Squarism Lab

Side projects show and tell time. Not every side project is here but every flashy one is.

Verdict Buy

Web app that scrapes arstechnica.com for all the "verdict: buy" games. Then you mark which ones you own and it tells you which good games (according to ars) you missed.

  • Rails 3
  • Delayed Job
  • MySQL
  • JQuery UI
  • Web APIs

Arduino Cat Faucet

I built an automatic faucet with MongoDB metrics using an Arduino. It has since been replaced by Fnordmetrics but this was my learning project when I took a learn-cation.

  • Rails 3
  • Flot.js graphs
  • MongoDB
  • Ruby serialport
  • Rails

Nag Box

I built an Arduino reminder box that would remind me to clean the litter box every other day. It had a "I'm done" button nearby and worked better than any calendar reminder would. It would also flash when you were late.

  • Arduino
  • Electronics
  • Lego


A job queueing demo app that shows a variety of background processing with the lamest metaphor ever, a pole climbing race.

  • Rails 3
  • Delayed Job
  • Faye / private_pub
  • JQuery
  • Beanstalkd
  • Deployed with Capistrano

Phase Three Profit

A cryptocurrency reporting tool. You state your cost basis and it pulls prices from the web and tells you your position/standing.

  • Ruby
  • Text-Table gem
  • Rspec
  • Ansi gem

Wallet Tail

A bitcoin wallet monitor that notifies your phone.

  • Ruby
  • Growl
  • Rspec
  • Dotenv gem


An early Rails app that analyzed punctuation in popular news sources and rates them for drama. Interestingly, some major news sites had drama ratings above TMZ at certain points. Collected data for about one year and then stopped.

  • Rails 2, upgraded to Rails 3
  • Gruff graphs
  • Feedzirra (RSS)


A survey web app that allows for simple survey form building. Arbitrary hierarchy form builder attempt.

  • Rails 3
  • MongoDB
  • JQuery
  • Bootstrap
  • simple_form
  • devise

Elevator Sim

An elevator sim in Ruby-Processing originally written in Java and then ported over. The doors animate and the cars move to floors when you press 1,2,3 etc. Click the image below to see it in action!

  • Ruby-processing
  • Tween Animation library
  • Threaded Drawable Objects


A twitter bot that deals a random hand of 5 cards. (now offline)

  • Ruby
  • Chatterbot gem
  • Twitter gem


A tetris clone with original sound effects and procedural drawing.

  • Java
  • Processing

Conway's Game of Life

A visualization of Ruby DCamp's conway game of life challenges. We paired and spiked using different TDD and design constraints and threw away our code each time (code retreat). After DCamp, I rewrote it and added graphics.

  • Ruby
  • Ruby-processing gem

IPv6 Lab

Created a lab and network to explore ipv6.

  • VMware
  • Simple curl test

Horizontal Cluster

Created an 11-node cluster to explore full stacks and horizontal scaling.

  • MongoDB scaling
  • HAproxy + Keepalived
  • Redis
  • Elasticsearch
  • Logstash
  • basic Node.js