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!

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 ( ) is simple to use and inexpensive, but I found a simple alternative IMHO called SendGrid.

Check it out, just go to 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.Credentials = new System.Net.NetworkCredential(user, pwd);

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….