August 03, 2006

Web Security Stuff

Posted by kstroke at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2006

Large Scale HR Web Apps

The Associated Press/WASHINGTON
AP Business Writer

Postal Service HR system moving to Web

JUL. 25 2:32 P.M. ET The Postal Service is replacing dozens of unconnected human resources systems nationwide with one that will allow its 700,000 employees to make benefit and payroll changes on a single Internet site.

The PostalPEOPLE system, using software from German company SAP AG, will be the largest in the world when finished, says Andy Malay, a vice president at SAP America in Washington. It is being rolled out in phases to replace a hodgepodge of more than 70 systems, used by 3,800 HR managers across the U.S.

The government has a mandate to move away from paper-based systems and is likely to continue transitioning to Web-based HR systems for employees who often work nontraditional hours around the world. Software from SAP rival Oracle Corp., via its acquisition of PeopleSoft Inc., is being used for a Department of Defense system, which is scheduled to be available for about 3 million military service members starting in 2008.

Similar to Web-based human-resources programs that are increasingly common in private companies, PostalPEOPLE allows workers to access benefits, compensation, and retirement and separation files and other HR-related information from any computer with an Internet connection.
Some services previously were available online, but through numerous outdated systems that required visiting different Web sites with different passwords, while other transactions required an in-person meeting to fill out paper forms, said David Partenheimer, a Postal Service spokesman.

Both employees and managers can complete HR activities on the system. Identification and pin numbers will be required to gain access and additional security is in place to prevent identification theft, Partenheimer said. Sensitive payroll data and other information will be stored on a mainframe computer and not be available for download on laptops and other personal computers.

"They're certainly creating a treasure trove of data, but I'm sure they know that," said Donald Harris, founder of HR Privacy Solutions Ltd., a New York consulting firm. He added that the Postal Service's use of role-based access based on the employee's job, as well as identification and PIN numbers is "fairly routine," and that the numeric sequences should be longer than four digits and kept private.

Not allowing data to be downloaded from the mainframe to PCs is innovative and makes the information less transferable, but Harris said additional steps should be taken including "automatic time-outs" if someone is idle while logged into the mainframe for certain period of time.

Personal employee information recently has been stolen from or lost by numerous federal agencies, including the theft of a Department of Veterans Affairs laptop that contained sensitive data on 26.5 million veterans. The laptop was recovered last month and both the VA and FBI said the employee information was not accessed.

Nearly 11,000 employees in the New York City area already use the new Postal Service system and 30,000 more users will be added in the next two months in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and California.

Maribeth Norman, a senior manager for post office operations in Columbus, Ohio, has used the new system to post job vacancies. That process, which includes going through the local HR department to fill out forms and receive approval from a district manager, usually takes at least three weeks to complete but can be done in one week on PostalPEOPLE, she said.

"It's really streamlined the processes," said Norman, 53, a 28-year Postal Service employee who oversees hiring for about 1,000 positions. She described the system as being "easy to use," and said she likes that it offers an interactive voice recognition help service for those less computer savvy.

All Postal Service employees will have access to basic functions by the end of October via the Internet or the 519 kiosks located at postal facilities around the country. The system is scheduled to be fully operational next year, Partenheimer said.

In 2004, the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors approved $102 million for PostalPEOPLE, which includes the $76.7 million SAP contract to provide software and consulting services. SAP and the Postal Service say the system is on schedule and on budget.

The largest obstacle to installing such a massive system is training, either because it is done poorly or with the wrong set of users, said Joshua Greenbaum, an industry analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting in Berkeley, Calif.

Posted by kstroke at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2006

Game AI

Game dev site that looks worthy of checking out. Only skimmed so far.

Posted by kstroke at 06:38 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2006

Bayesian Fun

High probability of finding this fun, given that you are a math and CS nerd.

Posted by kstroke at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2006

JBoss Doc

JBoss 4 doc here.

Posted by kstroke at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2006

J and K Notes

Look into learning some new languages:

j software home
management perspective of j
j page
functional programming and j

download home?
license required? maybe i won't learn k...
Shallow introduction to K

Q maybe not

Posted by kstroke at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2006

More stuff from the Pragmatic Programmer guys

Posted by kstroke at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2005

Startup Tips

Link from jocy, fun read on startup tips. I especially like all the outbound links. TextDrive seems handy. I didn't realize that Lisp could be compiled to be almost as fast as C.

Posted by kstroke at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2005

October 20, 2005


Posted by kstroke at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2005

Programming Pearls

Programming Pearls web references.

Posted by kstroke at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2005

PSP Research

To look at later:

Posted by kstroke at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2005

Comic Ideas

Have to turn some ideas into drawings. Have to write them down first so that I quit thinking and forgetting.

1) The Many Uses of Rice - food, furniture, glue, joke -> dead
2) Tigers Have Striped Skin? - bandaged, laugh, worth it

Posted by kstroke at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2005

Typing EOF

Working my way through some tutorials to learn C. Some of the example programs are pretty pointless until you figure out that Ctrl-z return is how you signal EOF on Windows. Ctrl-d on Unix.

Posted by kstroke at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2005

February 14, 2005

February 01, 2005

Computer Stuff

To look at later:

Posted by kstroke at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2005

Multi-monitor Setup

Look at these sites later when I'm ready to get a new computer and setup 3 monitors.

Posted by kstroke at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2005

Outlook Calendar

Finish watching this later.

Posted by kstroke at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2005

January 04, 2005

Sweet Java Stuff

Posted by kstroke at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2004

Note To Self

No time to rebutt a somewhat non-sensical comment on another blog. URLs to use in rebuttal when free time arrives:,,

Posted by kstroke at 04:29 PM | Comments (12)

November 08, 2004

November 04, 2004

October 29, 2004

October 13, 2004


Note to self: read the CalTech/MIT report on voting later.

Posted by kstroke at 04:32 PM | Comments (12)

October 01, 2004

Computer Vision

This looks interesting. Might be a little light on details, though. Mostly interesting in checking out the use of common webcams for stereo vision.

Posted by kstroke at 03:48 PM | Comments (12)

September 30, 2004

Flashcard Research

Research someone else did on flashcard resources.

I think I'm going to whip something out soon.

Look into this later for some thoughts on a way to design a plugin framework.

Posted by kstroke at 11:44 AM | Comments (12)

September 28, 2004

Sphinx 4 - Speech to Text

The complement to FreeTTS, Sphinx4 speech recognition. First use: car pc controls. Second use: meeting minutes transcriber (will have to add bits to allow for speaker recognition).

Posted by kstroke at 11:54 AM | Comments (12)


Will have to look into FreeTTS later. First use will probably be for the GPS/route planning software for the car pc.

Posted by kstroke at 11:26 AM | Comments (11)

August 23, 2004


Possibly useful in car-computer project. 3D audio with OpenAL. Creative's dev stuff here. Might want to look into Java stuff more, but so far, looks fairly scant. Looks like I'll have to learn C++ to do this.

Maybe not: JOAL is a Java interface for OpenAL.

Posted by kstroke at 04:14 PM | Comments (13)

May 24, 2004

Barcode Databases

To look into later:

Posted by kstroke at 05:17 PM | Comments (20)

April 27, 2004

Civic Forum check it out later to help figure out how to go about fixing my new baby - tentatively named Patricia.

Posted by kstroke at 12:25 PM | Comments (17)

April 14, 2004

JPLT Resource

From kuoj. Best Japanese language proficiency test resource I've seen, yet.

Posted by kstroke at 02:00 PM | Comments (20)

April 12, 2004

Language Learning theory

Look into this more later.

Posted by kstroke at 03:58 PM | Comments (16)

Flash Card Strategy

For Flash Card Maker: Leitner Cardfile System for learning/arranging flash cards for review. Fairly basic strategy.

Posted by kstroke at 11:48 AM | Comments (19)

April 06, 2004

Java XML Serialization

Read in more detail later to see if this is useful.

Posted by kstroke at 05:16 PM | Comments (17)

March 11, 2004

English Subtitles

Here's a link to a post (the long one) for how to create subtitled DVD files out of separate avi and smil files.

Posted by kstroke at 10:45 PM | Comments (29)

March 08, 2004

Htmldeluxe mode

Try out Htmldeluxe mode for emacs. Purported to have sub-region highlighting. That'd be pretty useful for web-scripting.

Posted by kstroke at 01:59 PM | Comments (29)

February 19, 2004

Oil Change

Changed at: 208,599 mi

Got new filter wrench. Didn't have a chance to use it. The oil filter was way loose. Must have come undone at some point and been the cause of the leak. Oil was disappearing and I couldn't figure out where it was going because there were no oil spots where I park. It was probably shooting out of the filter while I was driving... Made sure the new filter was on good and tight. Hopefully, I'll be able to get it off with the new wrench next time.

Posted by kstroke at 12:59 PM | Comments (17)

November 03, 2003


Playing with osCommerce. Seems pretty cool so far.

  1. rename admin directory after installation
  2. go ahead and chmod includes/config.php and admin/includes/config.php to 706
  3. after installing, chmod them to 644

Posted by kstroke at 09:35 PM | Comments (24)

October 29, 2003

Windows 2000/NT Tab Completion

Summary: Registry (regedt32.exe) -> HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Command Processor/CompletionChar = 9

Tab completion is key when you're a directory freak like me. Original MS article.

Posted by kstroke at 06:07 PM | Comments (16)

October 22, 2003

Acrobat Update Makes Outlook Barf

Adobe Acrobat did its automatic check for updates thing. I installed. Then Outlook kept barfing up a "Compile error in hidden module: Autoexec" whenever I closed it. Supposedly this'll also make other Office programs like Word throw the same error.

Solution: Cut from "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\Startup" and paste it into "My Documents". Word.

Update: Problems later found in Excel, too. Stupid incomplete article. Different article. Also move PDFMaker.xla from "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\XLStart" to "My Documents".

Posted by kstroke at 06:10 PM | Comments (113)

October 21, 2003

From Windows to Linux

Just figured out how to get files off a Windows 2000 box from a Linux box using Samba. Mount the directory using:
smbmount //server/share /mount-point -o username=foo,password=bar

If you get an error saying "smbmnt must be installed suid root for direct user mounts", superuser in, then run:
chmod u+s /usr/bin/smbmnt
or tack a 4 in front of the existing permissions like:
chmod 4755 /usr/bin/smbmnt
(this assumes smbmnt is in /usr/bin/smbmnt. if it's not there, run which smbmnt to find the directory)

Unmount with:
smbumount /mount-point
(permissions must be modified similarly to smbmount)

Posted by kstroke at 11:14 AM | Comments (23)

October 16, 2003

Silicone Molds

Used the instructions from the TAP brochure for silicone mold making. For the cup that the mixed silicone drips from, try punching a half inch round hole. Tried half inch high thin rectangle (from knifing in and twisting a little), and the silicone would not come out fast enough. The thin stream seemed fine to me at first, but the TAP quick cure silicone (blue) was thickening and not coming out very well a third of the way through.

The slow cure silicone (green) should stay less viscous while pouring.

Be very mindful to have the stream drip into a corner. No air bubbles showed up in the mold where this process was followed (probably also because the mold was made when silicone was least viscous). Few small bubbles showed up when a few drips fell directly on mold but in a thin stream. Many big and little bubbles showed up when leftover thickening silicone was poured onto last mold.

Posted by kstroke at 09:56 PM | Comments (23)

October 15, 2003

On Moderating

Interesting site about moderating online communities. Looks like it started not too long ago. Deserves a more in-depth look later.

Posted by kstroke at 05:24 PM | Comments (26)

September 20, 2003

Oil Change

Filter to use: PH3593A

Note: Get new oil filter wrench.

Changed at: 204,183 mi.

The plastic oil filter ratchet attachment that covers the end of the oil filter failed me spectacularly today. The ratchet turned hopelessly inside the attachment, and the attachment got stuck to the filter. Will try out the ring kind next time.

Had to punch a hole through the oil filter with a screwdriver and twist while praying that the the durn thing would actually turn and not just rip a big hole. That was quite messy. Don't know that I want to be covered in that much motor oil again.

Posted by kstroke at 08:16 PM | Comments (24)