Animated Graphics in Ruby

There is nothing like a good problem to spark the synapses, is there? To open the mind to new possibilities, new ways of seeing things. Of course, one must always confront self doubt and fear. But that is a small price to pay for the exhilaration of finding the perfect solution.

~Kurros, Think Tank
 Star Trek Voyager, S5E19

Josh Cheek likes to wrestle with good problems. In a single week, his mind might race between software development, quantum physics, music, and mathematics. Last Friday, Josh tweeted about some of his animated graphics experiments in Ruby. He linked to a GitHubGist with source code for the sine wave animation displayed with this article.

This post lists Josh’s code, along with the steps required to install the dependencies and make the snippet run.

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Hustlepreneur Video Series

Hustlepreneur Video Series Abhinaya Konduru is in her senior year at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she studies finance and mathematical computer science. One of her career goals is to become a venture capitalist.

Abhinaya interviews entrepreneurs and other leaders as part of her Hustlepreneur video series. I was honored when she invited me to participate a few weeks ago. Here’s the result.

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M-Pesa Blends Fintech + Mobile in Kenya

I rarely go to the bank nowadays.
 
~Taxi driver in Nairobi, Kenya speaking to
a 60 Minutes reporter about M-Pesa

Lipa Na M-Pesa M-Pesa is the mobile payment service that dominates Kenya. M-Pesa runs on mobile phones, and you can use it to pay for almost anything. M-Pesa is used by Kenyans regardless of income level, technical skill, or location (urban or rural). In 2015, 42% of the Kenyan GDP was processed through M-Pesa.

“Pesa” is the Swahili word for money, and the “M” stands for mobile. “Lipa na M-Pesa” means “purchase with M-Pesa”. My first M-Pesa experience happened during RubyConf Kenya in May 2016. So many developers at the conference raved about the service that I had to try it.

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ActionCable vs. Socket.io at ConFoo

How do you achieve real time, bi-directional, event-based communications in your apps? The Socket.io library is tested and true. ActionCable, new with Ruby on Rails version 5, is a challenger. Which solution is better, and why?

This presentation compares Socket.io and ActionCable (included w/Ruby on Rails version 5).

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From Spreadsheets to Rails

spreadsheet to rails

Excel spreadsheets are ok for quick analysis, but when the rows are too many and the formulas are too complex, recalc time slows to a crawl. Plus, sharing a spreadsheet is cumbersome due to security and version control headaches. One solution: Moving away from the spreadsheet, and building a web app instead.

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