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

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!

Get the Line on Linuxfest V -- Only at IBM Connect 2014

Bill Malchisky  January 22 2014 05:30:00 AM
Image:Get the Line on Linuxfest V -- Only at IBM Connect 2014
I am thrilled to announce that we have secured a room for another unofficial all-Linux session at IBM Connect. Linuxfest returns for the fifth consecutive year. We have great digs inside the Dolphin at Oceanic 2, so it is really easy to find. Red Hat is sponsoring us for the third consecutive year and I am thrilled to be working with them to help move Linux forward within the IBM/Lotus Community.


Date: Thursday, 30 January
Time: 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Place: Dolphin -- Oceanic 2
Audience: Admins, Developers, Architects
Speakers: Bill Malchisky, Wes Morgan, and Daniel Nashed

Bring your box lunch. After your 11:15 session, get your lunch and head directly to our room. Then relax, ask questions, and get informative answers from three passionate leading IBM on Linux SMEs.

Do you have Linux questions? We have answers. Installation, partitioning, running ICS apps on Linux desktops or servers, and strategy. Developer queries too, including application migration tips and troubleshooting. We'll help you be productive and get you to your data. VPN & thin client access, RDP, VNC, plus SSH and tar tips. Leave this session with confidence and answers. This most informative IBM-focused Linux session returns. Join us, Thursday over lunch.

Image:Get the Line on Linuxfest V -- Only at IBM Connect 2014

IBM Connect 2014 Saturday Social Events Calendar

Bill Malchisky  January 22 2014 03:00:00 AM
It's that time of year again, everyone heading to Orlando is excited about IBM Connect 2014 and Lotusphere. Mat published his unofficial unsupported ConnectOsphere Notes DB this week and Andy published his annual guide too to kick-off the new year in style. Saturday at Connect/Lotusphere allows us to get the week rolling in a big way. So, let's go to it! Here are the three main networking opportunities to meet and socialize with the IBM/Lotus community. Get your sleep this week, as come Saturday, you won't sleep for a week.
Time Event - Location ICS File
10am - Noon Soccer Saturday - Dolphin Beach Details here and in the ConnectOsphere Notes application too. ic14-soccer-saturday.ics
3:00 PM - 7:30 PM BALD (Bloggers and friends Annual Lotusphere Dinner) - Big River Brewery, on the Boardwalk; early arrivers stop here to meet friends and new people;
Newbie Note:
Some arrive at 2p, most others near 3p; just show-up and have fun
8:00 PM til Close ESPN - formerly Turtle's Party at ESPN (1998-2011)*; located at the far end of the Boardwalk; everyone stops by at some point. ic14-espn-party.ics

*Historical Insight (for people new to Connect and Lotusphere): Richard H Schwartz, handled the old LNotes-L meetup at the 'Sphere, from which the Gonzo Lotusphere sprang. The denizens of the original lnotes-l listserv used to gather for cocktails and dessert during Lotusphere from 1995-97. That faded and Turtle built off that in 1998 with the ESPN party, Saturday evening.

Simple Tips to Keeping Warm and Staying Safe in Winter

Bill Malchisky  January 4 2014 02:30:00 AM
Updated - I expanded the General Warming Tips section, and articulated better a few points therein.

In the midst of some quite cold temperatures experienced over the northern USA this week, into the weekend and coming week, I thought I would put together a quick list with a goal to keep you warm--as this is an area of expertise for me. It is amazing to me that even with activities quite common for many to most, how cold people still get when say attending a football game, shoveling snow, running errands, volunteering at an election poll, sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. As I really enjoy cold weather, getting outdoors whenever I can regardless of what mother nature throws my way and did make a few mistakes along the way, I wanted to provide an informative list of simple ideas to assist my readers. Below are a few tips so you can enjoy (or at least better tolerate) the cold weather when playing or working outdoors.

this is hardly a compulsory or complete list, but touches upon several lessons learned from my time as a Boy ScoutTM through snowshoeing as an adult in sub-zero temperatures on a regular basis.

Standing Outside/Attending an Outdoor Sporting Event

1. First thing that is important to know, if your footwear contacts concrete, metal, asphalt, ice, snow pack for a long period of time, your feet will get cold -- no matter how many layers you wear above your ankles. Proper insulation between your foot bottom and the heat sink is imperative to success. Wearing very warm boots designed for sub-zero temperatures like SOREL boots are a great starting point, for example
2. Next, corrugated cardboard is a great ally in insulating your feet. Let's look at the pros: NYC street vendors. I was amazed when working in Manhattan how in single digit weather, these hard working business people would stand outside on concrete for 12 to 16 hours per day -- day after day. How? They all stood on cardboard. I attended a professional football game recently and brought two pieces for a friend. She had warm boots, but not great. She put the cardboard under her feet which remained warm, long after a couple of guys next to us had to leave with cold feet. Free and effective solution, allowed into stadiums
2a. You can also take an old foam camping pad and cut-out foot inserts which you place into your boots (easier with a removable liner), or place a piece or two under your feet
2b. Multiple layers of wool or insulated socks help; leave the cotton (socks, jean, shirts) at home, as cotton is worthless for insulating in the cold
3. Longer coats are warmer when sitting than popular shorter jacket length styles. Why? Basic thermodynamics. Just because you are warm when standing in your driveway or outside tailgating, doesn't mean that warmth transfers into the stadium or bleachers. As soon as you sit, you lose precious heat along the length of your femur -- which did not occur when standing. Wear a below the knee coat, or a grab a blanket and cover your legs
4. Insulating your gluteus and upper hamstring when sitting is important too. If the stadium bench is metal or plastic (typically high schools tend to use aluminum, pros use plastic), you need to insulate your flesh from the seat which is a heat sink of varying degrees. Try a few layers of cardboard, a seat cushion or two, long wool winter coat, or an extra blanket

Snow Shoveling/Removal
-- Safety Advice
Less about warmth, more about being smarter. Traction on one's driveway decreases with snow and ice. Too many times I see people shoveling their driveway with rain boots, sneakers, or work boots, none of which provide adequate traction on a snow/ice covered driveway when friction decreases. You may get away with it when on a flat surface, but if you add even a slight incline to your driveway or walkway, the chance for injury multiplies. Poor traction means you need to work your leg muscles harder to hold onto the surface while removing snow with your shovel or blower. This creates fatigue and possible injury as you compensate for the lack of traction with each stride. If you lack proper quality footwear or think that, you would rather not bother with putting on your boots as it's just your driveway, you only have to slip or slide once to impact your day.
- one of the best remedies is to get some creepers. They strap onto your shoe in seconds and provide great traction so you can 'creep' around in the snow and slick surfaces with confidence. Some people refer to them directly by the popular brand names of Yaktrax®, Stabilicers®, and Microspikes®
- keep a pair of creepers in your commuting vehicle. Thus, if you come out from work and find your car buried in snow or icy conditions, you can wear the traction device and make quick work of the clean-up, safely -- keeping warmer in the process

General Warming Tips

1. Dressing in form fitting layers is better than one layer and a bulky top-coat. There exists no shortage of articles, reports, stories on this subject but what the authors always omit is why you should and which layers to use.
a. Simply put: air pockets create cold spots. Your body loses heat to warm that air; when you lose heat, you become cold; in sub-zero temperatures, these cold spots are where you can get frostbite along with exposed skin
b. Form fitting layers trap your body's heat allowing it to insulate itself from the cold, whereas large bulky down style shorter length parkas tend to restrict arm mobility and create air pockets
c. Thus from my experience, several warm wicking layers (e.g. Duofold® or Wikmax®) with wool clothing work better, with a shell on the outside to block wind or precipitation
d. Again, avoid cotton as it absorbs rather than wicks moisture, causing you to get cold faster and freezes when exposed to the elements; wool is the only natural material that keeps you warm when went and is quite warm
e. Combine your layers with an insulated outer layer and you'll feel like you are in the Mojave Desert in no time  

2. Keep the back of your neck, ears, and head covered as you will lose the most heat there; one of the best all-in-one convertible options is a balaclava
3. Standing on your garage floor (i.e. concrete) in the low teens or colder temperatures without properly insulated footwear, can cause frostnip in just a few minutes. Trust me on this, I speak from experience here -- you also want to avoid frostnip
4. Gloves may be cool (looking) but mittens are warm. If you are concerned about being outside with cold hands, wear mittens. If dexterity is important, then wear an under-glove/glove liner made of polypropylene or WSI® Sports Wikmax material, then you can remove your hand from the mitten, open a pocket easily all while keeping your fingers warm
a seasoned marathoner I know prefers convertible mittens with or without a glove liner--depending upon the temperature.
4a. One of the best warm hand combinations I found is a polypropylene glove liner with a pair of $10 ragg wool mittens. Few things keep you as warm. I ski and snowshoe with double weight ragg wool mittens plus a glove liner, while adding a GORE-TEX® shell to block wind while providing a grip on ski poles. I've seen many people pay $150+ for gloves that give them cold fingers when temperatures drop, while for considerably less money my hands are so warm they can sweat (YMMV)
5. When sitting down, you will need to keep your quadriceps covered -- a blanket or longer coat help tremendously
6. When purchasing an outdoor cold weather coat and if you are of average height or taller, try on the tall size; the extra few inches of length can add a lot of warmth for your legs; women may not always have this option -- I just learned
7. In your home -- keep glass windows covered with a blanket, pillow case, curtain or blinds. If you have Venetian blinds turn the slats upwards to close, which keeps the cold air trapped behind the blind and your room warmer.
the slat position here makes a big difference; I have tested this theory multiple times

Where Can You Buy It?

As most of the tips above require just simple adjustments in how you already might do things, the three bullet points below should help in-case you are missing some equipment or were wondering where to find it:
* A short list of vendors I patronized over the years. Familiar names with quality products include: L.L.Bean®, SOREL, Woolrich®, REI®, Eastern Mountain Sports®, and Cabela's®
* Individual sites/stores for specific equipment needs: WSI Sports, Yaktrax, Microspikes, and Stabilicers
* A good cost-effective list of ragg wool hand garments from an old school mom and pop army surplus shop in Colorado, started by a WWII Marine Corps veteran; they were courteous and processed my two orders very quickly for me -- true to their story

All the names on the above list have good options, so work with a vendor you trust to keep warm and safe while being comfortable.


1. WSI Sports is a small Minnesota company that manufactures all of their items locally. They outfit the Green Bay Packers to keep them warm while playing football in frigid outdoor temperatures along with 45 other college and professional sports teams, plus they sponsor the USA Ski Jumping team. I tried their Wikmax HEATR® socks under my ski socks when skiing in 4 F temperatures (-15.56 C) all day and my feet were considerably warmer longer in my ski boots than without them; I expanded my cold weather undergarment inventory with several of their products -- including their glove liners and ski socks
2. Woolrich remains family owned since 1830 with a wonderful 180 year history that you can read here; they offer incredibly warm blankets and wool/wool lined garments.
3. L.L.Bean celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2012, and offers arguably the best on-line retail shopping experience that I found
4. SOREL is the gold standard for cold weather footwear; if you are outside, even to walk the dog or shovel a walkway, your feet will be warm and dry with their boots


WSI, Wikmax, Wikmax HEATR are trademarked by WSI Sports
L.L.Bean is a registered trademark of L.L.Bean Inc.
GORE-TEX is a trademark of W. L. Gore & Associates
Woolrich is a registered trademark of Woolrich, Inc. - Woolrich, Pennsylvania
Microspikes is trademarked by Kahtoola Inc. in Flagstaff, AZ
YakTrax is a registered trademark of Implus Corporation
Stabilicers is trademarked by 32 North Corporation in Biddeford, ME
REI is a trademark of REI and its subsidiaries
EMS and Eastern Mountain Sports are registered trademarks of Eastern Mountain Sports
Cabela's is a registered trademark of Cabela's
Boy Scout is a trademark of the Boy Scouts of America
Duofold by Champion is a trademark of Hanes Brands Inc.

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© 2010 William Malchisky.