Max Al Farakh Blog

Aug 28 2017
How to generate a full-text query for SQL Server

Information on the full-text search on the Internet is pretty scarce. Unless you want to read 600 pages long book you are going to have a hard time. We've been toying around with FTS in Jitbit Helpdesk for almost five years now. I wanted to share the code we use.

This is a result of many iterations over the years. The code we've settled with is pretty basic and only covers two use cases, but I believe it's going to be enough for 95% of products out there.

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Oct 28 2016
Thinking about switching from Mac to PC? Here is my story

Many Mac users are thinking about switching to PC after the yesterday’s keynote. I made the switch a couple of months ago, and I want to tell you my thoughts.

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Dec 29 2015
ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID on Android and IIS

Recently one of our users complained that he couldn't access our site on his Android phone.

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Jan 28 2015
7 Great Newsletters for Startup Founders

It takes a lot of time and effort to stay on top of the industry news. Tons of new articles are being published every day, but not all of them worth your attention. Let other people do the dirty work and find the most interesting and useful stuff for you – subscribe to a newsletter. Here are 7 curated weekly email newsletters that I love.

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Jan 17 2015
Lessons Learned After running an NPS Campaign

So, we've just finished running a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey for Jitbit Helpdesk. NPS is a hot new thing in the startup world. Well, it's not entirely new – traditional marketers have been using it for 20 years, but, since startupers tend to despise traditional marketers and ignore everything they did for the last 50 years, we've learned about NPS just recently.

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Aug 15 2014
Detecting Outlook autoreply/out-of-office emails and X-Auto-Response-Suppress header

In our helpdesk app we have a method called IsUselessEmail(). Its purpose is to filter through all incoming email and drop all bounces, autoreplies etc. This is a tough problem since we need to drop as much garbage as possible, but pass through any useful emails.

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Aug 10 2014
SQL Server: how to convert datetime to UTC

Recently we needed to convert all dates in our database to UTC format. We've made a mistake not storing them in UTC from the beginning and it led to complicated issues. When you have to support various time zones, there is no other way but to store you dates in UTC.

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May 9 2012
Feature requests are not (necessarily) evil

We are not a big fans of 37Signals' approach of turning down every feature request by default at Jitbit. We actually love and appreciate our users feedback. Not a day goes by without a couple of feature requests for one of our apps and in many cases we're making a decision to implement them.

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Jan 27 2012
Easy way to quit smoking (unless you're dumb)

I don’t remember myself as a non-smoker and I don’t remember how was it – to live without cigarettes. Now I’m 23, and I had been smoking since I was 15. That’s not a lifetime, but quite much for this age.

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Jan 25 2012
Reading: iPad vs. Kindle

I’ve always wanted to buy a Kindle, mostly because, you know, all other geeks have it and really like it. At the same time, purchasing a Kindle while already having an iPad seemed like an overkill to me. Well, at least I thought so before reading the latest DHH’s post on 37signals blog:

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