Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goals for 2010

Every year I make a list of goals to accomplish and lord knows that I have gotta try and do something because 2009 wasn't exactly a great year for myself.

5 Reasons 2009 sucked:
  1. Left a bad paying job for a relatively better paying job and went back to the bad paying job
  2. Lost 2 cars which led to trouble all over the place
  3. Lost a chance to work for a great company but lost that due to the economy
  4. Both brother in laws got into a bad car accident but thankfully survived
  5. Health insurance went up dramatically due to economy
5 Reasons 2009 kicked ass:
  1. Saved a ton of money to help get out of debt
  2. Took a trip to the Carolina's to meet gf's grandparents and see brother in law
  3. Went to first developer conference. Was awesome!
  4. Bought a newer car
  5. Finally got my laptop after saving for way too long
Goals for 2010 (not in any specific order):
  1. Secure a position with a company that pays their developers more then Walmart
  2. Continue to learn the languages that I have been studying
  3. Get a car that doesn't need it's oil checked ever other day
  4. Work harder at getting freelance service known
  5. Complete CMS Leo project
  6. Get married to my fiance of 13 years.
  7. Buy a house, buy a house buy a house
  8. Learn to relax a bit more and less stressed out
  9. Somewhere in there I'll also try and find time to drop a few pounds
My fiance was told to burn a certain candle for good luck in the following year and she did. Hopefully this will FINALLY be our year to succeed and accomplish what we've been trying for many years now.

- Pete

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Get those images out of PowerPoint

Every now and then as a developer you get handed a disk or and email sent to you and someone says, here are those images that you need for the bla ba bliche project.

Problem is that once you toss the disk into the drive or open the email to get the files, all you see is a damn PowerPoint presentation. You may think at first that you're gonna have to save each image individually and before you even try to do something as silly as that give this little trick a go and see how you make out. It just may save you an hour or two or more of nonsense.

  1. Get Open Office here and install that badboy once it's done downloading.
  2. Open the PowerPoint file with Open Office.
  3. Save the file as ODF Presentation .odp
  4. Now give the file a new extension of .zip
  5. You should now see a zip file, so how about we open it.
  6. Extract all the files in the zip file or just the Pictures directory.
  7. Your photos should now be available to you in the Pictures directory.
Hope this works for you as it did for me. Found this out just by messing around trying to get some images from out of PowerPoint without saving them one by one.

- Pete

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Love of a new language

More than recently I've been having a go with the Python programming language and must admit that I absolutely love the language and now that I received Programming in Python 3 by Mark Summerfield I feel that I can go full force into learning this wonderful language that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon.

When I first heard about the Python language I remember watching a tutorial on YouTube where a Googler rambled on about some real intense programming stuff with Python and of coarse I had no clue what he was talking about at first. Of coarse this was before I started to dive into the OOP club and might not have even completed my first year of hands on experience and still writing procedural code.

Once I started getting the general idea about how to do the OOP thing I began to get more and more curious about other programming languages and thought it might be a good time to do a bit of fiddling with Python since it seems to be a very popular and unique language.

The syntax is very easy to read and understand and actually takes less code in some cases compared to other languages such as PHP, Java and C#, for instance:

PHP, C# and Java - if(apples == "nom nom nom") { // do other stuff }
Python - if apples == "nom nom nom"

And of coarse the data type thing that needs to be done in some languages, but not in Python, no need to define your data types there.

Basically, you can do anything and everything with the Python language that you can do with all the others with the possibility to write less code along the way also. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't have a care in the world how much code I gotta write but sometimes certain things just click and the Python language is doing just that with my brain at the moment.

P.S. - Thanks for reading this ramble and I am VERY aware that it's not at all informative :^)

- Pete

Sunday, November 29, 2009

CMS Project Update

Back in the very beginning of September I Blogged about a Content Management System project of my own that I have been trying to get started for a while now.

For a quick update, I have been working REALLY hard working on templates, tons of CSS and of coarse the list of features that seem to never stop growing (shocker there huh?).

Thus the reason that I must tell myself to calm down with the feature list and just get the base of the system down so I can continue to add onto it while I have a basic beta out for others to fiddle with and make their judgments.

In my previous Blog I also stated that I would be developing my CMS in ColdFusion but that has changed for the main reason of popularity. I know I know ColdFusion is a great language and I'll probably get hit with a lot of CFers's stating why I should use ColdFusion even though I haven't stated the language that I will be developing in.

Originally my CMS was suppose to be developed in ColdFusion as I stated above until I started to do some fiddling with Python and Django. Then I started developing a lot in PHP, I mean more than I have ever done before and started to feel more comfortable coding with PHP than ColdFusion. I can't believe I'm gonna say this but I actually liked developing in PHP more then ColdFusion. I blame this on the straight month of work that I was handed in no other than PHP.

I am not saying goodbye to ColdFusion at all, just saying sorry ColdFusion, not this project, maybe the next one.

So, PHP it is and I accept all the challenges that I come across during the development of my CMS project.

- Pete

99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall In 7 Different Programming Languages

You might ask right away, why on earth would someone care about how to program 99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall in 7 different languages? There's a few reasons, really!

Maybe, just maybe someone would like to compare the source files and see what the differences are between them, if any at all.

Maybe, programmers can use it to bite and pick at each others programming language that they specialize in to say things similar to: This language is better because bla bla bla. Or that language is better because it knows when I need a fresh cup of coffee.

But, mainly it's for myself to show all possibly employers that my passion for programming is real and that I not only wanna know how to do something in one language but as many languages as possible.

Let's face it, if you wanna be successful as a developer you MUST know more than one programming language or hope that you're a lucky one that lands a job only working on a single web site or application (sooo rare).

That's why I took the time to write some super simple scripts that print out the tune of 99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall in 7 different programming languages.The programming languages that I coded this in are listed below and feel free to click the language to download the source or click "All" to obviously get all the source files.

  1. PHP
  2. ColdFusion
  3. Java
  4. JavaScript
  5. Python
  6. ASP.NET C#
  8. All
Oh Yea!, This was the first time I have ever written a line of Python code and kinda liked it :^)

Thanks and I hope that everyone digs this post.
- Pete

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What IDE are you?

As a programmer, you probably have a specific IDE(Integrated development environment) that you absolutely love and feel comfortable with unlike no other.

So what IDE takes your heart away?

ColdFusion Builder
Visual Studio

That's just a small slew of IDE's available to us developers. So what I'm asking is....what's your favorite for what ever you may be developing?

CFML - ColdFusion Builder
PHP - NetBeans
ASP.NET - Visual Studio (shocker there)

- Pete

Generating numbers with Date and Time using ColdFusion and PHP

Recently I was asked to create a simple script either in ColdFusion or PHP that would generate a unique number, so I said why not have some fun using date and time and code it in both languages. Both scripts will generate a number containing of 23 numeric characters. Took me about 5 minutes to get everything coded and tried to keep the examples in both ColdFusion and PHP as similar as possible and I'm sure there's an easier way to do this. So please don't say Hey! you can do this and that and this and that lol.

Both scripts will generate a number similar to 42453609032009061855012

<cfset d = Now()>
<cfset day_week = DayOfWeek(d)>
<cfset day_year = DayOfYear(d)>
<cfset week_year = Week(d)>
<cfset month_year = DateFormat(d, "mmddyyyy")>
<cfset time_hour1 = TimeFormat(d, "hhHHmmss")>
<cfset ts = TimeFormat(d, "tt")>

<cfswitch expression="#ts#">
<cfcase value="am">
<cfset time_span = 1>
<cfcase value="pm">
<cfset time_span = 2>

<cfset date = "#day_week##day_year##week_year##month_year#">
<cfset time = "#time_hour1##time_span#">
<cfset date_time = "#date##time#">


$d = date("a");
switch ($d) {
case "am":
$day_time = 1;

case "pm":
$day_time = 2;

$date_time = "wzWmdYhHis";
$dt = date("$date_time$day_time");

echo $dt;

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Set up a WAMP and ColdFusion Testing Server Super Fast

Ever need to set up a testing server on a local machine during the development of a project or possibly even studying. I know I have and here's what just may be the quickest way to get up and running in less than 15 minutes on a Windows machine. Although it may look like a lot of instructions, the process actually goes pretty quick.

The server configuration will contain the following:

  1. Apache
  2. MySQL
  3. MySQL GUI Tools
  4. PHP
  5. ColdFusion 8

First thing to do is download the following:

  1. WAMP
  2. MySQL GUI Tools
  3. ColdFusion 8 Developer Edition

Note: To get ColdFusion, you must register with Adobe or use an existing account that you have with them.

WAMP Installation:

  1. Open the WAMP executable and click next to begin the set up.
  2. Select the radio button indicating that you accept the agreement.
  3. Accept the default location to install WAMP to.
  4. Don't worry about creating any shortcuts, and click next.
  5. Click the install button and WAMP will then be installed on your system.
  6. During installation you will be asked for SMTP, email information and for a default browser.
  7. Once set up completes click finish to launch WAMP.
  8. Apache should now be running but WAMP Server will not be online. to put WAMP online, click the WAMP Server icon down by the system tray and select "Put Online".
  9. Now Apache MySQL and PHP should be up and running.

MySQL GUI Tools Installation:

  1. MySQL GUI Tools are pretty simple to install. Just execute the installer and follow the screens. You basically will just be clicking through the wizard until installation is complete.
  2. Once the installation has complete the following 2 main applications should be installed, MySQL Admin and MySQL Query Browser.

MySQL User Accounts and Privileges:

  1. By default there is no password set for the root user account which is a security risk, therefore a password must be set for this account.
  2. Click the WAMP Server icon located in the system tray and select Localhost.
  3. Under “Tools” select the “phpmyadmin” link to go to the PHPMyAdmin page.
  4. On the main top menu click the Privileges link.
  5. Click the edit button for host root account.
  6. Now locate “Change password” and enter a password in both fields and click the corresponding “Go” button.
  7. Now go back to the Privileges page once again and this time click the edit button for the localhost root account and do the same as before. Locate “Change password” and enter a password in both fields. The password should be the same as root account.
  8. Now click the “Home” button on the left sidebar. You should receive the following error: “#1045 - Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO)” This problem can easily be corrected so not to worry.
  9. Locate the location where you installed WAMP. The default location is C:\wamp.
  10. Now enter the “app” directory then the phpmyadmin directory.
  11. Now locate and open the file with any text editor.
  12. We are looking for line 16 (may be different), but the code should read $cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] = '';
  13. Between the single brackets, enter the password you entered into PHPMyAdmin ex: $cfg['Servers'][$i]['password'] = 'mypassword';
  14. Save the file and refresh the PHPMyAdmin page. The error should now be gone and be able to view the PHPMyAmin page.
  15. Finally... we need to create a new user because using the root user account is a big security risk and highly fround upon.
  16. Go back into the Privileges section and click on the “Add a new user” link.
  17. For “User name”, just enter a username of your choice leaving the select menu as it’s default value.
  18. Ignore the “Host” select menu and continue on to the “Password” field.
  19. Enter a password in the password field leaving the default value for the select menu.
  20. Make sure to Re-type the user password in the next field labled “Re-type”.
  21. Now on to the Global privileges section. Here we can give the new user permissions to execute SQL commands. I recommend just allowing the basics such as SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, FILE and CREATE unless you think you may need to run more commands. What I highly suggest is to leave the DROP command un checked for the reason that mistakes do happen. Meaning, you could create a database and some tables, populate those tables and execute the DROP command by accident. That would be very very……bad. Especially if you have hundreds or thousands or millions of rows in your tables. be safe, just leave it un checked.
  22. That should be it for setting up MySQL. You should now be able to either use PHPMyAdmin or MySQL Admin and MySQL Query Browser to make databases, tables and edit table content.

Now for ColdFusion:

  1. Run the ColdFusion executable and wait patiently for the installation wizard to show (Could sometimes take 2 minutes or even longer to show).
  2. Once the ColdFusion installation screen appears select the language of choice from the drop down and click OK to continue.
  3. Click Next for the next screen and click the “I accept the terms of the License Agreement” radio button and click Next.
  4. Select the Developer Edition checkbox and click Next
  5. Accept the default configuration of “Server configuration” and click Next
  6. Accept the default selected checkboxes for Subcomponents and click Next
  7. Accept the default installation location for ColdFusion to be installed and click Next.
  8. Click the radio button for “I accept the terms of the License Agreement” radio button and click Next.
  9. No need to enter a Serial Number since we don’t have one, so just click Next.
  10. Now to set up ColdFusion to run under the WAMP Server.
  11. Click the Add button and leave the default of Apache selected.
  12. Click the “Configuration Directory” button so we can find the location of the Apache configuration file.
  13. Locate the default location where you installed WAMP, the default is C:\wamp and navigate through the following directories. bin\apache\apache”version number”\conf\
  14. Just select the conf directory and click the OK button.
  15. Now click the “Directory and file name of server binary” button and locate the default location where you installed WAMP.
  16. Now navigate through the following directories, bin\apache\apache”version number”\bin\ and select the httpd.exe and click select.
  17. Click OK on the configuration window and click Next.
  18. Now to choose where to extract the ColdFusion Administrator. Click the “Choose” button.
  19. Locate the default location where you installed WAMP and select the www directory, click OK and then click Next to continue.
  20. Enter a password for the ColdFusion Administrator and click Next.
  21. Don’t worry about enabling RDS so just click Next.
  22. Now click Install to run the ColdFusion installation.
  23. Once the installation is complete, make sure the checkbox for “Launch the Configuration Wizard in the default browser” is checked and click Done.
  24. Once the Configuration Wizard begins in the browser, enter the password you entered for the ColdFusion Administrator and click Login.
  25. Now you wait for the configuration to complete…….
  26. Once the configuration is complete, Click the OK button to open the ColdFusion Administrator.

That should do it for this whole process of getting a testing server up and running in about 15 minutes. Feel free to comment on my instructions especially if I made a mistake somewhere.

- Pete

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Let's talk Content Management Systems

Straight to the point here... Content Management Systems. If you're a developer, it's almost a guarantee that you may have made some kind of Content Management System or CRUD at least twice in your career. If not then you're missing some key experience that you definitely need to succeed in the world of being a web developer. Doesn't matter the language you specialize in just that you have the ability to make a system where a client can manage their website them selves. Again, language choice doesn't matter. ColdFusion, PHP, C# or VB.NET, Python or even Rails. Just do it and you'll be very happy you have that knowledge under your belt.

Now that I got that out of my system I'm probably gonna bore with the idea for my next personal project. Yep!!! A Content Management System. I've built many before but always to the vision of others not my own. I figure that it's time for me to do it the way I think a Content Management System should be built. With lot's and lot's of functionality and cool features that makes use of the amazing technology us devs have at our finger tips today.

A while back I started a CMS called CMSLeo that I never got even close to completion (and can also be seen unfinished on my website :). But now is the time to get back into the game of developing this beast to completion and to my vision.

The question on mind was to which language to program it in. ColdFusion or PHP?

The ups for ColdFusion:
  1. Easy and rapid development with very clean code management
  2. Simple to upgrade and scale code
  3. The best yet, an amazing community

Now the downs for ColdFusion:
  1. Big price tag for whomever wanted to use my CMS
  2. Um.......... that's it

PHP ups:
  1. Very popular language
  2. Open source language
  3. Easy to get up and running
  4. Huge community

PHP downs:
  1. Code tends to get messy
  2. Community a bit temperamental
  3. Possible long development time
As of right now I'm pretty much set on coding my CMS in ColdFusion mainly because of a CFML Engine called Railo. Railo is an open source project that will run ColdFusion code (CFML) and again, it's open source. In fact, I am thinking about developing my CMS completely under Railo. Might be a bad idea might be a good one and I'm sure devs out there will put this idea down and of coarse some that will be all about the idea.

Finally, when I plan a project I try to put myself into the everyday user's point of view and think how I can make my project extremely simple to understand and just jump right into using what I created. That's exactly what CMSLeo will be. One of the most user friendly Content Management Systems available today.

- Pete

Thursday, August 6, 2009

BWT ColdFusion Contact Form Component

Very recently, I just release a ColdFusion Component that can be used for implementing a contact form very easily called BWT ColdFusion Contact Form. I know, not very imaginative with the name but who really cares.

The purpose of this project is to help out those with no programming skill or programmers that just wanna put a form onto a website really fast without any headaches (I hope).

So if your someone that has no clue where to start or a programmer that doesn't have the time to code a contact form with all the odds and ends. Please feel free to download the source here.

- Pete

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Finally gone mobile

So I finally got a laptop and no, no no it's not a Mac as I was planning. Do I really care, not too much, not even the least. It's a laptop and in fact a pretty damn nice laptop andddddd also an affordable laptop that I am quite happy with.

The laptop I chose is HP's DV6 nice pretty and black not the dull boring and overly super shiny silver model. I picked this laptop at my local BJ's, because when I think of nice laptops, I think of BJ's, right. Not me, I was shocked and didn't even think to check out BJ's for a laptop. I went to all the obvious stores like 2 Best Buy's, Staples and some other who cares stores.

I originally bought a laptop from Staples but returned it the very next day because I found the DV6 at BJ's along with the wireless router for $10 less. The price of the DV6 was $699 and the wireless router I picked up was $50.

I'm not gonna go into the different pricing of all the stores I went to while looking for a laptop and wireless router but I will say that Best Buy was byyyyy farrrrr the most over priced and annoying, especially since I went to 2 different stores and didn't find a thing that met my needs. I will say this though, Staples did have a laptop that was selling for $450 while Best Buy was selling the exact same laptop for $550. But, the people at Staples were annoyingly pushy at trying to sell stuff that I did not need and yes I did make it very aware that I did not want anything else but the laptop. Just give me my merchandise and leave me alone or else I will hand you the product back and just walk out. Thank you!

- Pete

Friday, June 12, 2009

Some things aren't what they seem

In my last blog I wrote about a job offer that I accepted, I believe it's time for an update on how the job is working out. To be honest, I am not with the company anymore and it only took me a week to figure out that I was not digging the company for reasons that I will not be explaining.

Well, you may think that I'm now jobless but that is not true at all. Before my first week was even over I contacted my last employer to see of they hired anyone for my position, and of coarse they were looking. So before they had a chance to get someone in I thought that it may be smart to contact them to see if they would take me back, especially since it was not even a week that I left. They did take me back thankfully and I've been back for about a week now.

The point of this blog is to simply explain that sometimes some things are much more important than others and what might be an obvious choice may not be.

I something doesn't feel right, go with your heart, it always tells you what the smart choice is.

- Pete

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Time to rebuild

So after only having my new site up for about 3 months or so I gotta retire it as a Freelance service because of this new job that I accepted. No big deal really, I'll just toss it into my portfolio like I've done before. The thing is that I had planned on turning my current site into a blog type site where I can post some tutorials and down loadable scripts in whatever programming language I feel.

That's all fine and dandy but many of my geeky buddies are suggesting that I go the Word Press route but I'm not sure if that's the way I would like to go. I do know that it would be the more sensible route to take but I'm the kind of person that takes pride in the work that I do, and if I use an application that was already built, I won't have the glory of saying I did it. Don't get me wrong, I use scripts that I find here and there to cut development time in half like many other coders but by using an entire application is not my style.

As for what language to use, I'm think PHP but it would be cool to do it in ASP.NET only for the reason that I like to use the technology that I'm currently learning and put it into action and use it as a learning curve. Problem with that is I am still a noob to the language of ASP.NET.

My current site is coded in ColdFusion (which is flippin awesome) and would definitely program every site in CF if I could but in the real world it's not like that. In the real world, your given a site (sometimes a completed site) and asked to do it right there on the spot, basically asking you to learn this new language, right now. I've gone through this many times and find it to be one of the best ways to learn something new but can be rather frustrating at times.

To end this babble, I'll just say, PHP? Or just go ahead and do the ASP.NET deal. I'm sure I'll do what I feel is best.

- Pete

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Freelance stuff

So, I'm gonna say that the site for my freelance work has been up for a bit now, not too long but a good amount of time I presume. It's looking like I may have to turn it into a portfolio site for myself do to the fact of this new job that I have acquired. It seems as though I will not be able to do any freelance work while working for this company which I do believe is nonsense but hey, it's an opportunity that I'm willing to going along with. But I will tell you one thing. Since I'm so proud of the work I did with my new site, you better believe that I will definitely be putting it into my portfolio. There's no way I'm gonna scrap all that work.

As for my future plans, I'm thinking about doing what basically every programmer does; create my own personal blog site that will have scripts that can be downloaded along with tutorial videos.

I know I know, please god not another programmer with a site with scripts that barely ever work and are a massive pain in the neck to get up and running. I look at it this way. If I feel like posting my scripts for free and allow people to download them for free then stop your belly aching and either download the free stuff or be on your way to another site to get some free stuff.

- Pete

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gaining more knowledge

I'm sure that I can't be the only developer out there that has a language that they call their primary and preferred coding language. For myself, I would definitely say that I am a ColdFusion buff to the highest level. I love the stuff! Especially for it's ease and speed of development and a must is the simplicity of creating a database connection to virtually any major database application available today.

But, the time has come where I feel the need to add another language to my brain. Which one to choose? Well, I am quite handy when it comes to ColdFusion, PHP, Classic ASP, SQL and how can we forget AJAX (it's pretty much a must these days). So, which language do I go forth with? There's actually an easy answer for this question and sorry to say but is includes learnign some Microsoft technology, and yes, I am not a big ole fan of MS stuff. But I have selected to start getting my hands dirty with some ASP.NET and of coarse there is reason behind this decision.

Recently, I have been going on a couple interviews, all going rather well I must say and was offered a developer position at a local Web company. I did accept the offer for reasons that should be obvious without me saying and I'm definitely very interested to see how this company plays it's role in the community. The thing is that I was hired to develop in Classic ASP, PHP and of coarse do those little and not so little updates, upgrades and changes to existing web sites and application along with doing some developing in ASP.NET.

Now, I am not one of those guys that shows up for an interview and lies just to get the job. If I don't know something I will make it very clear that I have no clue but if given the chance, I'm a quick learner and could definitely pick it up quick.

That's why I have decided to make an attempt at ASP.NET. I also think I got everything I need to get a going with it. Download and install of silly ole Visual Web Developer 2008, SQL Server 2008, I have Dreamweaver still although I don't really use it too often because Eclipse and Aptana do the same stuff (and are FREE).

That's about it, I got a new job and I hope it works out good (WOOT Me!!!).

- Pete

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Haven't blogged in a while for good reasons

Well it's been sometime since I've written my last blogged, mainly because I've been very busy working on my new web site for my freelance service that I call Blue Web Techniques. In fact, I can't remember when I got a site together as quick as I did with this one. I mean everything came to me unbelievably easy and I pretty much knew what I wanted right away instead of constantly pondering about small details.

Some new features on my new site include, slick and simple navigation, live Twitter feed (not always about tech stuff), A tag cloud that is updated whenever someone does a search, a new search box that opens up in a light box, almost all new content that gets right to the point, a very basic contact form (no more non sense fields), Language Translation with the Google API, new portfolio content and I think that's about it, but of coarse, I'm always working on something so expect many more additions.

I hope you like my new site, click here to check it out.
I'm also more active than ever on Twitter.

- Pete

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Coldfusion Developer Pay Scale, Which is correct?

I've been doing some mild research with pay scales from all over the web. Some from Career Builder, Pay Scale, and Monster, all of which probably get the most traffic as far as I know (Just a guess). Reason being that I believe that I am insanely under paid Coldfusion Developer. I think it's safe to say that I am not over exaggerating on this one bit because my yearly salary is no more than 31,000 a year. Not only do I develop in Coldfusion, I am also fluent in the necessary languages to develop web sites such as the obvious: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Not only that but I do in house tech work when needed. Again, I am also quite handy when it comes to putting together databases and codeing out the SQL for the applications.

After saying to myself, man, I need to take a look and get a general idea of what I should be making. Just an estimated salary would even set my mind at ease. That's not exactly what happened after I took a look at some of these pay scales. To be honest, I was a bit shocked to see that the average developer salary is 52,197 a year. Now if I was getting that I would be able to pay my bills and not be living pay check to pay check.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm the best developer out there but I do know my stuff and I can and will code my brains out. I just wish I would get what I should be getting and hell, I would button my mouth up if I even got to 50,000 a year. I'm not a complainer, I just need the salary that should come with the position so I can take the next step in my life.

Linkages for pay scale sites:
Pay Scale
Career Builder

- Pete

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oracle Studies Day 2

Since I'm stuck at home today because of a pretty hefty East Coast snow storm, I figured why not toss up a quick blog about the past 2 days of Oracle studying.

Now, I have never touched Oracle until 2 days ago but I have done some SQL programming, and SQL is basically SQL where ever your using it so that wasn't the problem. Getting Oracle 11g up and running was a bit odd and very different than getting MySQL running and many tutorials available show you how to install Oracle but I couldn't seem to find any to show how to configure it.

Here's a quick tutorial on how to get Oracle 11g up and running in no time:
1. Download your the proper version of Oracle here (Note: you must have a user account with Oracle to download the installer and I'm installing Oracle 11g on a Windows XP Professional machine with SP3)
2. After your download has completed, run the Oracle 11g setup.exe (Be patient, it's Java so it may take a bit to load up)
3. Once the Oracle 11g installer has appeared, untic the "Create Starter Database" checkbox and choose "Advanced Installation", then click next.
4. When the Oracle 11g installer appears again, choose"Custom" and click next
5. Now, Oracle will create a default location with the current Windows logged in user. You can change this directory name and also change the Software location name as well. Click next to proceed.
6. If all checks are successful in the following window, click next to proceed.
7. The new window will show tons of optional packages that you can install. Leave the default selections for now. If you find a need later to install a new package, it's easy to install it using Oracles Universal installer. Click next to proceed.
8. You should now see a window titled "Create Database". Tic the "Install satabase software only" radio button and click continue.
9. Finally, you should now see a summary of all to be installed. Click install and go get a cup of coffee for the reason that it may take sometime to complete the installation.
10. After your installation has completed without any errors I'm hoping. You now need to create a listener.
11. To create a listener, Click Start and find your Oracle installation, and go to listing Configuration and Migration Tools and choose Net Configuration Assistant.
12. Once the Net Configuration Assistant has loaded, leave the default of "Listener configuration" selected and click next.
13. Leave the default of "Add" selected and click next.
14. Here's where you give your new Listener a name. Name it anything you wish and click next.
15. Now select the protocol type of TCP and scoot it over to the selected protocols box and click next.
16. Leave the default port of 1521 and click next.
17. Finally, leave the default of "No" selected and click next.
18. You now have a listener, now you can create a Local Net Service Name by using the "Net Configuration Assistant" once again.
19. Once you have loaded the "Net Configuration Assistant" choose "Local Net Service Name Configuration" and click next.
20. Click "Add" and click next.
21. Give you service name a name and click next.
22. Leave the default of TCP selected and click next.
23. Now enter your hostname by either using localhost,, or your static ip address if thats what your using and click next.
24. Now Click the "Yes, perform a test" radion button and click next.
25. Now, my test came back as a failure but everything is working just fine. Click next or finish to complete the wizard.
26. Now that you have all that is needed to get started. It's now time to try and login to Oracle by creating a new connection using the SQL Developer.
27. Click start and go to your Oracle installation and go to list "Application Development" and select "SQL Developer".
28. Once the SQL Developer has loaded, right click "Connections" and select "New Connection"
29. Where "Connection Name", enter a name for this connection
30. Now you need to enter a username and password. You can either user the "system" user and the password you provided during installation or create a new user. To create a new user open SQL*Plus and enter system as the username and your password to login to SQL*Plus. Enter the following command CREATE USER new_user IDENTIFIED user_password;. Where new_user is your new username and where user_password is the new users password. Hit enter and your new user should be created. Now you need to edit permissions for the new user. Enter the following command GRANT connect, resource TO new_user and hit enter. You should be prompt with a granted line in SQL*Plus.
31. Now back to SQL Developer, enter you new login criteria into the Username and Password fields.
32. Leave the Role set to default
33. Leave the connection type as the default of Basic
34. Enter your hostname localhost,, or a static ip address
35. Leave the default port of 1521
36. Select "Service Name" and enter the service name you created earlier
37. Click "Save" and then click "Test"
38. If your test status is "Successful", you will be able to login to you new connection
39. If a failure occurs, double check all your settings and previous configuations

It may seem like a lot of work but its really not that bad and shouldn't take too long to get Oracle 11g installed and configured. Hmmm, maybe I'll create a tutorial video on this one.

Hope this helps anyone and please feel free to leave me comments.

- Pete

Monday, February 23, 2009

Getting in deep with some Oracle studying

Lately I've been doing a very large amount of database work and SQL programming. Thus the reason I have decided to drop what I have been studying (I'm a Java newbie) to go full strength with studying Oracle PL/SQL. Why Oracle? Simply answered would be that when I got out of school and was working hard to find a company that would hire a noob. I like many others was getting attacked by all the head hunters and what I always told them was that I am interested in a job where I can do some Oracle work and I always got the same response, "If your just out of school, you're not ready for Oracle". Though this was definitely correct, I now believe that I'm ready to get my feet wet with some serious database programming.

Today, I FINALLY received my Oracle book from Amazon. Though I do know SQL, it could always be better so I decided to start out with "Oracle Database 11g SQL, Master SQL and PL/SQL in the Oracle Database". I know it's a saturday and I also know the weekend is the time to let loose and relax, but I am actually excited to dig into this book as soon as I can, so being the geek I am, I'll probably jump right in today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Google Language API Round 2

Just a few days ago I Blogged about Google's Language API having character limitations which kind of makes the API almost useless to those with larges amounts of copy on their pages, say much more than 5000k characters.

Now after a bit of research and "farting" around with things, I found a solution that is available using today's amazing Ajax libraries.

JQuery, which just may be (in my eyes) the top dog of all the Ajax libraries available to the public with an Open-Source MIT-License has a tranlation plug-in available which can be found right here as well as some how to use it information along with bug issues and fixes. If you have any type of experience working with JQuery, you probably know how easy it is to develop some incredible web application features.

Here's what you need to do so you can implement Google's Language API and JQuery's Translation Plug-in onto your web site.

1. Start off by grabbing the zipped files here.
2. Create a new folder some where within your site or even create a new site directory.
3. Now create another directory for all the JQuery and unzip Language API into the newly created directory.
4. Now create a new page (HTML, Coldfusion, PHP, JSP or whatever you wish) or duplicate an already existing page within your web site so you can play around with the API.
5. Include all 4 scripts into the head of your page:
6. Now add a bunch of text to your page and I mean a bunch.
7. Pick a place for the language selector to be put and add a div with an id of jq-primaryNavigation.
8. Finally save your work and give it a go. If all goes as planned you should be able to translate any text inside the body of your web site just by selecting a language from the select list and have the selected language be remembered throughout the visit of your web site until your browser session is ended.

I found a couple things that put a cripple on both, Google's Language API and JQuery's Translation Plug-in.
1. This one actually goes along with many other Ajax Libraries. If you still use Adobe GoLive, don't even bother using any of the JavaScript features or scripts that GoLive generates for you. It just clashes with anything and everything.
2. Stay away from the menu maker widget called Menu Machine which again, is a plug-in for GoLive and again, causes all kinds of trouble. It's just a good idea to stay away from GoLive NO MATTER WHAT!
3. Google say's that you may need to have the meta equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" block in your source although it should be there in any sense.

I believe that's it! Hope I didn't forget anything. But if I did, please feel free to correct me as I'm sure all will do anyway and here's a working example for all to see and fiddle.

- Pete

The job that got away

Back in October of the recently archived 2008 I Blogged about trying to find something better, and in fact I "think" I did. After starting the hunt for a better something I came across what seems to be an amazing amount of openings for the price that I am in desperate need for. Some of these positions were out of the New Jersey range which would be nice but not really needed unless it was definitely something worth while. Some positions were located in South Carolina, Ohio, Chicago, Pennsylvania (Home), Virginia, and all the way to the top of the U.S. in Maine. Loving the cold weather and being fluent in the language of Philly, I would definitely call myself an East Coast guy.

As for finding somewhere nice to go, I thought that I had found the right place for me to call home and possibly even grow stronger in my career but I am gonna have to say that unfortunately I'm thinking it has all fallen through. Maybe I'm not the guy that they were looking for after all or maybe, just maybe this whole rotting economy deal is having an affect on this position.

All and all, I'm not going to let the stressing economy take over my career. The only thing that I can really do is just keep looking just like every other person in my position and I understand that very well.

- Pete

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Touching up on the SQL

Yea, SQL, what a great language to know and know good. As a developer, you're pretty much expected to have experience with or even be fluent in SQL. As for myself personally, I love what you can do with the language because it just opens up so many more possibilities for online applicaton development.

Of coarse we all have our moments of staring at our screens trying to think why the primary key in table pID is having a bit of difficulty seeing it's foreign key in table oID or maybe. Or maybe ColdFusion seems to be throwing it's usual temper tantrum, saying no, you messed up some where no go find it or else you cannot continue. Maybe it's something completely redundant or something that was just overlooked. All in all it happens to the best of us and the cure for those days is to get up, walk away, and get your mind of off what in the world you were doing to clear you foggy little head.

Then you come back from a nice stroll through your office or where ever your happy place is and sit down, look at your code and BLAMO! You realize your mistake, correct it, and now ColdFusion's happy as well as yourself.

Are you stuck on something or having a brain fart? Give W3Schools a try, it's helpful when you're stuck on something.

- Pete

Monday, January 12, 2009

Googles Language API

Ever so recently I have been becoming quite acquainted with Google's kinda sorta new Language API at work. Many clients have been asking if it would be possible for their web pages to be translated on the fly, and yes, yes it is. There are a couple free widgets available that do the job, but do the job a bit sloppy. What I mean by sloppy is that once the page has been translated, it may display the text all over the place or have the translated page inside a frame dedicated to the service (I hate that, it's ugly). As for Google's Language API, you have control over certain aspects of the language translation except for one very important aspect that Google should address if they want this API to hit it big with developers. What is it you ask? It is a limit on the number of characters on a single page that can be translated and if you go over that limit your page renders blank and useless. Whats the limit total? Glad you asked, at first when the API was introduced it had a weak limit of 500 chars but was updated to 5000 which IS NOT even close to being enough. Please Google, boost that bad boy up serious or even kill the limit.

- Pete

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Annoyance with Photoshop CS3

There's a feature in Photoshop CS3 that I happen to find annoying to the point of having to find out if I could get rid of the feature. It's not anything serious, just one of those things that was thought to be a time saver or a space saver. It is in fact the new menu feature that makes you click on a menu item to show all items on that menu. It's so annoying when you have to click show all items everytime you need to get to something 10 times or more in such a little perios of time. So I had to kill that feature, every last bit of it as soon as possible.

If the "Show all items" is getting on your last nerve as well, here's how to get rid of it and never see it again until you have to re-install Photoshop for some unknown reason or maybe you actually like the feature and would like it back.

Here's how:
Open Photoshop and once completely loaded click on the Window menu item on the main toolbar. Now travel to Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus. Now, you should have a dialog box containing a tree menu with several items that may look familiar. It is in fact the layout or sitemap or even tree map of Photoshops main toolbar. To show the contents of an item, just simply click the arrow next to the menu item or by double-clicking the menu item. Once you have revealed all the list items in that menu you may now click the visibility to the right of the pertaining item to show it forever. If you don't want to show an item just leave the visibility button blank. Once you have gone through the extensive list of Photoshop features, click OK to confirm your changes. Here's the biggie, make sure you save your workspace or else you may have to re-select all those menu items again which can take a bit of time to do. To save your Workspace do the following: Click Window then navigate to Workspace and select Save WorkSpace, and finally select a workspace to save it as or re-save it as a new workspace.

Doing all that should help you save some time and frame yourself from being annyoed by silly features that Adobe thinks their products should have.

- Pete