Archive for the ‘data handling’ Category

Getting Data from CokeBikes

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Just a piece of PHP for getting data from it is in a JSON format at the top of the webpage in JavaScript, I get it out of the webpage using a Regex and then pass it through a JSON decoder in PHP to get the piece I want.



Pull out e-mail addresses only in Excel

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Just a shot snippet of code to pull out e-mail addresses only, it works as a function in excel so you can write it as a function in excel.


Database PDF Manafacture

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Database PDF Manafacture

Their comes a time when people want stuff printed, and no matter what you do, it will still have to be printed, and if your running big events, then that printing can get pretty troublsome, I was involved in building a little bit of a site, where we wanted to reduce people input in to generating printed documents. Essentially taking the copy and pasting out of the job, and as the posh people say “structering the data”.



So this meant HTML form to PHP to Databases and then to PDF’s

I used PDF’s as webpages don’t normally print very well and PDF’s are almost everywhere, they give a nice printed page, which you can print, and the most important thing is people understand them.

Tools used

  • jquery
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • tcpdf
  • HTML

The jquery was use in form validation, as show in a earler post

PHP was used to process the forms, in the standard way and then insert the code in to the database, but using Prepared statements and stored procedures (

Then using the database and tcpdf (, you could generate pdfs on the fly from the data base, here is a sample of the code below.

Are Mobile phone companys going to go bust?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

I ‘ve been thinking for a while about smart phones, and maybe that the smart phone may kill the mobile phone company, how could this be ?….. well if you look at the way “Whats up” the messaging platform has taken off (below)

It seems that people are starting to see that  you can message, and talk to people with out a mobile signal, and just a wifi signal, by using skype and whats up and viper. So where is this going, well if people can message each other with out the need for a mobile network, then why does one need a mobile network? I wonder what will happen when mesh networks start to become more widly avaibale on handsets, This is already starting on the Android platform with projects such as below

The Serval Mesh

There could be interesting times in the mobile networks, as we have near 100% moible phone penetration in some markets.

Internet Safer Internet Day (SID) today!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

It’s Internet Safer Internet Day (SID) it is organised by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.

Have a look and find more details on

Banks and people, and databases in the sky!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

It seems we have another banking crisis, but this time it’s IT related, so what could be occurring at any of the said banks that are having these issues.

Well all these systems are interlinked, fail proofed and secured to the maximum……We hope! No bank will come out and tell you exactly what way they are doing this, or it will be hidden behind some PR brefing document.

So lets ponder what a typical bank set up might be:
well its going to be at the base level, storage, processing, and display

So lets have a look at storage:
We can presume that any bank would have a SAN or Storage Area network, this could be fiber or network, but these systems tend to be legacy based, so will probably be fiber. Their should be actually at least two sans, on as a mirror, so there would be fail-over. At a disk level there would be at least a RAID array (We would hope)and their would be a back up solution.

On the Processing side:
They could have a private cloud running vmware or Linux or M$ or some other cloud vendor, or they could be on plain hardware which hopefully would be on a cluster. These boxes would hopefully run Linux or M$.

Then we’re going to have some processing software, remember at all these systems core is a database that keeps your name, account number and the current balance in your account, that’s the main function of a bank. That would be fine if there was nothing else happening, and when you credited or withdrawn money form the bank, well then your current balance would be credited of debited, however the trouble is that when you have millions of these occurring, you then have a problem, or in some cases 20 million plus occurring, then if it goes wrong then you have a bigger problem.

The Display part, is simply putting the information on the screen, however if the information is wrong in the screen, well then you have a problem.

This seems to be whats happening at the moment, as shown in the regester:

But I just wonder about the people that may ask the questions at our enquires, what skill set will they have?, will they have the technical competency to know or understand even the basics of these systems?, I not aware of any member of the oireachtas, coming out and stating that they have a Degree in IT related discipline or having a Technical officer asking the questions that need to be asked.

Even looking at the committees list ( we don’t even have a mention of information technology, and I surpose I’m looking for it in the wrong place, but even so, I just wonder how tech competent the oireachtas members are?

Using old phone booths

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

In New York they are doing something with the old phone booths, there seems to be a good idea taking shape, This is transforming all the phone booths in to Tablet notice boards, that can give you information on what, where and where to get etc. Maybe now that some of our phone companies could talk a idea from new york and put this in motion in Ireland. so rather then ringing some one, your could look something up But that brings up the question do we need phone booths at all, if we all have mobiles! Or could we use the phone booths as a sensor technology to get an better understanding of street traffic, noise levels, after all they are a hardwired link to a exchange, in almost every street and city in the world.

You can read the link here


Clouds and when they go bust or etc.!

Monday, February 6th, 2012

So Megaupload users face data deletion according to the BBC ( so we are now in to the “fun” of the start of cloud services going bust, or being stopped operating by litigation. so it looks like you have to keep a copy of your data, before you go on to the cloud, but it also looks like you are going to have to synchronize your data with the clouds copy, that is assuming that you have a interface to that data. The example used could be GMail where users have all there data on google servers but if something happens to google, then your email data maybe gone, you can always set up a client to back up your data, see and connect up evolution or thunderbird to copy your data out of the GMail cloud. It gets more interesting when you can’t get ftp access or no common standard is used for getting data out of the cloud. So there could be fun times ahead for people and companies that have gone too fast to cloud services, the may have to start looking in to how they synchronise there data with the cloud to maintain a local copy of there data.

The regulator for communications in America (FCC) is looking that all phones will have GPS in them.

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

In America the FCC (the regulator for communications) is looking that all phones will have GPS in them, so that the 999 or 112 emergency call will also send out GPS data also, so that in an emergency The emergency response people can track where you are. While privacy advocats will be up in arms about this, I think this is a good thing for people living in remote areas, but could we do this already, Shouldn’t the phone companies get together with there triangulation data, and add it to there networks so that when a Emergency  call is made, the system will pull in the triangulation data, I know that it may be patchy, were you have only one mast receiving the signal, but a lot of areas are now served by two or more masts. So maybe a bit of inovation is required here, hopefully the rest of the world will follow.

More on:

Amazon Kindle Fire tablet

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Amazon are getting in to the tablet game with the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, and it looks like it will be a disruptive product, that will disrupt the market at under $200 or in under €150 Euros aprox. I hope that they will have a strong UI over android. its going to have a 7-inch screen with a Gorilla Glass coating, a 1GHz TI OMAP dual-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and will weigh 14.6 ounces. So the Speck is ok, its not going to set the world on fire, but for the person that wants a tablet, it should do the job. The worry will be how android or Amazon will it be, I dont see any mention of a USB connector, or sound out, I am prsuming that this will be as standard. It also will default to the Amazon market place, so that your app experience will be limited, This means that you can get access to the Android market. So it looks like we are seen a product with a open OS, but it will have a closed data portal. The 8GB of data will be tight if your watching video, but amazon have Amazon Cloud Storage, where the product could kill the market, is in the realm of video, where with whispernet, you can walk from watching the movie on the subway, and have it pick up where you stopped the movie on the subway to your TV in your front room, with out having to fast forward again to the point. IF it works, then it should be very cool. This could be the IPad killer!