Category Archives: Random

A place where I post random thoughts about topics that are in my head at the moment.

Finance and Econ Extension Updated – New Sentiment Operators!

Last night, a Monday night no less, I updated my Rapidminer Extensions and was pleasantly surprised. I discovered that the Finance and Economics extension, developed by Broad Reach Analytics, updated with a new “sentiment” folder and contained a Stock Twits and Twitter Search operator. Talk about cool! Just this weekend I began thinking about applying newly learned Rapidminer skills to some of my old market models and adding in sentiment.

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to try the Twitter Search operator because I’ve had a hard time getting TwitteR (the R package) to work right, and I’m looking forward to exploiting the Stock Twits extension as well.

I urge my readers to download the extension and try some of the example processes that Broad Reach Analytics graciously shared with us. Kudos to them!

First Month and Half at Rapidminer

I really wanted to do a “my first month anniversary working at Rapidminer” post, but I had no time. I’ve been working like a mad man supporting our sales team with demos, proof-of-concepts, and discovery calls. People have been coming out of the woodwork after the Gartner Report that put us in the Leaders Quadrant.

It’s an awesome time to be at Rapidminer and I love meeting business analysts, data scientists, and managers from so many different industries that are looking at using our Studio and Server to solve their problems.

Working at a “start up” has been different from anything I’ve ever done before and it’s an environment where I belong. Sure there are no timesheets to worry about but you got to be on top of your game, all the time! That’s 100% A-OK with me, considering that I’m working with some amazing talent.

Rapidminer Meetup is Coming Back!

It’s been a hectic few weeks but I’m loving every minute of working at Rapidminer. The people, the ideas, the models, the data. Amazing. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Now that I’m immersed in the Predictive Analytics world, I’m going to restart the NJ/NYC Rapidminer Meetup. I’ll be posting information shortly for a monthly meetup within the NJ/NYC area.

Coin Show Report

I’ve been meaning to give you an update on what’s been happening at my local coin show (Feb 2014). The short of it is that general attendance is down, the regulars are back, and the majority of dealers are buying silver and gold back.

This is an interesting change of sentiment because the last time I was there (about a year ago), gold and silver were at higher levels and lots of noobs were there buying coins. Dealers were selling to the public like crazy and all the transactions were done in cash. Now that the price of gold and silver is a lot lower, my guess is that the noobs are either holding or out of the market completely.

What’s even more interesting is that several coin dealers are selling copper ingots and buying back silver and gold. The whisper in the coin market is that gold is basing and fixing to go higher, but that remains to be seen.

Rapidminer World: Call for papers!

On the heels of that great Gartner Research report (get it here), RCOMM 2014 call for papers has been announced! One thing though, RCOMM is now called Rapidminer World and you can submit your papers here!

Rapidminer World will be held in Boston, from August 18th to the 21st, and I’ll be there! If any interested readers are going, please come by and say hi to me. I’d love to meet you!

Rapidminer: Leader in Advanced Analytics

Last week the news broke that Gartner Research placed Rapidminer in the Leader Quadrant for Advanced Analytics. I can’t say that I was surprised at the news, but I was extremely happy to know that we share the Leader Space with names like IBM and SAS.

The report is a great read about all the competitors in the space and the breakdown of their pros and cons. It’s a very comprehensive report and I urge any interested readers to download the free report off the Rapidminer site. You can access it here.

RApi project update

With every few steps forward on this project, I inevitably take a step back. On Friday night I successfully created a 2 node Pi computer. I tested it with the MPICH2 script and it indicated that both nodes, RApi0 and RApi1, were talking to each other. This was a HUGE accomplishment for me.  Just to get this point was a pain in the butt because of SD card corruptions and faulty image writing, but the time was well spent.

Saturday evening I then started the process of installing Apache, PHPmyAdmin, and MySQL, as the backbone for getting Rapid Analytics 1.3 to work. Everything installed well and then I downloaded and installed Rapid Analytics.  I went through the configuration quickly and set the hostname to RApi0. Then I set my parameters to load Java and run the Rapid Analytics JAR file. The server started within 6 minutes! WOW! Awesome! But then I couldn’t get to view the configuration screen in the browser. I was pointing the URL to http://localhost:8080.  At this point it was 1AM and I was tired, I decided to power down and restart tomorrow with a fresh mind.

Sunday morning I restarted both RApi0 and RApi1 and fired up JAR file again. This time, it churned and finally crashed out. Out of Memory Exception. Damn! What went wrong?

My initial thoughts on what went wrong was this, and I welcome any of my readers to chime in with suggestions (please!):

  1. I installed MySql, Apache, PHPmyAdmin, and Rapid Analytics on my head node, RApi0, and when I powered up on Sunday morning, MySQL and Apache started on RApi0. I believe that this could be an issue because it didn’t load into the shared resources of RApi0 and RApi1. I welcome your thoughts!
  2. Setting the hostname in the RapidAnalytics 1.3 to RApi0 meant that I should’ve pointed my browser to http://RApi0:8080. Ugh.

My next steps is to power up the 2 node Pi and manually start up Apache and MySQL once both Pi talk to each other, then start the JAR.

Links for February 12th through February 15th

These are my links for February 12th through February 15th:

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Betting on Rapidminer in a Big Way

This past Friday I resigned from my position as a Civil Engineering Manager at SYSTRA, my employer of the last 6+ years.  I did this because an opportunity of a lifetime knocked on my door, an opportunity that will give me a chance to pursue my passion in an exciting and growing field. In short, an opportunity to follow my dreams.

I’ve accepted a position as a senior consultant at Rapidminer, in their Boston headquarters, and I couldn’t be more excited about this. Not only will I be leveraging my engineering, predictive analytic, presentation/teaching and Rapidminer skills, but I will be empowering  organizations to utilize and adopt Rapidminer in ways they’ve never dreamed of.

If you asked me in 2007, when I started this blog, that my passion for data analytics and Rapidminer would eventually lead to a career with them, I would’ve laughed at you! Now, I’m reporting for duty the first week of March.

When my last box is packed and I turn off the light at my old office for the last time, I will be placing a new bet, one that will pay off in a big way. I will be putting all my chips in, going long on Rapidminer, and not looking back!

Why? Because I believe in Rapidminer. I believe that it can empower its users and their organizations to find new nuggets of information in their data that could change the world. I want to be a part of that, something larger than myself. I want to be a part of a community of thinkers, doers, and practitioners where ideas lead to new innovations and a better world. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

My dear friends, I owe all this to you! To my readers, commenters, tweeple, Ralf (for meeting me in NYC long ago), Ingo (for inviting me to RCOMM 2010), the Dortmund Rapidminer team, and all the Rapidminer users that reached out to me over the years with comments, questions, and friendship, I owe all of this to you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Links for February 10th through February 11th

These are my links for February 10th through February 11th:

Links for February 7th through February 10th

These are my links for February 7th through February 10th:

The RAPi Project

My initial setback in running Rapid Analytics on a Raspberry Pi might end up being just a small stumbling block in the end. The only thing that’s preventing Rapid Analytics from running on a Pi is hardware, a single pi is not quite there to run both X Windows and Rapid Analytics effectively.

Yes, I could put Rapid Analytics on a bigger and more powerful machine, but that defeats my minimalistic approach to this project. I want to run Rapid Analytics on the most cheapest and minimalistic set of hardware out there, and using a Pi is a great way to do it (cheap and damn minimal).

After a conversation with my IT director, he suggested clustering the Pi’s together. There is a great article out there about a student, Josuha Kiepert, that built a 32 node  Pi cluster. That cluster runs at 10 Gigaflops/sec. That’s INSANE!

I started pulling together information on hardware and software to do this.  I think I can pull this off with 4 Pi’s clustered together using the Tomcat software. Tomcat is a system to run java in a distributed fashion across several bits of hardware, in this case 4 Pi’s.

I put in another order for 2 more Pis with power and ethernet cabling, an ethernet switch, and some more SD cards.  Total cost is $140 shipped, plus the other 2 Pi’s @$35 each + cables and SD cards.  I’m looking at potentially having a capable Rapid Analytics Pi cluster for under $400.

I’m calling this the RAPi project!