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Super Techie Winners Use Technology in Creative and Novel Ways

SEBASTOPOL, Calif. – February 2, 2010
Safari Books Online (, the leading on-demand digital library for technology, digital media, and business professionals, hosted an event in January to honor the winners of the recently concluded Coder Challenge, which acknowledges technology professionals who utilize technology in creative ways to advance the technology industry.

Winners of the Coder Challenge, which ended in December, were offered three months of premium access to Safari Books Online and a trip to join Safari Books Online for a day of wine tasting at two Sonoma County wineries. The day concluded with an opportunity to talk about technology during dinner with Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc., in downtown Sebastopol, Calif., on January 15, 2010.

Each of the winning submissions had unique aspects:

  • Arturo Fernandez-Sanchez from Spain submitted the project Wind-ups GP32. Arturo programmed a Korean handheld game called GP32 to function like a PDA, complete with text reading abilities, address book, image viewer, simple text editor, word translator and more. His latest addition includes a 3D viewer for panoramic pictures.
  • Aral Balkan, currently living and working in the UK, created an iPhone app called ‘Avit, especially for Safari Books Online subscribers. The use of ‘Avit allows a Safari Books Online subscriber to scan the barcode from a book and immediately begin reading it on their iPhone if the book is available in their active Safari Books Online library. The iPhone app is currently available at Apple’s App Store.
  • Narayan Raman, a developer from India, and founder of Tyto Software, submitted the project Sahi. Sahi is a user-friendly automation tool designed to test web 2.0 applications. Some salient features include AJAX support, multithreaded playback, platform and browser independence, excellent Java interaction and inbuilt reporting. Sahi is an open source project hosted on SourceForge.
  • Ashley Aberneithy, a lead developer in the UK, created an application which automatically scans a digital chest x-ray and detects calcified ‘nodules.’  These nodules can be indicators as to whether a patient has suffered from Tuberculosis or other serious chest infections in the past, thus making the patient more susceptible to contract chest infections in the future. Ashley’s project, developed using C and MATLAB, uses morphological image processing techniques and machine learning in the form of support vector machines to create an automated detection system for these nodules.
  • Evandro de Paula’s winning project is Online Data Push. The project replaced a poorly designed Batch Data Push SQL 2005 SSIS based solution — which had no transaction control, no start from stop and had scalability issues — with an Online Data Push SQL 2008 SSB based solution. “Online Data Push makes a huge business impact because data will be available right away and will perform and scale out better,” said de Paula. Because Evandro was unable to attend the event, he received two signed books from Tim O’Reilly and a $500 visa card.

The four winners who attended the event enjoyed hotel accommodations at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in Sebastopol, a nice Pure Luxury limo ride to the Kendall Jackson winery to taste reserve reds. The winners then took the scenic route to Korbel winery for lunch, a tour and more tastings. The day ended at K & L Bistro in Sebastopol, California, for dinner with Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly Media; Paige Mazzoni, VP marketing, Safari Books Online; and CJ Rayhill, senior VP, product management and technology, Safari Books Online.

“The Coder Challenge winners are certainly innovative and interesting and we’re glad they were able to join us in person to relax a little bit, enjoy a sample of Sonoma County and to receive their reward,” said Rose St. Clair, marketing manager, Safari Books Online. “We are thrilled with the quality of entries we received and look forward to our next Coder Challenge in the coming months.”

About Safari Books Online

Safari Books Online ( is an on-demand digital library that delivers expert content in both book and video form from the world’s leading authors in technology and business. Technology professionals, software developers, Web designers, and business and creative professionals use Safari Books Online as their primary resource for research, problem solving, learning and certification training. Safari Books Online offers a range of product mixes and pricing programs for organizations, government agencies and individuals. Subscribers have access to thousands of books, training videos and prepublication manuscripts in one fully searchable database from publishers like Cisco Press, Prentice Hall Professional, O’Reilly Media, Addison Wesley Professional, Microsoft Press, Sams, Que, Peachpit Press, John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier, IBM Press, Adobe Press, Sun Microsystems Press, FT Press, Wharton School Publishing, Apress, Manning, New Riders, Apple Certified, Course Technology, Splash Media and dozens more. For more information about Safari Books Online, please visit us online.

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