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.😉

Using LanguageWare with Lotus Notes

I had meant to finish this a long time ago, but I remembered how annoying it is to do video recording, so I might ramble on a bit (It’s no notes in 9!).

So this demo will give a very brief overview of how you can create a personalised live text/analysis system in XPages using UIMA. It demonstrates using Languageware, which takes a lot of the pain out of working with UIMA. We quickly create a names dictionary of over 5,000 first names, then teach it how to understand a full name.

[edit] I redid the video so it is more watchable now.

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!🙂

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.

My Macbook Air just won’t let go.

I am in the process of resetting my Macbook Air 2011 so that I can resell it. However trying to do this is trying my patience.

So first I could not get the recovery disk to reinstall. It kept coming up disk is locked. After much messing around I found that I had to delete the Bootcamp partition while inside OSX, then resize the partition there.

Once I did that the recovery disk allowed me to erase the partition completely and create a new one (format) before running the reinstall.

However it said “14 hours to complete”. So I just left it running overnight.

I wake up this morning to find that somehow the Air is now back to the state when I first started. The only thing I can guess is that it somehow detected the Time Machine backup on the network and restored from that after resetting.

So I have to go through all this again.😦