Friday, March 28, 2008

config for capistrano

Preparing a deployment of an app
  1. Changes for fcgi configuration in public/.htaccess
    1. Comment the fcgi handler (found in initial few lines of the file)
    2. Change the dispatch.cgi reference to dispatch.fcgi (last few lines of file)
  2. In public/dispatch.fcgi change the shebang line to say something like this
    1. #!/usr/bin/env ruby
  3. Make sure everything is committed. (svn ci)
  4. capify the environment (capify)
  5. run rake configure_for_svn (assuming that the svn.rake task has been created already)
  6. edit config/deploy.rb to adjust values appropriately
  7. run cap deploy:setup
  8. On the remote server, copy $HOME/railsapps/config/database.yml.production to $HOME/${appdir}/shared/config (create target dir if not present). The $HOME/{appdir} should have been created by deploy:setup
  9. Since its the first time deployment, run cap deploy:cold
  10. Next time onwards, when you have to deploy, launch cap deploy:migrate

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Printable CEO™ Series

I have used this time tracking tool in past also, and always find it handy to keep notes in this format. Helps keep focus.

David Seah - The Printable CEO™ Series

Mac4Lin ver.0.2 - Mac OS X Leopard Transformation pack

Surprised to see that people are running independent project to make linux look/act like mac.

I am curious and would sure experiment with this.

Mac4Lin ver.0.2 - Mac OS X Leopard Transformation pack - Ubuntu Forums


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DVD Playback on Gutsy

Configuring DVD playback on Gutsy

For DVD playback, install VLC (accepted by most as the best DVD player, supports menus too);

sudo apt-get install vlc

And if you also want Totem to play DVDs well, you have to use the Xine backend instead of Gstreamer (this is optional, VLC will do just fine);

sudo apt-get install totem-xine libxine1-ffmpeg

To get encrypted DVDs playing properly (check out no. 9 in the "Troubleshooting" section if you are having problems with new DVDs), paste these commands into the Terminal;

sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 libdvdread3 libdvdnav4 build-essential debhelper fakeroot

then;

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/install-css.sh

or if you get an error with that command;

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/examples/install-css.sh

To set VLC as your default DVD player (I strongly advise you do) type the following command into the Terminal;

gksudo gconf-editor

Now expand "desktop" and then "gnome", scroll down to "volume manager" but don't expand it, just click on it and look over at the right pane. Scroll down and look for "autoplay_dvd_command" and change the command to "/usr/bin/vlc dvd://" (without quotes of course) by right clicking on it and selecting "Edit", then click on "Set as Default". Do the same for the "autoplay_vcd_command" as well.

From :  Complete Streaming, Multimedia & Video How-to - Ubuntu Forums

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Ekiga - PC to Phone on Ubuntu

It works, finally... it works.

I managed to configure my voipcheap account to work with Ekiga.
Though the phone numbers that u have to call look a bit awkward (sip:<phoneNumber>@sip.voipcheap.com), but it works.

I basically love the fact that I reduced another reason to boot into windows.  Loving Ubuntu every minute...

Here's some documentation on How to Use Ekiga
Ekiga - Community Ubuntu Documentation
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Better Cross-Site Request Forging Prevention

Very useful piece of information about the changes from rails 1.x to 2.x.  Since I was following the Agile ... with rails book (which is on rails 1.2.3), I got trapped with this problem.

Few new things for me, the concept of Cross-site request forgery and that rails 2 already handles it in the framework.  I got to this article through www.railsforum.com  and I have to say I am impressed.

What's New in Edge Rails: Better Cross-Site Request Forging Prevention

Providing such useful features built inside the app framework is really intuitive.

Way to go rails... :) 

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Free 1 year subscription of McAfree Virus Scan Plus

I dont quite believe this, but havent tried this either.

Free 1 year subscription of McAfree Virus Scan Plus

I have heard about free trial licenses from such companies for a month or two or three, but never for 12 months.

I just tried to register following the link, and it does seem to work. I didnt actually download the software yet, but I would sure do that. Sometime over the weekend.

It sounds really really amazing to me. A 12 month free subscription.. great... :)

An interesting site...

An online document viewing website, you upload your document, the world sees it.

To me, an equivalent of blog, only not in terms of putting up content, rather organized documents. 

Home | Scribd
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ensode - Free PDF Unlock Online Utility (Beta)

I got this Gartner group report about Magic quadrant Data Warehouse technology.  I wanted to print it so that I can read it at leisure, but the pdf was locked for printing, even for copying.

I googled for "unlock pdf files" and the first hit I got was this link. 

Just give it your locked pdf file and it generates an unlocked pdf for you in the new browser window.

Ensode - Free PDF Unlock Online Utility (Beta)

cool stuff..
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Sunday, March 16, 2008

UseMod Wiki: TextFormattingRules

Rubyforge projects use this wiki engine. UsedMod

Its a bit different from wikipedia (media wiki) and therefore, one might have to carefully look at the formatting tricks and tips.

Here's some help.

UseMod Wiki: TextFormattingRules
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so many new technologies...

It was my first weekend after I started working on my domain name and website. The last I was doing something with web technologies was like a few years back. Kinda nostalgic in that sense.

There are many new technologies coming around the place, and sometimes I feel left out. When I started digging this time around, I got to know a few more things.

So many new things I learned in one day...

  1. Mephisto - blogging engine
  2. Typo - Another blogging engine
  3. Trac - SCM engine , used for bug tracking etc.
  4. Intro to Capistrano - the magical deployment tool from rails framework. Some documentation from my hosting people also on integrating capistrano.
  5. FastCGI and its usage with rails

My new domain is up and running...and supports rails too...

Finally, after a day and a half of my ordering/starting the process of getting my own domain/site, its up and running.

The dns entries for blogs are set up, the subdomains are set up, and a very basic home page is also up and running. Check it out here... www.sraghav.in

The mail address is going to change forever, I guess. Now onwards, my mail address is going to be on this new domain, instead of something or other at gmail or yahoo... Always hated the fact that I cant get my easy and favourite name to become my mail id... Finally, I get it... :)

The dns configuration for blogs is one sweet thing. I have to appreciate the way blog hosters like blogger and wordpress (to name a few) allow you to call your blog something or other in the browser url, and still happily allow the stuff to be hosted at their site. Now, my blogs are all named according to my wish on my domain.. e.g. techaghav.blogspot.com is now going to be called tech.sraghav.in

I am yet to read more on dns record types and how they actually work behind the scenes, but I understood that you need to create a CNAME (Canonical Name) record in your dns server for the target server (blogger). This will redirect the incoming request (coming at sraghav.in) to target server (blogger) without reflecting the redirection to the source browser. so the browser still thinks that its talking to .sraghav.in while the dns entry makes it talk to .blogspot.com

Love the technology behind this.

My web hosting company, railsplayground.com allows ruby on rails hosting as well. And, that was my primary reason to choose them over other web-hosting providers. Not so costly and still nice services for a basic rails deployment/hosting service. They provide ssh access and subversion access and what not. Almost everything I could think of as a developer, looking for a foothold in rails. Cool people. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Got my new domain...

Ordered my new domain name sraghav.in

Got some hosting services from www.railsplayground.net people.

Still waiting on the activation mail, with dns servers info and all that.

Naming convention of Ubuntu Releases

I've always wondered why and how these people at ubuntu core group chose such names. 

Well, its hard to say that the names are good or bad, most of the times such word mean something or other in some or other language, for sure.

Still, if there was some scheme behind naming the versions, I didnt know about it.

Recently found out that, and here are details - DevelopmentCodeNames - Ubuntu Wiki   
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How To: Install OS X on Your Hackintosh PC, No Hacking Required

Found this interesting page... I am pretty sure there are other sites and pages talking about similar stuff.

How To: Install OS X on Your Hackintosh PC, No Hacking Required

I still have to check out how it works, but looks like a very interesting idea to start with...  
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My own domain name...

For some time, I have been thinking of getting my own domain name, and thereafter get rid of all these .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com kind of names for blogs. Will also get rid of email addresses from gmail or yahoo or likes.

The idea is pretty interesting and right now I am evaluating whether its a financially feasible thing to do. 

Well, I checked at a few domain name registration sites and it doenst sound very costly to start with.  However you have to be careful reading their pricing models.  It IS misleading.

e.g. when you find a domain at www.networksolutions.com, they say that it costs 10 USD. Fine, that looks cheap and so you move on. When you finally land on the checkout page, you find that its not actually $10, but $29.99. The $10 mentioned at the first page was actually something else. Some private registration thing, but the actual domain name costs you three times that.

Similarly when I was checking this on an Indian registrar http://www.net4.in , their site was advertising that .in domains cost on Rs. 199. Fine, thats pretty cheap actually. I went ahead and when I landed on checkout page there, it turned out that 199 is only the cost for 1st year. Second and third years cost about 4-5 times first year. And therefore, you are lured only because of the first year promotional pricing.

A friend was suggesting earlier to use dyndns for this. The idea was, buy a domain name, buy a customer dns from dyndns guys. Then it would be a job of configuring the dns entries in a right way. So that,

a call to techblog.mydomain.com goes automatically to techraghav.blogspot.com,

and still maintains the url for mydomain.com...

I am not sure if that would work technically or not, but that could be a much cheaper solution. Custom DNS at dyndns.org costs about $ 28 per year. domain would cost about $10 per year. Sounds ok.

Also, I am not sure what kind of dns mgmt freedom is available when I buy web space with some hosting company....

I have posted this dns configuration question to dyndns.org forums also.. lets see how they come back.

Reading about dns records etc..  List of DNS record types - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Slow DB query : Tuning required...

Have been struggling with a slow db query on our Oracle 9i repository.  There are product installations (redwood) and therefore the views provided by them cant be modified (read optimized).

We found out through tracing etc that the optimizer is behaving strangely. Its choosing an explain plan that is not completely optimal.  There's something funny with statistics as well, since when I rewrote the query to use the rule based optimizer, the query was finishing much much faster. 

So, we had to do some experiments with Oracle traces as well.  Help on Oracle's tracing mechanisms and ideas came from 

Introduction to Oracle Trace Utulity and Understanding The Fundamental Performance Equation « H.Tonguç YILMAZ Oracle Blog

Working together with our in-house DBA team helped a bit and I moved forward with some more experiments.  Here's what helped me with Optimizer in Oracle (mostly CBO)

Oracle Optimizer: Moving to and working with CBO

Oracle Optimizer: Moving to and working with CBO - Part 2



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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Photography on Linux

I myself was thinking about this since a few days..Actually ever since I got my Gutsy freshend up I was wondering if I could move all my daily works stuff from windows to Linux.  Photo management is surely one big area, especially with my interest in photos.

Check my interest here <http://raghavphotos.blogspot.com>

And then today morning, just by luck, I found this page..
Ubuntu Linux graphic software list « Linux Photography

Not read completely through it, but the Ubuntu forum page it refers to is sure useful.

Also interesting is this :

http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-219756.html
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Thinking of changing blog host...

I was talking to this friend of mine who moved his website from blogspot to wordpress.  Wordpress have nicer templates, some really cute.

I felt like doing that as well, already last week. But, wordpress has some limitations, e.g. their free account does not allow html template editing. And without editing html, it wont be possible to track site statistics with google Analytics. I would really want to collect that kind of statistics.  Though the wordpress people provide some statistics, I am not sure if they would be comparable to Google Analytics

Also, since my blog's url contains .blogspot.com, its hard for me to switch anyway.  However, there is an easier solution for this url issue. Build a blog in wordpress, and start publishing that url.

To make sure all who come and hit the old url, just enter this line in the <head> tag of the old blog page's html code.

<meta http-equiv="REFRESH" content="0;url=http://new-blog-url.com"/>

Found this code sample here...  html redirect

thanks google for allowing to find stuff so easily... I knew that it exists, but syntax would have been hard to figure out.  
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Frustration working with computers...

Working with computers can be frustrating...
Nothing has showcased this more than this video...

Bad Day at the Office

I hope never to reach such stage of frustration...


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Monday, March 10, 2008

"Must Have" list of Apps for Gutsy? - Ubuntu Forums

I dont use Ubuntu as a full time desktop system. More focus on programming, though the general usage is increasing by day.

While I was searching for something about one the gutsy issues I was facing, I came across this post.

"Must Have" list of Apps for Gutsy? - Ubuntu Forums

Really interesting set of suggestions from people who use such a system for everyday usage.  Though personal preferences differ, its a good start.


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Complete Streaming, Multimedia & Video How-to - Ubuntu Forums

Trying to get my browsers run some online media streaming on Ubuntu. This page here is an excellent place to start with.

Great compilation, and once again, the value of discussions forums is enhanced in my view.

Complete Streaming, Multimedia & Video How-to - Ubuntu Forums



Great effort "reassuringlyoffensive", interesting nickname as well :)
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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Improved Gutsy for 6710b

Going through a few Ubuntu forums, it turned out that many of the initial glitches around Gutsy installation for HP6710b have been removed.

My installation was originally an upgrade from Feisty, a very troubled and hacked one at that. So, I thought why not try to give it a clean shot and get a fresh copy of Gutsy installed on my laptop.

I dared and I like the results already. Few features -

Though I had to spend some time to configure a few things again from scratch, it looks and works like a much better system than it used to.

After my fresh installation, I had initial trouble with installing rails. There this page helped. Though it talks about installation on FreeBsd, it worked perfectly on my Gutsy.

Then I had some trouble with initial password of root user on MySQL. For some reason, after the initial installation, I could not go in mysql environment through any means at all. Then again, googling and ubuntu forums helped out. This page helped me through that.

Finally, when I was installing Eclipse to be able to work faster/better with rails, I came across the fact that the standard Eclipse package from Ubuntu, does not come with any java runtime environment. I tried downloading and using Sun Java but that didnt turn out very well.

Later I found that Synaptics has a cunning little feature. On a right click on a package name, there is a option for "Mark Recommended For Installation". Once I clicked on that, it selected about 15 more packages and this time managed to get all the required stuff for Java as well.

Surprised as I was at the intuitiveness of the package management system, I felt it should hae done the same to start with. Anyway, its fine now. Took some time, but working great now. :)

IDE for working with Rails

For some time now, I was looking for the right kind of IDE to work with ruby on rails. Googling for this helped but not much.

Eventually, I came across this post somewhere which mentioned RadRails. This is a module from Aptana development studio.

In addition to the fact that this is a component of the Aptana dev suite, this component is available separately as a plugin for Eclipse as well.

And installation and configuration come very very simple. In a running version of Eclipse (I have Eclipse 3.2), look for a remote installation site. Few simple questions about which package to install etc. and you have the plug-in installed.

Here's the url to enter in the Eclipse remote update site...

http://update.aptana.com/update/studio/3.2/ => For Aptana tools in general
http://update.aptana.com/update/rails/3.2/ => For RadRails Plugin

And it works like a charm, really. After installation, you can create a new rails project from within Eclipse GUI as well, in addition to your favourite command line methods.

Starting a server, generating components (controller, model etc..), its all possible from the GUI.

I personally like the GUI and the syntax highlighting the most.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Flock : The Social browser

I was just checking Firefox 3 beta 3 today, when I found about this new browser called Flock.

Its a great browser for people using services
  1. Blogging
    1. Blogger
    2. Wordpress
    3. Blogsome
    4. Typepad.. etc..
  2. Photo Mgmt
    1. Flickr
    2. Picasa
    3. Photobucket etc..
  3. Social sites
    1. Facebook
    2. Twitter
    3. etc..

The browser provides amazing functionality for different sites built right in. Many a tasks you would have done manually are now completely automated, thanks to new browser functionality.

Powered by Mozilla, I found it to be a very interesting browser option against Firefox.


  1. Picasa on Web

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Informatica support forum

Hey... Informatica have launched a brand new set of discussion forums on their website. This url should normally point to the overview .

I have a good feeling about this, the company hosting its own discussion forums. Before this there were some yahoo groups that acted as discussion forums for the company, and some developer network forums.

See how it goes...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

An interesting day of RoR programming...

Got hands dirty with quite a few things in and around RoR.

Started with building the demo application with projects and tasks.. and as the iterative model says, kept adding to it. By the time I realized, I covered quite a few basic concepts of Rails.

Got stuck at some places, and hence my first experience of RoR IRC chatroom. Lovely thing, and really helpful people. Cant thank enough. It seemed as if someone could learn a few things just by reading the discussions only... :)

And, I hope to make some progress on my LMS project as well.

Here's my collection of useful URLs from today's session.

Useful Links around the web...
  1. Rolling on with Ruby on Rails
  2. Rolling on with Ruby on Rails (Part 2)
  3. On Ruby on Rails dot org
  4. Rails Database Validations-1
  5. Rails DB Validations-2
  6. RESTful Design
  7. Oracle's tutorial on RoR
  8. RoR API Docs
  9. www.pastie.org
  10. On Drop Down Menus