Showing posts from December, 2012

Introducing oreilly-downloader

This week I created a Ruby script to facilitate downloading purchased video content from O’Reilly. I love O’Reilly’s products, especially their videos, but the need to download each video file individually, while understandable, is very frustrating and time consuming (note: it is possible to stream videos, but I like to watch my purchases while on the go when I typically don’t have an internet connection)
The code is pretty simple – using the mechanize gem to log into the site (after requesting credentials), and loop through the pages of video product purchases, downloading each mp4 file that doesn’t exist locally (complete with loading status via the mechanize-progressbar gem!).
Here’s the link:
If any O’Reilly folks are reading and have any questions or concerns, please drop me a line!

Post RVM install issues on Mac OS Mountain Lion

Tonight I installed RVM on my MacBook Pro in order to use multiple versions of Ruby side by side. I ran into a number of issues:Issue 1: Failed to build gem native extensionAfter installing RVM and ruby 1.9.4 I needed to install some gems but running the gem installer resulted in the following error:ERROR: Error installing mechanize:
ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension
The solution:
Download and install the gcc installer for Mac OS from here:
The source:
This tip came courtesy of Alex Zak on stackoverflow. It looks like gcc used to come bundled in XCode’s command line tools but no longer does.

Issue 2: Gems I installed were not visible
This time the gem install worked and I didn’t receive the above error message. However, when I attempted to run my application the require statement failed and executing gem list did not show my gems.
The solution:

Review - Velocity Conference

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this title from O’ReillyRecently I wrote a review of O'Reilly's Fluent Conference video compilation. I gave the set a gushing review and enjoyed the content so much that I decided to review the 2012 Velocity Conference set. I wasn't disappointed.For those who don't know, Velocity is O'Reilly's Web Performance and Operations conference. Similar to O'Reilly's other conferences Velocity brings together experts from many prevalent technology companies - including Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Walmart, to name but a few. The conference was split into four tracks: Web Performance, Operations, Velocity Culture and Mobile Performance and focuses a lot of attention on web metrics and large scale web performance. The set weighs in at a whopping 54.5 hours for $400 (at time of writing). As with previous O'Reilly content that I have reviewed, the production quality of this set is amazing. Video is high definition,…

Streaming video from Windows Home Server to Macbook Pro

I spent this afternoon trying to stream video from my Asus Windows Home Server to my MacBook Pro. I watch a lot of training videos, so that ability to stream to any PC in the house is vital. Windows makes this easy - on my Windows boxes my home server immediately shows up as a Digital Media Server, allowing streaming of videos, pictures and music.

I use VLC to consume video on Mountain Lion. Despite my media being shared on my home server no media devices were available to VLC, though VLC supports UPnP and SAP out of the box. It turns out that Windows Home Server supports UPnP but due to a bizarre bug/configuration, the requisite port forwarding registry settings are not always present. Fortunately, wegotserved has a great tutorial on enabling UPnP and it took literally 5 minutes (I rebooted to be safe...) to get streaming to my Mac working.

I only wish the Microsoft hadn't retired …