Install Enso if you’re a Windows user

For a truly Zen experience of your Windows desktop, install Enso from Humanized (http://www.humanized.com).  Enso Launcher and Enso Words are simply must-to-have.  These are very small programs that run in the background and are brought up by pressing the Caps Lock key (this is the default setting, which can be changed, of course).  Press Caps Lock, type in a command, release Caps Lock and stuff happens: applications launch, websites open, words are defined and texts are spellchecked.  My favorite features or commands are “Spell”, “Calc” and “Define”, which allowed me to check and correct the spelling of any selected text regardless of the application, calculate the result of any math equation and lookup dictionary definition of any selected word.

Another great feature of Enso is that you don’t need administrator rights to your computer to install it.  It drops into your Documents and Settings folder with a very small footprint.

I so got used to Enso that I totaly miss it on my Mac.  And while in some features it is similar to QuickSilver, I find that I liked Enso and its features better.

Definitely give Enso a try, you will like it.

My Lotusphere session was approved

Once again it will be my honor and privilege to co-present with John Head a Jumpstart (JMP205) Integration of IBM Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino with Microsoft Office, .NET, and IBM Lotus Symphony.  We presented this session at a couple previous Lotuspheres.  This year, the session has been completely revamped with all new demos, including new integration points, such as Google Docs.

At the last 2 Lotuspheres this JumpStart was so popular that we did 2 sessions back-to-back.  We are yet to find out whether this will also be the case this year.  And if once again we will be competing for a time slot against a post-season NFL game, I hope you will make the right choice and will come to our session.  I promise to keep a score ticker on my laptop.

Including this Jumpstart, PSC will be presenting a total of 3 different sessions.  See John Head’s post about all of the sessions.

There’s always someone better than you

The other day, cruising down the I-290 at about my usual speed of somewhere around 80 miles/hour, I was suddenly overtaken by a Cadillac Escalade. The Escalade passed me like I was standing still, I don’t even want to guess how fast he was going.

Up until the moment when the Escalade passed me I was passing everyone else around and feeling pretty good about it. But, no matter how fast or how good you think you are, there’s always someone better than you. You may be the fastest car on the road or the best developer in the community– but that only lasts for a while. It is only a matter of time before someone passes you or someone starts slinging code better than you. Moreover, in today’s flat world economy, there are plenty of people who are not as good as you but they are a whole lot cheaper.

So as the world-wide economy is tanking, as companies are looking to cut costs to stay afloat, as unemployment is inching up and various indexes are sliding down, how do you ensure that you yourself stay competitive in the job market? How do you differentiate yourself? How do you ensure that you remain a billable and employable consultant or a technical resource? How do you avoid being replaced by a code-slinging body shop 10 thousand miles away?

Do you learn new languages? Do you learn new platforms? Do you pick up business or project management skills?

Or do you close your eyes and hope that none of this applies to you?

Does Apple ever have sales?

Does Apple ever have sales or do I have to shell out $1750 for a Macbook?

I am in love with the new Macbook.  It is so gorgeous.  I have never felt this way about any piece of equipment, let alone about a Mac.  But this feels like true love, a love from first sight.  The moment I saw it on my coworker’s desk, I knew this was it — this could be THE Mac that makes me take the plunge and join the other side.

So, before I take the plunge and drop $1750 on this beauty, what are the chances that Apple will join other retailers in the annual Thanksgiving/Christmas madness and offer 50% as a part of some crazy sale?  Or is Apple truly recession proof?

You should know the other guy’s products when selling in a competitive market

Whether you’re selling software or cumquats, unless you’ve got the market cornered, you really should know what the other guy is selling. You should know what the other guy calls his cumquats, what they taste like, what they look like — in short, you should know every detail about what the other guy is selling. Why? Because inevitably, at some point in any given sales call, the prospect will ask if your cumquats are as sweet as the other guy’s and whether they will grow in the same climate conditions. If you don’t have answers to his questions or, worse yet, if you admit knowing nothing about the other brand, the sales call is over and the prospect is calling the other guy to come in and talk about his fruits. And rest assured that the other guy will have no qualms about talking up the sweetness of his cumquats as compared to the sourness of yours.

So you better prepare and rehearse your answers. Know how the 2 products stack up against each other. Know the other guy’s cumquats as well as you know your own. Otherwise you appear either arrogant or uninformed and in either case, why should the prospect listen to you after that?

Cumquats or not, but if you’re pitching SameTime, you really should know how OCS works.

How large databases uniquely affect IBM Lotus Domino server performance

Thanks to the guys at Lotuscube for pointing out this DeveloperWorks article.  And, of course, thanks to the folks at DeveloperWorks for writing it.  This is something that often comes up in discussions with customers.  Good to have an official story to fall back on.

via How large databases uniquely affect IBM Lotus Domino server performance

Was your Lotusphere abstract rejected?

If your Lotusphere session abstract was rejected, you probably received a blanket thanks-but-no-thanks email.  Over the past couple of days or so, since the notices were sent out, there was quite a bit of grumbling on Tweeter and in the blogosphere from the folks who were turned down.  Rejection is always painful but unexplained rejection probably hurts the worst — you’re not good enough and you don’t know why.

What I think would help to stop the grumbling if the rejection notice were to include some explanation as to why a particular session or a speaker was turned down.  Every year, many hopefuls work hard at crafting abstracts only to be rejected by a blanket letter with no explanation.  (I remember how it felt getting those while looking for my first job after college. )

Ed mentioned a couple of reasons a submission may be rejected.  Additional feedback from the judges and track managers could go a long way.  Was this a duplicate session?  Is there a better speaker/expert presenting a similar topic?  Does the speaker need to get more experience presenting?  Does the speaker need to prove his subject-matter expertise?  Answers to some of these questions could tell the potential speakers why they or their sessions weren’t deemed good enough to present or to be presented this year.  And maybe, just maybe, if they spend the year addressing the shortcomings of their topics and skills, next year, they will be able to contribute a kick-butt session and help create another unforgettable Lotusphere.

And if nothing else, it will create a bit of a human touch and make the would-be speakers feel less upset.

What do you think?