One month is down, so just wanted to share the tools that I am using in 2017 to get work done. I am writing a lot of software and documentation this year
- IntelliJ Idea Ultimate and Datagrip – I have licensed versions of the whole suite of IntelliJ IDEs, but I mainly use Idea for Java, HTML/CSS and Markdown editing. I use DataGrip as my primary GUI for data management.
- Simple Note – text based replacement for Evernote which now only works on two devices. It allows me to share notes across my devices, as well as share notes with others either via a web url or email based tagging
- Expensify – oh yes need to keep track of thos expenses for reimbursement without having to worry about having to find the original hard copies, that I keep in envelopes tagged by month
- Google Calendar – oh yes too many meetings, conference calls across multiple time zones, task list using the Reminder feature. Oh did I say managing across multiple email addresses for work and personal
- LinkedIn/Medium – my source of professional news and information that I need to keep track of professionally
- Dropbox – never to lose a file or a photo again. In addition I use Box.com with secure encryption for work, and Google Drive when my collaborators do not have any other option.
- Iterm 2 – a command line shell with multiple windows and lots of configuration options to replace the default MacOSX terminal
- Docker – I am looking forward to increasing my use of this container tech in the year to simplify environment setup and deployment
- Homebrew & Caskroom – the missing package managers for MacOS which allow the installation of gui and non-gui software without having to wrangle with paths and configurations
- Trello – task manager extra-ordinarie, loving the Powerups that allow integration into Slack, GitHub and other online tools …
- RunKeeper – need to keep track of my running activity with a target of 500km in the year
Bonus: Using a wireless keyboard and Apple Trackpad 2 seem to be giving me the aerogonmoic needs I require to fight against carpal-tunnel in my wrist
Its official that Yahoo has been hacked, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/technology/yahoo-hack.html?_r=0, and it is time to make that change from Yahoo to another email address. For a free service, looks like Gmail is the best there is at this time.
My quick guide to reducing the migration pain is as follows:
Step 1: Start adding your Gmail to all correspondences and signatures, plus start giving it out instead of yahoo
Step 2: Setup your Gmail to start receiving email from your yahoo address see How to Access Yahoo! Mail in Gmail
Step 3: Respond to all your correspondences via Gmail
While the cut over is immediate, to get your correspondents will take some time to finally start using the new address, probably 3 to 6 months, so be patient
As part of the Styx Technology Group mission to leverage technology to support executives identify, implement & refine strategic technology interventions in their business & target market segments, we are proud to partner with Kkungu Poultry Farm Enterprises Ltd to help bring relevant, useable cutting edge technology to Uganda agriculture executives.
Leveraging the experiences shared in this post Poultry Feed Economic 101 – Changing the Supplier Scenario, the team has built a simple easy to use calculator to address this question using minimal inputs to help poultry farm managers:
- Estimate their spot profitability based on the cost of inputs and revenue from sales of eggs
- Use simple data to decide whether to make the feed change based on the impact on the bottom line.
Download the application today from Google Play store with this link http://bit.ly/poultry-farm-calc
Please do share your feedback and let us know to improve this by sending email to poultrycalc at styxtechgroup dot com
Layer Profitability computation
Sample Layer Profitability computation
Feed Switch Comparison Computation
Sample Feed Switch Comparison Computation
The Uganda elections are more or less over with less than 6 hours for the Uganda Electoral Commission (EC) to announce the results for the presidential elections.
Given all the time on our hands, with no social media, the team at Styx Technology Group designed the following alternative approach to independent electoral vote tallying for future elections that provides inbuilt mechanisms for audit and verification of results.
The primary data sources for the process are:
- Official EC list of polling stations and voters per polling station
- Photos of the signed election tally sheets from each polling station. To ensure that the photos are not tampered with and provide an audit trail:
- Each photograph has to be taken with information on the camera, the GPS coordinates of where the photo was taken, date and time when the photo was taken which is available in many cameras that share it using the Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF)
- Two separate photos of the tally sheets have to be taken by different cameras
- The cameras taking equipment may be registered beforehand to provide validation of the source of the information
- The signatures of the returning officers and stamp must be clear and visible in the photo
The architecture for the technology solution is as follows:
- Web based solution accessible via any browser. Due to poor Internet connectivity in many areas of the country, an Android app would be provided to assist in data collection, then data sent once the user gets into an area with Internet.
- The field officers who capture the photos would also be provided with an option of entering the candidate vote tallies.
- In the tallying center, candidate vote tallies are entered from the photos received and vote tallies entered by data clerks. In order to reduce errors the following approach would be used:
- The clerks are randomly assigned photos as they come in
- The tally for a station must be entered correctly by two separate data entry clerks, then approved by a supervisor. This process is formally called the two-pass verification method or double data entry.
- All correctly entered data is shared with the rest of the world for download and analysis.
This system is mission-critical having to be available for the entire vote counting period of 48 hours, so the architecture includes the following paths for data collection:
- Multiple access IP addresses and domains for the website in case some are blocked off
- Any data collected via the Android app can be sent via email to a dedicated tallying center address. To ensure that only data from the app is received and not changed in transit, encryption is used.
The inspiration came from a quote by Ghandi “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, disproving the myth that there is no local capability to design and implement such solutions and most of all that such solutions have to be complex.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions…
Insomia is not always a bad thing after all, I got to read Daniel Miessler’s article – The Difference Between a Programmer, a Hacker, and a Developer which I think is a good primer, but flawed in the assumption of formal education for developers.
My experience has been:
- A developer does always not have to be formally trained, however over time they have built experience and understand design patterns, architectural approaches, pragmatic decision making etc.
- A programmer – writes code and delivers it and hopefully over time grows into a developer.
- The hacker is a special being who writes code, solves problems but adds a creativity on top of that along with a passion and drive which is sort of “mystical”
My Venn diagram therefore looks like below:
Developer Programmer Hacker