And while you're at it, you may as well set up a Bloglines account, as I recently suggested.
See you real soon now, you hear?
Then I was talking to one of my friends at work about it today (because I've now become paranoid), and he said that I always could have touched it up a bit before posting it to the site. The more I thought about it, the better of an idea it was. So here's the old picture next to my new fully touched up one:
Just some minor touch-ups really. Probably not even noticable to most people. A little tan on the skin, whiten the teeth just a tad, soften the face ever so slightly to get rid of wrinkles. Amazing how a minute or two with a good graphics editing tool can do wonders.
(BTW, you can click on either of those pictures above to see a larger version.)
If you're like me, you just think of the whole thing as a big video game and enjoy the ride. It's actually not that bad compared to Atlanta (where I grew up), but it can be a little challenging to people who aren't used to traffic. If it wasn't for all those damn tourists...
I realize that most computer geek types (at least the ones who would be both reading my blog and going to Lotusphere) probably fall soundly in the "introvert" category. As a whole, we (computer geeks) keep to ourselves and would often rather sit in front of a laptop than meet new people. In fact, we'd often rather be stabbed with an icepick than have to mingle with a crowd of strangers.
So if you're reading this and you're going to Lotusphere, and you happen to fall into above-mentioned introvert category, I want you to do me a favor:
Find me, and introduce yourself to me.
That's all, nothing more. Just track me down and say, "Hi Julian, my name is [your name here]. I just wanted to say hi." In return, I will immediately introduce you to anyone around me that I happen to know, and you will have met not just one person, but several. And then you'll have new people to talk to and hang out with at Lotusphere.
Oh yeah, here's a picture:
That's me, coffee-stained teeth and all. I'm actually a pretty nice guy.
As a disclaimer, I don't really know that many people myself, but I do try to meet new ones. I'm just trying to help out here. It's sort of an "I'll tell two friends, and you tell two friends, and so on, and so forth" kind of attitude. If everyone actually goes around meeting each other, then we can all... well, meet each other. That's a good thing. I'm simply offering myself as a place to start.
Naturally, if you think that's a completely queer idea, just ignore it/me and go about your business. Whatever.
Excellent! I was wondering if there was a way...
As you change your lookup parameters (day, time, location), a request is sent in the background to fetch the matching sessions for your search, and the page is dynamically updated. It uses XmlHttp requests to do the asynchronous lookups, just like Google Suggest and my Notes Suggest example database.
If anything I just said doesn't make any sense, just go to the page and play around. Even if you don't understand, it's fun stuff.
I also made a couple of minor changes to the Lotusphere Session Lookups for mobile devices:
Again, you can use those with a regular browser as well, but it'll look pretty plain. As always, thanks to Ben Langhinrichs for compiling all the session information in his Session Database in the first place.
Just connect your device to the Internet and point it to: http://www.nsftools.com/ls2005/SessionLookup.htm (this will work with a regular browser too, of course, although the formatting is pretty bare). There's a simple version that only returns session titles, times, and rooms, and a more detailed version that also includes speaker names and session descriptions.
Just a little something to keep you entertained if you find yourself in Orlando in a couple weeks. If I get some time this weekend, I might even put together a dynamic interface using some of that XmlHttp lookup stuff I've been playing with.
We have been told that people are placing personal heating devices (e.g. heating pads) in the microwaves. Please refrain from doing this, as it is an unsanitary practice.
Thinking of the heating pad I used about a year ago and relating it to this memo, I think I'll steer clear of the microwaves at work for a while. Bleh.
We got out of there in about 3 hours, and luckily they only had to glue her head back together and tell us not to get it wet for a while (she'll be the smelly kid this week). My son was brave enough to sleep through 30 minutes of screaming, so I don't think he was too traumatized by the whole thing either.
I'll close with a bad parody on the MasterCard commercials:
Cost of parking at the Emergency Room -- zero dollars
Cost of getting your daughter's head glued in the emergency room -- more dollars than I want to think about right now
Watching your son drop his stuffed animal (that he must sleep with every single night) on the disgusting, germy ER waiting room floor, just two feet away from a kid who's coughing up oysters -- priceless
I've also been thinking that it might be nice to host a live demonstration of the code I'm using, (A) in case anyone wants to use it in a non-Notes/Domino environment, (B) so you could actually see how it works without having to go through the tremendous effort of actually downloading the database, and (C) if any of my non-Notes readers are curious about what the heck I'm doing with this.
Since my web hosting provider supports it, I put together an example page using PHP and MySQL. I've done a little debugging, and it seems to work well enough, so here's the link:
I didn't do a whole lot of performance tuning or data verification, so the lookups themselves aren't perfect, nor are they intended to be. This is just an example of an XmlHttp lookup technique. I tried to make it as easy as possible for you to "steal the code" to implement similar functionality yourself. Have fun with it (and link back here if you use it ;-).
1. I try to keep up with too many sites.
2. It's too inconvenient to try to remember to visit the sites without feeds on a regular basis.
For example, I currently follow almost 140 Lotus-related sites alone. I can't follow that many sites by opening each one in a separate browser window a couple times a day. I have a life, you know.
Think about if your e-mail didn't come to a central inbox, but you had to check the outbox of all your friends and family and acquaintances and coworkers every time you wanted to know if you had a message. Could you keep up? Would you? No.
The feed aggregator I use is Bloglines, and I recommend it very highly. The things I like are:
If you don't currently use Bloglines, you should open an account and try it out. To get you started, you can download my Lotus-related OPML file and import it into your new account. There might be one or two non-Lotus blogs in the list, and some of the sites are probably "dead", but I tried to filter it out pretty well.
After you get your feeds loaded, go to your "My Feeds" tab, but whatever you do, don't click the folder link at the top that says "140 updated feeds" (or whatever). If you click that link, it'll try to load all of the "unread" entries in all the blogs one after another in the right-hand frame -- that will take a long, long time. With a lot of feeds, you want to click the link for each one individually. Actually, to start out you'll probably want to click the "Mark All Read" link to clear out the unread marks, and make sure your User Profile Feed Options are set to "Show only updated feeds". Then check the account later in the day or tomorrow, and you'll be amazed how often everyone updates their sites.
I love the fact that you can check your account from any computer, which was great when we were on vacation last week. If I got any free time during the day (which happened a couple of times), I could just log in from my sister-in-law's computer and read my blogs. And when I came back home, all my unread marks were synchronized, because I'm accessing the same account on the server. Also good for reading up at the office (while you're eating lunch at your desk, of course).
As a quick and cheap Lotusphere tie-in, it wouldn't hurt for you to set up a Bloglines account to start reading all the Lotus blogs leading up to and during Lotusphere. You can get used to it now, and if you're down in Orlando at the end of the month, you can easily check in on the blog action from any kiosk you can find.
I'm sure there's more, but those are the links I had at my disposal. I'm sure that Volker will have some things to say in the coming weeks as well.
I'll be there, I'm already excited, and I'll probably be talking more about Lotusphere in the coming weeks (so I won't bore you too much right now). One thing I will say as a preface, though: just because I might be talking a lot about what other bloggers are doing/saying/planning with regards to Lotusphere doesn't mean that I'm some sort of "bloggers are so cool" kind of guy. That's not true at all. It's just that, well, who else would I talk about? I don't really know anyone else. And at least I can link to other bloggers.
So, that being said, I hope I don't offend anyone who's not able to go to Lotusphere this year by talking about it in the coming weeks. If it does offend you, I'm terribly sorry, and if you're that sensitive then it probably means that you were offended that I used the word "Christmas" a few weeks ago, and I'm sorry for that too. I also apologize deeply for the following:
I'm going to Disney. I'm going to Disney. I'm going to Disney...