ICS/Lotus (mostly), Linux, Travel, Skiing, Mixology, and Random Musing of Interest

Travel Tip: Getting Answers to Obscure Travel Questions Before You Depart

Bill Malchisky  July 29 2014 02:00:00 AM
Image:Travel Tip: Getting Answers to Obscure Travel Questions Before You Depart
Have a food allergy and are curious if you can eat on a river cruise in Bali? How about whether a planned exotic purchase from a foreign country can be brought back home? Will you be able to replenish lost or stolen medicine at your destination? Or is it possible to purchase a vegan meal in Concourse A of an unfamiliar airport terminal?

There is a site which offers such a service: Tripatini. On their site (right most pane) you will see the Ask a Travel Pro badge. Click it and you will be able to ask your question, answered from a team member focused on such difficult queries. You will need to create an account, so read the Terms and Conditions to ensure that their service meets your needs. If so, this can remove a lot of concern or stress should you decide to explore outside of your comfort zone, or usual places of interest, or bringing young children to a new locale and you want to ensure a better trip for the entire family.

Thanks to Arthur Frommer of Frommer's Travel for the tip.

Soccer Saturday, The First IBM ConnectED Activity Announcement!

Bill Malchisky  July 28 2014 02:00:00 AM
Image:Soccer Saturday, The First IBM ConnectED Activity Announcement!crosses community at Image:Soccer Saturday, The First IBM ConnectED Activity Announcement!

Once again, we will kick-off the IBM Connect(ED) conference properly. Join in the fun as a player or spectator. Meet familiar faces in the community and make new friends on the sandy pitch at Disney World's Dolphin and Swan hotel. We all enjoyed it the last two years, so I ensured we had the pitch reserved for 2015 before leaving IBM Connect 2014. Please feel free join us even if you do not play -- all spectators are welcome.

Event Details

Saturday, 24 January 2015
10:00 AM sharp - Noon
Dolphin Hotel beach (where the Sunday Night party usually is located)
Player Registration:
Post a comment to this post; all skill levels welcome
Comment below or contact me here -- please use the subject, "Soccer Saturday".

We will play soccer (football outside of the USA) for 1.5h with breaks in a new multi-team five man round-robin rotation with short games, then play American flag football for 0.5h to finish up the event. If you are thirsty, enjoy the hand-crafted chilled cocktails created especially for us by our resident aficionado Joe Litton. Also, if you need it to recover, the outdoor hot tubs are less than 50 yards from the pitch.

If your participation status changes, please as a courtesy, post a follow-up comment below, or contact me directly. Thank you.

For the second straight year, we will have at our disposal an awesome guest from the IBM/Lotus community
Guest Mai Tai Master: Joe Litton


1. For the players, I confirmed with the hotel that there will be no fresh sand this year; it's in the contract
2. If you bring your favorite tasty beverage to enjoy, just make sure that you leave the glass in the hotel and use paper, plastic, or a metal container on the beach. It's a hotel policy and one that I condone; no one wants to cut their feet on broken glass located on a sidewalk or buried in the sand
3. Plan to arrive early if you would like to stretch before the game
4. Again, if you register and your status changes, please be courteous and either post a comment below or contact me via Twitter, Skype, e-mail, telephone call, SMS, What's App, or carrier pigeon. Thank you.

Travel Tips

1. If you plan to arrive on Saturday, know that Atlanta (ATL) is the closest airport hub and Delta Flight 2118 arrives at 9:22a, which gets you to the game close to on-time; take a cab to the Dolphin, give your bags to the bellhop, walk along the outside sidewalk towards the pool, and head directly to the pitch; check-in after the game
2. If you decide to arrive on Friday but are concerned about an extra night's lodging expense, stay at an airport hotel for the evening; then, take an early shuttle to the Dolphin on Saturday; I personally did this multiple times and it creates a nice cost savings

See you in Orlando!

Which Hotels Have the Best WiFi?

Bill Malchisky  July 25 2014 09:56:06 AM
As we all travel, one of the biggest gambles with any new property is the quality and availability of Internet access -- especially WiFi. A new travel oriented site helps to solve this matter, entitled Hotel WiFi Test. As it is very new, the city list and properties are quite small, but growing quickly. They added a link that allows you to run a speed test if you are in a hotel and it will catalog it. Thus, you can plan your trips by the data of others, while also contributing easily when you check-in. Seems to be a nice combination that can make our business travel lives a lot simpler. If you want to read more about their cause, click here.

Image:Which Hotels Have the Best WiFi?

IBM ConnectED 2015 Preview Site Launched!

Bill Malchisky  July 23 2014 12:00:13 PM
Just a few minutes ago (as of this writing), IBM announced the new site link and conference name for Connect. It is now entitled IBM ConnectED 2015! Here is the preview site, which just went live. They are evolving the conference into a "more in-depth technical event", which should be welcomed by many of the Lotusphere alumni of years past--particularly those that felt the event deviated from its roots. You can tell the site is quite fresh as the IBM ConnectED 2015 Resources wiki still points to IC14 information on the external server at SocialBizUG.org. Nonetheless, it is exciting to see the official site going live, even if in a preview state. An easier to remember vanity URL will be released shortly as well, and I will update this post accordingly.

The countdown commences.


How To Receive Ubuntu 12.04 Kernel Updates After 7 August 2014

Bill Malchisky  July 16 2014 10:40:28 AM
Certain versions of Ubuntu have an older version of their Hardware Enablement Stack (HWE) and thus it needs to be upgraded, or on 7 August 2014 you will no longer receive kernel and graphics stack updates; all other software updates will proceed unimpeded. Below is what I learned along with excerpts from the Ubuntu wiki post on the event. The current release schedule and EOL announcements for each Ubuntu build is located here.

What is HWE?

"Hardware Enablement Stacks (HWE) are incorporated into installers for select Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) point releases. It is a special Ubuntu feature that provides an LTS release with hardware support introduced in newer Ubuntu releases. For Ubuntu 12.04 the point releases are .2/.3/.4/.5 and the corresponding Ubuntu releases are 12.10/13.04/13.10/14.04." --excerpt via Ubuntu's wiki post.

Verifying the Need

As I have multiple Ubuntu builds, I verified the upgrade need on two of them initially. Below are my findings.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x64

malchw@san-domino:~/Documents/ibm.champion$ hwe-support-status --verbose

You are not running a system with a Hardware Enablement Stack. Your system is supported until April 2017.

malchw@san-domino:~/Documents/ibm.champion$ lsb_release -d

Description:        Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS i386

bill@ubuntu:~$ hwe-support-status --verbose

Your current Hardware Enablement Stack (HWE) is going out of support

on 08/07/2014.  After this date security updates for critical parts (kernel

and graphics stack) of your system will no longer be available.

For more information, please see:


To upgrade to a supported (or longer supported) configuration:

* Upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS by running:

sudo do-release-upgrade


* Install a newer HWE version by running:

sudo apt-get install linux-generic-lts-trusty libgl1-mesa-glx-lts-trusty xserver-xorg-lts-trusty linux-image-generic-lts-trusty

and reboot your system.

bill@ubuntu:~$ lsb_release -d

Description:        Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS

What is nice with the latter output, is that they give you the correct commands to utilize to ensure success--either by upgrading to the latest LTS version, or just upgrading the HWE to 12.04.5. Now, what I find interesting is that according to the documentation, all 12.04.4 releases should require the upgrade, but clearly from the above output, I am fine with the x64 system, so I suspect there is a gap in the description between memory pointer size flavors.

The Upgrade Process

Today, I received a new option in my Ubuntu software update dialog box. One that I do not recall previously. "New hardware support is available".

Image:How To Receive Ubuntu 12.04 Kernel Updates After 7 August 2014

That seemed slightly odd, as their product offering is software with obvious links to hardware, but lacked any description before depressing Install . To play it safe, I loaded up a VM and tried the installation there.

Image:How To Receive Ubuntu 12.04 Kernel Updates After 7 August 2014

Clicking Upgrade here simply upgrades the HWE stack, rather than the LTS version. Then the software download process started.

Image:How To Receive Ubuntu 12.04 Kernel Updates After 7 August 2014

Followed by the installation process.

Image:How To Receive Ubuntu 12.04 Kernel Updates After 7 August 2014

Of course, when you are finished, you will need to reboot.

Image:How To Receive Ubuntu 12.04 Kernel Updates After 7 August 2014

The system returns sans issue and all looks good. Running the verification process confirms success.

bill@ubuntu:~$ history |tail -6
  884  hwe-support-status --verbose
  885  lsb_release -d
  886  ls
  887  lsb_release -a
  888  exit
  889  history |tail
bill@ubuntu:~$ !884
hwe-support-status --verbose
Your Hardware Enablement Stack (HWE) is supported until April 2017.
bill@ubuntu:~$ !885
lsb_release -d
Description:        Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS

All-in-all, it's a very straight forward and easy process. The steps here illustrate upgrading the HWE stack, rather than a full upgrade. You should checkout all of your LTS virtual and physical machines to get them current either by upgrading to the latest LTS or installing the latest stack.

World Cup 2014 Skype Chat Announced

Bill Malchisky  June 12 2014 04:34:05 PM
Image:World Cup 2014 Skype Chat Announced

Just in-time for the World Cup, the ICS Community has a Skype chat to capture all the comments from our community on the great game. If you would like to join your friends from around the world in a zealous environment -- especially when the Dutch play -- let me know via Skype (userID - fairtaxbill), or comment on this post with your skype name, if I'm offline.

Links for the official FIFA World Cup: social media accounts, widgets, RSS Feeds, Twitter team lists - click accordingly.

See you on the virtual pitch!

Engage 2014 Slides Available

Bill Malchisky  April 4 2014 10:37:00 AM
I published my Engage 2014 session slides to both SlideShare and My Presentations page. I took time to review the deck and decided to test further the remote access redirect slides, ultimately dramatically simplifying the steps. The result is an easy two-step process that should work fine for about 80% of use cases. If your needs exceed what I provided, please contact me and I can offer some suggestions for an alternate approach. Just remember, if your desktop system is Windows, load your X Window server first (see slide 30 for suggestions).

I think the slides are better and as indicated during the session, should be able to serve as a resource to help you build a case to utilize Linux in-house or address needs for your clients, but more importantly, not just aid in your understanding of Linux administration for ICS software, but make you more effective and efficient as well. Thanks for your interest in Linux and my session.

Wisdom on Longevity From a 96 Year Old Skier

Bill Malchisky  March 11 2014 02:20:51 PM
George Jedenoff started skiing at the age of 43 and has been hooked ever since. Earlier this month, he once again carved some turns at Alta and Snowbird, with the Ski Utah crew joining him. He discussed longevity, keeping motivated, the importance of staying fit, and how skiing has been a part of his life every single year since 1960. Hardly timid, George seeks out powder and has a wonderfully cordial demeanor, with excellent diction. Applicable life advice for non-skiers too. Enjoy this short video.

If You Would Like a x64 Notes Client on Windows, Read This

Bill Malchisky  February 3 2014 02:25:39 PM
Update: For those that observed the Mail Next demo at IC14 (which boasts a Domino back-end), one could extrapolate that the Notes client's days may be numbered -- but admittedly no such indication was hinted. Either way, the massive installation base will not disappear overnight and those users will need updates. After what I learned at IC14 and knowing that many people have asked for this client permutation over the years, I thought I would take a survey if you will, as there is an available window if still important to you or your customers.

Update 2: Christian commented below on SPR # GHAT8ERK8X for this issue, along with a Customer Report with APAR LO59080. Again, if of interest, you can attach your support there too.

While at IBM Connect 2014, I heard that a prototype x64 Windows Notes client is in the works -- rumor perhaps, but it is intriguing. I also know that unless there is a business justification, IBM will spend development and testing dollars elsewhere -- which also makes sense and is prudent. There are lots of internal prototypes at any ISV/OEM, few of which see the light of day. What their respective clients want and need ultimately moves any subset of prototypes towards a production release: customer input drives business decisions.

Three Cases Where Needs Drove Product Development

Successful business justification examples include the following three cases:
1. Domino went to x64 because of increased memory needs on bigger servers
2. Apple is pulling the i386 JVM in OS X, so future IBM Notes clients will be x64 (out of necessity)
3. Traveler went to x64 as it utilizes 1 thread/connection and can only scale with additional address space

Being Heard

Therefore, if you feel a Windows x64 client is important to you or your business, here is what you can do:
1. Contact your support account manager, ICS liaison, or ICS sales rep to provide input
2. Send the request to me via e-mail, Skype, or DM
3. Comment on this blog post with your thoughts and justification

I will catalogue any entries provided to me, while providing your feedback to development and track such requests. There is openness within development currently, but it will only happen if customers need it, as opposed to wanting it 'just because'.

In the end, all products will need to move to an x64 format as in 2038, you'll only be able to run i386 compiled programs within a complex emulator. Between now and then, how fast any one product moves to x64 is up to you and your business needs. If this is important to you, be heard.

I personally have no interest either way, but am willing to be a focal point for the community if people still think this client flavor is important.

New ICS Linux Skype Chat Announced

Bill Malchisky  February 3 2014 01:30:00 AM
During a packed room at Linuxfest V during IBM Connect 2014, an attendee asked if there was a place where we could collaborate on using Linux with ICS. Enter Community in action: Tim Clark immediately stepped-up to start a new Skype chat entitled, "ICS Linux Chat". Therefore, if you would like a place to go and chat about Linux between Connect events or my Linux sessions at LUG events, then please contact myself, Tim Clark, Devin Olson, or Christoph Stoettner to get invited. We would be happy to have you join us.

Let's keep the learning going all year!

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