A bunch of cool stuff I found over the weekend that didn't individually deserve a blog post, but I thought would be worth sharing.

Extract Any Archive with Ruby

This is really neat if you could never remember what commands or command-line arguments you need to extracting archives (.zip, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2 - those kinds of archives).

With this Extract Any Archive script written in Ruby, instead of

tar jxvf DonkeyPr0n.tar.bz2

you can simply do

e DonkeyPr0n.tar.bz2

Instant gratification!

Slim Timer

SlimTimer is one another of those productivity-keep-track-of-your-todo-list type applications - I like it because seeing the time ticking away gets you motivated on sticking to the task at hand. You can stick it into your Firefox sidebar and all that AJAX-y stuff makes it behave like a normal application.

SlimTimer running in a Firefox Web panel

Feedalizer - transform web pages into RSS feeds

Choon Keat pointed this out to me recently: Feedalizer (backed by Hpricot). I played around with it and it was so easy (and fun) to use. Whipped up a Mongrel news feed (code) for Mongrel news (which didn't have an RSS feed). The hardest part was figuring out which Hpricot methods to use to parse the bits I needed.

Served by Apache 2.2, mod_proxy_balancer, and Mongrel

I got off my butt and set up Apache 2.2 with mod_proxy_balancer to load-balance a cluster of Mongrel processes, if you're still seeing this, that means it hasn't crashed, yet :p. Just kidding heh - I'm finding this setup pretty stable, though there was once the mongrel processes seem to have been over-loaded with requests (with 96MB RAM I can only run 2 processes, and even then I run out of memory real fast due to automated comment spam - does anyone have any solutions to blocking automated comment spammers before they even hit your website?).

In any case, I learnt quite a bit as I was setting up my deployment environment for Rails, and hopefully someone will be able to benefit from that when I finish my post on the topic.