Jul's blog

Musings from the news of web, roleplaying and technology


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The day ruby 2.0.0 has been released, I wanted to use it. I have built it the day after on my notebook, but it took more than two times as much time to run all the specs for my recent rails project, than with 1.9.3-p327 with falcon-gc. I’m certainly getting the wrong results, don’t I? Sure I do. Yesterday I grabbed my pickaxe, to dig out the root of the problem.

Testing Woes

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The newest drama club activities aim overtesting. DHH has placed his coin telling one should not try to have 100% coverage.

There are a lot of things in a standard rails app, which is nothing more but repetition. You don’t have to search too much to find a RESTful controller. It usually does the same as all the others. The same stuff gets copied over and over. Of course you think TDD just slows you down: you’ve already done that a thousandth time, why should you pretend this is something new?

Revenge of the Standing Desk

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I spent most of my career in chairs. I sat beside various sizes of tables. One thing never changed though: their heights.

Recently I had to work from home for a week, and I decided my neck, back and bottom should be treated better. Fortunately my desk at home is an IKEA Fredrik, and I have a Dennis stool (you can see a picture of a similar one here), which now has a successor in IKEA called Franklin (buying advice: choose the 29 1/8” or 74cm tall one).

My only problem is getting an anti-fatigue mat. I have flat feet, and standing is not one of my strengths. However, while a Genuine Joe’s Air Step is just a click away in the US for $20-30, this kind of stuff is completely unknown here. I’m testing a roll-up workout mat folded in half, with moderate success.

How fantastic, DIY, inexpensive, yadayadayada. I was curious, and I asked whether we can do the same at my workplace.

First off, I asked the local Ergo team whether they can help. They could: I got a mail a couple of days later from the furniture supplier company, telling that they can set me up a standing workstation for $2-3k, I just have to ask my manager for funding.

Of course we don’t have a budget for something like this, but if I make a case with a note from my doctor, we can push it through. Ookay, doctor’s recommendation, sounds reasonable.

Anyways, the supplier’s suggestion was a Steelcase Activa Lift 2 with gas struts (AFAICT Steelcase Series 5 is more or less the same), mentioning it’s cheaper than the electric motor version. They also mentioned gas struts can be set every day. How nice. Still, GeekDesk version 2.0 is $200 cheaper, and when you adjust its height, your cup of water will stay there.

Can be set every day… read: you have to put everything off of your table before operating. I’m sorry, but I already have a lot of stuff on my table when I arrive: a laptop with a stand, a keyboard and mouse, my coffee mug, my Aeropress. Then I put other stuff on it, like my own laptop, a couple of USB drives, keys, wallet, badge, and the like. I want to sit whenever I’m tired, therefore I want to move the table up / down every single time.

At this point my unconscious interrupts. Why do I need all these stuff? Why I need a height-adjustable desk? I don’t! All I want is to raise my external monitor and my input devices. Raising a monitor is not a big deal, every furniture shop has adjustable VESA standard monitor stands. Raising my keyboard however is not something furniture designers figured out: they tend to forget good tilt and palmrest. My old natural keyboard had negative tilt and a wide palmrest, the way it should’ve always been.

My revenge will come on Monday: I’ll go to the closest DIY retailer, and I’ll buy a 11” x 32” x 1” ash board, and four 15” long table legs (eg. 30x80cm 2.5mm wide board, and 40cm table legs). It will beat the supplier’s $3000 setup.

News at 11.

Rails Nursery

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I decided I give rbenv a shot. This change also means I have to find another way to separate rails gems from my standard ones. I’ll tell you why.

Stop the Octopress

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Back to basics, you might think. When I started blogging, I wrote my own engine in PHP. It was a breeze to use, it had modules and styles (called flavours), and blog posts could be written as files. However, it was not a content generator engine, since it picked up these text files on every hit.