This day in history: April 15, 2004

Six years ago on this day, April 15, 2004, Dark Horse Wireless first opened its doors to customers in Belmont, OH. Growing steadily by word of mouth it has become the largest privately owned ISP in Belmont County. While it continues to grow even to this day, I thought it would be nice to show where it all began with some images of the construction of Dark Horse Tower.


Add a Little Privacy to Google Latitude

This title must sound very ironic given that the whole purpose of Google Latitude is to reduce privacy. I am not saying this is a bad thing, just that telling people where you are right now is less private than not telling them.

Recently, Google took the reduction of privacy a little further by allowing you to setup a web site badge for Latitude. Up until this point, you could only share your location with select friends, however, now you can share it with the whole world via your website, blog, etc. I do use this, so you can spy on my location if you wish.

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Trac – Part 1

trac_logo

I recently decided to adopt Trac for my development for Hydra Labs, as well as for my personal and school projects. Trac is a Python powered development tool that includes a wiki, ticketing system, and source browser. Trac focuses on being very transparent and does not require a large process to begin using it. Additionally, it is extremely extendable using a vast array of plugins available from the Trac-Hacks site.

My environment required a few moderate customizations because I wanted to have global authentication so that once I create an account to login to one of my projects, it would be valid for all the other ones. Also I needed to integrate authentication and authorization for the Subversion repository as well.

In Part 2 of this article, I will describe the complete setup process I went through to get this installed and customized to the needs of my projects.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Logo

For anyone that has not talked to me in the past few weeks, I wanted to let you know that I officially accepted an offer to work for Cisco Systems in San Jose, CA. I will be starting there this summer in June. I will be entering through the Cisco Choice Program as a Software Engineer which I will explain in a little more detail below.

Before starting work, Dad, William, and I will be taking a cross country road trip (similar to the one I took to get to California for my internship last summer) This time we will be taking the more southern route to get a different view along the way. Of course pictures of the trip and progress will be posted.

Now on to the details about Cisco Choice…

Cisco Choice for full time is very similar to the process of my internship in that I will get to select the department I wish to work with. The main difference this time is we are armed with a little more information. With the internship you are picking with a more limited view of the group based on a summary provided for each group participating. For full time the process is much more in depth.

It starts out with a week of introductions and presentations by the various groups and managers. Week 2 allows us to interview potential groups we are interested and get an idea of what some of the interesting projects they are working on. Finally you select the top several choices and after Week 3 you start working with that group.

Now all that is left is to finish one more semester at Purdue. Here is hoping that Senioritis doesnt kick in too early ;-)

Even my iPod wants to go back to California

As many of you may know, I am very eager to graduate and head back out to California. However, last night I discovered that my iPod seemed just as eager to do the same… I was playing with the new Google Earth application which features location detection. Basically, all you do is press a button and it zeroes in on your location. At first it worked as expected, followed by some interesting results

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Summer Wrap Up

This summer has been anything but boring. My summer has brought many travel and experiences and I decided to list as many as I could remember as I prepare to head back to Purdue for my final yea!

Here we go (attempted to keep in order of occurrence):

  1. Accepted internship with Cisco
  2. Road trip across the country (to get to Cisco in San Jose)
  3. Visited Garden of the Gods
  4. Climbed to the top of Pikes Peak (well, drove to the top)
  5. Visited Las Vegas
  6. Got a tour of the Googleplex
  7. Spent 2 days in Yosemite National Park
  8. Went to the Google I/O Conference
  9. Visited the Mystery Spot
  10. Visited San Francisco
  11. Got my laptop stolen (from a locked trunk) in San Francisco
  12. Traveled the 17 Mile Drive in Monterey
  13. Redesigned Hydra Labs web site (work in progress)
  14. Got hired by Cisco to work through the school year
  15. Vacationed at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland
  16. Released 1.2.0 of Dtella
  17. Wrote this post

Time it took me to do all this: 13 weeks! Lets see if I can keep up this momentum as I head back to school…

VMware + Ubuntu

I installed VMware Workstation on my new laptop so that I can test applications i develop on various platforms. The first one I decided to try on it was Ubuntu 8.04 which was just released a few days ago. The results were amazing. Not only did VMware perform exceedingly well on my system, the entire installation of Ubuntu took under 10 minutes to complete.

Once i rebooted the virtual OS, performance was on par with my native windows OS. There was no lagging or other issues I used to find in virtualization. And while I have always been a RHEL / CentOS guy, this latest release of Ubuntu is proving to be quite functional out of the box. Package management is a breeze with built-in tools for adding and removing applications from the online repositories. The other element that I appreciated is Ubuntu’s small disk footprint. It starts out with the essentials and allows you to add on as necessary and thus a standard desktop install only uses 2.4GB.

Will i be using VMware more now? Absolutely! Will Ubuntu replace my beloved RHEL and CentOS on my servers? Doubt it. While it proves to be a nice desktop environment, there is still more support for RPM based packages on the Red Hat architecture. But who knows, as Ubuntu becomes more and more popular on desktops it may one day overtake Red Hat as the dominant distribution for servers.

Google App Engine

Last night, Google launched App Engine which allows developers to create web applications and publish them on Google’s infrastructure. The exciting part of the App Engine in my eyes is that the language you use to develop on it is Python. Google provides many API’s to interface the Python programming language with the various services they offer. You can authenticate via Google accounts, use Bigtable to store data, and use Google Aps to bind your application to your own domain. They opened the initial “Preview Release” to the first 10,000 developers to sign up. From the looks of it, those 10,000 spots filled up within the first few hours of the launch.

I was fortunate to be one of the first to sign up and got my account last night. I created a basic hello world application to test and overall the system seems very easy to use. My demo is at http://labs.appspot.com.

I also created an account for the PyAMF project and we were able to get a PyAMF echo server running on App Engine. It is currently located at: http://ae.pyamf.org We are continuing to work with it today and tomorrow to write up some examples and a How-to to get people started quickly. We will continue to add more examples to the site as time progresses and we get everything documented.

Hydra Preview

With the public announcement of Hydra EMS being announced any day now, I thought I would give those of you that have been following its development a sneak preview of the UI and some of the new features we have added recently.

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Cisco Choice Choices

As I mentioned before in a post not so long ago, I was accepted into Cisco’s  Choice Program for an internship this summer in San Jose, CA. In this program I actually get to choose what department I want to work for during the summer. In order for them to place me into a department, I was asked to pick my top 3 departments:

1. ETG – Emerging Technology Group
Creates solutions in new and adjacent markets built around advanced video, voice, and data communications.

2. CDO Ops
Enhance productivity and operating efficiency in the CDO organization, improve hardware and software quality across Cisco products and systems

3. NMTG – Network Management Technology Group
Implements network management solutions capability for Cisco products and supporting key Cisco markets.

I am hoping for Emerging Technology as it sounds like they work with a diverse range of technologies and are always on the bleeding edge of development and technology.

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