Archive for December 16th, 2013

The Sing-Off_ Season 4, Episode 4 - My Generation - EPWell, kids… Episode 4 is just minutes away. So here comes the whirlwind pre-analysis of the song names and groups but without listening.

Tonight’s episode is “My Generation” – This theme could mean any number of things, but with the lineup being a Country, High School, Techno, and All-Female… This could go in a lot of directions.

The intro will be a medley of “My Generation, We Will Rock You, and It’s Time. Which should be greatly fun. But onto the groups and their songs:

Home Free – Ring of Fire. Once again, Home Free finds a country hit that has enough cross-over to keep them in the running. My fear is that so far we have begun to see a formula where the lead singer is awesome, the song is “Fun” and then they trot out Uber-bass for a few lines for the sex. I am beginning to want to see more from them.

VoicePlay – Don’t Speak. I really love this song. And I can not envision it as a cappella. This doesn’t mean anything of course. VoicePlay was the first group to get the Ultimate Sing Off wake-up call. So hopefully, they can keep up the energy and give a huge surprise.

Element – You Keep Me Hangin’ On. As opposed to the previous song; I can hear this one easily done a cappella. This also doesn’t mean anything. However, Element has not been bringing it anywhere near the power of Delilah (and one of their members was in that group)… They need to show or be in the bottom this week.

Vocal Rush – Holding Out For a Hero. This is a song that once again pre-dates the singers (which I find very amusing each week.) I think this one is a challenge and will really be the one that people measure Vocal Rush by. I like them a lot but I don’t know if they have the ability to push through the whole season.


  • Home Free – Ring of Fire  15:1
  • VoicePlay – Don’t Speak 10:1
  • Element – You Keep Me Hangin’ On 12:1
  • Vocal Rush – Holding Out for a Hero. 5:1

10 minutes to go… Let’s hear your picks and how you fare. Meet you back after the episode!

Fear not friends, there will be a SingOff post or two today.

Today I’ve been working on the back end of my software. UI is one thing, but you can only get so far with ‘lorem ipsum‘ data. Well, okay… in my case some fake data that sort of fits the project. So today, I started the process of moving from fake data to real data. This is always an iterative process that programmers and project designers know far too well.

First we sketch out what we think is the data we want. I usually jump from a text editor to a spread sheet. I realise this would probably be better right off the bat with a database; but that’s just crazy talk. I start out by trying to map out my main object (not really normalised at this point) and then make one or two side objects where I think they will need to stand off by themselves. With this model we build up some quick code to insert data by hand to have it generate out into a couple of different formats: (CSV, XML, JSON, etc) This allows me to easily re-use this data once output.

Now I go looking for actual data. I know what data I’m working with, so finding sample data on the interwebz is fairly easy. HOWEVER, and that’s a big however; once you start looking at real data and trying to shoehorn it into your model; you begin to realise exactly how limited your model is and where you need to make fixes. (This is why lorem ipsum only gets you so far).

Unfortunately, I need about 10 entries to work with the data correctly and each entry is about 60 lines/2000 characters of hand transposed data. (The whole database side of things happens once I am happy with what I have.) Oh, did I mention… if there is ANYONE reading who knows how to go from MySQL through REST calls into a JSON output (preferably using Tomcat) I may have some work/hobby time for you? Not kidding here. Also, if anyone knows a service that does this (with load balancing, metrics, yadda yadda yadda) comments welcome… knowledge dump will be appreciated/rewarded (eventually)

So, currently I’m up to 3 records. I’ll be working this afternoon on the other 7. Now that the first part is done, each record takes about 5-10 minutes to research and build up. Then I turn the whole monster around and have the Project import and use the data. That’s when things start to get ‘exciting.’

Those who I talked to informally about “The Project” should feel free to message me if they want details or are interested in some questions.

Until later… having fun and making great progress!