Marco Islas


More than three years

Coconut battery

This is one of the things that I like the most of my MBP, the battery still last around 4 hours, my old Acer Aspire with one year just lasted about 1.5hrs, and not to mention the Compaq/HP I had before.

Also, in three years I haven't changed anything but added more memory to the computer, I usually changed the keyboard of the laptop by the second year.

The only thing that I think this laptop needs now is an SSD drive to speed things up.

Keeping your customers


Since the establishment of privative software there has been always one problem, piracy. Piracy in software means that the user gets the software without paying what the developer/publisher is asking to be paid. Fortunately or, unfortunately, it depends on which side of the fence you are, piracy hasn't been eradicated, but I'm pretty sure it will in some point.

Let's get back a few years, not too many, just around 2000. At that point, the computer was nicely developed, of course nothing that can beat what we have today, but personal computers were a lot more accessible than in the 90's. Many computer magazines came to the new-stands and they became the de-facto way to get new software. Internet on this part of the time did existed and started to get popular across families, in developed countries it was not an issue to have a stable connection but here in México it was a total different picture.

Okay, we are in 2000 and we get software from magazines, of course, we have a very poor dial-up internet, so having software from the internet is a luxury, and we keep the installers for the future. Magazines included beta software, at some point we needed to either reinstall the OS or go to the guy that sells pirate software to keep using that software we are used to. It doesn't matter the software gets cracked, it will work almost forever, we don't have internet and with that software "what's done is done", I mean, the publisher can't modify it. Updates were something you just don't get.

You can see the very same lack of updates in other software, like games, I mean, you bought "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" the version where Ganon's blood is red, you got it for your whole life!. There's no way the publisher could update it but selling another version of the game which you can just skip.

Now, back to the future, I mean, back to the present. Today we get mobile devices that are online most part of the day, we are used to the internet, to get pictures at a snap, videos, just get youtube, no matter if it is in your computer or with the youtube app for your device, you don't have the app? easy, just get to the App Store or Play Store, search for it and tap install. This is not just the case in mobiles phones. You can do the same thing in the computer, there is the Mac App Store , the Ubuntu Software Center or Steam just to mention a few, software gets installed in your computer and you don't need to know from where it comes and which version it is.

There are several benefits with this, as I've already said, you don't need to worry to check the software origins, you don't need to check if the software is the latest because it will always be the latest stable, you'll get updates every time a new app is updated and if you format your computer you can easily get the exact same software installed again. Software is, if not free (gratis), very cheap since is published in a massively accessed store.

But there are some problems with this kind of software distribution method:
  • You need an account, and the software installation is tied to it, the benefit is that free (gratis) software is available on all your devices. But payed software may be restricted to a number of devices and can't just be copied to another device without your account.
  • You can't get cracked versions of the software
  • You get binary only software, this kind of stores does not distribute the Source Code (Ubuntu Software do)
  • If you loose your account you loose all your software
  • They tied you to a specific store and in some cases they tied to yo to a specific device.
Now the big issue here is that you get tied to a store (and a device in some cases). If you get... let's say, Angry Birds in iOS (App Store) you can't get Angry Birds in Android (Play Store) without having to pay again. Even in the same device (Play Store vs Kindle Store?). This means to the store a great benefit, not only because it means that you are with them, let's assume the same company also sells the device (Apple, Kindle, Black Berry, Microsoft), and your phone contract is about to expire, you are willing to change the company, do you really want to re bought all or part of your applications again??. I don't think so, then don't switch, stay where you are and save money.

That's how to keep the customer today, it is not the device (they are precious I know) but the ecosystem and what the customer have already payed in that ecosystem what makes them stay and pay for that software, no more shitty cracked software (unless you run a rooted version of the software of course..)

Siri vs Japanese

This was taken from Nerdcore Podcast #155 and it's pretty funny, the japanese guy never surrender.

php-cgi on mac

If you know me then you know that I use Cherokee as webserver whenever it is possible. Usually I serve static content and some php/python stuff.

In the mac, I've never had to use PHP, until now, so I tried to configure Cherokee to support PHP, my surprise is that PHP as cgi is not supported by the PHP installation that comes with Mac, so, I have to install my own.

To do this quick, and easy, I used macports:

sudo port install php5 +fastcgi +pear

#To know other options available, just use
port variants php5

Sure, nothing new.. I just write it to have a note ;-)

More than 7 hours

MBP 2011 battery

It might last more than 7 hours, actually, the same 10 hours if you make use of it like the MacBook Pro 2010. Looking at the battery consumption, I found that this piece uses less batter (under some circumstances) which is nice :-).

6.5 W

Christine's first steps on OS X

Christine's first steps on OS X

I'm so happy :-), this is the first time that Christine is running on OS X, although it is over X11 and it looks ugly like any non-themed gtk app. I hope I can make this work more natively on OS X on the next months. This is good for me because being my default player for years, I miss it on OSX ( iTunes works great, but it does more than I need).

Well, I just wanted to share this :-).

Steps to compile:
  1. Install fink,
  2. Configure fink to use unstable/main
  3. install pygtk 2.16 (for python 2.6), this will install all dependencies too (including GTK+)
  4. install gstreamer-0.10 and gst-plugins-0.10 (this will take a long, long time, go and walk on the nearest park please)
  5. install python mutagen (from sources)
  6. configure && make && make run.

Removing "from old Mac"

If you are a Mac user that restore (or tried to restore) the OS from a time machine backup, then you know that there is some garbage left after this. I know this because I already screw up the OS of this computer twice on the weekends trying Ubuntu :-) (someday I'll left it on this, but that's another story).

I'm a motherfucker curious and obviously, I had to format the HDD a couple of times. I tried to restore it usint Mac OS X's Time machine, with no success because my hdd sucks (I believe this is why I can't, but not really sure), every time I tried to restore without installing OS X first I end up with some cryptic error at a random stage of the restore process.

At the end I installed OSX from the DVD and restore my files, accounts, and everything else from the backup (this does works fine!). The problem is that it left a lot of "from old Mac" files, you can have /System/ and /System (from old Mac)/ and sometimes this could lead to a big, big space waste.

This data is there for something, but mainly because the OS didn't want to delete something that may be of your interest, but if you need to space and don't care about this files/directories, then you can safely delete.

This is easy to achieve, just use

locate "from old Mac"

And you'll see a bunch of files and directories that contains this on their name.

Then, what to do? Delete them. You can use a simple script in bash to delete them, with locate (or find, acurate but slower), tr, and rm -rf. As a hobby, I made a script that (using locate) identifies this files/directories, check its sizes, gives you a pretty resume and obviously, let you delete them, nothing extraordinary, just a pass time for this afternoon :-).

If you are curious about this script, take a look here:

Ubuntu on the MacBook


This is just me testing Ubuntu 10.10 on the MacBook. I didn't installed (You can notice this by the small "install" icon on the desktop), I'll try with the dual boot first, then, if I'm quite comfortable, will remove OSX.

C'mon apple!


And this is the way you call developers to work on your platform?