The Taking Notes Podcast

Taking Notes Episode 177: 2013.03.29 - Building a career out of LEGO bricks with Warren Elsmore 3.29.2013
Warren Elsmore wrote a book! It's called Brick City and Warren describes it as "a celebration of the worlds' architecture, recreated solely using the celebrated toy of the century, LEGO bricks."
  • In our podcast with him, we discussed:
  • Is this an instruction book or an idea book?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What was the book writing process like?
  • How and when can people buy this book?
  • And many more LEGO-rich topics...
Brick City will be in bookstores in several different countries on May 6th, and it is already available for pre-order on Amazon - check Warren's Brick City page for links. Warren's website also has more information on his large scale models and his commission-based work.

Podcast trivia: Warren was briefly a Guinness World Record holder for "
Largest LEGO Mosaic" from the 2012 LEGO Show, with a mosaic measuring at 143.9 square meters (1607 square feet).

Posted in  Books  Community  News  ||Comments »
Taking Notes Episode 176: 2013.03.13 - Cloud Cost Management Made Easy with Cloudability 3.13.2013
On this episode we interview Mat Ellis (@matellis), CEO of Cloudability and talk about how Cloudability can help companies manage their cloud spend.

We talk about:
  • How Mat got started with Cloudability
  • How much cloud spend they are currently managing
  • What types of things are moving to the cloud
  • What newbies to the cloud should look out for
  • How Cloudability helps manage cloud spend
  • The services that they offer and their associated costs
  • The future role of "The IT Department"
  • and much more...
We would like to thank Dr. Marky Roden of the PSC Group for standing in for Julian on this show.

The show runs 25:51.

Taking Notes Episode 175: 2013.02.27 - Online Learning with 2.27.2013
Today we interviewed author Jess Stratton. Jess has been a member of the IBM Collaboration Solutions Community for over decade. She has spoken at Lotusphere and other industry events. Jess now works for the online learning company where she helps author video training for Lotus Notes, Microsoft Office and other products and technologies.

Rather than listing out all of the super cool things Jess talks about we suggest that you just push play and start listening. Jess does recommend that you "Like" the Facebook Fan Page where you can find out about the latest tutorials and promotions.

Taking Notes Episode 174: 2013.01.21 - Opting In: Ed Brill talks about his new book 1.21.2013
Today we spoke with Ed Brill (, Director of Social Business and Collaboration Solutions at IBM, about his new book. It's called Opting In: Lessons in Social Business from a Fortune 500 Product Manager, and it's available both on ( and directly from IBM Press (

We discussed:
  • Why did you write this book?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the message of the book?
  • What has surprised you about the book?
  • What's going on at IBM Connect related to the book?
  • And more...
If you'd like to catch up with Ed (about the book or anything else), he has posted a few places where you can definitely find him at IBM Connect next week. (

Taking Notes Episode 173: 2012.12.17 - The IBM 2012 Tech Trends Report 12.17.2012
On this episode we interviewed IBM's Paul Brunet, Vice President ISVs, startups and academic relations, IBM about the recent release of the IBM 2012 Tech Trends Report. During the interview we talked about:
  • Paul's role at IBM
  • What exactly does the Tech Trends Report covers
  • What surprised Paul in the report
  • The growing skill gaps in technology
  • What IBM Is doing to help shrink the skills gap
  • Paul's advice for developers and  IT admins that are trying to keep up with all of the changes in IT
  • Social Business and Collaboration. Did the report uncover anything interesting in those areas?
  • and much more...
On the recording you will hear the show be identified as episode 172 when in actuality it's really 173. The show runs for 28:08 minutes.

Taking Notes Episode 172: 2012.11.09 - Learning XPages with NotesIn9 11.9.2012
Today we had the pleasure of interviewing the creator of the awesome Notesin9 screencast - David Leedy (@notesin9). We were also joined by special guests Paul Calhoun and Dr. Mark Roden. We talked about:
  • How and why David got started with Notesin9
  • Where the name for the show came from
  • What goes into producing a show
  • What community resources David provides
  • The XPages Cheat Sheet
  • What is the "Drive to 99" Event?
  • The number of shows David has published
  • The number of contributors who have appeared on the show
  • How people can get involved and contribute to the show and what do they need to do
  • Which XPages topics do people want to learn more about
  • and much more...
The show runs 31:36 and best listened to while eating Pennsylvania OR Texas BBQ.

Taking Notes Episode 171: 2012.10.24 - There’s Gold in them XPages 10.24.2012
We talked with XPages developers Jesse Gallagher (@Gidgerby) and Dr. Mark Roden (@markyroden) about::
  • How Jesse got started with Notes/Domino
  • How Jesse's interest in Ruby on Rails spilled over into XPages
  • How a Notes/Domino programmer like Jesse has approached and been successful with XPages
  • How to approach XPages app development
  • What about Lotusscript?
  • How to write "clean" code
  • Using source code control
  • Moving from Lotusscript to MVC
  • Why Expression Language and Java are important
  • What XPages can offer that other platforms cannot or offer in a different way
  • The adaptability and flexibility of the XPages platform
  • and much more...
This episode runs 37:42.

Posted in  Development  Notes People  XPages  ||Comments »
Taking Notes Episode 170: 2012.10.22 - What’s New with IBM Wikis 10.22.2012
We talked to IBM User Experience Development team members Amanda Bauman, Craig Lordan, Kevin Giles, and Mike Stewart about what's going on these days with the IBM Wikis. Topics included:
  • History of the IBM wikis
  • Types of content on the wikis (it's not just random information spread across various pages)
  • New features in the latest iteration of the wiki template
  • Improvements in navigation and search
  • Dynamic content control
  • And more...
Bonus trivia: did you know that the short URL to the Lotus (aka ICS) wikis is

Taking Notes Episode 169: 2012.09.28 - Mobilizing your apps with Velocity AppXtender 9.29.2012
Trevor Nimegeers of WMode and Bill McNaughton of Castlebreck talk with us about all things "Velocity AppXtender" which allows you to mobilize your Notes and Domino applications as well as those built with other technologies. This episode wraps up our "mobile mini-series".

During the 25 minute show we covered:
  • Who are Trevor and Bill and what is their background with Notes/Domino
  • Who are WMode and Castlebreck and what they do
  • What AppXtender is and what it can do
  • What kind of changes need to be made to customers apps if any at all in order to use AppXtender
  • How to setup and configure AppXtender
  • How to get started with AppXtender
  • Which apps are best suited for mobilization
  • Working offline/disconnected
The show runs 25:37.

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Taking Notes Episode 168: 2012.09.12 - What’s New in IBM Connections 4 9.12.2012
IBM Connections product managers Suzanne Livingston, Mac Guidera, Baan Slavens, and Luis Benitez fill us in on the new features of the Connections 4 (IC4) release, including:
  • Embedded experiences and activity streams
  • Improvements to the home page
  • Easily sharing information from any context with the Sharebox
  • What's coming in the Connections mobile apps
  • Reporting and metrics (over 100 new reporting capabilities)
  • Bridging content from external websites and news sources
  • And more...
Don't miss the InformationWeek simulcast on IBM Social Technologies coming up tomorrow. A few more links to help get you up to speed on Connections 4:

What's new in IBM Connections 4?
IBM Connections 4 Reviewer's Guide
New Capabilities in Connections 4 (there's also a YouTube video link on that page)

This show runs 32:55