Archive for October, 2006

Silicon Welly…

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

ProjectX are in the news again. We have just featured in an article in this month’s Idealog. The article is profiling on how Wellington is helping to make the web cool again in New Zealand. Trade Me, SMH aka. Starnow and ProjectX are highlighted as some of the Wellington companies leading the new wave. The article also offers some sage commentary from Web 2.0 guru Richard McManus and O’Reilly veteran Nat Torkington.

Wellington is hotting up with start-up fever. I know of 4-5 startups that are currently in the pipeline. With Weta now scaling up in terms of people and projects (more movies, animation and games) , Wellington is a buzz with all the activity. There are going to be some good opportunities for skilled people to work on some kick ass projects.

I’ll post a link to the article once its live online.

Zen and the Art of Startup

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

Working for a startup is hard. You never know what’s coming around the corner. Trying to predict what will happen next is nearly impossible. It’s very easy to get caught up in this never ending simulation of “what if” scenarios. At the end of the day you find that none of those scenarios actually happened and that you ended up doing something completely unforseen.

Well, you can strategise, plan for every eventuality and worry all you want. Nothing good will come out of it because by the time you achieve your goals (if you don’t go mad first) you will be so tired (and possibly mad) that you won’t be able to enjoy it.

So what’s the answer? The answer is very simple. Plan but don’t let your plans fix your direction. Acknowledge life’s inevitable obstacles but don’t be discouraged by them. Believe in your idea but stay open to changing it. Oh, and every now and then sleep in and be late for work. It’s good for your brain and your soul.

You won’t have any less work to do if you choose to follow these deceptively simple rules but you will be more relaxed, happier and productive. And when you finally reach your destination you will be able to look back and smile as you remember your hard but pleasant journey.

Prime numbers, Ruby-style

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

Uses the Sieve of Eratosthenes technique, and the intruiging inject() method.
This returns an array of all the primes between 2 and 1000 inclusive.

(2..1000).inject((2..1000).to_a) {|res, i|{|n|n==i||n%i!=0} }

Getting Started with Ruby on Rails

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

As some of you may have heard the Wellington Ruby on Rails developers community (WellRailed) is organising a seminar on Ruby on Rails for complete beginners. This doesn’t mean that only beginners should come though. Everyone is welcome as you all have something to contribute, be it a simple question or an insightful answer. The seminar is jointly organised by Tomek Piatek, Tim Haines and Nahum Wild.

What: Getting started with Ruby on Rails – a community based approach
When: 6:30pm, Tuesday, 31st October 2006
Where: CreativeHQ, 25a Marion Street, Te Aro, Wellington (behind Resene Paint)
Presented by: Nahum Wild
Intended audience: Anyone interested in Ruby on Rails.
Prerequisites: Interest in Ruby on Rails. Knowledge of programming in any language will be useful during the live demo.
Refreshments: Hell pizza
Cost: Free. It’s a community event. It is our turn to give back.

The format will be as follows:

  • Arrive between 6:30 and 7pm.
  • Start at 7pm: Welcome and introduction
  • Quick overview of Ruby on Rails and its main underlying design pattern: Model-View-Controller
  • An end to end demonstration of how to build a simple blog application in Rails.
  • Q&A time.

A traditional computer science refreshment consisting of pizza will be served during the Q&A session by our sponsors ProjectX Technology. Also, the kind folks at The Pragmatic Programmers publishing company have donated a copy of “Agile Web Development with Rails” which will go into a draw on the night. In the spirit of honouring those who taught us and helping those who come after us anyone with more than a year of Rails development experience is not eligible for this prize as you won’t need it. If you are an expert you won’t miss out though as all WellRailed members are now eligible for a 30% discount off all O’Rielly books. Come to the seminar to find out how.

This will be a popular event (how could it not be with all that pizza). Due to the limited size of the venue we can only accommodate 30 people. Please register today by sending an email to We will send a notification to the list to let you know how many places remain.

Please help us promote this event by telling your friends about it.

About WellRailed

We are group of software developers based in and around Wellington. We share a common passion for technology which can make our lives easier and we want to share our knowledge with other, like-minded people. We have an active mailing list. Everyone is always welcome to subscribe to the list: Once you have subscribed you can send your posts to . You can also access and search through the list archive on the group page

I like to cheat

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

I am a programmer therefore I am lazy. You see programmers are a peculiar bunch. We will spend hours trying to figure out how to save 5 minutes. That’s not wasteful at all. It’s called converging on a pure solution. What is wasteful is wading through hundreds of pages of documentation trying to find that thing that does the thing. You know, that thing which you can never find.

This is a list of really handy, time-saving cheat sheets:

I especially like the Prototype cheat sheet. Prototype is vast and I always find myself re-implementing some part of it because I don’t know that it’s already been done. This cheat sheet organises the various parts of Prototype into logical units making it easy to find related information.

Summer of Code

Thursday, October 5th, 2006


ProjectX is participating in the “Creative HQ – Summer of code 2006”. We are offering talented students the opportunity to work for a startup company this summer. Students will have the chance to gain experience in the latest internet technologies by helping to build the next generation of internet web applications. You’ll be working with companies based at Creative HQ, the premiere business incubator in Wellington.

So, if you’re a 2nd year student or above and want to work in a dynamic learning environment, apply for the “Creative HQ Summer of Code 2006”

For more details on how to apply, check out our flyer.

Want to work for the next Trade Me?

Creative HQ invites Victoria University B.IT and B.Sc computer science students to take part in the Creative HQ Summer of Code 2006. This is designed to help students
gain real world experience with innovative companies developing new technologies, products, and services.

You could get to work with these funky IT companies resident at the Creative HQ Business Incubator:


· ProjectX Technology – Online mapping and local search

· Let Use It – Online marketplace

· Silverstripe – Content management solutions

· BrowserCRM – Customer relationship management solutions


These companies work with the latest technology

  • Web 2.0
  • Ruby on Rails
  • SQL Databases
  • OO programming
  • Desktop Apps
  • Java
  • Net
  • Delphi
  • Web services
  • AJAX / Javascript
  • PHP
  • Linux & Windows
  • CSS
  • XML

We have space for 5-7 students for the summer, so places are limited





or send your CV and cover letter to:

Creative HQ Summer of Code

PO Box 6746, Marion Square, Wellington 6141


<u>Applications close Monday October 16th 2006</u>


So what does it take to be successful?

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Paul Allen (who runs an US internet incuvator called Provo Labs) has posted about a TV show on serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban – Mark Cuban on Becoming a Billionaire. (Mark Cuban is one the dot com era winners with )

Paul highlighted the following insights from the show:

“He reads like crazy and uses email like crazy…” – I think every entrepreneur reads like crazy. I am always on the look out for new ideas, inspiration and different business models. I am a big believer in cross pollenation of ideas from different segments of the business world. Sometimes inspiration is found in strange places! eg. I got an idea for a new auction component from reading the introduction of! For some strange reason the introductory pitch of the book ampifilied the ideas that were bubbling under the surface.

“He is willing to do the blocking and tackling to build a business…” ie. He’s willing to do the hard yards to build the business. Taking the time to get the little details right can make the difference in creating a unique user experience. Small things do make a difference and you can really build something substancial when you add up everything. At the end of the day, you can’t say that you gave it your best shot if you didn’t give it 120%. A start-up isn’t a 9-5 job, you need to live and breathe it,if you want to be a success.

“Being an investor made him a better business man, and being a business man made him a better investor…” – Absolutely, you need to understand investing to be a better business. You need to understand about investing, if you want to get into the mindspace of a VC.

What do VC’s want in companies? More on that later…

Tech Links

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Here are some javascript related links that we’ve looking at over the last week.