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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.


iPad Mini — some initial reactions

I was recently awarded an iPad Mini in recognition of completing an unreasonable number of years with my employer. While I have set up and done troubleshooting on various iOS devices for my colleagues this was my first personal iOS device and my first tablet. My expectations are therefore influenced by my prior experience with Blackberry phones and with laptop computers.

Here are some observations:

The Hardware and Interface

This is a very slick device – very light, very slim, very crisp display. It’s a nice size compromise for situations where a phone is too small and you don’t want to tote a laptop. And it’s just right for viewing most web pages when turned to landscape orientation.

A nice feature on the orientation is that it will adjust to however you’re holding it, happily making any of the four edges “up”.

The keyboard is just too small to really type using all fingers as you would on a laptop keyboard but the keys have enough room between them and the sensitivity is easy to adjust to. I have historically had a lot of trouble with touch interfaces but this one seems less squirrely than many.

The arrangement of the keys, on the other hand, is quite annoying. As most iOS users will know the letter keys are on one keyboard and you need to switch to a second keyboard for numbers and most symbols. It makes typing any kind of complex password, email address or url very annoying! Holding a letter key down gives you a choice of accented versions of the letter (at least in some apps) but I miss the Blackberry behavior of giving you an upper case if you keep the key pressed.

The WiFi seems to require a stronger signal than some of my other devices but otherwise works as expected.

I had to get someone at the Apple store to show me how to move icons from one page to another; there’s a “just right” spot you have to drag to. They also showed me the workaround to set lock screen text – create a graphic with the text in it and set that as the lock screen wallpaper. Again, the Blackberry approach seems a bit more sensible.

The iOS devices have no option for an SD card or other removable storage and seem to have no real internal file system accessible to the user.


I put my personal mail on the iPad as an IMAP account. It seems quite slow to download and load but I don’t know where the slowdown is – the host, the network speed or IMAP itself. I also put my work account (Notes Traveler) on the device and did not notice any speed issue there. I’ve got three mail accounts on the device now, two IMAP and Notes, and it’s not always obvious which one you’re sending from.

Finally, I find the fact that there is always an email message open behind the inbox listing a bit odd and distracting.

Preloaded Software

When you first set up the iPad it offers to download a large suite of Apple software. I declined. Then when I was ready to install the software I couldn’t find any way back to that offer. Instead I had to hunt for the individual items on the App Store.

There is an App Store and an iTunes store – the former just for apps and games and iTunes for media. It’s sensible enough but I had never seen it split into two stores on other platforms.

The Safari web browser came with bookmarks set for Apple, Disney, ESPN and Yahoo. Seemed an odd selection. The address bar doubles as a search bar. I know that’s becoming the norm but I still find it slightly confusing.

Bottom Line

I’m still not sure I would have bought a third device for myself, or that this would have been it. But it’s a very slick and convenient tool that does most of what most folks will need most of the time.

Feedback welcomed but let’s not debate Apple vs Windows vs Linux here. Thanks.


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