Introduction to Beacons @ Society Consulting

I was invited to give a talk at Society Consulting in regards to beacons and Bluetooth LE yesterday, great turn out. Big data is the way to go.

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Geek Girls Carrots @ Seattle Central Library



I was invited to give a 7 minute lightning talk at Geek Girls Carrots’ first Seattle Maker Party. Had a great time showing people how to use Intel Galileo to make Mashery API calls!

Fixing “could not obtain a database connection within 5.000 seconds” on Heroku

Being a relative Ruby on Rails + Heroku n00b I was being plagued by an error message which accompanied hard crashes on my RoR server being deployed on Heroku:

"Error during failsafe response: could not obtain a database connection within 5.000 seconds"

This seems to basically just mean that the thread pool got tied up processing stuff and crapped itself. The fix is to use Unicorn or other solution to improve the way Rails allocates resources within Dynos. It took me 3 minutes to install Unicorn using the Heroku instructions and the problem has not occurred again.

How to solve “Access Denied” with Heroku + Paperclip + S3 + ROR

The instructions provided by Heroku on how to get Rails 4 + Heroku + Paperclip gem + Amazon S3 image storage did not work for me. These instructions did:

The one additional thing to make sure of, once you have created an S3 “bucket” for your images (and followed the appropriate naming conventions stated by Heroku) is that you must set an IAM policy.

This is different than an S3 bucket policy and resulted in a lot of confusion on my part as to why I kept getting Access Denied errors on Heroku when trying to upload paperclip images.

To set your IAM policy, you need to navigate over to: Select your user and then click “Attach User Policy” -> “Administrator Access.”   Once you have added Admin access to your user, your access denied errors should go away.

Sharing Wi-Fi with a Gen 2 Galileo Board via USB

Follow these steps to share Wi-Fi from your laptop with your Galileo Gen 2 board.

You will need the following:

Here is how to do it:

  • Step 1: Download + Install Intel XDK
  • Step 2: Download and install Bonjour Browser
  • Step 3: Power on your Gen 2 board and connect it to your PC’s USB slot via the ethernet -> USB adapter like this (make sure you have the Yocto linux loaded SD card in the slot)


  • Step 4: Open System Preferences -> Sharing and select “Internet Sharing.” Before turning it on, make sure to have enabled “USB Ethernet” checkbox.


  • Step 5: Discover your connected Galileo device’s IP address using the Bonjour Browser (listed under “xdk-app-daemon”)



  • Step 6: SSH into your Galileo and prove it has internet:

Simply make some call like “ping” to see if you get a real internet response back.

Intel Galileo GEN 2 Board Unboxing

Galileo Gen 2

Today the “Intel fairy” delivered unto me a set of Intel Galileo Gen 2 boards. Setup instructions were simple and getting up and running was a snap.

A couple pointers: Make sure you plug the power in via the external cable or the Intel Galileo v2 “usbmodem” entry will not appear under the Serial Ports menu. You might be deceived because the board seems to have power when plugged in via USB but you won’t be able to see it in the Arduino IDE drop down menu.

For a full run down of differences, check out this diagram.