Tutorials

Ruby on Rails, Rails tutorials in British emag

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A British PDF magazine called ObjectiveView recently featured two pretty good articles in its ninth issue (2.2mb PDF), one on Ruby on Rails and another on Ruby itself. While neither article is aimed at beginners, anyone who's worked with other languages should be able to get a leg up with them. One aspect of the Rails tutorial I particularly liked was how it showed doing the database development using migrations, one of Rails' most powerful features. While the tutorials are good I also suggest taking a quick look at some of the instructional videos and other tutorials available on the main Rails site, and of course one of the many books available.

Ruby on Rails for designers

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The folks at Gluttonous have posted a really good article that explains the wonderful Ruby on Rails web development technology in a way that designers can understand how it fits into their works. Well worth reading for anyone interested, not just designers.

That's perfect timing, actually, as the latest v1.1 release of Ruby on Rails is just getting ready for public edification with its first release candidate. Test early, test often.

Start off slowly with Ruby on Rails (UPDATED)

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Ruby on Rails can seem like a complicated beastie to newcomers, even though its learning curve is much lower than most similar technologies it is still there, so what's better than an expertly written tutorial that shows you exactly how to get started? Three of them, that's what, one each depending on whether your computer runs Windows, OSX or Linux. With one of these under your belt you're sure to be churning out excellent web software in no time!

UPDATE: If you are running OSX 10.3 (Panther) you need to follow these instructions to get the current version of Ruby to install, the other link has instructions for 10.4:

"Getting Real" on project development

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The folks behind Ruby on Rails, 37Signals, have compiled ninety essays on almost every aspect of project development and are making it available as a $19 PDF "book" called Getting Real. As a taster they have four essays available for free, which give a good idea of what to expect in the rest of the book, and so far it looks like it'll be well worth reading, just looking at the table of contents is enough to get me salivating.

How to disable "hibernation" in Windows XP and save disk space

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Today at work I was doing moving some files around when I realized that my C: drive, which has Windows XP on it, was running seriously low on disk space. A quick perusal of the drive uncovered a 1.5 gigabyte file called hiberfil.sys. Given that I never use the hibernation system in Windows I figured this was a prime target for purging, but the system wouldn't let me delete the file as it was locked by the system that controls hibernation. So, off a googling I went and found my answer on the very first result. Read on for a quick explanation.

Microsoft added the hibernation system to Windows a few years back and in many situations it can work great. The whole idea of hibernation is to let you freeze the computer as it is, with all the software running, and be able to turn off the power, then when you want to you can just turn on the power again and there's your computer ready to go! To do this Windows makes a file in your system drive, usually C:, that is about the same size as the amount of physical RAM your computer has, so if you have 256MB of RAM then your hibernation file, hiberfil.sys, will be 256MB in size, thus if you have 1.5GB of RAM like my work PC has you'll end up with a 1.5GB file! This can work great with slower computers and laptops where you don't want to go through the whole hassle of booting your computer each time you want to use it for a few minutes but on my PCs I tend to only turn it off when I want to specifically turn it off.

So to turn it off you need to do two very simple things. The steps are to go to your control panel's power controls and simply uncheck the "enable hibernation" button, et voila, 1.5GB of space back for me.

In a little bit more detail, there are actually two different routes you need to take depending on how your computer is set up. First off open your control panel, if you have Windows XP set with the default fancy display go to the Start menu and click on Control Panel, whereas if you've enabled the so-called "classic" interface you need to go to Start, then Settings and then Control Panel.

Once the control panel opens you then need to find the power controls. If you've got the categorized view enabled (it says "Pick a category" at the top) then click on Performance and Maintenance (it has a little pie-chart icon beside it) then click Power Options. If you have the traditional "classic" view where all of the icons are displayed simply click on Power Options and you're away with it. When the window opens you need to click on the Hibernate tab and it will look something like this:

The Hibernation options in Windows XP
Note: I've got a program installed that makes the colors different so your window is probably more blue looking.

When the window opens simply make sure that the Enable hibernation option is unchecked then click OK to save the change and reclaim your disk space. Should you ever want to re-enable hibernation support just go back to the same window and re-enable it. Easy!

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