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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
Mar012014

How to Create Jigsaws in PowerPoint

PowerPoint is a term used to strike fear into the hearts of office workers the world over, but much like a firearm it is more about whose hands it is in that makes the difference. I may not be a PowerPoint guru, but on many occasions over the years I've found myself needing to wrestle with its functions and features to produce the effect I (or more frequently someone else) want(s). One effect that keeps cropping up is that of a jigsaw. The analogy of the complete picture and how pieces fit together (or are missing) lends itself well to many aspects of business and life in general. Since it has been such a popular request I thought I'd share some techniques and some templates that I use to produce jigsaws in PowerPoint.

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Friday
Feb282014

A Self Installing VBScript

Over the years I've been doing technical support I've had quite a few useful VBS scripts that I'd copy over to a user's machine. Then if it necessary, they could be run again at a later date (by remote control or referring the user to it's location and get them to run it). However I quickly tired of manually doing this and dealing with the instances where I'd accidentally copied the script to the user's desktop instead of the location I'd really wanted. As a result I created some extra lines to add into these scripts that would install the script to the desired location and then run it from there. This meant I could run it from a flash or network drive and it would automatically go to the right place - even updating older scripts.

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Thursday
Jan302014

View Your Android Device on Your PC using Droid@Screen

Android devices don't have any native feature (currently) to mirror the display onto a PC. There are however a few alternative ways to accomplish this. In this post I'll be giving a quick run down on how I got my Samsung Galaxy S2 to mirror it's display onto my Windows laptop using Droid@Screen

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Saturday
Jan112014

ThoughtAsylum 2013 Review

It's the new year so as has become a bit of a tradition 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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Monday
Dec232013

TextExpander: Get Information from the Terminal


I seem to be having a bit of a spree on TextExpander posts at the moment looking at my last few posts - can you get too much of a good thing?. This time I'm going to be sharing some snippets I have for getting useful information from the Mac using some terminal commands.

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Friday
Nov292013

TextExpander: Sort Lines

TextExpander is a great piece of software that can save you a lot of effort when you want to insert pieces of boiler plate text. However it is a much more versatile piece of software and I'm particularly fond of its capability to process text using shell scripts. In this post I'm going to give some details about how I use it to sort lines of text into alphabetical order.

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Sunday
Oct132013

TextExpander: HTML Hyperlink Page Title from URL


I have frequently found myself needing to add a link into a blog post for an existing web page where I'd like to link it as the page title. Rather than a couple of copy and paste actions I decided to create a TextExpander snippet to do the (not particularly) heavy lifting for me.

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Monday
Sep302013

Noteboard - A foldable pocket-sized whiteboard

Digital technology is a huge part of my life and who I am. I'm one of those people who actually finds it relative easy to read on a screen rather than having a preference for a paper book. So it's unusual for me to find myself writing a blog post that is about something rather analogue - but it's something I think fills a niche in the way I work and I expect could for you to. It is something brilliantly simple and fits in your pocket - a foldable whiteboard.

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Monday
Aug262013

Random Files Generator

Whilst doing some house keeping on some old VBScript files the other day I came across one for creating test files. I've blogged previously about creating test files using my MTF utility and whilst it or fsutil can be very useful, this script filled a particular niche. It was created as part of a test suite of scripts it creates multiple files of a specific size filled with random printable content.

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Sunday
Jul212013

Pythonista - Remote Command Execution

Pythonista is a Python based IDE for iOS and has formed the basis for finally getting around to teaching myself Python. I'm still in the earliest stages of getting to grips with Python but I thought I'd share one of my most useful scripts thus far. One to execute a remote command on a server using SSH.

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