Woha – I’m a Champion

Holy crap – I’ve been chosen as an IBM Champion. . . .

On behalf of IBM, it is with great pleasure that I invite you to join the IBM Champion program for 2016. After reviewing your nomination(s), the selection committee agreed that your efforts over the last 12 months distinguish you as a true IBM Champion.

Well,  this is certainly an unexpected honor,  and something I will need to wrap my head around until I can really grasp it in totality.  It’s also a really great way to start into 2016,  I am looking forward to the upcoming year and my added role as an IBM Champion.

Thank you to those who nominated me and to IBM for choosing me.

Wheew,  now I need a bourbon to celebrate. . . .

SocialConnections 9 in Stuttgard Nov 5-6, I am speaking again!

I just noticed that I forgot to announce to the world that I will be at SocialConnections 9 in Stuttgart next. The dates to save are November 5 – 6 and the location for the Shindig is STUTTGART in good old Germany.

The agenda is already finalized , take a look right here: http://socialconnections.info/agenda/

You will actually find me in there twice because this time I am not just presenting my own, riveting content but also co-presenting with a good friend of mine, Christoph Stoettner. Him being Bavarian and I being half Austrian we are able to totally confuse the crowd with insider talk and strange dialects that most Germans north of the Weißwürschtl Grenze (see below) have allot of trouble understanding – but don’t worry, the actual presentation will be in English.

For all of those among you who want to know more about the everlasting love-hate-indifference relationship between the north and south of German speaking people, look this up: Weißwurstäquator. And additionally, just for the insiders – we count our Swiss friends and brethren as human and normal, even though nobody else really understands Schwyzerdütsch. But the Swiss are just cool and know it, so we accept them as is.

As you can see, next to the unbelievably captivating content and massive amount of slides that Christoph and I will be presenting, we are fully prepared for any linguistic duel that might be waiting.

I do hope to see allot of you at the conference, judging fro the agenda it promises to be quite the exciting – sign up and let me know if you are planning to come!

IBM Sametime 9.0 – To Install Fixes turn off Autostart

I just ran into a problem installing Sametime fixes I had not seen happening for a while – and therefore forgot all about it.

Allot of Sametime fixes require an update via the IBM Installation manager. This means that allot of what is actually going on in the background is virtually invisible to you – unless you also tail the Dmgr, NodeAgent and server components’ WebSphere logs.

I had a case where I was installing The Poodle Update for Sametime 9 and it was consistently failing with errors (from the InstallationManager log) such as

CRIMA1217E: A problem occurred during the execution of the E:\IBM\WebSphere\STSCServerCell\build_console.xml file.

Explanation: A package has an issue that cannot be resolved by Installation Manager.

exec returned: -1 [E:\IBM\WebSphere\STSCServerCell\build_console.xml:1629]

I had to put my thinking cap on and after a while of me pulling out some of my hair (no worries, it grows back quickly) I remembered:

The update process has allot of phases where it starts and stops the Dmgr/NodeAgent/Component server several times during the installation process. The Dmgr and NodeAgent are never a problem, however if you tend to set the auto-start of the component servers (Media server, STPRoxy, SSC Server, etc.) via the WAS Server settings – Java and Process Management – Monitoring Settings … then the Component servers always restart when the NodeAgent is started. The installer expects them to no be running and some of the commands in the scripts try to start them and get errors back they have no error handlers for – so the whole install fails.

So – just turn it off, save the setting and sync the Nodes -no need to restart the servers prior to installing the fix. Then you just have to remember to set the auto-start again after you are done so the servers start automatically . . . .

AND: Check after the POODLE fixes are installed, always check the servers virtual hosts settings, I almost always have one that was reset, this time it was the STAdvanced server that was reset to default_host and nothing was working correctly.

ICONUK – Here I Come!

Just booked my flights for ICONUK – it is my first time flying Virgin Atlantic so I am curious how that will be! Everybody tells me they are fantastic …

Will you be attending ICONUK? I am looking forward to talk all things Connections and Sametime ….








See you there!

ICONUK Sep. 21&22, London – I’ll be speaking again

Just got this in the email:

Good News! Your session IBM Connections – Installing the Free “Extras” and  Integrating with other Products has been approved for ICON UK 2015
Tim and I are finalizing the schedule and it should be online tomorrow.

Thanks again for your submission and we are looking forward to seeing you  in September

Will I see you guys there?

Monday 21st & Tuesday 22nd September 2015

Mon 08:00 – 19:00 (Gala dinner 20:00 – 23:00)
Tue 08:00 – 18:00

IBM Client Centre, IBM Southbank, Upper Ground, London


Sametime 9 – Cumulative Hotfix for Sametime Proxy 9.0.0 install woes

Installing a new environment for a client and ran into an issue trying to install the Cumulative Hotfix for Sametime Proxy 9.0.0 ontop.  The documentation is wrong, the location of the registry.xml is incorrect in the document, but let’s not dwell on that one.

I set up the package and ran the Installation Manager and the install was always failing, the package tried to update things in incorrect profile locations and failed with the error it could not find the wimconfig.xml … strange.

I ran the issue past a few friends and compatriots and Declan Lynch had some suggestions: he had run into problems installing HF for Sametime if the WebSphere server running the actual ST process (in this case STProxy) was set to auto-start using the Java Monitoring settings.

So – I disabled the auto-start settings, synced the nodes and restarted the STPRoxy server …. and the update went through without a hitch. I will be disabling this for all servers during updates/upgrades from here on – I noticed the process stops and starts the nodes and the auto-start of the servers probably made the install scripts go haywire.

Good luck, everybody!

Announcing the MWLUG 2014 Outreach Program Recipient – Kid’s Food Basket

MWLUG 2014 Banner

Announcing the MWLUG 2014 Outreach Program Recipient – Kid’s Food Basket

As many of you know MWLUG is not just about building knowledge of IBM solutions and networking with our fellow ICS community members, it is about being part of the community. This is one of the reason we move MWLUG from city to city. It is about getting to know your local community whether it is in your town or a different town.

Each year we have a fundraising drive for a local community organization in particular a local food bank. This year with the help of Devin Olson our boots on the ground, we have selected Kid’s Food Basket as our MWLUG 2014 Community Outreach Program Recipient. We will be raffling off a weekend stay at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel as the grand prize along with signed copies of Virgil Westdale’s book.

Please take the opportunity to help feed the needy kids in Western Michigan. Each raffle ticket is $10 and you can buy them at the registration desk starting Thursday morning. We will announce the winners on just after the Speed Sponsoring on Thursday afternoon. We can no longer use Eventbrite for the raffle so please bring exact change. For ever $1 we raise we will provide 5 meals to kids.

Kid’s Food Basket

One in four children experience hunger in West Michigan. Kids’ Food Basket is a force for attacking childhood hunger, ensuring that lunch is not the last meal of the day for over 6,000 kids at 32 schools in Grand Rapids and Muskegon. Sack Suppers are well-rounded evening meals that provide nutrition critical to the development of the brain and body.

To learn more go to: http://kidsfoodbasket.org

MWLUG 2014 will be one of the best conferences that we have ever had and marks the sixth year in providing one of the best ICS user group conference. This year, MWLUG will be held in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Here are the highlights of this year’s conference:

  • 44 sessions and workshops in 5 topics areas:
    • Application Development
    • Best Practices and Customer Business Cases
    • Mobility and Web Security
    • Open Source with ICS
    • System Administration
  • 3 BOF user group sessions
  • Wednesday visit to the Gerald Ford Library and Museum
  • Thursday Evening Social Event at Founders Brewing Co
  • Wednesday Evening Exhibitor Showcase Reception
  • OGS Guest Speaker, Virgil Westdale
  • OGS IBM Speaker, Kramer Reeves
  • Book Signing withVirgil Westdale
  • For Cyclist, Saturday MWLUG 2014 Bike Ride
  • Breakfast and Lunch for two days

The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel has been gracious enough to extend the discount to all attendees as long as there are still rooms available in the hotel.

To see the sessions and speakers for MWLUG 2014 go to: http://www.mwlug.com/mwlug/mwlug2014.nsf/Sessions.xsp

MWLUG 2014 is make possible by the generous MWLUG 2014 sponsors whom not only pay for the majority of the cost for MWLUG 2014, but also donate their time in organizing and providing technical sessions on critical topics that are important to our ICS community.

The $50 MWLUG donation provide you:

  • Over 40 technical sessions and workshops
  • Breakfast and Lunch for Thursday and Friday
  • Wednesday Evening Showcase Reception that include drinks and hors d’oeuvres
  • Thursday Evening Social Event
  • Networking with your colleagues in the ICS community
  • And a whole lot more

MWLUG 2014 Registration

Registration Link: http://www.mwlug.com/mwlug/mwlug2014.nsf/Register.xsp

We have made special arrangements with the Amyway Grand Plaza Hotel on a special MWLUG discount rate of $129.00/night.

To register for the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel go to: http://mwlug.com/mwlug/mwlug2014.nsf/Hotel.xsp

So don’t wait and miss this opportunity to attend one of the best ICS user group conferences this year.

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel


Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Grand Rapids, Michigan

MWLUG 2014 will be held at the historic Amway Grand Plaza on August 2729, 2014. The Amway Grand Plaza was built in 1913 and in 1925 was rated as “One of the Ten Finest Hotels in America”.