First day at RailsConf

“RailsConf”: doesn’t start until friday, but don’t tell everyone here that. There was a ton of laptops out with people showing each other stuff. I have to say that the general vibe here is *amazing*. Tons of cool people, everyone drinking the same Kool-Aid and lots of ENERGY!

I’ve already learned a lot of cool stuff. One thing is
require ‘active_support’
This gives you access to all kinds of neat Rails stuff from within ruby – without loading up script/console.

I’ve also meet a TON of cool people already. One guy’s whole job is to make proof of concept sites for his company while pitching to clients. What does he do with the apps when he’s done? Throw them out! Wow.

I’m enjoying the hotel room, my only beef is with the WiFi – it was OF COURSE over-extended.

More from the Conf tomorrow.

Rails Conf: Delays, Scanning and glasses

Well, I’m at the airport surfing the web for the low, low price of $7.95. I knew I’d forget at least one thing, and we have our first winner: my Glasses! I’m not blind with out them (-1.0 in each eye), but they do help for projectors and night time (both types of situations I should be facing at RailsConf.)

I arrived at “Newark”: on-time, and made my way to the nice flat panel departure screens:
Only to notice that my flight is currently an hour late.

Then onto security. Where I find a new, funky looking machine:
! (Sentinel 2)!:

It’s ODD to say the least. You stand inside this big box for about 25 seconds (WITH your shoes on.. damn I brought my flyin’ shoes). Then you get accosted with puffs of air from your hair down. Goooooo TSA!

(I found the image courtesy of “Accordion Guy”: who has meet my friend the IonScan.)

oh well, c’est le vie.

Text Mate eats Mars Edit’s lunch.

It’s a shame – Mars Edit is a REALLY nice app, but “Brad Choate”: made a “TextMate”: bundle that allows blogging FROM Text Mate.
My Favorite editor. Blogging. Hummmm… good times!

! (From Textmate)!

Here’s a “Screen Cast”: of it in action!

Rails Day

well.. it didn’t turn out exactly like I expected, but what does?
I finished the project which was my #1 goal. It is usable and as far as I know, has no “show-stopping” bugs. I’ll continue to work on the code, but the base, as it stands after 26 revisions and just under 18 hours of almost non-stop work is how it will be judged.
I need a shower!

Anyone who reads this post, please go make an account on, by you achieving your goals, you’re helping me achieve mine:

Good night!

Killed some bugs, added some features. It’s pretty far along considering.
I need to make some images, and write some help text, then call it a night.

Wow, that was MUCH easier then I expected. I have to go in each time I change the code because I don’t want my textdrive password on a public SVN, but 10 minutes – WITH changes! I’m pretty stoked about that.

Please, please, please, test it out and let me know what you think. I’m not ready for bug reports, there is PLENTY to fix, but the over all “feel” and how the site moves around.


Ok, those Ajax bugs are squashed.
I’m going to take a break from the coding and work on getting the first public beta launched. Look for it soon at!

I’m getting VERY tired. I’m having a hard time focusing. I’m also running into some Ajax problems, so It’s a bit frustrating right now.

I’m back from 7-11 and just read in Rails Recipes how to make your app time-zone independent. I’m gonna toss that in and keep chugging along.

Must Stop Testing. I’m totally hooked… it makes it so much nicer to code… I never thought I’d like it, but it’s great. But It’s slowing me down. I’m done for now. I’m gonna eat something then work on views for a while before coming back to my final controller. I’m making decent time. If I can get the views knocked out by 8 and then the final controller / view tested and implemented by 10, that gives me 2 hours to debug and play with photoshop.

I’ve got my goal controller pretty much done. There is only one other controller left I think, then I’m on the the candy :)
I have been learning a TON with this rails day. I learned so much about testing and how cool it is. One thing that snagged me up was, let’s say you assign @goal in your controller, that will be accessible to your test in assigns["goal"]… good nugget there. Also, if you need to set a session variable in a controller test – @request.session is your friend.

Time is FLYING by now. I’m still not at the “view” stage, but I’ve gotten 4 models done:

* User
This model is for everything related to users
* Goal
This is the “bread and butter” of the site… otherwise, what’s the POINT?
* Update
You gotta update your goals
* Comment
Friends (and you) can comment on your individual updates

All of this has been done with Test Driven Development, and if you were to check out my source right now – all tests would pass (190 lines of test code)

I’m gonna knock out the rest of the controllers then get started with the front end. 9 and half hours left.

Phew, just wasted over half an hour trying to get “Friendreqests” to work. I just gave up and made friendships one way. You’ll only be able to comment on someone’s progress if THEY see you as a friend. This is the Flickr way, and I go back and forth on how I feel about it (the Myspace way is reciprocal), but the time limit made my choice for me. One way it is. Still sticking with TDD, and it’s really helped me a lot with this little rough patch.

User model is done!
I’m trying out some TDD(Test Driven Development), it’s working out well. Slower going then I hoped, and I’m sure I’ll ditch it in a few hours when I’m scrambling. I did all the user methods, even adding a reciprocal friendship system. Pretty cool! Time to do up the controller, then views, and I’ll have something to show. I’ve hit a snag with the database.yml – I don’t want my textdrive password in there. But I don’t have time to figure out how to do it right now. I’ll change it by hand for today.

I’ve drawn out the first 4 screens I want to tackle:

Home page: LAUNCHED!
I still didn’t eat anything, but I now have “TextDrive”: serving my page. “”:

Pretty cool!

I’m going to eat and draw out my pages so I can have something to work off of.

I’ve done my first svn commit. is where you can watch my svn commits in almost real time.

It’s time for me to announce my project:
It’s a place for anyone to go and work on one goal at a time. The goals can be related to anything, but have to be:

For example, looking at “43 things”:, there are over 10,000 people who have listed the goal “Lose Weight”: That’s not specific or tme-based. “Lose 10lbs in 4 weeks” is all of those things.

Once you’ve set your One Goal, you’ll be able to come on each day and update your progress. Good, bad or the same, it’s the act of keeping the goal in the front of your mind that makes it happen.
“Why One Goal?” By focusing on one goal at a time (you can do another goal when your done with your first), you are more likely to achieve it.
“2 Weeks” Your first goal will be limited to a 2 week span. ANYONE can focus on something for two weeks. By Achieving your first goal, you’ll gain confidence in your goal-setting ability, and you’ll have that much more focus and energy for your next goal.
“Social pressure” You have to invite one person to the site who will also set a goal for themselves. That friend will help you get your goal by coming on and encouraging your (and vice-versa). It’s been shown that people who announce their goals, and are held accountable, are more likely to succeed.
“Let technology remind you” If you miss a day of updating your progress – no matter what that progress is – the site will “gently” remind you that you need to come on and honor your commitment to yourself. More on this later :)

I’m gonna eat some breakfast, then sit out here and work:

Live blogging Rails Day 2006

I’m making a project for Rails Day 2006
Last year produced some awesom projects – like “YubNub”:
I expect great things (and not just from me!) this year.

I’m going to be periodically updating an entry I’ll start first thing in the morning throughout the day with my progreess.

Other Participants Live Blogging the event:
Chris C. at

Redesign, Taekwondo and new focus.

Wow, lots going on in my world. I’m pretty excited to be sharing some things.

1. I’m back in Taekwondo (see my sister’s site “A. Kastner’s Family Taekwondo – Brielle, NJ”: It’s helping me get to my six-pack goal

2. I “redesigned my site”: I’m using a new theme, but expect that to change. If you’re seeing this in an rss reader, come on by and see what I’ve done.

3. New focus
I’m focusing on my blog again. I missed it over here, so I’m pretty excited to get back to this site. It’s always had a special place in my heart, and now I get to talk about things that matter to me.
Stay tuned.

Marc Cuban nails it.

Why Journalism Matters – Blog Maverick

Wow. This is an awesome post by the always interesting (what a loaded word) Marc Cuban. I’m not a big fan of writing ABOUT other posts on the interweb, but this one needs all the link love it can get.

It comes down to this: If media companys treat their young, star reporters like well funded blogers, with all the latitude and personality that would entail – then “traditional” media would be relavent again.

Amen brother, great post.