Geeky/Programming Life

Cool Things I Have Been Doing On the Computer Lately

In the past couple of months, weeks, whatever (time flies) I have been doing some pretty cool things on the computer, in a wide range of areas. Just want to get them down on paper (you know what I mean)…

1. Yammer – working hard on growing Yammer community, external networks, just getting engagement and showing the benefits. It’s fun.

2. Kinect – did some Kinect hacking. On my own then with the group, got some cool stuff to show. It is crazy how easy it is to get something up and running with Kinect and the SDK. I see this stuff taking off in the coming months/years.

3. Azure – dorking around with Azure, looking at what it can and can’t do, what it could do well, how it would fit in with everything.

4. SQL 2012/Power View – been playing around with SQL 2012 since “Denali”, but now its got an official launch date (March 7th) and things are getting real. Power View demos online, trying to figure out how SQL 2012 is going to fit into our infrastructure and just learning as much as I can about it.

5. Ruby – been getting into Ruby and Ruby on Rails on my Mac, git, sqlite3, heroku, etc. Trying to learn more things that just the .NET ecosystem.

6. Ubuntu – same here, set up a VM, been trying to use it consistently, trying to get the other viewpoints from Windows and Mac and where things are at. Keep up with the joneses so to speak.

7. Android – I picked up a Samsung Galaxy (Verizon 4G) a few weeks ago and have been using it. I still love my iPhone, but getting more into Android. Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is a pretty good OS, there are still quirks, but its better. Verizon sucks around where I live btw.

8. Google+/Picasa Web Albums – been getting this into my photo workflow, for sharing and backup. Liking it so far.

9. SharePoint 2010/FAST – been researching and reading FAST server like crazy trying to see how it will fit in with a potential project. I think it could be amazing. more to come.

10. SMS – been playing around with different frameworks, and seeing how they compare, trying things out. Using Voice and SMS is all the rage these days. (Hall and Oates thing anyone?)

Bonus: Nothing with computers, but I have been really getting into brewing beer/homebrewing. I think we have made 5 batches now, and the ones I have tasted so far are really good. It is a fun hobby and breaks up the constant technology I am involved in. More to come here too.

And much much more. Time is limited, time to post is limited. Getting out there and doing cool things is fun, and sharing them is fun too. Gotta find the right balance. I hope everyone is having a cool 2012 so far.


Ruby on Rails and MySql .. on Windows Vista

So, this evening I got the urge to get Ruby on Rails working on Vista, with MySql. I haven’t done much with RoR, but figured I would give it a go. I have this test hosting account that has RoR hosting, so that is what got me somewhat motivated…anyway’s, on with the show.


Install Ruby

Installing Ruby is pretty easy. You can follow the tutorial pretty much step by step from the site, except it is tailored to *nix machines (Mac, Linux) as far as paths and stuff..

1) Download and install ruby..(

2) get RubyGems, run ruby setup.rb

3) Get rails:…. gem install rails –include-dependencies

Create Application

At the command prompt:

rails c:railsblog

cd railsblog

ruby script/server

test it on http://localhost:3000

if all is well, you will see a cool welcome screen..

Now.. lets actually start making our blog app by generating a controller..(remember , you need to call “ruby” before executing these scripts.. in Mac, etc you don’t have to)

ruby script/generate controller Blog

Then edit your blog_controller.rb and add some code:

class BlogController < ApplicationController
    def index
        render :text => “Hello World!”

try it (http://localhost:3000/blog).. whoops.. error?

no such file to load — sqlite3

check under your app dir (c:railsblog) your configdatabase.yml

it is set to sqllite.. we need to get MySql installed and configured

Install MySql (5.0.51a)

This is a whole nother debacle. MySql doesn’t really work right on Vista.

download MySql (, install it

you will notice.. the config assistant doesn’t run at the end..

Configure It, Hack It, Swear At It

First, in the MySql/bin directory, set both the MySql config assistant and the mysqld-nt.exe to run in XP Sp2 compatibility mode, and run as administrator (this will
allow the service to start once the config assistant is done, once we hack to run anyway’s)

In your application logs in event viewer you will see

Activation context generation failed for “C:Program FilesMySQLMySQL Server 5.0binMySQLInstanceConfig.exe”.
Error in manifest or policy file “C:Program FilesMySQLMySQL Server 5.0binMySQLInstanceConfig.exe” on line 6.
The value “asAdministrator” of attribute “level” in element “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1^requestedPrivileges” is invalid.


I guess older version work, but 5.0.51a doesn’t. You can see in the error, “asAdminstrator”, it should be “requireAdministrator”, we need to hack the exe..

download resource hacker –

Open the MySqlInstanceConfig.exe in Reshack, ctrl+f, search for “asAdministrator”, change to “requireAdministrator” save and compile the exe over the old one..

Whoo hoo! The config assistant runs!

Basically the defaults, except I chose

“multilingual” on the character set screen,

and checked the “Include Bin Directory in Windows PATH” box on the Windows Options Screen

and – setup a root password on the security screen!

after it is all done, I like to secure my local machine, go to the my.ini in your MySql directory, and under the [mysqld] add


so only local apps can connect..

Test MySql by opening a cmd prompt,

mysql -h localhost -u root -p

hit enter, it will ask for a password , and you should be able to login

Configure MySql For Our App

login to MySql using the cmd above..then

CREATE USER ‘blog’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘blog’;


Now we have a database called “blog” a user called “blog” with password “blog”

We need to tie Ruby to MySql now…


gem install mysql

now, you probably have your mysql directory in your path, but since you need to restart your machine or explorer for new paths to show up, it doesn’t work yet..
so we need to make sure we do that, otherwise, if you try hitting http://localhost:3000/blog you will get a libmysql.dll error popup. I just killed explorer.exe and
start->run explorer in task manager, and then hit http://localhost:3000/blog again and saw the “hello world”

Yesssss… it works. Now , for the fun stuff, actually coding and creating tables, and more!!!!