Blackberry PlayBook – A real iPad competitor?

RIM is about to release the Blackberry Playbook. It’s going to be shipped in the US and Canada on April 19th. But will it be a real competitor to the iPad (2) or Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets?

Let’s face it: A tablet is cool! It is state of the art and you have to have one nowadays, right? You sit on your couch and the movie is boring. What if you had a tablet to check your mails and twitter stream and to pass by planetlotus.org. Sure, you could take your smartphone. But is it as cool as a tablet and as enjoyable? NO!

So, now that the iPad is not anymore the only tablet out there, which one should I get? Is the BB Playbook a real competitor to the iPad or Android tablets? I couldn’t lay my hand on a PlayBook yet, but there are a lot of people out there who did.

  • Crackberry.com states that the PlayBook is a brand new and exciting Blackberry experience.
  • Techradar.com says that in terms of being able to easily find and load apps, manage your music and videos, play games and browse the web, BlackBerry has an absolute gem on its hands.
  • ITPro thinks that he best business feature of this phone though was the ability to link up with a BlackBerry smartphone via Bluetooth.
  • Pocket-lint means from what they’ve seen so far, and having now actually used the PlayBook, they can see that it will appeal to BlackBerry users, but the slightly quirky approach that the PlayBook takes to connectivity and functions will deter those looking for a complete feature set.

So, different opinions but a start for everyone thinking about getting a tablet to take the PlayBook into consideration.

Mastering XPages – The Bible

Have you already got your copy of „Mastering XPages: A Step-by-Step Guide to XPages Application Development and the XSP Language“ yet? I’ve read the fist chapters and the only thing I can say: STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

So if you do not know where to get this book, here are some links:

Amazon US
Amazon UKAmazon Germany
Amazon Autralia (My second home. Love you Aussies!)
IBM Press

You do not live in any of the countries mentioned? There will be an Amazon or other bookstore near you selling this book. So do not hesitate and get your copy. It’s definitely worth it!

Jesus, DDE is NOT fun!

I am going to eat my furniture in a moment! I have a Lenovo R500, 3 GB memory and my HDD still has 40 GB of free space. I am running Vista64 and Lotus Notes 8.5.2. Working with Domino Designer for Eclipse is a nightmare on my system. It takes 2 minutes to start, it takes another 2 minutes to start Java Tooling etc.

Once started the DDE hangs every now and then, e.g. when saving design elements or when trying to open a design element. I can’t say why that is. Someone told me he reckons that DDE interferes with a Domino Server running on the same machine, but I have no Server installed whatsoever.

I set up a VM with WinXp32 as OS and installed Lotus Notes 8.5.2 on it. I granted my VM 1 GB of memory. Guess what: DDE runs heaps better than on my local machine. Startup time is much faster, no hangs or crashes. Can anybody tell me why that is? Is anyone experiencing similar problems? Is Vista64 the reason?

Arrrgghhh! Give me back my Lotus Notes Designer performance!

Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5.2 FP2

The Lotus Notes/Domino Fixpack 2 for 8.5.2 reached Gold Status and is about to be released in the next couple of days. Among many fixes there are some new functions coming with this releases. These are:

  • SPR# VASR876SSW – Syntax validation was added to Recent Contacts. The following are considered invalid: (1) Any address ending in period, backslash, forwardslash, @, left angle bracket or single quote . (2) Any smtp address where address is surrounded by single quotes. (3) No spaces are allowed in 821 smtp address (the real address part) . (4) No sntp address can have a period after a top level ICCAN domain. Top level ICANN domains are .com, org, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net. (5) On Notes addressing, we are not allowing a period in the organizational part. ie no tom/west.ford/ibm
  • SPR# ATAI7WSABL – When a Delivery Failure report is processed, the failed address will be automatically deleted from Recent Contacts and put into Contacts Trash.
  • SPR# DCHR89GT3Q – Added a policy option to enable administrators to enable or restrict the ability for Notes client users to choose „Save as eml“ under „File..Save“ options from within an email.
  • SPR# GHAT8ATNCH – For 8.5.2 FP2, on conversion from local replica to Managed Mail Replica, we will now configure the existing entry with all default Managed Mail Replica settings (scheduled replication enabled, high priority enabled, send/receive full documents from the server). The Managed Mail Replica settings will be locked on the replication page, but will be editable in the „Replication Settings“ dialog. We will also prevent the disabling or deletion of the Managed Mail entry from the replication page.

The complete preliminary fixlist is already online. To check the release date go to Upcoming Releases.

Lotus Traveler 8.5.2.2 solves sync problems

I reported about sync problems with Lotus Traveler in one of my recent posts. Synchronisation worked a couple of days and then started to fail. This ended up in a state where I was able to sync just once a day. I urged my admin to update to Traveler 8.5.2.2 and he did so last thursday. I then updated my client on my android device and voila: all sync problems gone. It’s been working since then like a charm.

I don’t know the reasons for the problems when using 8.5.2.1, I’m just happy having a working Traveler app!

Check the entire fixlist for other problems solved.

Review: QuipIM – First Sametime Client for iPhone and Android

In yesterday’s post I presented a newcomer in the market: QuipIM – the first Lotus Sametime Client for iPhone and Android. I downloaded the software to my android device and started testing it straight away. In this post I want to share my results and impressions.

The installation process is as easy as any other app. Just open the android market, search for QuipIM and download and install the software. Once installed you can open it and will be presented with a button named „Add new account“.

Following this order I entered my account details. Here’s is an example I copied from androidzoom.

Now you end up with your newly created account and your buddy lists. QuipIM shows all buddy lists that you manage with your Samtime Desktop Client. You can switch between the list via a combo box as you can see on the screenshot on the right hand side. Just tap on a buddy to start a new conversation. A new window opens that shows the conversations and a small field to enter messages. A send button sends new messages to your chat buddy.

All conversations will be saved by default. There is no option to disable chat histories. The number of settings is rather small right now. Given that this is the first version we can not expect to get a full tweak environment. You can set a time of day to disconnect all accounts automatically. You can decide whether to use a sound, vibration or none of these when new messages arrive. If you want your LED to flash on new IMs then tick the appropriate box. That’s about it.

QuipIM can handle multiple accounts. I added my company account, Lotus Greenhouse and Euluc. It works fine so far. I experienced some minor problems during weak mobile connections. QuipIM keeps disconnecting my accounts. In 3G or WiFi environments it works like a charm.

This is the first version of the first sametime client for iPhone or Android. Don’t expect a high-end solution. It’s a basic app that does what it’s been designed for.

What I miss:

  • Hide people who are offline
  • Show the device of people connected
  • Start multi person chats

For as long as IBM won’t provide a native client I will use QuipIM.

Sametime Client for iPhone and Android available

Are you like me waiting for a Lotus Sametime Client for iPhone or Android? Guess what, there is one and the best thing is: it’s free of charge! IBM hasn’t managed to provide a Sametime Client yet so some equally impatiant people have developed their own client. It’s called QuipIM for Sametime.

Features include:

  • Manage your connections to multiple accounts.
  • Manage your buddy list, including adding and removing buddies and groups.
  • Easily switch between active conversations using a swipe.
  • Set your status and a custom status message.
  • Easily access and manage your conversation history.

So go ahead and give it a try for as long as IBM won’t release a native client! It is either available from the android market or the apple app store (coming soon!).

UPDATE

I just posted a review for this app.

The might of the internet

The first weeks of 2011 have run at top speed concerning news and politics. We have seen major changes in local environments like the retreat of germany’s minister of defence Mr. Guttenberg as well as major and dramatic changes in the arab world. Would it have been possible that these changes had taken place 15 years ago without the internet?

Tunisia, Egypt and Libya just went or are still going through some radical changes forced by the locals. The people did not want to be ruled by their „politicians“ any longer. The source of the demonstrations were in all cases young people who have not seen a future in their own countries for themselves. Unemployment rates among young people were and still are high and getting older alone does not generate jobs either.

These people started to demonstrate for a better future and against their politicians. More and more people joined the demonstrations each and every day. How is that possible in countries were all media are controlled by politicians?

10 – 15 years ago news were spread via newspapers or news on tv once a day. Today we have literally real-time news on the internet via twitter, facebook and news streams. There is no delay of information, everything is available as soon as it happens anywhere. Furthermore news and information is no longer only available from newspapers, radio or tv but from anyone with internet access.

There are a couple of factors which fit together and lead to the situation we currently have in the arab world. First of all the young people discovered the internet as a source of information as well as a plattform to share information e.g. via twitter, youtube and facebook. With these tools it is much easier to organize demonstrations over a long time and to get them going. The regimes of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and others are rather old fashioned with a crucial underestimation of the internet. People can no longer be kept away from free news. Propaganda newspapers and propaganda tv worked as long as the internet was not there. Now people have access to the sources of the internet and come to own conclusions.

China is a giant with a regime well aware of the might of the internet. They shutdown or block homepages with content dealing critical with their country. The regime follows the developments in the arab world with anxiety and react with brutal force to the smallest cell of movements toward an open country. Can the arab wave flood China as well? I think it can and I think China is not the only candidate. Iran is another were people started a first attempt in 2009. With the events in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in mind and twitter, youtube and facebook as platforms to organize the „riot“ these countries could be next.

So watch out you dictators. The internet is a mean of democracy and a mean to get there.