Thanks for making me a HCL Master

On the 16th December I received the news that I am an HCL Master – which pleased me greatly.

HCL Masters help the community and HCL to respond quickly to partners and customers demands and deliver a higher level of support and service to everyone.

For those of you that don’t know being a HCL Master is similar to being an IBM Champion. I am continuing my “Winning streak” as I have been awarded the Champion/Master title since the program started in 2011.

I am over the moon at being a Master, I will continue to share my knowledge, and blog and tweet and champion the products and solutions.

Thanks HCL and congratulations to my fellow masters – see you at Engage in March 🙂


Almost time for the big HCL launch

Don’t forget  to join HCL live from Tokyo of the 4th of December at 9am Eastern, 2pm UK, 3pm European, 11pm Tokyo time (yes that is a lot of time zones) for the Global Launch of the next batch of HCL Digital Solutions software.

You still have time if you are quick to register here

Nominate a HCL Master – time is running out

Time is running out … you have just 2 days left to nominate someone to be an HCL Master. If you know someone who goes beyond their day job to help others, share knowledge, give feedback and champions the HCL digital solutions products then please nominate them …  You can do so by checking out the form here

Masters are HCL ambassadors (not employees) and their commitment to sharing their expertise has a huge impact on the HCL community – whether they are blogging, writing books, speaking, running workshops, creating tutorials and classes, offering support in forums, or organizing and contributing to local events – they help make HCL’s mission of making technology play nice, possible.

Global Launch of HCL Digital Solutions Software Scheduled

Last night I recieved an exciting mail

Join HCL live from Tokyo of the 4th of December at 9am Eastern, 2pm UK, 3pm European, 11pm Tokyo time (yes that is a lot of time zones) for the Global Launch of the next batch of HCL Digital Solutions software.

As part of the global launch new versions of HCL Domino, Sametime and Connections – which is super exciting.  There will be live demos,  news and roadmaps and lots of other exciting things. Its just a shame its half a world away as I would LOVE to have been there.

The Agenda is looking pretty good – I have taken this from the registration page

  • Live from Tokyo Keynote: A Major HCL Milestone. These new releases represent our commitment to relentlessly modernize and innovate these products.
  • Myth Busters: “Domino is old. It’s uncool. It isn’t valuable to my business anymore. Connections is built for engineers by engineers.” We’ve heard them all. Let us show you why they’re wrong.
  • The CIO’s Imperatives for 2020: How are the most strategic and successful CIOs preparing for the next decade? Putting customers first and making IT the department of “yes,” for starters. Come learn what else is essential to leadership.
  • Domino V11: Why Modernizing Beats Migrating. Get ready to rethink what you know about Domino, and let us prove why V11 is the smartest choice for your current and future app-dev decisions.
  • We Hear You?: HCL Connections 6.5 = More Value from Your Investment. During the #LetsConnect customer jams, the Connections Ideas Lab and countless other points of input, we have been listening to you. With 6.5, we’re delivering even more value for Connections and laying the foundation for what’s to come.

I am very much looking forward to this event and will be avidly blogging and tweeting as it happens. You can register for the keynote here and share with your friends, customers and colleagues 🙂

PonyCam update

PonyCam update

It is installed and running off of a 12v leisure battery – there is a cigarette lighter adapter with 2 USB ports running power to the Nano Router and the Pi

The Pi is mounted on a shelf – in a little cradle made from EVA foam to stop it sliding about. The camera is mounted with some velcro under the shelf which can be angled as required.

We used it for the first time yesterday as I took Luna out to a horse show and it worked beautifully. Streaming the image to the iPad worked really well. The picture was good and the battery appears to be lasting forever which is also good.

So all in all I am over the moon with it – I will look to improve it, but so far so good. I will post an update with any improvements we make 🙂


PonyCam or Raspberry Pi surveillance system

This was a super simple and not very expensive project. I needed a way to watch the ponies in the horse box whilst we are travelling. Obviously you can buy systems that do this, but they are expensive – starting at about £150 for a low end one .. and they can get as expensive as £600.  I was convinced that I could make something way cheeper than that with a Raspberry Pi .. so I googled.

What you will need to make a surveillance system:

Something to use as a screen – an old phone, tablet as long as it can connect via wi-fi and it has a browser that will work fine.



Raspberry Pi Zero W – which you can buy from the awesome PiMoroni or PiHut for less than £10

Link to Pi Zero – Pimoroni
Link to PiZero – PiHut


Pi Camera – I have this one from amazon £13 comes with a handy camera holder
Amazon Link to PiCamera



Wireless nano router – again from amazon for less than £20, this allows the Pi to talk to the device to show the streaming video
Amazon Link to Nano Router




Basic Steps

Setting up the Nano Router

Super simple. You normally fire it up and browse to its web interface and login to set it up. Most have very simple guides to set it up and to be honest as its not connecting to anything other than the RaspberryPi and an old phone default settings are fine.

I have changed the wireless settings on mine to call it PonyCam and gave it a sensible password.


The only other things I have changed is making the IP address of the Pi and phone sticky so they keep the same ones


Setting up the Pi

  • Set up the Pi as normal – the lasest version of raspbian and patch it – you can get info about installing if you have never done it before here
  • Build the camera housing .. it is a bit fiddly but takes about 5 mins.
  • Enable the camera module – Either from the UI







Or the terminal –

sudo raspi-config

and select the Interfacing Options > Enable/Disable the RaspberryPi camera

once complete reboot

  • Shut the Pi down and plug the camera in
  • Turn it back on
  • Attach the Pi to the new wireless network – PonyCam in my case
  • Get the IP of your pi – from a terminal

The IP of my Pi is and I have set it in the router to always assign that IP.

  • Run the script by running the following command
  • Test the script from the Pi by going to the following url:
    i.e –

A lovely image of the back of a chair, but it works 🙂

Start up and shutdown

As I am going to want to use this ‘headless’ as a plug and go solution I wanted the script to run on Pi boot and have a way to shut the Pi down nicely rather than just pulling the plug.

Firstly configure VNC

  • If you don’t already have one, create a free VNC account
  • Enable the VNC from the UI under Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration

  • This will open up the config dialog, enable VNC
  • Once rebooted you can configure the Pi – by default you log in with the standard Pi username and password.
  • Install VNC viewer on the phone or tablet and configure it – make sure it is connected to the same wifi as the Pi.
  • You can now connecto to the Pi using it’s local IP address and the Pi username and password.
  • This will allow you to shut the pi down and command it from the phone or tablet – simples

Add the Camera script to the startup

We now have to add the camera script to the autostart file

  • Run the command
sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart 
  • Once the file has opened use the arrow keys to navigate to the end of the 2nd line and press enter. Add the path of the script on to line 3 just above the screen saver.

  • Save and close the file and restart the Pi. The camera script will start when the Pi boots.

And there you go .. all done .. I will post an update over the next week with it all installed and working.

The idea for this was taken from the randomnerdtutorials site which has loads of cool Pi camera projects. Use this link here to see the video streaming posts tutorial and thanks to my hubby Nathan for doing some of the grunt work as I was busy working – he is now full of ideas for projects with Pi cameras 🙂

HCL Connections – Our Future is Now

On Tuesday I joined the HCL Connections – Our Future is Now call, thank you Mat Newman for tweeting about it as I had totally missed this was on.

Wow there was a lot packed into that hour ..

The highlights for me were:

  • Tailored Experiences  and the community updates
    • Totally customisable spaces
    • Built with widgets
    • Lifecycle management (YES!)
  • The Road Map – so so much being delievered over the next 18 months
    • Connections 6 CR
    • Connections 6.5
    • 3rd Party Integrations
    • Connections 7
  • Lowering the TCO for the Componant Pack – Can not come soon enough for me

There is so much good stuff coming plus the news on Connections Cloud and the new offerings, I have written a full roundup over at the BCC Blog , so please check out the full posting there.

We had an excellent time at Engage

Slightly delayed due to many conferences and travelling,  here is my round up of Engage 2019.

This year’s Engage was bigger than ever. In the amazing location of AutoWorld in Brussels – I have no idea how Theo finds these great venues year after year.

With over 400 attendees, 1500 tweets, 88 speakers, 85 sessions, 26 sponsors and 35 IBM Champions – I am sure this was the biggest Engage event yet.

HCL and IBM were working in partnership, but this time HCL took the lead as the sale of the ICS products to HCL is going to happen very soon (news on the street is somepoint in June 2019). Richard Jefts is like Robin Hood, it feels like he has stolen the ICS products away from IBM (the Sherrif of Nottingham) and he is giving it back to the community. That isn’t to say that IBM have done a bad job at all over the past 2 years with our beloved products – its all steps in the right direction.

I am very much looking forward to see what HCL do with my beloved WebSphere Commerce – the software I worked on for 7 years. If I can dip my toe in the Commerce pond again I will be a very happy person.

I was lucky enough to present at Enage with my big boss Olaf. Our session Making Domino & Office 365 your Dream Team” covered integration, pain points and challenges, some things you may not have thought about and how to ensure that organisations can work effectively with both sets of technology. There were plenty of people (almost 40) in the session and we had some great questions and discussion. You can find the slides below


Speed Sponsoring this year was a little different too. This year each sponsor had a 2 minute 30 second pitch in the OGS and the audience voted on their favourite.

Stephanie and I had great fun reading the news and we won 🙂 You can watch our fun news broadcast here:

Absolutely loved it as usual .. already looking forward to next year and what Theo and the team have instore for us 🙂


May will be a busy month

I have been a bit quiet of late .. I have been a little busy – working hard at BCC, spending time with the family and the horses and booking my place at the Magic Run Weekend at Disneyland Paris (more about that in a later post) but May will be a busy month ..
I will be at the awesome Engage with co-speaker (and my boss 🙂 ) Olaf Boerner. We have a great session for you on Making Domino and Office 365 your Dream Team ..

Engage is a fantastic event .. free to attend and has some of the best speakers from the ICS bubble, it is well worth the trip.

Just after Engage there is the European Collaboration Summit in Germany. One of the largest user run conferences in Europe for Microsoft.  Again I will be speaking (at my first Microsoft conference) on Microsoft Teams: How to automate life cycle management of Teams and ensure compliance and security. I am really looking foward to it

So hope to see you at one or both of these events 🙂

Connections migration DB issues

I thought I had already posted this but was remided by our slack chat today that I hadn’t. When migrating the Connections meetrics database from V5 to V6 there is an error that is thrown when the DB2 restore tries to run the upgrade command.

DB20000I The RESTORE DATABASE command completed successfully.
SQL2519N The database was restored but the restored database was not upgraded to the current release

The error related to the application heap size, and there is not enough space allocated to run the upgrade command.

Get the current heap size by running the following db2 command


You can resolve the issue running the commands:


I set the APPLHEAPSZ to double the current one. I have also previously seen the same issue with the Cognos DB – which can be resolved in the same way


I have seen this issue with both Connections V5 and 5.5 DB2 databases updating to V6 and this has fixed it for me (and now some others) .. when you google the error you don’t get much in the way of help, so hopefully this will help others who get stuck.