Endless changes ahead!

I know I haven’t blogged for a while, and definitely not as much as I would like, but that was partially because I was quite busy during my last days in Samsung (left on the 25th of July), where I wanted to make sure I did not leave any loose end before departure, and that everything was properly handed over to the right people there.

But that was one month ago… so what did I do since then? Many many things, and most of them away from a keyboard, at least until the past week. Main highlights:

  • One week travelling by car with my family all the way down to Spain from the UK, through France, visiting all the nice places we could (and could afford) in the way, which was a lot of fun and an incredible experience.
  • The goal of taking the car to Spain was to sell it once we were there and, surprisingly enough, we did it in record time, so one thing less to worry about…
  • 2 weeks in Spain having proper “relaxing holidays” to get some quality time off in between the two jobs, to properly recharge batteries. Not that the previous week was not holidays, but travelling 2200 km by car with two young kids on the back can be amazing and exhausting at the same time :-)
  • 1 week in the UK to make sure I had everything ready by the time I officially started in the new company, where I will initially be working from home: assemble a home office in my spare bedroom, and prepare my new laptop mainly. In the end, we (my wife helped me a lot) finished by Wednesday, so on Thursday we went for a last 2-day getaway to Wales (what a beautiful place!) by car, making the most that we were kids-free.

Endless Mobile logoTherefore, as you can imagine, I didn’t have much time for blogging lately, but still I would like to share with the world my “change of affiliation” so here it is: since yesterday I’m officially part of the amazing team at Endless Mobile, an awesome start up from San Francisco committed to break the digital divide in the developing world by taking GNOME-based technology to the end users in ways that were not imaginable before. And I have to say that’s a vision I fell in love with since the very first time I heard about it (last year in Brno, during Matt’s keynote at GUADEC).

But just in case that was not awesome enough by itself, the other thing that made me fall in love with the company was precisely the team they have assembled, because even if I’m mostly a technical guy, I still value a lot the human side of the places I work in. And in this regard Endless seems to be perfect, or even better!

So, I’m extremely happy these days because of this new challenge I’m seeing in front of me, and because of the opportunity I’m being given to have a real positive impact in the lives of millions of people who still can’t access to technology as they should be able to do it. Also, I feel blessed and privileged for having been given the chance to be part of such an amazing team of people. Could not be happier at this time! :)

Last to finish this post, I would like to say thanks to my friend Joaquim, since he was who introduced me to Matt in the first place and “created” this opportunity for me. Thank you!

mariospr.org

I’ve been thinking for some time already of moving my six years old blog to a more personal domain, and turns out I did it last week moved by the fact that I already had to mess with web development, hostings and domains for a while again, in order to assist my brother-in-law with the set up of a new local business.

So, I finally went after some (quick) thinking for this mariospr.org domain which I think it kinda makes sense considering I’m using mariospr in many places out there already.

One consequence of this change is that I hope I will write more often in my blog from now on, and not only about work-related stuff but also about some more personal things, experiences and the like. Still, I plan to keep using the “Planet [Name]” categories to control what I send to the planets I’m registered in, so if you want to keep track of those other kind of posts, make sure you visit or subscribe to the blog’s feed URL.

By the way, I would like to make the most of this post to say thank you to Lucas Rocha, who have helped me quite a lot to set up this blog without even knowing it, simply by being a good “inspiration” for some decisions I needed to make during the migration process, such as the domain name I finally chose and the font family for the text, for instance.

I even tried the sleek WordPress theme Lucas created, although in this case I ended up  making my own slight modifications to the -also beautiful- TwentyEleven theme, which I will publish as well at some point when the blog has really settled down.

Last, thanks also to my mates in Igalia who have already set up a redirect rule from the old address at blogs.igalia.com to the new domain, and of course to the people who helped update the feed link in the different planets my blog is in, since that means that everything should be already working as expected, even if you’re still using the old URLs.

The family keeps growing

The Family

Quick after-Christmas post to tell the world, now that is not a secret anymore [*],  that Isa, Sergio and me are currently expecting a new member to “arrive” in the family by next summer,  still no idea whether it would be a boy or a girl, but whatever it will be, we’re already happier than ever, suspiciously in a similar situation than almost two years ago, when I told the world about the arrival of Sergio, our first son.

Well… to be honest I couldn’t hide my preference for a girl if you ask me, just in order to get “the perfect couple”, but regardless of that I’m sure I’m gonna be the happiest man in the world. Yes, once again… and this time it’s not just speculation, I already have 2 years of “experience in the field” supporting this assertion, so take it seriously.

So that’s it, won’t write much more because I don’t want to look boring or the like talking about this kind of personal stuff in this blog, but what the hell… it’s the only one I have and I couldn’t avoid using it to share this publicly.

I think that’s all for now, and sorry for the very-likely-too-personal stuff in my blog.

Happy new year!

[*] You know… even in the era of Internet it kind of makes sense to me to tell these kind of news to some people first before broadcasting them to the world.

GWAH-DEC!

After having a great time last week in the seventh edition of the GUADEC-ES conference in A Coruña, I’m now announcing, in the same way some of my mates from Igalia already did, that…

I am attending GUADEC

I’ve arrived yesterday to Den Haag, along with most of the Igalia gang (still some of us coming tomorrow), and will be here just until Friday  morning, since I’ll need to miss the last day of GUADEC to attend my brother’s wedding. So, don’t hesitate to talk to me if you see me hanging around and want to share something, chat, or just to get a nice Igalia shirt… or even something different, who knows…

For more information, I’ll basically be in the Haagse Hogeschool most of the time during the day, and maybe in the hall of the hotel at night, although I can’t promise much about that because the time slot after dinner will be the only moment I’ll have to walk around the city in this my first visit to the Netherlands.

And by the way… if you’re expecting to see a long hair guy I must warn you that won’t be possible, at least for the moment.

And that’s all, I guess… see you in GUADEC!

PS: Did I say we have a new website? Check it out here.

Screen redrawing problems with the “nvidia” driver and Compiz

Just in case you were experiencing, like me, some very annoying problems with your NVIDIA graphic card while using Compiz, here you have a very useful option to put inside the “Device” section in your /etc/X11/xorg.org file:

Option         "UseCompositeWrapper" "true"

After activating this option (available for nvidia drivers >= 169.xx) I found that the problems redrawing windows I was suffering, specially when scrolling (very annoying, for instance, when chatting through pidging), just dissapeared. And it was indeed a very annoying problem, since it used to happen very often and in almost any window (although not in Emacs ;-) ) in my system, in a way so any information on it just got screwed up so it was completely unreadable… and the only “manual” workaround I had found so far was just to re-scroll the window or select the text I was trying to read, which seemed not to be a very good idea.

Needed to say that I started to see this odd behavior since I “downgraded” my Ubuntu 8.10 down to 8.04 last week (because of some very specific needs), and this strange problem never happened when using Intrepid, so if you’re now using that version perhaps you can just throw this post away to the trash, because then it would not useful at all for you.

But just in case, here you are my two cents, and to make them even more useful, here you are the full configuration of my “Device” section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, which allows me to use a fully accelerated desktop with no problems at all:

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Videocard0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "Quadro NVS 140M"
    Option         "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
    Option         "UseCompositeWrapper" "true"
    Option         "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps"
    Option         "NoLogo" "true"
    Option         "backingstore" "true"
    Option         "TripleBuffer" "true"
    Option         "AddARGBGLXVisuals"  "true"
EndSection

Hope this will be useful for you as well :-) .

Update: If you’re still suffering these problems even after adding these lines to xorg.conf, you could try to install the nvidia driver through Envy. These steps worked for me (at the end, the annoying problem appeared again, although not so often than before):

  1. Uninstall any other driver you had installed before (through the ubuntu “restricted drivers” manager, or the .run script downloaded from nvidia.com).
  2. Install Envy: apt-get install envyng-core
  3. Shutdown X and install the nvidia driver from a tty terminal: envyng -t

After following these steps, and the simple instructions on screen, by ubuntu hardy perfectly booted up with the nvidia driver v173.14, which seems not to present the same problem.

Let’s see if these new advice helps you too :-)

Just a few hours left for Brussels

As some of my mates here in Igalia, I’m arriving tomorrow at Brussels, in order to attend to FOSDEM ’09. This is my first visit both to Brussels and FOSDEM and I’m very excited and looking forward to arriving there and meeting all the people attending and giving talks in this great event, which I’m sure I’m goint to love.

So now it’s time to get everything ready in my backpack and going to bed soon, since my plane leaves Coruña early in the morning and I’ll need to rest properly to reach Brussels in my best shape. And let’s hope I don’t find any problems in Madrid, where news said they’re in “orange alert” because of the snow (I wouldn’t like to miss my connection or, even worse, to miss Friday in Brussels and therefore the FOSDEM Beer Event ;-) ).

See you there  guys!

Do you want to travel abroad? No problem with google maps!

Just go to http://maps.google.com, click on the “Get directions” tab and write down the name of the locations that you wish… and don’t worry about traveling across the sea, because google maps is perfectly “ready” to manage that situation as you can see in the following screenshot (traveling from A Coruña, Spain, to New York, USA):
Traveling abroad with google maps

Good luck swimming! ;-)

About the origin of foo, bar, baz and so on…

I recently felt a strange curiosity about the actual origin of those typical words that are “foo”, “bar” and “baz”, commonly used in computer-related issues such as programming examples. I already knew that they were a wide used way of naming example functions, params… but I really wanted to deeply know about the origin of them, so I googled for a while and I finally reached the wikipedia topic explaining this concept.

Once there, it was a surprise for me knowing about some theories about this, as that one which speculates about foobar to be a phonological interpretation of the first letters of the Runic alphabet. However, the fact which was more surprisingly for me was the existence of an actual RFC talking about this issue: RFC 3092.

I must confess I wasn’t able to stand without taking a brief look into it and I think it’s really funny to read some of the explanations around the foo term, and that’s why I wrote this post: for all the people who, like me, don’t know the meaning of these strange words yet and want to know.

See you

Starting to blog

This is my first post here in Igalia, so I’d only like to say that I hope to have time and stuff enough next days to write something of interest on this weblog.

However, if you can’t wait without reading any stuff until my first “serious post” was written, you can read other Igalia people’s blogs or just learn more about me here.

At last, thanks to Javier Muñoz for his “blogging in emacs” post, as it was very useful to me for writting this initial post using one of my favourite editors.