Edward Callow

Self-confessed geek desperately trying not to be a millennial. I got reprogrammed by a rogue AI and now I’m totally cray.

Read this first

Looking at the constitution of the Royal College of Music Students’ Union

The Royal College of Music is, as British universities go, relatively small. As a result its students’ union is quite small too. In line with most unions of this size, RCM SU is an unincorporated association. This is a common legal form for charities in the UK. Most students’ unions began as charitable unincorporated associations and some still are.

As a result, the union does not exist legally in its own right. Legally speaking it is not separate from the college and the trustees of the union are legally and financially liable for its actions. Because it has no legal identity and, as an excepted charity, it is not required to register with the Charity Commission, its governing document has no prescribed format. This can prove an issue for trustees and officer seeking to establish their responsibilities to members. In this case, it also means the constitution is quite funny…


Royal

...

Continue reading →


All the ways to reset devices with Intune

Why have one when you can have seven? Microsoft loves ‘giving customers choice’ and resetting Intune-registered devices via the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin centre is no exception. Let’s take a look.

Retire

Removes any managed data and programs. Frustratingly the Office suite and any Win32 apps are left standing. You’re essentially just removing Intune management here. The device will be removed from the MEM portal after checking in.

Best for… personally-owned BYOD devices.

Do not use for corporate devices. A device provisioned for corporate use (for example, using Autopilot) will be left with no way to be signed into because it is no longer Azure AD joined and there is no local administrator.


Wipe

Resets the OS, restoring to factory condition. The next user will be presented with the Windows out of box experience (OOBE).

Best for… lost or stolen devices.

Keep enrolment

...

Continue reading →


Interfacing two-way radios with a Tecpro communication system

The Tecpro AD913 provides a plug and play method of joining one or more two-way radios to an existing comms system. The adaptor connects to the ring (and can loop out again) via 3-pin XLR. A radio transceiver connects via 6-pin XLR.

Radio users will only hear audio from the ring whilst a signal lamp is depressed (and will then hear all audio on the ring). This is intended, as otherwise a radio user would not ordinarily be able to send audio onto the ring.

The AD913 is not the only option when interfacing a radio system. If signal lamp-switching audio will not work for you, the Tecpro AD903 could be used instead, as described later in this article.

Kenwood’s K1 connector is used on a wide variety of radios. Many popular Chinese models, such as the Baofeng UV-5R and Tytera TYT-MD380 use this connector for accessories.

It’s worth noting that not all radios use the same pinout for the...

Continue reading →


A translation of Michelle Donelan’s STUDENT MESSAGES

Our Minister for Universities saw this Friday evening as the best time to give a quick shout at the higher education sector. Except she addressed it to students … on Twitter. I thought I’d give a rough translation for those not particularly well-versed in ‘govspeak’ (known elsewhere as ‘rubbish’).

In one way it looks like DfE making an attempt to support students. It’s not. A new letter sent to universities by the OfS, while also appearing tough on the rights of students, does nothing to strengthen or promote them. Rather, it signals a desire to stay out of anything not covered under the moniker of ‘teaching and learning’. It makes work for already stretched providers without providing anything of substance to frustrated students.

Anyway. Without further ado; Michelle.


STUDENT MESSAGE 1: Universities are responsible for their own fees but the Government has been VERY clear if...

Continue reading →


Thoughts on Twitter vs. Trump

In a rather exciting development, Twitter have extended their time-limited suspension of US President Trump’s @realdonaldtrump account … indefinitely.

Social media in America is protected by something called section 230 – 26 words forming part of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that says services aren’t treated as publishers of content produced by their users. That means twitter aren’t going to be taken to court for something Trump’s said, even if it’s illegal. There are a few exception for things like copyright but the general idea is that it’s not social media companies’ fault if their millions of users do a few illegal things and that sites can moderate without being taken to court by users. Of course, it doesn’t mean the wider media won’t mercilessly berate companies for not doing enough to stop users posting illegal content and impersonating other users. The court of public...

Continue reading →


What is the SFE ‘assessed contribution’?

I’m not a fan of the higher education funding system or the organisations responsible for running it. In fairness to Student Finance England, they’re only following the rules and procedures enacted by successive governments and parliaments. Problem is, these procedures seem completely nonsensical. Today we will learn about the assessed contribution on maintenance loans.

This post will use the 2020/21 ‘no benefits’ SFE rates for London, but the principles are exactly the same for those studying at home, away from home outside London, and overseas. These figures don’t apply to students in their last year, because the final year loan has a lower cap (even if your last year is no shorter than any other 🙄).

The basic system

The way loan entitlements are calculated is fairly straightforward. You start with a maximum loan known as the main rate and deduct £1 for every £X (the taper) of your...

Continue reading →


An open letter to universities: Why ‘doing your best’ isn’t always doing enough

I am a second-year production management student (theatre, not factory). My higher education experience costs £9,250 per year, plus accommodation, food, transport, bills and general living costs. I am not particularly happy.

There seems to be a general misunderstanding between students and academic institutions in the UK over the core purpose of universities. As a student, I (perhaps naively) believe that they exist to educate those who choose to pay for the privilege. It seems universities themselves see their responsibility more as a reflection of human life – existing in order to continue existing, giving away some post nominals along the way.

Maybe this is why my university set out the following as their priorities during this crisis:

  • the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of our community
  • ways in which students can meet the learning outcomes of studies
  • ways to safeguard...

Continue reading →


Revoke article 50: A response to the response

A recent petition by Amy Milliken surrounding the findings of the Electoral Commission that Vote Leave had broken electoral law garnered a fair amount of interest on the parliamentary petition site, quickly surpassing the 10,000 signature threshold for a government response. We will now analyse this response.

The petition

Rescind Art.50 if Vote Leave has broken Electoral Laws regarding 2016 referendum

If Vote Leave has broken any laws regarding overspending in 2016 EU referendum then Art.50 should be immediately withdrawn and full EU membership continued.

Continued on petitions.parliament.uk.

The government response

1 August 2018

The British people voted to leave the EU, and it is the duty of the Government to deliver on their instruction. There can be no attempt to stay in the EU.

‘Can be no attempt’
Doesn’t a healthy democracy depend on opposition and the exploration of...

Continue reading →


Raspberry Pi AirPlay setup

It took a while to find a reliable ‘set it and leave it’ configuration for my Pi-powered AirPlay network. Here’s the config I settled on, with thanks to Ray Wenderlich and Pi My Life Up.

Update: I’m no longer using this config because Shairport doesn’t support AirPlay 2 for multi-room synchronisation. A set of second-hand AirPort Expresses have taken up the role with no problems to report.

Write disk image to SD card (or just use Etcher)

  1. Identify the address of your SD card.
    df -h
  2. Unmount the card with, replacing ‘disk1s1’ with your SD card address.
    sudo diskutil unmount /dev/disk1s1
  3. Write the image to the card, replacing the image location and disk address.
    sudo dd bs=5m if=~/Downloads/wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/disk1s1
  4. Pop the card into the RPi and boot up.

Update everything

  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. sudo apt-get upgrade
  3. sudo dpkg --configure -a

Expand file system and change

...

Continue reading →


Infrared iPhones

No the iPhone still doesn’t have an IR ‘blaster’ you can use to control your TV. You can use your iPhone’s FaceTime (front facing) camera to troubleshoot problems with your remote control though. If you don’t think your remote is firing correctly then you can try this simple trick to find out…

Human eyes can’t see the infrared light produced by remote controls. However, your iPhone can. As long as you have an iPhone 4 or newer, your front-facing ‘FaceTime’ camera can see IR light, if you’re still rocking an 3GS or older then you can use your rear facing camera. If you have another smartphone, give it a try. I can’t guarantee that it’ll work with individual models, but it’s worth a shot.

View →