All posts by Gareth

Raspberry Pi as an Office Dashboard

Full Instructions to follow, but key points are:

Configure Raspberry Pi with Rasbian (here is a decent guide for the below)

1. Download ISO

2. Flash SD Card

3. Configure RaspberryPi on first boot


Setup Auto booting WebBrowser

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces/
sudo apt-get install x11-xserver-utils unclutter
sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart
# @xscreensaver -no-splash
@xset s off       # Turn off screensaver
@xset -dpms       # Turn off power saving
@xset s noblank   # Disable screen blanking
@unclutter        # Hide the mouse cursor
@midori -e Fullscreen -a

boot to desktop using pi, and disable overscan (both in advanced options)

sudo raspi-config



Screen continues to go blank so try the following

sudo nano ~/xinitrc
xset s off         # don't activate screensaver
xset -dpms         # disable DPMS (Energy Star) features.
xset s noblank     # don't blank the video device

exec /etc/alternatives/x-session-manager      # start lxde


Additionally do the following too

sudo nano /etc/kbd/config

Change these two lines.

# screen blanking timeout. monitor remains on, but the screen is cleared to
# range: 0-60 min (0==never) kernels I've looked at default to 10 minutes.
# (see linux/drivers/char/console.c)
BLANK_TIME=0 (Was 30)

# Powerdown time. The console will go to DPMS Off mode POWERDOWN_TIME
# minutes _after_ blanking. (POWERDOWN_TIME + BLANK_TIME after the last input)
POWERDOWN_TIME=0 (I think it was 15)

Also did this change

sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

In that file, look for:


and insert this line:

xserver-command=X -s 0 dpms

SkyDrive is now called OneDrive

Microsoft has been forced to change there cloud based storage platform SkyDrive to OneDrive, this is due to Rupert Murdoch’s empire. It seems BSkyB which is only known as Sky in the UK could provide a similar product.

I find it funny they have not asked Microsoft to rename their Skype product aswell as this too provide similar functions around telephone services, as Skype clearly as the the SKYpe in the name.

Over the past few years Microsoft has come up with some really decent products with very suitable names, it’s just a shame they are being forced to rebrand due to other companies worrying about competition that doesn’t directly compete. Metro was a brilliant name for the Windows 8 UI, similar to SkyDrive.

NServiceBus Introduction

A quick introduction to NServiceBus can be found on their step-by-step guide, make sure you download and run the installer first being configuring your example solution.

Some things to note:
1. The install will configure RavenDB which is accessible through http://localhost:8080 on your machine

2. They missed a step in the step-by-step guide where you have to create a “PlaceOrderHandler.cs” file under the Ordering.Server project.

3. Configure RavenDB to allow Annonymous Access, in the Raven.Server.exe.config file under C:\Program Files\NServiceBus.Persistence.v4


<add key="Raven/AnonymousAccess" value="Get" />


 <add key="Raven/AnonymousAccess" value="All" />

SkyDrive Pro No Longer Supports SharePoint 2010

So if my previous rant about SkyDrive going in the wrong direction I’ve found our recently that the latest version of SkyDrive Pro now won’t sync with SharePoint 2010 Document Libraries. This can only mean Microsoft are pushing you to upgrade to SharePoint 2013 which I agree is a move worth making but there are many companies out there that simply take time to complete this upgrade.

SkyDrive Pro supporting SharePoint 2010 syncing was really useful so why remove it? Stupid if you ask me!

Configure Drives for Servers

Below is the standard I follow when configuring drives for servers, it helps structure files for future management if needed. The below includes drives for running a SQL Server too.

C – OS and system level files. Only
D – Program files for all apps (including SQL Server)
S – Instance level files/SQL Server system databases and log files typically (except for TempDB) (note.. If I have multiple instances, I won’t make 4 of these.. I’d put all SQL binaries for all instances on S in most situations, with the folders providing the separation)
F – Data files for user databases
L – Log file drive for user databases
T – TempDB
X – Backup drive (though in a lot of cases I elect to stream a backup across to a network drive, not paying for a copy after the backup and I’m immediately backing up to storage someplace else.)

Some Funny Agile Pictures and Graphs

Over the past few years I have been running development teams where we’ve adopted certain Scrum Techniques, I wont go as far as saying we as fully scrum as I doubt many teams are, this is mainly due to the wider business either not completely buying into it or stuck in the traditional waterfall process. Below are a few images that sum up the pitfall of trying to scrum in such companies.
agile in a triangle


OSX vs Windows

Today we purchased our first Mac and I can certainly say I am impressed with the build and usability of the hardware and software, it is different to using my work PC from Dell that has Windows 8 installed but the differences appear at first to be good.

When choosing the Mac we were going back and forth between the Macbook Air and the Macbook Pro, initially we had our minds set on the Air until I realised for an small amount extra we could get the 13in Retina which really provides far more power and the screen is absolutely amazing.

Convert Document to PDF in SharePoint using K2


  • SharePoint 2010 Server
    Standard or Enterprise (confirmed, see below)
  • Word Services to be installed, configured and started
  • K2 HostServer
  • K2 for SharePoint

Further Information Regarding this Process

Document Conversion Services uses Word Automation Services which is part of the standard and enterprise CALs of SharePoint Server. The feature is not available in SharePoint foundation – hence it will not work and fails.

K2D4SP simple provides the user interface to use the Word Automation Services API. The document conversion is kicked off asynchronously using SharePoint API.

In a distributed environment, K2 uses the above method. It just calls into API and the document will be converted by SharePoint timer job.

iOS K2 Task List Settings

So this has been bugging me for ages. Whenever I wanted to switch the server settings in the K2 task list on iOS I assumed there was no easy way from within the app, and there isn’t. So I was forced to remove and re-install the app all together.

For some reason I never looked up the “Settings” tab within iOS and then under the K2 application.

So if you want to change your k2 task list settings, simply open up the Settings within iOS, scroll down the the “K2 Task List” and open up that section and hey presto!

K2 smartforms vs. Microsoft InfoPath

There has been lots of talk recently regarding the future of InfoPath and the gist of it is that SharePoint 2013 workflow will not work with InfoPath for interacting with the workflow events, it seems SharePoint 2013 will now deploy standard aspx pages which can be used to interact with the 2013 workflows.

This provide somewhat of a problem as InfoPath can be used rather heavily by some companies (including mine) and this means a difficult upgrade path.

K2 smartforms appears to be a direct solution to this, however it is still in its early versions and has some way to go to provide a rich design and client interface.