This is my brain on reason.

WordPress 2.5.1 Upgrade = Not Fun

May 12, 2008   written by Chantal

I’m really not sure what went wrong. I did the Dreamhost upgrade to WordPress 2.5.1 and it fried my entire blog. The database was fine (along with the config file pointing to it), but none of my posts were visible. I tried several things, including deleting the entire blog directory and re-installing to no avail.

In the end, I just restored my backup of the old blog. Maybe I will try the upgrade again in the future, but I have had enough “fun” this week. Maybe I will create a dev environment to experiment with future upgrades. Though this is just a small personal blog, this experience was very frustrating and annoying.

For anyone who has a blog, make absolutely sure that you keep backups of your blog, your database and maybe even export your blog posts. If I didn’t have backups, this would likely be my “first” post.

If anyone notices anything strange, please, please leave a comment. I’ll be playing around with themes for the next while until I find something I like.

Ruby resources for n00bz

Mar 19, 2008   written by Chantal

I am learning Ruby. As such, i r n00b. Here is a list of resources I have found to be helpful so far.
Try Ruby! (in your browser)
This site allows you to get a decent overview of how Ruby works in an interactive manner. Definitely the first site I would suggest to anyone starting out.
Ruby in Twenty Minutes
Once you have Ruby installed, this is another very nice tutorial that gets you working with Ruby right away.
Ruby on Rails Screencast 1 – David Heinemeier Hansson
Watch this screencast on YouTube to see the creation of a basic blog from start to finish in 15 minutes.
LearningRails Podcasts
Okay so you’ve played around with Ruby and watched someone create a blog, but you still have no idea what to really do with it or why you should bother learning about it. Listen to a couple of these podcasts. Start with Episode 1: Why You Should Learn Ruby on Rails.
Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby
Just look at the first page and you will quickly realise that this is not your typical guide. I came across this a while back when looking for Python learning resources. I remembered it because it’s so unique. Be prepared to see strange animals and even stranger people during your visit here.
Free Online Ruby Programming Course
You can learn Ruby through this online study course. I’m still waiting to get in to the May/June session. If it’s anything like the Ajax course I saw, it should be great.
Ruby/Ruby on Rails Tutorials
A large collection of the history of Ruby, what Rails is, why Ruby and Rails go together, command line, arithmetic, loops, recursion, etc. Some of it might be too difficult for those who have never had any programming experience, but at least the first few pages will be okay.

“Learn to Program” (Chris Pine)
It’s now easier to learn to write your own computer software than it has ever been before. Now everyone can learn to write programs for themselves–no previous experience is necessary. Chris Pine takes a thorough, but light-hearted approach that teaches you how to program with a minimum of fuss or bother. Starting with small, simple one-line programs to calculate your age in seconds, you’ll see how to have your webpage send you email, to shuffle your music more intelligently, to rename your photos from your digital camera, and more. You’ll learn the same technology used to drive modern dynamic websites and large, professional applications.

“Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide” (Dave Thomas, Chad Fowler, Andy Hunt)

Book Description

Ruby is an increasingly popular, fully object-oriented dynamic programming language, hailed by many practitioners as the finest and most useful language available today. When Ruby first burst onto the scene in the Western world, the Pragmatic Programmers were there with the definitive reference manual, Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer’s Guide.

Now in its second edition, author Dave Thomas has expanded the famous Pickaxe book with over 200 pages of new content, covering all the improved language features of Ruby 1.8 and standard library modules. The Pickaxe contains four major sections:
An acclaimed tutorial on using Ruby.
The definitive reference to the language.
Complete documentation on all built-in classes, modules, and methods
Complete descriptions of all 98 standard libraries.
Ruby on Rails Talk – Google Groups
This is — you guessed it — a group that focuses on Ruby on Rails. They seem to be newbie friendly so far. Check it out.
HINT: If you are using a tutorial made on an earlier version of Rails, do the following when they tell you to create your application.
Instead of typing:
rails my_application
Type this:
rails _1.2.6_ my_application
This has worked for me (on Rails 2.0.1) so far.
That’s about it for now, but I will add more to this article as I go.

Vista SP1 TP For Your Bunghole!

Mar 18, 2008   written by Chantal
Just what Vista deserves. I’d love to get a couple of rolls of this stuff.Tokyo (Japan) – If there is one place in the world that any gadget-electronic freak should go to, that is Akihabara district in Tokyo. Numerous stores bring on fascinating number of products, often first in the world. There are also products which are not so usual, nor you can find them in retail or e-tail in western world.One of these unavailable products is Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 Toilet edition. Yes, you’ve read it correctly. If Vista is leaving a aftermouth taste like a crappy burger in *insert the name of franchise you hate the most*, you can always clean yourself with this appropriate piece of paper.I could go on and on about why I hate Vista so much, but why should I bother? Do a search for “windows vista sucks” on Google.Read the rest of the article


Mar 17, 2008   written by Chantal
Today I went through the Developing Rails Applications on Mac OS X Leopard tutorial. The tutorial from Apple was much easier to digest than some of the other ones out there. Yikes. I’m not afraid of terminal, but I started to get extremely confused when many of the tutorials I found were made for an older version of Rails.I’d like to play around some more, but I’ve only slept for 20 minutes in the past 31 hours. I’m not sure how much more my brain can handle before it explodes.If you want to know what Ruby on Rails is, feel free to watch the screencast.

7 Ways to Win Back Your Gaming Spouse

Mar 17, 2008   written by Chantal
Is it just me or is #1 pretty conniving? I’d get pretty suspicious if my SO started to offer me +1 loot for doing chores around the house.Sorry … the power outage thing won’t work, by the way. I have a laptop and I will resort to dial-up if I have to. Anyone who is sufficiently addicted to online gaming will be motivated enough to check the circuit breaker / fuse panel too.One way to prevent your spouse from trying to use these 7 methods on you is by getting him/her addicted to gaming too. Heh heh heh. #7 ftw!

Mar 12, 2008   written by Chantal
I finally decided to set up another domain today. I haven’t had a working one in years, since I got over the whole “webmaster” of the early 90s thing. Angelfire. Geocities. Ugh.

In the end, I decided to use GoDaddy as my domain name registrar. Not because I liked them the best, but because they were the most reasonable and they offer private registration. I really wanted to go with because I have read very positive things about them, but I’m not cool with my mailing address showing up in my domain’s Whois information.

I should also mention that I made the mistake of using the Whois search through Network Solutions. They scooped up my domain instantly so that I would be forced to register the domain with them at a high price instead of being able to use a competitor. I did some research on this and apparently they have been at this for a while and have ended up in court. Search for “network solutions domain tasting” on Google for more info on this unscrupulous business practice.

I sent them an extremely nasty email in the wee hours of the morning, and this is what they sent back:

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you but please be informed that we have remove the domain name CHANTAL13.COM from the holding table of the domain name reservation feature.”

Feature. Indeed.

LiveJournal = pwned

Jan 14, 2005   written by Chantal
Looks like LJ’s ISP didn’t pay their electricity bill. The power went out and is just coming back up now. It should be interesting to see how many posts there are in the minutes after the servers come back up. Everyone is desperate for their fix!

Power is back up at Internap, but we’re in the process of bring back our 100+ servers.

What timing … I just added my journal’s RSS feed to my website. I can’t test it out until they get their servers back up. I bet they did this just to inconvenience me!