Why I got a Blackberry

I recently acquired a Samsung Focus which is another run-of-the-mill phone with a full touch screen front that are supposed to be “innovative”. Who knows if the new iPhone 4S will redefine the type, that’s probably a matter of opinion. Anyway, the point I’m getting to is that I went from a BlackBerry Pearl to a Curve, to a Bold 9700 and finally to a WP7 Phone and somehow I miss my BlackBerry. I miss BBM, the longer battery life, message integration, switching languages on the fly, docks that don’t require pushing or pulling, one-handed operation, the security features as well as a full non-touch QWERTY keyboard. These are very resilient and durable devices. I left my Bold 9700 on top of my car and when I took a curve at 30 mph it went flying into a ditch. It has a couple of punctures and scratches on it but when I put the battery back in everything worked like a charm. I seriously doubt that would be the case with other types of smartphones. I believe in several areas the BB’s still can’t be beaten. If you’re a very social person and do lots of messaging and email. I don’t think the BB can come close to being beaten.

As you may know if you actually used one, Blackberries are way behind in the App department with their “developer unfriendly” OS, which is the root cause for the lack of Apps, Continue reading “Why I got a Blackberry”

Limit the number of items the user can select in a ListBox with JQuery

This little script is able to grab all the listboxes on the page.

      $(document).ready(function() {
          $("select").change(function() {
             if ($(this).find('option:selected').length > 5) {
               this.options[this.selectedIndex].selected = false;
             }; }); }); 

pretty sleek huh?

What to do with a small SSD?

As with most technologies, SSD is actually becoming affordable. There are several entry level drives that vary from $80 to $120 in price and 20GB to 60GB in size. However, I strongly advice to step it up to a bigger drive because you are going to run into several issues and annoyances if you go with a small capacity SSD.
First of all, since the drives are so small, the OS will most likely take half the space of the drive. You then install Office, Visual Studio, Photoshop, or any other big app that will benefit from the performance gains and you’ll start running out of space.
Putting media in a mechanical drive should go without saying. Then take a look at hibernation, if you are not on a laptop, you might want to consider disabling it. Hibernation uses an amount of space equivalent to the amount of RAM you have on your computer. 4GB is pretty common and 8GB is starting to become the norm, meaning that would be space you will have to live without. To disable it in Windows 7, open a command prompt and type

powercfg -h off

Next, if you already have something in place to regularly back up your computer, consider disabling system restore. Go to the Control Panel, select to view by Large Icons instead of Category, pick System, and then System Protection. There, you can click on the Configure button, and you will be able to disable System Restore for your booting drive.
After that there is Pagefile.sys, a file in Windows that acts as virtual memory. If you have a large amount of RAM, you can easily do away with this file, make it smaller, or move it to another drive. Simply, go to System again, click on Advance System Properties, in the Advanced tab, click on the performance section the settings button. That will open the Performance Options window where you should click on the Advance tab, then on the Change… button in the Virtual Memory Section. Some sources advocate these changes for small performance gains or to extend your drive’s life, but the jury is still out on that. For certain, they will save you space in your drive.

However, the latest intel chipset on the market, Z68, has a clever way to handle these small drives. It will allow you to use Smart Response Technology (aka SSD caching). It acts as cache for a mechanical drive. It will speed up your system automatically without having to deal with all the nuisance of a small SSD maintenance or SSDs in general.
Continue reading “What to do with a small SSD?”

Who Is Who?

A Project Manager is the one who thinks 9 women can deliver a baby in 1 month.
An Onsite Coordinator is the one who thinks 1 woman can deliver 9 babies in 1 month.
A Developer is the one who thinks it will take 18 months to deliver 1 baby.
A Marketing Manager/Requirements Person is the one who thinks he can deliver a baby even if no man and woman are available.
A Client is the one who doesn’t know why he wants a baby.
A Tester is the one who always tells his wife that this is not the right baby

Best Price to Perfomance Ratio PC for Summer 2011

This build is for people who want a good quality system but do not want to research the components themselves. There is nothing taken into consideration for future upgrades. This is a PC for 2 to 3 years that will perform well and play games decently.

I have decided to pick an Intel CPU since for most purposes it outperforms AMD and I like Z68 chipset features. As you may notice there is a small SSD drive on this build. This will allow you to use Smart Response Technology (aka SSD caching). It will speed up your system automatically without having to deal with all the nuisance of small SSD maintenance or SSDs in general.

I want to provide an overall great experience so I still want good quality on all components. There are plenty of areas where money can be saved like input devices but they make PC usage more enjoyable. Most people skimp on a good UPS but I strongly recommend getting one especially for areas with a lot of thunderstorms. It helps and increases your components’ lifetime. The whole enchilada comes down to about $1450.

Components list after the break:
Continue reading “Best Price to Perfomance Ratio PC for Summer 2011”

The end of the Blockbuster era

For Lease or Sale

As you have probably already noticed if you are a baby boomer that still goes to Blockbuster, it has gone bankrupt. The franchise name was sold to Dish Network. We still don’t know what they are going to do with the brick and mortar stores, maybe sell you satellite dishes. They are, however, keeping the brand for online and mail-in rentals. It is sad though that growing up I used to go there with friends, sometimes just to socialize or talk about movies with people knowledgeable in the subject. You would get great recommendations especially from more mature people that could steer you away from “Glitter” or “Crossroads.” It was a place where you could buy snacks, walk around, and our movie hobby wouldn’t be just being a couch potato.

I miss these days, not to mention that streaming still has not caught up with physical media. No streaming option can match the quality of Blu-rays. Most are on par with DVDs, a more than a decade old standard. The Surround Sound and HD Audio availability is very limited. Streaming services have done a terrible job of providing Closed Captioning and their prices are quickly going up. Coincidentally, right after Blockbuster bit the dust, Netflix increased their prices to up to 60% to keep your previous plan, with little to no improvements to the service.

Video is going through many changes, just as audio did in the last decade. MP3s are not nearly the same quality as formats that did not prosper such as Super CD or DVD-Audio. Even though storage is very cheap nowadays, we have not even moved to slightly larger lossless codecs or uncompressed audio. I understand most people do not have equipment to appreciate the difference since iPods are the most common/convenient audio player out there. This leads me to believe that eventually great video quality is simply going the way of the Dodo (and Blockbuster). One day, I will tell stories to kids of how we had much better video and audio back in the day.



Continue reading “The end of the Blockbuster era”

Facebook was making me dumb

Facebook Fail LogoAs if I don’t have enough stuff in my life to make me dumber, friends and family micro-blogging (aka Facebook) was not helping at all. Therefore, I decided to quit Facebook and you might be wondering why. Well, probably not but bear with me, let’s say you do. I completely skipped the whole MySpace era because I was in college in graduate school so I barely had time to breathe. I had no time to waste online, and the little time I spent on the computer not coding or writing papers was spent checking my email and cleaning up the spam or clicking on the “unsubscribe” link that actually tells spammers that it is a valid email.

Anyways, I would actually read forums where knowledgeable people would gather and discuss topics and most of the time this was productive. There was a certain level of anonymity that encouraged people to be more open and actually ask questions in order to learn something. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to have these kinds of conversations in social networks. This could entirely mean that my “friends” are retards.  Plenty of them are geeks that can’t admit they are wrong and end up trolling. But, they might also just pretend they know something when in fact they are clueless and make it up as they go. The problem arises mostly because access or interest to the thread is limited to your dumb friends.
Continue reading “Facebook was making me dumb”