I'm sipping an iced tea at a Panera restaurant in Menlo Park, New Jersey. I'm likely to be in Menlo Park, California sometime soon, too. The coincidence of being in the only two Menlo Parks in the US (as far as I know) within such a short time might be worth blogging about on its own. Well... probably not ;-). I stopped here, on my way back from Delaware to New Hampshire because gas is cheapest here in New Jersey and I want to fill up now even though I've still got a half tank. Also, I was thirsty. Also, I know this part of Jersey very well, as I grew up about ten miles away. In fact, my very first paying job, in the stockroom of a Rickel's Home Center, was about 200 yards from the restaurant that I'm sitting in right now. Anyhow, I knew that I could just as easily get off the New Jersey turnpike at exit 10 instead of exit 11, hop on I-287 for about a mile, then US-1 for a couple of miles and pass a bunch of gas stations and restaurants, and then get on the Garden State Parkway, which is where I need to be. And it just makes sense because it's 5:30 PM and the traffic reports indicate that I'm going to run into a mess a little further up the route so I might as well wait it out a bit. And as a bonus, there just happened to be a Panera where I could get free Wi-Fi.
I was in Delaware for 6.54 upgrade, Sametime install, and to bring a London-based server on-line for the company as well. It all went very smoothly. And it confirmed exactly why it was such a good idea for IBM to give the free Sametime entitlement: as soon as the message went out to my client's employees telling them that they now had internal IM, they started asking "Can we...?" type questions about features that they'll only get if they move up to the full web conferencing product and/or start looking at some third party add-ons. :-) I've been visiting this client about once a year for the past four or five years now, and it's always a good time. They're a software company and they have been doing some very neat things internally with Notes and Domino for quite a while. They have evolved a bit of an odd approach to managing their internally developed systems with a commercial contact management package (ACT for Notes) and their multiple Domino Directories, and it's a bit of a mess right now and they know it. Addressing doesn't work well at all, with some really bizarre things happening, especially with type-ahead -- but there wasn't really time to address it during this trip, so I think another visit will be in the offing fairly soon -- breaking the once a year pattern.