overridepro featured in Workwise

Justin Tabb, Chief Solution Architect of overridepro was recently interviewed for Workwise,  a nationally syndicated newspaper column.  The weekly column has run in newspapers nationwide from Miami to San Diego since 1994 and covers emerging trends in the workplace.

The story will be published within the next couple weeks.  We will update you all with a link to the column once it is run. Stay tuned!

Origin of Software Bugs

Thought this was interesting when I heard this story at a conference recently so I thought we would post it out for all you software developers out there!

In 1947, Grace Murray Hopper was working on the Harvard UniversityMark II Aiken Relay Calculator (a primitive computer).
The 74-year-old captain, who is still on active duty, was a pioneer incomputer technology during World War II. At the C.W. Post Center of Long Island University, Hopper told a group of Long Island public school administrators that the first computer “bug” was a real bug — a moth. At Harvard one August night in 1945 1947, Hopper and her associates were working on the “granddaddy” of modern computers, the Mark I Mark II. “Things were going badly; there was something wrong in one of the circuits of the long glass-enclosed computer,” she said. “Finally, someone located the trouble spot and, using ordinary tweezers, removed the problem, a two-inch moth. From then on, when anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it.

First Bug Report (literally a BUG)

First Bug Report (literally a BUG)

Hopper said that when the veracity of her story was questioned recently, “I referred them to my 1945 1947 log book, now in the collection of Naval Surface Weapons Center, and they found the remains of that moth taped to the page in question.”

Having too many “bugs” in your software? Contact Us to discuss how we can help you take your software to the next level!

training.apple.com { CASE STUDY }

Challenge

The challenge was taking the backend system that was used by Apple to run their Training Program and provide an interface with the frontend web-site training.apple.com using open source technologies so Apple could incur lower costs for regular maintenance and shorter turnaround times.

The Approach

The backend system that Apple uses to communicate with their Authorized Training Centers around the world required a number of enhancements since the first build that gave Apple a more firm grasp around the program as a whole. These mainly centered around user interface improvements as well as communication protocols. By utilizing an Open Source Rapid Application Development framework Override was able deliver outstanding results in a fast and effective manner. Some of the features that were added were:

  • Classroom Photo Uploads
  • A Mini Email Client where the client can deliver HTML emails
  • Better Reporting
  • Tighter Integration with Ancillary Systems
  • Ability for Authorized Training Centers to Upload Photos of their facility as part of their application

As a further benefit for this application we ensured the application had proper code coverage with unit tests to ensure future additions to the codebase did not cause unexpected errors.

Integration

The challenge with integrating the backend system with the front-end web application was the Apple firewall. Due to security restrictions Apple limits the ports that are open on their firewall so we could not push data from the backend system to the front end system. The solution to this challenge was creating custom web services and pulling the information from the backend system to the apple.com domain.

Results

Through the use of Open Source Technologies Override was able to achieve outstanding results on time and on budget. The client has been empowered to manage both the backend and front-end aspects of their digital strategy.

The back-end system is private to Apple only but you can view the front-end system at http://training.apple.com. The system that pulls approved Apple Authorized Training Centers has a mapping location system which uses Geolocation as well located at http://training.apple.com/locations.

Contact Us to see how we can help you achieve outstanding results in your project.

Reaching Out to the Mobileverse

With more and more people using their mobile phones not only for making phone calls it is important that your organization includes a mobile strategy as part of the way that you reach out to customers. If you are not doing this you are missing an important opportunity. From a personal angle I do nearly all of my “non-essential” internet usage on my mobile device. During waits at the pharmacy or supermarket that is the perfect time for me to catch up on all the stuff that I didn’t have time to get to during my work day.

Ways that Override is currently assisting our client base in reaching out to their customers include SMS (Text Messaging), iPhone / iPad Apps, Droid Apps, Windows Mobile Apps, and finally mobile versions of their web-application.

You may say “But won’t my web-site / web-application render on a mobile device as is?” The answer is yes and no. While a mobile browser will render your site if your site is not optimized for that mobile device users will have a difficult time using the functionality of your web-site and most of the time will leave with the intention of pulling it up on their computer when they get home which almost never happens.

Recently we posted an article on helping our customers leverage their existing .NET codebase and port that over to an iPhone app through the use of Monotouch (iPhone Development with Monotouch). Using the Web Application Toolkit from Microsoft we can similarly leverage your codebase and create a Mobile Version of your web-site which is optimized for individual mobile devices through browser detection.

Contact Us Today and let us assist you with a project plan to leverage your existing codebase and reach out to the Mobileverse.

Kodak Imagination Show [VIDEO]

The Kodak Imagination Show is located at Disney’s EPCOT Center in Florida. This video was created by EXP (http://www.exp.tv) who was the lead contractor and creative force behind this attraction. OverridePro was responsible for producing the software that provides the interface between the Show Control System and the camera, live preview of the guest superimposed over the different backgrounds which include Spaceship Earth, an underwater scene with Nemo, and a scene with Figment.

The programming went on to include programmatic capture of these images on command and transformation as well as storing guest information and transporting the finalized photos to the Kodak Gallery for purchase through an API and notification of guests via email.

The project was a blast and you can stop by and check it out in the Kodak Pavillion of Disney’s EPCOT center on your next visit. The video here that was created by EXP gives you a good idea of how fun the attraction is.