Ruby + Rails + OSX Intel = Crazy Confusing

The Ruby on Rails scene for new users on the Mac has and continues to be pretty confusing! The version of Ruby that comes with the Mac isn’t suitable so you have to install a second copy and if you go to the getting started page at the first thing you see for OSX recommends building readline, ruby, fastcgi, lighty, and pcre from source. Fortunately Continue reading

Posted in Ruby, Software Engineering | 1 Comment

Keeping current with SEO

Keeping current with SEO has always been a challenge for me, it reminds me of paying bills, you have to do it but you don’t always want to. However, as the majority of our traffic comes from search, staying on top of it is important and as a result we’ve seen massive traffic growth Continue reading

Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Web | 1 Comment

Scaling a medium sized website

Eric Hodel posted their production website server setup over at the Robot Coop that handled 2.5M page views in a day not too long ago. I love this kind of information because it helps me get a feel for how we’re doing. At GreatSchools we serve around 900,000-980,000 page views on an average weekday, our record day was a bit above 3M page views, and siege load testing puts our cap around 4400 page views per minute.

The great thing about using siege is that we extract the load test from our access logs so that we can simulate real conditions. We size the hardware based on running at around 25% of our capacity on an average weekday which usually gives us just enough breathing room to handle a front page feature on Yahoo or AOL when those happen. Continue reading

Posted in Systems Administration, Web | 1 Comment

Differences between Digg and Reddit

I wrote a tongue in cheek humor piece on April fools day last year about ditching Java and switching to .BAT. Earlier this year it hit the front page of Reddit which was very exciting since my little server stood up to the pounding pretty well. Then more recently it hit the front page of Digg (but only briefly). Talk about two totally different experiences! Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Java, Software Engineering, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

5 things Ruby on Rails has that Java doesn’t

After listening to this weeks Ruby on Rails podcast where Geoffrey Grosenbach interviewed Bruce Tate, it got me to thinking about why Ruby on Rails appeals to me. For me as a Java person, the real appeal of Ruby lies in Rails and here’s why: Continue reading

Posted in Agile Development, AJAX, Java, Ruby, Software Engineering, Web | 3 Comments

Enhancements to subModal

I started hacking around with subModal (modal javascript windows with background shading) this morning to add some features I liked in Lightbox Gone Wild. You can try it out and download my changes to subModal here. They are Continue reading

Posted in Design, Javascript, Web | 31 Comments

Hiring a web front-end engineer and a rant

Update 3/28/06: Still looking… not for a web designer but a web front-end engineer. Jemery does a good job of describing the distrinction. No doubt about it, this is a hot skill set that is extremely hard to find!

I’m hiring a front-end web developer (contract or FTE) for either on-site or remote work. This is not a web designer or graphics designer job but rather a technical front-end developer, someone with crazy XHTML/CSS/Javascript skills Continue reading

Posted in Design, Javascript, Web | 6 Comments

Modal windows with Javascript and CSS

One of the side projects I spent a little time on today was researching the use of on-page modal dialog boxes using Javascript and CSS that shade or darken the rest of the page while they are open. It looks like it will be an easy job thanks to these two solutions that are made freely available: Continue reading

Posted in Desktop, Javascript, Web | 3 Comments

Photos of the container ship APL Panama aground

For a change from my regularly scheduled tech blogging, these photos (scroll down), these photos, and these have been out for a while now and as of this writing the container ship APL Panama is still sitting 200 feet off the beach in Ensenada and tugs have been unable to pull her off. Continue reading

Posted in Maritime | 1 Comment

Five aspects of OS X and the MacBook in need of improvement

I’ve gotten through my first week of work on a MacBook Pro after switching from Windows and before I go further let me say that overall it’s been a very positive experience, see my previous post on why I switched from Windows to the Mac. After a week there are still 5 things that I feel were poorly executed on the Mac and they are: Continue reading

Posted in Desktop | 13 Comments