Episode 75, recorded on Thursday 26th October 2011.  We discuss IBM’s new CEO, Lotusphere 2012 abstracts and news, the London Social Business Breakfast earlier this week and more…

Hosts

Stuart McIntyre (blog | twitter | company) & Darren Duke (blog | twitter | company)

Guests

Carlos CasasCarlos Casas (twitter | blog | rockteam | leonline | aboutme) is an IBM Champion and Managing Principal of RockTeam and Lotus Education Online (LEOnline.Net). RockTeam/LEO is an award-winning IBM Advanced Partner for ICS as well as an authorized training center for IBM Software.
Handly CameronHandly Cameron (twitter | blog | company) is an Enterprise Software Architect at Softchoice and an IBM Champion
Simon VaughanSimon Vaughan (twitter) Deputy IT Director at Cardiff University and IBM champion (and TWiL Virgin)

Topics

IBM announces Sam Palmisano moving to Chairman, new CEO named (IBM taps Virginia Rometty to succeed Sam Palmisano as CEO)

  • Thoughts on Virginia?
  • Is gender significant, or are we past that now?
  • How about her background in Services and Consulting?
  • How about Sam’s reign?  Positive for IBM? Continued good work of Lou Gerstner? How will he be viewed in history?
  • Do we think Steve Mills stood a chance of being CEO?
  • Where does IBM stand in terms of brand right now?
  • Good example of succession management?

Lotusphere

  • Call for abstracts open
    • Slight confusion over fields on form
    • Thoughts on tracks?
    • Two weeks to get abstracts in (November 6th), sounds ok?
    • Will you be submitting?
  • Connect conference (was Social Business Symposium)
    • Over in Y&B
    • 2 days
    • Aimed at LOB
    • Will this one day be the bigger of the two conferences?
  • Ed queried future of Ask the PMs, put back on agenda.
  • Anything we are particularly looking forward to?
  • Wishes for LS12? What would we like to change or improve?

Social Business Breakfast (IBMSBB) event in London on Wednesday

  • Discussion-based breakfast briefing
  • Mostly vendor neutral
  • Almost no slideware
  • To be run every couple of months in the City

New Connections ECM offerings announced at IOD

Tips

Darren:
MS broke Skype MP3 Recorder. Download the new version 2.1.1 that allows it to work again.

Carlos:
KM Camp Philly is on Dec 2 and I will be presenting a session on the impact of social software with regards to knowledge management and specifically IBM Lotus. KM Camp will be held at DeVry University in Ft. Washington, PA (just outside of Philadelphia) Register here

Handly:
1) ATLUG (Atlanta) is November 10th at IBM, who is providing free lunch. I am presenting on WebSphere 101 for Lotus people, Michael Brown on the new 8.5.3 entitlements, and Lisa Duke on Quickr.
2) Take advantage of the new step up licenses for Connections!

Simon:
1) If you are a Social practitioner or want to learn from others, Join the Dachis Social business council
2) If you use Connections, join the Connections user community on Greenhouse. A great resource to influence what we want to see if future versions + a chance to connect with other users and share experiences
3) Come to Cardiff on December 9th for Social Connections II – it promises to be a truly ‘Exceptional Welsh experience’
4) If your Soccer team lose by a large score, do not poke fun at rival fans and control your noisy neighbours!

Stuart:
1) Social Mythbusters presentation by Louis Richardson
2) How to fill in fields on abstracts form! Register speaker profiles first…

[Music this week courtesy of the Stone Roses who announced they are reforming last week. Go buy their music on iTunes!]

Episode 68, recorded on Friday 9th September 2011.  We discuss memories of 9/11, MWLUG, Social Connections II, the loss of the Lotusphere CULT shirts, two significant departures (Steve Jobs from Apple and Mary Beth Raven from IBM) and more…

Hosts

Stuart McIntyre (blog | twitter | company) & Darren Duke (blog | twitter | company)

Guests

Lisa DukeLisa Duke (twitter | company) is Business Development Manager for Simplified Technology Solutions, Inc. (also known as STS), an IBM Lotus business partner specializing in collaboration, mobility, and virtualization.  STS also resells IBM System X hardware and related storage.  IBM Champion and friend of Mat Newman.
Sharon BellamySharon Bellamy (blog | twitter | company) is soon to be a Consultant at Applicable, working with Portal/WCM, Quickr, Sametime and Connections implementations. IBM Champion, iSeries fan girl and friend of Mat Newman.

Topics

9/11 – Memories from 10 years ago?

Wrap up from MWLUG & AUSLUG 

Social Connections II announced 

  • Cardiff Uni, Glamorgan Building
  • 9th December
  • Speakers from IBM, partners and customers, plus special guests

Lotusphere just 4 months away… 

  • No more CULT shirts
  • Will it still be Lotusphere?
  • What are our hopes for the conference?
  • Is the atmosphere changing over time as Andrew Pollack suggests?
  • Can Lotusphere serve both technical and business interests?

Steve Jobs leaving Apple 

  • What’s the impact going to be?

Mary Beth Raven leaving IBM 

  • What has MBR done for IBM/Lotus?
  • Will she be missed?
  • What do others need to step forward now she has moved on?
  • Does it put even more pressure of Ed and Joyce?

Tips

Darren:
MIB Browser help make sense of SNMP MIB files and find the OID you need. Great free tool.
Sharon:

IBM innovation centres – all over the world, 2 in the UK for use via business partners or ISVs
Lisa

Other podcasts:  Taking Notes, the 1352 Report, Dogear Nation, Social Geeks and Get Social Do Business.  Also STS events.
Stuart:

LotusLive meetings app for iOS – works great.  But IBM must retire the old 7-digit Sametime Unyte meetings that are incompatible.  Also, needs to offer audio through the app too.

Episode 38, recorded Thursday 10th February 2011, looking back on Lotusphere 2011, possible Lotus re-branding, whether Social Business is well understood, the popularity of Lotus-focused books and more…

Hosts

Stuart McIntyre (blog | twitter | company) & Darren Duke (blog | twitter | company)

Topics

Looking back at Lotusphere 2011 

‘Social Business’- ‘Get Social. Do Business’as a theme 

  • Did attendees/customers/press get this?  Is there a sense that IBM is leading the field (and the conversation) now?
  • What does this mean for traditional Lotus partners? Will this lead to a new tier of business partners that can lead the Social Business message?

Looking forward: 

  • Did you get a sense for what’s coming in the ‘Next’versions of the product?  Is this Project Vulcan being realised?
  • Will Activity Streams become ubiquitous?
  • Is the future all web based? Will there be a place for desktop apps still? How about native mobile apps?
  • What will LotusLive Symphony bring us?  Is it a big threat to Google Apps?  Was pricing discussed?
    • LotusLive Symphony first look
    • Will this be IBM moving into a Fremium model?
    • Will it be available on-premise?

Success of XPages book – Mastering XPages 

  • Ed Brill – ‘Well, they sold out at Lotusphere.  First time ever, from what I heard.  More than any other IBM Press book at an IBM conference.  None of this surprises me, because learning XPages is the single most-important activity you can undertake if you want to be on top of the game in building Domino applications.’
  • Still a real appetite for Lotus books and hard copy publications – Lotus Redbooks?

Social Business Jam 

  • Have you partaken?

Domino Express Changes 

  • All limitations besides customer size to be removed in 8.5.3

Tips

DarrenVMware ESXi is free! Free, free, free…..and will work on ‘some’SATA controllers
JonExcuse me iPhone app – best anti-social app out there
MitchStuart and Rob Wunderlich’s SHOW202 Connections Installation presentation, and watch for Darren’s Kimonos videos.
StuartBoxcar notifications app for iPad/iPhone – a mobile activity stream (via Luis Benitez)

Episode 37, recorded Wednesday 2nd February 2011, live at Lotusphere 2011.  Darren and Start are joined by Mary Beth Raven, Kat Mandelstein, Paul Mooney, Bruce Elgort, Mitch Cohen and an audience of Lotusphere attendees for a discussion of topics surrounding the event…

Hosts

Stuart McIntyre (blog | twitter | company) & Darren Duke (blog | twitter | company)

Guests

Mary Beth Raven Ph.D (blog | twitter) is IBM Senior Technical Staff Member in the Lotus User Experience Design team

Paul Mooney (blog | twitter | company) is Senior Technical Architect from Bluewave Technology with 15 years experience supporting Lotus messaging products?

Kathy Mandelstein (twitter) is currently oversees worldwide marketing programs, web and events in IBM Software Group for the Lotus portfolio of collaboration tools designed to empower people to be more effective, responsive and innovative within the context of the work they do. It includes email, calendar, instant messaging, electronic forms, web conferencing, portals, team spaces, business dashboards, document management, and enterprise social software. Previously Kathy led the IBM Rational marketing team focused on the business value of effective software delivery.

Bruce Elgort (blog | twitter | company) is the president of Elguji Software, the creators of the hugely popular IdeaJam collaboration site for the Lotus Community. His other megahits include co-founding the Lotus Notes open source community OpenNTF.org and hosting the Taking Notes Podcast with the famed Julian Robichaux.

Mat Newman (blog | twitter | company) is a consultant for ISW (a business partner in Australia), Lotusphere speaker and owner of the coolest yellow suit around!

Topics

Lotusphere 2011 – what else?

A special ‘thank you’ to all those that helped organise this, ran the PA and got us the recording.  Thanks too to all the folks that attended and made it such a fun event!  All being well, we’ll be back live at Lotusphere 2012!

Episode 36, recorded Thursday 28th January 2011, discussing why Notes is definitely not dead, IBM’s exceptional web experience, LotusLive’s pre-Lotusphere announcements, working at IBM, Lotus advertising, Domino on SSDs and even a few mentions of Lotusphere 2011!

Hosts

Stuart McIntyre (blog | twitter | company) & Darren Duke (blog | twitter | company)

Topics

Notes is definitely not dead!

Does IBM Practice what it preaches?

Lotuslive announcements

Working at IBM

Will we ever see another ad campaign like this?

  • Lots of discussion about advertising vs. marketing
  • Product vs. Brand etc
  • Is it time for a new Lotus Notes/Domino ad campaign?

James Governor: Lotus Gears Up To Embrace The Web, Rebuild its Developer Story, pwn Social Business

  • Is James right?  Is the appdev story the key to IBM success with ‘platforms’like Connections, LotusLive and Quickr?

Domino on SSDs – Erik Brooks marvels at speed of Domino solid state disk

  • NSF versus transaction logging
  • Notes client on SSD

SametimeGuide.com launched by Chris Miller. Sametime admin tutorial videos

  • $199 – special promo offer of $49.99

Connections Files plug-in for Notes released

IBM Social Business Jam, Feb 8-11

Lotusphere 2011

  • People Vowe will miss at LS11
  • The passing of the torch or the end of an era? Great topic!
  • What’s the one standout session?
  • What are we looking forward to?

Tips

Darren

If you’re not going to #LS11, (or even if you are) start working on your boss/significant other/dog/cat to get to #LS12

Stuart

Get on Twitter, Get on LinkedIn, Participate.  Sign up for about.me.

Episode 34, recorded Thursday 13th January 2011, discussing preparations for Lotusphere 2011, Lotusphere IDOL, Gurupalooza, the Blogger Open, being a booth babe and tips for first-timers…

Hosts

Stuart McIntyre (blog | twitter | company) & Darren Duke (blog | twitter | company)

Guests

Susan Bulloch (blog | twitter) Susan Bulloch has worked for IBM Lotus Software since 2000 in software support and development positions. Susan currently works as a Support Engineer on the Lotus Products SWAT Team, supporting the entire Lotus product line, specializing in Lotus Notes and Domino.  One of her specialities is Calendar & Scheduling. She has worked with Lotus Notes and Domino since 1992 as an administrator, instructor, developer, and architect in banking and utility industries. Susan has a Bachelors degree in engineering and a Master’s degree in Information Technology.  She holds certifications in all current Lotus Notes product releases, and is actively involved in quality testing Beta versions of new IBM products. Susan is a frequent speaker at technical conferences, including Lotusphere, the View Admin conferences and at regional user group conferences worldwide. This year, she’s Track Manager for the Best Practices track at Lotusphere, Host of Gurupalooza, a Judge at IDOL and one of the many Nerd Girls working to produce some interesting activities.

Roy Rumaner (blog | twitter | company ) Roy has been a Lotus Notes Developer since 1994. In that time he has consulted for many of the Fortune 50  companies in and around the Chicago area and across the country. He has been a speaker at Lotus conferences, was the co-author of two Lotus Notes books, is a regular presenter at GRANITE (the Chicago Lotus User Group) and most recently at MWLUG. Roy is the IT Director for The Essential Business Software Group. Roy is also the Director of IT & Training (US) for MyDealerSoft – a fully web enabled Auto Dealer Software suite that covers all business needs, inbound and outbound for Dealerships.

Mikkel Heisterberg (blog | twitter | company) Been working with Notes/Domino, Sametime and Java for the last 17 years and have a strong foundation in the Lotus portfolio. I have written five articles for THE VIEW, spoken at several conferences (Lotusphere, ILUG, DNUG) and I’m a Design Partner for Domino NEXT and Lotus Connections. I am a frequent blogger (http://lekkimworld.com) and I am the author of the open source documentation framework LotusScript.doc and the TwitNotes sidebar plugin for Notes 8.x. I am a partner at IntraVision, a Premier IBM Business Partner from Denmark. IntraVision is the creator of the OnTime suite of products (http://www.ontimesuite.com).

Mike McGarel (blog | twitter | company) Mike has been a Notes/Web developer for over 12 years. He currently works for Czarnowski, a North American exhibit services company, responsible for both intranet and customer extranet applications. He has concentrated on XPages development since last year’s Lotusphere. Mike co-presented (with Roy, of all people) a beginner’s XPages workshop at MWLUG this summer and was a regular speaker at GRANITE, the Chicago-based Lotus user group. Mike was recently voted Vice President of GRANITE for 2011.

Topics

Lotusphere 2011

  • Now just 16 days away!
  • Important coffee news!
  • Making preparations
  • Lotusphere IDOL 2011
  • GURUpalooza
    • Thursday 10AM
    • No Rocky this year!
    • All non-IBM presenters from BP, SNT and JMP sessions on stage for the audience to ask questions of
    • What are the rules?
      • Those breaking the rules must donate to charity
      • Bring your questions – you’ll get honest  maybe too honest answers. 
      • Any Gurus being disagreeable with others will be sent to the side of the stage to dance – either alone or with their nemesis. 
      • This session is for the attendees, so we want to get as much good info out that as we can
  • Also on Thursday the 3rd Annual Blogger Open
    • It’s free miniature golf, open to anyone, not just bloggers.
    • Sponsored by Andrew Pollack’s Northern Collaborative Technologies, Chris Miller’s IDoNotes, and David Leedy at Notes in 9. (Thank you, gentlemen!)
    • The site has links to photos from the previous two events.
    • At 5:30pm after LS11 is all shutdown
    • @bloggeropen on Twitter
    • Registration will open Monday, January 17th. Space is limited so you should sign up quickly if you’re interested. Registration will be simpler this year.  There will be no specific start times for groups — your “team”is whoever is around when it’s time for the next group to start.
  • Booth babes
    • That’s Roy 🙂
    • What are you expecting?
    • Ytria will also be giving away everyone’s favorite Lotusphere goodies – Jelly Beans!
  • TWiL at LS11
  • LotusCab?
    • No really, follow LotusCab on Twitter and find Ride-Share partners to and from the airports, hotels, etc
    • Run by Docova
  • Charity raffle for a very, very good cause the Children’s Cancer Association – “It’s a small Lotus World”
  • Request from Sharon Bellamy – what advice can the panel give for a first timer at Lotusphere?
    • Attend BALD
    • Attend the Turtle’s party (after BALD)
    • Get to the OGS early
    • Attend The Great Geek Challenge on Tuesday
    • Attend Gurupalooza
    • Go to the labs! (bring your PMR numbers)
    • Attend Ask the Developers
    • Attend Ask the Product Managers
    • Attend Research Lab
    • Attend the Blogger Open
    • Go to any BoF that fleets your fancy
      • Mikkels and Bobs on plugin development is of course a must! 🙂
    • Tell everyone you are the “Sharon”that TWiL keeps mentioning 🙂
    • Read Andy Donaldson’s Andy’s Guide to Lotusphere
    • If you see someone you want to meet/talk to/stalk then start talking to them. Some will run away, most won’t
    • Follow the advice in the tips sections
    • Time flies at the Wednesday night party. If there’s a ride you want to go on, get to it quick!
    • Close out LS11 with Lisa, Mike, Stuart and Darren at Kimonos on the last night. At LS10 we were officially the last party there!
      • Let’s start a tradition……
      • The 2nd Annual Lotusphere Thursday Last Call Party!

Other news:
Lotus User Group podcast with Alistair Rennie

The X-Cast returns!

  • XPages related podcast is alive!
  • Now with Tim Clark, David Leedy and Paul Withers
  • The latest podcast features a great rundown of every XPages-related session at Lotusphere. – MM

Blogger of the Year voting is open
Verizon now have the iPhone
SkiLUG

  • SkiLUG is a user group event that combines technical sessions and outdoor winter fun in the U.S. state of Maine. Bill Malchisky is the brains behind it. It takes place soon after Lotusphere from Friday, February 25th through Sunday, February 27th. The URL is http://www.skilug.org.

Tips

Darren

Start your LS11 conversation ice breaker with “Do you listen to This Week In Lotus? Those guys are brilliant/idoits/wasting their time/deserve a GRAMMY”

Mike

Two Lotusphere tips:
1) Talk to the fellow attendees at Lotusphere. At your lunch table, while standing around between sessions, wherever. Technical content at Lotusphere is fantastic, but the relationships you build can be even better.
2) For you XPages developers and wannabe XPages developers, look for the new XPages Cheat Sheet put together by David Leedy. It’s four pages of basic XPages material that is invaluable. I have a review copy and I’ve already referenced it several times. Dave announced it on the most recent XCast and has a blog post about it on Notesin9.com.

Susan

Treat your IBM developers well!  A greeting, a drink, a coffee – they are the hardest working people…..

Roy

1) Get lots of sleep a lot before you go. I know everyone says it, but after 15 Lotusphere’s, I can tell you that if you follow his advice and network, you will be up until 2 or 3 in the morning talking to all those new friends, discussing lots of new ideas and then you need to be back up and ready to go to a session or breakfast at 7. And don’t discount the idea that you need to wear comfortable shoes (maybe bring a second pair and switch off each day). Last time I logged my mileage at LS09, I walked well over 15 miles in 4 days. I would even go so far as to recommend buying a couple of pairs of comfortable socks.
2) Leave the backpacks in your room. You really do not need to carry around all that paper they give you. The daily schedule will fit in your pocket and if you really want to take notes or carry a couple of water bottles bring a fanny pack or use your pad or tablet. Just remember to put the Showcase prize forms and punch cards in your pocket Monday morning. Lots of good prizes to be had if you get all the stamps.
3)Last thing, this is a casual show so suits and ties are not required– unless of course your name is Bill Malchisky.

Mikkel

Have two Lotusphere tips and as I’m a developer I have to send people of with a coding tip as well.
For Lotusphere – make sure to come by our booth in the showcase and see the future of group calendaring. We have an all new UI written entirely in Java that will blow your socks right off!! Also be sure to check out our Lotusphere planning app that we discussed earlier.
As for the coding part – when doing LiveText recognizers in Notes the regular expression you specify is case sensitive but if you prefix your regular expression with (?i) it will become case insensitive. Really cool and it makes it a lot easier to write your regular expression. For more info see my blog.

Stuart

1) Don’t ever ever submit an abstract to do a Show and Tell session!
2) Engage, engage, engage.  Put any shyness or ‘English reserve’behind you.  You’re only at Lotusphere for one week a year, so maximise the value you get by taking every opportunity to talk to people – in sessions, in the labs, on the Showcase floor, in Kimonos.
3) Take a stack of business cards!


Episode 33, recorded Thursday 6th January 2011, discussing the Lotusphere 2011 Business Development Day, events for partners and get an exclusive on the location of the Lotusphere party!

Hosts

Stuart McIntyre (blog | twitter | company) & Darren Duke (blog | twitter | company)

Guests

Colleen Hayes (email) is program director, Marketing Strategy and Channels for IBM Collaboration Software and is leading the business partner development day for Lotusphere 2011.  Colleen joined IBM in 1994 where she has marketing, sales and strategy positions at regional, national and global levels.  Prior to joining IBM, Colleen spent three years at Mall of America as director of Tourism Marketing and Group Sales, and three years at the St. Paul Convention and Visitor’s Bureau  where she held positions sales and marketing.   Colleen has an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and holds a Bachelors degree in Communications.

Jan Zeuthen (company | twitter) is the CEO and co-founder for Business partner Opus Neo. Opus Neo was founded almost 10 years ago and during that time Jan has been doing development, project management, marketing, sales, administration and got coffee for the developers. Jan is also the idea man behind Neo.Dashboard for Quickr.

Topics

Lotusphere 2011 

  • Now just 23 days away!
  • Lots of buzz around the conference
  • Tweets with #ls11
  • Blog posts re: Lotusphere

Sessions finalised, and applications available 

Business Development Day 

  • What is Business Partner Development Day?
  • What is the agenda for the day?
  • Why should partners attend Business Development Day?
  • Are there any limits on what you can reveal on Sunday?
  • There are certification labs at Lotusphere, right?  Would you encourage partners to take exams whilst onsite?

Why would partners attend Lotusphere as a whole?

  • Are there any special deals for partners that haven’t yet registered?

For the partners

  • What have we gained by being at Lotuspheres past?
  • What are you plans for LS11?
  • Do you genuinely do business at Lotusphere?

Other news

Tips

DarrenDon’t turn on Managed Replicas and “Use Local”in Notes without first ensuring the replica already exists on the local machine.
Colleen1) Wear comfortable shoes, 2) Plan ahead
JanLocal users in Quickr can also use the connector. Just enter the full hierarchy for the local user name as user name in the connector
StuartSkitch – the perfect Mac based screen capture tool. Now out of beta…

Episode 31, recorded Thursday 16th December 2010, discussing use of Collaboration software within Academia, the issues facing Higher Education, what IBM do well and/or could do better, academic initiatives at Lotusphere and much more…

Hosts

Stuart McIntyre (blog | twitter | company) & Darren Duke (blog | twitter | company)

Guests

John Gallagher is the Application Architect for City University London  which involves defining the interaction between applications, data repositories and our middleware..  Prior to City, John has worked for a number of consultancies on the use of J2EE application server technology, middleware and service orientated architecture. This has typically included the initial definition of the architecture, helping to setup a development capacity and the supporting the teams through the initial projects

Andrew Frayling (twitter) is currently self-employed working mainly with Atlassian technologies.  Prior to being self-employed Andrew worked as Web Services Development Manager for Cardiff University and managed the teams implementing WebSphere Portal, Lotus Connections, Lotus Forms, WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Business Monitor and the Atlassian software stack (Confluence, JIRA, Fisheye and Bamboo).

Topics

Collaboration Tools in Academia 

  • What are the pressures on higher and further education right now? (4:40)
  • Are those pressures affecting the types of projects that you are running? (7:18)
  • Students are very used to social tools – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.  Does that create demand on Institutional IT to integrate those services? (12:21)
    • Andrew mentioned Cardiff University’s Joe Nicholls’presentation on ‘core and chore
  • We hear that Email is Dead amongst teens – is that born out by your experience? (25:48)
  • Do you discussion your projects/technology decisions with other universities?  Is it a competitive environment? (31:40)
  • With relation to IBM/Lotus…
  • Do you have any idea of how IBM is seen by students or staff at Universities? How they would view IBM versus Microsoft and Google for instance? (34:43)
  • What could IBM do to market better to this sector? (42:18)
  • Is price a major influence on your technology decisions? (47:23)
  • Lotusphere 2011 is coming up soon… Are you attending? (49:59)
    • Send Sharon campaign!
    • Do other vendors (such as Atlassian) have the same kind of community as Lotus does?
  • Is there anything that IBM could do at the event (or at LCTYs) to get universities involved? (52:48)

Other news 

  • Lotus Traveler for Android released (59:29)
  • Lotus Quickr for Domino 8.5.1 due to be release (1:00:28)
  • Lotus Domino 8.5.2 FP1 due “this week”(1:01:03)
  • First LTIE Community “ListenCast” took place this week (1:01:09)

Tips (1:03:14)

DarrenIf you’re looking to build a fast, fast, fast Intel Domino server (or any other server for that matter) take a look at the IBM x3630 M3 xSeries. This puppy can house 28 hot swap-able 2.5”drives (yes 28!) in a 2U chassis. Forgo the need for a SAN for high I/O server like Domino. This is an impressive piece of kit (and yes, STS does sell these).
Johnwww.websphere-world.com run by Billy Newport – independent site providing WebSphere information
AndrewRackspace Cloud – dead simple to provision servers, support is fantastic
StuartNokia BH-905i headset – noise cancelling bluetooth A2DP, comfortable, corded or not, headset and headphones. Wonderful! (Amazon US | Amazon UK)

(Oh, and thanks to my own student, Issy McIntyre, for doing the episode title!)