Random Thoughts by Fabien Penso


J’ai été interviewé cette semaine dans l’émission de Ingrid Pohu de France Info sur mon précédent voyage au Ladakh.

Il est toujours difficile de s’entendre, j’ai l’impression de parler trop vite, de ne pas avoir assez de temps pour dire ce que j’ai en tête, et d’être trop superficiel. Mais c’est le jeu de la radio, peu de temps pour couvrir une telle région…

J’espère que ça vous donnera envie de voyager.

July 2012. During my last trip with Arnaud le Canu, each of us carried a GoPro camera. Arnaud spent days (weeks?) to edit what he brought back, and the result is finally available. Since he only traveled 3 weeks with me, the videos are covering the trip from Delhi to Leh, through Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul.

Click videos traveling in Ladakh, on Royal Enfield to view a complete list.

I’m going to travel soon again, and since people who are following this blog are probably only interested about technical posts, I created another one focusing on my travels. You can see it here: my travel blog. The first post explains how I started traveling in India in 2006, and the one named Going from Delhi to Ladakh on Enfield tells more about my previous trip.

I traveled as a backpacker months per year the recent years, and ended up removing most of the stuff from my bag. I’m about to go to India for the 4th time in July, to ride an Enfield all the way from Delhi to Ladakh. I already went to Ladakh last year but want to do more areas, and at a slower pace. This trip might not be 6 months long, it depends of my feeling while on the road. I might come back after 3 months if I want to.

Everything in my bag found its use in previous trips, you might be interested about what goes in. I mention a lot of brands because I love them, none paid me to write this blog post and links are not affiliated. If you have any brands I should look for, please let me know.

You can view an annotated photo on flickr, and my photography from my previous trips.

Note aux Francophones: ce billet a été traduit et posté sur ce journal linuxfr. Merci à Patrick.

1998, Internet grows quicker than anyone expects. I’m 19 years old and still live at my parent’s house, hang out on IRC, use FTP to download, and run Linux for fun. I’m a complete geek.

I decide to create a website, I’m not sure what I’ll do with it. I don’t know if I want something closer to FreshMeat or Slashdot, but I buy a domain name anyway. I hang out on #Linuxfr, an IRC channel, and decide linuxfr.org would be a nice DNS. Its first whois description is “Utilisateurs débiles de Linux” which translates to something like Stupid Linux Users. We kept this for years.

The first server hosting the website is a 486DX4 100Mhz with open case, under my feet, at my employer’s office. It then later moves to a paid hosting and when the site becomes popular, we’ll never have to pay anymore1.

  1. See a nice history Bruno have put together

  1. devise: Flexible authentication, install devise-async if using sidekiq
  2. rspec: Behaviour Driven Development
  3. capistrano: Executing commands in parallel on multiple remote machines, simplify and automate deployment
  4. aasm: Adding finite state machines to Ruby classes. Try state_machine if you need support for multiple columns within the same model
  5. tabs_on_rails: Creating tabs and navigation menus
  6. faker: Generates fake data, very handy with factory_girl for tests
  7. brice: Irb goodness for the masses
  8. webmock: Stubbing and setting expectations on HTTP requests
  9. sidekiq: Efficient message processing, Resque compatible
  10. carrierwave: Flexible way to upload files
  11. will_paginate: Pagination library, I use it with will_paginate-bootstrap as I use bootstrap most the time
  12. whenever: Clear syntax for writing and deploying cron jobs

Which ones do you use yourself? Let me know over Twitter.


Some more I got from you guys:

  • better_errors: Better Errors replaces the standard Rails error page with a much better and more useful error page. It is also usable outside of Rails in any Rack app as Rack middleware.
  • pry: An IRB replacement
  • simple_form: Rails forms made easy.
  • irbtools: Improves Ruby’s irb console. Unlike pry, you are still in your normal irb, but you have colors and lots of helpful methods. It’s designed to work out-of-the-box so there is no reason to not use it!
  • nokogiri: Nokogiri (鋸) is an HTML, XML, SAX, and Reader parser. Among Nokogiri’s many features is the ability to search documents via XPath or CSS3 selectors.
  • bundler: Bundler keeps ruby applications running the same code on every machine. Of course I’d use this in every single projects.
  • kaminari: A Scope & Engine based, clean, powerful, customizable and sophisticated paginator for modern web app frameworks and ORMs. Seems like a nice replacement to will_paginate
  • Active Admin: Framework for creating administration style interfaces.

Read this first

I wrote this post because I was receiving emails from friends about my past experience and wanted to gather all my advices in a single post.

I now receive more emails from readers than ever, at least a few per week, asking me questions about getting a job in San Francisco. I love you to blog, link, talk about this post, and if you really need to talk to me @fabienpenso is best. But while I would love to answer everyone of you over email, I just can’t.