Our super accessible train

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I think the train is wonderful, but for accessibility it gets a -10000

I didn’t notice, but the platform is almost 3 feet above the ground. I don’t think that is nice for older people or with limitations!

Update: today I looked to the left.  There is a ramp!!!!!!!!!

Taking a train in Costa Rica

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I took the train today thanks to the vehicular restriction I have on Thursdays. To my surprise, it works pretty good! Less than $1 and extremely fast compared to other methods of transportation.

Of course there is always something bad, you can get robbed, shot, or in the best case wet!

Is quitting a company just like ending a relationship?

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I recently quit my job, actually two weeks ago. Basically differences with my partner.

My question is the following, after I quit the company should I stop all communication with the people I used to work with?
It’s kind of hard given that I pretty much interviewed and hired each one of them. Also, they are a great group and have a lot of skills and potential.

But, it all comes to the say question…is good bye final? At least for now?

Getting married

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Well, as some of my friends already know, I am getting married July 11th!!!!!

I created a little counter for my girlfriend so that she can open and find out how long before we get married hehehehe.  It’s in http://www.moreragutierrez.com

Nothing fancy, just something a geek would do for a girl.  I really love her (yes yes “aww so cute”).  But it is true.  Sometimes you would do anything for someone you love.

Big step.  Completely decided on doing it.  I really hope it works.  She is quite a chick, let’s see if I can live up to her expectations.

Yet another blog…

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Yeah I know, I know…another geek blog.  Does the world really need another one?  Well, maybe it doesn’t but in any case here’s my blog.

In it I will describe my experiences working with several top of the line Microsoft technologies.  Why do I get to play with everything new that pops out of MS’ oven?  Well, just to give you a little bit of a background regarding me, I have worked as a Microsoft vendor (v- for those of you who are familiar with the inner workings of Corp) since 2003 in 3 different companies working with a lot of .NET, SharePoint, Office, CRM, TFS, Visual Studio and a lot of other things.

So, I plan to talk about some of the beauties and not so nice experiences I’ve had with them.  Hope any of my entries help you save some time.

Well, enjoy….

Troubleshoot SharePoint Unexpected Error

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Have you ever been shocked by the fact that SharePoint is sometimes does not show a very friendly error?  Let’s say you are doing a deployment or modifying a piece of your code and in your face you get an “Unexpected error”?  Well my friend, you are not alone.   (To me, this error reminds me of the infamous catastrophic fauilure found in earlier VB which used to be my favorite runtime error)

But don’t dispair, the unexpected error can be worked around given the possibility that you have access to the site’s web config.

What you need to do is go into the web config and into the SharePoint > SafeMode tag just edit the CallStack attribute and set it to true.  Also you need to set the CustomErrors tag to off. 

Just like magic! Your error comes up and you can understand the exception.

However, be polite and return it to false when done.  And oh yes, don’t do this in production servers.  It is bad manners.  Do it in INT, Testing or PreProd environments.

Customize the Windows Vista Send To Menu

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One thing I like is to keep things simple and efficient.  Something else I really like is having tons of pictures on my walls.  So every once in a while I send a few to print in snapfish.

The easiest way to send pictures to a folder that I will print is customizing the Send To menu in Vista.  In XP and pre vista it was as easy as going into the windows folder and looking for the menu, adding a shortcut in the send to and presto, it worked.

However in Vista I couldn’t…until I found that it is the same procedure but in a different location.  So, if you need to add a location in the Send To for Vista just go to %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo.  This folder is usually located in C:\users\<username>\AppData\Roaming. 

You should now see a bunch of shortcuts.  Just right click, create a new shortcut and that’s it.  Just make sure that you create a shortcut to a folder that actually exists….  (I know it sounds dumb but you would be impressed at how many times I’ve seen it)

Did my Iphone get depressed?

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First of all, I like my Iphone above all my other silicon-based toys.  I think there are a lot of improvements that can be made software wise.  Some of them have been covered with new updates, however mine is still in 1.1.2 because of obvious reasons (I live in Costa Rica).

However, there is one thing that really annoys me about the IPhone and that is how soft the speaker sounds.  Any decent Nokia or Motorola can be used to play some music and enjoy at least with your better half.  The Iphone however when I am driving my car that doesn’t have a radio, I literally have to put it inside my shirt in my shoulder to be able to hear it.

On the other hand, it vibrates really really hard.  The other day I was taking a shower and the alarm went off.  I couldn’t hear the phone, but surprisingly I could hear the phone vibrating on my desk.  Then it happened….

CLONK!!!!!!  The Iphone vibrated so hard that it started to hover and fell hard to the ground.  Just feet and a half.  But it landed hard.

Now I lose my signal sometimes…. Did my IPhone get depressed and tried to finish his existence…. Is he jealous that I will replace him with a 3g?

Well, let’s see how long it lasts but it looks like it’s the beggining of the end for my best electronic friend!

American Airlines, AA.com and “developing countries”…

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Did I fall asleep and time went by in reverse?????

That’s what I felt yesterday (for the second time actually) when I bought a ticket at AA.com and then had to go to the American Airlines main office in Costa Rica to show my credit card (YES! Literally show it to a really attitude prone girl) so that she can marka checkbox that will allow the person that I bought the ticket for to travel.

This was not like this before.  I remember buying several tickets for a lot of people (actually because of work purposes) and I never had to go “show” my credit card.

I really think that if you buy something online, it should stay online.  If it will continue to be this way, then I’d just rather not buy tickets online….or maybe use Expedia.

I don’t know, for you to decide….

Paderborn & Frankfurt (Feb 3 – 9, 2006)

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SJO airport. It’s around 6 am and I’m extremely tired as yesterday we had a party at my place. I had to say goodbye to a good friend that’s going away to study in Chile for two years. Of course I’m planning to go and visit him perhaps at mid year so we can go off roading in the snow and maybe snow boarding.

From SJO we go to MIA…3 hours later…and as usual it is as close to hell as one might think. This airport is over-used and under-attended which is the worst combination I can think of. Also please take into consideration that we are in post 9/11 times, which means that going through immigration is kind of hard, even when I have a real job and I’m attending a real training. Immigration officers can make you nervous anytime! Went through, I’m in!

After a couple of hours, we take a plane to ORD. I like this airport much better. Ate something quick, McD!, and moved on. Bought my favorite brand of sleeping pills, Unisom. I seriously object sleeping pills, unless on an overseas flight or heavily jetlagged. Any way, I still have a huge headache, so wth…I’ll take it!

9 hours later…We arrive in Frankfurt Main international airport, also known as FRA. After a quick Pass Kontrol, we enter the EU! Wohoo, we are in!

When we get there we find Paul, our coworker sleeping in a very uncomfortable chair. He took a direct flight from Miami but lost his connecting flight. We all hop in a REALLY small plane, and take the 45 minute flight to PAD airport in Padderborn.

We get there with the address of our hotel, the Vital Hotel. We only know that it is north of the city, but nothing else. A lady points out that it is a really nice hotel, actually kind of a Spa/Hotel. My first thought is: but it is snowing, who would go to a pool with snow? (however, I soon react and remember about indoor pools  – hey, gimme a break! It’s been over 28 hours of traveling!).

So it’s us three, the snow and no taxis. This is a REALLY small airport. We then decide to rent a car so we go to the AVIS counter. A nice lady greets us and tells us our car is ready, but since I don’t believe in telepathy, we tell her she is confusing us. She asks us if we have a reservation and we say: “no, we just decided a minute ago to rent one”. A mix of panic and surprise shows up in her face. Of course we have a US-like way of thinking…let’s get a car and go. But here it seems that they actually get cars on a request by reservation basis. Luckily, she kind-of-likes-us so she gives us a car that somebody else was supposed to get and asks for another one. We pay and she asks who will drive. By popular decision, it will NOT be me. I kind of have a history when it comes to driving. Also, she didn’t like it very much that I asked if it was true that there are no speed limits in Germany. Well, in the AutoBahnnen there are no speed limits, everywhere else there are.

So Paul drives and we get safely to the hotel. It actually is a Spa, and a beautiful one for that. We get our rooms and go out to eat. It’s Germany, so I wanted a bratwurst. We look for a nice restaurant but it seems weekends are kind of dead here. We find a nice restaurant…opens at 5:30. It’s 5 o’clock, and we haven’t eaten decent in the last day and something so we go to the next one. Greek fast food…I’ll take it. And I got my bratwurst with fries. Very good. We asked for a plate that comes with all kinds of pork in a lot of different ways. Very good.

Next day, Paul wakes up and tells us that there are naked people going around in the snow. Yeah right! we say. It’s -1 degrees outside. We completely ignore him. I mean, who trusts an Irish mathematician that does not drink. That can’t be real. Any way, we go out to Paderborn to take a look around. It is snowing which is really nice (from inside a building anyway) and we go out to the city. We go and take a look around the city, its nice and small. We walk for a while, its a Sunday, so everything is closed. At the end we find the Cafe & Bar Celona. Very nice, had some wine and had some fun with some mind games that Paul had. Have you ever head about the Monty Hall puzzle. Well, I got it right. Then another one about some marbles, after some thinking got that one right. This went on for a while. Christian just drank wine in the meantime, I guess he didn’t enjoy this as much as I did. . We also enjoyed looking at a very pretty girl that Paul thinks was from eastern Europe

Off we go for dinner, greek again. The girl that served dinner was from Brazil, although no English. Paul lived in Paderborn and Munich for a while, so he spoke german and I took three years in the Goethe Institute in Costa Rica so I could kind of fumble my way around. More porks and fries. If you can’t speak properly the language, be careful for what you ask for. Apparently I ordered food for a small army! After ordering a normal amount of food, we went back to the hotel and decided to hit the spa. We were going to use the normal entrance to the pool area, but Paul convinced us to use another door and Voila! there was a bunch of naked people in the snow. Investigating a little further, we went inside and there was the pool, the sauna, the steam room and the changing room. Mixed! Everybody was naked. I don’t consider myself very conservative, but I draw the line there or at least I’m not that comfortable going around naked with old and young people around. I saw some things I wish I was blind.

Well, the next couple of days we had our 64-bit ISA event in the Heinz-Nixdorf Museums Forum. This is world’s largest computer museum and conference center, however almost all of it is in german. Well, the presentations went allright and the food was quite good. Of course, I miss white rice. This is funny, in Costa Rica white rice is part of most of the food you eat. You take it for granted, until you don’t have it in front of you. The museum was amazing, you could find almost any geek toy you could think of and being a geek myself, I felt like a teenager in a porno shop in A’dam.

Last day Paul took me to the airport. I was bored waiting for the plane and met the girl in the snack bar. Really pretty, totally german. A computer graphics student. She was really nice, a good conversation can pick up your spirit when you travel that much.

I got to FRA at around 6 pm. Hopped in the hotel bus and got to the Express by Holiday Inn. Nice hotel, but NO internet. This is an insult. However, this made me get up and go to downtown Frankfurt. Do not take a taxi, it will go for 20~25 euros each way. Take the train, round trip for 7 euros. Get off in Hauptwache. That’s the city center. Lot of bars and like 5 H&M! Ate also Doner. Good stuff.

Took the train back, went to the hotel and then next morning off to London Heathrow we go.