Rails Debugging with VS Code and puma-dev

Rails debugging has gotten really good lately; a new Rails project automatically includes the ruby debug gem, and it is enabled by default in development. The Rails instructions for it work great if you start your server with rails server and want to use the command line debugging interface. However, I prefer to run all my apps with puma-dev to give myself a nice local test domain name, and I prefer to use vscode for debugging.

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Hacking the Messages Database

With the release of iOS 17.2 and macOS 14.2, there is now the ability to see a count of the number of chat messages stored in iCloud. A bunch of people were comparing counts and what not both on social media and in work chats, so I decided to take a look at my count too. I noticed that for some reason my number was an order of magnitude higher than everyone else’s. While many people had hundreds of thousands of messages, I had 2.9 Million. I am not a popular individual, so I knew something had to be wrong. I decided to investigate by hacking the messages database.

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Checking on the status of the TouchPad, polling for changes on a web page

With all the hype surrounding the price drop of the HP TouchPad, I have found myself spending a lot of time trying to find a store with one in stock. At one point I saw that HP's own store listed the touchpad as "coming soon" after most stores had run out of stock. Instead of refreshing the page on my own I wrote a script to do it for me.

This script loads the product page every 30 seconds and checks the button area to see if it still says coming soon or if it has the out of stock image. When it no longer finds either of those things, it has my computer say "alert" over and over again (in an australian accent, because who doesn't change their speech voice to australian) and automatically loads the product page in Chrome Canary for me.

I'm sure there are many others like it, but this one is mine. Check it out. Use it, fork it, modify it for your own needs. I license this under WTFPL.

A simple irc bot in ruby

Recently it occurred to my colleagues and me that an IRC bot could benefit our chat room discussions. I looked around a bit and I couldn't find any simple ruby IRC bots to use. However, in my searching, I did find shout-bot. Shout-bot is a simple IRC "shouter" in that it connects, reports a message, and then disconnects. Using this as a starting point, I was able to create a simple bot that stays connected to a room and responds to messages.

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