Speaking engagements this week

This week I’ll be pretty busy with both ongoing work for my favourite customer in New York, and also travelling to, and presenting at, a series of user groups around Europe.

Here’s my schedule:

Engage (formerly BLUG), Breda, Netherlands – Monday/Tuesday

Social Sharing vs. Organized Structure (with Femke Goedhart), Tuesday, 1015-11:00

This Week in Lotus, Tuesday, 12:30-13:30

BCCON, Hamburg, Germany – Wednesday

Social Business: The Irresistible Force to Overcome Immovable Objections, 11:00-11:45

ConnectionsBlast!, 14:35-15:20

Collaboration Stack Community, London – Friday

Technology Futures (Session Moderator), 11:00-12:00 

If you’ll be attending any of the events, please do come up and say hello – I’d love to get to know new folks this week!

iPad Pro

Imagining a 13-inch iPad Pro

Great piece by Rene Ritchie of iMore.com:

The minute Apple launches one hotly rumored device, be it the iPad Air or Retina iPad mini, a new rumored device races up to take its place in the mill. Enter a 13-inch “iPad Pro” – a concept that leapt to every geek’s mind the moment they heard Apple adopt that other MacBook brand. And since Apple’s already gone down in size, where’s left to go but up? Now I’m not so much interested in the rumor – there will always be rumors – but in how Apple could realize such an object. In how iOS could be scaled to that screen size, and what it would provide beyond the existing, 9.7-inch iPad, or the 11-inch or 13-inch MacBook Air.

iPad Pro

After debating the ins and outs of how Apple might accomplish the iPad Pro, he concludes with:

Whether or not Apple will or even should make a 13-inch iPad Pro remains to be seen. Certainly a lot of artists, designers, photographers, maybe even gamers would love as big an iPad as Apple can provide. Regardless, increasing screen size is a painful thing. If Apple does indeed go to a 5-inch iPhone or a 13-inch iPad next year or at some point in the future, they’ll have to figure out the best way to handle it for them, for their customers, and for their developers. They may even have to re-visit the concept of how apps manifest on the screen. If and when they do, will it still be one step at a time? With the iPhone’s increase in size preface another increase in density? Will the iPad’s increase in density preface an increase in size? Or will Apple rip the resolution bandage off all at once?

iPad Pro
I would likely snap up an iPad Pro in an instant.  
Whilst in years gone by, I couldn’t imagine travelling without a full-fledged OS X laptop, I’m increasingly finding that the apps and features on my iPad allow me to accomplish the tasks as well, and in some cases better.  Tools such as Jump Desktop and Prompt give me full server access, the Chrome browser gives me all my sites and bookmarks, 1Password has all my passwords and access details, Dropbox has all my files and EverNote has all my notes, images and snippets of code.  Most of my favourite enterprise apps now have excellent mobile apps (way better than their desktop ones, if they exist) – Jive, IBM Connections, IBM Sametime etc. Add in great Twitter clients like Twitterrific and Tweetbot, and cool and powerful editors such as Editorial and I really do have my office with me wherever I go.
So if the more extreme of Rene’s ideas did come to fruition and we had a 13” iPad Pro with 4K display, I really do think that the days of trawling round with multiple kilos of keyboard, USB, SSD, trackpad and the like would be over.  We shall see!

Flying soon? Check out these tips

These tips from Chris Brogan came a little late for my trip to the US last week, but may help you…

I travel every few days. On the day this posts, I’ll be flying to Chicago. A few days later, off to the west coast. Then, Chicago again. Then home. Then, Latvia. Yes, I fly a lot.

I thought I’d offer some tips for flying.

Chris goes through planning your flight, packing, navigating the airport, onboard the plane, getting out and more.  Nothing earth-shattering, but a great reminder…

UKLUG – the start of a long week

UKLUG 2011 is just days away, and the build-up is well underway.

I travel up to the event in Manchester with Darren and Lisa of STS on Sunday, before meeting with many of the other speakers on Sunday evening.  It then kicks off for real on Monday with an action-packed schedule – there are some great sessions lined up for Monday morning.  At lunchtime, we have the This Week in Lotus Live show so make sure you attend if you can.  

Then during the last slot of the day, Lisa and I present on ‘Getting Social and Doing Business – Inside and Outside the Firewall‘.  This will be a little different to most of the sessions at the conference in that there will be few slides being displayed.  Instead, we’ll be sharing and discussing how you can improve your businesses and your own personal productivity and success through social collaboration.  We’ll be looking for input from the floor too, so if you’re all Powerpoint/Symphony/Keynote’d out by 4:30pm, you know where to come!

Whilst at UKLUG I’ll also be looking to interview as many people as possible for some future segments on This Week in Lotus so if you see me headed in your direction with record at the ready, please don’t run!

On Tuesday, I’ll be sad to be leaving UKLUG early, but will be flying to Orlando for a customer event – I’ll be waving to Paul as he heads in the opposite direction!  I’ve got three sessions at their event, all focused on IBM Connections and social business.

Then on Thursday I’m off to see another important customer in Minnesota to help plan their collaboration infrastructure, upgrades to Quickr and Connections and much more.  Having only ever worked remotely for them in the past, I can’t wait to meet them in person for the first time and to see their company at work.

Finally I get to see some family in Chicago before heading home. Should be a fun-packed week.

Availablogging – Chicago 27th/28th May 2011

As part of a whistlestop tour that takes in UKLUG, a customer conference in Florida and visiting a favourite customer in Minnesota, I’ll be in Chicago for 3 days at the end of May .

Currently I have a window in my schedule for Friday May 27th during the afternoon and evening and during the day on Saturday May 28th.

If you would like me to visit your organisation to discuss Social Business, IBM Connections, Lotus Quickr or to assist with user adoption strategies then please get in touch – I’d love to get the chance to meet with you and offer assistance.  If you’d like to meet up socially during the Friday evening then that would be great too!

Chicago is one of my favourite cities, so I’m looking forward to being in town…

Image:Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive...

Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive…

I was up early on Wednesday, leaving my little roadside motel behind after an inexpensive breakfast at the neighbouring services, and onto the autobahn heading South toward Munich.  

Whilst the most direct route toward my final destination (Sofia, Bulgaria) was via Passau, and Linz, I had always held a desire to explore Austria, especially in the Springtime when the snow is still lying in places and on the peaks but the valleys are pristine green and full of life.  So my plan was to get to Salzburg ASAP, then take a more leisurely route South through Bad Ischl, Bad Aussee, Admont and Leoben.  Once back on the motorway, I could then head towards Vienna and onward.

So, south on the autobahn, and past Inglostadt.  Mmm, Inglostadt I thought – that’s where Audi is based. Vorsh Sprung Technik and all that.  Then a sign pointing to the Audi Motor Museum.  Well, what could I do! A quick trip around the museum couldn’t do any harm, so I took a detour.  What a great place!  Just 2€ to gain entrance, and some fantastic exhibits from the 100+ year history of Audi and it’s predecessor, Auto Union.  It’s a fantastically modern building, with superb architecture, and really interesting ways of presenting the cars.  In particular, I was amazed at the vertical rotating display of ten or so modern Audis that has the cars suspended 30m or so above the ground. Very cool.

Image:Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive...Image:Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive...
Image:Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive...Image:Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive...

If you are any kind of car nut like me, then the museum is well worth a visit.  They also offer a trip around the factory, but I had already spent far too much time on my detour so I declined and headed back to the Autobahn.

The motorway skirts Munich, but I chose to head through the centre to catch a glimpse of some of the famous Munich sights, but the aim was always to get through the city at reasonably high speed.  The limited amount that I did see conformed to my pre-conceived notions of splendid architecture and fabulous German organisation.  I must make it back for the Oktoberfest some time soon and spend more time exploring.

So, on into Austria and to Salzburg.  Now I had high hopes for this city – nestling in the Salzach valley within sight of the mountains, scene of the famous “Sound of Music” movie and home of Mozart.  It is certainly in a beautiful spot, and when the sun is out and the air clear, I am sure it is a great place to be.  However, in the drizzle it seems a bustling, slightly tatty city, that didn’t really have much to offer beyond the “Sound of Music tour” and the medieval Hohensalzburg fortress.  I am sure I missed the real spirit of the place, so will have to come back for a longer stay in the future.

Leaving Salzburg to the East, I eschewed the motorway toward Linz, and instead took a windy single-carriageway route upwards toward Bad Ischl.  Climbing up above 1000m, it fast became obvious that a month or so earlier and there would have been plenty of snow around.  The houses alongside the road were classic Austrian chalets, the views of the snow-laden peaks stunning and the road challenging to drive.  Whilst at times the journey was slow-going, the sight of the mountains, the Wolfgang See, the lake at Bad Aussee all made it a wonderful trip.  In all, it took about 3 hours to make it from Salzburg south-east to Leoben, a distance of approximately 230km.  Whilst in the context of the trip, this was probably a luxury, it was definitely worthwhile.
Image:Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive...Image:Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive...
Image:Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive...Image:Europe Trip day 2: The hills are alive...

So, the scenic bit done and dusk beginning to fall, it was back to the purpose of getting some serious kilometres under my belt.  The plan was to head NE toward Vienna.  However, the traffic was heavy (my goodness mainland Europe suffers with haulage clogging up the roads!), and suddenly my plan to spend the night in Vienna before heading through Hungary and Romania seemed a very long way round – yes it was on fast roads but seemed an excessive distance to travel.  So instead I carried on South into Austria’s second city, Graz, before heading on to Budapest in the morning.

I quickly found a decent hotel, the Hotel Europa, and dumped my bags before heading out for some well-deserved dinner. I was looking for some classic Austrian fare and so searched high and low for a good inexpensive local restaurant.  In between the pizzerias, kebab shops and Irish bars, I failed dismally!  Of the limited selection on offer, an “all you can eat” Sushi bar seemed the most promising, so it was with that and a Japanese beer that I finally turned in for the night.  850km covered so far, 700 in the day and still plenty of distance to be travelled…