Rodney Gedda's piece of the Web

August 31, 2017
by Rodney Gedda

WordPress image syncing

Great little app for synchronising local Adobe LightRoom images with your WordPress image library:

Now, if only there was one for the general file system (any directory), not just one app :).

Come to think of it, how about taking an open source file sync client and pointing it to your WordPress instance? That sounds pretty useful to me.

Any other options?

July 31, 2017
by Rodney Gedda

The value of certification

I’m doing some work on communicating the value of (technology) certification. Opinions vary on the value of certification and in many disciplines there is little in the way of coursework or recognised competency levels.

Someone can be certified and be highly competent or self-taught and highly competent, or the opposite in both cases. When I achieved my project management certification I definitely saw the value in the practical advice and training it offered. In contrast, a lot of what is taught in universities is highly theoretical.

The best assessment if competency probably lies somewhere in between education levels and practical experience. Even some global firms have loosened requirements around academic qualifications.

There’s no doubt certification programs bring many benefits to both staff and the organisation so it is in the employer’s interest to support them.

The challenge for individuals will be being seen through the sea of equally-qualified people. In the US the MBA is the most popular master’s degree and there are nearly half as many more than there were just over a decade ago.

If only it was as easy to demonstrate the value of practical experience as it is to flash a certification badge.

June 30, 2017
by Rodney Gedda

ownCloud and Nextcloud

I’ve blogged about ownCloud a few times as it offers a free way to sync and share files among many other features.

A while back there was a revolt from ownCloud and Nextcloud was born. I won’t go into the politics of that, I just want to give Nextcloud a plug.

Fragmentation can be harmful if there is too much duplication of effort, but I think in this case more options for online file sharing and storage is a good thing.



May 29, 2017
by Rodney Gedda

Soup sale: When is a no-brainer a no-brainer?

No-brainer soup deal

No-brainer soup deal

I came across this interesting soup sale in a CBD cafe. A small soup costs $7 and a large – which looks at least double the size – will set you back $8.

If you like soup, or want to share a cup or two with your coworkers, then it’s a no-brainer. For only $1 more you get a lot more soup so why bother to buy a “small”? A real no-brainer, or is it?

By having one size so close in price to another you’ve essentially made the smaller size a lot less value. Without actually seeing the sales figures – the cafe owner might have settled on this pricing structure as a result of extensive historical data analysis – I can’t say whether this is an effective tactic or not.

Sure it’s a no-brainer if you like soup, but if you only wanted to spend, say, $5 on a smaller serve then parting with $7 for what seems like half the value might also put a lot of people off buying any soup at all.

A sales dilemma indeed.

There’s another cafe in the CBD which sells soup for $6 ($7 if you want a slice of bread with it) in a large coffee cup-sized container. I actually prefer this to a bowl as it’s more portable and I know it’s a moderate portion size.

When selling food, portability also plays a part in the no-brainer equation.

April 30, 2017
by Rodney Gedda

Well done GNOME

By now volumes have been written about why Canonical will replace its own Unity desktop with GNOME so I won’t bother to express any further opinion on the matter. The only thing I will say is well done GNOME!

I use KDE, but GNOME is awesome too. No doubt Canonical will hack the shit out of it, but nonetheless a real open source project will get a hell of amount of publicity from the move.

Forking Linux distributions is hard, developing display servers is hard and developing desktop environments is even harder so often it’s just best to use what’s already being actively developed.

To that end, enjoy some exciting developments in Plasma land…

March 31, 2017
by Rodney Gedda

Diving into Divi Builder

I’ve been experimenting with Divi Builder of late for some visual Web design.

Modern WYSIWYG design with Divi.

Modern WYSIWYG design with Divi.

To be honest I don’t much about the world’s WYSIWYG options (anyone remember Dreamweaver?), but this one seems to do the job well enough. And it’s focused on WordPress which is great as you can still use WordPress as intended if you like.

There’s also Elementor, an open source alternative. It’s creators sell premium options for it.



February 28, 2017
by Rodney Gedda

LibreOffice Word Completion bug

One of the great features of LibreOffice Writer is word completion in AutoCorrect. As you use Writer every word longer than a specified size will be collated in the Word Completion list.

LibreOffice Writer word completion

LibreOffice Writer word completion

Long words are then suggested as you type and automatically completed with the press of Enter. A great time-saver.

Unfortunately the word completion list is wiped after a LibreOffice version upgrade (on Windows anyway, haven’t tested on Linux). Let’s hope the devs can squash this one.

January 30, 2017
by Rodney Gedda

BuddyPress in a sea of social networks for business

Late last year Facebook made splash with the announcement of Workplace.

Social networks for business are nothing new of course, but when The Book puts its weight behind the concept you know something’s up. Enterprise social network software vendors have tried to carve out a niche with collaborative portals for years – all with limited success.

Will Facebook dominate the space? From first glance it looks like it has a compelling story to tell compared with both traditional enterprise software companies and the likes of Google, Twitter and LinkedIn (Microsoft). Facebook is a familiar interface and many people use it to collaborate every day.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for Facebook is whether people will actually use it for productive tasks instead of simply a social space for coworkers.

What’s the alternative?

There are plenty of commercial and open source social enterprise options so Facebook hasn’t captured all your data yet. One that stands out is BuddyPress.

BuddyPress is private, feature-rich, open source and based on WordPress, the familiar content system used by millions. Given the ubiquity of WordPress, BuddyPress could be the little social network that could provide a viable alternative to cloud-only options.

An easy way to collaborate with coworkers using WordPress? That is worth sharing.

November 30, 2016
by Rodney Gedda

I hate Windows 10 forced reboots, and so should you

For the love of sanity can Microsoft give its users the option to reboot when it suits them after an upgrade?

I’ve been stung a few times now by Windows 10 taking upon itself to reboot during a “window” of time after a forced update. A forced restart after a forced update if you will.

What is the problem? Well, if you are working on a few different things and an update appears you have a set period of time to manually restart the system before it’s done for you. And when it’s done for you all your apps and working documents are shut down. Thanks for that.

As far as I can see the only way to prevent this is to watch your notifications like a hawk and if the dreaded restart required notice appears shut down your system gracefully and restart it. And even if your PC is in sleep mode it will still be rebooted automagically!

At the very least put a notification in front of the user and don’t hide it in the sidebar.