January 2007

Windows Vista Upgrade Decision Flowchart

by Volker Weber

This is both pretty funny, and also contains some sound advice:

With the launch of Windows Vista, many people are wondering if they should upgrade their computers to the new operating system. Here at BBspot we're dedicated to offering sound technical advice to businesses and home users, so we've created the Windows Vista Upgrade Decision Flowchart. Use this chart to help you decide if an upgrade is right for you.

More >

Hirn einschalten, keine Panik

by Volker Weber

Das ist nur ein neuer Versuch, Windows-User einzufangen. Was wie immer wunderbar funktionieren wird.

Skype 2.5 for Mac goes gold

by Volker Weber


New poll: Which version of Lotus Notes are you running at work?

by Volker Weber

Lotus comes out with a new Notes client this year. So I would like to know which version of Notes you are currently running at work. If you have more than one, e.g. since you are a developer, you should pick the version is currently used by the majority of your users. The really interesting versions are 6, 6.5 and 7, but I leave three more choices for really old versions, beta testers and people without Notes:

  1. R5 and older
  2. 6.0
  3. 6.5
  4. 7.0
  5. 8 beta
  6. Not a Notes user

Just to be sure, you cannot extrapolate from the results. Self-selecting respondants make for invalid statistics. Let's assume there are 50 mio active Notes users (I know IBM posts larger numbers of licenses sold, but those are accumulated over the lifespan of the product). If we get 8% for "8 beta", that would mean 4 mio users. Hardly possible. Whatever the results are, we must assume they are heavily skewed towards newer versions of Notes. After all, you are amongst the Notes alpha geeks. If there is such a thing.


SubEthaEdit 2.6 with tabbed interface

by Volker Weber

SubEthaEdit, my favorite text editor, updates. Biggest news: a tabbed interface. Nice job, Coding Monkeys.

If you see this guy, leave the bar

by Volker Weber

Now available in ugly colors

by Volker Weber


No black, white or red, but still in silver.

Fetching all Lotusphere presentations in one batch

by Volker Weber

Fetching the session presentations from Lotusphere Online is a stretch. The site is incredibly slow, and you have to go into each session document to detach the PDF. Luckily there is a better way, and Alan has documented it.

Downloaded: 172,141,114 bytes in 130 files

Well, 130 files is hardly all presentations, but it is a good start. Now imagine the filenames would contain the session titles:

Imagine the filenames would contain the session titles

And imagine, you would receive a CD with all presentations instead of just a t-shirt, when you turn in your conference registration. Gasp.

Xee 2.0

by Volker Weber


Xee is a lightweight, fast and convenient image viewer and browser. It is designed to be a serious tool for image viewing and management, with a sleek and powerful interface.

And it finally is a universal binary.

More >

PS: And yes, I have a new parka. ;-)

Früher hieß das mal Unterhose

by Volker Weber

[Danke, Schweppes]

Service menu for the 4G iPod

by Volker Weber

Heiko has complained that his iPod no longer syncs with his PC, as has Stephan. Finally I got Stephan to hand me his iPod so I can try and fix it. First thing is to go to the service menu and run some tests, the most important one being an HDD scan. To get into the service menu you have to hold Menu and Select until it reboots. When the Apple logo appears you hold Select and Previous to get into the menu. This secret handshake is different for each iPod generation.

As it turns out, the iPod is in pretty good shape. It passes all tests with flying colors:

HDD Scan Passed

Then I connected it to the MacBook, reformatted the iPod to the Mac format and synced up the music. All working perfectly.

4G iPod in perfect shape

Conclusion: It is the PC that is not working. I have no idea how long Stephan wants to muck around with it, instead of biting the bullet and getting himself a Mac.

How nice is this?

by Volker Weber


Jan sent me a box with some nice schwag from MacWorld San Francisco. I will have to lose some weight for the t-shirts, but the mug fits very well. ;-) Thank you, Jan.

Say no to dirt

by Volker Weber

Wget compiled for Mac OS X

by Volker Weber

Andrew writes:

I have compiled Wget 1.10.2 as a Universal Binary executable, for Mac OS 10.4 "Tiger" or above, and bundled it in a Mac OS X installer package.

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Making friends in Baghdad

by Volker Weber

It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber


Lotus Expeditor: Foundation workshop

by Volker Weber

Could your end user customers be more productive with client side applications and a compelling user interface that uses distributed intelligence on a rich client platform? Do you need to manage an environment with a universal client allowing users to move from the connected desktop to the mobile space and access applications and data when they are in and out of network coverage? If so, this is the workshop you should attend.

You can take a free class in Bangalore, Shanghai, Paris, San Mateo or Stuttgart. Or you can download a self-paced format to your PC.

More >

[Thanks, Oliver]

Interview: Mike Rhodin talks about Lotus Connections

by Volker Weber

You will see why interviewing Mike isn't easy. He is afraid of silence. :-)

Which one do you recommend

by Volker Weber


Capture the moment

by Volker Weber

As I was looking through the more than 1700 pictures tagged with Lotusphere2007 on Flickr, I could not help but notice:

Review your pictures. Please.

Impressions from Orlando

by Volker Weber

The Race





Ute's haiku of the day

by Volker Weber

Lotusphere this year
With Neil Armstrong to the moon
Back in Darmstadt soon

Amy's haiku of the day

by Volker Weber

Haikus can be fun
Sometimes they are confusing

Neil Armstrong speech in two parts

by Volker Weber

Youtube won't let me upload the video in one part since it is longer than 10 minutes. Here is the second part of his speech:

Lotusphere '07 Keynote Available

by Ken Porter


A stream of the Lotusphere 2007 keynote is now available here; all 2 hours and 13 minutes of it. Registration is required in order to get to this page where all the different Windows Media and Real Player streams are listed.

Lotusphere 2007 JAMfest

by Volker Weber

Lotusphere trivia of the day: Always wear your badge

by Volker Weber

Mike Rhodin tried to enter the Dolphin dining hall today without a badge and they would not let him in. Disneybots refused to accept that he is the host of the show. They had to get a manager at least one level up to have him cleared.

Pinball Wizard

by Volker Weber

Neil Armstrong at Lotusphere 2007

by Volker Weber

$4.19 for a glass of Nutella?

by Volker Weber

German pricing is between 1.19 and 1.49 Euro, or $1.54 and $1.93 for 400 grams, which is 14 oz.

At the Florida Mall

by Volker Weber

Uneventful travel

by Volker Weber

great day

How was your travel? - Uneventful. The opposite of the chinese curse "may you live in interesting times".

What better can you say about air travel today? It was the usual security nonsense, but other than that everything went very well. We received seats in the Plus section of economy class; this gives you a few more inches of legroom. United 953 to Washington pushed back 5 minutes ahead of schedule and arrived 5 minutes ahead of schedule. Immigration was a breeze through with only two people in front of us. Luggage was there only minutes later, rechecked after another short walk through customs.

Then we had two hours to wait for the plane to take us into Orlando. Our friends were not as lucky. Arriving only 30 minutes later they had to clear immigration with four other planes. Instead of three people there are over a thousand in front of you. Some of them barely made the connection.

An hour's ride on the shuttle bus — we should have taken the cab — later, and I was ready to hit the ESPN. Thomas and I left when the place was almost empty. Must have been after 1am. ;-)

So all is well. Lotusphere, we are ready to go.


by Bruce Elgort

Julian Robichaux and I (The Taking Notes guys) will be "live blogging" from the Lotusphere 2007 Opening General Session on Monday, January 22nd at 8:30 AM EST using the LotusphereLive system setup by Instant-Technologies. The system provides you with two ways to get the news from the show. The first is a simple web page that auto-updates every 30 seconds and works with all browsers. The second is a Java based chat interface where you can "instantly" see what we are typing.

Auto-refreshing web page

The "second it happens" page

Big Brother would be delighted

by Volker Weber


The Condor plane from FRA to MCO obviously has made it. We still have the travel ahead of us. Eleven hours in an aircraft seat, the joy ... See you on the other side.

Overheard in New York

by Volker Weber

NYU bimbette #1: Why is it called 'Deutschland' if the people there aren't Dutch?
NYU bimbette #2: Because the German name for Germany is 'Deutschland.'
NYU bimbette #1: Oh... So, then... why don't they just call it 'Germany'?

More >

New poll: Who is the biggest Lotusphere celebrity?

by Volker Weber

Apologies, if you think you are the biggest Lotusphere celebrity, and you are not nominated. Tough luck. :-) You have four choices:

  1. Ed Brill, Notes sales chief and blogger at edbrill.com
  2. Mike Rhodin, Lotus head honcho without his own web presence
  3. The Turtle, lesser known as Scott Wenzel, sole proprietor of The Totally Unofficial Gonzo Lotusphere 2007 Page
  4. If you have no clue, vote "Who?"


Treo 680 users need to install this patch

by Volker Weber

treo battery

For weeks Palm support has danced around battery performance issues with the new Treo 680. Now it turns out that the camera sucks the battery dry in less than a day — even if the device is on standby.

Palm has identified that the Treo 680 device can experience reduced battery life when the camera is used. The camera may continue to draw power from the battery when the device is in standby mode. Treo 680 users should install the Treo 680 Camera Update to address this issue.

Also note that the battery needs to be calibrated by several full charge/discharge cycles.

More >

Nice driving

by Volker Weber

[via Bruce]

12 people you meet at Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

This is by far the best pre-conference post I have seen in years. Rob Novak about the the 12 people you meet at Lotusphere. Here are two of them:

two people you meet at lotusphere

A look behind the scenes

by Volker Weber

lotusphere online

Lotusphere Online has a friendly name server. You can ask it to transfer the zone data. A quick look reveals quite a lot of iron for a site this slow.

Uninspiring Vista

by Volker Weber

I don't have a single computer fit for Vista, and I currently have no intent to change that. So, no first hand experience.

I couldn't wait to finally see and use the long-delayed operating system that I had been reading and writing about for more than three years. Regardless of widespread skepticism, I was confident that Vista would dazzle me, and I looked forward to saying so in print.

Ironically, playing around with Vista for more than a month has done what years of experience and exhortations from Mac-loving friends could not: it has converted me into a Mac fan.

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Interesting data

by Volker Weber


I knew that Italians were really attached to their mobile phones. What I did not know is how many of them are buying smartphones. It explains why the Treo 750 is so successful in Italy. You see it everywhere and it seems to be fashionable, which you cannot claim here.

More >

Na denn

by Volker Weber

Bitte faxen Sie uns bis zum 31. April 2007 eine Kopie Ihres aktuellen Presseausweises 2007 an folgende Faxnummer: ...

Bis zum 31. April ist viel Zeit.

Mac Office 2008 Screenshots

by Volker Weber

How DRM is Like Guantanamo

by Volker Weber

This could falsify the results of our current poll, but here is an interesting post by John Scalzi:

How is Guantanamo like DRM, you ask? They're alike in two ways: First for what they are not, and then for what they represent.

More >

Related: Digital Rights Management and You, and Privately, Hollywood admits DRM isn't about piracy

[Thanks, Rob]

The Power Of Nightmares

by Volker Weber

Pieterjan recommends this documentation:

This film explores the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today.

More >

Mailprobleme bei 1&1

by Volker Weber

heise online berichtet, dass 1&1 immer noch Probleme mit der Mail hat. Nach meiner Beobachtung liegen die Probleme im Bereich der MDAs (POP und IMAP), aber nicht bei den MTAs (SMTP). Da ich eingehende Post direkt in Kopie weiterleite, kommen sie auf diesem Pfad binnen Sekunden an, über POP aber erst viele Stunden später. Dabei treffen neue Nachrichten derzeit schneller ein als alte. Vorsichtige Annahme: Im Prinzip geht es wieder, aber da liegen noch ein paar Postsäcke rum, die abgearbeitet werden müssen.

Nice present in the mail today

by Volker Weber

... and it looks like nobody wanted to key in the tracks, so I had to do it myself. Submitted to CDDB now.


by Volker Weber


I am sorry, if I am again saying that the emperor has no clothes. IBM should be showcasing their technology. What are you getting instead? A Websphere Portal which needs a good ten seconds to go from tab to tab. For some clicks I have waited almost a minute. I know for a fact that you can build portals with subsecond response time.

This system is officially live, even if the conference hasn't started yet. People have received their login credentials and some of them may be planning their next week. But certainly not on this system. This is a disgrace:

New poll: Who benefits from DRM

by Volker Weber

This is not going to be an easy one. Think before you vote. Who benefits from DRM (Digital Rights Management)?

The results:

This is a biggie

by Volker Weber

Dr. Donald Ferguson is a Microsoft Technical Fellow in Platforms and Strategy, in the Office of the CTO. ... Prior to joining Microsoft, Don was an IBM Fellow and Chief Architect for IBM’s Software Group (SWG).

More at Microsoft and at IBM.

Don's blog at IBM is already gone. Simon Phipps asks an interesting question:

It seems that, now he works for Microsoft, his views are retrospectively unacceptable. Or is there another explanation?

Update: In an about face Don's blog at IBM is back.

We not only have TV

by Volker Weber

From my Lotusphere invitation:

Ssssh. Some of us even have mobile phones, and know how to send text messages. Not the Finnish though. They are still making rubber boots. Or do they?

Magic numbers

by Volker Weber

Same old, same old. Ed is reporting that Lotusphere is "bigger than last year". Of course the real numbers are "IBM confidential". Rinse, lather, repeat.

Lotusphere Online currently lists 315 pages with 15 profiles. 315 by 15 is 4725.

lotusphere 2007 profiles

Finding a person is not easy, since you can only browse through the pages and it takes 25 seconds for the next page to load. You may also guess a page number and jump there.

A picture says more than a thousand words

by Volker Weber

wonderbra ad

Migrating a Mac over USB

by Volker Weber

firewire usb

Yesterday I reported that I borrowed a Mac so that I could upgrade from an 80 GB SATA to a 160 GB drive. As Stefan has pointed out in the comments, that was not really necessary. I could have used a USB enclosure to hold the old drive and migrate from there.

Frankly, I did not know that. I knew that you did not need a second Mac, since the Migration Assistant can work with any volume it sees. I had assumed that it cannot see USB devices at this point, but that is nonsense. It is running on top of a fully functional OS X. It asks to put the old Mac into Firewire target mode, which renders it into an expensive drive enclosure.

When you swap the old drive out though, it will of course discover any external enclosure it has drivers for. Another lesson learned.

Need some advice on video

by Volker Weber

I want to record a few short video clips to be uploaded to YouTube. Their upload page says:

# Videos are limited to 10 minutes (unless you're a Director) and 100 MB.
# Videos saved with the following settings convert the best: MPEG4 (Divx, Xvid) format, 320x240 resolution, MP3 audio, 30 frames per second framerate

I can record in 320x240 MPEG-4, video is .mp4v at 15 frames a second, audio is 2 channels .mp4a at 16bit/48 kHz. I can also record at higher resolutions up to 1280x720 (720p) at 30 fps, or 640x480 with 30 or 60 fps, but I think for Youtube I am fine with the lowest resolution.

The videos will be short but I need to make three adjustments:

  1. crop the movie to not include a few seconds at the start and at the end
  2. slice it into 10 minutes segments if that is ever necessary
  3. put a title screen at the front

This workflow should be as easy as possible and not require a lot of attention. I also do not want to recode the video streams if possible. I am on a Mac. Which software would you suggest?

Doubling capacity

by Volker Weber

Today I upgraded my MacBook to a 160 GB disk. First a trip to get the Samsung disk, then after removing the battery and the bracket a second trip to get a Torx 8 screwdriver. :-) This is a tool I should have bought a while ago since Apple loves Torx 8 screws. Replacing the disk was a matter of 5 minutes, but then I had to move software and data from the old disk to the new. I had already bought an enclosure for the "old" 80 GB SATA-150 drive but I could not find one with Firewire support and had to resolve to USB 2.0. I do have FW enclosures but only for PATA drives.

The problem was easily resolved by borrowing a second MacBook. (Update: And as I learned later, I made this more complicated than necessary.) While OS X was installing on the new disk, I picked up Thomas' MacBook at his house. Put the old drive into the other MacBook, boot into Target Disk mode (hold T after power on) and connect them with a Firewire cable. When OS X boots it asks you to transfer everything from your old machine to the new one:

transfer data

It took less then 2 hours unattended copying of files and the machine was ready to go. I would say total round trip was about 4 hours from buying the disk until everything was updated:

transfer data

There is one thing you need to do after a fresh install though: fetch almost 500 MB of software updates. Unlike Windows, it is one reboot only:

software update

Yes, I could have done an image backup. But I prefer a wipe and install once in a while.

Update: As Eric has commented, you need to run Software Update again, since the latest security updates are not rolled in. I have no idea why Pages, Keynote and iChat need separate updates:

software update

Must see this: Dreamgirls

by Volker Weber


Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles, Danny Glover, Eddie Murphy. But the real star is Jennifer Hudson as Effie White. If the story reminds you of the Supremes, you are right. Deena Jones would be Diana Ross and Effie White would be Florence Ballard.

If you like R&B you must see this movie. And if "And I'm Telling You I Ain't Going" is not touching your heart, it may be gone. Jennifer Hudson, what a magnificent voice.

Update: Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy both win Golden Globes in the categories Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. Dreamgirls is awarded as Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. Beyoncé Knowles was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, "Listen" was nominated for Best Original Song - Motion Picture.

Interview with Eric Houvengale from Ytria

by Bruce Elgort

Earlier this week Julian Robichaux and I recorded a podcast with Eric Houvenaghel from Ytria. We talked about their "EZ" line of products that help make life easier for Lotus Notes and Domino application developers and Eric also talks about several "urban myths" about Lotus Notes development.

On Tuesday you can hear an interview with Integra4Notes, on Wednesday a talk with IBM and VoiceRite about unified messaging and Sametime 7.5, and on Friday an interview with Declan Lynch about Blogsphere V3. During Lotusphere 2007 we will be publishing daily podcasts from the show including an interview with Mary Beth Raven and Jeff Eisen.

More >


by Volker Weber

In der FAZ gelesen (Sonntagszeitung 24.12.2006):

DRM (Digitale Rechteminderung)


Beware the iHandcuffs

by Volker Weber

Interesting article in the New York Times:

Terry McBride, Nettwerk’s chief executive, said that the artists initially required Apple to use copy protection, but that this was no longer the case. At this point, he said, copy protection serves only Apple’s interests.

Josh Bernoff, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, agreed, saying copy protection “just locks people into Apple.” He said he had recently asked Apple when the company would remove copy protection and was told, “We see no need to do so.”

More >

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

The Next James Bond

by Volker Weber

[via Robert]

Apple iPhone on pre-order

by Volker Weber

Amazon.de takes the Apple iPhone on pre-order:

iphone price

$499/599 as announced at MWSF is subsidized with a 2-years Cingular/AT&T contract. 49% voted for the iPhone. Still interested?

[via Leo]


by Volker Weber


There is one picture missing from the set. ;-)

Are you a Sales Master?

by Volker Weber

New poll: Is the "War On Terror" making the world a safer place?

by Volker Weber

Axis of evil, weapons of mass destruction, safe harbor for terrosists. We have heard it all. The world is divided on whether this "War On Terror" is working at all. But what do you think? Is the world a safer place now?


Low, fast, and unconfigured for landing

by Volker Weber

23 March Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-DHX) Knock airport, Ireland -/- 6/138 L

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 on approach to Knock airport, Ireland, “only marginally avoided” controlled flight into terrain, according to the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit(AAIU) report on the incident. The AAIU says the principal cause was that, during an ILS approach to runway 27 from which the crew were planning to break off to carry out a circling approach to the reciprocal runway, both pilots fixated on reprogramming the FMC while the aircraft continued its descent. When the aircraft emerged from the cloudbase it was low, fast, and unconfigured for landing. They had originally programmed it for an NDB approach for 09. A contributory cause was a “systemic failure” at the airline and at chart supplier Jeppesen, which meant the pilots did not have up-to-date information about the navigational aids at Knock.

Systemic failure, ugh.


Amazon macht Schreibfehler

by Volker Weber


Guten Tag,

es gibt Neuigkeiten zu Ihrer aktuellen Amazon.de-Bestellung.

Einige Artikel wurden von uns auf der Website irrtuemlich fuer ein Hundertstel des richtigen Preises ausgezeichnet:

"Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 15.4 Zoll WXGA Notebook "

Bitte entschuldigen Sie den Schreibfehler.

Daher haben wir den oder die Titel aus Ihrer Bestellung/Ihren Bestellungen gestrichen:


Wir hoffen auf Ihr Verständnis - vielleicht haben Sie sich ja schon selbst über die Ungewoehnlichkeit dieses Preises gewundert.

Bitte beachten Sie: Laut unseren AGBs kommt der Kaufvertrag ueber ein Produkt immer erst mit Absenden der Versand-Mail zustande. Hilfsweise erklaeren wir jedoch die Anfechtung wegen Irrtums.

Unsere Website haben wir mittlerweile aktualisiert.

Wir danken fuer Ihr Interesse und bitten noch einmal, unseren Fehler zu entschuldigen.

Bitte antworten Sie nicht auf dieses Schreiben, da die E-Mail-Adresse nur zur Versendung, nicht aber zum Empfang von E-Mails eingerichtet ist.

Freundliche Gruesse

Kundenservice Amazon.de

Jetzt geht's loo-hoos

by Volker Weber

Thomas schickt mir diesen Ausschnitt einer Mail von IBM an die Business Partner:

6. Lotus: "Hannover" verfügt über eine offizielle Identität

Jetzt ist es offiziell: "Hannover" ist Lotus Notes 8. Sie werden den Bezeichnungen Lotus Notes 8 und Lotus Domino 8 schon bald auf ibm.com begegnen, für die Lotusphere 2007 ist weitere Publicity geplant. Eins ist sicher - es gibt nur einen Lotus Notes 8-Client, der hohe Flexibilität und hohen Investitionsschutz mit einem frischen, neuen Look bietet.

Und fragt:

irre ich mich und oder handelt es sich bei Punkt 6 um eine schlechte Übersetzung? Dort steht "...es gibt nur einen Notes 8 -Client...". Gab's da nicht mal die Aussage / Diskussion auf Deiner Seite, es würde einen "normalen" Client und die Eclipse-Variante geben?!

Die Auflösung ist einfach. IBM will nicht über die Tatsache sprechen, dass hier eine völlig neue technische Plattform eingesetzt wird. Notes 8 ist einfach "die nächste Version" von Notes. Tatsächlich aber wird es natürlich beide Versionen/Konfigurationen/Teekesselchen geben. Allein schon deshalb, weil Designer und Administrator eben auf der alten Technik basieren.

vowe.net widget by Pieterjan

by Volker Weber

Pieterjan could not help but play with Dashcode. You need something to build, so he chose to build a widget for vowe's magic flying circus.


Download here >

Here's why Rob does not approve of Macs

by Volker Weber

Girl on cell: Well, would you fix my computer for free? ... What is it with guys who fix my computer wanting to be paid in sexual favors? You're like the fourth guy to say that to me this year.

--Penn Station

More >

My T-Shirt business gets a boost from Italy

by Volker Weber

Spiace dirlo, ma pare avessero ragione Volker e la sua impertinente maglietta...

More >

Been there, done that

by Volker Weber

I was wondering what other device I had with a 3.5 inch 3.8 inch 300 by 480 screen with 4 gig of storage, and which lets you look at photos, view videos, browse the web, do email — and it has been sitting here for years: the Palm Lifedrive. It's got Wifi and Bluetooth. It connected through both my UMTS phone and GSM phones within seconds, and also plays nicely with my WPA protected WLAN. It shows more messages in a very readable font than the iPhone if I rotate into portrait mode:


OK, it's bigger and somewhat heavier. But if you run down the battery, you can still make phone calls with your mobile. :-) Steve's got Google Maps in June? We've got it today:


And let's not forget, there is actually a ton of software out there, that you can install yourself.

It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber

Blackberry development for Lotus Domino podcast

by Bruce Elgort

Episode 42 of the Taking Notes podcast features an interview with Jason Hook, talking about how to get going with Blackberry development on Lotus Notes/Domino. A few of the points discussed in the podcast include how to get started, even if you aren't a Java programmer, considerations for using Notes views and forms in the Blackberry browser, using MDS Studio for drag-and-drop connections to Domino R7 web services, using J2ME for full-featured Blackberry apps and Jason's craicBerry (the Lotusphere party planner) and openCOD (the OpenNTF-ish open source Blackberry site) projects.

More >


by Volker Weber


Pearl replaced

by Volker Weber

After less than 4 months my Pearl needed replacement. I though I could stick it out until the 8800 would come out, but it became terminally ill two days ago. No matter what I did, I could no longer roll the screen "down". The other three directions were still working, but it was stuck downwards. Note the dirty roller ball on the left.

Update: I removed the pearl per Abdelkader's instructions (can you see how I trust this guy?):

Removing the pearl Removing the pearl Removing the pearl Removing the pearl Removing the pearl

I removed the pearl with its case and cleaned out the mess that I could reach. However, I did not disassemble the unit that actually holds the roller ball. I was too afraid I would not be able to put it back together. There is one important area you can clean, and that is the black cylinders that turn with the ball. If they turn, you are getting a signal. If they are stuck, you won't.

New poll: Which smartphone do you want?

by Volker Weber

Now that Apple has taken the wraps off the iPhone, it looks like everybody wants one. But is that true?

Palm OS has quite a following, and Palm recently released a new Treo 680 for the faithful. Symbian OS commands the largest market share in Europe, with Nokia and SonyEricsson as the main supporters. Then there is Microsoft with Windows Mobile, for instance on the Treo 750 that was just released in the US. Last but not least, the BlackBerry is a viable business tool.

Which one is it for you? Or do you prefer a dumb phone? Unsurprisingly, the reality distortion field worked quite well and almost 50% want the yet unproven iPhone:


Lotusphere bloggers

by Volker Weber

The developerWorks Lotusphere page lists quite some blogs. Since I was wondering which they selected and which they did not, I set out to count the number of posts in the last 30 days:

Ed wins this one hands down.

The MacWorld keynote in review

by Volker Weber

mwsf keynote 2007

The Steve Show has been slick as expected. Two cool new products, plus a new base station. However, no new Macs, no new Mac software. No mention of iLife/iWork 07 or Leopard. The TV streamer that was preannounced in September made its debut. It can sync one iTunes library onto its 40 gig disk, and it lets you stream content from other iTunes libs on your network. It won't play a DVD and it does not contain any tuner, so it cannot record TV programs. You may buy your favorite series from the iTunes store, but you can't record it from the air. Think about getting a Mac mini instead. At least it's a proper computer which plays DVDs and other sources outside of iTunes.

So the big news was the much anticipated iPhone. I am very impressed by its feature set and the user interface. But I am very very cautious. A touch sensitive display of this size is very soft and delicate. It will scratch like hell, and it will also have a serious impact on the display itself. The thicker the protective layer is, the less you can see in direct sunlight. Unless Apple has decided to make it transflective, but then it would not look as nice inside. There is a serious tradeoff between picture quality and sturdiness of the display.

I have used phones without buttons before, and frankly, I did not like them. I need to be able to do things without looking at the phone, and a touch screen does not provide that. Have you ever used a sat nav with touch screen while driving? Have you tried typing on an on-screen keyboard? That does not work like a Blackberry or Treo. There are also quite some gotchas if you are looking at the tech specs. No storage extension, no UMTS (3G), only 5 hours battery life.

Wonderful industrial and interface design, great feature set. But I will have to wait until I get to actually use it, before I can make up my mind about its usefulness. It won't ship before June, and Europe does not get it before the 4th quarter. Plenty of time to cool off.

Kudos to MacRumors.com for providing the best keynote coverage:

MacRumors keynote coverage

BlogSphere V3 beta now available

by Bruce Elgort

Declan Lynch has released a public beta of the totally retooled BlogSphere blogging template for Lotus Notes and Domino over on the OpenNTF site. There are a lot of new features in Version 3 including a brand new rendering system which has been changed to a "tag" and "template system". Remember that this is a beta and it is recommended that you test this on a non-production blog.

More >

Overheard in New York

by Volker Weber

Teen girl #1: He broke up with me on Facebook!
Teen girl #2: Like, on your wall?
Teen girl #1: No, he just changed his status back to 'Single'!

This used to be more difficult.

More >

New poll: Which operating system will you be using a year from now ?

by Volker Weber

operating system

If I look at my logs it is pretty clear what kind of operating systems my visitors are using. Three out of four are on some version of Windows, one in five is on Mac OS X, one in twenty on Linux, and the rest is just a few hits each.

However, the Mac slice has grown since Christmas, and a new version of Windows will be released real soon now. So the question is: What will you be using a year from now? And by that I mean: for the computer where you have a choice. Not the one that your employer gives you.

Pretty surprising results:

next years os

[Results of the last poll]

24 hours to The Steve Show

by Volker Weber

Tomorrow Steve Jobs opens Mac World with one of his famous keynotes. And there are rumors it might be his last. Read this in preparation.


by Volker Weber


New stuff to read

by Volker Weber

Chris Miller wrote a pocket guide about installing and administrating the Sametime Gateway. I think it is a terrible business plan to write a book about a product that only few will attempt to deploy (compared to a "Vista for Dummies" book). But if you want to get this gateway going, you better run to get his book. Yeah, I am on commission - Chris, I'll have a beer.

The red paper that Frank Dröge co-authored after reading about the residency here on vowe's magic flying circus, also just came out of hiding: Lotus Notes Access for SAP. This one's free, so no beer for me. ;-)

One thing you should know about me

by Volker Weber

Chris asked me today if I was ignoring the "Five things you didn't know about me" pyramid scheme. The answer is simple: No, I am not even ignoring it. ;-)

Sonos to support Microsoft DRM

by Volker Weber

sonos 2.1

My Sonos still says that my software is up-to-date. In any case this is only for the few people who bought into MS' DRM scheme. Your iTunes-crippled tracks still won't play.

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

Update: The new software was availabe at 16:30 CET and installed without any difficulties.

DRM is also bad for business

by Volker Weber

Wired reports:

Everyone knows the MP3 format is used by more devices and people than any other file-based digital-audio format. Most also know that record labels prefer DRMed alternatives such as the ones sold by Apple's iTunes, because they make it harder for people to share music.

But wait -- was that a pig flying past my window just now? Evidence is mounting that major labels may start to prefer the MP3 format, as impossible as that used to seem.

The most interesting quote is on page 2:

knowledgeable users generally prefer MP3s to Apple's DRMed AAC files, and more users become knowledgeable each day

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

IBM recognizes bloggers with a Q&A session at Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

Today I have received this email from IBM Software PR:

We at IBM Lotus PR are pleased to invite you participate in an exclusive Q&A session taking place after the main press and analyst conference at Lotusphere, IBM's yearly conference on collaboration software. This session will give you an opportuinty to participate in a smaller circle of bloggers who will have direct access to IBM Lotus executives.

The session will be conducted on site as well as by teleconference.

It is going to be interesting to see how this turns out. We have experienced some clashes between PR and bloggers here in Germany. On the other hand I don't regard Lotus bloggers as overly critical of IBM gospel. ;-)

Cool new Netgear products

by Volker Weber


SPH200D - Dual mode DECT cordless phone with Skype

Battery life ought to be much better than with the WLAN Skype phone. You connect the base station to phone line and LAN, and the phone talks via DECT to the base station like any other cordless phone.


SC101T - Storage Central Turbo

Now with Gigabit Ethernet and SATA support. But still Windows only. Bummer.

Weihnachtskarten, verpackt

by Volker Weber


Und mit großer Freude festgestellt, dass es jedes Jahr mehr werden. Dankeschön!

Ich sehe was, was Du nicht siehst

by Volker Weber

Diesen Text kann ich beruhigt in deutscher Sprache schreiben, denn er betrifft ausschließlich meine deutschen Leser.

Ich freue mich über Kommentare und über Diskussionen der Leser untereinander. Sie sind das Salz in der Suppe einer solchen Webpräsenz. Dabei muss man nur wenige Regeln der Höflichkeit beachten. Und dazu gehört es, unter eigenem Namen zu schreiben und eine E-Mail-Adresse zu hinterlassen, unter der ich ggfls. auch jemanden erreichen kann. Das funktioniert problemlos mit allen Besuchern - außer den Deutschen. Unter denen finden sich immer wieder Zeitgenossen, die keinen eigenen Namen haben oder die lieber eine Adresse wie xy@hotmail.com hinterlassen. So können wir leider nicht auf Augenhöhe miteinander sprechen.

Ein deutsches Problem, das ich mit dem Delete-Link löse, der (nur für mich sichtbar) an jedem Kommentar hängt.

Child labor

by Volker Weber

Yuri has posted an interesting piece of furniture that I have never seen before.

Spambots getting back to work

by Volker Weber


The red line show hits, the blue line shows the volume that vowe.net actually serves up. As I am constantly optimizing the site to keep my traffic within bounds, those lines do not match. Where they differ more than usual, you can see spambots hitting the site.

Both hits and volume are lower on the weekend, since many people read vowe.net instead of working, and it also declines towards Christmas. January is traditionally the strongest month — congrats to Felix for winning this month's sponsorship :-) — and I expect the red line hitting the ceiling during workdays in the next four weeks.

Vorsicht vor dieser Rechnung

by Volker Weber

Falsche 1&1 Rechnung

Sieht ziemlich überzeugend aus, enthält aber Malware. Gute Idee von Microsoft, bekannte Dateiextensionen zu verstecken, nicht wahr?

Update: Heise Security schreibt dazu:

Hinter der als Rechnungs-PDF getarnten ausführbaren Datei steckt der Trojaner Backdoor.Win32.agent.abf, der nach Tests von 1&1 erst von der Hälfte der aktuellen Virenscanner erkannt werde. Tests von heise Security ergaben ein ähnliches Ergebnis.

Was bin ich froh, dass ich in der Verwandschaft Windows durch Ubuntu ersetzt habe.

New poll: Which color would you order for a new Audi TT?

by Volker Weber

TT Polaroids

Assume you would buy a new Audi TT for yourself today. Choose from one of these five colors: black, grey, red, silver, white. Which one would you order? Restults:



by Volker Weber

Sehr gutes Editorial aus c't 2/2007:

Denk ich an Datenbanken, denk ich an blitzsaubere Tabellen, assoziiere "Präzision" und "Ordnung". Liegt es daran, dass nur die theoretischen Konstrukte so fest in meinem Hirn verankert sind? Oder ist es das Image von Solidität à la "so sicher wie die Bank von England"?

Als Praktiker müsste ich es wirklich besser wissen.

More >


by Volker Weber

Ich kann Euch gar nicht sagen, was es für einen Spaß es macht, die ganzen Lieder anzuhören, die Ihr Euch ausgesucht habt. Weiter so ...

Ich glotz TV

by Volker Weber

Ich schaue fast überhaupt kein Fernsehen, und schon gar nicht "Wer wird Millionär". Und deshalb ist mir eine Perle entgangen, die ich soeben bei Robert gefunden habe: Host Schlämmer (alias Hape Kerkeling) zu Gast bei Herrn Jauch:

Teil 1 | Teil 2 | Teil 3 | Teil 4

Ich finde Host Schlämmer eigentlich eher peinlich, aber das ist ein Highlight.

Warum baut keiner mehr so etwas?

by Volker Weber

Opel GT

Das waren noch Zeiten. Sportwagen mit emotionalem Design und Großserientechnik, zu einem Preis, den sich nicht nur ältere Herren leisten können. Warum baut heute keiner mehr so etwas? Der Smart Roadster hätte einer werden können, aber er war zu klein und zu teuer.

Es sind noch Kreuze da

by Volker Weber

Wer will einen iTunes-Gutschein? Vielen Dank für die Kommentare dort!

Großes Latinum

by Volker Weber

Vorgestern habe ich noch diskutiert, dass Latein als erste Fremdsprache* nicht so sinnvoll ist. Und heute darf ich das übersetzen:

Si forte in alienas manus oberraverit hec peregrina epistola incertis ventis dimissa, sed Deo commendata, precamur ut ei reddatur cui soli destinata, nec preripiat quisquam non sibi parata.

Der Text sollte als Disclaimer unter einer Mail dienen, hat aber leider nur den Character von "Latein für Angeber". Der obige Satz sagt nämlich aus, dass der Autor sein Dokument gerne zurück haben möchte, wenn es von unsicheren Winden in fremde Hände getragen würde. Bei einer E-Mail hilft das leider nicht viel.

*) Perfekt wäre meiner Ansicht nach erst Englisch, dann Spanisch.

The month of Apple bugs

by Volker Weber

Apple user like to believe their computers are safe from exploits. MOAB tries to prove them wrong. VLC has been patched already, but Apple has to deliver the fixes yet.

A nice one from the FAQ:

Why Apple and not (random software vendor)?

We like to play with OS X, we enjoy hate e-mail and it's not as crowded as (random software vendor), yet. Thus, it's really comfortable for research and there's so much to be worked out.

We enjoy hate mail. Snicker.

What a caption ...

by Volker Weber



A hint of a podcast to come

by Bruce Elgort

Mary Beth Raven, Virtual Bruce Elgort, Julian Robichaux and Jeff Eisen

Look out for a Taking Notes podcast with Mary Beth Raven, virtual Bruce Elgort, Julian Robichaux and Jeff Eisen on Monday January 22, 2007 at 12:00PM EST which is right after the Lotusphere 2007 Opening General Session.

Overheard in New York

by Volker Weber

English professor: Actually, I am from the same town as Robin Hood.
Student: Wait, have you met him?

More >

The Man of 100 Voices

by Volker Weber

I don't know most of the cartoon characters, but I can tell this guy is really good. I also enjoyed this guitar player immensely. Yes, he does know how to play the guitar. ;-)

[via Markus]

Your next BlackBerry

by Volker Weber


Somebody posted pictures of the new BlackBerry on howard-forums. Boy Genius picked them up. RIM hates it when that happens, because you might postpone your purchase of an 8700 until this comes out.

Thin as a Pearl, full keyboard, no camera. I am expecting it for the end of the month.

Zu verkaufen?

by Volker Weber

Aus dem PwC Newsletter "Unternehmensübernahmen im deutschen Mittelstand" November 2006, Seite 2:


Update 5.1.07 12:15 Hier stand zwei Stunden lang eine Gegendarstellung, die ich nach Aufforderung des Urhebers wieder entfernt habe.

Update 5.1.07 15:15 Soeben erhalte ich eine Gegendarstellung in etwas ungewöhnlicher Form, die ich gerne wiedergebe:


No re-design of the Workspace in Notes 8

by Volker Weber

11 months ago Chris ran a poll about the usage of bookmarks and the workspace in Lotus Notes. Three out of four voted for the Workspace, also known as the chicklets (or "Kacheln" in german).

Mary Beth Raven now tells us that there will be no major re-design in Notes 8:

So, we have postponed the big re-design of the workspace. Instead, Lotus Notes 8 will include a few visual tweaks to update the look. Yes, you will still be able to see the server names, and I think the magic key combo to show filenames will still work (I wanted to make that a proper menu item, but we're running out of time so that won't happen).

Uh oh.

Notizen 6.x

by Volker Weber


Fast so gut wie der Ziegelsteinseiltänzerleser.

Jeder bitte nur ein Kreuz

by Volker Weber

Was ist das eigentlich für ein Bier, das mein Mann so gerne trinkt? Das heißt Freibier oder so ...

Mir sind ein paar iTunes-Gutscheine für den deutschen iTunes-Store zugelaufen. Jeder ist gut für drei Tracks. Wer einen haben möchte, der schicke mir eine Mail und ich antworte mit dem Gutschein-Code schicke mir keine Mail mehr. :-)

New poll: What would you miss most when switching to a Mac?

by Volker Weber

Two out of three liked the idea of polls on vowe.net. 483 votes - that was a pretty large number. Time for a real poll:

I have talked to many people who really, really would like to use a Mac. Many are surprised to see that there is a wealth of software, but it's far from complete. There are some applications widely used in corporations which are not available on the Mac.

My question is: "What would you miss most when switching to a Mac?" Vote in the sidebar. The results:

New toy: Fritz!Box

by Volker Weber

Sometimes I need to play with stuff. Yesterday I built the poll into my website, today it was network setup day. I first repaired Alex' network and then re-architected my own. New on the team is a Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7050 router between the DSL network and the 'real' router, a Collax Business Server.


What does the Fritz!Box do, that the old setup can't? Two features: VoIP, and clever line management. With its VoIP feature, my US phone number is now permanently connected to a phone in my office. First I wanted to tie it into the ISDN infrastructure, but my very old POTS is confused if the Fritz!Box talks to the ISDN line. Now it just connects an analog phone to my VoIP service from Free World Dialup. Then there is IPkall which attaches a regular phone number to the service. If you need to call me from the US, check out my contact page for a Redmond phone number.

The line management is mostly a local issue. We get disconnected every 24 hours from DSL, at which time the router just reconnects and fetches a new IP address. The Fritz!Box just moves that disconnect into the 5am to 6am timeframe so it does not happen when you are working. If you do work from 5am to 6am, you can adjust the time. ;-)

A big thanks to Stefan who not only parted with the Fritz!Box but also provided enough guidance to steer clear through the daunting CBS setup.

Site news: Polls

by Volker Weber

Polls have been on my todo list for quite some time. Today I finally nailed it. Look in the right hand sidebar and find a new feature:

vowe dot net poll

Vote and we will see whether this is going to be a permanent feature.

Update: If you have any interesting questions, let me know. And no, I am not going to make friends by asking who the most annoying Notes blogger is. :-)

Update: In case you are missing votes, I removed the test data and the ballot stuffing.

Old vowe.net archive pages

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


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