Skip to content

Long time ago: 'Die besten JavaScripts - SizeIt!'

August 12, 2011

Wuhooo, look what I found in my archives:

In my early webdeveloper days I created a small javascript which named ‘SizeIt!’. It purpose was to resize all website elements according to the size of users viewpoint. So regardless which screen resolution the user has, the website propotions would always be the same. Honestly, it worked only in very special cases and was slooooow (these days) :)

But the idea was great and it even gave me second place in a competition - ‘Die besten JavaScripts’ of Internet-World in August 2000. Read the result here (german only, sorry).

Not sure where I do have source code, will continue searching archive and post it here someday - stay tuned …

Meet me at Chaos Communication Camp 2011

August 02, 2011

Yay, I’ll be at CCC Camp 2011 - and for sure I’ll bring my arduino/rainbowduino stuff with me. So come over, say hello and join in the crazy hackingingz!


HowTo: resque-web, resque scheduler and passenger

July 29, 2011

Here’s how you get resque-web and resque scheduler playing well with passenger:

Follow these instructions from resque readme (apache, ngnix) and check out current resque repo. Now update following two files:

  1. Add gem "resque-scheduler","2.0.0.d" to Gemfile
  2. Run bundle
  3. Add require 'resque_scheduler' to

Restart you webserver and are ready to go - Happy scheduling!

Both file after editing:
[gist id=1101580]

Rails 3.1 Hackfest - get rid of Javascript Runtime dependency in production

July 25, 2011

This weekend was Rails 3.1 Hackfest. The rails community was called to test the upcoming version 3.1 to its limits, to find bugs and or flaws and get it polished for the final release. So I did:

I’m working with the rails 3.1 since it first release candidate, but never tried in production. So I made my task to finally test this, and bring my app in the wild - on my (not root) server. Rails 3.0 is running there smoothly so I didn’t expect any problems - wrong!
Show stopper was the Javascript Runtime dependency on production. Reason was quickly found: Coffee-Script - ahrg! It depends on ExecJS, which depends on a Javascript Runtime. Unfortunately, and that’s because I’m not on a root server, I got neither node.js, therubyraser, Mustang nor Johnson installed there.

I read this article, which supposed to precompile the assets - didn’t help either and runtime is needed again.

In the End, the solution was as simple as obvious: just don’t use coffee-script in production :-) I did, removed the coffee-script gem form my Gemfile - and tatatata: it works! Uhh! This took me quite a long time to get it right. Javascript Runtime dependecy no good for prodcution, and reading Mr. Katz it’s looking good to get this fixed for the final release - uff! Happy so get tin final one soon! Yeah!

[cheesey image taken from PragDave - thx]

Talk: Short introduction to Rainbowduino and mtXcontrol

July 23, 2011

I gave a short talk at Hack and Tell in Berlin. I briefly introduced the Rainbowduino device and my work on mtXcontol. Watch me here:

Here are the slides:

Thanks to David for recording!

Optical Illusion: a non straight line of code?

June 24, 2011

A bit of fun: Look at this, a Screenshot I took ages ago and just found to share. It’s taken from a piece of code I was writing within jEdit by that time.

It totally looks like the two long line go up, but if you apply a ruler, you see, it’s indeed straight:

A optical Illusion - weird, right?

Short Introduction to Rails

May 10, 2011


Overview useful components:

Must haves:

  • homebrew /macports
  • git
  • rvm

Load RVM extensions + completion

    [[ -s $HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm ]] && source $HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm
    [[ -r $rvm_path/scripts/completion ]] && . $rvm_path/scripts/completion

create proj folder:

 $ mkdir  'test'

create .rvmrc

  $ rvm use ruby-1.9.2-rc2@test --create

Init git

  $ git init

Interesting gems:

  rake (0.8.7)
  bundler (1.0.7)
  cheat (1.3.0)
  gemedit (0.9.0)
  gist (2.0.0)
  git (1.2.5)
  hirb (0.3.5)
  jeweler (1.5.1)
  what_methods (1.0.1)
  wirble (0.1.3)
  awesome_print (0.3.1)

Useful commands:

  • rails gems
    $ gem install rails
  • create rails project
    $ rails new . -d mysql -J
  • check Gemfile for needed gems
    $ bundle install
  • check DB file
cp database.yml database_example.yml
  $ cat 'db/database.yml' >> .gitignore

getting started

Scaffold: rails g scaffold Sentence text:text type:string language:string Database: rake db:migrate See all rake commands: rake -T

Rails console

  • reload!
  • _ show last result
  Sentence.find( :first)
  Sentence.find( :first, :conditions => {} )

## AEL

Sentence.first.where( :language => 'de' )
 Sentence.where( :language => 'de' ).order("RAND()").limit(1)

HowTo: ultra mega fast rails routes lookup

March 16, 2011

I was quite annoyed by the wasted time it took each time I grep the rails routes table.
Wait, can’t this be cached? - Sure it can!
So I came up this nice little alias to cache the output once:
` alias route=’CF=tmp/routes_cache; [[! -s $CF]] && rake routes > $CF; cat $CF | grep ‘ `

now it’s ultra fast, try e.g.:
` $ route root `

HowTo: parse invalid, irregular HTML having < or unlcosed tags

February 03, 2011

I had the ‘problem’ that user feedback included lot of love - mostly by writing ‘hearts’. Unfortunately expressing hearts is done by ‘<3’ which turns the input into invalid HTML. Bummer. So if you still want allow other basic tags, you have a problem. Here’s how I solved it:

First I checked Stackoverflow - Tian had similar problem over there: Nokogiri: Parsing Irregular “

As a quick fix I came up with this method using a reqular expression to identify unclosed tags:

def fix_irregular_html(html)
regexp = /]*)(

#we need to do this multiple time as regex are overlapping
while (fixed_html = html.gsub(regexp, “<\1\2”)) && fixed_html != html
html = fixed_html


See full code including test here:

It works out well for me, I appreciate any feedback and improvements

See full code and test here:

Mac OS X Terminal: visual indication for your ssh connection

January 14, 2011

Here’s a HowTo for a nice visual indication to see quickly if your Mac OS X Terminal is running which ssh connection.

The trick is to change your Terminal Theme before you ssh and change it back afterwards.

1. Create Theme:
got to Terminal -> Preferences -> Settings create a new theme (or copy existing one) and adjust to your needs, e.g. a light red background etc. Give it a nice name e.g. “SSH-Theme”

2. Add this function to your .bashrc

function tabc() { NAME=$1; if [-z "$NAME"]; then NAME="Default"; fi osascript -e "tell application \"Terminal\" to set current settings of front window to settings set \"$NAME\"" }

“Default” is my default Terminal theme, name this whatever u have

tabc SSH-Theme #switch to theme with name tabc #switch to default theme

3. Create alias to ssh to server:

alias sshmyserver="tabc SSH-Theme; ssh; tabc"

That’s it - your are done! Now, if you type sshmyserver, your Terminal color will change, ssh will start, and when you end ssh, everything will be back again..

Btw. for Terminal on Mac OS X, I very recommend Visor - a quake like console


That’s how you do it with iTerm:

function tabc() { COLOR=$1; if [-z "$COLOR"]; then COLOR="{0, 7722, 9941}"; fi osascript -e "tell application \"iTerm\" to set background color of current session of current terminal to $COLOR" }

alias sshmyserver=”tabc ‘{18000, 2500, 2500}’; ssh; tabc”

cubeXcontrol - a Rainbow Cube Editor

December 31, 2010

Please express your Love and vote for cubeXControl here - Thanks!

Apparently the current Version doesn’t work with Windows. I’m very sorry for that, but at the moment I don’t have any Win machine to test this. So please feel free to try yourself and fix it! Thx!

I’m proud to present a first version which was on my this years TODO list for so long, but due to all the changes therefore very less time never got startet. But thanks to the Seeedstudio Rainbowduino Carnival 2010 I got a big motivation boost and found some time to get my fingers dirty again. So check this out, my this years contribution for the carnival:

cubeXcontrol - a Rainbow Cube Editor

Well, you know the mtXcontrol, the Rainbowduino Editor and the awesome Seeedstudio Rainbow Cube I mentioned here ? Now it’s time  to bring them together:

cubeXcontrol is an editor to control and create patterns for the 4x4x4 RGB Rainbow Cube powered by a rainbowduino. It comes with an extra window showing a 3D model of the Cube, allowing to rotate in all directions and to zoom. Click on boxes to set the LED color easily.

The editor is of course heavily based on the latest mtXcontrol version, with the latest rainbowduino firmware. Both are unfortunately still in beta stage, but come with great new features like auto port detection.

Get the sources here:

And the Rainbowduino driver:

Happy cub’ing!

AppleScript to create keyboard shortcuts

October 29, 2010

Last week my company laptop got stolen, so I had to setup my system again using this list. The positive part of each new system setup is you think more and more how to automate your setup..

This time I was really annoyed with setting up keyboard shortcuts, so I came up with this little AppleScript which does the work:

[gist id=652031 file=create_shortcuts.scpt]

The key is ‘GUI scripting’ - a specify way of AppleScript to simulate clicks, keystrokes etc. for *any* (native?) App. You only have to know the ids of the GUI elements which you can get with this very nice tool:

Good source to start your Mac Os X Automation is:

What? - irb extension gem to find your methods

September 24, 2010
If Samuel just would have asked me, I got an answer:

Oldies, but Goldies: ‘Methodfinder’ is a really nice extension for your ruby/rails irb and shipped with the ‘what_methods’ gem. I’m using quite a lot and can’t go without it anymore (aka. I’m too stupid to remember all those method names ;-).

gem install what_methods

See more hints by Dr. Nic blog here

mtXcontrol sneak preview - rainbowduino beta library goes master and slave

September 05, 2010

Now, as I’m finally getting settled, it’s time to kick of mtXcontrol development again. So first, I’ll continue working on the raw rainbowduino interaction which is the firmware, a communication protocol and a processing library, all summerized in the Processing library -Rainbowduino-. Current development going on, here, check it out. It’s still in a beta state, but ready and good for testing.

Just to make you curious here some new cool upcoming features:
* support for multiple & cascading Rainbowduinos
* auto port detection
* plug and play
* (auto) firmware upload
* Rainbow Cube support
* updated, more robust protocol

The video above show a quick preview of the upcoming Rainbowduino Firmware release ‘Master and Slave’.

You see two Rainbowduinos, the left one as Master connected via Serial to Mac, the right one as Slave connected via I2C to master. The blinking LEDs are merely debug output, interesting part is the changing brightness of the slave. The command to change brightness is send via Serial, received by the master and forwarded to the slave via I2C. With that multiple rainbowudinos can be connected in a row easily.

And the Best: both run the same(!!!) firmware. The master/slave role and I2C address are auto detected on startup. As easy as that!

Stay tuned!!

SoundCloud it is....

September 02, 2010

After having enjoyed a wonderful summer with lot of travels and being in more or less ‘offline’ mode, I’m back ‘online’ and I started my new Job at

It’s like Fickr but for Music - upload your tracks and share them among the community and fans.

It’s kick ass! ;-) Take a look around the office, check this out: