Mr Andersson

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Swedish Alt.Net UG Coding Dojo at Avega, Stockholm

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Yesterday I was at my very first Coding Dojo with my fellow collegues Morten and Sebastian. I was somewhat nervous before this event. Coding in group is not an every day occasion for me :). But it went very well and I can only concur on what Morten blogged about.

Adding to that I must say it were so popular that we needed to split up into two conference rooms. Each room was equipped with a projector, a decent table with room enough for about 15 people.
However, even though we split up into two teams (that focused on the same Kata, see link in Morten’s post), we were just too many people around the table. I’m not sure about the exact head count but I guess we ended up with about 9 or 10 people. The most disappointing thing was that one guy was “rolling his own private solution” on his machine during the session. No hard feelings though; I believe this is a sign that we had too many participants in each group.
Worth to say is that each rotation was time limited to 4 minutes with a break of 15 seconds. That means each 4 minutes you rotate around the table and the next person takes the keyboard and continues where the last person left off. The person to the left of the person at the keyboard is the navigator in the pair.
Really nice experience and very nice and bright people in the user group! Thanks Avega (especially Joakim Sundén and his collegues) for hosting the meeting at their office here in Stockholm.
Today I couldn’t resist thinking of how we could do this internally at work (we’re 6 persons writing code at RemoteX so it seems to be just too perfect). Oh, so much cool code to write, so little time. 🙂

Written by anderssonjohan

November 11, 2009 at 23:01

Posted in events, programming

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Bacchi Orden Open

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Tomorrow is the Bacchi Orden Open taking place in Hornstull, Stockholm.
RemoteX Technologies is sponsoring and I and my collegue Erik will play in the tournament (thanks Pal!).

The Pal asked me quite a while ago for ideas on how we (RemoteX Technologies) could help them out in digitalizing the scorekeeping process during the event. First I thought about putting together a customized version of RemoteX Applications which would help entering scores etc using PDAs. However, the scorekeeping process and the service process (which is what RemoteX Applications primarily supports) did not align very well, so we skipped that idea.
The solution ended up in using their already existing web application (based on the LAMP stack), with some minor adjustments to support Pocket Internet Explorer, Opera for Mobile and such.

QR Code with Face design
Each player plays two so called entries and each entry consists of 4 random games.
Each game on each entry is registered a score and the best score is used in a player ranking algorithm to produce the tournament standings page.
To ease the pain of writing down the score on a piece of paper and THEN enter them into the web application, the solution also involves a free software called i-Nigma which is used to scan QR-codes.
All players get their two entries printed on papers. Each printed entry has four QR-codes, each representing a link to a page on which the score is to be entered by the scorekeeper.
So basically, the scorekeeping process is:

  1. The player plays a game
  2. Calls for the scorekeeper to register the score of the game
  3. The scorekeeper uses a mobile phone equipped with i-Nigma to scan the QR-code of the game
  4. The scorekeeper enters the score in a text field in the web browser on the mobile phone
  5. The player can continue play the remaining games in the entry

Everything worked out eventually, but we came up with a few issues we need to address before the upcoming (bigger) event, Stockholm Open:

  • i-Nigma is not ready out of the box. Further configuration needs to be done on the mobile phones in order to turn off security checks related to camera usage, turning on the led light (“flash”)
  • i-Nigma can’t turn on the led light/flash on the mobile phone. This becomes an issue when trying to scan the QR-codes in a dark room.
  • Either i-Nigma or more probably Windows Mobile does not play very well together. Query strings are chopped of when using ampersands as the separator between query string variables. An adjustment was made live during the event and addresses the issue by replacing ampersands with semicolon.
  • Info in QR-code should be printed as normal text together with the code to allow for a pen-and-paper backup solution (compare with EAN codes where the number is printed together with the bar code)
  • Facility issue: Test the WiFi/cell network before the event!! Signal was poor and it was nearly impossible to connect for the two HTC TyTn phones we used
  • More testing up-front with realistic conditions. We had to re-print every pre-printed entry on a sloooow ink-jet printer (which neither wanted to play WiFi)

We had some really nasty problems during the event, but as my former CEO Ulf Engerby at Qbranch would put it: Success is planned, shit happens!

If you want more information about the event, please visit the website.

Written by anderssonjohan

March 21, 2009 at 10:42

Posted in events

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