Switching keyboards

March 11th, 2010 No comments

Just reading Andy Ihnatko’s post about his beloved DiNovo Keyboard for the Mac from Logitech. It got me to thinking about my keyboard, the MS Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 (sounds like something out of a cartoon when I write that out, but that’s the official product name). I’ve had it for a few months now, but it’s been driving me nuts. Seems like I’m constantly retyping things, entering bad passwords, etc.

So, I switched back to my trusty old Natural Keyboard Elite. I have to get used to how the keys are grouped now, but that’s not much. I can already tell the key travel is better, I don’t have to worry about whether or not the function keys are on, and I never used all the media keys across the top anyway.

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Just call me the UC guy

March 6th, 2010 No comments

My boss (OK, former boss – they hired someone out of our group to be our manager, so I don’t report directly to him anymore) asked me a while back to look at what Unified Communications would look like at our company. Currently I’m looking at solutions based on technologies from Cisco, Microsoft, IBM and Siemens, since we have significant investments in all four of those company’s technologies.

I’m leaning toward Microsoft, simply because we already have all the client access licenses we’ll need, and Communicator is already on everyone’s desktop. We need to link up the Siemens PBX with Exchange for Unified Messaging, and possibly bring up a couple of more Communicator servers (and a CWA server as well) to round things out.

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Uploaded all the old WordPress entries

March 6th, 2010 No comments

When I had a server colocated at Fibercloud in Bellingham, I had a WP blog there as well with some good stuff in it. I’ve managed to export that and import it here. Server is still running in my garage (Fibercloud was good, but I was on a free colocation plan I won with the server, and it ran out, leaving me the choice of pulling the server or pay $200/month to continue), and I’m considering shopping around for a small wall-mount rack to put the server on, as well as having Verizon come out and install another outlet in the garage so I can move the routers down there as well, and plug the server in. Currently it’s not on the LAN.

That’s for another day, though.

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SharePoint – Slow File Downloads

February 10th, 2010 2 comments

Starting to really tackle the issue at work of slow file downloads from SharePoint. Folks at work don’t notice it much, since we’re all local on the wire, but people in Europe are complaining. Based on talks with network and other folks, there’s probably not a lot in Sharepoint we can do about it. There’s plenty of blog entries and advice on optimizing the local network, optimizing the Sharepoint architecture, and optimizing the database.

We’ve done most of this, though I need to go through the exercise of splitting some of my site collections out of the main content database. That will at least provide us some room to grow.

Other than that, we’re going to have our network folks look at the WAN optimization hardware from Riverbed that will help not only Sharepoint, but a lot of other work that will be accessed by people in Europe.

Update: Finally getting some numbers back from the European folks, and they are all over the map. Mostly they do show that downloads from SharePoint are about as slow (or fast) as those from a file server.

Networking is trialing a couple of Riverbed Steelhead devices, WAN accelerators, on both sides the pond to see if that helps. They should be online in a few days.

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Consider the preacher

February 10th, 2010 1 comment

My Vicar has asked me to preach sometime shortly after Easter, to get back in the saddle, so to speak. I haven’t had the opportunity to preach since before we left All Saints, but it’s time to get back in to it.

After Easter is the great Season of Easter, with the readings following along pretty consistenly in Acts, Revelations and (this year) the Gospel of John. Leaning toward the second Sunday in Easter right now (Gospel is from John on Doubting Thomas). Part of the point of all this is to get me licensed as a preacher in the Diocese of Olympia.

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Aaaand we’re back

February 8th, 2010 No comments

Trying it once again with the blog. I have a feeling this is going to be an ongoing love/hate relationship with blogging.

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Learning XPages

March 5th, 2009 No comments

Since there’s no book out yet, and you can’t find more than a scant article or two on the subject, Declan Lynch’s excellent series on Learning XPages is a great start. Take a look at the table of contents, or just dive right in with part one on objectives.

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Crazy with the iPhone apps

March 4th, 2009 3 comments

I’ve gone a little nuts with the iPhone apps lately adding:

Toodledo – I’ve been looking for a while for a cheap, effective way to get tasks on my iPhone, that being the big productivity gap on that device. Plenty of good apps to do this, but I needed one that would 1) sync with Outlook/Exchange and 2) support categorization so I could give the Getting Things Done methodology a try.

While the app does not natively do that first thing, it does do the second. To do the first, I’m using a third-party free tool that syncs your Outlook tasks with Toodledo and makes them available to the Toodledo iPhone app.

I’m not sure I’m going to stick with this as the app has presented some issues, like getting things out of sync, tasks disappear because they’re marked as completed. I can easily recover from these things, but it’s still a little bothersome.

Watchmen – Promo tool for the movie. Kind of fun.

Kindle – Just released early today, let’s you download Kindle books, magazines, etc., to your iPhone. You still need to buy content at the Kindle Store.

iDracula – Fun game, and on sale for $0.99. I found out about this from the great twitter feed that follows all the price drops on iTunes.

New York Times – Just a quick way to get the Times headlines. Yes, I could go to the web site with Safari on the iPhone, just like they showed in the first iPhone ads, but this is a lot easier to read.

TV.com – A great first start at streaming TV shows to your iPhone. A bit rough, and the content is pretty sparse (mostly clips), but it has potential.

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Trying to update this blog

February 26th, 2009 1 comment

Whenever I log in here now, I get that little flag saying that WordPress 2.7.1 is out now and I really should upgrade. However, it hasn’t been that easy.

Sure, I could take the usual way out – download the code, upload it the server, unzip it and follow the update instructions. However, with 2.7 there’s this spiffy little auto-update button. Seems straightforward – fire up the FTP server, give the UI my FTP credentials, and away we go. Just ran in to some problems:

  1. Port 21 was closed. Solved by updating the firewall setting.
  2. Set up my credentials correctly in FTP. By default, FTP allows anonymous access and keeps you penned in to your home directory. Anonymous access is now off, and my username can access any directory vi FTP that it’s normally allowed to in the OS.
  3. Still no go, getting an error about php-zlib being wrong. Well, turns out it wasn’t installed at all. Fired up the software updater to update php itself, and install php-zlib.
  4. Now I get a different error, pretty generic – can’t unpack the software.

What I’ve found through this is that the auto-update feature is almost completely undocumented. It just assumes that you have FTP up and running, it’s listening on port 21, and that you have the right credentials to update the WP directory. I think I’m running in to permissions issues, but I have no idea where.

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Domino 8.5 installed

February 10th, 2009 No comments

I just installed Domino 8.5 gold on my server running OpenSuse 10.3 with the latest updates. No real issues, though the server suddenly stopped when I had it running in -listen mode for setup. Other than that, it’s been chugging along.

Installed the TaskJam application from Elguji. Works great, but I may have to find some way to write a web interface for it for my handheld (iPhone).

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