Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A new brewing adventure...

After years and years of brewing and bottling my own beers, I've decided to try my hand at kegging my beer. Bottling my beer is nice, and the beers tend to last longer in the bottle, all the prep work before bottling happens has become a chore. Unboxing the bottles, cleaning the bottles, sanitizing the bottles, bottling the beer, and then capping them takes a lot of time.

Since I had some gift certificates to Northern Brewer, I decided to take the kegging plunge. I bought a used kegging systems, complete with a 5 gallon soda keg, a dual gauge gas regulator, a gas hose, and a beer hose with a picnic type tap.

I've already cleaned the keg and replaced the o-rings, so now all I have to do is fill the keg. Since I made a Black Lager about a year ago, and it's been sitting in my beer fridge in a secondary fermenation state for about 8 months or so, it will be the Black Lager that I will keg.

Since I have the next two days off, I will keg this beer during this time off, and by Saturday or Sunday, it should be ready for consumption, compared to the two weeks it would take if I had bottled it.

I'm a little nervous, but excited about this new adventure in brewing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

If you've never been to Lotusphere, or even if you have, you still need to read this...

Lotusphere '08 was my first Lotusphere event. When I was downloading the internet on everything Lotusphere, I stumbled upon Andy's website, and his annual "Guide to Lotusphere" blog post. Being the newbie I was gonna be at Lotusphere, Andy's blog helped me tremendously. If you're going to be going to Lotusphere for the first time, or not, it's helpful to read his post to let you know what's going on.

Andy's Guide to Lotusphere

Check it out!

Lotus Traveler and Windows Mobile 6.5 - Installation problems...

OK... so I've got this HTC Tilt 2, which has Windows Mobile 6.5 installed on it. I was able to download Lotus Traveler (the bootstrap file and the installer for WM 6.0/6.1 for Pocket PC). Installation goes fine until it tries to connect to the server. I'm getting the following error messages:

"There was an error reading your configuration."


"Parsing error reading the configuration file at line 31, position 3."

and, after a couple of minutes...

"Time out reached while connecting to the network. Please verify that your data network is available and check your network configuration settings."

Now, I have installed Traveler on a WM 6.1 phone (a Treo 750) without fail. I have also installed Traveler on several iPhones, again, without fail.

I've read on some message boards that people have installed Traveler on WM 6.5 devices, but once they get it installed, they don't come back to explain what they've done to get it installed. I'd really like to get Traveler on this phone, but it's looking like I'm going to have reinstall Good Mobile Messaging so this salesperson can get his emails, until I can get this little issue figured out.

Lotusphere can't some soon enough!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lotus Traveler, Windows Mobile Devices, and the Corporate Directory

OK, so I may be late to the "Did you know what Traveler can and can't do" posts, but I found out something about Lotus Traveler, Windows Mobile Devices, and the Corporate Directory.

First, let me state that I do know that the corporate directory (or company address book, as I like to call it) is not sync'd to Windows Mobile (WM) devices, and that the iPhone can do lookups.

Secondly, I know that in order for me to send someone within my company an email with my WM phone, I am supposed to have them in my personal address book (PAB).

Well, I attempted something on my own. I wanted to see what would happen if I were to enter someone's name from my company, but not in my PAB, into the TO: field, and send the email anyway.

Guess what? It worked. Of course, I have to make sure that I spell the name correctly, but it did work.

Just to make sure I'm making myself clear, follow along with me:

1. Joe Smith is an employee with a Lotus Notes account, within my company.
2. I do not have Joe Smith in my PAB
3. I compose and email to Joe Smith with my WM phone
4. I enter "joe smith" (no quotes) in the TO: field
5. Finish the email and send it
6. Joe Smith receives the email and can reply to it

So, while Lotus Traveler on WM devices don't do a lookup ON THE PHONE, it does appear to do a lookup once the email is sent on it's way.

Should would be nice to get this lookup down at the device level for WM devices.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A month with the iPhone and Lotus Traveler

OK, so I've given up my Windows Mobile phone and have acquired a 32GB iPhone 3GS (it's good the be the adminstrator) and installed Lotus Traveler on the iPhone.

Now, while I am a Domino Administrator, I am not a heavy Notes users. I get my fair share of emails, and send a few emails here and there. I have to say, using Traveler on the iPhone is an absolute joy, especially after using Traveler on the Windows Mobile phone.

To back up a bit, we've been a Good Mobile Messenger user for the last two years. While Good served its purpose, I felt it was time to move on. After upgrading our Domino server to 8.5.1, I also installed Traveler 8.5.1 on the same server that Good is running on (no problems running both on the same server thus far, knock on wood.)

I installed Traveler on my WM AT&T Tilt phone, after uninstalling Good on the phone. While I liked the UI with Good, Traveler was just OK. Traveler on the iPhone is absolutely awesome. Of course, I don't really have another iPhone app to compare Traveler to, when it comes to Notes, as Good doesn't support the iPhone as of this writing. I hear they are working on an app for that.

I now have three other people using the iPhone with Traveler. So far, I have had no complaints about it's functionality, or that they can't do this or that, like they could with Good. I will slowly begin migrating people from the WM phones to the iPhone, as contracts come close to the end, or phones give up the ghost, which ever comes first. I have let my smartphone people know that I will not tolerate abusing their WM phones, in an attempt to get an iPhone sooner than they would like. I still have a few Palm Treo 750's that still work, and have threatened to replace their "broken" phone with a Treo until their contact period is up.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Upgrading Domino to 8.5.1 - Process Complete

WOW! That was really easy...

OK... so I know, now, that I could have done this all by myself, and didn't need to bring in someone to help me with this. The only reason I did, is because, as is usually the case, when I attempt an upgrade by myself, something inevitably goes wrong, and I have to call someone (usually a consultant), and wait for them to call me back. Sometimes the call back is quick, sometimes it's two or three hours after the initial call. Of course, when I spend the money to have someone come in and "spin the disks", nothing goes wrong and everything comes out hunky dory, like it did yesterday.

Both our Domino servers are running 8.5.1, including our Good Mobile Messaging server. We were also able to install Lotus Traveler 8.5.1 on the same server as Good, and there were no knocking of heads between the two. Now we just have to wait to get some DNS and an SSL certificate issues taken care of before I can start testing Traveler on my phones (an AT&T (HTC) Tilt and a iPhone.) Speaking of the iPhone, I ordered it last Tuesday and was told that there was a 5-7 day backorder on the phone. On Wednesday (yes, the day after I ordered it), I received the phone... go figure.

All of our third party apps are working fine. All of our 6.5.4 and 7.0.3 clients are working fine. We installed the basic client on Citrix and that is working fine... of course, I am the only one running a mail database at 8.5.1 right now. I figured I would learn all I can about the standard and basic clients before rolling them out to the user community, so I'd be able to handle any and all questions. I'm guessing I'll start to roll out the clients sometime in early December.

All in all, I am very happy that the upgrade went well, everything is working, as expected, and there are no issues at the present time.

I will say that the two guys I had come up to help, Todd Stratman and Michael Weber, both from Teamwork Solutions, were very knowledgeable and very helpful. I couldn't have asked for two better people to help me out with this upgrade, even though it was easy money for them. I'm sure they were thinking "why are we here?", because it was so uneventful, but I was glad they were here.

I couldn't have asked for a better Monday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Upgrading Domino to 8.5.1 - This Weekend

Well, it's finally going to happen. With the help of Teamwork Solutions, I'm going to get our primary Domino server upgraded from 7.0.3 to 8.5.1. We're also going to upgrade our Good Mobile Messaging server to 8.5.1, and attempt to install Lotus Traveler on the same server as Good. If that doesn't work, I've got a temporary server to install Traveler on.

I'm excited about the weekend. I'm excited about seeing 8.5.1 up close and personal. I'm excited about the possibilities of using Traveler and kicking Good to the curb. It's not that Good is a bad product, it's worked well for us over the last couple of years. It's just that Good is slow getting compatibility for the new phones, including the iPhone.

Speaking of the iPhone, I ordered one yesterday, for testing with Traveler. Of course, the phone is on backorder, so chances are, I won't get the phone before the weekend, which is unfortunate. Since I've not really seen an iPhone up close, other than someone showing me their phone (and not letting me touch it), I have no idea what to expect. I have a lot of questions, and I guess I'll have to wait until I get the phone to have my questions answered.

While I don't like working weekends, I am looking forward to working this weekend. I'm as giddy as a kid at Christmas.