Smoke Signals

Monday, October 30, 2006

Getting cozy with JS

Lately I have been doing a LOT of work in JS. It was painful at first. Especially since I have been doing so much Ruby programming. After a couple of cool features I wrote over at Like the 60 seconds editable comments with spiffy effects and some AJAX action, and the big one a cross-browser WYSIWYG editor. I have come to love the Prototype Library and the Ruby-esque things it gives you. I could write a tutorial of some of the finer features of Prototype but I will leave that for my new blog/site I am working on.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Long time, no posts

I just checked here and noticed I haven't blogged about anything in a long time. I have a couple of things going on that I can blog about so here it goes.

I decided to use my mac mini exclusively at work. I wanted to see how well it would integrate with exchange and our fileserver but I also wanted to get used to using OS X. So far Entourage isn't quite like Outlook with exchange there are quite a few things that we use that do not work at all which is a bummer. The fileserver is a piece of cake to connect to so there is not problem there. Using Sharepoint doesn't work but I think I can proxy IE (yuk) through the domain controller which should solve that problem.

I have been doing Rails development at my current job which is a blessing. All I can say is working on Rails with Textmate is like heaven. The code snippets rock, it is so productive and intuitive I am just stoked. I only wish it had some collaboration features like SubEthaEdit. I also got lighty and mysql working flawlessly on the mini.

A big change in my life might be right around the corner. The gears are in motion and it looks like things are falling into place. I have faith that it will happen and it will be great. Once it happens, I will blog about it.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Google Reader Hack

For those of you who use Google Reader, and if you don’t, sign up it is cool! Here is a hack so you can view specific feeds you subscribe to. There are other readers out there that do this but not on the internet. So let’s suppose you are like me and have 10+ feeds you read regularly. If you view the default reading list, it shows a mish-mash of all the feeds you are subscribed to. Which is cool, but I like to view specific feeds at a time.

Here is a hack that will let you do that: Google Reader allows you to edit your subscriptions. This is where you go to add new RSS feeds etc. This edit tab also lets you view all of the latest posts from a specific feed. So if you want to view all of the feeds from one of your channels click the edit subscriptions tab at the top and click on the name of one of your feeds. Boom! An instant list of posts from a specific feed. I find that I use this “hack” more than just the default reading list, since I am looking for posts from certain sites.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Rails Recipes

I bought the domain Rails Recipes last year in hopes of making a site that is a place for people to post recipes on how to do certain things in Rails, much like the ZopeLabs site I used to be a part of a few years ago. Needless to say, I didn’t end up implementing anything on it. To my surprise, I get an email from Chad Fowler of the Programming Ruby fame about a book he is working on called Rails Recipes.

Being the bargain-minded person I am I told him I would give him the domain for his new book in exchange for a copy of the book. The gracious people at Pragmatic Programmers, Chad and Dave did more than that. They sent me Programming Ruby and the pdf of the Rails Recipes book. Much more than what I had asked for. Now if I could just get a deal on the Pragmatic Studio workshop. They offered to give me Agile Web Development in Rails but I already own that. I just got the Programming Ruby book in the mail yesterday. It is something I have needed for a while. Thank you guys, you Rock! You now have a Pragmatic Programmers evangelist.

As for the book, Rails Recipes, all I can say is, it rocks! There are some sweet recipes in there, my favorite being the UI recipes. I can’t wait till all of them are in there. Great work Chad! If you want to learn how to do some cool stuff you won’t find anywhere else in Rails. Buy The Book.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Getting into Gaming.. for kids

I finally have a decent design and have broken it out into valid XHTML and CSS. I see a lot of room for improvement but it will come in time. What am I talking about? Gaming4Kids, my latest project…

Gaming4Kids came about as a response to me trying to find out which games are worth buying and playing for my daughter and me. I searched google, tried going to the big game sites and didn’t find much. I didn’t want to fork out up to $50 for a game that would suck. I do that enough on games I want, let alone games for my daughter to play.

So I decided to start a site that could fill this need. I have had some positive feedback on it already which is great. There are a lot of things I want to do with it. Getting content up is my number one priority right now.

So far it has been a lot of fun. It is a lot of work sometimes, but still fun. The best part is finding content. I wish I had more time for it. I am adding content daily and I hope it grows as time goes by. I am looking for writers to write content (who isn’t?) parents, kids whoever. If anyone has played games with their kids are invited to write.

If someone reads this and is interested email me:

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Paul Graham Rocks!

I love reading his essays. How To Do What You Love is inspiring. It makes me feel less of a dolt because I have had a lot of hair-brained ideas and a “ping pong” job history. I am always improving myself and/or my situation at least I think I am. I am about to start a new project which falls completely under the “Doing what you love” umbrella. Will it be a failure? I don’t know. I will never win if I don’t try.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New MacPorn

Chatting with fellow Mac Zealots during the Keynote so we can post news we all find was the only way to get all the info streaming in at once. Intel and the Macintosh, I love their slogan “What’s an Intel chip doing in a Mac? A whole lot more than it’s ever done  in a PC.” Love it!

New Apps, new hardware… Pure Mac Porn. Curious to see how long it will be before someone has it running on their regular Intel’s.