August 2007

How big corporations are run like China

by Volker Weber

There are striking similarities:

  1. There is a strong firewall around it.
  2. Information that goes in and out is tightly controlled.
  3. Also, there are strict controls who can see what.
  4. Dissent might hurt your career.
  5. Leaders should not be questioned.
  6. Leadership determines what is inappropriate information.
  7. Looking at inappropriate material can get you in trouble.
  8. Publishing inappropriate material may deprive you of all your rights.

This list is probably incomplete.

How to check if your remote is still working

by Volker Weber

This is one neat trick to check an infrared remote:

Just open Photo Booth and point your remote at the camera (make sure the end of the remote is visible in the onscreen image), then press any button on the remote (volume up or down, for instance). If you see a bright light emitting from the remote in the Photo Booth window, you know the remote's working OK and has battery juice.

The iSight picks up the light from the LEDs and shows them in white color.

More >

From the rumor mill

by Volker Weber

CHICAGO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Research in Motion Ltd shares rose more than 3 percent on Thursday on renewed market speculation that Microsoft Corp could be interested in buying the BlackBerry maker.

Microsoft buying Java talent? Unlikely. I know it has been suggested to IBM for years to buy RIM. They did not bite.

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Which stupid error message is your favorite?

by Volker Weber

Chris was amused by an overflow message. Time to remember some of the stupidest and most unintuitive messages ever. Clear winner:

os/2 boot error

This happened when you left a floppy formatted by OS/2 in the drive and rebooted your computer. Windows would tell you that you should open that drive and restart. But not OS/2. OS/2 was to be completely internationalized. The boot record contained only the error codes, and it was to use a string table to look up the correct text:

OS/2 !! SYS01475 - boot record not found
OS/2 !! SYS02027 - boot error

The only problem was: without being able to boot, there was no string table. So the boot loader could only throw both errors. And the user would be left scratching their heads. Broken by design. Instead of risking a confusion by a foreign language, IBM made sure nobody would ever understand the error message.

It was also a great marketing drive. Users all over the world who would have a floppy from a visiting friend in their drive quickly leanred: "OS/2 broke my computer. It does not work anymore."

Made me laugh too

by Volker Weber

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

More >

Spaß, praktischer

by Volker Weber

Jemand Lust, seinen Nachbarn zu erschrecken? :-)

Easy and straightforward UI customization

by Volker Weber

The mail program on the Mac lets you customize the UI to your liking. In this video I want to demonstrate how you can add a BCC field or a REPLY-TO address. This customizations can be sticky or just on demand.

Please note that I am not explaining why I think Notes is too complex. I am just showing the easier way. And yes, that is not exactly news. :-)

Governmental spyware

by Ragnar Schierholz

In Germany there's currently much fuss about the use of spyware by agencies in anti-terrorism investigations. Satirically, that has been covered here already. A recent article in the journal "Computer Fraud & Security" looks at the same issue in a less satirical way. By using an example from a case where a teenager has been convicted based on evidence collected via spyware by the FBI the author points explicitly at a hypocrisy between the government's fight against cybercriminals and their tools on one side and the government's use of those same tools on the other.

Now back to Germany where the recently passed legislation often referred to as the "hacker paragraph" actually incriminates the mere possession of such tools. Defenders of this legislation have argued, that it of course would never be used against users with legitimate intentions. Who would have the authority to decide what legitimate intentions are remains unclear. However, several interviewees have stated that no attorney general or judge would investigate or rule against legitimate intentions.

But: what if someone sued the agency (or whoever uses such tools)? Wouldn't the attorney general be obliged to investigate? And if investigations aren't corrupted (which would be a crime itself, afaik) but show the possession and/or use of such criminal tools, wouldn't the judge then have to rule against even legitimate intentions, since the law does not allow for exempts?

I'm not an expert on legal matters, but maybe someone among the readers is more proficient and can shed some light?

Notes and Domino 8 recertification

by Volker Weber

Want to be certified for Notes and Domino 8? Recertification is now available. One exam for development and one for sys admin.

If you want to be tested in Munich, I would recommend edcom. :-)

[Thanks, Ingo]

Modern times

by Volker Weber

Clerk to woman trying to use debit card: You have to confirm.
Woman: How I do that?
Clerk: With the keypad you're holding.
Woman, using keypad as cell phone: I confirm!

--Electronic store, Times Square

More >

Vorsicht: Satire

by Volker Weber

Die zur Unterscheidung von kriminellen Viren "Bundes-Trojaner" genannte Software zum Ausspähen privater Computer ist einsatzbereit.

Und das geht so >

Stuff that's on my mind

by Volker Weber

I find it quite hilarious that people discuss whether it is ok that I am not posting positive stuff about Notes 8. What is my agenda? Do I even have one? Let me explain:

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Nicht nur Kunst

by Volker Weber

Gute Kunst drückt komplizierte Gedanken auf einfache Weise aus.
Schlechte Kunst drückt einfache Gedanken auf komplizierte Weise aus.
Harald Martenstein

Mir fällt da spontan ein Kollege ein. :-)

Mir wisset auch nix

by Volker Weber

Der Gültigkeitsprüfungsservice kann nicht bestimmen, ob diese Windows Vista-Version ein Originalprodukt ist.

Wenn nicht Microsoft, wer dann?

PostPath: Have you ever heard of these guys?

by Volker Weber

PostPath claims to have "the only Exchange Server alternative to deliver drop-in Microsoft interoperability across the email ecosystem." How does that work? They have reverse-engineered the protocol and make the management console, the other servers and the clients believe they are talking to real a Exchange server. They deliver the experience from a Linux machine, which they claim has a lot of advantages over an Exchange server, for instance in the backup space.

I see at least two problems:

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Spoof ZunePhone ad

by Volker Weber

OK, it is pretty primitive. But it is evil in many respects. Love the blinking 12:00. ;-)

WindowsMobile 6 Update for Treo 750 and 750V

by Volker Weber

Good news: it's free, it upgrades UMTS to HSDPA.

Bad news: currently only available in English and for Vodafone-branded (read 750v) devices, "one download per customer", and a biggie:

Palm Windows Mobile 6 does not support the Blackberry Connect (BBC) service

A German version is said to be available by the end of September.

More >

It's all in the left hand - Buddy

by Bruce Elgort

Haiko, batten down the hatches

by Volker Weber

Dude, you're on BoingBoing. I suggest you upgrade your traffic budget. ;-)


by Volker Weber


Just had my first Microsoft Word crash on the Mac. The first one ever. Ten seconds after I saved my edits. That was lucky. Don't want to write the same stuff twice in the middle of the night.

Surprise: Notes 8 still does not print

by Volker Weber

I know this is almost ironic. But there seems to be a silly bug when printing HTML-formatted mails. Notes finally can render them nicely, courtesy of the Eclipse browser — which happens to be Internet Explorer on Windows. Odd things happen in the client. You can for instance right double click the header of an HTML email to close, but not the body, because, well you are in the browser control, which does not know anything about right double click.

Now things get interesting. When I wanted to compare the printout from Mac Mail to the Notes printout, I came across a very odd behavior. This is the original mail printed from Mac Mail:

redbooks newsletter

And this is the same message printed from Notes 8 on Windows:

redbooks newsletter

Forget about the less than perfect rendering. Do you notice anything? The header is gone. No, it is not on a separate page. It is missing in action. It so reminds me of the poll "How would you like your beta test?". And notice something else? The footer says:

file://C:\Documents and Settings\yadayadayada\Local Settings\Temp\notesA...8/28/2007

Notes obviously writes a temporary file to disk and lets IE render it to print. What happens if you get a MIME-encrypted message? Will Notes write that to disk as well? And what happens, if the file is left behind without being properly deleted? This may need some further investigation.

Update: Why didn't I think of this before? If you avoid Expeditor and just run the classic Notes in its basic configuration, you get much better results:

redbook newsletter classic

I don't like the way the header is presented when compared to the Mac Mail output, but at least it is usable.


by Volker Weber

[via mac-essentials]

Is this progress?

by Volker Weber

Wolfgang takes the new Notes user interface to task. Since his post is in German, I will try to make my own point here in English.

I know this is a touchy topic for Notes enthusiasts. But is the new design really progress? Look at this screenshot provided my IBM.

notes 8 mail interface

In many respects it apes the popular Outlook interface. But it is also very busy: a menu bar, tabs with the Open button, a toolbar with a search entry field, then another toolbar with s a "show" selector, then a header with a "sort" selector, then finally the items, two lines each. Within the message some decoration (globe) and a busy header.

Now compare this to the current Mac Mail interface which has been available for years: one toolbar, one header with "sort" selectors, a structured header, no decoration at all. Presence is displayed in the message list (see green balls), as would be flags and reply/forward indicators. The interface highlights messages on the same thread. The mailboxes are fully replicated, so I see all incoming and outgoing messages from any of my devices.

mac mail interface

You are looking at a user generated view, which in this case is a filter by subject. Apple calls this "smart mailbox". It contains more than 20000 messages, and it still pops up instantly. This example shows you three things currently not available in Notes: look at two IMAP mailboxes at the same time (yes, you can select both), a Redirect which forwards mails to a different recipient without replacing the original sender with you (so the user can reply to the sender), and the ability to enlarge the font to make badly formatted mails better readable, such as those from ... OK, not going there.

Wolfgang and I have one thing in common. We both switched from being fulltime Notes users to the Macintosh. The applications we are using there are much smaller, quicker and they all work very well together. Mac Mail, Calendar, Address Book, iChat, NeoOffice let us do things very comparable to a "run off the mill" Notes installation. Still, we are both very interested in the progress Notes is making, and we are both sceptical.

Now let's hear it from you. :-)

Give or take one thousand

by Volker Weber

Dude: Remember that barge that was right on the horizon of the beach on Sunday?
Chick: Yeah, why?
Dude: How far away do you think it was?
Chick: I have no clue. A thousand feet, maybe?
Male passenger: Actually, the horizon at sea level is six to eight miles away.
Chick: So, less than a thousand feet?

More >

Will the real iMovie come forward?

by Volker Weber


When Apple updated iLife to version '08 they introduced a new iMovie application. It does not have anything in common with iMovie HD from iLife '06, and many people complained. iMovie '08 lets you put videos together very quickly, but it is more limited in functionality. One of the things I am missing is a sound mixer. So for those who can find the US on a map, there is iMovie HD available for download. Looks like the installer may be checking whether you have iLife '08 installed, but I am not entirely sure about that.

And then there is Final Cut Express HD for $299.00 and Final Cut Studio for $1,299.00. They are both way over my head, but iMovie HD was just right. So I am happy that Apple keeps it available.

All web development cheat sheets in one place

by Volker Weber

So you're sitting there on Saturday morning, sipping on a nice warm cup of coffee or tea. You smell the freshness of the morning, and whipping up some html, CSS and trying out some new AJAX programming. You're stuck on something! You wish you had a quick cheat sheet to get you back on track. Look no further if you're a web developer! This is the Ultimate Web Development Cheat Sheet Guide!

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How about "I don't know" instead of "I personally believe"

by Volker Weber

This might as well be the next smartphone from Palm

by Volker Weber

centro leaked

Would you want one?

Who is in control of your computer?

by Volker Weber


Bill is infuriated about the Windows spyware called Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA):

And its actions like this (or Vista, or lack of investment in Explorer, or buggy automatic updates that screw your machine) that will drive people to their local apple mac store, or to the fedora/ubuntu/suse web sites.

Two remarks:

  1. Every system that relies on a centralized infrastructure to "protect" your computer or data will take away control from you. The infrastructure will tell your computer whether you can install software, whether your operating system is "genuine", whether you may listen to your music, watch your videos or open your office files. Your computer becomes an extension of a policy. Like your IT department, which tells you what you can or cannot do with your machine.
  2. If the vendor of the software your business relies on only fully supports Windows, you are SOL. It's nice if you can have a client for Linux, or an outdated client for Mac. But if your development tools run only on Windows, or your Java agents don't run on all platforms, or your Linux clients run only on distributions which require "activation", you will be as lost as you are now.

The iPhone is a good example that Apple is not really about choice either.

Spamming your friends on Facebook

by Volker Weber

spamming facebook apps

Most people are not aware that certain facebook applications spam all their friends. My Questions is one of them. When you install the application and set up a new poll, then My Questions send a request to all your friends to answer. However,in order to answer the question, they first have to install the same application. If your friends then start to post questions, you get spammed back.

I have decided to kick all application with this behaviour.

PS: Rocky and Chris, you just happen to have posted two questions. I am not annoyed by you.

Too intimidated to speak?

by Volker Weber

too intimidated to speak

If I get messages like these from people who have not been afraid to speak out something smells.

Gut gemacht. Sehr gut gemacht.

by Volker Weber

John Head is right: If it is in Notes, it needs to work off-line ...

by Volker Weber

Notes client users have expectations ... they expect things to work off-line. Period. No room for discussion. Zero. Period.

Amen. But what about Sametime then? OK, low blow. But John's mantra makes it perfectly clear what is broken in Activities. If you can't see your tasks, especially now that you organized all in Activities, it's pretty much useless when on the plane or at a client, or off-line.

More >

Not coming to

by Volker Weber


Unfortunately. ;-)

Good service from Lotus

by Volker Weber

Last week I complained. Today I was very pleased.

I have asked a product manager to help me out on two of the reviews I am currently writing. He did not only deliver what I was asking for, but also went the extra mile to offer me additional help.

I am impressed. Thank you.

Installing Notes 8 on Ubuntu 7.04: now it's looking good

by Volker Weber

Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu

[Ubuntu with Clearlooks theme fullscreen on Macbook at 1280x800: full picture. Same screenshot on Windows XP with Zune theme and with default theme. Larger screen on Vista without Aero and Vista with Aero, courtesy of Matthias. Thanks!]

Rod Stauffer had the missing piece: install the ttf-xfree86-nonfree package which includes the default Notes font. Summary:

Dear Palm: It's time for an intervention

by Volker Weber

Excellent open letter on Engadget:

Dear Palm,

Man, what a crazy year, right? We know things haven't really been going your way lately, but we want you to know that we haven't given up on you, even though it might seem like the only smartphone anyone wants to talk about these days is the iPhone. It can be hard to remember right now, but you used to be a company we looked to for innovation. You guys got handhelds right when everyone else, including Apple, was struggling to figure it out. And it was the little things that made those early Palm Pilots great -- you could tell that someone had gone to a lot of trouble to think about what made for a great mobile experience, like how many (or rather, few) steps it took to perform common tasks.

The problem is that lately we haven't seen anything too impressive out of you guys.

More >

Start your photocopiers

by Volker Weber

redmond photocopiers

I was so reminded of this picture, when I saw that slide:

notes outlook

Only, this time it isn't Redmond.

Mir brauchet gar net groß drumrum schwätze ...

by Volker Weber

[via Die interessanteste Website aller Zeiten. Wo gibt.]

Lotus Connections may work with Domino in October

by Volker Weber

Connections shall support Domino LDAP "before the kids go back to school". In fact it was "written in stone". Well, the kids must be getting a long break this year, because apparently Domino LDAP support for connections will not be available until 1.02, released end of October.

More >


by Volker Weber

Interessante Zahlen:

Die Verbraucher in Deutschland greifen beim Kauf von Wasser und alkoholfreien Getränken immer mehr zu Einwegflaschen. Seit Einführung des Pflichtpfandes im Jahr 2003 ist die Mehrwegquote um gut ein Drittel zurückgegangen. Laut aktuellen Zahlen der Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK) liegt die Mehrwegquote nur noch bei knapp 31 Prozent, vor vier Jahren betrug sie noch rund 58 Prozent.

Das kann ich bestätigen. Wir kaufen praktisch nur noch Plastikflaschen, die dann bei Aldi im Automaten "entwertet", sprich vernichtet werden. Theoretisch könnte man die prima wieder verwenden, aber es sind ja per Definition Einwegflaschen. Kaum ein Händler tut sich die Mehrwegflaschen noch an, wenn er schon die Einwegflaschen bewegen muss.

Vor dem Haus stapeln sich tagelang gelbe Säcke. Kids und Besoffene haben großen Spaß daran, die dünnen Tüten über die Straße zu kicken. Also fliegt das Zeugs dann herum und kann von der Straßenreinigung aufgekehrt werden. Mittwochs in ungeraden Wochen sollen die Säcke abgeholt werden. Mittwoch, das kriegen die meisten Leute hin. Mittwoch, das ist morgen. Ungerade Woche? Da schon gelbe Säcke daliegen, legen sie halt noch ein paar dazu. Ergebnis: Müllberge verschandeln die Stadt.

An einem Ende verdient der Handel am Pfandschlupf, am anderen Ende jede Menge Geschäftemacher um das "Grüne-Punkt-System". Alles für die Umwelt.

Installing Notes 8 on Ubuntu: partly successful

by Volker Weber

Today I set out again to install Notes on Ubuntu 7.04. First thing I did was to replace dash with bash, so that the installer runs on a supported shell. Initial launch sequence started with "sudo ./":

Installing Lotus Notes 8 on Ubuntu

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Usability in a box

by Volker Weber

Joe Spolsky is not happy with Microsoft's new boxes. And he goes on to say:

I've been using Vista on my home laptop since it shipped, and can say with some conviction that nobody should be using it as their primary operating system -- it simply has no redeeming merits to overcome the compatibility headaches it causes. Whenever anyone asks, my advice is to stay with Windows XP (and to purchase new systems with XP preinstalled).

Joel is no Windows basher. If he says "stay away from Vista", you better stay away from Vista.

More >

Ubuntu 7.04 on Mac OS X 10.4 with VMware Fusion

by Volker Weber

Installation started at 9:30. Less than half an hour later we have a fully patched system with VMware tools installed. Amazing.

This is what makes it so fast: no need to read a physical install medium.

install from image

Update: Two hours later. I should not have trusted the IBM installer. Better kill the VM and create a new one. And then make a snapshot before calling the installer. Fool me once ...

Lotus Notes and Domino 8 podcast

by Bruce Elgort

Last Friday Julian Robichaux had a chance to interview Mary Beth Raven, Alan Lepofsky, Ed Brill and Rob Novak about the launch of IBM's new and exciting Lotus Notes and Domino 8. There is lots of good information in this show about the new release and some interesting insights about some of the new features. You will also learn about some upcoming events and new marketing efforts for this exciting new release. Unfortunately I was unable to make the call due to a scheduling conflict. More Notes and Domino 8 podcasts are in the queue. Stay tuned. Are you as excited as I am about Notes and Domino 8. No really....I AM!

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Notes and Domino 8 on Ubuntu?

by Volker Weber

Has anybody tried installing Notes or Domino 8 on Ubuntu? If you have, let me know.

Take a deep breath

by Volker Weber

Bruce is having a Moe-ment. Relax and follow the advice that the late Herbert Wehner coined: "I don't even ignore them." Ignoring somebody is already an acknowledgement.

New Mac users, meet Adium

by Volker Weber

While Skype was down, I fired up Adium. This is not only one of the cutest applications ever, it also connects to AIM, Windows Live Messenger (MSN), Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, Bonjour, Google Talk, .Mac, Sametime, Groupwise, QQ, Gadu-Gadu and LiveJournal Talk.

adium x connected

While Sametime Connect is taking up 130 MB of Real Memory, Adium consumes less than 25 MB on my machine, all while being connected to AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, Google Talk and Sametime 7.5.1. Don't even dare to look up the virtual memory Sametime Connect consumes.

Try it. It most likely has the easiest install instructions ever:

adium x install

"Click Continue and the duck will take it from there."

Nokia releases Mail for Exchange 2.0

by Volker Weber

Mail for Exchange 2.0

Nokia has released a new version of Mail for Exchange which now also syncs tasks in addition to calendar, contacts, and mail. Mail for Exchange supports all E-series phones as well as the N73, N76 and N95.

Mail for Exchange 2.0 lets you search the Global Address List. Messages inside Mail for Exchange show up in the standard search in S60.

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Domino 8: using SMTP outbound authentication to relay hosts

by Volker Weber

About five years ago mail providers started requiring authenticated connections from their users for the delivery of outbound messages. Notes was able to provide this authentication, but Domino was not. If you wanted to deliver outbound messages to a relay host, you had to use some obscure SMTP proxy to provide the necessary authentication.

This changes with Domino 8. Now the server can authenticate at the relay host. Ulrich Krause explains how to make this work:

One of the new features in the brand new release 8 of IBM's Lotus Notes and Domino is the SMTP outbound authentication (SMTP AUTH) to relay hosts. Most of the ISPs only allow authenticated users / server to relay mail thru their server.

To setup this new feature follow these simple steps:

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Will the real iMovie please stand up?

by Volker Weber

David Pogue is not happy:

Most people are used to a product cycle that goes like this: Release a new version every year or two, each more capable than the last. Ensure that it's backward-compatible with your existing documents.

iMovie '08, on the other hand, has been totally misnamed. It's not iMovie at all. In fact, it's nothing like its predecessor and contains none of the same code or design. It's designed for an utterly different task, and a lot of people are screaming bloody murder.

More >

The all new iPhone Shuffle

by Volker Weber

Too small to fix

by Volker Weber


You open an existing spreadsheet or create a new spreadsheet in the Lotus® Spreadsheets productivity tool Lotus Notes® client and make a single change to it. When you close the spreadsheet by clicking the window X button, a dialog box prompting you to save it does not appear.


This issue has been reported to Quality Engineering as SPR# DLYN6ZV4VK; currently there are no plans to address the issue.

Now go ahead and shoot the messenger. ;-)

More >

Chat of the day

by Volker Weber

I am keeping this anonymous. "Other guy" is experiencing problems with Notes 8. He cannot connect to his server. Nping works, but Notes does not connect. I was suggesting a few things to try. To no avail. A few hours of fiddling around later:

Other guy: looks like i'm not alone
Other guy: xxxxx xxxxxx has the same problem with connecting
Volker Weber: interesting that nobody is reporting that openly
Other guy: i'm not far from it
Other guy: sadly i can't connect to my blog to do it

Mine is connecting just fine.

Notes 8 R5

by Volker Weber

This is the user experience you get if your mail file is on an IMAP server:

notes 8 r5

Smells of R5. If you look at the templates, you will find many generations. Only a few have been ported to the Notes 8 look:

notes templates

What is the reason? Not enough talent to get it done?

As expected the Workspace does not look anything like this:


This is the Workspace in the standard (New Coke) configuration:

notes 8 workspace new

And this is the basic (Classic Coke) configuration:

notes 8 workspace classic

Windows ain't done until Lotus won't run?

by Volker Weber

notes blocked

Notes default install

by Volker Weber

Notes default install

Does anybody know the reason why Notes isn't installing Activities, Composite Applications Editor and the IBM Productivity Tools by default? I thought these were some of the most important innovations in Notes 8.

At first I thought it was to save space, but a fresh install does not even blast past 15000 files, 1300 folders or 1 GB. ;-)

notes 8 install


by Volker Weber

According to Ed Brill, Lotus is coming out with the most important update to Notes in ten years. I am one of the parties clearly interested. Wouldn't you think that Lotus press would ask me, whether I would like to review the software and then help me do just that?

Well, they don't. And when you feel like complaining that Lotus is largely ignored in the press then please remember this posting.

How does it happen anyway? I can't tell you. But you know what it looks like:

downloading notes 8

BTW: What is "Linux for System x"?

Skype is back

by Volker Weber

skype is back

Update: Still shaky but more people are coming back online:

skype is back

Two times two

by Volker Weber


Rob Novak is a great guy. He is admired by many as a successful businessman with excellent skills. His Lotusphere sessions have been rated amongst the best of the best for many years. It's very hard to find any fault with him.

But sometimes Rob makes a mistake.

Case in point is his Collaboration University training events. He had me confused. There are actually two of them. No, not one in Kansas City and one in London. I mean there are two different ones. One about Quickr and Sametime, and the other one about Notes and Domino. The Quickr/Sametime events are over, and as always were highly rated.

The Notes/Domino events are coming up next month. Again, one in Kansas City and one in London. If you want to learn about Notes/Domino 8 consider going there. Yes, the usual suspects (read: the celebrity speakers) are there. But that is not the point. If you ever visited one of Rob's presentations, you will know that you learned stuff you can use when you get back to work. If you haven't, take my word for it:

Our approach at Collaboration University is unique -- a deep dive into a specific product that serves as a "full course", providing you with the information you need to be productive with Lotus software.

You'll START with the basics, and progress RAPIDLY to complex topics that build on each other.

In addition, we'll provide you with foundational materials that are the underpinnings of the products -- directory services (LDAP), mail routing, firewalls, and development tools -- so you have a complete, well-rounded educational experience.

I told you, Rob is a smart businessman. You know what? He sponsored Smart, eh? :-)

[No, you can't buy an editorial on]

Oh, the irony ...

by Volker Weber


Paintbrush is a Cocoa-based paint program for Mac OS X, similar to Microsoft Paint and the now-defunct MacPaint. The project's ultimate goal is to recreate the basic functionality of Microsoft Paint, which has been noticeably absent from Mac OS X for years.

More >

Sonos is hiring

by Volker Weber

sonos is hiring

Maybe Ben wants to kill two birds with one stone. :-)

No news is excellent news

by Volker Weber

netgear rnd4225

It's been more than two weeks since I installed the Netgear ReadyNAS storage, and there is absolutely nothing to report. Zero. Nil. This thing works as advertised. It is way, way faster than the NSLU2 I used before. Stable, fast, invisible.

One thing to note: it's not quiet. You don't want it in your living room or your studio. It's bearable in an office environment, because its noise level is comparable to a PC. The machine sits about seven meters away from me, and I can hear it, unlike any other machine (Thinkpads, iMac, NSLU with two USB drives) in the office. I don't hear the disks but there is a constant hum from the fan milling at 2142 revs.


Two months from now the ReadyNAS will go into a rack in the basement and I won't even care whether it makes any sound at all. ;-)

We have seen this before

by Volker Weber

Carl reports that a Quickr Redbook has been cancelled. There are no Connections Redbooks coming either. Actually there are no Lotus residencies at all. No residencies, no Redbooks.

Ask your local IBM guy what is happening.

I'm a dog

by Volker Weber

I don't believe in astrology but this is a pretty good description:

People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest, and inspire other people's confidence because they know how to keep secrets. But Dog People are somewhat selfish, terribly stubborn, and eccentric. They care little for wealth, yet somehow always seem to have money. They can be cold emotionally and sometimes distant at parties. They can find fault with many things and are noted for their sharp tongues. Dog people make good leaders.

Skype connection woes

by Volker Weber

Skype seems to be having connectivity issues. It started yesterday and I am currently unable to connect. Are you having the same issues?

New poll: when will you be using Notes 8?

by Volker Weber

Lotus Notes 8 will be available tomorrow. When do you intend to use it? Or when will your IT people let you use it?

The results:


Wasch mir den Pelz, aber mach mich nicht nass

by Volker Weber

Hallo Volker,

nach glaubwuerdigen eigenen Aussagen hast Du einen LinkedIn-Account. Ich suche Kontaktdaten von ... Da ich aber keinen linkedin-Account habe und eigentlich auch nicht moechte, wuerde ich dich bitten mal herauszufinden, ob er mehr E-Mail-Adresse veroeffentlich hat als ...

Wer mitschwimmen will, muss sich schon die Badehose nass machen. Das ist wie bei Presence und Instant Messaging. Wer mich drei mal anschreibt, obwohl er unsichtbar ist, der fliegt aus meiner Liste. Einfache Regel: Wer mich stören will, muss sich auch von mir stören lassen.

Manus manum lavat.

Ron Sebastian demos Notes 8

by Bruce Elgort

Watch IBM's Ron Sebastian, executive architect for Lotus Software, demonstrate some of the new features in the Lotus Notes 8 client and Domino server collaboration platform.

[via Alan on Facebook]

Ist die SpOn-Nachtschwester jetzt völlig besoffen?

by Volker Weber

Hawaii liegt mitten im Pazifik und ist damit schwerlich eine Karibik-Insel. Und Dean kann auch nicht auf Flossie folgen, es sei denn, die Nachtschwester hat ein eigenes Alphabet: ABCEFD... Muss ja auch nicht, weil Flossie ein Pazifik-Sturm und Dean einer im Atlantik ist.

Facebook has an iPhone interface

by Volker Weber

facebook iphone interface

Works in your browser too. Other phones can use, which works well, but does not look as cool:

Even a BlackBerry can do it:


Sonos adds SIRIUS Internet Radio

by Volker Weber

You need to let your controller update the system to version 2.3.

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Windows loses, Mac gains, Linux stable

by Volker Weber

os share on

Stuart said:

We have seen such a swing to the Mac in this community during 2007 that IBM would be utterly foolish to delay the Mac client any longer...

So I took a look at my data: people accessing, which is a low seven digit number of data points a month. I don't know what was different in November, but I know that I was hit by Digg in February. The rest of the data shows a clear trend: Windows is slowly losing, Mac is slowly winning, and Linux remains stable.

Two more recommendations on LinkedIn

by Volker Weber

linkedin recommendations

Last Monday I received two more recommendations from Ken Bisconti and Karl-Henry Martinsson. Warm fuzzy feeling. Thanks Ken and Karl!

Notes 8 to ship this Friday

by Volker Weber

Notes 8 is going to ship (electronically) on Friday. Lots of people will be eager to see what has become of "Hannover", first announced more than two years ago:

“In "Hannover" customers can see step-function improvements in the Lotus Notes client's core capabilities, such as e-mail, calendaring and scheduling, and contact management,” says Bisconti. “Beyond that they can see how Lotus Notes delivers new software innovations such as activity-centric collaboration, which can dramatically increase end-user productivity ..."

Activities is one of the things that Notes 8 does not deliver. For that you need to buy Connections and install WebSphere, DB2 and directory servers in addition to Domino. What you get in Notes is an Expeditor plug-in serving as a client to Connections. There does not appear to be a limited entitlement akin to presence and instant messaging with Sametime.

The other thing you will be waiting for is a Mac client. In several briefings at Lotusphere IBM has promised to close the gap between shipping Windows and Mac clients, but this gap is actually widening. Currently there isn't even a Mac beta of Notes 8. My bet is that it takes IBM at least one year before they are ready to ship Notes 8 on the Mac. And then it will only be the bare Notes client without Administrator or Designer.

Facebook updates via RSS

by Volker Weber


Find it under Friends | Status Updates >


by Volker Weber

Meine erste Geschichte, die eigentlich mehr meiner Profession als Maschinenbauer entspricht:


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Facebook Exporter for iPhoto

by Volker Weber

Facebook Exporter for iPhoto is a free plugin for iPhoto that enables you to export photos directly to your Facebook account.

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by Volker Weber

Airbus A380 landing with crosswinds in Iceland

by Volker Weber

Is that a Boeing 737 at 0:45 ?

[Thanks, Hajo]

Have an iPhone, get a 300 pages phone bill

by Volker Weber

300 pages bill

IBM sends an invitation

by Volker Weber


He was smarter then

by Volker Weber

Alan has changed

by Volker Weber

alan has changed

[Thanks, Andy]

Saturday's fun event

by Volker Weber

Lotusphere 2008 Call for Abstracts

by Bruce Elgort

Session and Birds-of-a-Feather abstracts are now being accepted for Lotusphere 2008. The deadline is Friday September 7, 2007. Note that the submission form doesn't appear to be currently working in Safari.

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Musical Chairs at Lotus

by Volker Weber

I hope Viktor is buying beers

by Volker Weber

lotusphere invitation

It was a tough decision, because I did not really want to visit the US any more. In the end I had to put my personal feelings behind. Good news: Most likely I won't be late for any Saturday night events this year.

The other good news for German attendees: Lufthansa flies FRA-MCO nonstop beginning in October. Check out LH 464 (FRA 1405 MCO 1830) and LH 465 (MCO 2025 FRA 1120 +1).


by Volker Weber


Facebook update of the day

by Volker Weber

Ben Poole joined the group The Only Kajagoogoo Facebook Group

Now imagine this.

Eigentlich ganz einfach, oder?

by Volker Weber

Aus gegebenem Anlass der Unterschied zwischen Reklame, Werbung und PR:

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Next up, iWork 08

by Volker Weber


Timetoact fusioniert mit edcom

by Volker Weber

Köln und München 9. August 2007 - Die IBM Premier Business Partner Timetoact Software & Consulting GmbH mit Sitz in Köln und die Edcom GmbH mit Sitz in München fusionieren. Mit gleich bleibendem Management arbeiten die beiden IBM Premier Business Partner weiterhin als eigenständige Marken. Die Timetoact Unternehmensgruppe, bestehend aus den Unternehmen Timetoact, Edcom und X-Integrate, ist jetzt mit rund 60 Mitarbeitern einer der größten Anbieter für IBM Lotus und Websphere Software, Services und Produkte im deutschsprachigen Raum.

Uff, ein Geheimnis weniger zu wahren. :-)

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You don't know it yet, but you want this

by Volker Weber

.mac gallery

Apple has finally found a use case for .Mac (dot Mac). The integration between iPhoto and .Mac Gallery is wonderful. It makes you wonder how you could ever live with Windows.

So far I only uploaded some 250 photos. But there will be more. Lots more.

Facebook status update

by Volker Weber

facebook updates

Facebook is fun. Period.

That is the main difference to all the other social networks. Xing or LinkedIn let you collect your contacts in an address book on steroids. But you don't get much fun interaction.

Facebook is different. I visit it once a day to get an update on what people are up to. And since Facebook lets you embed other applications it becomes a natural portal for your contacts. If I were responsible for Lotus Connections, I would take a long hard look at Facebook.

One of the things i incorporated into my Facebook page today is Twitter. At first I thought this was just another randon Web 2.0 fad. But as Max has explained (in German), they are doing all the right things to make it work really, really well.

It's good to have a fallback

by Volker Weber


It has been four years since this picture was taken, but my iMac G4 is still going strong. Today I had to go back using it since the MacBook no longer recognizes my power adapter. $&%§! Without power it's nothing but a big black paperweight.

Conveniently for Apple the warranty has just run out two weeks ago. I think I need to make a few phone calls to get this sorted out.

The real timesaver is Foldershare which I started using two years ago. All my important files are on both the iMac and the MacBook.

PS: No, the two Palm devices in this picture are long gone.

Update: Solved in 10 minutes. It was the power supply and not the MacBook. Replaced on the spot.

T-Mobile Beach powered by BlackBerry

by Volker Weber

Planung trifft auf Realität.

Prepare to want one

by Volker Weber


Related: iLife 08 with new versions of iPhoto and iMovie, iWork 08 now with spreadsheet (30 day trial), .Mac upgraded to 10 GB and new photo gallery (demo), Mac mini upgraded to Core 2 Duo.

Opinion: If Apple would not introduce another proprietary file format with their iWork applications, they'd be much better off.

New toy: Nokia N800

by Volker Weber


I have a new toy at vowe's magic flying circus. And to spoil the story right at the beginning: I don't really know what to do with it. Before somebody shouts "here, here", I will have to return it to Nokia anyway.

So what it is? The Nokia N800 is called an Internet Tablet, which means it connects to the Internet but misses a keyboard. It's bigger than an E90 folded together, and smaller than this device in Communicator mode. The N800's claim to fame is that it runs on Linux, and that is one of the stronger points it has. It has brought open source developers to this platform through

Home screen with plugins

My biggest complaint about the N800 is that it may connect to the Internet, but it does not connect to my address book or calendar. It's basically an island. What goes in there, stays there. I wasn't even successful in importing my contacts because the .vcf was too large to import.

The N800 does not have a mobile phone, but it connects to the internet through a Bluetooth attached phone or a wireless access point. The setup for both the phone and Wi-Fi is excellent and you will have no difficulties to connect.

Skype on Nokia N800

Both Gizmo Project and Skype have a version for the N800, but you can't use the built-in webcam. That only works with the Jabber application, and only if the other person also has an N800, which is kind of unlikely. There is a camera application which lets you shoot pictures of yourself, but you can't really use the webcam for anything else since it always points into your direction.

The browser is really nice, and there are three buttons at the top of the device which let you zoom to fullscreen or increase and decrease the font size:

Browser on N800

Browser fullscreen on N800

Both Google Mail and Google Maps don't work very well. The browser will render the inbox in a very strange way and you cannot scroll in Google Maps by dragging the map.

Google Mail not perfect

Google Maps on N800

The application that I like most so far is the RSS reader. My only difficulty so far is that it seems to only display unread items. But I may find the switch which lets me view the full feed.

RSS reader on N800

Battery life is very good and I only have to recharge the device every couple of days. The N800 feels very good and the button layout is excellent for a person who knows how to operate their left hand. :-) You can connect your standard headphones to the 3.5 mm stereo jack and the device could be used as a media player. Having said that I find the CPU a little bit weak. Videos don't play as smooth as I would want them to, and so far the results from YouTube are discouraging.

Maybe I should give it a few more days before I become more attached to it. So far I have not found anything the E90 can't do much better. Besides Skype of course.

Such a tease

by Volker Weber

Mr. Mooney has an interesting photoset on Flickr: ILUG2008

Taking Notes Podcast Episode 64

by Bruce Elgort

It's been over a month since Julian Robichaux and I produced an episode of the Taking Notes Podcast and I am happy to report that we just published Episode 64 where we talk about Lotus Connections 1.0, Quickr 8.0, Lotusphere 2008, UKLUG update with Warren Elsmore, Collaboration University, Sametime 7.5.1 CF1, The LotusViralMarketing blog and, an "Interface Matters" segment from Chris Blatnick.

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Netgear releases beta of RAIDiator 4

by Volker Weber

For those more adventurous than myself, here is RAIDiator 4.00b2-p2-T1.

New York Times uncovers Fake Steve Jobs

by Volker Weber

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 5 — For the last 14 months, high-tech insiders have been eating up the work of an anonymous blogger who assumed the persona of Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive and one of the world’s most famous businessmen.

Fake Steve is Daniel Lyons of Forbes Magazine.

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Sounds like a plan

by Volker Weber

From my inbox

by Volker Weber

Google "lotusphere 2008" and click on the first link

Freeing up storage

by Volker Weber

It's no secret that people like to collect music on their PCs, with music files taking up more and more hard drive space as time goes on. Recent data from Comscore says that as of April of this year the typical computer in the US contains an average of 880 MP3 files, taking up roughly 3GB of hard drive space. Compared to the average number of Word documents (197), PDFs (100), and Excel files (77), music files make up the single most common type of file found on an average computer by a long shot.

Windows users now get some help making room on their storage: W32.Deletemusic


by Volker Weber

I am monitoring three servers every three minutes. All of them are complex, but in different ways. These are the last 20k probes:

Up: 20943 Down:62
Up: 20349 Down:752
Up: 20989 Down:2

The servers run Apache, Domino and IIS. Which is which?

Update: About 3 weeks later:

Up: 36215 Down:92
Up: 35363 Down:1283
Up: 36283 Down:2

Update: About 2 months later:

Up: 50875 Down:117
Up: 49675 Down:1983
Up: 50960 Down:4

Looks like the data is pretty stable.

Marketing weasel speak

by Volker Weber

Why is that so hard? Why can't a company bring itself to admit any fault, however minor, to say they feel badly about something? It's OK, really. Your customers will forgive you. What customers should not forgive is marketing speak. I don't cry over spilled milk. I cry over "The erstwhile contents of the glass have been redistributed in a more horizontal fashion. This was a business decision based on gravitational forces. Information on forthcoming moisture containment strategies and potential new sources of dairy products will be made available by mid-January 2008."

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From my inbox

by Volker Weber

Mark writes:

After updating my latest Parallels 3 installation to build 5060 (beta) and installing the Parallels Tools I now have no start button or taskbar on startup with windows xp. Have already sent mail to support. The only solution at the moment is to download the latest release and to reinstall.

I cannot comment since I use Fusion.

Inspirational Teenager

by Bruce Elgort

Inspirational Teenager

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Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

Don’t be silly Ian. Everyone knows that Microfox Mozzarella is the browser of choice now. It’s open-sauce and comes with tablet browsing don’t you know!
Ben Poole

Tim Bray: Unprofessional in Black

by Volker Weber

I'm talking about my computer, which is a MacBook, not a MacBook Pro, and a lovely flat black colour. It's by a long shot the best Mac I've ever had. I gather the Pro line is due for a refresh soon; it better be good, because at this point anyone who buys a silver Mac is making a big mistake.


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Don't try this at home

by Volker Weber

[via Messe·schnell·weg]


by Volker Weber

1 person recommends

Today I have received my first recommendation on LinkedIn. And what a lovely one. Thanks, Ben.

The Tube now with EPG and recorder

by Volker Weber

The Tube now includes Timed Recording, an Electronic Program Guide (EPG), a new EPG Mode, support for the open XMLTV standard and much more.

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Five new Sky.FM channels

by Volker Weber

From my inbox:

Hi Volker,

I came upon an old post on your blog where you mentioned you enjoyed our Smooth Jazz. Last night we laucnehd 5 new channels, one of them was Bossa Nova Jazz, and another one is Piano Jazz. You might love those too, give them a try at if you're still into net radio :) And of course they should work with Sonos as before!

PS: thanks for all the link love, that's how I found this eventually, ALWAYS appreciated :)

Best Regards,

Ari Shohat

Founder & Manager

These are the new channels:

And they are already on the Sonos. I did not have to do anything myself since you can have your station list updated by Sonos.

Updated Internet Radio station list

Write 100 times: email is a terrible collaboration tool

by Volker Weber

And it happens again. An email in my inbox sent to 39 people, asking them:

Any suggestions on theme would be gratefully received. And please forward this onto any other blogger you can think of.

This from a person who knows that email is a terrible way of collaboration. If you ever get this idea, then please, puleeeze use Quicktopic. It's free, and you can subscribe to receive updates when somebody else posts. Much better than hundreds of mails in your inbox.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac 2.0 (Beta)

by Bruce Elgort

MS Remote Desktop Connect Client Beta 2

Today Microsoft released a beta of the next version of their Remote Desktop Connection Client for OS X. The Mac 2.0 beta is a universal binary, supports dynamic screen resizing (including a full screen mode), has more "mac like" user experience, supports multiple sessions and now supports all configured printers on your mac. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that it also now has support for Vista.

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Old archive pages

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


Paypal vowe