This sort-of picture of a wheelbarrow is in honor of our neighbor who kindly loaned his real wheelbarrow to Loyal Reader Number Four and even helped her move some sand from the front yard to the back today. Thanks, neighbor!

It’s 9/11. A moment of silence, please.

Pretty good weekend. Didn’t do much on Saturday other than get Ruby on Rails installed and working on the Computer on a Dime. It was a challenge to get the database portion working right, since RoR doesn’t include any tools to manage MySQL and it wasn’t easy to find a really good free GUI to do it. Loyal Reader Number One finally suggested PHPMyAdmin, which runs in a web browser and works great. Highly recommended to my many Loyal Readers who need to manage MySQL databases.

Ruby on Rails itself (other than the aforementioned lack of direct configuration of the database) is really cool. As advertised, it’s a very complete and easy to use web application framework. You tell it what content you want on the website, set up your database to have a place to store the content, and RoR automatically sets up a skeleton website that just works and includes functions to enter, edit, display, and delete your content. You then go back and make your pretty HTML templates and write prettier functions to operate on your data in Ruby, which is a fairly easy language to understand – lots of English in it, which is kind of surprising given that it was written by a Japanese guy. Easy to learn and capable of some pretty impressive results. It even comes with its own mini-web server for development and has a very nice built-in testing function. You have to make it work with Apache when you’re ready to go into production, but that’s not hard at all. Unfortunately, I don’t have a site up on the web yet, since I’ve just been working on a tutorial using the little local server. Besides, I’m not yet sure whether my hosting service supports RoR. It might turn out to be a much easier-to-use content management system than what I’ve started using for the HRVA website. Then again, it might not. Either way, it’s nice to learn a new system. Besides, learning the RoR concepts has given me some clues about working with the poorly-documented PostNuke product.

Sunday I was busy with lesson preparation, my monthly PPI, church, correlation meeting, and an LMP web conference. We’re buying 3M this month, in case any of my Loyal Readers want some inside information. Recommendation: buy anything other than 3M if you know what’s good for you.

The Pool People continue to make good progress. We had our final city inspection this morning, the gas people installed a nice new bigger gas meter today, and they’re coming to plaster on Wednesday. It’s interesting – they plaster in the morning, acid-wash it in the early afternoon, and put a garden hose in it immediately thereafter. No drying time required. We should have it full by sometime Wednesday evening. You can’t swim in it for a day or so afterwards, but we’ll definitely be swimming by the weekend. We may freeze to death in the unheated water, but we’ll be in the pool! Besides, we can heat up the spa to counter any chilling effects of the pool.

Drove to work today. There was more traffic than usual, but it still didn’t take quite as long as the train would have. I listened to a bunch of TWiT podcasts, some of which were enjoyable. Unfortunately, TWiT has dropped from my very favorite podcast to well down the list. The same thing happened with Diggnation. They get into topics that just annoy me. In the case of Diggnation, they got cruder and cruder until I finally had to drop them from the list entirely. It’s a shame – Kevin Rose can be very entertaining and articulate. I don’t know why he has to ruin that with crudity. The TWit guys are just annoying, but not crude. If they start geting profane, they’ll fall off the list too. Leo’s other work is still very good, though.

Time for bed. See you tomorrow.

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