Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Have you ever been in a store and have difficulty finding a product?

Have you ever been in a store and have difficulty finding a product?
And there seems to be no employee around to ask?
Or if you find an employee, he/she doesn't work in the department of products you're looking for and so he/she has to page/call on another employee in that department and you have to wait even longer for a simple question of where things are?
Well, say hello to http://bakon.ca!
http://bakon.ca helps customers find where products are on their own.  But the site is brand-new so there isn't much data on it...yet!
The idea is that store employees or other customers who know where products are can help each other by adding product location details into our site that can be searched by anyone else.

Over time this site would be very useful to people who have problems finding products.

Just simply look up a product within a store up, if you find it where it's described, give it an up-vote so it'll help others find it too.  If you didn't find it where it's described, down-vote it so others know to not bother with that product entry.

Through crowd-sourcing, we should be able to help each other find products easier.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

bakon.ca graphics 01

bakon.ca graphics 01
bakon.ca graphics 02

If only smartphones were around when I worked at Canadian Tire.

Many of my friends and I worked at Canadian Tire (Richmond Square, Calgary Alberta Canada).
We didn't have smartphones back then.
I only wished we had smartphones back then, then i could really use a site like http://bakon.ca
When I first started working there, my first day, a customer asked me where fans were.  I had no idea where they were.  So i had to ask my manager.
As I worked there a little longer, I started to know more of where products were.
But with http://bakon.ca, I could've entered location of products whenever a customer asked and i found out where they were from co-workers.
This  way, i would've built a knowledge base for myself and it would also help customers who used the site to simply look for where products were located without having to ask an employee (like me).
I would've had more time to keep those empty shelves full.
Every time a customer sees an empty shelf, it's a potential lost sale (if they don't hunt down an employee and ask if we had any more in the back).
Lost sales translate to less revenue, and less revenue means less chances of a big raise.
I think bakon.ca could've helped me to get a raise since it would make me more productive at my other tasks being freed up from repeated questions of where things simply were.

Do you know people who work in retail stores? want to help them out?

If you know people who work in retail stores,
you can help them by telling them about http://bakon.ca
http://bakon.ca helps retail employees/customers help each other find products within stores.

Through the use of http://bakon.ca, retail employees can just enter product's location once and that info. can be searched by many people after that.  If the information is accurate and customers can find the product, they'll likely vote-up that product entry and so it rises to the top for other customers to see.

By telling your retail friends about this http://bakon.ca site. You'll give them a tool to help customers find products without their help.  So after having entered products locations for their stores products, they'll be mostly free to focus on other tasks and be fit for a raise because they're worth more to their employer now that they don't have to do redundant task of answering questions simply about where products are.

Can't find a product within a store?

Can't find where a product is within a store?
You should bakon it!

When you search for product within a store on http://bakon.ca, and it isn't found, it automatically gets added as an outstanding request for that specific store.

So that users/retail employees who'd like to monitor their store on our site could add that product for future users/shoppers.

So your empty searches are not in vain, they in turn help other shoppers who will look for the same product in the future.

And if other shoppers do the same then chances are you'll run into a product that they already searched for and have already been added to our site.

If you're a retail employee of a store, you should check back at our site on your store's page and monitor the outstanding requests list (at bottom of page, in light red) and make sure you add products for these requests as these searches for these products could translate into real sales.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Know where products are in store(s) and want to help out shoppers?

Visit http://bakon.ca
If you don't see a store that you know of, you can just add it to our site.
Then you can start adding products that you know the location of to help out future customers/shoppers locate them through the use of the site.

If customers search for a product and it isn't found in on our site for that specific store, it'll add an outstanding request to bottom of page (in red while viewing that store) so that anyone else (ideally a store employee) can come in and add that product with information of its whereabouts.

Our system depends on crowd sourcing and up-voting/down-voting to maintain the validity of the information on the site.

If you know where a few products are, that helps too.  Just imagine, one entry will help so many shoppers in the future looking for the same product at that specific store.  When you add a store or a product there is an added by field so you can use your real name, your email, or your nickname, or even your secret identity if you're a superhero who likes to help out.


bakon.ca helps customers find products without asking employees


Introducing bakcon.ca "WHERE CAN I FIND IT?" graphics

http://bakon.ca allows anyone to add any store and any product.
The site runs of the idea that by crowd-sourcing, any store can be added either an employee of that store or a regular customer.
And products can be added for each store by anyone.
Introducing bakon.ca graphics
A feature we have is that if someone searches for a product within a store and no results come up, that search will end up being an outstanding request which shows up at bottom of page in light red color (when viewing store).  This way, anyone else (ideally a store employee who can monitor their store regularly or any other shopper who knows location of product) who'd like to help out can add info for that product and any user after that can use that information.
Stores and/or Products can be up-voted/down-voted to indicate information's validity.
If it has higher votes it'll show up top when searched for.
If it has lower votes it'll show up on the bottom when searched for.
If it gets too many vote-downs it'll get excluded from search results.
Crowd-sourcing can be a wonderful tool if we all use it wisely.

So, instead of having to line up to get your turn at asking a store employee, with http://bakon.ca you can just look up products yourself and find it yourself, store employees will be more available for actual help that doesn't involve simple questions of where things are.  Better service, and they become more productive which will make them worth more to their employers (Fit for a pay raise even!?).

The site however is brand new and needs brave volunteers from crowd source to populate it with data.  Once we have that going we should have a great system where information is entered once and it helps out many.  Voting over time by crowd source will allow the system to phase out stale information such as when a product changes its location.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

New color coding to help identify entities easily.

http://bakon.ca now uses color coding to help  identify entities easily.

Blue indicates store information.
Green indicates product information.
Red indicates outstanding requests.
Color coding to help identify entities

Color coding to help identify entities

We've added some stores that we know of into our store directory listing

 We've added some stores that we know of into our store directory listing in the below link.
http://bakon.ca/store_directory.php

This link can be accessed from one of the bottom link on all our pages (at the bottom under "Store Directory").

If your store is not listed, please add it yourself or encourage your employee(s) to add it by going from the "Home" page, and narrow down by country, province/state, then city, then there will be a "Add Store For This Location" button.

By adding your store, you can start to add products (with their location) within your store to our database for customers/employees to search easily/freely.

It is our hope that by adding such information, your employees will be freed up (from answering simple questions of where things are in your store) to focus on stocking shelves to keep them full and reduce lost sales (of whenever a shelf is empty, you have a possible lost sale).

Increased sales will generate more revenue and you'll be able to afford to pay your employees higher wages which translate into higher quality of service.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Over 15,000 cities/towns of the United States have been added to our database.

 bakon.ca helps users identify/add stores and add/locate products within stores in their cities.

United States Fifteen Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Five (15,745) Cities/Towns have been added to the city's directory.
View directory of cities here: http://bakon.ca/city_directory.php


This is so if you can't find the city you're looking for you can always double check with this directory.  If your town/city is missing from the list, feel free to notify me at oldtran@gmail.com and I'll add it.

How to locate products within stores.

http://bakon.ca
helps retail employees/shoppers/customers help each other locate products within stores.

As a customer/shopper you can search for a store name within your city.  While viewing that store you can search for products which then will tell you where to locate these products.

If you search for a product and it isn't found at all in the store, it'll be added to outstanding requests.

These outstanding requests show up at the bottom of page when viewing store.  So that retail employees or someone else who knows where these products are located can add these products for the store.

http://bakon.ca is there to help and hope to grow its knowledge based on user's contributions of store information and product locations.

Each store can be up-voted or down-voted and stores with higher votes will show up on top of search results when searched for.

Similarly products can also be up-voted or down-voted and will also show up on top of search results when searched for.

Relevancy will depend largely on voters.

So if you've found the product you've looked for at the right location, please vote up that product.

Also if you see a store that is a real store, vote up that store.

Voting-down on products indicates that the product's location description is no longer valid or spam.
Voting-down on stores indicates that the store no longer exists or spam.

If you don't know where an item is within a store

If you don't know where to find a product within a store, you should bakon it.
If you don't see a store that exists in real life but doesn't exist on http://bakon.ca you should bakon it.
We want you to use the word "bakon" as a verb like "google" when you don't know what something is you "google" it.
If you know where a product is within a store in your city, and you want to help other fellow shoppers to find it easily, you should bakon it.
bakon up-voting and down-voting will help to validate relevance of product(s) within store(s).

Friday, May 20, 2016

A website to help retail employees/shoppers help each other locate products in stores.

http://bakon.ca
A website to help retail employees/shoppers help each other locate products in stores.

bakon.ca (that's bacon with a "k") is a website where anyone can add stores information.
Stores can be up-voted or down-voted based on their validity.
And Stores with higher up-votes will show up on top of searches.
Similarly products or items can be added by anyone and be up-voted or down-voted based on how good their location descriptions are and they will also show up higher on the list based on their up-votes when searched.

The idea is a simple easy-to-use website where retail employees or shoppers can add location description of products and can be easily searched for by other shoppers when an employee isn't available.

Our hope is that as more people use the site, employees will relieved of repeated questions of where products are and that they become more productive on other tasks such as stocking shelves or whatever else.  As retail employees become more productive, they're worth more to their employees and shall deserve a raise.  It is also a good tool for new employees who just started working at new place and not know where things are, they can just look up products and even enter their own products and their locations as they learn where the products are as they build up their knowledge base for the store while helping customers who have internet access on their mobile phones.

Please share bakon.ca with fellow shoppers and friends who work in retail industry.  We'd like to thank you all in advance for contributing to the content of the site and for using our up-vote/down-vote features to help maintain the validity of the content of our site.

You can also like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Bakonca-253401615016269/

The below are some stores that have been added by myself (the WebMaster of bakon.ca)
Canada Alberta Calgary Canadian Tire (Richmond Road)  (I worked here when i was 18 for about 2.5 years)
Canada Alberta Calgary Garrison Woods Safeway (I worked here for about 2 weeks in one summer).
Canada Alberta Calgary Westhills Shopping Centre Safeway (I didn't shop here very often because everytime I was in Westhills it was for a movie with friends).


Here's animated gif demo of site being used.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Hipstreet MP3/Radio Player How to change language back to English.

My mom accidently set her Hipstreet Mp3/Radio player's language to something that looks like Thai I think.

Here's how i changed it back to English.
Look for the Gear picture in front of a monitor Icon (located at bottom right).
Then look for the icon that looks like the world (should be the 2nd icon)
Then scroll all the way up top and pick the 1st one, it should change to English.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Creating your own graphical font

If you want to create your own graphical font (with full colors and all).
You can do that in GIMP with my Custom Font Script.
It lets you define each character of the alphabet or comma,period and all other special characters, on separate layers.
So for example if you want to define the letter a with an image of the letter a, you'd name the layer "a.png".
And for a comma you'd have an image of a comma on a layer named ",.png"
And for a question mark you'd have an image of a question mark on a layer named "?.png"
and so on for all possible characters of your font graphics..
Then run the script and it'll let you type a multi-line text message with options like justification, letter spacing and line spacing.
Then when you click OK the script will run and generate the graphics that is spelled out by your multi-line text.
More details on this script to be used for GIMP here -> http://gimpchat.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14045

On that page there are also some sample graphical fonts that are saved as .xcf files (GIMP's files) and you can just open up in GIMP and run the script to generate your own graphics with those already created fonts...
Here's a sample of TOMB RAIDER that uses one of those .xcf files.
TOMB RAIDER sample graphical font generated by custom font script

 

GIMP scheme script-fu (How to apply color curve from saved presets).

I didn't find a way to apply color curve from saved presets in scheme script-fu for GIMP.
So I found some python-fu code sample and i used to write some python-fu scripts to expose these functionalities to scheme script-fu.
More details on how is described in this link here on gimchat.com forum: http://gimpchat.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14064

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

GIMP Script-Fu how to apply an exported file of Colors Curve settings to a layer or current selection

I looked up how to apply a preset colors curve settings to a layer (or active selection)
from GIMP script-fu and there doesn't seem to be a way.
But I found some python fu code that can load and apply a Color Curves Setting from an exported curve file.
So I used this to give me access/ability to apply a Color Curves Setting from an exported file to a layer or active selection from Scheme Script-Fu.
More details on this python fu are located at http://gimpchat.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14058

Saturday, May 7, 2016

As an alternative to PhotoFont

How this idea came about.

I first thought since PhotoFont .phf files are xml files and define characters based on images what if i could extract .png data, edit the .pngs and then encode the edited .pngs back into the .phf files.

Extracting .png data from .phf files was successful.
However, after editing the .pngs, and try encoding .pngs back in the .phf, i kept getting Invalid and can not be installed when i used the GIMP's Photoshop plugin for PhotoFont.

 So then I thought if i can't get that to work, why not create my own images that define each character of the alphabet and all the special symbols as layers and have a script to accept a text string as input and loop through each characters/letter/symbol of the string and compose the graphics in a new image using the defined layers.

 The idea is simple, but it creates a platform for font designers to design new creative custom photographic fonts that are reusable by saving them as .xcf files (GIMP's file format). Then anytime you want to create a text string in whatever font just open up that .xcf and run the script and compose the text string using the .xcf as a font definition.

This idea and the script is located on GimpChat.com forum here -> Custom Font script (spawned from Wallace's PhotoFont topic).

Samples of what you could create with the mentioned script..
THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER THE LAZY DOG
THE CUSTOM SCRIPT IN GIMP FOR GIMP CHAT IS AWESOME
the above images are created by cropping images found here and then running the script to generate these phrase or sentences.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lesson 3 in Codeskulptor

We'll learn a bit more about strings in this lesson.
Strings have some methods/functions that you can call like upper() and lower() and others too (if you look them up).
upper() returns the string in uppercase
lower() returns the string in lowercase
you call them by adding a period (.) and calling the method like for example
print "Hello".upper()
which will print out HELLO
print "Hello".lower()
which will print out hello
try it and see.
You can declare a variable like
myname = "Joe" and then call the method like
print myname.upper()
or if you want to set myname to capitals you can do
myname = myname.upper()

Because a string is a sequence of characters they act like lists (I say like because you can perform list functions on them you'll learn about lists later) but you can refer to letter or letters of the string by using the square bracket notations.  For example if you wanted the first character of myname variable
you can refer to it by using
myname[0]
The zero is used because in Python indexes start at 0 instead of 1, so to get the 2nd character you would use myname[1] Also with the square bracket notation. You can get many letters at once by specifying an index to start from, then a colon, then an index to stop at. For example if we wanted the 2nd letter and the 3rd letter of my name we'd use
myname[1:3]
this would return OE If you want to start at the second letter and right to the end of the string doesn't matter how long the string is you just leave the 2nd index(the number after the colon) blank like
myname[1:]
which would also return OE
If you wanted every second letter starting with the first letter you can specify another colon and another number, this number is a step count. for example
myname[0:3:2]
which would return JE or if you want the every 2nd letter starting with the first letter of any string of any length you can leave out the first index and second index and just specify step count like
myname[::2]
There's a trick that i learned to get the string in reverse order which is not to specify first and second index and just specify step of -1 like
myname[::-1]
which would return EOJ
What if you wanted to get every second letter start with the second letter/character of a string like "Hello, how are you?"
You can do something like this
"Hello, How are you?"[1::2]
which will return el,Hwaeyu

Okay I think we know enough about strings for now.
That's it for third lesson
Lesson reference: http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user41_zPETMePp1x_2.py
Lessons Index

Learn how to program in CodeSkulptor (Lesson Index)

Lessons Index:

Lesson 1 (printing/outputting a string or strings)
Lesson 2 (declaring variables and manipulating/using them)
Lesson 3 (more on manipulating strings)

2nd lesson in Codeskulptor

Okay so you've learned how to print out strings.
In this lesson we'll learn how to declare variables.
variables are just pieces of data in your program, you can name your own variables and declare them to start with some data then later you can change their data/content to something else if you like.
Let's start first by creating some variables to hold names like this.
firstname = "Joe"
middlename = "Stuart"
lastname = "Smith"
Now we have 3 variables named as firstname, middlename, and lastname.
Now we can print these variables to the screen by referring to their name(s) like.
print firstname, middlename, lastname
You can click play and see that the program will print out Joe Stuart Smith.
Next let's learn about string concatenation, to concatenate strings together is like to glue many strings together to form another string.  In Python/CodeSkulptor, we use the plus sign (+) to concatenate strings.
So let's try to declare another variable called fullname to hold our full name like below
fullname = firstname + middlename + lastname
Then let's print it using
print fullname
What you'll see on the output screen is JoeStuartSmith
fullname did exactly what we told it to do, concatenate names together but we would like to add a space in between the names so it looks nice. How do we do that? like this
fullname = firstname + " " + middlename + " " + lastname
Now print out fullname again with
print fullname
Now we get the beautiful format for fullname as Joe Stuart Smith

That's it for lesson 2.
Lesson reference: http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user41_pZ8sayko0T_0.py
Lesson Index

Sunday, May 1, 2016

1st Lesson in Codeskulptor

goto http://www.codeskulptor.org/
code is typed in the left box, output is shown in the right box.
So after you go to the above link, delete all of the sample code in right box.
And start typing your own code in there.
When you are ready to run your program.
Press the play button (the first button from the left with the triangle picture above the left text area)
Whenever you want to save your work and return to it later, just click the 2nd button (button with the floppy disk image).  It'll generate a new link in the address bar in your browser.  You can save this link and return to it later.

First program, delete all of the sample code and press play.
You'll see nothing on the right text area because your program has nothing yet.
Okay ready for first lesson?
In the left text box type the below code in there:
print "Hello World!"
Now click play, you should see Hello World! on the right area.
Congratulations, you've written your first program in Python.
You've used the print command.  The print command will tell Python to print output to screen.  You can call the print command with multiple arguments like
print "Hello", "World!", "How are you?"
So far we've passed strings as arguments into the print command.  A string is just a sequence of characters.  "Hello" is a string.  "Hello World!" is also a string.  You can also use single quotes (') to specify a string as well like 'Hello' or 'Hello World!'.
On a second line (other lines) you could have something like
print "My name is Joe!" 
And Python will scan through your code and print out output as it sees print commands.
Try having multiple lines using print commands and see for yourself.

That's it for our first lesson.
 Lesson one reference: http://www.codeskulptor.org/#user41_Ag7LNjhoBE_1.py
Lesson Index