must have been hacked.

I got a response on my last post on my blog from a Nathan T. Freeman from

Brilliant. Perfect analysis. I agree completely.

Somebody must have hacked into The real Nathan T. Freeman would
a.) never agree with me and even if the very unlikely event occurred that he did
b.) he would not bother to write it … and certainly not like that.
c.) He should not read anything on PlanetLotus.
d.) Whenever I get a reply with just a few words and all of them are there just to tell me, how good I am, it‘s spam … always.

Only solution, they must have been hacked.

I had a dream about IBM and Apple…

Since Apple came out with Lion, I don’t get it. Why can Apple ship a without IBM going bananas about it? It causes a whole lot of problems with the Notes we like. Notes is a registered trade mark with IBM (I looked it up). IBM has known this for month and worked closely with Apple to solve it technically. Apple can’t claim „sorry, we did not know“. Somebody at Apple has certainly seen Notes before. Somehow that does not make sense, at least not to me, unless …

… there is a bigger plan. I thought to myself (yes, OK, some might say, I should have kept it to myself, too), maybe this was done on purpose?
Our Notes is good at … notes. It’s a great tool to store and manage „unstructured“ data. is good at … well … storing unstructured data. IBM is good at large server deployments, cloud services, social software, databases, big hardware and is focused on business products. IBM isn’t best at client design. That’s a point we could argue over for weeks, I just think, that the Notes client is in need of a complete work-over, not just a new coat of paint.
Apple is good at end user hardware, end user software and UI-design, mobile devices and some content. Apple isn’t very good at servers and server software. iCloud isn’t about being social and apple is focused on consumer products.
Apple and IBM don’t compete in a lot of places and they certainly don’t compete in their core products.
What if IBM and Apple would work together? Imagine this. Next time you buy a Mac, iPad or iPhone, you get access to Smart Cloud and iNotes (or Connection Mail or Mail or, or, or…). A fully featured social platform that supports various apps on Apples devices and comes from IBM. You can either opt for the open consumer cloud solution, or you go for the business solution for a reasonable price. You could do a hybrid solution with your Domino or Connections installation you already got. I think most of the bits and pieces are there. It’s only about connecting the dots. IBM has OSX- and iOS- clients. Apple has … umph … a nice mail app that does one thing certainly better than Notes, managing several accounts.
Apple and IBM still like UNIX. Apple could build OSX Servers with an automatic deployment of Connections, Domino, Sametime and so on, for smaller companies. IBM could do this for the biggies.
Apple and IBM could work together, to make Notes the best collaboration platform even in the eye of the end user.
IBM wants to add cocoa support to Notes. What for, if not for integrating it more with OSX.

Advantages? Both companies would get into markets, they aren’t very strong and this without competing with the other company and that without cannibalizing their current customer base. They would compete with Facebook, twitter and Microsoft. Both companies products could gain momentum and both could use that.

Disadvantages? They would have to deal closely with each other, which could cause a problem.
IBM would still have to serve the MS community and dancing too close with Apple, could make some people out there pretty angry.

There are probably million pros and cons. Both legal departments would probably stock up on heart medication and tranquilizers, but if both parties wanted, it could be a deal.

Well, so much about a dream. I don’t think it is going to happen, but it sure would be nice.

IBM Certified Database Associate … IBM titles confuse me

Last week I passed the DB2 10.1 Fundamentals exam (on second try, darn!). Now I am an IBM Certified Database Associate DB2 10.1 Fundamentals … and I somehow get the impression that this is a rather strange title. If I present that to somebody, does that ring a bell with them? Associate? Isn’t that rather a business title? If I ask myself, what I know about DB2, it isn’t a lot. I probably have a basic understanding what is going on in there, but would I let myself try my hand at a business critical application? NO WAY (and my whole family would agree, since I always broke everything, which isn’t true, but they had to blame someone … you know that situation, do you).
To make matters worse, I asked the course teacher what it was worth. Not a lot. Should go for the admin test.
IBM really has a problem with names. Not only for their products, but the certifications and internal titles are a bit strange, too. I once had a meeting with the worldwide sales and the global sales for the same product. What is the difference? The pecking order was Global – Worldwide. Does global include the moon?
IBM’s naming specifications must come from Germany. Their bureaucrats are very good at that, too. Don’t expect ever to understand a letter from a German agency. Go straight to a German lawyer. German bureaucrats do not speak German. It must be an ancient dialect of a papua tribe that never had contact with somebody from the outside.

Now, could somebody please explain me, what IBM Certified Database Associate means? Or did I just pass a week of brain splitting work in the DB2 boot camp for more or less nothing?

A round of applause for Yancy please …

Yancy’s decision to relist was right. Period.
That others don’t want to be on the same personal website (aka bloggers) list than somebody else is from my point of view kinda … don’t find the right word … childish? No … but goes in that direction. It’s just a list of blo… personal websites for heavens sake.
IBM did not interfere and that is the best that they could have done. Does PlanetLotus loose a lot? Nathan and Peter together have less posts than me this year (really? can’t believe it). is one of the most read „personal websites“ on PlanetLotus. Still sad, but we get over it. Others have left before.

I don’t know, if Peter and Nathan have realized it, but they can not go to „Connect-o-Sphere“ next year. Since they don’t want to be on a list with Volker, being in the same town or same conference center is out of the question. I don’t think Volker will stay at home. Too cold in Darmstadt. The old bones need a bit of sunshine.

I want to thank everybody who stuck their head out, to help Yancy and came forward with a lot of good arguments. Some of you may even have got in trouble with friends. You never came forward with names of people who sent those emails, Yancy was probably flooded with (can’t be just two or three) and that is just great. We can now all forget about it (no „time for healing“ or other sentimental stuff now, just forget about it).

That’s it for that.

















Still here?


















Have to swipe the floors now.














No, you can’t get another coffee. The espresso machine just broke down.







Know what? I can’t list my blog on Collaboration Today. I don’t know what category would fit.

Red Pill Development … what a name …

You certainly think I am going to rip apart that name now, but on the contrary. I think it is pretty good. Here is why:

My first thought was: „Oh my goodness“ and then my marketing brain kicked in. „You idiot“, it said, „have you forgotten everything you learned“. Because I immediately start to think about it, it is a good name. Might it be good or bad at first sight, it sticks. It is really one of the best choices I have seen in a long time.
Choosing a name for your company is never easy. Informica for example, together with the ant works well with Italians. They get it on first sight. German speaking people … oh bugger. I had quite a few variations until now. But the ant works. We get at least high marks for that.
Notes911 wasn’t a bad name, too, but that works only in North America. Here we think about a Porsche 911 and in North America 911 makes you think about an emergency. Do we want that, if we want to sell high quality IT infrastructure? Probably not. But it sounded good and it also stuck on first sight, therefore it worked.
What I don’t like and think seldom works, are fantasy names, which don’t trigger a picture or history in the brains of most of us. There are examples out there, that are in everybody’s mind, but that would be despite the name, but most of them I just can’t remember even after ten times reading them.

Too many „blablabla it service“ or any variation of it out there.

What I don’t believe in either, are three letter abbreviations. They are often confusing.
Imagine an IBM sales visits a farmer and for him IBM means „Ideal Breeding Material“.
Yes, IBM is a bad example, because everybody knows it, but where I live around the corner is an electrical company called IBM. That has already led to confusions. Everybody thought I was ranting about IBM, but I was ranting about IBM.
Three letter abreviations or acronyms are just out. Forget it. They have all been used at least 10 times.
If possible, I don’t even use them in normal speech, because I am so often confused between IT, accounting, controlling and aviation. The later is very good at acronyms and if you ever talk to a bunch of aviation professionals, you might end up with a laughing audience. While you are talking about Virtual Machine Configuration (VMC), they’d rather be flying in VMC (Visual meteorologic conditions).
Red Pill Development – I wouldn’t use RDP, too many police departments with the same name – does not trigger any stupid or otherwise bad picture in my brain. Blue Pill would have, green, too, yellow not, pink … yes, would have. Even after thinking a lot about it, still no bad picture. And with the intention to modernise Notes applications worldwide, the  message works, too. But that’s just my view and since marketing is a very, very precise science (at least a tiny little bit more than astrology), try to prove me wrong.

For all those who have not seen the rest of the witch hunt …

Oh boy, I stirred something up. Now lets go down to business as unusual as it can be.
I got very interesting, if not to say insulting, responses to my last post. Unfortunately Vowes blog posts have not been listed in PlanetLotus since Friday. This might be a coincidence and a technical glitch or something happened in the background of PlanetLotus, everybody should probably take notice. Therefore you might want to read what was said after I got myself into this:

Friday „This is how it works.

This is how it works

byVolker Weber

I have heard so much hyperbole about the Notes 9 posting, that I think I need to explain how this sort of thing comes along. Here is what happens:

  1. Somebody sends me great news.
  2. Since I don’t believe in miracles, I check what the chances are that the information is correct.
  3. When I deem the information to be correct, I ask the source whether there is a problem if I proceed. Only after that I post the information.
  4. When I find ambiguities later, I slipstream details in.
  5. When I find inaccuracies, I correct my mistakes with an Update amendment.

And that’s all there is. No politics, no tactics. Just my view of the world. Your view may be different. Just do not assume either one of us is right.

On a more personal note: By all means sling shit. Just don’t expect me to sling it back.

If this is true, and as long as it isn’t proven wrong and since I and probably most of the readers here believe in democracy we accept it as the truth at this time, this is pretty much what you do as a journalist. No bad behavior. On the other hand, if you absolutely want to find a glitch you might say: „Oh my god, there are even two leaks!“

Has there been any damage done by Volker in this case?
I quote:

I have zero complaints from IBM. A few tongue-in-cheek comments along the lines that they were wondering what took me so long, but that’s it.

Looks like none. Will there be any consequences to the Design Partner program? After all, I don’t think so, but I am certainly not sure (since I am a lower life form and not in the DP), but when I look at the whole thing (without the outrage of a few), one thought springs to mind. That could well be a professional leak. Don’t be fooled by the impression, that every leak out there is a real leak. Apple is really good at it. Would let your employees running around with a secret prototype of the next iPhone and then, accidently, it is lost in a bar? Yeah right. If Volker got two people telling him something that is apparently THE big secret, one get’s suspicious. That’s just to good to be true.
Was it really THE big secret? Well, no, as many said. If you kept attention about the various public presentations and posts, the 8.5.4 client was first a maintenance release and then came with a Social plugin. The X or 10 Notes client was discussed before, too (I am still strongly opposed to the X) and the 9 Client was something in between. Since the Social Extension (or whatever it will be called) is now integrated, the 8.5.4 client couldn’t be pure maintenance and the 9 client would have nothing new. Therefore skip the 8.5.4 and go to 9 directly is the logical choice. Many thought the same thing and when you read the responses to the post, the discussion switches pretty fast to Connections and other things. These news were no news. Who ever planned that leak, must be pretty disappointed.
Has product management a problem now? I don’t think so. The game works like this. (Look at Apple again). Start with a bit of information here and there. Just enough to keep it slightly simmering (movie – who gets the leading role), then turn up the heat slowly. Start leaking more things, start more rumors. Everybody becomes interested , but keep it in a way, that nobody is exactly sure, what is going to happen and then deliver the rest in a big bang. That is the way, how you make people turn their head in the direction you are standing. The problem is, you have to be sure, that you can deliver better (but at least equal) than what is expected. The big bang must contain a few surprises. Unfortunately, now that the rumor has been affirmed by the explosion of a few volcanoes, product management might be a bit annoyed, because the leak did not work as projected. But a problem? Na. They can still build up expectation for Notes towards Connect-o-Sphere (like that, too) and show of, when everybody is looking.

Now, I am accused of allowing Vowe wreaking havoc for the last five years, because I defend him. It does not matter what I say, it is wrong, just because I do not share the same values than others. If those values lead to censorship, yes, I don’t share the same values. In other cases, we might well have the same opinion, but since I am wrong here, I am generally an idiot. What sums it up best for me, is,

“I don’t have a ’side’—I’m responsible for what I say and nothing else.”
Glenn Greenwald

Many times I think Volker is wrong. Sometimes I even say so. Sometimes he responds, sometimes not. That works. We don’t share mutual respect for each other or other sentimental c…., we don’t even know each other. He bores me to death with all those phone or mixed tape reviews. When he writes about biking and different bikes and accessories for his tours I just want to yell (which is bad, and therefore I don’t): „Get an old Swiss army bike. You get the double workout, for half the price AND you will never have to buy another bike“ but I will never accuse him for killing whole tribes of Notes geeks, he is just not important enough. And this is how it works. Basic politeness does the trick and he at least hasn’t been very impolite to me … yet.
If I respond to certain other members with a different view, I get stabbed in the back. That doesn’t work, but I got used to it. I probably get myself a shirt with a cross on the back and „please enter knife here“.

I truly hope, that Volker comes back on PlanetLotus, otherwise we have a real problem and that is not because Volker is important to PlanetLotus, but free speech.

PS. I probably get my blog listed on Collaboration Today 🙂


Now we all step back and calm down …

Yesterday Vowe’s post about a leaked information made a few people quite angry.

First I want to respond to respond to Peter Presnells post.
He suspects the leak in the beta program. Sorry, Peter, but I am in the 8.5.4 program and I didn’t know s… about it. I was as surprised as the rest of us.
Volker never said, where his information came from. It is just Peter, who suspects it. I think it is not fair, that Peter throws all of us in the same bucket, damaging our reputations, while the circle of possible suspects is much much smaller but might include IBM and GBS, too.
I have seen this before. Sometimes even IBMers don’t know exactly what information is ready to be told and what not, especially if you ask a straight question while sitting in a public presentation. That’s only human and in this case, what damage has been done? Really not a lot. For most of the information the writing was on the wall. Ed has blogged about the naming of the next clients and until now, it is still just a rumor. It hasn’t been confirmed by IBM and it might well surprise us with a totally other name. The beta program isn’t over yet and nobody knows, what makes it to the final product (that’s what betas are for).
What has Volker done wrong? Nothing, if he hasn’t been told not to tell anybody and he is clever enough, not to kill a source, he might need in the future (@ Volker, ich weiss, Du brauchst meine Verteidigung nicht, aber ich fühle mich hier ein bisschen persönlich angegriffen).

Peters reaction damages my reputation as a blogger and a member of beta programs since Notes 6 and those of my colleagues who weren’t even close to the crime site. It damages PlanetLotus. That is an amazingly good result, what is still a mere rumour.

Now what? For most of us, it’s a storm in the teacup. It’s old news already, but shooting at everybody just hoping to hit the right one, just isn’t fair and killing the messenger neither.

And I don’t need him to apologise for me.


PS: Pssst. By his reaction, Peter inadvertely confirmed the rumour. Does he know more?



Remember Lotus Workflow? Here is the new(er) kid on the block…

It’s called Click and Flow and comes from the more than capable hands of Werner Götz and his team from Werner Götz IT Solutions GmbH.

Werner Götz had an idea a few years ago. What about a software, that makes creating workflows and running them, easier than ever? Fortunately his first customer was thrilled by his idea and went along on the journey to develop Click and Flow. That was five years ago. Today that product evolved in an rather impressive tool, based (almost) entirely on XPages.
Some of us still know Lotus Workflow. I liked it a lot and it is still out there, if somebody wants it. We had huge applications running at a customer site, but it had a few quirks and we still had to develop applications, that could be used with Workflow. Click and Flow comes with a lot if not all the bells and whistles ready to use. You can extend it with additional special fields and code, but it is amazing how far you can go with Click and Flow, just using the standard features. I am pretty confident, that you can do at least 94.42% of your daily business with it. And it is very, very useful for all those small but important tasks, everybody always forgets, because they are not used that often.
For example the „Buy coffee for the boss“ task. Start it, with all the information’s you need, because he wants his special coffee blend from that Malaysian online store … and finish with the prove that you did it, but the box was stolen by pirates in the red sea. With Click and flow it also does make sense to design small workflows, because it will pay pack quickly.

Got a Notes Client? Let’s start.
Open Simplex Click and Flow.
Create a new workflow.
Define Fields and how they should work (Click, click, click…)
Define to whom and where it should go.
Add Formulas if needed.
Add Users.
Run! (or Open Browser, Run!)

Neat eh? 10 minutes and you got a working workflow which eases live tremendously. It’s a business case. Productivity will rise (tell that the guy with the big company wallet, because it does, really).

For any company that needs a variety of workflows small and big, Click and Flow is a tool to consider. This is what IBM had in mind, when they created the XServer. Everybody will go „WOW (or „Boh ey“ in Germany), how nice, finally something that looks cooler than SAP“ and would never know, that it runs on Domino.
And since it is all Xpages, how about integrating it with Connections?
I don’t know another product that easy on the market for Sharepoint and normally these tools are much, much more expensive to buy and more complicated to install than the 15 minutes you need for this one (provided you got a trusty old Domino server standing around somewhere).

But how about Click & Flow AND Sharepoint … have to talk to Werner … should work. It’s XPages after all.

Who has the best maps and why it so important to have a mobile phone.

Oh boy. That isn’t just a little bug Apple has there. Newspapers are full of stories, bloggers are searching for the most funny mess in the maps and so on. Apple even suggested to use Bing maps. Wow.

One newspaper in Switzerland had an article about which are the best maps to use in Switzerland and since it is nice outside, the birds are singing, I set of to look if they are right. I just used my home address to find out.

Bing maps: Catastrophic. The satellite image is unusable and the map has streets that do not exist, but with the name of my street. The spot where my house should be looks quite right. Difficult to say, since it shows it in the middle of an empty field.
And I thought Microsoft actually got something right. No, same old, same old.

Nokia maps: Same crap as Bing, but even the address is wrong. At least Bing had more or less the right spot, but Nokia is completely of.

TomTom: Very, very lousy. It puts the address on a completely other street, which is in fact a driveway and hasn’t even a name in real live.

Google: Lousy. It finds the right street, but stops short about 200m where it should be. Good satellite image, though. The most actual at least.

Via Michelin. Has the street in its whole length, but misses the address like Google. Spot on. Best satellite resolution, but not the newest pictures. It only misses the driveway in the map. But if you try a route planning, it ends behind my house in a cow pasture. At least I can see you and call a farmer to pull you out. The best of all. In some maps it even shows the driveway. No wonder, it is the official agency for maps in Switzerland (and they do the best maps anyway).

That little test explains, why everybody using a navigation system always misses my address.

I have yet to upgrade my iPhone, but since the maps come from TomTom, there is probably no chance anybody would ever find me with that thingy. Ok, I upgraded. Yes it’s wrong. It get’s the my position right, but the address is off and it will lead anybody looking for me into the cow pasture.

Therefore, if you ever want to visit me, learn to use a map. That voice in your car will be very nice to listen to … but utterly useless: „At the next entrance turn right and call for directions, because I am lost!“

Collax Virtualisation makes a huge step forward.

Yesterday Collax went gold with the new version of the virtualization products and what I really like is the new V-SAN. With old V-Store it was possible to have a two nodes cluster with the embedded SAN. Which is pretty nice, because we can build clusters without the need for an expensive SAN and the I/O is rather fast, having it in the same machines. From now on, with V-SAN we can build clusters with embedded SAN with three or more nodes. Depending on the application – yes I am thinking about Domino and/or Connections here – an embedded SAN makes sense. Cuts down on the hardware cost – half the boxes. But if necessary, V-SAN also works as an external SAN.
Every node permits to administer the whole cluster and it is done through a web browser. With the new version, Collax also enhanced what they were always good at. Make the product more powerful AND easier to use. Adding a Node to a cluster is a breeze now. Right at the beginning of the installation the wizard asks if this is a standalone virtualization server or a additional node to a cluster. It then collects all the necessary information from the cluster, asks a few questions, installs all the required modules – which it downloads from Collax automatically – and  presents the result in a checklist where all additional settings can be made, mostly by using wizards. And it has still all the bells and whistles of KVM and more.
If you aren’t into building clusters from scratch with command line tools and finding additional tools and little helpers all over the Internet (like me, I hate that with a passion you can only dream of and I am not good at it anyway), give it a shot.
I asked an expert once and he said, he could build the same cluster with open tools (which KVM is too, proudly supported by HP, IBM, RedHat, Intel and many others) within a few days. With Collax it takes an hour, while sipping coffee most of the time (I needed three for my first one … with broken hardware … and customers who called).
Did I mention that the licensing is done by physical box? Not some „by memory“ or „by VM“ stuff. And you get a support hot-line with living people who pick up the phone. That alone is a good reason for me. I just need a gentle voice once in while, to prevent me from jumping out of the window, because a stupid error message just popped up when the progress bar reaches 99% (never happened with collax though, it comes before).