Job Hunting

Introduction

Hey everyone I know its been quiet some time since I’ve posted anything and I really do do apologize. For the last year I have been attending Indiana University under their Artificial Intelligence program. Sadly I do not know at the moment if I would be able to return to school with how strict the loans are becoming, hopefully news of this arrives. There I met my current boss, Collin Allen, who’s a great professor, mentor and boss. I have done web development on different projects in between class time. Taking into worst case scenario I’ve decided to job hunt and here are my tips for job hunting!

Resume

I’ve found that the style of a resume has changed over the years from when I learned how to do it, from it evolving from a more simple bullet style to something more narrative. I’ve adjusted my own resume on this site, to reflect these new changes. Thing is to have a description of the things you’ve done at the job as well as the kinds of skills you’ve had to use there. This is I think a must to have especially for those in the technology field, as it seems like a lot of those hiring like to see what kind of tech you’ve used.

Also dont worry about the page length. I’ve had multiple jobs over the years and like to display the ones post college especially. As I think about it, all my jobs previously didnt do too much with my web development skills so I didnt put them in. Now I am older, if you’re looking at this and still in your college years, or just a lil after, put down what you can. If you lucked out and you got only one, I would write more details about it, as best as you can. Though it might be your only job, make it sound like its the best job anyone could ever have you know?

Phone Interviews

Congradulations you’ve got people to look at your resume and you’ve got people calling you! Oks first off, be pleasant! Tone will really offset these phone interviews, be pleasant and fun to talk to. You want to be memorable and only have honestly one shot. When you pick up the phone, if you have caller ID and/or a cell and dont know who’s calling, be polite, and announce whom they are calling. I always say “This is Indraneel Dey, how can I help you?” in a clear voice. It states that you’re being professional and of course letting them hear out your name knowing that they called the right place. Of course, thank them very much, and try to get some contact information from them, at least via email if anything.

Dressing Up

Always dress nice! Meaning get a suit, tie,dress shirt, slacks and shoes. I’ve over dressed for interviews, fully in a suit and tie, the interviews in jeans and a tshirt. They felt bad, but simply smile and make it seem like its not an issue to get so dressed up.

AgreeOrDie I found has some very good fashion tips when it comes to knots for ties. I’ve been able to do some of these, but they also have some that are more classy, others simple and elegant. Great resource if you’re not use to doing ties, want to do something interesting, or just for fun.

Face To Face

You’re at the interview, just breath. Its going to be alright, the world wont end just because you dont get the job. Go in with confidence, be kind, and have a smile. Answer their questions, and admit if you dont know something! I’ve found that admitting to not knowing something isnt a bad thing. I dont know anything at the moment regarding .NET, and I will state that, but I also mention my years of other programming languages was well as an eagerness to learn new things.

Anti-SOPA and Anti-PIPA

Some might know about tomorrow’s, Janurary 18th, anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA act, hopefully all of you who are reading this does as well. Ill be participating in this as well myself. The internet is going on a black out, many sites like Wikipedia and Reddit are participating in.

What SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA/ PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) , basically is that they are trying to put a censorship onto the content that might be on the particular site. The US government is trying to stop online piracy of course, but it is stepping on a lot of toes as to content and freedom of speech. A few countries, like China, for instance has something similar in effect in their country. Censoring their citizens from content from sites that the government feels that might be bad for its citizens.

I feel that the government does enough of censorship and that they are should not regulate the content that people can put up on their sites. The internet is suppose to be a place of freedom for everyone in the world, no matter who or where you are in the world. I shall not use anything internet related tomorrow, from checking email, Netflix or anything like that myself in protest of these Acts the government is trying to enforce.

If you are interested in the anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA movement, go here to http://americancensorship.org/ For more information on these acts here are the links to SOPA and PIPA on Wiki. Though note they will shut down January 18, 2012.

Awesome CSS3 Tools

For the longest times CSS2 has dominated and you can do a lot of nice edits but some of the more fancier things to be done with it was always a difficulty. Well that is really no longer the case, even though CSS3 is still in the works. The most up-to-date browsers currently support a lot of the features, and as long as you have some backups for your site you can easily make wonderful sites.

Today’s post is just simply a link to a plethora of available tools I’ve found around on the net.

CSS3 Pattern’s Gallery

This nice lil gallery here shows off some of the pattern features that are possible with CSS3. Just click on the pattern you like and you’ll be able to get the code. Copy and paste, cant get better than that!

CSS3 Generator

This awesome straight forward site here allows you to do all the nice lil features of CSS3 in a wonderfully designed interface. Saves a lot of time in coding, allows you to actively change and see right away your results as you change them.

CSS .Info

This is the website that I go to for everything regarding css3. They are constantly updating on the world of CSS3 offering tips, tricks, videos, and much more. Its well worth checking out and doing an RSS subscription to them.

System Home Monitor

With the Arudino my friend Lester and I have been thinking about some awesome projects to do with it. And we thought of an awesome system that I believe that a lot of people would benefit from.

Original Idea

Lester had installed a geothermal unit in his home for heating and cooling which is an awesome thing it seems like, and he loves it a lot. The way that geothermal works is that, for him, he has a lake near by which at the bottom of the lake its like roughly 58F (14.4C) all yeah round, and he simple either brings it in to warm the home or cool it off.

The picture above is similar to what he has, and hopefully gets a good idea as to what it does. Simply it exchanges the heat, or takes away the heat in your home thanks to his lake water. In there had had a total of 7 sensors in there keeping record of things like the temp of the water coming in, water going out and so forth. Well he was using something called DaisyLAB and a simple analog data collector. He used a set of thermal resistors that would help him calculate the temperature of everything naturally, and using some Cat5e cabling bring it all into his closet. Then Lester used the program to sent the data to his computer where he did a lil math and could plot out all his data into a spreadsheet.

Set Backs

Though the system worked wonderfully, it had its problems which he talked to me about and wondered what we could do about it. He had to always have a computer on collecting the data every minute or so. And also if the screen was not focused on the program, it would stop recording. So Lester would have pretty accurate information, but I mean he would have gaps and he admitted he hated how he had to always have the computer running.

Arduino to the Rescue!

I recently introduced Lester to the Arduino and he loved it right away. We played with one of the thermal sensors he had, setting up like a 5K Ohm voltage divider. So we had power, thermal resistor, 5K Ohm resistor, then ground. Taking the reading between the thermal resistor and 5K Ohm resistor we were able to see the resistance of the thermal which would translate to our temperature through some formulas.

He asked me about the things we could do with it, and we found what is called a shield for it. A shield is simply an attachment that will give the simple Arduino more functionality. Well he found a USB shield where you could write simple text files to a SD card. Well we recently talked about it and they have an ethernet shield. I looked at him and was like, why couldnt we just have it write to a website where you can keep all the data there. Get to look at it anywhere you want, wont have any gaps in data, and the Arduino can send an hour’s worth of data.

The Battle Plan!

Oks first off going to need a bit of electronics knowledge to understand some of this, but Ill do my best to explain everything.

First off aside from his current set up of having the thermal resistor, we’ll have a few more sensors adding to it. He would like to add another thermometer that would be outside of the geothermal unit, an anemometer, humidity, and a current sensor (also know as a current transformer).

Have it transfer all the raw data either onto a spreadsheet via usb, or through the net.

This is just a very rough thing on what to do, a lot of the details are unknown and we’ll have to do a bit of experimenting to see what we come up with. Hopefully it will be a lot of fun!

Arduino Project – 8 Bit Counter

Hey everyone I got a hold of an Arduino Uno from Ebay recently and guess what its time to get my geek on!

Well since this is the first project that’s going to be done I started off something simple because well…like everything there is a learning curve! This project is a simple 8 bit counter using LEDs to show their progress. Its a good way to see just how 0 to 255 is processed in your computers.

What is Binary?

Oks lets get a lil nerdy in that in the world of computers there is only two answers you can ever have, a 1 or 0. Sorry, I feel sorry for Bender, he saw a 2! (Futurama reference). Meaning for electricity purposes you either have a voltage or dont simple as that. And through that you get all the things on your computer.

So in this project I have 8 lines going to resistors that go to my LEDs, just sending out a voltage or not on those lines. You can do the same thing with 8 AA batteries. Think of having some of them connected and the others not connected to make up your 0s and 1s.

Schematic

8 bit counter schematic

The resistors are 470 ohm and the LEDs that Im using at the 3mm kind, using 3V @ 20 mA. Pretty low power consumption, but super bright! And remember LEDs are diodes, meaning they will let power go only in one way. They have two legs, one longer than the other, the longer one points toward power (cathode), shorter one toward ground (anode).

Program

And here is the lovely program!

long previousMillis = 0;
 
//interval in milliseconds till the next loop
long interval = 500;
 
//initalizing the pin var
int pin[] = {LOW,LOW,LOW,LOW,LOW,LOW,LOW,LOW};
void setup()
{
  pinMode(2,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(3,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(4,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(5,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(6,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(7,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(8,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(9,OUTPUT);
}
 
void loop()
{
  //gets timing in milliseconds
  unsigned long currentMillis = millis();
 
  //tests if the time from the previous loop and this one have met requirements
  //of the specified time
  if(currentMillis - previousMillis > interval) {
    // save the last time you blinked the LED 
    previousMillis = currentMillis;
 
    //first loop will go through 0 to 255
    for(int x=0; x<255; x++)
    {
      //makes the temp contain a binary version of the number x
       String temp = String(x,BIN);
      //this loop reads the characters in each element
      for(int y=0;y<8; y++)
      {
        //adds in the correct amount of zeros so that it will be a true
        //8-bit digit
        if (temp.length()<8)
        {
          for(int i=temp.length(); i<8; i++){
            //forces a 0 in front of temp
            temp="0"+temp;
          } 
        }
        //statment determining if the character is a 1 or 0 and sets pin 
        //accordingly
        if(temp.charAt(y)=='1')
        {
          pin[y]=HIGH;
        }
        else
        {
          pin[y]=LOW;
        }
        delay(10);
      }
      digitalWrite(2,pin[0]);
      digitalWrite(3,pin[1]);
      digitalWrite(4,pin[2]);
      digitalWrite(5,pin[3]);
      digitalWrite(6,pin[4]);
      digitalWrite(7,pin[5]);
      digitalWrite(8,pin[6]);
      digitalWrite(9,pin[7]);
    } 
  }
}

Sadly I dont have a picture of this but you’ll see a nice graphical way of how binary works going from 0 to 255. I had it set up so that it was vertical the top most would be 2^8 and the the most bottom one would be 2^0.

What’s Binary?

Oks for those who’ve been reading it and its late at night and dont fully remember what binary is…they are 0s and 1s. Very simple but here is the thing…you have 8 of them in a row like 00011100.

The interesting thing is that normally bits like this are put in from the highest value to the lowest so that 2^8 starts then its 2^7, 2^6….2^0. When you add the sum of 2^8 all the way to 2^0 it comes out to 255. To get the numbers in between you add numbers like 2^1+2^0 to get 3.

More Arduino projects to come!

WordPress Templating – Part 1

Oks recently I’ve been playing around with the WordPress Templating system as of late and working on one for this site which hopefully soon I have to up and running. But I discovered a few things here and there and I thought it would be good to share with everyone who’s starting to use WordPress but not sure about it really. Well Im going to do my best in explaining how the templating system for WordPress works.

What is it?

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), to put it simply all the stuff you write up, manages it so you dont have make new files for every blog post you do. It has tons of features, which can be found at WordPress.org They also have what they call a Codex, though its awesome documentation its a bit confusing to go through.

Structure

When you install WordPress it comes with a nice lil handy template for you to use in the beginning. But lets talk about the structure for WordPress….

/

/wp-admin
/wp-content

/plugins
/themes

/twentyten

/images
/languages
404.php
archive.php
attachment.php
author.php
category.php
comments.php
editor-style.css
editor-style-rtl.css
footer.php
functions.php
header.php
index.php
license.txt
loop-attachment.php
loop-page.php
loop.php
loop-single.php
onecolumn-page.php
page.php
rtl.css
screenshot.png
search.php
sidebar-footer.php
sidebar.php
single.php
style.css
tag.php

/uploads
index.php

/wp-includes
index.php
license.txt
readme.html
robots.txt
wp-activate.php
wp-app.php
wp-atom.php
wp-blog-header.php
wp-comments-post.php
wp-commentsrss2.php
wp-config.php
wp-config-sample.php
wp-cron.php
wp-feed.php
wp-links-opml.php
wp-load.php
wp-login.php
wp-mail.php
wp-pass.php
wp-rdf.php
wp-register.php
wp-rss2.php
wp-rss.php
wp-settings.php
wp-signup.php
wp-trackback.php
xmlrpc.php

As you can see the main area that we need to focus on is /wp-includes/themes . You can easily search the web and find lots of themes already made. Ill admit when first starting this site I didnt know too much about WordPress so making a theme would of been a hassle. I found something nice and got it installed just to get things going. But I had the opportunity to get to play with this more so I feel confident enough in explaining it to others.

What to focus on

There are a few partcular files to focus on when making your own theme:

  • 404.php
  • category.php
  • footer.php
  • functions.php
  • header.php
  • index.php
  • loop-page.php
  • loop.php
  • loop-single.php
  • page.php
  • single.php
  • style.css

I know there are a lot of files to be looking at but trust me its not as bad as it seems. The worst of it is when it comes to the functions. I’ll do my best to explain what they do and how to use them. Plus a few things can be skinned as well, so we’ll get into that. Prepare for quiet a few posts.

What each file is for

index.php

This is the basic page that you’ll always run into where it will generally pull up, as the first page you would see.

header.php

Its always good to keep that separate because generally you’ll always have that same info for every single page that will be pulled up. You know meta tags, css sheets, any javascripts, things like that.

footer.php

Just like the header, this is for the bottom of the page, say who made it, contact info, anything you really would want to put onto here its your choice

page.php

Every time you make a page it will be formatted in this particular way. Most people would want a distinct look between a page and a blog post, but doesnt have to be the case, can make them look the same, or be different, or just use the default formatting.

post.php

I know there isnts a post.php in the orginal list but you can honestly write this and override the way the posts are written out

style.css

This is the file that of course will style your website. Im pretty sure Ill write out an article on how to customize the look of your site

I know I didnt go into details about every single one, Im trying not to overload too much info into one post here.

Be on the look out for other posts!

How Not to Go Insane, While You Are Going Insane! – Part 1

Intro

Alright your sitting at your desk, typing away, coding, doing what you do best and next thing you know, being called into the bosses office. You’re hoping for a promotion but standing there is your boss with a slightly sad face, feeling bad as he hands you a pink slip. First thing in your mind is, how can you get away with murder…well stop right there! Im going suggest some things in this multipart article to help out all of those who’s lost their job, and how to stay active and survive in this harsh world nowadays.

According to Google Public Data the current U.S Unemployment rate is 8.7% (as of May 2011), but according to reports I heard on the news it got worse. Now that doesnt seem to big…until you factor population size. The US Poplulation is 311,515,479, according to the US Census. Now with some simple math….311,515,479 * 8.7% turns out to be….27,101,847 million people! (yes if you do the math you’ll notice I rounded, cant have .68 of a person). Now mind you this numbers are taken according to those who are using traditional methods for finding or sending out resumes. There are those who are not looking, or those who just answer to jobs in the paper, so it can easily be more.

Remember Dont Panic!

Oks first off, dont feel bad that you lost your job. You saw the numbers that 27 million people lost their jobs, there are people who went to Ivy League schools, who end up working at the local video rental store. Trust me its ok, dont worry. The first thing people tend to do I think would be safe to say is panic and worry as to how they are going to survive, or they go out and get depressing doing something foolish in the end. Please dont do that, what did was the night I got fired, I went out and had a nice meal, something to cheer me up. Its alright if your upset or sadden, the thing to do is not get so sad that you start to get depressed, talk to someone about it. Trying to stay on a positive note on things is always a good thing to do, and keep in mind you will get a job for sure!

Put Down the Starbucks!

I’m sorry but you’re going to have to make a few sacrifices and break some habits now that you don’t have a normal source of income flowing. Take a look at your savings and money you have saved up. Figure out from your normal bills (utilities, rent, insurance, ect.) how long can you live on it alone before you get desperate? Hopefully you have money saved up for things like this and can last a while on it. Once you have that figured out, find out the areas that you can cut back on. Luxury items are a big thing that can be cut on, that includes eating out. Studies showed that people tend to eat out more and more for their meals, this includes breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Lets start off with breakfast…

Oks I like coffee just like most coders there, its our god, but it can be expensive as well. Think about it for a second, you go to the drive through to Starbucks and get say their Americano (I cant drink anything else of theirs) and it costs around $3.50? Oks more math time (there’s going to be a good bit of it). Lets say just that in a month about 20 working days you get coffee from Starbucks, well thats $3.50 * 20 which comes out to $70. Not going out to get coffee saves you about $70 a month, thats enough for if you shop right, almost a month of groceries.

Eating out for lunch is a common thing for many people of any trade really. Sometimes its hard to pack a lunch that will stay with you through the day if you dont work at a place that doesnt have a fridge or microwave for that matter. You want something cold, or even hot depending on the weather, but dont have the option for it. Well now that you dont have to be on the job, dont eat out! You got some time, relax make a meal or two, doesnt have to be complex, can be simple. We’ll go by some numbers for me, on what it cost me to eat out every day. I spent about average $7.75 lets say to eat out at a fast food place, I needed a big meal since my last job was pretty physically demanding. I worked lets say another 20 days, that comes up to $155, in just lunches alone. This isnt including the times where I was to tired to make something at home or anything like that. Thats a lot of money right there alone. Its a hard thing to do, you’re use to eating out but that doesnt mean that you shouldnt, just not nearly as much as you use to. You have to remember its time to budget and make the money you got last for along as you can.

So its time to go shopping, to get all that food you’ll need! Now a few things to look at is what are the things you like to eat? And how much of that would it cost? Allrecipies On A Budget Menu is a great system to look at when you want to try to plan out your meals. Take a look into their Quick and Easy section. Planning something out before you go shopping is a great thing to do, and of course always keeping an eye on as to when there are sale. I’m not going to talk about extreme couponing, but do take a look at coupons and sales, you got time use it!

On A Happy Note

Trying to stay cheerful is a key thing so that does mean going out and spending a lil something on yourself to keep yourself in a good mood. Going out to the movies or something to see a nice film isn’t going to kill you hopefully. If you have a laptop take it out to a coffee shop, have a lil coffee and look for jobs there. You can be surprised just by going out and about how much happier you can be. I myself try to get out to one of the local places here just to have a change of scenery, and I find myself kind of happy to get out.

Wrap Up

Well the next part will be talking about resumes and things you can do while you’re not working to get you a lil extra money going!

CSS 101

Alright everyone time for a bit of CSS. Now if you’re unsure as to what CSS is, it stands for Cascading Style Sheet. Meaning it will assign HTML tags certain styling properties, for example every time I use a <h1> tag I want it to have the color red.

Basic structure

Here is the basic structure a section of CSS will have:

p {
   color: red;
   text-align: center;
}

In here we have p which is naturally the paragraph tag in HTML. That means every time that a paragraph tag is used it will be put into center and made red. Of course one can always add on extra tags in there so you can edit it accordingly.

Classes and IDs

I was always confused about classes and IDs in that when do you use those?! Well after a lot searching around I finally figured out the different between the two. Well starting off classes start off with periods(.) while IDs start off with the pound(#). Classes can be used multiple times, while IDs are used only ones, usually for example divs that serve a specific purpose. Here’s an example of a class:

<style>
.myclass{
   color:blue;
}
</style>
<p class="myclass"> This is my class </p>
<h2 clas="myclass"> So is this!</h2>

But IDs are not meant to be used frequently, normally to be unique identifies. I like to use them when I’m nesting divs together, helps me figure out what is what.

<style>
#firstdiv {
background-color: red;
}
 
#seconddiv {
background-color: green;
}
</style>
 
<div id="firstdiv">
  <p> First div!</p>
    <div id="seconddiv">
      <p> Second div!</p>
    </div>
</div>

CSS can allow for different designs and colors to a website by merely changing files. I’ll do a follow up to this article in the near future giving more examples and some tricks to it!