Saturday, April 20, 2013

Faster Google Searching on Chrome

I love Chrome's Omnibox.

But sometimes, I know what I'm searching for is the top result. So I'd like to use I'm Feeling Lucky in the Omnibox. That way, my searches can be faster. Here's a simple way to do this:

Go to Settings in Chrome. Under the Search heading label, click Manage Search Engines. Scroll all the way down to the 3 input boxes:

Add a new search engine  | Keyword  | URL with %s in place

Fill in:

Add a new search engine:  Lucky
Keyword:  (This is your shortcut that you type into the URL bar) then you press tab. I use "\"


Click Done.

Now you can go to your URL bar (Cmd-l), type in "\" then press <Tab> and you can search "I'm Feeling Lucky" in Omnibox!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Presenting Course Scheduler App at Tuck Business School

Last Friday, I demoed my course scheduler app at Tuck Business School.

I built the demo in 2 days, Wednesday and Thursday. It helps students auto-schedule their courses by entering in their course dept and number and the Google Calendar API. It parses the Dartmouth Oracle Timetable here: and references the time slot and location. Example: try using COSC 065 for the Spring 2013 (This wouldn't work when the Fall Timetable is up).

I anticipate building a syllabus parser that goes through syllabuses and extracts more detailed information that would make the app more useful: textbook required (we could cross-reference this and even try to find a pdf for the user), course X-hrs. 

The feedback we received from the Tuck judges and other students was motivating! People thought it was cool and wanted to see it expand to reach all the other possibilities.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Course Auto-scheduler App Improvements!

Though I haven't yet set up any DNS (potentially hooking it up to Hacker's Club), the app is available.

Stuff learned:
  • The Google Calendar API v3 is pretty inconsistent. It took a lot of digging to find out how to craft the correct OAuth2 token dance and event array. 
  • Heroku is awesome for deploying Django!  Before, I used to use a git post-receive hook to connect to Amazon EC2, but Heroku makes it so much easier. 
  • How to config for separate environments. Before, I used a settings_local file that wasn't committed by git (sensitive db information). Now, os environ configs do the trick.
Stuff to-do:
  • Handle the edge cases (like period times: AR, special times on timetable (where it's not an existing period))
  • Add AJAX lookups for the correct class names (this will make user entry easier)