Should we really be happy for Netflix Latin America?

by Xavier Comments: 4

Being a loyal customer during my multiple trips to the US, I was THRILLED that finally Netflix is coming to Latin America. Until yesterday…

As soon as it became available, I signed up and went straight to my beloved Documentaries section. I am disappointed…

Look at what I found, there are only like 20 documentaries, mostly low quality :

Check out the equivalent US section taken at exactly the same time, it has hundreds of titles in multiple categories:

Netflix: will the Latin America service be equivalent to the US one? Please don’t disrespect us. Just because we live in a third world country, that does not mean that you should give us a third world service.

Also, don’t make the mistake of adding translated titles to spanish. We want the movies in their original language!

Helping like on the one laptop per child… or at least one tablet per child

by Xavier Comments: 0

I was reading today this great article, Can you hear Apple’s iPad competitors sobbing?, and just thought to myself that instead of making a huge pile of Android devices – why don’t all these companies that built IPad look alikes and failed miserable – instead of just throwing them away they give them away for free to children in third world countries.

It is not exactly a one laptop per child, but it is a one internet-enabled-device-that-children-can-use-to-learn that could make a difference in the upbringing of many underprivileged financially minds that can also have potential for a better life.

It all makes sense to me, maybe not Nicholas Negroponte’s dream, but still it is a great way of helping the poor and not throwing a way those devices. Some of these companies might even get some good PR… you know… help the children… third world… which as we all know some big corporations would never give something away without a tax break or good PR in return. But who cares! What I care is about giving opportunity to those that don’t have one.

Am I being just too naive?

RIP Iphone 4

by Xavier Comments: 0

De ponerse a llorar…

Y tambien del otro lado

Pero aunque no lo crean… aun funciona y le paso un carro por encima…

My first dollar in the App Store

by Xavier Comments: 4

Hopefully more to come, but this is my first dollar on a personal app 🙂

How deep do you want to go? Parallels, VMWare, Remote Desktop Connection

by Xavier Comments: 0

I just noticed something. I am:
– Using my Mac Book Pro (Lion? not yet) to connect via Remote Desktop Connection to
– My Dell PowerEdge Server with Windows Ultimate 7, which is next to me but I don’t change the Apple display for anything, plus I like the mobility – work from everywhere via RDC to my server – and
– In my server I am running VMWare Player to host another Windows 7 that
– I then use to VPN all the way to a server in the UK via Citrix (I use a VM as the Citrix software sometimes blue screens on 64 bit systems)
– And in the Uk I connect to another virtual machine running Windows Server 2008
… Where I can check if our software is running appropriately.

Best of all… it works!!!!

In my Mac I also run Parallels, I love it… Give it a shot, Coherence is great! (If you don’t know what Coherence is, think of it as just running both Windows and Mac OSX and feeling it is the same one.

Also, I had the PowerEdge running Windows Server 2008 with HyperV. HHHNNNNN. Gets the job “done”, but VMWare Player is far superior for what I need. Won’t run in 2k8, so that’s why I moved to W7.

My Favorite XCode Tutorials so far…

by Xavier Comments: 2

XCode and Objective C are not for the faint of heart… oh well at least in some departments like web services and xml parsing. Anyway, there I go little by little learning and learning.

I came across this site last night…yes Friday night…. and I love it!
http://www.xcode-tutorials.com/

No affiliation with these people, just want to recognize when someone does something useful!

Simple tool to manage clipboard – CloudClipX

by Xavier Comments: 0

One of the most annoying things for me is how dumb the clipboard is (yet at the same time being extremely useful).

Quick scenario to demonstrate my point
– Ctrl C on an email address from a person you are going to write in the next few seconds
– You get distracted, move to a different window and copy paste a file that you need to share in a network drive (more on effective file sharing soon)
– You get back to write the email and you no longer have the text in your clipboard. Ohhhh the humanity!!!! Well, not quite a Hindenburg disaster, but still VERY annoying

Well, it is extremely simple to fix. Download CloudClipX and it will help you keep track of the most recent text’s you’ve added on your clipboard.

Just click on the icon in the task bar and select the entry you want again in your clipboard and you are good to go!

Email sending made simple in C# with SendGrid

by Xavier Comments: 2

Note: I am not affiliated with SendGrid nor I am trying to make $20 for each referral. I am just a happy customer. I like to point out when other people make products or provide services that add value and make my life simpler (that is the key… MAKE MY LIFE SIMPLER).

Yes, I know. Having your own SMTP is not that hard, or expensive. Also, some services like Google Apps or Godaddy Pop can be used despite the fact that they have daily limits, which sometimes might be a bit low.

Amazon SES ( http://aws.amazon.com/ses/ ) is simple to use and inexpensive, but I found a simple alternative IMHO called SendGrid.

Check it out, just go to www.sendgrid.com and subscribe to it, use your credentials and send. It has some nice features like a dashboard, counters and a few other things without too much fuzz.

And to send the email we just do…


MailMessage mm = new MailMessage(new System.Net.Mail.MailAddress(from, fromName), new System.Net.Mail.MailAddress(to));
// mm.CC.Add(tocc);
//Assign the MailMessage's properties
mm.IsBodyHtml = isHtml;
mm.Subject = subject;
mm.Body = msg;
SmtpClient smtp = new SmtpClient();
smtp.EnableSsl = true;
smtp.Host = "smtp.sendgrid.net";
smtp.Credentials = new System.Net.NetworkCredential(user, pwd);
smtp.Send(mm);

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!