Windows 10 Lock Screen Timeout

Been getting rather annoyed with Windows 10 logging me out after just 60 seconds of inactivity! After searching for a setting to control this feature I find that the only way to do it is via a registry hack! Once the registry setting is changed a new Display option called ‘Console lock display off time-out’ magically appears in Power Settings…

Console lock display off time-out


Microsoft Word (2016) Language Settings

Ever since I upgraded to Windows 10 / Word 2016 I’ve had the odd Word document that insisted on applying English (US) spell checking even though the default language is set to English (UK)! Finally got to the bottom of it thanks to this thread in Microsoft’s Word forum:

In a nutshell from the ‘Review’ menu you need to select ‘Language’, ‘Set Proofing Language’ and then select ‘English (United Kingdom)’ and de-select ‘Detect language automatically’ in the check box:

Word Language Settings

The above settings should cover new documents and new text inserted, however for old documents particularly those where text has been copied from the internet or other foreign sources it may be necessary to select all text (ie CTRL-A) and then repeat the above settings. NB Potentially every single character in a Word document can have a different proof language setting!

ASCII Code Keyboard Shortcut

Just stumbled across this great keyboard shortcut. If you want to insert a character by it’s ASCII code or just want to instantly check which character is stored under an ASCII code then all you need to do is hold down the ALT key, type the ASCII code on the numeric keypad, let go of the ALT key and the character will appear! For example hold down the ALT key, type 88, let go of the ALT key and ‘X’ will appear.

Just make sure that the NUM LOCK is off…

SSMS Intellisense Refresh

Ever created a new database table, gone to run a query against it and got an ‘Invalid Object Type’ error? This one has caught me out on more than one occasion! The new table will also be underlined in red in the query window as if it does not exist.

The solution is easy – From the Edit Menu select ‘IntelliSense’, ‘Refresh Local Cache’.

IntelliSense Refresh Local Cache.png

Agile MK Meetup : Muhammad Meghji – “Practising Mindfulness in an Agile Environment”

As the title for a Meetup talk this one really stood out as something a bit different and having met Muhammad at Agile Northants a couple of times I knew this was going to be well worth a trip over to MK…

Practising Mindfulness in an Agile Environment with Muhammad Meghji

Monday, Feb 19, 2018, 6:00 PM

Precedent Drive, Bradwell Common, Milton Keynes MK13 8PP, GB

47 Members Went

Mindfulness is a natural capacity present in all of us to some extent, and involves paying purposeful attention to our daily experiences. When mindfulness becomes a shared social practice in an organisation, and permeates routines, processes and practices between people and across teams, then the organisation as a whole becomes more resilient and p…

Check out this Meetup →

Must admit I didn’t really know an awful lot about “mindfulness” prior to the talk other than that it was something to do with awareness and had some links to meditation. Muhammad explained that it was about being present in the moment and being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them. In a nutshell it is about observing your own thoughts, letting them come to fruition and allowing the negative ones such as anger or frustration to leave whilst holding on to more positive thoughts and feelings.

So how does all that relate to Agile? Well Muhammad explained that prioritisation is a mindful activity because we are focusing in on what is most important in the now and what will return the most value. Agile like mindfulness is all about the present moment, about accepting that change is inevitable and about showing empathy to others such as stakeholders. Also one of the primary functions of the Scrum Master is to ensure that the focus of the team remains on the task in hand and does not wonder which has parallels to the practice of mindfulness ie staying in the moment.

Muhammad went on to give some practical examples around the use of mindfulness in everyday work scenarios such as conflict resolution, face to face communications and getting the most out of meetings.

Couple of quotes that I found really insightful:

  • “The only certainty we have is in the present moment.”
  • “Respond to change. Don’t react to change.”
  • “What do we need to do NOW?”

This talk had some very original content and was well worth attending. At the end Muhammad even got the group to have a go at some meditation. Not something I ever thought I would do at an Agile Meetup!

Scrum Links – PSM1 Certification

So I’ve been collecting a bunch of links for Scrum, in particular for taking the PSM1 certification @ By far the most important resources in my opinion are “The Scrum Guide” closely followed by the Scrum Master Open Assessment…

1. The Scrum Guide

2. Scrum Master Open Assessment (PSM I)

3. Professional Scrum Master PSM I Assessment

4. Scrum Glossary

5. Simon Kneafsey’s Guide to Passing PSM I

5b. Simon Kneafsey’s PSM I Practice assessment (20 questions in 15 mins)

6. forums


7. Scrum – A Pocked Guide by Gunther Verheyen

8. Suggested Reading for Professional Scrum Master

9. Ways to Learn Scrum

10. Pocket Guide 99p

11a. Mikhail Lapshin’s Blog Post

11b. Mikhail Lapshin’s Practice Assessment

12. Nader K. Rad’s blog post