Datamining Software


My favorite Opensource data mining software, Rapidminer, rose from third place to first place in 2013 KDnuggets’ preferred software poll.

http://www.kdnuggets.com/2013/06/kdnuggets-annual-software-poll-rapidminer-r-vie-for-first-place.html

If you want to see the power of Rapidmine there is a great tutorial, below, on decision trees.  A decision tree takes a data set and creates a visual representation of decisions and their probable outcomes.  You can see from this tutorial how easy Rapidminer is to operate. Decision trees good for guessing the outcome of a decision and is probable result. The tutorial takes a dataset of marketing mailers and determines the best way to get the desired results, based upon a sample dataset.

Data Python packages (my second favorite) slipped in the poll, but like any software math nerd, I take this as a badge of honor.  Since it is non-visual and a scripting language, it is more for the programming nerd. This does show how the data-mining industry is changing. More gui based programs are becoming more popular bringing data-mining to the average person. Excel has an extremely easy to use datapack, which is on the kdnuggets list. The average person can take an Excel table and in minutes run a regression test on it, leap years from when I learned statistics.

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Science and its perspectives!


Yesterday, I was talking to a doctor who didn’t believe in infectious diseases.  He thought that vaccines were bad and that we got sick from how we felt and ate. 

Then this morning I was talking with a small group of neighbors about allergies.  I mentioned that I don’t have allergies.  A lady tried to explain to me that everyone has allergies.  Some thing about how science and industry has affected the plants, and even if we don’t think we have allergies, we actually  all do.

And there you have it, two versions of a scientific medical conspiracy.  One man thinks that science is making up the infectious viruses, and the lady thinks they are under representing allergies.

The Muskrat


So, I’ve been thinking about this encounter I had with a muskrat when I was a kid.  I lived on a lake and there were many animals on the lake, including muskrats.

Preparing for Rapid Miner


I have been getting ready to do a RapidMiner tutorial!

I am just trying to figure out the logistics of how much animation I want to use.  Rapidminer is a great open source data mining software.

Download the AVI here:  http://www.earlmcgowen.info/Files/video.avi

A animated gif I created.

burger

Testing an AVI ling!

youtube channel


I have been moving around and consolidating my internet postings and webpages.   I have been trying to consolidate everything given that certain accounts get different responses.

I have posted a new editing video to my youtube account:

Graphics Design


I like to enhance my personal and professional work utilizing graphics design.  I am a bit of an amateur.  I have found with just a couple tricks it is easy to quickly enhance ones presentations and documents.  It is better than searching the internet for the right graphic and worrying about intellectual property violations.

I use an assortment of open source, free software to get a wide array of effects.  I will list a quick summary of what I use and when.

#1 Paint.Net

Image

Paint.Net can be found at http://www.getpaint.net/download.html.  Paint.net was created by several Visual Studio programmers in the early 2000’s.  The were looking for an alternative to Microsoft’s Paint program.  If you are starting out I recommend using Paint.net.  I have moved to other programs but it is still my go to graphics creator for quick images or photo manipulation.

Paint.net is like a simple painting pallet were the user uses tools to paint pixels or bitmaps onto an image.  What breaks Paint.net out is the use of layers and plugins.  Painting in layers is probably the amateurs first step out of simply painting pixels.  I almost never paint in paint.net with at least five layers immediately.  One nice thing about layers is that you can save the layer design and us it later.  I still layers that are several years old that I still use.  Layers can be used to put words over graphics.  I created the following in about a minute.

Lisapain.net

Plugins can be downloaded from several sites, which I will not go into now.  Plugins can add a lot of effects and functionality.  There is an extensive list; for example you can quickly blur an image:

Lisapain.net

Inkscape

As I stated above, I always recommend starting with Paint.net (PDN).  There are certain concepts and ways of thinking about digital graphics that can be hard for the beginner.  Jumping into Inkscape or GIMP, will more than likely just confuse the beginner; learn to walk first.  At some point, PDN will become clunky.  It is time to learn Inkscape.  I first started getting frustrated with PDN’s line drawing and manipulation of images.  Inkscape is a Scalar Vector Graphics (SVG) design program.  It was written by open source designers looking for a way to manipulate SVGs.  SVGs are XML representations of images, which you can open note pad and actually read the code.  What this means is that the images are created in objects.  Instead of layers, I import an image and write the lettering in separate objects, I don’t need layering as much.

Lisa2

So, let me explain the difference between layers (PDN) and objects (Inkscape).  The image of my daughter and two types of lettering (black and white) are separate layers in PDN.  PDN is drawn in pixels and each layer is the manipulation of those pixels.  Any manipulation will be a manipulation of the pixels.  Objects in Inkscape are drawn in code (SVG).  Any manipulation of the drawing is done to the code and not the pixels; pixels won’t be created until you save the image.  What this allows you to do is manipulate the values of the object faster and more precisely.  Now, I say faster loosely, if you are beginning the manipulation of objects is going to take exponentially longer.

GIMP

GIMP is GNU Image Manipulation Program.  The best way that I can describe GIMP is that it is the best of both Inkscape and PDN.  It paints in pixels like PDN, but allows you to manipulate the images like objects in Inkscape.

Lisa3

GIMP utilizes layers (like PDN) and Paths (like objects in Inkscape).   Let me explain paths in GIMP.  When you draw objects in Inkscape, those objects are groups of paths.  You tell Inkscape to make a path and then turn left at a distance.  The above image is an imported picture of my daughter with lettering on top.  The lettering is created in a separate layer like PDN, but unlike PDN, I can convert the lettering to a path like Inkscape, and then I manipulate that path to give me a perspective.

So, to summarize: PDN  paints in pixels and utilizes layers and plugins to manipulate the pixels.

Inkscape paints in SVG and utilizes objects to manipulate the SVG images.  Pixels will be created on export.

GIMP paints in pixels and utilizes payers and paths to manipulate pixels.

I want to close with saying that what distinguishes the different programs is SPEED and COMPLEXITY.  I created all three of these images in less than 3 minutes.  I can still create all three of these images in PDN, but it would have taken me longer to get the precision of Inkscape and the perspective change of GIMP.  But, just beginning, using Inkscape and GIMP would have taken 10x longer and a lot of frustration.  Start with PDN and when you start getting frustrated learn GIMP and Inkscape.

Happy Imaging!

My Lesson


I think a lot of my troubles in the past have been because I focus on what people say or think about me.  I let this rule my life.  Also, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as give my detractors ammunition to prove what I think is the worst.  It is a harsh world where people are defined by so much that is not truly what that person is about.  But, I need to let this go. 

It is really time for me to start focusing on myself and not concern myself with what the world thinks about me.  I will never fit the image I want the world to think of me.

I’m a good person, work hard, and have a lot of love.  That is what is important and whatever the world says doesn’t matter.

CHANGING MY BLOGS


I have several blogs that I have been posting on for years.  I write on topics concerning Data, Technology, Philosophy, and the Law.  Most of them have been public and this one has always been for my private thoughts.

However, this one has come to the top of my name search.  Sometimes we have to change our plans to accommodate the world.

I will  start making my postings on this blog public.   I am going to switch around my blogs and will update readers later as I change my process.

Tippy


I love this character on Saturday Night Live. It is played by Nasim Pedrad. Tippy is an awkward character that wants to be in on the conversation but lacks a little timing and a lot of social skills. Nasim’s comedy skills shine with this character. Her timing is perfect as she waits for the optimal time to insert her character’s off-the-wall comment. Watching the episode, if she was half a second off the humor would have been lost. Watch when she uses her eyebrows to add to the comedy.

Just an all around solid performance.

Last Night’s Dream


So, I had an interesting dream last night.  This dream has come to me in many different settings and scenarios.  The dream was set in a literature class and there were about seven other students and a young female teacher.  She was short with black hair, a little pudgy, and creamy white skin.  During each session of class, I didn’t read the material but I knew the answers to the deeper questions of the literary work we were reading.  In my dream, I would hear the topic in the first minute or two and I would instantly know the whole story and deeper meaning.  I became the teacher’s pet for knowing these greater answers, and the other students became jealous.  I felt guilty that I was being a fraud because I wasn’t preparing for class.  Part of my felt a sense of pride because I had a deeper knowledge already; I had some skill set.

As dreams go, time was warped; and, we ended the class and we had a last outing.  We went fishing.  One student caught a fish but the hook was lodged deep in the gills.  I grabbed the fish and started to push the hook forward past the gills.  In real life, this is a skill I had as a child.  I could remove a hook without hurting a fish when I caught it.  I was able to almost intuitively sense the fish’s pain and work the hook around its own sensitivity to prevent its pain.  Another student, who had been jealous of my class discussions, got upset and started yelling at me for trying to push the hook through the gills.  I was still maneuvering the hook as he was yelling at me. In my dream, I knew this student had some trick for removing lodged hooks, but I also knew that I could extract it using my intuitive sense of the fish’s pain, and I knew the student was hoping I would mess up so he could catch me doing something wrong.  I worked the hook out and put the fish in the water.  The fish swam away, unharmed.

The student and I got into a heated argument about the proper way to extract a fish.  I argued that my skill worked that was the best  proof, and the other student said I got lucky and could have hurt the fish.  I can’t remember but we either got in a fist fight or almost did.

After the fishing excursion, the teacher gave us our final exams.  It was going to be an oral exam questioning the various readings.  I was worried because I hadn’t read any of the literature and relied solely on my skill.  I was also worried that the teacher would think I was a fraud.  She gave the class the test and each student passed.  When she gave me the test I essentially failed, yet she helped me along.  She did seem disappointed.

There it is.  I don’t know what to make of this.

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