# First RUM Meeting

## Oct 24, 2006

I attended my first Ruby Users of Minnesota (RUM) meeting tonight. I’ve wanted to go for a long time but the meetings seemed to always fall on days when I was typically out of town for business. It all worked out this time so I was excited to go. I’ve been on the mailing list for a long time and it’s a really good group of people.

Of particular note was my friend Dan presented a side-project he did using rex and racc (Ruby versions of lex and yacc) to create a parser and validator for math equations written in LaTeX on Road Sign Math. This was pretty cool. He hacked it up quickly and solved most of the hard problems. He got to the point so he can evaluate that 3 \times \sqrt{4} = 6 is a valid statement. It will be a nice thing to wrap into Road Sign Math 3.0 when the time is right.

I left the RUM meeting feeling a little scared though. I sat next to a kid named Chris who I can only imagine was dropped off by his Dad since I can’t imagine he was old enough to drive. He was obviously brilliant and immersed in all things Internet, Ruby, Mac and whatever else. Why scared? It’s so amazingly hard to stay on top of the things that you need to know in this world of computer geekdom. Anyway, I’m not going to dwell on that but instead continue to be involved in these sorts of activities that expose you to new thinking.

I have about a dozen of URL’s, notes and such to followup on from the meeting and am looking forward to the next one. (OmniGraffle Pro, parse tree, Gruff for Ruby, Nick Sieger, fuzz testing, Rinda)

Funny side note – I did a count of laptops in the room. 11 Mac laptops (mostly MacBook) including me (one of only 2 black ones) and a whopping 2 Wintel laptops. 🙂