Monday, September 20, 2010

Toddler And Kid Computing

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.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Building a Pine Kid's Desk

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".

Desk Design Done in Google Sketchup 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Island Slang

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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Centralize Reporting

For many years there was no central place to request reports at CSU, Chico. The campus has over 3000 staff members. When requests for data are made to random decentralized sources, miscommunication, chaos and disorganization reigned.

We were tasked to centralize reporting, which after investigating, realized meant a change in the culture of the organization in regards to gathering data.

The first task was to identify an enterprise reporting tool. The second task was to get all the developers on board. Without a mandate to use one tool, getting 75 developers to stop delivering data the way they are used to and use some new tool was not going to be easy. After using my best efforts to sell the concept and tool to the group, a small minority remained who refused to leave their homegrown systems and would not succumb to cheer leading.

Finance General Ledger Mart

Finance reporting data was initially created by the CSU Chancellor Office (CO) and was a flavor of Oracle’s Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) data warehouse developed for PeopleSoft 8.4. Chico State was the pilot campus for EPM, and since implementation the CO has abandoned the product and discontinued development.

In March 2009 Chico State was scheduled to upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.0. Due to table changes and change in processes for 9.0, the data mart would have to be updated. To complicate the situation the stand-alone version of the reporting tool the Finance department used was also being discontinued.

Due to both discontinuation of support for EPM and discontinuation of our reporting tool we decided to replace our entire finance reporting system with a home grown data mart and the campus’ enterprise reporting tool.

I was appointed lead on the data mart which was successfully implemented before the deadline and has since then been adopted by 4 of the 23 California State Universities supported by the CO. The data mart mostly follows Ralph Kimball’s model with conformed dimensions that are used in multiple marts.

Tools: SSRS for Reporting
Language: PL/SQL, SQL for table development
Database: Oracle