Mar 20 2012

Remove Invalid Ruby Gem Source

I was trying to install a Ruby gem and it keep failing. I keep getting the following error when installing a gem.

ERROR: http://gems.datamapper.org does not appear to be a repository
ERROR: could not find gem thin locally or in a repository

Because of the above error I couldn’t install a gem or even update my gem system.

I certainly don’t remember ever adding gems.datamapper.org as a gem source repository but now it is causing errors in my system. You can list all of your current gem source repositories by entering the following from your command prompt.

gem source

You may see a few gem sources possibly including repositories from rubyforge.org, rubyonrails.org, and github.com. In addition to these gems source, the problematic gems.datamapper.org was also listed in my system.

To remove the problematic source, gems.datamapper.org, enter the following command from the command prompt.

gem source -r http://gems.datamapper.org


Feb 13 2012

iOS Missing Feature: Multiple Device App Management

I have over 100 iOS apps in three different devices, an iPod running running iOS 4.2, and an iPhone and iPad on iOS 5. As much as possible, I always sync all devices to my laptop so that they all have the latest updates. I know that since iOS 5, apps and songs purchased from iTunes on one device will automatically sync to other devices. That said I still find that I have sync for other reasons, to transfer photos to iPhoto and sync a large number of podcasts I listen to. And perhaps, most importantly, I’ve sync to charge my device. One issue, definitely first world problem, I have with having multiple iOS devices is managing all the apps in the different devices. If I delete on app from the iPad, it doesn’t delete it from the iPhone. If I delete it from the iTunes on my laptop and I sync with a device that contains that app, it will copy it back to iTunes.

Another big issue is that you have to configure your app pages and folders on each device. If you spend an hour organizing your apps into folders and pages in one device you have to re-do it all over again on the second device. What ends up happening is that you’ll have two devices with the same apps in different pages and folders.

What I am missing from my mobile experience is the ability to sync, not only the apps and content of apps, but the meta-data about how I organize apps between iOS devices. I want to have the choice to clone how one iOS device organizes and layouts the apps to other devices. I would also like the ability to have different app layout settings, such as have the iOS device automatically put applications into folders based on the app category or my usage of the app. And of course, I would like to have a way to delete an app from one device and have it disappear from all other devices.


Jan 2 2012

Retweet December 2011

From time to time I just blast tweets about software development, project planning, team dynamics, or whatever else comes to mind. Here is a synopsis of recent tweets and rants. If you want to follow the conversation follow me at techknow and/or juixe.

Software Development

  • Being into computers today is not the same as it was in my day when you had to solder chips into boards, now it means you are on Facebook.
  • I don’t know why you would fake such a thing but there are a lot of fake self described geeks.
  • This holiday season remember to backup if don’t already have a backup system in place.

Thought Leadership

  • Life has a funny way to keep you humble.
  • Focus on simplicity, complexity is overrated.
  • Whether I see the glass half full or half empty largely depends on what is in the glass to begin with.
  • To much of a good thing is a bad thing. Not enough of a good thing is also a bad thing.
  • No brain, no gain.
  • There is no such thing as cheap thrills, only cheap tricks.

Product Placement

  • I just realized that I have five phone numbers connected to my iPhone.
  • Not feeling the new Twitter app. It feels like it requires too many clicks to do anything.
  • Every parking lot should be covered with an array of solar panels. Some parking lots take more area than the base of the building.
  • I hate when sites and apps require Facebook Connect to sign up. #pinterest
  • I bet that Taco Bell taco shells are made in China.
  • Like a true politician, Go Daddy flip flopped on the issue and now claims it does not support SOPA. #WhoDroppedTheSOPA
  • Google Grinch: No Ice Cream Sandwich for Galaxy S, first Galaxy Tab, or original Nexus.
  • The one feature that had been overlooked in Android is the ability to take a screenshot of your Android device.

Quote

  • I’m putting you on the do not kill list. – Bender Bending RodrÌguez
  • The truth is often stupid. – Bender Bending RodrÌguez
  • Follow the fucking money. When a VC tells you what’s good for you, check your wallet, then count your fingers. – jwz
  • Let’s go and invent tomorrow. – Steve Jobs

Question

  • Who moved my cheese and then cut said cheese?
  • Who is doing some last minute shopping?
  • How many domains do you own?
  • Church’s or Popeyes?
  • Ancient Aliens or Modern Morons?
  • If you could go back in time and would be stuck in prehistoric time, what skill would you need most to survive?
  • If Mr Grinch is so mean what do you think Mrs Grinch is like?
  • If the world is flat why aren’t international phone rates flat themselves?
  • A touch device is a complicated device with many components, what are the chances that the Galaxy Tab would look identical to the iPad?

Randumb

  • Looking forward to the future!
  • Old Internet memes don’t die, they go remixed, go viral, and trend.
  • It’s rumored that the same maker that built a weight scale with a built it twitter client that tweets your weight is working on a toilet.
  • Money can’t buy you love but it can sure buy some lap dances.
  • When it comes to teenage love, forever doesn’t last long.
  • The surprise is the prize.
  • Empty space is the enemy of clutter.
  • You are the chaos/cause of you.
  • You are the cause of you because you.
  • It is what it will be and it will be what has been.
  • Happy whatever the fuck you celebrate tonight.
  • The Internet was invented for the sharing of funny cat videos and pictures.
  • Make a right at the 3rd dimension and you are here.
  • The best part of nothing is everything.
  • Negative ideas manifest into real feelings
  • Gift wrapping ain’t going so merry.
  • If there is a way to hurt yourself with a tape dispenser I’ve done it… Why is my lip bleeding!?
  • I think that The Terminator is the beginning of a long war against the machines that culminates with The Matrix.

Overheard

  • OH: Annoying people are really annoying.
  • OH: I would love to enjoy my own depression if I only I didn’t have to deal with other people’s depression.
  • OH: I wish my life was an 80’s movie.
  • OH: To be honest, I’m not being honest.

Dec 29 2011

Enable Siri on iPhone 4S

A family member received the iPhone 4S for Christmas and the first thing she wanted to try was Siri. She didn’t know how to turn it on so she called me, the local family tech support. To turn on Siri on the iPhone 4S go to the Settings app. Once on the iPhone Settings, drill down on the General option. In the General settings view drill down on the Siri option. Once in the Siri settings view, make sure that the toggle button is turned on. You can also change other Siri settings such as the language.

Siri Settings View

Siri Settings View


Dec 19 2011

Reclaim Disk Space With Spacie

Recently I noticed that I had less than 3GB of free disk pace on my laptop. I have and take a lot of photos, in addition to that I download and install a lot of different development tools and IDEs. I also have a lot of music and listen to a lot of podcasts. In addition to all this, I am a digital hoarder and download and save any PDF or image that I find interesting.

When I discovered that I was running out of disk space I immediately started to look for “disk space” apps on the App Store. I found Spacie to be what the HD DR ordered. With Spacie I found that I had multiple version of NetBeans each taking close to 1GB. I had multiple versions of the Android SDK each taking close to 1GB. Spotify was caching over 2GB of data. I found that iPhoto and iTunes was taking the bulk of the space. I easily had 20GB in iPhoto and 40GB in iTunes. In iPhoto, I started to export and backup photo sets older than a year or two so that I could reclaim more space. In iTunes, I found that I had a hundreds of podcasts taking over 100MB each. I pushed these photo sets and podcasts to an external hard drive and reclaimed over 40GB of disk space. Spacie helped me to identify what files where taking the most space and I systematically addressed each folder as best I could.

Spacie

Spacie finds large files in your hard drive and helps reclaim disk space.

Spacie is available on the Apple App Store. It is currently priced at $1.99 and it’s well worth it since it saved me from having to upgrade to a new hard drive.


Nov 16 2011

How Apple Saves Millions on Transaction Fees

I’ve joked before that Apple has more revenue sources than they do products. In addition to having great profit margins on hardware they also do well on the Apple iTunes music and app store. In addition to these, Apple brings millions with it’s developer program, with costs $99/year. Since Apple has been doing well with it’s traditional business and because Apple is so private about it’s business I feel business analysts have not had the spotlight on other aspects Apple’s finances, such as how they save millions of dollars a year on transaction fees.

Have you ever notice that when you buy a $0.99 song on the iTunes music store you may be charged two or three days later? I’ve noticed that when if I purchase a movie on a Friday and a song on a Saturday, I often don’t get charged until the following Sunday or Monday and when I do both items are charged together. How does this save Apple millions? Typically, when you have to process a customer’s credit card to charge for goods or services, the bank or merchant account that processes the credit card will charge around $0.20-0.30 per transaction and an additional percentage of the total cost after a certain amount. This is why some small business don’t accept credit cards for less than some amount, like $5-10 dollars. If you are processing credit cards for your digital goods online store, PayPal charges a transaction fee of $0.30 plus 2.9% of the total price.

I’ve positive that Apple has negotiated the transaction cost to less what a brink and mortar business would have to pay, but as an example let’s say they pay $.10 per transaction. If you buy a $0.99 song on iTunes Apple still has to pay a transaction fee for charging your card, in this case $0.10 or 10% of the total charged. If you buy two songs over a span of two days and Apple bills you for the both of the $0.99 songs together, Apple will still only pay the $0.10 transaction cost to process the credit card, or just 5% of the total price.

This is why when you purchase items from iTunes it maybe be several days before you are charged, because it is better for Apple to charge you for multiple items than to charge you for individual songs separately.