Ruby, Coursework and SSH

Today has had me running around like a blue arsed fly.

Coding more of my project, doing State Space Maths coursework and organising my group for the business coursework I have due in on friday.

Last night i made up a quick business card to give out on my openday, i’d love some feedback on it as i’m not really sure what to include on it.

In the little spare time i have had i’ve been trying to set up a typo blog for Lauren which is based on Ruby On Rails. This is way above my abilities with server and web programming and i feel quite out of my depth. Initially i tried doing it via ftp and web interfaces, but this drive me insane… FTP is quite possibly the most terrible technology ever!!

Its slow and dumb and wont let me delete a folder with something in it. On a web with DHTML, AJAX and VOIP, why cant anyone develop a better method of moving files to and from webservers? This drove me crazy for quite some time trying to work out what to do and waiting for the FTP transactions to finish. But being a n00b with websites and only really knowing about simple HTML sites and FTP, i had never heard of SSH.

Initially i avoided it because it looked very daunting to me, having only ever used windows and so i’m used to everything being configured with tick boxes and GUIs, but i took the plung after getting very frustrated with FTP (cuteFTP to be specific) using Putty for windows. After a bit of confusion i realised i had to enable SSH on my dreamhost account, and after that became active i started to get the hang of it.

I’m Using this site for commands and tips until i get more used to it, but any other good links would be much appericated, and with my hated of forums i cant really go to them for help, but i can ask my knowledgable readers for advise :P

I’m guessing that the Shell is similar to the command line in linux/unix, and this has only made me want to install linux even more so, and i will in about 2 weeks time!
Still havnt got the blog working, so any advise from Ruby on Rails or Typo experts would be really good, once i get the hang of it then i will catch on fairly quickly but this is a completely new area to me and at the moment i feel kind of blind if you know what i mean.

Lauren too a few pics today with an SLR camera she borrowed, and i absoultly love this one, you can see them all at her flickr page here.

Logo Competition
Had a couple more entries today, still 2 weeks to go tho, and on thursday/friday (depending on busyness) I will announce what the prize is.


19 thoughts on “Ruby, Coursework and SSH”

  1. Windows FTP program sucks! Both the command line one (E g lacks tab completion and commands for trensferring multiple files) and graphical IE one. (Security issues, incompatibility)
    As for ssh, I’ve started to use it for a lot of my regular computer life. For example I now have an ssh server from which I do IRC, MSN, ICQ etc. That way I can always be online, and always come back to where I last left.
    Btw, I just have to comment your visual assembly project. It does’n seem to be all that useful for big programs (30+ lines) Beginners will probably reside to C code, (Because they can’t understand how to use the opcodes properly) while the experienced ASM programmers will choose some slicker more text based debugger. Look at this one for example
    Sorry if I sound harsh, but I guess you want feedback on what you do, not only for the blog?

  2. Yeah Mike beat me to it, try not to think as commands you are entering into ssh as ssh commands. You are really accesing the shell of the *nix device that you are running so its like just sittingr there typing on the termianl with a keyboard.

    Once you get used to ssh you will never do anything less also look into scp which is basically the secure version of ftp. If you need a good free gui based program for scp on windows try wincscp

    If your concern is only file transfer then winscp is the way to go. Runs off the same daemon as ssh, so if what you are accessing is running ssh you can connect via scp as well.

  3. nitro2k01, can you explain this “I now have an ssh server from which I do IRC, MSN, ICQ etc. That way I can always be online, and always come back to where I last left.” Does this mean you run these programs command line through SSH? Or did I miss the point? :)

  4. Nitro, i appreciate your feedback on my final year project, the program is designed to help people (and school children) who have never programmed before by teaching them the concepts of using flowcharts.

    It is mainly aimed towards assembly for making short sequential loops, and it will gain the ability to make longer programs in the next week or two as i continue to work on it.

    Choleric: cheers, i thought thats what i might be doing, but was unsure (*nix terminal over the net) and i will have a look into SCP when i get the chance :)

  5. Hmm, perhaps I misunderstood the purpose of the program. If the program is meant for representing any kind of flowchart, I think it looks pretty darned good. But if the program is limited to assembler code, which is the impression I get from the screenshots, I would have at least personally done it in a completely different way, maybe by using some higher level of code, eg using macros as blocks.
    Do you have support for jumps in VA? It would be interesting to see a fairly complex program with 10-20 jumps in spagetti fashion.

    Elevate, I have a FreeBSD server that I can log on to and use a shell on. As choleric says, try to think of it as if you’re sitting by that actual computer with a prompt.
    Since the box runs FreeBSD I’m of course not using the standard clients. In detail I’m using these things:
    * sshd – an ssh daemon, which simply is an ssh server.
    * screen – This is a very useful command which enables me to keep permanent sessions on the remote host, so that even if I’m disconnected, I can return to where I was. It also lets me have several “windows” which is simply a text screen each.
    * irssi – This is a text-based IRC client.
    * bitlbee – This is an IRC wrapper that acts as a local IRC server and lets me connect to msn and icq (And jabber, AIM and YIM as well) through any IRC client.
    SO that’s about it. It took a little work to make it roll, and unfortunately I can’t give you a step by step lesson, but that’s basically it.

  6. Here is the newest screen shot for VA, the ones on that site are pretty old, i havnt had the time to update them, and yes there is a jump function, the basic elements of the program could also be used for making flowcharts of any type.

    Its still a work in progress and not going to be completely finished in time for the openday, but i will be displaying a working concept. I’m not sure how it will continue after the project has been submitted, i may be asked to continue working on it for the university, or it may just fade way, have to see how it goes.

    I doubt that i will be releasing it on the internet any time soon either.

  7. I like the biz card, but I’m not a designer so consider that the opinion of a nuub, er noob. And that photo of the buttons on your girlfriends flickr site is wicked cool. Is that tweaked somehow to get those colors?

  8. Hey let me throw this question at ya… One of the local engineers just bought a 21 HD Gateway monitor.
    He said he keeps having problems with CAD because everything is stretched to fit the screen. Perfect circles become oval shaped. Since you have the dual monitor setup, I thought maybe you or one of your readers might have an idea on how to fix this issue. Any thoughts?

  9. Whatup! Hey, for the business card, if someone is going to promote yourself as (any kind of) a designer, consider using a non-standard layout. Anyone who will want your card is interested in you making them stand out with your unique designs.

    You don’t have to get crazy here, then it’s over-developed. Keep it simple. In the past, I have had great success with having a vertically-laid-out card, as opposed to a traditional horizontal one. Also consider inverting the colors (sorry – ‘colours’) on your card. Make the background blue, the logo black, and the text white.

    Another trick I’ve done is make the background of the card a different color than the front. More expensive to print, but it looks pretty unique when you have a purple-background card with yellow text, and the back of the card is yellow.

    When you want to get really crazy, you can order cards with transparency and all that. Consider your card with a transparent logo… expensive, but the idea is that you would do a short run of those to attach to your resume. They’ll remember you, and if the stupid card gets you the thinking-out-of-the-box-designing-robots-of-the-future job, then the thinking-out-of-the-box card was worth it…

    The only key here is that you (or anyone) need to choose a card design that matches what you have to offer. If I saw a card with all sorts of crap on it, it’ll make me think that person is all about over-designing things. If they just have a tweak or two, definitely cool.

    Dangit, this got to be a little long…

  10. Jonathan: Sounds like he has the wrong resolution set on his monitor, and the ratio between width and height is wrong, make sure you have the correct drivers and then test out different resolutions, that should fix it up nice (i would imagine that the Montior has a native resolution which is what it is designed to run at, check the box/manual)

    Dan: thanks very much on your advise, i’m going to look into it, the vertical card is a great idea. And transparent would look awsome, think i will go for that if i can find a business who can print them at not too much cost.

    Cheers for you advise :)

  11. nitro2k01, Cheers for that very informative run down! This is something I have been very interested in doing so now I know whats needed :) Atariboy, I love your visual assm concept!

  12. Thanks Atari,
    I figured that might be the problem, but aparently the county’s IT dept is no good. I haven’t had a chance to look at it again yet, but I called his co-worker and hopefully he can fix it now.

  13. i am working on the typo/ruby on rails issue, and I think I am slowly getting there. I got everything working fine locally, trying with dreamhost now.
    Will keep you posted.

  14. Np Jon, I’ve had similar issues you resolution in games and it making everything look wierd, let me know if he sorts that out.

    Thanks for your help Crazy, know i just need to work out why Dreamhost wont let me add any more MySQL database.

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