Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

By Date: January 2008

Lotussphere Presentation Batch Download

Lotusphere 2008 online features 177 PDF files with the session presentations. You can download it in one go. You need:
1) A valid username / password for LS08 online (so it is for attendees only)
2) WGet to download http files in batch
3) This cmd file
4) replace your username / password in the cmd file.

The cmd file will only fetch the presentation files that don't exist already.

Update: Get the MAC version of the script from Volker.
Update 2: The script now includes the ZIP files from the hands-on session.
Update 3: As of Jan 29 it seems that the PDFs have been removed from the download location the script is looking for them. Was the script too popular?

Posted by on 28 January 2008 | Comments (14) | categories: Lotusphere

What happens if your cellphone is on during a flight?

Modern smart phones, Blackberries included have features that automatically switch on and off. So what might happen if one goes on a flight and doesn't disable the auto-on feature? Well first and foremost it is a safety violation, so we don't do such things. But if it would happen? Then you would pickup SMS from Telcos of countries you fly over. Countries like Ukraine, Belorus, Poland etc. So you get a free log at what time of the journey you reach what network. But as I said: we don't do such things.

Posted by on 26 January 2008 | Comments (1) | categories: Travel

From Individual Actions Larger Patterns Emerge

" Emergence" is this theme of this years Lotusphere. To underline this statement the Orlando symphony orchestra was conducting at the beginning of the General Opening Session. Their individual actions resulting in an well conducted pattern of an excellent musical performance (at least judging with my limited understanding of musical performances). I was attending the second run of the General Opening Session starting at 11am Orlando time. The guest speaker was Bob Costas. I have to admit I had no clue who he was. For being non-American following the sports focused talk was quite a challenge.

But the real attractions of course are the announcements. Here you go. There are two different types: collaboration with partner companies and new products.

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Posted by on 21 January 2008 | Comments (0) | categories: Lotusphere

Joy of travel

The ground staff at Frankfurt Airport had a small shock ready for me: "Mr. Wissel you are on the US travel blacklist". How cool it that. I'm now officially dangerous. It turned out it wasn't the blackest of the black lists. The check-in staff had to subject me to a set of additional questions like: When where you in the US the last time? How long are you going to stay in the US? Where will you stay in the US? Why are you going there? Can I see your return ticket confirmation?
I asked myself how did I get onto this list? Conclusion after chatting with the ground staff: I'm entering the US from one country (Germany) and leaving it towards another (Singapore). I don't live in my country of birth and I have visited Muslim (Indonesia, Malaysia) and communist (China, Vietnam) countries before. That seems to be sufficient for the list.
The immigration officer in NYC asked the same questions again. I was wondering if that's a check for consistency. At the end everything turned out OK and I'm now waiting in NYC for boarding the last leg. I should be just in time for the Gonzo ESP party.
Update: The joy continued on the way back. The friendly staff of the TSA subjected me to special attention in New York again. They hat a device where they analyzed swipes from my shoes and inside my bag for... they wouldn't tell. At least the guy had a sense of humor and smiled on my remark, that I didn't knew that TSA is offering free shoe shine when he swiped my shoes.

Posted by on 19 January 2008 | Comments (1) | categories: Lotusphere

Off to the 'sphere

The luggage is checked in, the sandwitch in the lounge eaten, the final boarding call made. I'm on my way. I'll stop over in Frankfurt to see my folks since I haven't been in Germany for almost two years. Total airtime until Orlando: 24h on three legs.

Posted by on 17 January 2008 | Comments (1) | categories: Lotusphere

MIO Box Upgrades

Upgrade the System I'm a big fan of the MIO box (and I'm not alone). I cherish and preserve it. I preserve it to an extend that I don't want to put the burden of serving a WIFI signal to my home computers. It wouldn't do it reliably anyway and would stop to run DHCP over the air sporadically or stop functioning until rebooted. So an AirPort moved it recently. My MIO box software version is Its online user interface tries to make it easy even if you don't understand networks very well. It nicely shows all locally (LAN and WIFI) connected machines including their names and even - sometimes - let you assign a name if the unit didn't broadcast one. To reduce confusion there is no way to delete entries of disconnected machines or force a full refresh. So the machines happily serving kids in an Indonesian school still live on my network. One really good feature is the prominent link on the status page to firmware upgrades. The idea is intriguing. Instead of going through the hoops and loops to navigate a support web site and locate the correct product a simple click would do and voila your router would be current. So in my tender loving care for my MIO box I regularly check the site to see if there is an upgrade. Unfortunately in 8 out of 10 attempts I'm greeted with this:

An Error has Occured
This really improves confidence in products and services of my favorite provider. Unfortunately the phone is hooked to the MIO box, so I can't toss it out increase my care and release it from the burden of active duty. Anybody knows how to hook an Asterisk to Singtel's MIO VoIP?

Posted by on 12 January 2008 | Comments (0) | categories: Buying Broadband

Playing with BlogSphere Skins

My current past work chill-out activity is to play with Skins for Blogsphere. Declan made BlogSphere 3 compatible with Movable Type Themes, so you have access to a great library of design. Probably after a few rounds I'll get tired of switching and settle on one. Until then don't worry if you see a page that doesn't look familiar. And yes: I'll let Declan have them for the next release.

Posted by on 11 January 2008 | Comments (0) | categories: IBM Notes Lotus Notes

Skills, Lake Wobegon and Dunning-Kruger

I do believe in skillfulness, I do believe in mastery. I admire true craftsmen and their work results. The constant strive for perfection amazes me. So naturally I tend to be puzzled meeting people who a comfortably ignorant. Catching up with reading during the year-end holiday made me discover the reasons behind that:

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" (Charles Darvin)

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect (and/or Lage Wobegon effect). It more or less explains why ignorance is so hard to combat:
  1. Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
  2. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
  3. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
(See the WIkipedia article for a complete discussion.)

So are we stuck with victims of the Peter principle? Luckily the messrs Dunning & Kruger offer a solution:
  • Incompetent individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level.
Seems like Kathy is right, right and right.

It helps to have the right mindset.

Posted by on 02 January 2008 | Comments (2) | categories: Business

JavaViews in your own applications

The R8 inbox, calendar and contacts take full advantage of the new Java views. However support for your application has been postponed to the NMFR*. Memento bene: "support for". That doesn't mean that you can't do it. After all the mailbox is just a Notes application. The biggest challenge: in the normal Designer there seems to be no way to specify the additional properties for the Java views like side preview or the business card view. Actually there is. In the R8 reviewers guide on page 155 (that would be PDF page 163) a new notes.ini parameter is documented:


Add this parameter to your local notes.ini and designer will reveal new properties in views (the (i) tab in the view and the propeller head tab for a view column). The redpaper also mentions what you can do with this. One interesting piece: Currently we have a viewer type: "Table" and one "Tiled". You can specify both and you will get a switcher (like in contacts). The API will be documented, so you could render your very own views (Pivot anybody?). However if you add all this properties nothing happens. A few pieces are missing (and since it is not automatic, there's no support yet). Again the redpaper helps: on page 146 (PDF 158) there is a note, that reminds you that you can link a frameset to a composite. So what you need to do for your JavaView enabled views is to use a composite application. That is actually nice, since you have full backward compatibility: Prior to R8 the frameset opens. In R8 the composite opens.

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Posted by on 01 January 2008 | Comments (4) | categories: Show-N-Tell Thursday