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Archive for March, 2012

Steve Pitcher › The Sametime Contest

March 31st, 2012 Comments off
In order to promote IBM Sametime usage at my company, I started a little contest for the month of March. Here's the details...

I already log all Sametime chats to a directory on our server, so capturing the data isn't an issue. I just need to copy them together using a little CL program. For you Windows folks, that can be accomplished easily by joining them via DOS command like copy * chats.txt. Once you have the big file, just open it in a spreadsheet editor like Symphony and get slicing and dicing the data.

In our contest, each sent message, not individual chat, gets counted as one point. This ensures that people who may be chatting with one person all day long in the same chat window would be counted properly. If I were just tallying up the individual chats, that day long exchange of probably 50 messages would only be counted as 1. Not fair, right? Counting all sent messages is more effective.

I also gave additional points for file transfers. AND, since we only had about 20% of our users with profile pictures, I'm giving extra points for those who have a profile picture by the end of the month. Those with pictures already started the contest with those points in hand.

Being in IT, I had some cool complimentary hardware from a vendor that I used as the grand prize. It's only worth a couple hundred bucks, but it's neat gadgetry that users would like.

In order to be fair, I used Lotus Domino policies to enforce Sametime configuration along with token based single sign-on. Everyone had Sametime ready to go a few weeks ago. Nobody can say they didn't have the software.

How did we do? Well, I'd say it was a resounding success. Our Sametime chat usage went up about 40% this month. People are buzzing about sending files and how effective Sametime is compared to e-mail. I'd also say that we now have about 40% of people with profile pictures too. They really make the virtual business card pop. The biggest success were file transfers. I can say we saved a bunch of disk due to people not emailing data to each other and then having it go to the big archive in the sky forever.

Every now and then you get vendor goodies. If you share the wealth a little and make technology fun, good things will happen. I'm off to tally up the results.


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Steve Pitcher › Quickr Library Downloads – Slooooooooow

March 27th, 2012 Comments off
Well, they were.

I used to have, typically, 50-100 Kbps download speeds from our IBM Quickr server.

I checked everything twice and three times.  I made performance tweaks left and right to no avail.  I had a great conversation with Keith Brooks about it and he pointed me at DNS as a common culprit.  Our DNS server was correct but I began checking the IBM i host table, notes.ini for the Quickr Domino server, the Domino server document, qpconfig.xml...everything appeared clean.

Then I took a closer look at the server document.  The Ports tab, Notes Network Ports tab, Net Address parameter was set to the IP address of our Quickr server.  I changed it to the fully qualified domain name address just for fun.

I saved the server document.  Eureka!  Download speeds were immediately 850-900 Kbps.

Thanks again Keith.





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Steve Pitcher › Thanking a Teacher

March 27th, 2012 Comments off
My soon to be 5-year old son will be starting school this fall.  It's a big step in his life.  Hell, it's a big step in mine too.  We have twin daughters at 19 months and it's amazing to think my son was that small just a few short years ago.

As you get older, the names of all the teachers you had start to get harder to remember.  I've been out of high school for 15 years or so and I really only remember, unless I really think about it, three or four teachers from my senior year.

I'd like to think that if you're lucky, you get maybe one or two teachers from grades 1 through 12 that leave a lasting impression on you as an adult. 

I was in my home town a few years ago and decided to go back to my old high school for a few minutes.  I'm not sure what made me want to go there...most of the time I hated high school.  I didn't like authority and I only really applied myself if I liked the class.  It turns out that a teacher who affected me in a profound way was retiring.  I actually ran into him as he was getting ready to leave.  It was lucky that I managed to run into him...just about all my other teachers had retired already.

He had a fun class.  He would purposefully make up technical sounding garbage and discuss it in class, just to make sure you'd read the text book in advance of a pop quiz.  He was very eager on making us not buy into anything without researching it.  Question the answers you get.  Question authority.  Never take anything for face value.  Think about what you're being told and ask yourself why you are being told it.  What's your gut telling you?

At least, that's what I got from it.  Curriculum aside, that class made you use your head and was the only one I actually looked forward to attending.

I thanked him for the two years of his classes that I attended and told him that his work is appreciated, even many years after.  He looked so appreciative.  Even surprised.  Perhaps teachers don't hear that very often, especially years afterwards.  Actually, I'm not sure if he even remembered who I was. 

We shook hands and I left feeling like it's something I should've thanked him for many years ago.  Maybe it wouldn't have meant as much coming from me when I was 20 or 25.  At 33, after living a little bit of life you see how some of those life lessons helped shape you as a person.  Hopefully when that becomes clear to you it's not too late to say thank you.


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Simply 'i' › Retrieving list of messages and displaying in PHP

March 23rd, 2012 Comments off
We have been looking at how to display the messages generated by our products to allow the user to view them. Generating a list of the messages and the first level text was pretty simple, but we wanted to be able to retrieve the 1st and second level text from the message after it has [...]


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Simply 'i' › New version of iAMP Server available with updated content

March 20th, 2012 Comments off
A new version of iAMP Server is available from Aura Equipments which updates the PHP and MySQL content. See the full details on the Forums using the following Link. Always get the latest versions by using iAMP Server and do not be forced to wait for IBM or Zend updates to get to the latest [...]


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Simply 'i' › iAMP Server and Server Certificates

March 19th, 2012 Comments off
We had been asked by a prospect for iAMP how they should go about configuring and installing SSL Certificates for the iAMP server. They had already found some information about creating and installing the certificates as it pertained to other platforms but not for the IBM i. Here is a link to the information we [...]


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