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the Argon Express

Posted by Tue, 27 Jun 2006 05:31:00 GMT

While at RailsConf, I was asked probably a few dozen times how the trip to Chicago via Amtrak was… and my answer was, “fun!” It really was… granted it wasn’t easy to sleep on the train but we did have fun.

Here are a few photos from the trip… in chronological order. Be sure to see the gallery as people are adding more and more photos to the group.

Walking to Union Station in Portland, OR.

Group photos before boarding…

Traveling on the train along the Columbia River

Late night hacking..

Late at night… leg streching

Breakfast on the train

Stopped in Wisconsin

Hacking on the train…

More hacking on the train…

The Mac shot…

Arrived at Union Station in Chicago, IL.

A video is coming soon too!

Join the Argon Team

Posted by Sun, 25 Jun 2006 00:59:00 GMT

1 comment Latest by Sam LG Thu, 13 Jul 2006 01:10:44 GMT

We’re going to be opening the doors this summer and hiring a few more people to join our happy team of Rails developers, consultants, and deployment experts.

Interested? Great… send us a plain text resumé and a thoughtful cover letter to

The catch? You need to be in Portland… or interested in moving to Portland in the very near future. We’re still a bootstrapped company so we can’t entirely afford to help you move to Portland… but there is a lot of work to be done here. :-)

If you’re at RailsConf… catch me by the EOD Sunday and introduce yourself.

RailsConf, day 1

Posted by Fri, 23 Jun 2006 20:22:00 GMT

5 comments Latest by mikael Gyde Møller Sat, 24 Jun 2006 19:24:03 GMT

Rails and Database Schemas

This morning, David Thomas opened up the conference by pointing out three problems that Rails needs to solve. The one that hit home for me and my love of databases… especially monolithic legacy ones… was his first bullet, “Data Integration.” Natural keys, composites, automatic AR relationships with reflection, and non-database backends. He didn’t mention stored procedures… I’ll have to ask him about that. ;-)

Shared Hosting and Rails

I’m currently sitting in Topfunky’s talk, “Rails Deployment on Shared Hosting”. He had a few funny slides… yes… deployment on shared hosting can be painful. We’ve been working with our customers to ease this problem as much as possible by collaborating on the PLANET ARGON Documentation Project. He also suggested that people consider a VPS, which is a very viable option… if you have the time and patience to setup the server. The pains of regular shared hosting are a big concern especially if you have a mission critical business application. This is why we moved towards our Rails Business Hosting plans and are working out the details for yet another step above in terms of cost and reliability. Stay tuned for more details…

I’ll post more notes later…

Snakes on a Train

Posted by Thu, 22 Jun 2006 15:39:00 GMT

4 comments Latest by Alain Mon, 26 Jun 2006 18:39:55 GMT

First of all, thank you Allison for keeping people updated for the past few days as the sixteen of us traveled across the country together. We made new friends and enemies over those two days and we’re already talking about RubyConf and next year. :-)

Yesterday…. Allison posted that we arrived in Chicago. We are all at the conference hotel now and last night we had the world famous Giordano’s pizza. Then we headed downtown to a few clubs (several of the argon express passengers came). I just woke up from the best sleep since Portland as I didn’t have to try to sleep in an awkward position on a train seat.


I also updated the Flickr group for the Argon Express. Hopefully the others who joined us will be posting photos to the group. :-)

Robby Russell

The Argon Express Has Arrived!

Posted by Wed, 21 Jun 2006 21:50:00 GMT

Hello Chicago!

I just got a message from Robby announcing their arrival in the windy city. I’d advise that anyone eager to catch up with the Argon Express passengers stay away until they have all showered. 40-some hours on a crowded train? No thanks! :P

Hope you all had fun on the train, be sure to add your photos to the Argon Express group photo pool.

The Argon Express: St. Paul, Minnesota

Posted by Wed, 21 Jun 2006 13:44:00 GMT

1 comment Latest by Luke Francl Wed, 21 Jun 2006 15:01:39 GMT

I got another update from the Argon Express this morning during a stop in St. Paul Minnesota. Here are some of Robby’s thoughts from the train.

  • We just left the Amtrak station in St. Paul, Minnesota and we can now see the Mississippi to the right of the train. Sleeping on the train has been one of the biggest challenges and Josh and Alain snuck into sleeper cars last night.
  • People have been commenting how they haven’t seen so many laptops on a train before.
  • Montana is really huge.
  • We’ve had good luck with the power and have power strips running in two areas of the train so nobody has run out of battery life.
  • We’re going to try and post more pictures to the groups in the next day as we have more internet access.
ArgonExpress Band Photo

Robby did seem to find a moment to post some more photos. Be sure to keep checking the PLANET ARGON Argon Express photoset for more updates.

I just caught Robby online, and asked if anyone is working on any interesting projects… here is what I gathered:

  • Chris Anderson is working on a version of Asset Compiler for audio files with the help of Jeremy Voorhis.
  • Trevor and Mark are working on something and did a lot of swearing about has_many through but… not sure what
  • Steven and David are working on rspec for rails
  • Other than that… not sure what people are up to… personal projects and client work

And lastly, here is a portion of a blog post Robby was working on yesterday. He asked me to share it with you:

Sitting in my seat on the Argon Express and been looking out the window for most of the day. Brian is reading my latest copy of Scientific American Mind and I’ve been reading, Wherever you go there you are. Jeremy Voorhis is reading the Betrand Russell book I brought and is in front of us and Jeremy Hubert just took his shoes off and is watching The Pink Panther. Josh Knowles got the internet up for a few minutes… long enough for me to see the last post by Allison. I predict we’ll have very limited internet for the rest of the day, which is just fine with me.

The train is quite relaxing and we stayed up really late last night, which took its toll on my energy level for the day. Sleeping on a train is not as easy as one would think.

Woke up this morning to some awesome scenery in western Montana, which I will try to upload in the near future.

As far as development projects, Chris Anderson and Jeremy Voorhis stayed up pretty late working on a variation of asset compiler for audio files… should be interesting to hear about that.

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