RayHightower.com

Thoughts about Ruby, Rails, iOS, the Internet of Things, software development, and business growth.

Designed at West Point. 3D Printed at BLUE1647.

Designed at West Point. 3D-printed at BLUE1647 in Chicago.Designed at West Point. 3D-printed at BLUE1647 in Chicago.

Experimenting with Parallella? Then you might need a way to protect it. The original acrylic cases are no longer available. Fortunately, 3D printing offers a solid alternative.

A highly-expandable 3D-printable case was designed by a team at the United States Military Academy at West Point: Professor Suzanne J. Matthews and Master Machinist William (“Frank”) Blackmon. Professor Matthews uses Parallella when teaching high-performance computing courses.

Peter’s Laws

Walking through Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, I ran across an inspiring list of rules titled “Peter’s Laws”. Peter Diamandis is Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, best known for its $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight.

The Laws:

  1. If anything can go wrong, Fix It! (To hell with Murphy!)

How to Pronounce OS X

What’s the correct way to pronounce the name of Apple’s Macintosh operating system, OS X? You can find the answer by asking OS X directly from the command line, as shown in this 11-second video.

GitHub Pages: Quick Start Guide

GitHub Pages lets any holder of a GitHub account host static HTML pages at no cost. The bigger benefit: Pages hosted at GitHub automatically become part of GitHub’s content delivery network (CDN). People who visit your site will get faster page loads because of the CDN.

This article focuses on interacting with GitHub Pages via Git at the command line. The browser-based automatic page generator is already well-documented. Another purpose of this post: To put useful information about GitHub Pages all in one post, so I won’t have to go hunting around next time I forget this procedure!

The Lambda Jam 2015 Experience

Lambda Jam 2015Lambda Jam 2015 Working in software development is like being the proverbial kid in candy store. Every new language is a shiny and delicious thing. Lambda Jam (which bounces between Chicago and Melbourne) is a traveling candy store. And, like the kid in the candy store, I am sometimes distracted by tangential temptation.

Most of my time is spent running WisdomGroup, where we focus on Ruby and Swift. We’re object-oriented all the way. Given that, why would I want to attend a functional programming conference like Lambda Jam? For the brain-stretching experience. If your background is anything like mine, you might enjoy it, too. Here’s why.

Parallella Examples

Performance is of paramount importance in parallel programming. The reason we are in the game of writing parallel programs is either to solve a problem faster than on a serial computer, or to solve a larger problem than could previously be done.
 
~D. Thiébaut, author
 Parallel Programming in C for the Transputer

Some developers buy a Parallella board because they already know parallel programming. They knew what to do with the device the moment they laid eyes on it. Others (like me) are relatively new to parallel programming. We see Parallella as an inexpensive tool for hands-on learning.

3D Printing at BLUE1647

Parallella with a 3D-printed case.Parallella with a 3D-printed case.

Every visit to BLUE1647 is full of pleasant surprises. There’s new equipment, a new opportunity to learn new technology, new people to learn from, or all of the above.

I recently bought a second Parallella for a WisdomGroup project. Since it’s important to protect the device with a case, this seemed like a good time to try one of the 3D printers at BLUE1647. The result is in the photo, above.

Getting Started With Jekyll

Jekyll, the static HTML generator.Jekyll, the static HTML generator.

Jekyll is a static HTML generator for web sites that don’t require a content management system (CMS). Jekyll sites load quickly, especially when combined with GitHub Pages. Bobby Reyes and I will present Jekyll at ChicagoRuby: 1871 on Thursday, June 25, 2015. Slides are below.

Unleash Your Awesomeness at WindyCityRails

Do you see yourself?Do you see yourself? Are you driven to excel? Do you see yourself here?

  • You have already built a successful Rails app. Now that you’re “done”, you know you can make it better, but you’re not sure how. You want to take your skills to the next level.

  • You recently graduated from Dev Bootcamp, Starter League, Mobile Makers or another school. You’re ready to meet and interact with your next generation of mentors.

  • You are no longer a beginner. You have seen advanced developers in action, and you are determined to get there yourself.

  • You are a beginner who learns quickly. Maybe you’re a seasoned professional with a track record in another field. You want to meet people (perhaps mentors?) who can help you accelerate through the beginner phase so you can launch something useful on the web.

Trinity High School: Thank You!

Tinity High SchoolTinity High School

What is the toughest obstacle you have ever faced in business, and how did you deal with it?
~Student at Trinity High School
 River Forest, IL, USA

Trinity High School invited me to speak to two of their student groups this morning. The first, Information Technology in the Greater Society (ITGS), is a project-based class where students explore multiple facets of the information technology industry: Web development, digital editing, open source, and related areas. The second group, Students Working to Advance Trinity’s Technology (SWAT), lives up to its name by ensuring that students and faculty make full use of the technology deployed by the school.