Installing Leiningen on Windows

Leiningen is an awesome tool for getting up and running with Clojure. They have a super simple bash or .bat script for getting up and running on OS X, Linux, and Windows. The home page does an awesome job explaining how to get started with OS X and Linux but not so much on Windows.

This is a very similar process to what I wrote about previously on Setting up ANTLR4 on Windows. If you do not already, make sure that you have Java Installed (the latest version should work fine).

Create Batch Command for lein

Download lein.bat and save it somewhere. I put all of my random Java libraries in C:\Javalib to make them easy to find. So that is where I put this bat script.

Add C:\Javalib to your PATH

  1. Open up File Explorer
  2. Right Click on This PC
  3. Select Properties
  4. On the left hand side of the new window select Advanced System Settings
  5. On the bottom of this screen select Environment Variables…
  6. Find the PATH variable
  7. Append ;C\Javalib\; to the existing PATH variable

Install and Test to make sure everything works

  1. Open up a command prompt and type in lein self-install. This will install lein.
  2. Now you can type lein repl to start a REPL session
user=> (+ 2 2)
;= 4
user=> (printf "Clojure on Windows is Awesome!")
;= Clojure on Windows is Awesome!nil

If nothing is bombing out, you are all set and ready to hack on some Clojure! Why not check out the CircleCI frontend for inspiration?

Nikki Wertish and the UbuTab Scam

Yesterday I wrote a trolly post about how to make $25,000 in 15 easy steps in an effort to raise awareness about the UbuTab scam that happened on Indiegogo this year. Although no one has yet gathered a angry mob to chase after Nikki Wertish and Indiegogo, I think that overall it was pretty successful. In fact, yesterday was the single best day for overall traffic on this blog since its inception. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read, comment, and share that post!

I wanted to follow up with a slightly more serious post expressing my frustration with the whole situation. I first saw the UbuTab campaign on Indeigogo back in January. I wrote about it then predicting that it would probably turn out to be a scam and commenting on how if you want to be taken seriously as a new business then you should not use a gmail address or redirect potential customers to paypal for checkout. Especially if the name of the company on paypayl that you are redirecting them to is not the same as the name of the company of the site that the user was just on.

I’m sad to see that this campaign really did turn out to be scam. I am not sad because I don’t get to play with an awesome Ubuntu tablet (even though I would love to), I am sad because Nikki Wertish took advantage of the kindness of strangers and based on Indeigogos initial reaction to the whole thing, is likely going to get away with it. I think the reason why she is going to get away with it is because $27,980 dollars is a relatively small amount of money and 156 people are a relatively small number of backers. When you screw that few number of people over, no one really pays attention and the only people that lose are the ones that believed in the project in the first place.

Reading through the comments on the project is depressing. It is a sea of disappointed and frustrated users pleading for any sort of communication from Nikki. Their questions go unanswered for months, and contacting Indiegogo for any sort of support is a fruitless endeavor.

“I am starting to feel like this project is dead. Nothing for two months??”

“No response to my comments or emails what are you talking about? I think we have been scammed and indiegogo will not do anything to help us.”

“Hello Guys,
As we didn’t get any response from UbuTab Team and the only answer from Indiegogo is ” try to contact the campaign owner “.

Is there any kind of legal actions can be taken ??”

“As a reminder, the offer of a tangible perk is legally binding – see the IndieGoGo TOS below. Given that this campaign has failed to deliver the tangible item as offered, please refund either provide a tracking ID or refund my money.

“If a Campaign Owner (CO) is unable to perform on any promise and/or commitment to Contributors, the CO will work with the Contributors to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution, which may include the issuance of a refund of Contributions by the CO.””

In addition, the website for the project is down and Nikki has not provided an update for over three months. Her latest update read:

3 months ago

Hello everyone!!

First of all, I apologize to all who haven’t received any e-mail response. We are currently working on getting back to everyone’s questions. If you are waiting for a response, please know you will get an e-mail back by the end of this week. If you haven’t heard back after that, please try us again so we can help in any way possible.

Secondly, I know you are all anxiously awaiting the tablets. We are still a little bit behind in production. We were disappointed in the quality of the first batch of tablets from the manufacture. We do not feel they were of high enough quality to continue production of the current model. We are working with them to resolve the issues, and hope the next batch is up to our standards. Thank you for your patience in this matter! We are working on getting a few things updated so that we can send everyone the highest quality product. At this point we are looking at another 6-12 weeks before shipment.

I just want to thank everyone for their patience in this matter. We are working hard to get the UbuTab to you as soon as possible, but we don’t want to skimp on quality to save time.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to comment or e-mail and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you again for your support and patience!

– UbuTab Team

It turns out that this wasn’t the first time that Nikki took a stab at crowdfunding, along with a few other failed businesses under the company name NuMac, but she was much more successful taking advantage of people who actually want to see Ubuntu running on a tablet.  Some people say that the ones that funded this campaign were simply stupid. Why in the world would they trust someone with no background, no credibility, and no working prototype with their money. I would agree that perhaps they should have scrutinized this project a bit more before fronting cash, but I do not think they are stupid. I would argue that the entire point of crowdfunding is to provide someone with a crazy idea the resources that they need to make it a reality.

I think the crowdfunding overall is a good thing, there have been tons of really amazing projects that have come out of kickstarter, Indiegogo, crowdsupply and the like. For comparison this is what a successful and legitimate hardware crowdfunding campaign looks like. When things like this happen, it causes many to lose faith in the system and makes it harder for the next person with a crazy idea to get enough people to trust them to follow through with it. I think that is a real shame.

I really hope that Indiegogo steps up and does something on behalf of all the users that trusted in the platform. I would also love for Nikki to provide everyone with an honest update on what is going on with the project and if it truly failed find some way to refund all of the backers. Until then, shame on Nikki Wertish for exploiting the crowdfunding model and scamming 156 people.

I have registered a formal complaint with the FTC. I would encourage everyone else to do the same, especially if you are one of the victims of this scam.

How to make $25,000 in 15 Easy Steps

  1. Move to Minnesota
  2. Start working on a Political Science / Journalism Degree
  3. Sign up for a Go Daddy Account
  4. Make a horrible and lazy website
  5. Sign up for an Indiegogo Account
  6. Know absolutely nothing about Hardware Manufacturing, Linux Development, or Mobile Devices
  7. Steal Some Screenshots of random things happening and put them on top of other screenshots of white label tablet mockups. (Be sure to use a pirated version of PhotoShop for this step).
  8. Make a low budget Apple commercial (be sure to be writing things with a marker).
  9. Think about how much it would cost to develop, manufacture, test, market, and ship a new tablet that runs an unreleased mobile version of a popular Linux Distribution.
  10. Ignore the costs from step 9 and ask for $36,000
  11. Set up a CrowdFunding Campaign on the site from Step 5. Be sure to use Flexible Funding which means that you get paid regardless of whether or not your goal is reached.
  12. Somehow manage to get 156 people to give you money.
  13. Fail to reach your funding goal.
  14. Provide sporadic updates on how things are moving forward in a positive direction with your amazing new product with your final update talking about manufacturing difficulties in China.
  15. Take down your horrible website from Step 4 and ignore all future emails and comments from anyone that has to do with this project.

This worked for Nikki Wertish of the UbuTab scam, and I am sure that it can work for you too!

UPDATEI wrote a less trolly follow up article to this, check it out to learn more about the UbuTab Scam

Installing the Latest Version of Eclipse IDE (Mars) in Debian

The version of Eclipse that currently comes in Debian (even in “Unstable”) is pretty old. There have been tons of awesome development in this kitchen sink IDE over the last few years. Luckily, installing the latest version of Eclipse in Debian manually is not that difficult.

  1. Download the latest release form the release page. There are a bunch of different versions that are tailored for Java, C/C++, PHP, developers along with other use cases. The one you pick does not really matter since you can install any features you want in any of these versions. Picking the Java one is a sensible default.

  2. Once you have downloaded Eclipse, navigate to the Downloads folder in a terminal and untar it.

    tar xf eclipse*.tar.gz

  3. Move eclipse to the /opt directory

    Opt is where things that are not installed by your package manager are “supposed to go”. I usually throw things in there.

    sudo mv eclipse /opt

  4. Create a symbolic link to make launching eclipse a breeze.

    sudo ln -s /opt/eclipse/eclipse /usr/local/bin/eclipse

  5. You can now launch eclipse by typing eclipse in a terminal window.

  6. The last (optional) step is to make a Desktop Icon.

    Create a file called eclipse.desktop in /usr/share/applications The file should look something like this:

    sudo vim /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop

    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Eclipse IDE
    Comment=Java Integrated Development Environment
    Exec=/usr/local/bin/eclipse
    Terminal=false
    Icon=/opt/eclipse/icon.xpm
    Type=Application
    Categories=Development;IDE
    

Save this file and you will see Eclipse IDE show up in your list of installed applications. Click on it and you are now all set to use the latest version of Eclipse.

Nice work! Now that you have Eclipse installed, you should check out Java: The Complete Reference to brush up on your Java skills or learn some new ones.