Monday, January 31, 2011

Android Emulator Slow

I am playing with Android a lot, specially since they released GingerBread and now they just released the first preview of HoneyComb. I started my first application using Froyo in which the emulator was pretty fast and I could boot and work with it normally. When I first started playing with Gingerbread I noticed it was slower than before but I did not give it too much attention and now that HoneyComb preview is out it has been really a pain to work with the Android Emulator. I do not have the latest and greatest laptop but either way just to boot and launch my application could take like 15 or more minutes and sometimes it wouldn't start at all.

Obviously something was wrong here and started looking at some options to improve it. First I found out that when you create an android virtual device ( AVD ) the default RAM is just 96 MB so you might want to increase it, for example Nexus One has 512 MB of RAM. All the hardware configurations can be found here.

Another thing I found is that starting the AVD from the AVD manager is faster than staring it from eclipse. So you first start he AVD you want to use for your application and once it is up an running you  execute your application. I noticed a huge improvement in boot time and application start by doing this.

The third option is to use command line to start the AVD and once it is started you can install your application. This way is the faster I think. It seems the eclipse integration has some issues still. So if you like command line, you can use this method. The commands for the emulator can be found here and how to install your application from command line can be found here. Basically you have to do this:
  1. open a command line
  2. execute: emulator -avd <avd_name>
  3. once the emulator es up and running then you execute: adb install <path_to_apk>
Just remember both tools need to be added to your PATH variable otherwise you will have to go to the folders that contain them.

Hope this tips help someone :)

happy coding :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

CR-48 Tracker

Time ago I talked about the new Chrome OS laptop and the Pilot Program which allows people, developers, business, etc apply to get one of these, use it and report feedback to Google. I applied the same day but it seems I am not lucky enough to get one :(

Anyways, I found this tool to track these shipments based on the zip code or city and State. At least with this you can see how many CR-48's have been shipped to your city and maybe and if you are lucky one of them will get to you.

Mean while, I am not sure if it is a good idea to apply multiple times. I really want one of those and I am sure I can return really good feed back. I already applied as developer and business and no luck :( I think I will ask my wife and friends to apply so I can at least increase the chances to get one.

Update.- it seems that the site is down :( , you can search for it and get from Google cache though

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chrome changed their Options Window

At least in the dev Channel of Chrome they have changed the way they display this window. Before used to be a popup with 3 options: Basics, Personal Stuff and Under the Hood.

With today's update they are now displaying it in a tab as a web page, which makes sense since everything else was displayed the same way. If you want to access directly, you can type : chrome://settings in the omnibar.

I like the new UI makes more sense to me. I have been using Chrome a lot since it seems this the closest I am going to get to the real Chrome OS and the CR-48 prototype :(

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tech Support for your Parents

The other day I was watching one of my favorite series which is The Big Bang Theory :) This chapter started with Wolowitz trying to teach his mom how to check her email and over the phone!!!!!! I love my mom a lot!!! but when I have to teach her something computer related like how to send an email, log in into Skype so we can have a video conference or anything like that, it drives me really crazy!

Hopefully I am not the one with this problem. Couple of weeks ago some guys from Google decided to create a tool to send care packages to their parents explaining a lot of basic things. Basically these care packages are just recorded videos explaining basic computer tasks. The web site is and right now they have sent 59,369 care packages.

The wizard to create the care package is rally easy and they even have categories like: Really basic, WWW, Communication, media and finding information so you can personalized the message depending on the situation and problem.

This is one video I have selected and sent it to my mom which teaches you how to check your email from your cellphone


Entrepreneurs thoughts

I found this talk given by Larry Page and Eric Schmidt. It is from 2002 when they just started Google and they had almost 500 employees now they have more than 25,000 and willing to hire more and more.

It is divided in 24 clips and the presenter is Larry Page who gives a really good talk about creativity, science as inspiration, Google mission, their recruiting process, their culture, some tips for new Entrepreneurs and lot of things. After the talk there is a QA session with Eric where they answer questions from the audience.

It is really a good session I liked it. It teaches a lot of good things if you want to start a company by your own.

Enjoy the video, it is really worth it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Google IO 2011

Finally the Google IO 2011 web site is up and running :) I have been dreaming about going to this conference since ever! and this year might be my opportunity. I am really excited about this. I am huge fan of Google and I use most of its products for my work and hobbies.

The web site has a countdown showing the days, hours, minutes and seconds to this great event. Even though the registration is not open yet I am sure it will be pretty soon. I am hoping I will be able to register myself as a student hoping they will allow my Bolivian ID where it says I am a student :)

There will be really good talks this year. You can take a look at them here, I am most interested in Android though.

Meanwhile you can check the videos from last year. There a lot of videos of all the sessions and more, enjoy it!

So let's go to Google IO 2011!!!!

UPDATE. It seems that the general registration will start on February 7th, according to Vic Gundotra last tweet

LibreOffice 3.3

LibreOffice just released a new version which is 3.3. As you know LibreOffice is a branch of OpenOffice. Because of a long history with Oracle some members of the project formed a new group called the Document Foundation and made available a fork of OpenOffice and they called LibreOffice.

LibreOffice was based on OpenOffice 3.3 beta but today they released the stable version. I am going to try it right away. It is sad that Oracle has been taking away a lot of help to a lot of projects. Since they bought Sun microsystems everything has changed and I hate that.
Anyways you are welcome to download and give it a try it has new cool things, new UI and a lot of bugs fixed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gmail for mobile and Google Cloud Print

Last year Google announced their solution about cloud printing, a service that allows you to print from any app on any device, OS or browser without the need to install any software or drivers. Basically to send the printing job from the internet to one of your connected printers. This service was open on beta program to the chrome notebook pilot program users, but today they announced the beta launch of Google Cloud Print for mobile and Gmail for mobile.

It will only rolled out to English US users in the next couple of days though. It will work on phones that support HTML5. In order to test it you just need to connect your printer to Google Cloud Print. Here are the steps to do that.

I do love the idea of printing from anywhere as long as I have internet connection, but the issue is that your printer must be connected to a computer that has internet access that way your printer will be visible. I have not tested this yet since I have not got the update, I will test it as soon as I get it though. I like the concept but I can still see some limitations.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Larry Page to replace Eric Schmidt as Google CEO

This new is all over the internet now and i was surprised as well when I read it. It seems Larry Page will replace Eric Schmidt as Google CEO, Eric will stay as Chairman though and Sergey will focus on new products.
I wonder what this is going to mean. There are a lot of speculation around there, a lot of blogs are posting about this topic. The 3 of them made a great team and it seems they will still working together this is just a organizational change because according to the official post they will still making all the strategic desicions.
I wonder if ten years from now it is going to be Sergey's turn as Google CEO :). I know it is for the best and I am looking forward to see the new changes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Google Demo Slam

Google Demo Slam is a place where you can upload your tech demos about Google products. There are no limits, you can use what ever your creativity and imagination want.

There are some really cool demos over there and the way it works is that there are 2 Slams fighting to be a the winner and the way the winner is selected is by using people votes so go there a vote for your favorite slam :)

There are some good demos about Google voice translate and Google goggles and a lot more.

Here is the number one so far. Enjoy it

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

top 50 Programming Qoutes

I found this list of really good programming quotes :) Some of them are really funny and obvious and some of them require some computer knowledge.

I think the fact that some of them are true make them really fun. Like this one:
"I don't care if it works on your machine! We are not shipping your machine!"
- Vidiu Platon.

Sometimes your code runs excellent on your machine/environment but as soon as you sent it to QA they find a lot of bugs. This also happened to me :$

Enjoy the quotes they are worth the reading time :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wikipedia Turned 10

On January 15th Wikipedia turned 10 years. You can watch Jimmy Walls ( Wikipedia's founder  ) video on Youtube:

The only thing he asks us is to help Wikipedia by editing, fixing things we see are wrong. To be honest I use Wikipedia a lot!!!! it really changed the way students and people in general search for specific things but i have never tried to edit or post something new i do not even know how to do that. The obvious step I think would be to create an account and start writing but I have never had the time to do it. Maybe this year I will try to help them a little bit :)

HAPPY Birthday Wikipedia :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Building your Resume with LinkedIn

I one of the things I really hate is to update my resume. It has been always difficult for me to write about my job, my experience, interests and all that. I know it is just personal marketing so you can sell yourself properly; let's be honest the objective of all of this is to get a better job.

Anyways now there is a better way to update your resume automatically. If you have a LinkedIn account, you can use Resume Builder to build your resume based on your LinkedIn account information. You can create multiple resumes with different templates, export it as PDF, edit the final result and then share it.

It is really fast and easy and the end result it is pretty nice. Also remember to avoid these Overused Phrases to make your resume stand out from others. These are words LinkedIn published as the most common words used by users in their profiles so take a look at them before writing yours.
  1. Extensive experience
  2. Innovative
  3. Motivated
  4. Results-oriented
  5. Dynamic
  6. Proven track record
  7. Team player
  8. Fast-paced
  9. Problem solver
  10. Entrepreneurial
Instead of using these words LinkedIn suggests to be more specific and noting your actual accomplishments in previous jobs.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Manage Pixles, not Monitors

I wrote a couple of posts about working with 2 monitors and how to make them friendly when using full screen mode. I always thought that having two monitors increases the productivity and I am still thinking that way.

I found his article that explains that having 2 or monitors do not increases productivity, they increase distractions. According to the article the key to productivity is not the number of monitors you have instead it is the number of pixels. The optimal number of pixels, at least for the average people is around 2500x1400 with this resolution in one monitor you can achieve everything you want, you can place all the windows and applications needed to do your job perfectly. I found one bug there. Even you have the right amount of pixels managing windows in one monitor is more complicated than managing windows in two monitors. There are great window manager applications for Windows, Mac and Linux which make this work really easy.

Anyways the article also says that with resolutions greater than the optimal everything tends to be a distraction because you have more space for things that do not matter and steal your attention, which make sense.

Personally I prefer to have two monitors instead of one big monitor with my perfect resolution. Either way the goal here is to stay focus on what it is important it does not matter if you have one big monitor or 4 x 27' monitors connected together.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top 10 Youtube Videos of 2010

Youtube just wrote about their top ten most watched videos on 2010. They split it in 2: Music labeled and non music labeled. the music labeled category Justin Bieber took the first, no surprise there.

In the non labeled category the one I liked the most is OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine version. I even wrote a post about it time ago.

Anyways I invited you to check this video it is really good.

Google Goggles

Today Google launched a new version of Google Goggles for android and it seems it is going to be faster and smarter. Before I would say it would have like 90% probability to detect whatever you scan. Now they have improved the speed and added a couple of things.

First, Google Goggles now is able to recognized printed ads although it only works with magazines printed in major U.S. magazines and newspapers after August 2010 which isn't that bad.

Second, they have improved the scan functionality and now it works faster than ever. According to them it takes around a second to find the product ( it used to take like 5 to 10 seconds before ).

And the third one, They have added the ability to solve SUDOKU puzzles by scanning the puzzle as it were a bar code. I like this one a lot. I have no tested properly but so far it works great :)

So start solving sudoku puzzles :) here it is a video of how it works, enjoy it!

I like the slogan at the end, "solving life's problems, one puzzle at a time" :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

How to find Windows XP product Key inside the Windows XP CD

Time ago I got an original copy of Windows Xp SP3. I still can't believe people buy those things. Do not take me wrong I hate piracy and all that but paying for MS products makes me feel sick. Just the quality of the product it is not enough to pay that much.

Anyways, I got this copy and I had to re-install my mother's desktop but I completely forgot the CD Key, I had the CD though. By doing some searches inside the CD I found that the Product Key is stored in a file named Unattend.txt inside the I386 folder. You should see the product key by the end of that file. This for the Windows XP Professional SP 3. I am sure it will be the same for the other versions.

Hope it helps some else.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Sneak Peek of Android 3.0, Honeycomb

Google finally gave us an official review of what it is going to be the next generation of Android a.k.a. Honeycomb. It seems it is going to be Tablet oriented and makes sense since It seems where the market is moving now.

The new UI and Tablet enhanced applications look really nice. It is a remarkable improvement from Froyo and GingerBread.

Enjoy the Video :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mac App Store

Yesterday Apple launched Mac OS X 10.6.6 and with it the Mac App Store. Unfortunately I do not have a Mac so i can't really test it and give my personal opinion about it. Although by reading some posts it seems there are some problems with installing applications.

Looks like when you try to install applications it gives you an ERROR 100. If you have this problem, you can check this link for a quick work around.

I like this concept of getting software the same as Chrome web store, The Mac App Store is the perfect the way to find any software you want or need, you can read/write reviews about the software before installing it. It is a good idea. Nothing is perfect though. I was reading this article about why you might not like the new Mac App Store and it makes a lot of sense. It seems you have to buy most of your application again, you do not have access to trial versions, most external application are not there yet ( maybe in the future they will be. Maybe they need to apply the same way you have to apply in the app store) and a lot more. Even with all these disadvantages in just one day there 1 million apps downloaded.

Let's see how this new approach goes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Nexus One

I can't believe it has been already one year since the Nexus One came to life. I still remember the day I got mine from Google :) . It was just before they closed their store for ever :(

I love my N1 not because it came from Google. I love it because it gets the updates before everyone else, it is the official developer phone and I still think it is one of the best phones out there. I know it has some problems like not enough internal memory, you can add a SD card though.

I will keep mine as much as i can. It has everything I want and use so far.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

JRuby Hacking Guide

This year I made the strong decision to learn new things and one of them is JRuby. JRuby is 100% pure Java implementation of Ruby Programming Language which is a dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write. I do not know why but it looks like a lot like Groovy to me.

Anyways, I started by looking at some guides and found this one which is really cool. The presentation named JRuby Hacking Guide was made by Hiroshi Nakamura who is one of the contributors of this project and all his presentations are different. He has a different way to present them which is really cool.

It is a nice presentation to get started with JRuby you should take a look.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Switching from iPhone to Android

I found this nice article about jumping from iphone to android. Everyone who knows me knows that I am an android guy :) I have used Iphone and to be honest it has good things but most of them I do not like; maybe because I am a developer and I like openness and apple iOS just simple does not have.

I must say that iOS is much user friendly than Android  also their apps, but I am sure that is something Android will improve eventually and what's more from a developer point of view it is not a deal breaker.

The article mentions the good and the bad of moving from iPhone to Android. Things good like free navigation, voice input commands, notifications, perfect harmony with Google services, storage options and a lot more. And also the bad things like the Android fragmentation. It is true, since it is open you can find a lot of android flavors thanks to the manufactures, low battery life ( Evo from spring ) .

Really it is a nice article to read if you are planning to switch to an Android powered device :)