Archive for the ‘Information Technology’ Category

Initial Thoughts on the iPad

January 28, 2010

Reading all of the coverage of the lauch of the iPad, I was amazed by my own feeling of indifference on the product.

It is so different to my excitement when the iPhone was launched. it took me 18 months to buy an iPhone in Ireland – but 19 months on and I can’t see myself buying another phone other than an iPhone. Ever. I used to carry a 5th Gen Video iPod and a Nokia 6310. I needed an iPhone. I wanted an iPhone. I had to have an iPhone. I use it constantly.

I just don’t need/want/have to get an iPad. No camera. Not enough space (16Gb? I have a USB key that holds 16Gb). No iChat. No iPhoto, yet it has iWork? No wireless mouse capabilities and yet a keyboard dock is available.

But most importantly, I have an iPhone. it does everything I need a mobile communications device to do. Ignore the cool factor – does the iPad replace it? does it fit in your pocket? I carry a laptop and an iPhone to work – I’m not carrying a third device.

The iPad also worries me slightly. I’ve noticed my iPhone 3G has gotten a little less responsive with every new version of the iPhone OS I have installed. How will it handle the iPad version of the OS? Worrying.

Also, buried in the sub text was an admission of a mistake by Jobs. the iPad will be unlocked. The iPhone should never have been locked to a provider either – it only hindered sales of the iPhone. They’ll not make the same mistake again.

I get the feeling that I’ll not be alone with these opinions. Granted I haven’t held one yet. I just thought that Apples next step would have seen a trimmed Macbook Air with Leopard fill the gap (500€-800€) the ipad is supposed to fill.

Apple’s favourite mistake.

A Sign of the Times

December 22, 2008

A sign in a local Chinese restaurant. Made me laugh!

The story of a laptop

December 8, 2008

It takes a LOT to annoy me – but I am officially annoyed.

My laptop has gone belly up. It has a history of sorts.

It was bought in the past year – by my employer – before I was able to insist on XP. Yep I got a Vista machine – I HATE Vista by the way.

So after much mucking around I got XP on it and it worked really well too.

Two weeks ago I got a nice attack of spyware, which seemed to appear after a boot up – and couldn’t be removed. I don’t recall clicking anything outlandish. Oh well, a re-build was required. I did that 2 weeks ago. All seemed to be fine until this morning – and Blue Screen of death. And no way around it. Safe mode, last known good, nadda.

So thanks to my saviour Joe I got the files of the hard drive and now I’m faced with a few hours of re-build and all I have is my initial Vista recovery disks.

So I’ll have a Vista laptop tomorrow.

I am annoyed.

NFL.com shows the way forward

October 6, 2008

Whilst wallowing in the New York Giants’ 4-0 start to the regular season, I drifted onto NFL.com this morning, and received a pleasant surprise.

The NFL.com site really fills a PC screen with images, flash and automatic Ajax calls to update content -not usually a good site for the iPhone.

However, the site detected my iphonne safari browser and through their wap.NFL.com URL, provided an excellent stripped down version of the site that felt like the MLB’s superior ‘At-Bat’ iPhone app (highly recommended for baseball fans).

A lesson in simple yet extremely effective design for all us web developers!

And the Giants give a lesson to the crowd-noise-piping Seahawks!

iNotes on the iPhone

September 30, 2008

Just ‘installed’ iNotes Ultra lite on the iPhone and it’s actually quite impressive.

I read a Macworld article published today, that IBM have just released a Lotus Notes client for the iPhone – as a FREE download from the Apple App Store!

As a Lotus user and an iphone owner, you can imagine that got my immediate attention.

As it happens, it is NOT available from the App Store. Instead I had to open my work mail file with Safari and when I get the “This browser is not supported page” (Could someone in IBM change the look of this page – It screams “go away!”) click the Notes Ultralite button.

The resulting web page should be saved to the Home Screen on the phone. Instead of a webclip, you get a Lotus Icon – though it still works like a web clip via safari.

Obviously you need a mail file on a domino server for this to work. Obviously (# 2)Native support on the iphone for Domino mail would be a lot better, but my initial reaction is good – though I think my work log-in screen will have to be more iphone friendly.

So over the next week I’m going to give it a good whirl. I’ll report back.

All Finished Operations Window

September 19, 2008

Just noticed a new pane in the Domino R8.5 BETA 2 designer client that is VERY WELCOME!

It seems to be called the ‘All Finished Operations’ pane and it gives you information on the progress of tasks being run by the Designer client itself.

Domino Designer R8.5 BETA 2 - All Finished Operations Pane

Domino Designer R8.5 BETA 2 - All Finished Operations Pane

Now maybe I just hadn’t spotted this window in previous versions of the client and it’s not new – it’s just new to me! It seems to give information on process that are happening in the background of the designer – like “Yes I’m opening that huge database on the company server that ain’t exactly next door – hold your horses!”
A very welcome addition to the client. It certainly beats the flashing lightening symbol on the bottom right on the client telling us very little.

More on Domino 8.5.2 (BETA)

September 18, 2008

More on 8.5.2 (BETA)

I am one of those developers that uses the Workspace to organise my databases and only keeps databases in my designer navigator if and when I need them. This allows easier managing of backups and version templates.

I was trying to open a database in Domino Designer 8.5.2 today and despite many attempts and a restart of both Notes AND the PC, it still wouldn’t open!

I then decided to clear all the databases in my ‘Working Sets’ navigator and when I got to the last couple of databases, the database I was trying to open miraculously appeared!

So far my biggest issue with the new designer is that the opening of the databases seems to be very slow and a bit flakey. Incidents like the one today demonstrates what I’m talking about.

BY THE WAY, There is a default working set called ‘Recent Applications’ which shows all recently opened databases. Even if you have included the database in a working set, the database will disappear from the working set if you remove it from ‘Recent Applications’.

Thought for the day …. “Now where is that database gone now?”

Domino 8.5.2 – My Experiences

September 17, 2008

I haven’t had time lately to look more at X Pages, but over the next month I plan to re-write a web site I look after with X Pages to see how it goes.

BUT, I have been running Domino 8.5.2 (BETA) on the laptop for work projects over the last 3 weeks. I was running 8.0.1 before the upgrade. How’s it gone? Well…….

FIRST, THE BAD THINGS
1) It’s no faster to load than R8. (I didnt use 8.0.2 before anyone shouts)
2) ECLIPSE – it’s different:
– It seems slower to work with it somehow. I am getting faster with it, but I’m not up to my 8.0.1 speed.
– UI is still buggy. Leave the finger on the trackpad and unintentionally you’ll move windows around. There’s no ‘Barry Setup’ or anything to get back, so I usually save my work and restart the designer.
– Previewing in the client is PAINFULLY slower.
– I can’t just press the letter ‘H’ to get to the ‘Hello’ form. ALL DEVELOPERS USE THIS – I hope IBM finds a way to include it! It’s the most anoying thing about the new designer.

3) No ‘Teamstudio Configurator’ facility. YES it has a ‘Search’ option, but it’s not find and replace (which I use a lot, especially in UAT & deployment). I don’t know of any other development platform that does not include this facility.

4) The Designer ‘Start Page’. I wanted to keep this coming up when I started designer as I haven’t fully gotten used to it yet, but I had to turn it off. IT WAS APPEARING EVERYWHERE – and radically slowing down start up time for Designer. I wish these start pages were available as a pop-up when I wanted them and not exist on start-up. Annoying.

5) I ave not figured out this ‘Working Sets’ thing at all. I have a fairly cluttered database list.

6) Although it took a while I ‘ve found the new design element structure easy enough to follow. HOWEVER, the decision to move Framesets and Pages to somewhere in the middle baffles me. For the vast majority of applications these 2 elements are the start point. It made more sense to me to leave them at the top. And who’s bright idea was it to promote ‘Folders’ to third in the list. Does any developer use folders in designer any more?

 

GOOD THINGS
1) It hasn’t crashed nearly as much as the 8.0.1 release – and it’s a beta! I have not run the new 8.0.2 relase which is meant to be faster & better, and I’m hoping I won’t have to.

2) The Eclipse UI (yes it has it’s good points)
– Yes it’s radically different but I found myself swapping between Domino 6.5.2 (that we use on a customer site) and my laptop without any problem fairly quickly. I also feel more like a programmer with it somehow. Maybe its my maturing years talking.
– The change to the properties boxes is brilliant. Copy and Paste Rules OK!

3) The server hasn’t given me any trouble at all. I even gave a customer demo with it.

4) AT LAST SOMETHING FOR DEVELOPERS! I am a PCLP Developer in R5-R8 and I didn’t notice any radical/useful new design elements or features for developers in any of the R6, R7 or R8 releases. Sure we can organise our script libraries/stylesheets, add web services, and the rest, but we were already doing this. NOTHING WAS NEW! Everything seemed targetted at Administrators and enhancing plug-ins (like Sametime). Does anyone use Composite Applications? I mean at all?

X Pages will change how I for one will work in the future and the ability to add new eclipse plugins makes me feel more secure that Domino will grow and allow developers to grow with it.
This is only the first of my posts on this subject. I’m not running any other Domino versions and use the clients for 100% of my work.

Lotus Domino X Pages

August 29, 2008

On Thursday and Friday (Aug 28-29) I attended a workshop on the IBM campus on “X Pages” – a new feature on the upcoming Lotus Domino 8.5.

(So all non-Domino developers can skip the rest of this entry)

X Pages is a method of presenting domino design elements and documents on a browser. Its very VB in it’s approach but is still very Domino in attitude.

It’s also been my first look at domino designer on ecllipse – which is quote different and will take a bit of getting used to.

I could go on a bit here, but perhaps the best thing is for me to do a bit more exploring and post updates on my progress.

My initial impression of. X Pages is that shared by many who have used – it is the biggest step forward for domino development since R5.

Cool Tee Shirt

August 22, 2008

A present from Chris, Fiona & Lucy. Says it all….