Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review: HumHub Social Network



"HumHub is a free social network software and framework built to give you the tools to make teamwork easy and successful.

It's lightweight, powerful and comes with an user-friendly interface. With HumHub you can create your own customized social network, social intranet or huge social enterprise application that really fits your needs."


When we lapsed our Saleforces licences, the Chatter facility went, too. What we needed was an IM replacement for internal use. Very few fitted our constraints.

It had to be:

Sunday, 25 January 2015

How-to: Code of Conduct and Community Rules for the Forum



"Where would we be if we didn't have rules? France. Where would we be if we had too many rules? Germany."
- Al Murray, the Pub Landlord.

Our current forum has been running just over a year and I realised only this week, there was no formal Code of Conduct and Community Rules. Fortunately, we have a considerate, polite, but small number of engaged users, so this hasn't been a problem. But there may come the unruly day when someone decides not to play nice with the other kids.

Friday, 23 January 2015

How-to: A New CRM


[NOTE: some of what follows is actually true. Some is invented for the case study. You can decide which...]

Sometime last year, the current client got serious about the need for a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Having jumped at Salesforce without really having the skills or the vision to implement it properly, and despite two project re-starts, it had fallen by the wayside.

So we went through the exercise of deciding 'what next': a third restart, to get it right? Buy in another commercial package, go Open Source, or build something in-house?

Trouble is, everyone already knew the answer was '42' but didn't necessarily know what the question was...

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How-to: Enable Cookies and Javascript


It goes against the grain, it really does; but sometimes, there is no alternative, some websites just insist on Javascript and cookies in order to work properly - sometimes to work at all.

Which is fine, no one forces you to sacrifice your privacy and security any more then they force you to step off the kerb to cross the street. My beef is that the options to do this are all tucked away in different places in different browsers. And don't get me started on the movable feast of browser versions.

So, as much of a mental note as anything ...

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Opinion: A Dangerous Proposition


And for once, not my opinion, but Cory Doctorow over on Boing Boing, which I simply had to highlight: 'What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry.'

An essential item, from the very opening 'David Cameron says there should be no "means of communication" which "we cannot read."'

I give you Doctorow's logical summary of the PM's programme.

 This, then, is what David Cameron is proposing:

How-to: Help! My IP address has been hacked!


Tool - Hacksaw - Evan Amos, Public Domain That was a genuine call for help recently, a friend-of-a-friend thing where I happened to be the closest thing to an IT expert they knew.

Rather than contemptuously asking "what do you mean your IP address has been hacked" my first question was - what are the symptoms, how do they know they've been 'hacked'? This covers a multitude of sins, very few of which have to do with a discoverable fixed IP address.

And at risk of boring everybody with another Security-101, I'm going to outline my first thoughts.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

How-to: Maintain a good e-mail server reputation


Reputation management

If you recall, we were having trouble with outbound emails from our event management application, and I described measures around Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records to make us look a little more trustworthy. Only I dived right into SPF without covering some of the basics.

Well, we're still having trouble with Hotmail/Outlook.com just swallowing, not even bouncing or marking as spam, our outbound mails to clients. So, it's back to server reputation management to see what more can be done.