Make the NotesURL property usable

I wanted to be able to get the url for the current document(s) in my mail database so I could paste them in another application and then click on the URLs to access the original messages directly from within that other app as needed.

I cobbled together a little LotusScript agent that grabs the NotesURL from each document and then scrubs out that junk that Lotus includes for no discernible reason.





This script will show the result in a messagebox. I also have it insert the URL into the clipboard for me but I’ve scraped that out so as not to confuse the issue.

It’s not as pretty as I’d like, but this should help others trying to get a useful URL out of Lotus’ terrible implementation.

Dim sess As New NotesSession
Dim doc As NotesDocument
Dim coll As NotesDocumentCollection
Dim sTempURL As String
Dim sURL As String
Dim iPosAT As Integer
Dim iPosSlashUnderscores As Integer
Dim iPosNSF As Integer

Set coll = sess.CurrentDatabase.UnprocessedDocuments
Set doc = coll.GetFirstDocument

sURL = “”
While Not doc Is Nothing
    sTempURL = doc.NotesURL
    iPosSlashUnderscores = Instr(sTempURL,”/__”)
    iPosNSF = Instr(iPosSlashUnderscores+1,sTempURL,”.nsf/”)
    If sess.CurrentDatabase.Server=”” Then
        sTempURL = Left$(sTempURL,8) & “/” & Mid$(sTempURL,iPosSlashUnderscores+3,iPosNSF-iPosSlashUnderscores-3) & Mid$(sTempURL,iPosNSF+4)
        sTempURL = Left$(sTempURL,iPosAT-1) & “/” &    Mid$(sTempURL,iPosSlashUnderscores+3,iPosNSF-iPosSlashUnderscores-3) & Mid$(sTempURL,iPosNSF+4)
    End If

    sURL = sURL & sTempURL
    Set doc = coll.GetNextDocument(doc)
    If Not doc Is Nothing Then
        sURL = sURL & Chr$(13)
    End If
If sURL = “” Then
    Messagebox “No Documents Selected”,0,”Nothing to do”
    Messagebox sURL,0,”URL(s) for selected docs”
End If

(also posted in

Marc-a-Day on Flickr

day001I’m trying out something a little different. I’ve enjoyed looking at other folks’ “365” pictures enough that I thought I’d do something similar, so I’ve created “Marc-a-Day” on Flickr.  Mostly for my own amusement, it will feature some highlight from each day from now until whenever I decide it should end. I’m aiming for AT LEAST a year. I suppose it all hinges on how interesting my life is after all 🙂

Being somewhat paranoid with respect to the longevity of web companies, I’m also duplicating these (for now) in my own Gallery.

You have Vista on a computer reporting only 3.2 Gigabytes of RAM on a system with 4 Gigabytes installed

RecallIt’s too bad that they don’t actually tell you about this when you are, I don’t know, actually purchasing your computer!

I picked up a new Dell Inspiron 530 computer back in early October of 2007 and saw that, in spite of having paid for 4 Gigabytes of RAM, the system reported only 3.2 Gigabytes.

In looking around I saw various folks talking about BIOS issues etc. But I’m pretty sure that this MS article explains the situation the best.

To paraphrase, your chip set is only capable of addressing up to 4 Gigabytes of memory. Addressing for other devices (video card memory is given as an example) must also come out of that. So if you have 2 or 3 Gigabytes of RAM installed, the other pieces can still be addressed by the operating system and you don’t notice anything. But install 4 Gigabytes of RAM and you will see Vista’s need to address those devices limited by your chip set and it will eat into the addressing available for your RAM.

The proposed workaround is to ensure that you use a chip set that supports at least 8 Gigabytes of address space. 

Ah, well, as a consumer I suppose I should have known that. Silly me.

This series of exchanges in “James Hayes’ Blog” indicate that there is still an advantage to going with the 4 Gigabytes of RAM if you want more than 2 Gigabytes (check the comments section and look for the postings by “DellCA”). I can’t vouch for what is being expressed, but I can say that they knew about the issue nearly a year before I bought my system and made no effort to either inform or correct my purchase options.

Of course I cannot see how much the wasted .75 Gigabytes of memory has cost me, Dell’s pretty savvy in how they report the computer options on the receipt – one lump sum price. But I think that one of the posters in the blog comments is right in that what Dell is liable for is 3/8 of the cost of the hefty 2 Gigabyte upgrade price. Not so much because it’s not usable, but because they knew it to be unusable and blithely offer the option anyway. Let’s face it. Were I a *real* computer hardware expert, I would be piecing together my own system, not buying from Dell anyway. We buy from Dell because we know enough to want to customize our systems for a known need (I know my computer habits mean that I need more memory than average) but do not want to spend all of our waking hours troubleshooting those systems. Dell’s biggest value to me is that they will ensure that all the pieces I have chosen will all work together properly and then deliver the result to me so I can just get on with using it.

Dell has fallen down on the job here.

Polar Express

It’s December 24 here in sunny Marietta, Georgia. I was contemplating mowing my lawn today just to underscore the amazing contrast between this day-before-christmas and many others of my youth (it’s 50 degrees outside right now).

But, perusing “” I saw this and HAD to include it on my blog.

Even watching locomotives pull 100 plus cars doesn’t drive home to me exactly how powerful they really are. But for some reason this clip demonstrates that strength in spades.

Christmas Canon (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)

Without question, one of my favorite musical pieces (I know, I know, I’m not very original liking Pachelbel’s Canon, so sue me), these “Trans-Siberian Orchestra” versions are two of my staple Christmas musical pieces. Both are based on the same piece yet both bring unique beauty to a genre that is brimming with magnificence.

And the Rock version

Here is another pleasant Rock version (a bit higher quality) but it has a short interview before the song begins.

And, if you’re wondering, that lady with the wonderfully potent voice is Jennifer Cella. She maintains a MySpace page here. Be careful, it launches a song right away when you enter it…

iTunes Library updater keeps 2nd iTunes machine in sync

We share our music library by keeping separate copies on each of our machines. This works MUCH better then trying to share using a network drive (speed-wise).

For simplicity, the decision needed to be made to choose a master copy and then find some way to ensure that the slave would keep up-to-date as songs were added or removed.

Michelle doesn’t have much interest in ripping CDs or otherwise acquiring media so we made my machine the master. I back up all my stuff to my server every night and Mich’s machine checks the server periodically (daily, when she’s got it turned on) to pick up any new music / pictures that I’ve added or changes that I’ve made (we use SyncBack SE for this – works GREAT!).

Anyway, iTunes is a bit of a pain in that it is not able to monitor folders for updates. So instead I found this solution on Lifehacker’s web site. The iTunesLibraryUpdater fits the bill quite neatly.

All I needed to do is customize the associated batch file and add it to the “Scheduled Tasks” app to run an hour or so after I’ve got SyncBack to run. So any changes that were pulled down from the server can then be applied to iTunes automagically.

The suggested batch file command line (modified for Mich’s machine) looks like this and works perfectly:
“%PROGRAMFILES%\iTunes Library Updater\ITLUconsole.exe” /a /l /r “d:\my music”

Georgetown Homecoming has spurred my curiosity

PICT3140.JPGBack at the end of July of this year I attended the Georgetown Homecoming event. It was a novel idea where, not just a particular class or year from the high school would get together, but rather the ENTIRE TOWN – anybody who had ever lived there – were invited back to partake in various events intended to help folks reconnect and reminisce about days gone by.

This would have marked my 23rd anniversary of graduating from high school. So I was pretty sure that folks in my bracket would likely be there. Also, from the exposed attendee list (you could elect to not have your name show up if you preferred) I could see that there were several people who I would be very interested in seeing and finding out what is going on with them today.

I was astonished at the age range of the folks who I saw attending. By and large these folks seemed to be about 20 years my senior. In attending the initial night’s Wine and Cheese function, Michelle and I wandered around the large and very crowded arena and encountered not a single person that we could recognize. Between the nametags and just the fact that you can usually see hints of a someone’s younger self in their current person led me to the conclusion that there were a LOT of folks in Georgetown that I didn’t know!

I suppose I should have made more of an effort to contact some folks before the event so that we could perhaps hook up and see what time had done for them. But I honestly thought that we’d be able to just bump into folks by happenstance.

Take it from me, if you are ever to attend something like this, that is much grander in scope than a simple class or high-school reunion, either ensure that there will be designated class or age events or make your connections before you go and know where you’ll be meeting once there.

Even looking at the photo galleries posted after the event I managed to find only a couple of names of folks that I even recognized much less hung out with.

No slam against the organizers. This is a HUGE deal and they deserve plenty of accolades for pulling off an event of such magnitude.

Still there are folks that I would have liked to meet again and those I would have liked to have asked about just out of curiosity. I figure I’ll list them here. If anybody reading this blog happens to have any information please feel free to add a comment or drop me a line (check out the “About Marc” link in the sidebar – I don’t put my address in the actual blog due to spammers). And if you’re reading this and don’t see your name here, ping me anyway. It’s been over 20 years and I’ve only listed the folks that jump to mind immediately. I’m sad to say that some names simply have escaped me!

Folks I know about:

  • Pete Carson (and wife Liz) – met up with them in Georgetown some years ago
  • Devin Baines – He pinged me a while ago and had a web site (now defunct – through which I was able to keep up with his goings on

Folks I would like to have bumped into:

  • Steve Roach – It looks like he’s now living on the East coast of the US?
  • Thijs Millenaar – It looks like he’s still living in Georgetown
  • Natalie Fisher – Last saw her in Toronto taking care of an injured boyfriend
  • Michael Hartford – Still exchange Christmas cards with Mike
  • Joel Weisz – Last I heard was in Brampton with 3rd wife?
  • Sheila Britton – I *think* maybe she was in Toronto?

 Whatever happened to:

  • Joanne Powell
  • Suzette Brown
  • Joanne Labine
  • Mike Daquano
  • Rene Schwarz
  • Lynn Cazabon
  • Brenda Morrow
  • Sandra Crane
  • John Siderius
  • Sue Masson
  • Ken Stanley
  • Debbie Sunnucks
  • Rob Rush
  • Rick Walterson
  • Tim Dixon
  • Jeff Forsyth
  • Debbie Newman
  • Sheila MacDonald
  • Allison MacDonald
  • Bruce Reiger
  • John Rothwell
  • Lisa Woolgar
  • Diane Bransch
  • Kim Rudman
  • Denean Jones
  • Robin Maybee
  • Sandra Wilson
  • Craig Carlisle

Go Kathy Griffin!

I’ve always been intrigued by the notion of a god (y’know, the one responsible for creating life, the universe… everything) that would hang around to help folks win at basketball or achieve individual [insert sport or event here] notoriety.

It was interesting to me that we have no problem listening to folks stand up at award ceremonies and thank mythological figures for their success yet we balk when someone stands up and says that a mythological figure had nothing to do with the achievement being recognized. In fact Kathy’s acceptance statement was excised from the broadcast.

I can’t say I really blame the network. They, after all, need to cater to majority opinion in order to maximize market share and profit. But I can’t help wondering if little incidents such as this tell us an awful lot about who we are as a culture.

Emphasis on the word “awful”…