Archive for November 2010

First Round of Lightning Talks

On days without a designated speaker, we all share short presentations that we’ve coined “Lightning talks”. They’re not our creation though — I stole the name from Yet Another Perl Conference. This week, Jason Schollenberger, Brian O’Keefe, and I all shared different topics, covered in the PDF available for download below.

Jason discussed an application he’s developing in C# that tracks inventory for companies online. Brian covered two different projects: AugustAmbience, which uses jQuery to play the “soothing sounds of summer” and has attracted over 120,000 unique visitors, and LoserStats, a FaceBook application that uses different profile metrics to score the loserosity of the person using the application. We went over the pitfalls of FaceBook application development, as well as the great elements of jQuery. Lastly, I quickly discussed a project I’m developing in Perl for automating my current open mic website, JerseyMic. We discussed the different methods for pulling in information and how I’m going to integrate it all into a single source website.

Feel free to download the PDF available below for additional information:

Minutes from the first round of DCS lightning talks

DCS Trip to 8static in Philadelphia

A few of us in the Dead Coder Society went to the recent 8static chiptunes (Wikipedia) show in Philadelphia. 8static combines chiptune music and 8-bit video displays for an awesome night. They highlight upcoming artists with an 8-bit open mic and had a pre-show presentation on the Arduino. There were three main performers and they were all fantastic. Jason was able to capture a few videos during the night:

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Web Development and Hardware: Jason Schollenberger

Jason presented a wide variety of topics to the Dead Coder Society, ranging from his web development projects to several different hardware topics. He presented an amazingly informational set of PowerPoint slides, which are attached at the end of this post in PDF format for viewing. Please feel free to download these slides for more in-depth coverage of his presentation. A quick summary of the topics have been outlined below:

  • PhatProfile – His first “large-scale” project, PhatProfile converted the Today window in AIM into a customizable profile. Had a peak of over 4600 active users while in production.
  • C# “AI” program – Application that provided responses  based on triggers defined in an XML file. Also included the ability to launch programs from within the application.
  • Hardware – Jason completed his presentation with an in-depth review of his different hardware excursions including:
    • Overclocking
    • Watercooling
    • Storage

The included PDF contains additional information and is chock-full of screenshots and photos for each section. Take a look!

Web Development and Hardware: Jason Schollenberger (PDF)

Integrated Management System & ECAdmin: Brian Cole

Brian Cole introduced himself to the group in this talk by presenting some of his projects and hobbies. The notes from other group members are presented below:

Brain was an original contributer to the Blackbox linux window manager. There’s an equivalent bb4win port for Windows (similar to WindowBlinds.) He’s currently involved in a software project through Stockton called the “Integrated Management System,” which allows technology workers and staff to easily manage and track workstations within the school. It tracks every computer on campus by pulling information on login, with assistance from a C++ app he coded. Some of the features include

  • automatically generated service sheets in PDF form
  • an improved ticket system
  • emailed error reports.

It was originally served from a standard LAMP stack and was eventually migrated to all Microsoft products and rewritten in C# and ASP (using the MVC framework.)

The ECAdmin project is another ongoing Stockton project under Brian’s control. Designed for classrooms using the .NET framework, the ECAdmin application allows users to control projectors in all rooms of the campus. Brian was able to WireShark the original software to discover the control codes and design a more intuitive interface.

Brian also commented on his use of Resharper, a code completion tool for Visual Studio that offers enhanced completion of code, along with many other useful suggestions. Brian finished the talk with a discussion of his home server setup, including a server-rack with a Cisco router and a few 1U hosts, complete with a battery backup.

Brian Cole’s website is available at

Open Source and FCEUX: Lukas Sabota

Lukas was our fourth presenter and talked about his experience with open source development, specifically for the FCEUX NES Emulator. His slides were perfect as reminders throughout the talk, and stand alone as perfect notes. As outlined in our “Notes on Notes” post, you’ll want to look at the presentation slides to compliment these shorthand notes provided below:


  • Lukas Sabota – OSS enthusiast
  • “Don’t reinvent, improve on existing”
  • Contributing to Open Source projects sharpens skills Read more