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The Banana Tree

Whats it all about then.

It's where I jot down idle musings thoughts and anything that might ever prove useful to someone out there including myself. I hope to add technical content on at least a regular basis.

Current Projects

My Obfuscated Email Email Obfuscator

I got sick to death of spam so I wrote a tool that allows me to encode my email into an image. Its free to use and sugestions are welcom. I know that the catchpa method of encoding messages is not entreily secure and I have no way if testing mine against but it will make it almost impossible for most harvesters to get your email address from your webpage. If there is some interest in it I will add a database and store keys etc and make it a full blown catchpa system.

Badger Logo RSS Jobs

UKlug is a project that was started years ago but I only got around to writing it early 2003. It was originally on sourceforge and there was some initial interest, but it seemed to fade quite rapidly. I am not one to give up, so I wrote the entire thing myself and got it hosted. Now I just need some people using it. I have recently added several thousand Jobs from various RSS feeds and a facility to create your own RSS feed from the job database. If anyone knows of any more RSS job feeds that I have not found yet I would be very interested in hearing about them. It has evolved into an RSS Jobs database more than anything else now and it has started to attract some visitors.

Building a Vector Space Search Engine

This project has expanded to cover building a Vector Space Search Engine. It was originaly just about spidering the internet. See Below for how it started.

Spidering the internet. A Distributed Search Engine.

This little gem started as a bit of a laugh but has become quite interesting. I would like to build a search engine, but the memory requirements to do this are enormous, so I decided to scale down a bit. I decided instead to store links. It is basically a couple of robots written in Perl which trawl the internet looking for URL's. I only had a limited time to write the robots because I had Maths exams, so I created the database using Postgres and wrote the two spiders in a day (The code is very rough around the edges). I did consider using Oracle, because I have it installed, but it uses too much memory just to get up and running. I decided instead to use Postgres 7.3.2. Postgres is a fantastic database and so far no problems. Please do not ask me why I did not use MySQL. If you want any more information it can be found at The Banana Tree

Teaching J HTML and Vim

We were thinking about various funny domain names, and for some ungodly reason I went and bought several of them. Anyway to cut a long story short Jenny decided that she wanted to offer email addresses to friends and I wanted her to have a holding page. However I have no time to maintain it for her. Thinking about the old story, "teach a woman to fish" I decided it would be better to teach Jenny, Vim and some HTML/CSS, so that she would not be pestering me all the time.

Some Oracle Bits

I have learnt a lot of Oracle over the past few years, and I am now a big fan of it. Admittedly it is not cheap, but it is a fantastic product. I have been fascinated by data and the extraction of information from data for a long time, so I did an Open University course (M358) in 2002 to learn more about RDBMS. I am watching Oracle on Linux with bated breath at the moment and its nice to see some big fish really jump in behind Linux and give it a push, its about time. The above link is just some pages and bits and bobs I documented recently, I hope they prove useful to someone.

HR-XML Resume Bulider

I wanted to have a product that I could hang off the uklug website so I decided to code a tool that would build a resume in various formats and layouts. I initially started it in Perl but got quickly pointed to a project on sourceforge who were already doing one in XML. I had a look at theirs and I tried it, it worked a treat. Its a good tool and the developers have done an awful lot of work. My advice would be for people to go to thier site at sourceforge and check it out.

The problem then was trying to get it onto my website. I tried mailing various developers but got no response so I decided to try and write my own. It also gave me a good opportunity to play with XML and Java. More details at HR-XML Resume Bulider

Just Some Stuff

This is where I will put the main links around this site. At some point I will categorise them for easy usage but there is not much material here at the moment.

Strategic COTS
The Badger Logo

Book Reviews VERY Much Under Construction

As I get time I hope to add some book reviews to this site. I would like to review most of the books I own at some point. I also want to provide the reviews using RDF or something similar.