Welcome to Thought Asylum a place for me to share my thoughts, ideas and experiences with the rest of the world.  I try to post reasonably regularly and if you like the content consider subscribing to the site feeds.  If you're trying to find something specific try the search, otherwise just have a browse.


Sunday
Jan172016

Microsoft Internet Explorer Support and the Impact on Nakisa Systems

On 12 January 2016 Microsoft officially ended support for all remaining versions of its Internet Explorer browser prior to Internet Explorer 11. As a result Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for versions prior to Internet Explorer 11. This can potentially leave users vulnerable to yet to be discovered security vulnerabilities and as history bears out this is a very real risk.

Microsoft recommend that all users of earlier versions of Internet Explorer upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, with this version offering improved security, increased performance, better backwards compatibility and greater support for the set of ever advancing web standards.

Visualization Solutions by Nakisa (VSN) provide visual representations and interactivity with data sourced from HCM systems (e.g. SAP). These solutions deliver the interface via a user's web browser and historically the compatibility with Internet Explorer has always been greatest.

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Saturday
Jan162016

ThoughtAsylum 2015 Review

Happy new year everyone. We've passed another year's end so once again it's time to take a look back at what's been most popular on thoughtasylum.com in the past twelve months and what's I've been up to.

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Tuesday
Dec292015

Workflow: Translating Clipboard Text

Whilst I have knowledge of coding languages is reasonably broad my knowledge of spoken and written languages is rather limited. English is pretty much my only language though I can probably get away for asking directions or buy a coffee in a handful of others. It therefore isn't really a surprise that from time to time I come across information that's in a language I don't understand well enough to translate it myself. When I'm at a laptop or desktop computer with an Internet connection I use an online translations service like Google Translate. Sometimes however I'm on an iOS device and whilst I can use such services I decided to put together a little Workflow app workflow to try and speed up the process.

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Monday
Nov302015

Identifying Flash Player When Disconnected

In my work I regularly work with software that (unfortunately) has a dependence on Adobe Flash Player. There can be compatibility issues with particular version combinations and so occasionally I find myself needing to verify Flash player versions. Normally I'm able to do this by visiting any of a variety of web sites that can query the version number of Flash player. However I recently found myself in a position where I was remotely accessing a client machine, but it had no Internet provision meaning I couldn't query it from any of the usual sites I use. Instead I employed a simple trick to work out the Flash player version.

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Saturday
Oct312015

TextExpander: Clipboard Underlining

A while back I refreshed and expanded upon my TextExpander snippet groups and promised to start covering some of the inner workings of what the snippets actually do. Today I found a bit of time to make a start on that and I'm beginning with some of the snippets related to underlining.

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Saturday
Sep122015

Smart Quotes in TextExpander Form Fields

Today I was using one of my TextExpander snippets that utilises form fields to add some content to this site. I'm one of those people who still typically works in HTML when working with a content management system (sometimes it is the only way to get things how I want them) and when I was adding HTML content into one of the form fields I noticed that the double quotes for the attributes were being automatically being turned into smart quotes rather than staying as the nice simple dumb quotes I needed. It wasn't something I'd noticed before and it was incredibly frustrating to correct after using the form field each time. After a bit of digging around in TextExpander preferences, etc. I finally found the rather simple solution.

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Wednesday
Sep022015

Workflow: Getting Started with Workflow for iOS

I was recently having a discussion on Twitter about how to get into creating workflows for the amazing iOS app known simply as Workflow. It allows you to use Automator style actions to put together simple yet sophisticated sequences of actions to carry out an operation such as manipulating a photograph or sending a message out on social media channels. Unfortunately the problem currently is that the available resources can be difficult to find.

To that end I've added a page to the Workflow section of this site that helps you find the right types of resources and tells you a little bit about what they offer. In effect it's a curated list with some explanation of what it's going to offer you.

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Saturday
Aug012015

Thought Asylum TextExpander Snippet Groups Update

Since the release of TextExpander 5 on OS X and TextExpander Touch 3 on iOS I've been updating and revising my TextExpander snippets to take advantage of some of the new functionality and to get some of the contents better aligned for sharing online with the public. Today I'm happy to say I've taken a significant step forward with a new update to the Thought Asylum TextExpander snippets groups.

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Thursday
Jul092015

Workflow: Remove Recent Screen Shots

The final part of my blogging about Workflow workflows is focussed on tidying up. When I produce the composite screen shot described in the Blogging About Workflows blog post I almost always end up with a small stack of screen shot files sat on my device. Once the final cropped image is produced, I have no further need for them and this workflow is used for deleting them, but it will work stand alone just fine; deleting any screen shots generated in the last twenty minutes.

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Thursday
Jul092015

Workflow: Crop Workflow Screen Shot

A big piece of my workflow blogs (and something readers have commented on many times) are the workflow screen shots I produce. As detailed in the Blogging About Workflows blog post I take several overlapping screen shots and use an iOS app to stitch them together into the mega-length screen shots that you'll see scattered through the workflow related blog posts on this site. However the images that it creates include parts that I don't which to use. These are the top bar that shows my time, battery level, etc. (which many people including Federico Viticci and Dr Drang find a need to remove - ref. MacStories) and the workflow bottom bar (Actions and Workflow buttons). I've automated the cropping of the screen shot with a workflow to do exactly this. It also saves the file into Dropbox for me and offers to delete it from my device camera roll.

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