Textmate Using Default Version of Ruby, Not RVM Installed Version

tl:dr Go here if you have an issue with Textmate using the wrong version of Ruby.

I like to tinker with programming merely as a hobby, besides learning iOS programming I have been wanting to learn one of the web language/framework combos out there. After much waffling between Python/Django and Ruby/Rails, I went with Ruby.

I purchased a copy of “Learn Ruby the Hard Way” and began to dig in. The book wants you to use a text editor named gedit, which I’m sure works great, but I want to use Textmate. I like using Textmate for anything I don’t have to do in Xcode. The issue I ran into was Textmate was using the default version of Ruby installed on Snow Leopard, 1.8.7, instead of the version I just upgraded to using the lovely and simple to use Ruby Version Manager (RVM).

After googling around and trying multiple things, including adding the TM_RUBY entry to Textmate pointing to the location where RVM installs its files, ~/.rvm/bin, but no luck. After a bit more searching I stumbled upon a very helpful Ruby blog with exactly what I was missing. There is an rvm wrapper command that you have to run to get Textmate to use a version of Ruby installed by the RVM instead of the system default. 

Huzzah, I’m back in business, thank you interwebs.

Odd Issue: Wrong Hostname in Terminal

tl;dr set hostname in /etc/hostconfig

I wanted to learn one of the version control systems out there before I got to much deeper into learning iOS programming. So I chose git and started watching some videos, jumped into terminal to mess around and noticed something odd, the hostname listed in terminal was for another computer on my network. It even had .local like it was joined to my old Windows domain, since I am migrating away from a Windows environment I never joined my “new” Macbook to the domain.

Some quick googling brought up this gem from an Apple discussion forum, adding the entry “HOSTNAME=desiredHostname” to the /etc/hostconfig file and a restart did the trick. Now I can quit slacking off and get back to learning git. 

5 Apps Easing My Transition From Windows to Mac

tl;dr Dropbox, Evernote, Grab, Pixelmator, CrashPlan

 

Dropbox: Awesome for accessing data across all my mobile devices. Kind of a swiss army knife of web storage because of all the other things you can do with it. I myself have used to to host images, create custom icons for my iPhone homescreen, sync iPhone apps to it(i.e. a notes or password manager app), share files, and host a simple static webpage. That is just what I have done with it, I’m sure there are many, many other ways to use it.
Help yourself to my Dropbox referral link if you don’t already have the service: http://db.tt/wsG9HlAJ

 

Evernote: I still hand write a lot of my notes as I feel it helps me retain information a bit better. The downside to handwritten notes is that they aren’t searchable and you would always have to carry the notes with you for it to be useful. My solution to this is to write my initial notes then catalogue them away in Evernote for easy searching and accessibility. The other benefit to this approach is that I’m going over my notes twice, once while writing and then again when typing them in to Evernote.

 

Grab: Grab is a utility built into OS X that provides the same functionality that the Windows 7 Snipping Tool does. At work I am stuck on a Windows XP machine and I have yet to find an acceptable screenshot program that matches Grab or Snipping Tool’s level of functionality.

 

Pixelmator: One problem for me moving to Mac was that it does not have a built-in Paint-like program. I use Paint pretty sparingly on Windows but it’s perfectly for me if I need to draw an arrow on a screenshot or to sloppily add a mustache to a cat. Within an hour of playing with Pixelmator I was able to match my productivity on MS Paint with it. Again, “productivity” is a pretty relative term here as I use Paint mostly to mess around but I am now as competent with Pixelmator as I am MS Paint. 

 

CrashPlan: My backup solution before CrashPlan consisted of data backed up to various hard drives with many of them having duplicate or out-of-date data. Not a great system to say the least. Can’t remember exactly where I first heard of CrashPlan, possibly an ad from the free version of Evernote I’m using, but I decided to give it a try. Very happy so far. Great pricing, cross-platform, and very easy to use. Also has an iPhone app that lets you can check backup progress as well as browse and download files.

Annoying UI

tl;dr The delete all images option shouldn’t be a top level choice.

I have a cheap Sanyo point and shoot camera that I dusted off recently to fill the void left by returning the iPhone 4 I was using to my previous employer. I still have a 3GS and the camera is less than stellar, to put it nicely, so I had to bring the Sanyo out of retirement until I get a new 4S. 

Getting past the awkward ring button control on the right, the most annoying/scary piece of UI on this thing is when deleting a picture. Instead of just a simple confirmation screen when deleting a picture it asks if you want to delete all pictures on the memory card. Not cool when trying to quickly delete a bunch of blurry pictures in a series you have just taken.

The delete all images on a memory card option should be a little more buried than one button click away. That would be like deleting a file on a computer and the confirmation screen asking “Do you want to delete this file?, all files on this computer?, or cancel?”. Dumb.

5 Favorite iPhone Apps

Here are my 5 most used apps for iPhone:

  • Reeder RSS reader
  • Instapaper for saving articles
  • BeejiveIM Instant messanger
  • Jump RDC/VNC viewer
  • Dropbox for iOS lets me easily load files onto my phone. If I have a PDF or ebook that I want on my iPhone/iPad I can throw it into Dropbox on my laptop, open it on my phone, and then send it to iBooks to read it. This is less of an issue with wireless syncing in iOS 5 but old habits die hard and I still do it this way.

Switched from Windows to Mac, 5 Favorite Apps

Here’s a list of my 5 favorite apps for OS X so far, now that I am using it full-time:

 

  • Sparrow email client – Has a UI similar to the Mac Twitter client.
  • Quicksilver App launcher – I love Quicksilver but be careful, I once did ctrl + space, typed in “Quicksilver” and hit enter, the computer exploded.
  • Pixelmator image editor – Been very easy to pick up so far.
  • Raven web browser – Still use Chrome/Firefox for most things but I have been using Raven more and more.
  • TextMate text editor – I’ll need to scoop up a copy of BBEdit at some point in the future as I have never had a chance to use it and would love to compare the two.

 

Trojan Phones, Hackintoshes, and Chicklet Keyboards

tl:dr use a Mac now, didn’t before.

Up until about three years ago I used Windows, exclusively. Linux was fun to tinker with and Mac I always scoffed at the price, Windows was it for me. Then comes the iPhone in 2007 with mobile Safari and I was shocked, it was the real internet in your hands, always with you. Three years later I’m in the process of migrating all my computers away from Windows to a totally Apple environment. 

Also, I don’t know what it is but I am a sucker for the keyboard style used on Apple laptops for the past six-ish years. I was walking to class one day and seen someone in the hall using a new black Macbook, it caught my eye so much I nearly stopped walking. Then I chuckled to myself as I walked away ridiculing the person in my head for how much more they could have gotten spec-wise with a Windows laptop. 

I had purchased a new 17″ Dell laptop for my second year of school and that was during the time when netbooks where just getting hot. I was able to tack on a Dell Mini 9 for something like $100 with my laptop purchase, how could I pass up a laptop for a hundred dollars? Shortly after that I stumbled upon an article with instructions to install OS X on a netbook. I was thrilled, you mean I get to use OS X without giving Apple a dime?!? Well not totally free, I did have to spend $30 for the insall disk but still, that pales in comparison to the cost of an actual Mac laptop.

After a few years of using the Dell with OS X installed on it, I eventually grew tired of the tiny screen/keyboard, being deathly afraid of updates, and fighting issues that could just be caused by the OS running on non-standard hardware. I scooped up a cheap Mac on ebay and have been planning the rest of my switch over ever since. Curse you Apple, with your gateway-drug phones and lovely laptops.