Wednesday, December 28, 2011

iPhones cannot swim!

After 3 years of owning an iPhone (first the 3g, then the 4), 3 years of being very careful with it, my beloved device decided to take the plunge! Located in the back pocket of my trousers, it landed in the water, nuff said.

Immediately dried it with a towel, in the process of which I accidentally turned it on, something that can ruin a phone for good. After doing some reading, I decided to store it for 2 days in a bag with rice, which seems to be helpful in getting the water out of the device.
After those 2 days, turned the phone on, and.... nothing. No life whatsoever. Nada. And I cannot tell you how that feels, I am addicted to my iPhone (well, and iPad as well), even have an international data plan so I can use my internet applications where-ever I go. Especially since I go on climbing trips a few times a year, it is priceless to be able to connect to the world after a hard day of rock climbing!

So, what to be done?
Since I had experience in iPhone 3 repairs, I decided to open my dead iPhone and try to see if I could do some damage control. Surprisingly easy to open, compared to the old iPhone 3, and the battery very accessible. The old model needed a complete dis-assembly to change a battery!
There was a lot of oxidation on the battery connector, so that was cleaned. And a first test... life! Everything worked, except the phone reception, which was horrible. Now the iPhone 4 is not known for its great antenna, but after the repair I could not even receive calls in my house.
So I ordered what I thought was needed, it arrived 2 days later, and I replaced the part. With absolutely no improvement. Well... as far as I know now, the part I replaced is mainly responsible for the sound, and not for the antenna/receiver! So today I ordered both the phone receiver and the antenna part, plus a new home button for my girlfriends iPhone. Including the flat cable. Probably will have to wait 2-3 weeks, since I ordered the parts in Hong Kong, but hopefully my phone will be as good as new after the next repairs!

Long story short: iPhones can't swim, but do not write them off if they seem dead after taking a dip. They are surprisingly easy to repair, and the parts are not too expensive even. Did you know you can even buy a custom front and back, to make your iPhone red, pink, blue, green, or whatsoever? Not my ambition, but it is fun to see that it can be done!

Friday, December 9, 2011

IBM Connections: Status updates and pictures

Because IBM decided to offer 2 modules of their Connections suite for free to entitled Lotus Domino customers, we decided to create an environment with the functionality the customer will get. Great for demo's, plus it shows us what is exactly in the package, and what is not.
Since there was currently no hardware available, I did launch an instance in the Amazon cloud to demonstrate IBM Connections to our prospects and customers. After some work, we had Profiles and Files up and running, and started filling our profiles. After all, an empty Connections environment is pretty useless.

Together with Connections, you can use a Files plugin and a Status Update plugin for the Lotus Notes Eclipse client, so those were installed as well. After some configuration, everything seemed to work.

Except... pictures! All my collegues were grey (the default icon).

Some investigation showed why things were not working as expected: The Profiles application on the underlying Websphere Application Server was not accessible to anonymous users, only for logged in users. As soon as this was adapted, the pictures were visible. However, since our server was not on premises but in the cloud, this was not a viable solution.
So it seems that the plugin, even though the user was logged in to get the status updates, tried to pick up the picture without using any credentials.

Time to contact IBM and enter a support ticket (PMR). And after providing them with the extra required information about version information and underlying Operating Systems, there came a pretty straighforward solution: Close the Notes client, and add the following line to your plugin_customization.ini file:

After starting up the Notes client again, there are the pictures of my collegues! And after pushing this setting through a policy, my collegues can see the profile pictures as well.

Finally, a blog

Since I have been working with Social software for quite a while now, I decided that having a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook profile and a Twitter account simply was not enough: Hence my personal blog!
For my Dutch friends, why in English? Simply because |my target audience is not just Dutch but rather international.

The content will be a mix of personal stuff and business, the latter will mainly focus on both my views and my experiences with Social Software.And if you say Social Software combined with business, IBM Connections does not have much competition yet!

As for who I am, and where I come from, you can (pretty soon) read that in my profile.