And, then things got strange.

Posted: July 30, 2010 by fischfail in Computers, Employment, Random
Tags: , , ,

So before I begin this post, I need you all to take a peek at the picture below.. I know, you don’t have to tell me, it’s awesome.

And now, for the real story.

So, I was at day #2 of work, and I received a call from one of my supervisors regarding a verbal proposal I made the day before.  However, I should give you a little background before I continue.

For those of you who do not personally know me, about a year ago, I wrote a program for the security company I work for.  This program keeps a database of people coming onto property. It was (and still is) highly effective and efficient.  It made the job easier and quicker.  It also saved the company about $300 a month (reduced waste paper and ink costs).  So, it improved efficiency while reducing workload, margin of error, operational costs, and stress (a head hunter’s wet dream). However, as with most first generation programs, it was buggy.  Sure, many of the smaller ones have been corrected overtime, but the overall program still does not make me happy.  So, I began a complete overhaul from the ground up.

And this is where this story truly begins.  I was talking to this supervisor about a problem.  My response was to restart it (and how many times have we heard this?).  After some debate, the supervisor gave up.  My response to this?  Convince the owner to pay m and I will work on this newer version.  15 minutes later, my supervisor calls me back to tell me to write up a proposal.

My absolute favorite thing to do ever (note the tangible sarcasm in that statement).

So, anyways.  This new version is going to be built around stability and speed.  The preliminary testing I’ve done on the user interface (UI) has proven this.  But, not only does it accomplish this, it is also more fully featured, offering options that should have been included the first go around.

Onto the code: Now the problem is with how quickly the program and databases processes/handles data.  This time around I’m focused on optimized code and less pointers.  But I am sure non of you care to read this.

So, I’ve improved processing speed and stability, that doesn’t reduce errors or improve entry speed.  I know, and I have a solution for that as well.  But that requires a short side story.

You should all know by this point that I am a huge fan of StumbleUpon.  In fact, I don’t know how I traversed the Internet for so long before I made this discovery.  But, the other night I was stumbling (instead of sleeping for work) and I came across a tutorial to change a (customizable) $20 credit card reader into a state ID reader, for about $50 (price of card reader included), this is compared to a $200 card reader that you can buy premade.  The nice thing about the version I will be building is I add my own code to it, and only take the exact information that  need.  And now back to the story (once again).

Say that it currently takes the average person 10 seconds to type a person’s name (and believe me, this is an understatement where I work).  That is only 4-5 cars a minute (this is a complex that receives over 14,000 visitors a month), considering you have to give the person time to pull away.  However, there is a huge flaw with this: Typos.  See, the program contains a database of banned persons, however one single typo , overrides this measure.  The card reader will prevent this, by taking legal name directly off thee ID, there can be no typos (in theory) and, it also takes entry time to less than 2 seconds.  And thus I have a solution.

So now I have to create a proposal for this while deal, which I have done plenty of times in the past.  That does not make it any easier though.

But here is the interesting this about this version (besides all the previously mentioned updates).  I’m going to start using this blog as a production blog as well (on top of all the other things this magical brain dump is good for).  Also, once the coding is done, I’m going to offer it out as an open beta (only to people I personally know though), so you can let me know if you’re interested.

But, I would like your input.  Say you run a security company, at an apartment complex.  It is a gated community; you know, show ID to get in.  Now every visitor on property has to get logged in (visitors, residents, leasing officer visitors, management visitors, people playing onside activities, etc.).  This program is fully capable of producing its own updates (you can provide custom updates directly from the UI, at least when it comes to databases), and comes with a user guide.  What would you, the owner, look for in a program like this?

  1. Go to McKinley (or who ever does their security) with a proposal, most of their properties are just like ‘lake in the hood’ and I’m pretty sure they are still using pen and paper.

    I know your boss won’t like you going to the competition with the same program, but for you personally it makes good business sense.

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