Archive for October, 2005

Summer 2006 Internship or Startup

Sunday, October 23rd, 2005

UPDATE: I’m employed this summer… yey! Here’s the old post:

I’ve gotten several emails from people at Microsoft and Google asking me if I’m looking for work. No, they haven’t offered me a job yet, but have seen the blog and wanted to know if I had applied. I’d like to let you all know, that, yes, indeed I am looking for an internship. Summer 2006 is currently free, so that would be a good time for me to pick up an internship.

I’m interested in web services, service oriented architectures, object oriented design, social software, agile software development, developer friendly APIs, location based services, geographic information systems, machine learning, and open source software. There’s probably stuff I didn’t list, but that covers most of it.

You can check out my resume in various formats here.

On the flip side, I am also interested in starting my own business or teaming up with some people to start one or continue on an idea related to my interests. I have several posible ideas which could be very exciting to implement and see people use.

So, if you are a web software company, large or just getting started, contact me if you are interested in working with me.

If you are an individual looking for an exciting opportunity to make a difference on the web and have the technical expertise to make it happen, contact me. Let’s see what we can work out.


Sunday, October 23rd, 2005

So, are we seeing the end of the operating system age? Will most applications no longer be tied to an operating system? Will web applications finally be cross-platform? Will the network be the computer like Sun has said for the longest time? How much processing and data can we distribute through the network?

These are some questions I’ve been asking myself in order to predict what the future of computing will be and where to position myself to get the most out of it. Check out this article out:


Web-Based Data Entry and Retrieval System

Friday, October 21st, 2005

This is a little thing I wrote for a job application, and I figured that other people might be interested in what I did this summer, so I copied it over to my blog here:

This summer at the Great Lakes Commission in Ann Arbor, another intern and I, along with a designer created a web-based data entry, retrieval, and search system for volunteer organizations to record water quality data that they had collected in the field. The site utilized the object oriented features of PHP in order to abstract the details of the data and operations on the data.

Our system included an authentication mechanism using sessions and cookies. Water quality monitoring organizations would register for a username and password in order to update their own data. Data was only visible on the site for searching and browsing after staff at the commission had confirmed it.

We utilized both client-side (Javascript) and server-side (PHP) user data validation so that errors were caught quickly by the system and reflected immediately back to the user.

Data was stored in a MySQL database in about 15 different tables. Data coming from the web text boxes, dropdown lists, multi-select lists, radio buttons, and checkboxes had to be massaged to fit within the data types of MySQL. Timestamps, username, and other status information was stored along with each record when it was created and modified.

To search through the data we allowed the user to filter by lake, watershed, or county as well as date range and type of data to display. The user could get the results formatted for the web or in an excel spreadsheet.

For the browsing section we set up a hierarchy of of the data so that if the user didn’t know exactly what they wanted, but wanted to see what was available instead, they could.

Compile to Javascript??

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

Whoa… I just found this, and if it does what it sounds like it does, that’s amazing! This says it will compile a high-level language of your choice such as Java and C++ umong others into Javascript and HTML to run in a browser. Also, you will be able to unplug your new web application from the net and simply run the http server on localhost.



Friday, October 14th, 2005

I got into some more talks today with people about GROCS and projects involving digital media. They are all really cool!

I saw a friend of mine, Greg, at lunch today and we started talking about a thing which is like facebook, but instead of exploring profiles and relationships between people, it allows people to explore places and locations and objects in those locations. Also, it allows people to collaboratively edit and make connections between these places and explore the resoning behind these relationships. Also, onto the web page would go people’s feelings toward the places and things and events which occur there. He wants to keep it very conceptual and fun. Sounds like an awsome idea… now, how do you make a system that encourages this type of activity. That’s where computer science and software engineering come in…

Trends in Technology

Monday, October 10th, 2005

Using the Internet for social networking is all the rage these days. If you haven’t heard of the facebook, you are living in a hole… that or not in college. I am really excited about it!

In my special topics class on continuous computing we talk about social software, mobile devices, web services, communications, location based technologies, and in general, the current trends in technology. It is awsome.

So, the other day I noticed a sign for an “afternoon tea” talking about mobility and media, and I thought is was relevant to what we were talking about in class… so, I invited the class (only about 15 students) and went. While there we talked about GROCS which provided grant money for student initiated projects. I met a school of information grad student who’s interested in the same things I am. So, I might be doing a project with him next semester. He wants to create tagged maps of the university that are completely zoomable and taggable which means you can associate an arbitrary amount of data with an area of the map. It should have building layouts, sidewalks, common areas, and the like.

Along the same lines… I was introduced to a GROCS project from last semester called Mates. Its a location based social networking tool. It connects users based on location, classes, interests, and friendships. Here is their web site and awsome video.

Semi Transparent Monitor

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

I took a cue from my friend Jon Cable with his homemade projector and from Jeff Powers and his (presumably photoshopped) transparent monitor and took apart my own to see if this was even possible.

Sure enough, the 17″ ViewSonic LCD monitor came apart into several pieces with the help of a few screw drivers and fingers to pull tape off. The LCD part is completely separate from the florescent backlighting. So, take the backlighting away and bend the LCD away from the metal backing and you have a semi-transparent monitor. Now, the only problem is lighting. So, to start, I hung the circuit boards and LCD panel in front of my window. The sun provides enough light to actually see the thing, but at night, things are going to be different. So, I put some white printer paper on the window and put a light in between the paper and the LCD panel. It doesn’t work so well in the day. I’m waiting for the night to come to see it in action.

My next step may be to suspend it over my desk and shine a light on the wall behind it. That would rock!

UPDATE: So, the whole light on the window thing didn’t work as well as I had hoped… so I moved the contraption into my room. I proped it up with a couple of old textbooks with paper on the desk and a light coming from the back. It works better than in the living room, but it still needs some improvement.

It’s pretty sweet to put stuff behind it on my desk because the object look like holograms in the screen.

More Details About my Presentation

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

Time has been ticking… Next week Tuesday (October 11th) I visit Michigan State for the Merit Technical Staff Meeting to talk about what I was working on this summer with Google Maps and other Geographic Information Systems stuff.

Most of the people at the meeting will be the top computer networking people from the colleges and universities around Michigan.

So, things that I think they would be most interested in would be mapping out all of the backbone lines and other network cabling. In addition to cabling, they could pinpoint the location of each router and other network devices by latitude and longitude. Putting this data onto a map of the area would be much more helpful than just having the data. They could even overlay campus maps like I’ve done with the University of Michigan.

Each device on the network is probably dumping a large amount of status data which is collected, monitored, and analyzed both in real time and after the fact. A good organization for this type of information would be by location. In computer networking, I assume that you would want to connect points which are close together and therefore around the same location. When there were problems with the network it would be easy to see if they were centralized around one location.

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

So, every once in a while I check my referer logs that tell me which pages people click on to get to my pages. Here’s a query from MSN:

Can anyone tell me what this means in English? I’m really curious why my page would be the top search result for something in a different language.