Tag Archives: notedump

Birmingham feedback

Just got back from Birmingham.

I have to say that I enjoyed today – It was a great opportunity to get some valuable feedback from others taking part in the Summer Student of Innovation scheme. I’ve read all of the comments that you guys submitted to me at the end of the event (there were so many!) and I’ve compiled a list of the most common suggestions.

Good points

Many people said that NoteDump is a solid idea and that it has potential – thanks guys, this is what I like to hear 🙂

Many people said that this app should exist – again, thank you 🙂

Many people said that the app looked easy to use – goooood, I spent many hours making the app intuitive.

Many people said that they liked NoteDump’s design – awesome!

Bad points

Many people were concerned about the uploading of copyrighted notes – I’ll be writing a blog post about this soon, but for now I can’t say much more about this issue. I’m not a lawyer so these sort of things are not within my domain.

Many people complained that my idea was too similar to Google Docs – Although I agree with those people in some way, I have to disagree at the same time. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this project by making it a note management tool with pre-organised module data. The note editor is just a bonus and is actually different from Google Docs in many ways. Google docs can’t actually edit PDFs for a start :p

Good and bad (neutral?) points:

Some of you said that you didn’t like my video because it didn’t really build up excitement to the pitch. Then again, some of you said the video was good as it was straight to the point. – Seen as 50% of people are happy about the video,  and 50% are not, I consider it to be okay.

Some of you said that you wanted to see a demo. I did supply demo login credentials about 20 seconds after I shown the video – so some of you might have not heard me correctly.

I’m pretty happy about the feedback I’ve received so far. I will be releasing NoteDump to 20,000 Cardiff University students soon, so this should be another excellent opportunity for me to get feedback about the app.

One thing I did really badly today was that I completely screwed up my interview for Jisc. The words just didn’t want to come out of my mouth correctly and we had to have about 20 takes before I finally made sense. I can’t believe this happened! I’d just like to apologise to the camera crew in advance if any of you are reading this haha.

Anyhow, I’ll try to improve on all of the bad points above, as well as keep up to standard with the good points. I’ll hopefully see you all at the next event in London!

Time for a well deserved hot chocolate and bed time. I’ve been up since 5am so today slightly killed me :p


Modules are finally organized!

Well it’s taken me just short of 3 whole days to organize all of the module data for NoteDump, but it’s finally done!

database courses

Registrations for beta testing NoteDump will be open for every single student of Cardiff University just after freshers week. We will be posting further updates on our Facebook page soon.

You can ‘like’ our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/notedump?fref=ts

Our email server is online!

Well I have to admit, I never thought setting up an email server was so hard / time consuming. I initially put “setting up email” as one of the last tasks on my priority to-do list for NoteDump as I thought it only consisted of routing a DNS entry to a database of emails or something, and only took a few minutes to setup. I was sorta right in guessing how email worked, but boy was wrong about how long it took to set everything up… It took me just under 2 days to get everything working. This time included doing some pre-reading on the topic, configuring all settings, as well as troubleshooting issues though. 

As my server runs the ubuntu operating system, I decided to use Postfix, Dovecot, and MySQL for configuring my email server as this was the suggested setup for the kind of system that I wanted according to other professionals online.

I hit a massive issue after configuring my email server for the first time. This issue being that I was only able to send emails from my server, and not receive anything. After a few hours of debugging DoveCot and Postfix, I had finally found what the problem was:

dovecot: lmtp(5304): Fatal: Error reading configuration: Invalid settings: postmaster_address setting not given

This suggested to me that I was missing a setting called ‘postmaster_address’ somewhere in my configuration files, so I started googling the problem. I spent a few hours googling for a solution, but whatever I tried, I kept receiving the same error when I sent an email to my server from Gmail. I then decided to go down the manual route of opening each and every file manually and searching for a setting called ‘postmaster_address’. It took a while, but I finally found a setting with the name ‘postmaster_address’ in a file called ’15-lda.conf’ in ‘/etc/dovecot/conf.d/15-lda.conf’.

I set a value for the ‘postmaster_address’ setting within the ’15-lda.conf’ file and restarted DoveCot, then went on to send yet another email to my server using Gmail. I waited about 5 seconds and BOOM! my email client started to go crazy by spitting out all of the email messages that I had sent to my server whilst debugging things 🙂

It seemed pretty bizarre that missing out this simple setting would cause the entire incoming mail server to fail when fetching emails, but it certainly did for whatever reason. Anyhow, everything works now so I’m extremely happy.

Here’s 2 diagrams showing how my email server is setup:



Now it’s time to add security to my brand new mail server. Wish me luck everything works instantly this time…

Team update

This update is more an announcement about the internal structure of our team rather than the progress of the project. As many of you are aware, this idea started off as a collaboration between Matthew Jones and Joel Murphy. Unfortunately over the summer, it’s been hard for Matthew to be able to dedicate as much time as he’d like to the project. As such, he’s decided to step back from the team. He will still be working on the project when he can, however the main bulk of the work will now come from Joel Murphy who is able to work on the project on a full time basis. This arrangement will work out better for all parties concerned. Matthew is still passionate about the project and will still have input into its future. 

Google here we come!

We’re writing this blog post after we’ve had the pleasure of going to Google campus in London for a JISC networking event. The event was hosted by JISC and its partners as an opportunity for project owners to meet each other as well as to make some expert contacts in areas such as institutional embedding, design and coding. We both decided to attend this event as we thought it would be a great opportunity for us, as well as the future of our project.

After the nice 6AM start to travel from Cardiff to London, we couldn’t wait to get to the tea and coffee that was awaiting us for that much needed caffeine boost. It’s lucky we did as the day was soon off to a flying start.

The first part of the day was spent hearing from JISC about it’s vision for education in the UK and how our projects fitted into its vision. For us, this was very inspiring and made us realize the potential impact this scheme could really have across the UK. It was also interesting to hear about how the idea for the Summer of Innovation came about.

After that, we were given the opportunity to have some time to network with the people who really interested us and to get as many different opinions and contacts as we could. Although we had to describe our idea several times throughout the day, it was worth it to get some of the suggestions and comments that we had.  It was also interesting to see how many teams were facing the same challenges or using the same development process as us.

Once we’d gotten our delicious pizza filled lunch out of the way, we set about joining focus groups intended to help us with particular issues that fell into certain categories. We first of all decided to join a group that was intended for people who were looking for general help from JISC and it’s partners. This group was very helpful for us and the experts who were leading it were able to make us aware of a lot of support that was available to us because we are Welsh students. The second group we attended was a group focused on technical issues. Our main line of inquiry for that session was to find out if there was a PHP framework that would suit our project. We were lucky to find that people had many suggestions and we ended up deciding to look into CodeIgniter.

The day itself was mainly spent interacting with other people rather than sat being lectured to for the day. This proved to be a productive way of getting our idea out there and to find the right people to advise us with particular aspects of the project.

Massive thanks go out to JISC for providing us with this opportunity to meet so many great people and we are using the resources and support that we received.

More updates to follow soon.