Bristol Ruby User Group

Tonight was the third Bristol Ruby User Group meeting, but the first with room for laptops and a projector (thanks to petef for organising and The Watershed for giving us somewhere to meet for free!).

Bristol Ruby User Group

About ten people showed up and we took some time to settle in because lots of us hadn’t met before, we ranged from total novices to professional Ruby programmers (I sit very close to the bottom rung in that ladder!) and didn’t have any concrete plans on what we were going to be doing.

In the end we decided to set up a GitHub repo for any work we might do in other sessions (which you can see here) so spent some time getting that up and running for everyone and then naturally gravitated into two main groups: one getting Jekyll integrated so that we could have a website, and another doing some introductory Ruby work.

(I’m afraid to say that I’d gone beyond tired and into slightly manic which was alarming for me, let alone everyone else, so I worry slightly about the impression on others but hope I can ascribe it to the beer.)

It was good to hear Steve from Beef praising Sinatra, since I’ve written a couple of apps based on it the last few weeks and it seems like the perfect way of writing lightweight web applications in Ruby.

In conclusion, there is an Upcoming Group, a mailing list and of course the GitHub repository we set up and the associated website/blog! We meet on the third Thursday of every month so if you’re local and interested in programming, come along!

Papercamp and music

Jeremy’s written a great roundup of Papercamp, which I wasn’t able to get to. Amongst other things, he says this:

everyone gathers around a laptop for a demo from Durrell Bishop and Tom Hulbert from Luckybite. They have a printed book based on their music collection. Each page of the book contains an image—usually an album cover—and a barcode. If you scan the barcode from a page in the book, the corresponding music will play on your computer (or your phone). The book is the UI. The wireless barcode reader is where the magic happens. If these guys can make a cheap version of this reader, it will fantastic …for all us. Right now the only expensive bit is the reading head but the price could come down as low as a dollar or two.

Surely webcams and QR codes (or variants) are the cheap route here?

Sinatra from scratch

I wrote a small Ruby app the other day which was chucking out JSON which was being parsed by some PHP.

So I thought I’d convert it to all-Ruby using Sinatra (my first real attempt at a Ruby web framework that’s not Hello World).

Installation was harder than expected on my clean Ubuntu box, but for reference:

gem install 1.8-dev
gem install mongrel
gem install rack --version 0.4
gem install sinatra

It was the third line which really caught me out – Sinatra is bound to version 0.4 of Rack, even though it’s at 0.9.1 right now!

Everything seems fine so far, I’ll post a URL if I ever get it running!

update: Sinatra 0.9 was released two days after I wrote this, and it is now dependent on Rack 0.9.1 so the “–version 0.4” is no longer needed


In a few days I’ll be twenty-nine. Herewith my personal shaving rules:

  • shaving in the shower is better than shaving in the sink
  • shaving oil is better than shaving foam
  • a blade for a disposable razor (I use the Gillette Mach3) will only give four good, close shaves
  • electric razors (I have a Remington R710 diamond) can only give you two results:
    • close shave with huge razor-burn
    • day-old stubble with no razor-burn

What about you, readers? What are the top shaving tips you wish you’d had a decade ago?