First Week on Brazil

I came to Brazil after a strange fork in my life, I ever thought that my next destiny for study would be USA or Europe, but life give you unique opportunities that you have to catch and after searching some scholarships I applied for OAS-GCUB program on Brazil  and I also applied in some universities of Chile for a Chilean government scholarship. I really believe on God's blessing and this is one of these,  I was admitted in all universities but I missed Chile scholarships for two days so my final decision was "go or not go to Brazil?". Well I'm starting my life on Brazil, and I'll write my first impressions starting my journey in this country. Santa Maria, RS Most of people think three things when someone talks about Brazil.
  1. Girls
  2. Beach
  3. Sun
I'm living in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, this city is very strange for me, most of its economy is based in services for students and 50% of the population are from other places of the state. Talking about girls all stereotypes about Brazil are true (at least for me), I can resume my impression of girls in one word "A M A Z I N G". Cristina a mexican girl (I'll introduce to you later) told me that the majority of "handsome people" born in this region of the country and I believe in that :D. About the beaches of Brazil, well  i'm really far from a beach, approximately 500 kms. Montevideo is closer than Rio or Sao Paulo so I wont sing "garota de Ipanema" for a long time. Sun . . . well here at Santa Maria you have enough Sun . . . to much for me, with an average of 38 degrees per day (centigrades) this places is the gate of hell. University Universidade Federal de Santa Maria is the oldest university of Brazil not located in a capital city, the campus is very similar to USAC's campus
  • Open for the people
  • Big (really big)
  • Fulfilled with art
The difference between UFSM and USAC resides in the people with insignificant things like the bathrooms are working. You could assume that the problem at USAC is the people destroying everything,  sure the buildings are not made of gold but the installations are fine. The computer science program is relatively new, but in general 99% of the teachers have a Phd. degree with full time dedication for research and academic activities, in Guatemala in general we don't have a Computer Science Master's program and at USAC most of professors in the Bs. are receiving payment for 4 or 5 hour per week so you can guess the difference. The trip The trip started at march 1 in Guatemala City and after two stopovers in San Salvador (El Salvador) and Lima (Peru) I came at march 2 to Porto Alegre . It was a heavy trip, but the saddest news of the trip where that "nobody speaks english here" so I'm still mixing my Spanish with the words that i'm learning in Portuguese in a commonly named language "Portunhol", luckily in this region of the country is very common. People In general the people is very polite, specially adults and the other members of the schoolarship at this University. When I came to Santa Maria, I met Cristina, a girl from Guadalajara Mexico, she is like the leader of the group because she was the first person to came to Santa Maria and because she is very proficient in Portuguese language (she is a teacher in Mexico) later I met Ivan, a boy from Uruguay who also is very proficient in Portuguese and we had our first meeting at "La casa do pastel" a strange kind of restaurant with giant food. The next day we met Giovanna a girl from Lima, Peru. By the moment I'm at apartment of Andre a Brazilian boy who is finishing his Msc. program, also very polite, the apartment is really good, sadly is only provisional, but in general this days were a mix of feelings including:
  • Expensive food . . . for me, I paid at Guatemala $0.8 to get a Coca Cola here you should pay almost $3, also I paid at Guatemala $5 for a Big Mac combo here it costs almost $15
  • Exploring the place, but in general is a small town xD
  • Bureaucracy, so big in Brazil specially for foreign students
  • Missing my family
  • The first birthday party (Cristina's birthday), It was a really good party because a place that we like opened exclusively for us xD
I'm still waiting for the OAS money -_-, but I'll try to do my best work.

Java Day Guatemala, mission complete

As I said in previous posts I'm a founder member of Guatemala Java Users Group, one year has passed since our first meeting, many Java code, frameworks, people and meetings started the road for our first big event "Java Day Guatemala". Two months ago one of the most active Drupal community members in our country and a great collaborator with our JUG came to a JUG meeting with a great idea "What if we do a full day activity dedicated to Java?", one meeting later we started plans for that activity conveniently code-named "Java Day" so I asked for a space in as a JUG and the event started to take shape. Yesterday that activity was a reality. I won't talk about a final score for the activity because I was part of the organization and is unethical :D, but I'm really satisfied with the results, the level of motivation, cohesion :),and compromise of every member of  "Java Day core team" was impressive, I've been part of many FLOSS events organization but this had a special flavor because all organization tasks were so easy and fluent, the only serious discussion was about what kind of pizza we should eat, just pure objectives, tasks and results. At the end we had an event with almost 150 registered people (a huge quantity for our country) many of them were from other regions of our country, collaborators from all major universities (USAC, UFM, UVG, URL, UMG, UG), FLOSS communities, expositors were so variated, from pre-grade students to BA with master grade. Now I just wanna say mission complete :). Thanks to all people that made possible this event. We'd received good comments, but isn't my style talk about that, see you in the next JUG meeting. Is funny but finishing this post I'm asking myself why we call it Java Day in English if Guatemala is a Spanish speaking country?.

Bye bye Gnome

My first steps in Linux where in KDE world, the first junkie app running in my PC was AMOR, you must admit it, that walking penguin over active windows was so funny. Later I started a phenomenon that Linux people call "distro jumping" Mandrake/Mandriva, OpenSuse, Fedora and finally the unbeatable performance distro Gentoo :). Is strange but in every distro jump the only constant was my desktop environment selection, I've been using Gnome since 2006, at that time Gnome was so different, so simple and so fast, definitively I was a Gnome loyal fan and I've built from source every version since 2008 watching the rise (and fall) of 2.x series. When Gnome 3 was announced I was so excited about new features and my first Gnome 3 impression was gnome-shell running over Gnome 2, just three months after constant use I must search my new perfect desktop environment 🙁 Why?
  • More steps for the same task:
When you know the exact name for the task that you wanna run you just press alt+f2 and write the name. But what happens if you don't kwnow the real name? Gnome 2 steps: Look for the Gnome menu, select your application, click it and run it Gnome 3 steps: Press super key or move the mouse to the left corner, click on applications, wait one second, now do Gnome 2 steps Do you get the point? Maybe Gnome 3 was made with a different focus but different isn't always better.
  • Java apps simply don't work at this time
And isn't just for me, is a bug without clear solution In red hat: In ubuntu: Java isn't the first choice for desktop apps, but for enterprise apps, Java IDEs are crucial, if you cannot click menus you can't do anything :/
  • Connect to server
Gnome 2: Click in connect to server, select between ftp, smb or ssh, type credentials and you have direct access to filesystems in the automatically opened nautilus Gnome 3: That feature was deleted, now I have to manually open nautilus, press ctrl+L, guess the right URL, enter the password only if I wrote the right URL and finally I got access to the filesystem in nautilus. Is the same problem, more steps for the same task (and yeah I can also mount the remote filesystems in shell but we're talking about Gnome 3 :D). Final solution: Build 20 LXDE packages, get a random woman wallpaper and use the computer as a happy user again :), sure LXDE isn't so fancy, but it works.

I'm sure that I'll be back on Gnome, but at this time isn't an option.      

Random facts about nothing

Justifying again the instance of the database that hold this blog I'm back to my personal posts, the next weeks definitively would be the hardest of my life, finally one main goal of my life was accomplished now I'm an engineer 😀 but that temporal happiness was faded by a not so good succession of events :|. Life is about present and the things that I could have done now are just part of alternatives paths in my life that I threw in the sides of the road, now the universe looks like a long succession of random facts. Although I am a very goal focused guy I was punched in the face by the stupidness that we can call "feelings". If that isn't enough I seen the real state of my goals so late, when I tried to borrow that false reality a rollback wasn't an option. As I say so often in my spanish blog and talks: "well, the life just continues". Letting my life in his broken state, and thinking about the immortality of the crab I reviewed my life trying to remember random facts and radical changes,  yep isn't the first time that my life will change so radically. By example in the techie area:
  • At the age of 12 I was called freak and nerd just because my computer knowledge (so small BTW), later things go better and my first girlfriend was happy to be girlfriend of a smart guy,  but now  I'm f*cked because I was in the wrong place again by my techie inclinations.
  • At 1998 Duke Nukem 3D was one of the best games running in my pc, later Duke Nukem sequel passed from expectation to vaporware/legend. This year videogamers received an average and not so impressive game that should be legendary.
  • Thinking about Id Software, at 1991 Dangerous Dave in the haunted mansion was one of my first finished games, twenty years later I 'discovered' his creator jumping between links of wikipedia. He actually is one of the greatest programmers of all times and maybe the guy who inspired me to follow this road when I met Doom, yep is John Carmack, so late huh?
  • I hated Linux in the first distro that I tried, now I'm eating thanks to Linux support.
  • I loved VB 6 and later the first version of .net, now is like the scars that you wanna hide because are so ugly 😀
My conclusion? randomness has been in my life since I have memory, but the life success isn't about randomness is about take care of that randomness trying to follow a structured path, I failed in that :/.

Tuxtor updates

Once upon a time in a far far away blog, I found that the only real and effective inspiration for blogging is procrastination :D. Actually I'm not so active in my regular GNU/Linux personal hacking, and this blog is life-funtoo centered so let's talk about tuxtor's recent life. In some point I forked my professional road and now I'm one of the few Java Enterprise Boys  (few as percentage vrs. another tools) that I know in my country. As many people knows I'm not active anymore in LUGs activities and almost one year later I can confirm that was one of the best decisions that I've taken. But as a whiskey needs ice and a marriage need sex, hackers need interaction with other hackers, in real or "virtual" life. As I said in one opportunity now I'm focused only in strict technical knowledge sharing, and with other FLOSS people we started the resurrection of our country Java Users Group, Guatejug. Anybody can guess the difference between a JUG and a LUG. But if we look deep into the groups structure, LUGs are safer places to find help about how to use the software, but the new JUG is code centered and focused on people interested in code more than freedom. Three of four years involved in FLOSS groups and the very first  difference that I noticed between the Free Software philosophical centered community versus a pure technical community is the atmosphere. LUGs are good, and I'm still convinced that Free Software Movement is about freedom and not price, but as IT professionals we also need spaces to share with other professionals with different points of view talking about common points. In this case "Java platform". By the moment I'm happy with Guatejug. Friends of mine that rejected the LUGs ideas as "extremist ideas" now are very active on JUG activities. Why?. Just because they don't feel ashamed or under attack when they talk about technology, sure most of Java software is under GPL/Apache/Eclipse/. . .  licenses. But the unique rule of a JUG is talk about Java technologies. And if we see technology as a common point instead of a fighting topic, the atmosphere is easy to maintain. Thats all for now.  


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