Friday, February 11, 2011

Last Day

Today is my last day at Pukoa Scientific.
I'm not sure what is next for me. It's been a bit tough finding a new job. I'm hopeful that something good will come along soon.
In the mean time, I'm going to be working on an iPhone app and setting up a web site for myself. I've decided to use the web site for mostly static information, things like my resume and continue the blogs for updates and news.

Today is my last day....tomorrow will be my first day.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Mongoose and the CGI

Yeah yeah....didn't post in a long time. Don't blame me, blame my TiVo. I upgraded the hard drive and now my TV viewing is backing up and taking up a huge portion of my free time.

Anyway, a quick post on some things I found while working on a project. I needed a small light weight web server that was written in C. A quick google and I found mongoose. Small, lightweight, written in C, and open source to boot. Love that Internet.
I haven't played with mongoose too much yet. I'm planning to do a bit of coding with it to create and setup a custom web server. But that will start later on. For the same project, I also needed to run a bunch of CGI scripts. So I thought that maybe mongoose would be able to do it and after fiddling around a bit, it worked perfectly. If you are in a need of a quick web check out mongoose. It's worked perfectly so far. I'll post more about it once I get into the programming for it.

So about the CGI...I've always thought of CGI scripts as some sort of ghetto code that people used before Java. CGIs were everywhere when I started out as a programmer and I remember reading a lot of articles saying how CGIs were bad and J2EE was the new and better way to go. So in the back of my head I always thought of CGIs a some lame thing.

The CGI script I needed to run was written in C and did a simple database lookup, read in a graphic image file, extracted a portion of the image, did some scaling and positioning of the image, and sent it all back with additional meta data. Sure, you can do the same thing with Java or probably a ton of other languages, but who would have thought a CGI could do that. I guess I should have but I underestimated what a CGI could do and in this case, it was a simple, elegant solution to address what this project needed.

So the moral of the story is, look for the cool new thing to help you accomplish what you need to do, but don't forget the tried and true methods, and especially do not disregard something without fully understanding what it is and what it can do.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gas Cubby Procrastination Part II

Ok, so I didn't realize that the $0.99 thing was a limited time offer....procrastinated again and missed it.
I finally bought it at the original $4.99 price after getting a little scared when I read a post that the price might go up to $9.99
The app works pretty nicely so far. Need to use it a bit more to get a good idea if it does everything that I want it to do....which isn't much. Basically track my mileage and record any maintenance that I do on my cars and be able to report it back to me in a way that is easy to view.

By the way, check out the blog over at App Cubby. A couple of interesting posts regarding the iPhone App store, pricing, and application development. I agree with and sympathize with the guys over there at App Cubby. I'm glad they chose the path that they are embarking on now. Here's a short quote from one of their posts:

"I've realized that I would rather have small community of delighted customers than a gaggle of customers who don’t value what I’m doing"

That's pretty cool.

I feel a little bad about getting hung up on the price, but as a consumer, I don't want to pay for something that doesn't do what I want it to do. I don't mind paying for something that does what I need and does it in a good way. But for me, I need to be 100% sure it will before I shell out some money...that's just the way I am. I'll post a short review once I get more data entered.

And thanks Steve for all the links and updates

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gas Cubby

Update on the Gas Cubby application.
I procrastinated and didn't get it yet. And look. The price dropped from $5 to $0.99
Now I don't really have to think about it. I'm getting it now. I'll be glad to donate $5 later if it does everything I want. I'll post a review later.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

iPod Touch

I got myself an iPod Touch. I would have rather have an iPhone, but I couldn't justify the monthly fee. So anyway, now that I have one, I need to figure out what I'm going to do with it.

I came up with a short list of apps I want. For now, I'm focusing on apps that you can use without a WiFi connection. I haven't done any tests around town to see how easy it is to find free WiFi, but I'm guessing it's not that available.

So anyway, here's my short list that I have right now.

1. I'd like an app to record my gas mileage and record car maintenance stuff.

2. A Note application that can sync with my laptop

3. A map application where I map out directions and it'll store it on the iPod so I can view it off line.

4. An application that will cache web pages so I can read them offline.

So that's it for now. And with the Internet being the Internet. Two of them are already available on the iTunes app store. The gas mileage application is called Gas Cubby. I believe it cost $10 and it has way more features than I need. But it does do everything I want, so I'm probably going to get it. The second is the web page caching application. It's called Instapaper. I haven't tested it out too much yet, but so far it seems to work pretty well. The only drawback is that it only caches the text. So no images and any fancy html stuff won't be there. But at least this app is free....and free is good.

Right now, the app that I use the most is the Notes app. I have a problem remembering things when I'm out and about, so I use the Notes application to keep lists of things. Books I want to get, restaurants I'd like to try, video games that have a high rating....stuff like that so far.

If anyone has a great iPhone/Touch application that they really like, I'd like to know about it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

87Percent Defined

It's been a while since I posted. I really hate that. The longer the gaps are, the easier it is to ignore it. I think it's because I have an idea to post and it doesn't really pan out and I get stuck on it and can't seem to move past it. At least that is my current excuse.
Anyway, as it it getting towards the end of the year, I've decided, as my New Years resolution, to just start posting whatever it is that I'm thinking about (yeah, I know, I've said this before). Some posts will be long and some may be short, some may be off topic (Not sure what on-topic is...I guess programming, technology, and learning). I'm also not going to worry too much about it making absolute sense.

So with that, let me start by defining 87 Percent. Basically 87% is just a little reminder to myself to finish things that I've started. Over the years, I've set a lot of little projects/tasks for myself. Anything from creating some cool application, reading a technical book, learning something new, networking my house, etc. I've notice that I have a hard time finishing projects. I usually get very near the end and get stuck getting over that last hump. 87% is just about the point where I get into a rut. Not quite 90% where you can see the end, but close enough where you know that with a little bit of hard work, you will be on the home stretch. Not quite enough where things are working and the task/project is usable or there is some satisfaction from getting close to your goal. But also far enough along where I've already put in a lot of effort.

87 Percent. I guess it really just means Perseverance.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's on my radar

I'm sure you all are aware of Stack Overflow, the question and answer collaboration site for programmers. Joel Spolsky is one of the people involved with the site. Anyway, I think the site has just hit a critical mass state because it's been appearing more and more on my programming research Google queries. I noticed it a couple of weeks ago and have had several more hits this week. Maybe it's just a coincidence or maybe its a good time to check it out again.

Has anyone else been seeing it more in their query results?