Browsing articles in "Blog"

SLOTH: A model about user’s unreasonable expectations of systems design

One of my favourite subjects during my MSc (also one of my top grades), was Human Factors in Systems Design. Therefore I shouldn’t act surprised that this subject is so present at my current work as the central focus in our process of designing and developing software.

While I consider having a user-centred design approach a fundamental aspect of successful software, involving users can also lead to problems. These problems can be easily managed though, as long as we recognise them. With that in mind, I came up with the SLOTH model, which aims to identify some fundamental issues of involving end-users in systems design.


Wii U Haxchi and CBHC: There is a better option

Yes, I still have a Nintendo Wii U and I think it is one of the best consoles ever. Why? Because it can play all Wii U and Wii games, and once hacked it gives one the access to Homebrew and emulations spanning every generation that came before it!


Old Windows? No Microsoft Store for you!

Microsoft (MSFT) has announced that the Microsoft Store will cease to work for Windows 8.x devices.

Killing off the Microsoft Store for Windows 8.x? Sounds reasonable, right? After all this piece of garbage OS has not been supported for quite a while. Except that knowing MSFT, they might soon pull this off for people running previous versions of Windows 10 as well.


The Business Intelligence Discipline

If you want to deliver Business Intelligence (BI), you need to understand what it actually is. Unfortunately the industry is ridden with people that have a very poor understanding on the subject. Even worse, there are those who think they know what it is, but fail at the most fundamental test. In this post I introduce my view on the Business Intelligence discipline, which I have promoted as the MedModus CTO. Since we adopted this model in MedModus, it became the backbone of our work ethos and the foundation of our competitive advantage.


Configure Azure WordPress web app to work with Exchange Online SMTP relay

I am on the process of recreating the public websites for my company using WordPress (which will do just fine for now). One of the cool things in Azure is that we can provision WordPress (and many other web applications for that matter) on a platform-as-a-service model, meaning that we don’t have to worry about the underlying operating system or virtual machine. With just a few clicks we can have a full-blown WordPress site up and running on Azure, and with a few more clicks we can scale the deployment up or out. It is a fantastic service, but there is one aspect that is not as straightforward: emails. By default WordPress will not send any sort of email notification since there is no SMTP server in the local host. I wanted to configure WordPress to use my Office 365 Exchange Online via SMTP relay, which I managed to do after a few hours of research. Here is how is done.


Dear developers: Enough with the bad coding

Good riddance 2016! Many would argue that it has been the worst year in decades. And while I do not want to get into the merit of the loss of talent the world has suffered, I did notice another heavy blow we took this past year: The quality of software developed on Windows. It seems to me that a lot of developers are taking certain liberties that are rubbing me off the wrong way. Such bad coding practices are certainly not new, but I did notice an increase in them this past year. So I wrote this open letter for 2017, in the hope that such bad coding habits can be addressed. Read more >>

The blog thief

Shame on you, Intergen! You read about this sort of stuff but you never think it will happen to you — until it does. Just found out that a company in Wellington, New Zealand named Intergen has been using images and other content from my blog into the own presentations. They even call it “Diving into the Sales Pipeline”, which is the title of my blog series from when I used to be a Dynamics CRM consultant, where the content has been copied without my consent.

You can find my original blog post here. Where I come from, we call this thievery.

UPDATE: A digital marketing representative from Intergen got in touch with me. At first he was trying to “understand the basis of my claim” as he was looking an update post from 2013 that uses the same image. However the same image has been originally used in a post from 2011. I was pretty enraged at this point, since the representative was wondering “if the two images [I] refer too [sic] came from Microsoft”. Once we established that the images were mine, I got a response that the file has been removed. I got no apology whatsoever, but I did get an entire paragraph devoted to deflecting responsibility for the theft, and a request for this post to be removed. Since you are still reading this post, I am sure that you can guess what I think of their request.

Azure AD Domain Services: A death foretold

As the technical director of my company, one of my tasks is to foresee the expansion of our IT infrastructure, which is mostly hosted in Azure. In the past few months I have been working on a whole new Azure environment that streamlines our virtual machines (VMs), offloads most of our workloads to manage services and users the latest and greatest when possible.

One of the products I was looking forward to is Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AADDS), which provides two domain controllers for our Azure environment as a managed service. Not only this means we don’t have to worry about deploying domain controller VMs, but also a tighter integration with our Azure Active Directory. After two weeks of researching on the subject and speaking with Azure support, I decided to take the leap — hoping the leap was based on empirical research more than faith. Boy, was I wrong wronged.


Azure: Claim VM space by moving the temporary folders to the D drive

We have a bunch of Workstations Virtual Machines hosted in our Azure development environment that have been hogging a lot of space. I had a quick look into those and I noticed that a lot of space is being used by temporary folders, both by the system and by the user profiles. I came up with a simple solution to claim most of this space, which I would like to share with you: Moving temporary folders to the D: drive (known as the temporary drive). Read more >>