So anyone see any Aliens hanging around?

According to some medium there is supposed to be an influx of Aliens from 14-16th. The funny part of it is that bookies in the UK have suspended bets on Aliens landing.

Bookies suspend bets on alien landing

Oct 13 2008

WORRIED bookmakers have stopped taking bets on aliens showing up on Earth.

It follows a flurry of bets amid internet buzz that a massive intergalactic spaceship will appear tomorrow.

Videos and messages on YouTube, blogs and UFO websites are buzzing with predictions that a vessel from the alien Federation Of Light will be visible in our skies for three days.

I got bored with the start bar and the standard windows look so I gave my machine a make over!


Had to shrink it down a lot to show it. The bottom left is the running windows on the machine. The bottom right is my most used applications and some widgets (like weather, clock battery). What you can’t see is on the left side there is a pop out which shows my system tray. I used Stardocks Object Desktop for this. For the workspace customisation I used the Panagenda MarvelClient. Finally for the theme of the notes client I used the Themes widget. Workspace image is from InterfaceLift.

Common regular expressions for Widgets

One of the most powerful features for Notes R8.0.1+ is Widgets. If you are not familar with widgets I recommend checking out thetutorial.

However to get the full reach of that feature you do need to know regular expressions. If your a developer that is all well and good, but for your average user it can look very cryptic.

So here are a few easy to remember commands.

\w = Alphanumeric character (A to Z, a to z, 0 to 9)
\W = Not an Alphanumeric character (everything not above)
\d = Numeric digit (0 to 9)
\D = Non-numeric character (not 0 to 9)
\s = Whitespace. This is a space, tab, newline.
\S = Not a whitespace.
. = Match any character.
{x,y} or {x} = repeat the match. x is minimum number of times, y is maximum number of times.
( ) = Grouping your match (more on that later).
[ ] = range of characters to match.

There are many more commands but just with this handful of commands you should be able to match pretty much everything.

So for example. Lets say you have a Part number as follows.

XYZ12345A1A7

There a number of ways to match this. So you need to break it down into the components. For the example we will define the part number as…

XYZ = three characters upper case.
12345 = Five digits
A1A7 = Four alphanumeric characters (case does not matter).

With this set up the following regular expression should match all combinations.

[A-Z]{3}\d{5}\w{4}

Once you know the commands it is very easy to read.

[A-Z]{3} = Match A to Z three times in a row.
\d{5} = the next five characters are numeric digits.
\w{4}  = the last four characters are alphanumeric characters.

Lastly lets talk about grouping. The regular expression above would match a part number and mark it as group 0. Now you may have to pass that part number onto a web site that requires “XYZ12345″ to go into one field and “A1A7″ to go into a second field. So you need to mark these as seperate groups. To do this you put the sections in brackets ( ).

So the final regular expression would be…

([A-Z]{3}\d{5})(\w{4})

and there you go! Simple when you know how! :D

How not to do support.

When you work in support (at least at level 2) you get the false impression that all support is alike.

Case in point that has driven me to insanity. I went to install Racedriver Grid on a new machine I got. However when I went to activate it I get the message that there has been two many activations and that I need to contact support at a certain email address.

So I email them and give them my order number and within a minute I get a form mail response which says that in the case of my activation key being locked out I should contact them by the same email address I just did.

T60 Battery issue

For some reason my battery on my T60 dropped to 17% charge and wouldn’t charge beyond it. I finally figured out how to fix it though for anyone else with the same issue.

1. Switch on the machine and let the battery drain completely.
2. Unplugged the battery and plugged in again (while machine was off).
3. Let it fully charge.

It is now back to normal. :)

Abstract submitted

I had meant to post this sooner as I submitted this abstract some time ago. The Abstract is about debugging XPages applications. As support will have to do this anyway it is good to deflect potential PMRs and issues by documenting how to find and resolve common issues that come up. As well what to do if you need to engage supports help.

I think I have as much chance as anyone else. :/ The last time I submitted an abstract I got rejected and a developer ended up doing what I had planned to do. I have been to Lotusphere before though (2001) and it was pretty intense. So fingers crossed.