Friday, June 30, 2006

Just When You Think You've Seen It All!

David Lee Roth goes and gets some great bluegrass talent and covers old Van Halen songs on an album titled Strummin' With The Devil!! Check out Studio 330 at CMT and you can see performances of Dance The Night Away, Jamie's Cryin', Jump, and Panama. Pretty good stuff actually.

You can go to itunes and download a version of Eruption played entirely on the banjo! Good stuff!

Now Playing: "Dance The Night Away" by David Lee Roth


Congrats to Chris and Lottie!

My best friend and co-worker Chris Moody just got engaged! Congrats to you two and all the best wishes.

I have written about Chris here, here, and here! ;)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

New #6 NASCAR Driver

If anyone knows me, then you'll know I struggled with putting this image up. I just could not resist. I love the guy and am a listener and supporter. But, this had to be done eventually!!! I figured I may as well do it!

So, I would like to present to you the new driver of the #6 car for NASCAR:

Domino Server Network Compression (SnTT)

I was chatting with someone the other day about getting a cluster online. One of my suggestions was to make sure that compression was enabled on the network port for both servers (as well as clients for that matter!). I have found this to be most useful when replicating large amounts of data or archiving mail.

First of all, make sure that you have compression enabled. To do this, open your Domino Administrator client and go to the Configuration tab. Expand the Tools menu on the right and go to Server > Setup Ports. In the dialog box, just check "Compress network data" and click OK. This should require a server restart to become active.

When I've been archviving email, I can generally see a 2:1 compression ratio. In the image below, check out 6/16 and 6/23 (apparently 6/22 is not correct). On 6/23, you can see that I transmitted 1,092,484 KBytes Uncompressed. However, only 444,062 KBytes traversed the network. This is only 40% of the data being transmitted! Not only is the good for your network admins, but it also helps you to move along to the next task faster because you're waiting less than 1/2 the time for data transmission!


Friday, June 23, 2006

IBM Marketing

The truly faithful will remember me posting this graphic in the early days of my blog. I thought I would just post it again so that everyone can see the marketing scheme IBM uses!

Now Playing: "Glasgow Kiss" by John Petrucci


Thursday, June 22, 2006

"i want an i" Frappr

OK, all you iSeries folks need to add yourselves to the iSeries (System i) Frappr. Check out the text below my name in SC - "AS/400 Forever!"


Let The Spin Begin

No, I'm not talking about the "pre-release" of the Sametime 7.5 Beta. I'm talking about the release of unclassified documents stating that WMD have been found in Iraq.

From CNS News:
"The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction is in fact false," Santorum said. "We have found over 500 weapons of mass destruction and in fact have found that there are additional chemical weapons still in the country."

Now Playing: "Landslide of Love" by Newsboys


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

CORRECTED: "Googly" Palette File For Sametime 7.5

Update 1: OK, so this was cool but everytime I received a new message the client would display one of the icons for the space key and it would also lock up. This happened on two machines I tested this on. It could be something on my end, but all I did was import some gifs and add keyboard shortcuts (none of which had spaces). OK, onto the post. Remember, this is with a beta copy of Sametime 7.5... Perhaps someone can see a problem with my palette file and let me know if the bug is on my end.

Update 2: Final update - It's working!. It appears that there was a problem with a particular keyboard shortcut. I was using ":-|" for the keyboard shortcut to the "straightface" emoticon. Here is the line from the palette.xml file:

![CDATA[ :-| ]]

I've changed it to ":-!" now and things appear to be fine. The problem was that the chat window would render every space as the "straightface" emoticon. I'm guessing it had to do with the pipe character in the CDATA section being seen as an "or" and since a space follows it, then it was displaying the straightface for the space. Search for "vertical" here. With that behind us, enjoy the emoticons. I have taken out the pipe character from the two keyboard shortcuts that were using it and replaced them with exclamation points. I have also replaced the zip file at my website with the correct one.

Oh, and remember 2 things - this is a beta and end users may enter the pipe characters.

Original Post:
I dig the Google Talk emoticons in Google Mail. I have created a palette file for Sametime 7.5 to make it easy for you to use these as well.

The palette file is at

After downloading the palette file, do the following:

1. In Sametime 7.5, go to File > Preferences.
2. Click New and enter what you would like the name to be.
3. Click Import and point the importer to the downloaded zip file.

I have used all of the standard keyboard shortcuts associated with Google Talk.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I DO Play Guitar - Video To Prove It

Despite my not getting onstage at Jamfest 2006, I really do play guitar. Here are 3 songs from a band I was in back in July 1997. This was recorded from my parents' camcorder and ripped from VHS onto my PC. The video isn't the best, but it works... The drummer, bassist, and keyboardist are all siblings. This was for a youth event at the church I attended at the time. I had been playing guitar maybe 3.5 years and was 19.

Songs are listed in reverse set order because it happens that the best one was last in the set. You'll probably want to watch in 1x or 2x video size with the option to smooth video enabled. Also, the beginning of some of the songs are in the dark; the lights do come on.

Grammatrain: Drown - This was the heaviest song and I had a solo. We were all really tight on this song and it really suited the vocalist. My solo wasn't the greatest (especially up high!). Oh, and that guitar was my first electric guitar. It was a Sears (YES, Sears) Effector. It had the Gibson Explorer body style and had 7 onboard effects. But I believe all songs played in this set were through a Crate 1x12 Combo amp and a DOD FX-7 multi-effects pedal. I think the wah on this song was using the onboard wah of the effects pedal - a far from great wah, but not too bad.

DC Talk: Jesus Freak - This one wasn't really bad either. The vocalist was definitely not a rapper! I actually sing on an echo section at the end. The guitar here was my Epiphone Les Paul Custom. It was a fairly solid axe, but a far cry from my Gibson!

Newsboys: Take Me To Your Leader - Possibly the weakest song of the set. I think I had a string a little flat. Oh, and you'll see why I like to have straplocks - my guitar fell but I caught it and had to play kneeling for a bit...


Please, do NOT miss this folks

Trust me, you will want to sign up for this Sametime preview webcast!

Sign up for the conference here: First Look Web Conference 23 June 2006: IBM Lotus Sametime 7.5

Register for an ID here:

You should be able to just register at the demo site without signing up for the conference.

DISCLAIMER:This is only BETA code and should not be used as a determining factor as to whether your company should purchase the product. I will, of course, post more reviews as the product is nearer completion.

After you register, you will be redirected to the STCenter.nsf. Do not miss the download link!!


Monday, June 19, 2006

71% of Servers and 97% of Clients at ND 7.0.1

I (finally) upgraded our production application and mail partitions to Domino 7.0.1 on Saturday night. All but 2 of our Domino servers are at 7.0.1 now. I'm holding off on upgrading the Sametime partition to 7.x since we only use it for chat and there are no major benefits at Sametime 7.0 for us. I may even hold off until Sametime 7.5. And I'm still holding off on our BES 7.0.1 upgrade because of the fiasco I had last time I tried upgrading the BES from 4.0 to 4.1. But so far, so good!

Now Playing: "Blindside" by Precious Death


Warning for iSeries Customers!!

There is an issue with some defective V5R3 PTFs from Cumulative Group PTF C6101530. Since we already have the newer Cumulative Group, we are apparently "hosed" according to the article! Time to see what needs to happen next. We may have to "slip the LIC" for several systems...

What a fun Monday it will be!!!

Update: We're actually alright on all of our systems. Whew!

Now Playing: "If You Must" by Precious Death


Friday, June 16, 2006

14 Down

I last posted my weight loss progress in March at 7 pounds lost since the start of February. I'm around a 14 pound net loss now (I say net because there was a Disney vacation and other small trips...) . I've also slacked off a bit on working out, so I need to kick that up more! Slowly but surely, though. I need to shed it off like Tom Duff (keep it up)!! But I'm not that dedicated yet - I probably should be...

Now Playing: "Night and Day" (Sinatra cover) by Michael Bolton


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Note To Self...

If you're a terrorist, don't store data on a thumbdrive!
Al-Rubaie said a laptop, flashdrive and other documents were found in the debris after the airstrike that killed the al-Qaida in Iraq leader last week outside Baqouba, and more information has been uncovered in raids of other insurgent hideouts since then.

He called it a "huge treasure ... a huge amount of information."

When asked how he could be sure the information was authentic, al-Rubaie said "there is nothing more authentic than finding a thumbdrive in his pocket."
Now, if only he were a Notes user with project Nomad/Wanda... =)

Now Playing: "There Was A Time" by Spock's Beard

Dream Theater: Score

I posted back in April about a Dream Theater performance with an orchestra. The 2 disc DVD and 3 disc CD album should be released on August 29!
Both versions will contain the entire "20th Anniversary World Tour" grand finale recorded live at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 1st 2006. (nearly 3 hours of music - over 90 minutes of which was performed with a full orchestra)

The DVD will also contain a 1 hour Documentary tracking the entire career of the band from the very beginnings at the Berklee College Of Music in 1985 all the way to the Radio City Music Hall grand finale. Including rare never before seen footage and interviews with current and previous members of the band.

Also included on the DVD are several live Bonus Tracks from through the years taken from the Portnoy Archives.

Now Playing: "She Is Everything" by Spock's Beard


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Boosted Personal Website (SnTT)

This is semi-Notes related. For my personal website, I am just running an Apache server on a WinXP PC at my house. It was cool to setup and I loaded Perl for some stat scripting - just a general way to broaden my horizons. I may get a real domain name, but for now, it's just at

Well, since I really didn't like how blogspot does the native image imports, I host pretty much all of my blog's images on my Apache server. Since I'm on a cable modem (5 Mbps down x 512 Kbps up), you have probably noticed slow image loads. I believe I have helped that out!

In steps Puakma Web Booster. Bruce Elgort interviewed Brendon Upson of Puakma Software for a Taking Notes Podcast in April. You should check it out. I followed the Domino steps for my Apache config. Now Web Booster listens on port 80 and gets the data from a different port on which Apache is listening. It does appear to help out image loads a lot!

Relating this directly to Domino, though, I am testing Web Booster at my company to use for http failover. I have it running on a Linux box. I began testing this late last year, but stopped for a while. I searched long and hard for a true failover solution - not just load balancing since my cluster server has much less horsepower. From correspondence with Puakma, they were actually enabling this feature in Web Booster. It seems to be working really well. I just need to get SSL going properly and I may be able to cut over to give my DWA users 24/7 uptime for mail access.


Better Late Than Never! (Win2K Update)

I kid you not, this update was waiting for me on a Windows 2000 test box that we use every day. And it's kept up-to-date regularly!

Now Playing: "Outsider" by Neal Morse


Monday, June 12, 2006

Reverse DNS and GoDaddy

Has anyone else had any dealings with domains blocking your email? When we send an email to anything hosted by GoDaddy, we get the following delivery failure:

553 Bogus helo <>

OK, so that's fun right? I go to the URL, fill out the unblock request, and get back a canned response with some things to look at. That really didn't help, so I called GoDaddy's support. I was told that I would have to do the following two things:

1) They will not accept emails from Reverse DNS records that are not or Is this a standard? Can they force me to do that? I have actually changed it just to not have to deal with this as an issue, but even when I send an email to my gmail account it's still showing up as Checking out shows that the lookup should be returning

2) They insist that I will have to open port 25 so that they can perform a helo. I'm going to check with my firewall guys, but currently I believe we have all incoming smtp requests going through our Barracuda. I definitely don't want to open up all smtp requests to our Domino server just so one hosting provider can helo.

Any recommendations? I'm open to anything. We've thought about matching our public addresses for our inbound Barracuda and our public mail server address so that the helo requests could be handled by the cuda.

Now Playing: "One Big Rush" by Joe Satriani

Look Out The Window

Following Derek's call, here is "a picture of what we see out our windows, as a glimpse into our daily lives." This picture wasn't taken by me, but it is what's outside my window this week. It's my dad's 1997 Porsche Boxster! While it's not the quickest thing around (my GTP is just as quick!), it is super fun to drive around!! It handles really well and the exhaust note is tuned oh so right! I had to snag the keys from him Saturday night for a few days. Oh, and I'll probably take it to my 10-year high school reunion in August... ;) So after a long day today, it will be great to unwind with the top down!

Now Playing: "Glasgow Kiss" by John Petrucci


Friday, June 9, 2006

Reviving CLNUG?

Earlier in the week I exchanged some emails with Susan Bulloch about trying to revive the Charlotte Lotus Notes User Group (CLNUG). I went to a couple of meetings back in 2003 and I believe that was about the time that burnout took hold of the man who was doing everything then. I'm not certain of the extent of my involvement, but I would love to see it active once again. One of the first orders of business would be to update the website - it looks like a Notes website! From looking at the discussion forum at the site (which I would like to port to domBulletin!), there was a post in April from someone wanting to get involved and possibly host and maintain the site. I wish he left his email address!

There appears to be some interest from sponsors and others, so maybe we'll see this come back!

Now Playing: "Summer Song" by Joe Satriani


Friday, June 2, 2006

Any Interest In This Application?

I have a fairly simple application (I guess I could put it at OpenNTF also to see if people are interested) for tracking services performed on your vehicles. It's a really simple app that I wanted to port for use on my BlackBerry web browser. What better to do than create service records while you're waiting on your vehicle to be repaired? Below are some screen grabs from my BlackBerry 8700c. It looks pretty much the same on the web as well as in Notes. The main view will give you collapsed categories for the vehicles with the date, service, mileage (in Notes), and cost displayed. Basically the information available to track is all on the form (Image 2). There is a separate form for the vehicle record as well.

If there is any interest I can post up a template.

Now Playing: "I Wish You Were Here" by Balance of Power


Thursday, June 1, 2006

Can The Geek Squad Be Trusted?!?

Note to self - do your own PC maintenance; trust nobody!

Hat tip to Jeff for this story!

Best Buy definitely has the potential for a major lawsuit here. Possibly even class action if they haven't "Enroned" (sorry Tom) their records of what they did with other hard drives!
Henry Gerbus said Best Buy assured him the computer's old hard drive -- loaded with personal information -- would be destroyed.

"They said rest assured. They drill holes in it so it's useless," said Gerbus.
A few months ago, Gerbus got a phone call from a man in Chicago.

"He said, 'My name is Ed. I just bought your hard drive for $25 at a flea market in Chicago,'"
Thankfully Ed was kind enough to return the drive. (Hey, this isn't our Ed from the Chicago area is it? He's a kind fella...)

Wow! Thanks Best Buy. I won't be recommending you as a quick stop for anyone to take computers any more!


Awesome Weekend! (Dead Sea Scrolls and Worship Service)

Now that I have some time, I just wanted to go over some highlights from this past weekend. I know it's almost the next weekend, but it's been a wild but great week!

On Friday night, my wife and I finally went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC. This was amazing, but I'm not sure exactly what I expected. To begin, the group gets to watch about a 10 minute film that relates some of the background (for the uninitiated!). This was a fairly high-level overview, but was good. Since I've been putting off going (the exhibit was from February through Memorial Day, so we went on the last weekend), I've been taking the time to read up on this. I had a couple of books on the scrolls and acquired a couple of others since the beginning of the year. Two good ones you should try to get your hands on are Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls by F.F. Bruce and The Dead Sea Scrolls by Millar Burrows. I don't believe you'll be able to find these in B&N, though. I've been trying to find a decently priced edition of the Bruce book on eBay for a while and finally did find one in April. After the short film we were able to go into a large room with different stations set up to see many artifacts from Qumran and other generic ancient artifacts. Highlights (for me) from this room include a replica of the Copper Scroll and coins from the era. There was also a good deal of pottery in there.

After this we were able to see about 15 samples of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls. They were enclosed in a case with lighting that would only illuminate the case for about 10 seconds at a time at 15 second intervals. The room was also extremely dry to emulate the conditions that sustained the scrolls for nearly 2,000 years. It was truly amazing to see these historical documents. Offhand, there were samples from (a) the Biblical books of Numbers, Psalms, Genesis, and Isaiah, (b) the apocryphal book of Enoch, and (c) the sectarian writings of the community such as The Rule of War and The Community Rule.

Sunday, my wife and I took a road trip with our church's worship leader to Villa Rica, GA (about 20 miles on I-20 from Alabama) to lead a worship service with our youth group (about 100 kids were there). We discussed a lot of songs on the way and were up in the air on one to do for "humility". Fastforward to about 5 minutes before the service, the youth minister asked a youth (the worship leader's daughter actually) to give a testimony about humility. During the course of her speech she stated that the song Facedown (also look here) by Matt Redman really speaks to her of humility. WOW! That was the song we had decided on in the car ride down there. It was really awesome!! The service was great and 4 youth made decisions to follow Jesus.

I've already posted about what I got on the way back too...