Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Farewell Google Reader

I can't believe this day has come, but it is here. Last March Google announced that it was going to power down Google Reader. One of its classic spring cleanings. Tons of posts and news talked about it. At the beginning I couldn't believe it but then kind of understood it. Let's be honest not so many people know about RSS and specially RSS clients. These days most people get their news from twitter, G+, FaceBook, etc. I could even say that mostly geeks use RSS and RSS clients now a days in order to get informed, I do :)

Anyways, I woke up this morning and I knew that it was gone but as usual I went to that page and I saw this image :( pretty much the same info you could see on their official blog post

Google Reader

Basically, it says good bye, some other alternatives we can use and that we have until July 15, 2013 to take all our data using Google Takeout.

I still remember the first time I talked about RSS feeds and clients back in 2006 ( Spanish ) since then I pretty much used Google Reader for this purpose but now that it is gone I have been testing couple of alternatives. I am saying alternatives because there is no replacement for it at least according to me. The first in the line is Feedly which has an android client, it uses AppEngine and it has direct import from Google Reader, so far it is good but still it is missing key things for me. It does not have search, for some reason it only shows me feeds just 10 days old, Google Reader used to show one month and I am trying to get used to the UI which sometimes freezes when I go through my feeds. I think it is not scaling very well when you have tons of feeds and users hitting your app, but it uses AppEngine so I guess it is not a server problem. The other alternatives are just not there yet, or do not have android clients which is one of the key things a good RSS client has to have.

Anyways, life has to continue so good bye Google Reader, for sure you will be missed! 

October 7, 2005 to July 1, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Google Glass

I can finally talk about this!!!!! Last year Google officially revealed Google Glass with an amazing demonstration during Google I/O . They also opened the registration to whoever wanted to get an early device and be a part of a feedback group for this product. Obviously, I signed up and I got a "number".

Then, early this year, all the Google Glass members got an invitation, if approved, to participate in a 2 day hackaton in New York or San Francisco. I chose New York. All excited I went there ready for everything!

Google NY
And it was amazing! each one of us got a pair of these new Google Glasses so we could create any applications we wanted! Of course, there were lots of restrictions, legal documents to sign, credentials, etc etc in summary the security was really really strong and it makes sense, no body likes leaks specially on this new technology/gadget.

During those 2 days I met great developers ( one of them helped me on developing a demo we presented the second day ), saw amazing ideas, concepts, applications and most of all I got the chance to learn, use and meet the creators of this amazing product. I even had the chance to build and demo an application and I got a new Glass brick this time with the word Pioneer :)

By the end of the second day I was tired and sleepy but really really happy. Just having the feeling of being part of the future, being able to test it out, write some lines of code and see it on the device was something I can't describe.
Google Glass :)
I just wish I could talk about more about the tools, the applications and how we built our applications, but I guess that will have to wait a little bit longer.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this video explaining how does feel using glass and believe me it is a complete different experience :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Google DevFest recap

I am back from Bolivia and Google DevFest season. We organized 2 DevFests, one in Cochabamba and one in La Paz. My first presentation was in Cochabamba and I was really nervous. I have terrible issues when I have to talk in front of people and this time wasn't the exception. Almost 250 attendees were that day and that was pretty scary for me. Anyways, at the end it was really good. I wish I had more time to do more code examples but it was good. Most of the people were Computer Science Students or Software Developers so my talk was a really good fit. I was really surprised when I found out that no body knew about my topic, I was happy I had the chance to introduce something new to them though.

GDG Cochabamba!!
In La Paz was completely different. There weren't as many developers as I thought there would be. Since the time was limited I barely did code examples and the audience itself wasn't for that kind of talk. At least I was more calm and relax than the first time and even kind of enjoy it :) The really sad part is that we had a special guest for this event. For the first time ever we had a Googler :) Nicolas Bortolotti , but due to bad organization he had to leave before we expected and because of that his presentation was a little bit short in time either way it was really nice to see him again and exchange some words.
a geek ;)
In summary it was a great experience and I got to meet really nice and good people. I really wish I could do this again since it was really fun and it helped me with my stage fright problem. What's more, I do enjoy sharing what I know with others.

You can see my slides here and I would really appreciate the feedback since this was my first doing it I would like the get better :)
Here is a video of my talk. Sorry, it is in Spanish :(

Thanks to everyone who made this possible :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

GDG DevFest Season

Google Developer Groups DevFest are community-run events that offer speaker sessions about different Google technologies and they are all over the world. They started last month and they will last until November 11th so there is still plenty of time.

This year I have been really busy as GDG organizer for 2 cities GDG Cochabamba and GDG La Paz which are back in my beloved Bolivia :) and with the help of amazing people we are hosting the very first GDG DevFest in Bolivia this October 20th in Cochabamba a really beautiful city :) and I get to be a speaker this time. I will be talking about Google Apps Script for education. I am pretty much done with my slides but still I have never been so good at talking ( I like computer interaction more than people interaction ;) ) so let's hope I do not get stage fright or something.

The DevFest in La Paz is this October 24th and I wanted to talk about Git/GitHub for Android Development but I am not sure I will finish on time, work has been really really hard these last weeks. Anyways, I still want to talk about that and I will do it at some point but it seems not for this event. If everything goes as planned, we will have one Googler for this event and I am really excited about that since I am pretty sure this is going to be the very first time a Googler visit us so it is going to be amazing!

All the information about these GDG events are in the official page and the details about GDG Cochabamba DevFest and GDG La Paz DevFest as well. You can find one near by where you are and participate and have fun!

Happy DevFest Season :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

BlackBerry Jam Americas 2012 recap

I was invited to this year's BlackBerry developers conference in San Jose California. I think they invited to everyone who published an application in their App World. Anyways, I couldn't say no :) and I always like going to the west coast ;)

It was a 3 day event. So there was plenty of sessions and labs. I couldn't see the whole keynote due to a navigation error in other other words I took the wrong train :$
San Jose Convention Center
After the keynote all the sessions started. I tried to attend all the labs and the getting started sessions since I am really really new on this platform. I know I ported my Android App to the BlackBerry PlayBook but I think that is some kind of cheating since It uses the Android run-time. So basically it is Android running inside BlackBerry. I wanted to learn the native options to develop for this platform specially for forthcoming BlackBerry 10.
Using a PlayBook for registration, pretty cool ;)

I expected more attendees but I guess I am used to Google IO conferences, but that was fine so you did not have to fight for a place and the sessions and labs felt better since we were few we got better help and support.

The first 2 days were just sessions and labs. The third day was something they called the Unconference day on which the attendees decided the topics. It was a good idea but it did not have the attention required. At the end everyone was talking to everyone about their questions and curiosities. You just needed to look for a table with a good topic and that is all, you just joined them.
I really want one of these!!!

I must say that it was a good conference but I have the feeling that some of the sessions required more work and effort in the presentation. I expected more examples and code. Some were really really good but others felt like they were improvised.

I am sure RIM is trying to do its best to keep the community and developers working on BlackBerry 10 environment but I still think it is a little bit late. They are putting all their efforts on this new device and framework also they have started developer relationships all the world to keep growing its community, they are updating their blog with more and more information and examples but still it is getting really really hard to compete with Android and Apple.

In general it was an amazing experience and I got to know really smart and nice people during these 3 days. I was one of the lucky guys who got an Alpha B device so I can play and develop apps with it and for sure I will do it. I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement but that is OK with me :)
BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha B prototype :)

Pretty much all the sessions are on demand if you are interested on learning what is new on this platform.

Thanks for the invite BlackBerry and hope to see you next year!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Get File Line Count on Windows

This is just a small trick I have learned. Usually when you have to work with really really huge files you need to know the number of lines if has. For example, if you have to import a huge CSV file into a DB you need the count so you can verify the process or to have an idea of how long it will take. On Linux this is easy just a
wc -l [filename]
and that is all. On windows though it is different unless you install cygwin your command line options are limited. Specially if you have to do the job on customer's servers where you can't install what ever you want. So to do the trick on windows you have 2 options:
findstr /R /N "^" [filename] | find /C ":"
type [filename] | find /c /v "~~~"
The speed depends on how big the file is. I tried it on an 10GB CSV file and took around 15 minutes, both gave me the right result though. Hope it helps some one. Happy coding!