Monthly Archives: June 2011

Recap of PACLUG 2011


The first edition of the PACLUG user group conference was held this week at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  The two-day event was scheduled to piggy-back the View’s AdminDev2011 conference.  They actually overlapped schedules a bit on Wednesday and PACLUG was invited to the keynote presentation of AdminDev2011.  The Tuesday sessions of PACLUG were focused mostly on Domino-related topics while the second day was mostly related to Websphere Portal.  Had I known this I might have been tempted to skip the Wednesday sessions, but after attending them I can say that to do so would have been a big mistake.  I got some very valuable information in those sessions.

After all, as technology professionals, it is important to keep up with the changes in technology.  Simply put, if you’re in IT, you had better be prepared for a lifetime of learning to follow the technology and stay employed.  And for many of us, that’s great.  If we aren’t learning something new, we’re quickly bored.  If this isn’t you, you’re probably a really good COBOL programmer working or a bank or insurance company.  If not, then you should be planning your next career.

The knowledge I gained in the sessions was useful, but as I find with all of these conferences, the meat of the value of the conference is in connecting with new friends and reconnecting with old ones.  I don’t care how well connected you are via the Internet, nothing could ever match the rapport developed and connections made by face-to-face meetings, not to mention the “accidental meetings” with people you weren’t looking for.  That said, it was disappointing to arrive early on Monday only to watch the tweet stream talk about how people were not coming in until late that night.  It would have been good to put an informal pre-conference social gathering on the agenda for early arrivals.  This is the REAL Social Business.

For comparison, take the phrase “computer dating.”  It’s a terrible misnomer.  All the computer does is get people connected.  The dating part always takes place meeting face-to-face.  This is equally true for developing business relationships, though you probably put less emphasis on what a business contact looks like.

Sponsorship for this conference was amazing!  There was no fee to attend the user group portion of the conference.  It was FREE.   Thanks to GBS, Panagenda, Team Studio, IBM, Elguji, BCC, ExtraComm, The View, and all the other sponsors.  ( http://www.paclug.org/sponsors )  Also thanks to the organizers, especially David Stephens.

The conference was lightly attended, but this was only the first time this event was held.  From the positive feedback, I expect it will be more popular next year. (speaking of feedback, there was no opportunity to submit feedback formally.  That would have been very useful to improve future events.)  Perhaps joining it with AdminDev2011 detracted from the attendance of each?  I don’t know about that, but I do know I had a chance to meet with people at PACLUG that probably would not have been there if it were not connected to The View’s AdminDev2011.  I’m not so sure about Las Vegas in June either.  The high temperature was 104F – 108F degrees for the 3 days I was there.  Not being a gambler, the extra-curricular activities were limited.  Personally, I went to this even in spite of it being in Vegas, not because of it.

Overall, it was a good first event for the west coast.  I expect it will grow in the upcoming years.  Maybe I could convince the organizers to hold it in Seattle in July next year?  That time of year we have endless sunny skies with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s.  Lots of extracurricular activities to do.  We even have Vegas-style casinos if you really want that, though there are so many things to see and do here that are unique to Seattle, I don’t think anyone would think of going to a casino.  For more information about the conference, visit http://www.paclug.org/  http://lanyrd.com/2011/paclug/ and http://www.admin2011.com/

A sneak peek into the upcoming announcement about the Lotus brand and IBM’s 100-year philosophy


Is Lotus Notes the next Selectric Typewriter?  This USAToday article about IBM turning 100  reveals some clues into the motivations that drive IBM which might tell us about their plans for the future.

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking IBM is a corporate old-timer that just watched technology evolve. It has remained at the forefront through the decades and tops several of its whippersnapper rivals in some regards. “

Of course we’re talking about the same company that totally missed some opportunities like the operating system for their personal computers that has gone on to become their nemesis.  We’re talking about a company that has taken the once-famous brand of Lotus and made it disappear from the public eye better than a Harry Houdini magic act.

“This isn’t like the auto industry, where the combustible engine still exists, or oil, where many parts of the business are the same,” Iwata says. “We have to let go of what we have invented. We stopped making typewriters, punch-card machines, PCs. We had to move on.”

Hmm.  Is this foreshadowing?  When I was 8 years old I saw the movie “Old Yeller”.  In spite of all the clues, I did not did not see that coming.  I thought that dog would live forever.  Have I gotten any better at reading the clues?  Probably not.  But here’s another one:

“•Ability to move into new businesses without abandoning core tenets. IBM is a classic example of a company that had to get into entirely new businesses, without turning its back on what got it to where it is, Collins says. If you consider what IBM’s mission is, it’s not about computers or technology. It’s about allowing its individual employees to create ways for its customers to solve operational problems, Collins says. Whether that’s a task best done with scales, typewriters or computers doesn’t matter; what matters is that customers’ needs are answered, Collins says. “

I don’t know how this movie will end.  Maybe we’ll learn more on the Greenhouse webcast about the future of the Lotus brand June 28 at 10:00AM ET.

Meeanwhile, let’s get some popcorn and watch a few movie trailers.


Taking Social Media to the next level: “Message on a bottle”


When it comes to helping meet people, Twitter doesn’t compare to this: a vodka bottle with a programmable LED text banner that you can enter your own message.  It gives new meaning to the phrase “social drinker”.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43430391

Check out Medea Vodka’s website.

IBM’s Watson makes person of the year


This should be a great boost to the IBM brand recognition:

(excerpt from Webby Awards )

The Webby Awards would like to honor Watson as the Webby Person of the Year in celebration of his groundbreaking scientific and technological achievements as the most comprehensive question-answering computer system. As the first computing system with an unparalleled handle and understanding of the natural language, Watson captivated millions as he competed on the game show, Jeopardy!, ultimately becoming the first non-human champion. It is undeniable that Watson has open the floodgates for advancement in all future computing systems, which is undoubtedly deserving of recognition and praise.

IBM is doing some great things in research these days.  Check it out at the IBM research website.

 

The Notes Guy in Seattle just became the Mayor of Microsoft’s Main Campus


I too am not a bit tamed,
I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.

–Walt Whitman

https://foursquare.com/venue/1757764

IBM Community Meeting – Is the Lotus brand going away? (June 28th 10AM ET)


The times, they are a changin’.

Looking forward to a large audience for this community webcast/phone cast posted on Lotus Greenhouse:

https://greenhouse.lotus.com/blogs/586f4bb8-2edf-48cd-892f-17e59d246240/entry/ibm_community_meeting_is_the_lotus_brand_going_away_june_28th_10am_et?lang=en_us

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