Should you skip college?

Should you skip college?:

To me that was like playing video games. It was something else to get a degree in playing. I think for everyone who discovers something they love it’s like that.

[Yes! It is like that for me too, when I’m interested in what I’m learning about. The biggest problem I see, is that some crafts, trades, or skills are valued over others. It’s crazy. We need them all, and we need people who are good at them, who love them, who advance them to practice them. Don’t send your kids to liberal arts college just because, make sure there’s something there that they care about. If your little girl loves building cars, or welding, or swinging a hammer, if your boy loves to sew and design clothing, if your kid loves to build robots, or plant gardens. Make sure that there is time to indulge that desire. I assure you it’ll pay off for them in a happy life, and for all of us in that they’ll do what they love for living.]

Source: Scripting News

Matt Langer · Stop Calling it Curation

Matt Langer · Stop Calling it Curation:

If people want to be celebrated for being smart or for having exceptional taste that’s all fine and good, everyone can go right on congratulating one another in their little mutual admiration societies. But please spare the rest of us all this moralizing on why we should be giving people who share links anywhere near the same amount of credit we afford that singularly special act of original content creation.

Separating the Baby From the Bath Water

★ Separating the Baby From the Bath Water:

The actual larger truth — underage workers, unsafe conditions, grueling hours, crowded dormitories — are all real problems, and all deserve our attention. But that’s exactly what Apple itself has been saying for five years. It’s also what journalists from the Times to ABC Nightline have been reporting for years.

Daisey impugned the integrity of Apple — and the journalism of ABC News — in order to work people up regarding problems that don’t exist. This only served to draw attention away from the labor, health, and environmental issues in Apple’s Asian supply chain that do exist.

He has hurt the true cause, not helped it.

[Roight. Nothing beats the truth. And a lie is never warranted if your fighting for what’s right. Daisy got all this wrong.]

Source: Daring Fireball

More Consumer Reports sensationalism

More Consumer Reports sensationalism:

Any reasonably competent, well-intentioned writer or editor would assume that most people reading this would think the new iPad gets hot, implying severe discomfort and a significant flaw that will affect nearly everyone who uses it, rather than merely warm, which would imply an occasional minor inconvenience for the few people who might notice and care.

Clearly, no such editor is employed by Consumer Reports.

[I haven’t trusted them for unbiased reviews in many years.]

Source: Marco.org

d: A build light

Build light

I have a long history with build lights. A build light is as indicator that displays the success or failure of a software “build” where all the parts are integrated, the tests run, and if all right all the tests pass and to the best of out test suites knowledge, everything is working.

It’s a confidence enhancer to be sure. The light just makes it obvious, and in fact, with my current team we have a number of indicators since we’re a virtual team. Test runs show in our group chat, are visible via ccmenu, and email. But nothing seems to bring as much joy as green build light. In one former place there was a build “bunny” a WiFi enabled device that would play some audio and move it’s ears, but it never seem to catch on as good indicator of the build.

I was looking for something to install with this group when I ran across this article. And while our setup is different, this seemed like an excellent start. Here’s how I wired it up:

There’s a gem called blinky. Blinky relies on libusb-compat, but that turned out to be only a “brew” away: brew install libusb-compat. And then gem install blinky. They’re designed around this usb powered light. They’re not far away in Portchester, NY. Nice. A few lines of code later, and my light was flashing on and off. It’s warning mode seems to be a little hinky, but everything else was perfect. A little parsing of the ccmenu xml that Tddium delivers, and I was off to the races. But I couldn’t afford one light per project just for myself so I decided on a pattern that would be obvious about a failure of any of the projects. Next I wanted things to run periodically. OS X uses launchd for stuff like this and here I ran into an issue.

I do lot of Ruby development, and use rbenv to switch between runtimes. And it works just fine. But in this case a standard call to ruby wouldn’t work because launched doesn’t know anything about my shell settings and so would try and run the system ruby which has nothing installed (no gems and it’s an old version I don’t often work with at this point). I couldn’t figure out how to get launchd to use a shell that would respect my settings.

In the end my launched command is sh -c /Users/daniel/buildlight/run.sh and in there is a line that points directly to the ruby executable I wanted to run with this file /Users/daniel/.rbenv/versions/1.9.2-p290/bin/ruby ~/buildlight/light.rb. That worked. While slightly inelegant… I’ll take “works” any day. And maybe someone else can explain to me how to make launchd respect rbenv. I use Lignon (app store) to control a number of things under launchd, and it makes it really painless to load stuff and set the params. And that’s it. Now every 5 minutes it checks the builds and lets me know what’s going on. I didn’t find a lot of articles about creating a build light when I looked, so I thought I would write this up. Happy coding…

Other folks I know are using this setup to display sales and other successes over the course of the day. It can be a great way to bring some celebration to the little wins that make up our days.