing a small screenshot.  What happened is that you used to jump to a Notes database for the Software Catalog for electronic download of software.  Now recently I have not had to download anything until this past weekend.  It seems they changed over to an all IBM software delivery of some sort and searching sucks and never returns what is usually expected.

No, it really sucks.  A customer wanted some to load a Macintosh for a new or upgraded user.  I entered Mac, then tried OSX and then tried Mac Notes only to find nothing returned.  So I went the long route and did 6.5.4 Notes and got way too many results only to find Mac not on the page.  Here is the screenshot for Mac and all I got was 2 Websphere returns for Fortran.  Fortran!

Image:Rant: (new) IBM partner software download

You have 3 possible choices of searching.  By product number (yeah right), By search text (tried that) and by Categories.  So I went this route last week and did not have the best luck, it returned far too many results but I finally found what I wanted.  So I tried again today.

I limited the search to:
  •  Download method: Download Director
  • Search brands: Lotus Software
  • Product names: Notes/Domino
  • Languages: English International, English US
  • Platforms: Apple Macintosh Operating System, Apple UX (Apple)
  • Date posted: Within past 1 year

I expected a small listing of returned results.  Instead I still got numerous operating systems with 9 eAssemblies and 224 products.  We all know there is not 224 Mac products posted in the last year!
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    On Wednesday, January 4th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Comparing Domino to some analysts over the years

I was thinking about some end of the year summaries and this just fell together in my lap (errrr  mind that is).  Here is abstracts over time (stopping the past few years since it is so fresh in our minds) and then some thoughts of mine on each point.
  • From CIO Magazine Mar 1 1996:
Examining Notes, the de facto groupware standard from IBM subsidiary Lotus Development Corp., doesn't help either. It's e-mail, it's discussion databases, it's an application development environment, it's a place where different folks can work on the same document at the same time. In fact, even Lotus has had a tough time defining groupware.

One would wonder what genre to place a product that envelops so much with the Extended Product Family now.  Are we really using groupware?  How many of you work in a group?  How many make a group?  These were all thoughts 10 years ago.  Everyone remember Workflow?  Email was taking over the enterprises in leaps and bounds.  Applications were taking a mind of their own and many mail systems were just starting to understand there is standards in the universe and to re-engineer their MTA's and gateways to talk nicely to each other.
  • From CIO Magazine in Feb 15 1998:
...future mind-share reports are showing a near dead heat for Lotus Notes/Domino and Microsoft Exchange. IBM needs to add the GroupWise installed base to its Notes/Domino share to thwart Microsoft's efforts to own a company's "digital nervous system."

Need we even go here.  Future predictions showed a dead heat?  Once again falling into the idea that just doing email compares to everything else that can do email.  Just because it has 4 wheels doesn't make them comparable now does it?  Rollerskate, please meet Ferrari.  No one ever saw a hint of tossing GroupWise into any mix with Domino outside of using their directory for LDAP.
  • From CIO Magazine Mar 1 1999:
Real-time is real important to CIOs. If Lotus Notes and Domino featuring Ubique technology are half as popular in corporate America as they are in my home, a new era of collaboration is imminent.

Do we even have to go here?  Lotus did not even embrace Ubique technology, it has taken chat and presence to new heights to Lotus Notes 7 and offered the chat service as a commodity and requirement now.  I think corporate America got the picture, brought to you by IBM Lotus.
  • From CIO Magazine Sep 15 2003:
Microsoft Exchange and IBM Domino/Notes dominate the corporate e-mail world. Together, the packages own nearly 90 percent of the Global 2000 e-mail market, and that dominance will continue through 2007.

With the rest of the corporate world already sewn up by IBM and Microsoft, vendors are looking for growth where they can get it.

That is right, use the words sewn up.  Hannover leaps us into 2007 with activity-centric collaboration (I am still fuzzy personally on this whole idea and workers grasp).  Domino will continue to dominate without effort.  Let's hope for another ten years of double digit growth.
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    On Wednesday, December 28th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

A recent article on adults and lack of IM knowledge (Sametime included?)

I saw this article from (a Connecticut newspaper's online site) in a Google alert but the tag lines caught my eye first.
Unlocking the Code: A Grownups' Guide to Instant & Text Messaging

So I thought to myself, they will do the usual drabble about abbreviations and stuff teenagers use, plus identify some messengers in it.  But it took a bizarre twist toward the corporate use for most of the article. Here is an example:
IMing has its place, but it's typically not the best medium for the "business end" of business. Not too many deals are being negotiated via IM, but it does have its place in the office.

"Some people swear by it and it has its place, but it's not for everybody," says Bill Thompson, vice president at NSI, a Naugatuck-based computer consulting and systems-integration company.

"I get the sense that it's being used more internally than externally to clients," says Thompson. "There may be some situations where you're in a high customer-service orientation where they want that instant feedback and organizations might authorize that under a secure environment, but I think it's used by more people who are internal to an organization."

As Thompson explains, there are choices for those looking for instant messaging capability. "Under a more specified environment such as Lotus Notes, you have to have your own server and would have to authorize access by people in the company or outside."

Hmm, true in many instances and those of us that breathe it run multiple systems for the outsiders.  With the proper auditing and usage it is for business needs and deals get done a lot over IM around here.  Papers get signed later, but deals get done.

But these same people quoted go on to say:
"Instant messaging, particularly in the business sector, is really only being adopted by people who are already and have been familiar with it for some time now: namely the 20-something crowd such as myself."

So all you older people stop using it now!!!!  You have no business using IM if you are over 30 apparently.
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    On Friday, December 2nd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

One more AOL Triton mention form my install experience

UPDATE on 12/5/05 from another reviewer that did a fine summary

Well the damn thing did install their browser shell even with me unchecking the box.  It also always starts up with Windows to the taskbar no matter how many times you change the preferences screen to not do it.

I could not find an uninstaller for just the browser on my machine, and reading some other blogs there is some hacks, but it shouldn't be there in the first damn place.  Plus ti keeps prompting to be your default.  You must be kidding me right?  As this guy
Richi from the UK says, stick with 5.9 and corporations watch out, it could mess with browser desktop settings inadvertently if they can load this on their own.

So the end result?  Off it came entirely from the machine, love that Trillian

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    On Thursday, December 1st, 2005   by Chris Miller        

I was following Tom Duff’s post (and comments) on a Ray Ozzie post for other reasons

Instead of linking to Ray I will just link to Tom here.  But I did grab this topic I wanted to cover from the exact posting Tom was talking about.
Notes had just about the simplest possible replication mechanism imaginable.  After all, we built it at Iris in 1985 for use on a 6Mhz 286-based IBM PC/AT with incredibly slow-seeking 20MB drives.  We were struggling with LIM EMS trying to make effective use of more than 1MB of memory.  Everything about the design was about implementation simplicity and efficiency.

Besides understanding what Tom was saying about not being able to actively comment back since he is saying he has discussions (which I personally take to mean with MS people as I grabbed maybe 6 or 7 links and saw no responses from Ray), I did find the idea intriguing.

One trackback posting made a quite simple and decent comparison of the previous Pull technologies of RSS with the proposed Pull Pull of SSE.  But the initial spec has nothing noted about security or master sources yet.  But, my thought here is that it will grow into that with Ray having input and his above statement about Notes.  With the moves into XML throughout Microsoft products, enabling SSE ability is the first move into having replication in their technologies over another standard.  Instead of the proprietary Domino replication abilities.  The security and authorization has a long way to go yet, have no fear.

If we take this like school, Ray is trying to develop a new learning program on new standards and Lotus has had an established college for 20 years that has grown around some very basic roots of security, portability and simplified scalability.

The point of this posting is not how Lotus does the replication, but the far reaching capabilities it has after years of growth and enhancements.  Then Ray floats an idea to base some Microsoft work on emerging specs and the slower flocks will follow far too soon.  Take that last part and let it marinade some.
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    On Tuesday, November 29th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

I enjoyed this IVR cheat sheet and wanted to share

How many of you, as companies that is, have some automated response system at your enterprise that is painstakingly long to get to someone live on the actual phone?  Our support center here gets answered live 24 hours a day, no voice prompts or overseas outsourcing.

But when you call your credit cards, bank, ISP or whatever, they have rings and rings of "punch this number" commands that seem to get you back in full circle.

But to make life easy, I don't punch a single digit at all, as they have to still support the old rotary phones on most all systems.  People are just too click happy trying to find a way to the operator.  Patience young grasshopper.

So here is an ever growing cheat sheet.  I bet he will take contributors too.  This story ran in the Boston Globe and a brief mention in Network World
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    On Friday, November 18th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

How does your company look at your blogging activity? Thoughts on mine

We all know how Ed's blog pops up in articles on how IBM either makes no comment or states they do not regulate his content.  He uses common sense and a twist of corporate, let us say awareness, in what he posts.  There was a ZDNet article that just came out with some stats:
A growing number of American chief executives rate blogs high as employee communication tools, though a majority of them remain skeptical about starting their own, a new study shows.

About 59 percent of CEOs surveyed said they find Web logs, or blogs, useful for internal communications, while 47 percent see them as tools for communication with external audiences, according to a study conducted by PRWeek and Burson-Marsteller

So I questioned myself in how my blog is viewed by the forces that be.  Most of my blogging is done in the evening or night with postings set for the next day, unless it is a hot topic.  I know there are some at work that read it occasionally, knowing I never use names of customers or people (unless approved by them in advance).  I regulate the content in my head as I go.  I feel I have done quite well with over two years of blogging, moving to the third with this Lotusphere 2006.  But, I also know I express opinion on the very product we support, manage, host and install.

Apparently the audience approves as the web hits, RSS hits and even searches continue to grow.  Business generated from it continues to grow.  Sometimes surprising even me when I peek at the stats every couple weeks and I see the emails constantly coming in inquiring on capabilities and requests for assistance.  So I march on, continuing what I do and how I do it.  Always looking for new ideas and changes, but keeping the core content the very same that lets it grow.

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    On Wednesday, November 16th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

I had to comment on Ed’s posting today (Outlook and Domino via POP/IMAP)

I have been down this path over the years with numerous clients.  I have been through crit-sits and gotten info I still can't even share because of NDA and everything else with customers and Lotus.  But I can say that POP3 and IMAP on Domino leave much to be desired. (I state move to DAMO at the end for those looking to skip ahead)

Let's go back in time. POP3 had numerous issues with the unread marks and locking the mailfile.  In the old days, R5 and back, if the mailfile got locked by the POP3 task you had to restart the entire Domino server.  Yes I said entire.  Documented, read the technotes if you can find the old ones that showed:
POP3 Server: Unable to open mail file for xxx/yyy: unable to obtain exclusive access to maildrop

Large attachments caused the issue, a corrupt message could cause the issue, a bad full moon could cause the issue.  Besides POP3 being an older protocol without true load balancing.  Domino looks to the client to retain the unread table for the host it is hitting since agents or even API programs could change the Unread ID Table (see technote #1100308).

I consulted with a couple places that were looking to rollout wide scale (20,000 users or more) POP3 implementations.  My statement then and now stands at no for Domino and POP.  Forget the other issues around having mail locally, backups, leave on server, and a slew of others.  Heck, there is not even any scheduling ability.  part of the whole reason of using Domino

IMAP had issues a long time for memory leaks and usage.  When it started you would see less that 100 full blown IMAP users on a box.  That got better over time but you still will not run as many Notes or DWA users.  Once again we are back to full failover ability.  IMAP does a fine job of reading the folders and letting you work online, but the back end processing through Domino 6 left some to be desired.  Scalability still has reported issues in Domino 6, technotes and all.  No room for discussion.

Editor note: I have not tested this in Domino 7 yet so everything might be peachy keen now.  But not many are to the point to upgrade and I don't have the client load of POP/IMAP to test.  Or a desire to configure a load tester for that.

So to close on Ed's posting, why not move to DAMO if you want the Outlook client.  Move to DWA, move to Notes.  But let's get off the older standard of POP.  The servers were made to be a simple storage facility for mail until the client could access it and grab it from the server.  Then someone got smart and asked why don't we leave it there so I can get it in more than one place.  Great idea, sounds like this needs to move to a server type application.  I understand this was before web mail and some client technologies took off.  I am not disputing that.  But why not sell the abilities of scheduling (not POP as I mentioned), clustering (not POP), alternate client access to the same data (not POP as the unread tables are different) and richness of doclinks and other cool things.
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    On Friday, November 4th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Southwest and ATA do not scan luggage?

Ok, so the trip to Manhattan was very tiring and also lots of fun.  The constant rain this last day added in numerous delays, of course.  The time sitting in La Guardia ate up my entire layover in Chicago, which was fine since I walked off one plane, crossed gates in the same terminal and got immediately on the next leg.  Unfortunately my luggage did not fare so well and cross under the terminal in a little wagon.

When my happy luggage did not slide down the ugly carousel of steel, I immediately went to the Southwest Luggage office.  Being used to American Airlines, the US Post Office, UPS, FedEx and even DHL I expected them to type in the magic numbers and like magic my luggage info appears on the screen.  I was pleasantly informed that Southwest and ATA codeshare, but neither scan luggage tags.

My immediate question was then why am I handed a luggage claim sticker with a code number.
  "we don't scan".
That was not what I asked.  If you do not scan, how do you know where it is?
  "It should come on the next flight that lands in about 15 minutes"
How do you know?
  "We don't but that is the expected result"
I expected it to arrive with me, funny isn't it how we differ.  If it does not show, how do you track it to find it?
  "we wait till the luggage tag gets entered into the system and it will tell us what city or location it is in so we can retrieve it"
You don't see anything wrong with waiting for someone to realize my bag is circling so long it thinks that the world is 200 yards long and obtuse and then they must manually enter the whole code number?  Like human hand enter?
  "why not wait 10 minutes and see if it comes in and then we can go from there
Why don't I climb on and just spin with the luggage, I might have better luck

Yes it is late but the luggage did come and I felt a rant was necessary.  I understand cost cutting, but if saving costs is shipping bags to peoples houses or hotels via courier because you forgot to install scanners, then more power to you.  I don't see how
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    On Wednesday, October 12th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

My thoughts on the Domino 7 Live event here this morning

This was basically broke into 4 increments.  The first hour covered the basic enhancements in the Notes client and some new features of the Extended Product family.   All material you can find published for some time now.

  But in watching the inbox grow with clutter, and I do not need email clutter, there is something else needed.
See previously everyone complained that Notes was not like Outlook with all the bells and whistles.  Unfortunately there are too many now.
  • awareness icons
  • reply indicators
  • forward indicators
  • message recipient indicators
  • follow-up flags in varying colors
  • priority indicators
  • mood stamps
  • yes there is a few more
What I am getting at is now the end users need a pop-up legend for icons and colors.  Just like the IM list pops into a new window the end users are now overwhelmed with little colors, icons and doohickeys

The second hour was on the enhancements in the Administrator client and performance.  One ScreenCam for DDM and a whole lot of slides on performance testing that has been done.  Then a few on the new load tools available.  There could have been much more to this section.

The third was on the Designer client so I drifted away mentally and snuck out before the final session on ISSL trying to say how they can assist you in migrating.  Kind of backwards since they show how easy and compatible Domino 7 is, who would need the help?
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    On Thursday, October 6th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

If anyone has ideas (or even cares), my harddrives switched letters

OK, my main work Windows XP machine went boom yesterday at some random time while I was working and after some digging I found that the C and D drive letters have switched.  Basically making the thing constantly go in a reboot cycle since it can't find anything.  I will gladly rebuild the machine, but I would like to boot once to move the data nicely off.  The E and F drives stayed just fine, but those first two went wacky.  No, the CD ROM is not one of them, I have that way down the alphabet chain.

I am busy looking for Partition Magic in the office somewhere
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    On Friday, September 30th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Sportsmanship and business

How do they relate?  After this weekend of dealing with parents, coaches and players in an annual soccer tournament that I referee in, they relate more then one could imagine.  They match up with what you know as a company or enterprise.  Everyone has a role and a job to do.  Here is what I began to realize when it was all said and done.


The players are like the employees in the company.  The ones doing all the work, get yelled at by certain coaches and parents and getting rewarded for their hard work with congratulations and cheers when they do well.  There is even yells of bonuses (cash or lunch or whatever for scoring goals).  Seeing their frustration is just like watching workers at a large site that are tired of hearing the whining from all around, but perform better when they are urged on in a positive manner.  They grumble when the competing firm gets a big sale (scores), and hold little cheers and pats on the back when they get one.  Some of them don't even like each other in the same company, but know that playing as a team when on the field is the key to success.  Then there is putting on your game face to go against someone with another firm who you might go have lunch with later, but while you are out there it is all business.


The coaches are just like managers. They get a nice office that is shaded on the hot days (some of these clubs bring their own portable tents for the benches).  Their main job is to train and guide the workers (players) while out in the workplace; reprimand when necessary; reward when necessary and fend off the investors (parents).  They deal with the referee, who suddenly becomes and external audit team.  Every call is under scrutiny and every move the competitor makes is done illegally.  They deal with the parents, listening to every complaint, idea, question on how and why.


So now we turn to the investors, the parents.  They sit on the outside yelling at the referee (auditors); yelling at the girls (workers); cheering some calls the referee makes; cheering some plays the girls make; making comments to the managers; but never actually stepping foot on the manufacturing floor.  The parents say the audit teams never know what they are doing, yet the auditors are the ones trained and certified. I sometimes think the investors is just a shuttle service in reality, moving workers from point A to point B and never really knowing the type of work that has to be done. But being caught up in the moment, the shuttle driver opens their mouth a tad too far.


This is the most feared and sometimes hated group, the audit team.  They are there to watch the workers perform, overall rate the skills of these managers in how they trained the workers and then make judgements against that.  The audit team has to sometimes deal directly with the investors when they make too much of a problem too (more on that in a moment).

The auditor had to make an investor leave this weekend.  There are times when you should let your feelings be known, most definitely.  Like cheering on the workers, offering those bonuses for performance.  Then other times it is appropriate to keep your mouth shut.  Like when the external audit team makes a decision that you know will be final.  Just sit back and take it like an investor should.  You aren't doing the work, you aren't motivating the workers or managers, you just have to suck up the loss like a big boy and hope your investment makes you some fortune a little later in the day.

By the way, there is nothing worse than an auditor making an investor have to leave watching the workers do their job on the field by flashing a red card, keep that in the back of your mind.  Mainly when the red card is just like a financial penalty, costing your team a point in the standings.  Oh yeah, and when you are tied with your competitors moving into the semi finals, losing a point pretty much makes your workers lose everything they fought over 210 total minutes for across 3 work days (games).  So know when to not make certain types of comments to auditors, even when warned.

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    On Tuesday, September 20th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

I learned about this long ago while in talks with Sybari...

BLOGGER'S NOTE: Feel free to jump straight to the rant at the bottom if you are familiar with this into.....

Unfortunately we were under some goofy NDA stuff, but we met with Sybari while looking as ASP modes for anti-virus/spam software for Domino. Besides the fact that they couldn't answer about 20 questions or so at the meeting in terms of functionality (even with a tech person there at the meeting from Sybari), the statement about dropping OS support got them eliminated.  From this site comes the following text which prompted me to finally write on this:

This morning my MS rep emailed a snippet of the press release: Microsoft Completes Acquisition of Enterprise Security Provider Sybari Software. I used to be fairly pleased with Sybari Antigen for Lotus Domino/Notes, so I started worrying when MS bought them back in February. Well, fear no more: they've already announced that their dropping the Linux and UNIX versions of Sybari products. Expect the remaining Windows-platform products for Lotus' email server (that is, Microsoft's biggest competitor to Exchange/Outlook) to "fall like dominoes" soon enough...

If you are unsure why they would drop certain OS support, then reminding you they were bought by Microsoft back in February or so would answer it right out.  Microsoft buys Sybari, drops any platform but Windows and renames the Domino version.  Now they will continue to support those under maintenance, but do not look to renew it again with them.

So soon we saw Microsoft buying Frontbridge for some more further frontline coverage to Exchange.

< rant >Basically what I am seeing is a very insecure platform (Exchange) that needs a lot of protection that Microsoft could not integrate on their own.  Ideas of ECL's and authorized controls to access local files, java and javascript eluded them.  Lotus went from simple local controls with goofy buttons to push out to elaborate policies allowing you to change admin ECL's on the fly.

Now let's look at the flipside of this.  Lotus has been slowing building anti-spam features in as any good email should.  But one would think buying someone like KSpam or SpamJam would make perfect sense to toss them in as templates and say,
"Hey Microsoft!  Not only do we secure the desktops already and don't have that pesky virus trouble inside of our mail program, we now built in spam technologies that runs on any platform you install Domino.  You want frontline SMTP Domino servers on AS/400?  Partitions on ZSeries?  We got ya.  Want to run some Windows for Sametime and then all mail on the AS/400?  We got ya.  Mix and match, toss a Mac client in there. But anyway you look at it, we have DNS whitelisting, blacklisting, spam controls, reverse lookups, allowed domains..too many to type for this little text block."
 So get at it IBM/Lotus, buy a little someone and integrate it.  Or develop your own, it is does all the time to mirror what partners make.  It has been that way for a long time, no shock value there.  Just a need to have an all-in-one package that kicks even more ass on the mail front.  And yes, keep those little silly circles in the Domino 7 template, I personally don't get them even after a year, but you made my VP smile and that is all that matters.< /rant >
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    On Friday, September 16th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Thoughts on the webcast today from Microsoft titled "Introduction to Microsoft SharePoint for the Lotus Notes Administrator (Level 100)"

Where shall I begin?  How about I have attached the PDF printout of the slides to this blog entry for everyone that did not register to throw darts at read and review.  It was given by Amy Blumenfield and Gary Devendorf, which in itself drew attention from about 17 diehards.  See Sharepoint has an image of an auditorium that shows virtual seats taken by attendees.  With 180 seats per section and 3 sections in the diagram, we were all forced to sit in the front row like bad kids in 3rd grade that don't pay attention.  Ok, so I managed to not always pay attention to this either.

MS SharePoint for the Lotus Notes Administrator.pdf

Some of the comparisons were fair, but left off was hardware requirements (no mention at all) and some other interesting comparisons that left off Quickplace or other areas of Domino,  I expected no less.  The Domino directory one could be expanded to show LDAP integrations since SSO was a point that was mentioned more than once, referring to AD.  The actual presentation was not as smooth as expected and the constant banter form Gary made it seem not like a funfest collaborative presentation, but interruptions.

Now WSS being free is a stab at Sametime chat, which is the only part free.  But of course, you must have Windows 2003 purchased to get it free.  Once again sounds like Domino client licenses.  Lets look at the real picture.  Can you not create a document library in Domino that has check-in and out capabilities (document locking anyone) that can be replicated securely to your local machine?  Is this not part of Domino already?  Nothing more special needed?  I am really beating the horse trying to formulate where this product compares/fits.  It will grab pieces, almost like portlets from Domino (iNotes for example) to serve up too.

One twist was they tossed a line in about Groove replication but refused to make comment in a question asked at the end saying they could not talk about Groove integration.  Let's not put it in slide #23 then.  No need to comment on Windows clustering against Domino clustering.  One point made was that Domino has a 64Gb limit in Domino 6 yet Sharepoint is unlimited.  I want some testing here folks.  Everything else you can read in the file since my lunch is here and I am starved.
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    On Wednesday, September 14th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Maybe I am confused, or is it this article writer, or IDC and Gartner that really is?

He is the starting point, before I even get into the article.
The new widgets certainly can't hurt, given IBM's struggle to maintain its place in the market for integrated collaborative environments. Both IDC and Gartner Inc. recently came out with studies showing that Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange rules the market, with IBM's Lotus Notes barely keeping pace.

The article is actually about the new 'prefab blogging' being added to Workplace.  Nothing to do with either product above in my opinion.  Now maybe I have been booted from the server a few too many times, but what the heck does collaboration, Workplace and blogging have to do with Exchange?  Domino can blog, Domino can collaborate.  Exchange?  Hrmmmm.

The article continues on to ask if blogging will help IBM catch up.  I am not sure, but how many Exchange back-end blogs are out there?  Am I missing something?  Exchange 12?  Sure, they are talking about it, plus embedded RSS abilities. Through some cool partners, we already have these RSS feed readers based in Domino.  Portable, replicatable, searchable.  Let's see that one.

All this from an article writer (Lisa Vaas) and editor that has been around eWeek since 1995?
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    On Thursday, August 25th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Microsoft LCS grabs at the Mac users Sametime doesn’t touch

Reading (as usual) some info on IM.  It seems Microsoft has enhanced the Microsoft Messenger 5.0 for Macs running OS X with some new interface looks and the ability to have a 'Personal' and 'Corporate' tab.  You log into Passport with the personal one and to your corporate LCS with the other.

We all know that everyone has personal and corporate accounts.  We all wish that one interface would solve them.  (Did I just hear Trillian with the Sametime plugin?)  I know, Sametime was made as an enterprise application that used to have one public component.  Comparing that to what was a public IM system embedding the new enterprise package from the same company with Microsoft.

But isn't the mere possibility of tapping the untapped market the whole point. Not if the package does both personal and business, but if it touches somewhere that the competitor doesn't ?
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    On Friday, August 12th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

"Gates urges caution on outsourcing"

Reading Network World the other day, I found this little clip hidden in the corner.
Companies should not outsource their core business functions and staff.......Gates urged IT companies to beware of outsourcing too much to save costs and to keep their key engineering resources and intellectual property at home.

It goes on to say that he is referencing research and development efforts for the most part.  Well duh!  That is the reason we exist here and here.  Because email, IM, e-learning, team collaboration and (you get the idea) is not a core component of any company we host and mange for.  They all have other core competencies.

That is the whole goal and exactly what he wants you to focus on.  He likes the IT consulting if you are not an IT company.  It was just construed in a weird way in that article to make it seem like he was saying do not outsource at all.

Actually it was the opposite.  If you make widgets, make them.  Do not concern yourself with the other areas.
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    On Wednesday, July 27th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

An on the road lesson

As we cruise along for some ridiculously long air flight to the land of Tom Duff and Bruce Elgort, I had the pleasure of seeing quite a few Notes clients popping up on laptops around me.  Thinking of Ed's semi-recent posting on talking with Notes users at airports, the conversation was easy when I launched Domino 7.  The person to my right was curious about any new functionality and performance.

After running through a few of the major improvements, a longer conversation started around issues he has encountered and is troubleshooting still in previous versions.  After some quick help, I learned the gentleman was not only a consultant but a reader of this blog.  Now am I saying I should not have helped him by answering some questions?  Heck no.  But I do know there are people that need to catch up on the technology they are supporting. (Mainly with Domino 7 Beta 4 out today too.  It has been almost a year with the new version, you know?)  being able to guide your clients in the right direction on versions and functionality is key.

Enough rant, I have actual content to post.
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    On Tuesday, July 12th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Who makes the policies around there?

I just happened to catch this article through RSS.  It was written by Michael Osterman of Osterman Research.  With the data he gathers I always try and peek at some of his summaries.

I actually present some of my thoughts in my sessions around IM and mail management and policies.  Most enterprises have some form of Internet (browser) usage policy in place that the employee signs when getting hired.  Most of those seem to be done in combination of HR, for harassment issues,  IT for technical and virus type issues and finally someone concerned about legal reasons to restrict content.

The availability of email policies if very light.  Most only consist of notifying the employee that the email system is the company property and not to use email to transmit personal email (yeah right) and confidential emails.

IM policies seem to mainly be nonexistent everytime I ask the question.  Surprisingly they only know they are told to standardize and block consumer products  But nothing else.  The problem fits your article well.  No one wants to step up to the plate and restrict what is becoming a mission critical application.  No one group wants to take the blame, or downfall or making a policy for IM usage that does not fit every department.  Plus, there seems to be plenty of people that needs exceptions to the rules.  ie: Sales for outside contacts (who can find the SIP/SIMPLE standard that actually works across two different products all the way?)

OK, that was starting to turn soapbox, let me stop.  Do you have all the necessary policies in place?
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    On Wednesday, July 6th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

WebEx first to offer a true archive for conferences? I think not

I read this little gem snuck in on the right side of a page on MessagingPipeline.  There are some claims by WebEx in the capabilities of recording meetings.
The content is recorded in a secure format optimized for scalable storage, and customers can use the solution's administrative settings to customize the settings to meet their specific retention polices. The new product is believed to be the first that provides a true archive for web conference content, and puts WebEx at the forefront of solutions that meet the communications needs of financial services companies while addressing their compliance requirements.

I believe Sametime has done this recording for a long time and stores it as rap files that can be archived off, imported into new meetings and even have security changed as you put it out there for broadcast.  So how the heck does WebEx claim to think it is the first?

It is always interesting to see claims from vendors when they know there is another solution that provides the functionality for some time.  I took into consideration they are working off the idea that Sametime is an enterprise type solution, while WebEx is for just about anyone.  Without having to run your own server.

So if we take that a step further, how do they store, and also provide retention for these recorded meetings to meet all the standards?
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    On Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005   by Chris Miller        


I am at a one day conference event hosted by Angelbeat on security/VIOP/collaboration and such.  The topics themselves so far are not depressing.  I am sitting in the back of a quite impressive conference center with wireless, multiple screens, live video projectors for demos on devices on stage and other nifty things.  But, sitting here I can see 75% of the laptop user's screens.  Every single one of them I can see is using Outlook!!  They are all checking mail as we go along and I am getting frustrated seeing that from all the companies that are here.  I cheated and peeked at the registration sheets and the list was impressive of those actually in attendance.  None of these places run Domino? argh!
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    On Wednesday, June 8th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Northwest with another announcement

Just a couple days ago I said how they are getting rid of pretzels (and had some comments) well now they have moved on to another leg.  This one I actually buy into since a lot of people do not grab these as they filter onto the plane from that tiny little area that you get whisked past by the onslaught of people boarding behind you.
MINNEAPOLIS -- In another effort to cut costs, Northwest Airlines is no longer stocking Newsweek, Glamour and other magazines on its planes and in its passenger club lounges.

Cutting magazine subscriptions will save the airline $565,000 this year.

World Traveler, Northwest's monthly in-house magazine, will still be available.

Northwest is the nation's fourth-largest airline.

It lost $458 million in the last quarter alone and has been struggling with high fuel costs and tough labor negotiations.

Last week, Northwest said it will also drop complimentary pretzel snacks on all domestic flights, beginning on June 9.

Northwest is also proposing a $2-per-bag fee for skycap service.

That fee is being used experimentally in Seattle.

Now the Skycap fee is interesting because I did not know that they controlled them.  I though the airports themselves did.
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    On Thursday, June 2nd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Northwest Airlines to cut out free pretzels?

Now I don't even like the things but this is getting a little silly.
First it was meal service. Then the pillows disappeared. Now Northwest Airlines is taking away the free pretzels on all domestic flights.

It's the latest twist in an intensive cost-cutting effort that has led Detroit Metro Airport's largest carrier to eliminate many amenities passengers had come to expect.

The airline will stop handing out free pretzels to coach-class passengers on June 9, Northwest spokeswoman Jennifer Bagdade said.

Passengers instead can buy a 3-ounce bag of trail mix for $1.

Northwest has already cut out pretzels on flights that offered a $3 snack pack for passengers. The airline has no plans to eliminate free beverages.

Eliminating complimentary pretzels will save Northwest $2 million annually, officials say. The carrier has lost nearly $3.3 billion since 2001.

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    On Friday, May 27th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Still on Exchange 5.5? 26% of you reportedly are

A quick news flash, yes there is still old Microsoft Exchange deployments and also Domino deployments.
A large percentage of e-mail users in the workplace still employ old versions of Microsoft Exchange. A recent survey we completed showed that 26% of Exchange users are still on Version 5.5 or earlier - meaning these users are now at least two generations behind the current version of Exchange.

Now I have not seen that type of quote (this was from Network World on 5-3-05) for Domino recently.  How many enterprises are still back in the 4.6x range and early 5?  They don't follow the same reasons of changing directory structure (Active Directory), changing data store and numerous others.  So is the hold-up budget related?  Time to implement?  Management issues (meaning company upper management)? Manpower?

As I prepare for Admin2005, I begin to think about this from all my previous sessions over the past couple years.  I am always surprised by any numbers of people still back in those versions of Domino and the lack of planning they have made to move ahead.  Plus, they seem to still have issues and implementation goals that can be easily reached in 6, and of course 7.

I took this from an article back in Dec 2003
In comparison, 85% of Lotus customers had already upgrade to R5 in June of 2002, three months before the launch of Domino 6.

So what is going on?  Why do we still hear of major companies that upgrade and are flagships for marketing and the other shops that haven't made the move?
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    On Friday, May 6th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Tennis elbow, meet Blackberry thumb

I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read this about Crackberry's
BlackBerry thumb
Orthopedists say they are seeing an increasing number of patients with a condition known as "overuse syndrome" or
BlackBerry thumb. In some patients, the disability has become severe. The American Society of Hand Therapists issued a consumer alert in January saying that handheld electronics are causing an increasing amount of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. With that warning, the society included directions on how to properly hold the devices, urging users to take breaks and, if possible, place pillows in their laps so their wrists are in a more upright position.

I would love to see an executive bring a pillow to rest in his lap for his Blackberry that he cannot seem to put down for 20 minutes of meeting time.

Anyone else get distracted by this?  We have no cellphone policies in some of our meetings.  You either leave them at your desk, turn them off or get fired.  Our meetings are short, productive and everyone pays attention.

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    On Friday, April 29th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Follow-up on Sametime, tunneling and two NIC’s

I originally posted this on March 17th, and got the first part working successfully.  Clients on the outside are easily able to connect either tunneling or direct depending on their ability from the outside.  Unfortunately there was another catch were weren't so bright about.  If you happen to use the Sametime server in tunneling mode and NAT (Network Address Translation) to the outside world, and then for good measure decide to toss a second NIC card into the mix, well lots of things can break.
  • If you leave the second NIC enabled then it will start trying to grab that NIC as the bind and tunneling and whiteboarding starts to fail
  • If you disable the second NIC and run enterprise backups across it (as most companies will), then you screw yourself there
  • If you move a NIC out of the NAT into a DMZ or other area, you expose the server
  • If you chant loudly "Sametime rules the planet and LCS is a spawn of Satan" nothing happens but you feel better about your decision to use Sametime

Ok, I am kidding about the third, I mean last one.  Needless to say I need everything to work together.  Backups, two NIC's and Sametime with tunneling.  By the way, yes Lotus pushed out a technote under #1088421  Link
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    On Friday, April 15th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Back to LoJack’ing our kids with RFID

I had talked about a cool implementation of RFID last year at an amusement park in Europe.  While this proved to be an interesting read, this newer one from California is better.  Network Fusion first had an editorial about it in February, a harsh one.  With a more recent rebuttal/agreement in March.

So in letting you read those first, let me give my opinion on the whole idea of embedding RFID tags with student id cards.  Currently a lot of employers have this type of technology that is used for entry doors and exits combined with biometrics (we do just that).  We find the benefit in not knowing where someone is, but in where they have been for audit trails.  It also helps protect and restrict areas as needed.  We do not use it for tracking attendance as a school might, since people are in and out all day.

So applying this to schools, here is what I think.  Let's take the thought of trying to identify intruders by who is not wearing RFID (what are you doing sensing body heat?).  Use the technology and chips to allow access.  In my work I visit a lot of schools both K-12 and higher ed.  The higher ed campuses are quite open and unsecure during the days.  While the K-12 are becoming more secure.  Usually only a few entrances are open in the mornings with that being restricted to two or even one later.  I am not pleased with how the monitoring of those doors is done in my own kids school, but I understand staffing issues.  So how about taking those other entrances and making them RFID readable for entry and emergency exit out during the day.  No worry of someone sneaking out anywhere but the front and lunch doors right?

Use the technology for verifying attendance on test taking and attendance in larger campuses.  Having the students scan is a great idea, yet it allows one student to scan another's id.  Sure with RFID you could carry another's card, but what if the teacher had a hand scanner for attendance?  You walk by, get scanned and off to you seat.  Or she could walk around during lessons and scan.  They do it manually now, then it is sent to the office.  In higher ed I have seen people mistakenly left off the daily attendance, or magically added as the form is carried to the office to then be entered by hand.  Yes, some schools have moved into online, but that takes manual entry also.  There is no automation involved.

If you send a student to the course they scan when they get in.  It then shows time of arrival, the medical info on file can be brought up easily when scanned, including all the emergency contact information for that student.  They already track you through your whole career in most schools using your social security number.  Do most parents overlook this very fact?

I agree with
Mark Gibbs from NWFusion, as long as the intent is well defined and spelled out, adding this feature to the id tags that most schools are requiring staff and students to wear is the next step.  It is no more intrusive then you checking in randomly during the school day.  Remember, for the most part our kids go to Public Schools, defined as someone is already watching and logging everything they do.

Heck some are even deciding for you what they will do in the future.  
Didn't know about that did you?  Yes this very program is still being developed and has not slowed (the article was older but explains it so well)
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    On Wednesday, April 6th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Server mail rules and some of my opinions

I talk quite a bit about server rules in my Admin conference sessions on SMTP and mail routing.  However, I realized I do not do that here as much.  Rules to me can be very powerful, but also a hindrance if not managed or implemented properly.  Let's talk about a couple of the hindrances
  • No categorization - meaning there is no description area or ability to group them together from a drop-down list.  Maybe that list comes pre-built from Lotus or maybe it is open so you can add your own as you go along.
  • No sorting - this follows right behind categories as there is no way to sort the rules in the server or email file.  How are you to find any certain rule if you have to scroll and hunt.
  • Order in embedded view is only shown as the order the rules are applied to the message.  This goes to sorting
  • You cannot use special characters - Now I am not implying that every character should be used.  But if you ever tried to be creative and use a "\" and perform some rudimentary sorting you were in for a surprise.  Everything after the slash is ignored.  So yes it looks nice, but the rule is then not applied properly to any mail message.  This also removes the possibility of wildcards.
  • The amount of rules in mailfiles should be decreased.  Finding the appropriate rule in a list of 100 becomes unreasonable.  Compounded with the current issue of some rules staying active after deletion makes finding them to help users a long trek.

So yes, there is some good things.  The ability to sort mail on the fly is awesome for mail management.  The ability to have numerous strings of AND/OR makes adding exceptions to rules easy.  (yes mail can get lost in the matrix if you do not understand all your rules)

So there is some quick thoughts!  Any of your own

Comments Disabled

Yahoo mail steps to Gmail, 1GB free to users and a rant

Here is the announcement in the press stating that by the end of April you should see the change. Now on to the reason we are all here
The 1GB storage upgrade represents an increase of more than four times from the 250 Megabytes (MB) of space that Yahoo! Mail users currently enjoy for free.

Yahoo! also offers consumers 20MB attachment limits, along with Spam Guard, AddressGuard and numerous additional features.

I went down this path before sparking some conversation about why companies do not offer more space to their own users.  Most enterprises complain that the users are attempting to use the 'free' services.  Viruses are the most common cited reasons for not allowing access to Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail or whatever.  So let's talk about that.

Most of these services have or are trying to get some advanced virus scanning in place.  Most viruses seem to be home users with nothing running on the ISP side or locally integrated into their mailfile.  I see more companies not running any types of email scanning for internal use, yet they don't trust the free services that do run it. I know you read what I typed up above.  Yes they run Spam Guard, a virus scanning and other features.

Now before anyone in charge of controls and retention gets all excited, I know all about those types.  Yet, with 1GB of free space (actually unlimited if you are smart enough to move mail around accounts by date on the net), why would a user want to be restricted to 100MB in their own company?  Where is the ability to start using the mailfile as a true sorting and file cabinet feature?  We teach our users to sort, use folders, have good management and then turn right around to this conversation

IT Group: "WHOA!, why do you have so much mail?"
User: "Because we are a paperless office and everything I get is digital"
IT Group: "Well you need to dump some of that or get better organized"
User: "You never provided me a central point for common shared documents so I have to keep them all in my mail because my network share is full"
IT Group: "Yes, we are aware that you have too much there also, print some out and keep hard copies"
User: :"But I thought we were paperless? Why would I print them all out?  Isn't that defeating the purpose"
IT Group: "Sorry, not our problem.  Find a way to reduce the size of your mailfile and network storage, or we will email you reminders everyday until you hit your quota again"

Ugh.  Do I even need to continue?  For gosh sakes they will have 20MB attachments!  How many of you only allow under that?

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    On Thursday, March 24th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

I talked about IM Usage Policies in my E-Pro newsletters, but...

This article at was more tuned to a blog entry than the previous articles I wrote here, here and here (ok the E-Pro site for the newsletters is down and I can't grab those links right this second).  But to boldly go forth
In the past few days AOL has updated the Terms of Service for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) users. The changes have been met with raised eyebrows and anger, as AOL has included clauses that remove all privacy from the user. As part of the new terms AOL reserves the right to record all content posted through the AIM service and use it as it sees fit in the future without any communication with users.

If you read through this article, plus a handful of comments, you will see that AOL has decided that if you use it's products, including chat, they may at any time use portions of your chats as they see fit.  Now, one would presume they could not go through everything line by line.  But what about keyword type searches of the IM chatter on their network?  This is easily done and also can be found in at least one of the Sametime monitoring packages that are available for your enterprise.

This all jumps back to the IM Usage Policy.  AOL is stating it in a well defined policy, no matter how much we agree or disagree.
To agree says yes, this is a free public usage system, that I cannot even expect any privacy.  It goes across networks I do not know or own, into servers that are owned by AOL and then into other sites of systems I do not know or own.  This traffic could be captured in numerous places along the way.

To disagree says I expect some form of privacy.  AOL offers encrypted traffic ability in the recent versions, right?  Well yes they do, but does that still change the rights they have to the actual chat traffic across their servers?  No, not since they are announcing it to you in a EULA type arrangement.  I would expect some of your own companies have not issues that type of agreement with the users.  But I bet you have an Internet usage and e-mail usage policy don't you?

Reading around shows that Microsoft has only stated it does nothing and does with your chat data at all.  I didn't have time to check Yahoo, but ICQ I can imagine will the same as AOL since they are one in the same.
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    On Monday, March 14th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

The MUX that can’t (Sametime for all of you others)

We started having an issue on one of our customer's hosted Sametime servers where during the day, at seemingly random times, the MUX service would just die and goa way.  Only to return a short time later when it restarted itself.  Now there is a NSD outfile for the MUX service that shows it is notes a Notes service.  That is awfully confusing when it is a Sametime service that runs on Notes.  So I can see where it gets confused.  The server is also tunneled and was trying to assume the IP address of the internal NIC card that we use for the backup network.  Instead of the external NIC that is NAT to the Internet.

Unfortunately the only technote that is close, and describes the problem almost exactly, has no fix.  The almost exactly part states that you get MUX exception errors in the Windows Event Viewer only when the service terminates normally.  So basically, don't worry about it.  But I am getting the exact error, on the exact operating system version while the server is running and not shutting down.  Still the answer is quite simple:
This issue has been reported to Quality Engineering.

UGH!   Updates on the solution as they come in.
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    On Wednesday, March 9th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

While out reading the IBM website...

I was going through all the upcoming webcasts and conferences through the Partnerworld site.  I don't do this often enough I know, but I owe some updates to the Lotus Informer Blog this week also.  As I drilled down into the site, and then filtered to just Lotus content, there was a link on the right that caught my eye.
Image:While out reading the IBM website... So I just had to click the first link for Notes tips and what came up, but an IBM page about how wonderful the blog of Alan Lepofsky is.  Heck, Alan even had an animated gif file on his blog the other day.  I think he is taking this serious people!

I am finding that the blogs are growing and trimming at the same time.  What I mean is that more people are popping up blogs while some are dying off slowly.  Unique perspectives and content are awesome to read, but are getting overwhelming to keep up with.  I don't like missing blogs for days on end until I can catch up.  So I am thinking of a rotating blog reading basis.  Setting my RSS into sections and catching up on certain ones each day.

I am just being honest in how my workflow goes and needs to be so I can keep up with everyone.

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    On Friday, March 4th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

AOL turns face and integrates with Oulook through plug-in

This is an interesting twist as we saw Microsoft try to pry their way with LCS almost a year ago (where the heck is that bulldozer of a product right now in deployment anyway?).  But with the lack of interest still blossoming into a dead product, Intellisync creates and launches an integration point for Microsoft Outlook and AIM.  Plus the loss of Sametime and AOL connectivity in 6.5.1 release.

Basically you will get awareness in the address fields (sounds like Notes/Sametime to me) and in vcards with the little AIM 'running man' icon.  Almost like what you see for my awareness on the left of this posting.
In addition to gathering and providing presence information, the plug-in also serves a marketing function: Once it has completed a scan of the user's Outlook contact list and offered to import matches into the user's AIM buddy list, it provides a second list of users that are unregistered with the AIM service and offers to send invitations to them to join.

I see value in scanning my mailfile and building a list off of that for a possible buddy section.  Emailing everyone is not necessary in my eyes, and what if they cannot relate certain IM names with the sender of an email.  How many of us have AOL IM names that have nothing to do with email addresses?  Many of us I can imagine will never match, or worse yet, have multiple IM accounts.

I don't even need to say where this goofy quote comes from,  ok I will. Radicati Group.  Where else!
"It's functionality they should be offering natively if they can," he said, noting that Microsoft has largely dominated in terms of basic integration between IM and other applications, and presents a challenge to AOL's ability to penetrate the enterprise market.

I am beginning to think they have never seen or heard of Notes and Sametime.

The biggest benefit I do see ifs with Outlook running in lots of desktops, and this being a plug-in, there could be some good and easy penetration without AOL having to join the fight for enterprise IM space.

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    On Monday, February 28th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Recent Google searches that bothers me

Recently I have been getting a lot of Google hits for "CertFX hacks".  As many of you know CertFX sells practice testing software for the IBM brand and many other softwares.  I use the product myself, and yes, know the owners of the company from work and outside of it.

I also know that there is a company hiding on the Internet behind a registrar that is using their test questions and reselling them as their own.  So why would I post a way to hack into CertFX to get free practice tests?  Is it really that necessary that your company won't buy the tests for you to get certified?  Is it that important you get certified?  If so, buy the tests.  They run specials all the time, mainly at the conferences.
Sorry it is late after days of working on multiple clients and server issues so if I sound a bit like ranting, well I am :-)

As a side note, no , I will not give out Trillian hack either.  Go buy it for the $25.  It is more than worth it and I pay for it.  Awesome product.
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    On Thursday, February 24th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

We have had this topic around before, fired for blogging, Googler fired

With the growth of Google, they went on a rampant hiring binge for a short time now.  Well it seems one of the employees started creating a diary, including criticism of his new employer, in his blog.  Soon after his hiring, cataloging of daily events, including it seems some indications of market, finance and money figures, he was terminated.  Now there are always two sides, and his point was that he removed all objectionable content as soon as they said something.  But should he have put it there in the first place.  I always think that would be the place for PR to take control of.  Why do I need to say that stuff?  Let marketing take the heat for saying something they shouldn't.

So to jump right into my thoughts.  I blog from work, sure.  It is hosted on our servers, sure.  We support numerous other bloggers on the server, sure.  But have I ever crossed the line in talking about internal company business as the man above did? No.  I never mention a co-worker name, even in glowing entries.  Just for the sake of not having to think twice, I just don't (and yes I have seen someone searching my blog for employee names from our own company peeking, and I am confidently safe from ever doing so).

We notice Ed talks tons about Lotus and IBM, but only where he should, in market drive, analysis, competitive, etc.  But never in the bad sense or mentioning other names.  Well marketing clips that are public (like ones for Ken Bisconti) and the general harassing of others like Alan do occur.  But those are easily seen for what they are.  I also notice that other bloggers I read follow the same lines.  So yes, I think this guy crossed a line, wherever that may be.
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    On Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Press opinion from the Butler Group

This company prides themselves as
Europe's Leading IT Analyst Company providing Analysis without compromise

however with this opinion they came out with without compromise, they attended Lotusphere and came out with this beauty (that is a pickup of the original here that requires free login to view) of a thought from author Richard Edwards (who is the Research Analyst - IT Infrastructure, Intelligence, Collaboration for the group it seems):
Butler Group Opinion

With most organisations only now upgrading to Release 6.0, I cannot see IBM converting these loyal customers to Notes/Domino Release 7 any time soon, and as a result this can only weaken the impact of IBM Workplace on the general market - something of a pity given the platform's huge potential and significant technological advancements.

I agree that a lot of enterprises are still heading toward Domino 6, even after 2 years.  But why not jump straight to some release of 7?  I know a bunch waited for 6.5.x releases for the integrated IM and client enhancements.  With 7 they can get the client and new server enhancements all at once.

Does anyone else see this as true or as an issue?  They are using the leverage of companies just moving to 6, and not moving towards 7 as an issue with IBM Workplace family of products?  As I scratch my head at that confusing statement he made, maybe someone else can make sense of it.
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    On Tuesday, February 8th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Well this sounds just like Notes to me (MS new product)

An announcement that just hit the wires.  Microsoft has expanded their Hotmail offering (and MSN Plus) with a downloadable Outlook client with some interesting things.
Microsoft (Quote, Chart) went live with a new subscription version of its enterprise-grade Outlook offering that also connects with its premium Web mail services MSN Premium or Hotmail Plus.

The downloadable software lets users manage all MSN e-mail accounts, contacts and calendars from a single interface. They can send e-mails from multiple accounts, search for messages across accounts and manage different calendars and sets of contacts.

So with this you get 2GB of storage and 20MB size attachments.  Here is the real reason I am posting this, sounds like (taken from an IM conversation I just had) "wow, they've figured out replication"
Changes made on the client machine are automatically synched with online Hotmail accounts; if the changes are made while offline, the accounts are updated the next time the user goes online.

So let me get this right, you get 250MB free with Hotmail but if you demand this full Outlook feel you can subscribe and download this version.  You do not require Office to run it and they will offer updates and patches.  But it has some crude form of replication built in.
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    On Thursday, January 20th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

An IBM product name is a name like no other

I hinted that I had some information from the conference call yesterday.  Nothing in there was private or nondisclosure since it revolved around marketing that they will be pushing more and more through Q1 of 2005.  Well guess what, we are in Q1 of 2005 so here we go.
  • The name of Lotus Workplace will transform and slowly move to IBM Workplace.  Lotus and Websphere will continue as brands of course
  • IBM Workplace will get more attention as this moves forward as this is the natural evolution of IBM.  There will be continued marketing around Lotus and Websphere.
  • IBM Workplace is a product family and not a product in itself.  There will be no version numbers associated when referring to IBM Workplace.  But the actual parts of the family will definitely have the version number.
  • WorkplaceTM and the subcomponents are now trademarks of IBM.  So when used you need the little TM thingy.

So you should start seeing this with the 2.5 release.  If you plan on attending the Workplace Forum at Lotusphere, you will here IBM Workplace everywhere and pushed as the name.  All marketing and website links will be redirected also.

Ok, so I gave the rundown, what does it mean to me?  Hmmm, not much in terms of change.  I am concerned with the marketing around Lotus (Ed will have my head for these comments).  If the natural evolution is towards WorkplaceTM then why would the reps remember anything but that?  I am only speaking from experience in dealing with the IBM sales reps over the years at customer sites.  As the new focus moves, it works in direct inverted proportion to what they recall in their heads and sell.  You forget the other stuff and focus on the hot market.

The product family idea is not new.  We have seen this with Domino in some ways and the extended product families.  Websphere also falls into that area sometimes.  Unfortunately when you say Domino someone thinks server and the same for Websphere.  If we want Portal we say Portal.  So saying WorkplaceTM still leads me not to the family but to some installed product.  I guess that takes time getting used to.

As for the trademark.  Wow, what a word to trademark.  Workplace.  I sit in my workplace writing this blog entry wondering where those in my workplace will be heading for lunch today.  I also wonder if they are using parts of the WorkplaceTM that we have installed.  IBM Workplace MessagingTM  2.5 is one of those thing we use in the workplace.  I am only making fun, there is plenty of other products out there that do the same thing.  It is just how the word is used and that is what they were trying to embed in us for making our slides and other marketing materials.
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    On Wednesday, January 12th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Let’s move on to disappearing LEAC’s now (Lotus Education)

After great feedback about how consulting is in the market today, how about some quick focus on actual training.  I visited the Lotus LAEC website to see just how many are left.  I recall when Beacon awards actually had a category for them.  But I have watched the partners providing that service slowly close their doors to training due to lack of attendance and people signing up. Some survived by adding additional software training or services to stay alive.  Those are the ones you still see listed on the website.

So is everyone getting their training from blogs now?  Just reading manuals?  Actually trying hands on?  I can't imagine that everyone is getting educated strictly from forums and blogs.  How come companies aren't sending as many people to training to manage the systems and develop applications for them?  Is it the travel to the LAEC locations, now that there is not as many?  Or simply there is no budget for proper employee training?
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    On Thursday, January 6th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Cracking the Domino consulting pinata with no stick

As this blog approaches 2 years running, attending my ninth Lotusphere and reading countless blogs, I am finding out rather quickly that things just aren't what they used to be in Domino work.  Things have changed greatly the past four years.

Just why is Chris thinking this right now many of you ask.  Well, let me explain.  Recently I have watched some smaller companies that consult go *poof*, others struggle to keep clients coming in the door and even some that live project to project.  Then I came across an article written in 2000 about moving from the enterprise in Domino into your own consulting practice.  It was a small 3 part series.  Now let's keep in mind that date.

As I moved along I decided to toss out a general Google search on Domino Consulting. This of course revealed over 500,000 hits.  Now the catch was most of these were older documents or people that had not updated in a few years.  This just follows my idea that people doing actual Domino consulting freelance are not as prevalent right now as they were four to five years ago due to the lack of these types of jobs.  Yes, yes, you can get a job in Domino, even more often recently.  I am talking short-term consulting only.

So before we return to some technical issues, what does everyone think of the current state of Domino as a short-term consultant?  Not as an enterprise employee, but from the eyes of the one to two person shop that comes in to do work for those enterprises on a short term contract basis.

If all this didn't make sense, too bad :-).  I was just thinking and typing as I went along.
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    On Wednesday, January 5th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

New article in Network World on e-mail privacy

The article centers around how messaging in the enterprise is not private in any regard and should not be treated as such. This brings up a good point of how each of us in everyday life seem to use the corporate e-mail in a personal matter at some time.  Mainly if the company does not allow you to access outside e-mail systems like Hotmail or Yahoo.

So to limit what people do we implement quotas.  I have stated before and will state again, I have my own opinion on quotas in standard businesses (meaning not huge requirements on storage of all emails sent for some period of time).  When you limit these people they want to turn to trickery like storing more files locally, forwarding to other accounts or even trying to use the public systems for business purposes.  If your enterprise has a 50MB quota limit but the user can get 250MB on Hotmail or 1GB on Gmail, where do you think they will turn?

You can provide space with purge intervals and other measures to ease the burden some.  But an e-mail use policy seems to be the first and best step in making the employee understand that they are using enterprise e-mail; it gives you the right to open, read, search and delete whatever you desire (in terms of corporate policy or a crazy CEO).

Read the article and give your quick opinion.  Just like this was a quick entry.
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    On Thursday, December 30th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

We had our User Group meeting yesterday here also (on Ed’s heels)

In St Louis, we usually meet on the second Tuesday of the month, but due to someone booking the actual room we use, it was moved this one time to Wednesday.  The topic was on all the new features of Domino 7.  Interestingly enough the presenter (Kraig Vanderbeek fro IBM who does a few of them a year) cut out everything that related to Workplace and any other part of the portfolio.  Why is this important you ask?

Well Ed posted about his overview of the recent couple meetings he attended in Dallas and Houston, and some nice responses by Alan and Steve Castledine.  But here is what I think, and well if you don't like it comment away.  Ed talks about all the things they have done for Lotus the past few years.
There's also the level of investment IBM is making in integrating Notes into newer technologies (where newer is only a statement about age). Domino Application Portlet, common PIM portlet, Bowstreet tools for WebSphere Portal.  Notes client plug-in for the IBM Workplace client technology.  These are major efforts to protect existing skills and investment...and continue to provide a relevant platform for those Notes applications for a long time to come

Which I totally agree.  But what gets missed is that people are asking just for what is coming and changing in Domino in a lot of these shops.  I heard it yesterday at the User Group and it is why I like the approach Kraig took in presenting.  He basically said (as I paraphrase greatly)
You came to this to see what was new in Domino 7, not in what we are merging with Workplace and other Websphere things.  So I cut those out.

Bravo!  Ed points out all the integration changes and other things made, but people in a whole lot of shops are working with straight Domino technology and need to know what is enhanced there and only there.  Portlets are awesome if you are running an environment where you need portlets.  But how many times do we say, "I can do that in Notes" to someone in the organization?  We say it a lot.  Then the marketing comes in that Workplace, Websphere Portal and all these others are the way to plug-in.  So I went on and on enough in a long circle to say one thing.

I love all the integration into newer technologies.  I even promote and support some of them through installations and hosting.  But a lot of the companies come to us asking, "just tell me about Domino and nothing else.  Where is it going without one mention of Workplace or Websphere in your answer and how can we keep leveraging that power.  We don't want the other ones......yet."
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    On Thursday, December 16th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Since we have worked with the e-rate program, I found this article interesting

I was reading this article on the changes applying to the e-rate program.   For those not familiar with the program
in 1997, as a corollary to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC implemented a revised universal service provision (USP) that essentially subsidizes Internet-related services to elementary and secondary schools and public libraries.  USAC has disseminated more than $11 billion in so-called "e-rate" funds since 1997.

So this means that the schools started getting money to fund Internet services.  However, this just came out.
On Aug. 16, the FCC notified the USAC that it was drastically tightening up accountability standards for e-rate funding. In particular, the FCC required the USAC to have the money in hand before promising it to schools - a 180-degree reversal of the way the USAC had been operating for the past six years, during which the USAC would promise funding based on estimated future contributions by telcos.

The USAC responded Aug. 19 by informing thousands of schools and libraries that it could no longer promise funding for fiscal year 2004, which started in July.

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    On Tuesday, October 26th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Copenhagen first session overview

I just finished doing my first session at Admin2004 Europe.  This one was on Domino Web Access (DWA or iNotes for those of us that care) and I was confused with the array of deployments.  Many were small shops that were trying to get users web access, a couple were still on version 5 and a couple had not moved into clustering or availability yet.

So going through the steps and thoughts with them I learned quite a deal of where some European customers are in the upgrades and versions.  Some had aggressive plans but weren't there yet in terms of starting.  Many had not even looked at Domino 7 code or had it anywhere on the horizon.

But t
his technote was very very popular.  Most of the notes.ini settings, by version, for iNotes and DWA.

So what I am saying (while typing very tired and sounding rambling) is that Domino 6 may be deployed at the majority, but most aren't ready for DWA that attended my session.  They were there more for tips once they get it running and what the best practices are to actually deploy it.  I gave many architecture ideas and have diagrams over on the right still for download, hopefully it was beneficial to them.

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    On Monday, October 18th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Found the other "Don’t bother me" article on flying

This is way outside the normal for me, but what the heck, let me just cut and paste most of the article.  It was perfect and it is darn early.  I just woke up and that guy is still talking over there.  I am thinking the mask idea below might work. :-)
Shutting Out The Chatty Fellow Flier

By Keith L. Alexander

 As she settled into her aisle seat preparing for a three-hour flight from Orange County, Calif., to Chicago on United Airlines last month, Joy Denman only wanted to get lost in the pages of her book.

But the man in the window seat had other plans. He was a Sunday school teacher and wanted to find out where the Georgetown history teacher stood in her spiritual beliefs.

For the first hour of the flight, Denman's seatmate grilled her on her knowledge of the Bible and Mormons and spent some time proselytizing his beliefs.

When a flight attendant offered headphones for a Harry Potter movie, Denman snatched them up and got a break from her persistent seatmate. But when the movie ended, the man in the window seat -- who hadn't watched the film -- wanted to discuss what he perceived to be the demonic symbols in Harry Potter.

As soon as the plane landed in Chicago, Denman ducked into the airport's ladies room.

After a hectic business trip, many travelers want to flop aboard their flight to relax, read or catch a quick nap. But often their plans are foiled by a chatty seatmate who doesn't seem to recognize -- or chooses to ignore -- their nonverbal cues asking for some solitude. Some frequent fliers have developed strategies to beat back annoying conversationalists -- from the nearly rude and direct to the subtle and sometimes effective.

Attorney Hollie Reedy of Columbus said her husband, Rocko, a rock-and-roll production manager who has worked for U2 and Journey, throws a blanket over his head and tells the flight attendant in earshot of his seatmate that he'll be sleeping during the flight and is not to be disturbed -- even during meal service. "That gets the message across clearly," she said.

Robert Salmon of Chevy Chase sends a different kind of message. Whenever he flies on Southwest Airlines, Salmon dons on a surgical mask in the boarding area. It's not that he has a breathing disorder or an infectious disease. Since Southwest has an open-seating policy, Salmon uses the mask to discourage people from sitting next to him. And if someone does wind up beside him, he said the mask pretty much ensures the traveler won't start chatting away.

"It's very effective. I don't have to make any excuses about why I don't want to talk, people just stay away," said Salmon, a housing constructor.

The most popular strategy BizClass readers use to avoid unwanted conversations is to wear headphones, even if there is no music playing. They also suggested not making eye contact with the seatmate.

Perhaps the most effective way to silence the chatter would be a simple: "I'm sorry, I want to focus on my book or work." But that was the least preferred method among the most hardened, seasoned traveler.

"I have not been able to figure out which words to use to not make it sound rude," said Washington attorney Keith M. Dunn.

Instead, Dunn whips out his headset. And if the traveler still insists on talking, Dunn pulls out his CD collection of Public Enemy, Eminem and D-12.

"I guess there's something about seeing a 45-year-old white guy with this rap music that makes them think this is not exactly the kind of person I want to converse with on a trip," Dunn said.

For some travelers, fake language barriers sometimes do the trick. Hector Sanchez of Rockville often glances at his talkative seatmates, smiles and, in his best, thick-Spanish accent, says, "No hablo ingles, señor." The ruse often gets Sanchez out of a pesky conversation unless, he said, his seatmate also speaks Spanish.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

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    On Saturday, October 16th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Bas’s article he emailed was appropriate for this flight

This article relates directly to another I read on how not to be disturbed on a flight, but it sums it up quite nicely.
So much to do, so little time. And it doesn't help that the guy down the hall is always dropping by your cubicle to share unsolicited lawn-care tips. Then there are the phone, the e-mail, the micromanaging boss to deal with. On a typical day office workers are interrupted about seven times an hour, which adds up to 56 interruptions a day, 80% of which are considered trivial, according to time-management experts.

The article itself can be found right

But reading it further really struck a cord as I was in-between Chicago and London.  I, luckily, had a great companion in the seat next to me.  He makes Ed's travels look like child's play.  He was on his way back to another African country as he does high altitude meteorological equipment work (or something like that as I tried to grasp the full complexity of devices that can go 100,000 feet in the air to gather weather data).

In the 5 seat section to our left was a young man that was incessantly bothering the guy next to him the entire flight.  Sure, we both laughed quietly as we watched.  The gentlemen next to him had even gone so far as to put on the headsets, eye coverings and tried to sleep.  When I woke back up, the younger one was still talking away.

So how do all of you keep the person in the seat next to you from talking you to death when you aren't quite ready to talk to them?  We could take lessons from this piece of the article
At Pitt Ohio Express, a trucking company based in Pittsburgh, Pa., claims auditors take turns wearing a special black baseball cap to signal that they are absorbed in a project. Department head Lois Beggs says she takes several hours "under the cap" to catch up on her 150 emails a day when she has been away from the office.

American Airlines could give special "I really don't like to talk to strangers" buttons.

P.S. So Libby talked about this same article on the informer blog while I was flying over.  Well so small is the world of blogging.
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    On Saturday, October 16th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Shhh, it is a dirty word now, don’t use it

We all hear the dreaded 'outsourcing' word tossed around in the media.  People get scared when executives start thinking about it.  Unless of course you work as a company that becomes the source.  But IBM went ahead and stopped using it.
IBM, which has been expanding its operations in India, has moved away from the related term "outsourcing." Outsourcing refers to a business farming tasks out to companies like IBM--which may complete the work abroad. Big Blue avoided using the word "outsourcing" in announcing deals with two energy companies and with two German banks that all involve IBM taking over certain operations.

Big Blue described some of the deals as "business process transformation services" agreements and said the phrase refers to an emerging market category.

Well I would like to 'business process tranform' our soda vendor, but it seems we can't get quick deliveries of Mr Pibb before the freshness date.
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    On Monday, October 11th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Reading more about Google hacks recently for some reason

There is an interesting site out there called Watching Google Like a Hawk that has endless articles and information on what Google is doing.  Well one caught my eye from the homepage on using Google to reverse engineer hacking.  I know this was probable of course, due to admins that don't know any better posting information.  So I went hunting on us and did find some of our old ISP users (we used to have cheap dial-up service that was a nice hit in the local market) were posting issues with sending or receiving mail.  Of course one also posted the login information to their mail account.  I think I need to go back and see if we cut them off for sending spam :-)

What I did not know is that you can request Google to remove certain cached information.  So I have already went down that path.  Interesting the things you can do with Google.  The new trick seems to be getting control of remote photocopiers when web servers are submitting information up.
Using Google hacks -- requests typed into the search engine that bring up cached information on networks -- hackers are discovering and using login details for networked photocopiers so they can watch what is being copied.

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    On Wednesday, September 29th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

To text or not to text, or maybe both

AT&T Wireless apparently finds that simply adding unlimited text capability to your cell phone for like $5/month is not appealing to everyone.  So instead they are trying to reach the younger crowd with a new text only device.  It is called the 'Ogo'.  But here is the kicker.
The gadget, branded "Ogo," does not transmit phone calls. It lets customers send instant messages and e-mails to computers and advanced phones, as well as short text messages that can be sent and received on most mobile phones.

The Ogo costs $17.99 monthly and includes an unlimited number of messages. The device itself, designed by No. 3 U.S. mobile provider AT&T Wireless, will sell for $129, before a $30 mail-in rebate.

Call me silly, but even two way pagers can be less expensive in today's market.  Then there is prepaid cellular service.  I just don't see this becoming a huge hit.  Most teenagers I see roaming around now have cell phones to their ear.  What happens if you have unlimited text and the receiver doesn't?  Most of these plans start charging you for inbound messages.  So unless all your friends have this device, I don't get the price or excitement.  It doesn't even have hooks into the IM services from what I have read on it.
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    On Tuesday, September 28th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Comparing the Admin Guide and Technotes (no not for typos)

I started noticing this oddity some time ago in the knowledgebase.  It could be just my bizarre ways of thinking, or then again it could be my bizarre ways of thinking.  Either way.  But I am finding newer technotes that give steps to perform some administrative function.  Then at the bottom of the technote it states that you should see the administration guide for more information on the topic.  Great!!  But when I get to the guide, there is other subtopics on the subject, but the technote in question is exactly the page from the guide.  I give you an example.

Here is the technote  Link
Here is the admin guide page  Link

So is the documentation that confusing or hidden that we need a technote to restate it?  Or more importantly, does no one read the guide and go straight to technotes so Lotus got quick about it and said the heck with that, we will publish some major points as technotes also and reference back.  Now if they could just doclink the guide pages (yes they do change I know) or weblinks with keyword searches that would bring up the documentation.  That would be awesome.  And you thought there wasn't a point to this.
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    On Thursday, September 23rd, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Template standardization

So I promised some more feedback from the last trip.  Standardizing your organization on a mail template design makes the admin's life so much easier.  I know some organizations truly find reasons to customize the mail design, maybe like adding a fax form or application action buttons for integration.  But if you are pursuing this path, try not to have 10 different designs floating around the company.  Upgrades are more difficult, knowing which version should be applied, mainly if there are Notes client version differences out there also.  (Add in a couple different server versions for good measure too)

More importantly, troubleshooting errors becomes time consuming as you attempt to apply the standard template to see if it works, then another custom template, then another.  This cycle continues until you finally track down where the error is coming from.

It really didn't help when the error message itself could not be found in technotes or online, and was very non-descriptive.
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    On Tuesday, September 21st, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Well if you won’t do Sender ID we will patent SPF, take that.

First AOL decides not to do the Microsoft Sender ID any longer.  Instead they are moving to SPF.  Microsoft is not happy but says this does not hamper their efforts.
America Online Inc.'s announcement Wednesday that it would abandon its attempts to support Microsoft's Sender ID e-mail authentication standard are a serious setback for the Redmond, Wash., software company.

AOL still will provide Sender ID information for outgoing mail so that its users can communicate with e-mail providers using that system, but that will be the limit of support for the standard. AOL, meanwhile, is moving ahead with its plans to implement the industry-standard Sender Policy Framework.

But shortly after, here comes a news announcement on a new Microsoft patent that, arguably by some, mocks the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) used.  Basically the supposed patent-free technology now has patents being applied for.
This time, a Microsoft patent made public Thursday appears to be broad enough to cover not only methods of the authentication algorithms for which Microsoft wants licensing but also the SPF (Sender Policy Framework) method being touted as a patent-free alternative, according to legal experts and participants in the e-mail authentication working group.

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    On Monday, September 20th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Well put me on the grid-dle

I am on the road at a customer site doing some work and discovered that Lotus has more published grids in technotes than pancakes served at IHOP.  From troubleshooting DWA and Sametime, to a complete list of AdminP codes and requests in Domino 6, to required ACL rights to make certain modifications to the NAB.  It is a maze of check this, but not with that only after you have enabled this.  Don't forget that if you enabled here, then the check in step 1 must change to the other checkbox.  And do not forget to place this notes.ini setting while spinning the server on your right index finger.

Whew, ok I feel better.  The point of late night dining and blogging is that Domino can be as complex as you let the admins make it, and as simple as out of the box.  But without the documentation of the changes, it takes a pasta maker to untangle the spaghetti.

Once I get some food in me I will actually post some of the technical information from this trip.

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    On Monday, September 13th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

IBM and self-service

Oh you thought this blog entry was about how IBM will let you do more self-service software purchases, licensing and support?  Nope.  IBM bought (not long ago) the self-checkout vendor Productivity Solutions.  I love using the self-checkout aisles at the stores, including the grocery.  It speeds things along quite nicely once you figure out how the things work and act.

But how many of your applications and procedures are self-service? (you knew this had to go somewhere right?)  As I do site audits, including one I am doing next week up east, I look at the current processes and how much time they spend on certain administrative tasks.  Plus the security of theses tasks.  Even with Domino 6, the CA process and AdminP I see far too many sites still doing manual work on tasks that are inherently automated now, right out of the box.  So have you taken a step back from that daily routine that you suffer through to see if you can automate log scanning, password resets, new user requests, and even more?  If you get too caught up in the same thing each day as routine, you don't always see things as someone walking in like I do.  Feel free to have someone come in and do a brief process and security audit (ok yes I would definitely want that business) and have them show you things that can save time, money and open you up to test and explore more of what the system can do.

Just a point to ponder.
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    On Friday, September 10th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

From Network World on a Nemertes Research IM Survey

What if my employees have five or 10 different sessions running, like my teenage daughter?  I don't know how she does it, but I don't want that in the workplace.

From an anonymous director of technology as a midsize retail firm

Come on now, are you saying that the phone cost savings, productivity possibilities and more effective communication isn't what you want?  Or is the concern that the chats are not with co-workers or sales channels?  If so, then restrict it to controlled IM systems.  Manage it, archive it, track it, map user names, use SSL or encrypted traffic, provide accountability through a stated and signed IM policy.  There are a myriad of things you can provide to offer these services.

Facetime uses a great approach in mapping directory names and policies across ALL the public IM services.  So even though each system is on it's own, the enterprise knows that it is controlled as one.

So now that we reviewed the survey in general, it leads to the same answer at the end.  The research firm shows that companies should standardize on Lotus Instant Messaging or Windows Messenger internally with controls set for external program access.  Does your company have an IM policy in place?

The full article can be found here.
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    On Thursday, September 9th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Sorry for the posting delay, but I did post twice Monday :-)

Carl Tyler dropped in (virtually) and linked back to a thread he had on his blog about my last posting.  Which of course I lacked in reading his recently as I haven't surfed the blogs much or caught up on RSS.  So on to his thread and some more thoughts.  Nevermind what the analysts say, or the IBM spokesperson.  She did come out and say IBM might rethink it though through customer demand.  Interesting as the customer is demanding it already and that is why Microsoft did the announcement.  She also went on to say she won't let recent news in the press set the agenda.  I agree when people are talking about some hot new technology that isn't proven.  But when you already offer the largest seat count of enterprise chat software, it really isn't too recent of news to make plans to take over it all.

I think it would be great if Lotus could enter the an agreement in letting them add connectivity in their enterprise client, or do namespace mapping for internal names through the LDAP directory.  I will even step back and say SIMPLE could be the way to go.  But which ever way, state it loudly and make the tools available.  I talk to many sites that do not understand that the SIP gateway is there on another cd ready to install.  Or better yet, what the heck to do with it.  Sure there is documentation (before I get a nasty email from someone), but it is not clear what needs to be done on the other sides to make it work all the time.  Maybe a Redpiece or something on the topic would stir some enthusiasm.  Hey Carl, want to get together and write a white paper?
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    On Wednesday, August 25th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Feedback from my last posting on DomainKeys

I saw I had one lonely comment on my last posting and was actually excited to see Chris Linfoot himself commented.  I don't go nearly as in depth as he does when talking about Domino and SMTP stuff (mainly because one area I want to do I am still under contract with The View not to write up for now).  But he linked to a posting of his that went into great detail that I enjoyed reading, as well as you should.

So let's just follow along on more of my thoughts and let the two postings work together.  Chris covers header changes and brings up a point I was getting to on the receiving side posting I was going to do actually.  Many of you scan, add fields and make all sorts of changes.  My thought here is that to make this work the right way would be an investment on the receiver side to place a SMTP box that does nothing but check DomainKeys before sending the message through.  This box would not scan, add fields, or do about anything but verify integrity.  This whole thing also assumes that the sender does nothing to the message past the point of the sending server that is listed with DomainKeys.

So Chris summed it up right there.  If there is changes made to the message after the sending and before the DomainKey can be verified, there is huge flaws in this plan.  While whitelisting is something I have been playing with internally, it has a long way to go since you require management of a private DNS whitelist or, you have to trust a public one, just as you do the blacklist sites.  I also pondered one thing, and that has to deal with S/MIME and keeping the encryption and digital signatures separate.  I would imagine the content is of course S/MIME and the wrapper of the message is DomainKeys, but what about digital signatures.  This is all leading me to a complete rewrite for verification that would cover all three.  I could see this draft coming somewhere down the road.  A single source solution that would eliminate having to keep track of whitelists, blacklists, keys for individuals and encryption.  A buffet of sorts.

I can see abuse of public whitelist servers, of people trying to get themselves listed.  How would that occur?  Well some sort of verification one would presume right?  And even if a domain is whitelisted, who is to say that is where it came from, or what if the sending SMTP host differs from the domain, as many of you companies do now.

OK, I had people coming in the office so I rambled through 14 topics in a short time, sorry about that.
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    On Friday, August 20th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

How many of you are ready for DUCS?

I am being realistic in my approach here.  Are you prepared to totally unify all the communication needs or your enterprise (based on Domino Unified Communications)?  I can imagine there are some smaller shops that could move that direction quickly.  I see far too many sites that do not have speakers on the pc's, but then again how many people rarely even want their voicemail going over a speaker?  So do we provide headsets to everyone?  Could be an option.  No matter how small a voicemail can be in the mailbox, 1MB per message can get huge since there are those users that will soon say, well hey, now I can archive and save not only all my mail, but all my voicemail?  I suppose you could remove those from archiving.  What about quotas?  How does this add in?  Do you just take the voicemail system space used and add it to the mail server? Makes sense doesn't it?

I love the part of faxes coming to the inbox.  You do need to allot for DID or DTMF routing and numbers, which means acquiring more phone numbers for DID, or making people understand DTMF extensions.  I use eFax a lot now for those brief faxes, so I see benefit here.  Add a few phone lines to the server on a modem board and then allow people to send outbound also.  Makes sense to me since every fax machine in the world is still 14.4 baud and no faster.  So buying those 56k modems make no sense.  Save the money and buy slower fax modems.

The only other big catch is voicemail doesn't work with encrypted mail, so if you encrypt everything this is not the right thing for you to investigate at the current release level.  I know I can sound negative, but I always fall back into administration mode and how this will be architected.  Go read the full article I linked above and get more information for yourself.  The business reasons are definitely there.  The drive and need are there to centralize all this and provide multi-platform access.  It is driving the big bus up the hill that slows us down.
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    On Tuesday, August 17th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Back to a travel related blog entry (Domino 7 schtuff later)

I received an interesting email from the Magician of Information, Bas.  This time the topic was on how the business traveler is getting treated as second class more and more.
Generally, the travel industry agrees that business travelers who pay more deserve more. It is the ones who book deeply discounted airfares, hotels or cars through the Internet who perturb them.

So when you travel, do you not try, or even in some cases your company might make you, take a least cost option.  At least a reduced cost option.  But does this mean you should get poorer service?  I feel that if I happen to get a great Internet rate on a hotel room, when I register and show a status card, I should get what comes with it.  I have only had one instance where they said, well you booked this on a special rate.  With a simple question of what the rate mattered they couldn't answer.  Now this really stuck out from the article
Efforts to rein in bargain-hunting business travelers have included changing loyalty programs so that benefits are tied to fare prices instead of just the number of miles flown, as Delta Air Lines did last year. The pay-for-perks attitude also extends to employees, who seem less willing to tolerate business travelers who demand to be pampered even when they travel on the cheap.

So I know AA can do segments or miles, which just makes some people want to take hops on trips instead of direct since doing short flights would never get you status in miles.  If I use status to upgrade a cheap coach ticket to First Class based on how much I fly, does that mean I am entitled to lesser service than those that paid more?  One flight attendant in the article stated just the opposite.
Although he was put off by the passengers' sense of entitlement, he says he did not allow it to interfere with his job. But his disdain for passengers with Champagne tastes and beer budgets is widespread in the travel industry, especially among employees who have accepted pay and benefit cuts to help their companies weather hard times. For such customers to demand red-carpet treatment strikes them as impudent.

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    On Friday, August 13th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Ohhh, the spamming buggers from

I don't call out companies very often for their actions, really I don't.  But I received 6, yes that is SIX emails in one day from one.  Like their mail package went on a blitz from this company otherwise knows as RSG Inc out of Ohio.  Now what really really put me over the edge is not that their Java SMTP Socket application (jsocket.nsf database in case they see this), but that they put a freaking hidden 1x1 image in the email just like the crazies at that I blogged about back here.  I found this URL string hidden in the spam filters under REJECTED! Unnamed URL host reference in Body: (oh thank you SpamJam)
img src="" width=1 height=1

So hopefully they can take the following servers:
  • Enterprise/RSG/ATMG
  • Hal/RSG/ATMG
  • next/RSG/ATMG
and fix the tiny issue they have with this type of spam and behavior. The email was only touting resale of CommonTime's mNotes product, which by coincidence I already use.
Image:Ohhh, the spamming buggers from
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    On Wednesday, July 28th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

The webcast was a success, but..

I learned more about the new spam preventative initiatives than I thought was out there.  From SPF (Sender Policy Framework), to Domain Keys and even the very bizarre Caller-id from Microsoft.  All three of these have their issues with good intentions.  The biggest common problem is that none cover content.  All cover who connects and sends you mail, but not what they send.  Plus what if the sending domain server is not the actual mail domain, here we go with another list of issues. I talked in detail about each one of these.  I would go listen to the replay instead of me typing out everything.

With Domino 7 and whitelisting there are some improvements.  Private as well as DNS types for whitelists and blacklists.  But who manages these?  Will this be just another added layer to the mail administrator nightmare?  Forget trusted, suspect and all the other types coming with Lotus Workplace Messaging, there is still management involved.  We all know we need something that will remove the bad content and verify the sender in one package.  The new challenge/response type found in Angel Infinity's Gatekeeper is interesting, but relies heavily on the sender of the original email doing work.  Do we really want that effort placed on us when we email someone?  For example I email HP Support as I had to today since my laptop wouldn't boot (yes right before the presentation), should I then have to send another one verifying that I sent the original one?

Image:The webcast was a success, but..

I have more but I will save rant for later

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    On Tuesday, July 27th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Received in snail mail today, IBM at a Linux Seminar on Collaboration, but..

So I get today's delivery of snail mail and find a nice little trifold flyer with IBM and Gartner discussing
key considerations when evaluating collaboration packages, why Linux-based collaboration is gaining momentum

A key speaker is Carol Carson, Manager of Worldwide xSeries Linux, IBM.  I think to myself at this point, hot darn, a nice phone conference with some selling of Domino on Linux.  Of course we are wrong at this point.
Then, IBM will show you cost-effective ways to begin your migration without sacrificing mission critical reliability, availability and scalability

Once again, Domino is the answer here!  More excitement builds.
At this seminar, you'll see (deleted), the industry's enterprise grade mail and collaboration system.  What does enterprise grade mean to Linux? It means adaptive calendaring, real time scheduling and instant messaging.  Lower TCO, etc and etc

Oh yeah, the flyer was for Groupwise 6.5 on Linux.  My fault, where is the trash can?
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    On Thursday, July 22nd, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Does your own company email compete (response pt 2)

Yes, there was so much more on this topic three days ago.  On top today is Philip Storry's comments

Philip stated I am comparing Apples to Oranges.  In certain parts he is absolutely correct.  As for where we may or may not disagree ---- I was going after a special part of the whole comparison.  Not the feature of the email client itself, but the feature of the public systems that enterprises themselves do not provide anymore for 'cost justifications'.  The standard virus example stands here.  Management takes notice when machines or servers are down (or worse you have to take the network down since it becomes flooded with useless packets screaming around like a $1 sale and $30 in their pockets).  What do they do when they take notice?  Yell at someone for not have the proper virus software installed that they of course have not authorized for purchase.  You have danced, skipped, brought in doughnuts to meetings.  All to no avail.  But the Yahoo you use with 100MB?  Well they had the signatures updated pronto since they scan the email.  Even on upload of the attachments.  So I would say I was comparing Grapefruits to Tangelo's (a hybrid tangerine and grapefruit,  not oranges like some think).  There are portions the same but not all.  We could go into an example of spam filters but you get the idea.  I blocked more spam with Yahoo! than I did with Domino, until Domino 6 and SpamJam combined together on our system (meaning blacklists and rules with SpamJam).

But before you say you were talking only storage you do point out that they may be accessing over a slow link.  Well with some there is the ability to POP, so there is the off-line mode for that.  Plus the scanning takes place before download, which is good for the user right?

I digress.  You made some great points in your reply though.  I do think that most webmail accounts are not or under used.  They get created on the fly with new accounts and people forget or don't log in.  So Hotmail deletes the mail after 30 days if no login at all.  Not a bad idea for free webmail.  If you use it you get the space.  If not, you have a mailfile, but retention is gone.

Lastly clustering.  No one says you have to cluster every mailfile of every user to all three servers.  How about that policy that states maifiles under XX will only go on two servers?  Heavy users get all three?  Or something of the like.  You show redundancy and don't sacrifice as much disk space loss.  Downtime isn't an issue then since it is a cluster right?  They just fail over and never know the difference as you work on one server at a time.  Backups are still one server or a partial.  Divide the user mail directory on different servers in subdirectories to ease backup administration.

Whew, it is late isn't it?
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    On Thursday, July 15th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Does your own company email compete (response pt 1)

I generated some good discussion feedback on this topic two days ago.  I am going to address them one at a time since there is so much great information in the discussions for the post.  So I will start with the mystical and vanishing Jon Raslawski's (of IBM Lotus) comments

Ok, my responses.  I think if you can measure time that one spends it is not intangible since all those studies show "we saved this much $$$ by people not spending 100 hours doing spam at 1 message per minute" kind of crap.  But I fully agree in advertising as the driving force for free services.  How many ads make it successful and keep it free I don't know.  Funny that I found you can subscribe to a required newsletter and then block it in spam filters with their own product, thereby never seeing it.

But, investing in a spam product is huge in cost savings as compared to the time spent sorting through spam in large enterprises.  Disk space, of course, has value in not only the hardware, cabling and power but then backups too.

 Just because you have a low quota doesn't mean that the employees still do not have sensitive data that is being stored that can get you into lawsuits right?  It just means they manage attachments correctly and save all the really damaging mail?  Yes the likeliness is reduced with small quotas, but by how much might not be measurable.  I never have bought into the theory of not keeping mail for fear of lawsuits.  It is more like we have people making bad business decisions in the organization and we wish to hide and protect them.

My theory on mail storage will follow in this strings of posts.  I do have an opinion on that.
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    On Wednesday, July 14th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Does your own company email compete anymore?

The free email space is starting to make enterprise performance, abilities and quotas look a bit silly aren't they?

Hotmail announces size increase to 250MB (Jul 9th), Yahoo! jumps out to 100MB recently, we don't even need to talk about Gmail anymore with it's 1GB size.  All this for free.  Yes you might see and ad, but with built in spam control, virus protection and simple contact management, who is IT anymore to say the user only gets 50MB or even less?

How are they providing it if you cannot?  Is it in advertisements?  Does it even matter?  So now your users are trying to access that outside mail since it provides more storage that you do?  Do you even provide spam control?  How about great email virus protection?  Heck, all of the above provide a clustering system. You can hit one of who knows how many servers.  Do you even provide a cluster?

The whole point here is that too many 'enterprise' class systems do not spend the resources necessary to buy a decent spam software product, protect their mail gateways or offer redundancy.  Many even restrict users to tiny amounts of storage.  The main reason? Anyone?

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    On Monday, July 12th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Who owns your email?

The New York Times ran an editorial and it was picked up by numerous papers around the world even (here is eTaiwanNews).  It brings up a great point.  While there are laws on wiretapping communications, there are also laws for ownership of data at the provider level and corporate level.
  • Provider Level - If your ISP spools mail on their servers, according on how the law was interpreted, they could maintain copies of your mail without any legal ramification if your current agreement does not state otherwise.
    The decision, on a 2-1 vote by a panel of the U.S.Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Massachusetts, sets up a frightening precedent
     So this deals with the mail in storage, not transit.  While they cannot grab mail as it runs across their system legally, they can maintain copies (this would be backups and other images) of the mail that resides on the server for any amount of time.  Sure you say, we are covered, but do you really understand your agreement with your provider?
  • Corporate Level - Most companies I deal with in current times have some sort of Internet Usage Policy, or at least a best use program on the corporate email system. This includes content requirements and personal use standards.  The company reserves the right to store, filter and basically look for content violations.  We all know they back it up and store it somewhere.  Those of you under new requirements may have backups around for years now.
So what are your thoughts or level or comfort knowing that your mail could be stored for future use by an ISP or don't remember all the time that there are tapes and copies running around everywhere in corporate storage.  I know the first answer, "I use such and such provider on the Internet for free".  A very valid dispute, but the fine print on many of these deal with such issues also and to protect themselves.  I went searching for Hotmail but it was late and I didn't see it right away to use as an example but Yahoo! spells it all out here.  I pulled one tiny piece out, while this page is quite long
You acknowledge, consent and agree that Yahoo! may access, preserve, and disclose your account information and Content if required to do so by law or in a good faith belief

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    On Monday, July 5th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

An administrator’s dirty laundry and getting himself scrubbed

I have been teaching two of the Lotus admin classes this week (subbing in at the last minute for a partner of ours that is a LAEC and had a CLI cancel last minute) and one of the students asked a very personal matter from his job.  Since no one can track down who that might be, I share this little story for admins to learn by.

He walked away with a moral dilemma on his hands.  As a new administrator (under 9 months I recall from the introduction time) he came across another admin that seemed to be reading everyone's mail during the day.  He was unsure for a while and eventually caught on that is what this person did most of the day.  I asked why he didn't report this admin to someone and he informed me (and the class as they listened intently) that it was the senior admin that had been there for years.  Apparently for kicks he just went through and read email at will.  Now I am not sure what he was thinking, maybe that it was company owned mail system or whatever, but I am sure that wouldn't go over well.

The point here is that the admin did not know how to show that the senior was doing it.  User Activity from a database just doesn't show enough.  An admin could be checking just about anything and you would have to go to each database to gather he was even in there.  (see following image to see how hard it is from User Activity from database preferences)

Image:An administrator´s dirty laundry and getting himself scrubbed

Now I came across the exact answer he wanted in Domino 6.  Activity Logging.  This beautiful piece of code can log Domino.Database.Sessions fully and then export selected documents to a structured text or even delimited file to allow import easily into Excel for nice 3D graphics of how this admin is accessing databases.
Notes database activity logging
Notes database activity logging tracks Notes database activity that occurs during a server session. Database records include such information as the name of the database, the name and address of the database user, the number of documents read and written, the number of bytes read and written, the total number of transactions executed in the database, and the length of time the database was open. Servers, users, and API programs can all generate database activity.

So I hope he packed his clean skivvies for when the new admin walks in with this report and he craps on himself while packing his desk.

Moral of the story here?  If you have enough time to read the mail from your domain, there isn't enough to do or too many of you in the first place.
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    On Friday, June 11th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

I saw this and forgot to blog about it the other day, nasty thing in email (UPDATE: solution tomorrow I found now)

The scenario is you turn off return receipts in your environment because like me, you think people knowing when you read email is like them knowing when you check your voicemail at home.  Annoying at best.  So people get mad that they cannot tell when you read their mail.  Of course, some aspiring tech geek came up with the solution.  You can see the site right here, but I will give the run down.
  • The user signs up for an account.  Free for 5 tests then you pay a fee
  • The user addresses all email to and their system strips and sends it on as normal
  • The email also gets a nice little HTML piece in it when it goes through.
  • This tracks when you open it, how long it was open and how many times.  They have screenshots on their site of addressing and what the tracker sees
  • The user then logs into the site and can see all the emails they have sent through and status

So how to get around it.  Don't accept HTML?  Do all your email off-line?  It gets better every time doesn't it?  THis one I am about to play with and look into to find a way to catch the little bugger.

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    On Thursday, May 27th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Giving Ed more ammo on his TechEd rants this week

Reading a recent NetworkWorld magazine issue (May 3 2004) there is a product evaluation roundup.  What makes it is interest is they had to dedicate an entire product roundup (3 full pages and as an author/editor at E-Pro that is a lot of text for a subject) just to show you "When your Exchange server goes down" software for MS Exchange disaster-recovery wares.  So I have to go and buy a third party vendor software to know if my primary site was down to direct users to a hotsite somewhere?  Here is the quote that made me laugh the hardest
We tracked how many messages were lost during failover and clocked time to availability.

They also talk about 'replication' of data ad the ability to move all the Active Directory settings, DNS and registry entries across to the secondary site.  Are we serious here?  One product even changes the IP address in case DNS can't be changes or shouldn't be.  I won't even go into the steps necessary for recovery for one of the products.

All Lotus users shall hence rejoice by doing the clustering and failover dance twice annually.
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    On Wednesday, May 26th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

So I get this Zatz Outlook newsletter weekly and this week... an interesting topic...  "My seven favorite myths about Outlook".  I especially like a piece of point #1.  I get this newsletter to keep me up to date on what goes on with that product to better my talks with customers.
1. Outlook is the reason we have so many email viruses
At one time, a long, long time ago, this statement was somewhat true as Outlook was a favorite target of many virus writers. Can you blame the virus writers? Outlook is the most commonly used email client and any exploit or virus that was targeted to the programmability of Outlook had millions of users to spread it.
However, it's no longer true and hasn't been since the release of the email security patch dated June 2000. In fact, updated versions of Outlook are as safe as or safer than any email client available. Because the current crop of viruses are spread many different ways and don't need Outlook's (or Outlook Express's) address book, email viruses would not disappear if everyone switched to other email programs.

Did I just read something bizarre?  Or does it say it if safe or safer than any other email client available?  Everyone needs to go read the whole list of seven and chime in on their thoughts here.  Could be a good thread.
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    On Monday, May 10th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

I have an issue with the new AIM 5.5 and Weatherbug agreement

I was reading some info on-line (as usual) and saw that AIM has reached an agreement with WeatherBug to integrate their client features into the chat client.
Fish told the WeatherBug add-on was part of a larger plan to expand the use of IM beyond text-chatting and to find revenue opportunities from products that have historically been available for free. Among home and work users, instant messaging has become one of the most widely used communications tool. But outside of embedding advertising on buddy lists and chat windows, revenue generation from the application has been limited.

Now let's discuss why I have an issue so far.  Keep in mind I have not seen the EULA yet, but I have good feelings where this is going.
  1. Weatherbug has been listed time and time again as spyware software.  I am not too keen on installing known spyware with my IM client
  2. Where is this revenue coming from?  If I want integrated weather they want money?  Why not just use and deal with the pop-ups for free weather.  Or get the nice little framed window you can put on web pages?
  3. Will the chat client lead to revenue ads in each message you send?  Then you have to purchase an ad free client from those networks?  Can you imagine the revenue they could obtain from the advertisers coupled with the users that purchase ad free clients?  That is mind boggling.
I love being able to access up to the minute weather and really think integrating it is cool.  I also know Weatherbug has a huge network of cameras, sensors and places it gets instant updates, but read that license agreement carefully.  Because we all know where this heads next right?  We sure do, right to IM spam (SPIM).
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    On Monday, May 3rd, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Suffered through bad customer service on AA? They have the memo on it now..and a rant

American Airlines recently sent a memo to employees outlining a few things about their customer service (thanks Bas for this article as I fly them constantly).  Apparently there is a small scare the United might take some business away.

American shares service complaints
To help keep customers, airline asks flight attendants to improve

12:00 AM CDT on Wednesday, April 14, 2004
By ERIC TORBENSON / The Dallas Morning News

Poor service from flight attendants may cost American Airlines Inc. crucial business customers in the Northeast, according to focus groups with some of the carrier's top customers.
Fort Worth-based American detailed the bad news in a recent letter sent to thousands of flight attendants ... and asked them to improve their performance.
If it weren't for American's schedule and frequent-flier program, top corporate fliers said, they'd switch carriers, according to the letter from American regional manager John Tiliacos. Travel managers at major companies ..are being pressured by their employees to seek an alternate carrier to do business with instead of American, the letter said.
Several thousand flight attendants based in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., received the letter, which was dated March 30.

I have been quite lucky I think in who I deal with.  If you treat them well they normally treat you just as nice.  It is the yelling snotty people that get a lot of bad service I have watched.  Example in a moment.

Among the complaints from corporate customers, some of whom recently switched to American from bankrupt United Airlines Inc.:
Flight attendants weren't enthusiastic, friendly or helpful.
Flight attendants complain to customers about pay cuts and work conditions and blame poor service on cost cutting.
We are afraid of your flight attendants and afraid to ask for anything, as they seem annoyed when we do ask for something, one client said.
The letter quotes an unnamed managing director of global operations for one customer telling American: You are making it very difficult for us to make our people fly AA because of your poor service.

From a recent trip of mine to LA two weeks ago:

Under no circumstances should you get on a full flight that is over 3 hours long, while everyone is deadly quiet in First Class and proceed to pick up your cell phone and have a conversation which is entirely how bad, sucky, rude and terrible the gate agents and flight attendants are.  You have just secured yourself a very lonely service flight as they are walking the aisles hearing you.  If other passengers around you are grimacing at what you are saying that might be a fine time to not say it.  We do not care if you work for (insert very large plane manufacturer here that is quite close to Boring) and fly a billion miles every two months.  We do not care if you were unable to secure a seat in First Class next to your son (who I might add put on his headphones and pretended not to know you as he was sitting next to me).  Had you got your ass on the plane and asked someone of the 20 people in the section I guarantee I even would have moved to let you two sit together.  I have done so before even in coach from an aisle to middle because it is nice to sit with friends/family on a long flight.  Lastly we really don't care if you wonder why they didn't bring you water or orange juice already since it is a morning flight.  Had you not been yelling solo into the telephone you might have noticed they served everyone but you.  Your son had a fine two glass beverage.

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    On Friday, April 30th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Domino 7 and field help

Now I know the product is in beta, but a quick rant and request....

I fully fully agree with pasting code from other areas while building new pieces.  Heck we all do it when building applications.  You take a field or code, and recycle it like any good consumer or paper goods does.  But please please please when adding NEW features change the field help to the right info or even blank so we know what the heck is going on.  I love this idea of DB2 integration but I am definitely not sure what the heck the AdminP process has to do with it.

(Here is a cutout of a screenshot)
Image:Domino 7 and field help

Whew, ok I feel better.  Thanks for listening.  Can I get up from the couch now?

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    On Monday, April 19th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

What can’t you do with your phone?

Every time I pick up one of the magazines there is a new twist to what is possible or coming with cellular phones.  Here is a nice twist to distract you further.
Digital music company Wippit is to offer users the ability to buy music downloads from a mobile phone.
The revamped service features content from EMI Music, BMG and a number of independent record labels. Wippit's current catalogue is expected to expand from 60,000 to 150,000 tracks.

Downloads are priced 29p for discounted songs, 49p for standard and 79p for premium rated.

Not a bad price and better that iTunes for the low end songs.

So back in the day we had giant bags containing cell phones that people wore over their shoulder.  How important were these people that then moved up to the bricks with an antenna later on? Not to mention the crazy amount per minute charges.  Next was smaller flip phones that never fit in any pocket and belt clips were unknown.  So here we are, miniature phones that can get lost in places we won't mention; cameras with multi megapixel capability for those pics that we are always missing?  Add in voice dialing and the constant BEEP of the Nextel speaker phone (anyone ever heard of a headset) and you can't sit through a meeting, movie or dinner anymore.  In Japan and more than likely some test markets here, you now get coupons and ads that pop-up as you walk near certain places.  What is next?  The ability to have it order a small half half decaf latte via voicedial that you drink as you pull up at the drive-thru Starbucks while on a 3-way conference call wearing your
Skullcandy headsets?

Whew, I think I need to go cram music on my phone now

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    On Monday, April 5th, 2004   by Chris Miller        


I don't seem to have this issue (finger's crossed), but apparently it is becoming one for so many people they are producing stats.  What is it I am talking about?  Spam on instant messaging, now referred to as SPIM.
Pornographic messages make up the majority of SPIM at 70 percent, followed by "get rich" schemes at 12 percent, product sales at 9 percent, and loans or finance messages at 5 percent, according to Radicati's research. Nearly all (90 percent) of SPIM messages are short one-line sentences followed by a URL, such as, "Hello, check out my Web cam at"

Do that many of you get that much IM spam?  I know it used to show on ICQ a lot, but not on AOL or the others for me.  Has it become such an issue that we need spam filters for IM now?  You can read the short article on it
here.  It includes a growth chart from Ferris Research.

They state that experts are split about the marketing potential across IM.  Marketing potential?  You mean the ability to piss people off more than the email that we fight already? How about just dropping pamphlets on my house instead and cut out the technology middleman.  Sure we save the killing of a few billion trees by using the computer driven one.  Bits and bytes are free right?  Well not really.  Someone eats the bandwidth cost as small as it might be.  I can see logging in to IM and having 30-40 instant pop-ups saying come buy this product as Seen on TV!   Lose weight fast; stop dandelions from growing; paint your walls with ease; learn how to make better braids in your hair with this simple tool; remove stains with this new Mango sauce!

I see the use of controlled buddy lists and accepting messages only from those on your list getting turned on more often if this continues to grow.  MSN and Yahoo have authorizations to let them add you to their list, while AOL takes the other approach and lets you specify if anyone, no one or only those on your buddy list can see you.  Which approach do you take?

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    On Friday, April 2nd, 2004   by Chris Miller        

This SearchDomino story was passed on to me about User Groups

You can read the full story right here.  It talks about the possible decline of User Groups in the Lotus community.  I have been a part of VALU for a couple years, mainly in the technology role as we host their server.  This server in turn hosts numerous user group Quickplace sites for groups across the country.  Well this past year Lotus/IBM decided not to fund VALU anymore directly.  Which means of course them funding the server they have here has become an issue for all the groups that relied on it for their presence on the web.

Overall Ruth summed it up quite nicely.  Groups are vanishing but it is nice to see some new ones pop up and others still doing well.  In St Louis I was an officer of the local user group mentioned in the article, but due to time constraints and other commitments, I moved to an attendee only.  The core people still show month to month, new ones dribble in.  Ed was a help in bringing in some far away people a few weeks ago for sure.

So share your experience, here or with the article.  I am curious how many of you attend or the other extreme of not having one in your area.
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    On Wednesday, March 31st, 2004   by Chris Miller        

dammit said Charlie Brown about MSN and Trillian together

Let me just say that I had to log into MSN Messenger instead of Trillian real quick (for a reason that is I thought was not important).  Then again it became extremely important and urgent when the following occurred.  MSN came on the screen (no not Bill Gates himself, another drone in the form of a small grey box with one selection, YES) and said demanded I had to upgrade.  I think each and every chat software asks you to upgrade nonstop.  So of course I did, never had issues before.  Well get this part.  As soon as I upgraded Trillian started crashing.  Every few minutes even.  So I have uninstalled MSN Messenger entirely.  If I could have thrown it out the window of my office I would certainly done so.  I am beginning tot think someone put some code in to not cooperate.  More like a bunch of little army guys in MSN flags running through my harddrive looking for armies of other chat software they don't like tapping their system.  Mutiny I tell you!  Swashbucklers abound the mighty PC!  All hands armed and to the deck I say.

As an added bonus
Trillian released one more patch today 2.012 for those on Pro, so go get it!!!
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    On Monday, March 8th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

a little spam story

Well I was reading the Business Partner Forum and an uprising had occurred about the fact that InsideDomino e-Magazine (I didn't even want to link it here) gave away an Editors Choice Award for best Domino spam solution.  SpamSentinel won this award.

Frank Paolino is the Founder and President of MayFlower Software, Inc. He founded the Company in 1983 and is the chief technologist, architect and visionary of all the Companys products and services

Now the catch is that this email went out a bunch of times apparently.  To make matters worse it seems that this might have been slightly skewed.  Here is the info on the Editor-In-Chief of the magazine.
Frank Paolino is the Founder and President of MayFlower Software, Inc. He founded the Company in 1983 and is the chief technologist, architect and visionary of all the Companys products and services

Sorry, no I didn't paste it twice.  But I didn't see the emails as some people did.  Something bizarre happened.  SpamJam caught the emails and treated them as spam, what a weird world.
Image:a little spam story
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    On Tuesday, September 16th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

A thought on the homepage

On the homepage, they recently had an article on Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing in enterprises. Here is the area that caught my eye right away:
Making conferencing easier to outsource or bring in-house
"Traditionally, companies have gotten their first taste of conferencing by purchasing a hosted service," says McLellan. "We responded last year by introducing hosted Lotus Web Conferencing through IBM Global Services, enabling companies to pay for conferencing on a monthly basis instead of, or in addition to, implementing Web Conferencing internally."

However, more-established Web conferencing adopters are now looking to bring conferencing in-house. "Typically it's a case where different departments are using different service providers, then IT reviews the collection of bills and realizes that it's cheaper to consolidate and operate these IM services internally," says McLellan.

We have been doing this for some time and see that the ease at which this article makes it sound is just not that. Due to firewalls and some lacking abilities inside of the web conferencing, the drive for enterprises to use it has not been as large as one would imagine from the article. Has anyone outsourced the conferencing services and utilized Sametime? I refer to this in terms of someone using only web conferencing through Sametime and outsourced, not just chat services.
I have found that some offerings from the other web conferencing services cannot be matched if only comparing the apples to apples piece. Of course their comment on adding IM ability is valid, but it is a reverse scenario. While Lotus hurries to catch up in the true broadcast conferencing, the other vendors play catch-up in the IM integration with the service.

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    On Monday, August 4th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

Oh the horror...

When will the nightmare end!!!

Dear Chris Miller,

Today, we announced a number of changes to our operation in St. Louis. I want to explain what this means to you as a traveler, to thank you for your support and to ask for your future business.

Beginning November 1, 2003, we will reduce our service from St. Louis. Our new emphasis will be on tailoring schedules to you, the local market - as opposed to travelers connecting from elsewhere. We have revised the schedule to provide the best combination of flights to the cities you have historically supported - places such as Boston, New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. You will also see first morning departures and latest evening arrivals for day trips to key business centers. Together, American Airlines, American Eagle® and AmericanConnection® will operate a total of 207 flights daily to 68 cities.

St. Louis remains an extremely important part of our network. It will remain a hub for many of the feeder routes served by AmericanConnection and one of the largest cities in American's system. We are committed to serving the long-term needs of our customers and communities like St. Louis. And we are dedicated to earning your continued support and loyalty.

Please remember these changes do not take effect until November, so any current travel plans you have are intact. We will keep you informed as we move forward.

Sincerely yours,

Dan Garton
Executive Vice President

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    On Monday, July 21st, 2003   by Chris Miller        

anyone else get the Spam from SMSPulse ?

Now this might sounds like a nasty product slam but I have never used it. I just read the website since they were a Domino solution, and was already in a sarcastic mood due to the spam portion. This happened to be one of the few that snuck through SpamJam (and it has been working great)

The funny thing is about the email is they used an address that only shows on the IBM Partner site. That is why we have it there, so we know where the mail comes from. Of course they state that I am receiving the mail because I requested it. Call me silly (well most of you do, but I have no idea who they are.

Message-ID: Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 18:14:32 +0100 X-MIMETrack: Serialize by Router on Web1/PCS(Release 6.0.2CF1|June 9, 2003) at 14/07/2003 18:17:56, Serialize complete at 14/07/2003 18:17:56

After reviewing the product, I am not sure why I would pick it since I have to buy 'credits' from them? From their website:

How does it work? smsPULSE works like this:
1. Reads message data from a database
2. Sends the messages to the SMS network via our SMS centre over the Internet
3. Responds back on any issues with message delivery.

Now let me get this right.....create something in a database, let an agent run, send it to their network over the Internet and then let it respond back over the Internet. What happened to sending a SMS text page to a device and letting you know if you get a delivery failure?
But I digress...they run a Domino add-in task (one more thing to worry about), alerts you when your credit with them for sending SMS is running low (once again free email instead). It did offer bulk processing of the messages but I can't see sending that many text pages unless you were spamming cell phones and pagers everywhere.

Ok I need lunch I see

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    On Wednesday, July 16th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

almost posted with no subject..oops. This is about my instant blogging via IM

        So I seem to be getting mixed results about the IM blog postings.  Some of them say that it is quite cool and then there are the complainers  Image:almost posted with no subject..oops.  This is about my instant blogging via IM.  So let's hear what you have to say about that idea.  I stopped the comment ability on the instant blogging to keep them attached to the daily posts.  The instant ones do not have a comment sorting ability behind them.  OK, that isn't true but why keep track of two?
      Let's get some responses.  Keep in mind this is the first iteration.  I could see this becoming the way to blog post to save time and allow flexibility.  Also, with the wireless PDA I can use AOL on it and blog post anywhere!!!  That is one of the things I pondered while integrating the capability.

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    On Wednesday, July 9th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

As LWM Turns....step 8

        Our hero freed himself from level 3, otherwise known as "Level without a bang" and is now somewhere in the land of level 8.  The home of "No Known Host"

       To escape level 3, our hero found that unlike Domino, and this being a Lotus something messaging product, you cannot use wildcards like (!) in the password for the admin. Who would have thought the escape was that easy?

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    On Wednesday, June 11th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

As LWM Turns, the saga continues..

Read yesterdays first.....
      When we last left our hero he was duct taped to a server keyboard afraid that if he took the server over 50 MPH the bomb would go off.  He was in the midst of a Lotus Workplace Messaging install.  Or commonly referred to by BP Support as a QuickSame TimePlace WorkStore install.  Or some other variation depending on who you talked to last.
      Today it seems we have solved one issue, that our registries are exactly the same and yet the install still fails.  So any issue that seemed to think my registry might be incorrect was quickly extinguished by tears of joy and pain over the duct tape pulling arm hair out
Image:As LWM Turns, the saga continues..

        After two screen shots being sent back and forth, and a KVM switch dying while in the midst of all this (imagine the server that won't load suddenly vanishing off the screen.  You think it is totally gone, all work lost.  Well you soon realize that NO server can be reached over the KVM for a while as they fix it).  The screen shots show that once again, everything is the same!!!  Amazing!!

        Stay tuned once again as the hero attempts to free himself...................
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    On Tuesday, June 10th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

Lotus Workplace Messaging, the fun begins

them  "Thank you for calling Lotus BP Support, what product may we help you with?"
 me   "Lotus Workplace Messaging"
them  "Is that Quickplace Messaging?"
me   "No, Workplace Messaging"
them   "Sametime?"
me  "No, try LWM"
them  "OK, what issue are you having?"
me   "Installation issue with the DB2 schema component of LWM"
them   "Ohh, well DB2 is not a Lotus product"
me   "This is the LWM component that changes the DB2 schema"
them   "Sounds like I can open a PMR for you, let me get your info, transferring"
me hold, hold, hold. hold, hold........


them  "This is xxxxxx, may I help you?"
me  "I am having an issue with Lotus Workplace Messaging"
them  "Do you mean Quickplace Messaging?"
me  "No, Workplace Messaging"
them  "Is this part of Notes and Domino?"
me  "well you could use it for the directory, but no"
them  "you are sure it is Workplace Messaging?"
me  "yes, try LWM"
them  "well I don't see that, what version of product is this?"
me  "1.0"
them  "I will have someone call you back"

ONE HOUR LATER.................

me  "This is Chris...."
them "this is xxxx at BP Support, LWM issue?  Where are you in the install?"
me  "here is the issue....."  (see above and he actually understood me)
them  "Ohh, I think I got those errors and just kept going and it seems to work.  Send me the log and screen shot and I will compare them."

off the log and screen shot goes.  The saga continues....

Well the last comment was that I did not have the Application Development Client installed.  I know I checked that box but went back and reinstalled and now the Fixpack again to make sure it is up to date.  One more try at installing the LWM components later on.....

I think I hear the soap opera closing credits as I leave you hanging at the end for the big scene.  Same channel tomorrow, same time.
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    On Monday, June 9th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

6.5 Beta and some preliminary thoughts

        I am lucky enough to be on the managed beta for 6.5 now to get more frequent builds and a better monitored feedback forum in the form of bug reports instead of general voluntary discussion feedback.  I am learning Lotus is going full steam with this beta since there are new feature releases since the 6.0x releases instead of just waiting and rolling it out the door when it was ready.
        The naming convention of Milestone adds a new project management feel to the release.  Instead of pre-release, using the term milestone sets the mind as they are reaching deadlines and goals for enhancements and features showing up in the build itself.  They set some preliminary dates for Milestone 2 in the call today.  I don't think they are being overly aggressive or overly relaxed.  The time line sounds just right at this point even though many are clambering for the OpenNTF look and feel but do not want to commit to a non-supported template.  Even though some will go and modify the template themselves.  Makes sense doesn't it?
        Now they are changing the template for iNotes in this release as some of you know.  It was previously iNotes60.ntf and it goes back to iNotes6.ntf in this version.  Now this gets confusing if you have old templates from the pre-release days.  I would suggest cleaning up those old templates instead of just updating and continually installing so you don't grab the wrong one or leave one out there.  Removes the possibility of error in applying the wrong template.

        As a side note, was no one going to tell me that my location I post from was not showing???  I fixed it today after upgrading to 2.10e of the DominoBlog template that Steve rolled out this week to fix RSS Feeds and other things.
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    On Tuesday, May 6th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

another topic for discussion

       While surfing around through blogs I don't normally read (yes that was the intended web trip to expand my reading and knowledge of course) I came across this link for a Wolfgang Flamme post through the news4notes site.  Wolfgang noticed spiders that were crawling through his site and doing some indexing.  While we all know that is just the way the web works, it was what he found when he started digging and a friend sent him an email.
      Apparently the spiders were being done to pick his technical knowledge for one of those pay-per-incident helpdesk services on-line.  They were taking his information and even providing direct links to certain of his pages in emails.

      So here comes the new question, not by any means that we have solved the way a blog is written topic from two days ago though,

But does it bother anyone to think that the technical information you spend so much time learning, tweaking and maturing is then turned around and sold because you posted it in your blog?  We all post to share information, experiences and bring the community together more, or less if you listen to some say there are too many now.  So does the selling of your information, unknown to you, make the hair stand up on the back of your neck?  Or for some a simple hot flash will do :-)

OK, open the discussion board, operators are standing by to take your posts.

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    On Friday, April 11th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

template update to2.09c

        I received an IM from Bruce Elgort today letting me know there was an issue with the old main page link for my site that some people still used.  So Steve went at it again and fixed that and the archiving.  Basically his next step is to put out some more features and functions with more documentation.

        But onto the main topic of the day that Bruce brought up.  He mentioned that the blog is a piece of 'me' and it's presentation should be treated as such.  He brings up that my blog is part of 'my industry' and image.  I think what I type is more of my image and everyone knows that the blog code is developing.  Still in it's infancy and growing more than daily, it seems hourly.  Is my image tarnished if I put a comma instead of a semi-colon ?  More than likely you don't know me well then, because I tarnish it just fine without punctuation errors.  :-)   LOL
        Simple things like paragraph indents and spacing. (We won't include spelling as I actually spellcheck here where I never would in quick IM's)   I have a habit of making a double space when I change thoughts to let the reader know we are changing gears.  Then sometimes I don't feel like an indent if continuing on.  Just the way I talk as I write.
        So my questions are as follows:
  • Is proper paragraph formatting required for a blog?
  • Is spacing an issue?
  • Does it matter if I choose to jump an extra line or not indent?

                Is the blog not just an extension of the personality?  Or has mine become a humor and news source for many?  The hits keep increasing and the emails and IM's do also, so I know the traffic increases.  But do you come here for the way I write, what I have to say, or how it looks when I say it?
                Bruce passed on the thoughts the code should be stable and bug free also.  I agree bugs can be hard to deal with, but I am a willing beta participant with Steve and love his code.  

        But I digress, sorry for the self-reflective moment.  The reflecting pool is getting cloudy with tomorrow's topic of messaging policies in your child's school.
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    On Tuesday, April 8th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

Rampant Sametime Upgrades

        I came in early Saturday morning (and yes early on a Saturday for me means waking before 6am to be somewhere) to do some Sametime server upgrades for ourselves and customers that we host.  I had three planned.  Well all three encountered the same error, plus some random ones.  Shall we go through them and hopefully you pick something up?  Let me preface this by saying that I do tons of Sametime installs, upgrades and the like, even writing the Sametime 3 admin exam (which I made small so it might go unnoticed, LOL)  .  But for some reason, I am sure it was the full moon that was still out, the servers decided to wage an early strike against my humor.
        Server 1 - This is a shared Sametime server, tunnelled protocols and heavily used.  It was running 2.5 with the FP1 on top.  The Domino code installation went smooth and fast.  Sametime on the other hand, wasn't as cooperative.  It throws an error trying to full-text index the sthelpad.nsf database.  It says it cannot complete it.  Now instead of playing nice and skipping along to the next task and sending me an alert about this, the installation fails.  Stops, won't go, *poof* when you click OK.  Now I am definitely not a software developer, but after using Domino this long, I am quite aware I can create a full-text index at a later date if necessary.  Why would you possibly want to stop an installation because of a full-text index?  So I removed the previous index from 2.5 and tried again.  No go.  So I removed both the database and index, deleted the registry keys and anything to do with Sametime in the Notes.ini file (see Technote #195123).  Reinstalled and there you have it, simple as can be......until #2 creeps along.
        Server 2 - I should have seen this coming.  No, not the above error, which I got in full force, and cheated more by moving the ST 3.0 sthelpad.nsf database and the new full-text index across from server 1.   This server apparently hid it's troubles in the shadows of the data center rack.  Keeping them in hibernation like a hungry bear that wanted a quick snack on morning hating administrators.  This server was not only an upgrade from 2.5 to 3.0, but also a move from a stand-alone server to joining the customers domain.  Domino upgrade, once again successful and simple.  I then restarted the server as a new one, and had it bring the address book down from the customers domain across the country.  They had already shipped a file to use so that was simple.  Now the bear apparently wakened at this point in time.  Since we are switching domains that also means we need to switch the signing of the Sametime information.  Well this happens after the above fiasco of aborted installs because of full-text indexing, but we won't go there again.  I am still taking Tylenol because of this and thinking Domino therapy might be needed).  Oddly enough, the registry decided not to update fully.  How do I know this?  After much head banging.  The server installed, launched, showed Sametime coming up, but threw these weird errors on the screen I had never seen nor could I find documented.
        Server 3 - I don't even have to type here, I had seen it all.  Traveled the world of Sametime. Been in the drudges of battle with evil network cables and multiple IP's for tunneling.  So the battle was swift and furious as I forced the machine to follow my orders and be done damn quick.  :-)

If I find the energy to type more, it will be after my nap under my desk.
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    On Monday, March 24th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

A personal rant..

        I normally type some humor, business, silly links and sarcasm, but Now for Something Completely Different.

As many of you might be aware from reading previous postings, I got a new car recently.  Well someone decided they liked it so much they wished to have it or it's contents for themselves.Apparently they didn't search Barnes and Noble for The Car Thief or some underground website for rules on breaking into newer cars with electronic locks.  If so they would have noticed the following excerpt from Page 42, section 12, paragraph 2, subsection A which clearly states:
  • If said vehicle has nice new paint finish, do not scratch a single part
  • If said vehicle has electronic locks, do not attempt to use screwdriver, paperclip or any other device to pry doorhandle off of car
  • If said vehicle has electronic locks, do not break every tiny piece of cheap plastic the auto manufacturer chooses to use in production of lock
  • If said vehicle has electronic locks, do not cut each and every wire connecting to lock in effort to make you waste more time as that won't work either to actually open it
  • If you are unsure of how to break into newer car with electronic locks, do not stick screwdriver into frame of car in mad frustration because of not being able to figure out how to open the car in the first place
  • Lastly, if car is newer, plan on taking items and not the car since it won't start without lots of skill, effort and the cool little chip only found in the ignition keys

So let's recap, RTFM or at least find a hobby for gosh sakes, I hear they are looking for beta testers for heat targeting weapons right now in the war.

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    On Thursday, March 20th, 2003   by Chris Miller        

Friends and backups

        Through an IM conversation today with a friend, I get the sad story of the whole website being overwritten by another developer.  Who also happened to then overwrite the backup folder on the other developers workstation.  So in essence they managed to overwrite the entire site that was correct.  So you ask the same question I do, just restore for last night's backup and viola.  Well here is the catch.  Apparently they follow a different calendar.  They only back up on weekend nights.  So you say, well two day old website is better than messed up one and just add the changes right?  Well not when the guy that comes in to burn the backup to cd couldn't come in for the weekend?  I guess automated backups and schedules are a thing of the past.
        The other catch I asked was how did this other developer overwrite the data on your machine???  The answer?  Quite simple.  The big boss mandates that he must have everyone's local password and he let that developer log into the machine.  Nice touch?  Viola!

For some backup humor

As for anything else today, well I am living like everyone and just watching the news.  A friend from Canada just found out about the deadline and is now in worry mode.  Hopefully this all passes well for all...........
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    On Tuesday, March 18th, 2003   by Chris Miller