Using a simple organisational chart in Microsoft Visio

visio simple org chart

I have been using Visio for many years, going right back to the time before it was part of the Microsoft Office suite. Each year, I upgraded and features have come and gone. Sometimes I can see an improvement but usually I long for the features that have been dropped. My favourite version I think was the one that came with top level of Visual Studio 2003, I think it was called Visio 2003 for enterprise architects. That had a neat database feature where you could generate your database SQL script directly from Visio. Anyway, in those cases where I

Setting up and testing free secure certificates

Free Certbot Secure Certificate

Do you want to apply secure certificates to multiple websites on the same web server? You want them to renew automatically? And want them to be free! Then read on. A few years back, one of my colleagues put me onto this process and I’ve been using it ever since and now I’ve documented it here. I look after a few Linux web servers on AWS and GCP. The administration overhead around purchasing new certificates, setting them up, renewing is time-consuming. It also costs money, although we always went for the budget secure certificates. That’s because all of the websites

Arduino sound sensor noise level detector example

Arduino Uno

This article follows on from my previous articles about the Arduino microcontroller; Sketch 1: Light Switch and Sketch 2: Light Sensor. In this article I cover an analogue sound sensor with LEDs displaying for the loudness (noise level) of the sound detected. I purchased a multi-pack of sensors a while back and there was a small sound and big sound sensor in that pack. I can’t remember the seller but there are plenty on Amazon and eBay. If you want the one I’m using in this example, you can find it here, Sound Detection Module For Arduino. You will note that

Installing Jira on Ubuntu Linux with MySQL

Installing Jira on Ubuntu Linux with MySQL

This is a walk through of installing Jira 8.1 on on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS minimised server. The Atlassian website has instructions for installing Jira on Linux or other operating systems but there are so many references to other pages or other sites that I wanted to have everything in one place for one type of set-up. As I have previously set up a Ubuntu server on the Google Cloud Platform that I’m not using, I will use that. So, if you are starting from scratch and want to follow along see my previous article “Get a free Linux server

Get a free Linux server with Google Cloud Platform

google-cloud-linux

After writing about the free (for one year) server available from AWS (see here), I thought I would write about a similar free server from Google Cloud Platform (GCP). There is one main difference between the two; Amazon provide a micro-server for 12 months for free as long as you stay within the allowable package where as Google provide you with a $300 credit that can last up to a maximum of 12 months. Amazon limits the free server instance for your account; 750 hours up-time per month (i.e. one continuously on instance), 1 CPU, 1Gb RAM and a maximum

Upgrade to PHP 5.6 on Ubuntu with GD library fix

PHP 5.6 GD

I’ve been running a couple of Ubuntu servers on AWS (not the free ones) for years that are still using PHP 5.5. Even though it is out of support I’ve kept with it. They host one of my old applications that I thought may be a problem on PHP 5.6 or later. I have two of these Ubuntu 14.04 LTS servers; one for test and one for production. I had a recent request to host another application that required PHP 5.6 as a minimum. These servers are under utilised so I went ahead and upgraded on the test server. Both

Get a free Linux server from Amazon Web Services

AWS free cloud server

I always have doubts when I see a claim that something is free but I needed to set up a server for a short period of time and have it publicly available for a few months. It will host three small demo applications and the number of users will be very low and their activity non-intensive. I really didn’t want to purchase anything as it’s for a non-profit or go through the trouble of setting up a more permanent solution as it has no reuse after this exercise. I knew AWS had a “free” tier and so I wondered if

Arduino light sensor and illumination example

Arduino Uno

I’ve been meaning to follow up my previous getting started with the Arduino microcontroller article for a while now. Quite a long while as it’s almost three years. The other reason for writing this now is that my first article has been visited quite a lot recently, so I wanted to add to my electronics section. At the end of my last article I asked for suggestions of what to build next but didn’t have any responses. I thought I’d make a variation on my light switch example and have the light turn on when it starts to get dark

The end of Google Plus as we know it

Google Plus

Last year, Google announced that they were shutting down the consumer version of Google+ (also known as Google Plus) from August 2019. The consumer version are the personal accounts available to individuals and not corporations. The reason that Google gave us was that it had not performed as well as a consumer product as they had hoped and the demands of consumers were difficult to maintain. Towards the end of 2018, Google discovered a second API bug during their own internal audit which they subsequently fixed. They have no evidence that anyone exploited this and that anybody was affected. They

Negatives and switching image colours in Photoshop

Photoshop Replace Colour

I quite often forget how to switch between a negative and positive image or how to do an exact colour replacement when using Adobe Photoshop. Each time, I need to, which is not very often, I spend a bit of time working it out. As this has just happened to me, I thought I would make a note of the steps and make that into an article. I needed to switch colours in a 2-colour logo to from blue on a white background to white on a blue background. This would have been fine if the coloured image parts were