Wednesday 26 September 2012

A Birthday: 6 Years

Hey, would you look at that.  I saw a number of blog anniversary posts over the past few days and thought I should look into when I started mine.

Turns out it was 6 years ago today.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Comment for Social Good: Barrhaven Food Cupboard

Food stocks are low at the Barrhaven Food Cupboard, and Ross' Independant Grocer in Barrhaven has agreed to match all non-perishable food donations made at their location on a pound for pound basis until the end of business on August 4th, 2012.

This is a great organization that I work with. Please help me support them.

Out of personal interest, I'll donate 1 item for each comment that this post gets.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Pixar talks backups and testing

This could be a PSA.   It's worth watching.

Think about your personal life backup.  Your home movies, the photos of your children.

Are you protected?


Friday 4 May 2012

Ottawa: Food Aid BBQ

Food Aid BBQ

The annual Food Aid BBQ is taking place at Festival Plaza, City Hall on Friday, June 1 this year. The BBQ will bring the Ottawa Food Bank that much closer to raising the necessary funds to sustain its beef program for a year.


For only $10, hamburgers prepared by The WORKS will be served alongside chips and a drink from 11AM to 2PM. There will be plenty to see and do at Festival Plaza, with music, a live broadcast by 580 CFRA, and celebrity milking competitions at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm. As well, the Ottawa Food Bank’s Capital Beef Cookbook will be on sale for only $15 along with specialty BBQ aprons to get you ready for Father’s Day and the BBQ season.


Food Aid is a program that provides nutritious protein to those who normally would not be able to afford it. All Food Aid fundraising efforts go towards purchasing and processing beef from local producers. Food Aid is an initiative which boosts the local market for cattle; since the program’s inception in 2005, Food Aid has provided more than 701,500 pounds of local beef to the most vulnerable in our community.


This event is presented by the Ottawa Food Bank in partnership with the City of Ottawa - Rural Affairs Office and several other community partners.

Looking for Help: Error in PNAB Updater constructor: Personal NAB is not open

I'm reaching out to the Lotus community as Google didn't even have this error indexed.

The error occurs on launching the Lotus Notes 8.5.2 client (no designer or admin), and pops up with the error "Error in PNAB Updater constructor: Personal NAB is not open".

Anyone?  Please?

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Cancer: Let's Beat This!

I've been touched by cancer many times in my life.  Through friends, family, and this year, it hit close to home, with my wife.

I'm participating in this year's Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life so that hopefully, someday, my children will never have to go through what I've gone through.


As for my wife, she's doing pretty well.  The surgery went successfully, they removed her thyroid and she's started what will be a lifetime regime of taking a replacement thyroid hormone.   As for what's next, now we wait for the rest of the treatment plan.

And celebrate life.

Sunday 29 April 2012

Abandoned Vehicles

These are not in a location related to these photos, but I did run across them the same day.

[caption id="attachment_724" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Snow Plow: I couldn't say for certain how long this snow plow had sat here, but the size of the trees surrounding it suggests quite a while."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_725" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Caterpillar: No rubber to hit the road. All steel."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_726" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Engine #5: A fire truck from the town I grew up around."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_727" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Fire Engine: Silent, forgotten, but once essential equipment."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_728" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hose: Dry, except for when it rains."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_729" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Gauges"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_730" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Feeder line"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_731" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Siren and Lights"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_732" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Rust pitting the wheel of a steam roller."][/caption]

Abandoned Farmstead

I was driving back from making a pickup on Sunday morning when I spotted this house and barn, long since abandoned.

I couldn't resist walking through the fence and exploring.

[caption id="attachment_713" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Red door: This lead into what once looked to be a chicken coop."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_714" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Log Structures: Some of the buildings on the property were the original log structures that probably dated from the original settlement of the property."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_715" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Mow: Traditionally, the mow (pronounced MAU) would have been where the farmer stored his winter hay."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_716" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hand Hewn: Take a close look at the timber structure. All hand hewn wood, wooden pegs rather than nail, and the joists did not even have the bark taken off."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_717" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Loft: In its day, it would have been stacked to the rafters with hay."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_718" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Water: These basins would have been added much later to the barn in order to provide the cattle with water."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_719" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The House: At many points during its life, it would have rung with laughter."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_720" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mailbox: No mail gets delivered now, and no one picked up the last of the mail to be delivered."][/caption]

Friday 27 April 2012

How to: Restore the Sametime Emoticon Palette


Client reports that they cannot add new emotions to Sametime.


Client does not have the emoticons palette in the Preferences menu.


  1. Close the Lotus Notes client.

  2. Copy the contents of the <Data Dir>\workspace\.metadata\.plugins\\palettes folder to somewhere safe.   This will allow the user to keep any existing emoticons.

  3. Delete the contents of the <Data Dir>\workspace\.metadata\.plugins\\palettes folder.

  4. Launch Lotus Notes.  The emoticons preferences will be back.

Ice cream day

It was ice cream day at work today.


Monday 16 April 2012

Surgery Update

Surgery was a success.  They removed her entire thyroid gland, but did not need to remove the para-thyroids or lymph nodes.  As well there was no long term damage done to the nerves leading to the vocal cords.

Please people, tell the women you know to check their neck.


Sunday 15 April 2012


I guess I've kind of surprised myself by not doing this earlier.  I'm not sure why I didn't.

Back in the middle of February my wife and I bought a new house.  15 hours later, we discovered that she had thyroid cancer.

We let the house deal fall through, there was no way we were going to deal with cancer treatment and move at the same time.  There is no way that we were going to allow that much stress into our lives.

It was a shock, but I came to terms with it.   It's a type of thyroid cancer called papillary thyroid cancer.  It has a high survival rate of  96 to 97%.

Anyway, her surgery is tomorrow, they will be performing a total thyroidectomy.  Wish us luck.

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Reminder: Increase the maximum available memory on your Lotus Notes client JVM today!

Yup, that's right.  Public Service Announcement time.

If you haven't increased the maximum memory available to your Lotus Notes JVM yet, what are you waiting for?

By default, the Notes JVM only has 256mb of memory available to it.  On a system with 4GB+ of memory, you should be easily able to increase it to 1/4 to 1/3 of the system memory and improve the end user performance.

Here's how:

  1. Shut down Lotus Notes.

    • In order to make sure that all processes are stopped, run this command:

    •  Start -> Run

  2. Type:

    • C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\Lotus\Notes\nsd.exe -kill

  3. Open:

    • C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\Lotus\Notes\framework\rcp\deploy\

  4. Open the "" file in a text editor like notepad.  You will possibly require Administrator permissions.

  5. At the beginning of the file, you will see text surrounded by a lot of pound signs ####.

  6. The first ‘property’ after the last # sign is:

    • vmarg.Xmx=-Xmx256m

  7. Change 256m to 1024m so that the line reads:

    • vmarg.Xmx=-Xmx1024m

  8. Save your changes and close the file.

Restart your system, and experience the difference.

Thursday 22 March 2012

How to create a blank file with a fixed size

I had the need today to create a number of blank files with a fixed size.   I thought I would share the method.

fsutil is the program needed to create a blank file.   Under Windows 7, it needs to be run as the administrator.

It's used in the following way:

fsutil file createnew <name of file> <size in bytes>

For example the following line would create a 10mb blank Word document:

fsutil file createnew C:\file.doc 10485760

Just as the following line would create a 1gb blank Excel document:

fsutil file createnew C:\file.xls 1073741824

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

And so it starts again.   This isn't a new site, but it is a new start.  Almost everything is back, it was gone for a bit.

I've lost some images, and other attachments, but I'll dig them up again.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Error (and solution) to "Cannot find external name:"

I've been meaning to share this for a while.   I've had this show up numerous times recently.   Sometimes you'll see it in the Lotus Notes client, but I've been seeing it in the server log most frequently.

The error is: 'Cannot find external name:' followed by a name in capital letters.

This is an error that is a result of having an agent signed by one ID file and an included script library signed by a different ID, usually the server ID.

The solution?  Resign both elements with the same ID.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Two useful Domino fields you may not be using

Every once in a while you come across something you thought was common knowledge and discover someone who hasn't seen it.

Here is my example.

There are a few fields that were added back in Domino 7 that people may not be aware of...

$$HTMLFrontMatter allows you to add a custom doctype declaration to a form.   Quite handy if your designer developed for something other than HTML 4.01 Transitional.

$$HTMLTagAttributes allows you to add your own options to the HTML tag.



Tuesday 14 February 2012

Bad Vendor. Go sit in the corner.

Here is a synopsis of a recent project over the last month.


Asked vendor about specific feature.

Vendor said feature was available.

Brought unit in.

Tested unit.

Feature not available.

Sent unit back.

Asked vendor about lack of feature.

Vendor replied that it would be available in future release.

Stopped using vendor.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Monday 23 January 2012

Data Privacy Day 2012

It's here again.   It's not guaranteed to be more fun than Ground Hog Day, but it is important none the less.

Data Privacy Day 2012 is on January 28th.

There are numerous events being hosted across Canada and the US to make people more aware of data privacy issues.  You can find a list of events here, or if you are in Halifax, attend this one.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has also released a calendar that you can share with your teams.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Fixing CVE-2009-3555 in Lotus Domino

A vulnerability assessment turned up a potential issue with my Domino servers.  CVE-2009-3555, or a security concern with SSL renegotiation.

There is an easy work around for Domino, add the following parameter in your notes.ini file.



Monday 16 January 2012

SANS Ouch! - January 2012

The latest edition of SANS Ouch! is out.

Every month they publish a newsletter directed at the typical web user.  Not those of us with a heightened awareness of security, but people like your office manger, mail room clerk or your parents.

This month's newletter deals with how to securely set up a wireless network.

I encourage you to take a look, and disseminate it to your staff.   In fact, they even encourage you to do that.

It is available in English, French, Arabic, Italian, Korean, Malaysian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and both Simple and Traditional Chinese.

You can now follow Securing the Human on Facebook and Twitter too.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Canadian House of Commons Employees Downloading Illegal Content

According to the activist group, The Pirate Party of Canada, House of Commons employees are downloading illegal content before Canada's bill C-11, the strict copyright protection legislation comes into effect.

The party used a site that scrapes torrent sites for IP addresses to find addresses owned by the House of Commons.

When you work in such a high profile, public place, even if your network administrators turn a blind eye to what you do, chances are that someone out there won't.   Smarten up people.

Further reading can be found here:

Canadian Officials Downloading Illegal Content - SC Magazine

Copyright Infringement in Canadian Parliament - Pirate Party of Canada

Piracy in the House of Commons - Pirate Party of Canada

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Starting the New Year

I'm starting 2012 optimistically.  I have a few goals for the year:

  1. Achieve my CISSP certification.

  2. Finish the renovations to the basement.

  3. Find time to start running again.

As a ways to an end, I have joined a CISSP study group, loaded some study resources on my iPod and ebook reader, and will take the bus one day a week in order to allow myself the time during the 2 hour commute to study.

Renovations are under way in the basement.   I have the drywall up, and have started with the mud process.

Running will involve the completion of one of the other two goals I'm afraid.