Simon's Blog

Mostly tech related stuff.

Archive for the month “September, 2009”

I got my son Adam (4 1/2) a watch recently to help teach him the time. It was a Swatch Flik-Flak. In the package you also get a cardboard watch picture with moving hands you can attach. He really loves it.  However travesty occurred when the cardboard got ripped. He got pretty emotional about it. We went looking on the Swatch website together to try and find the watch poster again to print out. No luck at all. So I fired off an email to their customer support in the hope they would have a PDF.
I got a response back the same day with the PDF and a request for my address so they could send the card version again. So I was pretty happy with the customer support and my son got to help create his new watch picture again.
I had actually forgotten about the cardboard one being sent until a few days later we got kind of a bulky package (for what the card size was). I opened it up and inside they had two cardboard watches, a couple of stickers and a small pencil set (small notepad, ruler, pencil, eraser) and a product book. When I mentioned to Adam it was for him it was like it was his birthday had arrived! I think he got more excited over that simple present then the actual watch. He also ended up sleeping, clutching the little pencil set and with stickers all over him. :)
But this is a good example of a WOW moment*. Going out of the way to make the customer feel special no matter how small the action. That surprise did more goodwill and marketing then any other Swatch marketing attempt at my family.

* What prompted me to write this wasn’t to have Swatch customer service flooded with requests. I saw on Twitter that Gitomer is giving away some free books. I actually have the two books he is holding. So if I win then the people I dealt with in Swatch can have the books. :)

Adding a google map to your notes document/mail

Saw a comment on Twitter from a random notes user (nishantmodak). The question was “Can I embed a Google map location in an email from Lotus Notes?”. The answer is Yes! :)
Some important points first.

1. There is some security implications in doing this, so if your admins have locked down your ECL then you might not be able to do this. However if your a designer and want to do this in your application then these steps should work fine.

2. Your embedding a web browser control. So sending the mail to non-notes users may not work.

3. When I first tested this I was getting a javascript error. This was related to the google API. Although I am working on Dev builds of 8.5.1 and since last Monday that error went away (not sure if it is Google API issue or Notes).

4. I did have a couple of issues regarding editing the applet and I’ve logged them as SPR SODY7W6JXJ. So if you experience issues editing the applet and need to open a support call you can cite that SPR.

So on with doing this… 

1. First we need to pick a location that you want to display. For my example we will be using my location. :) On the google maps page there is a “Link” option. Copy the text from the “Paste HTML to embed in websites”.

2. Paste that text into anything that will allow you to edit it (eg. Notepad, notes document). The only part we are interested in is the You can ignore the rest. So we get the following snippet. 

<iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&amp;ll=53.421669,-6.419148&amp;spn=0.004661,0.008519&amp;t=h&amp;z=17&amp;output=embed">

3. Do a search and replace on the snippet. Look for “&amp;” and replace with “&” (remove quotes). You should end up with:

<iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.421669,-6.419148&spn=0.004661,0.008519&t=h&z=17&output=embed">

The URL we want is the value of SRC. In this case. Copy and keep that safe.

http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.421669,-6.419148&spn=0.004661,0.008519&t=h&z=17&output=embed

You can also make a note of the width (425) and height (350). Although not that important.

4. First create your memo/document and make sure you have selected the rich text field. For the memo this is the main body of the mail.

5. Select the Create->Object… menu option.

6. A dialog box will appear. Select “Control” option then scroll down through the list and select “Microsoft Web Browser” and click OK.

7. An applet menu should be visible now. Press CTRL-K (opens the infobox). Select the applet infobox options by clicking on the top drop down list in the title. On the applet “i” tab select the option “Run object when reading document”.

8. Select the applet menu and “edit events and properties”. Here you can set the height and width if you want.

9. On the left side will be a list of methods. Select the Initialize method and then paste in the following code between the “sub” and “end sub” lines.

Dim w As New notesuiworkspace
Dim uidoc As notesuidocument
Dim doc As notesdocument
Dim browserobject As Variant
Set uidoc=w.currentdocument
Set browserobject=uidoc.GetObject("Microsoft Web Browser")
Dim URL As String
URL = "http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.421669,-6.419148&spn=0.004661,0.008519&t=h&z=17&output=embed"
    
browserobject.Navigate(URL)

10. As you can see the URL is set to the URL we got earlier. Once you click back on the document (off the applet) it should automatically display the google maps location for you. An ECL message may appear asking permission to display it. Normally at this point I hit CTRL-S, in case I accidentally delete it and have to start again.
The end! :)
Note: While this code went into the initialize section of the applet, there is no reason why it can’t go into a button you create.

Thought I’d make a QRCode for my twitter logo. Links back to here. Very easy to do. You can get your QRCODE generated at Kaywa . After that the image itself has around 30% redundancy in it. This means you can modify it to some extent. Places to avoid are the 4 marker squares (3 big ones and 1 small in bottom right). Also avoid the data area at the top.

After that you can edit it away to put you logo into it. I used Gimp. I would create a new layer, add my logo then scan the QR code to make sure it is still readable. Initially had a signature in the middle, then a smiley before settling on the BY text. For scanning I am usingBeetagg on the iPhone.

Forced to use 8.5.1

Well forced is a bit harsh. I have been using 8.5.1 for a few months now, but just got a note that everyone is to start using it to help on reporting any issues. So far quite a few switched over and looking good! No complaints yet, more in awe of the speed of the client now.

Twitter spam: Why Lotus Notes?

I am slowly starting to grow on twitter. It does help in finding people who need help and pointing them in the right direction. Takes a little practise to determine who needs help and who just needs to vent. :)

But the spam is insidious. Not going to post the link although you can find them easy enough with the subject title. But very annoying to see what looks like a glorified Lotus Notes advert spammed by WOMM bots. I really hope we didn’t pay for that. :-/

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