January 2003

Back in Europe

by Volker Weber

Safely back in Europe, but still on the run. Driver arrives in 15 minutes to take me again to the Airport. Should be back tomorrow ...

Work in progress

by Volker Weber

I am quite busy writing stories from Lotusphere. So please bear with me, if it takes a while until I post other stuff. I will also have to go to Salzburg at the end of the week to meet with Palm CEO Todd Bradley. You could really help me by posting some links to what other fellow journalists write about the Lotusphere in the comment section below. All of my stuff is obviously in German and there is yet more to come:

Lotusphere: Lotus Sametime in Zusammenarbeit mit Microsoft Office
heise online 31.1.2003

Lotusphere: IBMs Roadmap für Lotus Notes/Domino
heise online 30.1.2003

Lotusphere: Suns unendliche Mailbox
heise online 30.1.2003

Lotusphere: Montreal, Seoul, Nagano, Moscow, Barcelona, Atlanta
heise online 29.1.2003

Lotusphere: Java-Application-Server mit Content-Management per Domino
heise online 28.1.2003

Lotusphere: Domino-Anwendungen für IBMs WebSphere-Portal
heise online 28.1.2003

Lotusphere: Avaya Unified Messenger für Lotus Domino
heise online 28.1.2003

Lotusphere: IMtegrity zur Protokollierung von Chats und Instant Messaging
heise online 27.1.2003

Lotusphere: IBM stellt Produkt-Roadmap für 2003 vor
heise online 27.1.2003

Lotusphere: IBM stellt Product-Roadmap für 2003 vor

by Volker Weber

Jeannette Horan, bei IBM für die gesamte Lotus-Produktentwicklung verantwortlich, stellte während der Eröffnungsveranstaltung der Entwickler- und Anwender-Konferenz Lotusphere die Product Roadmap für 2003 vor.

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First news from Lotusphere: The Turtle has a Segway

by Volker Weber


Don't know who the Turtle is? Go here >

vowe en route

by Volker Weber


Just a short update of what is going on at vowe's magic flying circus. Been away from computers for a week now. Must say, it feels really good. :-)

After arriving in Orlando we spent a cold night in Orlando, then hit the road the next morning and headed southsouthwest to the Gulf coast. We had some very nice days on Sanibel Island and are back in Orlando now. Yesterday we hit record low temperatures here, in the 20s, or below zero on the Celsius scale. It's warming up again and we expect to be in the 60s over the weekend. We have had some clouds but also had clear sky and sunshine at least 10 hours a day. Got a nice suntan.

I have been to the Apple store at the Millenia Mall today. Expect an update on vowe's choice soon. :-) First I wanted to call it Schroeder. Which has nothing to do with politics but a lot with Lucy, the iMac. Then I found this too ambigous and went for Woodstock.

I have also seen the new Apple 12" Powerbook. I was lucky to catch it because it arrived just one day prior to my visit. If you plan to buy an iBook, hold it until you have seen this notebook. It does not only look nice in Aluminium, it also is much faster. I am typing this on Charlie, my trusty T-series Thinkpad. Works nicely but I am a bit homesick for Lucy. Once you start working with OS X it is kind of hard to go back to Windows. So I am pretty confident that Lucy will get a sibling. Not this year, but next year in the spring maybe.

Tomorrow Lotusphere kicks off with the Business Partner development day. The Welcome Reception in the evening at the Dolphin beach will sport live pictures from the Super Bowl which will keep at least half of the guests busy. For those folks the party always shuts down too early since it ends at nine when the game is still going on. The shuttle service to the other hotels also ends half an hour later. I wonder why IBM does not fix that. Update: I just learned, IBM has fixed that. There is a bus leaving 15 minutes after the game ends. Whenever that is. If you intend to attend the party, bring an extra sweater. It's cold out there in the evening this year. 2001 and 2002 have been very warm in comparison.

On Monday the show begins with an opening session followed by a press conference that will set the theme for the next week. I expect IBM to show some code on how they want to deliver on the NextGen stuff they started talking about last year. There may also be some real code behind the Next Generation Mail that was shown as a mock-up last year. I also hope that Al will be here. At least I want to say goodbye. It has always been a pleasure talking to him. I am also looking very much forward on meeting the new guy in the hot seat. That should happen Monday latest.

I am not so sure that I will have time to blog from the conference. Need to do some serious press work. But first I need a day to catch up what happened last week. You may help me with a few comments.

vowe has left the building

by Volker Weber


I am busy doing other things. See you on the other side.

The DigiCam Chronicles: Assignment Macworld

by Volker Weber

Derrick Story has some nice tips for digital camera owners. What blows me away is the Quicktime movie with impressions from Macworld. When I am back from Florida I will create something similar with Lucy.

If you have some bandwidth, check out the QuickTime movie that features 22 images from this assignment and includes a nice soundtrack. This is one of my favorite ways to display still images, and having great tools like iPhoto and QuickTime Pro make these shows so easy to produce.

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Kabarettistische Geschichtsnachhilfe

by Volker Weber

Volker Pispers, Amerika 911

T minus one day

by Volker Weber


alphaWorks : Custom Tag Conversion Kit

by Volker Weber

Found this on alphaWorks:

Custom Tag Conversion Kit is a tool kit for converting existing Lotus Notes views and forms to an equivalent JavaTM Server Page (JSP) containing Domino Custom Tags (DCT). The JSP will display the Domino data in a format that closely mirrors the display in the Notes client (within the limitations of HTML, of course). The result can be deployed for viewing or used as a learning tool for the manner in which custom tags should be laid out. The JSPs produced by this kit use Domino Custom Tags that require Domino R6.

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alphaWorks : Lotus Notes Command Line Email Client

by Volker Weber

Found this on alphaWorks:

Lotus Notes Command Line Email Client is a client that provides command line access to Lotus Notes email. It has the following features for Notes email users: - Command line access to Notes mail database - Ability to send email with attachments via SMTP - Ability to read Notes mail with attachments - Ability to reply to mail - Ability to forward mail - Ability to search mail by sender, subject, full text, or Notes formula.

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T minus 2 days

by Volker Weber


John le Carré on America's madness

by Volker Weber

This is by far the best written piece about the upcoming war I have seen. Short excerpt:

The religious cant that will send American troops into battle is perhaps the most sickening aspect of this surreal war-to-be. Bush has an arm-lock on God. And God has very particular political opinions. God appointed America to save the world in any way that suits America. God appointed Israel to be the nexus of America’s Middle Eastern policy, and anyone who wants to mess with that idea is a) anti-Semitic, b) anti-American, c) with the enemy, and d) a terrorist.

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Cutting through the hype

by Volker Weber

Anonymous post in the Lotusphere 2003 Talk forum on Weightlessdog:

As a five year Lotusphere veteran, I enjoy the conference and am a big Lotus supporter. Every year I awe at what they show that other companies are doing. Well, this year you will hear about my company (in the open session and 2 sessions), and after reading the article below, I realize it is all B.S. They make it sound like we are cutting edge. We just moved to Notes R5 in mid-2002, and yes we run Sametime, but barely anyone uses it. We have quickplace functionality, but once again BARELY used. We are messing with Discovery Server and Websphere, but NOTHING is in or planned for production. We purchased Learningspace also, and it still sits on the shelf. But you read this article and we are Lotus' golden-child.

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Günter Grass: Zwischen den Kriegen

by Volker Weber

Der SPIEGEL druckt das Grass-Essay im Wortlaut ab.

Krieg droht. Wieder einmal droht Krieg. Oder wird nur mit Krieg gedroht, damit es nicht zum Krieg kommt? Bedeutet das einschränkende Wort "nur", daß der seit Wochen auf der Arabischen Halbinsel und im Roten Meer inszenierte Aufmarsch nordamerikanischer und englischer Truppen und Flottenverbände, der die Medien mit Bildern militärischer Überlegenheit füttert, eine bloße Drohgebärde ist, die schließlich - sobald der eine von zwei Dutzend weltweit herrschenden Diktatoren sich ins Exil verkrümelt hat oder wünschenswert tot ist - als friedenssichernde Machtdemonstration verbucht und abgeblasen werden kann?

Wohl kaum. Dieser drohende Krieg ist gewollt.

Grass-Essay im Wortlaut

TIMEeurope.com Poll: The Biggest Threat To Peace

by Volker Weber

So TIME asks you: Which country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003?

View the results

Now you did it.

by Volker Weber


We are sorry. Due to the huge popularity of SnowStorm we were forced to remove the game temporarily. Please leve your name and email address and we will contact you when SnowStorm is back online.

T minus 3 days

by Volker Weber


Frodo has failed

by Volker Weber


[Thanks, Cornelia]

Favorite tech stuff of 2003

by Volker Weber

Jaguar wins the software category in CNN's favorite tech stuff for 2003 in the software category.

It would have been easy to pick the new 17-inch iMac. But I had to ask myself, "Would I like it as much without Jaguar?" And the answer was a resounding "No." Quite simply, Jaguar is Unix for the masses -- a consumer version of the most stable operating system on the planet. Business users will love its ability to detect a wireless connection no matter where they roam. Consumers will be blown away by its simplicity and stability, as well as applications like iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie and iChat. Jaguar takes the operating system to a new level: It just works.


More >

Customers who wear clothes also shop for ...

by Volker Weber


... and a book by Ben Hammersley: Content Syndication with RSS. Amazon also seems to sell a time machine:

Availability: This title will be released on December 31, 1969. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives.

[Thanks, John]

Recently driven a snow plow?

by Volker Weber


Sokoban with a twist. Read the instructions. Caution: Very addictive.

Bootstrapping Windows 2000 without a CD-ROM

by Volker Weber

I have Ernie, the Thinkpad 240, running under Windows 2000 again. That was a first time: Installing Microsoft Windows 2000 on a machine that does not have a CD-ROM, and only connects to the network via PCMCIA. I have had tremendous problems doing so.

The machine once came installed with Windows 98 which I later replaced with Windows 2000 (without upgrading). After two years of heavy use, Windows was so bloated that it needed a reinstall. Instead of doing that, I chose to install RedHat across the network, which is extremly easy and convenient. RedHat was having some difficulties with wireless LAN adapters, I had to replace a network card but other than that it was running nicely. But I needed better wireless support ...

I planned to replace RedHat with SuSE Linux this weekend and failed miserably, although I tried seven different network cards. I then decided to call it quits and to try a fresh install of Windows 2000.

Question: How do you bootstrap this with a clean harddisk?

I decided to partition and format the disk with DOS (a.k.a. Windows 98 SE). BTW: Windows ME does not let you sys the drive so you cannot make it bootable. Earlier versions of DOS/Windows don't support large FAT partitions.

Once I had the partition formatted and sys'ed, it was still not bootable. GRUB was still sitting in the master boot record. The undocumented fdisk parameter /mbr fixed that. Now I could boot into DOS just fine.

But how would I get all the 300 MB of install files onto the machine? Tried a PC-Card DVD-drive that has DOS drivers but could not get the card and socket services running to support it. Then I dug out some 80's software like LapLink but it threw too many timeouts to be of any use. Next on the agenda was a parallel port network adapter without the need of card and socket services. While looking for the trusty old Xircom adapter I stumbled across my ZIP Plus drive. Finally a solution !

I dumped the Windows install files on four ZIP drives which was rather quick via SCSI and then connected the drive to Ernie's parallel port. I took quite a while to pull the files in through the port. Then I was finally able to bootstrap the install process. Pfeeew.

Wishful thinking

by Volker Weber


No replacement for displacement

by Volker Weber


Just added another 512 meg to Lucy. Feels much better now.

Sync selected Lotusphere sessions into your calendar

by Volker Weber

From Matthias Pohl's Quickplace:

For those of you who are going to Lotusphere here is a sync utility I've knocked up to read the session data from the Lotusphere web site. It parses the XML returned from ?ReadViewEntries and adds/updates/deletes a local copy of the session data. You can choose which sessions to attend and then sync it up with your Notes calendar. And of course if you use EasySync you can sync your selected sessions with your PDA.

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T minus one week

by Volker Weber


and I will be gone ...

OS/2 Strategy for 2003

by Volker Weber

Posted on IBM's website

Go read the Aardvark

by Volker Weber

Pleas help Horst Prillinger to attract more readers:

In an attempt to become famous, I have just decided to follow the call for papers for the BlogTalk conference in Vienna later this year and submit a paper, which they'll hopefully accept - or otherwise my plan to become famous will be cut short, which would be truly nasty. I just have to beat Ursula Lotze one of these days...

Have I mentioned that you should check out his weblog? I haven't? Ok, then please read his weblog. But do not get lost. He just recently lost 40 readers.


If you have an iPod, you want this

by Volker Weber


Lotusphere 2003 Agenda as Notes Journal database

by Volker Weber

Back by popular demand, we have built a Journal database containing all the sessions listed on the official Lotusphere site. This database is based on the personal R5 Journal with a few added views, so it should synch with the Palm Pilot.

Even if you don't have a Palm device but are using Notes, it makes sense to download this. You get an offline database with all the session data, that is far easier to navigate than the website.

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Kitchen sink not included

by Volker Weber


NZ90 Color CLIE Handheld w/ 2 Mega-pixel Camera PEG-NZ90

PDA: Palm OS 5.0, 200 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 16 MB ROM, USB, Bluetooth, IrDA 1.2, Memory Stick, Remote Commander LED, Communication Slot (CF Type II), TFT 320 x 480 dots, 65,536 colors, Lithium-ion polymer battery, ATRAC3/MP3

Camera: 2 mega pixels, F2.8 focal length f=5mm (35mm film conversion f=approx. 33mm), 1600x1200, 1600x1072(3:2), 1280x960, 800x600, 640x480, 320x480, 320x240, 2x Digital Zoom, Auto focus, Manual exposure adjustment (±2EV, 1/3EV Steps), Flash modes (Auto, Forced Off, Forced On), Flash level (High, Normal, Low), Red-eye reduction, Video output (NTSC / PAL selectable, JPEG still picture only)

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WDW Dolphin and Swan rooms have broadband Internet access now

by Volker Weber


For those of you staying at the Dolphin or Swan for Lotusphere 2003 there is excellent news. All of the rooms now have broadband Internet access. And there is no additional charge over the $10 resort fee. Good move. No more overcrowded press work room. :-)

[via The Totally Unofficial Gonzo Lotusphere 2003 Page]

Lotus: Al Zollar out, Ambuj Goyal in

by Volker Weber

goyal.gifAl Zollar leaves as general manager of IBM Lotus to head IBM's iSeries server unit. Dr. Ambuj Goyal will be Lotus' new general manager.

In his current position, he is responsible for setting business strategy for IBM's Software Group. Prior to this he served as Chief Technology Officer, Application & Integration Middleware Division, which includes the WebSphere and MQ product families.

Goyal also had 1500 researchers in seven labs reporting to him. His early work in scalable databases led to IBM's Universal Database (DB2) family. He was also responsible for setting the early direction in web application servers which led to the WebSphere product family.

This looks like a very smart guy. I don't want to jump to conclusions here, but Goyal has WebSphere painted all over him. Ed Brill disagrees. He says, Ambuj is an indian name which means ... WebSphere? Nope. Lotus! You don't believe that? Go look it up.

Translated through a de-weaselizer

by Volker Weber

Jamie Zawinski translates the Apple memo to the KHTML team:

Apple just released a new web browser for MacOS X, called Safari. It's based on KHTML, the rendering engine of KDE/Qt's Konqueror web browser, instead of on Gecko, the rendering engine of Mozilla. Don Melton explains why:

"The number one goal for developing Safari was to create the fastest web browser on Mac OS X. When we were evaluating technologies over a year ago, KHTML and KJS stood out. Not only were they the basis of an excellent modern and standards compliant web browser, they were also less than 140,000 lines of code. The size of your code and ease of development within that code made it a better choice for us than other open source projects. Your clean design was also a plus. And the small size of your code is a significant reason for our winning startup performance."

Translated through a de-weaselizer, this says:

"Even though some of us used to work on Mozilla, we have to admit that the Mozilla code is a gigantic, bloated mess, not to mention slow, and with an internal API so flamboyantly baroque that frankly we can't even comprehend where to begin. Also did we mention big and slow and incomprehensible?"

[via Haiko Hebig and Blogzilla]

Funny advert for the new PowerBooks

by Volker Weber


I case you have not seen it yet, go to Apple and watch this advert. If you have more time, you might want to view the whole Steve Jobs keynote. Nothing beats his reality distortion field.


by Volker Weber

John Robb of Userland:

OK. That's it. My next computer is going to be an Apple. After 18 years on a PC, I am ready to call it quits. Windows is waaaay too much of a hassle for me to maintain.

David Heinemeier Hansson from Copenhagen, Denmark:

Even my girl friend, who used to bash the Mac, is getting there. Safari's SnapBack feature and the iPod link seems to be the turn-around for her. We're thinking about letting her adopt my iBook as I jump on the 12" TiBook.

You no understand? Look at this and this.

Apple's New iSUV

by Volker Weber

Paul Boutin about the 17" Powerbook:

While everyone else was out cost-cutting, Apple built a lust object. Sitting among the rows of jaded industry journalists at Jobs' feet, two things were obvious: Nobody, but nobody, really needs this computer. And everybody wants one.

Nope. I want the 12" one. But not now. Have good notebooks. Got Lucy.

Prepare to want one

by Volker Weber


GAIM is ported to Windows

by Markus Nolte


GTK2 port doing a bunch of protocols--namely AIM, Yahoo!, IRC, Gadu-Gadu, MSN, ICQ, and Jabber.

More >

Now playing

by Volker Weber

Really, really loud

I can see you in the morning when you go to school Don't forget your books, you know you've got to learn the golden rule, Teacher tells you stop your play and get on with your work And be like Johnnie - too-good, well don't you know he never shirks - he's coming along!

After School is over you're playing in the park
Don't be out too late, don't let it get too dark
They tell you not to hang around and learn what life's about
And grow up just like them - won't you let it work it out
- and you're full of doubt

Don't do this and don't do that
What are they trying to do?- Make a good boy of you
Do they know where it's at?
Don't criticize, they're old and wise
Do as they tell you to
Don't want the devil to
Come out and put your eyes

Maybe I'm mistaken expecting you to fight
Or maybe I'm just crazy, I don't know wrong from right
But while I am still living, I've just got this to say
It's always up to you if you want to be that
want to see that
want to see that way
- you're coming along!

Supertramp, School, Crime of the Century, 1974

Now, am I really that old? :-)

Too stupid to do business

by Volker Weber


Yesterday I tried to buy something from Galeria Kaufhof. Failed on checkout. Tried again today. Failed again. Scratch one customer.

vowe's Dutch office

by John Keys

I hadn't realised that there was a vowe.nl too ;-)

Ray Ozzie's blog is not dead, it is only resting

by Volker Weber

Straight from the Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch. But you be the judge: No meaningful post in almost three month.

Every OS should have this ...

by Volker Weber


This is one of the really neat features introduced with OS X 10.2 (Jaguar). I prefer this a lot to the Windows folder tree metaphor. Click the image to get the full scale screenshot.

How about a Linux Notes client?

by Volker Weber

Lotus Developer Domain has a good interview with Eddy Bell:

There are a lot of people who would love to see a Linux client. There is a lot of momentum, but it all comes down to dollars and cents. If there's enough demand for one that can't be met by a Web-based client, then we'll do it. It's largely that we want to make money, and we have to look at the balance. It would be a monumental effort in the current code base to support a Linux client because all the GUI portions are basically Win32 GUI, OLE, ActiveX. It would be very hard now to go back to a UNIX-based client.

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Klare Ansage

by Volker Weber


Andere Länder, andere Sitten

by Volker Weber

Anke Gröner erzählt eine Geschichte, bei der ich erst mal scharf die Luft eingezogen habe:

Besagte Reiseleiterin studierte ein Jahr in Nanjing und bummelte eines schönen Tages gemütlich mit einer Kommilitonin über den Markt, als sie eine wunderschöne weiße Katze mit strahlend blauen Augen sah. Begeistert und voller Vorfreude auf ihr neues Haustier bat sie den Händler um die Katze und zückte ihr Portemonnaie, als der Händler mal eben zackzack die Katze fachgerecht in vier Stücke teilte und in eine Plastiktüte packte. Die beiden Mädels hatten leider vergessen zu erwähnen, dass sie die Katze lebend wollten.

Java developer wanted

by Volker Weber


Why is Groove on the backburner here?

by Volker Weber

Brian Jepson puts it nicely:

I've found that email kind of sucks. If you've got multiple authors on a document, and there's a lot of editing, it can be difficult to figure out who has the latest version. So this is where tools like Groove come in. My problem with Groove is that it's Windows-only and it requires enough CPU to make it unusable under Virtual PC. Ports of Groove to Linux or Mac OS X don't seem to be planned. So, the only workaround is to "get a cheap Windows PC, install Groove, plug it into your LAN, and go hide it in a closet" and access it with GWS. That's fine until I go on the road and can't access my GWS server.

Well, I don't even think, that is fine. If I want a server, I already have a server. And a better one, I might add.

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Now playing

by Volker Weber


If you would have told me a year ago that Robbie Williams would lead on my play count list in iTunes, I would have declared you nuts. First I did not even have iTunes, and second, Robbie Williams, huh? All it took was one concert to change my opinion.

Servlet-based Domino application

by Volker Weber

Justin Knol is somewhat frustrated by the lack of servlet management capabilities in Domino. Long and interesting rant, that concludes with:

In summary, I'm disappointed at the ugliness of deploying a servlet-based Domino application compared to an "ordinary" Notes one. I think it is an example of the more general lack of commitment that IBM/Lotus have for moving Domino forward. Domino is not dead, but its application environment is not keeping up. There will come a point in the future when the classic Notes application is so far from the mainstream that the cost of bridging the gap will be large. Websphere is obviously IBM's strategic product and they are positioning it right next to Domino so that this seems like the easiest course (and smallest jump), but the gap is so large and ever-widening that there is little downside in looking at the alternatives.

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That is not going to happen until ...

by Volker Weber


.. hell freezes over. Ooops.


by Volker Weber

Peter Praschl hat eine lange Liste von Weblogs aufgestellt, die er liest. Und das sind nur die nicht auf Antville gehosteten. Viele davon habe ich noch nie gesehen. Lesestoff.

Site design stable

by Volker Weber


In the last couple of days I tweaked the design a little bit here and there. With the new favicon and the background I consider it stable now. Then again, there is never a "final" version. But I am not putting up construction signs.

Urs: Windows screenshot, wink wink. :-) But I had to compare this to Lucy's rendering and found that I need to turn on anti-aliasing in Windows. Did that and found that Windows only anti-aliases the larger fonts. No surprise it looks better on the Mac.

Perfect for ...

by Volker Weber

1. Amusing good natured Linux users.
2. Motivating hypercompetitive Microsoft programmers who are under express orders from Gates to "Dismantle Linux".
3. Disaffected college students.


Happy New Year, Folks

by Volker Weber

Put a smile on your face.

Old vowe.net archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe