Archive for Time for another review

Time for another review ... IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide

October 3 2010

I was asked by Packt Publishing to take a look at one of their newest releases IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide. As I read thru the book, the thought that kept coming to mind was "the single most comprehensive resource for any end user of Lotus Notes 8.5" and I mean that. I think this book was written to be very approachable to the end user - either a twenty year veteran user of the product to the newest of users. Karen Hooper does a wonderful job of distilling a large amount of information and presenting it in a digestible format. While slightly different than the 8.5.2 experience I am using myself, I found myself learning things I have missed for many years. I got a bit disjunctured with the order of covering chat, feeds, and widgets before mail and calendaring, but otherwise the flow is very natural. I also thought the chapter on Lotus Symphony was a bit on the light side - but that is coming from someone who lives and breathes Symphony and should probably write the Packt book

Time for another review ... IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials : A User’s Guide

October 3 2010

I was asked by Packt Publishing to take a look at one of their newest releases IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User's Guide. While written by community friends Tom Duff and Marie Scott, I can safely tell you that if you use Sametime 8.X in any form, you can not go wrong with this book. I could have never believed that you could have written a 300 page book, for users, about Sametime. Is there really that much to know about sending an instant message or setting up a web conference? After reading this book, I can tell you there is plenty to know - and far more you never did. For me, this is a great reference. As a user of Sametime since the first version came out, I learned a new tip or feature every chapter. For a user who is not as technical as many of us, this will be a great source for learning. Well organized and very well written. One of the things I dislike most about books with more than one author is disjuncture writing styles across chapters or within, this book has

Time for another review ... Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

August 3 2010

So this is going to be a short mini-review until I finish the all the single player content and really get deep into multi-player ... but some initial data points: 1. 10 years (12 since the original Starcarft, 10 since Starcraft: Brood War) is a long time to wait for a game 2. This game feels like Starcraft 1.5 in terms of play ... and that is not a bad thing 3. It cost 100 million to make this game 4. It will make ~ 600 million this year alone So what do I think? Very simple - this is the best, single player solo game experience I have ever had. Period. Yes, people will complain about lack of LAN play, spawn installs, RealID, Battle.NET 2.0 match making, and lack of chat rooms - but NONE of those effect the single player experience. The missions are engaging, fun, and so different from each other. The in-between mission stuff that let's you advance your technology, units, and explore the story and mythology are awesome. The in-game cinematics are killer, but the produced videos

Time for another review ... IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1

January 31 2010

So like many of the other bloggers in the Lotus Community, I was asked to check out the new "IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1" book from Packt Publishing. I got thru the book today and here are a few thoughts on it. First and foremost, the book is designed to be an overview of the product and an update on what is new. In many ways, it feels like the content you would get from a super duper "What's New in Notes" help file or something from Lotus Education to take the new certifications. I do not think that is a bad thing. If you were expecting a really detailed book on Xpages, this is not that book. I will get to the Xpages issue in a bit, but first - lets talk about what is good in the book. I found the chapters on the Domino Server, Deployment, Upgrading, and Coexistence to be very good, even if there are two chapters about Domino (Chapters 4 and 10) which should have been consolidated into one. I thought for anyone who was a beginner to mid level IT professional would learn someth

Time for another review ... Progressive Nation 2009 (Dream Theater, Zappa Plays Zappa)

September 7 2009

On Sunday, August 23rd, 2009, I had the pleasure of attending Progressive Nation 2009 - and it was a blast! Here are some thoughts about each band: the location was at the Chicago Theater - and thank you to the promoters for picking a location just 3 blocks from where I live. Nice walk home afterwards :-) Scale the Summit Scale the Summit is a modern day Liquid Tension Experiment - a 4 piece instrumental band that just rocks. They have two guitarists and no vocals - but you really don't miss them. Four outstanding musicians that I am sure picked up a bunch of fans on this tour. Big Elf Big Elf is what I would call classic prog rock - with a touch of that 70's hippie flair that makes me run the other way. Mike Portnoy listed their album as one of his top favorite of 2008, but I had a hard time getting into it. Stellar musicians all, the organ sounds and style just turned me off. If you like the old school prog style - think late era Beattles - with a mix of modern day

Time for another review: Inglourious Basterds and Quentin Tarantino Q&A

August 18 2009

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago International Film Festival Summer Gala that honored Quentin Tarantino and hosted the Chicago premiere of his newest movie "Inglourious Basterds." Because the movie has not opened yet, I am not going to give anything away about the movie. It is Tarantino doing what he does best - a great story with killer dialog. The story is a bit choppy as typical, but it not out of order. It is bloody as all heck [more along the Madsen ear scene in Reservoir Dogs vs. the comical blood in Kill Bill 1] and even bends the history of World War 2 a bit. So no story spoilers - but this is by far Quentin Tarantino's best movie. It flows amazingly and there are not any slow spots. Brad Pitt is great - but Christoph Waltz (who plays Col. Hans Landa) steals the movie. After the movie, Quentin Tarantino did a Q&A with the audience. He answered questions about the movie with passion and humor. He was awesome. When they announced he had time for on

Time for another review ... Anvil: The Story of Anvil (and why you must see this!)

May 17 2009

In the midst of the summer movie blockbuster season, there is this little documentary called Anvil: The Story of Anvil. Let me tell you - it might be the best movie you see all year. It is the most moving, inspiring, and telling story about always trying to make your dreams come true while living in reality. Anvil is a hard rock band that helped create the sound known as 'Thrash" - they came before the "Big 4" - Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth. While all four of those bands have had levels of success, Anvil has not. While their 1982 album "Metal on Metal" is still considered one of the best albums of rock. But how many of you know about Anvil? Even heard the name? Most have not. This movie is not about a heavy metal band. It is about two friends who are on a journey to fulfill a dream. Two men who met as kids, still best friends. You hear about their journey and you see how much bad luck they have had. It is a story of two fathers, husbands, and men who live a normal midd

Time for another review ... The Dark Knight

July 20 2008

I am not sure how I can put into words a review that sets myself apart from everyone else who has written reviews on the web the past week. So I wanted to cover things that I have not read elsewhere ... Yes, the movie is amazing. Yes, it broke both first day and first weekend numbers of Spiderman 3. But here is some personal thoughts: 1. This movie was a Chicago travelog. Since we did not see Arkham Asylum in the movie, there was no need to do any CGI on the cityscape. That was Chicago. But not just Christian Bale actually standing on the Sears Tower, you saw Navy Pier and the building I live in. Multiple times! How cool was that. 2. Not only was the city view Chicago, but so was the courtrooms, the locations of the press conferences, the funeral for the Commissioner, Lower Wacker drive for the underground chase scenes (and no clue how they got a semi truck down there). I saw places I walk, eat at , and just drive in almost every scene. 3. The building at the end under constructi