Beers at the Baron’s 2018

Please join me on Saturday August 25th @ 2PM for an afternoon spent poolside, eating burgers & pizza and of course having a few beers with your peers, friends and colleagues.

Anyone within DoIT is welcome and of course so are significant others and your kids. I’ll also be inviting some of my IT Partner and University side friends, if there is someone you think should be on the expanded invite list let me know and we’ll get them added.

I have a big backyard, with a pool and plenty of space for everyone.

We’ll be cooking up the usual BBQ food: Burgers and Dogs, but this is typically more of a “potluck” affair so please bring something to share with everyone.
To help me get a handle on who’s coming please RSVP at: https://goo.gl/forms/djPV3VYufdBZVqOq2 by August 23rd.
As always, your help in spreading the word is appreciated!

Beers at the Barons 2017

It’s been awhile (like a year) since I’ve organized a “Beers with the Baron” and several people have been dropping hints =)

So, please join me on Sunday September 3rd (Labor Day Weekend) for an afternoon spent poolside, eating burgers & pizza and of course having a few beers with your peers, friends and colleagues.

Anyone within DoIT is welcome and of course so are significant others and your kids. I’ll also be inviting some of my IT Partner and University side friends, if there is someone you think should be on the expanded invite list let me know and we’ll get them added.

I have a big backyard, with a pool and plenty of space for everyone. FYI I also have two dogs who may be crashing the party.

We’ll be cooking up the usual BBQ food: Burgers and Dogs, but this is typically more of a “potluck” affair so please bring something to share with everyone.
To help me get a handle on who’s coming please RSVP at: https://goo.gl/forms/djPV3VYufdBZVqOq2 by September 1st.

Magic Mirror Useful Notes

How to safely shutdown or reboot your raspberry pi

https://weblogs.asp.net/bleroy/getting-your-raspberry-pi-to-output-the-right-resolution

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/config-txt.md

http://elinux.org/RPi_Powered_USB_Hubs

—–

Installing apache https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/remote-access/web-server/apache.md

Open chromium on start: http://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/38515/auto-start-chromium-on-raspbian-jessie-11-2015

*Loaded Chromium-browser for Raspbian Jessie based on this site: –https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=121195&p=818455

*And got the Chromium “boot to fullscreen” from this guidance: site: http://www.0atman.com/auto-start-full-screen-web-page-on-raspbian-jessie-startup.html Create a file called ~/.config/autostart/chromium.desktop with the following contents:

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Connect
Comment=Checks internet connectivity
Exec=/usr/bin/chromium-browser -incognito --kiosk YOUR_WEB_ADDRESS

——

Turn on/off screen at certain times: https://github.com/wireload/screenly-ose/issues/26

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=7570

Beers at the Barons 2016

Please join me on Sunday, August 21st at 1PM at my house (120 Rider Avenue, Patchogue) for a poolside afternoon of BBQ, Beer and fun with the “IT Crowd”.

Anyone within DoIT is welcome and of course you are welcome to bring your spouses/significant others and kids! Please help me spread the word among your teams and groups. I’ll also be inviting some of my IT Partner and University wide friends, if there is someone you think should be on the invite list I just ask you to let me know so I have a handle on who’s coming.

I have a big backyard, with a pool and plenty of space for the kids and you to run around.

I’ll be cooking up the usual BBQ food: Burgers & Dogs and will have a cooler of beers and soda, but I’d like to make this more of a potluck affair, so please bring something to eat and/or drink. Oven, grill and cooler space is available.

Check out the video from last year! Thanks to Patricia Aceves for putting this together!

 

 

ASP.NET Visual Studio Setup Windows 10

With regards to ASP.NET Development, I’ve been doing things “my way” for a long time since 1.0 of the framework. I’m a die-hard web forms old stick in the mud (yes I am growing to like MVC, but its slower for me to get going with.

Anyway…over the years I’ve gotten into the habit of running IIS and SQL Server directly on my development machine, this made my life easy up until we started hiring additional developers and updating O/S or migrating computers…it’s always a bear to get going again. Ideally I’d make a VM development environment that was shareable, similar to what I’m doing with Drupal / Vagrant. But the Windows VM world seems less scriptable (I think?) and way more manual and it doesn’t really solve the issue of O/S upgrades.

Anyway, here I’m sitting with a pretty clean Windows 10 Install, so I’m going to outline some things I’ve done that have helped me and that I’ve wasted too much time researching.

Run Visual Studio as Administrator

Microsoft has it seems changed the definition of Administrator. Mentally you think this means you have complete control / rights to everything on the box, but you don’t. I’ve gotten so many stupid access is denied errors when dealing with ASP.NET projects that seem to go away by running as administrator. With that said, right clicking and running as admin everytime sucks.

This stackoverflow article goes over how to change the devenv.exe settings to run as admin. http://stackoverflow.com/a/9654880

Using IISExpress

In earlier versions of VS, IISExpress seemed to really slow down the build/debug step, it seems to have gotten faster. With that said, default configuration is to force you to use localhost:RANDOMPORT — good news though! you can override this using the Override Application Root URL under Project->Properties->Web — however for some reason you also need to manually edit the applicationhost.config now stored in .vs/config — Also be sure to change the Start-up URL. Don’t forget to update your hosts file with the appropriate pointer.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/32486424/visual-studio-2015-custom-domains-in-iis-express-invalid-hostname

Exclude .vs from GIT

The .vs folder and the configs it contains are meant to be machine / user profile specific and as such shouldn’t go into source control.

SQL Server

Traditionally I would host my own SQL Server, but in retrospect this leads to some long term issues, specifically around sharing changes across teams. Instead we are migrating now to a centrally stored SQL Server with PROD and DEV versions of our SQL Data. We use Windows Auth for our connection strings thus eliminating the need to manage passwords

 

#HackTheDinos

This past weekend I participated in my first (and hopefully NOT last) hackathon. The event took place and was sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and consisted of about 150 hackers from across NY and beyond.

The hackers assembled for the first time on Friday November 20th where they were introduced to a wide array of dinosaur related technical challenges that the museum and its researchers are hoping to solve. Challenges ranged from creating educational experiences/games, transcribing various datasets and developing methods of collecting and presenting existing/new data. 20151121_221136 CUSqu6GWUAAyHG6 CUYzV1dWwAE7DUd 20151122_143532 20151122_024523 20151122_024511

I hoped on a team consisting of two employees of NYPL who were also interested in working on a solution of crowdsourcing the transcription of handwritten digital assets. NYPL had previously created a framework called ScribeAPI which they are using to do a similar project relating to real estate records for NYC (http://emigrantcity.nypl.org/#/). We met back up Saturday at 3pm and began hacking away on a 24 coding binge. Once the museum closed to the public we were allowed to fan out and work in the dinosaur wing. Participants were allowed to sleep over and among the exhibits. I chose to curl up underneath the megalodn jaws in the marine exhibit.

The ScribeAPI framework gave us a solid platform to start with and we were able to quickly scaffold a working prototype that addressed two datasets the museum was looking to transcribe, one pertaining to a card catalog / fossil inventory of about 400,000 cards and another dealing with shipping records from the Frick Fossil Collection about 200,000 cards.

Using our system users can choose to participate in one of three tasks: Identifying regions on the card that contain specific data points (i.e. Description areas, Catalog Number Areas etc.), transcribing data from regions that have been marked or verifying transcriptions that have conflicting data. Each card gets transcribed by multiple people and when a configurable consensus (75%) agrees on what is listed the record is marked according. Cards can also get put into a contentious state if a consensus isn’t met within a certain threshold (10 transcriptions).

The project exposed me to Ruby on Rails, ReactJS and MongoDB and provided a fun excuse to really dive in headfirst and explore/tinker with the languages.

Our team wrote additional tools to pre-process the cards and to also potentially expose regions out to a OCR component (not developed) so that an automated process might provide a good initial pass, though wIMG_5677
e feel that for most of the data OCR just won’t cut it due to the contextual nature, inconsistent formatting and handwritten nature of the dataset. I wrote the framework of a leaderboard that would publish the main contributors to the project and might help “gamify” the experience to help drive further use / competitiveness.

In the end teams presented their tools and I was genuinely impressed with what was developed in a 24 hour period. The hackathon represented a total of about 3600 man-hours and while time will tell how much of our projects will be adopted I think its safe to say from atleast a R&D prospective the hackathon was a great success.

While the project only consists of sample data you can check it out at: http://crowdsaurus.herokuapp.com and http://frickfossils.herokuapp.com