April 2009

The EVA 9150 is here

by Volker Weber

The new EVA 9150 arrived at vowe's magic flying circus today. And I am quite impressed. One of the surprises was the huge remote. Without any configuration I was able to control not only the EVA but also my Sony Bravia screen.


The UI is very similar to the 8000, so no surprises here. As usual I have set up the player without PC access, so I was pleased to see that it can play Youtube and other Internet channels on its own. It also makes good use of its internal hard disk to buffer videos it is playing. There is ample space to download the whole video while you start watching.

The only thing bothering me was the fan. I had enabled file sharing, so I can push files to the hard disk, but then the fan was running at 30% even in auto mode. In a quiet room I can hear that fan. At 100% it becomes unbearable. I now disabled file sharing and the fan. Hope this does not overheat the device.

All initial tests were successful. Without any hacks it played everything I threw at it. I am reading the manual. There are so many things the EVA can do that I need to approach this systematically.

The editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award is all but guaranteed.

Here are some FAQ and the full documentation.

iSnort - how could I have missed that?

by Volker Weber

What's happening in Lotus land?

by Volker Weber

I am confused. There is a discussion going on at Ed's which is already 80+ comments long, and it is going back and forth between "doing things differently" and "you are doing great".

First the facts:

  1. Lotus has the only IBM software that users see. Notes, Sametime, Quickr, Portal, Connections. Users never get to see DB2, Tivoli, Websphere, Rational.
  2. IBM reported that Lotus lost 12% revenue year over year.
  3. Ed Brill says that Notes is winning, with no numbers to back it up, other than that numbers are "up" from 2004 to 2008.
  4. Lotus has a channel on Youtube. This is the most watched video and an IBM marketing manager finds it awesome:

Here is my confusion:

You can't win and lose at the same time. Yes, you can cook the statistics, but that does not change the fact that you are either losing or winning. You can try to "spin" bad news into good news, but that only works for a while until people realize they are being lied to.

The discussion is quite interesting in that some people demand Lotus should market to the end users, meaning "show the product". But corporate IBM never does that. And Lotus, being the only part of IBM that would actually need this kind of marketing, is only making clumsy attempts (see YouTube) to change that.

edbrill.com, a private web site, has turned into the only IBM channel that keeps pushing the Notes message. Yes, there are more Lotus blogs and quite a few good ones, but they are not effective. The official IBM/Lotus sites are boring corporate sites that fail to get any excitement across.

But what is the audience of edbrill.com? I may be wrong, but I think it is read by the Lotus faithful for encouragement and morale, and by a few Microserfs for amusement.

I can only admire Ed for what he is doing. But you need more than one man, or a dozen, to win this. If you want to break out of this cycle, you need to do something radically different. Something visible and dazzling.

New toys coming up: G1, EVA, E75, and more

by Volker Weber


I am currently on a conference tour speaking about mobile security. And I have one blind spot: Google Android. I have to tell the audience that I basically know nothing about Android from first hand experience. As it happens, Google is one of our conference sponsors, and I just got notice, that in two weeks time, I will have a G1 to play with.

The EVA 9150 I talked about last week is also en route to vowe's magic flying circus. ETA is tomorrow via UPS. I could have picked it up yesterday but then would have needed to lug it all the way to Darmstadt on the train. I am really curious how this box will compare to my EVA 8000.

No sign of the E75 yet.

If Fedex delivers the package I could not receive yesterday, I will also be testing some undisclosed hardware/software today that I was very much looking forward to. If all goes well, it could be a product this quarter. And no, it's not from Sonos. ;-)

Steven Sande: Why the hackb00k is a fail

by Volker Weber

I wrote about creating a hackintosh (AKA hackb00k) out of a Dell mini 9 in a long post back in October of 2008, and at that time I was fairly impressed with the low cost and capabilities of the device. However, ... Even if you delude yourself into thinking that since you're only going to use it for email it will be a worthwhile investment, you're wrong. If you want to know how I came to these conclusions, read on.

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New Facebook app for BlackBerry

by Volker Weber


Update if you are not at least on version here: blackberry.com/facebook

Monday morning fun

by Volker Weber

Mobile Interactive Testing Environment

by Volker Weber

Keynote Systems makes a free version of their MITE suite available. If you want to test your website on 1600 mobile browsers, this is what you need.

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Amazing beatbox kid

by Volker Weber

Double digit contraction

by Volker Weber

When IBM posted financial results in the past, we quickly learned about "double digit growth". Currency rates did not matter much. This time, SILENCE.

Lotus was down 12 percent

And more interestingly:

Across all software brands, we have strong recurring revenue; in fact, annuity content represents two-thirds of our software business.

If you have two thirds maintenance on yearly contracts and you lose 12 percent, that is pretty significant.

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Darf ich Sie stören?

by Volker Weber

Sehr geehrter Windows Live-Benutzer,

wir wenden uns an Sie hinsichtlich Ihrer Kommunikationseinstellungen für Windows Live und MSN.

Aktuell kann Ihnen Microsoft aufgrund Ihrer Einstellungen keine Werbeinformationen oder Einladungen zu Umfragen in Bezug auf Windows Live und MSN senden. Wir würden Ihnen gerne wichtige Produktupdates mitteilen. Wenn Sie also Ihre Einstellungen ändern möchten, besuchen Sie Ihr Kontoprofil hier.

Nein, ich möchte nicht. Ich will noch nicht mal gefragt werden, ob ich nicht möchte. Ich sehe "Genuine Advantage" auch nicht als Vorteil an. Redet Klartext und ich höre auch wieder zu.

From my inbox

by Volker Weber


Yes, that happens all the time. ;-)

Pretty cool: marinetraffic.com tracks ships

by Volker Weber


From their FAQ:

The system is based on AIS (Automatic Identification System). As from December 2004, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires all vessels over 299GT to carry an AIS transponder on board, which transmits their position, speed and course, among some other static information, such as vessel’s name, dimensions and voyage details.

Our base stations are equipped with an AIS receiver, a PC and an Internet connection. The AIS unit receives data, which are processed by simple software on the PC and then sent to a central database by means of a ‘web service’.

Data received are uploaded in the database in real time and therefore they are immediately available on the map and on other pages. However, several positions shown on map may be not continuously refreshed (e.g. when a ship goes out of range). Vessel positions shown on map may be up to 1 hour old.


[Thanks, Lucius]

Tiny USB car charger

by Volker Weber


This made it quickly on my wishlist: a tiny USB charger that sits flush in your dashboard. As I understand, not yet in the stores, but should be Real Soon Now.

Netgear EVA 9150 now available

by Volker Weber


This might as well be the mother of all media players. Or, at a SRP of 499 € it better be. Same disk cartridge as the ReadyNAS, comes with a 500 GB user replaceable hard drive. And, if my EVA 8000 is any indication, will play anything you throw at it. I worry a bit about the fan on the back.

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Mehr >

Google Similar Images

by Volker Weber

Similar Images allows you to search for images using pictures rather than words. Click the "Similar images" link under an image to find other images that look like it. Try a search of your own or click on an example below.

Very useful feature. Not available under all images yet.

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IBM vs. Microsoft Product Marketing: A Visible Difference

by Volker Weber

Bill Pray and I had a briefing last week with a vendor who sells both IBM and Microsoft solutions, and he made a comment that crystallized a belief I've had for a long while: that Microsoft's aggressive product marketing (and IBM's minimal product marketing) make a difference in terms of readiness to buy.

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Overheard in New York

by Volker Weber

Guy: Hey, you look pretty...
Girl: Fuck off!
Guy: Don't interrupt...pretty ugly.

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Ich komm da jetzt nicht weiter

by Volker Weber

I think I need a new iPhone

by Volker Weber

I am no longer hearing the phone ring. Stabbing the speakers with a needle no longer helps. This is one of the good design changes in the 3G. Instead of tiny holes it has a grille over the speaker.

Update: It turns out I don't need a new phone. Bastian writes:


ich lese gerne Dein Blog, und habe mir gedacht ich versuche mal dir bei deinem iPhone-Problem zu helfen.

Generell ist das 2G extrem schwierig zu öffnen, damit habe ich meine leidlichen Erfahrungen gemacht.

Der untere Plastikteil ist aber ganz einfach und schadlos (!!!!) zu entfernen, wenn man diesen Trick verwendet:

Einfach Panzertape /Gaffa o.ä. flächig quer auf das schwarze Teil kleben. Eben mit möglichst viel Kontakt. Dann steht unten noch ein Stück über, an dem man nach unten zieht. Et voila!

Dann einfach mal den Staub entfernen und Kunststoffabdeckung wieder drauf schieben.

Hoffe ich konnte helfen.



Short translation: The black cover comes easily off the bottom of the 2G iPhone. You need a handle to pull it off. Use a piece of Gaffa or duct tape, stick it on the black plastic, then put the phone face down on the table and pull on the excess end of the tape horizontally.

I needed two layers of tape, since you have to pull with quite some force. On the first two tries I just ripped the tape in half. Then the black cover came off easily and I was able to remove the dirt. There are two tapes inside, one on the phone and one on the cover. I removed the tape on the cover and cleaned the holes, then put everything back together.

Volume has been restored. Thank you, Bastian.

Message from Flickr

by Volker Weber

Hey vowe... Your Pro Account is going to expire on 20th of Apr. That's in 2 days!

Pictures in older posts will disappear. Without a Pro account Flickr only lets you see the last 200.

Sonos is an infectious virus

by Volker Weber


You start with one ZP100, you have to take one apart, then you add one ZP80. Then all your friends get theirs. And start to like it, as the Wife Acceptance Factor kicks in. And before you know it, you end up with 14 Zones.

Plan for growth. Don't buy single components, but always bundles. You will need more than one player. And more than one controller. Unless you live alone. In a single room. But even then, you might need another one in the bathroom ... ;-).


by Volker Weber

So, you work at a big corporate, huh? And you're not allowed to use Twitter... Wouldn't it be awesome if there were a Twitter tool that looked just like Excel?

Welcome to Spreadtweet >

On heavy rotation: premium cat content

by Volker Weber

Microsoft unveils Exchange Server 2010 public beta

by Volker Weber

Microsoft Corp. today released a public beta of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, part of Microsoft’s unified communications family

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New toy coming up: Nokia E75

by Volker Weber


No firm delivery date set yet, but "not before easter" is starting now. :-) This is the fist device with the new Nokia Messaging client preloaded. Large keyboard but small screen when compared to the E90. It's going to replace my N82 which replaced the E71.

New RAIDiator adds Time Machine support to ReadyNAS

by Volker Weber


Update your device with the latest software (4.2.3 on x86 and 4.1.5 on NSP). Check the Release Notes:

Time Machine support for Mac users just got a whole lot easier. The ReadyNAS can now be set up for Time Machine in a matter of a couple minutes. The option is available in the Backup/Time Machine tab. Follow the simple instructions here.

Setting up 500 GB per machine now. A backup is better than free space on the storage.

Sonos 2.8 with Deezer up and running

by Volker Weber


Deezer is available in 30 countries, but the US is not one of them. If you do have a Deezer account, there is one small gotcha during the Sonos setup. The controller asks your for your user name, but you have to enter your mail address as registered in Deezer.com instead.

Locked in

by Volker Weber

This is an interesting plot to paint yourself into a corner. Sonos Controllers, ZonePlayers and ZoneBridges operate on the same software release. This has worked very well for Sonos up to version 2.7. Then they introduced an iPhone/iPod touch controller and made it available through the iTunes App Store.

Now Sonos can no longer update their device software unless Apple approves a new version of the controller software. If Sonos pushes out the update, it breaks all existing iPhone/iPod controllers which insist on running at the same level as the ZonePlayers.

So it happened today. Sonos announced an update to 2.8 which was to deliver Deezer service to 30 countries, but the controller never showed up in the App Store. Sonos was forced to not deliver.

Even if Apple approves the controller in a reasonable time frame, Sonos needs to rethink this dependency.

A week and 21815 page views later vowe.org is here to stay

by Volker Weber


Posterous is great fun. Where it's lacking in functionality, it shines in ease of use. I can post by simply sending a mail. It takes care of all the rest. So vowe.org is going to stay as a sidekick to vowe.net. There is even an RSS feed.

If you don't have a blog and are not married to any particular technology, then posterous is your friend.

500 users minimum

by Volker Weber

In my RSS reader today:

Just enquired about this and prices start at over 3000 GBP for 500 users minimum

What's it about?

Containing more than 1000 short video clips, the IBM Multimedia Library for Lotus Notes will quickly teach your employees the essential skills they need to be successful with Lotus Notes. New employees will learn key tasks, like archiving and calendaring, and seasoned employees will learn new features and productivity tips. "What's New" tutorials teach valuable skills and benefits of new features. This is the ultimate training solution for end users, administrative assistants, mobile users and tech support teams.

Does IBM really need to charge for this?

Sonos 2.8 today with Deezer support and updated iPhone controller

by Volker Weber

As soon as Apple releases the iPhone controller on the app store, Sonos is going to release 2.8 of their device software. Both have to match.


2.8 will bring support for Deezer, a free music service that goes well beyond the Last.fm countries US, UK and Germany. The list contains 30 countries including Austria and Switzerland. The new iPhone controller lets you set up alarms, new ZonePlayers as well as network shares. It is also localized in dutch, french, german, italian, spanish and swedish.

My least favorite piece of Apple hardware

by Volker Weber


This is a great idea, executed badly. The Airport Express connects to power, USB, Ethernet and audio, both analog and digital. It can act as a wireless access point, a router, an iTunes target. If it would only work. Often it loses its network connection (LED turns yellow), a USB-attached printer stops working. Or it just dies. I have seen so many of them simply burn out. Walter lost one, I lost two, Otto lost one in February. Simple reason: the power supply dies. I used mine during Lotusphere, and it needed a reset once a day.

It. Just. Does. Not. Work.

Best OS for the BlackBerry Bold so far

by Volker Weber


I have been pretty adventurous with my BlackBerry firmware recently. Still have not found one for the Storm that works for me. I have also had some issues with different builds for the Bold. But this one has proven itself rock solid over the last two weeks. Not a single glitch. I am not going to touch it for a long while. There is a download on the german Vodafone site, but your carrier may have it for you as well.

If you are on an older version, I recommend you update.

Neue Tasche

by Volker Weber


Meistens schleppe ich eine Crumpler-Tasche mit mir rum (Bees Knees oder Daily 600), wenn ich viel Zeugs zu transportieren habe. Für's kleine Gepäck habe ich seit ein paar Wochen eine Belkin, die sehr angenehm zu tragen ist. Ein lose Innentasche für die Kabelage ist auch noch dabei. Und die kostet gerade mal 30 Euronen. Aus der gleichen Serie habe ich dann noch zwei "Möbel": eine Garage und eine Unterlage. Hat sich alles gut eingelebt hier.

IP address geolocation SQL database

by Volker Weber

The SQL database behind iplocationtools.com is offered for free.

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Pricing of collaborative cloud services from Google, Microsoft and IBM

by Volker Weber

Google Apps Premier Edition is $50 a year, per user, with 25 GB of storage. That is a little over $4 per user and month. It includes Google Mail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Video and Google Sites.

Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite is $15 per user and month. It contains Exchange, Office SharePoint, Office Communications, Office Live Meeting. Microsoft has a handy online estimator for your monthly bill.

LotusLive Engage contains meetings, files, activities, instant messaging, forms and charts. IBM has not published any pricing, but it's also not exactly a secret. IBM wants you to call, or they will call back after you filled out a form. Maybe that's a good thing. The offering is complicated. Here is what I found out so far about their list prices (including 1 GB of storage):

Google Apps does not have meetings, which is the main feature in LotusLive Engage. Engage in turn does not have email or calendaring. Microsoft Online has both.

Google data center tour

by Volker Weber

IBM lädt Studenten zur DNUG-Konferenz

by Volker Weber

Stuttgart, 07. April 2009 - Studenten haben die Gelegenheit, Freikarten für die DNUG-Konferenz am 12./13. Mai in Düsseldorf zu bekommen. Universitäten, die einen interessanten Vortrag rund um Themen wie Enterprise 2.0, Collaboration oder IBM Lotus Notes anbieten können, erhalten die Chance auf freien Eintritt zu der Top-Veranstaltung in Sachen Collaboration und Messaging im Zeitalter von Web 2.0. Die IBM bietet diese Gelegenheit im Rahmen ihres Hochschul-Engagements.

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LotusLive is errr live

by Volker Weber


Differences between Maintenance Releases, Fix Packs and Cumulative Client Hotfixes

by Volker Weber

This document provides an explanation of the differences between Lotus Notes and Domino Maintenance Releases, Fix Packs, and Cumulative Client Hotfixes. It is important to note that client Fix Packs are NEW in 8.0.2 and will help address the most pressing customer issues in a well tested public deliverable.

Head hurts.

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Midnight conversation

by Volker Weber

"By the way, you've heard we in the FSM religion now have our first saint?"

No, i did not

"Saint Fu. He's the patron saint of sales people and wanna-be poseurs. Usually, its spelled as St.Fu."

Lifehacker: Is Thunderbird, Desktop Email Dying Out?

by Volker Weber

There was a time when Mozilla's email client, Thunderbird, was just as exciting a game-changer as Firefox. These days, we can't help but wonder if Thunderbird—and most desktop email, for that matter—is doomed.

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Web Trend Map 4

by Volker Weber

I am pleased that heise made it on the map. Full version (6740 x 4768).

TomTom Routes available in most European countries

by Volker Weber

TomTom Maps is now available in most European countries, with HD Traffic in France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Other countries like Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Sweden, where HD Traffic is not available, have TomTom Plus traffic information instead. A quick glance at Deutsche Bahn reveals though, that I would be much faster taking the train.

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Blogs, social networks, and Twitter

by Volker Weber

I started publishing what became vowe.net in 2000. Before that, I had a site with my german domain vowe.de, but vowe.net was something new. Hugh Pyle, a Groove business partner, had written a script that published Groove messages to a web site. How cool was that? I was hooked.

Later I experimented with Blogger.com, then with Movable Type. And I am still running an "ancient" version of that on this site. Years later, and the world has changed so much, that I probably wouldn't even bother to install software to run a site like this.

vowe.net is here to stay, but there is so much else going on. I have profiles on Xing and LinkedIn, but I use those strictly as address books.

I use Facebook and Twitter, but only casually. On Facebook I find the applications which force you to sign up somewhat annoying, so I block them on the first request. What I like is the conversation, and how people can comment on status updates. On Twitter, I find people annoying who use it as an IRC replacement and post every minute or so. But I do like it's simplicity.

Now I found something that looks compelling: posterous.com. It brings back the simplicity that got me hooked nine years ago. Send an email with audio, video or photos attached and posterous ads them to your stream. You don't need to worry about storage, sizes, design or such. It. Just. Works. Posterous will also let you post through to other sites, amongst them the aforementioned Twitter and Facebook.

That's what I am using it for now. Every day I come across dozens of odd things on the Internet, that would completely clog up vowe.net. For the time being I will post those to posterous.com and then link those posts from Twitter and Facebook. One of the interesting integration points is that you can comment on Posterous with your Twitter ID and post to Twitter at the same time.

vowe.net is not going away and will not be migrated to Posterous. Instead I am going to link one of my other domains there. See you on


How spamming works on Twitter

by Volker Weber


Twitter used to be spam free. You chose who to follow. You were not getting any spam at all. Until somebody found a way to make your friends spam you. Promise them something for free, if they distribute the message.

Now you just need to look at your twitter stream to find out which of your friends will sell out for free stuff.

Geheime Krankheiten - was die alles können

by Volker Weber


Free strips of paper

by Volker Weber

Well, she is persistent

by Volker Weber

Phish Food

by Volker Weber

Spam feeds on stupidity. If you think that sending $60 to some con artist will make your penis bigger, you're stupid. If you think that buying a piece of paper that says you have a PhD from a “prestigious, non-accredited university” will make you look good at your next job interview, you're stupid. If you think that a penny stock is a good buy because a total stranger mailed you out of the blue to recommend it, you're stupid. And if you think that someone in China is really going to sell you an iPhone for half price or that Prince Paul Demango of Nigeria really has forty-five million dollars to share with you, you are dumber than a box of rocks. But there are people who believe all these things, and the proof of that is the unending torrent of spam in your inbox every day.

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[Thanks, Hanno]

Skype on T-Online blocking VoIP in Germany

by Volker Weber

What amazes me is that Skype is the number one download on the App Store in Germany, and yet the country’s dominant telecom operator Deutsche Telekom has already made it known that it would block the use of Skype on iPhone (and on Blackberry), both for its mobile network customers, and at its Wifi hotspots.

I find it quite telling that Deutsche Telekom would be so bold as to announce this arbitrary blocking of Skype. They pretend that their action has to do with technical concerns: this is baseless. Skype works perfectly well on iPhone, as hundreds of thousands of people globally can already readily attest. But their announcement also demonstrates that some operators do not fear the customer or regulatory consequences of their bad behaviour. It’s worth noting that even if German consumers wanted to change mobile providers, they could not: like Deutsche Telekom, every other German mobile operator contractually forbids consumers from using VoIP applications.

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SharePoint Designer available as a free download

by Volker Weber

Today we are excited to share with you some news about SharePoint Designer 2007. Starting now (April 2, 2009), SharePoint Designer 2007 will be available as a free download! We want more of you customizing SharePoint and feel that this a good way to put the tool in the hands of more people.

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Zehn Fahrräder

by Volker Weber

Der Darmstädter Hauptbahnhof bietet ein neues Service-Angebot: Am Südausgang stellt die Deutsche Bahn ab sofort zehn auffällig rot-silberne Fahrräder des DB-Fahrradmietsystems "Call a Bike" bereit.

Am Bahnhof in Empfang nehmen und dort auch wieder abstellen. Sozusagen die Reclam-Ausgabe.

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Swiss retailer Migros said to have killed a Duet pilot

by Volker Weber

According to Swiss publication Inside IT, Migros has cancelled a Duet pilot project due to massive difficulties. I find this quite interesting because I love to work with Swiss clients. They have a habit of doing things right. It may take a little more time, but they always strive for a perfect solution.

The article quotes an SAP spokesperson who says that there are currently 500 customers with 1 million users working with Duet. I will ask next year how many SAP has on Alloy.

Peter Glaser: In was für einer digitalen Gesellschaft wollen wir leben?

by Volker Weber

Von George Bernard Shaw gibt es zu der Frage ein Bild: "Wenn du einen Apfel hast und ich habe einen Apfel und wir tauschen die Äpfel, wird jeder von uns nach wie vor einen Apfel haben. Aber wenn du eine Idee hast und ich habe eine Idee und wir tauschen diese Ideen aus, dann wird jeder von uns zwei Ideen haben."

Wer möchte nicht in einer solchen Gesellschaft leben, in der sich die Ressourcen so wunderbar vermehren und das Tauschen so gewinnbringend ist? Apfelbauern vielleicht, die ihre Äpfel verkaufen wollen.

Wenn ich groß bin, möchte ich mal so schreiben können wie Peter. Unbedingt lesen >

Kids, please grow some real names

by Volker Weber


Look at your drivers license or your passport. Chances are you will find your real name there. Use it, it probably is better than what you come up with as a username. I have a hard time remembering names. But I am not going to start memorizing this crap. Which reminds me: anyone still using Compuserve IDs or ICQ numbers?

IBM Lotus Mobile Connect V6.1.3 expands desktop support to include Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5

by Volker Weber

IBM Lotus® Mobile Connect V6.1.3 expands desktop support to include:

* Mac OS X 10.4
* Macintosh OS X 10.5
* Intel® and Power PC®, 32 bit and 64 bit

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Old vowe.net archive pages

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


Paypal vowe