Search

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
Aug312014

Why HCM Data Quality Matters

There's a an acronym in computer science that holds true in many areas of business including that of HCM - GIGO. It stands for "Garbage In, Garbage Out" and refers to the fact that computers will process things literally and if you enter data that is no good you'll end up with data that is no good. Even when you put an intelligent human in the mix and give them poor quality data you're more than likely to end up with rubbish results.

So what impact does this have on businesses?

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug302014

How to Have *More* Effective Meetings

Recently I spotted a number of people I’m connected with on LinkedIn and a number of people I follow on Twitter sharing an image about Tips for Running Effective Meetings. Since I’m always interested in ways to improve what I do I gave it a read through. I was surprised to find that as I read it through I found myself having an issue with almost every point given.

In this post I’m going to describe why I have issues with the suggestions and what I’d offer up as alternatives.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug292014

Read Batch File Script Info

Recently I was updating a rather complex DOS batch file that we track the changes on. Each time we update it, we update a comment in the batch file for the version number. Since we sometimes get logs sent to us about the script's operation I figured it would be useful to add the version number to the log file.

Whilst I could have set the script to use a variable with the version number in it I decided to create an option to work with the existing comment based format.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul312014

The Lazy Mind-set for Productive People

When you think of productivity I'm guessing that for most people the first word that springs to mind probably isn't "lazy", but for me it's been like that from the start. It's my mind-set.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul302014

Blank All of Your Screens with an AutoHotKey Script

If you work with computer aided presentations on Windows, then you probably know PowerPoint has options to show blank screens. Pressing "B" will give you a black screen and "W" will give you a white screen. These are useful options when you want to focus people's attention on what you're saying and away from any slides you might have up. For example if you need to discuss a point for which you don't have a slide or if you want to tease something.

But have you ever considered situations where you are doing something other than a presentation application aided presentation? For example an application demonstration, working though a document, etc. Wouldn't it be great if you could blank your screen on these occasions too? Or maybe you want to blank the screen with a different colour. Well that's what I wanted to be able to do so I put together something to do it.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun292014

Extracting Excel File Path Information Using Excel Formulas

In several of the template Excel spreadsheets I use in my work there are references to clients and version numbers that are included. This is for reference purposes, particularly if the spreadsheet might be printed or exported as a soft copy (e.g. PDF). Whilst it is possible to maintain this information manually I decided that this should be something that could be improved by virtue of the file name containing such information (as these are the very basis of file management on projects). I'd referenced the file path and elements of it in the past and I thought that this would be something that should be relatively straight forward to achieve; and here's how I got on ....

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun202014

3 Things you have that others want

We all have things that we want from people and of course there are things they want from us. Recently I was thinking about what this actually meant and I think I managed to boil it down to just three things - things that I think we all look for from each other.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun012014

The Awesome Power of Mistakes

Outside of my work I spend several hours each week volunteering as a teacher. I have some modest skills and experiences that people seem to be interested in learning about and developing themselves and that's something that gives me great pride to be able to do. One of the most important lessons I try and teach my students is about the awesome power of mistakes.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May312014

A wise Sensei once asked me a question...

When I'm not working, sat at a computer creating things or spending time with my family I can usually be found helping people with their studies of the martial art of Jiu Jitsu. I've been doing this for well over a decade and like to think I have developed at least some modicum of aptitude in helping people develop the a range of physical, mental and emotional skills to allow them to advance in their studies. But no matter how much teaching I do and how many techniques, approaches and lessons I develop myself it is the lessons of my first instructors that I come back to time and again as being some of the simplest and most useful.

Click to read more ...

Friday
May302014

Adding Multiple Sets of Looping Slides to PowerPoint

For some time now there have been techniques around for having a set of slides that loop at the start of your PowerPoint presentation. These generally involve hiding your main presentation slides, adding an invisible button to each of the visible slides (that allows you to jump to your first hidden slide), setting those slides to auto advance and then setting your presentation to loop continuously. But what if you want to add more loops and/or want to control everything from a presentation remote?

Last year I was working on a webinar where we wanted to have a couple of looped sets of slides and I needed an alternative - ideally one that didn't involve having to break out and run a separate presentation. Fortunately it wasn't too hard to come up with a solution.

Click to read more ...