Live webcast announcement of Metadata competition

On Tuesday 1st June at 12noon, Jeremy Silver and Alex Stanhope are participating in a live webinar in which Technology Strategy Board will be announcing a new competition. Please tweet questions against the hashtag #tsbmeta.

Underestimating the importance of Google Docs

I'm playing with Google Docs Drawings. Not only is the software phenomenally easy to pick up, but like all Google documents it's online. I'm just now starting to understand the profound impact this is going to have on our working culture.

Browser-based: all you need is a web browser to get started; no install, no maintenance, no backup etc.

Collaborative: when you're authoring a document, others can be viewing your work or contributing to it as it's created.

GBP18m competition to address the challenges of file sharing and fibre to the home

I was recently interviewed about an £18m competition we've announced to address some of the challenges highlighted in the Digital Britain report.

What is the Testbed?

How to build Mysql++ from source in Visual Studio 2008

Here are the notes I put together while following the documentation:

SPAM, a measure of success

I've had to move from a Math Captcha to an image one as unfortunately this site started getting SPAM'd. It seems that those pseky robots can do rudimentary mathematics, but I'm hoping they can't yet read wobbly text! On the plus side some great (real) comments coming through too thank you.

Marketing message attributed to monosyllabic robot mouth

Lovely moment when halfway through this video of a monosyllabic Robot mouth, a YouTube ad pops up as a speech bubble.

First shots with Canon 550D

Dropping MYSQL tables that contain FOREIGN KEYS

I was patching CiviCRM earlier on when I needed to flash the existing database with a new snapshot. The snapshot SQL performs a progressive sweep of the database, using sequential:

DROP IF EXISTS <table name>

The problem is that some tables contain explicit FOREIGN KEY references to others. When the referred to tables are dropped before the referring tables, that violates the foreign key constraint.

The solution is to ignore the constraints during the drop operation using:


Executing multiple programs with one single windows shortcut

An alternative title might be "How to write a simple batch file to make Google Calendar Sync run at the same time as Outlook".

Create a text file (.txt). Use this syntax:

rem Outlook
cd "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12"
start "" "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE" /recycle
rem Google Outlook sync
cd "C:\Program Files\Google\Google Calendar Sync"
start "" "C:\Program Files\Google\Google Calendar Sync\GoogleCalendarSync.exe"

svn+ssh, secure version control

I have a Mac Mini which I keep connected to the Internet. In this world of DoS attacks and port sniffing, exposing ports to the Internet at large is risky. Yesterday I turned off HTTP (80), which was being used to allow access to mod_dav_svn, and migrated my systems to SVN over SSH. This has the advantage of only requiring the server machine to expose SSH (22).

The setup was quite involved.

Alex Stanhope is a Technology consultant to the UK Creative Industries and Venture Catalyst. This is my personal website.
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