Sunday, November 12, 2006

Open Mind

This blog is mostly about me and my opinions. Due to my interests being mostly tech related,my writing obviously reflects that, of course.

But i do have other things on my mind, and while some of them are nothing that i would want to publish here, others, such as my opinion about voluntary interruption of pregnancy, or abortion (because that's what it's called) is.

Basically it all sums up to a couple of questions:

Is the life, and quality of life, of a woman (or couple) more important than the future of an embryo?
Is our government doing all it should regarding sexual education?
Should people who want to be responsibly able to have "freedom of choice" be compared to murderers? What about child molesters?
NO and NO.

So how come when a woman needs to get an abortion, she will either have to go to Spain (or England) or suffer at the hands of some illegal clinic or worse (and i know much, much worse...)
Who profits from this, really?

Illegal clinics ? yes

Those butcher who every year send hundreds of women to hospitals with internal mutilation and other complications? yes

Any others?

open software everywhere

One of the biggest surprises that my new job had stored for me, was the abundant usage of open source software all over the infrastructure!

I mean, I expected to be one or two apaches in there, but found that there were only one type of web server that would do the trick. Apache. It makes perfect sense.
But that's not all, we (damn..I'm one of them...) use:

The list could go on, but you get the picture.

But what I'm most proud of, is that they are now beginning to know and love ruby. And that was thanks to me :o)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

skype reads your mail... err .. web-pages

Today I learned that a new feature in skype announced in their web-page as a " a “cool new thing"” actually (and obtrusively) reads the content of the web-pages you visit.

How it works, is that whenever the daemon reads a number that it thinks is a phone number, it automatically adds a link to the page allowing the user to make a skype phone call to that number.

But what it also does (and that could be just bad programming...), is that when your visiting a page (lets say that its your e-banking page), it searches for numbers (for instance, your bank account number and that it'’s something like 0351214412233) and then offers you to call someone Portugal (international country code 351) with the phone number 214412233.

What that reveals is not a wonderful feature that skype now brings you, but that you privacy is not so private when you use their software.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

copy run star

One thing about the Industry is that it that you're faced with the possibility of change often.

Such a time as come for me. I will be starting a new job next Monday and I must confess that I'm a little bit nervous about it.

I made a Cost / Benefit evaluation of the changes involved, but still it makes me nervous... I will be starting a new path that, I can only hope, will lead me far and long, but I'll also be leaving behind the last two years of my life.

It is a new start but I will be carrying all my past experience so I hope I wont make the same mistakes and hopefully all will go well.

Let us hope!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

when the love is gone

I must say I thought that it would take longer, but actually i've fallen out of love for my mac.
I could say plenty about whats wrong with it, but, since it wont be talking dirt about me.. i'll just say that it hurts me when i need to use a computer and it doesn't work.

I mean, having the battery diying on me, I can take it. But turning on my PC (there... i've said it) and finding only thin multi-coloured vertical lines??? I don't even like abstract art!

Friday, September 22, 2006

...and i thought i was a normal guy dressed in geek

Modern, Cool Nerd

78 % Nerd, 65% Geek, 47% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on nerdiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on geekosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on dork points

Monday, September 18, 2006

Best-ever freeware

Today I saw (another) list of "Best-ever freeware" on digg, wich was aimed at MS Win users. People never seem to get enough!

One of the biggest problems IT Staff find in their jobs is preciselly supporting software that users decided to install because they had read somewere that is was "the best app in the world" or something to that liking.
Even in home environements, people seem to only be satisfied when they have positively crammed their PCs with all the (most times) useless junkware!

That leads us to the biggest problem in the computer world... Ignorance (wich is said not to be an excuse). I personally think that its my obligatoin (and anyone who knows what he's saying ... er... writing...) to help others make better use of their computers and teach them how to avoid turning their computers into zombies or spam boxes used by criminals.

Altough most software that you'll find either in magazine companion CDs or on the web promise to make your life easier and your on-line experience better, try to think about these few simple questions before you download and install any of them:

1- Would you eat food that you didn't know (or at least have a reasonable expectation) that it was safe? So why would you install software that you don't know anything about its makers?
2- Do you have private photos, movies or any other files that you don't want just about anybody to see? If you want to go into filesharing, consider that others will have (at least) the same access to your PC that you'll have to theirs.
3- Cracked software isn't all that different from a stolen car. It just gives you the feeling that you can't get caught. The keyword here is "feeling". When ever you want a particular piece of software that has a price tag, pay for it. If you can't, consider a free (and open source, if possible) alternative.

Security is an achivable goal. And security will make your life easier and your on-line experience better.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I was recently remembered that small things can really brighten one's day.

Just the other day, after leaving work and in dire need of some R&R i went to my favourite local bookstore (wich accidentally happens to be inside a shopping mall) and i found a recent edition of the great 2600 magzine.

Wow. That took me back a couple of years. 2600 was one of the reasons I started really learning about computers and hacking the system for fun and profit (this last sentece is probably copyrighted by someone).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Linux user’s experience with a Macbook

Well if many people found it strange that I, being an VB \ MS SQL professional programmer and MCSA was a devoted Linux hobbyist and advocate, then what would they say if they found that I was becoming an Apple fanboy now?

The word “Triple-Traitor” comes to mind, although I don’t think that’s even a word…

I bought a black Macbook two months ago because I just couldn’t resist its charm and because now, with the Intel processors, I actually had one less excuse not to use the best looking hardware in the market. I knew that thanks to Apple’s Boot Camp I could use Win XP without virtualization hassles if I needed (and I do, really).

Obviously my first reaction to actually owning a Mac was akin to a child left alone in a chocolate factory. Apple really invests in the “buying experience”. It’s hard to explain, but I could swear that the casing’s interior and the laptop itself smell like apples… and I didn’t even noticed that it didn’t include a mouse or any other “gifts”. It’s just the laptop, the installation DVDs, Apple Remote, a power supply and that’s it.

Once I got past the drooling, I started the rather simple and straightforward process of installing Windows XP with Boot Camp. The instructions on how to do it are all over the net, so I won’t go about it here.

One thing I noticed immediately when first logging on to XP, is that it seems to respond slowly, there’s a feeling of hiccups just in moving the mouse pointer that I assume are due to “only” having 512 MB of RAM and using shared video memory, since I’ve gorked a bit for similar user experience and couldn’t find any such complaints.

The other major catch is the keyboard. Not having a delete key, is easy to live with, but not being able to easily write symbols like “@ “and “€ “? Now THAT’S hard to explain.

Next came the “usual” process of fitting and tweaking XP to my personal taste and needs. That meant about 1 hour of modifying default settings, from visual effects to the size and functionalities of I’ve grown so accustomed to changing default settings that I almost don’t even notice just how many times I have to open regedit, reboot, or go into administrator mode to get everything just perfect. If anyone is interested in finding out what the process was, just ask.

Finally I got to spend some time on Mac OSX. I’d already done all the updates, so I was left to change the default font size, setting up a non-administrator account, turning dock hiding and zoom on, readjust the app selection on the dock to fit my user profile and change the default wallpaper. That was it, really. I could automagically connect to my Linux box, had access to my ISP and a neighbour’s Wireless network that I use just to check if wifi works Po) . And using Microsoft Remote Desktop Client from Mactopia, I even get easy access to my Windows 2003 DNS and DB Server.

As to bundled apps, Mac OSX is, all things considered, much like Ubuntu, or SuSE Linux. It comes with a good selection that allows you to be immediately “in business” but the best tools come from the community.
The iLife suit is sweet, very easy to use even if somewhat limited for advanced user other than myself (I’ve heard), FrontRow is great, and there is also a SQL DBMS in it too. But what really got me by surprise was Xcode, Automator, Script Editor and Ruby being installed by default. I am totally addicted! Honest!

All in all I’m very happy with my Macbook and I would defiantly recommend anyone, even sysadmins with a little patience and some time to spare that need or are considering a new laptop to buy this one.

Monday, August 07, 2006


it was only after creating this blog, that i realised that it's acronym was omoo