Fitness Week 22

A feeble effort all round this week, don’t bother even reading

First person to win 250 squash games
Kieran: 50 Games
Mark: 79 Games
(1 point head start on a game for every 10 games the other person is ahead)
(we also play by “you have to WIN a game, genuine mistakes on game points are ‘let’ “)

Only 1 match played and we took it in turns to win games, and it seems even the case for points, if it wasn’t for the sweat soaked shirts and pain filled hobbling it would seem as if we are not trying

First person to loose 2 stone
Kieran ( Initially 15 Stone, 8 pounds) : 14′ 10″
Mark ( Initially 16 Stone, 8 pounds) : 16′ 7″

No fencing yet and no change in weight, the same this week for the evil Green, not helped by my parents both achevingting their ideal weight and looking fab, sod this I’m off for a take away

Drobo FS review

After a couple of month drooling, and feeble attempts to be good, I have taken the plunge and purchased a Drobo FS (in the uk, Amazon is the cheapest after you have taken into consideration Amazon prime membership and lack of hassle ), as a long time user of both 1st and 2nd gen drobos and drobo shares, I was hoping for great things from this all in one model, and I was not disappointed.

After the normal pleasant unboxing that comes with a drobo, and a glance at the quick start instructions, I’m all plugged in a ready to go (lets be fair its only 2 plugs)

As I already had the drobo dashboard installed and upto date (via the normal alert notifications) for my other drobos I was surprised that the drobo FS was not detected, it was not till I installed the version that came on the disk that i discovered that upto date is a relative thing, but to be fair the instructions were very firm that software was to be installed first.

I would have like to have been able to move my drives across all at once, but as i wanted to get rid of the 2 TB shares imposed upon me by the droboshare, i have had to copy all my files across manually, doing this showed Initial speeds that were not impressive but this turned out to be my naff old 100mb hub, after i moved to a gigabit switch, then world was a better place. (about 20 MB/Sec at file transfer while streaming a cartoon from it to another computer). it does seem that the new limit is 12TB on the drive size as that’s the size it is displaying when you map to it, which would signify that is supports individual drives up to 3TB in size ( 4 x 3TB = 12 TB, with the minimum of one drive lost to redundancy), which would in turn seem to imply that as it is using EXT3 that a 4kb block size is being used, and therefore a individual file size limit of 2TB

As always with drobos the Western Digital greens proved to be the best drives by a long way, being quiet and cool with out as far as i have ever experienced costing anything in speed.

I should really use the Drobo Apps more and they have a good cata log of them now, but I have computers for that kind of thing, i use the drobos as a secure way of keeping a S**t load of data on the network securely and hassle free, and this they do (even if they do cost a bit).


  • Proper steel case
  • On/off button (at long bloody last)
  • 2 Tb share limitation lifted!
  • Much faster – in both transfer and raid build/repair
  • Multi user behaviour far improved as is security
  • Lots of useful little improvements that show they have thought about it – such as the ability to dim the led lightsCon’s
  • Power supply is now a brick, and based on the heat it gives off, a vampire brick at that
  • Bit nosier that the 1st and 2nd Gen
  • Slow to start with large shares 4TB+ (unproven, but a feeling)
  • Still no true web interface, you still need a none VMware windows or Mac to set the darn thing up. (no linux grrrr)Not quite perfect, but defantly a liner improvement from the drobo share, recommended.

FLUG London

The Adobe Flex London User Group (an evening starting at 18:30) is starting back up again, hosted by skillsmatter in central north London (next to the barbican) first meet on the 2nd of August, its free, you can register Here. I will be there, so I hope will Mark Barton and a few more Domino people

Note: This it not treacherous to Domino or false advertising (if you have reached here via planetlotus). I have long held the opinion that any thing that can be glued to Domino to make it look good or expand its functionality is something that should be pursued also I have learnt much from the Lotus LUGs I have attended and hope to learn the same from the pure flex boys ….so there

ViewEz saved me from hours of boring work

At one of my clients we are currently revamping a large notes db to work with a new back end (java via web services), during that period of quiet that comes between PT and UAT the idea of getting some performance improvements done raised its head, as the db was 13 gig, 11gig of which were view indexes the starting place seemed ovious, but with 343 views to look at, it seemed it was going to be a dull old time, initially we did the traditional “Admin Client” –> Files Tab, select database, right hand “Database” tab –> “Manage Views”, which shows you the size of all the view indexes, this told us the worst offenders which we could pick off, but still, it would be nice to cure nearly all the bad bits quickly and easily, enter viewEZ

update: Peter from Ytria has also writen a blog entry on this subject which you can read Here as an alternative (and probably a better way) end update

There are lots of things that are considered “best avoided” on views, this is a nice article with good links but we were aiming squarely at the following:

a) Look up views with re-sort click-ables at the top
b) Any already sorted column, that has click-ables for the same order, eg. a column that is ordered to ascending, but with a re-sort set to “both” rather than “descending”
c) Views with too many categorised columns (threshold of 4)


1) select your db, click viewEZ

2) Just click all the views and select the “Columns” button

3) ensure Options –> Display –> re-sort is ticked

You can see all of the views in the database and their columns spread out scrolling left to right, with icons showing you pertinent info (whether its hidden or sorted etc etc), now, look at the following picture, see the left hand view, we don’t want any re-sorts in a look up view, because no one is ever going to click them, so select a box that contains “Re-sort = XXXX “, right click and select “column properties” you will see the normal sort of options you would expect for a column in the notes designer, we will set the re-sort to “none”, click “apply” and move on to the next column, it should be noted that you don’t have to shut down the properties box you can just click on the next column which is a nice touch and greatly speeds up the whole process.

following this method we quick removed all of the unessasery view sorts, and even found the views with excessive categorised columns, such as this one

343 views checked and 7 gig in view indexes saved, in about a hour,

nuff said…………

Disclaimer: I get a free copy of ViewEZ from Ytria as part their agreement with LDC, but I had it before then anyway. oh and i did this on ViewEZ 8.5 but I know they are up to 9.13 by now so there might be even more fancy stuff in there.

Fitness Week 19-21

As the heat still blazes down on our delicate and youthful forms (we are under no circumstances sweating like pigs and running like camels) the great battle continues

First person to win 250 squash games
Kieran: 48 Games
Mark: 77 Games
(1 point head start on a game for every 10 games the other person is ahead)
(we also play by “you have to WIN a game, genuine mistakes on game points are ‘let’ “)

The strategy to beat Mr Green and his superior skill and shots has now finally been established, I have to wear outfits that are garish and in such poor taste that they hurt his eyes, and wear my fencing glove so i can hit the squash ball twice as hard (no slip grip), he in turn has worked out that he can run me into the floor then clean up on the later games, hmmmm

First person to loose 2 stone
Kieran ( Initially 15 Stone, 8 pounds) : 14′ 10″
Mark ( Initially 16 Stone, 8 pounds) : 16′ 7″

oh just go away, I’m just going to start fencing again, bugger this food lark (and that is after receiving some excellent advice by a fellow blogger), the only plus notes was that while by BMI is 28 my fat is 25%, so i have a normal (high end) fat percentage, so if i understand it right that means that i have a higher than average muscle content (keep dreaming, keep dreaming)

Portable power for desktop replacements

Those of you that want an extra chunk of power to take anywhere may have looked at the power gorilla by power traveller before, a very well made product and one that promises a great deal, there is one problem, you cant really use it for desktop replacement laptops, as its amperage is seldom up to the task, for example most clone power laptops require 19v at 4.5amps, and the power gorilla only provides a max of 2.5amps when on its 19v setting, a strange situation as its precisely these kind of power greedy laptops that would benefit from an extra source of power, this is not a reflection of the power gorilla its self, i have one and love it, I use it to charge my phone, net book and AA/AAA batteries when on the go, but my main laptop (a Compal FL92) sulks and flashes power lights at me if its plugged in when already turned on, though it is happy to charge when turned off (power traveller do make this plain on the FAQ for the power gorilla, and it should be noted that power laptops with smarter power management’s systems such as the macbooks seem happy, although they still only ‘run’ rather than ‘run and charge’ ).

I was however browsing the power traveller site and discovered the soon to be released powergorilla silverback, a monster of a portable power supply that made me drool, but it did look a tad big even for me to lug around the place (though im willing to try it), and it would be a sod to explain at an airport, enter power travellers twitter account, I asked them about the problem, and was told that you can run 2 power gorillas in parallel with a y-spliter cable, much excitement, a travesty to my credit card latter, and im the proud owner of 2 power gorillas and an extra cable, and you know what, it worked, instead of the normal 2.5 amps, I’m providing with 5 amps~, I still seem to need to have them plugged in on start up, but this turns out to a spike drain that my laptop makes when a power supply is first plugged in rather than anything I can attribute to the power gorillas, now I have a full 2.5 charges to my laptop before its own battery is even touched, enough for a serious days work at full power, all for just over a kilo and without a reboot to swap batteries in sight (happy sigh)


Multi notes clients on the same machine

I would have considered this tip a bit old school but as there still seems to be a huge number of us using XP in one way or another it might be worth a mention.

Like many of us I use multiple versions of Notes on my machine at the same time (7.0.3 for speed, 8.0.2 for clients server compatibility , 8.5.1 for preferred development), for a good and complete blog on this see Tony Austins blog post ,however i dislike the hacking around needed to get the change buttons to be enabled when you are installing the second/third version, I recently discovered, Windows Install Clean up which you can just run to remove the install information for lotus notes without removing the installation its self, this enables you to treat each installation a fresh which i think is far easier, As Microsoft has recently retired it, i thought i would just keep a copy hosted here in case anyone needed it

Fitness Week 17-18

First person to win 250 squash games

Kieran: 41 Games

Mark: 66 Games

(1 point head start on a game for every 10 games the other person is ahead)

(we also play by “you have to WIN a game, genuine mistakes on game points are ‘let’ “)

We have now established that Mr green is the better player, and when hes on form I receive a savage kicking, however bloody minded malevolence and a evil heavy squash racket that can pop squash balls is JUST taking the day

First person to loose 2 stone

Kieran ( Initially 15 Stone, 8 pounds) : 14′ 10″

Mark ( Initially 16 Stone, 8 pounds) : 16′ 6″

no movement, nothing to see here please move on.

Easy substring with java

@formula is a fab thing, and some features just cant be beat, one of my faves is its

@Middle( string ; startString ; endstring )

Java has the normal substring stuff, but this format is a bit of a pain (I personally hate the whole “get indexof” rigmarole to do it), but with a bit of help from regular expressions we can just use this

private String getMiddle (String inStr, String startToken, String endToken){ 
String Expression = .+ + startToken + (.+?) + endToken + .+; 
inStr =   + inStr +  
return inStr.replaceAll( Expression, $1); 

so say we have this String

String longString = GD=testing~BSZ=567~ST=1~UNID=357DHFDC4DA4AE802574F60006F249~


getMiddle( longstring , BZ= , ~) will give us 567

handy eh?

N. B. If you want to search for any of the following characters [^$.’?*+() you need to put \ before each one (except for “” which only needs 1) as they are special characters in regular expressions (yes i should just alter the function to handle them, ill do it later)