Personal Finance Tips According to South Park

"At first glance, South Park’s Randy Marsh does not seem to have the makings of someone with financial savvy. Neither his job as a geologist nor his irrational tendency to over-react suggest we should trust his judgment with money at stake. And yet, there is something this man can teach us about personal finance. For all of his sporadic obsessions and fad chasing, Randy Marsh exhibits a sincere desire to discover and (just as important) act on good ideas and principles. More of these are explained below."

Read article at Mint


Submitted My First Offer on a Condo

After a long day of viewing condos at Plaza Midtown, Spire, Metropolis, Paramount at Buckhead, and Buckhead Grand, we decided to try and submit an offer on one place we really liked in Spire. Turns out that one place ended up already having many offers and wasn't available. Luckily, we went back to Spire and somehow stumbled onto another condo that actually turned out to be better than the one I previously wanted. I submitted an offer today and hopefully should hear back by Wednesday. Wish me luck!
Above are some pics of the place (2bdrm/2bath) -- but it really doesn't do it much justice.

LA Ruby Conference 2009 Recap

I originally posted this article on the Intridea blog, here.

Pradeep Elankumaran and I just came back from the very first LA Ruby Conference (Twitter), which was held in Tustin, CA. We didn’t know what Tustin had to offer or what to expect, since it was the first time either of us has visited Tustin. When we arrived at the venue, we were in awe of the few million dollars worth of automobiles surrounding the stage. The conference was held in the Marconi Automotive Museum, which is filled with Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, F1 cars—you name it. The event ended up being a huge success due to the great venue and the amazing set of talks, with a final count of 115 attendees.

There were many great talks that ended up covering a wide variety of topics. You can view the whole schedule here. One very unique talk was by Ron & Damen Evans with their unveiling of Flying Robot, a platform for Ruby Arduino Development. The Ruby powered blimp, flew around the museum, while being controlled by a Wii-mote.

Pradeep gave his talk on Fast and Scalable Front/Back-end Services using Ruby, Rails and XMPP and I gave my talk on Mobilizing Your Rails Application. The kind fellas from Confreaks were there recording each talk as well, so be sure to look out for those when they become available.

From flying robots to creating cross-platform native mobile applications, it’s quite clear that there are some very exciting things going on in the world of Ruby development. Our thanks and congratulations goes out to Coby Renquist, JR Fent, all of the great speakers and everybody else who helped to put on such a great conference. We are both looking forward to going back to Tustin in 2010.

Mobilize Your Rails Application Presentation at ATLRUG

It's been a while since I've updated this blog and what do you know, here's a post that has something to do with mobile and Rails (shocking isn't it?). Last month I gave a talk at DCRUG and ATLRUG on how to utilize mobile technology in your Rails application and how to cater to a large majority of mobile devices that support HTTP. Somebody was kind enough at ATLRUG to actually record my presentation (thank you) and upload it into the intertubes.

In the presentation I go over why we all should try to cater to the large amount of mobile users in the world and I give a brief overview on how to accomplish this using various plugins and gems, such as: Mobile Fu, SMS Fu, Clickatell, and MMS2R. Even though this is more of a short introduction to mobile Rails you should hopefully still get something out of it.

SMS Fu Only Available Through GitHub

After being spoiled with Git, I, along with many other developers, are dropping their subversion support in favor for git. From now on, you can grab the latest version of SMS Fu directly from GitHub. Feel free to fork it and contribute some changes here.

Also, unless you're on Edge rails you can install SMS Fu by doing the following below:
git clone git:// vendor/plugins/sms_fu

Mobilize Your Rails Application with Mobile Fu

I originally posted this article on Intridea's Blog at I thought I'd go ahead and post it here as well. No worries, if you've read it before, it's the exact same thing.

Let's face it, iPhone interfaces are awesome, but they can only cater to a fraction of the mobile market. What are you to do if you want to satisfy the rest of the mobile world? Mobile Fu helps to make this job much easier by automatically detecting mobile devices that access your Rails application. People can access your site from a Palm, Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia, etc. and it will automatically adjust the format of the request from :html to :mobile.

Learn Mobile Fu

First off, just install the Mobile Fu plugin into your Rails application.

script/plugin install git://

Start by adding this one line to your ApplicationController.

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base

Once this is in place, any request that comes from a mobile device will be be set as :mobile format. It is up to you to determine how you want to handle these requests by creating the .mobile.erb versions of your views that are to be requested. Also, I recommend that you setup a before_filter that will redirect to a specific page depending on whether or not it is a mobile request. How can you check this?

is_mobile_device? # => Returns true or false depending on the device

You can also determine which format is currently set in by calling the method below.

is_mobile_view? # => Returns true or false depending on current req. format

If you want the ability to allow a user to switch between ‘mobile’ and ‘standard’ format (:html), you can just adjust the mobile_view session variable in a custom controller action.

session[:mobile_view] # => Set to true if request format is :mobile and false
                      # if set to :html

What About Custom Mobile Styling?

Different devices need different styling. Don’t worry though, we’ve got this baked in to Mobile Fu (thanks to Intridea's own Michael Bleigh, who created Browserized Styles for letting me modify his code). If you are including a css or sass file via stylesheet_link_tag, all you have to do is add _device to the name of one of your files to override your styling for a certain device. The stylesheet that is loaded is dependant on which device is making the request.

Supported stylesheet override device extensions at the moment are: blackberry, iphone, mobileexplorer, nokia, palm
e.g., Accessing a page from a Blackberry.


Ends up loading mobile.css, and mobile_blackberry.css if the file exists.

Feature Requests

You can check out Mobile Fu's very own project page at Acts As Community. If you have any problems or would like me to add a certain feature, please create a ticket at Also, feel free to fork Mobile Fu and make any enhancements you please from its GitHub location at: