Goodbye Lotus Notes

The company I work for has decided that Lotus is no longer the provider of choice for email (Notes), instant messaging (SameTime), document sharing (Quickr) or social networking (Connections). So we’ll be moving to ‘another’ well known provider for most of those needs.

As far as I can figure out, this is not a technical nor financial decision. Well, not true. The decision was based on FUD provided by an outside source that was wrapped up in technical and financial blarney. What I mean is that this was all started for political reasons. Someone got a bee in their bonnet (wow, is that an old saying!) about Notes in general and after being wooed by a larger software company, decided to drive Notes from our company. Ok, let’s face it. IBM doesn’t care too much about keeping customers, just trying to win new ones. So no one came to call or help until the decision was about to be put in front of the board. I’m predicting that we’ll be in a mess for about 5 years, maybe more. And after that, the email system will STILL not be as stable as what we have now.

And to top this all off, the only solution that I’ve heard for replacing Lotus Notes applications is SharePoint. SHAREPOINT? Umm, did anyone really look at the capabilities? Or did they just take MS and the outside source’s word for it? Oh well.

So what does that mean for me? I’m not going to go back out there as an independent contractor. That was great, but I had to finally call it quits when the jobs became scarcer. I don’t like marketing, and you REALLY have to get out there and market yourself to keep the jobs rolling in. Looking at job postings now, Lotus Notes is dying off quickly. There’s still a core group of Notes developers that show up at all the LUG meets, but the circle has shrunk quite a bit and seems to be imploding.

I’ve recently started working with WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management along with Java in general, so that’s where I’m headed. I want to stay here because of the security, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to the level of expertise in WebSphere technologies as I had in Lotus Notes. I am however having a lot of fun learning. So maybe bidding farewell to Notes won’t be so hard after all. Although, I really did want to learn XPages – it holds so much promise.

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Getting Ready for Lotusphere 2011

My 17th trip to Lotusphere, the annual gathering of all things Lotus. No, not the car, the software. Lotus Notes, WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Content Management.

Seems that Lotus Notes is taking a hammering again. Happens every 3 – 5 years as analysts get bored with a technology that just keeps working. XPages brought a whole new development ability to the table, but corporations always look for ‘new technology’ to swap in for old stuff. So Micro$oft has been wining and dining the decision makers while we just keep on developing. Sooner or later the decision makers start believing what Redmond says, even though quite a bit of it is complete balderdash. Doesn’t matter though, as long as MS gets it money. Who cares of the corporation has to spend millions upon millions to just get back to where they were before the tech swap.

Oh well. Such is life.

Happy New Year

Wanted to at least get SOMETHING out there in the new year. 2010 wasn’t all too bad. Yeah, working for a quasi-government institution means no raise in 2010 or 2011, but I have a good job that I still enjoy. Guess things could be worse.

eProductivity – FINALLY!

I am a relative novice at Getting Things Done.  No, I don’t mean that I can’t get things done (although lately I have been having procrastinating a bit).  Rather, I’ve read David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done and have been keeping my inbox at zero, which means I have a bunch of things in my Notes ToDos that are my Next Actions and Waiting Fors.  Having them there means they show up on my calendar for the day.  I do a weakly review (stole that from Eric Mack of eProductivity).  I am not on top of things when it comes to doing the weekly review.  I had taken a test drive of the eProductivity template for Lotus Notes that REALLY helps with following the GTD methodology.

I would have bought a full copy of eProductivity, but the price was a little too much for me to justify it for my personal email.  Unfortunately, work hasn’t embraced GTD and eProductivity though eProductivity IS being used by some of those that can make the decision to accept it and offer it.  A month or so ago, the price for eProductivity was altered by offering 4 software levels, each with varying integration and capabilities.  GREAT, I can now afford to buy a copy for home.  But I didn’t want the LOWEST version.  Hmm, what to do?  Procrastinate!  ICA just offered a Thanksgiving deal.  For $139 (just $10 over the lowest level) I could get the Professional level of eProductivity.  SOLD!

So I just downloaded the template, and . . . hmm, where’s Refresh Design on the Linux client?  Guess since there’s no Designer, certain options aren’t there.  DAMN.

No real problem though, just copy the template over to the Windows desktop machine and refresh there.  Works like a charm, replicates up and down and now we’re all on the same page.

Watch here for more on my journey to learn eProductivity and how to Get Things Done.

Wednesday – Yachtsman Steakhouse

We started off going over to Hollywood Studios.  Got a Fast Pass for Toy Story Mania and decided to get in line since it was only 30 minutes.  Beat Pam 172, ooo to 117,000. We looked for the Annual Passholder’s Star Wars Limited Edition pin, but found out it was only available during the weekends.  Went on the Great Movie Ride to cool off and then back on Toy Story Mania.  Didn’t do as well, even though I thought we both were hitting the high scoring targets more often.  We then came back to OKW and went to Olivia’s for lunch.  Nice sandwiches, big enough for us to each bring half home as leftovers.  Now a little worn out from the heat at Hollywood Studios, we closed our eyes for just a second and woke up after a 2 and a half hour nap.  Much needed I guess.

Showered and got dressed for Yachtsman.  While not Victoria and Albert’s, it is still a little more upclass than most restaurants, so I don’t like to wear shorts or t-shirts.  I was impressed that as we were waiting to be seated a family came in to eat and were instructed to remove their hats.  I know we’re in a resort area, but that doesn’t excuse bad manners.

Once again, a fantastic dinner at the Yachtsman. I asked Thomas, our server, about a Shiraz and he said he wasn’t impressed with what they had to offer by the glass.  I then asked about a Merlot and he said they had a very nice one – De Toren Z.  I was a very nice wine.  This time around I ordered the porterhouse.  24 oz of aged beef.  I SHOULD have gone with the NY Strip, but thought I’d give it a try.  Excellent as usual.  This is the only place where I’ll order my steaks medium-rare.  Most beef just is a little too tough, but here it melts in your mouth.  Pam had the Braised Short Ribs and said they were great, but she couldn’t finish them all.  Banana Napolean for both of us and then we came home and while I started getting these posts done, Pam read.  I bought her the books on which “True Blood” is based.  I think she’s on the second book already.  I’ve read “Digital Fortress” by Dan Brown (daVinci Code / Angels and Demons).  It was a great read.  I’m now reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.  I listened to it on my iPod (from Audible.com), but wanted to review it and figured the hardcopy would be better this time around.

WDW Trip Report

Almost 11:00pm on Wednesday as I write this entry about the start of our trip on Saturday morning.  We had a problem with Internet access until Pam got a tech up here yesterday to fix the problem.  Anyway . . .

We dropped our Labradoodle, Teddy, off at the groomer that boards him on Saturday morning around 7:15.  Got home and while Pam was showering, I packed the car, washed the windows and even gave it a quick polish with the spray wax.

We got on the road at 8:30 and made it all the way to Exit 53 in South Carolina around 8:15 pm when we pulled into a Holiday Inn Express for the night.  We had stopped for fuel about a half an hour earlier and the stats are all on Fuelly.com.  I think we averaged about 43 mpg on the way down.  Not too bad for our first long highway trip.  I’m really impressed with the VW Jetta TDI.  Lots of power for a little 4 banger diesel engine.  The diesel fuel was  3 – 5 cents cheaper per gallon than regular unleaded, so that felt even better.

We took off at 8:30 Sunday morning and pulled into Old Key West Resort at Walt Disney World around 1:00pm.  I had checked-in online on Friday so they would have everything ready when we pulled in, but I wasn’t confident that we’d have a room ready since check-in time is 4:00pm.  But we lucked out and our room was ready.  That was great since we were to be at Epcot that night for a D23 Event (more on that next entry).

After we got our room keys, we picked up our Owner’s Locker at Bell Services.   The locker was empty since we just joined, but we had brought a lot of stuff down to fill ‘er up!  For those that don’t know, head over to Owner’s Locker to get the low down.  Here’s a quick explanation though.  For a fee, we rent a ‘locker’ (large lockable plastic tub).  It stays down here and Owner’s Locker stores it for us.  They drop it off when we check in and pick it up when we leave.  We store all sorts of stuff in there that we use each time we come down.  Now we don’t have to drag the stuff back and forth.

We started unpacking and got ready to head over to Epcot for the D23 Event.