Category Archives: stuff

IOT – the internet of things..

I’m hooked – seriously hooked on the IOT (Internet of Things) and home automation..

I’ve always liked data, collecting it, manipulating it and using it to either understand a situation or work through a problem.
The IOT is all about data and dare I say it – ‘big data’..

It was back in 1997 when I first looked at the IOT and thought through the possibilities, that was the heady days of windows 95 & 98.

A sudden realisation that very soon every single device could have an IP address and could talk to the World opened my eyes to the possibilities of automation.

It’s taken quite a while for me to re-visit that thought but now I have I’m not going to give it up until I’ve automated all the things!

Continue reading IOT – the internet of things..

I’m not that committed am I?

When was the last update on this blog?

Wow – I even forgot to update the DNS entry when I moved servers (8 months ago…)

I do enjoy writing blog posts and should do more, I write them as a aide-memoir to myself rather than anything else – but others have found a few things useful over time.

So I’ll carry on..

Small problem when trying to create a custom artisan command – Laravel

I came across a small issue that had me stumped for a while, I was creating a custom artisan command for Laravel and it returned this error when trying:

PHP artisan dump-autoload
{"error":{"type":"ErrorException","message":"Invalid argument supplied for foreach()","file":"\/var\/www\/elections\/vendor\/laravel\/framework\/src\/Illuminate\/Console\/Command.php","line":77}}

Try as I might I couldn’t figure it out, I removed my code bit by bit and it still came up with the error.

Then I realised that I didn’t need any options so I commented out the returning array: e.g.

	protected function getOptions()
		//return array(
		//	array('example', null, InputOption::VALUE_OPTIONAL, 'An example option.', null),

I changed it to:

	protected function getOptions()
		return array(

Then tried the dump-autoload again and no problems, so the solution is here in case anyone has the same issue.

Alfresco and Project Management

I recently wrote on here about using Alfresco to hold HR records, this is still ongoing but has stalled while HR decide on how to change their processes. So in the meantime I’ve been playing..

Using a project management methodology is a  great way to bring some order out of chaos.

If used correctly and with the right elements it can be a brilliant way of keeping projects & programmes on track, allowing resources to diverted to potential problems early on.

I’ve been a PRINCE2 practitioner (Candidate number: P2R/803590) for 10 years and have used it in all projects I’ve been involved in, it’s worked really well in the formal setting of the Council.

But.. project reporting across a large organisation can be hit and miss.
As time passes standards can slip as document versions get out of sync and people start to develop variations to the original training, similar to bad habits we all form once we’ve passed our driving test, and don’t lie I know you don’t always indicate when passing a parked car..

Using Alfresco as our document management system is a way of addressing the problems of document versions, it’s an out of the box function that’s easy to implement.

As for standardisation I can create a ‘project’ folder template and put the newest version of any document into that.  Users can then create a folder that copies the template, so each new project will always use the newest documents – simples.

Now what about project and programme reporting, the bane of every project managers life, well this is where Alfresco can help too.

My proof of concept uses a project model built within Alfresco that can be applied to a project folder or preferably to a project site

The contains such attributes as project manager, project state, risks, etc, etc everything that is usually written on the report that the project manager has to routinely present to the project board.

The attributes are then exposed as an API via  the very easy to use Alfresco webservices.

I’ve built a Laravel webapp that consumes the API content and then presents dashboards for project/programme managers as well as the governance/audit teams.

I’ll post the process and files later – anyone got any questions?



Back to work..

Today I’m mostly working through the emails that have built up while i’ve been on sick..



That’s how you deal with those, now onto fun times.. First day back to work is always a good one to deal with technical issues, and I’ve got some technical issues with Alfresco; one is the changing of returned elements from the OpenSearch API and the other is my fault..
Continue reading Back to work..