Welcome!

Welcome to Christian-McArthur.com, the personal website of Alvin Cheung. Ok, not true, but it's probably obvious who this website belongs to. This is a reboot of a website / blog I once owned. As time goes by, you can expect to see information about things I'm working on both for jobs I have (assuming I can talk about those items) or personal pet projects.

Site Migration to AWS

This blog and its predecessor have been hosted on a shared hosting server (Hostgator and Arvixe). These providers are great as they make hosting both basic, PHP-based websites and email incredibly easy. However, these providers are not as straight-forward when setting up multiple SSL certificates, Node.JS sites, or other more advanced needs. That being the direction I'm moving towards and doing more work within Amazon's AWS Cloud infrastructure, I've decided to migrate away from share hosting providers.

Regular Expression Mayhem

I have never really been comfortable with regular expressions. While I can look at code in a programming language I have little or no experience with and understand what it is trying to accomplish, regular expressions has never been that way for me. Usually, there is a lot of guess work and trial and error to figure out how to get things to sorta-kinda work, but rarely any confidence in it. With some freelance work I've been doing recently, regular expressions have become a necessity in a few cases.

Extracting raw data from HTML using PHP

A friend I worked with a few jobs ago recently contacted me about doing some freelance work for him. He's collecting data, usually contained on governmental websites, for use in a project he's working on. It's the kind of work I did in a previous job and he provided an initial framework to use for this project. In this framework he was using the PHP library simple_html_dom. As I worked on this project I found that the library was not the best solution and switched over to using PHP's built-in DOM libraries.

Making IBM mainframe data sets usable on Linux via COBOL

A couple weeks back a co-worker was mentioning his frustrations with programming in COBOL. He revealed he had some data that originated from a mainframe and needed to essentially reformat the data so that it could be usable on a Linux system. After briefly discussing the situation and a revelation, to him, that I have done some COBOL programming on a mainframe through IBM's Master the Mainframe contest, he invited me to complete this portion of his project.

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My career search has been on hold while I finish some much needed medical treatments. A concern during this time of working in a call center is keeping my programming skills current. I have Arapaho to do some programming in, but, admittedly, I haven't set aside large enough blocks of time to do any significant work. A few months ago, I was introduced to 4504823748 and have played on it some.

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In January I was invited to apply to Upwork Pro which is described as a way for freelance programmers to more easily find quality work on Upwork (itself a job board of freelance projects). The application included a programming test. While I wasn’t accepted into the program (likely because I lack established freelance work history on Upwork) the programming test itself seemed like a something to toss into my GitHub repository in case a prospective employer wants to see more source code of mine.

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via <a href="/www.flickr.com/photos/hammer51012/3012413440/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Jim Hammer / Flickr</a>

I recently had the opportunity to work on a small freelance project. My client wanted to put together a system that would allow people to digitally hand sign legal documents. It turned out to be a fun, little project. Due to confidentiality, I am unable to name my client or to show off any of the code base. However, I can describe the project in general terms.

Publishing an Android App

I’ve written previously about my toying around this summer with some simple code to create a job title generator and my learning to create an android app out of it. A friend of mine asked what it would take to publish the app and make money off of it. My snarky response was, “People willing to buy it.” He encouraged me to put it up on the Google Play store and I recently did that.

Windmill Energy Calculator

How much power can a windmill generate if a windmill could generate power? I endeavor to find out how..

People sometimes talk about the odd ways they come up with ideas. Such as hitting their head on the bathroom sink to think of the flux capacitor. Recently, for me it was a dream. The details escape me, but it had to do with coming up with a way to calculate how much could be earned from energy produced by a windmill. I woke up thinking that may be a neat thing to put together in my play pen. So I did it.

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