Dorkboard and Arduino

Today on Reddit someone asked me what the differences are between Dorkboard and Arduino — why do I recommend that beginners should start with the latest Arduino board (currently the Uno)? Here’s what I wrote: Each has an LED hard-wired to pin 13 for basic testing. The Dorkboard, however, does it the opposite from Arduino:…More

That one little confusing thing about the Git version control system

Git and github are awesome pieces of software. Last year, I happily switched from subversion to git just like, years ago, I switched from CVS to Subversion. Another evolutionary step. I use GitHub for lots of reasons. The biggest is that it’s the best front-end to git that I’ve found. And so now I use…More

Why "git" instead of "svn"?

As I learn git, I’m experiencing advantages that I haven’t seen described together. Also, I haven’t seen a description from the perspective of the real-world differences in your files, so here goes: Background context Subversion uses a single, central repository which is in a remote place. And in your project, it maintains .svn/ directories in every…More

Check your web server configuration with ruby test cases

I’m releasing a new open source library, HTTP-Assertions, that I use behind the scenes at  It helps me keep the server running smoothly and make sure that my changes to the config files haven’t introduced new bugs. It introduces these new assert methods to the Rails testing environment: assert_200 assert_forbidden assert_temp_redirect_to assert_perm_redirect_to Here’s an…More

All an Internet scammer needs is a little therapy

I had just posted a laptop for sale on Craigslist and was immediately deluged with scammers trying to get me to ship it to Nigeria. This really intrigued me; is there a way to do something about it … that would, itself, be ethical? Or, not unethical? So for example, I really don’t want to…More