Musings of a Fondue

Mechanize X Investopedia

Original Date: November 27, 2013

I wanted to get the trade history of a user (whom I suspected was a bot), but I didn’t want to copy and paste all those pages.

I had previously watched episode 191 of RailsCasts where Ryan Bates uses Mechanize to login to a site and scrape the desired data. The original instructions in the video were not 100% applicable, however the Mechanize documentation filled in the gaps.

I put a script together using the two sources, and… it worked!

Tetris Theme Song Using Processing

Original Date: November 23, 2013

If you have Processing installed, I highly recommend going through the examples included. There’s a lot of interesting stuff hiding there.

If not, download it. I promise you won’t regret it!

This project was based on one of these examples* which plays the Happy Birthday song. I managed to tweak it to play the Tetris theme song. (And felt like a million bucks haha.)

Here it is live


Unsigned Java applications no longer work on web browsers (at least not without much effort). So here’s a recording of it I made using Audacity,


Checkout RailsCasts by Paul Bates.

They are very well done! And pack a lot of information into 10 minute bites.

He covers a diverse range of topics related to websites such as security, payments, authentication, spam, tagging, data management, and much much more.

Even if you’re not interested in Ruby the language, or the Rails framework, the videos are useful for leveling up on general knowledge of how websites work.

#notSponsored #itsJustThatGood

Web Scraping With Nokogiri

Original Date: October 15, 2013

This is a small script I originally wrote on October-ish of 2013.

It’s based on this excellent 10 minute tutorial by Paul Bates (RailsCasts).

The script visits a website and returns (‘scrapes’) information without you having to manually open, search, copy, then paste the information you desire. This makes it invaluable for batch executions or tasks you want automated.

I recall being ecstatic at the time - or more accurately, my mind EXPLODING into several pieces!

Though I didn’t take any screenshots, here are some with the same script but run today (May 12, 2015),

First Android App

Original Date: October 13, 2013


My first android app. Incredibly simple but I cannot wipe the grin off my face!

It’s based completely on this tutorial by Maro Klein.

He makes it incredibly easy to get started programming for Android. Check it out if you need that first icebreaker to get you going!

Learning Ruby on Rails

Original Date: October 1, 2013

I finished Michael Hartl’s intro series to Ruby on Rails.

In the process, I learned a lot about the web in general and website design.

I also learned a lot (and I mean a lot) about patience! Turns out attempting to do a tutorial written in 2010 in 2013 is hard given the blinding rate at which Ruby and its gems are updated.

I also learned about command line use, Github, Heroku, Git, Ruby, and lots of other stuff. The series is quite comprehensive!

The end result is the following website:

Subtitles Using JavaScript - Part 3

Original Date: September 7, 2013

Using Excel to convert subtitle files into arrays is too laborious to be practical.

I came across regex while working through Michael Hartl’s Ruby on Rails tutorial. He covers regex in Lesson 6 when talking about password validations.

With generous use of Stack Overflow and Rubular, I managed to put a ruby script together. It takes a subtitle file as an input, and returns a JavaScript array as an output.

Overall using the script requires much less effort than Excel. Only two manual steps of search and replace are needed to finish up the array.

Here it is in action,

Subtitles Using JavaScript - Part 2

Original Date: August 13, 2013

Having succeeded with the <video> tag, I wanted to try implementing subtitles for flash videos - the format which most video content on the web is distributed in.

However I quickly learned that each flash player has its own unique way (via APIs) of getting information about a video’s current time. This meant that for now at least, my implementation would not be universal.

So, I tested the waters with YouTube’s JavaScript API.

I used this snippet by Rob W. as starter code for interaction with the API. And after a lot of reading, and trial and error I got this,


Subtitles Using JavaScript - Part 1

Original Date: August 13, 2013

There was a movie I desperately wanted to watch but I couldn’t find a version with subtitles uploaded ANYWHERE online. (The movie was in a language I didn’t know).

This had been a recurring situation. The full movie is there in all its epicness, but no subs!! However, the subtitles were often easily findable via Google.

I tried watching the movie while reading the subtitles on another window…but no dice! I kept falling behind or ahead of the actual dialogue and juggling took away from the movie…

One day when browsing Flowplayer’s features (a popular video player for the web), I noticed the nature of the subtitle files they use, and decided to try and write some JavaScript code that could sync subtitles with a video.

HTML5 Game

Original Date: August 5, 2013

I wanted to get better with JavaScript and Canvas so I did another game tutorial series.

This time, it was Gyrostorm’s YouTube series, ‘HTML5 Game Development Tutorial.

The series is quite good! Check it out if you’re starting out!

Here is my end result, sort-of. Press ‘B’ to fire, WASD or ULDR to move, and Spacebar for a special *cough something.