Jamie's Blog

Ruby developer. CTO. Swimmer. Always trying to write more

Routine backups for your Rails Server

Problem: protecting your user’s data

I recently wrote about using tarsnap to backup a linux server and that’s especially important with the recent revelations about PRISM. Tarsnap is “backups for the truly paranoid” but it’s only part of the story...


Just keep it simple!

Simple is boring. Simple is easy. Simple doesn’t get you noticed.

But simple works!

Here’s a frustrating experience I had today with a overly-complicated web form:


Don’t fear the PRISM

I read this article at the weekend which argues that we should view the PRISM-debacle as an opportunity to start EU-specific internet services.

I disagree in a few ways.

The best are popular because they’re the best

First, many of these services...


This is how I’d build PRISM

The big news in the tech world today is PRISM. This is supposedly a system installed at the major Internet providers like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that lets the NSA access any user’s data. They’ve probably read the drafts of this post before you...


LiveReload and HTTPS

Web developers, particularly Rails developers, are on a constant lookout for anything which makes their lives easier and their development process easier. Enter LiveReload. This little app watches for changes in a directory and reloads your web browser...


The curious case of the lost Fitbit - and how to prevent it

Update below

A few days after my last post about measuring things, and enthusing about my Fitbit Zip, I lost it :(

I synced the Fitbit on Monday night, and wasn’t using the computer again until midday Tuesday so it must have been in the morning that...


You can only change what you measure

This is a pretty familiar concept to (good) software developers but perhaps not to everyone. A bad software developer will look at a piece of code, think it is inefficient in someway, and procede to “fix” it. But without actually measuring the performance...


Geeking out about Water (Containers)

500ml stainless steel bottles red punc e1366214128920

I’m a freak: a computer programmer that doesn’t drink coffee. I don’t drink tea either. Or hot chocolate (unless I’ve just been swimming with dolphins in the seas off New Zealand and hypothermia is a possible concern). I like ice cold drinks: Fruit...


It’s the money, stupid!

I just read this daft “postmortem” about FormSpring (a social ask-me-anything Q&A site which is shutting down after $14m of funding but it had “been challenging to sustain the resources needed to keep the lights on.”). Ok, I lie. I gave up reading...


Startup Pubbish-ness

I might be about to commit professional hari-kiri here but I wanted to push back on all the startup love I’ve been hearing. I attended the Cork Pub Summit event yesterday evening, organised like a local mini-Web Summit to provide a place the tech community...


Configuring Guard notifications with Vagrant

One problem when running everything in a headless Vagrant instance is that you lose the ability to see Guard Rspec notifications. Actually, you don’t lose it but it’s not immediately obvious how to configure Guard. Since Guard is running inside Vagrant...


Preventing the stupid mistakes, like committing focus:true

I frequently use focus: true in my specs when I’m working in a particular area of the code. I also frequently forget to remove this tag and subsequently commit the spec to Git, resulting in most of the test suite not running. Duh! “Removing focus:true...


How to backup a Linux server with Tarsnap

I picked up a dedicated server just before Christmas from OVH. It’s a nice little ‘Kimsufi’ 4GB Atom server which is more than enough for a couple of Wordpress blogs and some personal projects. As it’s a bare-bones dedicated server I really want a...


Curing the SAD

About 2.5weeks ago I was ridiculously sleepy in the middle of the day, couldn’t think and was basically wiped out. It was like having the flu only without the fever or any actual sickness. I eventually realised that a lot of the symptoms pointed to...


Picks of the week: Papertrail, rack-ssl-enforcer, WP-Markdown and Marked

I recently set up PaperTrail on our production server and it’s extremely useful. It basically uploads the log files you configure, aggregates them and let’s you search them. That’s useful but what’s blow-me-away amazing is setting up saved searches...


Securing your web application with Nginx, Rails 3 and Namecheap SSL certs

Securing your web application with an SSL certificate is the least your users will expect you to do. Once upon a time, HTTPS sites were rare and even then, only the “private” parts beyond a login dialog were encrypted. Those times died with Netscape...


Making Apartment & Delayed_Job play nicely

Background

Delayed Job is a popular gem for running background tasks on Rails applications. Apartment is another useful gem for switching Postgresql schemas in response to particular subdomains (it means that visiting ibm.myapp.com will automatically...


Picks of the week: TP-Link, Parcel Motel, Staples Arc, WD Passport and Giottos Monopod

Img 3684

Sometimes it’s the things you don’t notice which are the most valuable. I realised this week that I haven’t rebooted our TP-Link WR740N broadband modem since we got it over 6mths ago. Now, obviously, that is how modems are supposed to work but over...


Picks of the Week, Bumper-edition: Fast 50’s, How to win friends, O’Mahony’s, TDDium, moment.js

I’ve just moved this blog over to a new host so I held off on creating new posts until the move was complete.

Here’s a selection of the things that have delighted me over the past 2 weeks and which I heartily recommend:

  • Fast 50’s — the fast 50mm...

Picks of the Week: The Flinch, Yankee Candles, BrowserStack and Palua

The Flinch — I picked up this from the Business Jazz podcast by Roger Overall and Paul O'Mahony. It’s a short read about doing the things that scare us and that, instead of flinching away, we should be flinching forward. It accurately reflected my...


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