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Duffbert's Random Musings is a blog where I talk about whatever happens to be running through my head at any given moment... I'm Thomas Duff, and you can find out more about me here...

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01/30/2004

Viruses and Lotusphere?

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Does anyone else wonder why, in the past two years, the outbreak of the latest showstopper virus to affect Microsoft software has occurred during the week of Lotusphere?  Last year it was Slammer.  This year, MyDoom.

Makes you wonder what we're up to at 2 am, doesn't it?

01/30/2004

Book Review - Sensei by John Donohue

Category Book Reviews

If you're into Japanese culture or martial arts and you like crime thrillers, you'll find a superb read in Sensei by John Donohue.  An American student (Conner Burke) of a master Japanese swordsman (Yamashita) gets involved with an art dealer who is putting on a show of Japanese swordsman.  Before the show, a local martial arts teacher is murdered in the showroom.  Upon further investigation, it's found that additional senseis are being killed off by similar methods, and it appears that the killer is coming for Burke's teacher as the final kill.  When Burke's brother (a policeman) gets involved, there is tension about how this crime is going to be prevented.  The east meets the west.  The story culminates in a final showdown that is well-written and vivid.

The eastern mindset and martial arts culture permeates every part of this book.  If you've ever been involved in those areas, you'll relate to the writing and the emotions that Burke struggles with.  Very enjoyable read.

01/30/2004

Book Review - Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

Category Book Reviews

Since I wasn't able to sleep on my red-eye flight to Orlando, I was able to start (and finish) Digital Fortress by Dan Brown.  A very enjoyable read, especially if you're into technology security and encryption.  The storyline revolves around the National Security Agency (NSA) and their activities surrounding the monitoring of communication.  They are able to break any encryption with the aid of a massive secret computer, and life is good.  But when a code appears that can not be broken, all hell breaks loose.  The author, a former employee of the NSA, is about to release the code to the highest bidder.  The NSA has to stop this from happening so that they will not be locked out of all encrypted data.  When the employee is murdered, it gets impossible to tell who is selling out who.

Great pacing, believable storyline, and a very good read.  If you want a nice techno-escape, this would be a great choice.

01/30/2004

Book Review - The War In 2020 by Ralph Peters

Category Book Reviews

You knew I couldn't go a whole week without a few book reviews, didn't you?  :-)  Time to catch up on a few books I read while in flight and during Lotusphere...

On my way to Orlando, I finished up a paperback titled The War In 2020 by Ralph Peters.  It's a large paperback (607 pages) that tells a story of armed conflict in the future.  Russia is falling apart due to factional fighting internally, and the Islamic and Russian rebel forces are being supplied by the Japanese.  The US is no longer the leading world military power, but they don't want to see Russia overrun by Japan.  They step in to balance the equation, but end up on the receiving end of a deadly weapon launched by the Japanese.  Typical war thriller material.

If you're a Tom Clancy fan, you'll probably like it.  I'm sort of split on it.  While there were some interesting parts, there were characters and subplots that had nothing to do with the main story.  He has an explanation for that at the end, but I could have done without half of the book.  Also, the book was written in 1991, so some of the scenarios are interesting in light of the last 14 years.  

01/29/2004

Final day wrapup...

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Thursday, January 29th, 10:14 pm

So much for crashing at the hotel early...  I'm blogging from the Hyatt at the Orlando airport, and I'm ready to collapse and sleep until 9 or so tomorrow.  I'll probably blog more about Lotusphere over the next few days, but I thought I'd capture the last day thoughts before they become a blur.

I can't say I did a whole lot today.  The decompression from speaking yesterday was still in full effect.  For those who do this frequently, it's probably no big deal.  For me (and probably for Joe too), it was an incredible first time opportunity that will be remembered fondly for many years.  I conquered quite a few fears that have haunted me for a long time, and I discovered that I really enjoyed being up there.  If and when the opportunity comes up again, I'll be much more comfortable to tackle it.  And for those of you who attended and filled out evaluations, thank you so much for your kind words and feedback.  I was blown away, and I'm glad we were able to help you start to make that transition to using Java.

For the first time, I attended the "Beat The Developers" session.  The real title is Meet The Developers, and it is the next to last session at LS each year.  All the main players are up on stage, and the audience is given free reign to make requests, ask questions, and gripe.  Generally everyone is well-behaved, but there were a couple of people who had agendas to press and must have liked the sound of their own voice.  Hey, if you ask a question or make a demand and the entire audience boos you, you may want to reconsider pressing your position...

The final session was comedian Richard Jeni.  As Chris Miller blogged, he walked a fine line for a corporate session.  No profanity, but he touched on a few subjects that had the potential of being rather controversial.  Regardless, it was outrageously funny, and my face hurt from laughing so much.  Nothing against last year's Irish Tenor, but I'd much rather leave LS laughing than with tears puddling up in my eyes.

Jonvon was kind enough to give me a lift to the airport.  Much nicer than having to wait for Mears and wait for the bus to lumber to the airport.  Thanks, guy.

Normally I experience the "post-Lotusphere letdown".  It happens when you finish the final session and head back to your room for about an hour.  You then come out to go to dinner or something, and you can't tell that LS even happened.  The signs are gone, the tables are packed, no one is wearing backpacks or badges, and you realize it's all over.  You want to yell out "IMPORTANT STUFF OCCURRED HERE THIS WEEK!  DON'T LET IT END!", but if you did that, the Disney bots would probably shuffle you out the door.  I think that by leaving the Dolphin before all that occurred, I was able to leave with LS still "there".  Or, I may just be too tired to think about it right now.

Rooming with Bruce was a blast.  If you've spent time around Bruce in meetings or parties, you see a very wild and crazy guy.  But there's another person there who has gone through a lot and has some great insight (and a nutty sense of humor).  My normal path is to have my own space at LS so that I can retreat when necessary.  I wasn't sure how having a "roomie" was going to work out.  But I can truly say that rooming with Bruce made LS much more enjoyable.  And I don't have any tattoos that I didn't show up with...  :-)  Thanks for a great week, Bruce.  I promise to keep my stuff a little more picked up next time.

So many new faces and experiences...  Meeting Julian in person for the first time, as well as jonvon, Tom Nichols, Melissa from DDN, Volker, and a couple dozen other people who I can't even think of right now.  Wandering the vendor showcase meeting people who I've emailed but never seen in person.  Renewing friendships from prior Lotuspheres, and picking up like nothing happened.  Seeing my face on screen from an opening day interview as clips were replayed during the week.  Not *recognizing* my face or voice when I first saw those clips.  Hanging out with the e-Pro crew at House Of Blues, and learning some smooth moves from Ed Brill.  I was impressed.  :-)  Having discussions with people trying to figure out what Workplace actually is, but also knowing that IBM's commitment to Notes/Domino is strong.  Learning that Rocky has a Napoleonic complex, and trying to figure out how I'm going to follow that on stage.  Handing out CULT shirts after his session and coming close to getting trampled.  Dumping water on myself (on purpose) during my session, and having someone refer to it as a "FlashDance" moment in the evals.  Hanging with Ben and JoAnne at Universal, and learning exactly what a "naked capitalist" is all about.  Being with 5200 of your closest friends, and knowing you don't have to "explain" Notes.  Finally meeting Ed's twin Alan, and seeing "eye to eye" with him.  Getting the chance to see Libby speak, and realizing what a great presenter she is.  Wondering what happens to all the Lotusphere water in the bottles that *didn't* get consumed.  Trying to understand how you could cart 12 books down to Florida, give them all away at your session, and *still* have a problem getting all your stuff in the bags to come back.

I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for everyone that made this an event to remember.  Thank you all...

01/29/2004

The only downer from yesterday... my diabetic son had a seizure back home...

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Thursday, January 29, 7 am...

So, wandering through Universal last night, I get a call from my wife.  In an amazingly calm voice, she tells me that Ian had a seizure.  He's diabetic (type 1) and has to make sure that he balances the number of carbs with the insulin he takes.  Well, apparently he ate some lo-carb pasta, took insulin and then took a nap.  Bad combo...

This was his third seizure in the 9 or so years he's been diabetic.  Sue was able to draw the glucogon and with the help of our other son, pin him down in order to give the shot.  It was easier when he was younger, but now he's so strong that you can't sit on him like before.  I won't go into details of drawing the glucogon, but it's a large needle...

I checked in last night, and all is well.  Ian's alert and moving around, albeit with a nasty headache.  His main regret is that it happened on gamenight for his hockey team, so he didn't get to play.  Gives you an idea of the role hockey plays in our household.

Great job handling the crisis, Sue...  Sorry you had to face it without me there.

01/28/2004

Our Java For The Domino Developer went great!

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Thursday, January 29th, 12:03 am

First off...  thank you all for attending and making the session very memorable for Joe and I.  It went very well and we had a blast up there.  We were hoping that people would walk away thinking that they could actually do Java, and the feedback I've heard so far is that we connected.  I'll look at the actual evals tomorrow, but I can truly say that I am completely satisfied with our first Lotusphere speaking gig.  It helped to have so many friends in the front row making sure we stayed humble beforehand....

For those who are visiting to find the session slides and the database...

The session slides...
Our sample database...

Now, there are a couple of suggestions I've had for slide changes, but I'm too tired right now to do much about it.  Maybe this weekend.  Until then, I just want to savor the speaker high...  :-)

Thanks again, everyone.  You made my Lotusphere!

01/28/2004

A little catchup for day #3...

Category Live From Lotusphere!


Wednesday, January 28th, 12:14 pm


So I got in a little late last night from the e-Pro dinner I attended.  That's one of my highlight events each year.  All the staff of the magazine are great to work with, and I am pleased to be part of that group.  The dinner was at the House Of Blues, and I had a *wonderful* shrimp po-boy sandwich.  To die for...  I didn't stay out afterwards to play at Pleasure Island, as I am speaking today at 4:30 pm.  I'm tired enough as it is...


Libby Schwarz gave an excellent presentation on portals from the perspective of a "Domino Pro".  If you were wondering what a portal is and why you might need one, this was the session to help answer your questions.  From there, Rob Novak gave the "how" session on setting up WebSphere Portal Express.  He has the bloody fingers to show for it, and he was able to tell you what to look for and what to realistically expect the first time you attempt that feat.


After the last session, I did my tek-check for today's session.  That's where we make sure our laptops work with the overhead, the mics work, and so on.  Very quick and painless.  I know what a 600+ seat room looks like empty now.  I wonder what it will look like at 4:30 pm today...  :-)


So far today, I've practiced my session (again!) with Joe, and hit Ed Brill's session on "The Boss Loves Microsoft".  I love to watch him give that session, especially when there are MS people in the crowd.  I should nap, but I might be too keyed up for that.  I'll hang out until Rocky's session on Extreme LotusScript at 2:30 pm.  I follow him in the same room (don't know whether that's good or bad), so I should be used to the place by the time I start.  Yes, Swan 10 will be taken over by "the short guys" this afternoon...  :-)

01/28/2004

Best And Worst Of Lotusphere... t-shirts!

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Wednesday, January 28th, 12:04 pm

In the spirit of the Lotus Awards, a number of bloggers are going to award their own version of the best/worst of Lotusphere.  For me, I'll be giving out the t-shirt awards.  

For best t-shirt, I see it as a tie between the CULT shirt and the SpamJam shirt from Granite software.  I'm sure you've seen/heard references to the CULT shirt, so I won't go into any detail there.  The SpamJam shirt is a nice dark green, and the back shows your inbox without SpamJam.  The 10 inbox entries are real emails contributed by a number of people, and they are too funny (and too true).  My favorite is "COWS GONE WILD!"...

I would grant a close runner-up vote for the PeerWire shirt done in a Matrix style logo on the back.  Very classy.

I don't think there were any horrible shirts this year, although the Percussion shirt (neon green) isn't one I'd want to wear outside the confines of a geekfest.

01/26/2004

Day 2 wrapup...

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Monday, January 26, 10:11 pm

OK...  I'll go on record here as saying I like the direction of Notes 8.  As I blogged earlier, Notes 8 will be a hybrid client based on Eclipse that will run portlet, web-based, AND native Notes applications.  I've heard varying opinions about this from others.  Some are happy that there will be new ground to explore with an Eclipse-based client, and that it gives you the ability to run on a Linux platform.  Others *still* see this as the end of Notes as we know it.  Now, if N8 only runs a defined subset of current Notes functionality, then I believe there would be grounds for some complaints.  But if IBM can indeed pull off full Notes functionality in a new client, then what's the issue?  It's not a matter of what you *don't* have any more.  It's a matter of what you get *in addition to* your current client.  Time will tell, but I'm happy with what I've heard so far...

I went to AD201 which was an overview of Domino/Portal/Workplace integration.  Now, although it was a single dot session (intro), I've seen sessions with three dots that I understood better than this one.  When he started getting into NRPC and local programming stacks, the people started filtering out.  AD202 that followed was more focused on some of the options for portlet development without programming.  That one clicked a little better, and I do want to try out some of the portlet builder options out there.

I also enjoyed the product showcase.  It was nice to meet up with people whom I had only met in the virtual world, as well as friends I hadn't seen in a year.  I always enjoy meeting up with Jamie from MartinScott, and it was nice to finally put some faces with names for the e-Pro staff.  It's normally a good idea to be on good terms with the person who mails your checks for the articles (hi, Sue!).  I actually was a willing scanee this year, as there were a number of vendors who had information I wanted for potential projects when I get back.  I may have a ton of email when I get back, but oh well...

And even though I am *not* a replacement for Gayle, Bruce and I have been getting along just fine...  :-)

And for those who have pointed out how *painfully* slow my blog is...  yes, I know there's a problem, and I'm going to work with Rocky to try out some options.  Don't expect any miracles until I get back home, but I hope to speed things up...  Thanks for not deserting me en masse...

01/26/2004

Session STR103 - Lotus Notes And Domino Futures session rocked!

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Monday, January 26th, 3:24 pm

I just got out of the Futures session where they talked about how Domino 7 and 8 are shaping up.  I was interested in Domino 8, as it will be a hybrid client based on Eclipse that will run both web-based and traditional Notes applications in the Eclipse client.  They are aiming for 100% compatibility of Notes client functionality for Domino 8, and it should be the perfect bridge that will allow Notes shops to use the Workplace technology with no loss of their current Notes environment.  I think this is the session that most people should have attended, as it answered my questions as to where the Notes client is going, and how it will preserve the current and expand the future.  Nothing is going away..  We're just getting "more"...  Cool stuff.

If you have a chance, attend the repeat (if there is one) or download the slides.  

01/25/2004

Day #1 is in the books...

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Sunday, January 25th, 10:34 pm

01/25/2004

Getting into the groove...

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Sunday, January 25th, 1:35 pm

Sleep is good.  As in I was able to last night!  I missed a number of the people at the ESPN party last night, as I bailed around 10:45 or so.  But one hour of sleep in 36 doesn't lend itself to Duffbert being a party animal.

I took in the first part of the Lotus Workplace 1.1 jumpstart this morning, and I think I have a much better idea as to what "Workplace" means.  At this moment, I'm sitting in the Intro To Portal jumpstart (and blogging).  The wireless network seems to be working well, and my new wireless Proxim card rocks!  

It's so nice to see many of the people I've talked with but never met in person.  Sue Johnson from e-Pro, Volker, Declan, and many others.  That's what this event is all about.  Networking!

I probably should get back to paying attention to this session...  More to come later.

01/24/2004

My first blog entry direct from Lotusphere... I made it here.

Category Live From Lotusphere!

Saturday, 1/24/2004, 4:53 pm

Well...  I made it here not too much the worse for wear.  I left Portland last night at 9 pm, flew to Seattle, and then flew direct to Orlando.  I got in around 6:15 am and hooked up with the Mears shuttle real quickly.  Dumped my stuff at the Dolphin and headed over to Epcot.  The new Mission: Space ride is really awesome, but I don't think I could ride it twice without being nauseated for the rest of the day.  It's definitely disorienting, and I'm getting old...  :-)

Found Bruce Elgort with no problem, and moved my stuff into the room here.  Nice view, nice room, and it only took me about three tries to get the internet connectivity working right!  Found the speaker registration room, and got my Lotusphere materials and backpack.  Actual usage will tell the tale, but I sorta like this year's version of the backpack.  It should hold my laptop with no problem, and there are tons of zippered pockets.  Wouldn't surprise me to find a new pocket in the thing a month from now...  So long as the straps hold up, I think it will become an oft'd used backpack going forward.

The plane ride last night sucked big time.  Makes me want to swear off travel.  We had two screaming babies for around 80% of the trip.  Now, I don't sleep on red-eye flights, but I try.  Not this flight.  The only thing that made it marginally OK was that I remembered to grab a pair of earplugs before I left.  I could still hear the screaming, but it wasn't as obnoxious as it could be.  I dozed here in the room today for a short while, so I hope to be alert enough to make it to Turtle's party this evening at the ESPN Club.

01/22/2004

I'll be happy to leave for Lotusphere just to "slow down"...

Category Everything Else

This has been one long week...  I haven't gotten as much sleep as I wanted, which hopefully will help me to sleep during my red-eye flight to Orlando tomorrow night.  I've gotten home a little later than normal from the client engagements, and then I've usually had stuff to do right after work (so no rest there).  There was presentation practice with Joe yesterday evening before he leaves for Tampa.  Today, I had to take the cat to the vet for some problems which are strangely similar to the issues he had when I was at Lotusphere last year (and that cost about $1500 to resolve).  Yeah, no stress there...  

I finally got around to downloading Ben's Lotusphere schedule db today...  mainly to make sure they didn't schedule me for a repeat I wasn't planning on!  I've got most of my stuff packed, but I still feel like I should be doing something else.

I was probably like this last year too.  I just don't remember...  :-)

01/20/2004

Running the very latest version of BlogSphere now...

Category Blogging

I am now running the absolute latest version of BlogSphere based on some coding changes made by Rocky today.  There's still an issue on this particular blog involving slow load times from the point where the server gets the request and then gives back the first HTTP 200 response.  From there, the load is very quick...  :-)

I gotta get that one figured out.  Let me know if you see any other issues.

01/20/2004

Priceline is cool...

Category Everything Else

Since I have to fly cross-country to get home from Lotusphere, I normally don't come back until Friday.  I did the Thursday rush to the airport many years ago at my first LS, and I swore I'd never do that again.  So, Bruce Elgort (who I'm staying with) is heading back Thursday, which left me without a room for the final night.  I'm sure I could have worked something out with someone else, but I've always wanted to stay at the Hyatt there at the Orlando airport.  It just seems like it would be fun to be right there in the middle of everything...

Anyway...

On their website, their best rate was $167 a night.  Too much.  I looked at a couple other discount options, one of which was $347 a night.  Nope.  I then went over to Priceline to see what I could do there.  I said I wanted a 3 star hotel (the highest rating) in the Orlando airport area.  Their suggested "bid" was $127 a night.  Still too much for a crash pad.  For kicks, I said I'd pay $50, knowing that the chances were slim and none.  Well, slim came through!  For a grand total of $62.50, I'll be staying at the Orlando Hyatt Thursday night.  That should be fun!

On some Disney discount boards frequented by my wife, there are postings on how people have gotten the Dolphin for $70 a night.  Sue suggested I try that, but you can't be absolutely sure of the hotel you'll get.  I didn't want to take the risk of winning a bid for an off-site hotel with no transportation...

01/18/2004

Book Review - 7 Steps To Fearless Speaking by Lilyan Wilder

Category Book Reviews

As part of my Lotusphere preparation, I've been reading 7 Steps To Fearless Speaking by Lilyan Wilder.  She's a communication consultant who has coached a number of broadcast correspondents.  In this book, she outlines seven steps to take in order to become a more effective public speaker.  The seven steps are:  Experience Your Voice; Get A Response And Structure Your Thoughts; Establish A Dialogue; Tap Your Creativity; Learn To Persuade; Achieve Your Higher Objective; and Give The Gift Of Your Conviction.  

It's not a "short-cut" or "quick fix" book, in that she has exercises that you need to work through to get the most benefit from the program.  However, if you're willing to work at it and follow the path she lays out, you will emerge as a more confident and composed speaker when you find yourself called upon to speak in front of a group.

01/18/2004

Book Review - HTML And XHTML: The Complete Reference by Thomas Powell

Category Book Reviews


I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the book
HTML & XHTML: The Complete Reference by Thomas Powell (McGraw-Hill Osborne).  It's one of those books that should be on the shelf of every web developer.  You'll quickly find the answers you need, as well as very good explanations and examples.  I recommend this one.

You can read the entire
review at the Portland Notes/Domino User Group site.

01/17/2004

Book Review - Programming Jakarta Struts by Chuck Cavaness

Category Book Reviews

With Lotusphere coming up, you'll be hearing a lot about java programming for web applications and portlets, and you'll no doubt hear the term Struts thrown around.  That's an application framework for Java web applications, and one of the books you can use to start learning it is Programming Jakarta Struts by Chuck Cavaness (O'Reilly).  It's part tutorial and part reference, and uses a sample application throughout to help you build something "real" while learning the framework.  It may not be the best choice if you've never read anything about Struts, as Struts can be confusing when you first encounter it.  But it will give you all the information you need to start using the framework in your application development efforts.

You can read the entire review at the Portland Domino/Notes User Group website.

01/17/2004

Book Review - Jakarta Struts Pocket Reference by Chuck Cavaness and Brian Keeton

Category Book Reviews

If you're looking for a quick guide to use if you're programming with the Struts architecture on a regular basis, check out the Jakarta Struts Pocket Reference by Chuck Cavaness and Brian Keeton.  It's not a tutorial; instead, it's a quick reference tool to document all the moving parts of Struts so that you can find answers quickly to questions related to configuration and parameters.

You can read my full review at the Portland Domino/Notes User Group website.

01/17/2004

Whoo-hoo! The second Domino Java article is now out!

Category Software Development

As you might have read on Joe's blog, our second article in Lotus Advisor is now out.  It's titled Write An E-Mail Notification Agent In Java, and it's in the Februrary issue.  If you're going to Lotusphere, that's the copy that will be in your Lotusphere bag when you check in.  Nothing like a little visibility prior to our session on Wednesday...  :-)

A picture named M2

01/17/2004

You'll Love It; Just Wait..

Category Microsoft

In the January 5th issue of eWeek, Jim Rapoza writes an article titled Resist FUD, Lure Of Hype.  In the actual magazine, it's titled You'll Love It; Just Wait.  This is a great look at how magazine articles could be marketed by using the FUD technique we all know so well from a certain software company in the Pacific Northwest.  It starts out like this...

I've got a column that you're just gonna love. It will change the way you work and make you much more productive—and happy. In fact, this column is so important and useful that you should probably refrain from reading other columns, which may distract you and prevent you from getting the most out of my column.

I probably won't finish writing this column until later this year, probably midsummer or so. But you should start getting ready for that column now because you'll need to be prepared to quickly read and understand it when it comes out.

I must re-emphasize the importance of not reading any other columns in the meantime. Sure, they're available, but by reading them, you could learn something that would be incorrect. This could put you behind other IT pros and cost you money because you'll have to forget what those other columns said and spend time understanding mine. And, as we all know, time is money.

And it only gets better...  Seeing FUD in this context helps you to view it in a clearer light...  Recommended read.

01/16/2004

How to Delete Profile Documents Manually or by LotusScript in Notes

Category Software Development

A nice little "how to" from the KnowledgeBase...

How to Delete Profile Documents Manually or by LotusScript in Notes

Document Number:  1088892

Problem
Resolving problems sometimes requires you to delete profile documents.  For example, a corrupt Calendar Profile document in a mail database can cause a Notes workstation crash when creating a Calendar entry.  Such crashes can be avoided only by deleting the Calendar profile and recreating it.  If using Notes R4, there is also an additional Delegation Profile document which may need to be deleted as well.

But as profile documents do not appear in views and folders, how can profile documents be deleted?

Content
A distinction can be made between two cases:

1.        The Profile document can be accessed for Reading/Editing directly:

If the administrator/user is in edit mode after calling up the document, the only actions to perform are to switch into read mode, pressing the DELETE key and the F9 key. The document gets deleted.  This method will not work for profile documents created/edited via a  Dialogbox, such as the Mail template's Calendar profile or it's Out of Office Profile.

2.        The Profile document cannot be accessed directly, or can only be accessed via a Dialogbox:

You can use the LotusScript GetProfileDocument method (of the NotesDatabase class) to get a handle to a profile document, and the Remove method (of the NotesDocument class) to delete the profile document.  Because calling the GetProfileDocument method creates a profile document on the fly prior to deleting the document, you should first check to see if the document previously existed.   This can be done using the IsNewNote property (of the NotesDocument class).   If the property returns True, then the profile did not exist prior to the GetProfileDocument call and there is no need to delete it.

Beginning with Notes R5, the GetProfileDocCollection method has been added.  This allows you to get a collection of profile documents in a database, independent of the key name used when creating the profile document(s).

Additionally, if you know the Note ID of a profile document, then the GetDocumentByID method (of the NotesDatabase class) can also be used to get a handle to a Profile document.

When using the GetProfileDocument method, you need to pass the name of the profile.  If the Form the profile is based on has an Alias name, then this should be passed as the name parameter.   Profile documents also have an optional key parameter which will also need to be passed if it was originally created using such a key.  If the key is unknown, then the GetProfileDocCollection method could be used instead of the GetProfileDocument method.

The Calendar profile is named "CalendarProfile".    The Notes R4 Delegation profile is "DelegationProfile".  The Out of Office profile is "OutOfOfficeProfile".  In Notes R5, the Archive properties are stored in a profile called "Archive Profile".


Example 1,  Profile document name known:

Dim s as New NotesSession
Dim db as NotesDatabase
Dim doc as NotesDocument
Set db = s.currentdatabase
Set doc = db.GetProfileDocument(<Name of desired profile goes here in quotes>)
Call doc.Remove(True)

Example 2, Deleting the Calendar Profile from the current user's mail file:

Dim session as new notessession
dim db as notesdatabase
dim doc as notesdocument
 
'This line returns the name of the mailfile
maildbinfo = Evaluate(|@MailDbName|)
 
set db = session.getdatabase(maildbinfo(0), maildbinfo(1))
set doc = db.getprofiledocument("CalendarProfile")
If Not doc.isnewnote Then Call doc.remove(true)

'This profile will only exist if using a R4 Mail template. Including the line in R5 will cause no harm.
set doc = db.getprofiledocument("DelegationProfile")  
If Not doc.isnewnote Then Call doc.remove(true)


Example 3, Accessing Profile document by it's Note ID:

Dim session as new notessession
dim db as notesdatabase
dim doc as notesdocument
 
Set db = s.currentdatabase
set doc = db.getdocumentbyid("000021CA")
If Not doc is Nothing Then Call doc.remove(true)

Where 000021CA is the Note ID of the Calendar profile.

Supporting Information:

From the On Line Help:


Retrieves or creates a profile document.

Defined in

NotesDatabase

Syntax

Set notesDocument = notesDatabase.GetProfileDocument( profilename$ [ , username$] )

Parameters

profilename$

String. The name or an alias of the profile document.

username

String. Optional. The user name (key) attached to the profile document.

Return value

notesDocument

The profile document that matches the given name.


Given a profile name, returns a collection of profile documents that match the name.

Note  This method is new with Release 5.

Defined in

NotesDatabase

Syntax

Set notesDocumentCollection = notesDatabase.GetProfileDocCollection( profilename$ )

Parameters

profilename$

String. The name of the profile document.

Return value

notesDocumentCollection

The collection of profile documents that match the given name.

01/16/2004

@DbLookup and @DbColumn Error Messages in Notes

Category Software Development

Most of the time I am able to get my @DbLookup/@DbColumn formulas working without too many headaches.  It only took me seven years!  But on those off days when everything looks right but still doesn't run, perhaps this KnowledgeBase item can help out...

@DbLookup and @DbColumn Error Messages in Notes

Document Number:  1084493

Problem
Below is a listing of the common error messages reported when using @DbLookup and @DbColumn in formulas.  These errors come from a number of sources, ranging from incorrect syntax to a value not being found.  The order is roughly that in which the errors would occur, were you to commit more than one mistake in writing your formula.  You may capture any of these errors with the @IsError function.

Content
1.        Unknown @Function.  You will get this error message if you attempt to save a formula with an incorrectly spelled function, (e.g., @DbLooku [the 'p' at the end is missing]).

2.        Insufficient Arguments for @Function.  This message appears when the formula executes, if the @Db function is part of an another @Function, such as an @Prompt, and you have not included all of the parameters required by the other @Function.

3.        @If Must Have an Odd Number of Arguments.  Same as #2, but specifically for @If.

4.        Insufficient Arguments for Database Function.  Same as #2, but specifically for the @Db function itself.

5.        The necessary external database driver cannot be located.  'Notes' is misspelled in the class argument or the specified datalens driver cannot be found.  For example, @DbLookup("Nortes"; etc ... )

6.        The database was not found, please select servers to search.  If the Server Name was left out of the formula, you will get this error message.

7.        Server not responding.  The Server is either not responding or it is incorrectly specified in the formula.  To test: Manually try to open the server. If it can be opened, the name is probably specified incorrectly.

8.        ERROR: You are not authorized to perform that operation.  This error will occur if a Background Macro attempts to perform an @Db function against a non-local database (not on the same server).

9.        File Does Not Exist.  The @Db Function refers to a database which does not exist.  This often occurs because the formula has semicolons and colons in the wrong places.  For example, @DbLookup("Notes" ; "NoCache" ; etc ... ) is referring to a database called 'NoCache.nsf' which most probably is not what was intended!  Another common reason for this is directory paths.  If the database is found outside of the Notes Data Directory, you must specify the location.  For example, "C:\\Directory\\SubDirectory\\Filename.nsf" (note the double-backslashes).  

Instead of typing in the Server and Database names, you may use the replica id, which totally negates the problem of not knowing exactly where the database is physically located!  In that case, perform a Design Synopsis on the Lookup Database, only checking ON Replication Information, and then copy the Replica ID from there into your formula.  Be sure to enclose the ID in quotes, if you use this method.  Also, be sure to include a colon between the first 8 characters and the last 8 characters of the ID.

If you use this second method, and you have multiple icons of the same Replica Database on your desktop, you will receive the message, "Warning: Multiple Copies of this Database with the same Replica ID encountered in workspace" on the status bar at the bottom of your screen.  As long as your replica copies are up to date, this is not a problem.

10.        A View of That Name Cannot Be Found in the Specified Database.  Same as #8, except that the View name is incorrect.  This is often due to the switched semicolons and colons, as above.  Other common reasons for this error include:

*  forgetting to use double backslashes when referring to a Cascading View
*  referring to a Private View (@Db Functions cannot use Private Views, because they are stored in the Desktop.dsk file, not in the database file (.nsf))
*  not  including underscores (used for hotkeys) in your formula
*  enclosing view name in parentheses, in cases in which the view is not hidden

This error can also occur if the view being accessed by the @DbLookup or @DbColumn has a Read Access list on it, and the user is not a member of the Read Access list.  The Application Developer's Reference states on page 17-33 that "@DbColumn is not subject to the Read Access list on a view; so long as it has Reader access to the target database, it can retrieve data from all shared views". This is incorrect and has been reported to Lotus Quality Engineering.

11.        Entry Not Found in Index.  If the @Db Function refers to a key which is nonexistent, doesn't match any values in the Lookup View, or if the Lookup View is not sorted on the first column, you will get this error message.  Often, this is due to a blank or null key value.  This error will also occur in background agents when the key document exists but the document contains a Reader Names field which does not contain the Replica ID of the database performing the lookup.

You can capture the error produced when no data is found using the @IsError function.  For example:

temp := @DbLookup("":"NoCache";"":"";"view";"key";2);
@If(@IsError(temp);"Error message";temp)


This formula sets the value of the DbLookup to a temporary variable, temp, and then checks for an error (using @IsError).  If the function produces an error, the text "Error message" is put into the field.  If the function does not produce an error, the lookup value (contained in temp) is returned.

12.  The data types of two matching results are incompatible. If an @DbColumn is being performed on an integer column, and there is a document in the view with a null integer field -- a blank field -- you will get this error message.

13.        What if there is no error message and no value returned?  It is possible that you are asking for the data to be returned to an invalid location.  For instance, your formula may be in a button, or a macro, which says, FIELD Subbject := @DbLookup(etc ... )  Presumably, you do not have a field on your Form called, Subbject; therefore, you will not see the returned results.


Error Message (if any):

Unknown @Function; Insufficient Arguments for @Function; @If Must Have an Odd Number of Arguments; Insufficient Arguments for Database Function; The necessary external database driver cannot be located; The database was not found, please select servers to search; Server not responding; File Does Not Exist; A View of That Name Cannot Be Found in the Specified Database; Entry Not Found in Index; The data types of two matching results are incompatible;

ERROR: You are not authorized to perform that operation


Supporting Information:

Note:        Although this document was originaly written for Notes 3.x versions, these errors occur in other versions, such as 4.x and 5.x.  Another error message that occurs is "Too many arguments for database function".  This will occur if you supply an @DbColumn with too many parameters, for instance, by including a key parameter which is used by @DbLookup but not @DbColumn.

In addition, the error "Incorrect datatype for database function" will occur if you have placed quotes around the column number in a formula.

01/15/2004

Are You Ready To Love Blogging?

Category Blogging

In Baseline magazine, there's an article titled Are You Ready To Love Blogging? by Edward Cone.  In the piece, Cone talks about how Microsoft is allowing Robert Scoble to publish "unfiltered" views of Microsoft on his blog called Scobleizer Weblog.

On one hand, I commend Microsoft for coming to grips with this new reality.  It's a risk for any company to allow an employee to publish a blog that is tied to their work persona.  But it's something that is becoming increasingly more difficult to control.  

On the other hand, I say "so what?"  Ed's been doing that for over a year now...  :-)

01/15/2004

Man, I am *so* behind on my book reviews...

Category Book Reviews

As I write this blog entry, I'm looking at eight books from publishers that I need to review.  Not too bad.  I got another one today based on an email from Libby.  Looks interesting.  Got the monthly email from Addison-Wesley and there were three books on the Rational Unified Process that looked interesting.  Kerry was more than happy to send them right out.  Oh, and there's the three books from O'Reilly that Marsee is going to send out to me.  That was last week.  Now O'Reilly distributes for three other publishers.  I offered to turn out a couple of user group book reviews for her so that they could see how that works.  Marsee decided to send out the one book I requested plus the other ten (yes, ten) that I listed a month ago as possibilities if she wanted a quick turnaround.

Some smoke...  some gamble...  some drink...  I can't say no to books...  

Hi.  My name is Tom, and I'm a tech book addict.

01/15/2004

Tips for Working with the LotusScript Evaluate Function

Category Software Development

Some people think the Evaluate statement is evil, and others think it is a huge timesaver (I would fall into the latter category).  Here's a posting in the KnowledgeBase on said subject...

Tips for Working with the LotusScript Evaluate Function

Document Number:  1094384

Problem
What are the rules to keep in mind when you are working with the LotusScript Evaluate function?

Content
When you are working with the Evaluate function, keep the following points in mind:

1.        The first parameter is a string value.  Ensure that you use the proper syntax, particularly in cases where the @Function referenced within the Evaluate function contains parameters within quotation marks.

Examples:

a.        When passing the parameter enclosed in quotations marks, the parameters of the @function must be included in a pair of quotation marks:

Result = Evaluate( "@ReplaceSubstring(SourceField; ""errr"";""error"")", doc)

b.        When passing the parameter enclosed in vertical bars, the parameters of the @function must be enclosed in a single set of quotation marks:

Result = Evaluate(|@ReplaceSubstring(SourceField; "errr";"error")|, doc)

2.        The parameters within the referenced @function must be either a field name, within the document, or text.  Extended syntax is not allowed.  Also, in Notes releases 4.1x and 4.5x, you are not allowed to use a LotusScript variable to set a parameter.

        Examples:

a.        In the following line, the document being referenced contains a field SourceField:

Result = Evaluate(|@ReplaceSubstring(SourceField; "errr";"error")|, doc)

b.        In the following line, which uses extended syntax to reference the field SourceField, will not work:

Result = Evaluate(|@ReplaceSubstring(doc.SourceField(0); "errr";"error")|, doc)

c.        In Notes releases 4.1x and 4.5x, the following line (which uses variables to pass some of the @function parameters) will not work:

find$ = "errr"
replace$ = "error"
Result = Evaluate(|@ReplaceSubstring(SourceField; find$; replace$)|, doc)

Supporting Information:

For more information on creating and concatenating strings, refer to the following sections in the Notes R4 on-line Help (HELP.NSF) or the LotusScript Language Reference manual:

Literal String Construction Rules in LotusScript  
String Concatenation Operator in LotusScript

Detailed Example:
 
The following sample script illustrates how the Evaluate statement can be used to emulate @ReplaceSubString.  This example makes a copy of the value in a field, SourceField, replaces all instances of 'e' with 'b' and places the result into another field (ReplacedField).

     Dim w As New notesUIWorkspace
    Dim uidoc As notesUIDocument
    Dim doc As notesDocument


     'set a constant to the @function using single quotes around the "search for" and the "replace with" parameters
    Const Eval$ = |@ReplaceSubstring(SourceField;"e";"b")|


     'dim the variable which will be the result of the evaluate statement as Variant
    Dim result As Variant

     Set uidoc = w.currentDocument
    Set doc = uidoc.document

     result = Evaluate(Eval$,doc)
     'result of the Evaluate statement produces an array so must use subscript
    doc.ReplacedField = result

     Call doc.Save( True, True )

01/15/2004

How Large Is a Deletion Stub in Notes?

Category Software Development

One of those "I didn't know that" items from the KnowledgeBase...

How Large Is a Deletion Stub in Notes?

Document Number:  1093391

Problem
How large is a deletion stub in Notes?

Content
In Notes 5.x and 6.x,  a deletion stub occupies 100 bytes.

In Notes 4.x, a deletion stub occupies 88 bytes.

In Notes 3.x, a deletion stub occupies 64 bytes.

01/14/2004

Book Review - Looking Good In Presentations by Molly Joss

Category Book Reviews

Over the last few weeks, I've been reading through the book Looking Good In Presentations by Molly Joss.  I figured since I have the Lotusphere presentation coming up, I might as well get some expert instruction on how to build a good slide presentation.  This book contains a wealth of information on how (and how *not*) to structure your presentation.  It covers media, design and layout, typeface, graphs and diagrams, multimedia, and many other topics.  It's easy to read, and all the information is practical.  If you find yourself needing to put together presentations for talks, you would do well to get this book and pick up some pointers on how to do it right.  Now...  just don't judge my presentation by this...  :-)

01/13/2004

What Is the Purpose of the Notes CACHE.DSK File?

Category Software Development

Have you ever wondered exactly what's going on in the cache.dsk file in Notes?  Here you go...  From the KnowledgeBase...

What Is the Purpose of the Notes CACHE.DSK File?

Document Number:  1155947

Problem

What is the Notes CACHE.DSK file and what does it do?


Content
This special file contains design elements (forms, subforms, and LotusScript libraries) of databases located on a Notes server, in addition to cross-replica journaling information.  Storing these items in this file helps improve client performance when accessing databases located on a Notes server and automates the process of read-mark synchronization.

Important points about the CACHE.DSK file include the following:

1.  The CACHE.DSK is created automatically whenever Notes starts, if the file does not already exist.  Therefore, if this file is deleted, it will be recreated the next time the Notes Client is started.

2.  The CACHE.DSK is actually a Notes database with no built-in forms or views.  Therefore, this file can be compacted to recover unused space.  The Compact option for the CACHE.DSK is found on the Information tab of the Workspace Properties dialog box (right-click any part of the Notes Workspace and select Workspace Properties from the pop-up menu).  Note that compacting the CACHE.DSK in this manner also compacts the DESKTOP.DSK.  Also, the value in the Size field that appears on the Information tab reflects the combined size of the CACHE.DSK and the DESKTOP.DSK.

3.  The CACHE.DSK, by default, is located in the Notes data directory.  There are, however, two methods for relocating the file:  (1) the database redirection file and (2) a NOTES.INI redirection parameter.
 
4.  To achieve reasonable balance between cache performance and disk-space consumption, the default maximum size of the CACHE.DSK is set at 5MB.  For additional information on setting the CACHE.DSK size limit, refer to the document titled "Is it Possible to Limit the Size of CACHE.DSK in Notes? (#1091866)".

5.  Design elements (forms, subforms, navigators, scripts, etc.) for a database are cached locally in the CACHE.DSK.  This speeds up access to commonly used design elements.  When a database is opened, it is determined whether the design elements need to be re-cached from the database, based on an internal time stamp.

Notes 6.x Client:
In the Notes 6.x Client, the Cache file has been renamed to CACHE.NDK.

Even though all information above applies to the Cache.ndk file in Notes 6.x Client, please refer also to the following document for specific changes regarding the data stored in each of the Cache, Desktop, Bookmark, etc. files:  "Cache.NDK, Desktop6.NDK and Bookmark.nsf in ND 6" (#: 7002715)

01/13/2004

When Will Scheduled Agents Run Next if the Server Has Been Down?

Category Software Development

Occasionally this question comes up from a client.  I thought I knew the answer, but this helps to confirm it if there's any question.  From the KnowledgeBase...

When Will Scheduled Agents Run Next if the Server Has Been Down?

Document Number:  1100357

Problem
If maintenance needs to be done on a Domino server and the server will be down during times when a scheduled agent is set to run, when will the agent next run after the server comes back up?

Content
AgentManager records an agent's run-times by when it last ran and how often it is supposed to run.  For example, AgentX is scheduled to run every two hours and begins running at 12:00.  It completes at 12:06 and is next scheduled at 2:06.  If an administrator brings the server down at 1:45 and does not bring Domino back up until 2:45, AgentManager will have recorded AgentX as missing its last run-time and will immediately queue the agent.  AgentX will run as soon as the server is up.

01/12/2004

REPOST - Fix for the RSS validation issue in the latest release of BlogSphere...

Category Blogging

This is a repost, as Rich Schwartz mentioned that there are many BlogSphere sites out there that are failing validation...

------------------------

Ever since I upgraded to the latest version of BlogSphere, my RSS feed quit working in the Awasu reader.  Also, I couldn't pass the RSS validation due to an invalid LatBuildDate value and invalid entries in the Description tag.  In order to fix that, you need to make the following changes to the RSS/Stories view.  Basically, I fixed the date formatting to use 24 hour times and added a CDATA tag within the Description tag.  I'll pass this along to Declan for inclusion in the next release...

Column 2 of the view - the formula should read:


REM {START - W3C UTC Time Conversion - Mike Golding - May 2003};

vDate := Storydate;

vWeekDay := @Select(@Weekday(vDate);"Sun";"Mon";"Tue";"Wed";"Thu";"Fri";"Sat");

vDay := @Text(@Day(vDate));

vMonth := @Select(@Month(vDate);"Jan";"Feb";"Mar";"Apr";"May";"Jun";"Jul";"Aug";"Sep";"Oct";"Nov";"Dec");

vYear := @Text(@Year(vDate));

REM {vTime := @Text(vDate;"S1T0");};

vHour := @Right("0" + @Text(@Hour(vDate));2);

vMinute := @Right("0" + @Text(@Minute(vDate));2);

vSecond := @Right("0" + @Text(@Second(vDate));2);

vTime := VHour + ":" + VMinute + ":" + VSecond;


vZone := @Zone;

vZoneDST := @If(@Abs(vZone-@Integer(vZone)) > 0 ; 1 ; 0);

vZoneOffset := @Integer(vZone) - vZoneDST;

vSign := @If(vZoneOffset > 0; "-"; "+");

vZoneFull := @Right("0" + @Text(@Abs(vZoneOffset));2) + @Right("0" + @Text(@If(vZoneOffset > 99 ; @Integer(@Abs(vZoneOffset)/100);0));2);


vWeekDay + ", " + vDay + " " + vMonth + " " + vYear + " " + vTime + " " + vSign + vZoneFull



Column 3 of the view - the formula should read:


REM {START - W3C UTC Time Conversion - Mike Golding - May 2003};

vDate := Storydate;

vWeekDay := @Select(@Weekday(vDate);"Sun";"Mon";"Tue";"Wed";"Thu";"Fri";"Sat");

vDay := @Text(@Day(vDate));

vMonth := @Select(@Month(vDate);"Jan";"Feb";"Mar";"Apr";"May";"Jun";"Jul";"Aug";"Sep";"Oct";"Nov";"Dec");

vYear := @Text(@Year(vDate));

REM {vTime := @Text(vDate;"S1T0");};

vHour := @Right("0" + @Text(@Hour(vDate));2);

vMinute := @Right("0" + @Text(@Minute(vDate));2);

vSecond := @Right("0" + @Text(@Second(vDate));2);

vTime := VHour + ":" + VMinute + ":" + VSecond;


vZone := @Zone;

vZoneDST := @If(@Abs(vZone-@Integer(vZone)) > 0 ; 1 ; 0);

vZoneOffset := @Integer(vZone) - vZoneDST;

vSign := @If(vZoneOffset > 0; "-"; "+");

vZoneFull := @Right("0" + @Text(@Abs(vZoneOffset));2) + @Right("0" + @Text(@If(vZoneOffset > 99 ; @Integer(@Abs(vZoneOffset)/100);0));2);

REM {END - W3C UTC Time Conversion - Mike Golding - May 2003};



"<item>" +

"<title>" + StoryTitle + "</title>"+

"<link>" + FullURL + "</link>"+

"<description>" + "<![CDATA[ " + TXTRSSABSTRACT + "]]>" + "</description>"+

"<dc:subject>" + StoryCategory + "</dc:subject>"+

"<dc:creator>" + StoryAuthor + "</dc:creator>"+

"<comments>" + FullURL  + "</comments>"+

"<guid isPermaLink=\"true\">" + FullURL  + "</guid>"+

"<content:encoded><![CDATA[ " + FinalStoryText+ "]]></content:encoded>"+

"<pubDate>" + vWeekDay + ", " + vDay + " " + vMonth + " " + vYear + " " + vTime + " " + vSign + vZoneFull +"</pubDate>" +

"<slash:comments>"+@Text(Children)+"</slash:comments>" +

"<wfw:commentRss> " + ShortURL + "/CommentsRSS?Open&amp;id="+ txtdocid + "</wfw:commentRss>"+

"<wfw:comment> " + ShortURL + "/PostComment?RunAgent&amp;id="+ txtdocid + "</wfw:comment>"+

"</item>"

01/12/2004

Happy for Joe, but personally bummed out...

Category Everything Else

Well, Joe Litton broke it on his web site today...  He's taking a new job in Tampa, FL in two weeks.  He'll be a consultant for a company who will have him doing Notes development for a Notes shop down there.

While I'm personally bummed out over this, I'm also very happy for him.  Joe is a great friend, and I hold his development and people skills in the highest regard.  I've always enjoyed working with him on projects, and I'll miss the personal interaction of our times together.  He'll make a great consultant, and it's definitely the "right" thing for him to be doing.  On top of that, he'll be close to his son who started college down in Tampa this year.

This also left a rather sizable gap in the Lotusphere planning.  Joe was going courtesy of his soon-to-be former company, and I was going to stay with him.  Unfortunately, that's not going to happen now!  But Bruce Elgort, the kind guy that he is, offered to let me split his room, so I'm back in business there.  And I'm sure that rooming with Bruce will lead to *all* sorts of interesting stories when I get back!  :-)

Now, while this is stressful, it could be worse.  At least Joe will be able to make it down there for our session, so I don't have to deliver it solo.  And when I start getting overwhelmed, I just keep thinking...  "It's *JOE* that's moving, not me!"...

Hang in there, Joe, and good luck.  If there's anything I can do to help, let me know.  I'm glad to know this doesn't spell the end of our writing collaboration!

01/12/2004

Lotusphere mentioned in Spencer F. Katt's eWeek column...

Category IBM/Lotus

... but it's not in a flattering light.  But I guess that's why it's a rumor column now...  :-)

Spence scanned Cambridge's curbs for lost lottery tickets as he hustled to meet a pal for pizza along the Charles River. "It could happen," groused the Grimalkin. At lunch, the friend claimed that although Lotus folks should feel good that the IBM division has recommitted to the Notes and Domino platforms, morale is lower than ever. Many Loti are chafing at layoffs and IBM policies that call for Loti to be written up for not locking their office doors when they leave or for leaving laptops in view, even if offices are locked. Some are declining to present at Lotusphere, the pal posited.

01/12/2004

What's happening? *Another* book I chose not to finish!

Category Book Reviews

When I come up against *two* books in less than a week that I choose not to finish, that is bizarre.  At least for me...

This time, it was Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver.  This is a HUGE book (900+ pages) that goes back to the age of enlightenment, when people like Ben Franklin and Issac Newton were young and revolutionizing modern science.  I got about 75 pages into this, and just couldn't get interested.  That time period isn't one that normally interests me anyway, and I couldn't see devoting that much time to a book that I wasn't enjoying.  Perhaps if it were 200 - 300 pages, I might have tried to stick it out.  Not at 900 pages.  

And for those who would ask how could I *not* like Stephensen...  I actually do like his stuff.  I thought Snow Crash was an outstanding book (read it twice, in fact).  

01/12/2004

Body of Memo Generated in LotusScript is Missing When Viewed in Microsoft Outlook Express

Category Software Development

Here's something that may save you some troubleshooting time if it ever occurs....  From the KnowledgeBase...

Body of Memo Generated in LotusScript is Missing When Viewed in Microsoft Outlook Express

Document Number:  1086247

Problem
A LotusScript agent that sends a memo runs without error, but the Body field does not display when the memo is viewed in Microsoft Outlook Express.  The same agent works as expected when the memo is viewed in a Notes Client.

The following is a simplified example of the agent used:

Dim session as new NotesSession
Dim db as NotesDatabase
set db = s.currentdatabase
Dim doc as new NotesDocument (db)

doc.SendTo = "postmaster"
doc.Subject = "email test"
doc.Body= "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs"
doc.Form="memo"
call doc.send(true)

Content
The Body field is designed to be a Rich Text Field.  Using extended syntax (doc.Body= "..") to create or set the Body field can set the field to be of Type text.   You should use the New NotesRichTextItem method to create a field of the type Rich Text.  

From the above example the line:

doc.Body= "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs"

would be replaced with the following:

Set rtitem = New NotesRichTextItem (doc, "Body")
Call rtitem.appendtext("The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs")

01/12/2004

What happens to Notes data that is stored on the hard disk when a document or field value is deleted or edited in Notes?

Category Software Development

An interesting little item from the KnowledgeBase...

What Happens to Notes Data Stored on the Hard Disk When You Edit or Delete Data in Notes?

Document Number:  1101354

Problem
What happens to Notes data that is stored on the hard disk when a document or field value is deleted or edited in Notes?

Content
When documents are deleted, Notes fields are edited or deleted or an attachment is deleted, the space on the disk drive is overwritten by fill characters.  If the value of an edited field takes up less space on disk than the previous value, the unused space is overwritten with a fill character.  Overwriting the space with a fill characters is done for security reasons to prevent browsing of sensitive deleted information by reading .NSF files through the operating system.

Beginning with Notes 5.0, there is a new feature that allows you to disable the overwriting of free space.  While disabling the overwriting of free space improves performance because it reduces disk I/O activity, deleted information is not overwritten.  If someone has access to the .NSF file directly through the operating system, it may be possible for them to read the deleted text when overwriting of free disk space is disabled.

To disable the overwriting of free space, open the Database Properties dialog box by selecting File, Database, Properties from the menu when the database is open.  Switch to the Security (last) tab and enable the "Don't Overwrite Free Space" option.

In most cases, databases are stored and accessed on a Domino server where, not only is accessing the databases secure, but the physical server machine is secure as well.  In these cases, it may be worth disabling the overwriting of free disk space to gain improved performance.  For sensitive data, particularly where the physical machine is easily accessed, for example a laptop, it is recommended to leave the "Don't Overwrite Free Space" option disabled.  The "Don't Overwrite Free Space" option is disabled by default.

01/12/2004

Finally clearing up...

Category Everything Else

I'm back to driving to work (YES!), and the roads are pretty cleared up now.  The sidewalks and curbs are still messy, however.  It hasn't gotten much above the mid-40s, and it's taking some time to melt down the piles and accumulations.  As my wife observed, it's like trying to melt an ice cube in the refrigerator....  :-)

01/10/2004

I am *so* glad the weather is clearing up...

Category Everything Else

The temperatures have finally made it into the 40's, and the snow is starting to melt off.  Of course, now there are ankle-deep slush puddles cleverly hidden underneath thin crusts of snow/ice, leading to oh-so-pleasant surprises when you're out walking.

I finally made it out to a client yesterday.  I can normally get there in about 25 minutes by car.  I took our light-rail system instead due to the roads still being messy.  It took two freaking hours *each way* to get there and back.  10 - 15 minutes from my house to the station, an hour on the train, and then a 45 minute walk from the station to the office.  Normally the walk would be fine, but tromping through broken snow and ice made it an ordeal.  Add in a 10 hour day at the client, and I just went home and collapsed last night.

Hope not to repeat that too often...

01/10/2004

A rare event... a book I *didn't* finish!

Category Book Reviews

Let's put this in perspective...  over the last three years, I've read about 160 books a year.  During that time, I can count on one hand the number of books I've started but decided not to finish.  Once I start a book, I figure it's an investment that I don't want to drop.  I may go into "scan mode" towards the end of a book that is lagging, but I *do* finish it.  While at the library the other day, I picked up Beemer by Glen Gaslin.  This is supposed to be one of those "meaningful" novels with lots of significance to our age.  Let me list the review as written by Publisher's Weekly on Amazon:

Beemer Minutia, a 25-year-old Southern California drifter, has already lived in 15 different cities at the start of this breezy debut novel, a paean to consumerism. Currently, Beemer lives out of his Honda Civic, sustaining himself with makeshift meals from the 7-Eleven, and moves from strip mall to parking lot in search of his big break. Reared in the '80s by two detached parents ("Reagan watched over us, and Atari kept us busy"), he entertains visions of his name mass-marketed on everything from "motion pictures to action figures." His more immediate, practical future, however, involves a decision to move in with his feisty, power-obsessed girlfriend, Paulina ("Paul") and her family in "Regularland." Beemer scores entry-level work at an advertising firm, and his creativity is rewarded with a promotion to more high-profile assignments on another floor of the building (accessed via an otherworldly porthole in the men's room). Random explosions mark the first in a series of random anti-consumerist attacks, and Paul flees the drama to tour with Eunuch Town, the boy band she manages, leaving our dejected hero alone at the mercy of Paul's Uzi-toting mother and computer-whiz brother. Is there any hope for L.A.'s laziest slacker? Worldwide success for Eunuch Town and a surrealistic long-term project for Beemer seem to point toward pseudohappiness. Gaslin's story meanders along at a comfortable clip, though the plot has a tendency to detour into chatty psychobabble. A behind-the-scenes sequence at a fast food restaurant and Beemer's unique marketing campaign for "Death" are both clever and insightful, demonstrating Gaslin's potential for greater things. But like Beemer's sugary soda habit, this novel's empty calories supply a modest rush but little else. Coupland does it better.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


I got to page 49 and couldn't take it any more.  No action, too much lofty philosophical discussion on "life", and it just didn't work for me.  Perhaps if I had stayed with it longer, it might have picked up.  Guess I'll never find out.  :-)

01/10/2004

Book Review - Primal Scream by Michael Slade

Category Book Reviews

Being cooped up in the house during the weather led to a bit more reading time.  That, and a two hour commute on light rail.  Anyway, I just finished Primal Scream by Michael Slade.  A strange and gruesome book that doesn't rank among my favorites.  To start with, I think that much of the character development takes place in his earlier book Headhunter (which I haven't read).  As a result, there were continual references to people and events that I didn't know anything about but that were important to this story.  Next, there are two crime stories going on here that may or may not be interrelated, and it was confusing to figure out what was going on, and why.  Third, there are vivid depictions of rape and sexual fetish stuff that is key to the story.  Not for the squeamish.  The storyline is that there are killings (beheadings, actually) that are going on, and they are similar to a crime spree from the first book.  DeClerq is trying to solve the crime and figure out if they perhaps killed the wrong person on the earlier case.  Some suspenseful moments to be sure, but very disturbing and somewhat confusing to follow...

01/08/2004

Life in the Great White North...

Category Everything Else



Well, more ice today..  We did get above freezing, so some of it is starting to melt, but the forecast is such that we *still* may not get out of this for another day.


Here's a shot of how much more ice was added on to everything overnight...


A picture named M2

You can check out the additional photos at my
ofoto album (I added on to yesterday's entry...  the new ones are after the bus being towed)...

And the following will be a "so what" if you live in Minnesota, but it will be a "never to be forgotten" event out here.  In our backyard this afternoon...


A picture named M3


And a
link to a .MOV video (~10mb) of Ian skating around.  

01/08/2004

More IBM layoffs...

Category IBM/Lotus

Another 400 people out of work in the software and services division...  This looks like death by 1000 cuts.  I wonder if the affected employees feel like this?

A picture named M2

01/07/2004

Book Review - Into The Inferno by Earl Emerson

Category Book Reviews

Being cooped in up the house in this storm, I've had plenty of time to read in the evenings.  A novel I just finished was Into The Inferno by Earl Emerson.  Looking at the cover, it would appear to be a firefighting story of some sort, but in actuality it's a medical thriller that has a firefighter as the main character.  One day they are called to an accident scene involving a number of cars and some overturned cargo from a semi.  Nothing appears to be suspect in the load, and everything is cleaned up with no problems.  But five months later, the members of the fire station involved in the response start dying off and/or going brain-dead over a week when they start to show symptoms of an unknown disease.  The main character recognizes that the source must be from the cargo spillage, and he races to find out the killer substance that is going to render him brain-dead in seven days unless he can solve the mystery.  When he finds out the true source, the question becomes whether the condition or a gun will kill him first.

A good read for something that I picked up at the library just scanning through the shelves.  Pleasantly surprised and pleased, even though it wasn't the type of book I thought it would be...

01/07/2004

Warning! Falling Chuncks!

Category Everything Else

The very latest weather advisory...

...FALLING ICE HAZARD FOR MUCH OF NORTHWEST OREGON...

ICE MELTING AND FALLING OFF STRUCTURES AND TREES WILL BE A HAZARD TO
LIFE IN LOCATIONS OF NORTHWEST OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON WHERE
SIGNIFICANT ICE HAS ACCUMULATED. AVOID STANDING UNDER TREES...TOWERS
OR ROOF EDGES WHERE LIMBS...SHEETS OR LARGE CHUNCKS
OF ICE MAY FALL AS THE ICE MELTS.


Those falling "chuncks" can be deadly...  :-)

01/07/2004

Will it ever end?

Category Everything Else

Now they are talking about another band of freezing rain tonight...  At least we still have our power.

Click the picture to view some of my storm pictures at ofoto.com


A picture named M2

01/07/2004

Microsoft's new anti-Linux ad campaign...

Category Microsoft

Microsoft is launching a new anti-Linux ad campaign called "Get The Facts" (article from eWeek)...  But not everyone is convinced that Microsoft's campaign is all they are hoping for.  Another article from eWeek thinks that the campaign should be called "Get The FUD"...

01/07/2004

So much for better weather...

Category Everything Else

All this snow and ice was supposed to end by last night.  But NO!!!!!  It's still only 22 degrees F, there was freezing rain all night, and it's pretty impassible out there.  Our light rail system is shut down, as the tracks are covered by snow and ice.  When it gets a little later, I'll have to snap a few pictures out front.  

Of course, both my kids were up at 6:15 am, dressed in their hockey gear.  They went over to the local park about five blocks away to shoot pucks on the tennis courts...  

01/06/2004

Book Review - Digital Photography Pocket Guide by Derrick Story

Category Book Reviews

You got a digital camera for Christmas, and you're now wanting to figure out how to shoot pictures that will cause everyone to go "ooohhh!".  Your manual will get you familiar with the technical aspects of your new toy, but you should also learn about how to properly frame and expose your shots.  To do that, get a copy of Digital Photography Pocket Guide by Derrick Story.  It's a great little (113 pages) book that will quickly and concisely convey the information you'll need to take perfect pictures.  The first half of the book covers the different features of the camera, such as file formats, spot meters, and white balance.  The second half is a "How Do I" series that will help you figure out specific picture taken scenarios, such as capturing action shots, shooting good self-portraits, and taking pictures at weddings.  The final ten pages are tables of ISO speeds and exposure settings for certain conditions.

All in all, the book is a perfect way to quickly understand both your camera and the science of photography.  There are definitely books that are more comprehensive, but none that are as practical in as short a volume as you'll find here.

01/06/2004

Bouncing Rain...

Category Everything Else

Bouncing Rain!  (~2mb .MOV file)

01/06/2004

The weather transition has started...

Category Everything Else

Well, it still hasn't warmed up much.  It's around 2 pm, and it's still only 23 degrees F.  But the warm rain has moved over the top of the Portland area, and we're currently getting sleet.  Here's a picture of our awning, and if you look closely, you'll see most of what is there is actually ice pellets...

A picture named M2

The freezing rain should start shortly...  The difference?  Sleet is rain that freezes on its way to the ground.  It falls as ice pellets.  Freezing rain actually makes it to the ground as a raindrop, but then freezes on contact with the ground.  Sleet can be a pain, but freezing rain completely coats everything with a smooth layer of ice...

01/06/2004

Haven't seen weather like this in Portland in awhile...

Category Everything Else

The problem with forecasting for Portland Oregon is the geography.  You have the ocean about 70 miles to the west with a minor mountain range between here and there.  To the east, you have the Columbia River Gorge which funnels cold air directly into the Portland area.  Right now, you get cold air down low from the Gorge with the warmer moist air riding over the top from the west and south.  What starts as snow then turns to freezing rain...  Looks pretty, creates a mess...

The temperature at 6 am this morning is around 18 degrees (so much for the 28 to 30 they were expecting), with winds around 15 - 20 with higher gusts.  Wind chill is sub-zero.  The snow is like sand...  very dry, very drifting and blowing.  Supposedly, it *will* get above freezing by this evening and continue to climb for the rest of the week.  Until then, we'll get more snow during the morning, switching over to freezing rain around noon or so.  Just in time for the evening commute.

As for me, I'm not driving in this stuff.  I'm in my home office with two laptops fired up.  So long as we don't lose power, I'm set!

01/06/2004

Despair Bittersweets

Category Humor


Many of you have probably seen the
Demotivator posters at Despair, Inc.  They are a great takeoff of those inspirational posters that are supposed to make us all happy and fluffy inside.  Well, this year they have the perfect Valentine candies...  Despair Bittersweets!  From the website...

Now available in TWO unique collections, "Dejected" and "Dysfunctional", featuring up to 37 unique sayings each!



"Dejected"
sayings include:
I MISS MY EX • PEAKED AT 17 • MAIL ORDER • TABLE FOR 1
I CRY ON Q • U C MY BLOG? • REJECT PILE • PILLOW HUGGIN
ASYLUM BOUND • DIGNITY FREE • PROG FAN • STATIC CLING
WE HAD PLANS • XANADU 2NITE • SETTLE 4LESS • NOT AGAIN


"Dysfunctional"
sayings include:
RUMORS TRUE • PRENUP OKAY? • HE CAN LISTEN • GAME ON TV
CALL A 900# • P.S. I LUV ME • DO MY DISHES • UWATCH CMT
PAROLE IS UP! • BE MY YOKO • U+ME=GRIEF • I WANT HALF
RETURN 2 PIT • NOT MY MOMMY • BE MY PRISON • C THAT DOOR?


Truly, "BitterSweets(tm)" are the perfect gift for you OR for someone you love, especially if that special someone is one who doesn't want to hurt your feelings but just doesn't feel that way about you but still wants to be friends so they can torment you with stories about their crushes on someone who doesn't appreciate them like you do, can't love them like you can, and actually takes pleasure in corralling a herd of fawning "just friends" behind themselves as they indulge in one self-destructive relationship after another, with no hope of ever finding true love, despite an army of souls eager to lavish it upon them.

(You know what we're talking about.)

Supplies are limited. But the pain that accompanies them may not be.

01/05/2004

Microsoft's top 10 challenges in 2004...

Category Microsoft

iTNews Australia ran an article titled Microsoft's Top 10 Challenges For 2004.  There's not much new there that you wouldn't expect...  better security, less confusing licensing, fend off Linux, and so on.

But there is something here that is interesting, and it's not the first time I've seen it in recent articles.  Microsoft's main challenge is to act like a mature company in a mature industry.  To quote:

At the top of the list is an overarching call for Microsoft to act like a more mature company in a more mature market, said Michael Cherry, a lead analyst who covers operating systems for Directions.

This need for maturity, he said, has an impact on everything from how Microsoft handles litigation such as the recent lawsuit filed by RealNetworks to how it manages revenue growth.

Microsoft's relative immaturity is reflected in the antitrust lawsuits that competitors file against it, said Cherry, and in other lawsuits that will undoubtedly continue to plague the company.

RealNetworks recently filed a lawsuit alleging that Microsoft balked at providing it information on Windows' application programming interfaces (APIs), and has said that the damages it seeks could climb above US$1 billion.

"Microsoft may have a valid defense because they're complying with the letter of the law [argued by RealNetworks]," said Cherry, "but they should be doing more to comply with the spirit of the law. If you want to be in a leadership position, a higher level of behaviour is expected."

Cherry said, "If Microsoft isn't answering Real's API questions... that's not the mark of a mature company. A lot more lawsuits like this will come from that kind of activity and attitude."

Microsoft must also address this maturation issue if it's to continue to boost revenue, other Directions on Microsoft analysts said.

"Microsoft still has the same basic business model as it did in the 1990s, a model that is largely predicated on creating software grand slams that compel customers to upgrade," said lead analyst Paul DeGroot. That's the reason why the company has been pouring so many of its development resources into Longhorn: It's looking for that next big hit."

Such a strategy, however, is increasingly showing serious signs of aging. "Short of selling customers on product upgrades, Microsoft hasn't found an effective way to convert its installed base advantage into a steady revenue stream."

As I've talked about in the past, I feel that Microsoft is reaching a critical turning point in their corporate life.  Open source/Linux is one of their crisis points, and the ability to become a mature player in the IT industry is another.  If Microsoft did not try to dominate and monopolize every technology they enter, I'm not sure they would be facing the backlash over open source that they are today.  Playing to win is one thing.  Changing every technology standard to be owned by Microsoft is something else entirely.  Not very mature...  :-)

01/05/2004

The Changing Face Of Offshore Programming

Category Software Development

I ran across an online article in BusinessWeek titled The Changing Face Of Offshore Programming.  It's a look at the "other side" of the offshore programming debate.  The author, Christopher Kenton, has been involved in many offshoring projects and pops the bubble about all the cost savings that are hyped in these agreements.  While the pure labor cost is often less, there are more costs involved in project management and potential litigation costs on an international basis.  He also writes about how you need to have strong processes in place to manage a project before you embark on offshore outsourcing.  Otherwise, you'll quickly find yourself in a morass of uncontrolled development.

A very good read, and worth passing along to management who might be considering it...

01/05/2004

It is COLD out there today...

Category Everything Else

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we're equipped to deal with rain.  We're *not* equipped to deal with cold and snow.  We've had more snow (yes, it's all relative) in the last week than we've had in the last six year.  We're about to get a major storm that will hit the Portland area and most likely dump 4 to 8 inches of snow on the ground (yeah, it's not Boston...  oh, well!).  What's worse is that due to our geography, we usually get ice storms when we move out of a cold weather stretch.  It didn't get much above 22 degrees today, and I wimped out and left a client early as I didn't want to get stuck in traffic...  From my car on the way home...

A picture named M2

Lots of "snow snakes" out there.  The storm, which was predicted to hit around 3 pm, is now due at 10 pm.  Sometime around mid-morning, the snow should turn to sleet, coating everything in ice.  The good thing is that the warmer wet air should quickly scour out the cold air, leading to melting conditions by late Tuesday.  Until then, it could be ugly.

Then again, it could make for some great pictures, too!

01/05/2004

My first "print" article in e-Pro this month... Version Control With Notes And Domino

Category Software Development

While I've written four other articles for e-Pro that have been web exclusives, this month is my first "print" debut for the magazine...  Version Control With Notes And Domino.  Since it's a current article, you'll have to have a free e-Pro registration account to access the online version of it.  But hey...  it's quick and easy, and they don't pester you...

Thanks again, Libby...  I appreciate the opportunity to write for e-Pro.

01/04/2004

I'd like to congratulate Bruce Elgort...

Category Blogging

... for being the first trendsetting blogger to add the exclusive A picture named M2 logo to his site.  Little Joe and I have added him to our "short" list.

01/03/2004

Book Review - Struts Kickstart by James Turner and Kevin Bedell

Category Book Reviews

The Struts framework is becoming a de-facto standard for developing interactive web applications using servlets.  If this type of development is something you are responsible for, you should consider getting a copy of Struts Kickstart by James Turner and Kevin Bedell to help you take the next step in your professional development.  The “kickstart” concept means that the authors don’t spend a lot of time on fluff or auxilllary material.  You are quickly exposed to the core concepts along with a large number of examples to illustrate those technical points.

Read the whole review at the Portland Domino/Notes User Group site.

01/03/2004

Book Review - Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Category Book Reviews

Although I read a lot, there are only a handful of authors who I truly look forward to reading.  One of these authors is Dean Koontz.  I just finished his latest book, Odd Thomas, and I wasn't disappointed.  I used to avoid recommending Koontz to people due to his rather morbid, gruesome stories.  But his recent efforts are someone toned down, with very likeable characters and good plot.  In Odd Thomas, the main character (of the same name) has the special ability to see dead people.  This leads to the opportunity to uncover killers and crimes with the help of the local police.  He discovers that a mass killing is about to take place in his little town, and he has to try and stop it before the massacre takes place.  

Great style of storytelling, tight writing, and some unusual plot twists.  I highly recommend this one.

01/03/2004

Book Review - Death March by Edward Yourdon

Category Book Reviews

If you've been working in IT for any length of time, you've experienced the "death march" project.  Long hours, impossible demands, and no chance of meeting the unrealistic deadline that's been mandated from on high.  To help you through that experience, you should read Death March by Edward Yourdon (Prentice Hall).  It's an excellent book that examines the reasons behind why death march projects occur, as well as what can be done to make them somewhat more survivable without losing your wits or health.

You can read my full review at the Portland Domino/Notes User Group site.

01/02/2004

Impact of Maintaining R5 Format ODS 41 Databases on Domino 6

Category Software Development


If you're in the process of converting over to ND6, this is some good information you should be aware of...  From the Knowledgebase....


Impact of Maintaining R5 Format ODS 41 Databases on Domino 6

Document Number:  1154044

Problem

ODS 41 is the database on-disk structure (ODS) for Domino 5.  ODS 43 is the database disk structure for Domino 6.  What is the impact of maintaining R5 format ODS 41 databases on Domino 6 Servers?


Content

Upgrading to Domino 6 does not require that each database be upgraded to ODS 43.  However, if a customer maintains ODS 41 beyond the upgrade to Domino 6 they should be aware of the impact of this on system loads.  Domino 5 uses a different view index engine than Domino 6; as a result, if ODS41 is maintained, so must the Domino 5 indexes for each view so that the database is usable on a Domino 5 server.  


While running on Domino 6, the server will build new indexes using the new Index engine for Domino 6.  The result is duplicate indexes for each view.  It should also be noted that the index creation will happen on first database access. This will cause higher than normal CPU use and memory use as the new indexes are built.


Indexes can consume a large amount of database storage.  The amount used can be seen from the Files tab of the Domino 6 Administrator client; select the desired file to view the storage consumed by indexes.


The total amount of storage increase will vary, but is based on database content and view complexity.  Customers using database quotas should be wary of exceeding quota limits as a result of creating new indexes.


The ODS 41 indexes will be maintained even after conversion to ODS 43.  Customers wishing to reclaim this storage must run a COMPACT - D on the database.  The indexes for both Domino 5.x and Domino 6.x will be deleted.

01/01/2004

Book Review - The Hanged Man's Song by John Sandford

Category Book Reviews

Since there wasn't much one could do with the snow outside, I decided to finish up a novel I started yesterday.  It is The Hanged Man's Song by John Sandford.  I like Sandford's Prey series with Lucas Davenport, but I don't think I've read any of his Kidd novels.  Kidd is a painter and a hacker who lives pretty much on the wrong side of the laws when it comes to computer crime.  In this installment, an uber-hacker known as "Bobby" is murdered and his laptop is stolen.  When incriminating stories about government officials and programs start hitting the news, it becomes obvious that the person who stole the laptop was able to break the encryption codes and unleash the attacks until he gets what he is after.  Kidd needs to stop him in order to prevent his own life from coming to an end if there is damaging information about him contained in the files.  

The writing is tight and realistic, and if you're at all into computer crime novels you'll enjoy this one a lot.

01/01/2004

Book Review - Rapid Application Development With Mozilla by Nigel McFarlane

Category Book Reviews

I finished a user group book review for the title Rapid Application Development With Mozilla by Nigel McFarlane (Prentice Hall).  I was under the (mistaken) impression that Mozilla was just a web browser.  It's actually a full-fledged rapid application development platform for building web-enabled applications.  A very good book that will open your eyes to some possibilities that I didn't know existed.

You can read the whole review at our Portland Domino/Notes User Group site.

01/01/2004

Will Longhorn become a Microsoft Linux distro?

Category Microsoft

An interesting article on Microsoft's potential future...  Will Longhorn become a Microsoft Linux distro?

This echos some of the themes I've been seeing for Microsoft's future...  Irrelevance in the open source wave and the coming crisis point for the company.


Definitely read the whole article, but here's the part that strikes me as interesting...


--------------------------------------------


Hmm ... perhaps the banking business?

Consider the fortunes of another American tech powerhouse, General Electric: In 1892, The Edison General Electric Company and The Thomas-Houston Company merged to form General Electric. GE, with $575 billion in assets today, is the only American company to have been listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Index at its inception that's still on the list today. In 1892, GE made equipment that used electricity, such as light bulbs and motors, and equipment that produced and transmitted electricity -- a great business model for the late 19th century.

Nevertheless, GE lost the 19th-century standards wars -- Westinghouse's (and Nikola Tesla's) alternating current beat out GE/Edisons' direct current -- and GE was forced to build AC products. GE went on to great success; Westinghouse exists today only as divisions of other companies, while GE is fifth on the Fortune 500 and employs 315,000. Interestingly, these days, almost half of GE revenues come from financial services; only about 15% are related to electric power, once its core business. GE is as much a bank as it is anything, and that may be Microsoft's future if its proprietary technology fades away.

And Microsoft does appear to be on the verge of losing the technology lock-in that goes with its closed, proprietary standards and software. Nothing I've heard about Longhorn convinces me that it will be anything but the latest way for Microsoft to attempt to extract yet more upgrade revenue. And Microsoft's other ventures -- Xbox, MSN, media convergence schemes et al. -- are all but laughably unsuccessful, buoyed only by the huge cash flows that Windows and Office provide.

But will Microsoft stand idly by as its franchise crashes, as Apple Computer once did, before radically re-focusing its culture under returned founder Steve Jobs? I don't think so; Microsoft clearly takes Linux seriously. The MS "don't-lose-to-Linux" fund, the shuttling in of high-level executives to help close deals, the company's recent back-pedaling on Licensing 6.0 deadlines and heavy discounting all point to a company that is unlikely to take the open source threat lying down.

May mobilize completely against open source

Just as Microsoft woke up to the Internet in time, at least, to head off Netscape (if not open standards), I think you will see Microsoft mobilize completely in 2004 to combat open source. And it won't be a PR exercise like Microsoft's ballyhooed 2002 'focus' on security that preceded both Windows XP and the worst epoch in MS virus history.

But how will Microsoft, a centralized industrial giant, target the notoriously uncentralized open source development model? Short of buying legislation to outlaw open source development (MS has, after all, branded open source "un-American" and lobbied the World Intellectual Property Organization to drop plans for an open source conference), MS has few options -- and notoriously little success -- in shutting down open source software.

IBM, Sun, HP, Apple, Novell, et al. -- nearly very major technology company except Microsoft -- has embraced open source, and ditto for many, if not most of Microsoft's major customers. Pretty soon, it won't take strategic genius to see that MS' options for another round of proprietary 'rinse, repeat, buy upgrade' are dwindling. MS will face the high cost of proprietary software development and maintnenace at the same time as its pricing is under increasingly heavy pressure. Even with $50 billion in the bank and 80% margins, something eventually will have to give.

01/01/2004

Finally! A decent snowfall in Portland, Oregon...

Category Everything Else


I like snow, and the last few years I've been disappointed that we've received no significant snowfall where I live.  We had an early snowfall in November, which bode well for a white winter.  But until this week, snow wasn't showing up in any forecasts.  Tuesday night, we got hit with a good shot of snow, and the next two weeks appear to be for much the same.  Yesterday's forecast for today was for accumulations above 500 feet (my house is probably about 20 feet above sea level), so I didn't expect much.  Boy, did they blow it!  As of right now, this is what our house looks like...


A picture named M2

And our street...

A picture named M3

And I love this line in our latest National Weather Service warning...


SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO FALL ACROSS THE GREATER PORTLAND AND VANCOUVER
METRO AREAS THIS MORNING BEFORE DECREASING THIS AFTERNOON.
ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES IS EXPECTED THROUGH THIS
AFTERNOON...WITH 3 TO 6 INCHES EXPECTED ABOVE 500 FEET. THE SNOW
LEVEL WILL RISE TO 500 FEET AWAY FROM THE GORGE LATER THIS AFTERNOON.

ANY TRAVEL IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. IF YOU LEAVE THE SAFETY OF BEING
INDOORS...YOU ARE PUTTING YOUR LIFE AT RISK
.

01/01/2004

What Are the Differences Between Replace Design and Refresh Design?

Category Software Development

This is a very nice explanation of the differences between the two options...  from the Knowledgebase...

What Are the Differences Between Replace Design and Refresh Design?

Document Number:  1097253

Problem
What are the differences between Replace Design and Refresh Design?

Note: This information applies to all versions of Notes R3, R4, and R5 and 6.

Content
There are a few key differences between Replace Design and Refresh Design.

First, Replacing the Design of a database will remove all design elements in a database and replace them with those from a new template.  This process also resets the Database properties (specifically the Database properties you see on the Design tab in the InfoBox (a.k.a. Properties Box) when you select File, Database, Properties.)  In contrast, Refresh Design will use this information to do essentially the same job with the design elements, but the Design properties of the database will not change.  Refresh Design is the process which runs every night on the server by default (Design server task).

Second, Refresh Design will not give an option to select a new template.  You can only select a different server to use as a template server for the Refresh process.

An important side note to this information involves the attribute, 'Do not Allow Design Replace/Refresh To Modify.'  This property of specific design elements will prevent the Replace Design or Refresh Design task from modifying the element.  When the database as a whole inherits its design from a template, all new design elements will have this option selected by default.  In contrast, if the database as a whole does not inherit its design from a template, all new design elements will have this option deselected.  This is important because if the database property is changed, the design element property is not changed.  It is also possible for a single design element to inherit its design from a different template than the database as a whole.

Supporting Information:

Design-Refresh details:

-  Design Refresh locates the template the database is based on by the template name (you can determine the template name by checking the Design tab in the InfoBox for Database properties.  Select File, Database, Properties and switch to the Design tab, which is 4th tab from the left).

-  It scans both the database and the template for design elements.  Design elements are considered to be corresponding versions based on the $TITLE field of the design note.

-  If there are Design elements in the database that do not have a corresponding element in the template, these design notes are deleted in the database.

-  If there are Design elements in the template that do not have a corresponding element in the database, these design notes are added to the database.


Additionally:

-  If there is a Design element in the database which has a Design element of the same name in the Template, first the sequence times are compared to check the revisions.

In case there is no difference -> skip Design Element.
Given the Sequence time of the Template is different -> update Design Element

Actually when updating the design element it checks whether there really are changes to the Design element, for example, by looking in the $AssistVersion field of an agent.  In case there is no difference the update is only logged but not done/executed.   Whenever you apply changes to an agent using the Notes Client, even changes of the aliases in the Title, the $AssistVersion field is updated.  

Notes:

-  This does not apply to private views or folders that are stored in the client's Desktop.dsk file.

-  Design Refresh does not use the Universal IDs of the Design elements, but only names and aliases to identify what to update/add/remove.

-  The Designer Task has an issue customers should be aware of; for more information refer to the document  "Load Design Server Task Only Refreshes Databases the First Time" (#162622 ) .

Design-Replace details:

The only difference from Design-Refresh is that first the template name the database is inherited from is changed to the new one.  After this a regular design refresh runs.  This means:

-  The existing Design notes are not swept from the database in the first step.  In case there are Design elements of the same name, these are "updated" using the logic described above.

What if you have duplicate design elements in your database? Does Designer remove one of these?

This might happen when replicating the templates and/or databases containing design elements that do have the same Title but different universal ID.

Unfortunately, neither the Design task nor Design - Replace or Design - Refresh detect this.  They update only the first design note found having the same title in the template.  The other design note is left untouched.  One must manually remove the obsolete design element from the database or replace the design.

Additionally:

A design element may be inherited from a different template than specified in the Database properties.  You will find this on the Design tab in the properties of the design element itself.  When doing a Design Refresh these are taken from the appropriate database.  

Related Documents:

Load Design Server Task Only Refreshes Databases the First Time
Document #:  1093752  (162622)  

Replacing R5 Design with Template Having Hidden Design Does not Delete Existing Design Elements
Document #:  1087252  (171851)  


"Inherit Design from Template" Option Unchecked After User Is Renamed Using AdminP
Document #:  1092014  (164002)


Refresh Design Does not Replace Design Elements which Have Been Modified in the Db
Document #:  1156429  

12/31/2003

Team-TSG store... what a hoot!

Category Everything Else

OK...  Joe and I will be the first to admit that we're having way too much fun with the Team-TSG concept.  Having branded logo items for sale at CafePress was also a lot of fun.  What's even *more* fun is reading the descriptions of the items you can buy as written by "Little Joe"...
And guys...  Valentine's Day is less than two months away, so get your special lady a special gift...  the one, the only...


Team-TSG Classic Thong

Remember...  We didn't do any markup prices on these items, as we didn't think anyone in the world would be brain-addled enough to actually *buy* something with our faces on it.  But we were wrong, and you never know when the greed factor will kick in...  So buy now before we come to our senses!
A picture named M2


12/31/2003

Book Review - Dojo Wisdom by Jennifer Lawler

Category Book Reviews

OK...  my last book review for 2003...  ;-)

Dojo Wisdom by Jennifer Lawler is an interesting book written by a martial arts instructor who has applied her Tae Kwon Do teachings to all areas of her life.  There are 100 "lessons" in the book (each 1 to 3 pages long), followed by a paragraph of how you can put those lessons to work in your life.  By doing so, you will practice the way of the warrior in all you do.  For instance, there were a couple of items that spoke to me.  Lesson 3 was Revel In Your Awkwardness As Much As In Your Mastery.  In other words, learn to enjoy the learning phase of a new skill.  Everyone goes through it, so just enjoy that thrill of learning new skills.  As a consultant, you go through that phase with all new clients as you learn their processes.  The other lesson was #90 - Frequent Encounters With Fear Make You Strong.  Not too long ago, I would have tried to avoid certain activities that I wasn't comfortable with.  I feared them.  Now, I understand that I need to face those fears in order to grow past them.  

A good book, and I recommend it...

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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