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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.


Saturday
Jan242015

Workflow (iOS): A Workflow to Download Images (Jay Mantri)

I've been experimenting a lot recently with the iOS Workflow application and whilst it is an initial release it has a lot of power and a vast amount of potential. Whilst there are a number of features I'm hoping will be included in upcoming releases I have a few workflows that are already saving me some time and one of those relates to a site called jaymantri.com. The site offers up a set of photographs for download each week and when the e-mail comes to let me know they're available I dutifully went to the site to download each of them from. But now with Workflow I can grab them from across the site with the push of a button.

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Wednesday
Jan142015

Workflow (iOS): Some Example Workflows for Dates

Whilst experimenting and answering occasional Twitter questions relating to date manipulation in the iOS Workflow app I've created a few example workflows. These workflows are not intended to be stand alone workflows with a practical purpose, but simply as ways that the dates can be manipulated.

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Sunday
Jan112015

Workflow (iOS): A Workflow to Duplicate Workflows

Late last year I was eagerly awaiting the release of a new iOS application that promised a new level of automation. Whilst I do like using Launch Center Pro, Drafts and Pythonista, Workflow promised something a little different and something that could complement these other tools very nicely. I'm sure I'll be sharing numerous workflows on this site as time goes by, but the first one I thought I'd share is one that you could say is a little bit meta. A workflow for duplicating workflows.

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Saturday
Jan102015

ThoughtAsylum 2014 Review

It's the new year so once again it's time to review the past 12 months and see what's been going on at thoughtasylum.com and with me.

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Wednesday
Dec312014

TextExpander: List Browser Tabs

Like many of us, the Internet is my go to place for immediate access information. It allows me to quickly research topics via my web browser, but for more involved topics it can be difficult for me to get enough detail in a single sitting, or I may need to pass on some details elsewhere (e.g. a reference list for a document/post/article). But when I have several tabs open (potentially across several windows) it can be a pain to manually list out the links and pages. To that end I created an AppleScript based TextExpander snippet to produce such a list.

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Sunday
Nov302014

TextExpander: Inline Calculation

There are many options these days for carrying out ad hoc calculations. Personally I ditched the desktop calculator as soon as I got a personal computer for my day to day work - after all a computer is a very capable calculator. But that left me with various options of how to carry out a calculation. On the Mac there's the calculator app and following in the steps of launchers like Alfred even Spotlight allows you to carry out quick calculations. If you have a browser open you could even tap into the calculation potential of engines such as Google search of Wolfram-Alpha. However in order to retain my clipboard and tap into something that allowed for some more complex calculations I created a TextExpander snippet to help with this.

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Thursday
Oct302014

TextExpander: Get Domain Information - WhoIs Record

A little while back I spent a bit of time investigating some domain names for a project I was working on. As you may know, you can see all sorts of useful information about a domain by looking up it's Who Is record. In order to save time I came up with a couple of TextExpander snippets to help with that.

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Tuesday
Sep302014

Archiving Folders With 7ZIP

Recently I was carrying out a bit of house keeping on my work laptop's hard drive. I have a folder in Windows that contains daily folders of temp files and every so often I compress them and archive them off to free up some space. Usually it just takes me a few minutes to run through the folders and compress them into archive files. Unfortunately over the past year I'd not gotten around to doing it so I had rather a lot of folders to archive and I decided to quickly put together a little script to help me.

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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?

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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.

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