Happening Now: SpartaHack 2015 - Michigan State University's 1st Ever Official Hackathon
Sparta hack

Last night (the night before this article was created) I had the pleasure of volunteering for Michigan State University (MSU)'s 1st Ever Official Hackathon: SpartaHack 2015 - #LiveByTheCode. I arrived about an hour after registrations began. It was a bit hectic at first as copious amounts of snacks and drinks were arriving just as volunteers were arriving and getting situated with official volunteer t-shirts and badges. Hectic as it may have been the directors were able to quickly pull together all of the volunteers and orchestrate an awesome beginning to the first ever SpartaHack at MSU, filled with swag, food, snacks, drinks, RedBull, API/tech talks, corporate sponsors and an MSU Sweet Sixteen victory (62-58) over the Oklahoma Sooners. Some of the swag included in the drawstring bag that registrants were given included an awesome SpartaHack t-shirt, $5 in bitcoins from Circle, a $5 Starbucks gift card (there is a Starbucks open for a...


Coming soon... RailsBricks3 claims to enable faster Rails application creation by "automating mundane setup tasks and configuring useful common gems for you." RailsBricks will work on any computer running Linux or OS X (it will work on Windows as well with a bit of effort) with Ruby. Simply install the RailsBricks gem with gem install railsbricks and run railsbricks -n. Issuing this command will start you on what feels like a somewhat tedious task of answering questions about your desired application. Although tedious when you start considering the time you are saving with each question it all starts to come together.

RailsBricks3 walks you through authentication with the popular Devise if desired. Automically adds Bootstrap 3 and FontAwesome with a simple yes or no. Walks you through setting up your email configuration (SMTP server, port, credentials, etc.)...

Bonsai elasticsearch rails on heroku

Bonsai Elasticsearch is a hosted Elasticsearch provider available as a free (and paid) Heroku Add-on depending on your index size, memory requirements, and desire for replication and backups. Elasticsearch is a search engine server built on the Apache Lucene information retrieval library. Apache Lucene and Elasticsearch are both open source projects available under the Apache Software License. Bonsai Elasticsearch essentially provides you with a scalable Elasticsearch server for use in your Heroku application which is managed through your terminal and the Heroku Console. By adding Bonsai Elasticsearch to your website you can deliver "blazing fast and highly relevant results" to your users. The process is really quite simple but I have found it to be poorly documented in regards to actually implementing Elasticsearch in your Ruby on Rails application. This How To will quickly setup a basic Rails application where users can write Articles, we will then create a simple search...

Cloudflare startssl

The easiest method to get free SSL on your website, and the method currently utilized by this website, is to use a service like CloudFlare. CloudFlare serves as a layer, or reverse proxy, between visitors and the server hosting your website. On top of SSL protection, CloudFlare optimizes the delivery of your website for faster page load times and better performance. CloudFlare is particularly useful for securing domains pointed at services such as Heroku. Setup is simple and their website basically walks you through the process. To use CloudFlare you will need the ability to set your domain name's nameservers. CloudFlare already has a nice guide so I'll just link to it here: How do I sign up for CloudFlare?

While CloudFlare is an excellent service, you might want to setup SSL on your own server and manage it yourself. Historically, SSL certificates have been somewhat costly and a little bit confusing to obtain let alone install. The steps outlined below will guide you...


This article assumes a functioning Glassfish 4.1 installation is in place and that a proper Gandi SSL certificate and private key have been aquired. If you are interested in being guided through these steps and cannot find sufficient help on Google please register for an account and comment below. With that being said, installing Glassfish 4.1 is about as simple as installing Java, downloading a zip file, unzipping the file in an appropriate directory and starting the Glassfish domain (see: https://glassfish.java.net/download.html).

1. Change the Glassfish Master Password (default: changeit)

[root@localhost justin]# /usr/local/glassfish4/glassfish/bin/asadmin stop-domain domain1
[root@localhost justin]# /usr/local/glassfish4/glassfish/bin/asadmin change-master-password
[root@localhost justin]# /usr/local/glassfish4/glassfish/bin/asadmin start-domain domain1

2. Login to the Glassfish Administration Console at https://localhost:4848/

Navigate: Configurations > server-config > Network...

Copyright © 2015 by Justin Vrooman