May 16, 2017 

Unique Words in the Ham Radio Question Pool


One of my hobbies is Ham Radio (Amateur Radio). There are three classes of licences: Technician, General, and Amateur Extra. You must pass a multiple choice exam to be granted one of the classes. The exam covers 35(Technician and General) or 50(Amateur Extra) topics. One question is taken from the question pool for each topic

While taking practice exams, I noticed that there were some words that would only appear in the correct answer. I decided to do an analysis of the question pools. I took each question pool and found all words that appeared once in the correct answer.

December 25, 2015 

Sortable IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes Data

After publishing my Rotten Tomatoes script, the site was updated to show both Audience and Critic scores. I like to take credit for that, but I don't think that is the case.

The site change made my script unusable, but was no longer needed. I had been using the new site to find movies to watch until I was contacted by Michael from Meta Film List. He came across my script and was wanting to sort movies based on voting information on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB.

To start finding movies, I used the Advanced Title Search to find Feature Films with 1,000 minimum votes at the following page:,&title_type=feature. There are over 20,000 movies and includes the title, year, genres, rating, votes, and runtime. With a simple script, all the data is saved to a file

To find the matching movie in Rotten Tomatoes, the search feature was used at Using the search either showed a list of possible movies or redirected to the movie page. If the search was redirected, the correct movie page was found. If the search did go straight to the movie, a movie was chosen from the results that would be the best guess. The best match looked for matching the movie title and year. The second best looked for matching titles with years one year apart(for some reason both sites show different years for the same movie). The next best match looked for movies with different names, but the same year(sometimes a moive will have variants in the title). The last level looked for different names a year apart. Although there is some guess work going on, the search feature is pretty accurate at showing the correct movie. These can later be verified by comparing the actors, but that will be saved for later.

With data from both sites, some interesting searches can be done. For instance: you can find movies that audiences loved but critics hated, the most loved movies, the most hated movies, the best movie by year, and the best movie by genre. With so many variables, it is very easy to find a great movie that you may have missed.

The complete list can be seen at All movie information from both sites are shown, including links to both sites and the method used to match them.

Special thanks to Michael at Meta Film List for coming up with the project. You can read more about his project at

April 11, 2014 

Hands Aware

I decided to do a project at One Spark. Meet Hands Aware. It is a wristband that helps prevent the flu. It is in its fourth prototype and is being showcased through Sunday.

Viruses can live outside a host for a long time. The flu virus can live for a week. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus(MRSA) can live for three months. We get these viruses on our hands and then touch our nose, mouth, or eyes. This causes a substantial portion of respiratory tract infections.

People touch their faces 15.6 times per hour. If we reduce these face-to-hand contacts, we can reduce the infection rate of these viruses.

Hands Aware is a device that you wear on your wrist. When your hand approaches your face, it will give a short vibrating pulse to warn you that you are at risk of touching your face.

I am currently working on making it smaller, the size of a wristband. I also plan on having an app for smart watches.

January 22, 2013 

Amazon Kindle Price Alerts

It's no secret's prices change frequently. Sometimes, many times a day. is a good place to track the price of items at Amazon. You can see the history and also get an alert when the price falls below a certain point. The only problem is, you can't track digital items such as Kindle Books. I decided to make a Python script that tracks the price of items on Amazon and e-mails you when the price falls below a certain point.

January 22, 2013 

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Scores

I like to use to figure out what movies to watch. The Top Rentals is a good source to start with. It lists the rank and the critics rating for the top 50 movies. The only problem is, sometimes the critics' ratings will be far off from the audience's rating. You have to go to the movie's page to find out the audience's rating. I made a Python script that finds all the audience ratings of the top rentals to help find a movie to watch.

January 22, 2013 

When Will This Be Over

VLC is my favorite program to watch any video. It has so many features and plays every format.

One of my favorites is the ability to change the playback speed of the video. It will play the video at a faster rate without changing the pitch of the sound. It is very helpful if you are watching something like a Lord of The Rings, which are 3 hours long each. I find that playing at 1.5x is very easy to follow, and will cut down a 3 hour movie to 2 hours.

A problem I face when watching a movie at a faster pace is that the time left does not correspond to how long it will take to finish the movie. I found a useful VLC extension called When Will This Be Over? I modified it to display what time the movie will be over, how many minutes and seconds are left, and how much time you will save

February 20, 2011 

Universal Infrared Receiver

I wanted an infrared receiver for my home theatre PC.  The main goal was to use any remote to control Windows Media Center. There are very few remotes for Media Center and they are kind of ugly.  After searching for universal IR receivers, the only thing I could find was USB-UIRT and LiRC. USB-UIRT cost $50. LiRC requires a serial port, which is not found in new computers. I decided to build my own

IR remotes work by sending out a series of pulses of IR light. Each key of the remote has a different pulse pattern.

I salvaged an IR receiver from a Hauppage TV card and hooked it up to an Arduino.

January 21, 2011

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Soap Dispenser

Most people do not wash their hands  properly. Many sources say that you should scrub your hands for at least 15-20 seconds. A good way to keep track is to sing a song like Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

Here is a Lysol LYSOL® Healthy Touch® No-Touch Hand Soap System that has been modified using Arduino to show a countdown and play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. 

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 January 21, 2011

 A Slow Washing Machine Drain

The house I was renting did not have a washer or dryer hookup. I asked the landlord if he would add one. He obviously said no, but I could add one at my own expense. After adding it, I found that the drain was too slow. The drain would overflow and flood the kitchen.

Here is a creative solution for the problem. Most of the water goes straight down through the drain. When the water reaches a point that it would overflow, it is redirected into the washing machine. The washing machine continues to pump until all the water has been removed.

January 21, 2011 

An automated Dog Walker

Everyone gets busy. Sometimes, our four-legged friends get neglected. Here is a prototype dog walker. It follows your dog and keeps it on the sidewalk and away from water, grass, fire hydrants, and other people.

January 21, 2011 

A wireless Weather system

For my senior design project, I made a wireless weather system. It monitored temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed, and wind direction. This was transmitted wirelessly and displayed indoors.

January 21, 2011 

A two minute window fan.

Living in Florida, you are expected to encounter a hurricane now and then. Even though it is not a direct hit, you still can get some damage. Even with tropical storm winds, you are likely to lose your power.

 I lost power during one of these storms. Life wasn't too bad, but it was very hot without AC. It was hard to fall asleep in a 90F room.

After borrowing the fans from my computer and a some hurricane supply batteries, here is a way to get some relief. Originally, there were two fans. This provided enough cooling that I needed my comforter.