Open source developers must examine the past to invent the future

Ritchie Thompson

Dennis Ritchie (standing) and Ken Thompson with a PDP-11, circa 1972 (Source: Dennis Ritchie homepage)

Years ago, I was shocked to discover a young developer friend had never heard of BEA, JBoss, or app servers at all. Growing up with virtual machines and distributed systems, he couldn’t be bothered to look back 10 years to understand how we reached this “cloudy” present. But understanding the basics of our computing past helps us appreciate our present.

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Brightbox Now Offering Ruby 2.1 Ubuntu Packages

Ubuntu + Ruby 2.1

As mentioned previously on, Ruby 2.1 was released on Christmas Day last year (2013). Less than a month from that event, cloud hosting provider Brightbox has made available Ubuntu packages for this new release.

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Installing Gems in Mac OS X Mavericks

Installing Gems in Mac OS X MavericksI decided to do some work with a GitHub Pages page today. What's more, I chose to do some work with Jekyll, since it's supported by Pages. I was having a terrible getting Jekyll installed on my MacBook Pro, so I decided I'd publish this quick post to help out anyone else who might be having the same problem.

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Ruby 2.1.0 is released

As per tradition, the newest MRI Ruby release (2.1.0) came out on Christmas Day. The new release has been met with praise of its performance increases thanks to the new RGenGC generational garbage collector and improved method caching.

Other notable changes include

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Why OS X Mavericks is Free

Apple's announcement that their newest Mac OS would be available free of charge came as a shock to all as they single-handedly possibly put an end to the era of paid operating systems. There are several theories behind this news, but to discover really why OS X Mavericks is free, we must turn to our friends over at JoyOfTech.

Check out the full infographic after the jump.

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Geek Pin-Up: Jessica Nigri

Geek Pin-Up Jessica Nigri

Though I prefer to write about Ruby on Rails and other geekery, this is the Pin-Up Geek after all, so whose pin-up is better to feature than cosplay geek Jessica Nigri?

Jessica was recently featured as the "Chivette of the Week" over at Click here for more.

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Trendiest Software Technologies: Ruby Ranks 15th

Sometimes code monkeys like us can get so involved in their own systems that they lose all sight of anything or anybody else outside of their niche. But it can be interesting to see what guys in other camps are doing (and how big they're getting). Enter Google's list of Trendiest Software Technologies.

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Upcoming Trip to Louisville

Summer is upon us and it's time for some of us to take a vacation. For me that means a brief trip to Louisville, Kentucky.

I've been to Louisville several times, but there are a few new spots that I'd like to visit this trip. For those of you who've never been, here are some things to check out if you ever get the chance.

Tourist Attractions in Louisville

Louisville isn't a huge city (it's 27th in the country by population), but at over half a million people, it isn't too small either. And in a city of this size, there are plenty of attractions to see.

Downtown Louisville

In addition to being a bustling business district, downtown Louisville is very welcoming to tourists. These are just some of the museums in the area:
  • Frazier History Museum
  • Glassworks
  • Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory (they'll give you a free miniature baseball bat if you take a tour)
  • Kentucky Science Center
  • Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft
  • 21c Museum and Hotel
  • The Muhammad Ali Center
  • The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
And if you're a coffee drinker (like any respectable geek is), be sure to check out the new Sunergos Espresso bar on 5th Street while you're downtown.

Churchill Downs

When most people think of Louisville, the Kentucky Derby comes to mind. Of course it's held in the beautiful Churchill Downs. Unfortunately I'm going to be a few months late for the Derby, but there are other horse races held there as well.

Louisville Restaurants

In addition to the other tourist attractions, Louisville hosts a ton of delicious restaurants. In fact, it was recently named one of the "foodiest cities" in America.

I've been to a lot of Louisville's restaurants on previous trips, but this time I'm looking forward to trying out a new pub/beer bar -- Four Pegs Beer Lounge. Supposedly they have a delicious chicken waffle sandwich that I'm dying to try.

Future Geekiness

I'll be gone for a few days, but when I return expect some more posts about Ruby on Rails and some other recent projects.

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Why Rails?

Practically all the software in the world is either broken or very difficult to use.

--Ruby on Rails Tutorial: Learn Web Development with Rails by Michael Hartl

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Getting Started with Rails

In much of my previous work, I’ve talked about Ruby on Rails, but it occurs to me that perhaps some of you may not be very familiar with Rails or how to get started.

Good news for you: it’s very easy to get into.

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