Friday, February 15, 2008

Jangl needs some work.

Jangl is a site / service for free web calls without divulging your personal phone number.

Just tried to use a site that partnered with Jangl to facilitate free but anonymous phone calls, was not impressed.

I didn't even get past the setup -- hooking up with Jangl requires you to call their number, which is a super wtf in and of itself -- it's the only phone-based authorization system I've ever seen where you have to initiate the process. It also introduces a number of errors into the process, which is why I never got past the setup.

If you own a mobile phone you'll notice that sometimes your number shows up on caller ID / etc as missing the "1" in front of it, etc, if you're making a call to a number in the same country. This completely breaks Jangl's setup process, which tries to identify the phone you're calling them with using "1-555-555-5555" while your phone shows up as "555-555-5555" if you're both in the same country. That is why most phone verification systems call or text you -- easy work around, same result.

I've only encountered one other system that worked like Jangl does, and that was my credit card company -- it is a very bad one, if you're wondering.


Anyway, rant /off.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

ActiveRecord + Legacy DB + Ruby script: what you need to know

Some things you should know when you're going to be using ActiveRecord in a generic Ruby script:

  1. Make sure to require 'rubygems' <-- I forget that part a lot for some reason.
  2. You MUST set ActiveRecord::Base#logger to an instance of the any Logger class. ActiveRecord won't take care of setting ActiveRecord::Base#logger to an empty dummy class -- you'll get a bunch of Nil-based errors if you forget this.
  3. ActiveRecord::Base#establish_connection --> takes the same parameters you'll find in a database.yml.
  4. If you want to mess with SQL Server, make sure to grab the latest adapter: gem install activerecord-sqlserver-adapter.
  5. If your legacy table is a_details, the ActiveRecord model will be ADetail.
  6. If you want to access the column RelationID, it is ADetail#RelationID <-- easy.
  7. If your legacy DB has a wonky naming scheme for primary keys (and it will), you need to use set_primary_key in your ActiveRecord model.
That's it. Who said you can't talk to legacy databases with Rails?

Happy sailing, yo.

For the LOVE OF GOD don't forget gotapi -- it is a big bucket of win.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Attack of the Social Networks.

I never really was a fan of social networking, but a few weeks ago I just couldn't resist it anymore.

I actually got a Facebook and a Pownce account. Also have a LinkedIn account as well.

What happened? No, freakin', idea. It was just a strange compulsion I got one day. "HEY WHY NOT?" is how it went, or something like that. I think I have enough accounts to quell myself, though...