Thursday, March 04, 2010

I couldn't stop laughing...


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Did you ever wonder how Bill Gates' FB profile page looks like?

I should be posting about serious technical concerns and I soon will, but this is hysterical...


Friday, June 05, 2009

Being tech support for the fam...

I like helping my family whenever I can. Two weekends ago I set up the wireless network at my aunt's and last weekend my dad had a problem with a software he installed.
He needed the Vademecum application to do some research on prescription drugs (dad is Endocrinologist and draws comics on his free time)
The Vademecum application is a Java based desktop application and for some reason, after Dad installed it, it didn't work. Dad's desktop has Windows Vista. We also had another problem, Dad is based in Spain while I'm in Toronto.

I tried back and forth via email to see what was going on, but explaining over email can be exhausting...

Dad ended up sending me this :-p out of his frustration finding the Windows Explorer.

I finally came across the TeamViewer application. This app is free, not like GoToMyPC which costs about 29.99 a month, and allows you to share the desktop if both parties have the TeamViewer client...

I hope that helps you too in case you're being tech support of the fam :)

Have a great weekend!!!


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lotus Connections vs Sharepoint, what's your take?

This post is not fully technical and I'm afraid I might be just adding noise to the net, but I couldn't keep quiet, as a developer I should give *my* developer's point of view.

When SP first saw the light I must confess it wasn't my pick for CMS, it needed a sql server box and SQL Server needed an expensive license. I turned to free easier to put together PHP based CMS/portal systems like mambo, phpnuke et-cetera.

Time changed my point of view. I used Sharepoint mainly as a collaborative tool and intranet on two companies I worked for, and used it only as an end user. The ability to manage content, add documents to a project, keep the knowledge base associated to source control made me change my mind a little bit about this tool.

Knowing now more about web parts and seeing the proliferation of code camps, documentation, codeplex projects and how easy it is to implement workflows in Sharepoint now make me doubt about Lotus Connections quite a bit.

1. I've used Lotus Notes for email client and find it to be extremely unintuitive. Most people would say we use an old version, but I liked Outlook XP better!!!
2. I've used Outlook for email client for a while and although I have tried Thunderbird and other email clients, I keep going back to Outlook.
3. When I lose network connection my Lotus Notes becomes irresponsive to the point of having to shut it off, even if it's a small network hiccup. It has never happened with Outlook.
4. Domino was a pretty big dinosaur back in 2000 when I first started programming intranets. I would say it still is.
5. Sharepoint is now free if you pair it with sql server express.
6. Most decision makers I know say that relying on open source projects to enhance or tailor a tool is a mistake. I would say exactly the opposite, but it also depends on what open source project you choose. Look at NHibernate and Hibernate? NUnit, JUnit, log4net, Apache (I hope Mono were a serious take)
8. They would also argue that customizing a tool further can imply high costs when a new license is purchase and sometimes it is impossible to obtain a new license due to the great deal of costumization. I would say that applies more to IBM like products, imho.
7. Some decision makers bet on Lotus Notes mainly because migrating away from Notes would be too costly. I would say migrate ASAP, that ship is sinking.

As a developer, I'm not a decision maker, I do make decisions but within my scope, most of them are based on experience, some of them are based on gut feeling. My guts say, hrm, Lotus Notes still sounds like a dinosaur to me...I hope I never have to program on top of it :-p


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Excuse me, Emir Maktoum, could I please debug this small hello world app on your Surface?

The race for the multi-touch input devices has begun, unfortunately as of today, the prices are unaffordable for the regular consumers and developers that are tied to project budgets.
We all remember the GUI from Minority Report and the attempts CSI Miami* is making nowadays to show these input devices as regular, day to day available hardware.
Most of us, developers, know it will take a while till the hardware becomes available/affordable in enterprise or end consumer applications.
But the time might be around the corner.
Hopefully it will be like the IBM PC and the PC-clones stories, third party companies were able to clone the IBM PC's hardware and lower PC prices. That along with MS-DOS being distributed as a separate product, made the PCs widely affordable. No more architectures based on Zilog Z80 or Motorola 6508 (my highschool classmates played with Z80/8085 assembler back in the 80s), Intel 8085 quickly became the processor of choice, then the 16 bits 8088, 32 bits 80386 and 486 and all AMD clones.
Anyway, my point is, let the hardware be cloned, lower the prices and sell the WPF, XNA, Surface.Core APIs as a separate products. **

I just came from a Metro Toronto User group presentation about Microsoft Surface and played tetris with a few other group members. The presenter gave a great introduction to multi-touch devices and how to start programming for the MS Surface using WPF.
Unfortunately for me, I would have to email my hello world app to Dubai for debugging purposes.
It seems the price range of the Surface is about 15 to 20K. It is now used in a Casino in Vegas, some banks in Switzerland and widely spread in Malls in Dubai.

Another multi-touch/multi-user device is the incredible Perceptive Pixel Wall with range prices in the order of 100K. I wish I could get a hold of the development platform for this 100K device :-p What the heck are they using?

So far all of these technologies are under a pretty lip tight policy...It's proprietary, can't touch this. As a difference b/w the MS Surface and PerceptivePixel is the pressure perception. MS Surface being based on infrared rays and an arrays of cameras cannot perceive pressure.


IPhones from Apple, even though they are not multi-user, do recognize a few types of touches and are more affordable, if you don't sign up with Rogers. I believe they use the Objective-C Cocoa framework as development API which would be pretty hard to kick off for a Java or .NET developer coming from a managed environment. I remember the alloc and mallocs from C and get chicken skin...what's wrong with being spoiled with Garbage Collection?

Enough about random thoughts, I wish I could have played Tetris for longer...

I'm not a regular of the show, but my mom asked me once if I developed apps like that on my workplace...Not mom, not quite yet.
**Let's see if they listen :-p

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Hold down the right CTRL key, press the SCROLL LOCK key twice and scare the hell out of your Sysadmin :-p

I just watched Mark Russinovich's Technet webcasts and he demoed how to create a Blue Screen of Death on a windows PC by using the right ctrl key + scroll lock + scroll lock

This is very helpful when debugging OS issues but I thought it might cause a faint on one sysadmin or two if done without warning. EYE: Do not attempt on Production servers or face an immediate let go...

Here's the KB article describing how to gather the memory dump and the types of memory dumps you can get with this technique. Cheers!

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Love at first sight

We met at Staples.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To be or not to be, do you know the answer?

It's 0xFF on a Byte.

0x2B | ~0x2B = 0xFF


Monday, April 14, 2008

Handy links if you like to compare

VB.NET and C# Comparison

Java (J2SE 5.0) and C# Comparison

C# vs Ruby Smackdown!

log4net vs EL 1.0

SQL Server 2000 vs Oracle 9i

A Comparison of PL/SQL and Transact SQL

and last but not least:

Comparison of SOA Suites

Note there is an ESB implementation from P&P for BizTalk 2006 R2 that sort of leverage the missing functionality in the product: ESB Guidance for BizTalk Server 2006 R2

Ok, there's nothing new here, just a personal cheat sheet :-p


Monday, March 03, 2008

Monday morning random rambling...

Now that caffeine is taking effect: I attended the Heroes Happen Here event in Toronto last week. The event was fun in general, lots of marketing going on so the developers get really biased, towards Microsoft technologies, of course...
Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, as long as you keep your mind open to what's going on on other development niches and keep the constructive criticism.
I enjoyed the developer tracks in the morning but most of all I enjoyed two architecture presentations, they were light and fun, not too deep in content though, but very refreshing. Here are the blogs of the conference authors:
No Spin Architecture
Joel's blog on architecture

Both blogs have tons of resources for aspiring architects.

There was a third presenter that raffle 4 architecture books, the raffle consisted on answering a question at light speed, doh! I'm planning on getting the books at amazon...

Overall, I got good software to try, saw that VS2008 has the split markup/code feature for web development that Macromedia had when I started doing web in 2000 and I should get a copy of Vista on my mail in the next few weeks. I'm excited about the JavaScript debugger and IntelliSense in VS2008. Hyper-V promises to be more secure than VMWare, SQL Server 2008 has the FileName type I wish I have now for my image archiving project...
I can't wait to get my hands on Virtual Earth web service and bundle it with the new maps capabilities in SQL Server 2008, if time permits, there's only 24 hours in a day and deadlines cannot be stretched :-p



Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dad put together a quick gallery with his comics

Way to go! Yay!
I particularly like this one about silicone implants :-))

Visit the original gallery here.

Now going nerdy on how fast is to set up this gallery, what's even more interesting is the way to publish images in a batch using Windows XP Explorer. I do have to reverse eng the process, one modification in the registry and the windows explorer can publish any folder with images in three clicks...Publishing from Mac is as fast.

If you have minimum computer skills, you can set up your own image gallery with this script. Honest, stop sharing your family pictures in Flickr, Ringo or any other public website and have your own space. You can even have your grandma upload the images for the family :-p

If you need hosting and domain registration for your gallery, Chihost is the best to go with.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Those cool google gadgets...

A set of cool gadgets every girl should have on her home page :-p


Sunday, August 19, 2007

One of dad's comics :-p

My aunt sometimes pays me a visit and every time she ends up putting things in order... According to my dad, she ended up saying "A Moroccan soko no, a moroccan soko no, soko no"... Soko is a market, a very messy one.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Don't get me wrong, I love Math, but this is hilarious :-p

Taken from a real exam...


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I knew I had read this somewhere....why manhole covers are round?

A couple of days ago our team gathered for lunch and a quick meeting, we discussed job interview techniques and our personal experiences going to job interviews. One of the brain teaser questions that came up was the shape of the manhole covers. I couldn't remeber where I had read this before. Enjoy, it is hilarious...

(Original post taken from here)

If Richard Feynman applied for a job at Microsoft

Interviewer: Now comes the part of the interview where we ask a question to test your creative thinking ability. Don’t think too hard about it, just apply everyday common sense, and describe your reasoning process.

Here’s the question: Why are manhole covers round?

Feynman: They’re not. Some manhole covers are square. It’s true that there are SOME round ones, but I’ve seen square ones, and rectangular ones.

Interviewer: But just considering the round ones, why are they round?

Feynman: If we are just considering the round ones, then they are round by definition. That statement is a tautology.

Interviewer: I mean, why are there round ones at all? Is there some particular value to having round ones?

Feynman: Yes. Round covers are used when the hole they are covering up is also round. It’s simplest to cover a round hole with a round cover.

Interviewer: Can you think of a property of round covers that gives them an advantage over square ones?

Feynman: We have to look at what is under the cover to answer that question. The hole below the cover is round because a cylinder is the strongest shape against the compression of the earth around it. Also, the term “manhole” implies a passage big enough for a man, and a human being climbing down a ladder is roughly circular in cross-section. So a cylindrical pipe is the natural shape for manholes. The covers are simply the shape needed to cover up a cylinder.

Interviewer: Do you believe there is a safety issue? I mean, couldn’t square covers fall into the hole and hurt someone?

Feynman: Not likely. Square covers are sometimes used on prefabricated vaults where the access passage is also square. The cover is larger than the passage, and sits on a ledge that supports it along the entire perimeter. The covers are usually made of solid metal and are very heavy. Let’s assume a two-foot square opening and a ledge width of 1-1/2 inches. In order to get it to fall in, you would have to lift one side of the cover, then rotate it 30 degrees so that the cover would clear the ledge, and then tilt the cover up nearly 45 degrees from horizontal before the center of gravity would shift enough for it to fall in. Yes, it’s possible, but very unlikely. The people authorized to open manhole covers could easily be trained to do it safely. Applying common engineering sense, the shape of a manhole cover is entirely determined by the shape of the opening it is intended to cover.

Interviewer (troubled): Excuse me a moment; I have to discuss something with my management team. (Leaves room.)

(Interviewer returns after 10 minutes)

Interviewer: We are going to recommend you for immediate hiring into the marketing department.