How to Ctrl-Break on a Mac

A Lotus Notes user on a Mac for 2 years now, the only thing I miss about Windows is to be able to hit <Ctrl><Break> to stop/break out of whatever Notes is doing. And only now I discover the answer…

<⌘ Command><.>

Can’t believe it took me 2 years and paying attention to an Excel window to discover this.

Why I’m dropping iStat Menus

I love iStat Menus.  I love having all that information — CPU usage, memory usage, network traffic — appear in my status bar.

In version 3 of the product, Bjango is charging for a license.  I’ve been using iStat for almost 2 years now and $16 isn’t much to ask for a good product.  Unfortunately, there’s something wrong with Bjango’s store provider, FastSpring.com.  Everything I do, it doesn’t think that Illinois is a valid billing state.

It is just a little too much work trying to pay $16 for a license.  Sadly, I’m removing a product that I’ve grown to really like.

On getting old

Or is it on getting senile?

The other day I was taking notes during a presentation.  The next word I needed to write began with a ‘b’, a lower case letter ‘b’.  And I froze.  At the moment, I just could not remember how to write a lower case letter ‘b’.

Lucky for me, I found a lower case letter ‘b’ in a word a couple of lines above.  And that got me going.

So is this a sign of old age or an onset of something else?

Quickr J2EE thoughts

The other day I had a chance to take a deeper than usual dive into the J2EE version of Quickr.  Previously, all of my advanced level experience with Quickr was in the Domino realm.  Working with the J2EE version, aside from the obvious interface differences, the difference in the feature set quickly becomes obvious.

In short, the current version of QuickrJ appears to be more powerful in core document management features: versioning, workflow, access control.  But it severely lacks in team room features.  Until the 2 versions — the Domino version and the Java version — of Quickr merge, if you’re looking for pure document management, the J2EE version is the way to go.  But if you’re looking for powerful team rooms, the Domino version is the winner.

In the J version, I liked how versioning can be enabled on standard forms.  By default, it is implicit, but you can make it explicit with a click of a button.  Same applies to workflow.  You don’t have create custom forms to handle versioning.

I loved the whole portlet concept, being able to add various portlets to your pages, much like the Connections interface allows you to add portlets to your community.  But there are odd limitations on the quantity of some portlets that are allowed in a place.  For example, you can have multiple discussion forum portlets, but only 1 library.  I was working on a place that we wanted to break up into multiple document libraries based on a specific area.  In the Domino version, I would’ve created separate rooms for each area.  The Java version didn’t give me this functionality.  I was able to get around this limitation and, after discussing the needs and the options with the business users, came up with a rather elegant solution that satisfied their requirements; but having rooms would’ve been nice.

The Java version also had more features and better interface for some of the admin features.  It’s nice to be able to manage places and delete a place with a click of a button as opposed to go through the insane steps required by the Domino version.  The administration side of QuickrJ is clearly based on that of Websphere and is much more powerful.  It feels like a real administration interface, specially when compared to the Domino version, which always felt, well, a bit childish to me.

The annoying thing about QuickrJ is how very context sensitive some of the management and customization links are: you have to follow very specific steps to get to some of the links. For example, clicking on View Members lets you do just that — VIEW members. There’s no way to add new members from that page.  You have to go through a completely different and somewhat obscure set of links to get to the page that allows you to manage members.

I know that the next release of Quickr is bringing these 2 versions closer together.  I just wish they would’ve become identical in the feature set, so that customers didn’t have to go through a decision process when selecting which version to deploy.