So… 2013 happened

I best jump on the bandwagon of writing up an epitaph to 2013.  Of course, of the many blogs I read in various communities I know that mine will be mostly uninteresting in comparison, but sure here goes anyway.

In short, 2013 was defiantly a year where I felt “older”.  Some of this is related to actually not being as healthy as I used to be, and the rest was due to incidents and milestones.  It was a mixed bag of a year on a personal front.  Some good, some bad.  Technology wise, it most definitely was a year of transition.  But treating technology as simply “technology” reminds me that the problems and the people will always be the same.

January involved my seventh trip to Lotusphere (screwit – I’m sticking with that name).  Many other people put it a lot better than I did about the events of that week, but needless to say I have very vivid memories of certain things.  The rest was just an unimportant blur.  Sadly the vivid stuff still haunts.

In February, Gab Davis and I rewrote for version 4.  It took a few days and as ever Gab’s commitment and simple desire to educate people stuns me.  No hidden agenda, no bullshit.  She just wants to help everyone… anyone.  February also involved Kenneth’s funeral in Denmark.   After that, early March I managed to check a box and finally get to Australia, albeit for a very short trip.   However, Tony and I managed to squeeze in a lot and for once I travelled in style.  Auslug, and its organisers did themselves proud.  LCTY in Hamburg, BLUG and Madrid all quickly followed.

A highlight of the year was traveling to the Catalonia Moto GP  in June with my wife, Tony and Roy Holder.  A great break and I was hooked on race weekends instantly.  July and August was very busy with work, house hunting and study.  A week out for a holiday break in September just after the last UKLUG, which I rode to with Sean Cull and Simon Peek.  Good times.  Admincamp in Gelsenkirchen followed straight by a customer visit in Tampa (and visiting the Dolphin Hotel to meet up with Gab and Tim).  October, November and December went way too quickly, with many short trips and fortunately lots of work.

Lessons learned?  Quite a few on the professional side.  I screwed up once but also managed to pull off another project in a manner I’m proud of, so I consider that even (ok… I focus on the screwup but what did you expect).  On the professional/personal side I started to ignore people that drain energy.  No badness, just simply not trying to pander to folk as much as I used to.  One regret is taking this long to start doing that as it’s working out quite well!

2014 has many new projects on the horizon (two starting next week actually).  I have a suspicion that travel will be frequent in the coming year, but three personal projects are going to take priority over work.  One will be announced in about a month (get ready to put your hands in your pockets), the other two are kicking off soon.  The coming year is a game changer in many ways for me.  Hopefully 12 months from now it will have all worked out.

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My speaking sessions at Lotusphere

I earlier announced one session I was confirmed to present at Lotusphere, but now all the emails are out, I have a few more where you will see me on stage.  Nearer the time, I will blog times/locations for the sessions.

Adminblast 2014 (with Gab Davis)

What we wish we had known.  Becoming an IBM Connections Administrator (with Gab Davis)

Show and Tell: Taking IBM Sametime Mobile (again, with Gab Davis – this will be a step by step approach of taking a standard sametime deployment and putting it on your mobile device).

Defending the perimeter.  Protecting your Domino web servers.

All of these sessions and more are available to browse on the Connect 2014 website.  So, are you going?

Note:  There may be an additional session,  which should be a lot of fun, with a speaker we all know.  I’m waiting to see if that is going to happen.

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An IBM Champion again, no less.

It was with quite a bit of surprise when I received the email a few weeks ago:

Congratulations, you’re an IBM Champion! On behalf of IBM, it is with great pleasure that I invite you to join the IBM Champion program for 2014….

This really wasn’t something I was expecting but it is appreciated.  The list of new champions contains people I do not know, which is a great thing to see.  I’m curious to see what the Lotus/IBM Collaboration world holds for all of us in 2014 and equally curious to see the performance of IBM as a whole over the next 12 months.

Whomever nominated me, and the people that have attended my sessions over the years have my deepest appreciation.  I cut my teeth with the Lotus technology and community and I will always be very grateful to the server technology,  the people that engineered it and the people that promoted it when it seemed many didn’t care.  Hope to see some of you in Florida and who knows, maybe even at a few LUGs in the future.

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50 Siri Voice commands

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IDIOTS from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.

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Its been a while…

Looking at my blog from time to time fills me with geek shame.  Of years past if we didn’t post for 2 weeks the next on the list began with an apology fully explaining absence  with evidence and justification.  Nowadays, it’s so different.  I don’t blog for the lack of news.  If anything, I (and fellow geeks) have been busier than ever (more on that in a bit).   One hundred years ago authors complained about the disappearance of long form letters and articles.  They would have wept looking at blog posts from the early noughties.  They would have positively barfed at twitter, facebook and “10 things… shite on buzzfeed now adopted by all major media sources.  Yes, TIME I am looking directly at you.  I post there because it is quick and convenient, and people that may have an interest may see what I say.  Blogs are a resource though.  Social media outlets are sentiment/statistical monitors.  Not, in my opinion a resource, or at least a resource easy to search.  Try to find anything on Twitter, Facebook, Chatter, Connections or Linkedin. Go on.  I will wait.

See?  Ok, point made.

I used to  link to good tech notes, as opposed to explaining the problem and solution better, granting Google the information it needs to easily help someone else.  Now its a “this is handy http://tinyurl…..).  Alas…

Work is mental.  I have not been this busy in years. Wearing different hats (Domino, Salesforce, Connections) has been very good to us in Bluewave.  Aside from that on many occasions I have just been asked to advise on technology as a whole, without products front and centre (Security, mobility, cloud).  Interesting stuff.  Additionally, I have been working with Christian and Gab on the Show and Tell Track for Connect14, although I sadly suspect it will be my last time.  I have been luckily enough to also be selected for a session on the Best Practice track too.  No, not adminblast, but something different.  Hopefully fun.

Defending the Perimeter. Protecting your Web Servers – Paul Mooney, Bluewave Technology

In order to defend, you need to know how people attack.  In this session, Paul Mooney takes you through his lessons learned from the techniques of internal or external disrupters and hackers,  their processes and goals when it comes to your web and smtp servers.  Introduce yourself to the methodologies and tools used in this world and how to protect your service and data

For anyone that has read my site, you will know I ran ethical hacking sessions over the past year.  Add one and one and you will get a 60 minute version of this session that will show you what bad people do, and some of how they do it.  I promise it will be fun.  I’m looking forward to presenting it and discussing the pros and cons at the bar afterwards.

Speaking of ethical hacking, I presented at DNUG last week in Frankfurt (thanks to Wee4IT) the day-long version of this session, and it seem’ed to go well. Also managed to bump into Volker Weber,  an excellent surprise.   I had also presented at the wonderful Admincamp a few months back.  Next week I travel to DANNOTES with Tony Holder.  I shall present Adminblast but return for as much a personal reason as business with Tony Holder, representing better people than us to pay respects to an even better person.  See you all at the bar.

Salesforce is going well, and the value of years in collaboration along with a growing technology is fascinating.  Meeting “new” customers is brilliant.  That said the IBM Collaboration work is out the frigging door!  Always amazed me with the Domino server.  ”It’s dead…. no THIS time it’s dead.  Nobody uses it anymore…  Everyone has an exit strategy”.

Try replacing it in a business.  See what happens.  If you are lucky and kept your smart staff,  you have a chance (Duffbert is prime example of this).  Usually this is not the case and we get called to pick up the pieces.

Travel on the whole has been manic, and I amazingly now have status on an airline.  It is mostly attributed by actual amount of flights, as opposed to getting the expensive seats.  The way a few things are going at the moment, travel may pick up in a big way over the coming months.  What else?

GSX have monitoring support for Traveler HA.  A very nice addition.  Go take a look.  Traveler 9 is very good.  Notes and iNotes9 is good.

Gab, Abb and I are trying to push mobug.  We still love the idea, but quite a bit of apathy in the area, which is not what I was expecting.  I need to focus on it more.


Connections 4.5 is an improvement as expected, but at the back end still needs work to make it easier to manage.  Gab and I are busy with some new ideas in this area.

I have a Pebble watch.  I like it.  I don’t love it, but I love the fact it is the start of something.   All watches will become smart to different levels in future.

I get out on the bike when I can.  But this time of year it is hard.  There are plans afoot for a big trip next year, and hands will be expected to be put in pockets…  Well, with that I best get back to work.  Servers restarted, vpn reconnected… back at it.  See you again, sooner next time I hope.

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A day made of glass

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Finger in the air question for Blackberry customers/consultants

I am currently moving to Proof of Concept on a customer that wants BES10 service for new devices.

One customer.  That’s it.   I remember the days of doing 2 BES installations a week (from 2.2 to 4.x) many years ago.  Lots of MDM/Traveler installations nowdays.  Gartner’s recent recommendation to find an exit strategy for Blackberry Enterprise houses has not helped the abandonment.  As opposed to media suggestions I wanted to ask consultants and specialists and try to get an idea on takeup.  What are your plans for BES on your (or your customer’s) site.

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Bruce’s hair. An obituary

I first met Bruce’s hair in 2006, when he, his carrier and his wife started to talk to me at Lotusphere.  He knew me from some posts I did on Microsoft application analysis and wanted to talk about business and life in general.  From there on, Bruce’s hair helped me with session ideas, podcasts, dealing with storm’s in teacups and rallying the troops when needed.  Bruce’s hair, or his carrier never spoke code to me, as I don’t speak that lingo, but always spoke community, technology and strategy.  In a smart way.  Not a smug way – just a nice smart “how can everyone benefit and share the love way”.  I loved that.

In 2008 the hair came to Ireland (on it’s own coin) just to present at ILUG for me, which I will always be grateful for.  The hair presented on how it got stronger and better as people used Openntf.  And in the background the provisioning of Openntf had significant play in extending the life of the Domino platform.  The hair gave a professional podacast for many years with Julian Robichaux – I was asked to be on that a few times and muddled through, attempting to sound half as professional as these guys.

The hair worked in the murky depths of the community as much as the spotlight, organising, planning and settling disputes most people will never hear of.  He managed to keep a dysfunctional family moving.  Once a  year, he would instruct his carrier to sing Happy Birthday to me as loud as humanly possible over skype, always making me smile and regret that ever year I forget to record it.

The hair has managed to score a pretty outstanding wife.  Gayle is as much a part of this weird family as any of us.  She sits with geeks and does not fall asleep.  Amazing!

The hair has managed to run multiple businesses and jobs simultaneously, while keeping an upbeat attitude and always caring about everyone else.  He instructed his carrier to give outstanding sessions, and infuse enthusiasm in everyone in an instant.  It was only natural that a teaching position would follow and it is great to see him succeed.

After many years of steady decline, the hair has left us.  His carrier still shines as much as ever though and we will always be grateful to him!

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IBM Connect 2014 Call for abstracts is now open

That time of year has come again.  IBM have opened the doors for submissions on the expanded Lotusphere+everything else event for speakers to submit abstracts to present.

This is a year of ‘new’ and of ‘more.’ The new expanded focus for Connect 2014 is all about “Energizing Life’s Work,” empowering IBM clients and their employees to drive real business results. Whether it’s the Lotusphere Technical Program, the Smarter Workforce track (Kenexa World Conference), or the newly-expanded Smarter Commerce track, Connect 2014 provides the insight to help IT, HR, Marketing, and business leaders from around the world transform how they work.

The tracks you knew and loved are still there, along with some new themes.  This year, I am again reprising my role with Gab Davis assisting the Show and Tell Track on session select and review.  SNT is still the track “I want to go to” every year.  Traditionally it is one of the highest rated and most challenging.

The Show ‘n Tell track brings you the best in live technical education. SNT sessions explain in comprehensive detail a specific technology with detailed instructions, picture screenshots and live demonstrations that show how it can be used and applied for your environment. With 90 minutes per session you can share your expertise with an audience who has come to learn
something new. This year we are interested in technical content on any of the IBM Collaboration Solutions products demonstrating how people can get the best out of them, as well as how combining IBM technology can deliver an integrated Social Experience. Whether you’re an administrator or a developer consider only that our attendees are working with complex technologies and demanding new ideas, at IBM Connect we want to give them content they can’t get anywhere else.

Get your thinking caps on and submit.

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