Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A typical day.. Where?

I checked Twitter around noon and saw a local-food food truck I’ve heard good things about was a block away.  I took the elevator down from my 32nd floor IT job writing web services for mobile apps and went outside to a beautiful 78 degree day.  Across the street I saw the old smoker’s sidewalk has newly installed bike rentals with half the bikes out.  I wait a few minutes in a small urban park for my gyro rounder and see not one but two lunch delivery guys on bikes with big insulated backpacks.  Back in the office, I work with a coworker remotely about how to ensure our app’s newest feature is secure.

Just another day of life in downtown Omaha.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Image analysis help!

Text analysis

Over the past few days I’ve been working on analyzing main causes of some app issues we’ve been having.  With a combination of Splunk, Excel-foo, and some grunt-work, I dug through millions of log statements to find then analyze tens of thousands of error messages.  I eventually came up with some pretty sweet looking charts to summarize my results.
Image analysis

Now I have tens of thousands of images I would like to analyze.  How the heck can I do this?  I have no idea.  How can I evaluate and quantify if an image is blurry, too-low contrast, or off the edge of the image?  Just by looking at some by hand, I can see how some would be rejected but how maybe we could change some parameters to accept more.  How can I try making a change to our processing and run these thousands – and thousands of currently working images – back through to reevaluate the results?

Text is easy, but these images have me stumped.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bad Code

I’ve decided to start documenting some of the more amusing code I find in my project.  Thankfully, so far none of it’s mine.

At least it’s logging the error, right?

And how about these two methods?

Because sometimes, you only kind of need to know.

And not code, but at least we did a good job of stopping a release minutes BEFORE it caused problems rather than minutes (or hours/days) AFTER.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cats are like highschool girlfriends

Cats are like your high-school girlfriends.  You have no idea what they like but when they look at you and invite you to pet them, you drop what you're doing and pet them as much as you can.  Until they remember you're worthless and walk away, leaving you to try figuring out what you did wrong.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Boat Table: Redux

For four years at Mizzou, I was on the rowing team.  When I graduated, I ended up with about a five foot long section of an old boat we were getting rid of.  After graduation, before moving, starting a new job, etc., I quickly made it into a table.  Which was pretty awesome.

As a boat-table, it was pretty good.  But I’d always wanted to make the -table part of it better.  Now that I have a house and a workbench, and a wife who only threatened to “tear that table apart” two or three times, I finally had a chance to make the table awesome.

  1. Make it cat- and eventually child-safe.
  2. Make it a nice enough piece of furniture to not just live in the basement.
-> Full photo gallery

I already had the boat, and I already had the piece of glass.  Some of the dimensions were pretty tight, so there was a LOT of planning, measuring, drawing, and calculating.  I even used graph paper.  After determining how it would all fit together, the fun work began.

Once again, I loaded the Altima with lumber and lugged it into the basement.  Cut the frame, which was only hard because I wanted miter corners and only had a circular saw.  Three sides went easily enough, but the fourth took a second try.  Then right into one of the parts I was most concerned about. The boat tapers and because the glass and boat dimensions were already so close, in order to fit the boat into the table and still have room for the glass, I had to taper the insides of the two long sides.  Again, tapering a five foot piece about 1 inch.  With only a circular saw.  That was fun.  Routing the dado for the glass required building a complicated jig to keep it straight.  Cut out an apron, glue and screw the frame to the apron, and glue and screw the table together.  Test fit the boat – all still fits.

Cut table legs to length, cut out notches so it fits around the apron just right, then glue and screw it to the table.  Somehow, it was level.  Then sanding.  And more sanding.  And sanding again.  Some with the random orbital sander, some with my hand and a wood block.    I only went down to 150 grit, but it seemed pretty smooth.

Went out to the garage for three coats of stain and two coats of poly.  Cut some plexiglass to fit the ends of the boat, screw in some hooks, and hang the table!

-> Full photo gallery

Friday, July 11, 2014

Amazon, NSA, and The Matrix; or, How I Invented Advertising

I saw a tweet earlier today that was something along the lines of “if a company/organization/government” knows what you’re going to buy/say/do before you do it, how is that differentiated from mind reading?”
This got me thinking that it’s one thing to know you want to buy something, but a whole different thing to know if you are going to buy it or not.  Maybe if Google and my bank partnered up, but that’s a whole new arena of scary.
But then I got thinking that instead of Amazon saying “here’s a shirt we think you’re interested in buying” saying “I know you aren't thinking about buying a shirt, but we want to sell you a shirt, so here’s an ad for a shirt and now you’re interested in buying said shirt.”
Then, just as I started to realize I’d reverse-invented the entire advertising industry, I remembered the scene in The Matrix when the Oracle tells Neo not to worry about knocking over the plate of cookies right before he does and then my head was doing somersaults through itself.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Boat table v2: In Progress

There are grand plans underway to completely rebuild the boat table.  Two days ago I got the basic frame cut, then last night I put in the dado for the glass insert.  Coming along!

Also, I learned that when a board hits you in the face, it hurts.