Review – Samsung Note 10.1 tablet – fantastic for taking notes

Image:Review - Samsung Note 10.1 tablet - fantastic for taking notes

I have wanted a tablet PC for years, in fact the strap line for this blog talks about living with a tablet PC.

The problem is that it never really worked for me. I would inevitably need to use my tablet laptop for both doing a demonstration or taking notes. I gave up on the tablet PC and decided to wait until I could have a device that was additional to my laptop,

The iPad came along but without a proper pen – as in a pen based on a digitiser – it didn’t do what I wanted. It was great as a consumption device but not for note taking.

Then I got a Samsung Note 10.1 3G tablet about 2 months ago and I have been really pleased with it. It has a proper digitiser pen and the bundled Samsung Note software seems pretty good. I had hoped to use Evernote but this does not work with the stylus.

The tablet is running Android and is pretty good but it is definitely a flakier experience than the the iPad. Apps available for both iOS and Android seem less refined on the Android, the BBC iPlayer being a good example.

The stylus makes up for it though, it is a brilliant note taking device. There is some text recognition functionality but I am happy with just written notes.

There are options to send PDF copies of my notes to colleagues although it doesn’t improve my handwriting or spelling 🙁

I had hoped to use the tablet as my single unified work device and drop my traditional mobile but that is not really working out. I did get a Plantronics Voyager Bluetooth headset and while I am pleased with some aspects it has not been a brilliant success. I have ended up still having my traditional phone and directing my office number to both devices.

Positives

Stylus
Android 4.1
It takes a normal SIM card
Lots of Apps ( although I mostly use the supplied ones )
Comes with a huge Dropbox Allowance

Negatives ( although the positives outweigh these )

It is hard to get though a busy day of note taking on a single charge. You need to turn the screen brightness right down.
For a work device I would happily trade 25% more weight for battery capacity
The battery is built in ( I always swear I will never buy another device like this but do )
It will only charge from the mains – you cannot charge it from another computer – at best it will stop discharging
It is a proprietary charging socket ( again I always swear I will never buy another device like this but do )
There is confusion around the SD card size limits for the different versions ( 16GB Vs 32 GB etc.. )
It doesn’t feel as solid as the iPad although it is pretty good

Apps I have installed

IBM Traveler
Twitter
IBM Meetings
IBM Connections
Folder Sync ( allows auto sync with Dropbox )
Drop Box
Google Maps
FlickFolio ( Flicker sync tool )
CSip Simple( couldn’t get the native android SIP functionality to work )
LinkedIn
Absolute RC Plane Simulator ( amazing )

Accessories I have bought

Screen Protectors – not great but I am waiting for a better brand to produce some

Case – pretty good and allows pen to be removed

Charging stand Will only charge properly when plugged into the mains rather than a PC. Will discharge slower if plugged into PC  – Device cannot be placed on stand while in case

Connect 2013 Podcasts

I have a dirty secret

With the lack of ICS / Lotus community podcasts I have begun to listen to SharePoint community podcasts – there I said it, its off my chest now – they say daylight is the best disinfectant.

And I actually really like them. This one is a crowd of MS MVPs ( a bit like IBM Champions ) reflecting on the state of SharePoint in a studio set aside for them by Microsoft at their equivalent of Connect.

The podcast is vibrant, positive but also realistic – people get to express concerns and worries but the overall impression is of a platform moving forward and creating great business value. While the podcasts are not formally endorsed by MS the relationship between MS and the MVPs seems to be a trusting one with MS providing a studio etc.

I think that the ICS community also has an equally positive story to tell and I think that they might be more effective at telling it to certain audiences than IBM.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was something similar from Connect 2013 ? Does anyone already have stuff planned ? I would be up for trying to facilitate something if others are interested.

As to the state of SharePoint it seems to be an interesting time. As a business owner and trusted advisor to customers I would be negligent not to be knowledgeable about other options.
SharePoint is definitely maturing and is becoming both more Social and more App Centric. At the same time the Roadmap appears much less clear than the current IBM roadmap with respect to applications – this comes through very clearly from this and other podcasts.

As an ISV  / Development shop owner I would find this very worrying. With the IBM stack the ability to run applications from versions 4,5,6,7 and 8 on the most recent server without compatibility issues has been a God send for us and our customers.  I really can’t imagine how we would manage to maintain the hundreds of bespoke applications we have written if changes were needed at every server upgrade.
 

SNTT / Notesin9 – Installing Domino 8.5.3 UP1 FP3 on CentOS / RHEL 6.3 64 bit

I have just finished recording a video on Installing a Domino Sandbox on Linux for David Leedy at Notes in 9.

Update : David has now posted the video

The video should be posted in the next week or so. I have pitched it at developers with no experience of Linux and perhaps not much experience on Domino installs.

I would normally recommend Red Hat Enterprise Linux but on this occasion I used CentOS because I wanted to provide the easiest possible path to a developer wanting to deploy a Domino sandbox.

Note that CentOS is not a supported platform and you will not be able to raise issues with IBM.

I also wanted to post the video because it includes a tip from Daniel Nashed that makes it possible to install Domino on 64 bit RHEL 6.x . The Domino install requires 32 bit libraries which I found next to impossible to install. Daniel suggested adding the following line to the etc/yum.conf file and it works a treat :

multilib_policy=all

The steps required are set out below, I will update this article with a link to the video when it is published.

Thanks again to David Leedy for the encouragement.

============================================================
Cheat Sheet –  Installing Domino 8.5.3 UP1 FP3 on CentOS / RHEL 6.3 64 bit
===========================================================

Produced by Sean Cull – http://www.seancull.co.uk / http://www.focul.net
Please see blog post at http://seancull.co.uk/cheatsheets/linux

**** This install is for a developer sandbox within a firewall.
**** It is not a hardened production server
**** No warranty of any kind whatsoever is provided

MAC users will want to use alternatives to Putty and WinSCP

================================================
Prerequisites
A real or virtual server with a minimal CentOS 6.x ( not supported by IBM ) or RHEL 6.x installed and the network configured
================================================

================================================
Once the OS is installed log in using Putty or similar
Makes copy / paste easier and is generally nicer
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/
================================================

=====================================
RHEL ONLY – Subscribe to RHEL updates
=====================================

subscription-manager register
subscription-manager subscribe –auto

=====================================
Update OS
=====================================

yum update

==============================================================
Modify yum settings to retrieve 32bit dependencies for Domino
Use WinSCP as root
==============================================================

modify the file /etc/yum.conf to include multilib_policy=all

==============================
Install some useful utilities
==============================

yum install wget
yum install ntpdate
yum install system-config-net*
yum install system-config-firewall*

================
Disable Firewall
================

system-config-firewall

=======================
Change Network setting if required
======================

system-config-network

==================================
Check if a mail server is running
==================================

netstat -t -a | grep LISTEN

==================================
Check what services start at boot
==================================

chkconfig

==================================
disable sendmail
==================================

chkconfig –del sendmail

========================================
Install dependencies required by Domino
========================================

yum install perl glibc libgcc libXtst libXmu libXp libXft libXi libstdc++

====================================
Create a user and group called notes
Set password for this user
====================================

sudo useradd -m notes  
sudo passwd notes

=====================================
create a temporary folder for Notes installs
Give them short sensible names first
=====================================

mkdir /tmp/dom_installs

=======================================
upload install files to /tmp/dom_installs using WinsCP program or similar
http://sourceforge.net/projects/winscp/
=====================================

====================================
Change to the temporary folder
====================================

cd /tmp/dom_installs

====================================
unpack the domino install
this bit was missing from the video
====================================
tar -xvf dom_install_filename.tar

====================================
start the domino install
====================================
linux/domino/install

Accept the licence ( you should have one ) and all of the default responses except  :

“Server Setup”  should be [2] – Remote

=========================================
Launch the IBM Remote Server Setup Client
This is an OPTIONAL install as part of the Notes Administrator Client
It can be found Lotus Applications Folder ( Start > All Applications > Lotus Application )
=========================================

Finish the installation taking care to download the id files to windows
Make sure the HTTP server is selected
Deselect “Prohibit Anonymous Access”

Stop the listener task

=======================
Start the Domino server
=======================

change to Notes user

su notes

change to Notes Data Directory

cd/local/notesdata

start the server

/opt/ibm/lotus/bin/server

===================================================
Browse to the URL and confirm the server is working
You should see the help files
===================================================

===========================================
Shutdown the server and install UP1 and FP3
===========================================

Shutdown by typing quit

change back to root

su

change back to the install folder

cd /tmp/dom_installs

tar -xvf fp3.tar   ( or whatever you have called it )
cd linux/domino
../install
cd /tmp/dom_installs

remove directory

rm -rf /tmp/dom_installs/linux

remove the install folder

cd /tmp
rm -rf /tmp/dom_installs

====================================================
Install Daniel Nashed’s Startup and shutdown scripts
http://www.nashcom.de/nshweb/pages/startscript.htm
Thank you Daniel
====================================================

Using WinSCP drop the 2 files into the locations in the readme
as root ….

cd /opt/ibm/lotus
chmod 755 rc_domino_script
cd /etc/init.d
chmod 755 rc_domino
Add Domino to the startup sequence

chkconfig –add rc_domino

Domino will now start and stop gracefully with the server.
The following commands are also available ( plus others )

/etc/init.d/rc_domino start live
/etc/init.d/rc_domino stop
/etc/init.d/rc_domino monitor

==================================================
Change ULimit Settings to stop warnings in console
Use WinSCP as root
==================================================

edit /etc/security/limits.conf to include the following lines
notes soft nofile 20000
notes hard nofile 49152

==================================================
Notes.ini settings
==================================================

==========================
Some useful Linux commands
==========================
reboot
halt
Ifconfig          IP address report
df –h                Disc space report
top                Resource usage report
netstat -tup netstat -t -a | grep LISTEN         List active connections to/from system
chkconfig        list services started at bootup
iptables -L -n -v          List firewall rules
rm -rf directory        delete a directory with files included
su notes        switch to the notes user

Update : SMTP troubleshooting

Some people have found that the Postfix smtp server was installed and is hogging Port 25
This is not showing up in the TCP check above
Disable this using chkconfig –del postfix