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New - Latest EPA Libraries

Netscaler Gateway downloads - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 18:30
New downloads are available for Citrix Gateway
Categories: Citrix, Commercial, Downloads

PackMan in practice, part 2

The Iconbar - Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:00
As mentioned at the end of part one, this article about creating PackMan packages is going to look at what's necessary to generate distribution index files, ROOL pointer files, and how these tasks can be automated. Towards the end I'll also be taking a look at some options for automating the uploading of the files to your website.

Index files and pointer files

Distribution index files

Distribution index files are the mechanism by which the PackMan app learns about packages - each 'distribution' (i.e. collection of package zip files hosted on a website) is accompanied by an index file. This index file contains information about each package; at first glance it looks like it's just a copy of the RiscPkg.Control file from within the package, but there are actually a handful of extra fields that are included within each 'control record':

  • Size - The size of the zip file
  • MD5Sum - The md5 of the zip file
  • URL - The (relative) URL to the zip file
Additionally, by convention the distribution index file should only list the most recent version of each package. It's also common (but not necessary) for the package files to contain the package version as part of their name, e.g. This way, although the index only lists the most recent version, you can still host the previous versions on your site if you want or need to.ROOL pointer files

For the community distribution that's managed by ROOL, ROOL require package mainteners to provide a 'pointer file' containing a simple list of links/URLs to packages. ROOL's server will then regularly fetch this pointer file, fetch all the (changed) packages, and merge everything into the central distribution index file.What we need is some kind of packaging tool

These rules for distributions, index files, and pointer files mean that the task of preparing package zip files for publishing is too complex to be attempted using simple Obey file or BASIC scripting. OK, if you were only interested in ROOL pointer files you could probably cobble something together without too much effort, but in most cases the use of a 'proper' tool is going to be required.

The good news is that to generate a distribution index file, a tool only needs two bits of information about each package: the URL the package is going to be hosted at, and a copy of the zip file itself. Everything else can be determined by examining the contents of the zip. This means that once you've got such a tool for generating index files, it should be very easy to plug it into your publishing pipeline.

And the even better news is that I've already written a tool - skopt, a.k.a. Some Kind Of Packaging Tool. Currently its feature set is quite small, but since it appears to be the only tool of its kind in the standard PackMan distributions, it's something that's very much needed if the ecosystem is to continue to grow. Additionally, it's built ontop of the same LibPkg library that RiscPkg/PackMan use internally - helping to simplify the code (just a few hundred lines of C++) and ensure consistent behaviour with PackMan itself.Functions

The current version of skopt has three modes of operation:

  • copy - Copy package file(s) from one location to another. However, unlike a simple *Copy command, this will rename the package zip to the 'canonical' form (i.e. It'll also raise an error if it tries to overwrite a package which has the same name but different content (which could indicate that you're trying to publish a new version of a package without increasing the version number).
  • gen-binary-index - Scans a list of folders containing (binary) package zip files and generates the corresponding distribution index file. It assumes that the filenames of the packages within the folders will match the names by which the files will be uploaded to your website. However you can specify per-folder URL prefixes.
  • gen-pointer-file - Scans a list of folders containing binary packages and generates a ROOL pointer file. As with gen-binary-index, it's assumed that the names of the files will match the names used once uploaded, and URL prefixes are applied on a per-folder basis.
Uploading packages

With skopt managing generating the index file(s) (and optionally package file naming), there's only one piece of the puzzle left: how can you upload the packages to your site?

Ignoring the obvious choice of doing it manually, there are at least a few RISC OS-friendly solutions for automation:!FTPc

!FTPc can be driven programmatically by the use of Wimp messages, and comes with a handy BASIC library to simplify usage. So if you have FTP/FTPS access to your web site, only a few lines of BASIC are needed to upload files or folders.scp, sftp

If you have SSH access to the web server, then scp (as included in the OpenSSH PackMan package) may be an easy solution for you.

The OpenSSH package also includes a copy of the sftp command, which is useful if your web site supports SFTP rather than the older FTP & FTPS protocols. sftp can easily be driven from scripts by the use of the -b option, which will read a series of commands from a text file.rsync

rsync (also available via PackMan) is another option for copying files via SSH connections (or via the bespoke rsync protocol).Next time

Uploading binary packages to PackMan distributions is all well and good, but what about the source code? Or what if you want to have regular web pages through which people can also download your software? Stay tuned!

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Categories: RISC OS

New - NetScaler Gateway (Maintenance Phase) 12.0 Build 59.9

Netscaler Gateway downloads - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 22:00
New downloads are available for Citrix Gateway
Categories: Citrix, Commercial, Downloads

New - NetScaler Gateway (Maintenance Phase) Plug-ins and Clients for Build 12.0-59.9

Netscaler Gateway downloads - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 22:00
New downloads are available for Citrix Gateway
Categories: Citrix, Commercial, Downloads

Troubleshooting Insights for Success Within your Epic Deployment

Theresa Miller - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 18:34

Healthcare organizations that deploy Epic to support the patients that they see every day have a responsibility to ensure that Epic is always online and performing well.  Take for example, a hospital that uses Epic for all its patient services to keep the patients healthy and to ensure their safety Epic needs to be online […]

The post Troubleshooting Insights for Success Within your Epic Deployment appeared first on 24x7ITConnection.

Using Procmon To Find Registry Settings

Theresa Miller - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 06:30

Process Monitor (a.k.a. Procmon) is a free Microsoft utility as a part of their Sysinternal Suite, created by the famous Mark Russinovich. The suite has a large amount of incredibly useful tools for Microsoft IT Pros and Developers, but can be overwhelming to start with and look at. Procmon is a great one to start with, […]

The post Using Procmon To Find Registry Settings appeared first on 24x7ITConnection.

GPS becomes Data Logger

The Iconbar - Fri, 11/09/2018 - 06:21
At the recent London Show Chris Hall was showing his new Data Logger. Here he gives some info into the new hardware

Version 2.40 of my SatNav software and the compact hardware unit with just an OLED display meant I could stop trying to fix things that were still unfinished. I had full battery management, conditional data logging, robust and error-tolerant data downloading on demand and power management that avoided any SD card corruption.

Where next?

There were things still unfinished: I wanted the unit to be able to use WiFi to transmit data instead of making do with manual downloads to a USB pen drive; I would have liked to remove the code which drives a liquid ink display (Papirus) into a more general purpose module, where it should be, but had never tried writing one. RiscBASIC could compile an application to a module but only at 26 bit. Both these aspirations were therefore not immediate.

It was not long before an idea came to me: as usual it hit me at 0400. Putting detail aside, the unit’s fundamental purpose was to monitor incoming data (GPS data) and selectively log the data along with time and date of receipt. The data could then be downloaded on demand to a USB pen drive in an appropriate format. My university training had strongly counselled me never to press something designed for a specific task into service for a quite different purpose. At least not without careful thought.

The front panel showing the push buttons and the USB socket, as well as the 12-way screw terminal block, which can easily be unplugged.

The idea I got was that I could build a data monitor which would examine a number of input lines and log any state change. The inspiration for this came from my volunteer work on the Severn Valley Railway: we had experienced a few faults on S&T equipment that had proved very difficult to fault find. They were intermittent and on complex equipment where faults would be difficult for the signalman to report in a way that could help us diagnose the problem. Accurate details of exactly what had occurred would help enormously.

Removing the GPS module (which used the serial port to communicate), adding a CJE real time clock module and using the GPIO pins to monitor incoming data would mean that very little in the SatNav programme would need to be altered to fulfil this new purpose.Data Logger

The main purpose of the data logger is to monitor signalling circuits so that a precise sequence of relay operations can be logged. Eight inputs are scanned 1500 times a second and any changes of state are logged. The GPS module has gone, replaced by a simple real time clock card. Otherwise the software is very similar, with changes of state of any one of the eight inputs being the parameter that is being monitored rather than GPS location. The unit is designed to operate for weeks at a time, with regular visits to download data to a USB pen drive simply by pressing the 'ON & INFO' button. Making the device fault tolerant was quite tricky as there is no desktop display to show errors. (A desktop display is being created but no monitor is plugged in.)

The GPIO inputs themselves on the Raspberry Pi used 3.3V logic and had software-controlled pull-up or pull-down resistors. The circuits being monitored used 12V, 24V or 50V and comprised a number of relay contacts in series with a relay coil. Some relays had spare contacts (making them easy to monitor) but some did not, particularly those monitoring track circuits.

The ‘simple’ DC track circuit exploits the hysteresis of the relay so that it falls away at a known voltage and requires a higher voltage to pick up again when the train has gone. Monitoring the single contact provided is the only way which means breaking into signalling circuits without disturbing them.

The signalling circuit shown is a 24V circuit with the fused positive supply (B12fx) on the left and the negative return (N12) on the right. Inputs A to D are ‘active low’ and connected to GPIO pins GP5-GP8 which have, by default, pull-up resistors on chip. Inputs E to H are ‘active high’ and are connected to GPIO pins 17-19 and 23 with pull-down resistors.

That also means being tolerant of relay back EMFs as the relay coil circuit is broken. How resilient the unit will be in service is still unproven.

My first stab at protecting the GPIO 3.3V logic from the 24V signalling supplies and the hundreds of volts that might appear as relay coil circuits are broken. Each input is inactive when open circuit and can be activated in the voltage ranges noted. This gives a choice of +1 to -30V (which includes 0V); -6 to -30V (with a series resistor and excludes 0V) or +6 to +30V. Voltages in the range specified will make the input ‘active’.

Monitoring of the inputs has a ‘test’ mode built in so that holding down certain keys on the keyboard will toggle the measured status of the particular input.


The case itself is made from polycarbonate sheet, cut to several different widths by the supplier that I cut to length with a hacksaw.

The case with printed labels stuck onto the protective film after cutting the ploycarbonate sheets to size.

Most of the breakout circuit board is taken up with the various components needed to protect the GPIO inputs from harmful external voltages but otherwise it is a very similar layout to that used for the GPS unit. Circuitry to control power switching is identical.

Internal wiring. Signal diodes, 1N914, resistors and capacitors should protect the 3.3V level logic from +24V and relay coil back EMFs. Inputs will sink no more than 200µA to avoid disturbing the signalling circuits being monitored.

A side view shows the plug-in screw terminal block which can be connected to the circuits to be monitored using up to 2.5mm2 cable.

Eight inputs plus three voltage-measuring inputs (approx. 0 to 30V with a resolution of 33mV). The terminal block can be unplugged.

All I have to do now is to check for any dry soldered joints!


Power consumption is about 150mA but the unit is designed to operate with an external mains power supply. The internal battery allows it to continue monitoring the signalling circuits for 17 hours after external power is lost. The signalling circuits themselves are also battery backed.

The unit has an ADC board with three spare voltage inputs, allowing any positive voltage to be recorded at any state change.

The OLED display shows the time of day and the status of the eight inputs and the three voltages (plus the supply voltage, which is the battery voltage unless it is being charged by a healthy external supply.

The OLED display shows the time (in GMT) updating once per second on the first line and shows the exact time of the last log entry on the second line with the status of each input as logged. On the line below the letters A to H will appear an ‘X’ if that item is active. The line showing ‘Man Poff’ indicated that the unit was switched on manually with no external power and that was the last change of state (an ‘A’ would mean A went active and ‘a’ inactive). The four voltages are those measured at that time. 3.807V implies 54% battery life. The other voltage inputs are not connected.

An analysis of the sampling shows that the sample interval is about 650µs (pink dots) while ‘lost time’ (for example to update the OLED display - 8cs - or to measure voltages - 5cs) is generally less than 12cs.

The battery should last about 18 hours (at 175mA) and the voltage reading can be used to indicate the battery life remaining, as above.

Routine observations

The OLED display shows the current time and date in Grenwich Mean Time as well as the last occasion (time only, but shown to the nearest hundredth of a second) when one of the eight inputs being monitored changed state. The status of each input (A to H) is also shown.

No inputs are connected so the unit shows the initial condition: manually turned on with no external power supply.


The unit will keep a log of the various inputs monitored (making a new entry at each state change or every 30 minutes) which can be downloaded onto a USB pen drive on demand by inserting a USB pen drive in the USB socket and pressing the ‘ON & INFO’ push button.

Download request at &573EC486
Opening file for day 60 as SCSI::0.$.Lg28-09-2018/csv
Closing file for day 60 length=50173
Writing valid lines from DataLog/csv (length=C457) to
Closing copy file at length=50263
Reopening copy file from 57 to C457
Logfile now truncated to length=C400
When a log is downloaded, the daily log files are written to the pen drive along with a file (shown above ‘LogFile.csv’) which will show detailed information to allow any errors to be followed up.

Pressing the ‘INFO’ button will bring up this screen and show the progress of the download as shown. The ‘ON’ button is used to ensure the messages don’t disappear.

The ‘ON’ button is used to make sure that the messages remain on screen for long enough for the user to read them.

As each day’s log details are downloaded, a progress report is shown.

If the process completes with no errors this screen is shown

Releasing the ‘ON’ button confirms you have read the message.

Logging format

The logging of the inputs uses a ‘CSV’ file, the syntax of which includes the time of each entry and the various parameters being monitored. The logging now looks like the example below.

28-09-2018,11:29:34.71,&573E97E7FF,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,4593mV,04.98V, .00V, .00V,Man POn ,0
28-09-2018,11:29:49.57,&573E97EDCD,0,0,1,0,0,0,0,0,4587mV,04.98V, .00V, .00V,C,21675
28-09-2018,11:29:49.84,&573E97EDE8,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,4596mV,04.98V, .00V, .00V,c,238
28-09-2018,11:30:52.50,&573E980662,0,0,1,0,0,0,0,0,4593mV,04.98V, .00V, .00V,C,92043
28-09-2018,11:30:52.71,&573E980677,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,4596mV,04.98V, .00V, .00V,c,0
28-09-2018,11:31:29.20,&573E9814B8,0,0,1,0,0,0,0,0,4596mV, .00V,05.04V, .00V,C,53452
28-09-2018,11:31:31.42,&573E981596,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,4596mV, .00V,05.04V, .00V,c,3104
28-09-2018,11:33:46.94,&573E984A86,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0000mV, 0.00V, 0.00V, 0.00V,Quit,0
A download request will copy a log file for each of the last 60 days for which data are available onto a USB pen drive. It will archive previous days’ log entries as a record of what was extracted. Subsequent downloads will thus still capture full data for the current date. The example above shows log entries created by touching input ‘C’ with a wire connected to 0V with 5V applied to K or L. Times are in GMT.

Performing a log download

Place a USB pen drive in the USB socket, wait a few seconds for the presence of the drive to be recognised by the operating system and then press the ‘ON & INFO’ button. Log entries up to and including the current day will be downloaded, the data for the last 60 days being placed in separate files on the USB stick. Progress of the download will be shown on the OLED display and once reported complete the USB pen drive should be removed and the ‘ON & INFO’ button used to confirm this has been done, as prompted.

If an error message is shown on the OLED display (such as ‘disc drive is empty’) this can be recorded. The date and time at which the download was carried out and the date and time shown on the OLED display should also be recorded (so that any clock drift can be recorded).

A continuous log is stored on the internal 16GB SD card and historical data are archived on completion of any download (in case the pen drive is mislaid) with just the data for the current date retained in the accessible log.

Analysis of the data downloaded

Analysis of the data downloaded will be done in an Excel spreadsheet which will allow any abnormal operation to be examined in detail.


Daily logs are created when a download request is made, with dates, times and circuit activity recorded every 30min or at any change of state.

Power consumption

Although it cannot be seen with only an OLED display, a full desktop is being generated. With no HDMI display connected, power consumption drops from 550mA (excluding the display itself) to about 170mA so it is quite efficient.

Powerboost board

The ‘power booster’ board allows an internal 3.3V Lithium-Polymer battery to produce a 5.2V output and will use an external 5V power source to take over this rôle and charge the internal battery until fully charged. Switching on and off is controlled by an ‘ENABLE’ input.

A blue LED lights if power is being supplied to the computer. With the booster board output disabled, only a minimal current is drawn from the internal battery. A red LED lights if the internal battery becomes discharged below 3.2V (a diode is fitted to disable the output automatically). Fully discharging the internal battery is likely to damage it.

While the internal battery is being charged a yellow LED lights, turning green when it is fully charged. A small current drain to light the green LED to show a full charge seems enough to keep some power banks happy even whilst the unit is otherwise powered down.

This means the external source can be connected and disconnected without affecting the operation of the device except to extend battery life.

Analogue to digitial conversion

The ADC board is the 12 bit ADS 1015, by Adafruit, and it takes about 5cs to check all four voltages. I did try a 16 bit version but it took quite a bit longer to do the same sampling. I had also included the voltage sampling in the same block of code as that examining the eight GPIO pins for any state change. This meant that the unit was sampling at about 10Hz.

I realised that state changes of the GPIO pins needed to be monitored more frequently and voltages only really needed to be recorded at any state change. This improved the data sampling rate to 20Hz.

The next inspiration was that the OLED display was being updated each time there was a state change.

The OLED module keeps a sprite in memory which is updated line by line as text is written to the display drivers. Every so often, the display is updated via the IIC bus, which takes about 12cs.

There seemed no point in updating the OLED display more quickly than the eye could see so I held back updates if the display had been updated in the last 2s. The sampling rate rose to 1500Hz.

The Organic LED Display

The OLED display shows the active/inactive status of the eight inputs under the headings A to H under which an ‘X’ appears if the circuit concerned is active, updating every 30 mins or whenever any of the inputs changes state. The three voltages being monitored are also displayed, updating at the same time. Time and date is also shown, in GMT.

This continuous display allows the set up of the unit to be checked easily and the last recorded state change is displayed along with the precise time (to the nearest hundredth of a second) that it occurred.

Loss of power

Whilst the unit should continue operating in the event of a mains failure, it will shut down if its internal battery becomes exhausted and would, in that event, need to be restarted manually. Before doing so, the fact that mains power has been restored should be confirmed (a yellow or green LED indication on the powerboost board confirms that the internal battery is being charged).

The unit takes about 11s from power on to be functional and the real time clock is able to keep time whilst the unit is switched off by having its own 3V 70mAh coin cell. The unit will continue logging for about 17 hours after power has been removed after which it will shut down.

The ‘OFF’ button allows the unit to be shut down manually. The status of the ‘ON’ and ‘OFF’ buttons is held internally so that it can de determined which button was the last to be pressed.

Battery endurance

The internal rechargeable battery is monitored for state of charge each time any of the eight inputs changes state: it will show either ‘xx%’ (while power is off) or ‘chgng’ (whilst being charged). Below 3.2V it is discharged and the power boost board will force power off. The battery should last for 500 charge/discharge cycles.

If a keyboard, mouse and monitor are connected, then a multi-tasking graphical user interface will be displayed. Power consumption rises from 1W to about 3W with an HDMI display connected (excluding the power that the display itself requires). Direct WiFi access is not yet supported by RISC OS.

Power on/off

The ‘OFF’ button does not switch the unit off directly. Power is removed under software control so that corruption of the SD card, which could occur if power was removed whilst the log was being updated, is avoided.

Pressing the ‘OFF’ button will warn the user before removing power, as shown.

Provided that the unit has been operating for at least six seconds (enough time for the RISC OS desktop to start), the ‘off’ button will pull GPIO 26 low but do nothing else. The software will notice this, complete any logging and then do a system shutdown using the command SYS "TaskManager_Shutdown",162 which will shutdown all applications tidily and restart RISC OS. The effect of this is to update the CMOS ‘last time on’ setting and restart the ROM. As the ROM reinitialises, GPIO 4 becomes high impedance thus removing power.

Software update

A specially prepared USB pen drive may be used to update the software automatically or to extract archived data, but this is not a routine operation.

Silent errors

With a monitor using the HDMI output to display a desktop, any error that might be generated can be recorded, with its line number, and investigated. It is very frustrating to see the software ‘freeze’ and realise that an error message is being displayed but cannot be seen. If you simply plug in an HDMI display at that point, the computer will not send data to it as the HDMI system is not powered up. I therefore added an error display to the OLED drivers.

The finished unit clamps to a steel surface:

The finished unit.

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Categories: RISC OS

Supercomputing 2018, a conference for enterprise architects?

Theresa Miller - Tue, 11/06/2018 - 08:01

I’m in Barcelona for VMworld as the 2018 tech conference winds down, but I’m eager to attend Supercomputing next week in Dallas.  This conference has been around since 1988, and about 11,000 people attend. It is billed as the international conference for HPC (High Performance Computing), networking, storage, and analysis. That sounds like what most […]

The post Supercomputing 2018, a conference for enterprise architects? appeared first on 24x7ITConnection.

New - NetScaler Gateway (Maintenance Phase) 11.1 Build 60.13

Netscaler Gateway downloads - Mon, 11/05/2018 - 22:00
New downloads are available for Citrix Gateway
Categories: Citrix, Commercial, Downloads

New - NetScaler Gateway (Maintenance Phase) Plug-ins and Clients for Build 11.1-60.13

Netscaler Gateway downloads - Mon, 11/05/2018 - 22:00
New downloads are available for Citrix Gateway
Categories: Citrix, Commercial, Downloads

Laudation to E2EVC – Experts to Experts Virtualization Conference

Helge Klein - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 22:19

On the eve of my departure for E2EVC Athens I feel it is time for a laudation. Let me explain why.

Athens will be my 22nd E2EVC out of 40 events total. In the past eight years, I attended every single E2EVC event in Europe and the US. There is a reason for that, of course. It is certainly not an overabundance of time on my part or even wanderlust. It is simply the fact that E2EVC’s creator, Alex Cooper, has done the most remarkable thing. He single-handedly established the Citrix community in Europe (and helped along the greater end-user community quite a bit). That is a – very – significant achievement.

He single-handedly established the Citrix community in Europe

How did Alex do that? I am not sure how it started (because I was not around at the time). But I know why E2EVC has been by far the best conference for the past eight years: content and community. You could also rephrase it as “knowledge and networking”.

Great speakers almost guarantee great content, which in turn attracts attendees. But that is not all; Alex added a few clever twists. One, the conference is (mostly) on a weekend. This ensures that only the really passionate folks attend. Two, Alex organizes a community night out with food and drinks (often paid for by a sponsor). This brings people together. Three, Alex makes it easy to get a session slot (unlike almost every other conference). Many CTPs and MVPs learned the ropes at E2EVC, including myself.

The result is truly remarkable. I would guess that about 50% of attendees are regulars like myself while the other 50% are newbies or people that “hop on and off the bus”.

Taking a look at the content lined up for the Athens conference, we have sessions about topics and technologies from a broad range of end-user computing, cloud, virtualization and networking topics like the following (a selection):

  • Windows 10 VDI
  • Citrix App Layering automation
  • Windows Server 2019 Software-Defined Datacenter
  • Citrix Cloud on Azure
  • EUC: past, present and future
  • Citrix NetScaler automation
  • Workspace solutions in Azure
  • Web app UX monitoring with uberAgent
  • Containerization with Docker
  • MSIX for Enterprises
  • State of MDM
  • AMD datacenter GPUs for virtualization
  • Microsoft RDMi
  • Graphics acceleration update
  • Amazon AppStream and Amazon WorkSpaces
  • Security for EUC Admins
  • VMware Horizon in AWS
  • RES 2 Ivanti Workspace Manager

In addition to those 45-minute sessions, there are a number of 4-hour masterclasses on topics like:

What else is there to say? That E2EVC moves between cities that are attractive, affordable and easy to reach? That Alex personally operates an airport shuttle for attendees?

I am going to close this article with a big thanks to Alex and his team. Without them, I would not have met so many amazing people, I would not have learned so much, and I would have had far less fun doing so. In short: I would not be where I am today.

The post Laudation to E2EVC – Experts to Experts Virtualization Conference appeared first on Helge Klein.

October News Headlines

The Iconbar - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 12:30
Some things we noticed this month. What did you see?

R-Comp released a 6th version of their Monitor software, offering more screen modes for Titanium.

RISC OS Developments acquire Castle Technology. Expect lots of speculation on the Internet and some hard facts at the London Show.

Interesting article on Reading Manga on RISC OS on RISC OS blog.

The 10th London show. Read our report.

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Categories: RISC OS

Splunking the Aspect Ratio Distribution of National Flags

Helge Klein - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 21:04

When I tried to align the Union Jack and the flag of Germany on a presentation slide I noticed that I couldn’t – their aspect ratios are different. A quick search led me to this list of aspect ratios of national flags on Wikipedia. Apparently, national flags are far from standardized. A broad range of aspect ratios is being used. I decided to start a little fun project finding out which aspect ratios are most common.

Wikipedia Table to CSV

Wikipedia’s list comes as an HTML table. I would need the data as CSV for any kind of further processing. As it turns out, there is a website for exactly that: Convert Wiki Tables to CSV. You feed it the URL of the Wikipedia page you are interested in and it converts any tables on said page to CSV.

Cleaning up the CSV

Ultimately I wanted to process the CSV data in Splunk because that is the analytics tool I know best. Before I imported the data into Splunk, however, I wanted to clean it up a little. For that, Excel seemed easiest. When you paste CSV into Excel it sadly is not smart enough to offer splitting it into multiple columns. But that is achieved easily enough with the Text to Columns function.

After I had split the comma-separated table fields into columns again, I noticed that the Ratio column had both the fraction and the decimal value, separated by a space, e.g., “2:3 (1.5)”. So I repeated the splitting procedure to move the decimal value into a new column I would then discard along with some other unnecessary columns. I was left with the two columns Country and Ratio.


Once I had saved the resulting data to a new CSV file I turned to Splunk. The easiest way to import a CSV file is the Add Data wizard which guides you through the process. I had the wizard create a new index national_flags for the data I was importing so as to have a dedicated container that would later be easy to identify and ultimately delete.

Once imported, I whipped up a quick SPL search to calculate the percentage of the 10 most common aspect ratios. When you are not totally new to Splunk these kinds of things are almost laughably easy, yet you always have full control over every aspect of the process. Here is what I used:

index=national_flags | top 10 Ratio | stats sum(percent) as Percent by Ratio | sort -Percent Explanation of the Search
Selects all data from the specified index
top 10 Ratio
Selects the 10 most common values of the field Ratio and adds a new field percent to every row
stats sum(percent) as Percent by Ratio
Groups percent (renamed to Percent) by Ratio. This is not strictly necessary but makes the visualization easier.
sort -Percent
Sort by the field Percent (descending)

The only thing left to do was to click Visualization for Splunk to generate the following chart:

Popular Aspect Ratios

Out of the 257 national flags in Wikipedia’s list by far the two most popular aspect ratios are 2:3 (~42%) and 1:2 (~33%). The third most popular aspect ratio, 3:5, is already as low as ~8%.

Data Table

For those interested, below is a table of the aspect ratio distribution. I created it by running the following Splunk search, exporting the results to CSV and converting it to HTML here.

index=national_flags | top 200 Ratio Aspect Ratio Distribution Table Ratio count percent 2:3 107 41.634241 1:2 84 32.684825 3:5 21 8.171206 5:8 6 2.334630 3:4 5 1.945525 10:19 4 1.556420 8:11 3 1.167315 7:10 2 0.778210 5:7 2 0.778210 4:7 2 0.778210 1:1 2 0.778210 ~1.618 1 0.389105 7:11 1 0.389105 6:7 1 0.389105 4:5 1 0.389105 28:37 1 0.389105 22:41 1 0.389105 2.6625:4 1 0.389105 2.338:3.608 1 0.389105 19:36 1 0.389105 18:25 1 0.389105 189:335 1 0.389105 17:26 1 0.389105 16:25 1 0.389105 15:22 1 0.389105 13:15 1 0.389105 11:28 1 0.389105 11:20 1 0.389105 11:18 1 0.389105 0.82 1 0.389105

The post Splunking the Aspect Ratio Distribution of National Flags appeared first on Helge Klein.

RISC OS London Show Report 2018

The Iconbar - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 15:30
The 10th London show took place at its regular venue on Saturday 27th October (St Giles Hotel - Feltham, London). It was a warm and sunny autumn day (always a good start). The bridge next to the Show was closed this year which made the journey more complex...

Numbers were up this year and lots of exciting news in the talks. There was a lot of buzz in the air over the Open sourcing of RISC OS.

The show was run as usual by ROUGOL and their army of helpers who did an excellent job of making everything work to time faultlessly.

There is a separate report for the talks and a show in pictures article. In this report we will focus on the stands and the actual event.

There was wide range of stands at the show, summarised below.

RISC OS Open ltd had its usual range of software and nice Titanium video running. Steve Revill was onhand to answer questions about the license changes recently announced.

Sine Nomine were walking people through the options on the new style editor for RiscOSM and answering questions on impact and their other software.

Softrock had its complete range of software, hardware cases for PI and free chocolates.

RPCemu had the latest release running various versions of RISC OS (up to 6) on several different spec PCs

3rd event had a large selection of music keyboards and other hardware for its AMCS sound sequencing software.

There were several stands running games and music on a range of BBC machines. Tricky gaming had some new games, BooBip had some hardware upgrades for BBC machines, ABUG had lots of machines to play with and there was also a Doomsday machine and to play with and also machines from the BBC media preservation project. Rob Coleman had his VideoNuLA card for BBC.

The charity stand had a large collection of stuff to riffle through for a bargain.

Drag'n'Drop has a new book of arcade games listing to add to its growing range which was all available on the stand. The autumn release of the magazine is due 'any day'.

Organizer had an updated version of the software of a stick and the recent 2.28 release. They were again asking for your ideas for new features you would like to see in the software.

Chris Hall had his hardware projects and family tree software. He had some new hardware to provide data logging and give realtime input.

Orpheus were talking about their recent success crowd-sourcing project. Richard Brown also had his RISC OS Developments hat on and able to update visitors on their purchase/relicensing of RISC OS as well as the bounties and Browser project. Sweets were also being given away.

Steve Fryatt had his free software (available on CD) and was showing Cashbook 1.40 (released in April).

Risky Robots had a selection of hardware robots on their stand.

RISC OS bits had the usual selection of interestingly named hardware including some very nice Pi cases.

Aemulor and Geminus were being demoed by Adrian Lees who was also talking about the new hardware acceleration.

Amcog games had their full range on show and were explaining how the software was created and put together.

Both R-Comp and CJE Micro's had their full ranges available. Details on what was new in the talks.

ROUGOL were giving details of upcoming meetings. Richard Brown is talking in November if you want to quiz him on recent events.

Archive were taking orders for the latest compilation and had a selection of recent editions to take away.

Steve Drain was explaining how to setup and use Basault and his other software and hardware projects.

Show in pictures article

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Categories: RISC OS

RISC OS London Show 2018 - Notes from the talks

The Iconbar - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 15:05
Here are my notes from the talks. Any mistakes or omissions are mine.

11.30 CJE Micro's
in addition to finishing his house, Chris has lots of RISC OS related stuff to share. Not actively involved but very supportive of license changes. CJE not planning to fork the OS. Mentions of lots of items:-
Interface to use USB mouse with old Archimedes machines.
Econet box which can create a small network for you.
New IDE interfaces for A3000 range machines. You can now use compact flash or SD cards. Also offers a neat way to add a new real-time clock if needed.
PiTop 2 available and running RISC OS. Better keyboard and screen. Good battery life
Hdmi 7inch and 10inch small monitors
More ports for pi zero
44 way ide to sd adapter

12.00 Sine Nomine
Since last year's big launch with contours. Data now available for much of Europe. Demo using Swiss data. Data from NASA released into public domain.
Contour display can be toggled and also configurable (ie range between each contour displayed).
Hillary has been very busy on style editor. Can highlight features from key on map and toggle what is displayed. Will be further enhancements in new releases (ie make it easy to set style on items not shown on map).
Increasing support for Internet services. Flickr now available and others being worked on. Helped by bounties for new modules resulting in new SSL support in RISC OS.
Update from last version to latest is 5 pounds.

14.00 RISC OS Developments
RISC OS has bought Castle IP and releasing software under Apache Open Source license.
Anyone can now use without any commercial restrictions and limits. Aim to increase usage. Already interest from taiwanese company as a result.
RISC OS developments have hired a marketing specialist to promote news.
Richard also revealed secret project from last year was to create a modern browser for RISC OS. Money has been raised. Delay on finding a programmer. None of the money raised for the Browser went on purchasing RISC OS. Browser will not run on Iyonix and older machines.
There is now a website at
Orpheus now have their crowd-funded power supply.

14.45 R-Comp
Recap on new features from Wakefield Show - Doom update, MessengerPro 8. 8.1 new at London Show - now checks email when it starts.
Outlined Impact of purchase of RISC OS. Only companies who bought licenses, RISC OS companies. Transforms view of how many companies see RISC OS in world with lots of ARM devices. Now a viable alternative for companies on global scale to run.

R-Comp working on getting RISC OS running on ARM laptop - one example of how Open sourcing OS. Not yet shipping, but you can express interest.

Demoed compact ARMx6 mini computer.

R-Comp has speeded up screen display on their machines with hardware graphics acceleration. It is a chargeable upgrade.

15.30 RISC OS Open ltd
RISC OS now open source and code now under Apache 2.0 license
3rd most popular license
"Free as in beer"
Not copyleft - less restrictive
Plays nicely with other OS code used in RISC OS already.
Risk code could be forked.
Issue of dev tools - need DDE which is 50 pounds and a barrier.
Currently being discussed inhouse
Need to simplify learning curve for source code.
Still using CVS
Idea of developer workshops and tutorial videos
Parts of code still not open source - binary blobs. 3 modules with no right to publish. Can : 1.Ignore 2.clean-room reimplement. 3. lawyers

In other news.
Back on NOOBS (Raspberry Pi)
Latest releases now on Beagle and Panda
New 5,000 bounty matching for rest of years.
Actively seeking corporate sponsors.
On Todo list:-
publish much clearer and more transparent roadmap
make DDE more accessible
make source more accessible (including CVS problem)
identify key items to migrate from Arm
Push bounties forward
Work with ROD on user experience
Work with third parties on new platforms

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Categories: RISC OS

RISC OS London Show 2018 - pictures

The Iconbar - Sat, 10/27/2018 - 15:00
Here is a selection of pictures to show you what the event was like.....

(Click on the thumbnails for the bigger image)

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Categories: RISC OS

New - Citrix Gateway (Feature Phase) 12.1 Build 49.23/49.37

Netscaler Gateway downloads - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 18:30
New downloads are available for Citrix Gateway
Categories: Citrix, Commercial, Downloads

Full Stack Monitoring of Microsoft 365 with eG Innovations announced at Ignite 2018

Theresa Miller - Thu, 10/25/2018 - 05:30

Amongst the many announcements at Microsoft Ignite 2018, one that caught my attention was a press release from eG Innovations. At Ignite 2018, eG Innovations has now introduced several new features to their enterprise monitoring solution for Microsoft 365 (M365). I was able to get a demo of the new capabilities, of which we will […]

The post Full Stack Monitoring of Microsoft 365 with eG Innovations announced at Ignite 2018 appeared first on 24x7ITConnection.

Creating an Application Crash Dump

Helge Klein - Wed, 10/24/2018 - 09:27
How to Create User Mode Crash Dump Files

If you experience application crashes you may be asked by support to create a crash dump file. Crash dumps are created automatically by Windows if the following registry key is present:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\LocalDumps

In order to help support troubleshoot your problem please do the following:

  1. Create the registry key LocalDumps if it is not present already.
  2. Reproduce the problem (i.e. make the application crash).
  3. Locate the crash dump file in %LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps. Note that if the crashing application runs under the System account, that resolves to C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\CrashDumps.
  4. Send the crash dump file to support.

This works on all versions of Windows beginning with Vista and Server 2008 (including Windows 7, Windows 10, Server 2016, Server 2019, etc.).

More information: Collecting User-Mode Dumps in Dev Center

The post Creating an Application Crash Dump appeared first on Helge Klein.

RISC OS source code to be relicensed under the Apache open source license

The Iconbar - Mon, 10/22/2018 - 20:40
Hot on the heals of the reveal that RISC OS Developments had acquired Castle Technology and with it the rights to RISC OS 5, more news on the future of RISC OS has emerged this week: RISC OS Developments are working with RISC OS Open to relicense RISC OS under the Apache 2.0 License, a popular and fairly permissive open-source license.

Although some the OS's components were already available under permissive open-source licenses such as the BSD and CDDL licenses, ever since RISC OS Open's inception the primary license has been the Castle License, which came in commercial and non-commercial flavours, neither of which satisfied all of the requirements that the OSI deem necessary in order for the code released under that license to be considered "true" open source. So although the "shared source" Castle License was better than nothing and certainly played a big part in RISC OS's survival post-Iyonix, many people have also felt that it's been holding the platform back. ROOL and ROD hope that by relicensing the OS under this new license, developer and user interest in the OS will increase, and the OS will be kept free to grow and evolve into the next decade and beyond.

More information about what this means for RISC OS and what ROD's and ROOL's plans for the future of RISC OS are will be released at the London Show this weekend.

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