Cruising with Mickey

Today we’re sailing on the Disney Fantasy. We’ll visit St Thomas/St John and St Martin along with a stop at Disney’s Castaway Cay. This will be our third Disney Cruise, but our fist 7 night cruise.

Just a quick post. I’ll see about adding more when we return, with pictures. This is my first time blogging with an iPhone and iPad.

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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.

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 Update

I have been using eProductivity for a while now. I’d really like to be using it at work, but the workstation is locked down tight and I don’t have permission to change my mail file design. Oh well.

Still, at home, it’s nice to finally have organization to all those pieces of information that come flying my way. I started with a mailbox of about 100 emails that went back several years. I updated my mail file and installed just one reference db. An hour later I had my inbox to zero, I had projects created for those major things going on, like the vacation/cruise we’ll be taking soon. There’s nothing more to say, eProductivity made this SO MUCH EASIER!

All those jokes that I didn’t want to lose? In the reference db under “Humor”.  Links to software sites, filed under “Software” & “Links” (I always end up losing my ‘favorites’ in browsers for some reason).  Software keys for the iPod/BlackBerry/PC programs – safely stored away.  I now can find anything in a matter of seconds.

I love being able to look at what needs to be worked on next.  Even if I REALLY don’t need to put it down in the system (just got done with action one and headed out to do the next action), I put ALL actions in the system because it helps me to envision what is coming up after THAT.  The great part of doing this in Lotus Notes is that, well, I’m a little different than most since I have a Domino server running at home, but I have all my ‘stuff’ backed up and accessible from anywhere.

If you’re interested in eProductivity, next week, on April 28th, Eric Mack and the fine folks at eProductivity will be presenting a webinar with none other than the creator of GTD, David Allen, entitled “Getting Things Done with IBM Lotus Notes”. This is a DON’T MISS opportunity to learn about eProductivity. The webinar is from 10:00AM to 11:30AM PST (1 – 2:30pm EST).

You can sign up for the webinar here.

Only 4 days till Lotusphere 2010

So I’m getting antsy to get down to Orlando.  As much to start the geekfest of Lotusphere as to also get in some warm weather.  It looks like the freeze in Florida is about over and the temps will be in the 70 to 75 degree range during the conference.  This will be my first year staying at the Dolphin.  I’m not sure what to expect being closer to the action, although I’ve been at the Boardwalk Villas the last 7 years, so I wasn’t THAT far away.  It should be nice to just drop down for breakfast in the morning.  I’ll miss the free internet though.  I don’t think that the wireless will make it all the way up to a room, so I’ll have to hit one of the wi-fi spots downstairs for updating the iPod Touch apps and such.  Staying at the Boardwalk Villas as a DVC member allowed me free internet access.  Very nice.

So I bought a Belkin surge protector, the same one that Rockey Oliver reviewed in his blog .  Allows me to forego the charger for my phone and iPod, as well as providing 3 protected outlets for laptops and battery charger.  I also bought two 6-outlet powerstrips to share the all too scarce outlets in the session rooms.  It’s always a hunt for the floor outlets and they now police the sessions to yank anyone’s charger out of the wall outlets.

My session planning is done (well, as much as it can be ahead of time).  I can access my schedule from a mobile device, or without connectivity, I’ve downloaded and imported the .ics calendar file into my work Notes calendar.  I’ll have both my personal BlackBerry and my bank BlackBerry with me.  I only have data on my bank BB.  And my personal BB has all my personal email access.  In addition, I loaded my schedule on my iPod Touch.  Of course, since it’s a personal device, there could be no synching with bank system.  And since iTunes will only sync with Outlook, I had to *gasp* use Outlook to import the .ics file and then synch to the Touch.  The Touch DOES present the schedule the nicest of all the devices.  The only problem is I can’t change the schedule now unless I go through the whole process again, and my personal laptop has Notes 8.5.1 running on Ubuntu.  So I’ll really have to use the browser in one of the devices to access the Lotusphere Online schedule if I want to have the current schedule and make changes to it real time.

So . . . power access – CHECK.  Confusing scheduling options – CHECK.  ScottEVest jacket  to carry all this stuff – CHECK. Owner’s Locker scheduled for delivery – CHECK.  Too many receptions and such to attend – YEP.  I’m gonna need a vacation from this conference for sure.

Lotusphere 2010

Can’t wait. Only 11 more days to go. So much to attend this year in addition to two certification tests.

This will be the first time that I’ve stayed at the Dolphin. Usually, Pam accompanies me and we use our DVC points to stay in a 1-bedroom or studio villa at Boardwalk Villas. This year, Pam decided to stay home since I’ll be attending more evening events and we won’t be able to spend much time together. Just as well, since she usually spent a lot of time at the pool reading and it’s been COLD down in Orlando lately. Hope it warms up soon!