The first option is the easiest. Continue Reading here" How To: Using Chromecast in a Hotel wifi network" »
- Getting here was as far away as it looks on the map.
- American Airlines knows how to delete a ticket from their system on accident, lose your luggage but the Platinum desk and Sapphire club reservations desks know how to get it back while in the UK. Thanks to Gab for her endless support in helping me fix it all while sitting in London.
- Johannesburg is like every other major city in the world, tons of people, business, cars always on the move
- Johannesburg is also not like every other city in the world. Fences, security wires, patrols and armed response units.
- Johannesburg has some incredibly friendly people everywhere we have been. From local shops, to malls, to just asking for direction and help They were prepared for these games and are showing the support everywhere you turn.
- Everywhere you turn, people have set up shop to sell you World Cup gear. Street corners, stores and just everywhere. Carl made a good point in his post. If they get an item in your car, you have just bought it. Keeping the windows up while in major intersections solves issues. We saw one person try to buy a flag and have hats and other items thrown in as the window went down.
- Stadium security is a joke. Much lighter than we anticipated. While the presence of the police is everywhere, as well as traffic and crowd marshals, getting in security has been a breeze. As one pats you down, you walk a few feet, another asks, you say yes and just walk on. Metal detectors are in place as well as wands. However, we have not seen a clue of any type of violence. We have watched our pockets well but once inside the gates it is a huge party.
- Anyone and everyone talks, shares stories, compares games and just becomes friendly while at shuttle lines, security queues, food queues or in your seats. No one cares where you are from when they talk to you. They ask to make fun of teams, but the spirit is in the game. Maybe all wars should be played on the pitch instead.
- Imagine sitting in the stands at a game where neither team is the country you are from. Which do you cheer for. Well if you are in the VVorldcup Pool, then the one that will help you win. If you don't care, you either pick a team by geography, or do as I do and watch in wonder and happiness at any good play going either direction.
- Traffic has been tough. May roads were new and completed in time, but there is just sheer volume of traffic. In the city we found some honking, but around the games everyone is fairly patient. Outside of a few locals that know the roads and start driving the curbs, everyone else is too busy blowing horns out car windows to care.
- Our place of residence could not be better. The family hosting us has been overly kind, helpful and a joy. We have a loft over their garage that was recently renovated and meets all our needs plus some. A much better choice than a hotel to say the least.
- Yes, the horns at the games are nothing like you hear on TV. While Andy has braved each game with no earplugs, I have worn them at both. Carl put them on the second game. You drowns out the loudness, but still lets you hear all conversation just fine. But it is amazing how loud the buggers are when drunk people are blowing them.
- Queues have been interesting. Many of us are used to the Disney approach of order and flow. Here they do not start pushing you into small lines early enough so huge crowds gather and then push some to jockey for position. This was seen going to get on shuttles, enter security and shuttles again. It was just noticeable for us used to Disney-bots.
- The food covers the range. From local cuisine to things you find everywhere. We ran across a McDonalds and KFC on our drives, but we have stuck to more local variations of things we know.
- Yes, they drive on the wrong side of the road.
- Safety has been fine. People say it is all safe, but just stay away from this street or neighborhood. Makes perfect sense and in reality is every city known.
- Carl snores. Often. Loud. Period.
That is just an early summary. If you really want to keep up with the fun, humor and sights, then peek at the group VVorldcup blog with it's own VVorldcup YouTube channel, Twitter account and Flickr group now as well. We are linking and pushing everything through there.
Follow along with us while at the World Cup 2010 in South Africa the next month at the blog and more
Arrival was today in order to grab the tickets from the FIFA offices, watch some games on the TV and recover from 18 hours of flights to get here. We start our game series in person tomorrow by seeing USA against Slovenia in the afternoon in Johannesburg. Most of our games are at Soccer City (Johannesburg), with others in Rustenburg and Durban.
ILUG2008 - a free gathering of top presenters, business partners and Loti all in one place for a few days of organized chaos. Not your standard conference in any fashion, with edgier sessions that can only happen with tons of drinking parties at night. You have one week to get there. June 4th-6th 2008.
Notes Domino 8 Upgrade Seminar - Andy Pedisich, Rob Axelrod and myself have already done 6 cities to a string of top ratings on showing you not only what is new in 8, but how to get there in the best structured fashion. Tons of take home tools and just conversation around the numerous upgrades we have done over the versions. There are two cities in June. San Francisco June 16th-18th and then again in Toronto July 16th-18th. Get all the facts you need to make the right decisions every step of your upgrade planning, deployment and implementation.
Collaboration University - I have happy to be one of the founding partners to bring you the premier conference on Sametime and Quickr. From basics to super advanced in both administration and development for these products, we hit it. This year the US city moves to Chicago and then again in London. Join Rob Novak, Carl Tyler, Gabriella Davis and myself yet once again. For those coming for a third year, we welcome our "Juniors" and our new incoming "Freshmen".
- 95% of the attendees use Sametime
- 100% were at 6.5.x or higher and wanting to go to Domino 8.0.1
- Not having Citrix support already for the Standard client made more than one of them very disappointed
- Widget policies were a selling point
- Lotus Connections, Lotus Protector and mainly Productivity Tools were not anything they cared about. Did I mention Productivity Tools?
- Companies in size from 250 users to 40,000 all really use Domino
- Some admins are lucky when they get to go to Brazil for 9 days to install one Domino server
- Lotus Foundations is a cool product if you don't already have a Domino domain, which they all did of course
- Integration of Sametime is awesome
- Integration of Activities is confusing
- The Sametime Gateway is of interest to them
- Coffee breaks are not often enough, mainly after huge lunches
- Attendees love free tools that we give away
- Expanded policy control for desktops and security will be implemented right away
- People are tired of Smart Upgrade and want full provisioning
I am sure there is a few other I will add in. To summarize, the love Domino 8 and wish there was few more things that had made it into the product at the same time. Social networking over here is not popular, while internal chat is. They always have very specific and unique questions that we love getting answers to for them. So excuse me while I collapse, eat a final dinner here and then head home tomorrow . Check my "Where am I headed" tab to see the cities I have booked up.
They all address the issue. The weirdest statement is that in the cargo hold the flight staff can not monitor the possibility of a fire until it is too late. However, in the cabin they can.
- One generation thinks of collaboration in the workplace used to be something around documents (ie: emails, presentations).
- The next generation thinks of SMS, instant messaging as the paradigm for collaboration
- The new generation come with MySpace, Facebook and the equivalents.
Product design going forward for Lotus has to take the collaborative energies and bring them together into the workforce. All the data information, expertise and skills have to be shown in context. The platform has to be open and enabled for you to plug in innovative infrastructure. The Lotus infrastructure must be complete and open at the same time to support growth.
Digital Collaboration Infrastructure
- Collaboration Foundation
- Web 2.0
- Beyond Office
Work is now performed not around the technologies, but the activities they are currently involved in. Software then assist in getting the work completed in context. Notes 8, Quickr and Sametime enable that to happen.
Domino and Notes 8.0.1 will be released around Lotusphere in January 2008.
- New DWA client
- Lotus Quickr integration into side shelf in Standard client
- Storage reduction through increased compression - up to 35%
- Native 64-bit support
- IBM Lotus Notes Traveler for Windows Mobile support
- Support for Mac in beta
Domino 8.5 will ship towards the end of 2008
- Simplify the Notes Identity management and authentication
- Reduce storage costs
- Improve Quality of Service
- Modernize Domino application development. Tools, infrastructures and technique will take advantage of the frameworks developed in 8 and deliver it in 8.5 (hear that Nathan, just passing info, I have no clue about the dev side. He said he didn't post on the blogs due to the announcements at Lotusphere coming)
Sametime 8 (we know hits the streets and I post plenty on it). He did mention Entry that comes in the Domino server for free, then why sell it. Easy.. those that choose 'other' messaging/email solutions, can still choose Sametime. Sametime Advanced comes in Q1 of 2008. It is Sametime for communities, adding social software ideas into the Sametime family. Persistent chats (seen LotusphereLive done in 2007 without Advanced?) and polling. Unified Telephony is next up for more aggregated presence, call management and softphones. Lastly was the acquisition of Sametime Unyte for hosted conferencing services.
Quickr comes in Q1 with integration further into Notes and now the Quick Content Integrator. This allows you to import information from Sharepoint and shared public folders in Exchange. You can also synchronize and coexist between them.
Lotus Connections 2.0 will get more enhancements around a 'portal' type page allowing you to being in all your social contacts into a single interface and also better integration into the Notes client
- About 95% of the attendees did not want to have a session on the Productivity Tools. Many said 10 slides glazing over the topic would be enough as they are so entrenched in MS licensing there was not a recent chance. plus, they were not the ones that would even make that decision
- About 85% of the attendees here already had Sametime running and were eager to see more info on what was coming in integration and implementation
- About 20% had any interest in Lotus Connections. 70% had no clue what it really did and the remaining knew already they did not want it.
- About 15% of the attendees here had over 20k users installed. Many with large DWA implementations in place
- About 80% really wanted to get more info on Quickr
- About 95% loved all the ways that the products were starting to integrate tighter. For example, all the hooks with Lotus Connections and Quickr into Notes 8 and Sametime and Sametime into Notes 8. It is all making a cohesive direction from Lotus
One last stat came to mind:
- About 99% of the people in Las Vegas will wear absolutely anything on Halloween to win $1500 at the Voodoo club contest. Even 50 stories above the strip, most clothing is optional.
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 http://m.facebook.com
- 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.
It is not sanctioned by my company yet, but I wanted to get the cool new stuff
Can't blame him can we?
Let us go back a couple weeks to the beginning (cue dream sequence music)
Kansas City was a blur with the speakers getting together on Sunday morning to work all day. We forced ourselves to finish the cd's and any editing. It was a long day of anticipation of the second year. We knew the alumni returning were looking for fresh and new material.
The first day went semi-smooth as our live video feed made it through Mike Rhodin fine and maxed out when Satwik went on for Quickr. A good trial experience. I will talk about the technology used in that later on. We appreciate Mike for coming to the event. The attendees gave good marks on his presentation where he personally did live demos. From there on we raced through a long day of sessions to have the first cocktail reception. The location this year was excellent and our same jazz musician returned from last year to play during the reception. I even bought a cd from him...
Day was the longest day. Due to comments from last year, we went from 3 tracks at a time to 2. This gave you a chance to see every Sametime or every Quickr session. It also made day 2 go from 8:00am to 6:45pm. Whew! They were glazed and hurting by the end of that day. I personally have both LDAP and Firewall/network sessions to give that day so I did my best to fill everyone's heads.
Day 3 only came after staying up all night to make sure the workshops were configured correctly. read on....
Continue Reading here" Collaboration University recap - KC and London (and links)" »
Andy and Rob of Technotics did a bang up job as always. All three of us joined together to do a BOF on Notes and Domino 8 upgrading. I went ahead and recorded it for a podcast that will be edited and online shortly
It was even rumored that Ed Brill himself stopped through for some socializing. Someone said Alan Lepofsky was coming for dinner the last night but I left early and you will notice it was after Ed left, hmmmm. A couple surprise appearances for some drinks and dinner from Carl Tyler and Rob McDonagh.
There was a comedy night sponsored by Blackberry on Tuesday which was a refreshing change and a break of all the information being shoved into the heads of attendees. You can see some pictures I have up showing that event.
Now as for attendees, one of the best overall positive responses I have gotten from all of them. There is always a minor thing here and there, but everyone went away happy. I took them from the first session of building a disaster recovery solution for their entire Lotus portfolio all the way through S/MIME, LDAP infrastructure and all sorts of Sametime aspects. Ten sessions later I walked out hoping I shoved enough into their brains to make their time worthwhile. The event was a strong showing of the commitment to Domino by IBM and the user community. Displays of current features of ND8, Quickr and Lotus Connections left more than a few re-energized in what exciting new paths they are about to take.
Photos will start being online shortly, as I only have a handful.
Sametime 7.5 was not widely deployed, it was only in testing at a couple sites. Scaling the current sites as they migrate was a key factor to the entire group. They had many wishlist items, some of which I posted into the necessary forums.
There was no chat logging requirements or demand from anyone here. Most of the concern seemed to be, from my angle, how this gets deployed, how I manage the new Sametime Connect client, what kind of plug-ins are available and issues around current deployments.
Now one thing I hold close is the Sametime Gateway. Eyebrows were raised when we covered this topic as the business need could not be defined. Each of the US cities we did for this seminar wanted more time for this topic. Here, it was well received, but we spent extra time on reasoning and doing live demonstrations showing the differences live in how a user would appear using a public name versus a corporate name in the public systems. I had a couple side questions after the sessions that showed there was some interest now that it was better understood.
More after we start the Blackberry sessions.
This is my trip trip to Germany for any reason, so between the seminar feedback and sights, this should be a great trip.
Pictures will be up shortly on Yahoo! and Flickr as usual
Pictures can be found on Flickr under the Lotusphere2007 tag or on my Yahoo! site as usual as an album.
The day had far too much going on at once, but Lotus has made one thing clear, they are not out to play games anymore. Well ok, they had a game theme at the Welcome Reception as a weird twist however. Poker, air hockey, pool tables, twister and even video games. Sametime sessions are non-stop, as the podcast pointed out yesterday. They unveiled another company that has deployed Sametime in a larger scale than IBM themselves. That would be GE. The diagrams look the same as what you have seen at the conferences I have presented over the years.
Business Development Day was a success as always with partners from all over the globe gathering to talk shop and see what Lotus has in store for them in 2007.
This was also the day for Certified Lotus Instructors. I was only able to attend a short amount of time there but they are gearing for some major shifts in how curriculum is delivered and assembled by the instructors. More on that later as I have my own opinions.
The Welcome Reception was well packed as the weather was better than the recent past years and everyone had a blast. Even Wild Bill as we welcomed in his 40th birthday as you can see in the pics.
With the murmur of Notes 8, tons of hands-on sessions and even the 'un-Conference", the 2007 Opening General Session looks to fling everyone straight into Web 2.0 and the wave of Lotus future.
As for here, the normal array. Only a couple hands running older versions of Sametime, from 3.1 and below. No one really had a full implementation of 7.5 outside of a couple small shops. One site even used the integrated calendaring feature to invite the Sametime server for all of their meetings. I do not see that often at all.
The demand for scalable and clustered architectures was the largest I had seen so far. There were some larger enterprises represented that were asking about architecture design and deploying everything from clusters to MUX's with load balancers. It was nice to see that Sametime 7.5 is becoming a commodity and looked upon as a business tool. The session on plug-ins showed some of the capabilities, and now that I have tested and actually ran the auto updates from the server side, it made the push in that direction stronger for myself. I took great interest in the new redpaper Carl mentioned and can't wait for it to hit full redbook. It has a couple cool plug-in ideas. It will offer some sample code download too.
Deployment was a concern, mainly over the amount of features. I posed a question to Adam G offline asking about the ability to reduce memory load by removing feature sets from the client. This was asked more than once by attendees here and other cities. Basically the thinking is that if I am not using it or deploying it, why do I have to show it and can I save from that in memory.
Dinner the second night (the first night I missed a connection due to mechanical issues on the plane) was at Bella Trattoria. Excellent food, thanks to Andy P for choosing. Otherwise I got to see nothing outside of the hotel and a walk to a local sports grille.
Another excellent conference produced by WISPubs and The View. An excellent array of speakers on hand turned out some sessions, I myself made time to see on breaks. I am always amazed at the knowledge that everyone carries and in very certain and specific areas. All in attendance came prepared with tons of questions and very focused direction. I handled a session on Sametime 7.5 which I drew much from the Real-Time Collaboration Seminar we are in the middle of touring right now (see link on left of blog). As most has seen the interface, the growth in the ability around plug-ins and the abilities of the Sametime Gateway generated most of the questions. The majority had already installed Sametime and were in the process of upgrade planning. Those that had upgraded were smaller enterprise sizes, the largest was 500 persons. We covered some of the security considerations around plug-in deployment and control over users. Mail routing was a hot topic, both SMTP based and NRPC based. As I mentioned in the other postings, there was some unique environments with multiple domains, firewalls, multi-company consolidations and dilemmas and just plain problems. It seems most were inherited from previous administrators.
But let us make one thing clear.. very few discussions about companies wanting to switch to other solutions and more that were bringing Exchange over or making sure coexistence worked. I am pleased to see growth in the Europe market and the Notes 8 showings reinvigorated many. I was glad to see Ed and Mary Beth come over for the conference. I actually didn't know Mary Beth had another session on Notes 8 the next day. I paid attention to the rumblings from the attendees to hear it was well received again. Moving forward in Lotus Notes is no longer about Domino, but about total architecture solutions including Portal and the Eclipse framework.
Read about the city, food and flight experiences below by clicking.....
Continue Reading here" Vienna as a week for us in terms of conference, work, food, drink and friends" »
- how to deep fry a turkey
- change users SMTP domain name across 17 acquired companies
- whitelisting servers
- Sametime error codes for users dropping connectivity
- set update flag in local address book
- multi language notes clients?
- strip attachments from NDR's?
- port failover in a clustered server - teaming NIC cards as solution at hardware level
- migration of domains by moving everyone into the new domain and then recertifying
- server_transinfo_range proper setting?
- Nomad questions on the uninstall/U3 and performance speed issues on USB
Mary Beth took the stage and did a quick hand count of versions being ran. There was 5.0.12 up through 7.0.2 in the room. However, the overwhelming majority ran 6.5.x. When I say majority, like 85% of the room. She also asked who customized their current mail template. A good half the room raised their hand
One of the objectives was Functional Themes
- New User experience
- Composite application support
- Stronger integration with Portal, Workplace, DB2 and 3rd party
She moved into the new UI right away. The integrated presentation editor was quite cool, but she headed right over into mail. Ok, my honest impression, the first view of the inbox/mailfile looks pretty darn close to what it is now except for colors and smoothing. I saw a few people in the back row just sigh until the following, then things changed with the demo and eyebrows came up.
Saying that (repeating, saying that):
- First the bookmark bar is gone and replaced with a "open" button. You can then doc that open list and get the old icons/bookmarks from previous versions. I think most people for upgrades will choose to dock the bar.
- The toolbars in the Actions and Tools changed quite a bit. There is an advanced ability for power/business users that comes disabled by default. You will have to enable this. Context sensitive toolbars will only be on by default. You will need to enable the rest. Even custom ones will need to be reenabled in the client.
- The darn thumbnail bar was more than cool and helped find windows faster, even with searching. I loved that new feature and had not seen it yet.
- The ability to move the preview from bottom to right was a nice Outlook touch.
- A new Filter/Clear All Filters button
- There is a new mail8.ntf mail template. Message markings are on by default and the sender and subject are brought together. With this being in a template, you can still make and modify what you wish.
- Size of messages is still in K but is now rounded numbers
- The lightening bolt in the bottom left still exists!
- Mail threading shows in the inbox and shows the thread count to the far left
- The right side bar includes activities, day at a glance and even the Sametime contacts enabled as plug-ins for you. With policies you can even control if users get the sidebar or not. Then even which they get as part of the policy. There is even a RSS reader you can float and open feeds in browsers (see below)
- The Sametime contacts includes the full Sametime 7.5 client since the Eclipse base is the same
- You can then write any of your own Eclipse plug-ins
- The Notes embedded browser is gone, gone I say, gone!! You get whatever rendering engine you have as default
- A lot of the calendar UI looks the same from first glance. Saying that, action buttons are moved to the left bar so everything you need to do is on the left.
- The ability to see/manage others calendars is moved to the lower left including group calendars
- The personal address book has had the UI changed and some of the functionality
- Inline spell checking
- can I select which address I use when I have multiple addresses listed for personal contacts? Not in advance, but while composing?
- Can I prepopulate RSS feeds to users?
- Is the Workspace gone? I saw bookmarks...
Ed then took back over the stage
- All applications will run in Notes 8, repeating, yes all applications will run in Notes 8 he had on the first slide
- This is one of the first to be Eclipse based product
- They recognize that it is now a heavier rich client than before (this means eats memory)
- There seems to be a Sametime Next server in the slide, not sure what that was
- They are planning a Win32 client that will be a bridging the gap client to go from Notes 7 to Notes 8 giving you some of the new functionality, while not making the jump to the Eclipse platform
- More usability testing has been done on this release that any previous release
- Public beta looks like first quarter 2007, while there is the private beta now
- This is the foundation for Notes for the next 16 years. They say this meaning Notes has been around for 16 already, not that things won't change and grow for the next 16
- A strong statement about "openness" using the Eclipse and WCT base
- Productivity tools will be rolled in for the ODF support. Integrated menus, lightweight
- Activity-centric collaboration is back. I didn't get it a year or more ago when they started down the path and struggle to follow what it means now. I see it as a conglomeration of documents, chats, emails and such grouped by activity or project. Glorified TeamRooms that have been properly managed? It is just me, but for once, ok, more than once, it is an area I have not gotten the term or drive yet
Domino 8 moves back into new server feature mode
- Tighter integration into Portal
- Client provisioning for Eclipse
- Optional message retraction (server-based) How they snuck that in is funny
- Instantaneous Out-of-office responses
- Holy cow Batman, it is DB2 once again with general availability
- tons of other security, directory and admin enhancements (according to slides)
- Expeditor is the new client and Notes is the plug-in to the client
- Sametime integration and licensing..... the Sametime 7.5 client is a plug-in but they are unsure if the IMLU carries forward, but the plan is chat and presence
- Allow Notes users to be defined in non-Domino LDAP
- more admin enhancements
- Native 64-bit Domino Beta at Domino "Next" GA. 32-bit will continue on
- Each 64-bit platform will be a new Domino platform? planning issue
So a good but quiet audience participation session. Some questions at the end from people and one comment following the recent thread of Ed's blog about fixing what is there first. Mary Beth's blog has a lot more screen shots from the past two weeks, I suggest you head over. I linked it above.
P.S. Jason Collier felt it was necessary to help me type as we both paid attention and tried to type and keep up to get you the whole session. Now go buy a test.
I will have pictures up shortly as I took more than a bunch today out seeing the City of Vienna.
People were very interested about the future of the RTC Gateway and how it will fit into most enterprise deployments once again. Looking at some of the IBM webpages and info with them proved beneficial for discussions.
Dinner was back at East, a Thai/Chinese/Pan-Asian restaurant I enjoyed last time here.
We spent this morning building the infrastructure with eager eyes to see architectural diagrams, sample deployments and suggestions. Questions were flowing in this session around mux deployments, clustering and load balancing. We jumped into configuring and deploying the client and the areas they have to manually control as Lotus policies haven't jumped to that point. If you weigh what you control as the administrator versus what the user can do, they win at this point.
Since Sametime 7.5 went live with mobile (see my postings last week here and here) the live demo went over well. The viewer used for the Blackberry is a bit slow, but n-way chat, business cards, status, emoticons and chat history (yes on the device) was well received. Everyone there was bound for Blackberry and not Windows Mobile at this time.
After covering the bandwidth and basic server build session again, many were left for lack of better words, stunned. A few were there to gain some more insight into the whole bandwidth area. I am beginning to see a trend develop that I bet will continue. Getting a handle on what they need to support a fully implemented Sametime 7.5 environment including all features and functions.
IBM once again took the stage with a local person from Toronto that did a good job. We lost Internet for a moment in the first session but recovered and continued on after lunch. He had local servers which assisted in the outage.
Next up is plug-ins and I am curious to see what ideas this group has for expanding them into their deployments. I will let you know shortly.
Questions today revolved around firewalls, upgrades, client options and configurations and a slew of other items that applied to particular setups. It was good to see the whole Sametime plan come together in some of their eyes in how we started from the groundfloor and moved into architecture and deployment of the clients.
Overall, the group was eager to deploy 7.5 and we discussed and addressed some internal roadblocks. I mentioned custom IM policies and, as expected, most did not have that yet. Internet use and email policies, yes.
I started the discussion on mobile devices with Sametime 7.5 before handing off the final session to Paul Steel of RIM. He took everyone through the initial architecture and level setting. They were prepared with questions and hit him right away. Can't wait to see what the whole day tomorrow dedicated to Blackberry brings then.
I have more to say on this topic but I am thinking of a series or podcast. Any takers on comments/interview of your thoughts in a podcast?
Dinner the first night was Wildfire, a pretty good local chain. Apparently they are expanding to other cities like Atlanta shortly. Besides the snowshowers that hit tonight, dinner was split among people trying to go to different places. We ended up at Momotaro, a Japanese restaurant for some sushi.
Thursday night was dinner in the lovely home of Tim and Gab Davis, from the Turtle Partnership. Fish & chips all around with some pickled eggs, smashed peas and some other items you can see in the picture. A wonderful time and great thanks to them.
Dinner last night was more of collapse as Rob & Liz Novak and myself headed to a wonderful place within walking distance, The Pheasant. Half bar/disco and half 6 level restaurant (yes 6). I took a few pics of it.
So today is some work and relaxation/sight seeing before heading home. Congrats and thanks to the graduates once again.
Now on for the news. Yesterday Ken Bisconti, Vice President Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Products had his opening session. Now he made a comment we debated posting at first, but since it was said in front of people from 12 countries in a general forum, here is the snapshot that I am paraphrasing (yes that means not direct word for word but the whole thing in a very clear nutshell):
You will see the name Workplace being pulled from products and being shown as a strategy and direction.
Yes, the Workplace being removed from products, but very much the focus and strategy. While I can see some industry analysts and other vendors taking a poke at this maneuver, I can also see the strategy position and stance in the marketplace. Instead of seeing more and more Workplace products, you can then fold the Notes Domino name, Portal and other pieces under this strategy. With the J2EE footprint in Sametime 7.5 and Hannover, it already existed in other product areas of Workplace. So cross naming didn't work unless you take a step back and widen the umbrella.
Ken promised only one marketing slide at the beginning to the obvious appease of all the attendees. The business questions revolved around driving the effectiveness and responsiveness of the organization and workforce. Composite applications are coming together, including in Notes Hannover using the Notes Rich Client platform through Eclipse. Lotus Expeditor (need keyword to learn here) will become the framework builder in this scenario. Enterprise content management has high end needs including very specific to departments and very general to everyone in the organization. These include collaborative content services (Quickplace), ad-hoc and informal collaboration (Websphere Portal, Workplace Documents, Dom.Doc) all the way to structured team space services (non-IBM). All of these are accessed with flexible UI interaction of Lotus Notes, Sametime, Portal and Microsoft Office. Storage needs and repositories are the next logical need. Creating such things as a Sametime plug-in to access these backend repositories are becoming a demanding need in enterprises. Enhancements in Notes continue to help manage these storage needs. Those are all 'traditional' access methods.
This moves us into real-time and instant ways of collaborating. He covered the past 18 months of the Sametime path and growth into new levels. This all leads the path to presence driven organizations. The Sametime client is coming for Windows Mobile and Symbian to show the move into presence driven. He also went on to say look for announcements on the RTC Gateway in a month or so. He showed a high level architecture view of the RTC Gateway (which I will speak to later).
I can leave blogging a moment as he went into live Sametime 7.5 demos..
Ok we interrupt the demo to laugh as Ken initiates a voice chat with Mark Pagnier (IBM) and asks if Mark can hear him. Mark answers yes...from the back of the room in the last row. Ok, you get the humor here.
Now, how is Lotus moving from hierarchies (picture a Domino domain) to network hierarchies (picture spaghetti). This includes virtual teams expert networks and knowledge communities. There is a new initiative that has not been announced that is moving towards discovering the right information. Of course, Dogear was shown to elaborate 'social bookmarking'. Ken once used the (rhymes with 'hang high') word but I don't think I can type that anymore.
In closing, the IBM Workplace Strategy appeared on the screen including all Dynamic Workplace apps (Domino, Portal), Unified Communications (Sametime) and Collective Knowledge (upcoming).
Overall, one of the best keynotes I have seen in presentation as well as content flow without too much marketing tossed in.
Our keynote will be Ken Bisconti who joined all of the speakers (and some spouses) at a wonderful restaurant in Middlesex called Rawalpindi Grill. we are all stuffed and prepped to be down early for the start of the conference. I am looking forward to seeing a couple bloggers/business partners that are in attendance too.
Look for more tech info like a couple weeks ago as the conference progresses. I haven't had time to get anything else out except this months Sys Admin newsletter. Podcast to follow (hint Bruce)
- Walkers chips- Salt & Vinegar, Cheese & Onion, Prawn Cocktail. While I know I like the salt and cheese option, the idea of small sea things on my chip makes me raise and eyebrow
- Hob Nobs- nice biscuits with chocolate. Of course, they list energy on the can instead of the word calories
- Jaffa Cakes - once again sports enthusiasts seem to like the calories
- Nestle Quality Street - cool assortment of candies
- Bassett's Jelly Babies - soft jelly candies
- Hartley's Blackcurrant Jelly - cool, a new jelly (gelatin) for the kids
- Marmite - yes, spread very thin on toast and enjoy (I learned while in KC how to do it properly)
- Prince's Corned Beef - passing this one on as I don't eat beef but like the little can
- Robertson's Golden Shred - orange marmalade, darn right!
- Heinz Baked Beans and Cream of Tomato Soup - one with pop can lid and one without. I like em both
- Cadbury huge milk chocolate bar - 250g worth. Damn I love chocolate
- PG Tips pyramid bag teas. This is a new "shape" in the US for teabags. This will get well guarded and good use as I am a tea drinker
- Lastly, a comic book. I needed some new reading as I finished off the book on the way over that I bought at the airport.
So huge thanks to Gab, Mike and Tim over at the Turtle Partnership for a warm welcome to a tired soul
I had the please of working with an awesome team to blow through an amazing amount of detail. I can't wait to see the next class in London starting in one week.
Hawaiian for "Engineer" made to be a set of blog and wiki templates in Quickplace. You can deploy it now on current versions and it is open source based on Ajax and Web 2.0 capabilities. It can be packaged as a PlaceType for all or used individually. The RSS and Atom feeds will be awesome.
Quickplace 7.0 and beyond through 8.0
There will be a fixpack for QP 7 that will contain some new features before we move into 8.0
Quickplace 8.0 will have numerous enhancements launched around the time of Domino 8.0
- Simple (if not almost automated) upgrade from version 7 to 8
- The features above from Wiliki are listed as native in 8.0 of Quickplace
- Better integration into Lotus and Microsoft
- editing of QP content directly within Microsoft
- Access QP from directly within Notes and Hannover
- ODF support with integration from the IBM Productivity Tools
- A Place Superuser access role
- Better administrative reporting and dashboard control
- Access content from within Sametime 7.5 chat , meeting or buddylist. WOW
- Transfer files from within QP right through Sametime
- A Quickplace shelf (plug-in) for ST with even more capabilities in the screenshots
- Subscriptions to key data like calendar, folders, what's new
- My Places would move into folders in the inbox of your mailfile
- Drag a mail thread right into Quickplace
- Future mails in this thread get automatically pushed
- A Quickplace Dashboard (we have to meet the Web 2.0 acronyms)
- UI right click actions sensitive to users rights in the QP and context of usage
Quickplace Next has even more changes in mind towards the second half of 2007
- Backup and restore Team Spaces
- Offline access with the rich client - Hannover
- Desktop integration - Office and Windows Explorer
- Solid document management capabilities
- New blog and Feed Reader ability
So how does that sum up announcements at Day 2?
- "Down to Earth" session with IBM. Real talk, real input. No 30,000 foot views
- live jazz from Albadeen for the welcoming reception
- "Operation Red Flag", go peek. IMAX show of fighter pilots becoming part of a team
- The speaker introduction was funny as there was serious and then a 'little known fact' for each
- We got to see the video from the launch event happening in NYC right when we were starting the conference
The keynote speaker was David Marshak of IBM, Program Director and Senior Product Manager Real-time Collaboration
- The focus is the second generation of real-time collaboration in his presentation
- IM as a vehicle for presence-driven lifestyle in organizations
- Mobile device support will be cool. It will be extended to include as many Sametime 7.5 features as possible, like click-to-call
- He covered the RTC and how it fits into the future enterprise. I have a whole slew of separate comments on the RTC. Presence and voice chat are in the first release. More functionality later, like video and file transfers
- That is where the first generation ends and we enter the second
- Open extensibility model, rich media and collaboration within and outside the organization
- David moved into a live demo of the future
- Knowing where people are is becoming just as important as knowing if they are online in this day of the mobile workforce
- Location services will move to the server side, but the client can decide to show where they are still
- Dogears was covered as Mike Rhodin has done in recent talks. This becomes interesting in larger enterprises where the amount of data can be overwhelming. Subscriptions to watch other's tags yields great power but can also get us into the RSS/blog issue of information overload
- Freejam, Skilltap and Broadcasting was addressed from the current ICT (IBM Community Tools) as how it will roll into the second generation
You get the idea. I have to head to prep for my session so I am missing the end of the kenote..
London has attendees from all over Europe it seems and is still growing. I imagine some are waiting to see the reaction to this one before signing on for that event at the end of September.
Look for podcasts, pictures and other crazy things as we go with lack of sleep and pure silliness. Just getting this part done has been more laughs than required for a simple slideset.
The trip took me across to the Caribbean, assorted islands and such. No, not a cruise. Just island life, snorkeling, scuba diving, dining, dancing and a slew of other things like Tree-topping. If you don't know that one I can explain later.
So back to business and updates on Sametime 7.5 (since the beta is public) and a few other topics.
So, attendance was great. The attendees were great. Now for the specs.
Very few running Domino 7 out of the group. A few test servers here and there, but no real production yet. Domino 5 was still running in a few shops. The session on Domino Domain Monitoring was well received as many had no investigated the abilities it had to offer. There was great interest in the Sametime 7.5 product, people were asking about what it would offer them. They were not pleased to hear that the integrated client would not see many of those features. Understandable since many run Sametime not just for the awareness, but the free chat services of the IMLU.
Side questions are the ones that interest me most. What I mean is questions that do not get asked in front of everyone, but are brought to us as presenters on the side when there is a break or lunch. I had a couple on SMTP, a couple on Nomad and a few on various issues/problems that are always unique to that persons environment. There was one I have to investigate and get back to them. Looking at Stats and DDM is there anyway to see diskspace on AIX and monitor it? Novell and Windows are covered in there.
I also pushed some people to forgo the upgrade from 6.5.x to 6.5.5 or so and go into Domino 7.0.1 instead. The upgrade is simple and straightforward, so why waste the time with the in-between point version that requires just as much of an outage?
P.S. Dinner was awesome the nights I was there. We went off the beaten path to Tufano's with Jon Raslowski of IBM. Excellent Italian food and they only take cash and checks, amazing in itself. Another night of dinner was spent at Star of Siam for Thai food. Hot, spicy and excellent. Close walking distance to the hotel we were in and we were lucky enough to get a seat the moment we walked in. I took pictures of Cirque Shanghai that we caught the second night they were there. The first was sold out to dignitaries and the such. Impressive acts (well we could stand to lose Marco Polo) and very affordable show. No reason to sit in the first few rows for the extra few dollars, as all seats are great in that outdoor amphitheater. From reading reviews and such, they made over 400 costumes for the performers across the different acts for the show.
Notes on Citrix was as previous years. Lots of organizations forced into using it, many looking at it, but no one real sure of the benefit. I covered both angles. The good and the bad. The hardware investment is an all or nothing move. All apps possible into Citrix and large farms, or forget it. The investment to centralize and still provide powerful desktops don't make sense. The management is not as smooth as you would hope or want for upgrades, new users and such unless you script much of it. I will talk about this more in my newsletter next week.
So off to home for a few weeks before another ND7 Upgrade Seminar stop in Chicago.
So, let us make a quick assumption. Lotus stated Domino 7 was the most downloaded version in the fastest time. I agree there. But, as usual, companies are stalling on some of their plans and that shows the more conferences I do and people I meet. Some are unfounded fears, many are testing and more testing. I stated it before and I will state it again, stop with the delays and get it done. The upgrade path is too simple and the benefits too great.
Ok, I feel better. Back to reality. Sessions completed are:
- SMTP hands-on configuration (2 times)
- LDAP Infrastructure
- Domino Unified Communication (DUCS)
- Domino Domain Monitoring - Jumpstart
- Domino Domain Monitoring - normal session
Besides unique variables that every system seems to have, it is the customizations that have been implemented or network configurations that bite them each time. I preach simplistic and constant scrutinization of not only what you have in place, but what you are implementing in the future. The network security guys don't always know best. The management don't always know best. Heck, even us admins don't always know best. So constant checking and rechecking is the way to go.
|David Penzias, Publisher for The View did a brief opening before turning it over to Mike. |
Mike Rhodin - General Manager, Lotus Software
- Converging markets across open standards is driving the evolution of what the user will see as your desktop experience
- Mike and Ron started trading off as Mike brought up points, Ron would show and tell some new item to validate the concept.
- Mike then talked about Lotus purchasing Databeam and Ubique years ago and the "mashing" of them to get Sametime. Capturing the lion-share of the market in enterprise chat services.
- This led into presence, location awareness and the integration of the top real-time communication vendors
- The nature of people coming together to fill in the gaps of knowledge. Social Networking
- Mike led in with finding information you are interested in, what communities do you belong to, bringing us to Social Bookmarking. Dog Ears. A tagging network uncovering structure and flow and applying that to Activity Centric computing.
- So taking that stance, tag data instead of moving it everywhere, and locate those tags. Like Technorati, Flickr, De.licio.us and others.
- From here I had to head to my session as Mike closed out talking about driving the innovation agenda, standards and taking advantage of the standards.
- Lotus believes that the users are asking for the loose coupling of data as we move into Web 2.0, and Lotus is there to be the leading edge in that.
Ron Sebastian - all that is demo for Lotus
- He started with Hannover stating this wouldn't be delivered until early 2007
- Business card views for the personal address book
- Workplace Designer was used for a client based application to run inside of Hannover. He had a local SAP server pulling data with Workplace into Hannover. Data was input into the Domino application and in real time manipulated the SAP data
- Next on the block was Sametime 7.5. Spellchecking got a round of applause
- Colors and font
- grabbing live data from spreadsheets into group chat areas
- The Skype codex is now used for audio. This provided awesome quality even in a large room, no computer mic to your head and you could hear it all over the loudspeakers clear as can be
- location awareness with presence
- the list went on
- Skilltap and belonging to communities was shown, bringing out the IBM Community Tools (ICT) that is being brought into Sametime 7.5
- Real-time polling and information requests are part of this through the broadcast. Responses get added to the instant chat meeting and ti grows as people have answers
- Answers can be stored in a skills database for later searching. Capturing the skill of a community. No word on what that database is, where it is located, what access is needed and can it be used by other applications, but being Domino, I would go with yes. Now that is what locating skill and data is all about.
- Tagging, or Dog Ears keeps count of how many people link or bookmark certain data that is stored. You could also search on bookmarks that other keep to see where people get their data. You get to disseminate to others where you get your knowledge. I know that some believe knowledge ownership is power, so sharing this information will not be easy for most to agree to
People addressed third party monitoring tools a couple times, asking if DDM could replace them. My honest answer? No, put them to work together. You already made the leap and the cost of installing a third party product, don't change that yet. Mainly since DDM lacks some basic workflow in this current version. But the probes and deep level checking that some of the others do at the cost of machine resources, don't weigh evenly against DDM.
The flexibility of scheduling probes coupled with the ability to change the severity designation and notification of any event Domino can generate, blows the other products away. Hands down. Now just to get some workflow...
On a side note, speakers were popping up all over. Rob Novak, Susan Bulloch, Carl Tyler, Rob Wonderlich, Andy P and Rob A (the wonder twins) and a slew of others
Reminder, this is a 9MB file I didn't zip >>>> ND7_London_0099.AVI
It is not often you get to see a 11.2m (37 ft) tall elephant go past you. Oh yeah, all controlled by people riding in and on it. Amazing. They drill holes in concrete to tie cars down, show a rocket embedded into the ground, amazing stuff.
So otherwise, Fri night was spent with family that lives in Boston. Sat morning we decided to get on one of the open top tour buses. That generated quite a few pictures since you can jump on and off at any stop and get on again. Coupled with an all day tube pass, we were everywhere. Lunch was at Wagamama's (damn good quick noodle and rice dishes over near The London Tower). In the sightseeing we ran into the elephant. Dinner was an some chic pizza place in Swiss Cottage before hitting the clubs that night.
Now off to Boston for Admin2006.
As for the review, only a couple enterprises left on Domino 5 in the audience. That was nice to see that they were finally getting ready to upgrade. Questions were very direct and dealt with specific scenarios and issues, not ones that everyone seemed to have. The demonstration on DDM was, as usual, long and generated great reviews.
Sametime was in swing in numerous companies, LEI did not get favorable comments and web presence through Domino servers was not as strong as I expected. we talked about almost all the add-ons, even ran into a company that ran DUCS.
So a wonderfully friendly bunch, lots of laughter and fun the whole day. You can find the pictures so far right here.
All day today was pent with a customer in talks about Domino, the pending beating from a business review group about Exchange coming in and ways to scale the infrastructure while reducing costs. We came up with some ingenious ideas after sitting down, drawing out ideas and then looking at the actual network. Final result? Removing about 7 servers, beefing up one, generating two more clusters from active servers to provide more scaling and load balancing and rearchitecting the replication topology. All this while considering some DAMO installations and a definite upgrade to Domino 7 in the coming weeks.
Dinner was down in Covent Garden at Fuel Bar. It was quite good sitting outside on one of the warmest nights they have had this year. The whole area was packed. That was a restaurant I would visit again. Then a quick trip to Picadilly Circus to take in the sights.
Pics are uploading and tomorrow is all presentations, so I expect plenty of questions to share.
I have updated some slides and some will show up new in my Admin2006 sessions next week. I will update more on the seminar here later. Some tech stuff to come first
Then May 8-12th I will be in Boston for Admin2006. I have a few sessions in the order as follows over the days:
- Domino Domain Monitoring (DDM) half day jumpstart
- Shaping Your Environment's LDAP Design
- Demystifying Domino Domain Monitoring (normal session)
- SMTP Security and Configuration Troubleshooting in Domino Lab (1 of 2)
- SMTP Security and Configuration Troubleshooting in Domino Lab (2 of 2)
- Leveraging DUCS for Unified Messaging
- Ask the Experts
- Manipulating the Notes.ini
- Managing Citrix on Domino
So track me down and say hello and introduce yourself
So the day started with a great buffet (free) breakfast up on the top floor of the hotel. I was tempted to jump on one of the tours to go and see things, but my body said take a nap. Which lasted until almost 3pm. So heading downstairs I asked the concierge to provide me with a city map and a route to see sites that are not taken everyday. With a smile he drew (I darkened the ink line for the picture so you could see it in the slides) a nice long walk around numerous museums, small park areas and just different styles of neighborhoods. The walk took me hours, with some brief stops included to get away from sudden rain. So I covered a bunch of ground and took pictures of names of places to help.
1. Past the main train station that I came from the airport on. Only 3 stops form the airport to the hotel stop in 15 minutes. Cheaper and more direct that a cab.
2. Past the Tivoli which does not open until Apr 12 with a new ride. I can right into it form my hotel window so I did not miss much except the excitement of the name and saying I had been there.
3. A turn off of Bernstorffsgade onto Tietgensgade took me to the Glyptoteket. Luckily the museum was normally free on Wed and Sundays, but since they had construction on some parts it was free today too. I was able to see some of it. The cafe in there I found in quite a few magazines. It looked awesome and the acoustics of the dome and arboretum made conversations from a few feet away impossible to even hear. Kind of spooky, but cool.
4. A turn on HC Anderson Boulevard and again on Ny Kengensgade took me to a complex of large buildings around a small park area. I took some great pictures there. The whole area on the map looks like Christiansborg but there was some smaller signs for the park area. Also inside was the Danish Jewish Museum. Very modern design as you can tell by their sign.
5. Out through another side of the park and I hit Christians Brygge which runs along the channel. I followed that up and over Knoppelsbro bridge into the "hippie area" I was told, called Christianshavn. Reminds me of our Central West End area in St Louis, or even The Loop around Delmar.
6. Down Torvegade and then a big square around some side streets looking for the church, Vor Frelsers Kirke, that had this gold spire that you can walk up (150 steps on the outside, 250 inside to get up there) I could see in the distance when crossing the bridge. I found a great sushi place called Sushi Saiko on the main road. I found the spire around Overgaden oven and Annae Gade area and took some pictures there of the spire and church. The church was open for only another 10 minutes by the time I had found it
7. Back across the bridge, around the National Bank and on to Kongens Nytorv via Holmens Kanal.
8. I suddenly realized where I was from walking around that area for dinner the past two nights. So I jumped on to the main roadway through the central shopping district. (it has like 3 names along the way on the same pedestrian street). Some shopping, poking into side walkways and streets that I had not seen yet and back to the hotel
I came back to download pictures, dry off myself and some clothes, a cup of Cacao Fantasy and then thought about heading off to dinner. No destination, just heading. I found out that the Copenhagen Night Film Festival runs through this weekend with 165 films (there is an English link in the top middle of page). I am trying to find a place to see what movie is here before I grab some food. This movie looked too good to pass up in my quick searches and on-line recommendations. I found that two of the theaters are within 2 blocks of the hotel.
Late dinner was found at Indian Taj Restaurant, right near the hotel. Quite good food and the waiter suggested the chef's private recipe for hot coconut chicken. Not a disappointment. A nice walk to wear myself out for the flights home to get back on schedule. I don't plan on sleeping tongiht, but on the London-Boston flight instead.
|First things first, I knew parking was tough downtown in Copenhagen, but they proved it today with this picture I grabbed. |
On to the overview. A very prompt group, a large group and an inquisitive group. The questions were direct and the information was absorbed well, even with my fast talking sometimes. One thing I always find interesting in doing the European shows is the uniqueness of everyone's environment. Very specific issues with very specific needs to be addressed. The attendees are excellent at drawing and explaining the issue. Even showing NSD files they brought along. So we have some take-a-way questions that need to be answered and I will be hitting the email or blogging them shortly.
Only 2 people with R5 around, no 4.6 at all. Very few Domino 7 servers had been installed, that was the whole point of being there. I am not sure what to think when there is not too many test servers in 7 already, or when no one has made testing plans yet. Mainly in the smaller organizations. I think it is important to get a head start on new releases to see if there is even any immediate needs or benefits to upgrading. We try to give as many scenarios as possible.
License confusion around Sametime IMLU still existed but I tried to explain that plus the changes to DWA in 7 that exposes the users to Java Connect instead of the integrated chat client in the template.
Quite a few people were using LEI, a surprise from the other sites we have done this seminar entirely.
DDM was a huge topic that garnered lots of comments that wished that topic to be even longer. I am glad to see that as I think it will be an integral part of many environments in the near future. Will some future enhancements by IBM, plus some folding of functionality from Intelliwatch possibly, it could make a decently mean monitoring tool for Domino. I think saying more on my personal thoughts on DDM can wait.
Dinner tonight was a scary Chinese food place, that turned out to be nice but not the best selection as I would hope. No reason to mention names then. After that, some relaxation with the View staff and I am calling it quits.
Dinner was at WokShop tonight. Food was awesome and the service was cool. This was not on the beaten path and gets so much crowd that if you have small groups, you end up sitting with others in many instances. As Andy and I did tonight, a table for 5 with us and 3 strangers that was seated after we were. I still like they way the restaurants in Europe carry digital wireless ordering and payment methods. Far beyond what we do in the US.
But for today, here is the link to the start of the slideshow for this trip. Plus a picture embedded right here of apparently bashful mannequins they have in Copenhagen. Nude is ok but not while showing your face. Judge for yourself.
Day 2 in the seminar gave the usual statistics. Two companies on R5 looking to go straight to Domino 7, everyone running Sametime was at least on 6.5.1 which was a nice surprise. No older versions floating around anywhere. There was great interest in Sametime 7.5 and Hannover too. I think all the press and hype around them both had the people wanting to get more info and live demos. I wish I could have complied, but they did get to see Workplace Managed Client 2.6 and some of it's features during a break.
Overall, everyone is eager to move up for the server enhancements and many had the valid question of what benefit the users see over 6.5.x. They got the standard answer. Some small UI changes, better Domino Web Access and better performance was the first thing most users will see. AutoSave and a few others are cool, but we worked more on policy controls and deploying the desktop through them.
Dinner was at an excellent Italian place called KitKat in the Entertainment District again. A nice long dinner with fantastic service and excellent food led to a short walk to Yuk Yuks for the late comedy show. They went through 5 comics, including the headliner. Some went over the top, a couple were almost crying funny and one left the stage looking like we the audience get most of his jokes. He was right.
Today has just begun..let you know shortly and the link to the pictures..
The seminar was well attended. I was impressed with the large installations that sent people to get ready for ND7 migrations. The 3 days were packed with tips, insight, free tools and a plethora of not showing off new features, but how to put them to use immediately. The questions were good and I owe a couple small answers still. Most of them, one of us, could answer on the spot or within a few minutes poking around. As we have all learned, no environment is the same and issues are different for each person out there. I heard from sites with 20k+ users on enormous iSeries, down to 100 seat shops on Windows. It was great to have that cross mixing.
Apparently all that attended were more than pleased by hearing a quick summary of the reviews. We could not ask for more for the first city. So if you haven't signed up yet, Las Vegas, Toronto and Copenhagen are already set with dates and places (Vegas seems to be a nice one, what a way to get to Vegas right?).
As she chatted away, she placed her small bag on the seat and cell phone. She then proceeded to place her larger bag in the overhead opposite her. (one point good for her not using all the overhead). As people filed in behind her, she immediately stepped into the row below the overhead (one point for good airplane etiquette) to let them by.
Please return to top where I state she placed purse and phone on seat. Thereby leaving a single, thin, black cord stretched across the aisle. Since most business travelers have bags, coats and lost their brains too, they walked through it like a jungle trap ready to spring. Here is the steps in your mental mind:
1. Woman runs trip cord across aisle. One side secured to her head, one side to small object on opposite seat.
2. Man with lost brain comes down path oblivious
3. Man finds trip-wire with mid thigh
4. Man stumbles on pulling wire
5. Woman has headset ripped from ear
6. Phone commences to flying in reaction to pure physics
7. Physics ends both ear wrenching, man stumbling and phone flying
Final tally? One slung phone (damage unknown), one hurt ear (damage unknown and brain had left already), one pissed man (mental damage unknown since brain had left)
...... and one hysterically laughing person in 11A (wait that is me)
Great crowd of people, hands down. Always a little quieter than the same conference in the US, but after 2 days they loosened up and made each sessions a lot of learning and laughs. I think once it was seen how most of us present, including the interaction I almost demand, there was some great questions.
Most everyone is on Domino 5 with very few on 6 still, usually due to political reasons. The number than had gone to Domino 7 was a little greater than those still on 5, but not much. Most had a test server around somewhere. I was curious about the hesitations and the usual response was they were not instructed to upgrade yet. The satisfaction with Domino was very high. Most issues or problems some one of us could provide some insight into or there was technotes already issued.
Considering I had a three sessions on SMTP topics, I got to see some, well interesting, routing that companies choose over here. I was a bit taken back by a couple and the reasoning. But, that was not due to the attendees. Instead it was environments they had inherited from previous administrators. In my sessions, there was only a handful total that had actually built their infrastructure from the ground up.
The Sametime session on instant messaging had almost a full adoption rate in the room. I only recall 2 people that had not yet installed it that were in the room. That is great!! Overall there was no major issues. Most everyone was there looking to expand or provide greater growth of the chat services. One such company had a test pilot of under 10 users but wanted to investigate rollout to all 20-30,000 (I cant recall which he said, sorry).
Now the big session I had was Domino Domain Monitoring (followed very closely by Automatic Diagnostic Collection). DDM was very new to most since they did not have 7, but when I pointed out you could still probe ND6 servers with it, just not add them to the collection hierarchies or run it on them, they were shocked at what it could do. The timesaving alone in gathering the data sold many of them. The exposure to live demos really drove the point home as I connected to live servers in the US that I have been running a collection hierarchy on since September to show all the gathered data, alerts and collapsing of duplicate information inside the same entries, with logging of the number of times it occurred I could hear (but not understand) some of the whispering in the room and excitement.
So Automatic Diagnostic Collection was an even bigger time-saver and surprise for some. The ability to have the clients automatically send the NSD files to a central repository, and then using that same ND7 server for DDM, they could run the Fault Analyzer task. I had a group of people find me later to really understand how to put the two together in a plan they could sell to management. I was pleased to see the interest sparked by the session.
So in closing, awesome time, pictures are already starting to go on the web as I said above and I look forward to seeing some of these same attendees next year. Hopefully they saw the advantage at being at this conference and will be back!
Tot straks !!
I plan on a much larger posting and breakdown of events for sessions I have seen from Susan, Ed, Rob and Jason so far. Further, some insights into feedback in my sessions I presented, broken down into each one.
No need to run through the entire list of times, as you can find me easy enough if you are attending that event !! There are 7 sessions, the Beat the Geek and a BOF for sure.
So far we have Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Toronto and Copenhagen on tap. See you there or tell them you want another city area somewhere around Australia, LOL
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
The scary part always comes out though. The admin that left had a copy of the default system id that not only signs a lot of the agents, but has Full Access to all files and even encrypts the mail journals. With no audit trail of that id usage, it is impossible to tell if someone outside of the current team has used that id recently. They also do not run password checking/digest so it leaves a nice gaping hole.
- Lunch the first day at Mi Tierra (Cafe y Panaderia) where the giant bowl of Tortilla Soup, chicken enchiladas and the obligatory rice, beans, chips and salsa. I got some pics of the inside you can see in the photo album. They never close and the bakery had some cookies and things that made you drool.
- A quick trip through the Mexican market, an outdoor sight with live music and little shops. I hesitated buying since I only brought an overnight bag an toting back more stuff when I am trying to get rid of junk at the new house didn't make sense. Pictures tell it all for the memory. (Special note to Troy: pictures of me at the ATM don't always turn out the best now do they, lol)
- A siesta for two hours lead to head over to Riverwalk for dinner at Michelino's. Normal Italian, but eating along what they have as the river was cool. It sits below San Antonio downtown and if you had just drove through you would never expect. All the downtown hotels connect and lead down to it, plus numerous stairways and the mall. We walked for w while from the mall wondering where the heck everyone was headed or coming from since it just looked like a long pathway along the river with some boat tours on it. The river is only wide enough for two to three large tour boats to cross paths and is not very deep. As we turned a corner we definitely discovered the secret. Restaurant upon restaurant, bars and some vendors. They restaurants sit so close with the outdoor seating that if you do pay attention to railings or sometimes umbrella covers one might think it is one place in some areas. Yet we walked most of it end to end before just stopping due to hunger and good seating open. There was a couple well terraced places that extended way up a hill with rows of tables to eat but had the fine tablecloths out. Needless to say it was tour day and I was underdressed to partake those. One peculiar thing I witnessed was a table of 6 people next to us finish dinner together and 4 of them get up to walk away all on their cell phones. One more notch in the belt of why I take my technology free week. The management of the company we are headed to work on in the am below doesn't even like email, much rather IM, since they say it takes away form people getting up from their desk and actually talking to one another. Interesting but they have been in business over 150 years. So they know something.
- Hit the customer site early in the morning, moved the Domino servers to new blade hardware and upgraded them to 6.5.4 with no real issues. One issue with a supposed ODS error according to the technote, but we solved it by renaming the original to .ns4, replicating the mailfile to the same server with .nsf and that cured the corruption and made it ODS 43 for ND6. Rightfax has some polling issues but we left that as SWB decided they wanted to do maintenance on all inbound DID lines at the same time so we couldn't test inbound faxes either.
- We finished by lunch but hit the Alamo first to get more pictures and just add it to the list of places to have been and seen. it included s stop in the Toy Soldier shop outside the Alamo for some very cool whole battle arrangements.
- Lunch was at Ibiza's (part of the Hilton Palacio Del Rio) just to sit inside. Walking around the Alamo and Riverwalk took away the fun as it was getting hot.
Then here we are. Already on the way home. Amazing how the world works today.
- A jump out of an airplane at 12,000 feet on my birthday. I dragged the wife kicking and screaming with me. Ok, she never kicked or screamed at all but it was fun seen her about 100 yards away looking back at me with the expression that if we make it down she was kicking my ass. One of the best things I have even done!!! Of course, I thought they told me I was on the place to go scuba diving. Nevermind the parachute, I thought it was air tanks. :p
- Family barbecue time over the holiday. Playstation 2 was in full effect on the big screens for the teenagers and I took great pride in whooping some of their butts in a few games.
- A chance to catch up doing things in our new house. It is amazing at how simple it should be to move into empty space right? Well tell that to the new furniture people, cable installers, sod layers and about every other industry that exists.
- A chance to sleep. A lot. The blog title itself should have let you know I planned on that. Nothing like getting up at 11am with nothing better to do
- No cell phone ringing nonstop. Turn it off for a couple days, you will feel better. More time to sleep
- No computer staring in my face. There was wiring as I finish the way I want the network, but I did not put much effort into that, more naps instead.
- Hanging out with the family and actually cooking how I really like to. It seems right after work never allows for some of the fun things. Quickly heading to the grocery store and local produce stand was quite the treat that I miss doing more often
- Heading out until all hours of the night at will. This of course leads to those late morning sleep ins.
There is plenty more but I just typed as I thought. So welcome back everyone. I mean welcome back me.
But down to business. I know part of the customer team reads this daily (however we know that the IBM'ers here do not and have no idea what they are missing right?) and are expecting a lot. But I won't let too many secrets out. In my eyes the basics of the cluster are a success. There were modifications to be made to a class file that searched and modified the appearance of the Sametime home server when using LDAP. But they also had some other customizations that we have to build back in.
Replacing the Home Sametime Server (HSS) is a main key of Community Clusters. Proper DNS plays a major role in this since we are parsing the server name with the LDAP queries. Integrating this new cluster with an existing Sametime chat server (during the migration time) and then the internal and external meeting configuration is all still to come.
We did somehow manage to make a Sametime admin client that only did Meeting Services. How we got it, we don't know nor did we spend the time to work it out. But it was blue (from the new Sametime FP1 for 6.5.1 changes. Yes, this means that IBM put a blue IBM banner at the top for branding above the normal yellow. The only strange part was that the product title was called IBM Lotus Web Conferencing. I wonder what happened to the Instant Messaging part of that title bar? And now it goes back to Sametime.
I am definitely full from the Keang Keow Wan (Thai green curry with chicken, medium spicy) and a dessert that was recommended. Fried bananas with mango and green tea ice cream.
The customer stuck with the F5 solution. Testing went well over the past few moths and the actual server hardware arrived and got loaded with the operating system of Windows 2000. The current plan is creating an exact duplicate of the single, existing Sametime server and moving that into the cluster architecture. Which in turn, mirrors the test cluster we built in all the configurations. Let me bring one point to the front that you should know and is verified in technotes. Make sure you have a loopback record in stconfig.nsf and the world may be at peace. Not really, but with some proper planning, good budget, etc etc.
Ok, that is a bit strong as there is a myriad of patches and the recent FP1 to be applied to 6.5.1 of Sametime to start. Interestingly enough, moving the database across that had transaction logging enabled threw a bit of a wrench in the works for a few minutes. Some compact -t to remove that flag assisted. We ended up with a corrupt NAB on one server for some unknown reason, but replacing that made the universe at harmony once again.
So how are we moving from the single server to the load balancer and having two new servers as a Community Cluster? Sounds like you will have to wait until after the sauteed mushrooms, pesto basil pasta and tiramisu at my current location.
The attendance is not huge, but the interaction with the people is good. They are not afraid to ask questions and hunt you down if they need something. There were not many vendors in the Welcome Reception, surprising with all the development tools and applications out there for both Domino and Websphere. Gary Devendorf, Charlie Kaufman and a few other Microsoft people are here for the .Net integration pieces. I have had only short spurts of time to have any conversations with them.
I have started the photo album also. I will be adding more as the week goes on.
As luck would have it, John Head and myself went and got Penn & Teller tickets for tonight at the last minute. Definitely worth it!! Funny, quick, mind-boggling and downright amazing sometimes. I will get some pictures up as the week rolls along, no fear!
Nice picture right? This was a quick drive up into the closest high point I could find. I was only able to sneak in a few pictures of this trip. Except for the flight back, all went great. Coming home we got stuck on the tarmac at DFW for over 2 hours with a broken air conditioning to add to the wait.
I managed to eat at a sushi place that server everything on a conveyor belt. Apparently this is a trend, even in London after some searching. So as soon as you sat down, food was passing by and ready to eat. You could also request certain items if you did not see them. Even dessert and chopsticks or silverware was on the belt. Overall, a very low cost, fun way to eat. The sushi was better than average but not amazing.
I even ran across a website to find sushi in some cities. http://www.sushifinder.com/finderHome.asp
The second night was dinner at the Thai Orchid Restaurant. Apparently a small chain in Oregon. Nothing to complain about there. The food was delicious and not expensive. I was certainly stuffed and managed to get some slides done for another upcoming conference.
Back to our replication topic.
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.
I always enjoy this session after starting it up last year. It repeats at least once each day (last year it ran twice due to volume on one day). It is a reserved slot sessions since each person is offered a laptop. Extras are offered "observer" only seats and can take a laptop if someone does not show. Anyone that tries to get in without a reservation waits a few to see who does and doesn't show. Luckily I do not think anyone got turned away from getting in at some time during the week. Each session had every seat filled.
In this session I rarely look at the slides, and instead, take the attendees through step-by step testing and overview of functionality. I make it a total free-for-all in questions and answers and force some audience participation. I found that the majority are now utilizing some outside device or service for spam and virus filtering as a front end. About one-third are using Domino as the front line. This lets the majority secure Domino even further by restricting who can connect directly.
Not using Domino as the front end comes as no surprise, even with Blacklisting and relay enforcements. The people are having issues with spam, that goes far above the call of Blacklists. I introduced Whitelists from Domino 7 in each session and combining that with the front end services and devices, they can totally lock down Domino as long as the filters catch it.
I am thinking that Domino will be adding some advanced spam abilities soon to keep up with demand. Maybe relying on some filter technology like Ted Stanton posted here.
The flight in was uneventful except for the lady dropping her tray from the seatback over and over and over and over and over. Then slamming the IBM laptop onto it over and over and over and over. Made a light nap, well impossible on the tint Embraer jet we flew in on.
I learned something new today, do not put an IP address into the Quickplace configuration for the Sametime server and then try a HTTP restart command. NSD's are not a pretty thing 1000 miles away.
Blogger's note to his faithful readers:
So I wrote a bit more below but on third reading edited some. I thought that heck, here is a quite a bit of a guide the past few days to get you rolling, but just hire me to do that darn thing for you instead :-) It might be my hunger thinking that right now, or small amounts of greed. Bwa ha ha ha ha!!! But either way I loved the experience of doing it again at a customer site since we already do this on our hosted side and have the steps down to a nice science. Anyone upset over that? Forgive me in advance if so
Ok, down to business. Carl was right in saying that the client chose the F5 hardware based solution for load balancing. We have it set to load balance some ports and let the servers talk to themselves behind it on others as necessary. Server 2 had a hard time understanding it was to really run Sametime, so it spent a lot of time overnight on the naughty mat as I stated and for punishment got reloaded today.
So chat fails over from the Java and Sametime Connect client. The Notes client does not have that ability in the current releases, but that is on the list for later ones. Instant Meetings are a whole other posting that needs to be done with some sort of Matrix that only the Swedish Chef from the Muppets could understand.
One key thing when setting up Community Clusters, do not forget to work with and choose if you wants Secrets & Tokens or SSO. Don't try and be fancy and do both. Domino has hard enough time, then layer Sametime and it's ability for S&T and you get a deadly mix. Yes it does write to the notes.ini when making this change but playing with that isn't the route to go. You should sneak and see my session on notes.ini deciphering at Admin2005 for that.
One other side tip, we learned another important lesson. Sametime debug parameters rely heavily on ] and not on } now don't they?
Now instant meetings are started on the home server (or the one connected to in a cluster) so if that server dies, then you lose that meeting when you fail over. Now this is where one server became a very very bad server. One of them decided that it would not start a meeting no matter how hard we begged. So a quick rebuild tomorrow and we will test that last piece. I have one remaining question. If I am on the server that stays up as the owner of the instant meeting and the other participant was connected to the server that dies, will they stay in the instant meeting and reconnect for chat? Oh those begging questions to be answered.
Anyone want me to run through the steps of how to cluster two Sametime chat servers?
After some brief time of just getting to know more particulars about their Sametime environment, we got right into it. Look for some tips as we move along the next couple days. For starters, most of you already know how important DNS is to Sametime. It becomes even more important as you deploy some sort of load balancer. Note I said load balancer and not round-robin DNS entries. There is no heartbeat or knowledge of a server being down in that approach and ultimately, the scaling and deployment will fail miserably. So they were well prepared with a hardware load balancer solution in place. But, due to DNS update times, we got most of the cluster built, documents created and servers ready and had to wait till tomorrow for a move of some DNS names.
I will cover the document building in the next post, my Chimichanga is here.
We were called in last minute to help scale a LearningSpace infrastructure. The website itself will be public, but where we had to go was not. It is amazing the security precautions and what you go through to even move a server from build-up to production. At least three different groups are involved in that activity and once that server leaves the build-up, odds are (if it stays running) you will never see it again except through a remote console.
So let's move into the tech side since I can't say any more detail about the above. It was a simple tiered architecture without much redundancy. The real issue was the number of concurrent users they get now and what is expected by Aug. There was no way that they could handle the load. We ended up taking the 3 server environment to 7 total with some hardware load balancers. All this was architected, installed, configured and ready for production in two days. The site will actually go live on their scheduled outage time of Tue nights though.
The end result was a LearningSpace 5 environment behind a few firewalls, a load balancer, then 4 core servers, 2 content servers and some back-end database servers to provide the redundancy and scaling needed to reach their concurrency goal. I would love to give the nitty-gritty details like usual but just be happy and pleased with that. But no, they are not using LDAP so there is no tech info there.
The idea of the one course fits all approach doesn't seem to work anymore. Customers want custom courses maybe even spanning multiple levels of classes or even products. I did run into a company (ElementK) that lets you go on-line and grab lessons from different courses and build your own Table of Contents. That is a great business model. I had some discussions with them on pricing and the minimum required books purchased, but you can even toss your own graphic onto the cover.
But back to the topic. A couple of the LAEC's had a thriving business with continued incoming students. Why they did became immediately apparent. They are cross-branding certification and training initiatives to offer a broader range to a broader audience. Great move on their part as one gentleman there was able to teach Lotus, Websphere, Portal and even DB2. Which walks him right into Workplace offerings. Another woman goes to every enablement session and will travel anywhere. She is opening new doors that other LAEC's thought would survive forever on Lotus.
I was already in process of getting my 'official' Websphere certifications and instructor evaluations, but this just prompted me to speed up the process. So I now know my earlier posting was correct, but there is a world of opportunity available for those that really make the necessary moves toward it.
When we last left off I had headed to GURUpalooza (on Thursday) which comes much later in all this reading. (Look for all the links to be added later after I replicate and get on-line. This is being posted on a plane you know. I did what I knew real quick)
I headed to the vendor floor for a while to not only gives the guys working a break but the chance to see what traffic had been brewing. LotusUserGroup.Org had really taken off. if you do not know the user group site has been taken over, redone and under new management. We are hosting this endeavor. The numbers at the end of the vendor floor time on Wednesday said that over 1200 of you are interested in being part of the regeneration efforts for Lotus user Groups. 1200?!?!? That is more swipes than most vendors will ever see in one week on that floor. Congrats to all. I can say that the floor was busier than I recall from the last two years which is a great sign in what is going on with Lotus.
Next I skipped Domino Domain Monitoring and opted a last minute dragging, literally by my sleeve, into BP123 for Improving Collaboration with Blogs and Wikis in Domino, Excellent presentation by Richard and Declan. It opened some eyes to lead to the blogging BOF popularity the next day.
BOF508 on Lotus User Group Leadership was next for a short time. As you saw the numbers above, the interest was awesome so the BOF had some good conversation. I said a couple words and jumped out of there skipping the dreaded walk to Y&B for Best Practices in Deploying Workplace. I imagined by the time I got there it would be almost over.
Lastly in the evening it was helping CertFX with their bootcamps for 623 exam and Workplace Messaging. I went back and forth between the two rooms that had a great crowd showing their interest in being certified.
Then it was a stop at the E-Pro Appreciation dinner hosted by Libby. Tom Duff was in appearance after battling some flu like symptoms some of the time he was there.
Yes, the final resting point of the evening was the Party with the Developers held at Atlantic hall. Music, drinking and dancing of the Lotus Software developers made for some quick fun. I spoke for some time with Rob Novak and Liz after sneaking up on Wes Morgan.
Wednesday, January 26
Ok, I do not know who thought of this 7am thing again this year but it gets tiring. As we compete in the Sametime hosting space (ok we lead it greatly even against IBM), I thought it was prim and proper of me to go and stop at BOF318 for On Demand Conferencing. Simply put, IBM has realized most enterprise sin the world have firewalls and Sametime has it's issues with going across them. Big surprise there. But the audio integration is quite nice and seems to have awesome advantages. Can't wait to run it ourselves as a hosted solution.
STR106 How To Sell Lotus and Domino in Your Organization is always a must see no matter what the schedule looks like. If you don't see this presentation, you have no idea how to answer some very basic questions when you face the other software beasts.
Right before lunch we make it into BOF513 for the Lotus Blogging Community. No matter how you slice it, the experience of having all big the bloggers (ok lets go with a large majority) in one room is a daunting task. But there we were (see pictures). Constant chatter, quite a few good questions, much making fun of each other, and last but not least Rocky Oliver announcing that Connectria will start hosting blogs based on the Domino templates for free. Of course I was busy....umm reviewing...that is the word I am looking for Ed (as he peeked over my shoulder and shook his head), my slides for that afternoon when he said it. I simply poked my head out of the aisle and made sure he really said what I thought I heard my busy brain think it heard. Yep, you guessed it. After some internal talks, it is true. Look for the hosting agreement on the right to get amended with a new one for free services with some simple rules to live by. Sign and email or fax it back and off you go. We will be supporting a few things, including Java agent rights support.
Lunch was immediately followed by a conundrum. STR109 of Ed's The Boss Loves Microsoft went against two others. Well reason came into play and I had to go with the business decision on this one. ID301 Planning and Deployment Considerations for IBM Workplace. As a launch partner, we deal with scaling and deployments on a constant basis. I was curious what they had to say. Disappointingly they said what the book says a lot. There were a few gems and tips in there, but the regurgitation did not help with some deployment and mainly scaling decisions.
A quick dash over to my room for BP116 Advanced LDAP Infrastructure Design (Updated!!). Good attendance and incredible reviews when it was all said and done. The 60 minutes hurts when I present but I gave fair warning that we would run long and everyone stayed. I apologized to the IBM/Lotus staff coming to present next but I had to finish. I took LDAP into some interesting fundamentals and cannot thank Tom Duff enough for letting me borrow his remote USB presenter as I left mine in the dresser at home. He gave his own review on his blog posting, go check that out too. Basically I was overwhelmed with the appreciation on the evaluations and thanks to everyone for attending. I know you got to laugh a bunch and hopefully things became a lot clearer the way I presented it.
Now the big fat bummer comes in that with the questions after my session that kept me in the Ask the Speaker room for some time, I missed most of ID508 Wes Morgan's Network Design for Collaboration. I love that session as he and I get to go round and round when I present the same topics at Admin2003, Admin2004 and coming up at Admin2005. He really knows his ...umm... stuff. yeah stuff.
The park that night was the same as always. Good friends, quick food, many rides till you bust and ice cream on the way out. We had fun, bought some gifts for the family that were requested via cellphone (hey baby!), and tried to make ourselves sick riding over and over.
Per the usual we ended at Kimonos, but only my senior vp and myself as some of the others in my group had enough. Unfortunately we were starving and sushi was the perfect end.
Thursday, January 27
An 8am marketing meeting with IBM at the Y&B had me traipsing back across the property. I ended it as soon as humanly possible to get back to BOF504 on Domino Web Access. As a large hosting provider in this space, I had a couple concerns I brought up that they not only took good note of but took and traded cards to see if we can't work together on one of the key issues. If this works out, look for reduced disk space for your web only mail users and the ability to pull in outside mail via account documents. No way this will be 7 , but simple enough for right behind it.
I poked into ID121 to see McGivney give her all for a last hurrah (hell she even blogged twice in one week, that woman was on fire I tell you) before heading to the room to dump gear, change and get ready for GURUpalooza. Now this is the first year the event has taken place. Talk about a cool idea. The best and brightest from your BP track together on one stage to answer any question. They had a little delay getting the room set up so we played around and took pictures and said hi. Nineteen of us graced the stage as seen in the pictures. Alan was the moderator of the day, making fun of his own clothing attire. Watching the people swarm in the doors when they opened, followed by a lot of you taking pictures made us feel like stars. Thanks for that! Now that we know what to expect, look for next year to be better defined and more fun.
I skipped Ask the Developers in turn for eating some lunch and relaxing the mind. Plus I headed to the CLP Lounge for a massage and some snacks. I got a hold of who the guest speaker was at closing ceremony and dashed my ass off to get close. Well the hint was right on the money as Steven Wright graced our presence. He is one of my favorites, and if you recall from last year, we snuck to see him at Hard Rock Live in Orlando during Lotusphere.
I think everyone's brains melted by the end of the show as everyone went to pack or take a nap before dinner. Dinner was quiet, just co-workers and customers before back to Kimonos for a short time.
Friday, January 28
What you thought I was done? Of course not. Friday is known for Certified Lotus Instructor Day at the Y&B. Yes, once again the trek that has killed thousands of men before me had to be taken. A room of instructors is not very quiet when given the chance. They announced some new courseware, classes and ways to get instructor certified in those. But, alas, I had to head out before the lunch started to make some final packing and then the shuttle. Tom and I sat for a few in the hotel before the shuttle arrived and a lunch at Fox Sports in the airport. The flight here is full of people and quite a few Lotusphere backpacks. Good to see that return.
The author of this narrative now has hurting hands from typing too much but not nearly everything. Some topics will be explored in depth in the coming days. I have plenty to say in terms of tips, thoughts and rants.
Monday, January 24
I started after the Opening General Session going to ID113 for Lotus Directory Technologies: Planning, Deployment, Best Practices. This session was quite well attended and gave some excellent information about the future and some good above basic information. I went to find out more about what people were looking for in Directory Services before my session.
Next on the list was BOF307 for Integrating Workplace, Portal with Lotus LDAP. I was not really pleased with this BOF for some reason as there was not much interaction. A weird idea of using LEI to sync directories, which we find out the next day that IBM uses internally. Much cheaper than the Tivoli Integrator and it works! Something to look into and test for some of our mail migration and consolidation work.
I jumped in and out of various sessions the rest of the day until the last evening slot. I hit two more BOF's before heading to the Welcome Reception on the vendor floor. Then we headed to the Lotus Awards dinner before settling in Kimonos for more sushi, drinks and tons of people singing.
Tuesday, January 24
This was an early morning at 7am with BOF305 for Domino Administration - Meet the Developers. Normally in previous years this BOF was always filled to capacity and closed. But it showed as a repeating session so I was shocked (as well as the panel by the look on Art's face) that not many people were there. I somehow survived through that early morning.
I stopped in the Innovators Panel but for business reasons I instead saw ID201 on the new Lotus Web Conferencing Service. I will have an entirely separate posting on my thoughts on this offering. Entirely separate posting.
ID308 ran me to the interoperability of Domino and Workplace because I imagined it would have some concerns on LDAP which I wanted to hear for my session. I got some info in there.
Now ID505 for Single Sign-On in a Multi-directory World was an excellent session to me. Great technical info and covered lots of ground for a short time. A couple topics could have been sessions on there own for the true geeks
Sorry I have to stop here to go to Gurupalooza. I will add the rest later.
Well I awoke early in the morning for the Business Development Day breakfast where we had the pleasure of sitting at the table with Ambuj the entire time plus through the Opening Session. As I mentioned before, Connectria did win another Lotus Award (Beacon) and that makes 3 and counting. But the real news was the announcements of the growth in Lotus software sales and some initiatives of what they are planning for 2005.
Look at Workplace being meshed more into Domino with joint sales revolving around Domino instead of competition or confusion between the two. I posted thoughts the other day on the naming conventions. But the direction with the new WSE offering makes allows a greater penetration into so many markets that might be closed right now due to costs or justifications. Now the biggest improvement is the simple installation via cd compared to the full Workplace install. They also stated that is being built into future versions of the full install. But to have it as a quick deployment makes it a very easy product to sell.
From there I heard a lot about the weather and people stuck all over. But I ran by the JumpStart sessions in the Swan to see some good ones from Tom Duff and Kathleen McGivney. (see pictures link above for a couple shots) They both were going quite well and had great attendance. Pretty much every session I went into had good attendance.
I then headed to an Executive Roundtable meeting about sales and marketing initiatives and how the Business Partners need help, direction or want things changed. I can definitely say changes are in the works and they listened well to our ideas. There are a lot of changes I wanted done and will make that a separate entry.
So next is the welcome reception where I will grab a bunch more pictures.
- BP116 Advanced LDAP Infrastructure Design (Updated!) on Wed at 3pm in Swan 10.
- BOF508 Lotus User Groups Leadership - Connectria is the hosting provider for this new website and collaboration portal to be announced at Lotusphere. Make sure to visit the pedestal or attend if you are interested in, an officer of or attendee of a Lotus User Group anywhere in the world.
- BOF513 Lotus Blogging Community - I will definitely be stopping there. Of course Bruce is the moderator so who knows what to expect. Wed at 11:15am in Dolphin Oceanic 1
- GURUpalooza on Thur at 11:15am in
Swan 6-10. This is a don't miss session where most of the speakers
from the Best Practices track get together as a panel to answer all the
questions you can throw out. A new event that should be awesome.
Join us at GURUpalooza!
You've spent four wonderful geek filled days at the lovefest known as Lotusphere. You've attended countless sessions by industry experts from the field, who didn't bogart their knowledge, and instead passed it along for all to share. But as you're coming down from this geeky high, you realize you had a ton more questions for those gurus. Well, you get one more chance! Come join us in this geekfest where the best and brightest of the Best Practices track are together on one stage to answer your questions. Show up, get informed, get pumped but please, no crowd surfing!
- Connectria will have a pedestal this year again at Booth 628. Count on some giveaways and maybe a big special one (hint hint). You can always get a message to me there.
- I know I missed some so check back to this post.
Second, there is a change that I just liked so much I want to post. Recall how you used to wait till the last day at the very end to get the full conference evaluation gift? Well not this year!!
In exchange for your completed evaluation, you'll receive a special 2005 Lotusphere gift! Stop by one of the counters in Australia 3 at the Walt Disney World Dolphin beginning at noon on Wednesday, January 26 to pick up your gift.
Third, just grab me if you see me. If I don't answer to you yelling from behind, don't be offended. I am more than likely listening to my iPod or on the darn phone via headset.
I think to get back in the swing a little info on where our travels took me would help me wind back up into work mode. Admin2004 Europe left us in Paris for a week eating some wonderful food along the way too.
- Thai (more than once)
- some attempted serving of what they considered American food
- plenty of pizza
- plenty of pasta
- even some things I still cannot identify
Our travels after did take me along the coast of France and then into Italy. We made my all around both countries finding that traffic does move quite well along the Autostrada, even with the numerous tolls that pop up in some places. I did find it disheartening that the US dollar took a huge nose dive while I was there. It made the lovely conversions a bit harder to swallow sometimes. But that is the chance you take overseas.
So to sum it all up, there was no amount of negative encountered that could take away from everything we gained on this trip.
Which brings me to my quick point and thought. How many of you are being very rigorous about your upgrade schedule to keep up with the most recent versions and patches (ie: running something in the 6.5.x codestream already) but have not gone back and revisited mail flow topology and even considered network compression to help speed things up and free bandwidth? Not many I imagine. After listening and having some side conversations, it might be time for everyone to sit down and do this. Mainly if you have taken over a previous environment that "just works". Just because mail flows does not mean it is the most efficient or best solution.
One issue, not enough airport bathrooms and even restrooms at large, kid oriented attractions have enough small facilities, including sinks, for the little ones in the group. Call me crazy but I never thought of it until taking nephews and cousins in only to find they couldn't reach much of anything sometimes.
Another issue, the behavior of people at baggage claim. I know I try to carry on a bag when taking short trips. But this trip mandated checking bags. The process was good, except for TSA opening almost every bag and tossing things around. I don't mind that security check when they are considerate of your belongings. I actually like that there is the staffing to perform that duty more and more. But having everything you packed so nicely for numerous reasons, tossed like a large Caesar Salad across 6 or more bags leaves a nasty taste.
But overall I found it relaxing to not think about work, get away and just be silly and have fun. Getting to know the extended family and taking a Thanksgiving out of the standard house made it all very special.
Shall we get back to business now?
- Inbox2004 East for Nov 18th and 19th where I am presenting a couple sessions and then participating in a panel discussion with our own Ed Brill also. This is the first time they are doing a Lotus specific segment, but it should prove a good groundwork for future growth at the show. I am going in a day early to attend some sessions.
- A small vacation the week of Thanksgiving
- Over to Paris, France for Admin2004 Europe Dec 1-3, 2004
So look for updates and information from Inbox2004 starting tomorrow.
- Saturday night was dinner in the hotel restaurant. Everyone was beat from flying. I have some pictures on my photo site showing the desserts there. Limited menu, the service was slow (only one person on duty due to illness) but the food was good. I had a salmon dish there.
- Sunday night was to a local chain called Hereford Beefstouw. (I am using the Yahoo link for the restaurant since it was the best one) Good service, they had napkins and pencils hanging under the tables. You use the pencil to fill out a card selecting all the items you want and how you wish the beef cooked. I ended up with another fish but the rest of the group had different cuts of beef. I will say the house speciality dessert was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.
- Later on Sunday night after a nice walk through downtown Copenhagen was a little bar in the Sofitel Plaza Hotel called The Library Bar. Nice quiet jazz music, old books lining the walls with dark wood everywhere. Low lit. That was a relaxing place.
- Monday night I was dead from the long day (we were there till 8pm) and I just ordered Domino's pizza. Nothing spectacular but the prices.
- After the long sessions on Tuesday, a group of us including the folks from GSX found ourselves at SkipperKroen on Nyhaven. It was a good restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating (under the heat lamps and umbrellas). I had the sole while there and it was quite good. They only had standard coffee for the coffee drinkers with the group and no other options. But the dessert was decent enough also.
- Finally Wednesday night we ended up at a place Ed himself suggested. Peder Oxe is the name of the restaurant and there is pictures of us in the downstairs bar and then after we ate. Food was great, service was awesome.
How it Works
- The Chairperson creates a meeting invitation in the Calendar view of his/her mail file and selects the option, "This is an Online Meeting". The fields for the type of Online meeting, the meeting place and attachments appear.
- The Chairperson clicks the address picker for the place and selects the Online Meeting document from the Domino Directory.
- When the Chairperson clicks the 'Save and Send Invitations' action button, the meeting gets mailed to the Resource Reservations database.
- The router on the Resource Reservations database does a lookup on the meeting notice, and once the router finds the field called 'External Address' on the meeting, the meeting gets copied and then forwarded onto the external address. The external address is the name of the Mail-in Database that is in the Domino Directory, usually named Stcs.nsf.
- In addition, the router mails a copy to the Sametime Meeting Center (Stconf.nsf). The router autoprocesses the reservation and sends an accept notice from the Online Resource to the Chair. The meeting is placed in the database for the external address, Stcs.nsf and the Sametime Meeting Center (Stconf.nsf) on the Sametime Server.
- The meeting is tracked by the Notes Calendar Servlet (Stcal) by its meeting identifier, which is the APPTUNID. When the Chair and invitees click the 'Attend Online Meeting' link in their meeting invitation, the browser opens the URL to the Sametime server with the link to the Stcal servlet, processing the meeting APPTUNID.
There you go, the flow of C&S when inviting
a meeting room.
But for a tidbit, about 1/3 of the people in the session were utilizing a device outside of Domino for spam and virus prevention, including Blacklist lookups. Another 1/3 had moved into Domino 6 internally or on the SMTP servers but had not implemented or were looking at tighter restrictions, including Blacklists. All of them already had some prevention for protecting from relays though. A great sign.
So let me get some food and gather some thoughts, I will be with you shortly with information that some of the attendees are looking to be posted also.
If you are over in Europe, make plans to get to the event in Paris in early December. If you are coming to Copenhagen, make sure to stop by sometime and say hello to me. We will be heading out to dinners and other evening events. Feel free to ask to come along!
We will be staying with most of the attendees here
I find myself looking forward to this each and every year now, and mainly as it gets closer. Right now closer equals about 2 hours. Do I come back 'refreshed'? Well in some ways yes. I know I will be slammed with email, phone messages and blogjacking. But that is half the fun. I wade my way through, I already anticipate it to come and I don't let it bother me that it will be waiting. This is my time to do what I want and when I want. Heck, as often and much as I want too. So enjoy the guest bloggers next week, hopefully they are kind and have tons of information for you. If not they shall suffer greatly when they go away again.
Until then, have a great time until I return on Sep 7th!!!
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.
(view from hotel window upon arrival, more pics posted to the Yahoo site shortly)
Arrival at Admin2004 brought a flurry of activity getting lab machines ready for the new and expanded hands-on portions that is offered to attendees. I had a 3 hour jumpstart on Tue running 84 live Sametime servers to prepare and then a repeating SMTP configuration workshop that reuses some of the laptops from another room. Quite the undertaking and good job on the part of the staff.
Of course by now everyone has seen Ed's blog updates around the big announcements on Workplace that are going on. So I wont' even go there. But I can tell you we are playing with Workplace 2 in another hands-on lab (given by Jason Collier of Certfx) had it's own up's and downs. The code is still in beta of course, so you never expect speedy performance. But he was unfortunately forced to run the whole thing on a last minute laptop instead of a full server. Kudos for the try, but the hands-on people get frustrated when they can't play. I say that from experience in my labs this week when a machine wouldn't work for someone suddenly or they couldn't test a feature, Overall I give the conference over an 8 out of 10 to date. With two more days to go, I expect to reach that 9. Everything has been pretty well laid out, good staffing, well fed and great tech info. McGivney has a session bright and shiny tomorrow I am trying to get up for. Who am I kidding, look at this post time and add an hour for Eastern Time. I am trying, really.