Filter

Sign up for our newsletter

Recieve a selection of our favorite articles the first Friday of every month!

Articles

Article  |  Misc

Portland Revealed: Episode 3: Get outdoors

11 May 2007

In Portland Revealed: Episode 1, Gary gave a quick overview of some of Portland’s finer points. In this episode, we’ll go into more detail about some of the things to do outside while at the conference. We know at least a few of you are planning on spending a few days before and/or after the conference soaking up the city and surrounding areas that wanted to explore the lovely outdoor parts of Portland.

It’s springtime in Portland and the weather has been great the past few weeks for lacing up your boots, running or walking shoes up and hitting the paths. We’ve kept this list to places within the city limits and easy to get to for conference goers.

Hit the (dirt) trails at Forest Park

It would a crime to not begin this list with Forest Park, Portland’s pride and joy. As Gary mentioned in Episode 1, Forest Park is the largest, forested natural area within city limits in the United States. Since many of you will be taking advantage of our excellent public transportation system, you can actually get to several trails via Tri-Met, both the MAX and by bus.

You could spend days wandering around all of the trails here. A few of us at PLANET ARGON have been known to go hiking and running around Forest Park in the afternoons/early evenings after a nice, long day of working with Ruby on Rails.

Gary running through Forest Park
Gary Blessington, Director of Design and Development at PLANET ARGON, seen running through Forest Park earlier this week with his dogs

For more information about Forest Park, visit Friends of Forest Park.

Pound the pavement at Waterfront Park

Just a quick jaunt from the conference center and you’ll find yourself at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, on the Willamette River (pronounced wil-LAM-met). If you are a runner, try the waterfront run for an breezy 2.5 miles, which takes you down waterfront park, across the Hawthorne Bridge, up the Eastbank Esplanade, and back across the steel bridge. For more information and directions, visit here.

Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park

If it’s sunny out, Waterfront Park also makes for a great place to lounge on the grass with a good book.

Climb your way up to Mt. Tabor Park

If you make it farther into SE Portland, you might head over to Mt. Tabor Park, which sits atop an extinct volcano cinder cone. Don’t worry, we’re not expecting it to come back to life anytime soon, but be sure to check out the cinders “near the peak, where a basketball court and outdoor amphitheater are now situated, part of the cinder cone has been cut away, and is visible to park visitors. The remaining cinders were used to pave the nearby parking lot” (via wikipedia). Mt. Tabor is great for picnics, going for a jog, walking the dog, and getting a nice view of Downtown Portland (but you’ll have to make it to the top for this one). You can take the buses directly there, which makes it very accessible and a favorite among the locals.

Mt. Tabor
View of Downtown Portland from Mt. Tabor

Take a stroll through Washington Park

Lastly, for those of you looking for a more leisurely walk though a park packed with extra amenities, make your way to Washington Park in SW Portland. You can get there by bus, or MAX, with the Washington Park MAX station being the deepest transit station in North America, at 260 feet below ground!

Peaceful day
Trails at Washington Park

If the trails aren’t enough to keep you busy, you will not be short of things to do. Washington Park is home to the Oregon Zoo, the World Forestry Center, the Portland Japanese Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, and the International Rose Test Garden, with more than 700 varieties of roses. It’s just about to hit its peak of the season, so all you flower lovers, this is the perfect time! Best of all, the view of downtown from the Rose Garden is stunning, and on a clear day you can get a great view of Mt. Hood.

Feeling brazen?

If you have a lot of free time, check out the 40-Mile Loop and let us know how it is. ;-)

We hope that you all enjoy Portland as much we do!

Continue Reading

Article  |  Misc

Portland Revealed: Episode 2: Beertown

10 May 2007

RailsConf 2007 is just over a week away, and we have been asking ourselves “what should any new visitor to Portland know when they arrive?” Our answer? Where to get a pint (or three) of good Portland beer. In this second episode of Portland Revealed, we’re going to help you find some of the best beer in town.

Many of you might not know that Portland has more local breweries than any other city in the world. In fact, just a few months ago, Tom Potter, Mayor of Portland, dubbed Portland (also known as the City of Roses) Beertown. “According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, no matter where you are in Portland, you’re never more than 15 minutes from a craft brewery.” Oregon consumes more local craft beer than any other state in the country. 11% of the beer guzzled in Oregon is local, where the national average is only 3.5%! There is no doubt that we Oregonians (natives and transplants alike), love us some good local beer, and we think you’ll love our beer too!

Full sail

While in Portland, we suggest you take some time to get acquainted with our city’s beer options. We thought we’d help you get started by sharing some of our favorite spots (and most offer free wifi).

McMenamin’s – A Portland staple, McMenamin’s can’t be overlooked. Our favorites spots for just a beer are The White Eagle and Ringler’s Annex. For beer, pizza and movies, check out Kennedy School in NE (the theater has sofas!) and the Bagdad theater on Hawthorne. Be sure to try their Ruby ale… and if you are feeling particularly Portlandish… ask for a Rubinator.

Laurelhurst – Another great beer, pizza, and movies spot on 28th and E Burnside.

Tugboat – Just around the corner from PAHQ, jvoorhis was the first to recommend this spot and it’s Alain’s favorite. Feeling brave? Try the Chernobyl Stout.

New Old Lompoc – great outside patio in NW Portland, though this place gets packed pretty quickly on a sunny day. I am all about the Centennial IPA, "a classic Northwest IPA. Nicely balanced and easy drinking with all the hop flavors that Portlanders insist on.

Rogue – Wouldn’t be a list of Portland beer without Rogue.

Bridgeport – They claim to be the oldest craft brew in Oregon, and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.

Widmer Brothers – Want to drink Robby style? Order a Hefeweizen with lemon!

Moon and Sixpence – If you’re just looking for a good English Pub to get a pint, Gary suggests the Moon and Sixpence in NE Portland, which is where he meets his fellow ex-pats meet to discuss the latest in the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United.

Laurelwood – Two locations, though we recommend the one in NW (unless you like a more family style atmosphere). They also have good food. Yum!

A Roadside Attraction – You might not guess it from driving by, but Daniel swears by this spot for a pint and a patio. Plus, it’s non-smoking.

Lucky Lab – this is where PDX.rb meets after monthly meetings. There are several locations, but our favorite is the original on Hawthorne. If you’re feeling in the mood for a pint of beer and a cookie, this is the spot!

Beer and Cookie

A Pint at PDX?

Want to start your visit to Portland off right? Grab a pint at PDX at one of three spots. And remember, free wifi at the airport. Portland knows it’s priorities. ;-)

Other Beer Resources (Beersources?)

If you are interested in grabbing a beer with some of us during the conference, stop by our IRC channel or contact us on our site (select “RailsConf Meetup” for the inquiry reason).

Continue Reading

Article

The Business of Rails

8 May 2007

As Portland prepares for an influx of Rails enthusiasts, Robby is getting warmed up for the Business of Rails panel, where he will be joined by other Rails business leaders to talk about what it takes to be a successful Rails consultant.

For those of you in the Czech Republic, be sure to catch up with Robby at Ostrava on Rails in June, where he will be making a Business Case for Rails.

Not going to make it to Portland or Ostrava? No need to feel left out, Robby has promised a series of blog posts, also titled a Business Case for Rails.

Last, but not least, check out Robby’s comment in Sun sets its sights on Web 2.0 start-ups
.

Ruby on Rails has been considered a major threat to the Java community for quite awhile,” said Robby Russell, executive director of Planet Argon, a developer of community and social networking Web sites in Portland. Sun has now developed J Ruby, which lets Ruby applications run on top of Java. And the theme of JavaOne this year is “Open Possibilities.”

It’s a beautiful day in Portland, let’s hope the sun stays around for all of you heading our way.

Spring is here!

We look forward to talking with you about the Business of Rails.

Continue Reading

Article

Coming Soon: Boxcar for Rails business hosting

8 May 2007

It’s been year since I announced our Rails Business Hosting, and it has been a popular hosting choice for many of our customers. We’ve been hard at work designing a new hosting service, which aims to provide you with even more privacy, more guaranteed resources, and better options for scaling your Rails application as your business grows.

In the coming weeks, the PLANET ARGON team will introduce Boxcar, an exciting new hosting service that has been designed, developed, and fine-tuned over the past several months.

In the meantime, check out the new Boxcar site, launched this morning by our designer in residence, Chris Griffin. Sign up on our mailing list to be one of the first to find out when this new service is available for public consumption. You can also stay tuned to our blog, as we’ll be posting more updates over the coming days and weeks as we prepare for our launch!

Continue Reading

Article  |  Misc

Rails the #1 technology to know in 2007?

19 Mar 2007

Earlier today, ComputerWorld published an article that lists what they believe are The Top Five Technologies You Need to Know About in ’07. In this article they list the following.

Five Hot Technologies for 2007

  1. Ruby on Rails – Faster, easier Web development
  2. NAND drives -Bye-bye, HDD?
  3. Ultra-Wideband – 200x personal-area networking
  4. Hosted hardware – Supercomputing for the masses
  5. Advanced CPU architectures – Penryn, Fusion and more

That’s right! You might have noticed that ComputerWorld has named Ruby on Rails, our development framework of choice, as the top technology to know about in 2007!

“Equal parts design philosophy and development environment, Rails offers developers a few key code-level advantages when constructing database-backed Web applications. One of the central tenets emphasizes using less code for application development by avoiding redundancy and following Rails conventions. This means increased performance and, ideally, decreased development times.”

It’s great to see that the technology that we decided to adopt over two years ago is still making big headlines!

Continue Reading

Article  |  Studio

Meteorites: Let's get this party started

12 Mar 2007

5 mistakes your company blog should avoid.

“Blogs are about people talking with other people – not a time for corporate speak. Dull, dull, dull. Show some passion about what you do. Engage your reader – don’t write at them.”

A Roundup for “Developers, Developers, Developers…

“…a compilation of products that developers may find useful.”

Clear Blogging: How People Blogging Are Changing the World and How You Can Join Them

“Almost overnight, blogging has become a social, political, and business force to be reckoned with. Your fellow students, workers, and competitors are joining the blogosphere—and making money, influencing elections, getting hired, growing market share, and having fun—to the tune of 8,000 new bloggers a day.”

Slife

“…a new application for the Mac OS X that lets you visualize and organize your computer activities like never before. Slife observes your every interaction with applications such as Safari, Mail and iChat and keeps tracks of all web pages you visit, emails you read, documents you write and much more.”

Down with titles

“Being at a fairly small company, most everybody plays several different roles that would justify several different titles. Naturally, we all have our primary role, but that only covers about 75% of what each of us does.”

The Arepa Cabal

“The first rule about the Arepa Cabal is that you don’t explain what the Arepa Cabal is.”

Pimpin’ Products Ain’t Easy…

“The act of pimpin’ products, on the other hand, never involves any kind of questionable tactics. Pimpin’ means putting your product’s best foot forward. Accen-tuate the pos-it-ive. It means not shirking from self-promotion, and shouting your product’s position, features and benefits loud and clear.”

Research Is a Method, Not a Methodology

“Like other tools in the designer’s toolbox, research should be used only when necessary, not applied to every project unthinkingly.”

Continue Reading

Article

Presidents Day 2007

19 Feb 2007

It’s Presidents Day 2007 here in the US and what better way to celebrate than to highlight some of the things our presidents have said? Here are a few of our favorite quotes.

“The thing that’s wrong with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.” -George W. Bush, via Gary

“I’m an idealist without illusions.” – John F. Kennedy, via Alain

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” –Thomas Jefferson, via Robby

“People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” -Abraham Lincoln, via Allison

“The world has nothing to fear from military ambition in our Government.” -James K. Polk, via Daniel

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” -John F. Kennedy, via Brian

What are some of your favorites?

Continue Reading

Article  |  Misc

Portland Revealed: Episode 1

19 Feb 2007

Although Railsconf is still three months away, people are already planning for what should be a great four days of learning, networking and, of course, fun.

What makes this year’s conference even more special is that it is in our home town of Portland. For those of you who have yet to visit, you’re in for a treat. For a somewhat small city, it certainly has a lot going on. Perhaps the most attractive aspect, to many people like myself, is the abundance of outdoor activities. Having access to countless trails, skiing and more, all within an hour or so drive, makes it a great place to live.

While you may not get time to head out of town to wander around the Gorge, its easy enough to get over to Forest Park, which is a great place for walking, running and cycling. It includes over 5,100 wooded acres making it the largest, forested natural area within city limits in the United States. More than enough space to wander around while you absorb what you learned at the conference.

Bicyclists

Cyclists can rent from various places around town, with Fat Tire Farm being the closest to the park. Its actually on the same road as one of the entrances to a good cycling trail, which can be accessed by heading west on Thurman St. However, they do not take reservations and it is first come, first served. Getting over there from the Convention Center is also very easy, with Portland’s excellent public transport system. Most of the downtown area is covered by a fareless square, which means you can take the Max, for free, over to west Burnside, then catch the 15 bus over to NW 23rd.

We hope you’ll enjoy Portland as much as you enjoy the conference itself!

Continue Reading

Article

t-minus 20... 19...

16 Feb 2007

Once upon a time, a PLANET ARGON company blog was neglected and under-used. One brave and diligent hero did work tirelessly to better the blog galaxy with his wit and information, but sadly the blog was taken hostage by spam space-pirates and trackback tyrants. The people of the PLANET blog were weary of the toils… and eventually the PLANET blog was ignored so much that a year and half passed without the sun shining brightly on its surface.

But there is hope for the blog galaxy. Today… a new blog has been born.


Our brave team has decided to give hope back to the blog galaxy and launch a new blog. The team has selected Mephisto as the blogging engine that will run on our much beloved web development framework, Ruby on Rails. Many of us have our own personal and technical blogs, but we wanted to enrich this PLANET by fostering and engaging in an open dialogue with our customers, friends and communities. We hope that this new blog makes PLANET ARGON an even better place to be a part of.

All the employees at PLANET ARGON are suited up in preparation for our quest deep into the blog galaxy… and we hope that you enjoy the ride.

3… 2… 1… blast off.

Continue Reading

Have a project that needs help?

New Call-to-action