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

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 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.

Massively Parallel Parallella

Parallella with 18 cores: 2 ARM + 16 RISCParallella with 18 cores: 2 ARM + 16 RISC

Supercomputer.io is the first technical conference for Parallella, to be held May 30, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan.

You can participate even if you’re not in Tokyo. Parallella owners around the world will connect their boards via the Internet to create the most efficient supercomputer on the planet. Resin.io has built a special micro-SD-card image (using Docker) so adding your Parallella to the mix is relatively quick.

This article includes detailed steps plus a few gotchas.

Be Courageous About Your Ideas

Godfather: Pacino and CoppolaGodfather: Pacino and Coppola

Things that get you fired when you’re young are the same things you win awards for when you’re old. You have to be courageous about your ideas. When you come up with something good, that means it’s different from what they expect so they’re likely to fire you. Years later (if you survive) they’ll bring it out as one of the great things that you did.
~Francis Ford Coppola, Director
 The Godfather

Building a Great Company

What happens inside the black box?What happens inside the black box?

Good is the enemy of great. If a company faces dire circumstances, managers must change because the alternative is death. But if circumstances are good (or even okay) managers can coast along indefinitely. A good company can be lulled into a state of complacency instead of achieving greatness.

So how does a good company become great?

Muhammad Ali and the Hightower Brothers

Muhammad Ali and the Hightower Brothers, circa 1972.Muhammad Ali and the Hightower Brothers, circa 1972.

These photos were taken in 1972 or ‘73 with an old Polaroid camera. During a family road trip, my parents arranged a visit to Muhammad Ali’s training camp in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania. Dad was a big boxing fan. Mom… tolerated the three males in our household.

How fast was Ali in his prime? Very fast. One photo shows him evading a punch from my brother, Edward, who was about seven at the time. I distracted the Champ with a handshake. Hightowers always work together.

Solar and Tesla

We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun. We don’t have to do anything. It just works.
  ~Elon Musk

Elon Musk shared some interesting thoughts during the April 30th announcement for Tesla Energy. Two charts stood out in particular.