Brad Derstine
A Nerd & His Dogs

Only Eagles Fans

by bderstine Posted on 2015-03-11T12:44:37Z

Last night I was skimming Facebook, catching up on my friends and their lives, updates, and maybe check some news stories about the Eagles and who they are going after. While scrolling, I saw this...

But then I noticed that 6abc left picture comments turned on, and so I kept scrolling and realized philly fans are hilarious. Below are the first 30 picture comments I saved in the 2 hours since hearing about the Nick Foles trade... Enjoy!

The Eagles Fans During 2015 Offseason is one of my favorites lol

As a life long Eagles fan, I'm not surprised, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. Chip is pretty interesting as a head coach, but these changes just set in motion the countdown for "how long will philly fans tolerate this before they run him out of town" mentality that is traditional of all philly sports team fans. I'm sure there's more pictures, but this was just in the first 2 hours of hearing the news and posted by people on Facebook. Enjoy!



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Help Wanted

by bderstine Posted on 2015-02-25T17:05:53Z

This is a longshot, but the time has officially come for me and I'm taking the plunge. I came up with a plan, a budget, and after giving it a lot of thought and preparation, I really need to start looking for help with my side projects. I'm looking to build a team and I’d like to add 2-3 people to help me with some data entry and entry-level web development work for 3 months, but read the summaries about the projects first and let me know if you have any questions or if you're interested in hearing more.

I want to make these paid positions (~$15/hour, I'm not messing around with cheap labor), and I'm not looking for much experience, but you should have an interest in web development, especially using html, css, javascript, PHP, MySQL. This is a 3 month project I'm hoping will help me get my projects "finished" and ready for the next level. My biggest challenge though is I still need to work my full time job so I'm only available, and odds are we'll only be working, nights and weekends. I want you to learn more about Python and Flask (a lightweight web framework like django), and if we can figure out how to make money at any of this, I'm completely open to options and ideas. Worst case scenario, after 3 months, you look for other work but you can use me as a reference and the work we do can be added to your portfolio. I also have a network of recuriters who keep sending me development jobs I'm not qualified for so you'll be the first person I start forwarding these too. I don't recommend people I haven't worked with, no matter how much LinkedIn wants me to endorse them. lol

Here's a quick summary of the projects I'd like help with...

GradeMyPC -

This is my favorite project and the one I want to "finish" in the worst way. I want this to help non-technical users to quickly and easily find and fix problems with their computer from a software point of view. If you work in IT or fix computers, these areas should be familiar to you... System specs, Run on Startup, Installed Apps, and Background Services. Then, after scanning, I can grade your computer and give you an A-F for those areas and an overall grade. This will help to highlight areas of your computer I think you should uninstall or disable, or help someone who is fixing your computer to know what to look for first. The scan takes about 10-30 seconds and the report card is always updated from the last scan done.

Basically, if you had cornered me at a BBQ and asked me to sit in your dirty office for an hour fixing your nightmare of a computer, the suggestions this app makes would be the same things I would do and say if I was actually there. I hate fixing other people's computers, but as an IT professional who cares about his family and friends, I don't want to see their identities get stolen and I object to how all these websites are collecting mountains of marketing data about us. I remember thinking, what if I could do this for everyone without always having to be in-front of their computer? So I started working on this.

Since there is nothing personal in the report card, here is a sample one of my computer at home...

As you can see, everything has a score of 0 and no letter grades. Most of this will involve creating the admin screens to enter the data, then having someone actually DO the data entry. I want you to shadow me and learn my systems, my ways, my code, and I'm hoping you can offer ideas and suggestions the first week, and hopefully by week 3-4 you can help by submitting code. There is nothing complicated about what I'm doing and everything so far has been written by me with the help of DuckDuckGo searches and StackOverflow.

I'm also hoping to build trust with  IT professionals so they recommend it, I'd like to share my source code for the client as part of the marketing effort... (this may move to github, but I keep private repos on bitbucket so I just left it there)

GradeMyMac -

This is the exact same thing as GradeMyPC, but for the Mac's. The data collector needs more error handling (it worked for me but not on a friend’s 10.9 Mac), and of course the report card lacks any scores of anything. But it does work, at least on my MacBook Air it does...

And just like the PC version, I'll share the source code of the client...

Besides just giving people grades from A-F, I'm also hoping to make suggestions/recommendations of some of my favorite security apps and websites via the report card. Also, I have comments turned on for the specific apps and entries if you click any of the links on the report card. Sadly, none of the more-info pages are filled in and that's just more data entry. For example, I'd encourage people to install Firefox/Chrome, use DuckDuckGo as a search engine, and my favorite is to encourage everyone to use something like AdBlock Plus or Admuncher in order to get the highest grades and keep themselves safe. I can check for these things and adjust my advice accordingly based on their report cards for their systems. I have a lot of ideas for this but not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

WebsiteMixer -

As I was building the GradeMyPC/GradeMyMac backends and learning Python and Flask, I realized I was duplicating a lot of code. I started collecting it, and then realized I could easily use my code base as a content management system similar to WordPress and Drupal. I love WordPress and Drupal! But they have some draw backs that I'm not fond of. Too much time spent doing maintenance, and unless you've ever un-hacked a WordPress site because of an unpatched text editor in some 3rd party theme that claims it's up-to-date, you just haven't seen all the faces of Wordpress yet.

I also have a couple other projects using WebsiteMixer as a base I'm not at liberty to discuss here, but I also get a steady stream of "Hey, can you build me a website?" requests too which I usually turn down and having a stable, easy to maintain code base, preferrably not in WordPress or Drupal, sounds like something I'd really like to have. I'm hoping as you work with me, you can pick up some of the ideas I had for this as well and we can see what works best. My most desired feature for WebsiteMixer is multi-tenancy (multiple sites per single code base). If I had a multi-tenant app that hosted all my sites in a single code base, but still allowed me to do plugin management and theme editting on a per site basis, I would easily spend money on that. But I'd rather release it as an open-source cms and just want to put it out there for anyone who wants to look for alternatives to WordPress and Drupal. Currently, it just does a single site and needs a lot of work, but I hope that changes soon!

My Goals

If we got "done" GradeMyPC/GradeMyMac in the 3 months, I would be thrilled! Anything we add to WebsiteMixer would help me out with my websites and side projects, and if I can throw some of that side work your way and you make some extra money, it would save me a lot of time. I just don't have enough hours in the day, but putting this idea back on the shelf for another year or 2 bothers me. I want to get them done, I want to keep them moving forward.

As a Linux admin by day, I'm a huge fan of open source anything which is why I'm happy to release source code. But even I see a lot of opportunity in these ideas and I really want to take the next step with them and I need help. That's where you come in!

I live out by Lansdale in PA, but I work in Center City Philly. I work within walking distance of Indy Hall and Ventureforth and we can talk about what makes the most sense if this is something you're interested in. I'm open to anyone who has time and energy, a positive attitude, and a thirst for knowledge like me! Misfits and longshots please apply!

I'm excited! Just typing this email made me really excited again and I wished I had done it sooner. But that's a story for another day. If you have any questions, please let me know. To get the conversation rolling, let me know what kind of laptop you have, what your favorite text editor is, and a little bit about what you like to do.

-Brad or

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