Friday, August 14, 2015

A friendly reminder about iOS9, Traveler and self-signed certificates on Domino

Hey gang! It's your old pal Andy here with a friendly reminder on the 12th anniversary of the old House O' Blog.  If you have a IBM Traveler server running and you are using a self-signed certificate on the Domino portion of the server, you better make sure you fix that before iOS9 launches!  
One of the features that iOS9 offers is that if you make an HTTPS call to a server, any server, and the certificate of that server is not signed by a trusted authority the connection will fail.  I verified that today when I upgraded one of my test devices to beta iOS9 and validated my assumption.  
But if you're like me and have had issues with getting certs to work in Domino in the past, you might be a little gun-shy about getting a signed cert, especially one that really protects you with SHA-2 protection, fear not!  The lovely and awesome Gab Davis has put together an awesome step-by-step how to on creating that very protective cert and you can find the instructions right here!  So don't wait around too long.  It's likely iOS9 will be officially announced at Apple's September 9th love fest.  Now go, get to cert-ing!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Birthday Edicts - Obey!!! (Updated!)

(Two years ago, I wrote this blog post as I was feeling reflective on my life. I have updated it with a few new things)
So today I celebrate the 46th anniversary of my birth.  Still am amazed I made it this far.  But with the love of a good women at your side, two wonderful kids and two ornery Beagles, it's not all that hard.  
But this morning after I awoke, I had a revelation.  One day, the birthdays for me will end.  Okay, I'm not saying that to be morbid, so stick with me here.  But yes, one day I will slip loose from this mortal coil and no longer be "here".  Okay, a little heavy, yes.  So that has led me to come up with my "Birthday Edicts" for you all to obey here-forth.  So here we go.

1.  From here on out, it is expected of you and deemed necessary that you spend at least some part of your day, every day, doing something creative.  Something.  Anything.  Be creative with your creativeness.
  • Take a picture with your cell phone
  • Take a picture with your camera
  • Draw a picture
  • Color a picture
  • Mold something out of clay
  • Play in the sand
  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Pretend you know how to play an instrument and play anyway
  • Write a poem
  • Write a book
  • Sing with your kids
  • Tell jokes
I'm convinced that the world is lacking creative thinking.  Creative thinking sparks ideas.  Many a time when I'm either taking or working on my photography, I spend that time thinking, praying, opening my mind to possibilities.  It's easy.  I think if more people spent time doing that the world would be a much better place. 
2.  My second edict is simple.  Love.  Love those in your life.  Don't be afraid to show it either.
3.  Dream big. Always.  Dreaming big never hurts anyone.  It's free.  It's what led me back to doing photography.  It's what's driving the notion of the business called Andy Donaldson Photography.  Share that with your kids, too.  And if you are having problems with dreaming big, ask a kid for help.  They are good at it.
4.  GO WATCH A SUNSET OVER OPEN WATER, like a Great Lake or an ocean.  And if you're lucky, you'll do it when the moon is hanging over the water and casting it's light across it.  A true bonus is if there is another bright object hanging low in the sky like a planet and you can see the light from that shimmering across the water.  This past week I saw that and it was breathtaking.  You really should experience it.
5.  In case you didn't get it with #2, I will repeat it here.  Love those in your life.

We are only on this rock for some many revolutions. Some are here longer, some are here shorter.  In the grand scheme of things it is just a flash.  Stop screwing it up fellow humans.  Make it worth something for yourself and for those around you.  Stop getting caught up in the latest arguments on social media.  Just life and make the lives or those around you better!
So there.  If you follow at least one of my edicts, then consider that your birthday gift to me and I will be appreciative.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Issues with IBM Verse (Traveler) App

Feels a little weird being in here. Haven't blogged in a while.  Smells kind of musty. Better open a window.
There. That's better.
Hey kids, Andy here with a brand new blog update.  Seems that last week our pals over at IBM decided that the Traveler app for Android devices needed a new coat of paint and a shiny new name.  Yup, they went ahead and called the latest update to the app Verse (insert heavenly angelic chorus here).  That's all fine and good, but, soon after the update hit Google Play, people started hitting our Help Desk with issues that when they go to set up Verse, (insert heavenly angelic chorus here), and follow through the steps to put in their server information and credentials, they are given a white screen and nothing happens.  No mail synce, no Verse, (insert heavenly angelic chorus here), home screen....nothing.
We did find that if they remove the Verse, (insert heavenly angelic chorus here), app, install an older version of the Traveler app for the Android and configure that, they are able to connect.  We also saw that if the user had already had Traveler on their Android and updated to Verse, (insert heavenly angelic chorus here), then that worked just fine to. It was only fresh new installs that were having the problem of the white screen of death!  I reached out to IBM today and opened an ESR about it.  I heard back rather quickly that they are aware of the issue and sent me a link to a beta download of Verse, (it's old, not doing that anymore), and the new beta version was able to install on a fresh Android without any problems.  
Not sure if anyone else has seen this or not, but wanted to share because along with the Verse issues, we've also seen numerous issues with Samsung Verizon devices getting all boned up after a software upgrade from Verizon and we thought that the two issues were related.  For now our work around includes having the user completely remove the Verse app, emailing the old Traveler apk to their GMail account and having them set that up, then do the upgrade to Verse if they want.  The version of the troubled Verse client that we are seeing this on is
IBM Verse version
I am waiting to hear back from IBM on when they are going to release the updated Verse app to the Google Play store and have not yet heard back.

Well, that's it for now. Back to other things.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The horrors of migrating to Domino when Single Item Recovery is in use on Exchange

Here's a new one for ya, true believers.
The past couple of weeks I have been involved with migrating email users from a recent acquisition my company made to Domino from Exchange.  This is a process I have done many times in the past and when using CMT from Binary Tree, it's a very straight forward but drawn out task. However, this time posed a bigger challenge. One that I have never encountered before.  And it was a pain.
Like migrations in the past, I've relied on someone who understands the dark arts of Exchange to supply me with a .PST copy of the mail files for each of the users.  This migration was no different and I had a support person on site do that for me.  But after migration was done, I was getting a lot of reports that peoples calendars were all buggered up.  Upon investigation, I looked at a users Notes calendar and saw something similar to this:

Ya.  That doesn't look right, does it?
But when I opened their .PST file in Outlook, those repeating calendar items were only in there once.  I also noticed that in the .PST files, there were also folders called "Recoverable Items".  Have never seen that before in my migrations, it was off to the interwebs!  After consulting Google, I found the answer.  The Exchange server was set up to use Single Item Recovery, (you can read more about it here. The more you know!).  In Exchange, Single Item Recovery is a function that allows users to delete and edit things in their mail file while keeping a copy of everything they do tucked away in a "dumpster".  As what normally happens with calendar entries, there were a lot of edits to those repeating meetings, so when the onsite tech person did a standard migration to a .PST it included all of the "dumpster" data with it.  When CMT opened the .PST and started the migration tasks, it saw the information in those Recoverable Items folders and acted upon it like any other data, hence all of the deleted emails and calendar entries were merged into the Domino mail file and caused a mess.  Harrumph.
Luckily, CMT has a great function that keeps track of all the migrated items and will remove them from Domino if needed.  I had to go through and do that for all those users.  I then posed the question to Binary Tree if there was some way to do the migration without migrating anything in the Recoverable Items folders but was told that it can't.  CMT will do anything in the .PST.
So after some more Googling, the team found the the magic key.  The .PST's needed to be generated with the following Powershell command.

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox UserName -ExcludeDumpster:$True -FilePath \\filelocation\UserName.pst

Once my onsite person migrated the Exchange data to new .PST files, they now didn't contain that "dumpster" data and were then migrated into Domino just fine.  Whew.  
So if there is ever an instance in my future where I have to migrate a .PST to Domino, the first question I'm going to ask is is Single Item Recovery is in use.  And if there is ever an instance where you have to do a migration, never overlook this either.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

(And now it's time for some rambling thoughts)
Prior to this year, every January for 12 years I have spent a week of my life away from work and the family and traveled to this place.  And in that time spent there, I learned a great many things. I also met a great many people.  Many of which I consider good friends.  These are people from all over the world that normally I would never have met otherwise.  We all come from different backgrounds and and have differences that possibly may have never led us to meet one another.  But here, we all came together, learned, laughed, argued, sang and stayed up too late only to get up early the next morning and do it all over again.  All for a specific brand of software and its related products.  Yes, a piece of computer software brought us together under a common banner, but there was much more to it.  A community sprung up that has always amazed me.  We were social before social was cool. We constantly share information with each other, are always there to have each others back when needed.  It's truly an incredibly unique thing in the software industry.  I often talk to others at work about it and they just don't seem to get it.  That's fine.  I think people just have a hard time thinking that something like this just exist.  But it does.
This year, it was pretty much written in stone that I wasn't going to be able to attend.  But that didn't stop Mat Newman from coming up with a plan to get me there. At least to visit. He executed the plan, members of the community backed that plan and I went.  I'm still amazed at the generosity and awesomeness of everyone involved.  So with little warning I was off for my 13th January trip to Orlando.  But this time, I didn't attend the conference as an attendee, I was there to visit and to take pictures.  I was there for my business, not the "day job".   It was an odd experience to just be there while everything was going on.  I still found my way into a few things however. It was odd being there, being part of it, but still not a part of it.  Walking around following the same paths that I've followed in the years before, but not being able to get into things.  It was liberating in a sense.  While I was there to work for my own business, I didn't have to worry about "the day job" business.  So, I got to sit, talk and fully enjoy the time I had with these people.  Sure, "day job" related topics came up and were discussed, but it was relaxed and not "I have to do this for my overlords!"
I will always cherish this trip over all the others before for these reasons.

  • Having a message on my phone when I got off the plane from Devin making sure I had a place to stay.
  • Rooming with a handsy Australian.
  • Taking pictures of many people.
  • Sitting and just talking with people, (Carl, Andrew, Alan, John, Kathy, many others)
  • Being "stuck" and extra day thanks to the blizzard.
  • Singing with Ray.
  • Meeting Steve McDonagh
  • Many, many other moments.

The future of a conference held in January in Orlando is uncertain.  My future still holds many changes as well with my role at work.  But again, I'm okay with it.  Change is good, needed and unavoidable.
So if this was my last trip along the yellow fantastic, I won't cry because it's over.  I'm going to smile because for 13 years straight, it happened.
Thank you, again, to all those involved, (pictured or not), that had a hand in getting me to Orlando.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Andy's Guide To......

At 2 PM today, this appeared on my Facebook messenger

I won't go into the details here about what the next couple of hours had in store for me, but suffice it to say, a lot of incredible happened.  Yes Virginia, I will be in Orlando this year.  At least for a couple of days.  I won't be attending ConnectED as an attendee, however.  I will be down there to fulfill client request for headshot photos.  Aside from being a Domino Admin at a local Fortune 500 company, I do after all have a photography business.  So now that I'm going to be onsite during the launch of what many, (including myself), feel is the last premier event for individuals of the IBM/Lotus stack, I have a few tips to pass along to make this years event everything that it could be for you.
  1. First, review last years "Andy's Guide to Connect-o-sphere 2014".  Not much has changed on my advice. Lotusphere 2015 has a lot to offer you as an technical professional in the ICS world.  Go, drink from the firehose of knowledge and collaboration!
  2. Second, meet people and make friends.  Connect, (see what I did there), with others in this field.  There are people here that we only see IRL once a year.  Cherish that.  Enjoy that.  Make those connections that can last a lifetime.
  3. Lastly, if this is the last late January event held at the Swan/Dolphin, let's not make this a wake where we beat our chests and wail to the heavens.  Lets go out with a bang!  Let's let the heavens know that we were there.  That something great happened there.  And let's have fun.  Last year I ended my wrap-up blog post with the idea of "See ya'all down the road".  Well, that road lead me back to there.  You NEVER know in this world where the road will take you and sometimes you will just be amazed when it leads someplace great.
So there you have it.  I look forward to seeing as many of you down there that I can.  I'l be around.  Just look for the big guy with the camera around his neck.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Does Traveler have an issue with the Domino Domain?

This blog post is going to serve two purposes.  First, to give a heads up of something I ran into this week.  Secondly, if someone has seen this before, to give me a smack on the back of the head and and tell me that this is a known issue.  So here goes.

This week we were in the process of adding new mobile users onto our MDM system where Traveler is the endpoint for their mobile mail.  Like most other organizations I'm sure, we use groups to secure who can and cannot access the Traveler server.  During setup it was discovered that these users were not in one of the groups that Traveler users are assigned to, so, I added them in.  Since they are all on the same OU, I went into the Domino Directory, located those users, copied them out as a table and pasted it into Excel and then extracted their Domino email address from the column and pasted their addresses into the proper group.  I then saved the group out, replicated to my Domino server, did a show nlcache reset command on the Traveler server and informed the support staff that mail on the mobile device should work now.  After about a half hour, I started hearing reports that they still were not getting mail on the mobile devices.  To troubleshoot, I opened a browser and went to the Traveler server to try and log in with the users name and password.  While I didn't capture the exact error message, it told me that it couldn't access the users mail on their server.  The same message one gets if the users name is not in a security group or listed in the allow field for the Traveler server.  Wasn't making any sense.  I went into the Domino group to double check they were in there and that's when it stood out to me.
Normally are users are added in one at a time, so selecting them off the pick list is a straight forward process. Find them, click Add, click OK, save and close the group.  But like I said, these users were added in by my short cutting the process and pasting in their addresses.  When it pasted, it pasted the username in there with the @Domain at the end like is displayed in the People view of the Domino Directory.
Example: User Name/OrgUnti/Org@Domain
For fun, I removed all of the @Domains at the end of the peoples names, saved the group again, replicated again to the Traveler server, issued another show nlcache reset and after a few minutes attempted to access their Traveler accounts via a browser.  It worked!
So when I had a few minutes after that fun, I tried to see if I could replicate that behavior on my account.  I went to my Traveler test server, added the domain of my organization to my username, saved and closed, did the same steps above and when I tried to access me on the test server, it still worked.  So my only thought is that on initial setup it doesn't like the @Domain listed.
So what say you, Yellowsphere.  You ever see something like this?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Unable to find where I am in Sametime

Had an issue crop up this morning that is worth a share.  For some oddball reason, I noticed that my geographic location was not working in Sametime.  Normally haven't noticed it, but with working from home today I thought it would be nice if someone was looking for me.  I went into the Sametime-Geographic Location section of the Preferences menu and tried to adjust the settings there.  Wouldn't take.  When I looked at the "Show Advanced View" option of the screen, I noticed that The Subnet and MAC Address fields we not populated like they normally would be either.  Time to open a PMR!
The helpful IBM representative gave me the key to finding the information.  When I looked in the Domino Directory-Web-Internet Sites-Web SSO Configuration: LtpaToken document, I noticed that my Sametime Community Server was missing from the list of participating servers.  I added the server name to the list and replicated the Domino Directory over to the Sametime Community server.  I didn't think it would take until I did a reboot of the server.  Wrong.  After about 15 minutes, I got the notification that I was in a new geographic location and I should update that.  Went in, changed the default one to my home location, the Subnet and MAC Address fields were populated as well, saved it out and I was good to go.  
So if you cannot have Sametime tell you where you are, check out this link to help with that.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Andy's Guide to (dis)ConnectED2015!

Every year about this time, I sit down in front of my computer and bang out my guide and tips for making your yearly journey to the holy land of collaborative awesomeness, Lotusphere.  (You can click here to see all of the past years write-ups.)  Well, it used to be called Lotusphere, but over the past couple of years it's had a bit of an identity crisis.  This coming January it has once again had a change of name and is called ConnectED.  Okay, no problem. But this year for the first time since  I started going in 2003, I will not be able to attend.  There are many reasons why, but none of which I will get into here.  It's not from a lack of wanting to, I can assure you of that.  But, I will be dis-ConnectED.  See what I did there. 
Anyways, from what I am reading on the interwebs, this year's conference is going to be like no other held at the end of January in Orlando.  It's going to be a lot different.  It's going to be more technical and back on point to the ICS stack. That's a good thing.  But, it's going to be a whole lot smaller.  Ends Wednesday instead of Thursday.  Only going to be held in the Swan and not both the Swan and Dolphin.  No big Monday morning OGS production like in years past.  More like a user group then the grandiose event we've come to know.  Not even a big trip to a local theme park.
Like others have speculated and I have been thinking for some time, this will probably be the last time we see a January event in Orlando at the Swan and Dolphin.  Times and things change.  But it's been a good run, hasn't it?  I'm not going to beat my chest and cry foul at IBM over this.  A lot of organizations that have attended over the years have moved on, unfortunately, so the numbers are down and can't support the event like in the past.   So this year, there will be no official guide for this. But I will say this.  If you have a chance to go, drink in all the useful and awesome information that's available there.  Make connections with others.  The Yellowverse is such a dynamic group of individuals that have always been willing to help out without question.  It's a great thing.  I think Mrs. Davis put it VERY properly on a comment on her Facebook this week with regards to Lotusphere and it's attendees:
I think the strength in this community was in the love of the product and what it did - not the blind devotion to a brand.
I can't agree with that more.
So, if you're going, enjoy.  I'll be sitting in Ohio watching from afar and will hoist at least one for y'all during the week.
(But if IBM needs an event photographer and is willing to cover travel, food and lodging expenses, you know who to talk to.  Just sayin.)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another one bites the dust.

I've been feeling it coming for a long time now.  
The eventuality that my days as a full time Domino Administrator coming to a close.  I've known for some time at work, (past couple of years), that there has been a lot of conversation about migrating away from the Domino stack.  At first I fought it.  Nobody listened.  Nobody cared.  No help from IBM either.  As far as I'm concerned, they gave up on us as a customer a long time ago. Haven't heard from my rep in months.  So why fight it.  My mantra this past year has been, "100 years from now, ain't nobody going to care about who managed an email system at a Fortune 500 company in Ohio." A couple weeks back I tweeted out:
Getting that "I've backed the wrong horse feeling" a lot today.
That horse has been a Yellow one.  I've realized that if I ever wanted to make a change in scenery with the day job, I would have to move.  Either Cleveland, Pittsburgh or Columbus.  Moving is not something that Denise, the kids or I want to do.  We love where we live.  It was odd a couple weeks later after tweeting that that my boss called me into her office.  I was being given an opportunity at work, I took it.  I'm going to train someone new and make the majority of my time at work be on the network side of things.   Don't know a whole lot about the ins and outs of that but there is more room for growth then in my current position and they are willing to train me.  I've spent so much of my professional career dealing with Notes/Domino and mobile messaging, I haven't invested a lot into other areas of my day job career.  So I figure now is a good time.  I'll still have my hands in plenty of Domino from time to time but, I have something else to focus on that if something drastic were to change at the office, I would be in a better place then the one I'm in now.
Am I sad?
A bit.
Would still love to have 6 numbers appear, then I can say to hell with it all and just do the photography thing. But that is unlikely to happen.
It's been a fun ride in the Yellow Bubble.  Made lots of great friends and relationships over the years that have really made me feel that I was a part of something great.  I doubt I will ever find that with another group of passionate people.  That's what I will miss the most.  Well that and Orlando in January singing "I got you babe".
So, that's it for now.  I haven't posted a whole lot of Notes/Domino stuff on this site for a LONG time.  Will likely be even less now.  May just go back and make this a personal blog.  Doubt it though.  The personal stuff usually lands over on the photo site.  So, if you want to see what I'm up to, follow me on Facebook on my personal page or the business site.
So that's it for now.  Onward and upward.

JUST TO BE CLEAR: I have not been involved in any conversations with others at my place of employment about ANY decisions, etc about strategy.  But in my opinion, the writing is on the wall.  So there is no date/time/whatever set about migrating to anything.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

17 years. 16 an honest man.

Back before the turn of the century, I didn't know what I wanted in the world.  I thought I did and that took me down many roads.  But most of the time, it was roads that others had already paved.  I hadn't made any of my own.  I was at a crossroads in life I felt.  I was on the verge of making a decision to either sticking it out in Ohio, or move back to Michigan and live in my parents basement to start over. I was looking for answers on a direction in life and that's when I decided to look upwards for an answer.  I found a 10 day novena online one day and decided to do that.  My prayer was simple: What am I to do?  With Grandma Crowley's rosary in hand, I set out to find the answers.
Those were the days when the Internet was young, new and exciting. This new idea of online personal ads seemed like an interesting concept, so I gave it a try. What would it hurt if I tried this new option in dating while things get sorted out?  I wasn't looking for anything serious after having been in a couple screwy relationships.  So I did.  I answered an ad for a young women who, as the ad said, lived in Canton, OH.  Canton wasn't that far from where I was living in Kent, so why not.  Well, that young women replied. We got to talking over email and that led to phone calls and eventually to meet.
(Sidenote: She lied. She put Canton on there to be general about her location. She lived much further south. Had she not lied, I probably would have passed).
It was a beautiful Friday night, April 25, 1997, when I made the drive down to New Philadelphia from where I was employed near Cleveland.  At the time the drive seemed like it took forever.  We arranged to meet at the mall near where she lived.  We went to dinner, talked, laughed and pretty much feel for each other that night.  We weren't looking for that but ended up finding it.  An answered prayer.  And Klingons.  There were Klingons at Denny's when we stopped later that night.  They were from the Star Trek convention at the hotel that was across the street. A couple days later, I met Alex for the first time and Denise's mother.  I don't know what was scarier.  When you date a person with a child, your not just dating the person.  You're also dating the child.  Sounds weird I know, but go with me on this.  For most normal people with their head on straight, you have to realize that if the relationship is going to work at all it must work on all levels.  Alex needed to accept me as well.  But, I got to a point in our courtship where I got scared.  Who am I to step in and be an influence on this boys life when I don't have my own crap together?  Was I ready to be a father?  I almost ended it, but, we didn't.  Lots of talk and tears were involved there.  It wasn't too much longer after that when I was leaving to go somewhere when Alex said, "Bye, Dad".  No prompting.  No anyone telling him to say it.  He did it on his own.
Well, the rest as you say is history.  Denise and I were married on Saturday, April 25, 1998.  Alex was my honorary best man.  I asked the Monsignor to do me a favor at the wedding.  When it came to the, "I would like to introduce..." part at the end of the wedding, I asked him to say, "I would now like to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Donaldson and son."  He did.  Alex joined us and we all walked down the isle together.  It was a proud moment for me.  (And more Klingons again!  When we passed that same hotel, there were out and heard the horns honking. I may have even gotten a K'plah!)  Even prouder came later that year when I adopted Alex and he took my name. Then in June of the next year, my little peanut Molly was born.
Since then, it's not always been easy.  Anyone who says they have a perfect relationship is just plain wrong.  Nobody does.  But we try.  We are each others best friend.  We can sit there and make crude jokes to one another and laugh.  Lots and lots of laughter. For 16 years and hopefully for many, many more, she has been my wife.
Denise, you made me the person I have become today.  You've made me want to make myself a better person, husband and father.  You've been my muse for many things. You're the inspiration behind me launching my business.  I can never truly put into words what you, Alex and Molly mean to me.  I just hope that I show it through my actions.
Happy Anniversary, darlin.  I love you.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sametime Video Calls on a MacBook Pro - not happening

Okay, blogosphere, I need your ear for a few minutes.
The overlords here at the day job want to start support Macs.  That's a good thing in my opinion.  IBM has had a Notes client for Mac, (but not an Admin or Dev client), for some time now.  But with rolling out new hardware, we have to make sure everything works of course.  What's not working for me right now,  and is reproducible on another like Mac, is that video calls in Sametime won't work.  
We have nice, shiny new MacBook Pro's with Retina, Late 2013 models.  They have 2.4 GHz i5's with 16 GB of RAM and running the latest 10.9.2 OSX and all OSX fixes applied.  I would LOVE one of these for the photo biz.  I've installed 8.5.3FP6 for the Notes client and have gotten all the latest hot fixes from IBM. The problem is, the iSight camera on the Mac will not work with Sametime.  Sametime doesn't even recognize it.
This is the weird part. Sametime allows me to make video calls to another computer, but where the video of me, the caller, is suppose to be there is just a white box.
The camera works fine in Skype, Facetime and Photo Booth, but it won't fire up with Sametime.  Odd, isn't it.  I've had a PMR open on the issue but we can't seem to get anywhere on that.  So I ask you, dear reader, have you seen something like this before?  I'm hoping someone might read this that knows Mac's better then I do.  Frustration level has set in. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Migrating Traveler to HA Error

Today was the day I made the leap to migrate our production Traveler server from running on the Derby database to an SQL database.  While we are not taking full advantage of HA with multiple servers, I wanted to at least get us migrated to a more robust database.  Having walked through the migration steps at this link in our test environment, I felt pretty confident with the task ahead.  
After the server restarted and Traveler launched, the migration process began.  But not too long after the migration started, I started to see errors like this:
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:28452947 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:28452947 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:28884237 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:28884237 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:28884237 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:28884237 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:29766495 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:29766495 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:29766495 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:29766495 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:14930891 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:14930891 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:14930891 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:14930891 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:27175522 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:27175522 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:27506501 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:27506501 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:28452947 
[2144:00D2-1518] 03/15/2014 07:40:54 AM  Notes Traveler: WARNING USER NAME[migration] GUDEX:28452947 

and lots of them for lots of different users.  Of course this didn't show up when I migrated the test environment and I feared the worst.  I opened a severity 1 PMR with IBM just to be sure.  I quickly heard back from them and was informed that:
For the GUDEX warning, it is just a warning and indicates previous data issues.  Traveler has two database tables (GUD and GUDEX (ex =          
extended)).  If the data is too large to fit in GUD, it gets put in GUDEX.  This warning means that data exists in GUDEX that isn't        
referenced by GUD.  The data is essentially orphaned.  It can't be migrated because there is no GUD reference to it, so it is effectively getting cleaned up/fixed as part of the migration.  The warning is just there in case we need to refer back to it and is part of a general path that could have other warning messages.  But this particular WARNING is not a concern.   
So there you have it.  Nothing to get overly concerned about.  At least as far as I've seen.  Didn't see this error message anywhere else after multiple Google's, so I wanted to share out the info in case someone else comes across it.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My time with the Surface Pro

One change I made this year to the tools I took with to IBM Connect was the computer I carried with me.  This year I was fortunate enough to borrow a 1st generation Windows Surface Pro tablet with keyboard and pen.  I have to say, I have fallen quite smitten for this device.  Not just because it's a new toy to play with but because it is a fully functional laptop and tablet all in one! 
Since the announcement of the iPad several years ago, tablet computing has brought with it the promise of being able to do what you do in the office to these devices that are lightweight and portable.  I bought into that too and did my best to sell it in the organization.  But one thing began to come clear about a year ago.  Yes, you can get your mail, calendar and contact information on there, but when you try to work on Word or Excel, it suddenly becomes obvious that this might not be the tablet you were looking for.  iPads and their Android cousins are GREAT for consuming data.  But producing information on it can be kind of a pain.  Not to mention that if you have an infrastructure that doesn't have a developed tools to connect to the back-end, you have to create them yourself and push those out for people to use.  But companies still appear to be on the bandwagon of dumping capital into development and MDM's to support these tools. Okay, that's fine if that's what you want to do.  So along comes Microsoft and they put out their own tablet.  The Surface.  There are two flavors.  The RT unit is a lower cost and doesn't support Win32 or 64 bit applications or support VPN clients.  It's very reminiscent of Windows CE.  But for what it can do with Office installed, it in my opinion, makes for a GREAT table for a kid that needs to write papers for school and wants to play Angry Birds. 
Then there is the Pro version. 
This is a 100% Intel i5 processor computer.  Able to run all of your corporate desktop applications without having to re-invent the wheel in the process.  For me, the ability to run Notes, Domino Administrator, connect VPN to work and remote into servers, this device is the proverbial bomb in my opinion.  The other HUGE HUGE HUGE draw for me is that I can use my Adobe products on there to work on pictures as well.  The problem with Windows based laptops is the color calibration of the screens.  Macs, (which I still truly want for my photography business), have always excelled with their colors and tones.  The screen on this Surface is just as good as a Mac.  If you look at the pictures I posted to Flickr from Connect, all of them were post processed with the Surface.  I shoot in RAW mode for all my pictures, so most all of them require post-processing to adjust colors, tones, etc.  It can be a processor intensive process.  But this Surface tablet didn't even falter once.  Even with my Notes and Admin clients open, it took the workload and sped right through it.   Okay, the table might not be for everyone.  But here's my pro's and con's run down of this particular device:

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful. i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM.  Not powerful enough to run games I'm sure, but it was plenty for Adobe, Notes and Domino admin as well as Office apps like One Note running in the background
  • Using One Note to take notes during sessions with the pen was PERFECT.  So many times I've taken notes in a notebook and then lost them.  Now I can save them out and keep better track of them.
  • The pen worked REALLY well for note taking and even editing pictures
  • The keyboard/cover that Microsoft has for the device works REALLY well.  Just about as well as my Apple keyboard I have for my old Mac Mini.  
  • Battery life was pretty good with the brightness turned down.
  • Again, having all my regular day in-day out apps available for me to use was GREAT.  This is a regular computer!
  • VPN.  Having to connect back to the office is important on the go.  Remote desktop is still the best way to do it.
Okay, now the Cons:
  • While the pen is good, it can get lost VERY easily.  It connects to the tablet via magnets situated where the power cord plugs into it.  It's not really secure and can fall out easily.  Other tablets have a way of storing the pen inside of it which I think is better.
  • Only one USB port. So if you want to use a mouse, get a blue tooth one.  But you'll also need a USB hub if you want to connect several things
  • Only 128 GB of storage on the device.  You can run out of space fast.
  • Micro SD slot.  While that can extend storage space, if you use a regular SD card like I do in my camera, you'll need to connect the camera with the USB cable, again needing a hub.
  • It's not a full keyboard on this device.  So doing a Ctrl-Break is impossible with the Microsoft keyboard cover.
  • No VGA port to connect to an external monitor.  You have to use a display adapter like on a Mac.
  • Windows 8.1.  Sure Windows-D is used a lot by me.  I hope Microsoft works out some of the issues it has.
  • If you get one, don't get the touch keyboard.  Get the regular keyboard.  The touch keyboard doesn't work all that great and doesn't give you the typing feel that you're used to.
  • You can't always use this like a laptop.  I like to sit on the couch with a laptop on the arm of it.  It might be hard to balance with on your lap or other surfaces like you are used to with a "normal" laptop.
So there you go.  My 2 cents on a device in a market that is highly volatile and evokes much emotions.  If I had the money, I would still get a MacBook Air or Pro for the photo business.  BUT, if I didn't want to wait, I would likely get one of these Surface Pro tablets for about half the cost.  

All good things..... My week at IBM Connect 2014

Photo courtesy of John Roling.

Back home in Ohio after a long week away in Orlando.  This years Connect conference was different on many levels.  For one, a lot of the normal faces that I've come to know over the years were missing.  Another difference was the tone of the conference.  It's no longer just all about us.  This year, the merging of the Connect theme has truly taken over the Lotusphere themes that we were used to.  To be honest, I'm okay with that.  There was still plenty of sessions, plenty of content and in my opinion, was worth the money my company dished out for me to attend.  But the biggest thorn in my side was the mixed message at the beginning of the week.  In years past, the OGS was where we as a Domino community always found out what the future had in store for the product.  This year, we really didn't find out anything.  We were introduced to IBM's Mail Next.  While it's a genius merging of the Connections platform with mail, no mention whatsoever was made that Domino is still part of the technology.  None.  
So when the OGS was over, I was left wondering if this trip was a waste of time or not.  It wasn't until I attended Scott Souder's sessions on what's next with the Domino server platform and the Notes client that we learned that there is STILL a future for both of them.  While some feel that it will be just "dot" releases and fix packs, I took it to be more of a blended strategy with the Mail Next futures.  In my opinion, some mention of that, just a little tidbit of information like that, would have well served everyone had it been mentioned at the OGS.  The message in the end was clear, Domino and Notes are not going anywhere soon and the future for both is really in the cloud.  Cloud first, on premises secondary.  The only other thing I really wanted to take away from the week was the future of the Hawthorne project that was rumored last fall.  The excitement around that project is using ActiveSync technology to connect Outlook 2013 to a Domino server and have full mail capability.  That will be awesome!  I was hoping that it would be ready for Connect, but, IBM is taking a cautioned approach to it.  Which is good.  They don't want to roll this out, have us all run out and start setting it up and then a Tuesday patch be used from Microsoft and kill it in its tracks.  I hope IBM doesn't drop the ball on this.  This has the potential on being a TRUE game changer in my opinion.
As for other aspects of the conference, there were good and bad as always.  The food this year REALLY was lacking.  I mean, boxed lunches for two of the days and cold breakfasts as well?  At least this year there wasn't one time that I had issues with wifi!  They finally got that one figured out!  Another thing that has always been a stickler for me is the placement of IBM employees or other non-paying attendees at the front during the OGS.  Okay, the press needs to be up front, I get that.  Plus the IBM Champions, they have earned that right.  But putting the Kenexa employees right up there?  Come on, people like us that have our companies pay good money to attend want to be up close to the action.  Take care of your paying attendees first IBM.  Actually, the nice women at the door told me to sit where I wanted when the doors open.  The Kenexa folks were told that if they didn't have a seat when the doors opened, too bad.  So we sat in the midst of a group of Kenexa's and enjoyed the show.  It was funny, when Ron Sebastian appeared on the screen and everyone yelled out his name, the Kenexa people looked at each other and wondered why everyone was excited to see him up there.   Biggest beef of the week was the total lack of any session slides being available for download.  I was really looking forward to taking notes using the Windows Tablet I had borrowed from work and annotating the PDF's as I went.  Only one session Thursday had them available.  To me, that was a fail.
This post is titled, "All good things....". I chose that because on Thursday I really wondered if this would be my last trip on the Lotus fantastic.  If it is, I found myself surprisingly being okay with it.  I mean, this trip each year has become a large part of my professional career as well as a personal journey to see people that have become good friends over the years.  There have been rumors about next years conference not containing a technical track.  I've also remembered back to a Lotusphere from the past where they said that the conference will be held at the Dolphin until 2015.  So what does that mean after 2015?  Will they merge the conference further with other IBM events, change the date and location?  Who knows.  But what I do know that over the past 12 times I've been fortunate enough to travel down to Orlando, I've learned much, grown much and made connections that I will always hold on to and cherish.  But like all things, they do have an end.  And if this is it for me, it's been a hell of a lot of fun.  I made sure not to say goodbye to anyone this year.  It was "see ya on down the road."  

Also in case you missed it, here's my pictures from this year.  
Monday - American Authors at the OGS
Tuesday - Fireworks at Hollywood Studios
Wednesday - Out and about and Great Geek Challange
Thursday - Gurupalooza and CGS

So for all those that took time out of their lives to put together technical content to share with the attendees, THANK YOU!  It people like you in this community that keep it going.  I've done a session before at Lotusphere and know how never-racking it can be trying to get that together, practice and have the nerve to get up in front of a bunch of strangers and talk for an hour or two.  You all are amazing and did a great job!  
We'll see what this year has in store for me.  I'm fine with whatever direction it is as long as I stay employeed ;-)
See y'all down the road.