• Make a Bootable USB Drive with Yosemite Installer

    I wanted to completely reformat and reinstall Yosemite on an old iMac. To do this, I needed to make something I could boot from. I got an 8gb usb flash drive and used Disk Utility to reformat it to a Mac filesystem that I called Yosemite. This disk was then mounted at /Volumes/Yosemite. I then went to the App Store and downloaded Yosemite, but cancelled the installation. This left the installer in /Applications/Install OS X Yosemite.app. Then, to make the bootable drive, I ran the following command:

  • Back Issues

    About a week and a half ago, I pulled a muscle in my back. I don’t know exactly what I did, but I do remember that I was putting on a sock. I don’t remember doing anything odd, but I do remember the sharp pain. I thought it might be something bad, but I proceeded through the day as usual. I had this same injury (though much worse) about 15 years ago, if not more. At that point, it hurt so badly that I had a hard time standing up. Now, I’m pretty much ok if I keep my back bent a little, but it hurts quite a bit when trying to straighten it. This leads to the odd situation where riding my bike feels really good, but going for a walk can be painful.

  • Biking

    Went for a nice bike ride this morning because it’s lovely out. Decided to ride to the bank to deposit a check and then take a ride along the lakefront. Did about 13 miles and felt pretty good. I just noticed on my Cyclemeter app that it tells me how many miles I biked overall last year. It’s close but I know that I don’t always remember to turn it on and I only got the app in April. So it’s probably a bit low. Anyway it says I rode 1131 miles last year. So far this year, I’ve ridden 102 miles. That’s pretty good. I didn’t think that I already rode that much this year. I think I now have a goal for the year. I need to do more than 1131 miles.

  • Production Gems

    I’m not sure how I didn’t notice this before, but my deployment on an app was suddenly taking much longer that it had in the past. While I was watching it run, I noticed that when bundle install was running, it was saying installing each gem. I don’t know why I didn’t notice this before. I looked on my server and noticed that each release was about 177mb in size and the vendor/bundle directory was 173mb in size. I was reading the Bundler website when I saw this bit:

  • Lots to Learn about Assets

    I upgraded a new app to use Rails 4.2 and bootstrap and I thought things were fine. However, when I went to the page today, css wasn’t working. It just never created the css files. Turns out that I needed to add the ‘sprockets-rails’ gem to my Gemfile because the asset pipeline is no longer a feature of rails 4. Once I ran bundle and commit this change to the repo, I could deploy and things worked fine.

  • Still Learning About Rails and Deployment

    I had been feeling pretty good about my Rails skills and had been able to create and deploy a number of simple applications. Since simple applications are just about all I’m going to write, I was ok with things. But I was hanging on to earlier versions of things and it was starting to bug me. One big one was the capistrano gem. I knew there were big changes between version 2 and 3, and I had a pretty good setup using version 2. However, I know that things constantly change so I decided to dive in and start using capistrano version 3, 3.4.0 to be exact.

  • A Splendid Torch

    This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

  • Spring is Coming

    I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or if we had a particularly snowy winter, but I cannot wait for spring to come. Today makes me happy because spring training starts and I can watch a game on tv and see the outdoors not covered in snow. Something that makes me even happier is that today signups open for 30 Days of Biking. This is a group that asks people to pledge to ride their bike every day in April. That’s it. The idea is that if you ride every day at the start of biking season, you’ll be more inclined to think to use the bike for small errands and things during the rest of the summer. It’s brilliant in its simplicity. It doesn’t cost a thing. The idea is just to get you out biking. And as an added bonus, they’ll donate a bike to a kid in need for every 30 riders who sign up. I did it last year with my sister and a friend and it was fun. On the day that we spent 15 hours in the car on the way back from Boston, I did have to borrow my nephew’s bike at 10:30pm to ride to the corner, but I’m happy to say that I rode every day. And it’s a great reason to get together a group and go for a group ride. So I just pledged again this morning and am looking forward to it. I’ve already ridden a bit this winter, but spring riding is so much more fun. So if anyone else wants to pledge, I say go for it! And if you’re looking for someone to go for a ride with in April (or quite frankly anytime), let me know. I’m in!

  • Changing Rails Boolean with a Button

    I suddenly realized how to change a boolean with a button in a much easier way that the post I did yesterday. All I did was make a form with one hidden field (the boolean that I want to change) and just show the submit button.

  • Change a Boolean in Rails with a Button

    There’s a much easier way to do this, which I show in this post.

  • Rails Rewrite

    I have a website that I’ve been using to track timesheets for a number of people. It’s one of the first websites I wrote in rails, written about four years ago. The only person who really uses it is me, but a few other people also login to view the information. Anyway, the site was written in rails 3.2.11 and now the latest version is 4.2. I’ve decided that since I know a bit more rails now (I wouldn’t say I’m a good programmer), I’d rewrite the program. It’s not that elaborate, but it does work really well for me.

  • The Secret Life of Machines

    I’m very grateful to someone for posting all the episodes of The Secret Life of Machines online. I LOVED this show when it was first on. A while back I actually looked to buy a dvd of the shows and couldn’t find it. This makes me so happy!

  • Macs and Linux

    At work, we have a bunch of computers running linux and hosting disks that are shared using NFS. Of late, many people have been switching to Macs as their primary computer. Usually, they then just ssh into one of the linux machines and work as before. However, now I think they’d like to be able to stay on their Mac and still access the files in linux. Macs are unix-based, so mounting NFS drives isn’t that much of a problem. However, the default user ID and group ID used on the Mac does not match up with our uids and gids in linux. The default (first) user on a mac, is give UserId = 501 and GroupID = 20. This group id corresponds to the group named staff. I wanted to change these ids so they match up with the ids we use in linux. Then, when the user creates a file on an NFS drive, they’ll have the correct owner and group. How to do this? The dscl command on the mac is the one to use.

  • Unexpected Time Off

    We had a bit of a storm here yesterday.

  • Clamps, clamps and more clamps

    One thing I have learned is that you can’t have too many clamps. I basically had enough to work on one board at a time, which means I’d have to wait for one board to dry before doing another one. Since I’m hoping to eventually build something in my lifetime, that was too slow. So I went to the store and bought another eight clamps. I seem to need 7-8 clamps per board. Now I can work on two at a time. Pictured below are the boards that I’d like to use for the sides of the bookcase I want to build. One is basically done and the other needs some more lathe. I’m out of what I’ve already sanded, so it will have to wait until I prep more boards.

  • Board Repairs

    I thought I should try to fix the holes in the one board I made the other day. My idea was to mix up a bunch of glue and sawdust. Then try to fill and cover all the holes with this mixture. Here’s how the board looked after I filled them all in. I wasn’t too careful about making it smooth because I knew that I’d have to run it through the planer again to smooth it.

  • Board #3

    Here are all the boards I’ve made. The first is at the top, second in the middle and the last one at the bottom.

  • Early Lesson

    I’ve now completed two boards out of old lathe. The picture below shows part of both of them.

  • Recycling Begins

    I saved a ton of wood (mainly lathe) when remodeling my house and finally decided to get started on doing something with it. My first issue came last week when I tried to run both my planer and wet/dry vac on the same circuit. I kept blowing it. So on Friday, I ran a new 20 amp circuit to right above the planer. After that, things ran smoothly.

  • The Magic of Thinking Big

    The title of this blog post is the name of a book that I just finished reading. It was recommended by a blog I read, though I no longer remember which one. It’s a basic self-help book by David Schwartz about believing in yourself. However, it’s clearly written for people in business and especially for salespeople. Note how I said salespeople there. One of the first things I noticed in the book was how it was pretty much geared toward men. In reading the first few chapters, I noticed that women were only talked about as wives for business men. This made me look at the publication date and unsurprisingly, it was 1959. I decided to continue to read and just made a mental note remember that date when I found little things that bugged me.

  • Alpine on a Mac

    I have just installed alpine on two different macs. On one, I used macports and on the other homebrew. Both seem to work just fine. I was also able to set up imap to our mail server without any problems. I did run into a couple of issues, but fortunately, have been able to find solutions to all of them.

  • Time Machine Transfer Issues with Office

    I bought a new imac and wanted to transfer an account from an old imac. I created a new admin account and then used the migration assistant to transfer the old account. The old imac was running office 2008. We now are using office 2011. I installed office 2011 using the admin account and it seemed to work fine. When the user logged in to her account and tried to start Excel, it would just continually crash. I tried reinstalling Office 2011 as the user, but that didn’t help.

  • Starting Off

    My 2015 has started pretty well. I’ve already built myself a new workbench, which makes me very happy. And since I was about to buy one, I saved myself a couple hundred dollars as well. This has also inspired me to get started on another cabinet for my kitchen and the kitchen table.

  • To 2015

    Happy New Year!

  • A Closer Look at Finances

    As part of my year in review and upcoming year plans, I like to take a hard look at my finances and see how things are going. This year, instead of just looking at the past year, I’ve decided to take a look at the past decade…really the past eight years or so. Why? Because that’s when I started doing all my finances on my computer and they’re all in my banking software. And, of late, I’ve discovered the Mr. Money Mustache blog that does a really good job of talking about the way I’ve been trying to live my life.