Monthly Archives: March 2009

Lotus product merchandise – The Lotus Stuff Store

I was recently asked to obtain some Lotus product-related merchandise for some giveaways at a technology fair and subsequent presentations.  I checked out the IBM Logo Merchandise Store website and was disappointed to find no specific items with Lotus family product names.  Every thing was either IBM logo related or featured the Lotus Software logo only.  I was looking for items that said “Lotus Notes” or “Lotus Domino” at least.  I do remember previous Lotuspheres where specific product lines – like Sametime and Quickplace (Quikr) – either had giveaways or items for sale.  I have a fanny pack with the old Sametime logo, and I’ve been asked at recent Lotuspheres – “where did you get that?”  Many of us who work with Lotus products would like something more than a coffee mug that says IBM to take back to the office to share with staff members or customers.  Would it be possible to feature some product branded items at the IBM Logo Merchandise Store, and most certainly at Lotusphere?  And oh don’t forget to add the yellow boxing gloves to the list!

When a user says something takes "forever" what does that mean?

This is my “mini” rant for the week.  For those of us who provide user support, how often do we get the email or call from a user that says “this x process is taking FOREVER.”  As we know – Notes is NOT (unfortunately ) a network operating system, a disk operating system, or a workstation operating system, and somehow cannot always be responsible for perceived slowness.  And what does a user mean by “forever”?  Does that refer to 30 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 seconds or 1 nanosecond?   And how do you as a support person keep your wits about you when you realize that they didn’t have their PC plugged into the network, or that their inbox contained 40,000 documents, or that the server had crashed during the “forever” bit, or that they were using a dial up connection, or that they were attempting to send 200 Mb WAV files to 300 of their best friends? 

I like to blame some of the time perception on the microwave and the internet.  I am old enough to remember the BEFORE time when neither existed (yes you youngins out there –  there was a time when you had to boil water on the stove top and there was no Google).  And when you researched a technical problem you had to wait for the vendor to provide a manual (usually 30 2-inch ring binders of material).  And a whole meal could not be prepared in less than 5 minutes!  So I think our perception of time in general has become skewed.

I will admit that I too have a short attention span when it comes to resolving server issues.  I want a server task to shutdown IMMEDIATELY when I say quit!  And that a compact on a 5 GB database should take less than a minute, and that ALL server restarts should take under two minutes!  Silly me!  But I do realize that that is not always the case, and that words like “slow” and “forever” should be replaced with “challenged”, “teetering”, “crawling” or some other descriptor that does not indicate that you will be chained to the desk viewing a blank screen for the rest of eternity!  So if you have any favorites – please share!

A little gotcha with SmartUpgrade and Policies

If you are planning to use the SmartUpgrade process and Policies to assign a SmartUpgrade Desktop policy, note that with 8.5 when clients are at 8.0.1 or higher you can assign the user or groups directly to the Policy settings document from the People & Groups Tab in the Admin client.  However, if you are in a mixed environment where your servers may not all be at 8.5 or clients are not at 8.0.1, you will need to assign the policy to the Person document for users and groups, in order for the SmartUpgrade process to recognize that individual users or group members require an upgrade.