More about Travis Newman

The blurb on the main page wasn't enough? Well, you've come to the right place!

I have other interests besides web development/design: music, movies, video games, reading, the list goes on! Read on if you want to learn more.

My Background

I've been elbow-deep in tech ever since I got my first computer. I worked in IT for over ten years before leaving my job to return to school to pursue web development. I've loved tinkering with web design and backend development for years-- in fact, the image above is me getting frustrated that a PostgreSQL database won't connect properly. It's a funny picture, but it's truly Travis in his element.

I'm a total nerd, here's why

I'm an avid gamer. Ever since I got my NES back in the '80s, I've been playing as many games as I can get my hands on. My current favorites are pretty much anything Bethesda makes; even with all the criticism, some of which they deserve, their games immerse me more than any others.

I'm a musician as well, though I haven't picked up an instrument in far too long. I started with trumpet in 5th grade, and played in band all through middle and high school, and in one semester of college. When I was in tenth grade I started playing guitar, and had a band with some friends until a few years ago.

I'm a huge sci-fi nerd. Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Fringe... all of it. If I'm reading or watching something, it's probably sci-fi.

Cheerful Ghost

Cheerful Ghost

I'm the co-admin and front-end developer/designer for a gaming community my friend Jon started, called Cheerful Ghost. It's a place for gaming news and discussion where anyone can submit content; it isn't dependent on a few paid writers.

Once we gained some traction, we've been able to talk to some big names in gaming. The two most popular people I had the honor of interviewing were Andrew Spinks, the creator of the massively popular indie game Terraria, and Ryan Gordon, one of the pioneers porting games to Linux. That interview got Slashdotted and Reddited quite a bit, so I got my 15 minutes of fame. Maybe I'll get 15 more some time.

Recently I did a complete redesign of the site, which was a total blast. I'm more proud of that work than I am of any I've done so far.


If you want to find me elsewhere on the web, here are some of the other sites I frequent:

About the site

I wrote the site in Ruby on Rails 4, with HTML5, CSS3, and a heavily customized Bootstrap template.

I used a few Ruby Gems so as not to reinvent the wheel, including...

  • Devise for authentication, so that nobody but me can make/delete/edit posts.
  • acts_as_taggable_on for tags on posts.
  • will_paginate to simplify making posts show up in pages rather than all in one page.
  • redcarpet to interpret markdown for formatting posts.
  • And last but not least, Zemus, created by Jon Dodson (mentioned above) for embedding various media types into the header of each post.

The site uses Disqus for comments, just to make things simple and so I didn't have to make user and comment models.

The site was made on Mac OSX, with the stellar text editor TextMate. Everything else was done in the terminal. For that, I use the zsh shell running in the iTerm terminal emulator, which is a fantastic replacement for the built-in terminal in OSX.

Also, Chance The Rapper, Parov Stelar, Bad Religion, Childish Gambino, Massive Attack, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, and many pots of coffee were instrumental in designing this site.