Live Blogging at IBM Connect

I will be live blogging (or at least trying) once again from IBM Connect.   For now I plan on live blogging 2 sessions, though I might add more later on.

Monday January 27th 7:45 AM IBM Connect 2014 Opening General Session

Thursday January 30th 11:15 AM Ask the Product Managers

My full blogging and speaking schedule is available on my IBM Connect 2014 page, and visit the IBM Connect Livestream page for live coverage

Conference Calls in Real Life

via Mashable

Some useful Amazon S3 Tools

I find myself using Amazon S3 for storage more and more these days.  Yes I have a Dropbox account, and a Box account (and probably a Copy account too).   There are times that I need a little more space then I have available in Dropbox and among other things I have been using Amazon S3 to give my self a little extra space as needed.

What is Amazon S3 you ask this is a quick explanation

Here are some tools I have found useful working with my files in S3

Android: S3Anywhere Free and Pro versions available

Windows: Cloudberry Explorer for Amazon S3  Free and Pro versions available so far I have been using the free one and it is meeting my needs

iOS: AirFile Free and Pro versions available.  This one is interesting as it allows me to move files from S3 to Dropbox or the other way right from my iPad (it supports other Cloud storage services as well)

Are you using Amazon S3? If you have any good tools leave a comment.

Holes I Need Holes

(Yes the post title is a Seinfeld reference see below)

One of my cardinal rules in life is ABC (Always Be Charging).  I like to keep my devices charged, and you can usually find me with a spare battery of some sort on me when I am out and about.   Much as I have tried to avoid Kickstarter, last year The Practical Meter caught my eye and I backed the project.

I have been playing with it for some time now, and it is definitely helpful in making sure that when speed matters devices are charging as fast as possible.  It has also shown me that not all cables are created equal and different cables in the same charger perform differently.

The post title is a reference from “The Frogger” enjoy the clip

The Practical Meter

Thanks to this post on how to embed a YouTube video to start at a specific time.

Superbowl Tickets Maybe Not

The Superbowl will be played in my backyard this year, today the NFL was nice enough to send me an email letting me know that tickets are now available.


Out of curiosity I clicked, the cheapest tickets


and the most expensive tickets

I guess I will be watching it the comfort of my den :-)

How to add IBM Connect 2014 Online to the IBM Connections Mobile App

For those attending IBM Connect 2014 you should have already received your credentials to the Connect 2014 online site, which in large part is powered by IBM Connections.  If you want to use the IBM Connections Mobile App (Android, iOS) it can be easily configured as follows.

Add a new account and select

“My company’s server’

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Next use the this URL “” along with the credentials you should have received from IBM.

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Simple as that you now have access to the Connect 2014 Connections environment on the go.

Making Two Factor Authentication (a little) easier

I am a big fan of Two Factor Authentication.  If you are not familiar with two factor authentication, there is a good explanation here.  I have enabled  Two Factor authentication pretty much on any account I have that supports it.

Many Two Factor implementations use the Google Authenticator app to provide the authentication code.   Setting up  the authenticator is easy, you generally scan a QR code, and then enter the code to confirm the setup.

One of the difficulties when using Two Factor authentication is setting up the Authenticator app on a new or additional device.  When you initially set up Two Factor authentication you are presented with a QR Code that is scanned by the app to automatically configure the account.   Typically to set up another device you have to invalidate the original configuration, and sometimes even disable and then re-enable Two Factor Authentication altogether.

Recently listening to an episode of This Week in Google they shared a tip so simple I don’t know why I never thought of it.  When you first enable Two Factor authentication for a given account download the QR Code image and save it somewhere securely.   Since I use Lastpass as a password manager I create a secure note which allows me to securely upload and save the QR code image.   Configuring the Authenticator App on an additional or new device is as simple as opening up the secure note and scanning the bar code.

2013 By The Numbers

An abbreviated version of my annual look back at the last year, by the numbers.


My blogging output was way down this year.  I am not exactly sure why, it was a busy year not leaving as much time to care and feed the blog as I would have liked.  On my to do list for this year is to give the blog theme a much needed update, and hopefully get back to posting a little more regularly

Blog by Year 2011-2013


Much like blogging a big drop off in the number of Tweets from 2012 to 2013.  I can’t say I specifically tried one way or the other to tweet more or less it just happened, I am not going to invest too much time in figuring out why.

Tweets by Year 2011-2013

2011 Twitter Statistics provided by Tweetstats. 2012 & 2013 Twitter Statistics provided by Tweetnest


I take a lot of pictures, I was actually surprised at the total number for the year and the increase over last year.  I definitely used my phone as my camera more this year than in the past.  In the second half of the year when I discovered Google Auto Awesome I definitely started shooting more in burst mode to see what awesomeness Google would create out of my images.

Photos Taken by Year 2011-2013

Emergency Room Visits

The one category I actually care about where the number ends up. We only paid one visit to the ER all year for a middle of the night Asthma attack that we couldn’t get under control at home.

Emergency Room Visits by Year 2011-2013

This was our one ER visit in July, where they managed to get the Asthma under control quickly, you always know Abe is better when he asks for food.


So that was 2013, onward to see what 2014 has in store starting with a nice snow storm across the Northeast United States.

2012 by the Numbers

2011 by the Numbers

2010 by the Numbers

2009 by the Numbers

2008 by the Numbers

All charts created using the Google Chart API

Speaking at IBM Connect 2014

a.k.a Lotusphere

I am looking forward to warm weather in Orlando a few short weeks from now, and looking forward to speaking twice at IBM Connect 2014

First on Monday a Show and Tell session with Chris Whisonant 

SHOW304 : How to Create a Perfect Profile: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to A Smarter Workforce
Date/Time : Mon, 27/Jan, 02:00 PM-03:45 PM
Room : Swan-Osprey 1 & 2

Profiles are the centerpiece of IBM Connections and your social business. IBM Connections ships with scripts to connect to your LDAP Directory. However, most organizations also need to integrate HR data to build complete profiles and reporting structure.

In this session we will teach you step-by-step how to add custom fields to your Profiles configuration, and how to populate data from multiple sources including LDAP and HR systems.

On Wednesday I will be presenting in the Best Practices track

BP311 : Sunny Days, (Smart)Cloud-y Users
Date/Time : Wed, 29/Jan, 05:30 PM-06:30 PM
Room : Dolphin-S. Hem IV-V

Learn how you can leverage the data in your existing on-premises or cloud systems (LDAP, Profiles, Active Directory, and others) to automatically provision users in IBM Smart Cloud for Social Business. This session will provide a basic introduction to Tivoli Directory Integrator, and how to connect to multiple data sources to create users in IBM SmartCloud.

We will cover user the automation of user creation, changes, and deletions, as well as explain different enrollment and log in methods available to your users.

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Orlando in a few weeks.


On December 24, 1968 one of NASA’s most famous pictures “Earthrise” was taken during the Apollo 8 Mission.  NASA recreated how the photo was taken in this video