Andrew Langman on 7 Feb 2006 17:19:06 -0000

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Re: [PhillyOnRails] FW: Philly Rails User Group discount

Dave seems to be involved in the daily operations of his company, and I think
he takes his customers and students seriously.

I was at the Denver Rails Studio January 19-21, taught by Dave Thomas and Mike
Clark. They are very hands-on. They both came around and helped people during
the coding sessions. Several people had configuration problems, which Dave and
Mike were also very generous about helping with.

At one point, Dave unplugged somebody's Windows laptop, and went off to the
side alcove so, while Mike lectured, he could really dig into what the problem
was. Twenty minutes later he came back with the solution. It turns out that at
least some Windows unzipping tools will not create an empty directory. The user
had unzipped a pre-made Rails installation that we were going to modify as an
exercise. I think it was the log directory that was empty at the time the zip
file was created, and was therefore not created when the file was unzipped.
Rails balked, as it wanted a log directory.

Dave also worked on a problem on my Powerbook. Rails would not connect to
MySQL. He worked for about 15 minutes and got nowhere. Then I remembered that I
had created my root password with the OLD_PASSWORD() function, because I had
some graphical tools that wanted passwords with the old MySQL password hashing.
Rails does not like that. Since it was just a development machine with no real
data on it, I cleared the root password. Rails was happy. When Dave described
the problem to the class it turned out I wasn't the only one who had run into

So Dave is a very hands-on guy. He's also an excellent lecturer. I've had some
courses where the presenter just reads from a bunch of slides, and is thrown if
somebody asks a question about an unusual problem. At the Denver class if
somebody said "Well, we have to use Oracle on a TRS-80 and we're only allowed
to update it during the full moon," Dave would say "That's an interesting
problem." Then he'd answer the question, and often he would write and run some
sample code so we could all see what he was talking about. He knows his stuff
and he likes to share his knowledge.

Andrew Langman

--- Brian <> wrote:

Dave Thomas himself replied to my email about the Philly Rails discount!! I'm
never going to wash my inbox!!!

From: Dave Thomas [] 
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 10:57 PM
To: Brian Donahue
Subject: Re: Philly Rails User Group discount

On Feb 6, 2006, at 7:43 PM, Brian Donahue wrote:


I recently joined the Philadelphia Rails User Group
( and saw this posting about a discount code they
have with Pragmatic Programmer:

I tried the coupon code suggested "PHILLY_RAILS_UG" while attempting to
purchase the Rails Recipes Beta Book Combo Pack, but did not see the discount.
Am I missing something, or is that code not valid?

The coupon application process hadn't gone through, for some reason. I took a
hammer to it, and the code should work now (the link on the page in incorrect,
though, and I'm emailing Erin separately)


Dave Thomas

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