Sunday, December 30, 2007

My 2007 In Review

This has been a year that was extremely different from anything I expected this time last year.

On March 15, we were blessed beyond measure with our 2nd child - Oliver (Ollie) Thomas!! He's crawling around really fast now, trying to stand up, eating some solids (with his 2 teeth), and generally just getting into all kinds of things with his wonderful big sister. Though we were expecting Ollie, he wasn't the only change in our household. The other big change was taking a new job with Lotus 911 and moving from South Carolina to Georgia. There were a lot of amazing little things associated with this move that still blow us away. I've not really shared it publicly, but we've seen God move in some great ways through it all. A quick run-down:

- I started my job on May 29.
- When I told my mother I had accepted the position, she told me that the night before she had been up all night praying and reading her Bible (for reasons she had no clue about at the time).
- We listed our house on a Saturday and had a signed contract by Wednesday.
- A former co-worker of my mother has a sister-in-law who is a great realtor in Kennesaw. Not only did she help with that, but she and her husband allowed me to live in their basement apartment for about 3 weeks. For free!
- My mom's sister works for a large mortgage company in SC but was able to help us with our loan in GA.
- About halfway through June we found our house in Acworth.
- We sold our house in Rock Hill on the last Wednesday of June and signed on our house here two days later and moved in that Saturday.
- As you can tell, June was pretty much a blur. The house is great and even the colors ended up matching the stuff we moved here!!
- And in the change, Emma Grace is just loving her pre-k school and her new friends!

That part of the moving experience was a true encouragement and we also saw God move in some other ways through that. Amazing.

I started off the year with some System i projects to work on and figured I would have a relatively quiet year with Domino. We got some new systems in at the phone company and IBM didn't have them put together, so that ended up being my job. It was pretty sweet piecing together a couple of 570s from the rack up and then working with IBM to build some LPARs and finally move over the Domino cluster. Along the way, there was also the whole DST debacle for the world! I did start working with the open Beta of Notes 8.0 and got a quote in Computerworld. I also finally took my last exam to become a PCLP for ND 7 (I plan on updating to 8 at Lotusphere 2008). But then I started talking to Nathan about whether there was anything open at Lotus 911. For the most part I was just looking for something different and more challenging. Of course there were some other factors, too. Things moved rather quickly and I was able to start with Lotus 911 the last week of May - after 7 years at Comporium.

My expectations of doing mostly System i stuff for 2007 were pretty much turned upside down and it's been "Yellow" work since then! I've been blessed to be working at a Lotus Beacon Award winner for most of this year!! I've learned so much and worked with many products that I wouldn't have touched otherwise. From working with a Whale Appliance to Quickr and Connections and participating in several Lotus Design Partner programs, I've been really kicking the learning into high gear. Then there's the customer assignments - some can be in swank locations, but they all allow me to work with Lotus products! The traveling has been cool (for the most part!), and the amount has been in line with what I was told (so that's cool too!). I've also learned a lot from seeing the different environments that we support. I could probably go on and on about this, but I'll just say that it's great working not only with some of the more well-known names in the community but with all of the other less public folks at Lotus 911. I had to laugh the other day because we were in an internal training session and there were 4 bloggers in the room and one on the phone!! I'm hoping that we can get some others blogging real soon... ;)

Some other highlights include:
  • Getting my review of Neal Morse's Sola Scriptura album linked from Neal's site! (By the way, Neal has a new album coming out soon...)
  • Going to see Gilbert, Petrucci, and Satriani at G3 in Myrtle Beach with Dale
  • Going to New York twice - I got to see the Yankees beat the Red Sox as well as hang out with Curt and Mitch the first time and then was in Times Square for a few days the second time.
  • I was able to also visit with some old college friends since we go through their towns going from GA to different places in SC as well as hang out with some of Jen's family while in NH

I could probably think of some other things that I didn't blog about already. As you can tell, it's been a year of transitions. I'm blessed to have a loving and supportive wife sticking by my side and two wonderful children! Even though it's been tough sometimes with the adjustments, it's also been a blessing - especially with my family with me. We've definitely missed our family in SC, but we've seen them a lot (and have been on the road a lot as well!).

So, here's wishing you and yours many wonderful blessings in 2008. And as you begin the new year, may this be your resolution:
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:2-6)

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Christmas Story

I would just like to present to you a generally chronological synopsis of the Christmas Story from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Those passages from Matthew are in italics. All scripture taken from the English Standard Version.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever." And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel." And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: "'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt I called my son." Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more." But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.

And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: "He shall be called a Nazarene."

And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.

Santa Mentioned in the Bible?

It's very possible. Check out Zechariah 2:6 in the King James Version:

"Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north"

There may even be a mention of the Christmas tree in Jeremiah 10:3-4:

3For the customs of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.

4They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.

Of course these are not prophecies about modern Christmas customs, but they're cute, eh?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Domino 8: 101 - Unread Marks Enhancements

Anyone who has worked with Domino mail replicas knows that there is a history of problems with unread mark synchronization. With Domino 8, there have been at least two areas of improvements.

First of all, there is a new notes.ini setting: ADMINP_EXCHANGE_ALL_UNREAD_MARKS=1. This new setting is available for Domino 6.5.6, 7.0.3, and 8.0. It is detailed in Technote 1245043. This setting will exchange all unread marks in new replicas created via the Administration Process (instead of only the default 90 days worth). Also, it requires that only the source server be running the fixed version of the server code.

Secondly is a new option in the Create Replica(s) dialog box. As depicted in the graphic below, there is a new option to "Exchange Unread marks on replication":

This works very similarly to the notes.ini setting described above. If the source server is at Domino 8.0*, then the Administration Process will "attempt to match all of the unread marks from the source database with the target database."

* - I had hoped that this would work with Domino 6.5.6 or 7.0.3 servers like the notes.ini setting, but it does not. The source server and Administrator Client have to both be at 8.0 or higher.

Congrats Lotus 911!!

Big congrats to Lotus 911 for winning the Best Philanthropy Award from Lotus for the work we've done with AngelFlight Mission Control!!

From Nathan's blog, "It coordinates flight plans for private pilots to take sick kids for urgent medical care in locations they can't otherwise reach. The system got particularly put under the gun in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when FEMA requested assistance in moving medical supplies and equipment."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Some Christmas Thoughts...

You may remember last year that I did a series of posts for "The 12 Days of Christmas" - I know we're about halfway through it now, but go check it out for some reading between now and Christmas.

Quickr HF6 Available

I think I beat everyone to the punch... ;)

Go get it at Fix Central

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Knight Industries Two Thousand

Or as we know it - KITT...

I was saddened to read at Derek's blog yesterday that the new KITT for the Knight Rider TV show will be a riced-up Mustang GTKR (that's King of the Road - an even more powerful Shelby GT500). You just don't go messing with the tradition of KITT being a Trans-Am!! Here's the pony-car KITT:

Personally, I think the last T-A manufactured would still be a great KITT - the 2002 WS-6:

But if they have to go with a new vehicle, might I propose something even better - that they wait a year for the show and use the new Trans-Am. Hopefully GM will produce a 2009 T-A when they produce the Camaro for next year. This is a mock-up of a T-A, but it's based off of the Camaro body.

Now, I have nothing against Mustangs - here's my father-in-law's. I would choose a T-A over a Mustang anyday, though. (Sorry Jen...) Even Jen thinks that it's just wrong to use a Mustang for KITT and she loves Mustangs!

Oh well...

Friday, December 14, 2007

My New Default Mail Client Is Outlook...

But that may be about the only thing I don't like about my iPhone!! I guess I could sync the contacts with my Yahoo account, but I never use that account except to chat with like 2 people.

Anyway, I've had the iPhone for about a couple of weeks now (early xmas gift from the parents...). :) My daughter really likes it too - we were watching some Veggie Tales clips on YouTube earlier! And she likes my new music phone too! She says "it plays music and it's a phone, and everything else". This device really is all it's cracked up to be. Of course there are some "oddities" to get used to, but it's extremely intuitive and simple to just pick up and use. Here is a quick list of some of my pros and cons...

- The screen is superb. Not only is the output great, but the touch screen is slick (think about how your car feels when you wax it) and is supposedly scratch-resistant. The sales lady told me to try scratching the demo unit with my keys (I didn't, though...)
- An all-in-one device. Sure there are others that could do most of what this does. But I don't know of any with as much storage. It would be nice to be able to add more, but an 8GB MicroSD chip for will set you back ~$90 (on eBay) for other devices.
- SMS - Love the chat interface with SMS!
- Apps - they're all browser-based. I like the Google and Facebook apps. My other app is iBibleSpace
- 8GB - The storage really isn't that bad. I can load up all of my favorite albums, podcasts, etc and still have room left over.
- Speakers - While they're not hi-fi, they work really well in a quiet room (good for spinning some tunes while working in the garage, etc...)

- Battery life - it's a full-featured PDA, phone, iPod Video with Wi-Fi. What do you expect. I can charge it every other day if I pushed it (depending on usage).
- Sync-only - Unlike the other iPod models, the iPhone is sync-only. I generally like to just drag files from iTunes onto my iPod (from multiple machines). I have resorted to dragging files to an "iPhone" playlist and just synching that playlist with my iPhone. Not quite as flexible, but it works.
- Bluetooth - It works well, but it's a little kludgey sometimes. For instance if my headset is on and I answer a call from the iPhone I have to manually tell the iPhone to use the headset.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Domino 8:101 - New Administration Features

There are many new administrative features available with Lotus Domino 8.0 and beyond. I have been working on a series of posts to cover these options. This post will be updated with links to the other posts in the series.

Mandated ID Encryption Standard - New feature with Domino 8.0.1 to allow corporations to mandate AES encryption in Notes ID files.

Admin Preferences and Client Versions - New Admin Client preferences and details of the new Client Versions View

Enhanced Quota Feature - A new option to proactively enforce quotas

Inbox Maintenance - A new AdminP function to clean up the inbox

ODS 48 - Details about the new On Disk Structure

Preferred Simple Search and Deferred Sort Index Creation - Information on these two new features

Server OS Upgrades - What you need to know about the supported Operating Systems for Domino 8

Unread Marks Enhancements - There are two enhancements to better replicate unread marks on replica creation.

In Honor of Rich's Idea...

Rich posted an idea yesterday for more percussion at JamFest. This is in honor of that...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Are These Good Ideas?

I think so - you be the judge...

Are These Good Ideas?

I think so - you be the judge...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Incentive to buy the $8 water?

Fox Files: Dirty Hotel Secrets: When you check into a hotel room, ever wonder how clean it is? FOX reporter Dana Fowle has an exclusive story that has county health inspectors reacting.

Santa's Visit 2007

Santa visited our two kids and my nephew at my parents' house on Thanksgiving... Thanks Santa!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Sametime 8.0 Stuff

While we're on Sametime...

The process for placing the network install package on the Sametime server to be able to download it from stcenter has changed (drastically) with Sametime 8.0. There is a thread on the topic at devWorks: Sametime 8.0 Client Download - "this feature has not been enabled". Even after following the instructions for setting this up, some (myself included) were still receiving the "this feature has not been enabled" error message.

Apparently, the trick is clearing your browser cache... d'oh! After getting it working, you get this cool little install window that will include a progress meter and an option to just save the files...

Update From IBM On The Sametime 8.0 Fixes

Adam posted some updates to the "kurfuffle" regarding the Sametime 8.0 hotfixes I mentioned the other day. Thanks for the updates regarding the fixes Adam!

Update on Lotus Sametime 8 hotfix
Follow up on Lotus Sametime 8 hotfix

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gospel of Judas Update

Back in 2006, I wrote three posts about the newly "discovered" Gospel of Judas:

Part I - General Information
Part II - Thoughts on the Translation
Part III - National Geographic Channel TV Special

We all remember a ton of fanfare about this finding. I even had someone tell me that it would undermine Christianity as we know it! Well, I doubt you'll see any fanfare about the latest information on this translation. To say that the translators made sophomoric mistakes would be an insult to sophomores.

All of the information you need to know is covered in this post by Dr. Albert Mohler: Revising the Revisionists -- New Controversy over "The Gospel of Judas". The real kicker is that the translator(s) chose to translate "daimon" as "spirit" - thus Judas is actually referred to as a demon in the document and not as just a spirit!

I believe that Dr. Mohler sums it up very well:
This controversy should serve as a sober reminder that media reports about supposed discoveries may not be at all what is claimed. Indeed, the bigger the claim of a blockbuster discovery, the more care and oversight is required. The impression of this story left in the public mind is based in a series of mistranslations. Most people will never know the real story.

I stated the following in my Part III post about a mention of this Gospel by Irenaeus in the 2nd Century:
"It should make one wonder what the producers of the NGC special had in mind when they couldn't quote the only verifiable mention of this gospel that has ever been recorded before the Gospel was abandoned not to be read again until the past few years."
Now we're left to wonder just what the NGC's thought process was after seeing all of the simple mistranlations described in Professor April D. DeConick's piece in the NY Times that Dr. Mohler references coupled with their deliberate exclusion of what Irenaeus wrote about the gospel shortly after it was penned.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

IBM Is At It Again! (or Get Your Sametime Hotfixes!)

So last month I wrote about the release of hotfixes for Quickr (or FP1) on the day after the fixpack was released. At that time I stated:
"First of all, I can see no possible way that enough customers called in within a day and IBM was able to reproduce, compile, and generate a Hotfix posted to Fix Central within the span of a day."
Today I see that there are Fixes to known stability issues with Sametime 8.0 server. And how long have these stability issues been seen in production environments for Sametime 8.0? Precisely 5 business days. The technote was published sometime yesterday and Sametime 8.0 was released just 4 days earlier. I also know that customers couldn't even download the files from Passport Advantage for most of the day Thursday (the release date).

My question is similar to the one I asked about the Quickr hotfix conundrum:
"I'm going to take it a step further and ask why IBM would release a known-buggy fixpack followed immediately with a hotfix? This should really not happen - take a little more time and get it all bundled correctly."
But now I'm not just asking the question about a fixpack, but about the gold release of a "dot-zero" world-class IM server.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited that IBM is proactively releasing hotfixes. But I'm not thrilled that a product is released into production and then just days later there are fixes for "known stability issues"...

By the way, Carl Tyler has also posted about this. He simply states that "It always amazes me how IBM can release a product, and then one or two days later issue fixes for it. Surely these fixes were known about 1-2 days ago?"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Are You Ready For Y2K?

While in Rock Hill last week, I caught this out of the corner of my eye in the discount movie (VHS!) bin in a CVS Drug Store:

So will your family be prepared for Y2K? It's never too late to make sure!

By the way - no wisecrack comments about Rock Hill just being behind the times...

Just Installed IE7 And Here Are The Results

This was what I got after the (apparently) clean reboot when I just installed IE7:

OK, so I'm puzzled as to whether the serious error was that I held out and ran IE6 for so long or whether the error was my upgrading to IE7!?! I guess time will tell...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Things To Ponder....

Funny post over at Ben Witherington's blog...

Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?


Friday, November 9, 2007

What To Choose For New Sametime Installations?

On a Domino for iSeries List to which I subscribe, the question was asked if one would recommend going to 7.0.3. Is it stable on i5 V5R4 yet? The question was asked in relation to running Sametime 7.5.1 CF1 and not having to use the 7.0.1 jvm with the 7.0.2 server code. I hope you find my reply amusing...
7.0.3 is a major bug fix release. If you're planning on a Sametime upgrade or install, I would load up 7.0.3 just so I don't have the hodgepodge of Fixpacks, Hotfixes, Hacked older versions of Java, and convoluted template installs (for DWA/DST/IE7) that are necessary to run Sametime 7.5.1 with Domino 7.0.2 FP2 HF145-9er (10-4?).

Come to think of it, 7.0.2 FP2 seems to have been an extremely crippled piece of software - with all of the hacks and fixes you have to apply to make it "stable"...
I sure hope IBM doesn't get into the 7.0.2 situation again with all of the patches eventually necessary for it to be stable.

Anyway, since I brought up i5/OS - are you planning for your V6R1 upgrades yet?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Domino 8: 101 - Enhanced Quota Feature

A recently published devWorks article details the Enhanced Quota Feature in Domino 8. This enhancement will proactively prevent the creation of memos, calendar entries, and to-dos if a mail file is at or near a certain quota threshold. In prior releases, the user would be able to begin the creation of the document and receive an error when attempting the save operation. This takes the quota enforcement a step further.

Note that the document states that this can be enforced via policies. I have not been able to find these options in any of the policy documents, though. The notes.ini settings can be pushed down via modifications to the policy documents.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Parenting Stories...

I really like Gregg's story of helping his kid with a homework assignment - classic! It sounds like something Jen and I would do. And it reminds me of a story my neighbor told me a couple of months back.

This neighbor is divorced and the child is in TX with the mom. School was going along and the dad received a bad progress report about one of the son's classes. So he calls his son to see what was going on, etc.... Apparently, the son didn't like this and got defensive. At the end of the call I believe the son just hung up after saying "You're in GA, what are you gonna do about it?"

The next day the son hears a knock on the door. Yep - it's the dad and he had plenty of time to think about what he was going to say after a flight and 4 hour drive...

Monday, November 5, 2007

I'm not speaking at Lotusphere 2008...

And to rub it in, I got duplicate copies of the rejection emails for my 2 proposals (one for System i and one for Domino 8 for Admins)... I could take the hint the first time! ;)

Congrats to all who will be presenting!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Slowtus Notes

We've all heard the pithy ways Notes has been described. Slowtus Notes, Lotus Bloats, etc....

Here's a good technote from IBM on how to address poor performance when inside of Lotus Notes. It could be your computer, server, or (dare I say it?) the developers... :)

Knowledge Collection/Troubleshooting Guide: Known causes of slow database performance


Please IBM, can we possibly get another hotfix? Quickr is actually 8.0 FP1, right? Well IBM released this and then the very next day they release HF1 (8.0 FP1 HF1?) with 4 SPRs that were fixed. First of all, I can see no possible way that enough customers called in within a day and IBM was able to reproduce, compile, and generate a Hotfix posted to Fix Central within the span of a day.

Secondly, if you go to get HF1 right now, here's what you will see:

According to this post at devWorks, the HaikuCommonForms.ntf is a different size in the two differen fixpack zip files - the smaller one was modified on 11/1/07 and the larger one was modified on 10/18/07.

First, I'm going to ask the same question Erik did in his devWorks post - Can you put the correct file out there IBM? Please?

Secondly, I'm going to take it a step further and ask why IBM would release a known-buggy fixpack followed immediately with a hotfix? This should really not happen - take a little more time and get it all bundled correctly. Further, they post another version of the hotfix (which I'm going to download and apply just to see if it fixes my issues - some major issues - with an upgrade). At least I think it's another version...

You know how Google has "beta" beside all of their products? That's all I'm going to say...

Update: By the way, the update to the haikucommonforms.ntf fixed my issues!!! (At least for now...)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Pics!

OT just chillin' out in the cow costume... Mr. GQ!

Jen and the kids - too cute!

EG in 2004 at Halloween soon after her first birthday. Recognize the cow costume? :)

Renewed Call For Reformation

On this date 490 years ago, a relatively unknown Monk saw some issues with particular doctrines of the church and posted a document listing 95 problems. The 95 Theses of Martin Luther were not intended to split the Church. Instead, he wanted to see change wrought from within. I decided to post something along these lines around a week ago, and have since seen some similar posts along the same lines of some of my thoughts.

Recently there have been a couple of movements that have been gaining attention. Michael Spencer has recently posted a list of 13 items that he has seen as problems facing evangelicalism. This is a fairly good summary of what I have been thinking for years now about some of the older movements (like the prosperity teachers or the emerging church) and even more recently with another movement (broadly referred to as the church planting movement).

Many of Spencer's bullet points can be seen in these churches; such as #5: "The triumph and glorification of unchecked pragmatic entrepreneurialism, especially in worship". To me, this means that many new things are being attempted (the entrepreneurialism) and looked upon as something that is Godly just because they have been observed as being something that "works" (the pragmatism) - by driving people in the door. This may involve always doing "crazy" new things because of the observance of "radical results" that have been working to, partly, increase the numbers as well as "enlarging the territory". Over 50 years ago, we can find this written by A.W. Tozer:
The emphasis today in Christian circles appears to be on quantity, with a corresponding lack of emphasis on quality. Numbers, size and amount seem to be very nearly all that matters even among evangelicals. The size of the crowd, the number of converts, the size of the budget, the amount of the weekly collections: if these look good the church is prospering and the pastor is thought to be a success. The church that can show an impressive quantitative growth is frankly envied and imitated by other ambitious churches.

This is the age of the Laodiceans. The great goddess Numbers is worshiped with fervent devotion and all things religious are brought before her for examination. Her Old Testament is the financial report and her New Testament is the membership roll. To these she appeals as arbiters of all questions, the test of spiritual growth and the proof of success or failure in every Christian endeavor.

A little acquaintance with the Bible should show this up for the heresy it is. To judge anything spiritual by statistics is to judge by another than scriptural judgment. It is to admit the validity of externalism and to deny the value our Lord places upon the soul as over against the body. It is to mistake the old creation for the new and to confuse things eternal with things temporal. Yet it is being done every day by ministers, church boards and denominational leaders. And hardly anyone notices the deep and dangerous error.
Time and again throughout church history, you can find pastors and teachers cautioning the emphasis on gimmicks to increase the church's membership roll. From Pink to MacArthur. One of the other issues that Spencer sees is: "The demise of quality Biblical preaching at the hands of technology and entertainment." This is something that I really find fascinating, and it seems to me that the focus on "pragmatic entrepreneurialism" in doing new things may be causing a demise in the exposition of the Scriptures.

But the ones of us who are complaining about these entertaining methods are not in the trenches trying to reach people for Jesus in full-time ministry. Who am I to say that things shouldn't be done this way? As the church planting movement has demonstrated, you have to do lots of new and crazy things in order to grow a church, right? The sermon has to be one of practicality without being too concerned with theology. However, I absolutely cannot believe that expository preaching and theology have to be given up in order to preach a practical message.

One of the most telling revelations was from Bill Hybels, pastor of the Willow Creek "megachurch". Just in the past couple of weeks he has issued the following apology related to the failure of the many programs at that church to produce true spiritual growth: "
spiritual growth doesn't happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships. And, ironically, these basic disciplines do not require multi-million dollar facilities and hundreds of staff to manage". There are some who are skeptical about his apology, but I am seeing it as something truly hopeful and would like to see this church growth pioneer do even more in the future after being honest about the failures at his church. This is exactly what I've been trying to say.

This is where a man named Charles Spurgeon comes into play. Spurgeon is one of the greatest theologians in the history of Christendom and at 22 he was already preaching to 10,000 people (and was seeing growth that would stagger many minds in these recent movements). But Spurgeon wasn't one who would rely on gimmicks or entertainment. He is quoted as saying "Dear friends, we know that souls are not won by music, if they were it would be time for preachers to give way to opera singers." ("Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit," Volume 18, page 239) and "The heaving of the masses under newly invented excitements we are too apt to identify with the power of God. This age of novelties would seem to have discovered spiritual power in brass bands and tambourines...The tendency of the time is towards bigness, parade, and show of power, as if these would surely accomplish what more regular agencies have failed to achieve." ("Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit," Volume 28, page 377, 1882).

Truly, these sane words from a church growth phenomenon and theologian alike from nearly 130 years ago speak to the fact that a reformation is again needed in the minds of those who are trying to grow the church. Gimmicks aren't necessary for the Holy Spirit to work and grow His church. Of course, sometimes things can and should be done that are out of the box - I have no problem with this and being sensitive to the call of the Spirit. But continually looking for something that's never been done before can be a gimmick in itself.

Finally, there is something else that Spencer touched on that has a great deal of truth: "The failure of most evangelical denominations to broadly embrace and effectively mentor the current church planting movement." This is also something that Dr. Albert Mohler has recently touched upon. Not only has he has written of the loss of expository preaching at the center of worship (as I have mentioned earlier), but he has also written about the church planting movement and the fact that the traditional church needs to work hand-in-hand with that movement instead of seeming to be at odds. Dr. Mohler states:
Similarly, the passion to reach unreached populations is entirely laudable and urgent. The sad reality is that many of our established evangelical churches seem determined to reach only people who look like themselves -- if they are committed to reach anyone at all. The danger on the other side is that many of these newly-planted churches begin to look like their founders and first members. A church of tattooed twenty-somethings in New York can be just as lacking in diversity as the aging middle class congregation at First Church....

The energy and commitment evident in the church planting movement should encourage all who long to see a new wave of evangelism throughout North America. But this movement must be driven by a robust New Testament ecclesiology and must be undergirded by an eager embrace of the faith once for all delivered to the saints. This movement must complement -- not castigate -- existing churches. Each needs the other, and both can learn from each other.
Dr. Mohler is spot-on. The Church needs to work together more than we currently do. At the same time, there needs to be a re-evaluation of what is going to define "evangelicalism" (as in orthodox Christianity). This is my heartfelt effort at a call for Reformation. We, as Christ-followers, should be sensitive to the focus of our core mission - to "make disciples".

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Welcome Aboard

I've been meaning to do this for a while...

Welcome to the Lotus 911 team David DeWell!!! I've been working with him some the past couple of weeks and am excited about the experience he is bringing onboard.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Need A New Study Bible

This Wednesday, Ligonier is offering their Reformation Study Bible for only $15.17. I've had one of these for about a year now and it's great. The accuracy of the ESV translation combined with the study notes of the Reformed persuasion make this a great study Bible.

Why $15.17 on Wednesday only? Check out the site - it has something to do with a "monk with a mallet."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

10 Years Ago....

On this date 10 years ago, my wife and I had our first date. Then on the same weekend a year later, I proposed to her! I even did that in my own geeky way - through a website... :) I have recently found that I have those old pages still. I'm sending Jen a link to it. It's really cheesy - you don't want to see it!

Anyway, I love you Jen - Happy 10th! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Birthday!!!

WOW!! My little girl turns 4 today - my how time flies!! I'm sure the wife will have some more pics posted later!

So Happy Birthday to the best kid ever!!! Daddy loves you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Where's Whiso?

As most of you probably know, I've been spotted on municipal cameras this week by Bruce:

and Mitch:

And here's another on that may have been seen by millions more!!

I tried to get the poster of the video on YouTube to get me a higher-res video or capture, but this was the best I could get for now. You can see me at 3:49 into the video here:

Number 7 Baby!!!

Just letting you know that for the first time since 1984 the Gamecocks are ranked #7 in the nation!! Keep it coming - please..... :) Good job guys!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Calling Out For A Visitor

My son is virtually calling out for a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Moody...

Well, the shame game worked when my daughter kept asking Chris "when u gettin' married Moody?" ;)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Top 10 Bound

After defeating the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats last night, the Gamecocks should be ranked in the NCAA Top 10 this week!! The player of the game for Carolina was defensive end Eric Norwood - who is from Acworth, GA (where we now live). Kewl! It should be our first Top 10 placement since 2001.

And for kicks, here is the most exciting entrance in College Football. Go Cocks!!!

Domino 8: 101 - Inbox Maintenance

Inbox maintenance can be a good tool to improve performance on your mail server and for your clients. For detailed information on how this is possible, I refer you to this great devWorks article: Best practices for large Lotus Notes mail files

Basically, this document is telling you that the Inbox is most expensive container in a mail file. It is updated each time a user opens the mail file or clicks refresh button. The Inbox is also where new mail is delivered. Reducing the number of documents in the Inbox reduces CPU utilization as well as the space required to update and maintain the view index.

Domino 8 now allows administrators to schedule a time to clean up the inbox of some or all mail files. Keep in mind that, other than the ($Inbox) view index, that this will have a negligible effect (if any) on the storage used by the mail file. The documents are only removed from the Inbox and will remain in All Documents or any other folders in which messages may have been copied. In a phased-in approach, Inbox Maintenance can be a useful (blackmail) tool to get users to begin using folders and manually cleaning up the Inbox (I think we have all seen the users who feel they need to keep all of their mail in their Inbox, right?). For instance, you could choose to notify users that in 30 days all messages over 180 days will be removed from the Inbox of all mail files.

There is a 2 step process to enable this:

1. You must edit the Server Document. Go to the Server Tasks tab and then to the Administration Process tab. At the bottom right, you will see this:

As you can already see, the Inbox Maintenance is a function carried out by AdminP. In the Server Document you can control the day(s) and time this will run. You may also choose to run this only on specific users' mail files or on those files maintained through policies. Along with the schedule specified in the server document, you can also run Inbox Maintenance by issuing the TELL ADMINP PROCESS MB command. If you choose to run this on selected mail files, you are able to choose how many days to retain and whether to remove unread messages.

2. After modifying the Server Document, you may want to use policies to control the subset of mail files to maintain. You will need to implement this through a Mail Settings document in a Policy. In the Mail Settings document, go to the Mail tab and then the Basics tab. The Inbox Maintenance section is at the bottom:

Sunday, September 30, 2007

This is what I feared would happen...

It's been a long time since I've had a political post. But this one really caught my attention and it's something I've thought about for a while actually: Christian Conservatives Consider Third-Party Effort

It's pretty self-explanatory - if Rudy Giuliani gets the nod for the Republican ticket, then there are some pretty high-profile names among Christian Conservatives that apparently will try to run a 3rd-party candidate. And just like in 1992, the entrance of a popular 3rd-party candidate on the conservative side will all but ensure another Clinton Presidency (remember, they're a team...). Actually, the first comment at the Times blog sums it up:
These people are the exact reason Rudy Giulaini must win the Republican nomination. This country was founded on separation of chuch and state. GET OUT OF GOVERNMENT AND LAW MAKING. Will you “bless” us with Hillary to prove how badly you just don’t get it?

Actually, the whole "wall of separation" has been severely abused by those who don't really get its original intention, but that's for another time. I would, personally, much rather have Giuliani than Hillary Clinton. She's the inevitable nominee for the Democrats and she has a long history of Socialistic policies. It's proven.

Anyway, regarding this effort by certain Christian Conservatives. I hate that they are hinging everything on his stance on a single issue. One that it doesn't appear that Giuliani will try to extend or restrict. I think we really need to pick our battles more carefully. We can't focus on one issue when there is so much more at stake...

Joke of the Day

Sorry Bruce, no offense...

So today before church, the 18 year-old keyboardist told a joke to crack on the drummer who's old enough to be her dad...

Johnny told his mom that when he grows up he would like to be a drummer. Johnny's mom said that he couldn't do both!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lotus Notes Diagnostic Tool - Windows Explorer Integration

Yesterday, I randomly stumbled upon this:

If you have an NSD on your drive, you can right-click it and see a "Lotus Notes Diagnostic" menu!! If you select "Automatic process", the nsd will be processed and the LND application will open in Lotus Notes. Furthermore, the nsd will be removed from your drive and added to the application. (Update: Actually, after further working with this, the NSDs are not removed from the drive but a new folder is created in the same directory where the NSD resided. The folder corresponds to the date that the NSD was analyzed and is in DD_MM_YY format.) There are some other options for RIP (old school) and NSD files. And for you System i shops, you'll love the "Convert EBCDIC to ASCII".

This tool gets cooler and cooler! Now to wait on some crashes... :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Domino 8: 101 - Admin Preferences and Client Versions

There are 2 features that I would like to review quickly in this session.

First are two additions to the Domino Administrator Preferences that can be time savers. One is the option to "Automatically run in live console mode". This will default to launching the Administrator Client to the Server > Status > Server Console screen for the server listed in the "On startup" field. How many times have you wanted to just open the Administrator client to get a console window. Now this can be your default behavior! The other option allows you to specify databases that will launch automatically. In the image below I'm wanting to open ddm and log on the specified server.

The other is a "Client Version" view that's in the address book. It's listed under People > by Client Version. I have manually created this view in the past. This should provide some value to administrators in being able to know what versions of the client are being utilized in the environment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Remedy Is Here...

This new album, Remedy, from David Crowder Band is awesome!! Check out the 268 Blog. It's good to hear studio mixes for "Glory of it All" and "Everything Glorious" as they were only available on live compilations previously. There's even a special guest guitarist on "We Won't Be Quiet": The Nuge - yep that Nuge...

The lyrics to the title track are excellent and inspiring...
here we are
here we are
the broken and used
mistreated abused
here we are

here you are
here you are
the beautiful one
who came like a sun
here you are

so we lift up our voices
and open our hands
to cling to a love that we can't comprehend

o lift up your voices
and lift up your hands
to sing of the love that has freed us from sin

he is the one who has saved us
he is the one who embraced us
he is the one who has come and is coming again
he's the remedy

here we are
here we are
bandaged and bruised
awaiting a cure
here we are

here you are
here you are
our beautiful king
bringing relief
here you are with us

so we lift up our voices
and open our hands
let go of the things that have kept us from him

he is the one who has saved us
he is the one who forgave us
he is the one who has come and is coming again
he's the remedy

oh i can't comprehend
i can't take it all in
never understand such perfect love
come for the broken and beat
for the wounded and weak
oh come fall at his feet
he's the remedy
he's the remedy

he is the one who has saved us
he is the one who forgave us
he is the one who has come and is coming again
he's the remedy
he's the remedy
oh he's the remedy

you are the one who has saved us
you are the one who forgave us
you are the one who has come and is coming again
You're the one who has come and you're coming again
You're the one who has come and is coming again
to make it all right
you're the remedy

you're in us
you're the remedy
you're in us
you're the remedy

let us be the remedy
let us bring the remedy

Monday, September 24, 2007

"Lotus Notes Diagnostic Tool" Has Been Released

Hat tip to Jack Dausman for this info! As Jack said, this is for Admins what NotesPeek is for developers! The download can be found in The Sandbox. Once you download it, you'll want to run the setup program and then sign the local notes database. I'm hoping that (more of) this code will be extended to the Fault Analysis code that's on Domino 7+ servers as it already does some of this.

From Jack's blog:
If you are programmer, you might remember the excitement when NotesPeek and NotesPing were first released. Well, LND is the definitive administration tool for Domino failure analysis and will be quite worthwhile to study.

It has some cool features, like recreating the server doc from a DXL dump, NSD file comparisons, and reading through all the semaphore locks.

It does come with a help document , but there isn't much hand holding--you are going to need to know the terms and architecture of Domino to really extract value from LND.

After a quick test drive, I agree. It does a good job of gathering all of the relevant information and presenting it in a friendlier format than the NSD. Kudos to IBM for releasing this. It won't tell you "Hey, here is exactly why you had this crash", but it will get you pretty close...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Good Game Gamecocks!

My favorite team, the #12 Carolina Gamecocks went to Death Valley* today in Louisiana to face the #2 LSU Tigers. It started off with Carolina going up 7-0 followed by 28 unanswered points by LSU. We ended the game with a field goal and touchdown to make it a 28-16 final. While we looked a little messy at times, we actually scored some points against LSU. In the first three games this year, LSU only allowed 7 points total! They're tough and they ran hard against our defense (taking advantage of taking out our star linebacker about 2 minutes into the game).

Oh yeah, what's better is that I watched it at my BFF Chris's house. :)

* - Not to be confused with the copied Death Valley that's in Clemson, SC. This is the team that stole the stadium name, fight song, and mascot from LSU...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Domino 8: 101 - Prevent Simple Search and Deferred Sort

The two items I will discuss below are enhancements to Domino 8 that may impact disk space and/or memory utilization on your servers. The first may also impact your end-users, so you should be aware of the caveats of enabling it.

Prevent Simple Search:
This option is found in the Advanced tab of the Database Properties dialog. It's called "Don't allow simple search" in that dialog. This will prevent someone from performing a search in a database that is not full-text indexed. Performing a search on a database without an index is a very time consuming process and the results are generally not as you would expect when compared to the search time and results returned from an indexed database. Enabling this option will prevent this type of search. However, many end-users may not know that they are doing this (by not noticing, or caring, that the database is not indexed) and will be used to performing searches. If you enable this option on mail files, be aware that you may receive many requests to create full-text indexes for those end-users who may have been performing simple searches. Creating these indexes will add to the overall drive space that is needed on your server.

Deferred Sort Index Creation:
This option can be a fairly decent space saver on your server. It is a design property, "Defer index creation until first use", of sortable columns and is visible under the "Click on column header to sort" option. What this option does is prevents the indexing of specific columns when the view is created. For example, most users may never sort their mail file using the Response Icons column. Prior to having this option, however, that column's sort index would have been included in the space used by the view.

So exactly how much space can this save?

Let me use my mail file as an example. After perusing through Designer to see how this option is enabled by default in the mail8 template, I notice that the Subject, Size, and Response columns have this option enabled. So, after purging the view index of my All Documents view (~1,500 docs), I opened that view. The initial size was 1,147,984 bytes (so, just over 1MB). I then sorted by the Subject column and the size increased 28%. I then proceeded to sort by the Size column and the increase was another 29%. Finally, I sorted the Response column and the size increased another 28%. In total, my view index for All Documents is now 2,132,224 bytes. This represents an 85% increase over the initial size of the view. Of course, with a relatively small mail file this will not have as much impact, but just imagine the savings with a much larger file.

I'm hoping that this "Domino 8: 101" series will be helpful as you continue your planning to upgrade to Domino 8 and evaluating the things that you, as an Administrator, will need to know. There have been many features added in Domino 8.0 - even though it was mostly a client-focused release. As you can see from previous posts in this series, IBM has a focus on saving space and time with Domino 8 and beyond. Just this week, an additional NSF compression algorithm was announced with 8.0.1 and there is more planned for Domino Next.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Some Things Never Change: Bring Back The Bronco...

So 13 years later he gets busted for robbing some sports memorabilia - the irony. Five words:

If the glove don't fit...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Domino 8: 101 - Server OS Upgrades

In planning for Domino 8, it may be possible that you will have to upgrade the Operating System that your Domino 7 (or 6 or earlier) servers are running. For more information, see the detailed system requirements here.

In some of these cases, such as Windows 2000, this is because the Operating System is no longer supported by the vendor. However, there is currently no set EOS date for i5/OS V5R3. However, this is not a supported OS for Domino 8.

The following operating systems are not supported for Domino 8. If you are running one of these with any prior version of Domino, you will need to upgrade the OS to be in a supported configuration for Domino 8. Please note that the latest release levels of all of these platforms are still supported and that it is generally recommended to stay fairly recent on the Operating Systems in your environment. There is also no rip-and-replace involved (as with other messaging platforms) - the most current OS levels were supported for Domino 7.0. So, if you are current on your OS and current on your Domino installation, you will have no issues upgrading to Domino 8. Also, I'm in no way criticizing IBM for this move to only support the latest OS release levels - just making you aware of it for your planning purposes.

OS Platforms Not Supported For Domino 8.0:

Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
IBM AIX 5.2(4) (64-bit kernel)
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 8
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9
Sun Solaris
Sun Solaris 9 (64-bit kernel)
IBM System i
IBM i5/OS, V5R3
IBM System z
IBM z/OS Version 1, Release 5 or later
Linux on System z
SLES 8 & 9

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where Were You 6 Years Ago Today?

I was sitting at work when my mom called to tell me that a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center. I thought she was crazy until I turned on Fox News in our server room and got my colleagues in there watching. Then hearing reports that the Pentagon was hit. Then the second plane hit the other tower and a plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Then the towers fell... It was really surreal and words can't describe it. Just a couple of weeks ago I took the picture below. It's a shot of two flags standing at the site of the World Trade Center with a plane flying just overhead...

And here is a shot of the construction that's happening at Ground Zero:

It was really odd to see this site nearly 6 years later. I wish they had it a little more open - there was a wrap around the fencing and you could only find gaps to look through.

For the past few years I've posted the lyrics to Dream Theater's Sacrificed Sons about 9/11. It's a pretty powerful song. You can find those lyrics here.

And here is a video of them playing the song live in Rome.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

New Gear - G&L Tribute ASAT Special

07 - Front Angle, originally uploaded by topherssgtp.

Just got this in yesterday. I consider it a great deal from eBay! This thing plays wonderfully, the finish is excellent and the tone is fabulous. With the tone level at 10, you get the tele-twang. Back off and you get some nice P90ish tones. Check out the Flickr slideshow here.

If you don't know, G&L are George Fullerton and Leo Fender. Both are from Fender guitar fame. In a nutshell, they later split and started G&L. Leo Fender considered the G&L guitars his best work. And that's saying a LOT!

This one will be named "OT" in honor of my second born. I have a Takamine acoustic that's "EG" in honor of my firstborn. (ATTN: Wife - are you seeing a trend??) And my Les Paul is "Blondie" along with my Jackson, "Jenny", both in tribute to my wife... :) The G&L should fill in the tone gaps left from the Lester and the triple-bucker Jackson! ;)

Thanks Mom and Dad! :)

My Post Was Spoofed!!!

My Domino 8 ODS48 post from the other day was spoofed!! Some wiseguy thought she'd have some fun with it. Turns out it was my wife and her spoof is hilarious!!

Check it out here

Go Gamecocks

With a huge SEC East win tonight against UGA, the USC Gamecocks are at 2-0. My college dorm-mate Jay has some videos of past wins against UGA... :)

Way to go team!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Domino 8: 101 - ODS 48

A new On Disk Structure (ODS) is available with Domino 8. This is an update from ODS43 to ODS48. First of all, upgrading applications (formerly called databases) to ODS48 is completely optional and requires the addition of a notes.ini setting on the server (or client).

This setting is: Create_R8_Databases=1.

If you enable this in a global configuration document, the Pre-8 servers will ignore it and will not be affected by having this setting. This can be a good way to propogate this to all (or many) of your servers prior to upgrading to Domino 8. As with previous ODS upgrades, a copy-style compact is required to upgrade all databases to the new ODS. However, the applications will not be upgraded automatically with a copy-style compact as they were with previous ODS upgrades unless the notes.ini setting is enabled.

What do I get with the new ODS?

1. There are some general I/O enhancements and "folder optimizations".

2. The maintaining of a "Database Names List" used for user renames
With ODS48, a list of all of the Readers and Authors in an application is maintained at a high level by default. This will improve the efficiency by which AdminP can process the user rename requests ("Update User Name in Reader and Author Fields"). If AdminP finds the user's name in the Database Names List, it will continue processing that application. Otherwise it will skip the application.

3. Design Compression
This database property (found on the Advanced tab of ODS43 and ODS48 database properties) will compress the design notes. IBM states that mail files based off of mail8.ntf will only utilize 11MB instead of 25MB if design compression is enabled. As you can see, 14MB of savings per mail file can be huge. This feature is disabled on all databases by default. However, the mail8.ntf template does have it enabled. You may choose to disable this property in the template prior to creating new mail files or converting existing mail files to version 8.

As with enabling ODS48, a copy-style compact is required to enable design compression. If you are planning on upgrading to ODS48 and enabling Design Compression on mail files, you should consider doing these at the same time by enabling the Design Compression property prior to running the compact so that you don't have to run the copy-style compact twice.

In planning your Domino 8 upgrade, the considerations above regarding the new ODS should assist you in deciding whether or not you will wish to enable ODS48.

Monday, September 3, 2007

NCAA Football Is Upon Us....

In honor of that I have changed my blog template colors to reflect my team - The University of South Carolina Gamecocks! We'll see how the year is going to be after this week's matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Classic I.T. Dilbert Today

Seems like we've all been there and done that...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Brief Recap of This Week

For most of this week I was at a client outside of NYC. This being my first time there, I had to go to the city. On Monday night I drove to Lower Manhattan. The drive down FDR was an experience in itself - not to mention the time I got turned around... I took some pictures that you can see here. I basically walked around the Seaport and then walked up Fulton St. to see Ground Zero. That was really crazy. You'll see one of my photos was a plane flying above two flags where the towers used to be. I can't believe it's been nearly 6 years and can't imagine the chaos...

I purchased a stubhub ticket to the Yankees/Red Sox game on Tuesday night. But Curt Stone really came through in the clutch and was able to get 4 tickets for free!! So I sold my ticket and got 1/2 of my ticket cost back and was able to hang out with Curt, his bro-in-law, and my client. Definitely some points there. Curt has a recap of the night too with a picture of him and me at the stadium and here are some pictures I took. Enjoyed it pal - thanks!! Everyone told me that getting out would be a nightmare (yes, I drove to the game too - the client thought I was either crazy or brave for driving to the city, twice!), but it only took me about 50 minutes from the time I got in the car to get to the hotel (which would normally be about a 35 minute drive).

And on Wednesday night I met up with Mitch Cohen in Teaneck, NJ. He's that Lotus Connections guru... :) We met for dinner and talked forever. He's a great guy and it was good to put a face with the name - thanks for hanging out Mitch!

Things went great and I ended up staying pretty busy in the evenings too. It was so cool to hang out with a couple of bloggers while I was there!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Go Yankees!!!

P8280028, originally uploaded by topherssgtp.

This pic wasn't just grabbed from the internet... :) More later... Thanks Curt!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Exchange Server Has Viruses - Claims Microsoft

exchangeviruses, originally uploaded by topherssgtp.

One of the things "we" like to point out is that Lotus is more secure when it comes to viruses. Well, according to Microsoft's Exchange site, they have "Viruses" built-in to their Exchange product. Check out the scrolling banner... :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Mom's Birthday, originally uploaded by topherssgtp.

My parents came to town this weekend and we celebrated mom's birthday. Happy Birthday Mom - we love you!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Shiny New Notes Client - Back To The Future!!!

The opening paragraph from the upgrade Redbook (Page 21) states it all:
The Notes ... client interface has been completely redesigned. This interface looks and acts more like a browser, and integrates the regular Notes client function with access to the Web better than it did before. Many of the things you used to do in the Release ... client are now only one mouse-click away.
Oh I'm sorry, I was reading from the wrong Redbook. That was the Notes/Domino R4 To R5 Upgrade book from March 2000. Let's see what the ND8 team came up with at the Interface page (as I've also seen written elsewhere):
It’s here! IBM® Lotus Notes® and IBM Lotus® Domino® 8 software showcases a modern, Web-like look-and-feel in a familiar Lotus Notes client format. Updated to help you work smarter, the new user interface presents the tools you need, when and where you need them. It’s visually appealing, highly consistent and feature rich. That means you get your job done faster, and easier. And, you enjoy it along the way. Who says work can’t be fun, too?
Sorry...I had to.

Notes and Domino 8 are so far beyond R5, but both releases were significant in their own right. Hopefully I got a laugh out of some of you! Congrats to IBM on ND8!

Consider Shopping At Circuit City

win98ccity, originally uploaded by topherssgtp.

As you can see from this demo kiosk at Circuit City this past Saturday, they may need some more revenue to upgrade some systems... ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Response To Volker's Latest Issue With Notes

I have posted this as a comment at Volker's post * on IBM Technote 1267071: Changes in Lotus Spreadsheets document do not save

Regarding the issue Volker raises here, I believe I have found the problem and there is a VERY simple workaround and this issue is probably unlikely to be seen in most real world uses.

If you create a new spreadsheet or open an existing one, go to a cell and type something. If you click into another cell or hit tab or enter and then click the "x" to close the spreadsheet, then you will always receive the prompt to save the spreadsheet. If you just type something in a single cell but don't navigate to another cell, then you will not receive the prompt to save the modification. A bug indeed, but the IBM Technote should be updated. I will also be notifying Lotus via a response to the technote with how to reproduce this and also to hopefully modify the technote with a note to tab out of the field to receive the prompt for saving the modifications.

* It's ironic that I'm responding to someone who is "neither a business partner, a design partner nor a customer" of the Lotus products, but this is how Volker describes his involvement with Lotus products. I felt that since so many people will see the issue he raised that I would also let you know how to easily avoid the issue that was pointed out by someone who claims to not be a user of the product.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Getting Lotus Connections 1.0.0 To Work With Domino LDAP

If you haven't seen already, Mitch Cohen has documented an infrastructure with Lotus Connections talking to Domino LDAP for authentication. Check it out!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Notes 8.0 NOMAD

According to IBM Technote 1265230, "Notes on a Stick" will be supported for the Basic configuration in 8.0. They hope to allow the Standard version to run from a stick in a later release (threads in the Public Beta forum mention 8.0.1). I can't imagine that Standard would run too well from a USB drive, though.

But, I guess we'll find out in a couple of days if Basic runs well on a stick.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Quickr and Sametime Presence Awareness Issue Resolved

Nathan and I wracked our brains over this issue! We could get presence awareness going for about 30 seconds and then it would go away. Well today we got past that in the strangest fashion...

The basic setup was a Windows Server 2003 box running MS Virtual Server with a Quickr VM and a Sametime (7.5.1 CF1) VM. Nothing earth shattering. We decided to re-allocate that server for an installation of Lotus Connections, so I shutdown the VMs and moved them to another server (same OS). It was actually the same hardware specs but with less RAM (Connections needs the RAM!)

After bringing up the Quickr and Sametime VMs on the other server, presence awareness was working like a champ! Never saw that one coming!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

No NSFDB2 for System i

Ever since NSFDB2 was announced, the System i faithful have been waiting for support on the i. We were told to wait for 7.0.1 or 7.0.2 to then be told to wait for 8.0.x. It's official that there are no plans for it, so we can all stop waiting. Details in the comments from Rob Ingram at the Domino Blog:
There are no current plans to provide this feature on iSeries. We have other very important database work we have committed to reduce NSF data storage and other database optimizations. These improvements should help all of our customers, including those on iSeries.
we made our plans in conjunction with many groups, including the iSeries team. This resulted in us facing a tradeoff with other very important storage cost reduction efforts which are being planned for the core NSF database. We always do try to prioritize delivery of new capability to as many Domino customers as possible and we expect that all customers, including those on iSeries, will benefit from these future capablities.
We've known all along that the DB2 UDB implementation on the System i was very different from that on other platforms. Perhaps future releases of i5/OS will remedy this.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Happy Anniversary!!

Just want to wish a Happy Seventh Anniversary to my wife Jen! The traditional gift for 7 years is wool or copper and the modern gift is a desk set. Wonder if the desk she got along with our new bedroom suite counts towards this? ;) We've been together nearly 10 years now!! It's been a great road so far with two wonderful kids and many life changes. It's sure to be an exciting future too!

Love You Honey!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Curiosity Killed The Cat

But not Curious Mitch. In my thread asking for new bloggers, Mitch Cohen pointed me to his blog (mostly related to Quickr and Sametime). It's been a good read and he's fairly active. And since I've been working with Quickr lately, it's very timely.

Also, don't miss Bob Baehr's blog. He already has a countdown to Lotusphere 2008 - 177 days from now if you're wondering. We're now closer to LS08 than to LS07!