Using the Esc key to close mail messages in Outlook on Mac

Being a Windows native as well as a legacy Outlook user, I have always struggled on how to get the Esc key to work to close Outlook messages just like on Windows. Here’s how:

  • Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts> App Shortcuts
  • Click +
  • Application: Microsoft Outlook.app
  • Menu Title: Close
  • Click: fn + ESC

 

Agile Alliance Elects 2017 Board of Directors (and I am one of them!)

Agile AllianceI was honoured to be elected to the Agile Alliance Board of Directors at the recent Agile 2016 conference in Atlanta. My term commences in January 2017. I have always been a supporter of the many initiatives that are run by the Agile Alliance and I am looking forward to continuing the great work of building the Agile community.

This is the press release from the Agile Alliance:

Slate overwhelmingly approved at annual member meeting during Agile2016 conference

Portland, Ore, August 4, 2016 — Agile Alliance, a global nonprofit organization committed to advancing Agile development principles and practices, today announced that it has overwhelmingly approved the slate of candidates put forth for the 2017 Board of Directors. The board — comprised of Agile thought leaders from a variety of backgrounds — shares its passion to deliver software better every day with Agile professionals around the world.

Results for the 2017 election were reported to the Agile Alliance membership by Board Secretary Shane Hastie at the annual membership meeting held July 27 at Agile2016, the organization’s annual North American conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Agile Alliance membership elected three members to two-year terms on the Board of Directors – Juan Banda (Bolivia) was re-elected, and Ellen Grove (Canada) and Craig Smith (Australia) were newly-elected. All three will assume their board seats on January 1, 2017.

  • Juan Banda founded Percella, an Agile consulting and training company headquartered in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He is passionate about serving his team, clients and community by building beautifully crafted software. Banda has served on the board since 2013.
  • Ellen Grove hails from Canada. She is an Agile coach and trainer at Agile Partnership in Montreal where she helps teams to do better work by coaching them to create the circumstance in which they can work most productively and effectively.
  • Craig Smith is an Agile coach and director at Unbound DNA, a consulting company in Brisbane, Australia. An Agile practitioner for more than ten years, he is one of his country’s heaviest contributors to the local Agile community. Craig was on the program team for last year’s Agile Alliance Technical Conference.

 

Other 2017 board members include Rebecca Parsons (Chair, USA), Linda Cook (Treasurer, USA), Declan Whelan (Canada), Stephanie Davis (USA), Victor Hugo Germano (Brazil), Paul Hammond (England), and Phil Brock (Managing Director, USA). The board wishes to thank outgoing members Ola Ellnestam (Sweden) and Shane Hastie (Secretary, New Zealand) for their years of service in furthering Agile Alliance’s goals.

About Agile Alliance

Agile Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the concepts of Agile software development as outlined in the Agile Manifesto. With nearly 33,000 members and subscribers around the globe, Agile Alliance is driven by the principles of Agile methodologies and the value delivered to developers, organizations and end users. Agile Alliance organizes the annual North American Agile20xx Conference, the industry’s premier event that attracts practitioners, academia, business and vendor-partner community members worldwide.

Media Contact

Pam Dyer
Marketing Chief, Agile Alliance

This was my candidate statement for the slate:

Craig Smith (Australia)

I have been active in the IT industry for over 20 years covering many roles within software development and testing lifecycle. I have been an Agile practitioner for over 10 years as an Agile Coach and accredited trainer. I am an organiser of the Agile Brisbane Meetup Group, a long-term advisor to the Agile Australia conference, director of the YOW! development conference in Australia, co-host of the Agile Revolution podcast and an Agile Editor for InfoQ, I have contributed to a large number international conferences as both a speaker as well as behind the scenes in numerous program committee roles. I have spent many years contributing to the growth of the Agile community in Australia with a primary aim of helping teams deliver quality outcomes.

The role of the Agile Alliance is to support those who explore and apply Agile principles and practices to make the software industry productive, humane, and sustainable. I believe that we need to continue to encourage new and innovative ways to help the worldwide Agile community grow whilst helping spread the values, principles and practices to other disciplines that wish to learn and adapt approaches to agility in their respective domains.

Agile has continuous improvement at its heart and a core challenge for the Agile Alliance is to bring the combination of process and technical practices closer together whilst looking further left and right to the upstream business and downstream users. As a board member, I hope to represent the thoughts and direction of the worldwide Agile community in all of its forms and continue to ensure that the original values and principals are upheld.

Social Good and Flying Robots

YOW-Nights_Logo_stackedAt the recent YOW! Night in Melbourne (as well and Sydney and Brisbane), Daryl Wilding-McBride (the CTO of DiUS) presented “What I Learned while Teaching Kids at Flying Robot School”. It was an interesting story on the importance of social good for those of us in the technical space.

  • Waking hours capacity – families, hobbies, paid work, unpaid work
  • Not all work has equal social impact – pays the bills > interesting > impactful > worthwhile
  • Worthwhile work creates a legacy and passes the BBQ test (something you are proud to convey and recognised as value by the other person)
  • 80000hours.org – the average hours you have from university to retirement, help you decide how to spend that time and be effective
  • William MacAskill “Doing Good Better” – how do you know your social impact is not being wasted – doing good, lean
  • Dimensions for measuring social impact – scale, neglectedness, tractability, personal fit
  • A lot of untapped potential in rural areas
  • Interest in science and maths drops considerably between year 6 and year 9
  • Number of girls continuing with maths after year 10 – 21% drop out, and for boys and girls the percentage has tripled over the last 10 years
  • Flying Robot School – started 2014, overcome barriers for rural schools, free program to lower barrier of entry, blend of technologists and teachers
  • Drones are not only fun but are a self contained package that cuts across science, maths and technology
  • Had lofty goals on topics to teach, but had to prioritise to mix theory and practice
  • Other social outlets – Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK), Code Club, FIRST Robotics, NodeBots, Robogals
  • We have an obligation as technologists to make things better

Repairing a Corrupted Mac OSX ExFAT Partition

ExFATI run a MacBook Pro Retina (late 2013) and on my 512GB hard drive I have 3 partitions

  • 150GB Mac OSX partition (currently running Mavericks)
  • 150GB Windows 8.1 partition (via Bootcamp)
  • 200GB data parition (formatted with ExFAT)

I chose an ExFAT partition so I could read and write to the data partition from either the OSX or the Windows partition as I use each operating system a similar amount. I had planned to install VMWare fusion at some point to avoid the dual boot, but haven’t sone so due to some licencing issues with some software on my Windows partition that I uncovered in the trial.

Recently I was travelling and was doing some editing for my podcast on the plane. I also inadvertantly moved and deleted some files. The next morning I woke up to deliver a workshop to find that my data partition was missing. Windows reported that the drive needed to be formatted and Mac OSX reported that the drive was corrupt. On either operating system, the relevant disk utilities were unable to fix the issue.

It appears that ExFAT partitions are not well supported in OSX, particularly if you delete files. Unfortunately due to Windows and Mac not playing nicely from a read/write perspective, neither HFS or NTFS are an option for this drive either.

A bunch of articles seemed to indicate that CHKDSK /F on the volume should fix it, but given the fact that Windows was reporting the partition needed to be formatted, this fix was not valid in this circumstance. After searching the web for numerous reports and fixes (and tearing my hair out with worry in the process), I finally stumbled on an article that led to a simple solution of a terminal command:

sudo fsck_exfat -d disk0s4

where diskos4 is your ExFAT partition.

It then asks:

Main boot region needs to be updated. Yes/No?

to which you reply Yes. You can then run repair in the OSX Disk Utility and the partition should be restored!

Easy fix, but baffles me why ExFAT and NTFS support is so bad on Mac OSX.

Repairing Outlook 2010 Auto Complete Cache

Outlook2010The auto complete cache in Outlook remembers all of the addresses that you have emailed and auto completes them when you enter an email address into the To: (or CC: or BCC:) field in Outlook. There are numerous fixes around on the web, but this one sorted the issue for me today on a stubborn Windows 7 machine with Outlook 2010 installed (with Google App Sync).

  1. Close Outlook and go to %localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook\ and rename RoamCache to old_RoamCache
  2. Restart Outlook using the command line switch /cleanautocompletecache (“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\Outlook.exe” /cleanautocompletecache). This will rebuild the autocomplete cache.

These steps are based on an article at Spiceworks here: http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/show/16443-repair-autocomplete-cache-in-outlook-2010. The second step was missing in the official Microsoft article.

2013 WordPress Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Three A’s of Awesome

TEDHere is a highly inspirational talk on TED from Neil Pasricha, the author the 1,000 Awesome Things website.

His three A’s of Awesome are:

  • Attitude – life never goes to plan, but whatever life deals us we need to grieve and then face the future, take baby steps and move on
  • Awareness – embrace your inner three year old and see the world as if you are seeing it for the first time
  • Authenticity – be you and be cool with it, follow your heart and put in yourself in situations that you love

Derek Sivers on TED

TEDWatched a couple of short, unrelated videos on TED today from entrepreneur Derek Sivers.

When starting a movement, it takes a leader but the first follower is actually an underestimated form of leadership in itself. … The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader! There job is to make it OK for others to join and to make it more safe.

Whatever brilliant ideas you may have or hear, the opposite may also be true. He gives the example of naming streets in Western culture, but blocks in Japan and how eastern doctors get paid for keeping you healthy, not treating you when you are sick.

Keep your goals to yourself because telling someone your goal makes it less likely to happen.