Nov 30, 2011
Nov 24, 2011
Nov 21, 2011
Nov 19, 2011
Last night, I watched dozens of people pitch an idea to the gigantic crowd of Startup Weekend. I had a front row seat and I was filming the whole time, so I was paying close attention.
Here’s what I was thinking the whole time: if you aren’t a coder or designer, you better bring something amazing to the table.
No offense to anyone who was pitching, but chances are that if you can’t build it or you can’t design it, you better bring some other extraordinary skill to the table. Hell, at least be able to sell me on the idea so I’d want to help you build it!
People have been saying this over and over again in the startup world, but it rings true: ideas are a dime a dozen.
If you can’t execute, your idea is worthless.
Nov 15, 2011
I attended an event today as a panelist at the University of Toronto Scarborough for soon-to-be graduates, separated by industry/stream.
I was lucky to have a very outgoing panel who had plenty of knowledge to drop all over the students. During the discussion, several points kept coming up that I feel I should share:
- Work hard. Your entry level job isn’t going to be your dream job, but you’re going to have to be persistent and tough it out until you have the skills and knowledge necessary to get there.
- Take small steps. You can’t go from student to super-star CEO of a company immediately, you have take a look at where you want to go and create a strategy on the steps you need to take.
- Don’t be afraid to look dumb and take risks. You’re going to have a lot of naysayers if you’re not following a traditional path. Ignore the haters and carry on.
- Have something to say. You need to have the knowledge to speak with your peers in your industry, and what better way to show that you have that knowledge by having opinions on important matters for that industry?
- Network, network, network. It’s easier said than done, but you have to hustle hard and create meaningful relationships with people and create that repor that establishes credibility.
The session had many more gems from the super intelligent people I was sitting next to, and in my opinion, these are the important ones.
I would love to hear any tips they would give to soon-to-be graduates from university. Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to my list!
Here are some of the additional tips I have received:
- Know what you want? Chase it and be aggressive. If you have an idea of exactly what you want, you should actively chase it and aggressively ask for related responsibilities. (by Wendy Kwan)
- Learn to think outside the box, and be proactive. It shows that a person is analytically inclined, and capable of solving problems in new and innovative ways. (by Slxia1215)
Nov 13, 2011
Nov 13, 2011
Nov 13, 2011
As Christmas approaches, many of my friends have begun their countdowns to that wonderful holiday at the end of the year.
One of my friends started her countdown back in August, when she opened up her calendar and had to count the number of days until Christmas and continuously keep track of what day it was and where her count was. I told her that I could spend the 5 minutes to help her out using the power of the internets, and that’s how my Christmas page was born.
Today, I spent a bit more time spicing up the page. It now has a Calvin & Hobbes image that has a bunch of static text, but will update the number of days dynamically.
To preface: I had no idea how to do this, and found out that PHP has a rather sizeable GD and Image Function library. I used this example to start:
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<?php header("Content-type: image/png"); $string = $_GET['text']; $im = imagecreatefrompng("images/button1.png"); $orange = imagecolorallocate($im, 220, 210, 60); $px = (imagesx($im) - 7.5 * strlen($string)) / 2; imagestring($im, 3, $px, 9, $string, $orange); imagepng($im); imagedestroy($im); ?>
Unfortunately, you can only use some LATIN2 font with imagestring(), and did it fit the style of the Calvin & Hobbes comic I was using, but it was a good start.
In order to load your own font and dictate its size, we can use imagettftext(). I had to include the Comic Sans (Don’t hurt me!) font file in the same folder as the PHP file.
Here is the complete code for my dynamic Christmas image:
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<?php // Filename: christmas-image.php header("Content-type: image/png"); $string = $_GET['days']; $im = imagecreatefrompng("calvin_resolutions.png"); $black = imagecolorallocate($im, 0, 0, 0); $font = 'comicsans.ttf'; $initialX = '153'; $initialY = '35'; $increaseY = '23'; $fontSize = '16'; $fontRotation = '0'; $firstline = 'What do you mean'; $secondline = 'there are ' . $string . ' days until'; $thirdline = 'Christmas?! What am'; $fourthline = 'I supposed to do until'; $fifthline = 'then? WAIT?! I am'; $sixthline = 'not a patient man!'; //imagestring($im, $font, $px, 20, $string, $black); imagettftext($im, $fontSize, $fontRotation, $initialX, $initialY, $black, $font, $firstline); imagettftext($im, $fontSize, $fontRotation, $initialX, $initialY+$increaseY, $black, $font, $secondline); imagettftext($im, $fontSize, $fontRotation, $initialX, $initialY+($increaseY*2), $black, $font, $thirdline); imagettftext($im, $fontSize, $fontRotation, $initialX, $initialY+($increaseY*3), $black, $font, $fourthline); imagettftext($im, $fontSize, $fontRotation, $initialX, $initialY+($increaseY*4), $black, $font, $fifthline); imagettftext($im, $fontSize, $fontRotation, $initialX, $initialY+($increaseY*5), $black, $font, $sixthline); imagepng($im); imagedestroy($im); ?>
The positioning of the text is specific to the Calvin & Hobbes image I used, and I made it easier on myself by creating a variable for the X and Y positions as well as the amount I wanted to push the next lines down.
All you have to do now is refer to the PHP file and pass the variables through the URL.
<img src="christmas-image.php?days=<?php echo $remainingDays; ?>">
The PHP file will create a PNG that has the updated text. That was pretty simple, no?
Nov 9, 2011
Nov 1, 2011