The Run Data Experiment

Every time I run, I use the Nike+ iPhone app to record various metrics. As a pet project, I have been developing a middleware to get my run data and see what I can do with it.

Things I’ve been learning with this project:

  • - cURL to access cookie restricted information
  • - MySql database optimization (I say this with caution)
  • - PDO methodologies
  • - OOP
  • - Google Maps API and GPS data
  • - JSON

Currently, I have a script that runs every hour and utilizes a class I wrote to access two different feeds that has the Nike+ data. The first feed is a basic metrics list of all my runs in an xml format. The script first checks the most recent id in the run list against runs in the database. If it finds an id that isn’t in the database, it adds the basic run information and to a table and then it queries a larger JSON feed using the run id. The larger JSON feed has a lot more information so the script loops through it and add the data chunks it to various tables.

Nike also has two other feeds for user profile, and some basic ‘best times.’ While part of this project was so I could do my own analysis, there’s no reason I shouldn’t grab the math Nike has already done and it might be interesting to, for instance, see how my best mile changes over time. The user profile feed has some calculations that I could do like, total runs, but it also has average runs per week and preferred day of the week to run. While I could also calculate those myself, it’s an easy enough to just grab it and see how it changes over time.

Check out the some of the results here

Jimmy 16

Jimmy 16Jimmy 16 started during a lunch conversation. I was reading a book about PHP and MySql and Jimmy was talking about his brief experience trying to make a web page with the various WYSIWYGs. He told me about a game he used to play with his buddies where they would make brackets of various topics. It would be anything like ‘best breakfast place.’ Each one of his buddies got a copy of the bracket and during the next period they would make their votes. Between classes in the hall, they would tally each round to determine the next bracket.

I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to learn PHP more in depth. Getting my hands in deep with session handling, users, form validation, primary/foreign key relationships, etc. It was a ton of fun to make and its still in testing. Once I have the initial testing completed I intend to integrate it into other social medias.

Update: I intend to launch a Jimmy16 2.0 soon which will take advantage of OOP as I continue to develop my skills in PHP programing. The launch of Jimmy 16 2.0 will also be coupled with the subsequent limited-release to the general public for further testing. Stay tuned!

Ab Interim

abinterimThe idea for this site was based on a passionate clock collector who has an extensive private clock collection and was looking for a way to organize his inventory as well as welcome other collectors and enthusiasts to peruse his collection.

From a development perspective I set out to accomplish three goals:

1. Develop a custom WordPress theme from scratch
2. Make use of Google’s font library and create an simple black and white design
3. Dig into the PHP side of WordPress and utilize PHP functions to create a unique user experience

For Ab Interim the main goal was keep it simple for the admin to add clocks as the collection grow. As thus, this site utilizes custom taxonomies introduced in WordPress 3.0. Using custom taxonomies and various functions I created the tag menus in the sidebar to provide a unique user experience.

WordPress is by far my favorite CMS to develop in. Having developed in Joomla! and Drupal, I have concluded that WordPress has a great balance between PHP development and simple HTML and CSS.

JQuery Menu

jquery menuAs I move forward with developing my Customer Management System in PHP, I thought I could show off some of its pieces.

I decided to make the main menu with some simple JQuery to add that application feel to the user interface. Check it out.

Email Newsletter

Nick Hedberg email News LetterI set out to make and HTML email newsletter thinking “how hard could this be?” I am well versed in XHTML and CSS and this would be just one page of information. After consulting various resources and researching best practices I quickly reached the conclusion that this wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. Browser compliance is one thing, getting the code to be compliant against a plethora of web apps and desktop applications is a lot of work.

As a developer, I relish in the idea of setting global controls for my designs – it is the basic principal behind cascading style sheet. However, not all email clients recognize CSS among them being Gmail. Thus all the styling has to be in-line making it very tedious to develop.

After a few hours of work and a couple of steep learning curves, I developed my first of many HTML email newsletters.

Candid Theater Co. :: Beta

Candid TheaterCandid Theater Co. is a local theater company gaining in notoriety. With a limited budget, Candid looked for a website they could administer and maintain without needing too much technical knowledge. The logo design and branding was done by one of my long time colleague James Buffington. We collaborated with the layout and I handled the development. Having mastered Joomla! custom development, I used Candid as an opportunity to develop in Drupal. The site is 100% custom developed and styled from theme, page, node, block and CCK fields. Using CCK I successfully developed and themed custom inputs for Productions and The Troupe so as Candid Theater Co. grows their business updating updating these content sections will be as easy as filling out an online form.

This is the beta release of the site. In the near future the site will be expanded to include a “backstage” section for actors, producers, directors etc. to look up rehearsal schedules and message specific production groups. Also, integration of events and calendar will be in the near future so visitors of the site can download appointments and check production schedules for performance dates.

Country Joe Foods

Country Joe FoodsI initially started on this project as just a developer but ended up handling most of the design as the project evolved.

I was contracted by Tamarack Consulting, LLC to complete phase one of Country Joe Foods business redevelopment. Phase two transitioned to another firm to handle implementing e-commerce. The site was developed with a small business in mind using Jommla! as a CMS so the Country Joe staff could easily edit and adjust their product listing as their company evolved.

Ultimately the site was redeveloped in Volusion but my initial design remained.

Phase I of the site in it’s entirety was live one month after accepting the project.