Sunday, July 26, 2009

Domino server time

After migrating to Domino 8 on our servers, we noticed the same issue that Vladimir Kocjancic reports in this article.

It's great to have this correction documented. Thanks Vladimir!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Moving to Notes 8.0.1

Jess Stratton posted a very useful overview of Notes 8.0.1 features and included a PDF file that can be used in a conference room presentation.

It's a good quick overview. Take a look.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More than just a free download

If you go to - you can request a free Ubuntu CD. When it comes in the mail, it includes 4 stickers to promote Ubuntu. Not only does Canonical give us a free download of a free operating system, they also back it up with a free CD for installation, and promotion.

Here's what it looks like;

I've already used Ubuntu 9.04, and it does everything I need.

Monday, June 1, 2009

First day at home

I had a plan to wash my car today, and if we had last Friday's weather today - that's exactly what I'd be doing. But it's raining. I'm going to have to switch to come up with plan B.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Last day in the office

I've known that today would be the last day in the Novi office for quite a few weeks now. I'm still not certain that it feels real yet.

I do know that lunch was very tasty, and driving home a little earlier than normal was a great feeling.

The job search officially begins next week Tuesday (I've decided to just go ahead and take Monday off). I'll be recording my job search process here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Are you "googleable"?

Yes, that's now a word. I looked it up, and found quite a few references;
Urban dictionary definition
A blog dedicated to it! - no recent updates though :-(
I'll let you see the rest at your leisure, there were 97,800 results.

What does it mean for my job search?

I want everything found on google when someone searches for "Rick VanGameren" to be something I'm happy for a potential employer or business partner to find. I have the good fortune, for this goal, to have a unique name. If it wasn't, I'd have to come up with a way to "uniquify" my name. Maybe something like; "Fred (I deliver overnight) Smith". Probably still need some more thought on that one.

Step one; what do you get when you google your name?

Use that as a starting point. Then decide what results you want to represent you, and - if you can, go back and brand them with the name you want people to use to find you.

Comment here if you have any questions.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

RSS Feed Readers

I've been using Google Reader as my primary RSS reader. I did read a notice on LinkedIn about subscribing to network updates;

Important note about web-based feed readers

Some web-based feed readers publish your feed URLs on the web, making them available to search engines and everyone else. You should not subscribe to LinkedIn’s Personal feeds with a web-based feed reader unless it guarantees that your feeds are kept private.

So I decided to install a PC-based feed reader for these updates. I was fascinated by the difference in the steps required to install a simple application like this for Windows (XP) and Linux (Ubuntu).


I settled on FeedDemon for use with XP. Here are the installation steps;

  1. Google RSS feed readers and find the desired application
  2. Download the installer
  3. Logout
  4. Log in as a user with administrative rights, otherwise step 5. will result in the error; "You must be logged in an administrator when installing this program"
  5. Open the installer (remembering where I stored the install file)
  6. Answer the installer prompts
  7. Logout
  8. Log back in as a regular user
  9. Launch the program
I settled on Liferea for Ubuntu. Again, here are the installation steps;
  1. Google RSS feed readers and find the desired application
  2. The recommendation included an apt statement for the install, so - Open a terminal session
  3. Type in, or copy and paste from the web site recommending the program; sudo aptitude install liferea
  4. Enter the administrative password, wait for the install to complete
  5. Launch the program

Somehow, I had believed that Linux was harder to work with than Windows. Seems I was mistaken.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A lot to digest

There's a lot here in Sophie Lagacé's post; "More career tips and tools"

Hopefully you get some value out of it as well. Be sure to also read through the comments.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scott Adams hit the nail on the head

Check out today's Dilbert! - click to view full size

I can't say that I've been in the fabric box for all 14 years, nor does that represent my boss, but I can still relate.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Multi-tasking in Ubuntu

I just shut down Notes, I'm installing software, writing this post, moving 30GB of data - all at once.

I certainly don't miss the Windows "please close all programs before installing this software" prompt. Not even one little bit.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

One more place to look

What linkup does is collect job postings from company websites. Some of these jobs may be advertised and filled before ever being posted on monster, etc.

If you read anything from Nick Corcodilos, you'll be as surprised as I was that he recommends linkup.

Salary Privacy

Now here is an article about salary that I do whole-heartedly agree with. I've never been comfortable knowing how much my co-workers or supervisors make, and I don't talk about it with anyone. Why would my salary suddenly lose it's privacy just because I'm interviewing for a new job?

Most employers have a salary that they want to pay for a job position. My job is to make sure that I provide more value than that when I perform the job duties.

I'm finding that I agree with quite a bit of what Nick Corcodilos has to say.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why does this sound right?

I don't know if I would like Nick to meet him. What he says sure is a "kick in the teeth" to many people. But - I think a lot of it makes sense.

There's a wealth of information on Nick's site, and I definitely haven't gotten through very much of it yet. I can't say that I'd recommend following his advice (yet), but - I definitely think it's worth it to check out what he has to say.

See this article on the Personal Branding Blog for an interview with Nick and follow the link to the Ask the Headhunter site.

Notes 8.5 on Ubuntu

The install is not the same as for Windows, but the package manager makes it very easy to install software.

Setting up the client is straightforward, even though it's kicked off in a terminal session. I had a VPN connection active before trying to connect to the server, but still was unable to connect to the server. I had to configure locally first.

Passthru (a great feature of Notes!) is working fine. I still need to sort out the connection issues trying to directly connect via VPN.

Being platform-independent, the Notes client looks and acts just like it does on Windows. Well, almost like it, I need to adjust the fonts so that I can see the text on the workspace icons - for some reason all the workspace icons are blank.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Get really good at something

This statement in Chris Brogan's post on Personal Branding stood out;

"Or worse than failed, he’d have done a mediocre job."

I read recently that being really good at something that doesn't matter also represents failure.

1. Decide what matters
2. Get really really good at something that supports #1

Rheinland Bread

Bread that tastes great on it's own!

I do like bread, but I normally have to cover it with something - even if it's just margarine.

Steve Deming of Rheinland Baked Goods stopped by our office today with a sample of three German breads. Each of the breads; sourdough, multi-grain, and whole grain have a unique and distinctive flavor.

I took a slice of each and I'm really enjoying them. It's a good thing I haven't had lunch yet, 'cause I'm stuffed.

Thanks Steve!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ubuntu on the Desktop

There's still a lot of debate about this, but it's working great for me (right now as a matter of fact).

I didn't finish this article yet, but it made one point that caught my eye. Organizations that are still using Windows XP (or even Windows 2000) are perfect candidates for switching to Linux (Ubuntu was recommended) as they will be facing the need to upgrade their operating systems and hardware just to maintain updates. By switching to Ubuntu; they could avoid the cost of both the software and hardware upgrades.

I'm running Ubuntu 8.10 on a very old "throwaway" laptop (a Dell Latitude C640). It performs better than the Dell D610 that I use at work running Windows XP.

Time will tell if Ubuntu exhibits the kind of decay in performance that XP does after installing and uninstalling applications.

Interesting take on big failures

This blog posting on Tom Ziglar's blog makes some interesting points;

“All great failures are moral failures" is thought provoking.

"Never forget: Just because you are of the opinion that something is not true doesn’t mean that you won’t be governed by it if it is true."

Gravity is true; so I don't jump off of buildings.

Adherence to a moral standard in order for society to function effectively. True?

I know my answer. And I don't define the standard myself, I attempt to adhere to the one given to me.

A faint ray of hope

As I reported on February 25, I've been given the opportunity to seek new opportunities.

My boss has actually been working on a proposal to keep me and have me take on a support role for a Java-based project. It's looking less like that's going to happen. In the interim, I did pick up a Java book and viewed some great tutorials. Java is a cool programming environment that I should stop ignoring.

Speaking of learning Java, check out tip #4 in this article; 5 Savvy Job Search Strategies

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

recently on Seth Godin's blog

The Panhandler's Secret

The ingenuity of a panhandler in coming up with a win-win situation struck me.

Most of what I've been reading lately advocates providing value before ever asking for anything. Everyone who has been blessed by interacting with me will want to return the favour at some point. And many times; that's not the point - it's not give to get. It's just give. Period. Because I've already been given everything.

Doesn't this just make sense? Isn't this part of what we learned in kindergarden? or maybe Sunday school?

Think win-win. Or - no deal.

Monday, March 2, 2009

More ways to use Linkedin for job searches

In Reverse Headhunting with LinkedIn, Rob Pitingolo gives some good insight into the use of Linkedin for job searching.

Keep in mind, it's not necessarily the person you connect to who will link you to a job - it may be one of the people that person connects you to.

We're all in the same boat

This article; How Do You Network When Your Network's All Laid Off? is getting dangerously close to describing my network. There's some really good advice about how to present the fact that you're "looking".

I'm finding that most people are very open to connecting on linkedin. I don't think anyone feels their network is big enough or diverse enough any more. Linkedin does have some very good search capabilities as well, if you're attempting to do business or gain employment in a particular field or geographic location.

Not quite far enough

This article from Kevin Eikenberry advocates being intentional about TV viewing.

What if it went one step further? How about an "over the top", "you gotta be kidding", "there's no way that's going to happen" kind of idea?

Here it is.


Disconnect your antenna or cable.

Think about it.

How would your life be different? What would you do instead of watching TV?

Now just in case you're thinking; I bet Rick watches TV. You're right; I do. Our TV is connected to a DVD player and a VCR. Cable; no. Antenna; no. So when we do watch TV, what we watch is intentional. We actually have an antenna on the roof, and when we moved in three years ago I asked my daughter if she wanted me to connect it. Her answer; "No, I'd just waste time watching TV".

How's my life different? Well; I do spend a lot of time behind a computer. In the last few years I've learned a lot about the automotive industry, Linux, marketing, ministry, etc. I've kept up with pictures from friends and family in Facebook.

But the most noticeable part for me is how I look at advertising. For the most part, it's difficult for advertisers to reach me. I don't even listen to broadcast radio. What I've seen over the last few years is that advertisers are getting louder and more outrageous as they seek to get our attention.

Keep in mind this point; the purpose of TV and radio is to deliver advertising. All the programming is created to ensure that you're there to receive the advertising. That's the bottom line.

30 seconds

That's all the time my resume has in the hands of a hiring manager before a decision is made; keep - or toss.

Check out this posting from Liz Lynch and the mp3 file of the tele-seminar.

Some of the suggestions may help to get my resume in the right pile.

Ideally, my resume is in someone's hands because they asked for it. That's one of the reasons I'm pushing so hard right now to build my network on linkedin (

When I look at my career, and the job interviews along the way - I'm reminded that it's been quite a long time since I've had an interview with a stranger based on a job advertisement that resulted in a job offer and placement. The last time (and only time since graduating university) it has happened for me is May of 1986. Almost 23 years ago! Every other job change/career move has been the result of leveraging a personal recommendation.

If you see a good suggestion online, please leave a comment here or email me at; rick dot vangameren at gmail dot com

I wish you the best in your job search!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Security Updates

Even though 8.10 is the latest supported release of Ubuntu, it's been around for a while (October 2008) so there's a pretty big set of updates right away. I pulled the 200 updates down (it's pretty "automatic") and installed them. If I was running a fleet of computers on Ubuntu, I'd want to pull it once and use that download set for all the computers. Loading the updates on removable media is one of the ways I'm going to try.

I'm also following (trying to) hyperlink recommendations for accessibility from Glenda Hyatt.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The switch to Ubuntu

I've been disrespecting Microsoft for years now (mostly, I'm against monopolies). It seems it's time for me to hitch my wagon to some flavor of Linux. I'm starting with Ubuntu 8.10. I've tested it many times on a few different computers. Today I have committed to limiting my computer use at home to Linux.

If I land some Notes/Domino consulting work, I'll have to sort out what I'm going to do for Domino Designer.

The 8.10 install is very straightforward. "Out of the box" it has everything I need for home use.

I'm going to research small business costs for Microsoft licensing, and see about helping businesses and individuals make the same switch to Linux.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Next Phase of my Career

I received notice today. I am fortunate to have the boss I do; he fought for me to get 3 months notice and he gave me the freedom to search for a job opportunity outside and inside my current employer.

The automotive industry has been unstable for the last few years, and I've managed to dodge this bullet for a long time. Now with the whole economy transitioning, more bullets are flying and it became difficult to justify maintaining resources that don't have a clear impact on improving the bottom line (I think that means me).

I'm going to use this forum to collect everything I've been reading for the past few months on job seeking, personal branding, social networking, etc.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 9

I'm happy to see you, to hear your voice on the phone, to talk with you, to know you.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 8

Love, humility, and gratefulness destroy envy.

It's my job to be Judi's biggest cheerleader.

It's not my job to compare my weaknesses with her strengths.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day 7

Somehow, I'm reading Day 7 today.

There is a room in our lives called the Appreciation room - where we store all the things we appreciate about our spouses.

Most of the Love Dare has hit me square on right between the eyes. But today; it states; "most things in the Appreciation Room were likely written in the initial stages of your relationship".

Not so with Judi - she continues to speak in to my life reasons to appreciate her;
- she loves to spend time with me
- she serves and serves and serves
- she puts up with my weaknesses, while encouraging me to be better
- she is a godly woman

I love her, and appreciate her, more each day!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 3 and 4 - did 2 days go by already?

day3 - selfishness

the opposite of love is selfishness
true love looks for ways to say "yes"

day4 - thoughtfulness

Somehow, I need to stop, take a breath, and just think about Judi for a few minutes. Today seemed so "full" at work, maybe it was supposed to be an example of a day where I definitely didn't stop.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Love Dare Day 2

Love is kind.

Kind = gentle, helpful, willing, takes initiative

I know that Judi is kind to me. She has a servant heart.

I'll never know how to love until I learn how to demonstrate kindness.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Love Dare, Day 1

I always thought of myself as a patient person (except when I'm driving), but I'm still trying to get better. I just asked Judi and she agreed (phew!).

Now about not saying anything negative ......

This is something I'm going to need to work on. I so easily bash things that Judi cares about.

If I'm not patient and/or I'm not kind - I'm not loving.

check out The Love Dare here.