The role of the Product Management in Technology

The role of the Product Management in Technology

Back in 2011, I was asked by my boss at the time what I saw as the role of the Product manager because he wanted to establish that role within our technology department. I did indeed become a product manager at the start of the following year. In this short article, I will share with you what we did and how it was received. The first thing I said in August 2011 when asked what I thought the role of the product manager should be in our business (a business services company relying heavily on technology) must have impressed my boss at the time as he then asked me to

Steps to securing your Apache web server on Ubuntu

Steps to securing your Apache web server on Ubuntu

This article goes through some of the things you can do to protect your web server from certain types of attacks and to keep the disclosure of information down to a minimum. It will show you how to help prevent clickjacking, SSL cipher or mime-based attacks. It will show you how to avoid error messages and other methods giving away more information than is needed. These can mostly be prevented at a server level so that they apply to all websites that you publish on the server. A brief description of what is being prevented and the resolution is included with each of the step by step examples. The examples

News on general availability of new top level domains

News on general availability of new top level domains

There have been more top-level domain names released to general availability (GA) in 2016. In this short article I have listed those that are available now and those that are being considered for release. I’ve split the listing into those that are available to purchase now under GA and those that are at an earlier stage where you cannot purchase but may register an interest in them (and possibly buy in the future). Some sites call this pre-ordering or pre-registering but there is no guarantee that you will get the domain name even if you register an interest. What is a domain name The most common use of a domain

Fixing GD by replacing the version in the bundled PHP package

Fixing GD by replacing the version in the bundled PHP package

The GD Library in PHP allows developers to output images from code in various formats rather than output HTML mark-up for displaying web pages or snippets. It is a very popular method of creating images used on web forms where the validity of a human user needs to be attained (this method is commonly known as Captcha). However, a bundled PHP distribution might not come with GD enabled and fully functioning such as those used by the “apt-get install php5” command on Ubuntu. Even after “apt-get install php5-gd” is run to fetch and installed the GD Library, PHP might not still produce the Captcha images for your web forms. This

Setting up Apache, MYSQL and PHP on Ubuntu Linux (LAMP)

Setting up Apache, MYSQL and PHP on Ubuntu Linux (LAMP)

This article shows you the commands required to set up an Apache web server on a fresh Ubuntu Linux installation from a Command Line Interface. It goes through the steps to setup PHP and MySQL and link both to the Apache web server. It doesn’t just finish there though. I also cover installing OpenSSL for managing secure certificates, VSFTP for file transfer protocol accounts and the GD PHP image library. These are popular things to do for say running WordPress but not essential to a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) setup. The examples use Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (Long Term Support) but could easily be performed on any recent Ubuntu

Upgrading packages on Ubuntu from the command line

Upgrading packages on Ubuntu from the command line

This short article goes through the commands required to upgrade to the latest trusted distribution of Ubuntu 14.04 Long Term Support (LTS) but the same commands can be used for any Ubuntu upgrade. The following example shows the commands and actions for upgrading all of the packages on Ubuntu to their latest distributed versions rather than just applying updates to currently installed packages. The first thing to do is login using your Command Line Interface (CLI). You will probably login with an account that does not have upgrade privileges. You can either run the command “sudo -i” to switch to a privileged account or you can prefix the commands with

How to use and customise gradients in Adobe Illustrator

How to use and customise gradients in Adobe Illustrator

Quite often getting gradients to do exactly what you want them to do can be a challenge. In this short article, I’ll cover gradients within Adobe Illustrator but the principles can be used in other Adobe products. First up, what is a gradient? It is the smooth transition from one colour to another colour or more colours. This is done mathematically by apply some of the target colour to the starting colour in the pixels between those colours. A gradient starting out as black and ending as white will go through many shades of grey depending on how many pixels there are between the start and end points. There are

Secure Ubuntu connection via AWS authentication token using CLI and FTP

Secure Ubuntu connection via AWS authentication token using CLI and FTP

This is a bit of a specialist article that shows how to do something in specific circumstances rather than try to cover all eventualities but hopefully it will be useful outside of the narrow example for those that need help. In this article I set up a secure connection to a Linux server running Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS on Amazon Web Services (AWS) with authentication through a token. The connection to the server examples are shown from both a Command Line Interface (CLI) and a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client. I’m using PuTTY for a CLI and FileZilla for my FTP client running on Windows 10 64 bit operating system. Authentication

Determining file suitablility before uploading using HTML5 File API

Determining file suitablility before uploading using HTML5 File API

Today I wanted to write about HTML5’s File API. In the past, a developer would generally write code to determine if a file type was appropriate after the file had been uploaded. This would quite often be annoying for a user especially if the file was large and they only find out that it is inappropriate after it has finished uploading. Now, using the File API, the web page can determine if a file is acceptable before the user uploads it. In fact, not only can you gather the file type but you can find out other information about a file before committing to upload, such as the file size

Converting photographs to black and white or sepia using Photoshop

Converting photographs to black and white or sepia using Photoshop

I had to convert a photograph to black and white recently and I remember from many years ago having a problem trying to achieve this. It was a simple automated task in many other photo editing tools (including Photoshop Elements) but I couldn’t figure it out in the full version of Photoshop (I think it was CS2 but may have been earlier). I can’t remember when Camera Raw was introduced to Photoshop but that was where the functionality could be found (Convert to Grayscale option at the top of the HSL/Grayscale tab). It makes a good guess at a black and white conversion and you can use the sliders to