Setting Up a Ruby Environment on Mac OS X 10.7

I recently picked up a new Mac mini, so I could have a stand-alone development system. One of the nice things about a fresh system is that it offers a clean slate on which to install development tools.

Ruby is one of the languages I use on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the proliferation of interpreters and gems can be hard to keep under control. One of my goals with the new system was to improve this process.

This posts documents the commands I executed, for future reference.

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Using nvm and npm to Manage Node.js

Node.js v0.4.0 has been available for a week. I’ve been experimenting with Node for a while, and I think its going to be a big part of my toolkit in the future. It’s currently under active development, and at this early stage managing version conflicts can be a challenge. With the latest stable release, I took the opportunity to set up a better development environment.

Key to setting this up was using nvm, which stands for Node Version Manager. This let’s you run multiple versions of Node, each in an isolated environment. I currently have v0.2.6 and v0.4.0, and can easily switch between them. This makes it easy to update to the latest release, while still being able to fall back to the previous release when using modules that are not yet compatible with v0.4.0.

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Technology By The Numbers

Fascinating presentation by Jonathan Reichental, entitled “Mind-blowing, world-changing technology* *by the numbers.

The numbers give you a sense of the enormous impact technology has on the world.

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Google Offers OAuth Alternative to Improve Security

Google is now offering two-factor authentication, making sign-in more secure.

It’s an extra step, but it’s one that significantly improves the security of your Google Account because it requires the powerful combination of both something you know—your username and password—and something that only you should have—your phone. A hacker would need access to both of these factors to gain access to your account.

That important security enhancement is garnering a lot of attention. What I find interesting is the point that only got a sentence’s mention.

You can also set up one-time application-specific passwords to sign in to your account from non-browser based applications that are designed to only ask for a password, and cannot prompt for the code.

This sounds an awful lot like PAuth, which Don Park suggested as an alternative to OAuth over two years ago. I’ve always wondered why that didn’t get more attention.

Working On Forked Projects Using GitHub

On Friday, I finally became active on GitHub, something I’ve waited far too long to do. My first action was to fork Jeremie Miller’s Locker project. In the process of doing that, I captured some notes about working on projects at GitHub, which I’m posting here in case others might find them useful. I know I’ll be referring to this post until these commands become second nature.

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