Business Intelligence comparisons done dirt cheap

The proliferation of business intelligence platforms, tools, and software stacks is dizzying. It seems that not a week goes by in which a new product isn’t introduced to the market, which grows ever more fragmented and confusing. Specialized business intelligence tools for cloud-based data visualization, Hadoop, text analytics, and other specific solutions for certain analyses…

It’s official I’m doing any more BI comparison posts.  I just can’t keep up.  I swear there is either new BI tool every week or a “New Features” post on an existing one.  Recently I did a comparison of a specific set of BI Tools requested by a State Agency.  The problem was the selected set of tools to review didn’t provide the best solution.  Now there are 19 websites with comparisons out the Yazoo and you don’t have to pay a consultant, or do you?   This week I have 2 favorites Tableau and Microsofts Power-BI.  I’m fickle so next week it may be something different.

via 19 Websites for Business Intelligence Tools Comparison — DZone Big Data Zone

FreeCommander XE and Powershell


FreeCommandwe XE is a great replacement for the standard Windows Explorer.  It comes in standard installations and a portable version.  This can be configured to replace the Windows Explorer when you press (Windows)+E keys.   There is a DOS function under tools or keyboard shortcut (CtrL)-D that opens up a DOS Command Line.  There is also an option to have a small text box at the bottom to run DOSCMDS on the fly. Nice!  I have forced myself to use Powershell for the Windows command line.  How do I get FreeCommander to open Powershell instead of the DOS CMD line?

To start the DOS CMD in FreeCommander.


The command line is the standard DOS command line with the title changed to FreeCommander


Let’s change it to open Powershell instead.  Start by opening up the settings.


Then open the settings to change the DOS configuration.


Now it’s as simple as entering in the path to your Powershell command.  Yea, that’s not necessarily that simple.  The path name can vary from machine to machine and how PowerShell was installed.

On my Windows 10 system press the (Windows) key and start typing “powershell”.


Now right-click on the Windows Powershell (Desktop app) to open up some options.  We want to know the path where Powershell is located.  I’m thinking the “Open file location” will work.


This opens up a Windows Explorer window to where your Powershell is located.  To get the full path name you have to manually combine the File Name, then click on the directory to expand the path name, then paste them all together.  Still pretty much a pain in the ass.


Let’s try a trick here.  Right-click on the “Windows PowerShell” command, then select the properties for this command.


The “Target” is the path to the Powershell command.  Look, Windows even highlighted it for you.  If it didn’t, then highlight it manually.  Press (Ctrl)-C to copy it.


Then paste (ctrl)-v the path it into the “DOS box command specifications” and press OK.


Now when you click on (Tools)->(Dos) or press (Ctrl)-d, the wonderful, glorious PowerShell command line window opens up and you can CmdLet your way to heaven.


Welcome to the New-Order.

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Powershell + JavaScript + ConvertToHTML = Web Reports


Some tips and tricks on how to use a combination of Powershell, JavaScript, and the ConvertToHTML Powerlet to get some nicely formatted web reports.  This article is in multiple parts and start with the first one or you will get totally lost.

I’m getting better at PowerShell and never thought to combine these things together.  The solution is pretty simple stuff but very creative.  This is a Maker project in my mind.

Via: Database Weekly



Is it modern art or is it data?


Data visualizations on acid.  A researcher with R programming language and mortgage rates for the last 30 days took data and turned it into some form of modern art.  The whole package is available on GitHub.

Via: Database Weekly



Node.js Emerging as the Universal Development Framework for a Diversity of Applications — JSFeeds


I would like to invite you to read a amazing and very interesting article about node.js, which I am quoting with a link to the target page: “… Last year and at the beginning of this year, we asked you, Node.js users, to help us understand where, how … more

Well, programmer kiddies as I have said before it’s Node.JS because it’s fracking everywhere.  When Microsoft’s Visual Studio has a special setup just for Node.JS and .net applications then it must be real.  😉

Seriously, take some time to learn the Node.JS basics.  There are 2-ton of YouTube videos and excellent Udemy classes.  You can learn the basics in 2 hours.

via Node.js Emerging as the Universal Development Framework for a Diversity of Applications — JSFeeds

“Maker” shows how 80’s synth music was made. Yeah, I miss the 80’s

Here’s a trip down 80’s lane. Espen Kraft brings an 80’s synth-pop tutorial, via MATRIXSYNTH From Espen Kraft: My main inspiration and goal is to relive and renew the 80s music with its glorious and melancholic synth-pop. I do this using old gear, having fun and just do what I love the most! Hear more!

via 80’s Synth Pop Tutorial #MusicMonday — Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!

GMH 055 DIY Portable, Battery-Powered, 1-37 volt Power Supply

This DIY project takes an unused tobacco tin with a handful of parts and turns it into battery powered, rechargeable, 1v to 37v adjustable power supply. The center of the project is an XL6009 Buck/Boost converter. By swapping out the 10K trimmer pot on the board with a full-size Helipot and precision adjusting knob it’s possible to dial in the precise voltage needed. The LED displays both voltage in red and amperage in blue. The various outputs include a full sized USB, 2.1mm, and banana jacks. The project case was wrapped in Carbon Fiber Vinyl to give the power supply a much more modern look.

XL6009 Buck/Boost Converter… $1.60

10K Precision Pot with fine adjustment locking knob… $2.46

Deja Vu Tobacco tin, Electronics Goldmine $2.49

DPDT Toggle switch… $0.69

USB A Panel mount jack… $5.95

2.1mm Power Jacks… $0.32

2 Series 18650 charging and protection module… $1.39

18650 Battery Holder… $0.29

Digital Volt / AMp meter, 100 volts 10 amps… $1.90

18650 Battery 3000ma… $4.20

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Side projects keep developers and builders sharp and alive.

Depositphotos_62207591_l-2015-1-768x768.jpg I don’t know a single software developer who hasn’t thought of starting a side project. I, myself, have had many different side projects throughout my career. Well, I should be more clear by saying that I started many side projects throughout my career. To be honest, most of them didn’t get finished. To be honest, most them didn’t…

“Always have a side project” is something I have told every developer who I have managed or mentored.  “Make it kinda related to what we do” that way we get double the mileage out of it.  I have a lot of dreams, those projects you get caught up in preparing for and never finish or worse yet never get started.  I started a YouTube channel GeekMustHave as a side project with the goal of sharing experiences I’ve had with technology.  This is a side project that is never done but still has mini dreams I turn into video goals.

Pick a side project that is just a little bit more than you know how to do.  This way the amount of learning is possible in a short period of time.  One goal that has been achieved helps to give you the commitment for the other side projects you’re considering.

This article reminded me how much of a “Starter” I am and less of a “Finisher”.  It’s a great read for all developers.

via A Software Developer’s Guide to Side Projects — DZone Agile Zone

HTTP request and Node, so many solutions, so little time.

Making HTTP requests is a core functionality for modern languages and one of the first things many developers learn when acclimating to new environments. When it comes to Node.js there are a fair amount of solutions to this problem both built into the … more

If you’re using Node to develop applications or servers you will need to handle HTTP requests.  The standard Node HTTP library is good but there are some options including promises, Super Agent and Ajax to name a few.  While it’s not rocket science this article comes from the experiences with NASA.

via HTTP Requests in Node.js — JSFeeds

Play with Lego’s again…. Build great API’s


Most of us have fond memories of playing with Lego as kids. The real attraction of Lego is that, even though most sets came in boxes with pictures on the front, it really didn’t matter if what you built ended up looking the same as that picture.

To quote a previous article featured on this blog, “Many API talks start off by explaining that APIs are like these [Lego] bricks. They can be combined in innovative and creative ways beyond their originally intended purpose.”

Think small.  Each of your API’s is a small single Lego block.  If they are built right they plug into each other to make bigger blocks which in turn can make bigger things.  One of the things I learned in business intelligence is that you can’t predict what the next question is going to be.  What you built your API for may not be what is gets fame and glory for, Ok at least some recognition for it.

This is a great article with plenty of useful tips and things I’ve never thought of before.  The video was also quite educational.

via: Nordic APIS