Christmas Lights Finder 1.0 for iOS

Our latest iOS app, Christmas Lights Finder, is now available on the App Store.

This app has been tumbling around in my head for almost a year. Our kids really like looking at the lights people put on their houses and in their yards, but they don’t always have the longest attention span, especially at night when they are tired. While it’s fine to aimlessly drive around and look at lights, I thought it would be far better, and more fun for mom and dad, if we had an idea of where to go to see really great lights. What better than an app on your phone to point the way? Read More

SQL Logging: Gemified and Now for Rails 3

Of the handful of plug-ins I’ve written for Rails over the years, the one I install on new projects almost with thinking is sql_logging. I wrote that plug-in almost three years ago and it continues to work on Rails 2.3 apps today.

That isn’t true on Rails 3, though, so over the last few days I’ve taken the time to reevaluate the plug-in and figure out how to do the same work in Rails 3. The result is the new sql-logging gem. The source is hosted on GitHub and the gem itself is available, like any other, on

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Couldn’t find ‘rspec’ generator?

If you’ve moved on to Rails 3 and RSpec 2, but have older projects that are still on Rails 2.3 and RSpec 1.3.x, you may notice that script/generate no longer shows the RSpec generators in them, even if you’ve frozen the correct version of rspec and rspec-rails into vendor/gems.

I’m not sure of the proper place to report this bug, but a quickie workaround is to uninstall the newer rspec-rails gem so that 1.3.x is the newest in gem list.

Option-Click to Reposition Cursor in Terminal

I found this on SuperUser today and just have to share it.

In Terminal, you can reposition the cursor on a line by option-clicking where you want it to go. Credit where due.

It doesn’t happen every day, but certainly a few times a week: I end up with a monster command, spanning two full 100 character wide lines or more. Inevitably, there’s an error in there in the middle, and I sit waiting, holding down left-arrow to fix it and try again.

Bundler Simplified

Following up on my previous post about adapting pre-Bundler workflows to current best practices, Yehuda Katz posted his suggestions on how to approach Bundler in terms of what you used to do. It’s a good read.

One thing that caught me up was the deployment suggestion to require 'bundler/capistrano' in deploy.rb. If you installed Rails 3.0 soon after it was released, you may still have one of the Bundler 1.0 release candidates. I had RC3, and it didn’t include the Capistrano file, which led to a load error. Update your gem, and all will be well.

vendor/rails in the Age of Bundler

I’ve only followed the development of Rails 3.0 from a distance, mainly taking note of the major features and goals for the project and mostly ignoring all the little details that go into it. Once the 3.0 release candidate arrived, I started my next internal project with it and have been slowly coming up to speed on those little details. One that’s stymied me for a while is Bundler. Read More

My First Foray into Facebook Ads

Web Roulette hasn’t lit the world on fire. Thus far I’ve been working on free options: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn contacts, submissions to app review sites, giving out handfuls of promo codes and asking the younger members of my extended family to give them to their friends. It hasn’t made a noticeable difference. Thus far, sales have followed the usual “app curve”: the biggest sales day is day #1, with an almost exponential decline to one or two a day, at best. Read More