My experience using the Duolingo German language course

My experience using the Duolingo German language course

When I added a websites section to my blog I always intended to showcase sites that I found interesting or useful. Today, I would like to walk through a website called Duolingo that helps language students keep their skills fresh. The site can be found at https://www.duolingo.com/ or on a mobile device using the respective application store. Four months ago, I thought I would see if I could learn a language from scratch just by using the Duolingo website and mobile app. In the past, I have learned a little French and Spanish so I couldn’t use them. It was a friend from Romania that pointed me to the site

Applying conditions to AVERAGE, SUM and COUNT functions in Microsoft Excel

Applying conditions to AVERAGE, SUM and COUNT functions in Microsoft Excel

This is my first article on Microsoft Excel in over two years and continues the series with descriptions and examples of applying conditions to the popular Excel SUM, COUNT and AVERAGE functions. I started writing this article about 6 months ago when one of my friends asked me how to count the number of occurrences in a spreadsheet where a condition in another column was true. I had thought that I had already written such an article and was about to point her to it but it wasn’t there. I remember it was on my list of articles to write about Excel but I’d obviously not written it yet. Anyway,

Six steps to staying safe online and securing your devices

Six steps to staying safe online and securing your devices

After all the stories about the latest malware attacks, I wanted to post a collection of tips that should help you and others on your network (home or work) with six steps to staying safe online and securing your devices against malicious threats. It’s quite simple really and if you follow these rules then you won’t become a victim. 1. Patching Keep your operating system and software patched to the highest level and do so as soon as you can after the patch has been released. If your operating system supports automatic updates then use it. If not, set yourself a reminder to check periodically. The same applies to software.

The Product Manager Skills and Roles

The Product Manager Skills and Roles

This article follows on from my previous article on The role of the Product Management in Technology and covers the skills required, roles undertaken and responsibilities for a Product Manager working for our company at the time. During 2012, I was working as a Product Manager for one of our larger systems. At that time I was asked to define a set of skills that we should be looking for in potential Product Managers, which then became the basis of a job description for that role. At that time the Product Manager sat within our global technology division, things have changed since then and we now have a separate Product

Why does my blog posts get no comments?

Why does my blog posts get no comments?

I was asked recently why a site was not getting any comments on its blog posts and what follows is my explanation back to him with some ideas of why that is and what to do about. I ran a blog between 2008 and 2011 where I allowed unlimited comment time and apart from one or two that had shared the same experience as me, all I got was SPAM (people posting links to their own sites – malicious or otherwise). I spent ages moderating it so this time around when I started my blog in 2014, I banned comments to start with but recently opened them up when converting

Setting up a secure website certificate on an Ubuntu server

Setting up a secure website certificate on an Ubuntu server

This article goes through the steps required to create and install a secure certificate on a website which will allow web traffic to be encrypted over https. The article uses the default website on an Apache 2 Ubuntu web server. It also mentions what to do for multiple websites each with their own secure certificate. It is part of my other articles on setting up an Ubuntu Linux server hosted using Amazon Web Services, but the same principals can be applied to any website on any server as the steps are the same. The starting point for this article is a server that has been setup following the examples in

EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Today, I was contacted by a friend who was worried about gathering data on her blog and the effects that the future European data protect act (DPA) would have on this. As I was writing my response I thought that would be good to share on my blog so here are some snippets from my response. I take it you are referring to the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will come into force in 2018 over-riding the UK’s own Data Protection Act. If the UK has not quit the EU before the GDPR is implemented then the UK will have to abide by it and even

Technology blog moves to WordPress

Technology blog moves to WordPress

Welcome to WordPress! After 3 years of developing and operating my own content management system (CMS), I have finally switched over to WordPress for my Pat Howe Technology Blog. Part of the reason for this was to make it easier to maintain but the main reason was to take advantage of all the great plug-ins available. I’m still in the process of converting three years’ worth of posts but I’m over 90% of the way through and couldn’t wait any longer to launch it. I didn’t go with a front page like my old blog but thought I would show the most recent posts on the landing page, well snippets

Setting up a MySQL database on a Linux server

Setting up a MySQL database on a Linux server

This article goes through the steps required to create a MySQL database, a database user and give database permissions to that user. It also covered importing structure and data from a script together with a bit of information about creating tables and adding data. It is part of my other articles on setting up a “Ubuntu Linux” server hosted using Amazon Web Services, but the same principals can be applied to any Linux server as this article is just about using MySQL commands. If you do not already have MySQL installed then check out my previous article on “Setting up a LAMP Server“. There are not many steps involved as

Setting up delegation between servers for Windows authenticated sites

Setting up delegation between servers for Windows authenticated sites

Recently, I heard that someone was having trouble setting up Windows Server delegation and I remembered that I wrote about it a few times several years ago in 2010. That blog and article does not exist anymore and there is little documentation on the process (most IT professionals will give up and use a different solution), so in the spirit of sharing at this time of year, here it is again. What is server delegation? When building a web application you can build your own user administration or use a security mechanism from another system (single-sign-on) or you can use Windows authentication in IIS (there are probably other ways too).