Learning Rails: Installing Rails, Part 2 – Windows

Table of Contents

Last time, I installed Rails on the Debian box and had some trouble, but I got through it. This time, I’m going to install Rails on the Windows box.  This is my laptop that I have with me most often, so I need to develop from it, too.

Installing Ruby and RubyGems

To begin, I need Ruby on the machine, and luckily there is a Windows installer available. The RubyInstaller project is:

…a self-contained Windows-based installer that includes the Ruby language, an execution environment, important documentation, and more.

That’s handy. I download the latest RubyInstaller from here and run it.  I make sure to check Add Ruby executables to your PATH so I can use ruby and gem from the command line.

When it finishes, I open a command prompt to make sure it installed correctly.

C:\Users\Miller>ruby --version
ruby 1.9.2p290 (2011-07-09) [i386-mingw32]

RubyInstaller also installs RubyGems automatically, but it’s an older version.

C:\Users\Miller>gem --version

I update to the latest version using the gem update --system command.

C:\Users\Miller>gem update --system
Updating rubygems-update

C:\Users\Miller>gem --version

Installing Rails

The easiest way to install Rails is with RubyGems.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lost in the Corn

What would you do if you and your family lost your way in a corn maze?

From USA Today:

“I don’t see anyone, and I’m really scared, it’s really dark and we got a 3-week old baby with us,” a woman told the 911 operator.

Watch the video behind the link.  They even have some of the audio from the 911 call.

These people sound like real winners.  After getting lost in a corn maze with signs and maps posted all over the place, they panic so much that they call 911 rather than just walk through the corn.  Also, I admittedly don’t have kids, but 3 weeks old seems a bit young to take to a corn maze.  I feel sorry for those kids.

The 42-year-old husband, who did not want to be identifiedtold The Boston Globe they called 911 around 7 p.m., about an hour after the maze closed when they realized they were the only ones inside.

[Emphasis mine.]

No shit!  I wouldn’t want to be identified either.  This guy can’t even protect his family from corn.  Can you imagine what his friends would say?

Behind the Scenes of Natural Jenius

I was going to spend the first post introducing you to the blog and telling you about me, but I blew my wad on the About page.  Check it out if you want to learn more about me.  Instead, I am going to give a few details about this site’s setup and my experience getting it up and running.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


We are running the latest version of WordPress (v3.2.1 at the time of this writing).  This is my first blog, so I don’t have any previous experience with blog software.  I chose WordPress because of its popularity and so far I haven’t been disappointed.  The setup was very easy and I had test posts in the system within a few minutes.

The theme, designed over the weekend, is custom for this site.  I’m using a few plugins, including Jetpack, Akismet and Quick Cache.  There are so many choices in plugins it’s hard to know where to start, but these seemed pretty crucial.

One of the benefits of WordPress is the massive amount of available information to solve almost any problem. The documentation is excellent, and there is plenty of extra help available by searching Google.  I definitely have a lot of reading ahead of me.


GoDaddy is our hosting provider.  How can you go wrong with a company that spends millions on risqué Super Bowl commercials?  We already had an account there, so I stuck with them because it was the fastest way to get this joint up and running, but I’m not a huge fan.  Their site is plastered with so many ads and attempts to up-sell it’s like a used car salesman is my web host.  Their tools are as slow as molasses, and I’m on a shared host with over 6,500 other domains, which really slows the site down.

The biggest hurdle was that the domain wouldn’t transfer over to the host correctly, giving me the dreaded “Sorry, this page is not currently available” page.  I double-checked all the DNS settings and verified that the DNS changes had propagated to me.  No dice.  It was definitely something on their end.

On the plus side, their customer service is very good.  I had a real human, named Todd, on the phone within two minutes.  Todd found the problem immediately and told me that they were working on it.  By the time I woke up in the morning everything was working perfectly.  Thanks, Todd!

I will eventually move over to a different host when our current account is up for renewal.  If anyone can suggest a good web host, please let me know in the comments.