Goodbye Lotusphere Hello Connect

Goodbye Lotusphere Hello Connect

The end of this month I’ll be attending a yearly technology conference in Orlando, Florida for another time. How long? Well, If I had birthed a child way back when I started attending, that kid would be in high school. It’s a long time to do anything in this world, and as with anything you do this long, change is inevitable.  Up until now, that conference had been called Lotusphere. This year, the moniker has changed to IBM Connect.

For the first time in nearly a decade I’m not working the show as press, or as a technology blogger, or as a speaker.  This year I’m just going as a customer.

It’s actually a nice thing for me.  In the recent past I’ve always had interviews, and press briefings and blogger “nachos and news” events that I had to attend.  I missed a lot of session content and even some parties because I was sequestered away in a back hotel hallway interviewing executives and writing articles and blog posts (sometimes on a deadline.)  Last year, I didn’t have writing responsibilities, but I had to speak on stage twice.

This year I just have to attend sessions and soak up all the information I can.  I still may take as many pictures as always, but I might not even write a word about the event until well after it’s over.  That’s a fairly seismic shift for me, but quite frankly I’m looking forward to it.

The event is obviously changing in other ways too.

Most notable is the fact that the Lotus branding is being deprecated and everything is now true blue IBM.  I agree with the decision on the branding point, but not seeing thousands of bumblebee backpacks will be a sad departure from years past.

In addition the conference has really expanded to include more managerial, strategy and big picture business tracks and the focus isn’t quite as strong on the technical ones any longer.  I’m wondering how this might affect it’s usefulness to myself and my team.

I’ll miss some of the people who will be absent this year too.  Some staples on stage giving sessions, and staples on stage singing karaoke at Kimono’s.  This saddens me for many reasons, not the least being that some of these people no longer make their living based on IBM software.  That means chances to see them in person are far less likely.

Lotusphere has always been a family reunion for me.  Reconnecting with the people who bled yellow and had the same passion for the software that I had.  We would talk tech, network, learn, party and become close friends.  It was the recharge I needed to kick off the year in high gear.  WE were social business long before anyone coined the term.  This year, I’m just not sure it will be the same.

That said, I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt, and reserve judgement until I’ve seen what IBM has to offer.  I just can’t help having a nagging feeling that is my last yearly trip to Orlando.

Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

Planning a Resolute 2013

‘Tis a little late I know, but it’s time for me to outline my resolutions and plans for 2013.  So without further adieu, here it goes.

Enjoy my family – I want to put this here to remind myself to continue to maintain a really good family/work balance.  This is going to be a busy year for my job, and I want to make sure I can balance work, time with my kids, time with my wife and even time with my buddies in the man cave.  Family is the most important piece, so I want to make sure the other things don’t overshadow them.

Maintain my weight – This past year has been a great one for weight loss, and I could probably use to lose another 10 pounds or so.  That said, I’m not setting my sights that high.  I just want to maintain where I am, and not gain it back like I’ve done so many times before.  So here’s to watching what I eat and drink, and trying to keep things level.

Exercise SOME – Even though I lost a lot of weight this past year, it was primarily due to the fact that I changed my eating habits.  So this year I would like to actually try to exercise some.  Walk during lunchtime more often, use the Gazelle occasionally.  Spend more time doing things like yard work that really do burn calories.

Play more Games – I know this one sounds kind of cheesy, but the fact is that due to work and other obligations I had stopped gaming almost entirely.  I used to be a big time video gamer, and quite frankly I miss it.  Over the holidays my family and I played the Ticket To Ride board game, and I played a lot of Fieldrunners 2 and all five episodes of the Walking Dead game on iOS.  I really enjoyed it all, and want to make sure I carve out some time to get back to escaping with a good game once in awhile.

Learn some stuff – I don’t care if it’s by playing around myself, reading a book, watching a training video, or following a web tutorial, but I want to learn some new things.  Doesn’t matter if it’s about photography, web design, social media, cigars, software or anything else.

Update my personal websites – I haven’t updated my main site in a cringe-worthly length of time, and I’d like to change my blog template design too.  In addition I have a lot of personal nameplate sites and social networks out there, and it would make sense to have that a little more organized and up to date.

So I think that’s about it!  Quite enough to accomplish I imagine.  I still plan on hugging as much as ever, keeping my anger/sarcasm in check a bit, and forgiving more quickly when I do get upset about things.  I have a feeling 2013 will be a very packed, but very good year!

2012 Post-Mortem

As is tradition in these here parts, it’s time to reflect on last year’s resolutions.  A couple of them I did pretty well on, a couple, not so much.

Eat slightly less – Exercise slightly more.  This one was a pretty excellent success.  I was in a team based Biggest Loser contest where my team placed second (out of over ten teams) and I lost the most weight based on percentage and won the individual weight loss challenge.

We had a second individual contest over the months leading up to the recent holidays and out of 25 people I finished fourth.

I’ve just concentrated on keeping calorie counts down. I’ve really limited liquid intake to water and coffee (and whiskey of course) and I’ve tried using technology to my advantage with my FitBit and my Withings WiFi scale.

I haven’t exercised nearly as much however, so that will be a bigger focus in the upcoming year.

Watch Less TV. I passed this one with flying colors.  My wife and I watch some shows pretty religiously (The Walking Dead, Fringe, Revolution) but I’ve really cut back, and would like to cut back even more.

Take more photographs. #failedmiserably, unless you count gymnastics meets, then by all means I’ve taken more :-)

Be slower to anger. I did pretty well on this for awhile, but the last couple months have not been good for this resolution. I need to really get back into that mentality.

Be quicker to forgive. Even though I haven’t done as well not to get angry, I do think I carry that anger with me for shorter periods of time. Anger isn’t good for you, and you really do need to try to “let go.”

Hug more. Huge success. I’ve always been a hugger, and I’ve made it a point to be even more so this year, and it’s been wonderful. Hugs do a body good!

So in all, it was a pretty decent year for my resolutions. I think making them a little less specific helped a bit, and I had the wherewithal to actually stick to them. Looking forward to what 2013 brings.

So how about you all, how did your resolutions turn out?

We live in the future

We live in the future

A couple of weeks ago I flew to the US west coast for a business trip.  Mid-flight I tweeted the following:

I’m at 38,000 feet, playing Words with Friends, listening to NFL Sunday Countdown and drinking a screwdriver. THE FUTURE, I AM IN YOU!

I had my iPad in hand and was connected to the WiFi in the plane.  I was streaming a football game in the background, checking Twitter and Facebook and playing Words with Friends.  It really struck me how insanely cool that is.

As a kid, I would have never envisioned the internet, tablet computing, online real-time multi-player gaming or streaming audio.  Much less while mid-flight.  Oh and that tablet device houses thousands of songs, dozens of books, comic books, magazines, and several feature films, all in the palm of my hand.

I landed later in San Francisco, then drove to Petaluma, California to watch one of my favorite podcasts record live, This Week in Tech with Leo Laporte.  Think how unusual podcasting is? When I grew up we had a couple local radio stations and you had to listen to what was on, and only what was locally available.  Now anyone can record a show (in high definition nonetheless)  and make it available for download to people the world over.  Folks like Leo can make careers in podcasting and have fans anywhere.

Then driving back to San Francisco, I drove through a mountain tunnel, and then over the Golden Gate Bridge.  What amazing feats of engineering.  Humans continually amaze me, and it’s insane how far technology has come in my lifetime.  I can only imagine how things will be 10, 20, and 30 years from now…

The future, I am in you, and you feel awesome.

Today, I am the Answer!

Today is another big milestone.  It’s the day I become the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.  Yup, I turn 42 years young.  I do have to say that I feel pretty good about things.  Been losing weight, loving my family, enjoying my job, and trying to focus on keeping things positive in life.

I don’t always do a great job in this regard, and I recently had a couple of fairly pissy weeks.  That said, when I just started tallying all up all the things I should be thankful for, it’s a really long list.  I cannot lose sight on just how lucky I am.

So, I’m grabbing my towel, and here’s to many more of these awesome milestones.

 

Sharepoint is the next generation of Lotus Notes

I got an email from a sales rep at a company called HexaCorp in Somerset, NJ.  In my role I get emails from vendors trying to get my company’s business all the time.  Most of the time I delete them and move on.  Once in awhile I’ll respond and let them know that either we don’t need their services, or we don’t use the software they are shilling.

So this exec, let’s call her Marilyn (because that’s her name) left me a voicemail and sent me a message stating that they were a Sharepoint partner and if we were planning any Sharepoint implementations or upgrades, that they would like to help.  Instead of just deleting it, I responded so she knew she was barking up the wrong tree.

Thanks for reaching out, but we don’t use Sharepoint and have no plans to.  We are an IBM Lotus partner, and will continue down that path, thanks.

So I figured that was that.  Until I got an email just now, this was the first line:

I discussed your email with my CEO and he told me that Sharepoint is the next generation of Lotus Notes.

Yeah… okay then. First, you had to discuss with your CEO?  And THAT is what he came up with? As you can imagine, my next email wasn’t as pleasant.

Remove me from your list.

That comment shows your ignorance of an entire software industry.

Sometimes the lack of knowledge people have about the industry simply astounds me.  There are a lot of things Notes related I can bitch about, but Sharepoint is definitely not the next generation of Lotus Notes.

So Marilyn from HexaCorp in Somerset, NJ, and your willfully ignorant CEO.  You may want to do some homework.

Nine Years of Meanderings

Nine years ago today I officially started my public-facing blog.  I had done some personal blogging just for me before that (starting about a year prior) but it was Sept. 24th 2003 when I first said hello to the Lotus Notes and Domino blogosphere.

Blogging has been very good to me over the years.  It’s been a creative outlet, a stress reliever, a matter of record, a gateway to paid writing gigs and a conduit to meet some people I’m very happy to call close friends. Starting to write and put it all out there is really one of the best decisions I’ve every made.

This year has probably seen my least productive output ever here on the blog.  Obviously Facebook and Twitter have really kind of taken over the majority of my output, but this site won’t go away any time soon.  I still need a place to go on my longer rants, I just need to find the time to write them.

For all of you that still subscribe to my RSS feed, find your way here via PlanetLotus.org, or just keep coming back to see if I’ve posted anything, thank you. I really appreciate it, and thanks for being a part of this for nearly a decade.  I’ve always done this for me but it’s nice to have you along for the ride.

 

My Brief Lusty Fling with the Galaxy S3

Recently my long time love, the iPhone, had been seeming a little distant.  We had fallen in a rut, the two of us.  We did the same things, never switched it up, and life became kind of boring. Maybe it’s a mid-phone release cycle-crisis, but I was yearning for something more, that spark, that sexiness that was lacking.  That’s when I saw her.

The Samsung Galaxy S III.

She was beautiful.  Thin, gorgeous face, lightweight, and curves and buttons in all the right places.  I’d never been in a relationship with an Android before.  Sure, I had a couple dates in the past, but never really committed.  So I thought that this time I would give it a shot.  I would go full on Android and see if the grass truly was greener.

At first, everything was new and exciting.  Connecting to my Google services was a snap, and installing Lotus Traveler worked like a charm.  Then as the courtship continued, we started to visit all of the same old haunts.  Foursquare, Dropbox, Foodspotting, Facebook, Twitter, Rhapsody, Yelp, TripIt!, and even 1Password welcomed us.  Everything was comfortable and familiar again.  A new coat of make-up perhaps, but everything worked as expected.  Getting them from the Google Play store was pretty decent as well.  Seemed easy to shop and find what I was looking for, and clicking them brought them right down to the phone nicely.

The S3 wasn’t afraid to mix things up either.  “You don’t like the default launcher?  Let me try on something more comfortable.  I have an entire wardrobe I could switch into.”  And for role-playing, let’s just say she wasn’t afraid to be Chrome or Firefox or Dolphin if I really wanted her to be. Flexibility, oh yes.  She had some kinky new things she wanted to try too, like tapping other phones and swapping data.  And while hot, unfortunately it was hard to find many others in the crowd that swung that way. When we did, it was really exciting the first time we tried, but after that we would get disappointed when everyone didn’t want to play. It’s still kind of an underground community, but I think more people will become uninhibited as time goes on.

But some aspects of her personality really got to annoy me after awhile.  She kept notifying me of things over and over again, and I couldn’t easily convince her to only tell me about the things I wanted to hear.  She wasn’t a very good listener either as time and again she would screw up or ignore easy to understand requests. She also seemed to wear out more quickly than iPhone did.  I could spend marathon sessions with iPhone no problem, but Galaxy S3 got tired and always wanted to go to bed early. Even when she would stay up, I could never please her with only one hand.  She always required that I used both my hands on her tall frame.

Dealing with her schizophrenia Dissociative identity disorder about email was a nightmare too. It was a little too much with having to switch between mail, and a GMail client and a Traveler email client.  I mean, pick a mood and stick with it will ya? She even sported three different messaging clients by default. I just never knew what I was going to get. Lastly, she was inconsistent. Sometimes I would push her buttons, and how she responded today might be different than how she responds tomorrow. It sometimes became a guessing game trying to figure out how she felt.  It became tiring after awhile.

So as of today, I’ve broken up with Galaxy S3.  Sure, she’s sexy, and we had some incredible nights of passion, but quite frankly, iPhone really gets me better.  iPhone really knows how I like to work it, and will be there for me when I need her.  There’s a lot to be said about someone you can rely on, and iPhone has never let me down.  Despite our rut, I still love her, and probably always will.

All of that said, the Galaxy S3 might be your personal dream girl though, so feel free to date her, I won’t be mad.

Galaxy SIII Pros

  • Great Camera
  • Big Screen is gorgeous and easy to read
  • Light and Thin
  • Flexible Software Choices
  • Connects great to Google Services
  • Near-field communication features
  • Expandable storage

Galaxy SIII Cons

  • Big Screen is too hard to work one-handed
  • Multiple clients for email and messaging
  • Lack of consistency in apps (menus and such)
  • Battery Life isn’t quite as good as my iPhone
  • Plastic outer shell feels a little cheap
  • Lack of notification granularity
  • Default storage (without additional card) tops out at 16 GB
  • Back button was sometimes inconsistent
  • S-Voice was no where near as accurate as Siri

 

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