Adventures in programming and data.

  • Using Rails’ descendants in development

    Rails provides a nice method descendants that returns all subclasses for a specified class. However, config.cache_classes = false is a default setting in development.rb (for the ability to reload classes on the fly) and as this tells Rails not to load classes until they are referenced, then calling descendants will generally return an empty array […]

  • Islam

    I decided to do a series of studies for our church youth group on various religions and started with Islam as Muslims form the second largest religious group globally. The intent was to cover the fundamentals of the Islamic faith, common terms that people may have come across, a brief history, and Islam’s relation to […]

  • Malayalam TV

    Like most of the older folk in my ethnic community, my grandparents enjoy watching Malayalam television programming. They had jumped on the satellite bandwagon a few years ago and got good mileage out of it. However, at the end of 2011, Asianet, one of the primary channels they watch, moved from Insat 2E to Intelsat […]

  • Coloured directory listings in PowerShell

    By default, PowerShell outputs drab directory listings. Unfortunately, there’s no built in solution to turning on colour, but it is possible with a few steps. This StackOverflow post gets us most of the way there. Towards the bottom of the question is some code that enables colourised output. I’ve modified it to suit my purposes […]

  • Moving to a Windows JRuby on Rails development environment

    tl;dr I recently set up a JRuby on Rails development environment on Windows after using Mac OS X and Ubuntu VMs. It’s noticeably faster for development and more comfortable. I’ll stick with it. When I was first starting JRuby on Rails development, I started with a Mac OS X environment running from VirtualBox. I chose […]

  • Install Oracle XE 11g R2 on Ubuntu 12.04

    I’ve recently had a task of enabling Oracle database support for a JRuby on Rails application. To set up an Oracle database for use on a development environment, there were two preferred options – using Oracle DB on a virtual machine or installing Oracle XE locally. 1. Oracle DB on a virtual machine Oracle kindly […]

  • History of the Bible

    I ran a different type of study with our church youth group today where we investigated the history of the Bible. It was a combination of a trivia-style and lecture-style presentation and I’ve uploaded the notes I used. It took a little while to put it together – most of the time was spent reading […]

  • Adding CSRF token to jQuery AJAX requests

    When using a jQuery-supported framework such as Backbone, underlying jQuery AJAX requests are typically abstracted at the model layer. To insert Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) tokens or other session data into the request, one method is to proxy a method in the call stack and add the token via an option (example). This does have […]

  • GUS Gives

    I was approached two years ago by a colleague from the Queensland Department of Education and Training (DET) to help set up a web application for GUS Gives – a charity portal that collects payments from members and provides detailed analytics for charity organisations. My role was to provide data management support and the first […]

  • Parallel Bible

    My 85 year old grandma has been getting into reading various bible translations from her iPad. In order to improve her Hindi reading skills, she was looking for a side-by-side translation of a Malayalam bible and Hindi bible. While we could find Malayalam-English and Hindi-English versions, we couldn’t find a Malayalam-Hindi one that she could […]