Skipping to the End of Data in Rails Console

I used to get stuck in the Rails console when I had a query that returned a lot of data. I would just keep hitting the button to go to the next page which took a long time depending on the data returned.

I finally learned that if I just enter q, then I can skip past all of that.

Such a time saver, I should’ve figured this out much sooner.

Upgrading Ruby on Windows with Chocolatey

I need to add an updated version of Ruby so I could use Ruby on Rails 6. I found an easy way to do this using Chocolatey. Chocolatey offers a free version for personal use.

I’ve used Railinstaller in the past to help, but it seemed that their stacks were a little outdated when I looked (and they didn’t have anything beyond Ruby 2.3).

That’s OK because using Chocolatey was super simple.

  1. Install Chocolatey
  2. Open Powershell as a Admin
  3. You should now be able to run ‘choco install ruby’ or ‘choco upgrade ruby’ depending on what you want to do (Ruby chocolatey page)

Since I’m running URU, I just needed to add the bin path to it, and now I can switch between Ruby versions easily.

Using Lists in TinyMCE

I’m using TinyMCE in one of my Rails apps and I had trouble today pasting in text with bullets.  TinyMCE injects paragraphs <p> in the code, so the HTML ended up looking this.

ScreenHunter 212

That ended up with the text for the bullet point being on a different line (above) the text for that bullet point.

This probably isn’t the proper way to do it, but I ended up going to the second item in the list and clicking enter.  This created a new line that wasn’t preceded with the <p>.  After that I clicked enter and created new lines in the code for each of the bullet points.

On my toolbar I don’t have the option to add lists which made it more difficult.  In the future, I may try to add plugins to handle this to see if it makes it easier.

Password Protect Staging

I wanted to password protect my staging environment on Heroku.  Here’s a simple way to do it.

In your application controller, enter:

if Rails.application.secrets.auth
  http_basic_authenticate_with \
  name: Rails.application.secrets.auth_name,
  password: Rails.application.secrets.auth_pass
Then in your environment variables in Heroku (for your staging app), enter these variables:
AUTH = true
AUTH_NAME = <user name you want to use>
AUTH_PASS = <password you want to use>

Free Quick Start Tools When Building Websites

When I’m creating a site there’s certain things that I need to create each time.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite tools – each free:

Name Generator

Namelix – enter a term (or terms) and this AI powered tool gives you name suggestions.  I usually add additional search criteria to only suggest to names with available domains

Privacy Policy

Shopify Privacy Policy Generator – create a privacy policy for your site


Terms of Use

Shopify Terms and Conditions Generator – creates terms geared more towards sites that sell products or services

Termly – can create terms geared towards SaaS products (paid and free options)


Cookie Warning/GDPR

Cookie Consent by Insites – makes it easy to create a warning to all site visitors that you use cookies


BEE Free – use their tool to create responsive email designs


Customize Form for Mailchimp

I bought a HTML template that had an email subscription form and I wanted to make it work with Mailchimp.  I wanted to keep the style of the template and not use a Mailchimp styled one.

It took some work, and I didn’t find documentation to do it, so here’s what I did:

(1) I went to my email list in Mailchimp and then Form Builder (Signup forms > Form Builder)

(2) Go to the URL provided for the form

(3) On the page that the URL takes you to (with the form), view the page source

(4) Copy these pieces of code from the source into your code:

(a) where your form should post to:

<form action="" method="POST">  

    <input type="hidden" name="u" value="foo">
    <input type="hidden" name="id" value="bar">

(b) for each field that you want to capture, find the name of the field and paste it as the name into the matching fields on the form you’re updating:

<input type="email" autocapitalize="off" autocorrect="off" name="MERGE0" id="MERGE0" size="25" value="">

(c) form submission details:

<input type="hidden" name="ht" value="foobar"> <input type="hidden" name="mc_signupsource" value="hosted">

If you submit the form and it redirects you to the web form instead of subscribing you to the list, it probably means that you have a name attribute wrong on one of your fields (and when you submitted, Mailchimp didn’t know what to do with that field).

Using ActiveAdmin to Log In As User

When you’re supporting users with issues, it can be handy to log in as them to re-create what they’re experiencing.

ActiveAdmin makes this easy to do.

When you have the gem installed, and have a app/admin/users.rb file, you just need to add this code in there:

# creates a link to sign in as the user on view user page of admin
show do |user|
  attributes_table do
  #We want to keep the existing columns
  User.column_names.each do |column|
    row column
  #This is where we add a new column
  row :login_as do
    link_to "#{user.username}", login_as_admin_user_path(user), :target => '_blank'

controller do
  def find_resource

Responsive Helpers in Bootstrap 4

I was used to the Boostrap 3 responsive utilities for hiding and showing elements based on the viewport width. However, the syntax completely changed. I found out how the new syntax works through this article on the Medium.

This is the mapping for those used to the Bootstrap 3 syntax.

* `hidden-xs-down` = `d-none d-sm-block`
* `hidden-sm-down` = `d-none d-md-block`
* `hidden-md-down` = `d-none d-lg-block`
* `hidden-lg-down` = `d-none d-xl-block`
* `hidden-xl-down` = `d-none` (always hidden)
* `hidden-xs-up` = `d-none` (always hidden)
* `hidden-sm-up` = `d-sm-none`
* `hidden-md-up` = `d-md-none`
* `hidden-lg-up` = `d-lg-none`
* `hidden-xl-up` = `d-xl-none`
* `hidden-xs` (only) = `d-none d-sm-block` (same as `hidden-xs-down`)
* `hidden-sm` (only) = `d-block d-sm-none d-md-block`
* `hidden-md` (only) = `d-block d-md-none d-lg-block`
* `hidden-lg` (only) = `d-block d-lg-none d-xl-block`
* `hidden-xl` (only) = `d-block d-xl-none`
* `visible-xs` (only) = `d-block d-sm-none`
* `visible-sm` (only) = `d-none d-sm-block d-md-none`
* `visible-md` (only) = `d-none d-md-block d-lg-none`
* `visible-lg` (only) = `d-none d-lg-block d-xl-none`
* `visible-xl` (only) = `d-none d-xl-block`

For more details on how the new syntax works and what you can do with it, check out the Medium article.

Switching Between Ruby Versions on Windows

I had the need to handle multiple Ruby versions on my Windows PC.  I was creating a new Rails app and wanted to use the latest Ruby version, but I also needed to manage apps that used older versions.  Many developers use RVM, but it doesn’t work on Windows – so I needed a different solution.

I found URU and it works great for managing multiple Ruby versions.

I tried installing it by downloading the compressed file and running the executable included, but it didn’t work correctly.  For some reason, it created a new directory, but the directory was empty.

So instead, I used the Scoop method – downloading Scoop and then using it to install URU.

(1) After I installed URU, I added the directory to my PATH (environmental variable) on my PC.

(2) Next, I opened a CMD window, and then specified the bin directories for each Ruby version you want o use.  For example entering this on the cmd line (for each Ruby install):

uru admin add C:\ruby200\bin

(3) Then to switch between Ruby versions you enter the command, including the Ruby version (without periods):

uru 200

This will switch to Ruby 2.0.0.

To view the Ruby versions you can switch to, use:

uru ls

You can check that you were switched by entering this command to check what version you are using:

ruby -v

The first time that I did this, I just installed the new Ruby version and I received an error telling me that my gemfile specified version 2.4.4, but I was running 2.2.1.  That was weird because when I ran ‘ruby -v’, it told me I was on 2.4.4.

It turns out, I just needed to run ‘bundle install’ to install the gems that were in the app I was trying to run, but not installed for the new Ruby version yet.

For more details on URU commands, you can read this page from the wiki.