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
May222016

Multi-Resource Presentations

I was reading through issue 33 of the MacStories newsletter (to which I'm a paid subscriber) and I spotted an interesting request from one of the readers to do with efficiently creating presentations to have multiple outputs for a small variety of uses. The reader was hoping to find a way to maintain multiple versions automatically when updating source material. The MacStories team called out to other readers for suggestions on addressing this. In this post I'm going to outline my approach to the issue.

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Saturday
Apr232016

Exporting Snippets from TextExpander (v6)

TextExpander has long used Dropbox to synchronise snippets, but with the advent of the latest version (v6 on Mac), the snippets are now synchronised by a proprietary synchronisation service. Thoughts about the move to a software as a service (SaaS) model aside this then poses the question how can you access your snippets for the purposes of independent backup or sharing with users on earlier TextExpander versions?

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Tuesday
Apr052016

Workflow: Modify Clipboard Character Case

I haven't posted about Workflow for a little while, but it remains one of my favourite applications on iOS and I'm still actively creating and revising workflows. In fact I'm currently clocking in at 176 workflows on my devices. Today I thought I'd clear up the dry spell on Workflow related posts and put something together around one of my text manipulation workflows. This particular one manipulates the character case of text on the device clipboard.

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Monday
Apr042016

Keyboard Maestro: Adding TextExpander Snippet Expiry Dates

In my last post I described a method for tagging temporary TextExpander snippets with a date stamp and using some scripting to automatically remove expired snippets. In that post I mentioned that I use Keyboard Maestro to schedule the expired snippets clean-up script and that I also used it to help me in setting up those temporary snippets. In this post I'm going to provide some details on exactly how I'm using Keyboard Maestro to help with this.

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Monday
Apr042016

Auto Managing TextExpander Temporary Snippets

Any Mac user interested in things such as automation and productivity will no doubt have come across TextExpander, Smile Software's utility that allows you to instantly replace a string of text with a different string of text. This can be used to auto correct typographic errors, insert boiler plate chunks of text or even trigger scripts or fill-in forms that can return more dynamic sets of text. Like so many others who start using it I now find it indispensable.

The expansion snippets that people create fall into two time-based categories. Those that you want to use long term/forever and those that you need for just a little while to get the job done. Today I'd like to share a little Mac automation to help with the latter.

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Tuesday
Mar292016

Keyboard Maestro: Date Picker Macro

Keyboard Maestro is one of my favourite Mac utilities. It’s like having a Swiss Army knife that includes not only a simple blade but also a scalpel, chainsaw, electron microscope and a suit of armour. If I can’t easily do something in another utility chances are there’s a way to use Keyboard Maestro to get the job done.

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Tuesday
Mar222016

Tackling a Club MacStories DMG Workflow Request

Club MacStories is a membership value add option provided by the rather popular MacStories.net web site. I'm a Club MacStories member and as such receive the weekly newsletter which contains lots of additional Apple related material and articles. In last week's newsletter (issue 24) one of the user questions was around automatically attaching and detaching DMGs and whilst a partial solution was provided, the response also invited readers to round it out to complete the last part. I figured I'd give it a go and share what I came up with.

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Monday
Feb292016

Combining Images with Workflow

As regular readers of this site amy know I'm a big fan of the Workflow application on iOS. It's an application that allows you to build up sequences of actions to carry out some sort of automation. I use it for many little helpful things on the go and one of those is combining together images into a single collage image which is what I'm sharing today.

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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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