Immersive Simulation or Haptic…

Had a really interesting chat today with

WMG is really enjoying getting stuck into trialling Immersive media, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality. But it’s coming with challenges that we’re all aware of

  • Cost
  • 3D models and worlds
  • Time for setting up equipment
  • Coders
  • Linking the learning to a LMS platform
  • Sea sickness

But the chap from Monash has a really intersting slant on Immersive. Since children, we’re been using our imignation to fill out our world with sticks, toy cars and dress-up boxes. Why not follow that journey and start developing Haptic simulations instead?

For clinical assessments, a manaquin with a camera and speaker in them. Maybe a chat bot responding to them in the real world. However… allow the learner’s imagination to fill in the blanks and sign up to their own story contract to take them into the world. It’s cheaper and involves so much less cost.

Lazy Loading a Laravel Model relationship through a repository

If your Laravel Model needs access to repository for pulling relationship data, think again.

It’s the wrong way round, don’t do it. Your models need access to data without any N+1 issues from using Lazy load. So if you need to merge some data streams and return a collection, rather than use a repo call to access each stream object; Create a view table which `Union ALL`’s the data various models. Then the model can have lazy load access to all the things you need, and the laravel commands, `->with()` or `->load()` can work without slowing it all down

The Rurbric for Digital Handins

What does the Rurbric look like for a digital hand-in with no specified medium of hand-in..?

If it’s ok to hand in a Twitter Stories wall, video, pdf, PPT, IOS Game, Website, chatbot…

I know it’s really un-realistic, and students shouldn’t be handing in things that aren’t going to get the points (otherwise, what’s the point) but I did just wonder. I suppose the medium doesn’t matter, as long as it’s going to get the marks and express / show the learning and effort.

But then, when is a Twitter Stories wall ok?

Paying the Mac “Tax”

Paying the Mac Tax, or “should I buy our developers Macs or cheaper PCs?”.

Often the idea of buying staff an Apple Mac’s for work seems like a poor business decision. It’s expensive and surely nothing more than “pretty thing”. Doesn’t everything work on Windows anyway right? You can hear it in your mind saying, “how much! Just use a PC, all you want to do is look fancy for an extra £grand”

And that’s fair enough because on the surface the “Mac tax” doesn’t seem worth it for a shiny computer that no one really knows how to use right?


However twist your mind round to this for a second, for your accountants, they work best in a full Microsoft Office Excel package or Sage Accounting right? When they joined you gave them a spreadsheet you once made four years ago, a keyboard with Arabic numbers in a different order and an abacus on the side, would you expect them to work at their full capacity? Would you expect quality output? Would you expect them to enjoy their work? Nope. Nope, you wouldn’t, and it doesn’t make business sense.

..put them on a Windows PC you’re already giving them compatibility issues (and devs have enough trouble with that already :P)

I’m afraid, this situation is the same as not buying a Mac for your staff. A lot of the work they’re probably going to be doing for LAMP stack will be Linux based, but to put them on a Windows PC you’re already giving them compatibility issues. But if you put them in the same operating system ecosphere you start to reap actual benefits of coding in the same environment. Mac apps have access to a multitude of our “menu reduced” development solutions. A lot of the apps are exceptionally cheap (like iOS App Store prices), a lot of the apps are more often than not, free to use and open source… built on Linux (not Windows).

Also, be honest with yourself, how often do to start restart your Windows device? Honestly your Mac doesn’t need that, once a month if that.

You are effectively paying to slow your staff down #falseEconomy

I know you may feel more comfortable and productive with Windows, but be brave. You wouldn’t give your new accountant an abacus, don’t give your developers a Windows PC.

It’s slightly ironic, because Apple are massive Tax Dodgers. But this is more to do with should we get our dev a Mac or Windows?

First thoughts on Amy (x dot aiiiii)

Last week I was part of the lucky few to get onto Amy’s good list. I made it to the automated personal assistant free account and she happily just set about handling her first meeting.

So how’d it go? Over-all it was great, and sooooo close…… The on-boarding was real easy. The instructions are REALLY clear and the start of the process was easy. Also, the real test, both participants made it to the meeting.

But right near the event, here’s where it went slightly off the rails. My colleague. helpfully emailed over his phone number, just in-case I got lost or needed a hand. Amy however, she auto-resent out a new invite to everyone updating the meeting from a “Meet in person” to a “Call” eeek.


Because I’m not a total truster of new tech I only let Amy book up a simple meeting with one person who I know, however if this was for a few people and in the last minute it tried to re-arrange something that could have been a problem.

I wonder if Amy could have a “1 hour to meeting *lock*”, where the ususal flurry of emails from anyone but the organiser will ask permission to change the details rather than straight away sending out 10 new invites and changing the scope of the meet. That or improved understanding of people sending their phone number just to be helper.

Now I know it’s naughty only posting stuff when it doesn’t work, but I hope you’ll see from this that I really like so far, and a tweak would make it less panicy.

Thoughts on Labour in #GE17

Here’s a dump of thoughts on Labour right now. I’ve taken my first step on being active to help out, but thought I’d write up my thoughts quickly on the state of play. More notes for myself than useful

  1. Crap. We didn’t get the Midlands. I helped, and apparently didn’t help enough. We’ve all had a “dry run” and whoops, we didn’t do well. How can we mobilise more Labour peeps to do stuff? The “sign up to a campaign near you” is a bit heavy for some of us. Not everyone feels comfortable in social situations. Not everyone feels prepared to sell Labour on the door steps. Can someone make a list of actions please for Labour introverts… My leafleting was pretty good for that…

2. Labour’s #GE17 policies are being knocked out the park, well done. But there’s a quad-partide of things to balance here.

  1. How will the party action / manage #Brexit? What plan / result do we have?
  2. What awesome GE policies do you have?
  3. Can someone take the micky out of Corbyn leaving please, he’s not. But for charity he needs to pretend to do something so it moves the conversation on.
  4. MONEY. How do we sell trusting Labour with cash cash cash.

4. Using cool tech to grab attention and skip showing what the news channels only want to show.

  • Can we get Corbyn into the hands of the people? Can we attach a BlippAr thing to our leaflets please, so a bit like Leia in StarWars, leaflet openers get to see Corbyn talking and pumped up. Explaining to people why he’s awesome. We skip the news channels then, and get Corbyn into the hands of the people using a fun tech.
  • Can we re-record the same thing to get Corbyn into a 360 video on YT?
  • Can we re-record it and get him in a Google Cardboard thing talking?
  • Can he do a day in the life of Corbyn Instagram Stories thing, I’d love to see people chatting with him and him selling the good stuff

Anyway, it’s just thoughts. Comment and trash away 😀

gitlab CI fail 128 and how to solve it

If you are seeing this, then it means an earlier test has spannered out so bad that it’s now preventing other tests from working.

This quickest way to un-block it is… ssh into the runner and delete the .git/index.lock! Then re-run and it should all clear out.


fatal: Unable to create '/home/admin/tmp/builds/runner-XXX/.git/index.lock': File exists.

If no other git process is currently running, this probably means a
git process crashed in this repository earlier. Make sure no other git
process is running and remove the file manually to continue.

Build failed with exit status 128]