A Beginner's Guide to Installing a Custom ROM on an Android Phone

I have an old Sony XPeria S phone (from 2012) which has long since been abandoned by my carrier. It no longer receives any updates and is stuck on Android 4.2, which kinda sucks….

So I decided to take matters into my own hands and get an up-to-date version of Android, by flashing the phone with a custom ROM. While this didn’t prove to be that difficult, I did hit a few stumbling blocks along the way, which I wanted to document.

This post will serve two purposes. Firstly, it will provide detailed instructions on how to install a custom ROM on an Xperia S. Secondly, it will also outline the general process of flashing an old Android phone and offer a high-level overview of the concepts involved.

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How to Create a Simple CRUD App with Rails and React

Most web applications need to persist data in one form or other. When working with a server-side language, this is normally a straightforward task. However when you add a front-end JavaScript framework to the mix, things start to get a bit trickier.

In this tutorial I am going to demonstrate how to build a JSON API using Ruby on Rails and then code a fully-functional React frontend to interact with the API. The app we’ll be building is an event manager, which will let you create and manage a list of academic events (I work for a university).

The app will showcase basic CRUD functionality and will add a couple of extra features (such as a datepicker and search). To integrate the React frontend with the Rails backend, I’ll be using the Webpacker gem, which will ship as the default JavaScript bundler for Rails 6.

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How to Install Ubuntu Server on VirtualBox

In this post I’ll show you how to install Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (Bionic Beaver) on Oracle’s VirtualBox. I’ll also demonstrate how to connect to the Ubuntu instance via SSH. This will form the basis for a second tutorial that will walk through installing and configuring Ruby on Rails on an Ubuntu server.

Let’s get started!

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How to Update Phusion Passenger When Installed via RubyGems

Pair of feet sticking out of a car window
Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

Phusion Passenger (a.k.a. mod_rails) is a module for the Apache HTTP Server which can (among other things) be used to deploy Rails apps.

As with any piece of software, from time to time security vulnerabilities will be discovered and Passenger will need to be updated.

Although the project’s homepage offers some excellent documentation on how to do this, the steps they describe didn’t work for me and resulted in my app crashing.

Inspecting the Apache error logs informed me that a segmentation fault had occurred and that I may have encountered a bug in the Ruby interpreter. This was accompanied by a 5,000 line stack trace.

Oh dear!

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How to Set Up an Apache Virtual Host on Linux Mint

Running Apache on my local machine helps me speed up my web development work. It means that I can use root-relative urls, server-side programming languages (such as PHP) and interface with a database — all without having to upload anything via FTP.

The only problem comes when you are working on multiple projects at the same time. If you create different directories for different projects within your web root (which defaults to /var/www/html), then the root-relative urls will break, as will any server-side includes you are using.

This is where virtual hosts come in. They allow you to create a separate domain for each of your projects, such as http://project1/ and http://project2/.

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How to Install rbenv on Linux Mint 17.1

Last year I wrote about installing rbenv on Linux Mint 16. Back then the installation process as described on the project’s Github page didn’t work for me and, after much frustration, I ended up installing an older version of rbenv from the repositories.

Recently, I had to reinstall my operating system (upgrading to Mint 17.1) and decided to give the rbenv installation process another try. I’m happy to say that it worked entirely as expected and within a matter of minutes I had two Ruby versions installed on my system and could switch between them at will.

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Ajax Beginner's Tutorial

Ajax stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML and is used for allowing the client side of an application to communicate with the server side of an application.

This might be necessary in order to update the contents of a drop down menu, or to check the availability of a user name, all without reloading the whole page.

Using Ajax isn’t very hard and in this tutorial I’ll show you how to get up and running.

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