Archive for September, 2010

Toddler And Kid Computing

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

After watching the kid use his mom’s iPhone for the past 6 months we decided that it could be interesting to give him his own computer. So i dusted off an old laptop i had laying around and got to researching kid software and configuration.

Initially was going to load up windows 7 then go through and lock it down tight using some third party tools as well as the built in parent controls. However, after I got started I realized I wanted something more out of the box and easy, so back to google.
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Categories: General Tech

Building a Pine Kid’s Desk

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Pine desks can be pricey when bought from a furniture store, however, with some elbow grease one can be built for about $60.

Kid's Pine Desk Complete

Step 1: Plan it

Planning should be the first part of any project and Google Sketchup was used to plan this one. Google sketchup is a great piece of FREE software for do it yourselfers. After going through a few of the tutorials you will be able to design a few basic things. This desk’s dimensions is  H25″ x W36″ x D20″.

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Oracle External Tables are great

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Tasked to scrape data from a fix width text file on a website and store this data in a table for further massaging and joining with other data. The UTL_HTTP package enabled retrieval of the file by going out to the website, navigating to the address where the file was located and read the file into a clob.

After obtaining the contents of the file, it was time to parse the clob line by line in order to extract data into appropriate columns in a table. The steps entailed:

  1. Loop through the clob breaking on each End of line
  2. Write a series of expressions that would substring out each column from the line

Although this process works it ends up embedding data in the code and if the flat file changes would then result in cracking open the PL/SQL package to make the mod.

A better way to do this would be to use an external table. An external table defines a file as a data source and allows querying of the file as if it is a table.

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Island Slang

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

In October, 2007 over the course of a weekend Island Slang ( was born. I Literally had an idea for a small web 2.0 app and implemented it over a 3 day weekend. It is a site that lets people define slangs used in different islands across the world anonymously. The app is written in C# ASP.NET 2.0 (webforms) with a SQL Server 2005.

After developing Island Slang, I did about 10 minutes research on google adsense (using google search of course), added an ad bar to the right, hit publish and broadcast on my facebook wall that my new site just emerged into existence and sit back and waited for the rush of millions of visitors to the site. Of course that didn’t happen, but what did is a constant very tiny trickle of folk ranging from 1 – 10 visitors per week, with approximately 6 percent of them click an ad, which results in a few pennies added to my adsense account.

So after 3 years of the site running adsense earnings just hit $8. Not quite a good return on investment monetary wise, but was a fun and easy project, and I definitely did learn alot about creating a web presence and now I see that there is a significant amount of work needed to succeed in the web ad business.

Categories: Projects