Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

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Mass Tweet Delete

28/02/2010

This post has now been migrated to ThoughtAsylum.com.

Follow this link to go directly to the article.

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Top FlagIT Posts of 2009

01/01/2010

It’s been about a year since I started blogging here and whilst it was primarily supposed to be a site for quick useful tech-related posts several have grown into far larger posts.  Whilst some posts have remained somewhat quiet on the number of reads others have generated far more interest than I could have expected.

It’s actually five more days until this blog is a year old, but I thought that new year’s day might be as good an opportunity to review what the top ten posts were.  This has been based on the number of visits from more than six and a quarter thousand since the blog was created.

10. Reclaim more Memory on a Windows Mobile Device

Posted: 04/04/2009

Reads: 95 (Daily Average 0.35)

Windows mobile phones have a finite amount of memory and like any operating system (particularly M$ ones?) memory leaks can stop memory being released.  This post highlights how to resolve some storage issues with the Mobile Opera browser and a useful tool for reclaiming that memory lost to leakage.

9. Simple Template Workaround for Evernote

Posted: 21/11/2009

Reads: 95 (Daily Average 2.32)

A relatively recent post about one of my favourite pieces of software (Evernote) and how to use a simple bit of scripting to create templates in Evernote.

8. A Ceiling Function for VBScript

Posted: 31/07/2009

Reads: 133 (Daily Average 0.86)

This post includes some VBS code to round a number off to the greatest integer.

7. Developer Tabs and Drop Down Lists in Word 2007

Posted: 17/03/2009

Reads: 135 (Daily Average 0.47)

This post explains how to access the developer tab in Microsoft Word 2007 and briefly discusses some of the shortcomings of the drop down lists it offers.

6. VBScript – Count Occurrences in a Text String

Posted: 30/07/2009

Reads: 148 (Daily Average 0.95)

Another simple bit of VBS code that counts the number of instances of a string of text within another string of text.

5. Omnia to Oblivia (and back)

Posted: 05/04/2009

Reads: 151 (Daily Average 0.56)

I have a Samsung Omnia mobile phone and have had a number of issues with it.  This describes how I resolved one of the most difficult issues with the file system constantly mounting and dismounting a storage device.

4. A Flexible Progress Window in VBScript

Posted: 19/07/2009

Reads: 169 (Daily Average 1.02)

Another popular bit of VBS code is some that builds a customisable progress window based around dynamically updating a web page that is automatically loaded into a browser.  The progress window allows the user to display messages and progress bars.

3. VBScript – Select a Folder

Posted: 28/03/2009

Reads: 278 (Daily Average 1.00)

The most popular VBS code post on the blog in the past year this one shows how to access a common dialog to select a folder and pass this back to the main code.

2. Controlling Spotify

Posted: 29/07/2009

Reads: 1172 (Daily Average 7.51)

At this point we see a big change in the number of reads of the posts.  This particular post’s popularity is most likely related to the popularity of Spotify.  The post describes a way in which an iPhone emulator can be used on a PC running Microsofrt Windows PC to control Spotify installed on an Apple Mac.

1. Excel – Dynamic Drop Down Lists with Full Validation

Posted: 15/03/2009

Reads: 1272 (Daily Average 4.36)

At the top spot is a post relating to Microsoft Excel.  It looks at how to overcome some of the limitations on dynamically populated drop down lists.  There are a number of other Excel related posts on the blog that people may find useful in combination with this and it has certainly made quite an impact with some of the spreadsheets I’ve developed for colleagues at work.  It seems as though that popularity is spreading to hundreds of others across the Internet.

So please have a look through these top ten (and others if you like) and I’d encourage you to leave a comment or rate the post.  If you like the content why not subscribe to one of the RSS feeds?

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Huawei E5830 MiFi Case

31/12/2009

This post has now been migrated to ThoughtAsylum.com.

Follow this link to go directly to the article.

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iPods, iPhones, Safari and Evernote

29/09/2009

This post has now been migrated to ThoughtAsylum.com.

Follow this link to go directly to the article.

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How to Feed Twitter to FeedBurner

20/08/2009

I tried adding my Twitter RSS feed to FeedBurner a little earlier.  Even though FeedValidator identified the feed as valid FeedBurner wouldn’t.  Googling this suggested that either Twitter isn’t producing nice RSS feeds (which FeedValidator’s validation seems to contradict) or FeedBurner has blocked it.

I decided to try passing the RSS feed through another tool.  I considered using Yahoo Pipes, but then decided that the feed aggregator from XFruits would be the quickest way.  I set-up a feed as an aggregation of just a single feed, passed that to FeedBurner and everything now seems to work.

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The Little Things

20/08/2009

I’ve just completed a few updates to the RebootIT and FlagIT blogs.  The main thing is I’ve changed the RSS feeds published on the site to got to Feed Burner and I’ve set them up there  to make use of the Pub Sub Hubbub so please consider updating any RSS subscriptions you might have.

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iPhone and UK Train Times

20/07/2009

National Rail Enquiries in the UK have cornered the market for iPhone apps for UK rail.  It used to be open and there apparently used to be a pretty reasonable app out there for free.  National Rail’s app on the other hand is not as nice and costs a few too many pennies for many people.

I used to use a WAP version on my old phone and I still use it through a WML browser add-on for Firefox when I need super speedy quick access or am on a really slow connection – such as that on the East Coast mainline trains.  However the iPhone’s Safari browser doesn’t support WML.  However there is another alternative that has a lightweight portal for the small screen – National Rail’s PDA page.

I’m not currently an iPhone user myself but I’ve suggested this to a few people and they seem to find it a viable and practical alternative to the National Rail iPhone app.

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Grey Screen of Death

28/04/2009

Today I was taking part in an online presentation from Dr. Simon Ball of JISC TechDis; one of his regular HE updates.  They use an online presentation system known as Instant Presenter to deliver the presentations on a roughly quarterly basis and they last for about half an hour.  A genuine whistle-stop tour.

I connected to the specified URL in Firefox as usual and the presentation session kicked into life as usual.  However about three or four minutes from the end my screen went grey.  Totally grey!  I couldn’t Alt-Tab, turn caps lock on, or do anything to get a response out of my PC.  The audio from the presentation however did still continue to come through.  It was this that makes me think that it was probably some flash component having a bit of a panic.

I haven’t been able to reproduce it or find anything in any of the logs, but it certainly made a strange difference to the ususal blue screen of death and at least it was considerate enough to let me listen to the remainder of the presentation.  Unfortunately it meant I had to just cut out at the end and pass on my apologies to Dr. Ball by e-mail from my phone whilst I stared my lovely grey screen of death (gsod) or is it more a grey screen of coma?

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The TED Interface

16/04/2009

I recently came across a site called TED. It’s a web site for the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design conference.  The web site itself has a showcase of videos clips from conference speakers and is worth a look.  The thing I want to quickly post about however is something I think is quite innovative … an interface I’ve not seen anywhere else (yet).

TED.COM - Image Cloud

TED.COM - Image Cloud

The TED home page displays a set of images based upon criteria selected in the page’s left hand list.  The images are stills from different videos that are available to view from the site.  The size of the image is relative to the other images and is based upon the selection criteria – e.g. “the most popular technology videos” would have the most popular video identified by the biggest still image.  This is really just like an image version of  a tag cloud (see the categories section in the right column of this blog).  Many tag clouds give a precise indication when hovering on a link (e.g. number of occurrences), but this “image cloud” pops up an information box and displays the image at a standard size in the box – which helps see the smaller images.

I’ve not seen one of these before, but I can imagine that it will become more prevalent in the not so distant future.

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Merging URLs into SharePoint Document Libraries

17/03/2009

After spending a bit of time looking at service desk records today I had the opportunity to look at a particular request where a SharePoint user wanted to include links to files on other web sites in a document library without uploading the file onto the SharePoint site.  This is actually a really nice idea as then if the other site is updated (assuming the URL remains the same), the latest version is always accessible via the SharePoint site.

Now normally links would be handled by using a link based web part, but the integration with a document library was what made this notably interesting.

Whilst a custom list web part could provide an interesting option, the document library the user wished to add to was already in use so I took the simpler and more pragmatic approach.

Most web browsers (notably Microsoft Internet Explorer which is the browser of choice for using Microsoft SharePoint) allow bookmarks to be saved out (e.g. by drag and drop from the address bar/field) into a simple URL file a.k.a. an Internet short cut file (at least you can in Windows XP which the user is running).  So if this can be done it would make sense to upload this into the document library.

Unfortunately by default URL files are on the ban list for SharePoint so a system administrator must first amend the list in the operations settings to allow URL files to be uploaded.

This should have been the solution, but when trying to upload the file I at first got a sample file being upladed onto SharePoint from another web site.  Exactly what I was trying to avoid.  However the option to upload multiple files uses a different upload process.

Choosing just one file on the upload multiple files (to a document library) option will successfully upload the URL file.  once uploaded to the document library, any user clicking on the file then gets the appropriate browser action that relates to the link.  This is actually quite a versatile thing to include into a document library as this could in theory (though I didn’t actually get around to trying it) provide access to FILE, FTP and mail-to protocol actions as well as HTTP for the typical URLs.

The developer in me still wonders what could be done with a customised list with this sort of functionality requirement in mind….