Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What's The Worst/Funniest Thing Lotus Has Been Accused Of?

It's story-telling time! What's the worst or funniest thing that Lotus has been accused of in your organization (or consulting, etc...)?

I love the ones where the users will have a problem with their email signature due to the server being changed that stores their "My Documents". Oh, and a 300MHz machine with 128 MB ram means that Lotus Notes is slow. Perhaps an upgrade is in order.

Now Playing: "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Spock's Beard

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It's A Boy!!

I'm now the proud uncle of a healthy baby boy!! Noah Lyle Whisonant was born about 3:50 today and was 7 pounds 4 ounces and 20 inches. Congrats!!

New Addition To My Family

I had an awesome weekend, but I will have to post about it later because it may be lengthy... Speaking of a new addition, my brother and his wife are at the hospital as we speak with her nearing labor!

Anyway, on the way back from Georgia this weekend, my wife and I (and our church's worship leader) stopped at Hame's Music in Gaffney, SC (beside "The Big Peach") on I-85. I thought I was just going to look around, but I guess the bug bit me hard and we decided that I could get a Gibson Les Paul Standard in Transparent Amber. I've always wanted a Gibson Les Paul. I used to have an Epiphone Les Paul Custom that, while it was nice, was just not a Gibson. This thing sings!! Last night I even just sat down for a while to play it unplugged!

I'm really resisting the temptation to play it at work because I have it in my cubicle. Come on by and see it Greg!





Now Playing: "Damage Control" by John Petrucci

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Planned Downtime on 6/11

Just wanted to brag a little. We plan to load some fixes on our production Domino iSeries on 6/11. The last time we powered down the box was on 11/11/05. Seven months isn't too shabby! I want to make sure that I have the latest Java and TCP/IP fixes before I upgrade to Domino 7.0.1. It's inevitable that something will happen and the first thing IBM will want to know is if we have the very latest fixes...

So what's your current uptime?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Finally Giving Domino a Facelift! (SnTT)

I hate to admit this, but one of the databases I developed for the web is ugly! Until today, that is... After going to Lance Spellman and Dwight Wilbanks' session at Lotusphere 2006 about a Facelift for Domino, I finally decided to do something about my formerly ugly web database. For background purposes, the first production Domino server I installed was in August 2002 (at R5). We chose to wait for ND6 to be released in October of that year before doing a corporate migration. So, a good chunk of a year was spend migrating email.

One of the first projects requested was a contract workflow database. Since this entire workgroup was on iNotes, I chose to make it web-only. This database was created in August of 2003. With less than a year's experience I chose the easy route - java views and outline! I knew it would need updating later, but I just never got to it because it was working and we had other huge projects. Until today when I had some time to get to it. If you're in a rut on some web development, go check out Facelift for Domino. It's really as easy as running a menu action from the facelift database. Oh, and if you put it on a server, save it to a folder titled "facelift". Also, if you have categorized views, make sure the categorized column isn't set to 1 for the width (unless you're categorizing by a single character). After making the modifications, I notified the workgroup and they are very pleased with the performance and look. Thanks Lance and Dwight!!

Here is a before shot of one of the views:


And here is my facelifted shot of the database (I still need to work on the top frame's graphics...) Maybe I'll even do away with the frames.


Now Playing: "Solid As The Sun" by Neal Morse

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pink Floyd and Who?

Over at the 268Blog, we see this picture:



The album to the right of the Pink Floyd album is Matt Redman's Facedown. Matt Redman is part of the 268 Generation. The 268 Generation is also known as Passion. It's the group that sponsored the conference I attended in March. Matt Redman was one of the worship leaders at the conference. The picture of the album covers on the wall was taken at none other than the Abbey Road Studio in London. It's pretty amazing to see Matt's album cover right beside Floyd's!!

The 268 Generation derives it's name from Isaiah 26:8:
In the path of your judgments,
O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and remembrance
are the desire of our soul.(ESV)


Alias Series Finale

WOW!!

The final episode(s) of Alias last night were awesome!! They really did tie up some loose ends, but not everything was fully answered. If you haven't yet watched it, then read this at a later time...

There really was too much ground to cover in a blog post, but some of the highlights for me were in the resolution between Sydney, Jack, Irina, and Arvin. Sydney finally gets to kill Arvin (for a short time, but she did fire 7 rounds into him) and sees her mother die as well (after trying to save her again!). After being shot by Sydney and falling into the water created by the Rambaldi device, Arvin is revived and we get to see resolution between Jack and him when Jack sets off an explosion in the cave and traps Arvin in there for eternity. Overall, it was an awesome ending to the series. I hate to see the series end, though. Oh, and did you really have to kill Jack? I guess in the grand scheme of having resolution between him and Arvin it had to happen, but come on! It was great to also see how Jack (and even Arvin to an extent) tried to keep Sydney from joining SD-6 (which she thought was the CIA). Oh, too much to write, so I'm going to stop now...

On a lighter note, Arvin's new name should be Indiana Jones!! He has an amulet that he takes to a hidden cavern and when the sunlight hits it there is something projected on the cave wall. Then he takes "the horizon" to another cavern and creates the holy grail of Rambaldi (making water of eternal life). That was a little cheesy, but it worked!

So to all you Alias fans out there, I guess it's time to move on. I suppose I'll be slowing buying the DVDs now!

Now Playing: "Walking On The Wind" by Spock's Beard

Saturday, May 20, 2006

More Thoughts From GM on Hydrogen Fuel-Cell

In my post yesterday about ethanol, I had a comment with some infrastructure questions from Greg Simmons. Looking through my feeds this morning I see that GM's Larry Burns (Vice President, Research & Development and Planning) posted a response to one of his commenters in a main post. I think it addresses some of the same concerns Greg raised as well. Here is a response from Mr. Burns:
One “Anonymous” writer, however, questioned whether this vision would ever become reality. So allow me to comment on some of the mystery writer’s observations:

* Infrastructure: The writer declared that there was “no hydrogen gas distribution network…” and that building one would be “…slow and very expensive.” But a global hydrogen infrastructure already exists today that produces 50 million tons of hydrogen per year. That’s enough to fuel 200 million fuel-cell vehicles! And GM has calculated that it would cost between $10-15 billion to build an initial infrastructure of 12,000 hydrogen stations. Now, that’s real money, but it’s a fraction of what the global oil industry spends each year on the petroleum infrastructure, and we could build it over time. This initial infrastructure would place a hydrogen-fueling pump within two miles of 70 percent of the U.S. population and every 25 miles along the interstate highways connecting the nation’s 100 largest cities.

* Storage: Storage: Anonymous is also concerned about safely storing hydrogen gas under high pressure in tanks on cars. We share his concern. But we have achieved improvements in range and packaging in three different storage methods -- liquid, compressed-gas, and solid-state storage technologies. Our compressed-gas system is the first 700-bar (10,000 psi) hydrogen storage system, and we are now demonstrating its ability to achieve a driving range of 300 miles in Sequel.

Hopefully that helps address some of your issues Greg.

Now Playing: "Devil's Got My Throat" by Spock's Beard

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ethanol and the "Green" Movement By Automakers

I have some time off this afternoon and have really been meaning to post some thoughts about ethanol and the "green" movement. As I was going through feeds, I saw a post by Derek Punaro - Ethanol: Myths and Realities. He links to a BusinessWeek Online article of the same title. One of the things that I have read in the past is that "fossil fuel" is required to manufacture ethanol. This is brought up in the article:
Doesn't producing ethanol on a large scale use a great deal of energy?

Yes. Some ethanol skeptics have even argued that the process involved in growing grain and then transforming it into ethanol requires more energy from fossil fuels than ethanol generates. In other words, they say the whole movement is a farce.

There's no absolute consensus in the scientific community, but that argument is losing strength. Michael Wang, a scientist at the Energy Dept.-funded Argonne National Laboratory for Transportation Research, says "The energy used for each unit of ethanol produced has been reduced by about half (since 1980)." Now, Wang says, the delivery of 1 million British thermal units (BTUs) of ethanol uses 0.74 million BTUs of fossil fuels. (That does not include the solar energy -- the sun shining -- used in growing corn.) By contrast, he finds that the delivery of 1 million BTUs of gasoline requires 1.23 million BTU of fossil fuels.

Aside from that, my other rant about ethanol is with the "green" movement that automakers (Ford and GM especially) are running with. Both have hybrid vehicles, but GM is really touting their "Live Green, Go Yellow" (reference to corn) campaign. While that's really great that they are doing something about fuel economy and less dependence on oil, I don't know if ethanol is the best route for now. Of course less petrol is consumed in the manufacturing process, but it's less economical so drivers would have to refill more often. I'm a GM guy personally, and I have their FastLane blog in my feeds. Earlier this week they had an article titled "Making Our Vision Reality". Admittedly, they state that ethanol is only a short-term solution and that hydrogen-powered fuel cells are the future. A summary of their vision is in the article and it is:
General Motors is committed to making the hydrogen economy happen, and we have made tremendous progress in our fuel-cell vehicle program, most notably with the Sequel, the first fuel-cell vehicle capable of achieving a real-world driving range of 300 miles. Our goal is to design and validate an automotive-competitive fuel cell propulsion system by 2010. By automotive competitive, we mean a system that has the performance, durability, and cost at scale volumes of today’s internal combustion engines. GM has the enabling technologies well in hand and we are increasingly confident that we will be able to achieve this goal.

So, in the next 4 years we should hope that GM lives up to their word on this. It would be really great.

Now Playing: "Long Time Suffering" by Spock's Beard

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Parents.... Stock Up!

Sorry, I couldn't resist snapping this pic in Target with the Treo when I was testing it with BBConnect. =)



Now Playing: "Once Upon A Time" by Arwen

COMMON Conference Anyone?

Are there any folks (Gregg?) planning on going to the COMMON System i Conference this fall? I'm already registered to go with Chris Moody to Miami Beach and we are staying at the Loews Hotel. I submitted an abstract for the same session Kim Greene and I gave at Lotusphere this year, but it's a little too generic for a strictly System i group. Kim and I are tossing some ideas around, though, and I hope to collaborate with her on a couple of things.

Now Playing: "Crossing" by Angra

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Angus’ iBlog

For you System i folks out there, I urge you to take a peek at Angus' iBlog by Angus the iT Chap. Enjoy!

Now Playing: "Hard Life" by Balance of Power

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Who Do You Support For Your Gubernatorial Race?

I've been meaning to do this for a while and I think many of my readers should do the same. So, who do you support in your own Gubernatorial race if you have an election this year? Use the power of our Google ranks folks!

I live in South Carolina and we have had Mark Sanford (R) in office since 2003. We have had some issues with Mark Sanford. In November 2005 TIME magazine named him one of America's Worst Governors! While he does support a radical shift in education to a tax refund system to allow parents to get a refund on money used to send children to private schools (Put Parents In Charge), education reform has come too late for our state. Our current Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum (D) has done an abysmal job and has helped lead us to the bottom of the pack.

I believe it may be time for change in South Carolina, and even though he doesn't support Put Parents In Charge, I plan on voting for Oscar Lovelace in the June 13 primary for Republican. If he does not win the primary I will plan on supporting Mark Sanford (who won't even debate Lovelace though!!)

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Inflated Font Occurring on Replies with History

That was the subject of an email to a Domino for iSeries list today. The question was "Has anyone seen the issue where on email 'reply with history' type conversations with external recipients, the font size towards the end of the email gets inflated drastically? We've seen this before and need to address it again..."

Since this is something I have encountered in the past, I thought I would respond. Before that, has anyone else seen this and been able to correct it?

We get just the opposite sometimes. The font gets smaller and smaller! At Lotusphere this year, someone asked the exact same question at GURUPalooza. I was on stage and mentioned that we see this occur as well. I have also called Lotus support on this in the past with no success.

At one point I created the following FAQ internally that helped back in the 6.0.x days, but with 6.5.x and 7.0.x I have seen that this doesn't work as in the past. I adapted this from a post at notes.net I think:

External recipients receive e-mail with tiny text

When a Lotus Notes user forwards or replies to an email outside the company sometimes the receiver will see extremely small text on the history portion of the message.

This is a problem with the notes default point size settings for the various character set groups.

If you are brave, you can attempt to fix this yourself. If not please call the helpdesk at 326-6020 to report this problem.

Open your local address book (names.nsf), then find and open the 'Advanced\International MIME Settings' view. if you don't have a 'International MIME Settings' document in the view, create a new one. (there should be a 'New' button with a pulldown list of objects which can be created.)

If you are creating a new 'International MIME Settings': on the 'Basics' page, leave the 'for Locations' setting as '*' and select your primary character set group. for now at least, leave 'Secondary character set groups' blank.

On the 'Settings by Character Set' page, pull down the 'MIME settings by character set group' list and select your primary character set group. for example, if you are in the u.s. or in western europe, you should select 'Western'.

In the 'Font Options' section of this page, change the 'Plain Text' font setting to 'Default Sans Serif'. (if there is no 'International MIME Settings' document, the default point size is '12', so you'll have to create one to fix this problem.)


Now Playing: "The Shores of Our Land" by Dragonland

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Updated: Debugging for Domino

I have updated my Debugging for Domino information that I keep over on the menu uner "Don't Miss These!!" I have added the following information and made other minor modifications.

11.) DEBUG_CHECKMARKERS=1 - This will debug memory checkmarkers and can be used with value #12 below to add this information to the NSD.

12.) NSD_RUN_MEMCHECK=1 - Per Lotus Technote 1086330, "Memcheck runs a scan of all shared memory segments in use by Notes processes, as well as the individual stack memory allocated to each process. Memcheck determines if the memory segment format matches the expected format for the memory segment. If Memcheck does not find what it expects in the memory segment, it dumps the appropriate memory segment pool into a file with the following syntax:

memcheck.__mm_dd@hh_mm.dump"


13.) DEBUG_NOTEOPEN=5 - This will log open activities for databases. In researching this, I found Lotus Technote 1086649 on how to use to track deletions in databases. The information logged will be in the following format:

Server Note Open:
Database Path: /local/notesdata/log.nsf,log.nsf
User: CN=Chris Whisonant/O=ORG
Title: tpdomino1's Log
#2StdNotesLog

Now Playing: "Worthy, You Are Worthy" by Matt Redman

Monday, May 15, 2006

The President's Speech Tonight

I hear that he will be giving the entire speech en EspaƱol...

Now Playing: "Dancing Generation" by Matt Redman

Poll Results: What is your Notes Client Install Base?

Voting for the Client Platform poll is now closed. The map and results can be viewed here and below is a breakdown:

5.x - 4% - 1 Vote
6.0.x - 4% - 1 Vote
6.5.x - 60% - 15 Votes
7.0 - 16% - 4 Votes
7.0.1 - 16% - 4 Votes

So we have a brave soul out there on 5.x, but 92% are at 6.5.x or higher. And it appears that 7.0.x is creating some inroads. Thanks for the responses!

Now Playing: "Gifted Response (We Will Worship You)" by Matt Redman

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Displaying E-mail Header Information (SnTT)

We all know about opening the email message and choosing View > Show > Page Source, right? On an email list someone asked how to display the header information today. I figured I would reply with a routine I have found and also use the chance to get another SnTT post out! So, here was my reply:

I have done the following in my mail file (I found it at devWorks a long time ago).

1. Create a LotusScript agent called "Get E-mail Headers."
2. The agent trigger should be "On event" by "Action menu selection" on "All
selected documents". It will give you the pop-up separately for each document.
3. Paste the code below into the Initialize Sub and save the agent.
4. With your e-mail folder open, just click Actions > Get E-mail Headers
and you will receive a pop-up window with the header information.
5. Then, if you were not aware, in Lotus Notes when you get a prompt
window you can hit CTRL-C and it will copy the text to the clipboard!! The prompt window looks like this:


6. The users can then paste the text in to a memo to you if you add this to the mail template.

Sub Initialize
Dim s As New NotesSession
Dim db As NotesDatabase
Dim dc As NotesDocumentCollection
Dim doc As NotesDocument,tempdoc As notesdocument
Dim m As String, n As String
Dim first As Integer, l As Integer

l = 1
Set db = s.CurrentDatabase
Set dc = db.UnprocessedDocuments
Set doc = dc.GetFirstDocument
While Not(doc Is Nothing)
'' create a temporary copy of the document
Set tempdoc = db.createdocument
Call doc.CopyAllItems( tempdoc )
'' re-read the document items to ensure you are getting the remaining fields and not the removed ones
NextOne:
Forall item In tempdoc.Items
If item.Name = "Received" Then
m = item.Text
first = False
For a = 1 To Len(m)
If ( Mid$(m,a,5) = " " ) Then
If ( first = False ) Then
Mid$(m,a,1) = Chr$(10)
first = True
Else
Mid$(m,a,1) = " "
End If
Else
first = False
End If
Next
If ( n = "" ) Then
n = "<Hop " & l & ">"
n = n & Chr$(13) & m
l = l + 1
Else
n = n & Chr$(13) & "<Hop " & l & ">" & Chr$(13) & m
l = l + 1
End If
m = ""
'' remove the current occurrence of the item so lotusscript will get the next one
Call item.Remove
'' write the document so it will not contain the removed item
Call tempdoc.save(True,True)
'' go back and re-read the document items to refresh the memory
Goto NextOne
End If

End Forall
If ( n <> "" ) Then
Messagebox n,,doc.Subject(0)
Else
Messagebox "No Internet Received Headers found.",,doc.Subject(0)
End If
n = ""
'' delete the temporary document
Call tempdoc.Remove( True )
Set doc = dc.GetNextDocument(doc)
Wend
End Sub

This LotusScript was converted to HTML using the ls2html routine,
provided by Julian Robichaux at nsftools.com.


New System i Collaborative Edition

iSeries Network has an article about two System i announcements (note to self, it's not i5, iSeries, or AS/400 any longer). The first is the availability on May 19 of an iSCSI adapter.

The second is the premiere on June 13 of a "System i 520 Collaboration Edition".
"The 520 Collaboration Edition offers as much as a 33 percent price break from equivalent 520 Standard Edition machines when configured with extra memory and disk to accommodate Lotus workloads and purchased with qualifying Lotus software solutions such as Notes/Domino, WebSphere Portal Express, Sametime, Workplace Services Express, Workplace Collaboration Services, and others.

"The 520 Collaboration Edition offers 1 or 2-way processing power and has a minimum of 4GB of memory and four disk drives to support collaboration workloads. The box requires a purchase of select Lotus collaboration software licenses or the transfer of existing Lotus licenses to the new Collaboration Edition."

When we purchased Domino back in 2002 (basically right when ND6 was released), we started with a 2-way iSeries 270 Dedicated Server for Domino (DSD). It is now functioning as our cluster failover box as we are using a 4-way iSeries 820 as our main system. It runs very well and we're looking at an upgrade to a 4-way 570 later this year with Domino in an LPAR running on 2 of the processors.

The new System i processors are amazing. I mentioned the "Cell chips" back in August. This isn't the same chip being used by the new System i, but Big Blue is doing a lot with the processors. The new System i Collaborative Edition should be a good start for SMBs wanting to get rock solid performance at a decent price! So go pick one up in June...

Now Playing: "Heathen Machine" by Balance of Power

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

It's OK To Change Passwords Now

Last Tuesday when I was configuring DDM, I enabled a lot of the default probes. It now appears that the server crashes I mentioned today in my earlier post were due to the Server/Administration probe that checks admin4.nsf. I have disabled that probe (per support) and will keep an eye on it.

I love it when these things cause problems!

Don't Change Your Passwords!

Last week while I was out we had some problem with a rename request in AdminP. Today, we are having a problem with http password changes. It's not just a minor problem, but the server actually crashes! Check out the error:


Basically, we are having to remove all of the entries in all adminp replicas and then delete the admin4.nsf database on the server that is crashing. Not fun... We're still at 7.0 on our production server. When we called support back today, they said that another customer was calling in at the same time we just did with the same issue at 7.0.1. The other customer crashed after a loading a debug hotfix as well. This is really random because we have been running on 7.0 since November with no adminp issues. There is something new every day, right?

By the way, our Disney trip was awesome!!!!

Now Playing: "Just Before You Leave" by Balance of Power

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

DDM Filters (SnTT)

I know it's Tuesday, but I thought I would post this Domino Domain Monitor tip early since I will be on vacation Thursday.

When configuring DDM, there is a set of default filters that can be used to report "simple events" from your Events4.nsf database. This can be really helpful for monitoring replication failures and message delivery failures. However, by default (at least for me), way too much was being logged, so I thought I would tweak it. From the DDM database, choose the option to "Open Configuration" (This just opens Events4.nsf). From there, just go to your "DDM Filters" view:



As you can see below, I have limited the severities of the events reported for Database, Messaging, Replication, and Security. I may tweak this some more after monitoring DDM further, but this is a good start that will limit how much you have to view.



Heading to Disney Tomorrow!

Tomorrow we're wheels up to Orlando!! My wife and I are taking our 2 year old and my in-laws are going to. It should be a really excellent trip! I'll be turning my corporate e-mail off at the BES too! We're heading back on Sunday - it should be long enough for a 2 year old... =) This will be her first airplane trip and we've been really pumping her up for it. She's really excited and we can't wait!

In other news, I see that people are getting antsy over June 6 - 6/6/06. For the record, the mark of the beast isn't 6-6-6, but it's 666 (six hundred sixty-six). It could also be 616, but that's another discussion. So will the end times likely manifest itself on our human timetable of dates? Doubt it. Actually, if we want to look at a date 2006 years "AD", then it would have been around 2000 because our dating system was compiled wrong and Jesus was probably born between 7 and 4 BC. That one was free...

Now Playing: "Insectsamongus" by Jordan Rudess