Natalie is a ZDNet staff writer based in Louisville, Kentucky.

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"Hannover" at Admin2006 and DNUG

TheView's Admin2006 is a littleover a month away, and I'm way behind in getting my presentation done. The session is called, "Lotus Notes 'Hannover' -- What It MeansTo You".  Given the weight of the topic, there's a need for theright focus make sure the presentation hits the mark.The great news is that I've recruited Mary Beth Raven, one of the leadUI gurus on the "Hannover" project, to co-present the sessionat Admin2006.  Mary Beth will be doing a session at the DNUG/IBMLotus Technical Forum on "Hannover"UI improvements... the Admin2006 session will contain a subset of thatpresentation.  In both cases, attendees will get to see the latestlive Notes "Hannover" code, and talk directly with the womanwho is on a personal mission to make "Hannover" the best collaborationclient in the industry. The Notes "Hannover" team has an incredible focus on user interface.Hope you'll be at these sessions to see, hear, and discuss the latest andgreatest in the plan for the next release of Notes.

April 6, 2006 by Ed Brill

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Eighty-five percent

Despite globalization, there are alwayslocally produced specialties to check out during my travels.  Unsurprisingly,one of my purchases last week while in Zürich was an assortment of Swisschocolate, purchased in the basement market of the Globus department store. One of the things that intrigued me was the dazzling array of cocoaintensity available.  I do like dark chocolate and thus, defaultingto the childhood notion that a bigger number is better, bought a barof the Lindt Excellence 85% cacao chocolate. Though that link is to Lindt USA, I've never seen the 85% versionhere.The verdict?  Sometimes you canhave too much of a good thing.  It's like eating raw cocoa powder. The 70%version was much better.A few weeks prior, one of my main purchasescoming out of the Nordic countries was several packages of local smokedsalmon.  One of my favorite bring-backs from Europe.I'm going to Asia in two weeks, andthe last stop is Kuala Lumpur.  While I'm always on the lookout fordecorative Asiana, I know my last stop there will be the famous night market.

April 5, 2006 by Ed Brill

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eWeek Biz Bytes: The Absurd Crackdown on Free Internet Services

Dan Briody comments on an article in theWall Street Journal discussing companies which ban public communicationservices:I'm not going to argue that these technologiesare often used for personal reasons. They are. But so are phones, and e-mail,and water coolers, and bathrooms. And they do come in handy. Instant messagingis a far quicker way to communicate than e-mail. Personal Web e-mail accountsare great backups for corporate server outages. And any company that'snot looking hard at switching their entire telecommunications system overto the IP network is already behind the game. Bandwidth concerns? Please.Within 10 years every piece of business communication will be running throughthe IP network.Now what's the technology direction forbathrooms and water coolers? On the other hand, perhaps the reason some of the companies mentioned havelocked up public communication services is that they have business-qualityproducts deployed or in plan, and are going to use enterprise connectionslike those in the new Sametime 7.5 to manage the connectivity for theirenterprise. Still, I think open and available is the way to go.  I really appreciatethat IBM acknowledges that some personal use of corporate resources isbound to happen, and not to make us punch codes into the copier/FAX touse it, not to block eddiebauer.com, and not to turn off ports for AOL/Skypeetc. Link: eWeekBiz Bytes: The Absurd Crackdown on Free Internet Services> (Thanks, boss)

April 5, 2006 by Ed Brill

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Sametime 7.5: Screen sharing plug-in

Once again, my colleague Paul Culpepperassists on demonstrating a cool Sametime 7.5 feature.  Here, withoutthe need to launch a full e-meeting, Paul does some screen sharing withme.. ----------------------------------------------------and if I want to continue by sharing something with Paul, I can:---------------------------------------------------------------------------and I can even give Paul edit/navigation control of the shared application.Way cool!

April 5, 2006 by Ed Brill

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New York Times: I.M. Generation Is Changing the Way Business Talks

As I've been saying, voicemail is dead. Sun's Tim Bray even says internal e-mail is dead (I don't agree atall -- not in a global company where people are asychronously available...doesTim not sleep?).  Still, instant messaging is taking over.Nowa generation of office workers who grew up with instant messaging has gainedcontrol. They have made I.M. the new black, the latest trend in informationtechnology. Along the way, they have changed how the corporate world conversesand have built a series of new communication applications. Hmm,I thought Yellow was the new black...The article includes coverage of LotusSametime customers such as Intellicare:"One of ournurses answers the phone when you call your doctor in the middle of thenight, and 97 percent of our nurses work from home," said Jeff Forbes,chief information officer. "The nurse can fire off an I.M. to an expertand get a response back without having to interrupt your call." Inconclusion, the Times says it, too:[C]orporations arebuilding new applications on top of instant messaging, taking advantageof the fact that private I.M. networks are insulated from the outside world.The process is reminiscent of when corporate intranets were first built,in the mid-1990's. These private areas on the Web were created as applicationson top of the Web protocols. All of which means the end could benear for business voice mail, as more and more companies adopt instantmessaging.I'm coming thisclose to changing my IBM voicemailgreeting to say "don't bother leaving me a message here, I only checkit once a week.  Need me?  E-mail, IM, or call my mobile."Link: NewYork Times: I.M. Generation Is Changing the Way Business Talks>

April 5, 2006 by Ed Brill

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Congratulations and welcome, Steve Castledine

Congratulations and welcome to SteveCastledine, the newest member of the Lotus development organisation! I've known Steve for the last three years, ever since he launchedhis Dominoblogtemplate, which I've used for edbrill.com since Steve first shipped.  He'sa passionate and skilled developer, and I'm pleased to have his talentson our team. In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to watch how Steve and histemplate are integrated into upcoming Notes/Domino work.  I'm surehe has some bright ideas for the future. There's something else interesting about Steve joining the Notes/Dominoteam.  Steve's resume/CV is obvious to anyone looking at the proliferationof Dominoblog sites.  Here we have quality work being leveraged throughoutthe community (whether published on someone's own site or somplace likeOpenNTF.org),which leads to someone being hired on for future Notes work (and not justby IBM!).  I know it's not a new concept to say that one's onlinepresence is part of their resume/CV, but for many people in the Notes/Dominocommunity, their work speaks for itself.  I recently offered to bea reference for someone whose "professional" work I've neverseen, simply because their community work has been outstanding. I wasn't really involved in the process that lead to Steve's good news,but I am very pleased with the outcome.  The Notes/Domino developmentteam has hundreds of incredibly skilled and innovative professionals...andnow has one more.  Oh and Steve -- keep blogging.  I think thecommunity will be quite interested to see how your new role plays out inthe months ahead.

April 3, 2006 by Ed Brill

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Availablogging

Last week, when once of my customer meetingsfor this trip fell through, I bloggedabout having a free day in Europein an effort to maximize this trip.  Now as I rush back home, I thinkthis "availablogging" was a good idea and something I need todo more often. As a result of the blog entry, meeting offers to utilize my Wednesday camein from Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Switzerland. Some came from customers, some came from partners, and interestingly,some came from IBMers.  I say "interestingly" because Ihad also communicated this one-day availability through "normal channels"to my Lotus colleagues, but I reached as many IBMers through the blog asI did through the normal routine.  The "normal channel"offers came from Spain, France, and Romania.  All in all, there'sa lot going on with Notes in Europe -- some new opportunities, some defense,and some happy customers upgrading along. So, to those I couldn't get to this time -- I'm going to be back in Europein six weeks for the DNUG/IBMLotus Technical Forum, myfourth European trip so far this year.  I know a  number of customerswill be at the event itself, but I'm also going to try to work in an extraday or two for other visits.  And if things can't wait six weeks,there are other top-notch IBMers available in-region to assist.  Ihope I've referred all of the availablogging requests to one of the regionalNotes business or technical leaders -- if something was missed, pleaselet me know. As for the rest of the trip, one more meeting fell through, but at thatpoint it was too late to use the time for anything other than a quick tripinto central Zürich (and, of course, some Notes/e-mail time).  Yesterdayafternoon's customer meeting, booked months ago as part of this customer's"IT Week", was intense and also a bit fun.  In no smallpart this was due to my place on the customer's agenda...the last of almosta dozen vendor presentations throughout their week.  I had to makea relatively quick escape when it was finished, though...the annual watchshow in Basel had all the hotels in northern Switzerland booked up forthe night.  I ended up flying back via Düsseldorf, aboard my favoriteEurope-Chicago flight, Lufthansa'sPrivatAir all-business-class service.This is my third occasion to use this awesome flight, and this week's bonusis an early arrival.  With Europe already on summer time, the eight-hourdifference means that a 9 AM departure lands in Chicago at 10:30 AM localtime.  Next availablogging -- well, I'm trying to stay home for a few weeks, butthen it's off to Lotusphere Comes to You and other events in Manila (20April), Singapore (21 April), and Kuala Lumpur (24-25 April).  It'sbeen about two years since my last regional visit, so the local IBM teamshave me pretty booked up.  I believe there's some effort to try todo user group meetings as part of the LCTY events in Singapore and K-L,so if you are interested in that, please let me know.

April 3, 2006 by Ed Brill

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Ferris Research: Exchange Reliability and Its Impact on Organizations

Disclaimer -- I haven't read the reportI'm linking to here, yet...but from the contents and quotes posted on Ferris'swebsite, it sounds like a good one:"Exchange administrators feel burdenedby the daily and weekly tasks required to build and maintain a highly reliableExchange solution. Better tools will reduce this burden." "KeyTrends and Observations     Exchange Requires Constant Attention     It's Very Difficult to Diagnose Exchange Problems     Monitoring the Environment Helps Alleviate Downtime     Full Redundancy Is Not Built Into Exchange"andmy favorite, "Why is technology for fully redundant systems stillnot available?"  Sure it is -- it's called Lotus Notes/Domino.Link: FerrisResearch: Exchange Reliability and Its Impact on Organizations> (Subscriber access only; via Ferrisweblog)

April 3, 2006 by Ed Brill

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Laurette Rynne: Outlook vs. Notes user guide

Cananyone help Laurette?Thisis a shout-out to anyone who knows Notes 6.5 and Outlook 2003 well, orhas worked on a conversion either way. I am looking for a user quick referenceguide (or even some rough points) on the differences from a user perspectivebetween the two mail clients.IBM doesn't tend to producefeature-for-feature comparisons, so I don't have much to point Lauretteto other than the high-level materials on lotus.com/compare. Feature battles are interesting, but like so many other things, itis important to look at the big picture, too (which I've covered with Laurettealready!).

March 30, 2006 by Ed Brill

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