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  9. <channel>
  10. <title>BillMal Your Lotus Pal</title>
  11. <description>ICS/Lotus (mostly), Linux, Travel, Skiing, Mixology, and Random Musing of Interest</description>
  12. <link></link>
  13. <language>en-us</language>
  14. <lastBuildDate>Mon, 3 Oct 2016 02:05:00 -0400</lastBuildDate>
  15. <item>
  16. <title>Notes Domino Templates Get Slated for an Update. Here&#8217;s the Roadmap</title>
  17. <pubDate>Mon, 3 Oct 2016 02:05:00 -0400</pubDate>
  18. <link></link>
  19. <category>admin</category>
  20. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  21. <comments>;comments</comments>
  22. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  23. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ This is the first of two roadmap posts I authored for release this week. Beyond my post last month where I covered lightly that <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">templates would be upgraded</span></a>, Barry Rosen provided an updated roadmap with two slides covering just Notes Domino Templates. For simplicity, I copy-pasted the prose from the first slide to make it searchable, and appended the time table slide for the second. Nice to see some progress here too. Nice to see that they are filling in the hole created previously from multiple areas.<strong><br /> <br /> Templates Roadmap</strong> <br /> * The templates would be posted in Fix Central and not packaged with the fix pack installer. <br /> * You will be able to optionally download them to upgrade templates <br /> * Template releases would be aligned to the next closest fix pack release <br /> * Only templates which have changes would be released <br /> * The changes would need to include fixes needed for corresponding core/java &#91;sic&#93; fixes in the Notes fix pack. <br /> * There will be one zip file for English and another for multi languages (possible one each for G1,G2 and G3 languages) posted. <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:Notes Domino Templates Get Slated for an Update. Here&#8217;s the Roadmap" border="0" src="" />  ]]></content:encoded>
  24. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
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  26. </item>
  27. <item>
  28. <title>Staying at The Top of Google Searches for Smart Phones</title>
  29. <pubDate>Thu, 29 Sep 2016 02:10:00 -0400</pubDate>
  30. <link></link>
  31. <category>android</category>
  32. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  33. <comments>;comments</comments>
  34. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  35. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ Although quality web developers have known for a while, <a href="">Google wants you to be mobile friendly</a>. Thus, if you want to stay at the top of Google web searches when the customer uses a smart phone, then your web site must display well on mobile phones. If not, Google will lower your weighting and you'll suddenly show farther down the list versus when the same search is performed on a desktop. <br /> <br />But never fear, <a href="">Google offers a free tool to check your site</a>. As I thought this tool is handy, I wanted to provide it for you and see if it might assist with volunteer work you might do, when on-the-job, or even checking your competitors' site(s). <br /> <br />Here are a few quick searches and their results: as expected all three are successful. <br /> <br /><img  alt="Image:Staying at The Top of Google Searches for Smart Phones" border="0" src="" />&nbsp; <br /> <hr><img  alt="Image:Staying at The Top of Google Searches for Smart Phones" border="0" src="" />&nbsp; <br /> <hr>&nbsp; <br />&nbsp;<img  alt="Image:Staying at The Top of Google Searches for Smart Phones" border="0" src="" /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />  ]]></content:encoded>
  36. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  37. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  38. </item>
  39. <item>
  40. <title>Awesome Linux Reference Sheets for Developers (and Administrators)</title>
  41. <pubDate>Tue, 27 Sep 2016 12:01:00 -0400</pubDate>
  42. <link></link>
  43. <category>administration</category>
  44. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  45. <comments>;comments</comments>
  46. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  47. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ A blog post for developers? Yes! Though it is not my first and will not be my last, it has been awhile. As an admin, this reference sheet is also helpful. I learned of a great <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Vim</span></a> (vi Improved) reference sheet recently. There is a lot of information on a single sheet of paper, organized quite well and easy to use. If you need a handy reference sheet for vi commands... this is a good one to review. Although it works great in color, but he also offers a gray scale version and one for those with red/green color blindness: all in PDF and Excel. <span style="text-decoration:underline"><br /> </span><a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Get the Vim reference sheet for programmers here.</span></a> <br /> <br /> The author links a four additional reference documents, and I thought I would include them below, along with the Vim Wiki. Each is a quality offering, allowing you to get the information in a way that works for you. <br /> <strong><br /> <br /> Additional References</strong> <span style="text-decoration:underline"><br /> </span><a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Vim Wiki</span></a> <span style="text-decoration:underline"><br /> </span><a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Handy two-sided collated reference</span></a>, with eight foreign language translations <span style="text-decoration:underline"><br /> </span><a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">An excellent end-user graphical keyboard</span></a>, with succeeding images illustrating keyboard combinations; quite an amazing reference page <span style="text-decoration:underline"><br /> </span><a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">Command Reference Mind Map</span></a> <span style="text-decoration:underline"><br /> </span><a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Collated web site command reference</span></a> and the <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Advanced version</span></a> <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:Awesome Linux Reference Sheets for Developers (and Administrators)" border="0" src="" />  ]]></content:encoded>
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  50. </item>
  51. <item>
  52. <title>IMSMO 2.0 (Project Hawthorn) Expands Client Offerings, Crash Avoidance Tip, and an Updated Schema</title>
  53. <pubDate>Mon, 26 Sep 2016 00:30:00 -0400</pubDate>
  54. <link></link>
  55. <category>ibm domino</category>
  56. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  57. <comments>;comments</comments>
  58. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  59. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ On Thursday, 22 September, IBM Social Business Community Call where Luis Guirigay, Barry Rosen, and Scott Vrusho provided a quality session on IMSMO 2.0, IBM re-announced to a larger international audience new support for Outlook 2010 and 2016. This is exciting news to hear. At ICON US in May, Luis Guirigay stated that the new expanded client support would happen this year and at MWLUG 2016, IBM officially made the announcement--keeping their promise. In my working with the product over the past 12 months, I am happy to have version two released and on-time (also as promised), while seeing consistent enhancements through fix packs. <br /> <br /> To ensure currency, below are some links to provide additional information on IMSMO client support, how to avoid a crash on Linux x64 with ND9.0.1 FP7, and of course, the current schema image.<strong><br /> <br /> Referenced Documents</strong><br /> 1. Fix List for IBM mail support for Microsoft Outlook (IMSMO) clients -> <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">&nbsp;</span></a> <br />  &nbsp;-- Section<em> 2.0 Fix Pack 1 (</em> provides new clients listings<br /> 2. Download Options for Notes &amp; Domino 9.0.1 Fix Packs -> &nbsp;<a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a><br /> 3. For x64 Linux, upgrade Traveler &amp; IMSMO servers to IMSMO <span style="text-decoration:underline">before</span> upgrading to Domino 9.0.1 Fix Pack 7 (or later) to avoid a potential crash; Technote 1990034 explains further <br />  &nbsp; --><span style="text-decoration:underline"> </span><a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a><br /> 4. Microsoft Outlook Client Requirements <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a><em><br /> <br /> Notations</em> <br /> A. IMSMO server provides all fixes included within Traveler Server  <br />&nbsp; &nbsp;--> <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a> <br /> B. For, it provides the Traveler Server fixes -> <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a> <br /> <strong><br /> <br /> IMSMO Slides to Share</strong><br /> Two slides to share in this post covering architecture and part numbers. I like the first slide slide as it quite clearly shows you what both vendors bring to the table to get the solution working, while highlighting the use of IBM's new SyncML conduit to move data sans Microsoft's Active Sync technology. <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:IMSMO 2.0 (Project Hawthorn) Expands Client Offerings, Crash Avoidance Tip, and an Updated Schema" border="0" src="" /><br /> <br /> <br /> IMSMO Part Numbers, both client and server side. If you want the software, knowing all the part numbers desired for your environment can make the acquisition process easier. <strong><br /> Note:</strong><em> Below are for version only, and requested from the presenter to get a slide with the part numbers. Upon receipt, I will update this post.</em><br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:IMSMO 2.0 (Project Hawthorn) Expands Client Offerings, Crash Avoidance Tip, and an Updated Schema" border="0" src="" /><br /> <br /> Thanks for reading.   ]]></content:encoded>
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  62. </item>
  63. <item>
  64. <title>IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features</title>
  65. <pubDate>Thu, 22 Sep 2016 01:54:05 -0400</pubDate>
  66. <link></link>
  67. <category>admin</category>
  68. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  69. <comments>;comments</comments>
  70. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  71. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ <strong>Preface</strong> <br /> In my previous two blog posts pertaining to Verse On-premises (VOP), please note that a few of the items below were covered here previously. This serves as a metric to ascertain what key items are likely to remain. <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">As cited here on July 18, 2016</span></a>, IBM is fully committed to and on-track to make a year-end release for this product. IBM is discussing a lot of new VOP items at events in multiple cities/countries; for example <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">MWLUG</span></a> in Austin, TX. Much of <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">what I reported on August 3, 2016 remains true</span></a>. Below you will find an updated schema along with new features that are being discussed publicly in this blog post. <br />  <hr noshade><strong><br /> Disclaimer</strong> <br /> Please note that everything in the post is now being discussed in-public by IBM and is provided outside, separate and distinct from any information I gained by being in the Verse On Premises beta program. The slides and content are posted with permission from <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Uffe Sorensen</span></a> and <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Barry Rosen</span></a>, the <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">ICON UK</span></a> Presenters. <strong><br /> <br /> <br /> Foundational Topics of Interest</strong> <br /> * Release date is December 2016, which is aligned with my original posts from July and August <br /> * Verse Offline Support - released March 2016, locally encrypted local mail store <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features" border="0" src="" /><strong><br /> <br /> <br /> Help and Learning New Features</strong> <br /> * On the Help tab (?), "What's New &#91;x&#93;" let's you know about what changed recently... and the number of new items <br /> * The "?" button will have a red dot next to it when new items are available and then upon selecting the menu option, the program will walk you through the GUI to display the feature(s), plus a pop-up window with the text description of each new feature <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features" border="0" src="" /><br /> <br /> * Monthly on the<em> IBM Knowledge Center</em> will include new features in the current month, making it easy to create an internal newsletter for your users. <strong><br /> <br /> <br /> Additional Value</strong> <br /> * Consistency with cloud offering <br /> * Secure offline browser access <br /> * No need for a rich client, if you choose <br /> * Domino application access via ICAA or Notes <br /> * Low-bandwidth option for high-latency environments/countries <br /> * Integration and extensibility to match future cloud capabilities; add your applications to the menu (within Compose), business card, and while reading mail, for example; more features and increased options being developed <strong><br /> <br /> <br /> Schema</strong> <br /> New updated architectural schema (which may change again): <br /> * The API is new <br /> * Need Domino 9.0.1 FP7+, which provides over 100 fixes, VOP API hooks, NRPC port encryption, and JVM 1.8 runtime upgrade capability <br /> * Connections 5.5 CR1, which is optional, for Files, Profiles, Preview, Business Cards, and Team Analytics <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features" border="0" src="" /><br /> <br /> * Techline is available for sizing needs; it is akin to an iNotes deployment methodology, which should make Domino administrators very happy. <strong><br /> <br /> <br /> Future Items</strong> <br /> * Prioritized Inbox (1H preview) <br /> * Action support (1H, preview) - system identifies key actions from emails and helps users complete them; partners can configure the system to identify actions from 3rd party solutions <br /> * "Cognitive shown in white" <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features" border="0" src="" /><br /> <br /> * Bluemix model can be added with cognitive for on-premises but <span style="text-decoration:underline">may</span> introduce a future charge - stay tuned; this capability is more complex and thus, the increased design consideration by IBM to get it correct is necessitated <br /> * Future updates for Verse on-premises add-ins: provided via a separate zip file from FPs, but there may be some back-end features deployed through Domino FPs <br /> * Sametime presence awareness under consideration, post-GA <br /> * Language support: English first, then all languages will be provided; VOP will be available in all cloud based languages; future features are dependent upon the language schedule roll-out to teach and code Watson to make it aware of them. English, German, Japanese (funded by two local companies); huge cost to teach a language to Watson, but it is a prerequisite and IBM wants to do this. Relevant as VOP is dependent upon Watson for the cognitive aspects <br /> <br /> Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts. Have a great day! <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features" border="0" src="" />  ]]></content:encoded>
  72. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
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  74. </item>
  75. <item>
  76. <title>A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part II</title>
  77. <pubDate>Wed, 21 Sep 2016 02:01:00 -0400</pubDate>
  78. <link></link>
  79. <category>admin</category>
  80. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  81. <comments>;comments</comments>
  82. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  83. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ UPDATE: Wording change on the IBM Notes Template bullet to read "... getting some development love" plus a new appended sentence to indicate more accurately the type of changes that are slated. <br />  <hr><br /> Below is the completion of my interview with Barry Rosen, IBM Offering Manager for ICS. Enjoy! <strong><br /> <br /> Notes 9.0.2 and Feature Packs</strong> <br /> * As indicated in the slide yesterday, the entire feature set of 9.0.2 will not be released into one Feature Pack (FP), but over four. Yes, the next four FPs will introduce what 9.0.2 would have offered. For some, this may be an eternity. Here is how I look at it: If we waited for 9.0.2 to actually be released, we would be looking at a late Q2 '17 release date at the earliest, based upon IBM not even evaluating the build's probability until Q1 '17. Instead, with the FP model we are getting some features now, others in Q1 '17, for starters. So, through the FP model, we are getting needed features faster with a much lower price point for IBM. Point releases are ridiculously expensive to deploy, whereas FPs are very cost-effect, while allowing the deployment resources to stay focused on development and testing. I like this model as it will keep ICS limber and more readily able to release software in a manner akin to the smart phone update release model we all enjoy.<br /> <br /> * IBM had an issue with ND9 FP7, initially discovered with<span style="text-decoration:underline"> iNotes by Ulrich Krause, who created the SPR</span> and then <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">blogged by Daniel Nashed</span></a>. Then, I provided Ulrich's PMR and correlated SPR data to Barry, who stated IBM will make its resolution a priority. <br /> <br /> * The IBM i partners I know are concerned with the lack of attention the more stable and more scalable operating environments receive. In an effort to comprehend this, we discussed how IBM determines what creates popularity for a Domino platform, and the bias the current system introduces. The current metric rewards instability while penalizing stable scalable operating systems and this needs to change. If one can operate 100k mail users on one Power System box running IBM i, and the Windows equivalent would need a server farm, you are going to get more Windows PMRs. It lacks prudence in my opinion and based upon my experience to then say that there exists fewer users/decreased interest on i, AIX, or z/OS boxes simply because they are successful.<em><br /> <br /> Please note this process applies to new offerings only. Existing products such as Domino 9.0.1 and Sametime 9.0.1 will continue to support the IBM i Platform</em><br /> <br /> * <strong>How are Feature Packs helping IBM i, for example?</strong> With new products being in-scope for the opened PMR metric, existing products keeping their deployment platforms. Thus, with 9.0.1 FP{n}, IBM i will have a build. If IBM actually went to ND 9.0.2, IBM i, AIX, and z/OS would need exceptions and evaluated before a release could be considered, let alone be offered. So, by bypassing 9.0.2, IBM i lives with Domino, Traveler, and Sametime through Feature Packs. <em>Enjoy the longevity.</em> <br /> <br /> * To reiterate the <a href=";infotype=an&amp;appname=iSource&amp;supplier=877&amp;letternum=ENUSZP16-0474"><span style="text-decoration:underline">IBM product support announcement</span></a> from mid-September, IBM Notes and Domino is alive and well. People may choose to spin things based upon what they think they know, or want to believe by how they read the prose. Instead, rather than espouse conjecture factually, I prefer to go to the source, learn sans a filter, and draw my own conclusions. I did that here with Barry. Notes has life, it will have life, and will be one of several methods of accessing a Domino back-end for years to come. That is a fact. Others may choose to split hairs based upon what they wanted to see in the announcement and did not. What I want to know is if the products I love and invested so much still have legs, and they do. This announcement confirmation represents more communication than we received in the previous years combined. It clearly is an imperfect announcement, but it is a good starting point--from my perspective and happy to receive it along with the confirmation of the IBM Offering Manager for ICS. Having stated all of this, I know all too well of the current market landscape and that IBM must turn-around the market quickly. Again, your opinion may differ herein and I am happy to hear it.<br /> <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part II" border="0" src="" /><br /> <br /> <br /> * <strong>Where is the Domino FP timeline?</strong> That document is currently being finalized for release. Upon receipt, I will post it on this site. <br /> <br /> * <strong>Notes Templates are getting some development love</strong>. Yes, that is correct! The core templates will all be getting new life in a very near future Feature Pack. Barry is currently building a list of items to include and what needs to be completed for each. From here, he did confirm his commitment to fix what was broken, one step at a time. "Changes correlate to 9.0.2 features and fixes" --Barry Rosen.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part II" border="0" src="" /><strong><br /> <br /> Last But Not Least</strong> <em><br /> Auditing process</em> - as we all know, no one has an issue with IBM ensuring license compliance with paying customers, it is the approach the auditing team takes that creates the problem. A year ago at Social Connections in Boston, the audience via several business partners from three continents offered their take on how the process could be improved and how it is costing IBM loyal customers. Fast forward til September, 2016, the situation's complexity is now better understood by IBM and they want to change it. Happy to learn that Barry and his team understand the problem and seek to address it--despite the fact that it is larger than ICS, you need someone to support the cause. <strong><br /> <br /> <br /> Part II Summary</strong> <br /> IBM knows they have a lot of work to do. With new leadership and management, come the opportunity for positive change. Big Blue understands now, that they made some serious mistakes in 2013-2015, and are now, addressing them. I know the schedule delays, Feature Pack schedule from here, loss of customer base, loss of trust, and increased frustration generated previously may seem like 'too little, too late'. For me, with what I personally witnessed and learned this past week in London and over 2016, I am firmly in the camp of encouragement. IBM should not expect a clean slate from the community, but I personally like the changes I am witnessing and am optimistic for the future of ICS. Thank you to Barry for his candor and being so generous with his time. I would like to hear your opinion.   ]]></content:encoded>
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  86. </item>
  87. <item>
  88. <title>A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part I</title>
  89. <pubDate>Tue, 20 Sep 2016 02:02:00 -0400</pubDate>
  90. <link></link>
  91. <category>admin</category>
  92. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  93. <comments>;comments</comments>
  94. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  95. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ During ICON UK 2016 in London, I took some time to talk with the IBM Offering Manager for ICS covering IBM Notes, Domino, Verse on Premises, and Sametime, Barry Rosen. Our initial Q&amp;A turned into about a 30 minute dialogue, which I found quite informative. With his permission, I am posting the more interesting parts of our conversation, in summary format from my perspective.<br /> <strong><br /> <br /> Acknowledging Reality to Reset the Norm</strong> <br /> IBM recognizes --- as do their customers and BPs --- that over the previous three years, they became a "rudderless ship &#91;drifting&#93;". With <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Inhi Cho Suh's</span></a> leadership, ICS is clearing a massive backlog of items needing attention. She is focused on making dates and that mantra is lucid with her team. What we are now seeing is an ICS developing products while committing to release dates and unlike in years past they are making these dates. Project Hawthorn 2.0 (IMSMO) and ND7 FP7 both delivered as promised, along with IBM Verse On-premises definitely on schedule for a year-end release--and with the new internal design structure, the fastest out-the-door release of any product. &nbsp;In June 2016, IBM stated that ND 9.0.2 would be re-evaluated in Q1 '17 due to resource constraints all focused on Verse on Premises. Then, IBM changed their mind when they switched to the Feature Pack delivery model and started releasing those features sooner than later (more on that Part II). <br /> <br /> From here, IBM needs to address the application development side, repairing the perception of disparity with Office 365, Feature Pack quality, commence marketing the brand, and regain trust. With such a backlog, it will take time, and no matter how IBM ordered the list of items to accomplish, many people will say they are doing it incorrectly. For me, it is important that they are getting things done--the order for me is less important than making progress and keeping their word going forward. <strong><br /> <br /> <br /> Application Development</strong> <br /> 1. Application development's strategy is gaining momentum and will be released---perhaps later than many would like and I can understand that, but again, this is one of many items in the backlog needing attention. And development is getting attention--both within ICS and in the community. You don't have to go any further than my friend, <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">David Leedy's blog post</span></a> on features missing on the Dev side to understand the significance of this data point;<br /> <br /> 2. To address the need, IBM is making a big announcement in Q4 about development. This, I believe, would be a compliment to the September 2016 ICS announcement about Notes and Domino being actively developed, maintained, and supported til at least 2021. Why so long? With the new management changes in ICS, it will take a couple months for teams to learn their new roles, define a vision and execute it<em>;<br /> <br /> I'm not being defensive of IBM, just being realistic with how long things can take. I know many of my developer friends will be either irked or perturbed with such a delay, but I would rather receive this information this year when then can commit to it, rather than hearing something now that never happens;</em> <br /> <br /> 3. <strong>Java 8.</strong> I know many people wanted to have this feature in FP7, or earlier and they have a fair point. See the <em>rudderless ship</em> comment above to know why it's delayed. The good news is that IBM committed publicly to include Java 8 in FP8, due in January '17<strong>.</strong><br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part I" border="0" src="" /><strong><br /> Part I Summary</strong> <br /> IBM has a new cadence now for releasing items and they will build trust through delivery. Otherwise, in a year, we may all be looking for a new line of work. <br /> <br /> See &nbsp;you tomorrow!   ]]></content:encoded>
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  98. </item>
  99. <item>
  100. <title>My Two ICON UK 2016 Session Decks</title>
  101. <pubDate>Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:00:00 -0400</pubDate>
  102. <link></link>
  103. <category>admin</category>
  104. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  105. <comments>;comments</comments>
  106. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  107. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ What a great few days in London. Once again, the entire team there did a great job to offer the IBM Community an excellent learning opportunity. Thank you as well to the quality sponsors that committed to ensure this user group would happen. The organizers and the sponsors all deserve our gratitude. From that, I spoke at two sessions: <br /> <br /> Day 1 - co-presented with Keith Brooks <em><br /> Migration:Impossible... Not so</em> <br /> <br /> Day 2 - co-presented with Serdar Basegmez <em><br /> Back from the Dead: When Bad Code Kills a Good Server </em><br /> <br /> The <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">slides are available here</span></a>, along with session abstracts. Thank you for the interest.<br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:My Two ICON UK 2016 Session Decks" border="0" src="" />  ]]></content:encoded>
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  110. </item>
  111. <item>
  112. <title>IBM Verse On-premises Architecture and Insight</title>
  113. <pubDate>Wed, 3 Aug 2016 02:30:00 -0400</pubDate>
  114. <link></link>
  115. <category>domino</category>
  116. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  117. <comments>;comments</comments>
  118. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  119. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ Yesterday, IBM provided a preview call for select customers covering IBM Verse On-premises (VOP). Those in attendance were amongst the first to receive updated particulars on this product. I explicitly asked and received permission to provide this information. Here is a subset of relevant items discussed/presented. <br /> <br /><strong>Disclaimer:</strong> As certain features are still being developed, anything and everything below is subject to change. The data below reflects what was presented to me and is believed to be accurate at the time of this writing. <br /> <br /><img  alt="Image:IBM Verse On-premises Architecture and Insight" border="0" src="" /> <br /> <br /> <br /><strong>Data Points</strong> <br />* IBM professed that the<a href=""> installation would be easy</a> (second body paragraph in that post); from the diagram above and responses provided on the call, they are keeping to that promise <br />* The Indexing Service will be one of two options: Domino or another DB <br />&nbsp; &nbsp;** I asked if that would be No-SQL or an RDBMS? IBM offered that it would be either Domino or a simple No-SQL indexing solution; for me, this is very encouraging <br />* SOLR is used with Verse Cloud for high-speed searching, but is neither required for Verse on-premises nor should it be perceived as such; again, it will be a simple indexing service or Domino to run it <br />* IBM Techline will be Verse On-premises trained and knowledgeable very soon; so those with Techline access will be able to receive information on server sizing, for example <br />* <em>Connections is optional</em>. What it provides is the ability to receive the faces features at the top of the mail client, the <em>Me to We</em> capability, and sharing messages in a social space, for example <br />&nbsp; &nbsp;** If you incorporate Connections, you must use Connections 5.5; older versions omit enhanced key features that Verse On-Premises requires <br />* Fix Packs <br />&nbsp; &nbsp;** The latest Domino fixpack will be required; which will be either FP7 or FP8 <br />&nbsp; &nbsp;** Domino FP7 has a target release date of August 27th, +- a couple of days <br />&nbsp; &nbsp;** Domino FP8 is well underway with planning, and may or may not be available in-time for the Nov/Dec VOP release <br />&nbsp;  <br /> <br /><strong>Pricing</strong> <br />* IBM is looking to provide entitlements and keep it affordable <br />* Will be available in Passport Advantage as a option for all customers that are current on their licenses and support costs <br /> <br /> <br />I will blog more as I learn more and am permitted to do so. Once I enter the VOP beta program later this week, I may not be able to write as much as I would like (if at all). Let me know your thoughts.   ]]></content:encoded>
  120. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  121. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  122. </item>
  123. <item>
  124. <title>IBM Verse On-Premises Coming Soon</title>
  125. <pubDate>Mon, 18 Jul 2016 21:00:00 -0400</pubDate>
  126. <link></link>
  127. <category>domino</category>
  128. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  129. <comments>;comments</comments>
  130. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  131. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ Today, IBM's <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">VP - Offering Management and Design</span></a> for IBM Collaboration Solutions (ICS), <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Ed Brill announced</span></a> that select customer sites are using the <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">Verse</span></a> on-premises beta. This shows that since announced at <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Social Connections 10</span></a> in Toronto (Jun '16), they made adjustments to the 2016 calendar release schedule to better focus on priorities with a defined plan. The previous few years, it became painfully clear to business partners and some customers that the development team lost focus, impacting quality. Since the tenure of<a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline"> Inhi Cho Suh as the ICS General Manager</span></a> in January '16, things are definitely different for the better. Despite Notes Domino 9.0.2 being delayed (again) til 2017, the on-premises version of Verse is a welcome piece in the ICS puzzle of innovation. In my opinion, this shows that despite some frustration with previous delays, IBM is keeping its word now and is focused on delivering quality products to its customers. The targeted release for Verse on-premises is December 2016; so with a customer beta now, IBM would appear to be on-track to make that milestone. <br /> <br /> Additionally, I also learned at the Social Connections 10 Ask IBM session that the installation for IBM Verse on-premise is easy. "Very easy," as one product manager offered, and told me that he tested it himself. That is a nice change from what we learned a year ago in Boston for Social Connections 8, when IBM stated the installation would deviate from the normal Domino upgrade administrators preferred, and move into the IBM Connections/Sametime installation camp--in-terms of complexity. Great to see that IBM also evolved this part of the release model. To be fair, I do not have particulars on whether the test was on a plain vanilla environment or a more complex infrastructure when upgrading, but the installation message is more zealous than a year ago: a good sign. <br /> <br /> All in all, I would say good news on two counts. Good luck to IBM on making the year-end release with easy installation and upgrade paths. <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:IBM Version On-Premises Coming Soon" border="0" src="" />  ]]></content:encoded>
  132. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  133. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  134. </item>
  135. <item>
  136. <title>Integer Overflow Vulnerability Identified in IBM Notes via Pixman Library</title>
  137. <pubDate>Mon, 11 Jul 2016 02:00:00 -0400</pubDate>
  138. <link></link>
  139. <category>administration</category>
  140. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  141. <comments>;comments</comments>
  142. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  143. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ Although this vulnerability will not affect everyone, in talking with my customer's AVL, I decided to post it. The CVE description indicates, "Integer overflow in the create_bits function in pixman-bits-image.c in Pixman before 0.32.6 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via large height and stride values." <span style="text-decoration:underline">The risk is low</span> but real. Fortunately, the fix is easy.  <br /> <br />The risk profile for CVE-2014-9766 is <a href="">available here</a>, IBM's Security Bulletin for CVE-2014-9766 is available here, and the IBM X-Force Exchange vulnerability report indicates this has a <a href=>CVSS 3.0 base score</a> of 7.3. <a href=>Read the X-Force Exhance report here.</a> <br /> <br />Within IBM Notes the aspect in-scope is IBM Expeditor version 6.2.3 and 9.0.1 (Notes client specific). This affects the following versions of IBM Notes: <br />IBM Notes 9.0.1 FP5 and earlier release <br />IBM Notes 9.0 IF4 and earlier release <br />IBM Notes 8.5.3 FP6 IF10 and earlier release <br />IBM Notes 8.5.2 FP4 IF3 and earlier release <br />IBM Notes 8.5.1 FP5 IF3 and earlier release <br />IBM Notes 8.5 release <br /> <br />To address, simply  <br />Notes 9.0.1 -> Get the<a href=""> latest Fix Pack</a> <br />Notes 8.5.3 -> Get <a href="">FP6 IF11 or above</a> <br /> <br />More good news, IBM is willing to create a custom fix for customers with different version of Notes. So, if you have a business justification to stay with 9.0.x for example, contact IBM support or your AVL about a resolution.  <br /> <br />Good luck. Stay safe. <br /> <br /> <br />  ]]></content:encoded>
  144. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  145. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  146. </item>
  147. <item>
  148. <title>ICON US Slides</title>
  149. <pubDate>Mon, 23 May 2016 03:00:00 -0400</pubDate>
  150. <link></link>
  151. <category>iamlug</category>
  152. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  153. <comments>;comments</comments>
  154. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  155. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ Happy to provide my slides for the excellent event called <a href=>ICON US</a>, run a couple weeks ago. A very challenging travel schedule since then with the <a href="">Park Avenue viaduct fire halting commuter rail service</a> north of Manhattan and another <a href="">track fire three days later</a> eight blocks south made for a tough few days (fortunately no one was injured during the initial inferno). So, without further ado, my <a href=>updated slides for The BASHing Admins are available</a>. Thanks to the organizers for running a great event and for all the attendees. Fun experience. <br /> <br />  ]]></content:encoded>
  156. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  157. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  158. </item>
  159. <item>
  160. <title>ICS Summer School - Sign-up Now</title>
  161. <pubDate>Wed, 4 May 2016 01:00:00 -0400</pubDate>
  162. <link></link>
  163. <category>administration</category>
  164. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  165. <comments>;comments</comments>
  166. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  167. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ Don't let your kids, your sibling(s)'s kids, or even your neighbor's children be the only one's getting smarter this summer. The IBM/Lotus Community has some great opportunities to help you learn with your friendly community members and some of the most knowledgeable presenters anywhere. (European offerings will be posted soon.)<br /> <br /> First, if you are in the college aged mind-set with the shorter school year, then early May offers a new event. <strong>ICON US</strong> makes its debut as a virtual user group: online only. Perfect for those who are unable to get any more travel time this year. <br /> Registration: <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a> <br /> Main Site: <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a> <br /> Dates: 9-10 May 2016 <br /> <br /> Second, in June, the largest user group event focused on IBM social software and Connections returns to North America in its tenth iteration. <strong>Social Connections 10</strong> comes to Toronto to learn from some of the best community speakers in the world present... <br /> Registration: <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a> <br /> Main Site: <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a> <br /> Dates: 6-7 June 2016 <br /> <br /> Finally, in August, one of most consistently awesome local user groups makes its way to Austin. Join <strong>MWLUG</strong> with its focus on all ICS software and a design theme this year. <br /> Registration: <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a> <br /> Main Site: <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline"></span></a> <br /> Dates: 17-19 August 2016 <br /> <br /> So with these three great summer events taking place, be certain to take the time and show the young people you know that <strong><em>smart adults stay smart through continuous learning.</em></strong> <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:ICS Summer School - Sign-up Now" border="0" src="" />  <br /><img  alt="Image:ICS Summer School - Sign-up Now" border="0" src="" /><br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:ICS Summer School - Sign-up Now" border="0" src="" />  ]]></content:encoded>
  168. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  169. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  170. </item>
  171. <item>
  172. <title>Interested in Speaking at Social Connections 10 in Toronto? Last Call for Abstracts is Quickly Approaching</title>
  173. <pubDate>Fri, 8 Apr 2016 06:56:25 -0400</pubDate>
  174. <link></link>
  175. <category>connections</category>
  176. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  177. <comments>;comments</comments>
  178. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  179. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ <img  alt="" border="0" src="" /><br /> <br /> If you are interested in speaking at the tenth iteration of this excellent conference, then please polish your prose and submit your abstracts. The submission <strong>deadline</strong> is <strong>Thursday, 14 April, Noon, Central European Summer Time (CEST)/6:00 AM EDT/5:00 AM CDT.</strong> &nbsp;The conference team picked a great location in the city of Toronto, Canada. So if you are new to speaking or a veteran with a following, please consider submitting a session. If you have something to say that you feel can benefit the IBM community, here is a great way to help build your speaking credentials. There are no guarantees on acceptance of course, so ensure the topic is of value to the event's audience. The submission page lists all six tracks with substantiating details for each, plus additional insights. Good luck! <br /> <span style="text-decoration:underline"><br /> </span><a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">Submit an abstract</span></a> <br /> <strong><br /> Dates:</strong> 6th and 7th of June 2016 <strong><br /> City:</strong> Toronto, Canada <span style="text-decoration:underline"><br /> </span><a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Main site</span></a> <br /> Questions? <a href=mailto:[email protected]><span style="text-decoration:underline">Contact the conference team.</span></a> <br /> <a href=>To convert to your local timezone</a>.  ]]></content:encoded>
  180. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  181. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  182. </item>
  183. <item>
  184. <title>Train Tips for European Traveling -- Chapter IV</title>
  185. <pubDate>Wed, 30 Mar 2016 18:54:11 -0400</pubDate>
  186. <link></link>
  187. <category>rail</category>
  188. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  189. <comments>;comments</comments>
  190. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  191. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ This month, I took another trip to Europe, with a smaller focus and duration. I took the Dutch commuter rail round trip from Amsterdam to Eindhoven. What I learned about ticketing is that the Dutch rail system has not improved much over the past several years, despite reports that it has. Yes, they do accept some non-Dutch bank cards for purchasing rail tickets--which is welcomed by many travelers--there are limitations which can cause you to miss your train. <br /> <br /><strong>This Year's Story</strong> <br />What really surprised me that is today, in 2016, the antiquity of the Dutch rail system ticketing. As a couple people I know said they used their credit cards with ease, I resisted my usual approach of pre-purchasing the ticket whenever possible. Instead, I arrived early at the Eindhoven rail station (5:15a) for my 5:31a train intent on buying a ticket via the machine. This should be about a three minute process. For me, the machine would not accept my bank card, nor would it accept paper money, only coins and I could not get EUR32 in coins in the train station.  <br />
  192. <br />There were no ticketing agents available to assist at that hour, but I did find two rail employees who spoke English. After several tests, we all concluded my best option was to take a cab back to the hotel (another EUR10), get my fare in coins, and return. That would have me missing two trains and put getting through increased security at risk for the baggage check cut-off, which would then introduce a change fee and a fare increase. Upon running the numbers, I told the taxi to redirect to AMS (Amsterdam Schiphol Airport) and we ultimately negotiated a fare of EUR225 (down from EUR300) - much cheaper than the alternative airline fee, plus missing a customer meeting. <br /> <br /><strong>Lesson Learned</strong> <br />So, if traveling in The Netherlands by rail, you can not guarantee that your American bank card or non-bank charge card will be accepted at either the rail ticket purchasing machines or the ATM for that matter--my ATM card was declined, despite working fine in two other countries recently. Ensure that you research the fare before leaving the hotel and convert your paper money into coins (as heavy as it may be) to ensure that you get your ticket with ease, and avoid the hassle of missing the target train or an expensive taxi ride to the airport. <br /> <br /><strong>Additional Reading</strong> <br />Rail Europe --- tickets, schedules, deals, and maps for all European train networks --- offers two booking sites: <br /><a href=>US Site</a> <br /><a href="">World Site</a>  ]]></content:encoded>
  193. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  194. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  195. </item>
  196. <item>
  197. <title>My Engage 2016 Slides</title>
  198. <pubDate>Mon, 28 Mar 2016 21:30:00 -0400</pubDate>
  199. <link></link>
  200. <category>blug</category>
  201. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  202. <comments>;comments</comments>
  203. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  204. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ After a great week in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, I worked with my co-presenter on last minute edits and ensure that we were happy with the final product.  <br /> <br />Title: Adm01. Back from the Dead: When Bad Code Kills a Good Server <br /> <br />Abstract: <br /><em>It's Friday and a new customer calls. Their mission critical app is taking :05 to open documents and the users are quite concerned. Where do you start when handed a 20 year old application you have never seen, on a server you barely know? Join two IBM Champions as they dissect a complex Domino performance problem from both the administration and development side to provide a complete customer solution. The session includes best practices around problem solving techniques and a checklist you can use internally to solve quickly problems you encounter.</em> <br /> <br />Time slot (as per agenda): Thursday, March 24 | 08:00 - 08:45 | C. Jupiter <br /> <br /><a href=>Get the file here.</a>   ]]></content:encoded>
  205. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  206. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  207. </item>
  208. <item>
  209. <title>IBM Connect 2016: IBM Champions Program Praised by Media Analyst</title>
  210. <pubDate>Mon, 1 Feb 2016 20:05:00 -0400</pubDate>
  211. <link></link>
  212. <category>Business</category>
  213. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  214. <comments>;comments</comments>
  215. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  216. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ Today, Monday, 1 Feb, during the OGS (Opening General Session) at IC16 (IBM Connect 2016), the attendees arriving early got to see on the big board, a rolling display of sponsor logos and quotes from Champions (e.g. <a href=>one</a>, <a href=>two</a>, and <a href=>three</a>) on the main hall-wide display. <a href="">Rob Enderle</a> being in attendance, liked what he saw and wrote a nice piece on how he respects the program and what IBM did by recognizing technical leaders in their community. The part creating intrigue is that he offered the same suggestion while working at Microsoft, but describes the poor execution of said good idea. He gives praise to IBM for a great job with their own idea. It's a quick article, but one that displays the good job IBM is doing here. Enjoy! <br /> <br />"<a href="">The Magic Behind IBM Champions</a>", by Rob Enderle, IT Business Edge, 1 Feb 2016 <br /> <br /><img  alt="Image:IBM Connect 2016: IBM Champions Program Praised by Media Analyst" border="0" src="" />  ]]></content:encoded>
  217. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  218. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  219. </item>
  220. <item>
  221. <title>Linuxfest VII Gets a Slot at IBM Connect 2016</title>
  222. <pubDate>Thu, 28 Jan 2016 04:00:00 -0400</pubDate>
  223. <link></link>
  224. <category>linux</category>
  225. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  226. <comments>;comments</comments>
  227. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  228. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ <strong>Linuxfest VII - The Penguin Awakens</strong> <br /> <br /> After many months of planning and working with the events team, we are pleased to announce that Linuxfest is back for our seventh year. This is the only session at IBM Connect dedicated exclusively to Linux and IBM software. As we moved back to the last day lunch break, be certain to <span style="text-decoration:underline">bring your box lunch</span> and join us for an informative session. New this year, we are in IBM Event Connect and Session Preview Tools. <br /> <br /> Date: <strong>Wednesday</strong>, 3 February <br /> Time: <strong>11:45 AM - 12:45 PM</strong> <br /> Place: <strong>Orange G</strong> <br /> Session ID: <strong>TI-1118</strong><br /> Audience: Admins, Developers, Architects <br /> Speakers: <em>Bill Malchisky, Wes Morgan, and Daniel Nashed</em> <br /> <br /> Ask questions and get informative answers from three passionate leading IBM on Linux SMEs. <br /> <br /> New this year -- find us online! <br /> Registered attendees: <a href=!ut/p/z0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfIj8nKt8jNTrMoLivV88tMz8_QLsh0VAZSk7Xs!/><span style="text-decoration:underline">Event Connect Link</span></a> <br /> Public curiosity: <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">Session Preview link</span></a><strong><br /> </strong><strong><br /> Abstract</strong> <br /> Whether you've already deployed IBM technology on Linux or are "just interested," join us for the seventh installment of what has become an IBM Connect tradition. In this open discussion of the latest on Linux from IBM, you'll hear Business Partners, IBMers and IBM Champions talk about the most recent developments around our favorite operating system, share tips and tricks, and open the floor to your questions, successes and commentary as well. This is not a roadmap/strategy session; instead, it's a chance for you to learn what's out there for Linux, pick up technical know-how to ease your deployments, and connect with other IBM customers using Linux. <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:Linuxfest VII Gets a Slot at IBM Connect 2016" border="0" src="" />  ]]></content:encoded>
  229. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
  230. <wfw:comment>;comments</wfw:comment>
  231. </item>
  232. <item>
  233. <title>IBM Connect 2016 Saturday Events Schedule</title>
  234. <pubDate>Thu, 28 Jan 2016 02:26:00 -0400</pubDate>
  235. <link></link>
  236. <category>ic16</category>
  237. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  238. <comments>;comments</comments>
  239. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  240. <content:encoded><![CDATA[ Well, it's that time of year again... where the customers and partners that help create the IBM/Lotus community gather in Florida to learn, network, collaborate, and warm-up a bit (except for our friends in the southern hemisphere). If you arrive early to <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">IBM Connect 2016</span></a>, there are a couple of activities planned for Saturday to allow you to meet and great early arriving speakers, sponsors, and fellow attendees. See you in Orlando! <br /> <br /> First, the past several years we held a Soccer Saturday session Saturday morning. It is taking a one year hiatus. Look for it to return in 2017 in concert with the next iteration of this IBM conference. <br /> <br /> Second, starting at<strong> 3:00 PM, is BALD</strong>. Yes, the <em>Bloggers (and Friends) Annual Lotusphere Dinner</em> returns in its new home at the Hilton Orlando. This year, we will meet at <strong>Tropics Pool Bar &amp; Grill - on the Hilton Orlando property</strong>. <br /> Please feel free to blog, tweet, text, and communicate the event in any way you see fit. Joe Litton was committed to ensuring this event lived on with IBM Connect in Orlando. Be sure to visit, have a nice refreshing beverage and meet the larger community poolside. <br /> <br /> Finally, to round out the evening, the first ever <strong>Craft Beer Tour</strong> event is here! All you need is &nbsp;your conference badge to be admitted. It is open to both business partners and customers. <br /> Expand your craft beer knowledge while networking with colleagues and community members. IBM is making available some truly amazing beers for you to sample. <br /> Event time: <strong>7:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Orlando 4, in the Hilton Orlando Property.</strong> <br /> <br /> <img  alt="Image:IBM Connect 2016 Saturday Events Schedule" border="0" src="" />  ]]></content:encoded>
  241. <wfw:commentRss></wfw:commentRss>
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  243. </item>
  244. <item>
  245. <title>Keeping Warm -- Winter Gear Test Results</title>
  246. <pubDate>Mon, 7 Dec 2015 02:00:00 -0400</pubDate>
  247. <link></link>
  248. <category>warmth</category>
  249. <dc:creator>Bill Malchisky</dc:creator>
  250. <comments>;comments</comments>
  251. <guid isPermaLink="true"></guid>
  252. <content:encoded><![CDATA[  In January 2014, I wrote about "<a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Winter Warming Tips</span></a>" and provided several ideas on clothing concepts to keep warm during the unexpectedly cold climate much of North America experienced. That post included a <em>Where to Buy</em> section. My thought process for this sequel post is to share some knowledge and help one avoid dropping a mortgage payment to find what can work or a cold learning process in the pursuit of enjoying (or coping with) the cold outdoors. &nbsp; <br /> <br /> <strong><br /> Testing Insight</strong> <br /> As new products emerged from some of the previously cited vendors, I decided to purchase a combination of offered items to learn how well they performed. As a scientist, the results were fascinating to me. Throughout the past two winter seasons in tough weather conditions, I ventured outside, with different combinations of clothing and backup items in my backpack (for safety). Some items failed to provide adequate warmth, others exceeded expectations. I tested gear while visiting three places: 1. Utah's Wasatch Mountains, specifically Little Cottonwood Canyon -- rated one of the snowiest places on earth averaging 500" of snow per annum; 2. Sunday River in &nbsp;the foothills of Maine's Longfellow Mountains; and 3. East central Massachusetts in the heart of their record breaking snowfall winter for 2014-2015. I encountered cold weather, high winds, and lots of wind driven snow. &nbsp;Overall, I enjoyed the experience immensely (as I love winter). <strong><br /> </strong> <br /><img  alt="Image:Keeping Warm -- Winter Gear Test Results" border="0" src="" /><strong><br /> <br /> Functional Feet</strong> <br /> In three main sub-sections: <strong><br /> 1. Boots</strong>. <br /> A. Gaiters, If you are going to be out in deep snow, a pair of gaiters is critical to keeping snow out of your boots -- a fast track to cold wet feet. Gaiters strap around the bottom of your boot and wrap around your foot, ankle, and shin. Thereby closing the pathway for snow to your boot's opening. There are many styles - low-end, to higher-end, with and without GORE-TEX®. I tried the Outdoor Research® Crocodile Gaiters with GORE-TEX. Simply incredible quality. Snowshoed in knee-deep to waist-deep powder for three miles in high winds and cold temperatures. Zero snow in my boots with snow free pants. <span style="text-decoration:underline">That's a quality gaiter.</span><br /> <br /> B. I talk to my friends about SOREL® boots a lot during winter topic conversations (included in my 2014 post too). Purchased my first pair of SOREL boots in c.1986 (a <a href=";dwvar_NM1561_variationColor=256#start=18"><span style="text-decoration:underline">1964 Pac Boot</span></a>) and still use them today for snowshoeing. For around town and impromptu trips, I wanted a pair that I could use with dress pants, or just going to the store. I selected lower height model. Went to an outdoor NFL® game, keeping my feet on the concrete in 20F temps. My feet remained warm until the final :20 of the game (actual clock, not the game clock). Very impressive as concrete is an incredible heat sink. SOREL delivers.<br /> <br /> C. Now, once you wear a pair of boots, it is always a good idea to keep your boots (and other footwear) dry after physical activity or getting soaked in the rain. Most modern running shoes allow for airflow to dry the sneaker quickly. Shoes and boots do not. For my ski boots, SORELs, and other outdoor footwear, my <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Original PEET® boot dryer</span></a> is invaluable. <br /> <em><br /> Tip</em> <br /> For traveling, try the <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Go! PEET travel boot dryer</span></a>. I dry my ski or snowshoe boots in the hotel each night and en route to the airport after the last use; thus my boots avoid fungus growth and odoriferous emanations. PEET &nbsp;also offers a 220V charger, so you can take the Go! PEET abroad, and dry your boots there--which I do each March. It's an excellent product. <br /> Note: They now offer a <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">lighter, smaller, thinner Power Cell PEET</span></a> dryer and their very portable <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">Ultra Dryer &amp; Deodorizer PEET</span></a>.<br /> <br /> <strong>2. Socks</strong>. Previously, I tried several types of wool or wool and silk ski socks--sometimes with a polypropylene undersock. This worked great for most skiing until I tried skiing in Minnesota, then Utah. Single digit temperatures and ski boots tend to mix poorly and thus, I got cold toes within a couple of hours. I then tried the <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">WSI® Sports WikMax® HEATR® ski sock</span></a>. It allowed me to ski noticeably longer before getting cold toes in similar conditions. Where I could only ski two hours before, I could ski four hours now--which brought me right up to lunch. Huge improvement. I highly recommend their ski sock. For snowshoeing I had terrific success with both the<a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline"> WIGWAM® El Pine heavy ragg wool socks</span></a> and the <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">L.L. Bean® Boot Socks</span></a> which are both very warm. Note in these tests I donned a polypropylene undersock, then a WSI <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">HEATR undersock</span></a> for contrast. The several other unsuccessful sock permutations are omitted. &nbsp;<em><br /> <br /> Tip</em><br /> Want warm feet all ski day? Keep a second pair of ski socks in your parka and change them at lunch. Now you will start the second part of your ski day with dry warm feet and can ski right to last chair.<strong><br /> <br /> 3. Traction</strong>. Tested the <a href=";page=stabilicers-lite&amp;attrValue_0=Black"><span style="text-decoration:underline">STABILicers® Lite</span></a> (made for L.L. Bean®), which appears to be placed between the STABIL® Hike and Walk models. What I like about <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">STABIL</span></a>'s products is that they are built in Biddeford, Maine. All American Made. I ran them through the paces up the side of Sunday River's ski trails, then across their snowmobile runs in 11F temps. They impressed me. Excellent traction on the hard pack and groomed ski trails, whether using a long stride, short stride, quick pace, deliberate push-off, or easing into the stride: they always held firm uphill or downhill. <span style="text-decoration:underline">Highly recommended</span>. <strong><br /> <br /> <br /> Hand Refrain</strong><br /> This area gets interesting, as the mitten shell product I tested, loved, and recommended to friends the past two years, became discontinued this season. I called L.L. Bean to double check my URLs and they gave me the unfortunate news. Rather than cite a non-existent product, I would say that next season they will offer a replacement product. So, I will wait to see what they and other companies offer.<br /> <em><br /> Tip</em> <br /> If you really dislike mittens and want dexterity, I tested successfully in 7F to 14F on windy days with two pairs of WSI HEATR glove liners (<a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">windstop</span></a> base, then <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">standard</span></a>) and a pair of fleece gloves. Two layers proved insufficient for me, whereas three kept my hands warm almost all of the time.<br /> <br /> <strong><br /> Filling Your Heart with Warmth (Torso)</strong><br /> Years ago, I skied with four or five layers. On more challenging terrain, I learned the lack of appendage mobility caused issues when on the steeps, increasing fatigue. Thus to simplify, I purchased a <a href=><span style="text-decoration:underline">WSI Sports HEATR Hooded Shirt</span></a> &nbsp;and put that under my insulated ski parka. I was quite nervous at first, as this attire deviated significantly from my norm. One day I got caught inside a storm cloud. The summit temperature dropped from upper 30'sF to 18F in less than one hour with 40-60MPH sustained winds (see photo above). I skied throughout the storm's duration and was quite impressed with how warm the WSI Sports product kept me. <span style="text-decoration:underline">I absolutely would recommend their long sleeve hooded shirt to anyone who enjoys outdoor winter sports.</span> <em><br /> <br /> Note:</em> I still wear at least five layers when snowshoeing -- different use case completely: no warming huts, longer exposure duration, more perspiration, and usually much colder temperatures. Now, my base layer of choice is WSI Sports HEATR: shirt, pants, socks, and glove liner.<br /> <br /> A quick news story on WSI - "<a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline">Eagan-Based Co. Makes Cold-Resistant Clothing For Seahawks</span></a>" &#91;for NYC's outdoor Super Bowl&#93; <br /> <br /> <br /> Any questions, please let me know. Enjoy your winter. Stay warm and active. <br /> <strong><br /> <br /> Trademarks </strong><br /> WSI, Wikmax, HEATR are trademarked by WSI Manufacturing Co., Inc.<br /> L.L.Bean is a registered trademark of L.L.Bean Inc. <br /> GORE-TEX is a trademark of W. L. Gore &amp; Associates <br /> Stabilicers and STABIL are trademarked by 32 North Corporation in Biddeford, ME <br /> Outdoor Research is a registered trademark of Outdoor Research, LLC <br /> Go PEET! and PEET, by Peet Shoe Dryer, Inc. <br /> NFL is trademarked by NFL Properties LLC <br /> SOREL is trademarked by Sorel Corporation <br /> WIGWAM trademark by Wigwam Mills, Inc.<br />   ]]></content:encoded>
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