Simon's Blog

Mostly tech related stuff.

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

Stories and learning.

This is probably why David Leedy‘s blog actually helps you learn.

Thanks for the Linkedin endorsements but..

I appreciate everyone giving me LinkedIn endorsements, but I am really not an expert on WebSphere / Portal. Haven’t used either in years.

Likewise with other non-related endorsements I’ve been deleting them as I find them. But I was wondering if people just accept these random endorsements? What would be the benefit in doing it?

Forget about the Help NSF for the ND9 Designer client.

For those of you who have just installed Notes Designer 9, I recommend to check out the new help features.

Pressing F1 in the designer client will bring up the help, which you can move around the UI to where you like or expand it to full screen.

Here is an example looking for getDocumentByUNID method.

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 20.05.25

As you can see the methods now have the Object reference in the title along with the language. If this isn’t enough you can also filter out what you don’t want. For example clicking on the Scope and create a new Scope called Java API.

When selecting topics set it to search only “IBM Designer Basic User Guide and Reference -> Java/CORBA Classes”

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 20.06.17

If we do the search again you can see only Java related items showing up.

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 20.06.36

Overall a much cleaner experience than the NSF help file.

Because no one need suffer the pain I did. (C-API)

I’m ramping up on C-API stuff at the moment.

I’ve been having a pretty horrific time trying to get installed and running properly on OSX (Thanks Parag for the help!). What has driven me to near insanity though was creating a simple project to run in XCode. After numerous trial and error it appeared to all stem from one wrong little backslash in a string! That’s what I get for expecting it to execute the same way as the command line.

So I wrote up my steps on the Domino Appdev Wiki, so that no one need suffer like me. :)

A reminder to those going to Connect 2013.

It’s that time of the year again. From a support point of view, to maximise your time there I recommend doing the following.

1. If you have a particularly tricky PMR, or a block of PMRs that you want to discuss at the conference with someone (i.e. Developer), let your support engineer for the PMR/s know that you will be there. No guarantees!, but they hopefully should be able to get some time with a developer for you that is relevant to the issues.

2. If you aren’t available for PMRs for the week of Connect 2013, let support know who your backup is or tell them you will follow up after the conference. Saves them wasting time on trying to chase you for a follow up.

3. If you speak to a developer at Connect 2013 and they tell you to open a PMR. Make sure to get their name and it is put into the PMR! Especially if they have promised you the Moon on a stick. ;)

I really need to pay more attention to OpenNTF

Just finished day 1 of IBM XPages Master class. In the morning we were introduced to the XPages Toolbox.

In support we deal with issues related to Notes/Domino and not the customers application. So from the get-go we have to ask the customer to create a sample to remove their application from the equation.

The majority of customers are just as passionate in creating test cases as they do with full scale applications. That said, I can still relate to the amount of work that can be involved in doing something like this, trying to find the exact line of code and state that manifests the issue.

So watching the toolbox drill down to the code level to show where a performance issue was happening was pretty impressive.

So if you haven’t used it yet, start! :)

My 5am wake up call.

My 5am wake up call.

Spiderman alarm clock.

Happiness and presentations.

Two good books I am reading at the moment (well almost finished), is “The Happiness Advantage” and “100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People“. I picked these up as something to apply to a project I am working on, and both have been very helpful.

While the presentation one is interesting, the techniques don’t only apply to presenting. I’ve been using some of the tips to help others consume data/actions I needed.

Here are two short presentations on the books by their respective authors.

5 Things every presenter needs to know about people.

The Happiness Advantage.

Impressed with Dell support!

I’ve bought stuff from Dell over the years and my run in with their support a few years back helped in finally switching me totally over to Apple Macs.

So they lost a customer back then, due to how I was handled. I should stress that as long as I didn’t have to deal with support the hardware was worth the price. But the possible stress of it happening again wasn’t worth it.

My wife on the other hand still has her PC from back then and has bought two Dell monitors since that fateful three months of pain.

So fast forward to the present. One of the monitors die. I go through all the steps on the website, trying to solve the issue before dealing with support. No joy. :(

So I ring support expecting being put on hold, transferred all over the place and having to repeat my details over and over, and do stupid steps that anyone who listened to the problem wouldn’t ask me that.

Instead the first person I talk to after getting my details asks me this:

“To save time, please tell me what investigation you have tried yourself so far?”

It sounds obvious enough, but I was blown away by this comment. Instead of asking me stupid flowchart questions, they wanted my opinion of what I did!

So I explained everything I had done so far from the web site. They then thanked me for doing a very well detailed investigation before calling. Now, instead of further trouble shooting there was no messing, they explained a new monitor would come in a day or so and they would pick up the broken one a day or two after that.

They then asked me how was my call. I explained I got mis-routed at the beginning, they apologised and gave me a direct number (which I could not find on the web site at the time) so that I would not have it happen again.

It was like night and day compared the travesty years ago.

They even followed up more then once to make sure everything was fine.

So kudos Dell on a support call well done. What was interesting for me (that I took from it), Dell had lost me as a customer previously. If I still used windows stuff, they could possibly woo me back. My wife is still Windows orientated so she is thinking about a new Alienware machine . What might push her towards Apple though is Windows8.

So often I have to sit back and watch misinformed/incorrect troll for hit stories being posted on a  so called tech blog. While I can correct the information, I am not in the position to do it (on behalf of my employer). To be honest I am not sure why I even read their blog anymore, it isn’t like there is anything of worth in the areas I am interested in.

I do take contention however when the bullshit is directed at me though as an individual. To obviously try and goad me into saying something which can then be used against my employer, for more hits.

I am sure the person in question will read this, so this is really to let them know that the only time I’ll be typing in their URL again will be in my hosts file.

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