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How I got started with Lotus Notes

OK itisgoinground. So here is my story. After National Service I went to law school in Würzburg and Frankfurt. To make some money I worked as intern in IBM 1985-86 in my specialty, the IBM /36. IBM introduced me to the all new PC / PC XT and PC AT. Very soon I worked as freelance consultant and trainer for  applications like IBM Displaywrite, Harvard Graphics and Lotus 1-2-3. In a gig with Sears I learned the @formula language on the fly (the manual, me and the midnight oil) as well as the secrets of monthly financial reporting (I had some experience since I did COBOL at the university).
So I got pretty good at teaching and programming 1-2-3. I also used the later Lotus Products like Symphony, Magellan and got really fond of Lotus Agenda.
When Lotus Notes 1.0 came out, I was curious and got exited, so I called Lotus and wanted to buy Notes licences. I've been told they would only talk with me 500 licences onwards. So I looked around in my office and asked back, what I should do with the other 497 licences, so the deal was off.
After Notes 2.0 came out, in 1992, I tried again, getting the same answer but with the remark, that a Lotus Business Partner could sell me less licences. So I looked around and at the end bought my first Notes licence from Haus Weilgut. They are still around and are the makers of the Lotus Notes MindMapping application Mindplan.
After working a few month with Weilgut's CRM solution curiosity got the better of me and I fired up designer (which was part of the Notes client then) and started to mess around with the forms and views of the applications. Pretty much everything I know about development I learned in self study and by picking any brain that came close enough. 1996 I started to work as freelance trainer for the Digicomp AG in Switzerland and got my CLI certification. Being a CLI in Germany Lotus Education started to take care of me and I got quite busy. 1997 I met Bob Balaban at the Lotus Advisor Magazine Conference in Phoenix, AZ. I got a hand signed copy of "Programming Domino 4.6 with Java" and consider Bob a friend since then. 1998 Credit Suisse did send me to Singapore and Hong Kong for a training project and I decided to stay. After a fewsteps I signed up with IBM in 2006 as Lotus Technology and Productivity Advisor ( LTPA for short).
What's your story?

Posted by on 07 April 2008 | Comments (1) | categories: IBM Notes Lotus Notes


  1. posted by james riley on Tuesday 07 May 2013 AD:
    Hi, Was wondering if you happened to have any notes databases from year dot that can be opened with R8 (or R9). I just want to poke the Microsoft guys in the eye Emoticon wink.gif