Posted: June 20th, 2011 | Filed under: Events, General
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I’ve been working at ASSA ABLOY for almost four years. After years of good opportunity to learn and grow I’ve been given the opportunity to continue to grow within the company. HID Global, a sister company, has offered me the chance to come work with their R&D Engineering team on smart card readers.
For me, this is very exciting work. I’ll get the chance to make use of my existing skill-set to help out the team with implementing a number of tools to assist with testing. The team right now is primarily Electrical Engineers and they are missing the skills for OO programming. That happens to be my expertise right now. But what makes this great is that it puts me in a prime spot to start learning and expanding my skills to work in embedded software. Which is my goal for the not too distant future.
I just don’t really get excited about web development anymore. It’s given me a great chance to learn, but when it comes down to it, how many forms over data can I really build and have it be interesting? That’s not to say there isn’t innovation to be made or that there isn’t some really cool stuff happening on the web. Just that it turns out not to be exciting to me.
I’m grateful for the opportunity and glad to have a change of pace. I’ll be moving to the Denver, Colorado area which is beautiful and, if I have to move from Charlotte, it’s a pretty good option.
Tags: change, engineering, HID, job
Posted: February 4th, 2011 | Filed under: General, Programming, Python
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So I’ve been experimenting with Python a lot and I thought I’d see just how easy it is to use the Google APIs. I found that with a few lines of code and only the use of the standard libraries I was able to handle a custom search. While I was pretty happy at how short this was, I wouldn’t be surprised to find it can be done in even less code if you’re more familiar with Python.
import httplib, string, json
key = '[your_api_key]'
cx = '[your_cx]'
cref = '[your_cref]'
site = 'www.googleapis.com'
page = '/customsearch/v1?key=%s&cx=%s:%s&q=%s'
query = 'android'
conn = httplib.HTTPSConnection(site)
conn.request("GET", page.format(key, cx, cref, query))
data = json.loads(conn.getresponse().read())
for i in data['items']:
print i['title'] + '\n' + i['link'] + '\n'
I had a hard time sleeping last night because I couldn’t stop imagining the possibilities.
Tags: apis, google, httplib, Python
Posted: July 5th, 2010 | Filed under: Events, General, Vacation
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Christen and I have been travelling happily through Northern California. We are staying at an incredible inn in McCloud, California at the moment. We went out for a hike this afternoon. After returning to the car after hike of about 7 miles near the foot of Mt Shasta (yeah it’s amazing here), we were hungry. Really hungry. Because McCloud is unfortunately lacking in meal options, we ventured out to the town of Mt Shasta. We found a restaurant named Strings. We were oddly in the mood for some crazy southern style food but no luck finding anything. Strings is Italian and we all know you can’t really go wrong with Italian food so we go in and pig out hardcore. We ate more food by a long shot than we had at any previous meal this trip. I mean we ate everything. Normally I don’t polish off my plate at a restaurant, this time, I was using bread to get even the last of the marinara sauce.
Then something strange happens. After polishing off dessert the server comes over and informs us that our meal is covered. Some unknown party has chosen to pay for our meal. We have no idea why, who or anything. Just that we got a free meal. Now the bad news, we were so weirded out that we forgot to give our server a tip. Then we realize we didn’t have any cash to do it anyway. I feel bad about that. The meal all told was probably around $50 too.
Thank you to whoever you were who chose to give us a free meal, and to our server, sorry. We were preoccupied with the fact that some unknown stranger had just covered our meal that we forgot.
Tags: California, free meal, hike, McCloud, McCloud Hotel, Mt Shasta, Strings Restaraunt
Posted: March 2nd, 2010 | Filed under: Database, Full-Text, General, Search
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I wrote recently about some of my improvements to my SQL search queries. Well no sooner did I wrap those up than I needed to revisit things again.
To start let’s go over a little of what I’m already doing.
I used this code along with the Irony library to get myself started with some search grammar. I had to make some modifications for the specifics of the type of data we search and what we need, but this was a solid starting point. Using this I moved to the ContainsTable fulltext predicate which is faster and allows me to tell the engine what I’m searching for more specifically. FreeTextTable is more “automagic” but didn’t allow me the flexibility I needed.
The type of searching I need the default noise word dictionary turned out to be a massive hinderance. You can find your own full text dictionary in your SQL folder in Program Files. I’ll post the path if I can remember where it is. Anyway, for us single letters aren’t really noise words. We have Account names like “R & L Stine & Co.” I was ending up where a user might search for “R & L Stine” and the search engine automatically cleaned up all that noise so my real search was “Stine”. Which of course would return a whole host of results that aren’t intended and we were in a mess.
For my situation, I emptied the entire noise word dictionary. It simply didn’t apply.
By the way: the noise word removal does impact phrases (e.g. a quoted or exact search). I thought that the use of “” around my search terms would tell it to ignore the removal of noise words. Wrong.
Tags: containstable, fulltext, FullText methods, practices, Searching, SQL, sql 2005
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