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The Adventure Begins…

It appears I will be moving an organization of about 30 users from IBM to Google Apps.

What’s in use now is Domino/Notes/Traveler/Sametime/Quickr/SmartCloud Meetings. The target is Google Apps for Business: mail, drive, contacts, calendar, hangouts. CRM will move from a system implemented as Notes databases and email template customization (iExtensions from iEnterprises) to Zoho CRM. Google and Zoho both have their own iOS apps and there is also native support on most mobile platforms for Google.

We evaluated IBM SmartCloud with SugarCRM and Microsoft Office 360 with MS Dynamics. While offering additional features that Google lacks they were more expensive, more complicated, and seemed geared at much larger organizations.

Staying with our existing on-premises solutions was not an option. We were over provisioned for the current size of the organization. Management wanted to be out of the business of running IT infrastructure. The existing physical infrastructure is aging. And we needed to replace Quickr and CRM at any rate as both are no longer supported.

I will share learnings and war stories as appropriate.


New 959 Area Code in Connecticut

The northern half of the state is getting a new overlay area code, 959

And we’re keeping our rather quaint dialing rules:

“customers will continue to dial area code + telephone number for local calls, and 1 + area code + telephone number for long distance calls”

Do other states still do that? Is anyone charged for in-state or “intra LATA” long distance any more?


Travel broadens the mind; is there an adapter for that?

One of my many hats is to support consultants who travel the world: wireless roaming plans, plug adapters, etc. I find that whenever I travel myself, either for vacation or work, I learn something about what’s out in the world that I never seem to pick up from reading or from reports from the field.

I will be in London and Paris in the coming days for personal travel but I will be tuned in to what new mischief is possible in the world of portable electronics, as well as what new indignities the airlines have come up with.

I was tempted to leave the laptop at home — it’s a vacation trip — but I don’t think I dare be without it that long. So I’ve decided to leave the iPad at home instead. Will have the laptop (Notes and Admin client, VPN, Thunderbird, etc.), Blackberry Q10 and a camera.

Here’s to hitting the road and to always finding WiFi.


Blackberry 10.2.1

Weeks after Blackberry release 10.2.1 AT&T has finally made it available to Blackberry 10 users.

I know there were lots of reviews when it first came out but I thought I would make a couple of observations here.

First, leave some time for the upgrade. It’s a 630MB download and it took about an hour after the download finished before my Q10 was fully upgraded and restarted. Blackberry recommends leaving the unit connected to power the entire time and to be on WiFi. I unplugged the power and left the office (i.e. no WiFi) as soon as the download finished. I don’t know if that slowed the install process.

The main changes I see are slightly snappier graphics, a rearranged settings menu, and some changes to the hub and lock screen. You can see previews of all your messaging streams on the lock screen. Cool, but perhaps a security issue?

A priority hub has been added to the messaging display options. You can mark stuff to be in or out of the priority stream, or it will attempt to learn what’s a priority. I haven’t had it running long enough to see how that works.

I’ve not had any issues with the upgraded software.

Always something to learn – IBM Notes

I’ve been supporting Notes since 1995, but I got several user requests in the past week where I had to dig a bit for the resolution:

1. Calendar. User complained that when she rescheduled a meeting the outside invitee didn’t get the change. Scratched our heads a bit until we realized that he had already declined and therefore wasn’t getting any updates. We’ve been spoiled by internal folks using the “decline but keep me informed” option.

2. How to save an email as a file. I knew you could drag it to the desktop to get a .eml file. Found you can also get that by selecting File – Save As.

2a: OK that’s nice, but suppose I want a text or Word document? File – Export (when the message is open) offers the option to save as ASCII text or Microsoft RTF. Remember you have to provide the file extension when naming the saved file.

3. More calendar. User wants to print his monthly calendar all on one page. Open the calendar. Select File – Print. If on a Mac select “Notes options”. You’re then on the Print Calendar window. On the Calendar Style tab check “Print first line only” and uncheck “Expand rows”.

Simple stuff but somewhat hidden; which is a typical user complaint about Notes.


Looking for old blog posts?

The old Domino site for is going away. If you’re looking for something in particular please let me know and I can send it to you or provide an alternate url. You may also want to search this site as many entries were cross-posted here.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

David Schaffer

Mac Presentation Gurus – Your help needed

Image We have a Samsung 63″ Plasma TV on the wall of a conference room. For over three years it has worked with PCs, Macs, cable TV and DVD players. Suddenly, in the last few weeks, it won’t display properly for our MacBook Airs (using Apple’s Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter). The Mac recognizes there is a VGA display but nothing appears on the screen. It continues to display properly for all other video sources.

I suspected it was an issue with OS 10.9 Mavericks, but I also tested with OS 10.6 and see the same issue. We’ve plugged the Mac directly into the back of the TV to eliminate cabling as an issue. I’ve tried a couple of different adapters to see if one had gone bad.

Samsung and Apple each claim I need to get the other party to solve the issue. There are lots of reports of similar issues on the Apple forums but nothing that looks exactly the same and no definitive solutions:

Any suggestions would be appreciated.



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