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Showing posts from 2015

Getting Started with IBM Connections - Communities (Creating a Notification System)

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With Sametime (Chats) out of the way (See: Part 1 and Part 2) and the initial user setup done too (see here), it's time to start building things and getting users engaged in IBM Connections Cloud.

From what I've seen, it appears that there are two major features to go; Communities and Meetings. For the time being, I want to focus on Communities. 

What is a Community?
A Connections community seems to be a "group or topic around which members gather" in order to share and develop ideas. There are lots of things which could be communities;

Your company as a whole.Specific Departments (or Business or Functional Groups)Members of a Particular ProjectA System (For example, your Invoice System). An Idea, such as "Business Continuity" A Hobby (such as a pet club, readers club or a movie watchers club).
Most communities will probably be business-related but if you're having trouble getting people to use Connections, it might be worthwhile providing them with a commu…

Getting Started with IBM Connections Sametime Cloud (Chat) - PART 2

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In my last post, I went through the initial setup of Sametime (from Creating a user to getting to a logon in the cloud). I promised that I'd be back with information on getting Sametime (IBM Chat) working on other devices and away from the web browser. 

So, after a slightly longer than expected break (holiday), I'm back. 

Last time, we got to the point where you could access Sametime in the Connections Cloud. As part of this, you should have ended up with;


A login name (email address)A passwordA connections location
Your connections location will probably be a URL something like this.

https://apps.ap.collabserv.com/

This is a good URL worth understanding and remembering.

The .ap. bit refers to Asia Pacific, which is the most correct option for Australia at the moment. Yours may be .na. (North America) or .eu. Europe


Getting the Relevant EXE Files
Once logged onto IBM Connections Cloud, it's very easy to get the installation files for a local version of IBM Chat (Sametime).

To …

Getting Started with IBM Connections Sametime Cloud (Chat) - PART 1

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One of the best reasons to move to the new IBM Connections Cloud is IBM Sametime. 

Until recently, we were using the "free" bundled IBM Sametime 7 offering. This was a useful feature but of course, some of us were spoiled by the chat options available in other software (Google Hangouts particularly). The version 7 feature has not aged well.  

We looked at upgrading the functionality some time ago, only to be told by many people that "the new SameTime is too complex to set up". It also required considerably more investment in hardware and software. Essentially it wasn't going to be economical to use and we had ditched the product. 

The plan was to eventually install a replacement, but in the meantime, we were learning to live without it - after 6 months, our users had stopped complaining.

Then along came the IBM Connections version of Sametime.... and it's good. Very Good. 


Cloud: The Fastest Way to Get up and Running
The fastest way to get up and running with t…

Getting Started with IBM Connections Smartcloud

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Last September, when renewing our Notes and Domino Licences, IBM offered us a trade-up to IBM Connections SmartCloud.  Essentially, there we were presented with two options;

1. 50%  of our licenses upgraded to the full services (S1)
2. 100% of our licenses upgraded to a subset of the services (S2)

I chose the first option, knowing that either way I'd have a struggle on my hands with management when I wanted to take advantage of the full services but also knowing that it's easier to justify getting the other half of the organisation onto the new service than it is to widen services for the whole organisation. 

We're still only half there but I'm very hopeful - it's the first time in years that I've had real confidence in IBM's direction. 



So What is this Connections thing Anyway?
It's weird but IBM seems to have come full circle in the Domino product line. They spent years barking up the wrong tree with ideas like the ill-fated "workplace" which was…

Cloud Services and the Business

It wasn't all that long ago that cloud services were frowned upon in business circles but 2015 looks like being the year of cloud adoption. So far, I've personally signed up for three major options,


Google Apps for BusinessMicrosoft Office 365IBM Smartcloud Connections

 Of course, there's a few smaller options in there too, like Symantec.Cloud which we use for Anti-Spam and Mail Archiving and Telstra's cloud services which we use in other capacities.


Data Protection
One of the things that has kept businesses well away from the idea of cloud services is belief that the US government has more access to data on cloud servers. In a way, this is true, particularly if those servers reside in the US.

Personally I don't understand why the US Government is considered to be such a threat to legitimate business but rest assured, I've seen the reactions. People clearly don't want their data to be snooped.

The problem is that the details of these laws make it clear that n…

How to Stop Youtube's new AutoPlay feature from Eating all of your Bandwidth...

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I've noticed a rather annoying trend recently where youtube starts a countdown to the next video at the end of our current viewing and starts playing it automatically.  Sure, you can click cancel but what happens if you're not there?

What happens if you're watching a video and then you get a phone call and suddenly have to leave your desk.... Don't worry, YouTube will happily continue downloading random streaming videos in the background.  Even better, if you've left home for the day (or work for a weekend) you can expect a nasty bandwidth surprise.


That's why you need to turn this horrible new feature off. 


How to Turn AutoPlay OFF
In your YouTube account, start playing a video, any video.  You should see an AutoPlay option in the top right hand corner. Slide it to the off position.


That's it. It seems to be a setting which is remembered... of course, that's only if you're actually logged into YouTube.  If you're not logged in then you'll pro…

Restarting Agent Manager on Domino 9.0.1 may crash your server....

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Update: Thanks to everyone who commented to point out that this was fixed.  We were all so focussed on Poodle that we only applied the fixes to the servers that serve HTML.  Turns out that IBM Domino 9.0.1 FIX PACK 3 is a good fix to have on all of your servers. 

KILLER AGENTS ! 

Just a fun tidbit we discovered today (fortunately on the test, rather than the production server).

It seems that bug has been introduced in from Domino 9.0.1 which doesn't like having the agent manager restarted. 

Specifically, via the commands;

TELL AMGR QUIT

and

LOAD AMGR

Under normal use, you'd probably have no reason to issue those commands on your server console but if you had a runaway agent or if you were testing/debugging, you might.

Shortly after agent manager loads (in our case, in under 10 seconds), the server will start to report things like;

AMgr: Console command 'LOG.NSF' is unknown
AMgr: Console command 'admin4.NSF' is unknown

The actual name of the database will be different …

Domino Lives!

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I had a very interesting conversation with IBM last week (more on that in later posts) and at one point we discussed the current status and the future of IBM Notes and Domino.  It's a discussion which seems to be largely ignored at the IBM events these days but it's certainly a question that IBM's customers want answered. 

The answer from IBM was quite interesting.

First of all, we were assured that IBM Domino was not dead - far from it. It was alive, kicking and thriving.

It's no longer being considered "sexy" or "new" but is seen as a mature product which does exactly what it needs to do.  IBM made it clear that they didn't intend to over-engineer notes by adding functionality simply so that they could bring a new version to the market.

IBM weren't subtle about it either, pointing the finger at Microsoft Word and asking "how many more features do you need in a word processor"?  It was a good point, well made. After all, how much …

The Pain of Getting into Microsoft's Corporate Licensing

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We've been out of Microsoft's Corporate licensing model for quite a while and it's been good, no, it's been GREAT. 

Whenever I've needed a Microsoft Product, I've wandered down to the local retail outlet and purchased it. Sure, sometimes I've been a little annoyed when it's not in stock and I've had to wait a day or two but on the whole, it's been glorious.

We haven't bothered with maintenance on our Microsoft products because we don't want to upgrade. Not within 3-4 years. Our standards so far have been  

Windows NT + Office 97, then Windows XP + Office 2003 and now Windows 7 + Office 2010. Because we update so infrequently (and all at once), it's easier to simply purchase new computers once every four years and buy the software at the same time. It's not like you save anything much on the volume licensing  -- in fact, it's quite the opposite, buying a new licence every four years is much cheaper than paying maintenance on one …

Why you should get onto Google Play even if you don't have an Android Device

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So, you're an Apple person, or a Windows person, and you already have an iTunes or Windows store account. You can get your books, music and movies from their stores. Why would you bother getting a Google Play account?



It's worth it. That's why -- even if you only buy the FREE things. 

Actually, there's four very good reasons;

Cross Platform FunctionalityDownloading to Other DevicesUploading Your Own MaterialsFree Stuff 


Cross Platform Functionality
If you have iTunes, then for the most part, your music and movies are only available on your apple device(s).   Your iPhone, iPod or iPad, maybe your apple computer and possibly, in some cases, your windows computer.  Essentially, purchases on the apple platform, stay on the apple platform.

This is not the case with Google Play.

Movies, Music and Books from Google Play works in;
Android tablets and phones (obviously)Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods (Do a search for Google Play)Windows PCsThe Chrome Browser (on any platform)The Lin…