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

When “@” is a Tweet’s First Character

Something we should know about putting an “@” in the first character position on Twitter…

Limited Visibility

When you start a tweet with a Twitter handle (with the “@” in the first character position) Twitter interprets that as a message to another Twitter user. Only people who follow both the sender and receiver will see the message in their stream.

Madison Ruby and Parallella (with Video)

Parallella.Parallella. Parallella is a single-board computer roughly the size of a credit card or Raspberry Pi. It runs Linux. It has 18 processor cores, two ARM and sixteen RISC. You can buy this device online for about $150.00.

The Madison+ Ruby organizers invited me to present Parallella at the conference earlier today. Video will be posted here when it becomes available. Update: The Madison+ Ruby team has posted video in record time! Video and slides appear below.

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.