Category Archive: Technology


I had no idea how much I needed this

Yep, put this in the category of “Things I had no idea I needed, but now I don’t know how I ever lived without it” – my new Apple Watch.

When they came out, I had very little interest.  First, I don’t wear a watch.  Secondly, I always have my phone next to me at all times, so a smart watch didn’t seem to do much for me.  Third, I have an awesome and dedicated running watch (and several different versions of things like fitbits that I never use), so the activity stuff didn’t do much for me either.  In the last few weeks, I started to get a bit more interested and considered buying one.  When I had a chance to buy one slightly used, I jumped at it.

I had the watch on for one day.  One day.  And I love it.  I can’t believe how useful it is and how much I already rely on it.  Some examples:

My car has bluetooth to connect to my phone, but it doesn’t always connect properly.  Half the time I can use the car controls to skip songs, but half the time I can’t and have to fiddle with my phone, which in New Hampshire is now illegal.  Apple watch has the “what’s playing” glance, so if the bluetooth didn’t connect properly from phone to car, I can just glance at my watch and skip the song.

I have a Ring doorbell.  When someone is at the front door, I feel a little pulse on my watch, which is actually less disturbing then the chime on my phone.

I get message alerts on my watch.  Now here’s the interesting bit.  I had zero interest in that, as I said, I always have my phone by my side, why do I need message alerts on my watch?  Well, let me tell you, it just gives me a little pulse to notify me and turns off the notification on my phone, while wearing the watch, which is automatic, I don’t have to turn it on and off.  That’s brilliant.  As I said about the doorbell, the pulse is way less annoying than any sound notification on my phone.  Especially when I’ve forgotten that it’s on and I’m on a conference call and my kid has decided to send me 10 texts.

And much like any Apple product, you can customize it, but you don’t have to.  The notifications all start with “mirror my iPhone” as the default, so I don’t have to set anything, unless I don’t like it and want to change it.

I realize I’m late to the party, but I’m extremely pleased with my Apple Watch, and I haven’t even had it 48 hours.  I’m looking forward to what else I can do with it.  Speaking of, have a favorite use for your Apple Watch?  Let me know how you use yours!

Speaking at MWLUG 2016!

I’m pleased to say I’ll be speaking at MWLUG this year in Austin.  This will be my second time speaking at MWLUG and my first time ever to Austin.  I’m looking forward to both!  It’s also my first time speaking with Shean McManus! We will be presenting:

Using Dashboards to Transform Application Data Visualization

When you’re driving a car, you need a lot of data quickly. How fast are you going? Are there any problems you need to address? Where do you get that data at a glance?  Your dashboard, of course. All the info you need at your finger tips, easily understood.

Your applications have a lot of data and important information, but can your users get to it quickly? Can they easily spot issues or know what they need to do right now?  They can if you use dashboards. Modern business applications commonly make use of dashboards to provide easy access to key information.  Shean and Kathy will take you for a test drive through some XPage application dashboards.  They will demonstrate how to move away from email-driven tasks and buried information to show you how you can easily visualize your critical business data.

Come see how an application can provide a visually striking, functional, and easy to use Data Visualization for common workflow actions, important info, charts, and key metrics.  Put your users in the driver’s seat!

Come and watch me attempt to correctly say our session title!  Come and learn some stuff about dashboards!  Come and just say hi!  (Wow, I am enthusiastic for a Monday morning!)

Too Many Design Elements – Or Things I Forgot I Knew

My co-worker, Marky tells me I already knew this and that I told him this when he made the same mistake, but I forgot, or never knew, or something.  So I’m blogging it.  Next time when I google it, I’ll find this post and laugh at myself.  Or maybe I’ll remember.  In any case…

Don’t add all of Sencha ExtJS’s download file to your XPages application.  It’s too many design elements.  As I discovered (again?) the other night.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 4.23.14 PM





“Insufficient memory – too many design elements (Desk Design Pool).” is the error you’ll get, and then you can’t open the application anymore in Designer.  Sadly, you may not get this right away.  Hypothetically, you maybe added all the files, worked with them, did some stuff, wrote some awesome code, and then closed Designer, and THEN you weren’t able to open it.  Hypothetically.  So be warned, if you’re adding a plugin with a lot of design elements (and by a lot, I mean thousands), maybe you’ll want to add them folder by folder.

To “fix” it you can copy the application, open the copy, and immediately delete stuff.  This won’t help your original, but at least you can get at your awesome code that you hypothetically wrote.

Incidentally, it would be a terrible idea to include the entire Sencha ExtJS download anyway because you don’t need it all and it would bloat your application for no good reason.  I guess Designer is just helping you realize that it’s a bad idea.  Thanks, Designer!

Farewell, SocialBizUg – Hello, Blog

As many of you know, it was recently announced that will be shutting down.  Over the last several years (at least five and maybe six?), I have written for their Notes Developer Tips.  Tom Duff pulled me in as co-author many years ago.  For several years I wrote two articles a month for the newsletter.  Then Tom stepped down and I wrote all five articles every month for the newsletter.  I loved and hated that responsibility.  Loved that it forced me to write five articles every month.  Hated that I had to write five articles every month.  The team at SocialBizUg was always patient with me and my *cough* occasionally *cough* late articles.

I am grateful for the opportunity to write.  I am grateful for the audience that the newsletter provided.  I hope that those who still seek content can find it.  And to that end, I am going to try and blog more.  As stated in my last post, I am motivated and rejuvenated from IBM Connect.  I no longer have to come up with five articles-worth of content for SocialBizUg.  While I won’t do that much here without someone to nag me, I hope to do more than I have in the past.  I plan to continue the Foundation series that I just started over on SocialBizUg and will re-post here the first articles from that series.

So once again, thank you, SocialBizUg.  Thank you to the Newsletter team, and “see you later”!  (See earlier posts on how to say goodbye when you don’t want to).

IBM Connect 2016

I’m back from IBM Connect 2016.  People want to know how it was.  It’s hard to explain.  I mean, it’s my blog, so I’m going to try, but I’m certain some of you won’t believe me because you weren’t there.

The past couple of years have seen some negativity in our community.  Notes is Dead, Long Live Notes.  It’s something we’ve heard for…well, forever, but the last few years it seemed to be said louder and by more of the “faithful”.  I think it was Connect 2014 that was a big trigger for many as the technical content became just a small portion of the conference.  Last year it seemed efforts were made to resurrect Lotusphere, but it still felt a bit like raising the dead.

But this year.  This year was different.  Maybe it was the new venue.  Maybe it was that so many of us already said our goodbyes last year.  Who knows.  I guess it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that there was a brand new attitude at IBM Connect.  It felt like IBM really cared.  I heard things like “we heard you and we want to change that this year”.  I also heard a lot of “next year, we will…” both in reference to products, but also the conference itself.  And it wasn’t just IBM that cared, the attendees cared.  It seemed there was more participation in things like Gurupalooza and less snark in things like the OGS.  (Let’s be real, this community will never have NO snark.)

The proof is in the pudding as they say.  So here’s my proof.  I suddenly want to blog again.  Technical posts, not just announcements of things and rib recipes.  I want to learn new things, new technologies (no, I don’t mean I am moving away from XPages, I mean stuff to do WITH XPages).  I want to code more.  I want to participate more.  It’s the feeling that I used to get when coming home from Lotusphere, and frankly, that I haven’t felt in a few years.

That’s the official conference “how it was”.  Of course, as many of you know, there is SO MUCH MORE to these conferences than technical content and product futures.  It’s the people.  I don’t just mean hanging out with my friends (more on that in a minute), which is great, but also just meeting new people who do what you do.  Having someone ask you a question that makes you completely rethink how a thing can be coded.  Asking someone else a question and getting an answer you never would have thought of.  Sometimes I feel like just hanging around these people, I absorb their knowledge.  (That’s what the hugs are for, Eric, I’m a code vampire).

And then, the totally unofficial conference “how it was”.  My friends.  So many dear and wonderful friends.  Newly made friends and old friends.  Some that came to Orlando JUST to see friends.  They weren’t attending the conference, they just came to see me, err, I mean everyone.  ; – )   And the friends who were there for the entire week and I was lucky enough to spend time with them at the receptions, in the bar, at the theme park, over lunch, etc.  Just time to connect (yes, pun intended) and laugh.  So many laughs.  Far too many of you to call out, so thank you to ALL who shared your time with me.  It is appreciated.


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