PROFESSIONAL PATH

PROFESSIONAL PATH

A brief and visually helpful timeline style walk through of my work experience...

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SKILLS, TALENTS, AND ABILITIES

SKILLS, TALENTS, AND ABILITIES

Showing determination in the face of fear makes us extraordinary. Wow, that's deep but hey, check out some of these awesome skills...

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FISHY BUSINESS

FISHY BUSINESS

His roommates are pretty worthless but that doesn't stop him from saying, "Ooop. Ooop. Ooop." on the regular...

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Homepage / Technology & Programming

Reading Time: 3 minutes Why Autoit? Alright, just as any language has its roots so does our discovery of it. My discovery of Autoit! comes from a need I was experiencing at work. I was working as a 9-1-1 operator and police dispatcher and I realized a massive weakness in our GPS program we had in our center. All of our officers had GPS on board of their patrol vehicles; however, we (in dispatch) had no way of pinging that GPS quickly so we could respond in a timely fashion when help was requested. I was dispatching one night and an officer came up on the air broadcasting that he had tazed someone and he wanted backup. All of my training concerning officers on city streets was to ALWAYS clarify the officer’s location because (per my past training), “You know where he was, not where he is!” With that ringing in my ears I automatically asked the officer, “Advise current location?” His response is now fuzzy to me but he came back with some smarty response and failed to answer my question. So, I sent help to his last known location. Everything turned out okay but the problem was still his location. After the incident the officer began spreading rumors that I did not know where he was and that I didn’t care about officer’s lives and so on. Of course I got a really hard time trying to shake this “trust issue” among the units I was working with. My solution was to write my own program so I could always locate officers in the future without having to ask them. So, the writing begins… My favorite language is by far Visual Basic but the computers at work used .Net Framework 1.something old. I knew that I should use something that doesn’t rely on .Net anything so I began exploring how to get this done. I scratched together several versions in different languages trying to put something together that would run at work. Finally, after a lot of research I was able to bypass all superficial/topographical systems and locate the satellite feed and where it came in and to what server, etc. After I was able to bypass a few settings (ethically, of course 😉 I was able to capture the GPS streams as they were received and then pull those into my program. I hit a few stumbling blocks along the way but one of the most helpful forums I found was on the Autoit! site. The programmers in there were so much more welcoming than any other site. The syntax seemed relatively simple to pick up and the help files were very thorough. Now what? In case you are wondering, the answer is “no”, I cannot put that program on here for any eyes to see, download, etc. but at least you have a background on my beginnings to Autoit!. Don’t worry, I will post a couple different things on here for you to play with though. The Autoit! language is very slim and runs like nobody’s business and so I kept working in that language for a lot of programs. I still actively program in this language when I get the chance. A few projects I do not have every Autoit! program I’ve ever built on this site but I will provide a few here and then I will keep posting more as I find them. A Few of My Autoit! Projects Having Audible Weather! This program was to allow different weather conditions to be updated and then read to me as I needed/wanted it to be. You can download the zip file by CLICKING HERE. Once you unzip the folder you can play around with the programs. I did leave the .au3 files so you can open those up and view the code also. IP Finder This program helps in locating the IP. Download it here. File Monitor This program monitors a given folder and notifies you using beeps when a change has occurred. Download it here. AutoIt: Reference for Administrators. This is an AutoIt! help manual I put together to help out those who are just beginning. It walks you through the basics when getting started with AutoIt!. This was a fun little manual to put together and I hope you get some use out of it. Feel free to view or download this guide by clicking on this link HERE.   Summary of Downloads & Extra Links   Helpful links Autoit! Help forum My Project Downloads Audible Weather Apps IP Address Finder Folder Monitor AutoIt: Reference for Administrators.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes Why Access? All of my programming actually happened while I was going to school for accounting. This was back in the day when you had to manually hand-write out your ledgers…yeah. Then along came a program called Microsoft Excel. Once I started playing around with the program I was blown away. All of those pain-staking nights of hand-writing out everything and then I found this automated way of doing the same thing (only I didn’t have to worry about the math being carried over to another ledger incorrectly). Of course, I played and played with Excel and then I learned about VBA! It was like another layer of fun for me because not only could the math still be taken care of but I could begin automating all of the functions as well. Next, I just dove right in (no holding back). I discovered a little fact about me that I didn’t know before and that was the fact that I am a natural at programming. I picked up the code so quickly it even surprised me. Many of my spreadsheets actually began getting so large I had to flip over to databases and then Access entered the scene. I was having so much fun with Excel and the VBA behind the scenes Access came that much faster. Really, now I use them both very often and I love doing anything and everything in VBA (with both Excel and Access). My Projects Currently, I have this one DB to get this page started. I will be adding more projects as time goes on. My Projects(s) Simple Database This database was created to allow for tracking in case the network connection went down at my job (which was pretty often). The fun part is when you start using the VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) because you can do some fun things with your MS Access database. If you would like to poke around at this one, please feel free to download by CLICKING HERE. Helping to Index Everyone wants information and they never want to wait for it. Working in an industry where peoples lives are impacted by your ability to retrieve information quickly I found the shortest database is better than the longest memory! I created a database that I could quickly search/ping for random bits of data. Granted, in this copy I’ve left here for you to download doesn’t have a lot of the more “sensitive” information in there but in the HazMat section you’ll be able to see it working. Feel free to add your own modifications to the file or the code as you need to. I use this one a lot to help me quickly recall different codes, phone numbers, or anything really I would need to put in there here’s a copy for you to download.   Summary of Downloads & Extra Links   Getting Help The Best Help Place My Project Downloads Example of Tracking DB Helping to Index Links I found Helpful Hiding the Access Window Using VBA Information: Limits of the DB Print Preview Before Print

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Reading Time: 2 minutes Why this language? Oh gosh, what nerd doesn’t use this? Using the terminal window is the first thing any nerd needs to learn when you’re going through nerd school. Utilizing the DOS CMD (command) window is used in my everyday life. The first time I used this in a professional setting was when 8 computers at work got infected with a virus and the center manager didn’t know what to do. They called I.T. department and put in a work ticket but it would be at least a week before they got around to sending someone out. So, my boss looked to me and asked me if I could do something…uhh, heck yeah! With her permission I quickly put together a batch file which gave me admin access to the computer, I rebooted and jumped into a few files and within 15 minutes the virus was gone and she was back up and running. Regrets…? When people see you putting together a quick batch file which helps you get rid of a virus they start looking at you different, this isn’t in a good way either. They actually start thinking that you are a threat (at least this was the case with me). With a bit of 20/20 vision now I think I should have never started fixing small things around the office. Either way, I’ve used batch for so many years I honestly don’t know when I started. Holding back at work is a good thing though for sure. A Few of My Projects You can never know the settings that I.T. has used to lock out controls or to what extent they have locked down settings so each case will be different. Depending on how things are set up you may have to tweak the coding around. These are actually very simple. Sometimes you have to write a whole program to bypass things. These should give you something fun to play with. Of course, I’m not going to give you some really strong codes to bypass admin stuff because I wouldn’t want to be held accountable for anything you may do with that; so, I’m going to offer you something to get the creative juices flowing. Enjoy. Batch file projects Hack me in CLICK HERE to download a script which uses the “net user” function to add you as a user A little background on using “net user” Hack me out This takes your admin profile out. There may be some more steps you need to take to remove all of your tracks but this will give you a start. IP Finder This is a small script to locate IP. Download the file here   Summary of Downloads & Extra Links   Helpful links Basic DOS CMD’s Root Directories Recognized Environment Variables My Project Downloads Create Admin Access Remove Admin Access IP Finder

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Reading Time: 2 minutes   Most Recent Robot How did this ever happen? Yeah…so, who really goes around just building robots, right? Well, I guess I do. I love repairing things that break and I love figuring out how things work. When our DVD player broke we were just planning to throw it out so I asked my wife if it could be donated to my projects instead. She was game so long as it didn’t, “Make the house look messy.” Off to the Matt Cave with my freshly broken DVD player then! It took me a little bit to figure out how to interface with the circuitry but once I figured out how things worked with it I built a robotic arm out of it. At the time I was really big on Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and so I also wrote a program that allowed the sensors that I affixed to the robotic arm to play nice with MS Excel. I created live feeding graphs and data so as the robotic arm would ambulate it would provide live-feeding data to my computer. Eventually, I ran a demo for my wife and she thought it was beyond cool and she encouraged me to go to school to pursue doing these sort of things for a living (mostly because they make me so happy, too). In the beginning of any project things usually start out really small and then grow into bigger and better things. This was no different. In fact, I started with just an old DVD player and as time went on I began picking up printers, vacuums or just any broken electronic device that someone was throwing out. Due to funding, I started scraping for parts anywhere and everywhere. Seriously, an old broken bicycle is like the jackpot! If I can get a gear or cog I am so happy because I can use that in so many ways. So much to build, so little time I have a lot of different robotic ideas and projects that I would like to be a part of right now but I think I just need to give some things a little time. One of the largest issues is funding. It is not cheap to build robots and each time I see the cost of a new servo motor all I see are diapers. We still have a little one toddling around in diapers and when it comes down to it I’d rather get some diapers than anything hobby-wise. I did go by the local high schools to volunteer to be on their robotics teams and help the students build things for competitions but I was turned away because you have to either be one of their parents (and no, I couldn’t get any of the kids to agree to be my pretend kid either) or you have to be a teacher there. So, with all of these set backs I am just going to stand by and collect my parts slowly and build things as I can. I recently used one of my microcontrollers to operate the security door for my office and that was really cool. The resest was built from a broken vacuum cleaner, air compressor and some old work out equipment (and some other household things). I will undoubtedly keep assembling different devices and I will keep posting them on this page so you’ll have to keep in touch to see if there are any changes or updates.   Summary of Downloads & Extra Links   Helpful links Microcontrollers Parallax Clippard Bimba

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Reading Time: 3 minutes Why Excel Rocks My discovery of programming actually happened while I was going to school for accounting. This was back in the day when you had to manually hand-write out your ledgers…yeah. Then along came a program called Microsoft Excel. Once I started playing around with the program I was blown away. All of those pain-staking nights of hand-writing out everything and then I found this automated way of doing the same thing (only I didn’t have to worry about the math being carried over to another ledger incorrectly). Of course, I played and played with Excel and then I learned about VBA! It was like another layer of fun for me because not only could the math still be taken care of by utilizing the many cell functions but I could begin automating all of the functions as well. Next, I just dove right in (no holding back). I discovered a little fact about me that I didn’t know before and that was the fact that I am a natural at programming. I picked up the code so quickly it even surprised me. Many of my spreadsheets actually began getting so large I had to flip over to databases and then Access entered the scene. I was having so much fun with Excel and the VBA behind the scenes Access came that much faster. Really, now I use them both very often and I love doing anything and everything in VBA (with both Excel and Access). My Projects I have some of my more fun projects here so you can download and play with the VBA and such. Downloads TNG & TOS Alarm Clock For the Trekies in the house here is a TNG/TOS Alarm Clock. I hope you enjoy! A Basic Countdown Clock This is a basic Countdown clock. Your Current Star Date It takes a little bit of math but you can find out your current star date. An Offical Timesheet I built this for my old job and my boss liked it so much she got it cleared through the proper channels and we all used this time sheet. Sample Test I built this form driven workbook to show a co-worker that you could actually use Excel to aid the people in the training division. Here was the sample test. Fun With API’s This is a basic IMAP weather API in Excel. I liked this one for a while but then it got old. If you are new to playing around with API’s this is a fun exercise. More Excel Automation A supervisor wanted a workbook created to help us tracking certain event logs. So, needless to say I turned to Excel to create this fun row adding workbook. Technically this one should have flipped over to an Access DB but the practice was really fun. I think I came up with this one just before a lot of my assignments at work ended up requiring a DB. Barnsley Fern Fractal Every math nerd ends up playing with fractals and I am no different. Fractals are very fun because of the math involved in them. This Barnsley Fern Fractal is one of my favorites and of course I had to push Excel until I figured out how to create a fractal in the program.

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