Monthly Archives: March 2015

Developing Rails apps with SSL

I’m working on some federated authentication (single sign-on) for 3rd-party applications and thought to use Ruby on Rails as a simple way to demo and develop the principles.

This is Rails, so it’s not entirely straightforward(*) but manageable on a Linux host.

In development mode, the default Webrick server does not support SSL, but a decent alternative is thin ( which also requires eventmachine.

To use thin with SSL we need to generate a self-signed certificate,

$ openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout neopir.key -x509 -days 365 -out neopir.crt
Generating a 2048 bit RSA private key
writing new private key to 'neopir.key'
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [XX]:GB
State or Province Name (full name) []:GB
Locality Name (eg, city) [Default City]:London
Organization Name (eg, company) [Default Company Ltd]:
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:Technology Division
Common Name (eg, your name or your server's hostname) []
Email Address []

And then we start the application

$ bundle exec thin --ssl --ssl-key-file neopir.key --ssl-cert-file neopir.crt -p 3443 start
Using rack adapter
Thin web server (v1.6.3 codename Protein Powder)
Maximum connections set to 1024
Listening on, CTRL+C to stop

* – It’s easy on Linux, but a nightmare on Windows, principally because eventmachine needs to be compiled with SSL support which requires OpenSSL which requires… I didn’t get it working and gave up trying.

Vegetable tiles

Had a batch of old kitchen tiles lying around the garden and that I can’t just throw away so how about using them for a different type of edging.


This makes it so much easier to spot the edges and know where the gaps are and where it’s safe to tread.


Yesterday, by luck, I found a decent way to prepare dough for the little rods. A bit more refinement this morning and now they’re not looking half bad.

The 3 best ODI Batsman in the world at the moment.

Jumpers for wickets

AB de Villiers: Runs: 7876 Average: 53.21

Where else would we start than with the player that has enthralled cricket lovers across the globe for the last decade. A combination of audacity and pure cricket genius has contributed to this spectacular South African’s incredible rise to the top of the cricket rankings. He seems to possess the enviable ability to be one step ahead of the bowler and know where he is going to bowl before the ball is delivered. This is how he plays some of his remarkable scoop shots and reverse sweeps, which not so long ago, would be considered impossible. AB has brought a new meaning to the phrase 360 degree batting, by literally being able to play any shot at any time. Many analysts are now ranking him among greats such as Sir Isaac Vivian Richards, and the Don himself. With outstanding knowledge of the game…

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