Laptop Change

I was beavering away last night on the shrink wrapping of Idea Jam when my aptop started to make the most god-awful noise. One of the fans seems to have become warped, but the problem is that now it doesn’t actually do the job of cooling the machine any more so after about 20 minutes use it shuts itself down with warning message. Now I do have Apple Car but when I spoke to them, they said the best they can do is fix it in 5 days which just isn’t an option for me. So it was off to the Apple Store on Regent Street this morning to get a replacement (5 months earlier than planned). Since my last purchase they now sell the high spec machines in the store so within ten minutes I was back out with a top spec Mac Book Pro 17″ (2.6ghz processor, high resolution and 200gb 7200rpm disk). And then two hours later all of my files had been restored from my last Time Machine backup and I’m up and running again.

Not really a planned switch but painless (other than to the bank balance). I’ll get my old machine fixed and then sell it on eBay to try and affray some of the losses so I guess I treat this as a late Christmas present to myself.

Review of the Year – 2007

It’s been another wonderful year in my professional life (which is really the stuff you see up here).

Lotusphere is such a great start to the year, it gets me really rev’ed up for the year, tells me what I need to be looking at for the next few months and, most importantly, allows me to catch up with the great friends I’ve made over the years. It really has got to the point these days where I can’t imagine not going to Florida in January, and of course I’m already looking forward to the 2008 trip.

I’ve been incredibly lucky with the projects I’ve worked on this year, from one major one which went live in November, through to several smaller but no less interesting pieces of work that I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked to help on. Of course, the most visible application I’ve worked on is the Idea Jam. It’s the first time I’ve worked for any length of time with Bruce and it’s been a blast so far. He is really a very talented guy who deserves all the plaudits that he gets from the Lotus community. If you haven’t used Idea Jam yet, then firstly, why not? And secondly please feel free to head on over and register, your ideas will be seen by a large number of people both in and outside IBM. I think everyone is getting a lot of benefit from the site already. Over the next few months we have a lot of plans to add functionality to the site and also start selling it into companies, so if you think your company might be able to use it then please drop me or Bruce a line.

The other major thing which I’ve managed to get involved in during the year has been the Irish and UK Lotus User Groups. Paul, Eileen, Warren and Kitty put in an absolutely incredible amount of effort into the organisation of these mini conferences but it is good fun hanging around the fringes helping out where possible.

On the personal side there have been a few challenges which I don’t really mention on here, but that all seems to be under control now which is good news for all concerned as it’s not been a fun time for the others in my immediate family.

It’s difficult to know what 2008 holds for us, by all accounts we can expect a big Lotusphere in January with some big announcements, so I’m looking forward to hearing those. For the next few months I have a lot of work scheduled which is always a good position to be in and, in the end, is enough to make me happy as long as I get to meet up with my friends as often as possible in that time.

So, that’s another year over with (and I’ve been waiting for this for a while). I’d like to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year.

</2007> <2008>

Belkin Cushtop

One of my Christmas presents was a Belkin Cushtop which is basically a hard, angled cushion that allows you to sit with a hot laptop (such as the MacBook Pro that I use) on your lap for literally hours on end with no problems. I used it all day yesterday just sat on the sofa catching up with work and I must say it’s very good, no back ache, burned legs or burnt out laptop, so if you like to sit in a comfy chair with your computer for extended periods of time I can definitely recommend it.

Back from Christmas

It wa s areally good Christmas back in Suffolk with family and friends for the last couple of days. And now it’s back to the real world with the build up to Lotusphere beginning and, of course, the day job(s) keeping me busy for the rest of the time. But it’s good to have had a break for a couple of days.

Merry Christmas

Well I’m off to Suffolk for Christmas Day and Boxing Day to spend some time with the family.

I’d just like to wish you, dear reader, a very happy and peaceful Christmas. Now what are you doing reading this, go and get some egg nog, champagne or whatever your favourite tipple is.

floats and doubles

When you’re doing *really* precise maths with large numbers (for that you can read currency conversions), Java floats do not necessarily do what you might expect. I’ve just wasted half a day tracking down a rounding error for a calculation that was 3 cents out for numbers over 7 million. It’s a small triumph but one I’ll take gladly at the moment. In the end I just switched to use doubles instead and they work as I’d expect (which I guess may not actually be correct but they do at least match Excel and my calculator!).

Domino Meetup Postponed

We had planned to do a pre-Christmas meetup in London, well unfortunately life and the Christmas party season has taken over so I think we’ll postpone until January. Sorry about that everyone.

Idea Jam Blog

I know I’ve been posting little else than Idea Jam content here recently. Well Bruce and Declan have set up an Idea Jam blog for us to post all news there. It does mean that there’ll be even less posted here for the moment, but hopefully my workload will get under control over Christmas and I’ll get back to some semblance of normality.

Until then, keep your ideas coming, we are working on bug fixes, features and the Idea Jam product over the next few weeks.

Idea Jam Blog Sidebar Widget

You may have noticed on my blog that I’ve had a sidebar widget showing recent ideas from the Idea Jam on and off for the last couple of months. Well Bruce has cast his UI design spells over it now and boy does it look a lot better.

So if you want to add it to your blog you can head over to Bruce’s blog to get instructions (at least until we have a page on the Idea Jam site itself).

Good news for the UK

If you’re at all involved in the Lotus community in the UK and Ireland then you’ll have heard of and probably met Warren Elsmore and Paul Mooney. They are both administrators extraordinaire and, until the last week were directors for different companies. Well now they have announced that their companies are merging.

This is great news if you need any sort of consulting help. They both *really* know their stuff.

So congratulations to them both and all the other people involved. It will be interesting to see how much more (or less) Warren is going to insult Paul in our ILUG Skype chat now that Paul is his boss 😉