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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.


Sunday
Jun282015

VBScript: Flip Line Endings

Recently I was working for a client who had particularly strict controls around access and tools that I could use. Whilst the bulk of the work I was carrying out on their Linux box could be managed using VI, I found it a little limiting when analysing some of the log files the work was producing. On the Windows machine I was using to access the files I only had Windows notepad and this really doesn't handle Linux file endings well. As a result I put together a quick VBScript to help with this.

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Sunday
Jun072015

Workflow Examples

The Workflow app is one of my favourite iOS apps.  As well as being incredibly innovative and useful in so many ways, it is also something I enjoy exploring and tinkering with.  In fact I've pitched in on Twitter several times to give people a hand figuring out how to do what they want in Workflow.

As a result I've started amassing a collection of example workflows.  I figured rather than letting them be lost to the Twitter-stream of yesterday I'd start providing links to them here on my web site.

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Saturday
May302015

TextExpander: Clipboard Snippets Using Javascript

Smile Software have just released a new update to their TextExpander product that brought a particularly interesting new feature. The option to run JavaScript based snippets. At first this may appear unremarkable given that the previous OS X snippets could take advantage of AppleScript, or shell script based options such as BASH, Perl and Python (to name just a few). The exciting thing to me however was that the JavaScript based snippets could also run on the iOS version; whereas AppleScript and shell script based snippets cannot.

As an initial foray into using JavaScript snippets on my iOS devices I decided I'd try recreating one of my existing snippet groups.

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Wednesday
Apr292015

Visualization Solutions by Nakisa 4.3 Update Overview

In Q1 of 2015, Nakisa released the latest iteration of their visualisation suite (VSN) of applications - version 4.3. With 4.2 being an interim release for Nakisa's Performance and Goals product or perhaps an internal working version, 4.3 can probably be considered an upgrade from the 4.1 SP2 release. As well as rolling in various bug fixes and general performance improvements, version 4.3 includes some great feature enhancements.

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Tuesday
Apr282015

The Most Common Failing in Business

During my career I’ve encountered dozens of processes, agreements, work packages, projects and changes that have, for one reason or another, failed. Whilst the contributing factors varied, there was one that has almost always appeared somewhere in the chain of events responsible for the failure. A deficiency in communication.

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Sunday
Mar292015

TextExpander: Tab on iOS

Even with the advent of iOS8 and custom keyboards and customised keyboard lines in specific apps, one thing I still find myself wishing I could get on my iPhone and iPad keyboards is a tab key. Fortunately there is a nice easy way to work around this using one of my favourite iOS utilities - TextExpander Touch.

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Saturday
Mar212015

TextExpander: Plain Text to HTML Paragraphs

TextExpander is one of my most frequently used Mac utilities and I have all sorts of snippets that help me with all sorts of tasks. From correcting my seldom perfect typing and inserting standard sets of boilerplate text through to more advanced ones that produce fill-in forms and carry out conversions of clipboard text. This focus of this post certainly falls into the latter, but does so in doing something surprisingly simple. It takes plain text and simply adds HTML paragraph tags in at the appropriate locations.

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Tuesday
Feb242015

Workflow (iOS): Archive Web Page to PDF

Continuing with my little spate of sharing workflows for the iOS app known as Workflow, I've decided to share another simple action extension workflow that allows you to save web pages as a simplified style PDF (i.e. stripped of adverts, etc.) Whilst I personally use Evernote as my snap shot repository and page cleaner of choice, sometimes I want to be able to send other people a snap shot of a page and Workflow provides a relatively easy way to do this.

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Tuesday
Feb242015

Workflow (iOS): Check This Out

I use various services for web pages I want to take a deeper look at later, Pocket and Evernote being my favourites for my personal reading. However I frequently come across things I want to take a look at more closely for my work. Rather than creating a task (which I'll then probably defer ad infinitum) I choose the simpler option of mailing myself details of the page. Whilst this has never been a particularly onerous task I found that I could use the wonderfully flexible iOS app Workflow to help me make it even easier.

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Tuesday
Feb242015

Workflow (iOS): Take a Note

I continue to find great personal uses for the iOS app Workflow. One of the ones I've been experimenting with recently relates to quickly taking contextual notes and adding them into Evernote.

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