A Digital Christmas Story

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Times change - feelings remain the same.

The Christmas story told through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail and Amazon.

This Pneumatic Cannon Prank Is Just Brutal

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Watch the detailed planning video here

Call me Senator

Friday, October 29th, 2010

From Director David Zucker "Call Me Senator." A super funny but sad look at Barbara Boxer and her distaste for our Military.

"Call me Senator" from RightChange on Vimeo.

How I embed polls in my blog with WidgetBox

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

A few days ago, Patrick Kwinten, asked for help on his blog. He wanted to find a polling/survey application that he could use with Notes & Domino to embed a real-time poll into his blog. One person responded with a mention of a free voting xPage custom control available on OpenNTF.

Today, I had a similar need for a quick poll that I wanted to post on my Notes on Productivity blog. I took a look at the OpenNTF Voting custom control and liked what I saw. Unfortunately, I did not have the expertise to integrate it into my blog so I turned to Google for help. What I found was WidgetBox. Using WigetBox, I was able to quickly define my polls and embed them into my DominoBlog site using HTML. Once I had everything working I paid the $3.99 to sign up for the monthly service, which allowed me to disable the annoying ads and download links. It works.


I would really prefer to find a Notes/Domino solution to manage my web polls and surveys - I don't like having data floating on (and dependent upon) third party sites. Also, I really like being able to manage everything in Notes. But, WidgetBox did the job.

I'll keep looking for a Notes/Domino solution that I can use to create polls/surveys and embed them into my blog. Meanwhile, here's a link to my first on-line poll created with WidgetBox.

Java Forever

Monday, June 28th, 2010

For my developer friends that like to start their day with Java and who can't get anything productive done without it... enjoy!

Via Flixxy

I've blogged about different forms of visualization tools that can be used to help people understand a concept better. (Graphic example). Matt McKeon has put together this awesome chart which helps visualize the Evolution of Privacy on Facebook. It's worth studying for the privacy implications as well as the method of display.


Source: The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook by Matt McKeon

Lotus Knows the Mack family uses Notes

Monday, September 7th, 2009
And they are blogging.

Many years ago, my very good friend, Tanny O'Haley, helped me create several web sites, based on Steve Castledine's DominoBlog template. DominoBlog is so good that IBM made it a part of the standard Domino templates. Unfortunately, many of the coolest features were rinsed away during the blue wash which is why I decided to stick with the classic. My friend, Greg Fisk, did the graphic work and Tanny worked tirelessly to help me create and launch several Domino-based web sites, including: ICA, eProductivity, EricMackOnLine, NotesOnProductivty, InSide.eProductivity, and a few others, that you will learn about, soon.

One of the non work-related sites that Tanny generously created for me was a blog for our family and homeschool. That was over 5 years ago, and several projects got moved in front of launching the blog site, so the database sat empty. Over the years, many of the family posts that would have made it into the family site ended up getting posted to my personal blog. This week, Amy and Wendy helped me migrate content and populate the site and test the new MackAcademy blog and this evening the site went live. My wife and younger daughters are also excited about the idea of having a blog to post to, so it truly is a family event.

We still have some work to do to fix a few broken links and missing images but the site is up and Amy and Wendy are the new web masters. It's a great way to teach them more about Notes and Domino (which they have been using since age 3, anyway) and give them exposure to social network tools.

I look forward to seeing where they take the site.

A big thanks to Tanny and Steve, for their help and support over the years as I routinely called with a question or feature request or tiny "improvement idea" that would take hours to implement. I could not have done this without their help. Thanks, guys.

Memorable Wedding Vows

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

I'm glad they have a sense of humor...
I'm in the final few weeks of my graduate studies in Knowledge Management and I've decided to cut back on Internet, email, and a few other activities in order to focus on my final project. So, last week I put my email in the hands of my capable team and with the exception of blogging The National Knowledge Management Conference at Pepperdine University, I plan to be mostly off-line until late August.

Twitter and the need for brevity

Monday, March 9th, 2009
This Tweet from my friend and KM specialist, Rick Ladd, says it all:


How much information can YOU convey in 140 characters?
Eric's Goals Bracelet for 2008Last December, I received this engraved Road ID goals bracelet. In 2008, I made great progress on items 1-3. That leaves only 'Buy a Mac' and 'Visit New Zealand.' Perhaps this will be the year for those two.

For now, I've just returned from a very successful Lotusphere 2009, where David Allen and I gave a presentation. I now have 1000 accumulated emails to process (I've already deleted the easy & obvious stuff), several hundred new business cards & leads to deal with, and a list of Lotusphere 2009 blog topics to edit and post.

I’m twittering from Lotusphere 2009

Saturday, January 17th, 2009
We'll see how this works out as a tool for real-time micro-blogging from Lotusphere.

My Twitter ID is EricMack


Presidential Buzz

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
I've long known that Buzz Bruggeman  is the most prolific social networker in the blogosphere, so I wasn't surprised when I learned of a grass-roots effort promoting Buzz for president!


I had no idea of the reach of this campaign: Billboards, Television (We don't watch TV), Taxis and... tattoos?

Well done, Buzz!  Best of success to you!
Inspired by Ben Poole's blog post' on Apple addition, I took the test.

Looks like I haven't reached the tipping point yet...

A few details about my Apple adventures:
Continue Reading "So that you know who you are dealing with..." »
I've been on an Internet Vacation (more on that later today) and I'm just returning to my network life.
ManwLaptopInMountains.jpgNo TV. No Internet (well almost no Internet). A cabin in the woods, and lots of snow.

It's been a wonderful three-month break and an extremely productive period of time.

However, it's now time for me to crank up the old blogging machine and join in the conversation.

It's good to be back. I hope you'll drop by and say hello.
Some of my readers may know that I have been working to create the Ultimate GTD Implementation tool for Lotus Notes. Well, the past few months have been filled with accomplishment.

The eProductivity Beta is done.

I am now conducting workgroup pilots.
We completed the eProductivity Beta earlier this month and we are now deep into the eProductivity workgroup pilot program. This is where I work with productivity-minded individuals and workgroups to show them how to use eProductivity to get things done, using Lotus Notes.  The feedback has been excellent. Most surprising is how many people - even those with little or no awareness of David Allen's GTD methodology are able to quickly pick up and use the many eProductivity features we have created.  That's my definition of a successful productivity tool!

There seems to be a real need to a way to quickly and easily link actions, emails, and calendar entries to projects - all of which we do quite well.

I plan to keep things under wraps (e.g. I'm holding off on the web site launch) for a while longer so that I can focus on the workgroup pilot and collect the valuable feedback that our pilot program members have been so generous to share. No need for the distraction of a public launch until I'm really ready to open the flood gates. Already, it's daunting to keep up with the requests from people that want to join the eProductivity pilot program. (If you have a productivity-minded team of 10-15 people that are serious about getting things done with Lotus Notes, let me know. I have a few more slots for groups I can work with.)

I'm on an Internet diet, and it's working

In an effort to keep my easily-distracted brain on-task, I have temporarily eliminated all non-purpose-specific Internet web surfing and Internet news from my daily diet and reducing my RSS consumption to a few key sites just a few times a week. It's given me an amazing productivity boost.

So, great things on the horizon. I'll be back, to my blogging in February - unless my children's robotics team wins the state competition, in which case I'll be back, as a proud father, to share their accomplishment.

Bill Gates Retirement Video

Friday, January 11th, 2008
I've been head-down, working hard with the eProductivity deployment team, so no blogging for 2008 yet.

This video it too good not to share. From CES this week...
(via: James Kendrick)

Now, I can review my goals each time...

Sunday, December 16th, 2007
Eric's Goals Bracelet for 2008I recently received this thoughtful gift from a reader (fan?) of my blog who wanted to show his appreciation for my productivity posts with this custom gift.

It's a beautiful RoadID bracelet with laser etched goals for 2008. Looks like I have a big year ahead of me. At least he got the priorities right.

In any case, now, I can review my goals each time I wipe my nose on my sleeve. What a clever productivity tip. Why didn't I think of that?

I wonder who sent it?

GTD In the Trenches

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007
Michael Dolan, a colleague at the David Allen Company, is now blogging!  
MichaelDolan.jpgI first met Michael in October of 2001, when he worked at Clorox. He contacted me to inquire about eProductivity for Lotus Notes.

A few years later, Michael joined the staff at The David Allen Company where he is one of the GTD coaches for David Allen. Since then, Michael and I have traded ideas and discussed our passion for getting things done with technology.

I'm delighted to see that Michael's now blogging and I look forward to what I'm certain will be informative posts.

I encourage you to visit Michael's new blog, GTD In the Trenches.

iPhone: The Music Video

Friday, August 31st, 2007
I haven't even opened it yet and people are sending me links and tips. (Thanks!) Rick just sent me this video.

Hopefully, this weekend. I'm still fighting temptation.

Steve Barth and I will be speaking at the Office 2.0 conference next week. The conference organizers sent an Apple iPhone to all attendees and presenters; we will use them interactively during the conference. I received mine today.

I have resolved -- and blog here for accountability -- that I will NOT open the box until my presentation is finished.

I hate temptation.

Mark Twain says that the trouble with resisting temptation is that you may not get another chance.

I'll be good.

Vote for Bob (at least go watch his video)

Thursday, August 30th, 2007
My friend, Bob Walsh, of 47 Hats, just pinged me to ask that I look at his 3-minute video which explains why he should get a speaking slot at the upcoming Business of Software conference.

I have both of Bob's books, Clear Blogging, and MicroISV, and they are excellent. In fact, MicroISV inspired me to change the way I develop and launch eProductivity.

Bob has done a great deal of research and I know that his 18 minutes will return good value. It wouldn't surprise me to see another book come from his conference prep.

So, click here to go to the web site, find Bob's video and watch it. It's only 3 minutes long.
Then, if you like what you see, click the rightmost star under it and cast your vote for Bob.

Skype, SameTime & Notes for collaboration

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007
While Skype takes a PR hit for their outage, there are some good stories to share...

It's 4:45 AM. and I'm wrapping up a 3-way Skype voice+text meeting with my overseas development team; we're working on the next code release for eProductivity. My counterpart and I are using Lotus Notes for real-time management of the project and code releases. He's coding and I'm replicating every few minutes to test the latest code. Thanks to Lotus Notes, moving code changes is simply a click of the replicate button. The coming together of Skype for voice + IM and the ease of use of Notes as a distributed development platform facilitates collaboration at a level that was not possible (or at least affordable) just a few years ago. (Yes, I know that SameTime does Video and Audio; it even runs very well in my test lab. Unfortunately, I've not worked out the issues to get it to work in the real world yet. Fortunately, for high quality audio over IP, there's Skype. It simply works.)

We've been on phone - oops, Skype - for 6 hours with impeccable call quality. Between, Skype for Voice, SameTime for collaboration, and Lotus Notes I'm getting more done in new ways with people I would have found it difficult to communicate and collaborate with before. I suppose the only missed opportunity was that we did not use video. Perhaps next time.

It was a successful meeting and we are one step away from the next code release.  I'm tired.

I've been very slow at blogging. Client work and this new product development has required a lot of my attention in addition to my graduate studies and public speaking. I've got a lot going on. Now, more than ever, I appreciate the power of a good productivity tool kit.

I recently took the digital sandbox on the road and I've got two very interesting podcasts coming up: the first, with my friend and colleague, Kelly Forrister and the second with another good friend, Marc Orchant. Kelly and I will talk about how I use the Lenovo X61 Tablet PC, and Marc and I will talk about what's in his gadget bag. Stay tuned...

Are you fit and effective?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
If so, you can stop reading now. For the rest of us - perhaps less fit or less effective - there's much that we can do to improve our performance.

As I thought about what I wanted to write in this post, I kept coming back to these words from inside the jacket of a book, called The Power of Full Engagement, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz:
We live in digital time. Our pace is rushed, rapid-fire, and relentless. Facing crushing workloads, we try to cram as much as possible into every day. We're wired up, but we're melting down. Time management is no longer a viable solution. ...managing energy, not time, is the key to enduring high performance as well as to health, happiness, and life balance.

The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. This fundamental insight has the power to revolutionize the way you live your life...

I'm ready for the kind of change that insight can bring...

Continue Reading "Are you fit and effective?" »

It’s great to be home again

Monday, July 30th, 2007
This has been a busy summer.  After 26 days on the road in July, with very few breaks in between, it feels great to be home at last. I'm even more thankful than before that I get to work from home most of the time. My month began in Ojai with The David Allen Company staff meeting, followed by a week at the NASA Conference on Knowledge Management, back to Ojai to work with David's team again, and then to Long Beach to work with my colleague and Personal KM expert, Steve Barth on our upcoming presentation for KM World. Yes, it's true, I celebrated my birthday with Steve. The folks at The Brain sent me an interesting birthday card in a mind map and Michael smelled cake. Fortunately, I was able to link up with my family at church between locations. My wife kept me going with calls and quick meetings to exchange suitcases. (Thanks, Kathy!) Fortunately, Kathy and the girls were able to join me in Pasadena for the NASA KM Conference and the JPL Tour.

I have no plans to repeat a month like this one anytime soon -- I don't know how road warriors like David Allen or Jason Womack do it. It's certainly not a lifestyle I would want for myself. I'm glad it's over. I have some travel coming up, but no marathons for a while.

I tried to blog the NASA KM conference and managed to get 30 posts. [Click on "Knowledge Management" to see all posts for that category.] I still have about 20 draft posts from the other events during the month along with several podcasts, including Jason Womack, Marc Orchant and Kelly Forrister. (Marc and Kelly celebrated July Birthdays with me, as did Bruce.). I even have a few podcasts and posts from my Boston trip to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference. [Click on "Enterprise 2.0" to see all posts for that category.] I'll try to review these and post them in the coming week. So, if it seemed like my blogging was sporadic or that I dropped discussions mid-stream (e.g. a discussion about GTD 2.0), I did.

I look forward to rejoining in the conversation.

It's great to be home again.

PS. Hat tip for fellow productivity blogger, Dwayne Melancon, for his excellent post on the Eagle Creek Pack-it folders. All of my shirts survived, almost wrinkle free.
Hat tip to those web sites that are smart enough to do a ping lookup to determine that I'm buying from North America and to show "United States" when I press "U" for country.
We're so handsome, it's really hard to tell us apart. People still have a hard time telling us apart, even today.

Thing One Thing Two

Happy birthday, Bruce!
My dear friend, Michael Sampson, wrote a beautiful post today to share his testimony of how God is taking care of his needs. It's a must read.

I don't want to add or detract from his beautiful post so I'll simply say "Thank you, Michael, for sharing your testimony and for encouraging us to remember the source from which all good things come."

God is good.

Michael, you've encouraged me to be more bold in recording and sharing my own testimony.

Michael Sampson: A Testimony to God's Power and Provision

A new blog on eProductivity, coming soon

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
Inspired by Bob Walsh and his excellent MicroISV and Clear Blogging books, I've decided to launch a new blog to record and share my journey creating a MicroISV to launch the public version of the eProductivity template for Lotus Notes and GTD. I wrote the first version of the template in the late 90's and arrived at a version I liked around the turn of the century (that just sound cool, doesn't it?). This project has been percolating and, in some cases, calling to me, ever since.


So what do I plan to blog about?

I plan to blog about the process of starting a MicroISV (a very small, efficient, independent, internet-based, software company, not owned by Microsoft) and the lessons I learn along the way.

Why do I want to blog  about starting a MicroISV?

I have six reasons; here they are:

Continue Reading "A new blog on eProductivity, coming soon" »
My close friend and colleague, Tanny O'Haley, recently redesigned his DominoBlog site and I think that he's done an amazing job, too.


Tanny and I have been using Steve Castledine's excellent DominoBlog template (now the IBM Blogging Template) to manage our web sites.

Who said that a Domino web site had to be dull?

Continue Reading "Tanny gets a face-lift, and it looks really good" »

Best to success to you Hobie and Michael!

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
February must be the month for career moves.  Last week, Hobie Swan announced that he was leaving MindJet to work at Healthwise.  A big loss for MindJet, and a certain gain for Hobie and Healthwise.  Hobie's been a great champion of mind mapping and MindManager and he's also been strong supporter and sponsor of our US First Robotics team. Knowing Hobie, I'm sure we'll hear from him - the inner blogger is hard to keep quiet. Hobie, I wish you the best.

Last night, Michael Sampson called me to share that, after much consideration and prayer, he decided to resign from Foldera. Foldera's loss will be a big gain to the collaboration community. Like so many, I have missed Michael's regular in-depth insights on collaboration and technology during these past nine months.. I look forward to seeing (or reading) what's next for Michael.  [If you have time, read some of the comments on Michael's blog.]  Best of success to you, Michael!

Taking Notes in the Snow

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
Yesterday, I complained to my friend, Bruce Elgort, about the lack of new Taking Notes podcasts. Bruce promptly sent me a link to this weekend's Taking Notes podcast, an outstanding interview with Thomas Gumz. Apparently, I was behind the times, having just returned from a few days working with David Allen and the GTD delivery staff in Ojai. (More on that later.)


This afternoon, I loaded the podcast in my new iPod shuffle - the one with the engraved words "Eric loves all things Mac(k)" - courtesy of Michael Sampson, and headed out, snow shovel in hand, to clear my driveway and locate my car.

If you are in any way involved with the Lotus Notes Admin/Developer community, you owe it to yourself to check out Taking Notes. Bruce and his partner, Julian Robichaux do a great job with their interviews; always interesting people and interesting topics. And, the quality of their podcasts is improving with each episode.

While I'm on this topic, I'd like to publicly thank Bruce and Julian for their dedication and contribution to the Notes community. Their tireless efforts to promote, educate, and build a community resource is greatly appreciated.

Taking Notes is one of the few podcasts on my iTunes list.

Link: Taking Notes Podcast
I enjoy reading the comments and private email from people who read my blog. The number of people who post or send email is relative small, however, compared to the number of people who visit the site daily or subscribe my RSS feed. I've maintained communications with several people who have posted on my blog and a few friendships have developed as a result.

I was intrigued by Inspired by Roger Johanson's post on 456 Berea Street in which he asked his readers who they are and what they want to read about. So, borrowing from Roger's 5 questions, I'd like to ask you, my loyal readers, the same five questions:

1.        Who are you (name and occupation)?
2.        Where are you from?
3.        How long have you been visiting this site?
4.        Have you posted a comment here before?
5.        What would you like to read more (or less) about here on Eric Mack On-Line?

Answer the questions you feel like answering. But please do post a comment!

Five things you probably don’t know about me

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007
The tagging meme has caught up to me. I've recently been tagged by several people, including Jason Womack, Brendon Connelly (SlackerManager), Katy Whitton, and several others; I've lost track. (sorry).  Here, a little late, is my post in response.

Five things you probably don't know about me.
  • I almost got blown up by terrorists in Mons, Belgium
  • I used to produce championship wrestling videos in Barbados
  • I once got in trouble for "visiting" a computer center uninvited
  • I gave up "playing with computers" to became a professional
  • I have living proof of the power of prayer
    Continue Reading "Five things you probably don't know about me" »

EricMackOnline wins TWO inkblot awards

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006
Warner Crocker's been busy, handing out this year's Life On The Wicked Stage Inkblot Awards:

        Best I Want A Large Screen Tablet PC So I'll Fake One In A Photo: Eric Mack 
        Best Check Out This Portable Battery Solution: Eric Mack 

Thank you.

I would like to thank all the little people, without whom these awards would not have been possible,

Sampson shows weakness; gives in to temptation

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
I don't believe it...
Yup folks, you heard right. I'm going Dell. There's a brown box in the corner of my office about to be opened for my new computing platform. Here's to (hopefully) super-reliable computing going forward, and thus higher productivity. Onwards and upwards!

P.S. Please don't tell Eric. Shhhh! I'll never hear the end of it.

Continue Reading "Sampson shows weakness; gives in to temptation" »

Getting Things Deleted Scobleized

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006
[This post is intended for the many people who've read about the new two-minute rule for email that is racing around the blogosphere.]

12 days ago, I shared Robert Peake's secret to success with e-mail. What we both thought was a humorous IM chat (posted here) is now spreading around the blogosphere, thanks in part to getting Scobleized.

Since then, the number of people blogging about why (or why not) deleting emails that take longer than 2 minutes to process is a good idea continues to grow by the hour.

It looks like I touched a raw nerve here.

As Robert Scoble wrote in his Scobelizer comment thread:
...you do realize it’s only a joke, right?
It’s what we all WISH we could do, but can’t.

Despite the fact that Robert and I and other have pointed out that this was a tongue-in-cheek post in the comment threads, many bloggers have not taken the time to read the comments and are blogging away with their thoughts and ideas on the merits or demerits of deleting any email that will take longer than 2 minutes to handle.

For the record, I am NOT advocating that anyone summarily delete emails that they think take longer than 2 minutes to process.  

Continue Reading "Getting Things Deleted Scobleized" »

Taking Notes Podcast One-year Anniversary

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
Bruce and Julian recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Taking Notes Podcast, a regular podcast focused on Lotus Notes for the developer community. Even if you are not a developer, you'll find valuable information in each podcast.

Continue Reading "Taking Notes Podcast One-year Anniversary" »

Foldera Lives!

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006
My buddy, Michael Sampson, the new World-Wide Director of something or other, blogs that Foldera has starting the public beta of their web-based organizer and messaging/collaboration service.
... [Foldera's] web-based solution can save time and boost productivity for a range of businesses and enterprises. Foldera's user-friendly solution uses proprietary intelligent "Activity Folders" to automatically and instantly sort and file emails, instant messages, tasks, documents and calendar events.
Seriously, I know it's become the mantra of the decade, but who wouldn't want to save some time and boost productivity? I've not worked with the product yet so I cannot make an specific comments, yet.
Continue Reading "Foldera Lives!" »

LEGO Robotics Challenge & VLOG Test

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

Tanny and I are testing VLOG (Video Blog) posts on my blog, something I started experimenting with 2 years ago. I've posted this video so that we can begin to  test some new code that Tanny's preparing that will allow me to quickly and easily make VLOG (Video Blog) posts.

This video, for the Sampson children, is of a robotics challenge I gave my children, two weeks ago. The goal was to build and program a tracked robot to run a basic course around our robotics playing field.

Continue Reading "LEGO Robotics Challenge & VLOG Test" »
Two years ago, today, I made my predictions about the impact of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds as a way to bring dynamic content to user's desktops:
Over the next two years, probably sooner, many Web sites will see a decline in regular (repeat) visitors, and a dramatic increase in syndicated viewership. Here's what you need to know ...
I even recorded my first eProductivity video blog, as a way to introduce the topic of RSS to test the impact of a video blog. (aka VLOG.)

Continue Reading "My 2 Year predictions on RSS; how did I do?" »

Get Mack a Mac campaign tag

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006
Michael's getting bolder with his get Mack a Mac campaign. Today, he added a Technorati Tag to his blog:

20060510 - Michael's get-a-Mac campain.jpg

Truth be told, a client came in with a 17" widescreen powerbook. Very elegant. It's not a Tablet PC, though.

I'll wait a while longer.

An Elegant DominoBlog Video Solution

Thursday, May 4th, 2006
Two weeks ago, I asked for help posting a flash video movie inside of a web page. There are many ways to do this, and I've successfully used some of them in the past. The problem was that they required that I paste or edit many lines of code for each video clip. I wanted something that would let me do this in one line. I plan to start posting videos and screen movies regularly and I know that if it isn't easy to do, I won't do it.

Several people generously posted suggestions to my blog, and I want to publicly acknowledge Jeff Crossett, Carl Tyler, Tanny O'Haley, and Michael, for their helpful input.

Continue Reading "An Elegant DominoBlog Video Solution" »
I decided to post this here, in the hope that someone in the Domino or web community will be able to offer some guidance to Tanny and me, as we prepare to post a number of screen movies on this site.

Continue Reading "I need help with DominoBlog and screen movies" »

A New Look for EricMackOnLine.com

Thursday, April 6th, 2006
My colleague, Tanny O'Haley, has been busy working on a series of impressive new site designs for several of the web sites I am preparing to launch, soon.

We decided to use this blog as a playground for some of the technology behind the web site. I told Tanny that I wanted to end up with an additional column on the right so that I could add dynamic content in the future; otherwise, he was free to do whatever he wanted with the existing site design.

Today, Tanny flipped the switch on a redesign for this site. The new design should be much more browser friendly across all current browsers. Tanny's also implemented a print style sheet to make it easier to print your favorite posts from this blog. (Unlike most TypePad blog sites I read, you'll actually be able to print pages from this site!) In addition, Tanny's eliminated the annoying Microsoft Explorer problem that prevented highlighting sections of text.

Most of the impressive stuff, however, is hidden. The site design is actually very compact, transparent, and easy to modify. Over the coming weeks we will be testing several new features of the site design, including live video, customized skins, and more. These features that will become a part of my other sites as well.

Rather than send you to a static "Under Construction" page while we modify the site, we invite you to watch as we experiment with a variety of technologies to improve aspects of this site. Thanks for your patience.

Thanks, Tanny! Well done!

Comments, suggestions, and feedback on the design are all welcome.

Behind the curtain ... ProjectDX Content Management System
For those of you who want to know what's behind the curtain, this web site is built on the outstanding ProjectDX content publishing engine, for Lotus Domino. (Formerly known as DominoBlog.) Tanny and I have worked with the ProjectDX Creator, Steve Castledine to help him test and integrate several features into his content publishing engine. If you use Lotus Notes and want to manage a web site, no matter how complex, you should look at this product. (It's free for personal use, by the way.) IBM recently hired Steve as part of their efforts to recruit top talent for Notes/Domino development. Way to go Steve!

Happy Birthday DA!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005
I hope your day is a special one.
Is it legal to scan and read your own books on your Tablet PC?
It's easy to do, but is it legal?
A reader recently posted this question on my blog. I've been researching the answer (it's not an easy or clear one) and I'd like to get a discussion going on this topic.
(If you have an opinion, feel free to comment.)

There are a number of other topics that I plan to post updates on, including:

Status report on my 8-week paperless challenge
It's going extremely well; must better than I anticipated!

Michael's second visit and our jousting experience
Michael did not fall off the horse.

MindManager as a dashboard in Notes
Excellent progress in this area; I hope to share details, soon. A big productivity boost.

My switch from the eProductivity Template back to vanilla Lotus Notes as a tool for getting things done.  
It was a big step backward for me, but a good learning experience.
I'll be switching back to the eProductivity Template shortly.

And, finally, a popular question on this blog:
"How loud is the fan noise on your Tecra M4?"
I'll post a 3-minute podcast so you can hear for yourself

And the big question of the year, "Will Eric ever become YABHTU?"
I'm much closer. Let's just say I'm YAVHTU for now. (podcast coming) This will take a few posts to explain.

I hope you'll join me in these discussions. If you haven't done so already,  be sure to sign up for the RSS feed so that you don't miss the discussion.

Did I miss anything? If there's a topic you'd like me to discuss , post a comment.

Should bloggers respond to every comment?

Saturday, October 15th, 2005
Should bloggers eliminate comments from their blog sites to improve productivity and remove the appearance of orphan comment threads? It's a question I've pondered more than once. It takes a lot of time to respond to the many comments and emails that I receive each day. Yet, comments hanging without a response can create a feeling of loose ends and may even make me look like I do not care. It's simply a time issue. I wish I had the time to personally respond to each any every comment on my blog,

While a blog author may serve or prompt the main course, I find that it's often the people who post comments that add the seasoning.

Continue Reading "Should bloggers respond to every comment?" »

Testing new DominoBlog features

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005
Unless you are interested in web content management in Lotus Notes, you'll probably want to skip this test blog entry.

Continue Reading "Testing new DominoBlog features" »

Hidden message inside

Friday, August 26th, 2005
Never one to miss an opportunity to inspire me, my friend and brother in the Lord, Michael Sampson, just posted yet another message of inspiration, this time about my current selection of productivty tools

I know I can always depend on Michael to inspire me to think about greater things - even when I'm busy dealing with my own Tablet PC [mis]adventures. (Michael has the same M4 I do, so I know he relies on me and my blog to tell him what not to do.)


Michael's now dubbed me the deproductivity specialist. Ouch. I may have to drag out some archived podcasts that have never been aired ...

The photo abiove does not tell the real story. You'll have to read his post and follow the links to decipher the message. Even then, you may have to watch the movie.

Michael, you've been a great encouragement to me during these difficult times as I deal with my family health issues (and with my computer health issues). I appreciate your calls from NZ to check in on me, your prayers, and your friendship. I have just one question: in the picture above, you have an interesting smile; were you preparing to use Excalibur knight me or ...

Happy Birthday to the Lotus Ranger

Saturday, August 6th, 2005
Here's to another year, Ed.


If this makes no sense at all, Ed's a year older. As for the cool birthday suit, you can learn more here and here .

BTW: Steve Castledine tells me he's fixed the images in RSS. (Thanks, Steve!) This is my first test with the new code. Feedback welcome..

DominoBlog Kills Comment Spam

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005
This is a long-overdue comment about how well DominoBlog, my blog tool of choice kills blog comment spam:

It works.

I receive a lot of comment spam, but so far, only one has slipped past DominoBlog; I rarely get false-positives, either.

I don't know what algorithm Steve Castledine uses to detect and flag spammers who attempt to post their unwanted ads on my blog.

Whatever he's doing, it works.

Just another small feature - one among many - that makes a big difference for me and for readers of my blog.

Thanks, Steve!

A Buzz in the Sky(pe)

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005
This afternoon, while in a meeting with Andrea, at David Allen's office, my Skype alert goes off. It's Buzz Bruggeman, asking if "I'm there;" he wants to test Skype. I respond "No, I'm not here - in a mtg." Of course, then Buzz drops the teaser line - I'm in a Boeing Jet at 30,000 feet over Eastern Washington. He's testing the new Connexion in-cabin internet service. (See what I miss for not checking my RSS feed today?)

We tested Skype. I heard him  just fine, though he could not hear me. I cannot tell how much of an issue latency will be. So, I guess it won't be long before the skies are no longer a place of isolation.

CTC 2005 follow-up

Monday, July 11th, 2005
I recently attended the Collaborative Technologies Conference in New York City with my friend and colleague, Michael Sampson. During the trip, we took many pictures and notes and we recorded several podcasts. As time permits, I'll post some of those items. They won't all be in order, I'm sure you'll find many of them interesting nonetheless.

If you want to follow along, be sure to add this site's RSS feed to your RSS reader and your podcatcher.
Last night, when Buzz and David Allen were here, Buzz show us some of his work at the Microsoft Search Champs project. Buzz searched Google on various terms. For fun, I searched on "Tecra M4" and found my blog, www.EricMackOnLine.com, was the #1 returned  search result.  (Searching for "Toshiba Tecra M4" is only slightly different.)

Not that he has more than a passing professional interest, apparently James Kendrick noticed, too.

Surprisingly, no one at Toshiba or any of the other vendors, whose products I've mentioned, have contacted me to see if they might help me resolve the few remaining issues that I have blogged about. If they did, it might help me reach the tipping point to finally become YABHTU.

If I were a vendor, and if I checked the search engines daily for my product, and if I saw that the most popular search result was from a guy who mostly loved my product, but who was having troubles, I'd get on the phone immediately to find out if I could help him resolve his issues.[hint]

Imagine what kind of customer evangelists, not to mention good PR, this small investment of time would return.

Meanwhile, I'm fortunate to have made many new friends via my blog - friends who have posted or sent email to help me resolve some of the issues that I'm experiencing. I'm testing some of the suggestions and I'll post my experiences as I go.

Podcasts, interesting?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005
I'm not quite sure how the recent podcasts happened. I never expected to do podcasts in this way: rough, unedited, no music, no script.  Yet, the podcast feedback I've received has been amazing. Kathy thinks it's funny. I expected my first podcasts to be much more dignified. In fact, I've been sitting on a few podcasts that I did with David Allen when he was here to play in my digital sand box. (We took a tour of the office and talked tech.) The reason that I've not yet posted them on the blog is that I was waiting for a new site launch or a more dignified opportunity. I have even created "dignified" podcasts in the queue. Now, I'll have to rethink this while podcast thing. But first, I need to get moved over to the new tablet, and before that I need to get back to some client work. More to come.

Podcasts breaking RSS?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005
A few people have reported that my DominoBlog RSS feed may be broken. This may have something to do with the podcast enclosures. I'd like to hear from anyone that is using a podcatcher to retrieve my podcasts.  Meanwhile, I'll remove the enclosures and see what happens. I've also pinged Steve over at ProjectDX to see if he can help me fix the issue. Thanks for your feedback.

Broken links in Domino blog

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005
Several people have written to inform me of broken links.

There appears to be a bug with links that refer back to my own site. I'm helping Steve Castledine test the latest release of his DominoBlog Template. I'm pushing the envelope by running the latest beta release, (Ver 3.0 Beta 2, RC15), so I expect to bump into a few problems from time to time.  

As far as I know, this problem does not exist in the current gold release of DominoBlog.

Steve's promised to look into this for me.  

Thanks for your patience.

Back page stuff?

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005
What happens when two guys, who are passionate about technology - and who aren't afraid to challenge popular thinking - blog about the same topic at the same time?

Sometimes, humor.

Michael Hyatt and I have been blogging about the benefits and drawbacks of the Tablet PC technology. The discussion has been fun and has provoked many comments and cross-posts on other blogs and forums.

Apparently, yesterday, we were both busily typing about Tablet PCs around the same time. You can imagine my amusement when I logged in and saw this on my favorite productivity aggregator site:

Image:Back page stuff?

I quickly snapped a screen shot and sent it over to Michael. Michael wrote in reply:
This looks like one of those shots that should go in the back of PC Magazine. Very funny!
I've appreciated Michael's posts and candor in discussions and on the web. Like me, Michael's an explorer. For us, technology is just a tool. We have no problem trying new technologies in order to find out what does and what does not work for us. Who knows, perhaps next year, I'll be blogging about my PowerBook.


Michael: Why I Ditched My Tablet PC
Short version: The Tablet PC is an attention getter.  At least that's been Michael's experience. *  

Eric: Why by a Tablet PC?

In addition to our contasting experience/expectations with the Tablet PC, be sure to check out Michael's latest post on the value of taking notes vs the value of retrieving.  

One more thing - check out my RSS comment feed. Kim Snider's just posted a comment about how, as a result of my blog and post about the Fujitsu Tablet, she's YABHTU.  (I've sent Kim an email to find out what model, etc..) Congratulations, Kim. I hope you will post an update on your blog.

* I'm sure that this will change over time. I remember bringing my Radio Shack Model 100 to work. That was distracting. (A bit of trivia: Apparently, the the Model 100 was the last computer that had code in it handp-written by Bill.) All that power in an 8 line by 40 chr display. Wow!

David’s new blog design!

Monday, April 18th, 2005
There's a lot going on over at The David Allen Company. In case you read David's blog by RSS only, David's blog has a new look. Greg Fisk and Jim Rider have been busy with the design, while Robert and Chirill have been busy integrating David's new blog site into the overall DavidCo corporate web site architecture.

No, David's not moving away from Lotus Notes - it's still our core in-house productivity application and we use it for almost everything behind the scenes, including email, calendar, project tracking and shared discussion and document databases, to name a few. I will continue to manage internal technologies and various productivity initiatives.  We're just changing the way that the web side of things are handled. David's blog will now be fully managed by the web team, headed up by Robert, Greg, and Chirill.

David's been kind enough to refer to me as his personal productivity tech guru - a moniker I'm proud to wear. I really enjoy serving David and the entire DavidCo team in this capacity.

Here's the link to David's new blog:
And here's the link to David's new RSS feed:

I'd like to publicly thank Steve Castledine and Tanny O'Haley for their help with David's blog - especially with the unexpected excitement in the beginning.

Steve's DominoBlog template for Notes/Domino was a pivotal tool in getting David up in the blogosphere.

As for me, and my blog, we will continue to be served by ... DominoBlog.

Comment feed now available via RSS

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005
You can now follow and join in on the latest discussion on my blog. I've just added an RSS feed for comments. If you follow my blog via RSS, be sure to subscribe to my comments feed, too.


  • RSS
  • RSS Comments
I've also added a recent comments section on the home page, so that you can easily view the most recent comments.

If you have no idea what RSS or Blog Syndication is, you might want to watch my four minute video about RSS. Stephen O'Grady's written a nice document on how to read a blog. Thanks to Michael Hyatt for this excellent reference.

Next up: TrackBacks -- as soon as Steve Castledine releases the next version of DominoBlog. Coming Soon!

Ideal podcast length?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005
I'm making slow but steady progress on the plans for the eProductivity.NET blog site and podcasts. I plan to keep the specifics under wraps a little while longer until I'm ready to launch. (For those who have already clicked the link on the site, no need to click again. When I'm ready, I'll send you an announcement and a link to a special podcast and the RSS feed).

I'm working on the outline for the eProductivity.NET podcast show format.  I'm curious to know what your ideal podcast length is and why.

Fifteen minutes? 5 minutes? 20 Minutes?

What works for you?

Cool, Jim likes my blog

Monday, April 11th, 2005
Jim Lindenthal has just launched his own blog, The Lindy Journal Blog. Apparently, I'm partly responsible:

I am an avid reader of Eric Mack's blog because of the new and interesting technologies that he talks about. One of these technologies is Skype VOIP Phone service. Well, I tried calling Eric on Saturday night using Skype and actually hesitated when connecting with him. Eric saw me try to connect and called me back. (Eric, I think I fixed the volume control). It was very exciting for me to finally speak with Eric. Well after a very enjoyable conversation, Eric emailed me a really good article on setting up an RSS feed. This article motivated me to setup these blog's over the week-end. Thanks a lot Eric for helping me ...

Glad I could be an encouragement, Jim, and congratulations on the new blog!