Author Archives: Todd Huss

Backup your Gmail

Update 2017: I recommend using GMVault for backing up Gmail. It’s free, open-source, actively maintained, and relatively easy to setup if you’re technically inclined. Like all hosted services, you should never depend on one provider to both manage your data … Continue reading

Posted in Cloud Computing, Linux, OSX, Systems Administration, Technical | 1 Comment

Naming your business or product, forget the domain

Pick a name that is easy to spell, unique, and memorable! It’s a lesson I learned the hard way. Don’t spend your time surfing for available domain names, you’ll tear your hair out and pick a worse name as a … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Storing Git repositories in Amazon S3 for high availability

At VolunteerMatch we’re experimenting with using Chef Solo to manage Amazon EC2 servers. The catch is that if a server is going to rely on Chef to boot up, then the Chef Recipes (which we’re storing in a Git Repository) … Continue reading

Posted in Cloud Computing, Java, Linux, Source Control, Systems Administration | 2 Comments

Acceptance Testing non Ruby web applications with Cucumber

If you’re looking for the sample Standalone Cucumber Test Suite to get you started testing non Ruby based applications with Cucumber, here’s the source: http://github.com/thuss/standalone-cucumber. Sometimes you inherit a non Ruby based web app written in PHP, Perl, Java, C#, … Continue reading

Posted in Continuous Integration, Java, Quality Assurance, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Testing, Web | 1 Comment

Code readability through conciseness

One of the things I love about newer languages like Ruby and Scala (and to a degree Python and Groovy) are the language features that allow you to dial conciseness up or down for readability. Take for instance the typical … Continue reading

Posted in Java, Ruby, Scala, Software Engineering | 8 Comments

Mac OS X gem cleanup failing

After upgrading to Snow Leopard I started noticing that whenever I would run sudo gem cleanup it would fail with many errors about being unable to uninstall various gems. I ignored it until the list grew unbearably long but the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

iPhone development the easy way

Update 8/7/2010 PhoneGap apps are still being allowed in the app store! It’s not the right solution for every app (for example we went native with the Common Sense Media app), but I still think PhoneGap is really cool. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Ruby on Rails, Software Engineering, Web | Leave a comment

Production MySQL performance tuning

For the past 9 years I’ve been working almost exclusively with MySQL (with a little PostgreSQL thrown in) and while I don’t do nearly as much DBA work these days, I still find myself troubleshooting a query or tuning my.cnf. … Continue reading

Posted in Database, FreeBSD, Linux, MySQL, Systems Administration | Leave a comment

Selenium Continuous Integration Runner

At Common Sense Media I wanted to get some functional testing up and running that didn’t require a lot of user training for the QA folks. I also wanted those tests to run in our Rightscale/Amazon EC2 hosted Hudson continuous … Continue reading

Posted in Agile Development, Continuous Integration, Java, Javascript, Quality Assurance, Software Engineering, Testing | 4 Comments

Standalone Migrations: Using Rails migrations in non Rails projects

Update 8/7/2010: Standalone migrations is now a gem (sudo gem install standalone_migrations) so disregard the outdated installation instructions below Update 7/8/2009: With the latest batch of contributed patches standalone migrations now works just like Rails migrations Update 12/26/2008: I switched … Continue reading

Posted in Database, Java, Linux, MySQL, Ruby, Ruby on Rails | 5 Comments