R.I.P. Neil Armstrong


I had the chance to see Neil Armstrong at the Paris USI conference a couple of years ago.  The conference owner had the crazy dream of having his chilhood hero give a talk at his conference.  It took months of negociation and it finally worked because Armstrong's wife wanted to come to Paris.  You see, Armstrong was a very private man who disliked the limelight.

The one hour talk was mesmerizing.  He simply described his experience and tried to include has many computer related stories, after all USI is an IT conference.  I'm so lucky to have seen him.  You see, I was a child when the US space program was at it's peak and I was fascinated with rockets and astronauts.  I wrote numerous times to the NASA asking for photographs and weeks later, I would received a big enveloppe full of 8X10 color pictures and space program literature.  I was in heaven.

The man was larger than life but always refused to act like larger than life.  Rest in peace Neil Armstrong.


Backup plan anyone?


18 months ago, I decided to use CrashPlan for backing up the data stored in my local network.  Glad I did it.

My data is stored on an internal 2GB hard drive in my Windows Home Server 2011.  I use CrashPlan to backup that data to an external 2GB USB drive (free).  I also use CrashPlan to backup the same data online (paid).  Is this too much?  Would simply backing to the USB drive be OK because you known, CrashPlan would do that for free.

Last Thursday evening, I noticed that I could not access my networked data just minutes after accessing it.  After rebooting the server, I ran the test set included in the machine BIOS and it reported that the disk was bad.  No prob, I have a backup in that USB drive but why is this drive not showing up in file explorer?  After pluging it in another computer, I came to the conclusion that this drive went also belly up.  Now what are the odds that both drive crashing at the same time?  Well, could be that the USB went bad before and I simply didn't noticed, anyway I purchased a installed a brand new 2GB internal drive, launched CrashPlan and started restoring 650GB of data stored safely in the cloud starting with the most important stuff first so I don't go over my ISP 500GB/month transfer limit.  So far, the restore went smoothly and flawlessly.

So how much this extra security of backing in the cloud cost me?  Less than $3/month!  What else can I say?


Nokia Lumia 900 update

Rogers replaced my wife's Lumia 900 but something is strange, tiles now have a purple tint around them :-(

Looks like this is also a common problem because it will be fixed in the next set of updates. 

According to MobileSyrup.com, the fix will include:

  • Fixes the dreaded purple tint problem
  • Fixes the boot sequence so it's more reliable after a completely dead battery
  • Ability to “flip” your phone over to silence an incoming call
  • Performance and improved photo quality



eBooks pricing

Can someone please explain to me how can the electronic version of a book be more expensive then the hardcover edition?  No printer, no truck, no warehouse.  Seriously, why?


Wired article on Steve Jobs

The "The Story of Steve Jobs: An Inspiration or a Cautionary Tale?" article featured in the August 2012 edition of Wired magazine came out right after I've read Steve Jobs biography.  It confirmed the impression that I had: Jobs was a total jerk and a great genius.  Don't get me wrong, I own plenty of Apple products (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) and my next laptop will likely be a MacBook Air so I love Apple products but do you really need to be such a jerk toward your loved ones and the people you work with?  This is the essence of the article.


DevTeach 2012 Montreal speaker selection


We're almost done with the speakers selection process for DevTeach 2012 Montreal (cough...still missing MS Canada topics however...cough).  I think we'll have a very good mix of speakers and topics for this event.  The list should be published very soon.


Windows Azure DevCamps

If you're interested in learning more about the Cloud and Windows Azure, make sure to attend Microsoft's Windows Azure DevCamps.  If you're living in the Vancouver, Montreal, Mississauga and Toronto areas, you can attend in person.   If you don't, no despair because the Mississauga event will be streamed live accross the Interwebs.  It's a free event so register early to secure your place and you'll find the complete agenda here.


Vanity Fair article on Microsoft

This doodle depicting Microsoft's org chart has been circulating in the Interwebs for a couple of years now and it summarize perfectly Vanity Fair "Microsoft's Lost Decade" article found in the August 2012 issue.


Must read Wired article on hacking

This is a must read Wired article by Mat Honan about how it was easy to hack into his Amazon and Apple accounts.

The very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the Web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification.

Engadget's Distro

I subscribe to multiple magazines in different media: paper, pdf, iPad.  The ones I get from Zinio are usually the plain and simple "turn the pages" PDF type.  At the opposite side of the spectrum, Wired is a complete multimedia experience.  You swipe and touch everywhere and in all kinds of directions to discover content.  It's great but sometimes, I think Wired has a tendency to over do it.  I recently discovered Endgadget's iPad magazine called Distro


It's published weekly and it is totally free.  It has content taken from the Website but also some exclusive articles and reviews.  What I really like about Distro is how fluid the interface is.  There are only two gestures and each page clearly show the user what gesture to use with a simple and effective icon at the bottom right of each page.  Elegant.



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