news & other stuff


Want to program self-driving cars? - join udacity! - Friday, September 16, 2016

Udacity just sent me an email asking if I want to learn and join the community of self-driving car developers - pretty tempting offer.  

This shows the way of the future - joining up world wide communities to take part in future developments that are game changers.  

If you think your interested check out the Udacity information: https://www.udacity.com/course/self-driving-car-engineer-nanodegree--nd013

 

 

 


Timely discussion about Open Data from all Govenment Sources - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

This article 

http://www.weatherwatch.co.nz/content/nz-govt-agrees-official-investigation-over-weather-data-access

Shows how hard it is for government departments to do the right thing and open up data thats been paid for by New Zealanders to New Zealanders.  MetService and NIWA are not the only government department holding public data against open data policies.  This will be interesting.

 


Strava's first ever Global Bike to Work Day - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Strava labs are doing great things such as 'fly-bys' (http://labs.strava.com/flyby/)

and strava global heat maps (http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#6/-120.90000/38.36000/blue/bike)

 but the other day they ran a 'bike to work' day - the plot of the data shows the world-wide use of bikes http://metro-static.strava.com/bike-to-work/

 

 


FFT implementations using .NET - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

FFT calculations are always essential for data manipulation - this article 
http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/1095473/Comparison-of-FFT-implementations-for-NET gives a nice overview of different .net coded versions

 


Crash NZ - Roading Hotspots and Crash Data - Thursday, May 05, 2016

Publicly collected NZTA crash data can now be viewed on the web.  

The data, hosted in the cloud gives access to over 500,000 crashes for the years 2000 to March 2015.  The data is viewable on an open website here

From this data around 4000 crash hotspots around NZ have been identified and can be viewed via a website and via a Android smart phone application.  

The phone application is created using Xamarin. A opensource tool to build cross platform mobile solutions.  If you would like a solution around mobile, cloud, and data please contact us at Omega today.

 


Xamarin Development for Mobile Solutions - Sunday, October 12, 2014

Working along side Trimble Navigation Developers to create a Multi-platform Mobile Application development  using XAMARIN. Working inside a team of 5 developers and 1 tester within 6 months  developed an application that spanned Android, IPhone, Windows CE, and Windows Desktop.  The application came together quickly due to Xamarin's ability  to share c# business code and logic.   UI specific code meant that the applications were designed with a look and feel for each platform.


 

Downloadable now from play store : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.trimble.mcs.gnssstatus&hl=en

Downloadable now from the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gnss-status/id932189198?mt=8

 


Startup Weekend Christchurch 2014 - Winning Team - House Intel - Monday, March 17, 2014

Del Robinson and Tracy Clark were attendees at the Startup Christchurch event held over the Firday night and weekend of March 14-16. Along with 60-70 other participants this was a chance to pitch an idea, form a team, and pursue a startup business idea in around 48 hours. From about 30 pitches, the most popular 8-10 form teams for the rest of the weekend.

We had pitched an idea around OpenData involving easy navigation around the city, which had some support but not as much as other ideas. So in the end we joined up with a team based around the idea of making the preparation for house auctions simpler and cheaper. Part of the due-diligence for an auction is getting a good building inspection report, and the team came up with an approach to make this easier and cheaper.

The team was called House Intel, and did market research with typical customers of the service,  with real estate agents, banks, and lawyers to confirm its viability. The financial model looked good, and a working web site demo with map based interaction, payment gateway, and report download showed the execution of the idea.

At the final presentation, there were great presentations by all the various teams, and tightly contested judging. In the end House Intel scooped the winner's prize and the use of OpenData prize.

All thanks to the organisers, judges, helpers and mentors who put together a great event. I can thoroughly recommend attending such an event yourself in the future, if you have any start up aspirations.

 

 


Google Glass - Whats it all about? - Friday, February 28, 2014

Tracy attended the Google Glass Course run by Prof. Mark Billinghurst [along with Dr. Gun Lee] of the Hit Lab.

This was a great course to get hands on experience with Google Glass and interact with the development tools  to programme the device and develop applications.

Tracy has Android / Java  experience from her knowledge of programming Android Mobile/Smart phones. So,while at the course, was able to create our first Google Glass Application, mashing up Christchurch road works (TMP) data and  Google Glass knowledge of position and compass bearing. The application gives a view of road works approaching overlapped on to a view of the road ahead - go here for more information.

 


Cross government BI Proof of Concept - Statistics NZ and Ministry of Primary Industries - Friday, November 01, 2013

 A new development in data sharing is being trialled between two government departments, facilitated by Omega Tech Ltd.

Statistics NZ prepare the Overseas Merchandise Trade statistics for Imports and Exports.
http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/imports_and_exports/overseas-merchandise-trade.aspx

Internally within Statistics NZ, the Trade data is available in a Microsoft based BI solution utilising Analysis Server cubes, Reporting Services reports, and Excel. Confidentialised aggregated totals are prepared and published to the public website.

MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries) are consumers of this data as it provides detailed figures of exports of primary produce. Currently they use the published figures, but are looking to get more detailed information.

A proof of concept has been initiated to share a cut-down confidentialised version of the Statistics NZ BI solution (the data cube) with MPI to allow a rapid uptake of dimensionalised data without MPI having to undertake their own BI program of development.

The current status of the project is MPI evaluating a data cube for a limited time series of released data.

 


SQL Optimisation Project - Sunday, July 07, 2013

Omega Technology was tasked with improving the SQL Performance of the Business Economic Statistics platform which is used by Statistics NZ to process a large (and increasing) number of economic statistics including Tier-1 Statistics such as Overseas Trade, and Annual Enterprise Survey.

The combination of analysis by Omega and the IT team identified several main areas for improvement. As it turned out, there was scope for a lot of improvement with performance gains of 200-300% in some areas on what were long running processes.

Several blocking problems were resolved by database refactoring and index changes. We called on Craig Ryan, a DBA specialist, for expert advice and sql server health scripts.

SQL changes were completed by Omega whereas SSIS component and UI relevant changes were designed by Omega but delegated to the internal team. There were also training and usage recommendations for the internal team to apply.

The outcome of making all these changes (a cautious process when working with a production system with a terabyte of data) was a marked improvement for all collections.

Here are some examples of significant improvements in terms of the reduction in processing time for regular analyst workflows in the production system:

55% - Retail Trade Survey (StatsNZ survey + IRD data)  
62% - IR10 (IRD dataset for all companies) 
55% - GST (IRD dataset for all companies) 
65% - Overseas Trade (Customs dataset for all import/export)  

So for example the Overseas Trade set of daily workflows (there is a daily feed of customs data) now takes one third of the time (nearly 3 times as fast)

These changes mean a faster turnaround for statistical analysts, and overall a higher capacity for the platform.

 


Making Cycling in NZ safer. - Thursday, June 13, 2013

Omegatech has created a mash up between NZTA crash data and Google Maps (V3).  The map  (http://www.omegatech.co.nz/cycling/) allows you to plot a route dynamically giving you a view of the crash statistics for that route.  Using the google mapping tool you can drag the route around finding a safer route to get you from A to B.  Google bike routes and  traffic information can be shown.  You can also see the route's elevation.

 


New DNN Pegasus website online - Saturday, April 20, 2013

 Check out the new Pegasus Cycling Web site (www.pegasuscycling.co.nz)  online using DNN.  DNN was also chosen as the CMS system for NZIPP web site design shown here.  DNN installation and management allows web site owners to take over and control the full layout, maintenace and future growth of their website.  DotNetNuke produces a community edition free for anyone to try  see information about DotNetNuke here  and more about them here or follow on facebook here.   

 


Automated Database Testing - Parallel Run Scenario - Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Omega Tech has a lot of experience with automating database testing, either by parallel queries or against known good answers. We have developed some software to simplify, organise, and streamline this process.

We helped RPM Retail during a big system upgrade of their BI solution for retail customers. RPM developed their next version which involved major changes to numerous database and cube components. The same data feed was then provided to both the old and the new systems. The automated database testing proved that the results were the same across a wide variety of functional elements both at the database and cube level.

 


Stats NZ run 2 more surveys on new platform - Friday, June 29, 2012

  June 2012 saw the completion of a 2 year involvement by Omega Technology in the development of the Stats NZ Economic Statistics processing and analysis platform.

This leading edge development has seen Del Robinson from Omega lead an internal team of developers to build a statistical processing system that should support all econmic datasets and surveys.

October 2011 saw NZ Overseas Trade go onto the platform.
June 2012 saw 2 quarterly surveys go live on the platform and further surveys and datasets are in progress.

The role involved developing and overseeing components in the following areas:
- Database design and development
- Integration Services Packages
- Web and Windows services
- WPF Application
- Analysis server cube design
- SAS (statistical software) and statistical methodologies
- Automated Regression testing

 


Omegatech gets involved with Android and SmartPhone Development - Friday, December 09, 2011

Omegatech is excited in taking part in the Android phone revolution.  The android revolution of smart phones has astounded the market.

Application downloads from the Android App store growing by a rate of one billion per month.

Android phones have taken market share over Apple - if your thinking smartphone development you must now provide for both apple and android phones.

So, if you've missed the rise of the Android follow the story here

 

 

 

 


Mobile phone applications for DNN sites - Friday, December 09, 2011

 If your running a DNN Site and are thinking of putting up a Mobile Smart Phone interface then have a read of this article

The approaches listed in this article cover the field and are;

1- Traditional web content and skin in your DNN Site 
2- Smart phone web content in specific pages utilizing a mobile specific skinpack
3- Smart phone App Development with dedicated functionalist or basically native development
4- The hybrid approach which is the combination of #2 & #3

 

With the rise of both iphone and android (and possibly windows) smartphones a dedicated smartphone application can be and expensive job to cover all of these.  It may be more reasonable to create a smartphone mobile site dedicated to a smartphone layout.  This approach is used by the news organisation stuff.co.nz and have created i.stuff.co.nz

 

 

 

 


Post Earthquake Recovery - We're Back and Running - Sunday, February 27, 2011

 After being shaken quite a bit on Tuesday  we have, since then, been out of power, water, and sewage.  But we're now back up with full power and running again.

 Omega's office is on the east side of the city so although we survived the shaking without damage we've  seen the devastation of the suburban streets and the effect of the liquifaction. Over the last week,  while getting the office back up and running we have also been helping to tidy the streets with shovels in hand.  

We have been without mains power since the quake and have been running sparing off a generator since Thursday.  Power came on on Sunday and were fully operational again.

Thanks to all our customers for your continual support at this time.

 

 


Omega Technology provides Business Intelligence solution for SLI Systems - Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Omega Technology completed an important milestone with SLI System this week, as their Business Intelligence solution moved into production.

The solution brings together data from a number of different internal systems such as Sybase, MySQL, and SAP along with external data stores such as SalesForce into a central data warehouse. It provides tools and reports to assist the management team at SLI analyse from a single point and track key indicators.

The solution is prepared using Microsoft SQL Server, Analysis Server, and Reporting Services.

 


NZIPP runs 2010 Judging Awards using Omega Technology Software - Sunday, September 12, 2010

Omega Technology enhanced the judging application used in the 2010 NZIPP Judging awards, following on from its successful debut in 2009. Since the web platform is based on DotNetNuke (a very popular content management system) the NZIPP team was able to also add their own enhancements by purchasing 3rd party modules such as a gallery function.

The application requires real-time communications with as many as 20 computers running across 2 judging rooms and a back office. Images were projected across multiple rooms simultaneously.

Two rooms with 5 judges and a panel chair judged 11 categories of photographic entries.

To judge the entries the application ran continuously for 3 full days of judging.

The results can be viewed here

 


Omega Technology produces Proof of Concept classification system for Statistics NZ - Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Omega Technology has produced a Proof of Concept application for Statistics NZ as a migration replacement for their current "CARS" system.

The Proof of Concept had to meet a number of significant goals within a short time-frame. These goals were:

  • A revised data model to handle new types of classification and relationships
  • A working migration process to show backwards compatability for classification changes generated in the new data model.
  • A showcase of "modern" controls and user interface options to provide a much improved user experience
  • An enhanced search capability across all data
  • The generation of web ready content from user generated rich text
 


Omega Technology assists with GST milestone for Statistics NZ Processing Platform - Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Omega Technology has been undertaking the technical lead role with an internal team for the development of a Business Economic Statistics processing system.

This project reached a significant milestone on the completion of IRD GST data loaded into the processing system database and analytical cube environment.

The data is made up of every company GST return from 1993 onwards and consists of over 500 million facts at this stage. The analytical tools enable this data to be explored in aggregate in real time.

Statistics NZ analysts now have the opportunity to further configure processing rules and continue their analysis.

 

This follows on from a previous milestone in 2009 which was building the initial platform to allow user configurable multi stage statistical processing for IRD IR10 data. This collection of data is now in its second production year and progressing well.

 


Omega Technology successfully completes Smartmatix project - Monday, December 14, 2009

 Jan Wijninckx,  Director of Smartmatix Ltd was heard to say "Bloody awesome result" when commenting on the project outcome.  He noted also that "Very good work indeed, what a pleasure to see something work in one go."  Smartmatix is a Productivity tools & know-how for IT, projects & programs.

 


Omega Technology extends Statistics NZ data warehouse for Student Loans and Allowances - Friday, November 20, 2009

 The Student Loans and Allowances (SLA) cube solution was extended for the 2009 processing year (2008-2009 data) by Omega Technology.

A number of Statistics NZ in-house tools used to simplify output classifications, cube building, and automated validation were extended by the Omega team and deployed back in-house.

"Hooray for the cube" said one of the SLA team as they were able to quickly progress with analysis efforts in Excel using the revised cubes and latest data.

The cubes are used to assist with further analysis of the data released here.

 


NZIPP runs 2009 Judging Awards using Omega Technology Software - Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Omega Technology created the new judging application used in the 2009 NZIPP Judging awards.

The application required real-time communications with as many as 20 computers running across 2 judging rooms and a back office. Images were projected across multiple rooms simultaneously.

Two rooms with 5 judges and a panel chair judged 11 categories of photographic entries.

To judge the entries the application ran continuously for 3 full days of judging.

The results can be viewed here.

 


NZIPP has successful launch of new website - Saturday, August 01, 2009
Omega Technology Ltd successfully launched the new website of NZIPP build on Dot Net Nuke Technology. read more ...


Omega Technology creates Viisibility Freight System - Thursday, December 11, 2008
Omega Technology creates Viisibility Freight System
 read more ...


Omega Technology aids VMSL to create Route Commander - Friday, August 15, 2008

Omega Technology aids VMSL to create Route Commander

 read more ...


Omega Technology fulfils Scrum Master Course - now certified Scrum Master - Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Omega Technology fulfils Scrum Master Course - now certified Scrum Master
 read more ...


Omega Technology help to bring intelligence to Statistics NZ. - Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Omega Technology help to bring intelligence to Statistics NZ.
 read more ...