Sunday, September 11, 2011 pretending to be big

For one of my datamining projects, I decided to spend a weekend trying to find out how many subtitles you can actually get online for free. It took a bit of parallel python writing to scrape an entire website but I found a surprising discrepancy between the claimed database size and the actual number of subtitles they provide.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Looking for a job in Switzerland

My story

I came to Switzerland on the 15th of July and I already have a job, but I wouldn't say that it is easy to find a job here. It depends on your field, I'm structural engineer, so I'm writing from my point of view. I sent 22 emails and had 3 interviews until I got a job. I made a spreadsheet so I know where and when I sent an email, what they replied and more details (Danny's idea), very useful. I will write you some tips, which can help you to find a job.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Interning at Google - Week 2

The whirlpool is starting to spin and I am being pulled in. The infrastructure at our disposal is literally scary in both the scale and complexity of control and processes. Among the highlights of the second week, I had a lecture given by Bram Moolenaar the original author of our daily awesome Vim (shook his hand yay!) and the guy (can't remember the name:() who created the OO features in PHP proudly wearing this on his laptop.
Holding on :-)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fakulta Informatiky a Informačných technológií - FIIT

Pred pár týždňami som ukončil štúdium FIIT na STU v Bratislave, s titulom Ing. v obore Softvérové Inžinierstvo. Počas tých 5 rokov som stretlol nových ľudí, ktorí ma prekvapili aj v dobrom aj v zlom, starých známich som lepšie spoznal a čo-to nové som sa aj naučil. V tomto článku by som chcel zhrnúť moje pôsobenie na FIIT a zhruba načrtnúť stratégiu, ktorou som sa týchto 5 rokov riadil a na záver si dáme dolovanie v dátach zo sekcie Galéria študentov na webe fakulty ;-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Software Engineering at Google

For 2011 I wanted to try something new again and when I was approached by Google after the Google Code Jam 2011 (I just placed in top 500, nothing too special, but I got a t-shirt :-P) I agreed to start the interview process. After 2 technical interviews, I was offered a Software Engineering Intern position at the Google Zurich office, which I joyfully accepted. This is the first post about the experience, since I started just yesterday, on the 4th of July.

I will not be able to disclose any details of course, and will have to be super careful, because of how sensitive some information can be and how strict Google is about this.

Great Minds at IBM Research

For the sumer 2010, I was chosen to join the Great Minds programme for research-oriented computer science students, organized by IBM Research Laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland. This article is a small summary of my observations.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

First team to win N games

This is just a quick post for "my" TEAP students who couldn't solve one problem and I promised to show some code (I normally don't do that ;-).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Conversational style

The problem of using conversational style while communicating or publishing on the Internet is that if written down and consumed without the context of the given moment in time and environment, body language and relation to the writer, it often comes through as illiteracy bordering with rudeness.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dynamic programming checklist

There are many articles that talk about this programming technique, but I have never seen complete and generic step by step tutorial on how to deal with Dynamic programming problems. So here I present mine suited to my personal taste, but you may still find it useful.

Gridder - Humongous spatial data visualization

I designed the Gridder algorithm as a part of my diploma thesis and I've been playing with it for some time now. I am trying to find datasets and use-cases for it, so if you get any ideas just leave a comment ;-)

102,000 worlds biggest cities, plotted as dots. Applied mild edge glow filter for kicks.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

MySql job failed to start

I've got this message from MySQL, after importing some data and building indexes. The DB stopped responding and hitting the
/etc/init.d/mysql restart
gave me the aforementioned very non-descriptive error. My problem was that the DB didn't have enough disk space for some temp files, so increasing that solved the problem.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pizza box architecture

Some pics from a brainstorming for my fathers new project after the jump - notice how we simulated the startup atmosphere by drawing on the pizza box ;-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SSL-HTTPs fails TortoiseHg

There is a quick and dirty hack that you can use to be able to access repositories behind self-signed SSL with Mercurial 1.1.7 and beyond. On Windows, edit the file:
to make it look like this:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

ProFIIT finals under way

Future FIIT students fighting for the spotlight & problem setters prepping the judge solutions presentation and making sure everything runs smoothly...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Python multiprocessing utility

This article talks about a simple python command line utility that lets you run your existing programs in parallel, feeding them input and collecting their output to utilize the power of a multi-core processor.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Octopus merge

Code merging session with miso @ my place. I really need 3 screens ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Monitor your server on the go

After finishing the VPS setup more or less successfully, I started looking into options of how to monitor what is happening with the machine when I am not at the PC. I downloaded ConnectBot to my HTC Desire HD and used it to connect to the machine. There I have installed htop to display various stats like CPU and RAM utilization and running processes interactively and in the real time. Few tips on how to work htop without a hardware keyboard on your phone:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles

I read multiple complaints about the jerkiness of the camera in this one - and yes it was really like the blair-witch project, maybe even worse. But it was consistent with the situation and even though we sat close to the screen, it was watchable. If you have problem, just sit further...

The plot starts good but then it reaches a plateau in the part where it gets a little repetitive. The biggest bummer is again the poor strategic thinking on the alien part. There is no way a race capable of traveling between stars with an experience of conquering planets (there were hints, like the soldiers had surgically implanted weapons) allows to have a single point of failure in their strategy - however strong it might be.

Bottom line, although the plot is very simplistic and long-winded at times, the execution, effects and cast (Michelle Rodriguez baby!) save the day. I only recommend this movie to sci-fi/war movie fans.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Photo-walk at Slavín, Bratislava

Hi all,

yesterday we managed to escape from all the busy-ness and go to a place where I haven't been before, although it is in my home city. This place is called Slavín and it is memorial to soviet soldiers who died while fighting to free Slovakia from German oppression in April 1945. It is basically a mass grave with 6845 bodies.

Direct link to the gallery:

Some notes about the shoot:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

From webhosting to VPS

Hi all,

I have started a migration of our startup-ish project from a basic webhosting at to a linode 512 account over at today, which is a VPS with root access and all the related perks. The project is Django based and uses MySQL as well as some C++.
I was really afraid of the configuration, but so far it is turning out quite easy, although I am a COMPLETE noob. The steps I took so far:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Programátorské súťaže - návod

Programátorské súťaže sú v podstate druh športu, v ktorom si ľudia porovnávajú schopnosti s otatnými. Existuje veľa druhov programátorských súťaží, nás momentálne zaujímajú tie zamerané na algoritmy. Vo všeobecnosti v nich ide o to, že súťažiaci v limitovanom čase riešia presne definované a ohraničené problémy a na základe kvality svojho riešenia sú nakoniec zoradení.

Draw in Allplan, calculate in Scia Engineer

Here I present a "cookbook" for making 3D model of construction in program Allplan, exporting it to program Scia Engineer and making calculations there. I'm sure that there are many better ways, but this one is my best for now.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

Over the last 3 years, we have enjoyed going to movies quite often (this was actually, by a great chance, the 47th movie we saw together in Slovak theaters - yes I am referring to this). I thought that it would be nice to write a short note about the new ones we see. But not general stuff or plot summary, just particular points or thoughts we discussed on the way from movies. You can find the general stuff over at

If you haven't seen the movie yet, watch it first and then come back to see if you also noticed the same thing ;-) Further text contains spoilers.

The Adjustment Bureau promised a plot where some outside force is messing with humanity. I generally like sci-fi movies trying to sell a story that there is something happening but we don't see or realize it (The Matrix). This makes the plot somewhat more easier to relate to, than say, aliens bombarding the Earth.
The first problem of the movie was a somewhat extended introduction, probably for people who need longer time to start liking the main character. When something starts happening (finally) the plot starts unraveling fast and the action scenes are nice - not overdone. The key means of transportation is kinda copied from The Matrix, which immediately made me frown a little. The suspense lasts until the very last moment, where it all goes just wrong. At this point an interesting movie turns into a ridiculous, overly religion oriented, motivational speech in a way, that the whole previous plot looks just like a giant build-up. And it lacks some logic, the key phrase they use is that humans need to overcome obstacles created by the higher force. But it isn't just about that, they also intervene in a positive way if somebody is planned to have good life or how ever that works. Are we supposed to overcome obstacles, that were created to push us in the good direction, too? How are we supposed to distinguish between the obstacles designed to do good and obstacles designed to wipe us away?

All in all, this wasn't a complete disaster of a movie, so I'd say go get it ;-)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

ProFIIT finals problem setting session

Meeting @ TrePe's place to discuss the problems we will cook for those poor highschoolers ;)

Old and new

For the past 2 years, we have been using our old blogging system (Joomla) to post about our work related stuff - computer science for me, structural engineering Mana. Sometimes we also added posts about various thoughts, travel experience, photography, recipes, etc. We had a photo gallery embedded as a Joomla plugin, it was the RSGallery and it required a lot of php-hacking to make it look at least a bit usable.

Anyway, it was too time-consuming to deal with all that, so after it got hacked again (various spambots, crawlers etc. infecting the php code), we (mostly me, of course ;-) ) decided to move our content to various web service providers - namely Blogger for the website and Zenfolio for pictures. We will give it a try and see how well it works.

The old website was also hosting some mediawiki instances for various projects I participated in. The ones that are still alive were moved to the Google Apps platform.