Russell Schmidt

Custom URL with Github Pages and Gatsby

February 10, 2018

Are you screaming in silence every time you deploy your Gatsby blog because your custom URL has to be manually reset in Github Pages? I got you fam. In the root of your project folder, create a directory called 'static'. In that folder, create a file…

Repo Man

February 10, 2018

Uh oh you getting messages like this: npm WARN package.json: No repository field If you are stronger than me, or the warnings are specific to one or more of your project dependencies, you ought to be able to ignore them. It has no impact on the…

A Milli

February 10, 2018

Once I got the basic blog working and figured out the two issues with the backticks and then an error in the time signatures on old blog posts, I fired up a yarn develop and nothing but errors. I don't know what happened but I was too frustrated…

Gatsby Backticks

February 09, 2018

So the blog was up and then I was having all sorts of errors. Note that the links are for your edification but ultimately did not help me. tl;dr You need backticks - not single quotes - for your gatsby-config.js filenames. "Cannot read property…

Gatsby Post No.1

January 28, 2018

Always nice to see something working out of the box. Big ups shout out mad respect honor from most high Jah Rastafari to this excellent resource Creating a Blog with Gatsby by Dustin Schau. All previous posts have been migrated over from my old…

No.1 Restaurant in London

January 26, 2018

File under: Worth it Absolutely love pranks like this.

CSS Grid

January 19, 2018

Design Websites Like iOS I've been eager to get better at CSS Grid for 3 reasons. One: I want to move away from Bootstrap and Foundation when I am just using the grid. I've gotten lazy. I love front end frameworks but if you aren't using the bells…

Animate and Shopify

January 13, 2018

How to create an animation in Adobe Creative Cloud 2018 I have no idea why they make this such a hidden secret for those of us who hate sitting through 45 minutes of instructional videos that I had to watch four times... I get the irony. You…

Radiohead Videotape

January 12, 2018

Videotapes Super interesting video courtesy of my pal Josh Axelman... from the Vox Earworm series that discusses some of the intricacies of music making. I think the takeaways for a designer, creator, or developer are that: The crowd clapping off…

My First Animation

January 11, 2018

Making the animation in HTML canvas is only half the battle. Getting it to then display on Jekyll is the next phase. Well the trick is to take the Adobe Animate default .js file they give you, stick it right into your scripts folder, include that…

Spooky Procs

October 31, 2017

Spooky Procs Happy Halloween! I found something more terrifying than the gore-filled visuals from one of my favorite sci-fi horror movies, Event Horizon . It is passing a symbol as a proc to a method. This syntax is why Ruby is my vote for the most…

Climate Cents v1.0.1

October 13, 2017

Climate Cents 1.0.1 At last, a full releast of v1 of Climate Cents and a return to blogging after a year off. I blame the 2016 election. The fallout and emotion soaked up all my bandwidth. Anyways, here it is, Climate Cents. https://www.climatecents…

Array Chicanery

October 18, 2016

Ruby's Sweet Sugar So of course it is Sunday so I am working on my Bloc homework as Sunday is a day that ends in 'y'. The SET program as it stands is full of not just exposure to the theory and building blocks of computer science but also to the…

Ruby Method Mising

October 17, 2016

A little innocuous method method_missing snuck into a problem in my Bloc Software Engineering homework. Oh you know, just implement method_missing for a find() method in our ActiveRecord-ish ORM experiment. I was referred to this link which is…

My Own Find Each

October 16, 2016

One of my current assignments from Bloc is implementing my very own find_each function. One of the beauties of Ruby is the ease at which you can iterate over collections. That example will output that line once for each item in the collection. Very…

Video in HTML5

October 15, 2016

For the Climate Cents site, we wanted full screen video at the top of each individual project page. Fortunately each partner has a high quality MP4 for us to use, so the hardest part - making the video - was already done for us. All that remained…

Rubyism

October 13, 2016

Some new methods I have learned about in the Object model have caught my eye today. They are a pair of getter and setter methods called instance_variable_set() and instance_variable_get() that at first struck me as odd. Both take a string as an…

Array Magic

October 11, 2016

My current assignment with Bloc is a multi-week recreation of an ActiveRecord-ish ORM to integrate with a Rails-ish framework we develop next. The idea is that I learn about databases as a computer science grad would through creating the software to…

Heap Delete

August 25, 2016

Deleting a node in a min-heap One of the assignments for Bloc's SET program involves creating CRUD methods in Ruby to build a heap and tear it down again. I am using a min-heap for reference. There are a ton of online references with illustrations on…

Heaps of Fun

August 23, 2016

Happy Sorta-Anniversary Happy day to me. Five Months of blogging, much of which has dried up of late. Sorry, millions of readers. Heap of Fun So in the Software Engineering Track with Bloc, we are aiming to dive a bit deeper into designing software…

Long Absence

August 10, 2016

Seems that I have bitten off a bit more than I could chew of late and my writing on this bloggo 4 doggos has fallen behind a bit. I saw my Google Analytics drop from 10 visitors a day to 3, a terrible turn of events. So much for that dream of passive…

CoffeeScript

June 06, 2016

CoffeeScript on OSX funtime The GameTree tech stack is going to be using Jade and CoffeeScript so I ought to know how to use these things, no? Yes. What is CoffeeScript CoffeeScript is a simplified syntax + optimized compile of good 'ol JavaScript…

Meteor

June 01, 2016

Meteor it is. GameTree is a project I am assisting with and they have decided to use the following stack: Meteor Jade for HTML syntax SASS for CSS Preprocessing CoffeeScript for JavaScript Foundation for a front-end framework MongoDB for the database…

React At Home

May 26, 2016

This is a tutorial on installing React in a dev environment on my home machine. I really want to get to a point where I am installing this on Virtual Box running a Linux variant but I don't have that kind of time today. I stole all of the code and…

Double Model Trouble

May 20, 2016

Want to attach a photo to a model? No problem. Pop the Paperclip gem into your project and rock out on the million tutorials for this. I actually really like the tutorial on building a Pinterest clone on One Month Rails if you want a step by step…

Big Finish

May 20, 2016

Some people with ischemic stroke where the right side of the brain is hit, they can still perform advanced math but lose perspective on whether the answer makes sense - they lose their 'smell test' as to whether things make sense. A lot of left brain…

Learning Finale

May 19, 2016

"All good things must come to an end" - Geoffrey Chaucer Death is but a door time is but a window I'll be back - Vigo the Carpathian Although we've come... to the end of the road... still I can't let you go... it's unnatural... you belong to me…

Memory Makin

May 14, 2016

Visual and spacial memory combine to form a brain strength for humans. We can go to a home for the first time and recall details even weeks later with thousands of data points. If we are a teenager, we can sniff out booze and psychoactive…

Picture Me Rolling

May 14, 2016

Time to add some images to a Ruby project that I am working on. I have a Projects model already that has some basic content. I want to enable people to upload images and associate them with a specific project. Later on, I hope to add in permissions…

Zombie Harnessing

May 13, 2016

Apropos to this course on learning how to learn, I learned that drawing things can help people remember. Gradualism While our hearts may want to 'rip and replace' bad habits, we need to go slow and build new habits out of the debris of the existing…

React Time

May 11, 2016

I started to love Angular a little. I loved the ease of use, I loved the native-app-like feel. It hurts me to leave, after everything we went through. I still want to continue learning Angular and want to even do an additional Bloc project or my own…

Procrastination

May 10, 2016

Tackling Procrastination We already know that Pomodoro (25 min on / 5 min off) helps fight procrastination and improves learning by alternating focused and diffuse states. There is much more to learn about Procrastination, of course, and we are going…

And More Chunking

May 09, 2016

Learning is Easy When you are motviated, learning is a snap. Why? Well, the reason appears to lie with three neuromodulators in your brain. These are chemicals that influence how neurons interact and respond to one another. These three…

Chunking

May 08, 2016

Week Two of my pretty interesting Coursera course is about "chunks" and not this kind . The chunks of which we speak are shorthand for small packages of information our minds can easily access. You can Follow the Learning How To Learn class on…

Pomodoro Timer

May 06, 2016

It's ALIVE! Just click Dr Frankenstein over there to experience the majesty of my Pomodoro Timer. Pomodoro Timer A Pomodoro Timer is a timer that allows for following the Pomodoro Technique, which is 25 minutes of focus followed by 5 minutes of rest…

Event Delegation

May 03, 2016

We are going to finally totally fix my carousel. I detailed the original issue in this blog post a month ago . So here is my code with a hacky off().on('click', function()) solution: The problem with this solution is that its, well, sorta hacky…

Pomodoro Project

April 30, 2016

Time to make my own AngularJS project. I am going to make a Pomodoro counter, so inspired by the learning to learn course am I. In short, this is a web based counter that is a 30 minute timer. For 25 minutes, the user will focus and be distraction…

Pomodoro

April 30, 2016

Funny enough, I am taking this Coursera course on learning to learn at the same time that I am about to make an Angular app that is a Pomodoro timer. The stars are aligned. Pomodoro Technique The Pomodoro technique is simply 25 minutes of sustained…

Holstering Mandrill

April 29, 2016

In our last episode, I mentioned that Mandrill was no longer going to be available on a free tier. Mailchimp, maker of a beautiful email newsletter system, had bought dear Mandrill and is requiring users to have a paid Mailchimp account to use…

Learn2Learn

April 29, 2016

Because 11 open projects are not enough and because I hate free time, I am taking a Coursera class on 'Learning How to Learn' for fun as well. Taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley of 'A Mind for Numbers' fame and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski of the Salk…

Bloc Jams

April 28, 2016

Finally finished refactoring the Bloc Jams music player into Angular. You can find it here and turn those speakers way way up. Keep the Node Alive I had a question for my mentor regarding the easiest way to run a Node app on the inter-webs. I know…

Angular Directives

April 25, 2016

Angular directives are the little snippets of Angular you put in your HTML. They call the Angular code - er, bind the functionality - in the places on the page where you want things to happen. Ive been exposed to ngApp which is the basic connection…

Angular Services 2

April 22, 2016

As I march through the services swamp in Angular, I am picking up some information that may or may not be of help to anyone, but that I want to commit to written form. Understanding that Controllers are mere objects (as is everything else…

Angular Services 3

April 22, 2016

Been about 4 hours of Angular today which is not enough. I want to get two checkpoints done before I head out for a little fun tonight and that means... MORE ANGULAR The takeaway from this stage of my Angular journey is that services - in my app, in…

Escaping Double Curlies

April 21, 2016

Just lost an hour of my life trying to output double curly brackets from a Jekyll blog post in markdown to my blog. Angular relies on double curlies. Go uses double curlies. Liquid uses double curlies. Jekyll uses double curlies. I want to show my…

Services with Angular

April 21, 2016

After a couple of weeks on the Alexa projects, I am back in Angular land. It has been a rough landing. I am having to relearn a lot of things that I would not say I knew all that well at the time I started. If I could do it over again, I would not…

Bernie App

April 20, 2016

Feel the Bern I recently jumped at the chance to work on a dating app for supporters of Bernie Sanders. The Bernie App features a website made by yours truly with a Web Developer credit and - so far - good feedback. Site Goals Since the target user…

Return to Angular

April 20, 2016

This post is more appropriate for me and not you. Unless you, like me, are learning Angular and want all the pieces to fit in your brain. We have a file app.js that has a module named 'myApp' instantiated to app. A module contains the different…

A List of Every Band Every

April 15, 2016

Custom Slots One of the challenges of making an Alexa skill is that the program works better if you have a list of the words defined that you expect your user to speak. For example, if you are using the sample high tide finder app, there is a finite…

Fun Concert Finder

April 13, 2016

The making of FunConcertFinder I have had a couple of days to mull over this project and I think that I am ready to dive in. I am writing this post to help me document my thought process and also assist me in thinking through the process of…

Node it All

April 12, 2016

Today is a big day. The day I start writing my very own Skill without really relying too much on the existing Amazon examples. To do so involves downloading and running Node.js. What is Node.js you ask? You can check Node.js and learn that it is an…

Bulldog Approval

April 11, 2016

For all of those millions of Amazon Echo users out there, my first skill has been approved and is certified available on for the Echo. 'Fun Bulldog Facts' is going to take the world by storm so brace yourself. It tells you a random bulldog fact, with…

Designing My Concert Skill

April 10, 2016

So I love live music Tonight, my wife and I are going to check out a pretty rad LA-based band called 'Youth Code' at my favorite concert venue. The band is just the sort of angry, noisy, industrial-punk-hardcore band with clever lyrics that I love…

Skill-Based Skill

April 06, 2016

Echo Applications Part Two In this project, I am going to take the 'spaceGeek' trivia application - which it should be said is one of my favorite topics - and turn it into English Bulldog trivia, another favorite topic. My goal is to use the Alexa…

Fixing jQuery Click

April 05, 2016

New Update Dumped the dog cursors and rewrote all of this. Change details here . Older Update So my answer below, based on some online digging, is not exactly the canonical answer. The multiple bindings I was causing with .click() were because I was…

Alexa Speak to Me

April 03, 2016

Creating a Skill for the Amazon Echo family Bloc worked out some arrangement with Amazon whereby students that complete a number of Skills (the name of Amazon Echo speech-enabled device programs) can gain prizes, opportunities, fame and immense…

ngBands Make Her Dance

March 31, 2016

Pull the trigger until it goes ngClick Starting out nice and easy, ngClick is the Angular version of .click() . You can write <element ng-click="expression"></element> and the Expression evaluates on click. Angular documentation on ngClick…

Template of Late

March 31, 2016

Learned a bit today about imperative versus declarative view manipulation. In general, jQuery is an aftermarket bolt-on while Angular is a new chassis. Aftermarket parts can be awesome - and jQuery is incredibly useful and great - but it is a…

Angular Style Guides

March 30, 2016

Some thoughts on Angular Style Guides. I read one from one of my new favorite software bloggers, Todd Motto! toddmotto.com . Also I read this much esteemed gentleman John Papa's Angular Style Guide . Lastly, we cannot ignore the mad scientists at…

Angular Intro

March 29, 2016

I took a couple of online classes in Angular but this is the big day. Angular becomes an assignment. I am excited because (a) I am a trendy sheep just doing whatever the cool kids say to do and (b) I have heard a lot about Angular and am very curious…

Grunting Gulping Nodes

March 29, 2016

We are going to turn my BlocJams application up to 11! Rock and Roll! Angular! so let's get this party started! Angular party is the best party/ because I like to party. -Eminem. So to get started, first I need to install Grunt and NPM. Grunt is…

Moving to Rails

March 28, 2016

A New Hope Sadly, we reached the end of the road with the existing WordPress site. The type of site that everyone on the team wants is a single page application (for the most part) with really cool graphics and animations. We looked at the WordPress…

Fun With Rectangles

March 27, 2016

Inspired by this gentleman's really cool portfolio that reminded me of the artist Joseph Beuys , I decided that the finishing touch on my portfolio would be a dynamic mouse cursor that changes to left or right based upon the mouse position when…

Jekyll From Scratch

March 24, 2016

I was turned onto Jekyll by my Bloc mentorship, where they suggested we students use it for our portfolios and then upload to Github Pages. I was a little apprehensive at first about my brain exploding from learning a new framework, but had grown…

Climate Cents

March 22, 2016

After doing a bit of pro bono web work and informal consulting for a friend's startup, it looks like I will get a chance to develop a site from scratch. While I certainly feel like a complete imposter during our meetings, I have been upfront about my…

JavaScript Fun

March 20, 2016

My JavaScript journey is well underway, with my personal portfolio finally going up. I poured out some Hennessey for my PHP-based site and the various PHP projects I had on there. I am a little torn on a couple of things. I love the performance of…

Mushin No Shin

March 01, 2016

Mushin No Shin I decided to put this 無心の心 in my blog title. This phrase 'mushin no shin' is Japanese for 'mind no mind' or 'mind without mind' - a Zen concept I've heard called "flow" lately (last 5 years) in the business press or being 'in the zone…

Blog Attack

February 25, 2016

They say to blog to improve my hire-ability. They say to blog to reveal my personality. They say blogging tracks my journey into programmer-hood. Well let's talk about blogging and what I am going to blog about. Meta I am trying to keep it simple and…

Troubleshooting with Rails

December 11, 2015

Troubleshooting with Rails.logger.info This short post will be discussing the magic of the Rails error logging. I literally learned about it today and literally have zero blog readers so I don't feel too bad with the misinformation campaign below…

Holes in Your Zapatos

December 09, 2015

Holes in Your Zapatos Had to take a break for Thanksgiving. Not just for the carbohydrate coma to fade away, but to catch up with my Bloc internship. As much as I like to believe that I am the Mule of programming, it turns out that I got mired in…

Time Tracking for Fun and Pleasure

November 16, 2015

Time tracking for fun and pleasure I have begun the insanity of tracking my daily time expenditure. It began actually shortly after I started the Bloc program. I wanted to know if the 40-hour per week committment was being met by yours truly or if I…

Teaching to Internet

November 14, 2015

Teaching To Internet I volunteeer weekly at Chrysalis in Downtown Los Angeles. I help teach people with less-than-stable living and work situations with how to use the internet to find jobs. This post is about what I learned about usability from…

HAML, HTML and Buttons

November 13, 2015

HAML, HTML and Buttons TL;DR this is all you need I am in the middle of my bloc.io full stack apprenticeship and decided, with my mentor's blessing and encouragement, to kick things up a notch and try using HAML for all my projects. I am familiar…

New View for CC

November 13, 2015

From my last blog post we saw that I had a lot of work left on this project. Remaining to do for Sunday: Add three fields to Projects for Active, Featured, and FrontPage. All will be Boolean. Add a new controller action 'Landing' for the front page…

Origin of the Symmetries

November 12, 2015

Origin of the Symmetries I am working in Rails and starting to understand the moving parts instead of trusting the Force. And now that I have been kicking around in Ruby for 5 weeks at a more intensive level starting with the pre-work for this Bloc…

My Word, Byword!

November 11, 2015

My word, Byword I think Byword might be my favorite text editor of all time. I have friends that are talking about hacking a Kindle to get that e-ink plus zero notification experience (aka a digital typewriter). I think Byword accomplishes this in…

PSA

November 10, 2015

As that great bard and lover of the San Fernando Valley sang, "I've got another confession my friend" I smoked for many years. Quit cold turkey in 2012 and haven't looked back. One slip up during a boozy weekend a year later and that was that. I've…

And Today

November 09, 2015

And today, finally, at long last, we have entered the Rails phase. I am getting strong feedback and kicking a tiny bit of bum on codewars and am starting to understand the documentation which is honestly a huge part of the struggle with the languages…

Enough About Me

November 08, 2015

In 2013, I signed up for a class on Ruby on Rails with General Assembly. I completed the class, building a resume-making app ResumeRobot that is still up today. It is flawed. It was my first anything really so please, be kind, rewind. I had a full…

Enuff Z Nuff

November 07, 2015

So that title might be a little bit of an exaggeration. But it expresses my horror of going from sweet, sweet Ruby-babe to the gsub method within Ruby that uses Regular Expressions. For all my millions of readers that are unfamiliar with the…