Why Apple should do more

Apple is a phenomenally successful company. It does not behoove it to be stingy in fixing inherent problems in its devices. Why did it take so long and a class action suite to instate the MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues?

This is not the only instance where they’ve actually messed up but not fessed up. I’ve been sitting on an iPhone 4S with a Wi-Fi issue, apparently caused by a flawed chip that cannot handle enough heat. That problem appeared after two years of use, but many have encountered it right after unboxing.

I didn’t actually contact Apple, but those who did were offered not so cheap replacement options. Apple being Apple, shouldn’t be stingy about fixing its problems. I haven’t purchased an iPhone from Apple since I encountered the Wi-Fi issue. I’d rather purchase a cheap Android phone than an expensive iPhone that cannot last two years without exhibiting a serious issue.

Posted in Product, Rant

Moto E

Moto E

I just bought a Moto E for my daughter. At R$ 360, approximately $ 140, it is quite cost-effective. It’s in white, has digital TV, and comes with a couple of extra back covers. Here’s what I like about it in comparison to an LG L40 (D175F) I bought almost a year back

  • At 1 GB, it has twice the RAM of the L40
  • 5 MP back camera
  • A 4.3 inches, 256 ppi (540 x 960 pixels) display
Posted in Android, Review

Recursively copy to output in msbuild project

I have this very specific need to copy all files and folders from a source folder, to the project build output, akin to xcopy. Here’s an AfterBuild target that does that.

  <Target Name="AfterBuild">
      <HtmlContentSource Include="..\html\**\*.*" Exclude="Web.config"/>
    <Message Text="### Copy HTML content ###" Importance="high" />
        DestinationFiles="@(HtmlContentSource -> '$(OutputPath)\html\%(RecursiveDir)%(Filename)%(Extension)')"

It uses MSBuild transforms.

Posted in .NET, Windows

Comparison of Personal Finance Apps

Here’s a comparison of personal finance based on features I’ve come to consider as necessary. After using Pocket Money for three years, I have chosen Account Tracker as my app of choice.

Personal Finance Apps

Posted in Product, Review, Survey

Windows 10 Technical Preview

Windows 10 Technical Preview

Windows 10 Technical Preview looks fresh and awesome. As someone who has adopted Windows 8 right since it was launched, Windows 10 helps reduce friction like Windows 8 never did. Here’s what I like about it

  • Start menu – Yes, it is back!
  • Windows – All apps are Windows apps again. No more old vs new, you’ll probably never know which app is new.

Here’s a short wish list for what I hope Microsoft will do with it

  • Reduce the number of variants to just two, Enterprise and non-Enterprise.
  • Provide friction-less and free or low-cost upgrade from Windows 8.1, and then allow restoring the computer to Windows 10 without needing to install Windows 7, upgrade to Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. I build and upgrade my computers for years before buying a new one.



Posted in Windows

Porto de Galinhas

Porto de Galinhas

Posted in Photography, Travel

USB Serial

Serial port access can be very useful during embedded systems development.

I do most of my development on Mac OS X, or Ubuntu and Windows virtual machines. I use a USB to serial cable/breakout to connect a serial port to the Mac, which is then redirected by Parallels Desktop to the guest OS.

If you have a cable that uses the Prolific USB Serial chipset, getting up and running is well documented by Plugable. The driver they provide works for me. Most other cables use a chipset from FTDI, but Mac OS X already provides a driver for that.

To interact with a terminal on the embedded system you need some kind of terminal emulator.

I use miniterm.py and screen on Ubuntu

miniterm.py -b 115200 /dev/ttyUSB0

Ensure that you have access to the device

sudo chmod 777 /dev/ttyUSB0

On Mac OS X I usually use screen

screen /dev/cu.usbserial 115200
Posted in Linux, OS X

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