How does a geek’s start menu look like?

by Xavier Comments: 0

Not that I wouldn’t have guessed if someone asked me, but I think my bias towards Microsoft technologies is kind of noticeable.

However, I never would’ve guessed to what extent until today. Look at my start menu!

Yes… yes… Firefox too… Maybe I am a bit slutty too hahaha

The Subtle Art of User Friendliness, i.e. IE 8 and others…

by Xavier Comments: 0

A few days ago I finished reading Steve Krug’s book, Don’t Make Me Think. It is amazing how this guy has been able to summarize so many useful advice in what can be read in a few hours. I believe the architects and designers from big corporations should all read a copy of this book, because in the end a big part of the success of a product lies on whether end users like your product and make it part of your life.

It doesn’t matter who you are, if you don’t design your product well people are not going to use it. Let me show you a few examples:
– Skype vs MSN Live vs Google Chat & Voice: Skype is by far the best product, the lifeline of communications for millions of folks worldwide. The other services have the same features, but Skype by far is better. (Maybe that’s why MS bought it)
– Google Chrome vs Internet Explorer vs Firefox vs Safari: IE might have killed Netscape and others, but Firefox came and showed how it should be done, especially with its big community building add ons. IMHO Chrome is the best, I like it’s speed. Like I said, IE had its prime, but not adhering to standards, being slow, and pretending they were alone was not sustainable. IE 9 is trying to fix this, but only time will tell
– Dropbox vs Live Mesh: in this one Live Mesh tried to present an offering that had everything you need and in doing so made a product so unusable that a simple “have a root folder, drop all your stuff there” approach worked as it fitted for the biggest number of users.

And I can go on and on and on… However I just wanted to point out how sometimes building a great product is only a matter of building it usable. You know the old saying, “Elegant simplicity is the ultimate sophisticaiton“. That’s what I try to do with everything I build in my life.

BTW: AS I am writing this post, I bumped into this dialog. I can’t count how many times I’ve said “later” or did the process and it still comes up. This can’t be more annoying!

The Problem with Microsoft Now

by Xavier Comments: 0

I read today a great article called The Ballmer Days are Over,  in which Ben Brooks describes some of the problems that Microsoft is currently facing.  Here is my take on Microsoft:

I used to work as a v- for Microsoft for a few years and then I cofounded a company that provided vendor services for them (7 years total – and already left the company), so I know my way around Microsoft.

All the time I worked there I was never able to understand why everything was so bureaucratic and slow… innovation didn’t seem like the norm.

MS Consulting IMHO is not what it could be, I worked there too and they have extremely good technical people, but the only thing a lot of them seem to be passionate about is being a Microsoft employee and not building amazing stuff. Besides, a lot of them look down on other companies when they shouldn’t.


They are too arrogant about other products, when instead they should respect and even fear the competition to be able to build something amazing.  I mean, even a fat guy can run fast if you put a lion behind him.


The innovation I saw (I was an evangelist for Windows 64 bit in the DPE group – you can see all the places I presented here )  was usually centered around the technology, not the user.  All projects were about “let’s use this technology” but didn’t care much about what was really important, which is “why would the customer care to use my product”.


Also there was a mentality of “let’s build it and see if it sticks to the wall”, which is a good approach only if people are committed to what they are building, the attitude that I saw was not correct given that most people were only interested in keeping their steady jobs with MS and not take any chances. This is good to pay your mortgage, but not to make history.

Oh, and Skype. Why buy what they already have with Live. Oh I know, because Skype is built better. Anyway, maybe they bought it because they recognized that they couldn’t do it right like Skype did. I have no idea…


And last but not least, sadly within Microsoft people are usually not fired.  They are moved from one group to another. So ironically, if someone gets hired into a group but that person does not live to the expectations, then that guy GETS RECOMMENDED so that he/she is hired by another group! This is something I’ve never been able to understand!!!! Recommend someone because he/she is not good, so that you pass the problem along to another department!


Don’t get me wrong, I love Microsoft and I am a total Microsoft technology guy.  Just that it feels like they are just hanging to the train but not pushing it…. or even better, they could be pulling it!

My take on meetings

by Xavier Comments: 1

I found an extremely interesting article today which talks about why some people love meetings and others hate them, but still go to meetings quite often.

Here is the link:

Another Meeting? Good. Another Chance To Hear Myself Talk

The part that I love is:

David Mazel, a research analyst, thinks people like meetings because “you can stay busy without accomplishing a thing.” He says “having gone to the meeting is the work.”

New rule for me: for every meeting that I have control over, something actionable will come out of it.

New rule #2: avoid meetings that are only to “discuss XYZ” but nothing actionable nor any decision is taken, or that we do a meeting that will just lead to another meeting.

In fewer words, I will make my best not to waste anybodies time nor mine.

iPad built-in mic now working – how to fix it?

by Xavier Comments: 0

So my mic stopped working. I went over all the settings trying to find a mute setting or something. Nothing showed up…

I then connected the apple headphones and the mic worked fine. I was bummed thinking that my iPad mic simply was gone forever. Nope.

Simply restart the iPad by holding the top and home buttons until you get the spinning thingy. Turn it on again. It works!

I don’t recall buying a Microsoft iPad though hahahaha

Racsa es malo o Amnet hace chanchullo?

by Xavier Comments: 2

Esta semana me pase a full racsa.  Pues apenas lo hice  internet dejo de funcionar casi por completo!!!!  Sirve un par de horas al dia.

Raro dado que es el mismo servicio, por el mismo cable modem de amnet y los vecinos que tienen amnet les funciona perfecto.  Que pasa?! Sera que amnet esta tratando de joder a Racsa o que Racsa no sabe lo que hacen?

De todas formas, no se como crei que Racsa me iba a dar un buen servicio. Esta un poco mas que deficiente….


Que es peor? Full Amnet o Full Racsa? Mal servicio al cliente

by Xavier Comments: 0

Estoy ahora con “full racsa” solo porque Amnet me tenia harto entonces me pase pero hoy que internet ha estado pésimo (llame y me dijeron que había una avería general) me tope con la grata sorpresa de que tratando de llegar a soporte técnico me encontré nada mas con una grabación que me decía que introdujera mi número de cuenta, la cual no sabia y por mas que intente no me dejo hacer nada mas y la grabacion me colgo.  Me colgo una grabacion!!!!!

Les mande esta carta hoy:

Yo aprecio y entiendo el hecho de cómo se les simplifica a ustedes la vida si uno les de de una vez de inicio el número de cuenta, pero a nosotros los clientes no nos sirve. Se imagina si tuviera que tener el número cuenta del ice, del AyA, de mi cuenta de internet, de la del gimnasio, de la del banco (tal vez esta si sea importante) y muchas otras para cada tramite que tengo que hacer. Con el número de teléfono o cedula sería mucho más sencillo para uno como cliente para que lo atiendan y al final del día la empresa que mas brilla por su servicio al cliente es aquella que le hace más sencilla la existencia al cliente, que es su razón de ser.

En resumen les recomiendo:

#1 Cuando una persona llega a soporte técnico que la maquina le pregunte el número de cuenta pero que de la opción de que si no la sabe, que apreté * y lo atiende un ser humano

#2 Pregunten por número de teléfono, cedula o número de cuenta.  Tomen Amnet como un ejemplo, antes solo preguntaban por número de cuenta pero con el pasar del tiempo ahora más bien solo con el teléfono ya es suficiente.  Por qué? Por que el cliente quiere que le hagan la vida más sencilla.

#3 El servicio está bastante malo, estoy teniendo servicio intermitente

#4 Me acaban de decir en soporte técnico que después de enviar un documento, tengo que llamar a confirmar que lo hagan.  No es más sencillo que si les mando algo, ustedes nada mas lo hagan y ya?  Para que tengo que volver a llamar si acabo de mandar el documento?


En fin, algunas sugerencias.


How to pass Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 Database Development Exam Certified Technology Specialist

by Xavier Comments: 1

And finally I got my Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Technology Specialist Certification

It  is very simple, just do what I did

– Buy the book in Amazon (MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-433): Microsoft SQL Server 2008 – Database Development: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database Development – btw: bought it 6 months ago!)

– Postpone the test a few times, actually don’t show to the test the first time because you forgot

– Register again

– Take an unpaid day vacation, and have a supporting wife that understands how much you WANT to pass this exam

– Study Friday from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm

– Study Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm

– Study Sunday from 7 am to 8 pm

– Take the test Monday at 8 am in New Horizons

Voila! Microsoft Certified SQL Server 2008 Technology Specialist! Next stop: Sharepoint Certification.  But I need a little bit of time to rest, I am hating a bit SQL at this point so I need things to come back to normal.

How to pass the 70-433 sql server exam

This is what happens when you are happier with your dev life.  6 certifications in less than a year!

Avoid “Diagnose and Repair” manual step in Win2k8 – get new ip programmatically

by Xavier Comments: 0

At home I have a decently sized server that pretty much covers every role that I need.  It is a hyper v server, active domain, file server and if you are a geek like me you know what else it has.  What is really annoying is that every time I turn it on it has local connectivity only and I have to “Diagnose and Repair” and then “Get new IP settings for Local Area Connection”.

Well, here is a workaround to fix this issue, simply disable and reenable the connection via command line.  I actually created a batch that is executed at startup so that I don’t have to go through the tedious step of doing it myself.  (You could solve it once and for all doing a netsh to reinstall TCP, but I didn’t try it):

Open a command line and run the following two commands

To disable:
netsh interface set interface “Local Area Connection” disabled
To enable:
netsh interface set interface “Local Area Connection” enabled

I did not find this on my own, I read it from a post from RobWill in experts-exchange, which is only for subscribers.  But here is the link to the guy just to say thanks.

Esta es la actitud!

by Xavier Comments: 2

Solo algo que me mandaron hoy y me hizo gracia

“No importa como te haya ido en el dia… Desplumando, aporreado, maltratado… pero bien derechito!”

Vuelve siempre a casa con la cabeza bien erguida. Esa es la actitud!

Actitud ante todo