Julie Lerman speaks at Bit Factory in Akron

NB: Thanks to @sadukie, @eswise, @ardalis and @thebitfactory, Akron got a real treat: Julie Lerman (@julielerman) visited and spoke about https://github.com/aspnet/EntityFramework

I learned from Sarah that Julie Lerman was scheduled to talk at the Bit Factory in Akron. At my current project we’re using Entity Framework 6 and I felt like it would make sense to learn about Entity Framework 7 and the new stuff from Julie as I have read one of her books in the past and learned a lot about the topic.

I’m glad I attended the talk. I offered the organizers the option to video tape the speech, but Julie didn’t like that idea (possibly due to a conflict with a pending Pluralsight course).

Most of what follows can be found summarized in her Pluralsight courses that have been published and will be published in the future. You can also feel free to read her thoughts directly at her blog here: http://thedatafarm.com/blog/

More specifically if you wish to find notes on Entity Framework 7, head over to the .NET blog here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dotnet/

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TEKDigital: The Era of Mobile

I met Katie (TEKSystems) a few weeks ago and learned that her company was interested in hosting a panel discussing The Era of Mobile at their very first TEKDigital event in Cleveland, Ohio.

When I asked Katie about video taping the event, she mentioned it wasn’t planned but she would definitely care about it being video taped. I offered to help with the video taping.

After our first meet, I did my best to connect Katie with other friends I know that work in that space.

I’m glad I was able to help her out tonight and help record it.

Archiving the night on video was a bit challenging given the venue and layout (apologies for sudden camera twists), but I find its highly invaluable for me to have it as a sharable asset in its raw form.

I hope you enjoy the comments regarding the topic from the Q&A hosts as well as the attendees.

It was a great night.

Here’s the direct link to the playlist for this event (more interesting playlists can be found by clicking here):


And here are individual links to the videos parts:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IltklIXrfY4&list=PLA8bbF-9MWQV6BOe_87vCa3_vXTyCjXEQ
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in12vj18BmY&list=PLA8bbF-9MWQV6BOe_87vCa3_vXTyCjXEQ&index=2
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma_4PZzPLkU&list=PLA8bbF-9MWQV6BOe_87vCa3_vXTyCjXEQ&index=3

Thanks to:


Make on the Lake recap – 3D modeling and Augmented Reality

I had always wanted to go to Make on the Lake meetups hosted at LeanDog. I’m glad I was able to make this event.

The folks from Photonic Studio were pretty thorough in their demos of explaining basics of creating 2D shapes in tools like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

Once the SVG assets were created, it was time to load them in Autodesk 123D-Design. The cool thing about 123D-Design is that what was simply 2D can now be given a form in 3 dimensions (think a square turning into a cube).

After you have created your form in 3D, its time to load that in Autodesk Meshmixer to change it further. Meshmixer allows you to sculpt the object the way you want. It also allows you to paint it.

Once you’re done with that step, it can be exported into an STL file for 3D printers. Or, you can simply load it into your account in the Augmentedev account to interact with it on an iPhone or Android smart phone.

I cannot explain my joy in finding out that I can interact with a 3D model this way in the virtual world. Of course its not 3D printed or anything, but from simple 2D -> 3D -> Augmented Reality the whole thing takes very little amount of time.

The most amount of investment you have to do is invest in learning to use the tools. Any tools you choose for your 3D adventures, will have their own respective manuals. This takes time to master.

If you are a business looking to Augmented Reality to boost sales, do keep Photonic Studio in mind. They know their stuff and are able to simplify these steps and make professional experiences!

Back to the Future and gaming with my son

After a multiple day hiatus, my son asked me in the evening today that he’d like to play a 2D platformer game he played before called Dragon Quest.

He sat down and in under an hour completed the entire game. I was flabbergasted!

I searched around for a few minutes and found a game called Ruthless Pandas in which the Pandas seek to battle with Brown bears that have taken over the planet.

It being Back to the Future day, I ran all three Back to the Future movies in the background as he hadn’t seen any of them before. Sequentially .. not at the same time Lol.

As he played the game, I started to notice the following things:

  • It didn’t really matter to my son what power ups were available as long as through visual aids it was clear what power ups he Could attain vs not (Red/Green vs 100 for this and 1000 for that)
  • Also, many of the tools of destruction (which were based on real ones) varied in their ability to cause destruction. He was able to quickly recognize what they each did from the ship and was able to claim victory
  • He absolutely loved to celebrate his success by hitting a high five with me after each level
  • Things he did not understand, he made it a point to understand by asking me guided questions
  • Upon asking which of the two games were his favorite, he said Dragon Quest was much cooler as it had a dragon in it
  • Visually he was Very surprised whenever a slightly bigger opponent was presented (Dragon in Dragon Quest and a larger ship in Ruthless Pandas)

I think many people don’t realize that when kids play games they are learning crucial skills in self-improvement.

I try to space out game days with my son as I know he thoroughly enjoys playing them and its a good complement to his education.

His thoughts are very unique and I enjoy our interactions very much in many contexts. I’d like to post reflections after many more weeks to see what other observations I can glean on while gaming with my son. Sharing this for those that develop games. I’m joining that group soon as my son has some ideas for games involving our cat Sal.

Oh and the Ruthless Pandas game .. he finished that one in a few hours as well.

I’m open to advice for any other ones for him to play on a PC or a Mac. Keep the suggestions coming in the comments.

Linux Mint on Acer C720 Chromebook

A friend of mine recently was struggling to install Linux Mint on his Acer C720 Chromebook.

I took on the challenge and succeeded.

Here’s a summary of my steps I performed to succeed at this:

  • Setup the system for developer mode using google’s documentation
  • Create a Linux Mint bootable USB
  • Login to chromebook with your google credentials
  • Get to a shell by pressing CTRL-ALT-RightArrow (basically the former F2 key)
  • Login with root (use root as the password)
  • Type in crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 dev_boot_legacy=1
  • Type in reboot (system will reboot)
  • Once it comes to life, you’ll see the regular “Yellow Exclamation” screen, during which you can press CTRL-L
  • You’ll get a prompt asking you to press ESC to change boot sequence, go ahead
  • At this point you should see the Linux Mint boot screen, press TAB
  • replace — with mem=1G
  • Continue with the installation of Linux Mint as normal
  • Once its setup, every time you boot up the system you will have to press CTRL-L on login screen on the Red Exclamation screen to boot from the hard drive and skip the chromeos check up front

The key I found was in the mem=1G and the crosssytem commands.

I also read that Google’s newer models will have better support for installing other distros.

But since my friend had an older model, I thought I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did.

He now has a full blown Linux system on his chromebook and is happy as a clam!

Chromebook specs:

  • peppy c6a-v3c-a86
  • acer c720 chromebook (7077.95.0)
  • memory: 1988M 9767 MB/s
  • SeaBIOS version -20131018_145217-build121-m2
  • SC2 M2 SSD ATA-10 Hard-Disk (57241 MiBytes)

Thought I’d write this up for the other 100s of folks that would rather stick with their working chromebooks and enjoy Linux Mint on them :)

Edit: After posting this post, I cross posted this to reddit and another redditor advised of an alternate solution by an image creator called distroshare:


Meri Skiera presents at Akron Breakfast Club

I attended Akron Breakfast Club in August and was fortunate enough to video tape Meri Skiera’s talk on Ronald McDonald House of Akron (http://www.rmhakron.org).

If you’d like to re-live the talk, here’s a direct link to it’s playlist:


And here are the individual video parts:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ft_DnbO7lY
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aavzeFz4eo
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P_EgOCZN-o

This video is released in the public domain un-edited. I hope it is a valuable addition to RMH’s collection of videos found here: http://www.rmhakron.org/en/who-we-are/video-library

I had no idea their team provided the services they do in downtown Akron. I look forward to the team completing their upgrades so many more families can avail their services.

I am a Portage Lakes Young Professional

I woke up this morning and went to work as normal when I got a call from my Mother-in-law informing me about the fact that my picture was on the front page of the Akron Beacon Journal.

I asked “I hope its for something good”

She said, “Yes!”

I came home that evening and my 6 year old son told me “Daddy, I saw your photo in the newspaper!”. He was super excited about it too.

Here’s the article the newspaper published:


I’m glad to be one of the young professionals they talked about that networks and builds things in the local community together with other partners.

If you happen to be in Portage Lakes area and are interested in taking things to the next level, do join the facebook group below and network with cool folks:


Hat tip to Nick, Katie and Kaley for the beginning this journey.

I’m simply glad to be a small part of it.