Friday, December 5, 2014

Surfs Up! Build a Mobile Meteor App in 15 Minutes!

Growing up in NY and then transplanting to the Florida Gulf Coast I pretty much suck at surfing, though I do enjoy trying, especially during hurricane season.  In fact, I don't even have a board anymore but I do have plans to build a wooden longboard later this year (a future post maybe)!  The problem with living on the Florida Gulf Coast is that there are very few good surf days.  Sometimes it is just fun to go romp around with a boogie board, but the problem is it is usually flat around here.  You just never know when there are good surf conditions!

Tampa Bay Meteor Meetup's Thursday Dec 4th meeting had a speaker scheduled to talk about Meteor and Mobile Development.  Unfortunately, the speaker got sick and I was left without a speaker but with a talk scheduled about Meteor and Mobile Development.

So, in anticipation I took it upon myself to kill two birds with one stone.  I needed a presentation on Meteor Mobile Development for the Tampa Bay Meteor Meetup and in anticipation of completing my wooden longboard next year I needed a mobile app with marine weather and surf conditions.

So, I built Surfs Up, a Meteor mobile marine weather app and I made a presentation showing you how to build it yourself in 15 minutes or less or your app is free!

Monday, October 20, 2014

What can you build with Meteor?

In early 2012, I was searching for a platform, framework or stack with which to build EtherPOS (video) and eventually SignWaive (video).   I had looked at every possible option and had decided Node.js was the best solution.  Primarily, because of the advantages of a single language code base, the possibility of sharing code between the client and server and the potential for real-time communication via SocksJS or Socket.io.  I needed a solution that would allow me to build something that behaved like an application and not a website from the 90s.

I had already stumbled upon Meteor because of the original hacker news article.  I was in San Francisco for the Future of Money & Technology Summit III and there was quite a bit o chatter about Meteor among some of the developers in attendance.   Generally, in order to evaluate a solution, I build some basic applications first to see what it is like.

So, well before EtherPOS and SignWaive, I embarked on the grand adventure of creating my first Meteor application...or rather applications...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chromebooks Ain't Fer Grandmas!

Earlier this year, sometime around February, my laptop had some sort of existential crisis and fell apart at the hinges!  The screen hinges literally broke separating the screen from the body of the laptop.  To make matters worse I was on a business trip in London.  Thankfully, the cabling didn't break and I was able to prop the screen up and get through the trip.  Though I did look pretty ridiculous and a tad ghetto-fab to boot.
Left hinge gone, right hinge broken and bezel de-bezeled!


Unfortunately, it was my one and only lovable laptop.  An awesome bulky, heavy, hot runnin' Dell Latitude E5500 with a screamin' install of Ubuntu.  It was my work, dev and play deck and it was a goner!

While I waited on replacement hinges, a screen frame and a spare screen (just in case I screwed up the original screen doing the repairs...yeah I repair my own hardware...the OG scrooge mcduck here...), I couldn't help but wonder what might be out on the market in terms of new linux laptops.  To my utter dismay nothing very good.  Mostly big, bulky, black behemoths and all of them were quite costly.

Having heard a lot of online chatter about Chromebooks, I decided to go take a look.  They all looked pretty bad ass.  The only problem, Chromebooks run Chrome OS which is a pretty limited cloud based operating system.  Or so I thought!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Paperless and Tree Hugging in 21 Days with Meteor

Last month I did a lightning talk about EtherPOS at the Meteor April Devshop and I explained how I used Meteor to automate and streamline close to 90% of our business processes at Atomic Tattoos.

The timing of the Meteor April Devshop was perfect because I had been running my company Atomic Tattoos, a 18 store 3 city collective partnership of tattoo and body piercings studios, on the EtherPOS application.

I was very inspired by all of the wonderful people I met that were attending the Devshop, and Alice, Jade, Avital and Slava of the Meteor Development Group, Chris Mather of EventMindedSacha Greif one of the authors of Discover Meteor and all of the other lightning talk speakers.

So, inspired, that while I was at the Meteor April Devshop, I decided to tackle Atomic Tattoos next largest problem: paper!

Monday, April 7, 2014

An EZier Meteor eventhandler

In a previous post, Getting CRUDy with Meteor, I wrote about a way to abstract your event handling so that you didn't have to handle routine events in every single template.   The original solution came from my Meteor application EtherPOS.  The solution was a bit complex, I think partially, because it was so early on in both Meteor's progress and my own Meteor development progress.

Recently, during a massive upgrade of EtherPOS, I further abstracted my event handling into an even simpler structure through the use of nested templates.  This has resulted in more readable code, easier maintainability and easier debugging.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Meteor Alternative to MongoDB Full Text Search

I was going to title this post Meteor Impact: What To Do When Your App Blows Up!.  I chose otherwise because the issue we ran into had nothing to do with Meteor and everything to do with how I had designed the application.  As well, it sent me down an interesting rabbit hole in search of a solution to the problems we were experiencing within our application and I felt the title needed to be a bit more indicative of that.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Getting CRUDy with Meteor

So, over the past couple of months I have told a number of people on the Google meteor-talk forum and on irc that I would whip up an article about how I have implemented forms handling and basic crud in my Meteor application.

This article comes with a few caveats.
  1. I started my application before Meteorite.  So, I don't use 3rd party packages and I haven't converted these application design concepts into packages.
  2. This isn't a cut & paste recipe.  This is a high level overview of my application design.  It should be sufficient for someone to understand and potentially implement.
  3. I am still on Meteor 6.4.1.  No idea if it will work with 6.5.1
  4. I am simplifying what I did to make it easier to follow and leaving A LOT out.
  5. I wrote this fast.  It will be littered with misspellings and grammatical errors.