Notes 8.5 upgrade workshop

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week we [PSC] and IBM hosted a Notes 8.5 upgrade workshop. The workshop was held at IBM Innovation Center downtown Chicago and it was a great event. Thank you everyone who found 2 days in their busy schedules to join us for the workshop. The event was “sold out”. We had no empty seats in the room and unfortunately we had to turn away a few people who tried to register at the last moment. Not to worry, we are planning to hold more workshops during the summer. Please come to the PSC site for event information and registration.

The workshop focused on showcasing the new and exciting features of Notes and Domino 8.5: things like DAOS, ID Vault, Shared Logon, XPages. The agenda is a good mix of presentations and hands-on labs, so not only did the attendees get to listen about the new features, they got to feel and touch them, practice setting them up and using them.

All in all, a great event. I’m looking forward to hosting a few more of these during the summer.

Currently, we’re looking at hosting 1 workshop in Schaumburg at the PSC office on June 24 – 25.

In addition, we’re planning to host another workshop downtown Chicago at the IBM center just before MWLUG on August 25 – 26.  Seating will be limited again, so please stay tuned for registration announcements.

Using Meeting Wizard to schedule meetings

Ever find yourself trying to schedule a meeting with a group of people over email?  You are all on different email and calendar systems, some don’t event use any calendar systems and you end up emailing back and forth trying to find that magic date and time combination when everyone can make it.  

A colleague of mine pointed me to this great website — MeetingWizard.com.  The site allows you to setup an event, suggest several date/time options and email a link out to everyone involved.  The participants then get to select which time slots work for them and everyone can see who picked what.  Makes it all very easy and eliminates the need for sorting through dozens of emails.  And the best part — the basic service is free.  

Give it  a try next time you find yourself asking over and over again, “Will this day work for everyone?”

IBM and PSC to host a Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5 Upgrade Workshop

I am happy to announce that on May 27th PSC and IBM will co-host a Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5 Upgrade Workshop.  This is a 2-day absolutely free event to be held at the IBM Innovation Center downtown Chicago.  We’ll even cater continental breakfast and lunch.  All the particulars are listed below.  To register for this event you need to come to the PSC website.  Space is limited and we already have a number of people registered for the event.  So, if you are interested in attending, register soon.

Introduction
Presentations and Hands-on Lab Exercises for a 1 or 2 day Proof of Technology, with materials focusing on Notes® End User, Domino® Administration, and Domino Application Development enhancements in version 8.5.  (Please indicate which day or days you will attend in the Special Instructions box when you register.)
Objective
The Notes & Domino 8.5 Upgrade is intended to provide the customer with an in-depth examination of the new capabilities of version 8.5 of the products.  For existing customers, this exploration will help them assess the additional value and potential impact to their existing environment.  For new customers, this exploration will not only give them a hands-on experience with a product new to them but it will also reinforce our advantages over the competition, such as the power of applications.  At the conclusion of the Proof of Technology, the customer will leave with an excitement about the business problems this new version can help solve.
Who Should Attend?
This Proof of Technology is targeted for IT Managers, Application Developers, System Administrators and Architects evaluating IBM® Lotus Notes® /Domino. No prerequisite knowledge of Notes or Domino is required; however, it is recommended that participants have an understanding of their business needs and current IT technologies.
Agenda – May 27, 2009
  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM    Introduction and Welcome, What’s New in Notes & Domino 8.5, New Administration Features in Domino
11:15 AM – 12:30 PM    Domino Attachment and Object Service, Lab 1: DAOS
12:30 PM –   1:15 PM    Lunch
  1:15 PM –   3:00 PM    Notes/Domino 8.5 Security Update, Lab 2: ID Vault and Shared Login
  3:15 PM –   4:45 PM    What is the Domino Configuration Tuner?, Upgrading to Notes/Domino 8.5
  4:45 PM –   5:00 PM    Wrap-Up
 
Agenda – May 28, 2009
  9:00 AM – 10:15 AM    Notes/Domino 8.5 Mobility Updates, Lab 3: Lotus Notes Traveler
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM    Domino Designer® 8.5, Lab 4: Domino Designer
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM    Lunch
12:30 PM –   2:15 PM    Domino 8.5: Application Development, Lab 5: Composite Application
  2:30 PM –   4:45 PM    Domino 8.5: XPages, Lab 6: XPages
  4:45 PM –   5:00 PM    Wrap-Up
This session is offered free of charge. Complimentary refreshments including continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  However, participants are responsible for their own business travel expenses.
For your convenience, registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 AM.  

Introduction

Presentations and Hands-on Lab Exercises for a 1 or 2 day Proof of Technology, with materials focusing on Notes® End User, Domino® Administration, and Domino Application Development enhancements in version 8.5.  (Please indicate which day or days you will attend in the Special Instructions box when you register.)

Objective

The Notes & Domino 8.5 Upgrade is intended to provide the customer with an in-depth examination of the new capabilities of version 8.5 of the products.  For existing customers, this exploration will help them assess the additional value and potential impact to their existing environment.  For new customers, this exploration will not only give them a hands-on experience with a product new to them but it will also reinforce our advantages over the competition, such as the power of applications.  At the conclusion of the Proof of Technology, the customer will leave with an excitement about the business problems this new version can help solve.

Who Should Attend?

This workshop is targeted for IT Managers, Application Developers, System Administrators and Architects evaluating IBM® Lotus Notes® /Domino. No prerequisite knowledge of Notes or Domino is required; however, it is recommended that participants have an understanding of their business needs and current IT technologies.

Agenda – May 27, 2009

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM    Introduction and Welcome, What’s New in Notes & Domino 8.5, New Administration Features in Domino

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM    Domino Attachment and Object Service, Lab 1: DAOS

12:30 PM –   1:15 PM    Lunch

1:15 PM –   3:00 PM    Notes/Domino 8.5 Security Update, Lab 2: ID Vault and Shared Login

3:15 PM –   4:45 PM    What is the Domino Configuration Tuner?, Upgrading to Notes/Domino 8.5

4:45 PM –   5:00 PM    Wrap-Up

Agenda – May 28, 2009

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM    Notes/Domino 8.5 Mobility Updates, Lab 3: Lotus Notes Traveler

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM    Domino Designer® 8.5, Lab 4: Domino Designer

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM    Lunch

12:30 PM –   2:15 PM    Domino 8.5: Application Development, Lab 5: Composite Application

2:30 PM –   4:45 PM    Domino 8.5: XPages, Lab 6: XPages

4:45 PM –   5:00 PM    Wrap-Up

This session is offered free of charge. Complimentary refreshments including continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  However, participants are responsible for their own business travel expenses.

For your convenience, registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8:30 AM.

Hang up and drive for God’s sake!

That’s it. I’ve officially decided. I’m supporting the initiatives to ban cell phone use while driving. Bluetooth, hands free, hand held or implanted in your skull — I want them all banned. I understand the convenience factor. I understand that we spend so much time in our cars that sometimes it is nearly unavoidable to have to receive or make a phone call while behind the wheel. But for a lot of people talking on the phone has become as much a part of driving as listening to the radio. Every morning I observe people get in their car, start the car, put on their seat belt and start dialing a phone number — and not always in that specific order. I see people pulling out of their subdivision, no more than 100 yards from their driveway, and already dialing a number. I know for a fact that these are not high powered executives trying to place their orders before the stock market opens. Come on! What exactly DO YOU have so important to discuss that it can’t wait until later?

A lot of research is being done on how talking on the cell phone impacts one’s driving ability. I believe that every word of these research is true. Driving and talking, from my personal experience, is worse than driving under the influence. To confirm that just observe driving patterns of vehicles around you. If you’re following a car, you can pretty much tell the moment the driver ahead of you gets on a call: the car slows down, the car start moving with less certainty than before — the overall behavior of the car changes completely the instance that call starts. I myself have had calls while driving where I had no recollection of how I arrived at my destination: I remember leaving the house, I’m in my office’s parking lot, but I don’t remember anything in between other than being on the phone. Freaky and scary, isn’t it? If I had that much to drink to the point of not being fully aware of my surroundings, I wouldn’t be driving. But a phone conversation is perfectly OK as long as I do hands free.

Have we become a nation of multi-taskers who are simply incapable of doing 1 thing at a time? Is piloting 2500 pounds of metal propelling down the highway at speeds unimaginable by average drivers only 30 years ago nowadays considered such a mundane task that our brains are in danger of decaying unless we give them the extra stimulation of a phone conversation? I would believe that, if we had no traffic accidents, but, since car accidents happen roughly every 1 second to the tune of 6 million incidents every year in the USA alone, I contend that we are still a long ways away from being good drivers.

Now, I don’t know how to truly enforce the no-talking-while-driving rule. I think a great deal will depend on drivers themselves recognizing how truly dangerous and irresponsible the whole thing is.

For myself, while I haven’t been able to completely eliminate talking on the phone while driving, I’ve been trying to reduce the overall number and duration of my calls. And if I do have to be on the call, I try to move over to the right and get the hell out of the other drivers’ way.

What do you think?

Know Any Good Web Developers?

The Taproot Foundation in Chicago is looking for good web developers who want to do it pro bono. Talented web developers are hard to find and are in demand. Taproot has some projects staffing right now and would love to meet web developers who may be interested in becoming pro bono consultants with the Taproot Foundation.

I’ve been involved with Taproot for about 1 year now and about to start my 3rd project as a web developer. Working with Taproot has been a rather rewarding, albeit at times frustrating, experience. I’m not going to attempt to advocate volunteering, it’s just a good thing to do. But for a web developer being a pro bono consultant offers a singular experience: as an IT professional, never again will you feel as appreciated as when you deliver the final site to your pro bono client. In addition, you will have an opportunity to hone your existing skills or learn something new. And, of course, you will get to meet all kinds of new people with different backgrounds from different companies around Chicago.

So, if you think being a pro bono consultant is for you, please visit the Taproot website and Create a Profile. 

If you apply by Monday morning 5/11, Taproot may be able to have you come to the next Orientation which is on Wednesday, May 13th at 6pm in downtown Chicago.

If you want to know more about Taproot, just drop me an email or leave a comment to this post.

Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009

The Lotus User Groups of the Mid-West are pleased to announce the Midwest Lotus User Group Conference 2009.  This two-day event will be held on August 27 & 28, 2009 at the IBM Center located in bustling downtown Chicago:  Hyatt Center, 71 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606

The Lotus User Groups from Central Ohio, GRANITE (Chicago), Minnesota, Northeast Ohio, Northeast Wisconsin, Southern Wisconsin and West Michigan have joined forces to bring Lotus Users and Partners an opportunity to learn, network, and socialize with each other.

In an intimate setting, the two days will be packed with opportunities to exchange knowledge and compare experiences with colleagues in the industry.  The event will allow participants to get an inside look at solutions and associated products that make Lotus products the leading collaboration solutions for the enterprise.  An intensive day and a half of learning with technical sessions and workshops will be capped off with fun times as the group has the opportunity to enjoy local Chicago attractions.

“This will be a great opportunity for the Lotus user community to connect and discuss the platform at an in-depth level,” said Richard Moy, President of the Granite Lotus User Group (Chicago).  

“This is a great opportunity for users in the Midwest to attend a premier Lotus user event close to home, and network with a broader segment of the community”, added Barb Skedel, President of Northeast Ohio Lotus User Group.  

Given the popularity of the event, attendance will be limited, so it will be important for participants to make their reservations early.  More details will be available soon. Registration begins on June 1st at http://www.mwlug.com/