dnite’s ‘old’ Blog

For my new blog, head over to http://blog.dnite.org

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Pretty Widgets for Firefox for Linux

Posted by dnite on October 28, 2006

So.. The switch to Ubuntu has had it’s ups and downs. But one annoyance I had was the un-styled ‘widgets’ in Firefox look like ass. So, I did some research and found that the people in the MacOSX camp seem to care a lot more about this than the Linux camp. There are a few options for MacOSX to make the widgets look nicer. And I found one person who customized it a little bit to work with Linux. I made a couple minor tweaks and repackaged it and am now sharing with all. This version has only been tested with Firefox 2.0, and if your not using Firefox 2.0 yet, I’d suggest upgrading anyways. Download it here! Enjoy!



Posted in Linux, Ubuntu | 1 Comment »

Ruby on Rails on Ubuntu

Posted by dnite on October 24, 2006

This post has moved over to my new home. blog.dnite.org. Head over there for any updates or whatever.

It seems as though all the information for getting a full Ruby on Rails system up and running in Ubuntu is pretty scattered about the web, so I thought this makes a perfect opportunity to go ahead and condense it all in one place. From start to finish.. Here we go..

Install Ruby

First we need to install ruby and a few extra things so we don’t have issues later. just installing ruby will work to some degree, but things will break later.

sudo apt-get install ruby ruby1.8 ruby1.8-dev rdoc ri irb

Install MySQL

A lot of Rails folks like to use sqlite.. i haven’t tested it but I believe that’s as easy as ‘sudo apt-get install sqlite3’. Could involve more steps though. Here’s what I did to install MySQL.

sudo apt-get install mysql-server libmysql-ruby

Then, just to be safe, lets add a password for root.

mysqladmin -u root password NEW_PASSWORD
sudo /etc/init.d/mysql restart

You may want to go ahead and create your databases now, or save it for later…

mysql -u root -p

Install Ruby Gems

Ruby Gems will install a majority of Rails and any other cool stuff we need specific to Ruby. There’s no package of it availiable for ubuntu (as of right now) so you’ll have to download it yourself. The current version as of today is 0.9.0, but make sure that’s the most current version before following the steps below exactly by going to http://rubyforge.org/frs/?group_id=126. If it’s not, then just replace the url below with the url to the most current version.

wget http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/11289/rubygems-0.9.0.tgz
tar zxvf rubygems-0.9.0.tgz
cd rubygems-0.9.0
sudo ruby setup.rb

Install Rails

Next it’s time to install Rails. If you followed all the directions till now, it shouldn’t be a problem. I have run into the problem of rdoc spilling out a bunch of errors if you failed to install that. I’ve also read that you have to be in your home dir to perform this step. Not sure if that’s true, but it couldn’t hurt.

sudo gem install rails --include-dependencies

Install an IDE (optional)

You should now have a fully operational Ruby on Rails install right now. The next step would be to choose how you want to work on your web applications. Linux has a whole slew of editors you can use. Vim is a popular choice among the rails novices. If your looking for something a little more user friendly and easy to get into, RadRails is very nice for this. There is no package for RadRails, but lucky enough, RadRails is enclosed in a single folder you can toss just about anywhere and run from there. I extracted it to /opt/radrails and created a small file to run it in /usr/bin… This is all completely up to you. However you feel most comfortable working.

EDIT: I actually did a new piece on using Vim as your ‘IDE’ for rails. Take a look.

Install RMagick (optional)

Another problem I ran into was getting ImageMagick and RMagick installed and working right in ubuntu. If you will be needing photo manipulation support for your web app, use these instructions for installing RMagick.

sudo apt-get install imagemagick
dpkg -l | grep magick

You will see a list of the imagemagick packages that were installed. There should be one that starts with lib and ends with a number. Mine was libmagick9, so below, if you have anything but libmagick9, replace the number below.

sudo apt-get install libmagick9-dev
sudo gem install rmagick

rmagick takes a little while to build. So go grab something to eat or drink.


Looking back, getting Ruby on Rails is not all that hard to do in ubuntu, but having information that was either old or scattered in many places made it a pain in the ass for me. So I hope someone comes across it helps them out a bit. I’m pretty sure I got all the instructions right, but if something happens to not work, leave a comment and I’ll try and help.

It would figure that the first day that wiki.rubyonrails.com is down in.. forever? is the day that I chose to try and install rails on ubuntu myself. Most of this information is up there, but I went ahead and added the last part about image magick there, So check out wiki.rubyonrails.com.. You can get just about anything there. x=)

Posted in Linux, Ruby on Rails, Ubuntu, Web development | 14 Comments »

Rails = Great!

Posted by dnite on July 13, 2006

I’ve recently ‘lost’ my developer blog, and since I don’t update here nearly enough.. I figured I would just add my development news here.. Enjoy!

Last time I left off, I was just starting to learn Ruby on Rails. That was months ago and I’ll tell you up front, it wasn’t the easiest thing I could do. I’ve spent most of my programming life in a very procedural mind set and to have to branch off from it completely and work on a totally object oriented language in a MVC framework, I can just say that it wasn’t easy.

The good news, though, is that I’ve finally started to get it! I, originally, was planning on making a huge, big, awesome site with Rails as my first project. Jump in head first, i said. The problem was, that the learning curve was so steep for me that I had no idea where to start. So I had to change my course and work on a smaller project first. This one’s just for fun. Pretty much the only thing I want to take out of making this smaller site is a better understanding of Rails syntax and everything else. Today was a milestone because I finally work a basic user authentication system implimented and working all on my own. I could have used a generator or a plugin and probably gotten more features and everything else. But what would I learn from that? So I learned quite a bit just by getting that working and things are starting to speed up and look much more promising. So hopefully I’ll have a fully functional site up and running in a week or 2.

That’s about all I got to say for now. I’ll keep this page up to date on whatever I’m working on or if I just feel like blabbing about something (like today). Stay tuned, because if I need beta testers or any other help I’ll definitely be posting here.

Posted in Web development | Leave a Comment »

XM Radio to use TiVo and VCR to prove new players are legal.

Posted by dnite on May 18, 2006

XM Radio won't be sitting down and letting the music industry try and extort even more money out of them. A letter from XM Radio to it's subscribers stating that it will be dedicated to fighting this. Looks like they're going the way of the TiVo/VCR to prove their new players are legal.

Everything we've done at XM since our first minute on the air is about giving you more choices. We provide more channels and music programming than any other network. We play all the music you want to hear including the artists you want to hear but can't find on traditional FM radio. And we offer the best radios with the features you want for your cars, homes, and all places in between.

We've developed new radios — the Inno, Helix and NeXus — that take innovation to the next level in a totally legal way. Like TiVo, these devices give you the ability to enjoy the sports, talk and music programming whenever you want. And because they are portable, you can enjoy XM wherever you want.

The music industry wants to stop your ability to choose when and where you can listen. Their lawyers have filed a meritless lawsuit to try and stop you from enjoying these radios.

They don't get it. These devices are clearly legal. Consumers have enjoyed the right to tape off the air for their personal use for decades, from reel-to-reel and the cassette to the VCR and TiVo.

Our new radios complement download services, they don't replace them. If you want a copy of a song to transfer to other players or burn onto CDs, we make it easy for you to buy them through XM + Napster.

Satellite radio subscribers like you are law-abiding music consumers; a portion of your subscriber fee pays royalties directly to artists. Instead of going after pirates who don't pay a cent, the record labels are attacking the radios used for the enjoyment of music by consumers like you. It's misguided and wrong.

We will vigorously defend these radios and your right to enjoy them in court and before Congress, and we expect to win.

Thank you for your support.

Posted in Tech News | Leave a Comment »