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New iOS releases TrafficCamNZ and Missile Control NZ 14 January 2019

Posted by David Wilson in General.
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New releases of the iOS applications TrafficCamNZ and Missile Control NZ have been released for sale in the iOS AppStore. Check for updates on your iOS device.

Missile Control NZ
– this is an iOS compatibility release to allow the application to run on the latest Operating System versions.

– Fixes an error on iPad when using the Chooser to add a camera
– Fixes a crash that sometimes occurs when data is synced across devices through iCloud

– David


Power Query (Power BI) and SharePoint Lists 2 January 2019

Posted by David Wilson in General.
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via Power Query (Power BI) and SharePoint Lists

Power Query (Power BI) and SharePoint Lists 2 January 2019

Posted by David Wilson in General.
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Time off work and some quiet time to experiment with SharePoint Lists. I’ve made extensive use of them as a data store which is working well although somewhat hostile for users at times… So the idea with this experimentation is to demonstrate how to expand data in Power Query (for Power BI) particularly with attributes on User type records… and as I have discovered for some reason it has caused me problems at the starting point which may be related to [ApiVersion].

Let’s take a look. Here is my List (you can see I’ve populated it with three rows of data), followed by the list definition.

Next step is to import the SharePoint List into Power BI and take a look at it in Power Query.

You can see the Logo field is of type record. Clicking in the icon to the top right of the field gives you an option to expand the record into Description and URL fields. Doing so will replace the Logo field with Logo.Description and Logo.Url fields. You can retain the original column by duplicating it if you need.

One of my defined fields is “Who”. It’s of type Person or Group and can be populated with Active Directory users – this is really great as you get some data quality control.

You should be able to click in the cell where it says “Table” and have details of those rows explored in a split screen below. However doing so I get the following error… and it might be a bug?

DataSource.Error: SharePoint: Request failed: The remote server returned an error: (500) Internal Server Error. (Specified method is not supported.)

Error Message:
Argument should not be zero.
Parameter name: width

Google searches have not been helpful. Until I found this article:
Where it refers to ApiVersion… and as I’m only testing there’s no harm in seeing what happens…

Here’s my M code before:
Source = SharePoint.Tables(“https://wgtnpowerbi.sharepoint.com/sites/WellingtonPowerBi/“, [ApiVersion = 15]),
#”0cec4993-754c-4330-a963-00bba4fa654a” = Source{[Id=”0cec4993-754c-4330-a963-00bba4fa654a”]}[Items]

Here’s my M code after, where the only thing I have changed is the ApiVersion:
Source = SharePoint.Tables(“https://wgtnpowerbi.sharepoint.com/sites/WellingtonPowerBi/“, [ApiVersion = 14]),
#”0cec4993-754c-4330-a963-00bba4fa654a” = Source{[Id=”0cec4993-754c-4330-a963-00bba4fa654a”]}[Items]

After making this change I did have to delete all of the applied Steps, go back to Source and choose my list.

And now when I click on the first cell in the Who field I’m getting what I expect along with the ability to expand the Table into it’s attributes:

When you expand the table additional rows are created in the main table to handle the multiple records in the table within the field.

That’s just a little bit of experimentation.

I suspect the error reported above in ApiVersion = 15 is actually a bug. To confirm I am using Windows 10 and Power BI December 2018.
For the record I have reported the issue via the Report Issue button as captured in the image above.

– David

TrafficCamNZ – News 19 September 2018

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An iOS 12 compatibility release has been submitted to the AppStore for approval. All going well it will be available for distribution in a day or so.

In addition, there is a datafile update for TrafficCamNZ – this file adds 39 cameras for New Zealand c/- NZTA (Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington).

And… In further testing I’ve been working on a couple of issues that can cause the program to crash under rare circumstances (for one of them you have to be using it on an iPad). I need to do some more testing with the fix and will hopefully submit another release for approval in a few days time.

UPDATE: Approved and Released – 20 Sep 2018 2030 NZDT

– David

Moments v1.1 has been released in the macOS AppStore 15 August 2018

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Moments, your event Photo Booth software for macOS, has been updated to include support for macOS 10.11

It’s available for download here: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/moments/id1194414752?mt=12

– David

pfsense 2.4 – running in a Parallels VM 26 April 2018

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I’ve got pfsense version 2.4 running in a Parallels VM!

Because I can!

I did it really because I wanted to check out the GUI in version 2.4. I also did it as a challenge to see what I needed to do in Parallels to setup a VM with more than the default virtual interface.

Installation is actually easy. Download the .iso file from the pfsense web site. Select the AMD architecture.

Decompress the .gz download so that you just hav the .iso file.

Before creating the new VM, you need to configure the interfaces in Parallels.

You can see the Host-Only #2 network. We will be using that as our LAN interface.
You can see the Shared network, we’ll be using that as our WAN interface.
Take a note of the IP Address range.

When you build the VM, you’ll need to assign an additional network adapter.

Note that Network 1 has it’s source network as Shared Network
Network 2 is assigned to the source network of Host-Only #2

Install and build your VM. You may need to stop and start to assign the second network adapter.
See in my screen shot below note the IP addresses assigned.
You will need to add the interfaces and set the IP addresses.

The LAN IP address is .3 as the Mac itself is .2

Access is via Safari on your Mac and in my case is simply

Have fun.

– David

Intuitive data analysis 11 March 2018

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Does your data presentation allow for it to be interpreted intuitively or easily analysed easily to deprive interesting facts? Does the presentation keep your readers/users engaged and wanting more? How you present data can spark interest and questions or turn off your audience all together.

During the KeyNote presentation at the Difinity Conference (http://difinity.co.nz/) in Auckland during February Siva Harinath from Microsoft presented some sample New Zealand data with Microsoft Power BI (https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/) that you could instantly see value and made you want to explore. I set myself an exercise to reproduce the visualisation in Power BI. The output is shown below.

The end of this article contains details on the data source, you can download this yourself and experiment. Microsoft Power BI is also free to download and use on your Windows PC.

Power BI’s interactive features allow you to filter and slice the data in order to help you derive value. For instance selecting one name, David, as shown below changes the graph to the right to show that David was most popular around 1963. The Power BI interface is easy to drive, you can narrow down the time frame using the filters on the left hand side of the page, select only Male or Female, and then further filter on names.

Adding value to data interpretation. When I first setup this visualisation the horizontal bar graph in the middle of the page was sorted by name. It turns out that this simple presentation means it is difficult to explore the data in any meaningful way. Typically you want to explore the most popular names. To be fair the top 10 most popular names are shown in the tree map in the bottom right of the page. I felt that having the horizontal bar chart sorted by the count of most popular names provided significantly more value.

You can further enhance the visualisation by adding a text search filter on name, for now that filter has to be downloaded from the Power BI store (at no cost). Additionally using the time slicer can help make some aspects of visualisation easier to drive.

While Power BI does allow you to very quickly put up a graphs and filters… put some serious consideration into how your users will consume the data.

  • Who will use it?
  • What will they use it for?
  • How will they use it?
  • Can you present the data in such a way that will allow your users to analyse and explore?

I would be interested in seeing your visualisations in Power BI on this data set. How can you maximise the value in this data set?

About the Data. This data is sourced from the New Zealand Government c/- data.govt.nz specifically here: https://catalogue.data.govt.nz/dataset?q=baby+names – If you are going to try this yourself, make sure you download the CSV file.
As the page says “This data set lists the sex and number of birth registrations for each first name, from 1900 onward.”. This is a simple data set that will import into Power BI without any additional data manipulation steps. You can then quickly get started working on the visualisation.

David Wilson

TrafficCamNZ update for iPhone X 2 December 2017

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This update will be available via the AppStore soon. [Note this update has been released, along with 1.9.13 which includes a fix for iPad image position on the main screen].

Version 1.9.12.
Adds support for iPhone X.

Landscape goes edge to edge.

There’s a new preference setting to reduce the size of the image so that it comes in under the iPhone X safe areas.

And when that setting is on, the images are letterboxed.

– David

TrafficCamNZ Update v1.9.11 8 October 2017

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There’s a new version on it’s way… and will be available shortly.

View on App Store

In this version (1.9.11)

This is a maintenance release that has been largely internally focused. The changes removed code, complicated routines, and quite possibly errors that could have resulted in the odd crash or two. Now it is cleaner and is no where near as complicated. Here is a bit of a summary of the changes:

● Internal changes that improve the reliability when a datafile update is processed
● Internal changes that improve the reliability when deleting cameras
● Internal changes switching from NIB files to Storyboards – this was a big change which should provide more reliabilty and stability
● Improvements to the Map Tab – when you select the Map Tab, and you have allowed your location to be detected, the map will move to you location to show you the cameras around you. In addition there is a handy button on the botton right of the screen to zoom to your location if you move away.
● First time user experience is improved again
● Quite possibly some new icons in a number of places and at x3 resolution too!
● Search bars on the camera list screens work in a much nicer interface way now.
● iOS 11 update

– David

It’s ALIVE 4 May 2017

Posted by David Wilson in General.

It’s been some time since this was last working on recent operating systems.
The good news is that it’s alive and again controlling launchers on MacOS Sierra.
First real test has been successful.

There’s a little way to go before I can think about a release…

– David