Using json-server for local mock API

I keep a boilerplate Rails 5 API-only app among my repos for rapid API building, but sometimes I just want a basic structure to query against (without having to deal with a complete stand alone Rails app).

Enter: json-schema-faker and json-server

Cory House has put together a great tutorial on how to build and serve a json database in 3 easy steps:

Using SMTP relay via Office365 in Rails apps

First you’ll need to add your production box IP address to Exchange Connector

Example URL:

Then add the following to application production.rb

config.action_mailer.raise_delivery_errors = true
config.action_mailer.delivery_method = :smtp
config.action_mailer.perform_deliveries = true 
config.action_mailer.smtp_settings = {         
  :address => "",
  :from => '',
  :port => 25,
  :domain => "",
  :enable_starttls_auto => true    

and boom! your Rails app will start sending emails through Office 365.

Nginx setup with SSL on Ruby app running Passenger

Once you’ve got your certs all setup you can add an entry to /etc/nginx/sites-available and then symlink it to /etc/nginx/site-enabled

An example snippet below:

server {
        listen 443;
        ssl on;
        ssl_certificate         /home/deploy/.ssl/mydomain_combined.crt;
        ssl_certificate_key     /home/deploy/.ssl/mydomain.key;

        passenger_enabled on;
        rails_env    production;
        root         /home/deploy/apps/my-app/current/public;
        passenger_ruby /home/deploy/.rvm/gems/ruby-2.2.2@my-app/wrappers/ru$

        access_log /home/deploy/apps/my-app/current/log/access.log;
        error_log /home/deploy/apps/my-app/current/log/error.log;

        # redirect server error pages to the static page /50x$
        error_page   500 502 503 504  /50x.html;
        location = /50x.html {
            root   html;


Typed by a human or scanned with barcode reader?

Simple check to determine the speed of user input into a form element. This was to prevent users from typing in barcodes that were required to be entered using a barcode scanner.


<!DOCTYPE html>

<head lang="en">
    <link type="text/css" href="" rel="stylesheet" />
    <script src=""></script>
    <script src="check-input-speed.js"></script>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>Monitor Form Input Speed</title>

    <div class="row">
        <div class="col-md-2"></div>
        <div class="col-md-8">
            <h2>Human or Barcode Scanner?</h2>
                <input type="text" id="input_to_check" class="form-control" />
                <div class="row">
                    <div class="col-md-12">
                        <span id="CPM">0</span>
            <div id="analysis">
                <div class="alert alert-danger" id="human">
                <div class="alert alert-success" id="barcode_scanner">
                    BARCODE SCANNER!




$(function() {

var iLastTime = 0;
var iTime = 0;
var iTotal = 0;
var iKeys = 0;

function checkSpeed() {
  iTime = new Date().getTime();
  var cpm,
    wpm = 0;
  if (iLastTime != 0) {
    iTotal += iTime - iLastTime;

    cpm = Math.round(iKeys / iTotal * 6000, 2);
    $("#CPM").html("Characters per min: " + cpm);

    if (cpm < 300) {
    } else {

  iLastTime = iTime;



That node.js so hot right now

I remember when I thought, MooTools, Prototype, Backbone, and jQuery were all revolutionary. Now we have Node.js and the ability to run a server using JS.

My understanding is that Node is a C++ app that wraps the Google V8 engine and extends its ability. You get access to the underlying C++ by way of JavaScript. Incredible.

I have a distinct appreciation for JS because of it being based on the ECMAScript specification, which is the same standard that ActionScript3 was created. Looks like it might be time to transpile some my old AS3 files over into JS.

Automating Hamilton input files using Ruby

I’m meeting with Adan from Hamilton today to review the automated output from our LIMS that will serve as the input for the Hamilton machine we’re running.

We’re going to be doing most of our testing on 384 well plate.

The constraints of the SOP and the optimization of the Hamilton tip travel time made for a unique blend of puzzle pieces.

Looking forward to seeing it go!