Recovering a Website from Thin Air

Or, Undeleting Mysql MyISAM Note: this post is from 2012 but I never got around to cleaning up and posting it. Around 7:45 AM in the morning of one...

by Pascal Rettig on Nov 13, 2013

HTML5 Gaming: the sound of Inevitability

[X-post from] There's a scene in the original Matrix near the end where one of the Agents is hold...

by Pascal Rettig on Jan 27, 2012

How to speak Internet.

Alternative title: Internet speak for the over 50. TL;DR - drop the The when talking about Internet sites, know what Memes are. Any work group or subculture has its own language that is unique to group. Architec...

by Pascal Rettig on Jan 25, 2012

Class Slides from Web Design 1 - Fall 2011

Martha and I taught Web Design 1 this past fall semester at MassArt and used CoderDeck for creating interactive, runnable slides. We had the students all use GitHub (specifically GitHub for ...

by Pascal Rettig on Jan 02, 2012

Discover your non-testing Goat w/ Git blame and RCov

I wrote a quick n' dirty script for fun last night to see how we were doing on test coverage and who was responsible for the most untested code in the git repo. The idea behind the script is to take the output of RCov and line it up with the ou...

by Pascal Rettig on Nov 29, 2011

Gumptionology for developers

Having just finished "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" I find that the word "Gumption" has been rattling around my brain for the past week, sneaking it's way into my mindset as I go about my daily tasks. ...

by Pascal Rettig on Oct 15, 2011

Using Node.js and your phone to control a Browser game

This past week I undertook a pretty cool project as the Intern here at Cykod. We were wondering how easily a smart phone –specifically using its gyroscopes and accelerometers– could be used as a controller for a multi-player game on...

by Pascal Rettig on Aug 24, 2011

How To: Social Plugins

  [ This is a Guest Post from Cykod Intern James Burke ] This is a follow up post to the talk I gave recently on Social Plugins and Widgets at the

by Pascal Rettig on Jul 29, 2011

When's the best time to email a busy person?

    Mid-morning.   Here's why: many people (myself included) don't get through their emails each day. When the number of emails someone receives each day excee...

by Pascal Rettig on May 24, 2011

Boston Front End Web Developers Meetup, Round #1

  The first Boston Front End Web Developers Meetup went off this past Wednesday (May 25th) according to plan with around 30 people showing up for the inaugural meeting - I gave a couple of talks, the first was a "State of Front...

by Pascal Rettig on May 01, 2011

Programmer Short Stories

While reading heavyweight developer tomes is a good way to get in-depth details about a specific topic, sometimes it's nice to snack on some lighter fare that's easier to pick up and put down. To that end, here's the list of my favorite develop...

by Pascal Rettig on Apr 25, 2011

Javascript FTW

Here's the slides from my presentation on the many uses of Javascript + HTML5 from BarCampBoston 6

by Pascal Rettig on Apr 11, 2011

PCI Compliance on Amazon's AWS

UPDATE: As  Spencer noted in the comment below, you can now configure ELB to generate PCI-compliant SSL proxying.   PCI Compliance, despite it's very important goals of safeguarding customer da...

by Pascal Rettig on Mar 12, 2011

Keeping it Lean at

The word "Lean" has come a long way from being primarily associated with ground beef and toned abs. For people in the startup community, lean has become synonymous with one thing: The Lean Startup. Combining the central tenents of both t...

by Pascal Rettig on Mar 18, 2011

3D in the Browser: WebGL Presentation

With all the new releasing coming out - I thought it was a good time for a presentation on WebGL - below are the slides I presented to the Boston HTML5 Game Development Meetup o...

by Pascal Rettig on Mar 17, 2011

Vector Graphics on the Web Presentation

Presentation on the current state of Vector graphics on the Web to the January Boston ruby group. 

by Pascal Rettig on Jan 13, 2011

Javascript Everyone: Online, Offline and on the Server

Presentation I gave to the MIT IAP HTML5 Game Development class on Debugging and Optimizing Javascript, Local Storage, Offline Storage and a little bit of Node.js with Web sockets

by Pascal Rettig on Jan 27, 2011

Innovating on your strength

One of the great things about the Web is that the barrier to entry for a new enterprise is incredibly small - all the infrastructure you need to get started is a $300 computer, a $10/year domain name and a sub-$10/mo hosting plan. Your only lim...

by Pascal Rettig on Jan 31, 2011

Cracking the Customer Acquisition Nut

Presentation I gave to the Boston Enet on the seventh of December

by Pascal Rettig on Dec 13, 2010

Building a simple online Karaoke site

TL;DR - We built a online holiday themed sing-a-long site called to play around with recording web audio without a streaming server and synchronizing HTML5 Audio tags with playback. Check out ...

by Pascal Rettig on Dec 30, 2010

Getting my Hack Back

  Stagnant.   There's nothing quite as scary as feeling your skillset stagnate. In the tech world, especially in consulting, failing to keep up w...

by Pascal Rettig on Nov 03, 2010

Boston HTML5 Game Development Recap

The first ever Boston HTML5 Game Development Meetup went off yesterday without a hitch at the MocoSpace offices in South Boston (special thanks to Sponsors MocoSpace for the space, food and drinks) I gave two presentations - the first was sort ...

by Pascal Rettig on Nov 18, 2010

Archive or Trash: there is no delete

Webiva is a piece of software that lived for a long time as an internal tool whose users (us) at least sort of knew what we were doing. As we both opened up the tool to other developers and began getting users with more experience who wa...

by Pascal Rettig on Nov 29, 2010

A consulting philosophy based on the movie "Heat"

The Software consulting world is full of horror stories on both sides of the table: Incompetent developers. Payment never issued. Buggy software wit...

by Pascal Rettig on Nov 12, 2010

The Pricing Problem

We've been thinking about the price points for Webiva for a while now, and gotten different advice from different people. Pricing software is a funny thing. The marginal cost...

by Pascal Rettig on Oct 15, 2010

The Perfect HTML Chop: An Opinionated Guide to slicing excellent HTML/CSS

Beta Post: This is a post that's going to form the first of three lengthy tutorials for how become a guru using our Open Source Ruby on Rails CMS Webiva, but since it doesn't actually...

by Pascal Rettig on Oct 24, 2010

Solving the right problem

Jeff Atwood, in the fantastic development blog Coding Horror posted a question a while back: Let's say, hypothetically speaking, you met someone who told you th...

by Pascal Rettig on Oct 01, 2010

So there was a rabbit in our parking lot yesterday...

Around 2 in the afternoon yesterday, someone pointed out, from our office perch on the third floor, a rabbit running around like crazy in the large parking lot in front of our building. It would hop from one piece of cover to the next and then ...

by Pascal Rettig on Oct 27, 2010

Parking or No Parking? When complexity just isn't Worth it.

One of the major issues with Specification-driven-design or Developer-driven-design is that you can end up in some insane places just because something "makes sense" on paper. A feature that someone might someday need might make a good bullet p...

by Pascal Rettig on Sep 21, 2010

Blogging in the Cloud: Scaling the hell out of a Wordpress 3 Install

Got a high traffic Wordpress install you want to scale to handle a large number of hits or add in high-availability? Well, Wordpress 3, W3 Total Cache and Amazon's cloud offering makes it (relatively) easy to get a high-a...

by Pascal Rettig on Sep 16, 2010

We must be getting better: The Simplicity Era of TiVo, Apple, Google (and Rails)

Have you ever had a conversation with a fellow developer that went something like the following: Q: Why is this so complicated?A: Because I didn't have enough time to make it simple...

by Pascal Rettig on Aug 18, 2010

You don't want a quote for that project

Note: this post takes the iterative nature of software development for granted. As a consultant on dozens upon dozens of Web projects, I take it for granted. If you have had great experiences in complicated projects that go from specificatio...

by Pascal Rettig on Jul 06, 2010

Web 3.0: Semantic Web and the meta-driven internet

Links on Semantic Web, RDF and all the Web 3.0 goodness.

by Pascal Rettig on Jun 12, 2010

Startups and Startup Marketing

Links related to startups and startup marketing

by Pascal Rettig on Jun 15, 2010

Lazy Conventioneering

With any codebase there are set of conventions that should be followed For example, CONTANTS_SHOULD_BE_UPPER_CASE, functionsShouldBeCamelCase, _private_variables_should_be_underscored, spaces not tabs, etc. Making the decision early on as to ...

by Pascal Rettig on Jun 27, 2010

Apple's Eden

Apple passed Microsoft last week in market capitalization. This is big news, something that would be absolutely unthinkable even a few years ago pre-iPhone. Apple was a niche product. ...

by Pascal Rettig on Jun 03, 2010

You're a dork

At least I hope you are. If you aren't you're going to be at an undeniable disadvantage to those who are. My wife and I recently went to see Josh Ritter at the Orpheum. When he came out on the stage it was odd because he...

by Pascal Rettig on Jun 01, 2010

Ugly Abstraction, or "Just one more option parameter"

One of the mistakes that I was (and probably still am - but being aware of the problem I think has helped) guilty of was the crime of trying to make one piece of code do too many things. Like a vacuum cleaner with too many useless att...

by Pascal Rettig on May 07, 2010

A band-aid for the comments conundrum: Developing a Tilder filter

I made the mistake yesterday of reading through the comments section on a article. I should know better and I quickly regretted my decision. The comment sections on websites these days suck either because they are completely d...

by Pascal Rettig on May 13, 2010

Thriving in the coming game mechanics hype cycle

It was the famous Jesse Schell video from DICE 2010 that finally convinced me that Game Mechanics on websites were her...

by Pascal Rettig on May 10, 2010