Friday, 28 December 2007

Ruby on Rails on cygwin

Just spending a few days of Christmas 'downtime' getting to know Ruby on Rails. Tried out InstantRails with no problems but decided that I'd like to use cygwin, partly so that I understand how the various bits of rails fit together without the InstantRails magic, and partly because the Unix like environment seems a bit more 'native' to Ruby on Rails.

Cue, loads of problems.......

1. need to ensure that gem is up to date - "gem update --system" seems to help here, but then you need to uninstall/install rails and rake.

2. problem with /dev/urandom can be at least bypassed by making self.supports_urandom? return false in secret_key_generator.rb.

3. Following Agile Development with Ruby on Rails, but using Rails 2.0.2 means that 'scaffolding' has been deprecated. This can be fixed with "ruby script/plugin install scaffolding"

After all that, decided to revert to Rails 1.2.6, as this should make following the book easier.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Do Postman regularly nick your letters?

I've had several cases recently of my post going missing, always parcels, sending and receiving. Are they thieving gits, or are the sorting offices just so shambolic that stuff just lies around in the corner until someone tidies up. I suspect a bit of both. Certainly, it seems to be a recent phenomenon.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

John Pudney

Over the last couple of years I've been collecting (via Ebay) a series of childrens books that I read when I was a kid. They are called the "Fred and I adventures" by John Pudney. All very old fashioned now, but still have a sense of escapism, even for an old git like me. The books are called
"Monday Adventure" thru "Sunday Adventure" and "Spring Adventure" thru "Winter Adventure". I have now got 9 out of the 11 and last week "Autumn Adventure came up on eBay, so I setup a snipe for £25 using auctionstealer thinking that was rather extravagent! The bidding quickly settled at £13.50 early the week, so I thought I'd be in with a chance.

Unfortunately, my snipe didn't even get a look in, and the last minute scrum saw the book go for £72!


Wednesday, 5 September 2007


So, I went to "give blood" today. Probably about my 30th time, but it suddenly dawned on me the incredible amount of staff and equipment involved at any one time for a relatively small amount of people going through the system. When I asked how much each bag of blood actually cost, it was not really too much of a surprise to hear "£130". In a serious operation, that soon mounts up!

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Where is all the bio fuel?

So, why does the tax payer pay farmers to do nothing, i.e. set-aside etc.? If we pay them to do nothing, they might as well grow bio-fuel. Talking to my wife's sister and her husband who work in agriculture, they agree, and have been saying similar for around 5 years. Beaurocracy is just swamping and restricting farmers more each year. Why do we do this? Other EEC countries such as France, pay lip service to all this stuff and stick up for them-selves, good for them!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Spring JMX

Just had my first experience of using the Spring JMX exporter. I can only say "WICKED!".

A few simple lines of XML in the application context and a Java system property, and all of a sudden you can use something like jconsole to view and update your Spring beans.

Charlotte Gray

Just finished reading Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks, pretty good stuff. Of course I've seen and read various things related to WW2 such as Schindlers List, but the plot line about the two young boys who ended up in the gas chambers really affected me, maybe because now I have my own children.

Why is the human race capable of these sorts of attrocities? How do we forgive? It makes day to day worries seem so insignificant when there is similar stuff going on in African countries such as Congo and Ruanda and maybe Iraq.