Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To Cut a Precious Rock

Recently several security vulnerabilities discovered in ruby reared their ugly head, and a fix was in order. Now if you are an Ubuntu user like myself you quickly discover that while Hardy Heron was shipped with the latest and greatest patch for ruby in its day, it often lags seriously when it comes to security updates. The best solution, I think, in such a case is to go ahead, bite the bullet and compile ruby (or any other software for that matter) from scratch. I call this the best solution because after some brief searching for a package version of 1.8.7, I had an adventure.

What you need to understand is that when I say I had and adventure, what I mean is that something went horribly wrong. It started with fireworks. The wonderful night blissfully waxed, and I sat enjoying the latest issue of Linux Pro magazine, reading some useful article about Totem (mainly useful for putting me to sleep) and gradually feeling the weight of my eyelids increase, when all of a sudden, BANG!!! Blah, some neighborhood kiddie decided 12:37 was a great time to light firecrackers. Startled me awake enough to make me want to hack something. In this case, I ran headlong into the ruby prollum. Previous attempts at compiling ruby from source were only marginally successful. I utterly failed when it came to compiling a useful ruby, especially when it came to be generating something useful for rails, and let's face it. When it comes to making money with your Ruby programming knowledge, rails is going to be your best bet. In my effort to grace my lappy named (aptly I might add) "PortableFun" with some excellent ruby versionings, I discovered that Google is a fickle friend. I'll never trust it the same again. In short, I discovered This "Nerd's Only" site when googling the phrase upgrading ubuntu 8.04 ruby 1.8.7 or some esoteric combination thereof. I followed instructions, and still, my tired brain musta did something very bad, or I didn't have the switch flipped to "More Magic" or something, because I wound up updating about half of my core packages to the 8.10 version of ubuntu!

Yeah for fail! Now I not only didn't have ruby 1.8.7, i didn't even have a working os. I took this as a sign that sleep was more important than ruby at this point. The next day I reinstalled my os, reinstalled all the important packages I thought I needed to make things work, and got back to fixin' the ruby problem. With much trepidation, I ventured back to the backstabber, Google, and tried another link. Throwing caution to the wind, I discovered a wonder place full of joy called Tag Ubuntu, and they seemed to understand my problem. Compiling ruby is a matter of knowing what all you need to enable. The source code comes with many wonderful libraries, and options, but it's so flexible it won't do crap unless you specifically ask it to look for that crap in place x in your filesystem. I followed these instructions:

$ tar zxvf ruby-1.8.7-XXX.tar.gz
$ cd ruby-1.8.7-XXX
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --with-openssl-dir=/usr --with-readline-dir=/usr --with-zlib-dir=/usr --enable-shared --enable-pthread --enable-install-doc
$ make
$ sudo make install

You are responsible for finding the tarball, usually the latest and greatest is available at The Main Ruby Site and untarring it wherever you want to compile the code. That little snippet was pretty much word for word from the ubuntu blog, but I did add the last three ./configure tags cause I find them useful.

Once I had ruby 1.8.7 installed, I got the latest issue of rubygems and installed it and then had a lot of fun installing a lot of gems.

hopefully someone can use this meandering thought page to get themselves up and running on ruby 1.8.7

I loves me the rails!
GB Hoyt

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Yet Another Transition

I have been changed...
It was the most natural change I could have ever made, yet I hadn't. I needed catalyst, and I received that catalyst a week ago Monday while still on vacation. I experienced shock and awe, but in an awesomely magnificent bicyclally kinda form. I went REAL Mt Biking. well, real mt biking by Florida Standards at least, the guy at the bike shop said the place we went was "for the masses". usually that is shop speak for easy, and stuff. Kelly and I rented full suspension bikes, Specialized to be exact. She had the XC, I had a Stumpjumper. It rocked. We rode a couple of trails, and went to a waterfall. We both fell in the water, and Kelly skinned her knee. I skinned my knee too, but Kelly's looked a lot more impressive. We were having so much fun that we didn't take many pictures. Next time, I'm mounting a camera on my handlebars or something. The trails rode great, too great almost, like maybe people take a lot of time maintaining them and stuff ;-)

Anyway. My main point is that I've been ruined now. I rode an awesome trail, on an excellent bike, and I can never ride the local trails the same way again. I've been refusing to go to the local bike shop for fear that I'll come home with a bike. I've been thinking Cannondale Rush. Kelly really liked the XC, so I think I'll buy one for her. I've also been thinking about upgrading some parts on my hardtail to make it into a machine worthy of taking to work and back. Disc brakes and an upgrade in shifting would do a lot. ultimately, I would like new brakes, drivetrain, and fork, something with a lockout preferably. So that's my life. I am crazy in love with gettin' on a trail with a better bike. I had too many, "this is awexome" moments the short little time we rode.

Some things to note:
If you go to Brevard, NC, visit Sycamore Cycles to do your bicycle outfitting. They didn't pay me to say that, we just had an awesome experience there. The helpful staff turned us on to some trails that while not the hardest I've ridden, they were a lot of fun. Very smooth. The only bad thing about them is that they don't open shop until 10am, but because the weather is usually pleasant, it's not such a big deal to a Florida boy to start riding at 11 or 12. Go see Wes, and tell him that the guy who was sent by Nixon sends you now.

Buy a map of DuPont state forest. It's kinda like a fundraiser for park maintenance and they keep the trails there in great shape.

watch out for horses, and associated horse poopy.

see you out there.