How-To Archive

I work on a lot of little side projects. Many of them are short-lived and small scale. I start them to learn a new technology, to learn a new concept, try an idea, or just to see if I can actually build something cool. I should also mention that my memory is terrible. I “remember” things by figuring them out again. Rote memorization is basically non-existent to me. I’ve recently come up with a new best practice for my side projects which has saved my butt several times now.

How To Self-Reference

I was getting this error and the excellent Zeus rails environment loader gemwas crashing making it a huge bummer to dev. Luckily, I found a fix in one of the open issues on the project. It was easy to fix, just run a bundle install to add the missing gems: Easy as that. Hope this helps someone else! – Chris

How-To Self-Reference

Oh no! I’m screwed! Better try to remember what work I did and recreate it… :( J/K! This is git! Of course there’s a slick way to recover what you lost. Here’s my situation: I was working on a feature branch happily coding away. Finished the feature, rebased it quickly to fix a typo and then merged it into master. All’s well in my world. However, that was days ago and today I just realized that I accidentally removed one of my commits from the feature branch while I was working on it. No worries. Here’s how I got the commit back with relative ease.

git How-To

This is an account of my adventure with delegation from problem to apparent solution to bug in ActiveSupport to you’re doing it wrong!

How-To Ruby On Rails Self-Reference

Not knowing perl, I set out to write my own script in Ruby to send auto-responses from e-mail addresses setup in a vmail folder structure. You don’t need to use postfix, just have the ‘new’ folder where new messages are stored.

How-To Self-Reference

Trick out your Vim

June 25, 2010

Today, I’m going to add some plugins and scripts to make better use of Vim. I have not started this project and I will be updating this post throughout the day with my finds and experiences.

I generally use Vim to code web applications. My site at work run on PHP and at home I’m working with Ruby on Rails. So, I’ll be looking for something to specifically help with that, but who knows what I’ll find.


Sometimes it can be kind of painful to discover a cool new setting or mode for on of your favorite programs. For instance, I use TTYtter, a terminal based Twitter client. A few weeks into using it, I discovered it had ReadLine support for tab auto-completion of @usernames, in-line editing of posts and command history (up key). Awesome right? I know. Except, now I need to change my .ttytterrc file on my laptop, home computer, work computer, everywhere. Also, how do I get it there? USB drive, e-mail to myself, browse the network, etc. Being geeks, we don’t want to go through all that.


The Ubuntu Blog has a nice lil' article about keeping SSH sessions alive It basically boils down to editing your /etc/ssh/ssh_config file and adding the following: # /etc/ssh/ssh_config ServerAliveInterval 5 The number is the number of seconds to send the small keep alive which keeps the connection open. Ubuntu Blog suggests changing it from 5 to 240 or 300 (4 or 5 minutes). – Chris

How-To Self-Reference

PianoBar is a console client for Pandora Internet Radio. For me, this is a huge discovery. If you run Ubuntu, the flash player for Pandora can be a pain in the ass to install. Plus, on my netbook, the flash plugin for Chrome usually eats about 40-55% CPU constantly. A console client for Pandora will resolve all these issues.

How-To Self-Reference

Before I start talking about colors, let’s talk font. Consolas. That’s all you need to know. By far the best programming font. Get it. Use it. Love it.

How-To Self-Reference

Here’s my Problem: My website sends text files to a partner’s site via FTP. Our partner site sends us the results of their processing the file in an e-mail. This e-mail is a the direct output from their processing script. Or, the relevant details are buried in a bunch of garbled text. My Solution: I first looked at message piping, but my hosting provider doesn’t provide an easy way to do this.



Christopher R Marshall


Enjoys programming web applications; especially in Go and Ruby. Also enjoys playing ice hockey as a goalie and playing the guitar.