Category Archives: Uncategorized

Raspberry Pi as an Office Dashboard

Full Instructions to follow, but key points are:

Configure Raspberry Pi with Rasbian (here is a decent guide for the below)

1. Download ISO

2. Flash SD Card

3. Configure RaspberryPi on first boot

 

Setup Auto booting WebBrowser

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces/
sudo apt-get install x11-xserver-utils unclutter
sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart
# @xscreensaver -no-splash
@xset s off       # Turn off screensaver
@xset -dpms       # Turn off power saving
@xset s noblank   # Disable screen blanking
@unclutter        # Hide the mouse cursor
@midori -e Fullscreen -a  http://dashboardurl.sitename.com

boot to desktop using pi, and disable overscan (both in advanced options)

sudo raspi-config

Reboot

Notes:

Screen continues to go blank so try the following

sudo nano ~/xinitrc
xset s off         # don't activate screensaver
xset -dpms         # disable DPMS (Energy Star) features.
xset s noblank     # don't blank the video device

exec /etc/alternatives/x-session-manager      # start lxde

reboot

Additionally do the following too

sudo nano /etc/kbd/config

Change these two lines.

# screen blanking timeout. monitor remains on, but the screen is cleared to
# range: 0-60 min (0==never) kernels I've looked at default to 10 minutes.
# (see linux/drivers/char/console.c)
BLANK_TIME=0 (Was 30)

# Powerdown time. The console will go to DPMS Off mode POWERDOWN_TIME
# minutes _after_ blanking. (POWERDOWN_TIME + BLANK_TIME after the last input)
POWERDOWN_TIME=0 (I think it was 15)

Also did this change

sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

In that file, look for:

[SeatDefault]

and insert this line:

xserver-command=X -s 0 dpms

SkyDrive is now called OneDrive

Microsoft has been forced to change there cloud based storage platform SkyDrive to OneDrive, this is due to Rupert Murdoch’s empire. It seems BSkyB which is only known as Sky in the UK could provide a similar product.

I find it funny they have not asked Microsoft to rename their Skype product aswell as this too provide similar functions around telephone services, as Skype clearly as the the SKYpe in the name.

Over the past few years Microsoft has come up with some really decent products with very suitable names, it’s just a shame they are being forced to rebrand due to other companies worrying about competition that doesn’t directly compete. Metro was a brilliant name for the Windows 8 UI, similar to SkyDrive.

SkyDrive Pro No Longer Supports SharePoint 2010

So if my previous rant about SkyDrive going in the wrong direction I’ve found our recently that the latest version of SkyDrive Pro now won’t sync with SharePoint 2010 Document Libraries. This can only mean Microsoft are pushing you to upgrade to SharePoint 2013 which I agree is a move worth making but there are many companies out there that simply take time to complete this upgrade.

SkyDrive Pro supporting SharePoint 2010 syncing was really useful so why remove it? Stupid if you ask me!

Some Funny Agile Pictures and Graphs

Over the past few years I have been running development teams where we’ve adopted certain Scrum Techniques, I wont go as far as saying we as fully scrum as I doubt many teams are, this is mainly due to the wider business either not completely buying into it or stuck in the traditional waterfall process. Below are a few images that sum up the pitfall of trying to scrum in such companies.
agile in a triangle

three-major-methologies

Building a Windows System Tray Application

One of the main issues I face with managing our companies internal applications is the fact that users never seem to send decent screenshot or details of a specific error. We receive numerous support tickets that include “[system] is not working”, with no more information at all.
This is a nightmare for my team to try and investigate, considering our users are spread over multiple timezones. The first thing we do is try and contact the user in question and ask for more information such as screenshot, browser version and more detailed error message.
Now wouldn’t it be nice if the user was “trained” to hit a specific keyboard short cut that would invoke an input screen to gather all this information? Well I am going to try and investigate how easy this is do over a few upcoming articles.

Some things the application must do:

  1. Run silently in the system tray of the users machine
  2. Be a clickonce applications for smooth updating
  3. Ability to run without network access and queue up requests
  4. Pull local log files, browser version etc from the users machine
  5. Take a screen shot, or full desktop shot of the users machine
  6. Submit this information to a workflow system

Some additional ideas are:

  1. The workflow could know which application the user is having trouble with and gather the log files automatically for that system to combine with the ticket
  2. Submit the ticket to either our IT helpdesk or TFS environment for further investigation.
  3. We could push notifications to the user through the system tray icon to warn them of critical issues or ticket resolutions

Some links I have started to gather for references for this application are listed below:

A New Milestone Has Been Reached

So it seems I have managed to keep this blog running for over 3 years now. This in my book deserves a celebration as prior to this one I had many false starts. So I don’t update this often but it is certainly update much more than any previous blogs I tried to stand up.

I have also been making a clear effort to record interesting things I find useful in my day-to-day life and hopefully overtime I will see how my articles and content change.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Woocommerce Gift Certificates

I’ve posted in the past about looking to create my own version of Gift Certificates for the WordPress WooCommerce plugin, the reason for this was because there was no current plugin that provided this functionality.

During the past few months however there have been two versions come out and with this I have decided to stop my own development, for the cost of $45 you can get the plugin, which in my eyes is certainly worth me not doing the work myself

If you want to find out more check out WooCommerce Gift Certificates Pro over at IgniteWoo.

Hope you find this useful.

K2 Task List – iOS App

So our company have finally pushed out a policy to allow our iOS devices to connect to our corporate wifi, apart from the obvious benefits in intranet web access I am very excited about coupling K2 smartforms and the K2 mobile task list to allow users to approve items on the go, this will become even more exciting when the infrastructure guys enable 3G connectivity.

In the next few days/weeks I will try and post a few tips and tricks to mobile enable a few K2 smartforms.

K2 SmartObjects and Attachments

The K2 ServiceObject for SQL does not support some field types, one of them being varbinay, so to upload attachments you need to use nvarchar(MAX) as your database column type for the K2 ServiceObject to become aware of it.

The reason for this is because K2 serialises attachments as XML strings and there for required the field nvarchar(MAX).

The following fields are not supported by the SQL Service Objects

– TimeStamp
– Image
– SQL_Variant
– Binary
– VarBinary
– Numeric

Another way to easily store documents is to use a SharePoint document library.