Jed Fonner

Father, geek, soccer fan

My name is Jed Fonner. At work, I help companies solve their most challenging problems through intelligent use of Appian BPM, Java and Agile Methodologies.

When I'm not working, I try to spend as much time as possible with my wonderful wife and sons. It's amazing how quickly they grow (the sons, not the wife).

During the kids' nap quiet time, I enjoy coding, blogging, tweeting, grilling, playing ultimate and cheering for Manchester City. Go Blues!

Recent Posts

How to Setup Github Pages on OSX Mavericks

Posted 10 Apr 2014

I recently re-installed my operating system. Re-installing most of my applications was a matter of downloading, unpacking and clicking.

This blog runs on Github Pages. In order to test posts before comming them to Github, I need to have something called Jekyll and a bunch of other development tools installed on my machine. Installing all of that was not so easy.

Github provides pretty good instructions on Installing Jekyll. However their site is not 100% accurate. After a lot of Googling, I finally found a combination of steps that worked. I’m writing them here in case it helps someone else.


  1. Install the XCode app from the App Store
  2. Open XCode after installation to complete the full installation
  3. Install XCode Developer Tools by running xcode-select --install (1)
  4. Complete steps 1 and 2 on Github page: Installing Jekyll
  5. Do the first part of step 3, create the Gemfile as source '' gem 'github-pages'
  6. Then instead of running bundle install, run sudo ARCHFLAGS=-Wno-error=unused-command-line-argument-hard-error-in-future bundle install

Why? Well, it turns out that the latest version of Xcode ships with a compiler that treats unknown passed parameters as errors and the ARCHFLAGS fixes that (2).

If all goes well, it will install a whole bunch of gems and complete successfully.

Backyard Fun

Posted 18 Aug 2013
Photos  Eli  Isaac 

We recently upgraded our backyard. We had a playground installed with swings, slide and climbing wall. Our kids never used to be fans of swinging, but now they love it. We also finally broke out th easel and paints for the boys. You have to admit, it's really all about the smocks. Check out the pics.

Don't have Flash? Browse the pictures directly on Flickr.

One note: these are all from Facebook. Nowadays our DSLR just sits and gathers dust. We take all our pictures with our cell phones. So don't try and download and print these pics.

Jason Sudeikis reminds us that EPL soccer is coming to NBC

Posted 07 Aug 2013

Jason Sudeikis is quickly becoming the best thing to come out of SNL in a while. Here he shows the difficulty some Americans have transitioning from football to football soccer. Doesn't matter if you are an EPL fan or not, this is hilarious:

Not only is the above video very funny, but it reminds everyone that English Premier League soccer is coming to NBC! The Peacock Network will have live coverage of all 130 EPL matches. Five or more games each week during the season’s first 3 months will be shown on NBC Sports Network, NBC and CNBC. The rest of the Premier League matches will be made available on a new, optional channel: Premier League Extra Time. So far FIOS doesn't seem to carry Extra Time, but who cares because you can stream all of the EPL games (on FIOS at least). NBC will even feature abbreviated versions of select games, including Man City games. Sounds awesome. So long Fox Soccer, and good riddance.

Here are more details from the NYTimes:

As part of the coverage, NBC Sports Group will provide in-studio pregame and postgame shows; “Premier League 36″ (a series that will follow players for 36 hours leading up to a match); “Premier League Goal Zone” (a 30-minute highlight show to be carried after matches on Sunday); game cut-downs (abbreviated versions on Mondays of Manchester United and City games; and on Tuesdays games featuring Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham); “Match of the Day” (two hours of highlights from Saturday games), “Match of the Day2″ (a 90-minute highlight show from games on Sundays), and “Match of the Week” (a rebroadcast on Sundays on NBCSN of the weekend’s best game); and more.
Broken down by channel, the NBC mother ship will carry 20 games; NBCNS 154; Premier League Extra Time 184; Mun2 76; other NBCUniversal channels 22; NBC Sports Live Extra (the smartphone/tablet app) will have all 380 games on live streams.


Goodbye SMS, hello Google Hangouts

Posted 04 Aug 2013

Nicole is still hanging onto her grandfathered non-unlimited text messaging plan and I've been using Google Voice for a while to avoid paying the outrageous cost** of SMS. As awesome as Google Voice is, it has its annoyances and I was never fully happy with the messaging experience.

Unsurprisingly, the person I text most often is Nicole. She recently got a new iPhone 5 and I took this as an opportunity to try something different. So we've been using Google Hangouts for the past few weeks and it's been surprisingly awesome.

First and most importantly, I was worried how long it would take for messages to be delivered. But I haven't found any delay, especially when compared to Google Voice. But what's really made me a convert is the added functionality. Hangouts replaces Google Talk, which means that when I'm logged into my computer, messages from Nicole get delivered to my computer. When I'm out and about, messages get delivered to my phone. And I always have the full history of all my chats, both on my phone and on the web.

And the pictures, oh the pictures. Having lived without multimedia messaging (MMS) for so long (Google Voice doesn't support it), I hadn't realized how much fun it is to send pictures back and forth. A picture really is worth 1K words as they say. I haven't yet tried the video calling which is a much hyped feature, but I hear it's awesome too.

Rumors on the internets claim that Hangouts will eventually replace Google Voice, in which case I'll be very happy since that will bring phone calling into the mix. But in the meantime, Hangouts is definitely my new favorite messaging app.

**AT&T charges $0.20 per text message if you don’t sign up for an unlimited texting plan. A text message is just 160 bytes of data. If you multiply that out, text messages cost you $1,310.72 per megabyte. Keep in mind that for mobile data, AT&T only charges $2 per megabyte when you don't have a data plan, and less per MB if you do.

Gravity is cool

Posted 22 Jul 2013

Checkout this awesome graphic of our solar system. I stumbled upon this while browsing Google+ (yes, I use Google+). Read on below for the explanation and the source post.

Here's the main part of the explanation, but I recommend reading the full thing on Yonatan Zunger's Google+ post.

Jupiter and the Sun are the two largest objects in our Solar System, and as they orbit around one another, they create regions where their gravity roughly cancels out. These are the Lagrangian points, created whenever two objects orbit one another: places where gravity is such that another small object can follow along in the orbit without being pulled in or out. And since things aren't getting pulled out of there, they get stuck in there as well: and so we have two large clumps of asteroids (and miscellaneous smaller space debris) in Jupiter's orbit. These are called the Trojan Asteroids; the group ahead of Jupiter is known as the Greek Camp, and the group behind it the Trojan Camp, with the asteroids in each camp being named after famous people in that war. Together, these two camps have as many asteroids as the Asteroid Belt.
Other stable patterns are possible, too: another one is what's called a 3:2 resonance pattern, asteroids whose motion gets confined to a basically triangular shape by the combined pull of Jupiter and the Sun. This group (for Jupiter) is called the Hilda Family, and their route forms a triangle with its three points at the two Lagrange points and at the point on Jupiter's orbit directly opposite it from the Sun.
None of these orbits are perfectly stable, because each of these asteroids is subject to pulling from everything in the Solar System; as a result, an asteroid can shift from the Lagrange points to the Hilda family, and from the Hilda family to the Asteroid Belt (not shown), especially if it runs into something and changes its course.

Read the full explanation, including more about Pluto and Ceres, on Yonatan Zunger's Google+ post. Or check out the other interesting graphics from the very information-dense



Recent Tweets

Follow on Facebook