Posts Tagged ‘Things I Learned in 2012’

Things I Learned in December

January 3, 2013 1 comment
  1. Got sucked into Downton Abbey. Watched Season 1 using Amazon Video On Demand. Thanks to the 30 day Amazon Prime trial.
  2. Learned about the engineyard gem for command line deployments (ey deploy).
  3. Introduced to Librarian-Chef and the Cheffile for managing infrastructure repositories (gem install librarian).
  4. Static analyzer tool for numerous languages – Code Surveyor
  5. Learned that Google is offering all these services from their Cloud Platform
  6. Linter for Opscode Chef cookbooks: foodcritic
  7. Learning how to make sourdough bread from a starter.
  9. Learned how to do a many-to-many relationship in Rails using both has_many => :through and has_and_belongs_to_many
  10. The screenshot.png file in your WordPress theme is displayed when selecting a theme.
  11. Learned that oci_fetch_all doesn’t respect the OCI_BOTH flag but oci_fetch_array does.  Boo.
  12. How to deploy to Heroku via TravisCI
    1. Ace Editor
  13. Learned the formula for converting between Celsius and Farhrenheit:  (C * 9/5) + 32 = F  and the opposite is (F – 32) * 5/9 = C
  14. Learned about while learning about Resque for Rails.
  15. The YUM package manager stands for “Yellowdog Updater, Modified”.  A rewrite of Yellowdog Updater (YUP).
  16. Learned about the sudoku-like kenken
  17. Used GitHub OAuth Plugin to setup authentication on a local Jenkins instance.
  18. Implemented DbalSessionStorage object for Symfony 2.0, based on the 2.2 version
  19. Learned how to make homemade flour tortillas.
  20. Learned about __PHP_Incomplete_Class and that I needed to autoload a class to avoid it.
  21. Signed up for and got a free Nerd Life t-shirt.
  22. Got a history lesson about Hanakkah, never knew much about it.
  23. Experienced Raclette for the first time.
  24. Made croissant dough from scratch on my way to making egg souffles.
  25. Learned that a movie runtime includes the closing credits.
  26. How to setup custom domains with Heroku.
  27. Learned why NORAD started tracking Santa.
  28. LEGO – Comes from Danish words LEG GODT (play well).  LEGO in Latin means “I put together”
  29. YARD – Ruby Documentation
  30. NatGeo LEGO is impressive.
  31. 12 Days of Christmas has more meaning than I realized. The 12 days are between Dec 25 and Jan 6.

Things I Learned in November

December 1, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. Learned about Ruby’s & operator to switch between a Proc to block and block to Proc.
  2. dbms_utility.format_error_backtrace();
  3. Learned how to create a custom UIViewTableCell and respond to different static table rows.
  4. Rails Authorization with CanCan
  5. iPhone SDK: NSUserDefaults
  8. Learned about mod_rpaf and passing client ips to apache from nginx.
  9. Learned about rails_upgrade plugin for converting app from Rails 2 to Rails 3
    1. Attended my first Virginia Tech football game (VT vs FSU)
  10. Ate at Biscuitville for the first time
  11. Indonesia consists of ~17,500 islands and ~742 different languages and dialects.
  12. Learning about Rails after_find and after_initialize callbacks and their usage difference with Rails 2 and 3.
  13. Used UISwitch and NSUserDefaults in an iPhone application to create a Favorites table view.
  14. Learned how to use savon to talk to the MindBody API
  15. Learned how to use UIView tag property to store an integer value and pass it along to the next view controller when performing a segue.
  16. Learned about and the fatsecret Ruby gem for talking to their RESTful API.
  17. Used devise gem in a rails application for the first time.
  18. Made my first real pumpkin pie from scratch. Included roasting the pumpking and making the crust by hand.
  19. Cryptic Ruby Global Variables and Their Meanings
  21. Learned about for proposal and contract management.
  22. Learned that letting dough rise all day causes the yeast and sugar to ferment and make perfectly good cinnamon rolls taste bad.
  23. Signed up for Amazon CloudDrive (5G free and dirt cheap for larger plans)
  24. Discovered ‘Send to Kindle‘ Chrome plugin.
  25. Shot a SigSauer P229 9MM, GLOCK .45 and S&W 38 Special revolver for the first time.
  26. Learned about some really cool work being done at for threat prevention and detection.
  27. Learned that Jenkin’s LDAP managerPassword is stored base64 encoded.
  28. Learned about for cloud based browser testing.
  29. Learned about rack-offline and html manifest file to support offline browsing.

Things I Learned in October

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment


  1. KnpLabs/snappy and mreiferson/php-wkhtmltox based on wkhtmltopdf
  2. Learned how to associate a filetype for VIM syntax highlighting.
  3. Learning how to write a PHP extension in C.
  6. Visited local motorcycle dealer and learned about rear, mid and forward controls. Since I’m tall, forward is preferred.
  7. Motorcycle Lingo: Hardtail has no rear suspension, Softtail does.
  8. Learned how to work with PHP ZVALs and resources when writing an extension in C.
  9. JavaScript on the Command Line via the wat talk.
  11. SQLPlus: NEW_VALUE
    1. git archive ––format=zip
  12. Learned of Oracle’s DBMS_SQL package.
  13. Learned “basima” means thank you (to a man) in Assyrian. Their language has specific words when directed towards men or women.
  14. Yonanas
  15. Learned Little Nemo by Winsor McCay was a comic strip before it was an NES game. Thanks Google.
  16. Learned more about Symfony2 custom authentication providers.
  17. Learned what a Tail call is.
  18. Switch between Mac Terminal windows using CMD+1, CMD+2, CMD+N
  19. HTTP Status Code 418
  20. Learned from a friend how iPhone Application submission and acceptance/rejection works.
  23. Twitter’s recess project
  24. Learned about XCode’s Storyboard functionality (iPhone).
    1. Learned how to use NSURLConnection to fetch JSON data and then parse and display it on the screen.
  25. Learned how to use the MapView object and plot locations on a map (iPhone).
    1. Used Google’s Geocoding API to turn an address into a Coordinate.
  26. Watched first Stanford University iPhone Development course on iTunes. Learning Objective-C syntax.
  27. Learned how to use NSNotificationCenter to notify controllers when data is available (iPhone).
    1. Learned how to post JSON data to a Rails create endpoint from an iPhone application.
  28. Learned and used Ruby Geocoder via Railscast.
  29. Learned how to pass data between view controllers with segue (iPhone).
  30. (Skills Tests) and (Typing Test for Programmers)
  31. GitHub’s

Things I Learned in September

October 2, 2012 Leave a comment


  1. Wine is stored on its side to keep the cork moist so it doesn’t shrink and let in oxygen which ruins the flavor.
  2. Rails gems: versionistdoorkeeper
    1. MooTools : periodical function
  4. Signed up for Hosted Chef
    1. Rails gem:
  5. Started using AWS Free Usage Tier with Hosted Chef
    1. Ant Tasks: include and import
    2. ember.js
  6. Created my first Chef Cookbook
  7. PL/SQL – Turn a list of numbers into a table:
    create type number_tab as table of number; 
    SELECT column_value AS my_id FROM TABLE(number_tab(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6));
    1. Oracle Error
      • Error: A Partition Maintenance Operation (PMOP) has been performed on the materialized view, and no materialized view supports fast refresh after container table PMOPs.
      • Solution:  dbms_mview.refresh(‘my_mview’, ‘C‘);
  8. Learned the differences between coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and latte. Also learned how they do Latte Art, which is now on my list to conquer.
  9. Ruby: Details on exit, exit!, at_exit
  10. Learned a lot about RSpec internals (matchers, use of method_missing, mocks/stubs), the features shared_examples_for, it _behaves_like, expect{}.to change, and explicit vs implicit subject().
  11. SQL*Loader Conventional vs Direct Path Loading.
  12. YouTube query string parameter to start video at a certain time.: Ex. t=7s and t=2m7s
  13. PL/SQL can pass parameters by reference or value.
  14. How to use RSpec with Rails Views (render, rendered, contain, assign) and Controllers (mock_model, stub_model).
  15. How to setup Autotest with RSpec using Bundler and Autotest with Cucumber.
  16. How to integrate Twitter’s Bootstrap project with Rails using bootstrap-sass.
  17. Learned about Rosetta Stones new TOTALe program and tried out the demo.
  18. Vapiano gives out gummy candy instead of mints as you walk out.
  19. vim file +100 – Jump directly to line 100
    1. vim -O file1 file2 – Opens files side by side
  20. Check load average on Unix: cat /proc/loadavg
  21. Test::Unit : ruby some_test.rb -n test_specific_method
  22. Incorporated HAML into an existing Rails application using haml-rails gem.
  23. Learned how to assemble several different items from Ikea. I have a brand new standing desk!
    1. Since PHP/PDO can’t return custom Oracle types. Use XMLTYPE to convert the type to a string so you can test against it:
      SELECT XMLTYPE(get_custom_type()) as xml_string from dual;
  26. Goats have square pupils.  Nutmeg is poisonous. My Proof
    1. Show *nix port usage (I’ve learned this probably 10x but still have to look it up each time): netstat -lpnt
  28. Learned that suhosin.session.cryptkey is determined by docroot and can be different on each vhost (unless specifically set). This caused session replication between servers to fail since data was being encrypted with two different keys.
  29. Google: do a barrel roll
  30. Learned there are a number of people speculating on the Iraqi Dinar as an investment opportunity.  I’m not one of them.

Things I Learned in August

September 2, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. PL/SQL – EXIT leaves a LOOP, RETURN immediately leaves a subprogram
    1. Unix: lsof
  2. Libero – Volleyball
    1. The World – Residential Cruise
  3. Native PL/SQL Compilation
    1. alter session set plsql_code_type=’NATIVE’;
  4. CSS adjacent child selector can be used to target specific child: columnLayout > div + div + div. Nice way to remove right margin/padding from the last column
  5. CSS “position: absolute” respects all four corners: top, left, bottom, right
    1. WordPress Functions: make_clickable, get_page_link, wp_list_pages
  7. Oracle query using INTERSECT
    1. First time exchanging money and having Euros and British Pounds. Thanks Amex.
    2. Thunderbolt Interface
  8. CSS vendor specific prefix for IE: -ms-
    1. Interesting tidbit on memory allocation for stringstream.str().c_str()
  9. When Oracle 11.2 Client and 11.2 Server have different timezone configuration it raises ORA-01805
  10. NetWrix Account Lock Examiner
    1. wholesale unit of
    2. Twig Merge: []|merge(array) and {}|merge(hash)
    3. HTML5 required attribute cannot be used on HIDDEN elements
  11. Travertine
  12. If This Then That –
    1. Belkin WeMo
    2. Pushover
    3. NZB
  13. Oracle NVL2
  14. List javascript properties (Mootools): for (a in $(‘element_id’) { console.log (a); }
  15. Open files in tabs: vim file1 file2 -p
    1. Ruby load vs require
  16. Learned about different language concat operators.
    1. Heard about Perl 6 for the first time.
  17. ~4 hours of motorcycle classrom training on my way to being licensed.
  18. ~5 hours of motorcycle driving time
  19. Passed the DMV driving and written exams for my motorcycle license.
  20. Screen’s aclchg command
    1. First flight on Icelandair on my way to England
  21. First time in Iceland and England (London).
  22. Visited Bath, England – Saw Roman Baths
  23. Learned quite a few words that have different meaning between America and UK. (Ex. pants = underwear, trousers = long pants, bin = trash can, boot = car trunk)
  24. Learned a bit about Marlborough College
  25. Saw Platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter) at London’s King Cross station
    1. Took The Original Tour bus all around London and saw some great sights.
  26. Took train from London to Durham, England
    1. Visited Durham University and Durham Cathedral
  27. Saw and stepped in the North Sea
  28. First time to Edinburgh, Scotland, visited Edinburgh Castle
  29. National Museum of Scotland and National Portrait Gallery
  30. Saw Holyrood House and Scottish Parlament buildings.
    1. Flew out of Glasgow International Airport
  31. MooTools Class.refactor

Things I Learned in July

August 4, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. How It’s Made Baseballs
  2. Chrome for iPhone
  3. Andy Griffith Died
  4. Derecho
  5. Searching for tabs:  grep -rl -P ‘\t’ –exclude-dir=.svn *
  7. Dynamo Magician Impossible
  8. Tour of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD
    1. The goat is their mascot
    2. plebe is a latin term for common person or “low order”.
    3. plebes cannot walk on curved sidewalks
    4. Bancroft Hall is the largest college dormitory in the world and houses all ~4500 midshipmen.  Has 8 wings and 5 miles of corridor.
    5. All 4500 students eat their meals family style at the same time in < 30 minutes.
  9. chrome://flags/
  10. A tilde (“~”) represents Nil / Empty in YAML (Ruby and PHP Symfony)
  11. curl -b/–cookie and -d/–data
    1. Moved to previous directory: cd –
  13. Include javascript files directly:
    1. CSS Selectors: h1 + p (adjacent sibling) and h1 ~ p (general sibling)
  15. Learned how to create a Custom WordPress Template and Custom Static pages for Home and Blog pages.
  18. Oracle: Pipelined functions require SQL types to be able to pipe collections of data to the consumer. Oracle will generate these SYS_PLSQL_* types on you behalf.
  19. MooTools: Cookie.write(‘XHPROF_PROFILE’); and Cookie.dispose(‘XHPROF_PROFILE’);
  20. Created first Symfony Console class and a Composer script class.
  22. Learned to make Bananas Fosters
    1. Vasodilation and Vasoconstriction
  23. Oracle 11g SecureFiles
  24. git stash pop
  25. Hops are what make beer taste bitter.
    1. NTFS = New Technology File System…. probably should have known that by now.
  27. Disable specific Oracle patches: alter session set “_fix_control“=’11814428:off’;
  28. Dotted Notes and Rests
    1. Olympic Symbol – 5 rings for the inhabited continents and 6 colors for all the nations flags in 1931.
  29. Learned about jacketed rounds and non-jacketed.  Flat nose and round nose bullets.
  30. Oracle: select * from v$version;
    1. Four Commonwealths in the US: Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts.
    1. Logic Lab

Things I Learned in June

June 30, 2012 Leave a comment
  1. Learned about several features of that I didn’t know before.
  2. Bilderberg – We even drove by the Westfield’s Marriott to see it.  All fenced in, surrounded by police and a group of protestors. Pretty crazy.
  3. T-CLOCS
  4. git branch –merged, git branch –no-merged
  5. git commit –allow-empty
    1. git branch –contains SHA
    2. git config remotes.mygroup ‘remote1 remote2’; git fetch mygroup
    3. git config –global help.autocorrect 1
  6. Tables under a Materialized View can be altered like any other table. I had to widen a column and just ran alter table T modify C VARCHAR2(150);
    2. Diphthong
  7. Oracle 11.2 LISTAGG Function
    1. Data URI Scheme  (Example: <img src=”data:image/png;base64,iVBOR…==” alt=”Red Dot” />)
  8. rbenv – alternative to RVM
    1. etckeeper
  9. Learned difference between Discrete and Discreet
    1. Learned Google Maps supports multiple destinations.
    2. Natural sign in piano music and sharps/flats not continuing after a measure.
  10. Tried on motorcycle gloves. You want mesh ones for summer riding and leather for winter.
  11. Mount Weather and The Greenbrier Hotel
  12. sftp -b to specify a batchfile.  sftp does not support a password argument, use ssh keys.
    1. Unix Expect – YouTube
  13. FTPS != SFTP
    1. lftp exists on unix and supports FTPS, ftp does not support FTP over SSL.
    2. ORA_ROWSCN – Psuedo Column to return System Change Notification for a record.
  14. Learned about “accidentals” and “lead sheets” when reading music.
  15. Duck Hunt Zapper
    1. ack-grep –ignore-dir=release -i chopper
  16. IronMan = Marathon Run, 112 Mile Bike, 2.4 Mile Swim
  17. Forearm Forklift
  18. Discover card is now accepted in London!
  19. Unix free
  20. ATT International Calling Plans/Options
  22. Javascript functions, CSS styles, HTML IDs all with the same name can conflict in some browsers.
    1. Mootools Request.HTML has an append parameter.
  23. Learned how to patch fences on a farm. Cows get pink eye from grass irritation. Ashes are a good way to stop grass growth under fences.
    1. Learn how to make Carmel Popcorn.
    1. WordPress 3.4 Released – Cool new Live Preview mode.
  25. curl -w/–write-out “%{http_code} %{content_type}\n” to display response information.
  26. PHP Session will recreate on every page load if session.cookie_secure = 1 and you access the site via http.
  27. Thor‘s chariot is pulled by two goats (Norse mythology).
  28. – Peer/Code Review Software
  29. WordPress Function: wpautop
  30. Learned the follow from my friend John
    2. Jacobite Train – Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter is in Scotland
    3. Unlock iPhone and buy a SIM card for international travel