2016.05.11

Faça do limão uma limonada: queria tirar uma foto do templo sem ninguém. Uma amiga entrou na frente sem saber. Na hora, fiquei puto. Mas para minha surpresa, não é que ficou mais legal com ela!?

2016.03.08
2016.01.10

I could not make it last. Farewell Ubuntu. I tried to convert to Linux my Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 laptop. Mostly because I was not using any particular Windows software and I have a particular pro-FLOSS interest. The lack of drivers and weird behaviors was taking too much of my time. I had to switch back to Windows 10 in order to make it a bearable experience. It is a major step back in my personal goal to make my life fully libre and grátis software world.

Drawbacks

Among the problems I faced:

  • Sound drivers were lacking functionality:
    • The max volume were super low to the point it was impossible to watch a movie in the notebook.
  • **KDE **with poor HDPI support. Well, it was not perfect in Windows either, but in Linux most programs, texts and interface were very distorted. I had eventually to reduce the resolution to something more normal, missing one of the major selling points of this machine.
  • Lenovo has as proprietary energy manager software. If you mostly use the computer plugged, it caps the battery maximum level to 60%, the optimal level for preservation. The software is Windows-only, so I could not revert it to normal mode; consequently, during commute the notebook died quite soon.
  • Due a hardware problem, the yellow color is displayed wrongly on the display. It is only corrected using the infamous proprietary energy manager.

Pros

But there was not only drawbacks. There were some nice points to highlight:

  • Steam worked nicely. All games I have installed worked nicely. The only concern was the huge resolution from the notebook (native 3200 x 1900)
  • The (K)Ubuntu desktop ecosystem is getting even more complete and versatile. The old odd software are now finely maturing.
    • I tried used regular Ubuntu, but the Unity UI is horrible for me.

Of course the drawbacks surpassed the pros for me. But I thing that it could change in a future, with newer Linux/KDE versions and better hardware vendor support.

2014.06.10

I’m not dead. Neither the blog. I’m going to —poorly- explain why.

I’m just very focused on other projects, like my own new company Gamenific. It is, for now, a informal company, but I am investing more and more time and money and energy into it. The Gamenific blog, that I write, is getting much more updated than this one.

My main day job is also requiring loads of time. Specially at the beginning of the year, when I was responsible for implementing a Online Booking tool in the company, was very demanding. I was working 16 hours a day. No social life was allowed. I cannot stress enough that it is very counter productive: working that much for long periods is very tiring. Tired minds do not think properly and make constantly wrong decisions. One after the other.

But now things are normal again.

World Cup is here. It will officially start this Thursday and Rio de Janeiro, one of the hosting cities, is up side down. The transport is the worst, not only it is operating with overcapacity, but also the worker unions are taking the advantage of the situation to start constant strikes to raise the salaries. The population is a hostage.

Back to Gamenific:

My plan is to make this company my life. If all goes right, it will become my main source of income in the next year, maybe two. And at this point I plan to make it a full day job.

Being a one-man company is not easy. By far. The amount of work that it takes is enormous. Secondary administrative tasks, like blogging, contacting new contractors, marketing, making strategic plans… is very demanding. I wish I have someone to share the burden. But I am not complaining. On the contrary, it is very fun. Is hard and I love it.

I will keep Gamenific news in the Gamenific blog as much as possible, keeping this bog more as a personal view, specially related to programming, video games, cinema. Eventually I address some political or economical matters.

In Brazil, national elections are coming. I think it will be the subject of some texts in the near future.

2014.06.10

My very first Euro trip started in the Mediterranean lands of Spain. Better yet, lands of Catalonia. Barcelona is the capital of Catalunia. the city is rich, educated and clean. Yet, it is full of colors and flavors. The Catalans are simply passioned about architecture and arts.

Architecture

Barcelona, after the Olympic games in 1992, realized that the city needed a local hero that would attract more tourists. The chosen one was Antoni Gaudí, an architect. He was a indeed visionary and modernist, responsible for some of the great structures of the city. And now most of his works in Barcelona are part of the must-go places for every tourist.

The La Pedreira is an great building, which was designed to not have a single 90 degrees angle wall or pillar. All of them are all a bit curved in a organic disposition. Strange and unique.

The Park Guell is an open park designed by Gaudí to the Guell family. The free space is nice, but I personally disliked the interior (paid) area. There are simply not enough substance to justify the price.

But by far the most interesting monument from Barcelona (and personally from all places that I visited, even including the Eiffel tower) is the Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family) cathedral. Amazing. The history of the place is a whole story. Everything has a meaning, a higher purpose. It is in a eternal construction state for more than a century!

Arts

Picasso homeland doesn’t advertise his work harder, I believe, because he also chose Paris in life and his work is also spread all over the world. But the fact that Picasso, along Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and many other world wide famous artists, are from this city. Their work heavily influenced the cultural excellence of the city.

Special Places I visited

Among all the places I have visited, some noticeable mentions:

  • La Boqueria: the city most famous market place. Colors, tastes and smells.
  • El Born: a medieval neighborhood where I stayed (using AirBnB). Beautiful and very charming with a labyrinthic roads.
  • Crepes El Born: the place were I tasted the best crepe of my life. I was a salmon with cream cheese flavor. I was not expecting to be good, but it was amazing!

In time: as for now, Barcelona would be my #1 city of choice to live.

2014.01.03

2013 was a very sad year: I did not watched many movies, nor plays, nor played many games. The result is that, as you can see in the blog, I could not write about them. But the worst part for me is that I stopped to keep track of them. My main spreadsheet that I control what movies, books, games or TV shows that I was consuming was almost entirely abandoned. It is a bit demanding and requires a lot of discipline to keep this wheel spinning. In the gaming side, one of the major contributors to my laziness is the Humble Bundle. It offers some special game deals, mostly indie games, in bundles, in a pay-as-much-as-you-want scheme. It is great. But it also invokes our primitive instinct of irrational buying, and it is hard stop a moment to keep record of this. I will try to make a better 2014, full of art. It will take some time but I want to do so.

2013.11.30

There is another vacations! Hey!!!!!

After Argentina and Chile last year and Cube and Mexico in May, this time I will visit… nowhere!

The old plan

That’s it. I was planning to go to Disney World, USA. The idea was to go in a big group and have fun. I went to Disney when I was in college (I lived in USA for 6 month in a exchange program) and I loved it! Loved it! Disney creates a magic atmosphere that one cannot ignore. They mastered the idea themed park.

Well, my original plan started to go wrong when I foresaw a complicated end-of-year in my job, due a project that I was involved. Things went worse with time. My boss said once or twice that we would stay in extra hours if needed.

Then I reached the moment of choice. With a lot of uncertainty, dollar-real ratio in a bad shape, and missed the momentum, I’ve finally decided to abort my trip and stay home.

The new plan

Cry no more! I have a new plan!

Besides my formal job, I invest a great deal of time in my lovely hobby: designing video games. I do all the process, from programming, drawing, writing, painting and whatever it is needed.

I have about 8 prototypes that I believe that can reach the market someday. One of them is a puzzle game called Picubic. It charming, it is challenging and it is fun. But most of all, it is the closest one to have, at this moment, a shot in the wild wild market. I named the gaming division of Bruno Massa Corporation as Gamenific, a mix of Magnific (magnificent) and Game!

For this reason, since I decided to abort my trip I also decided to invest all my time to launch it. Finish it once and for all and sell it. The plan is to launch it’s beta ITS WEDNESDAY! Kinda of… The plan is in fact, to launch a funding campaign in Indiegogo (the poorer cousin from Kickstarter) to help to leverage some money and close it. But most of all, to attract people. The company will only gain traction if there is a big enough audience. Let’s create a brand!

I can now only hope that this plan works. Otherwise, it will be a waste of a good Disney moment.

2013.10.20

For those that knows me, it’s not a surprise that I’m a bit paranoid with digital security. But in a good sense, I believe, because I do not suffer from this condition. It is a active and rational decision to be constantly aware of digital dangers. I am also very tolerant towards including extras security steps on the daily habits.

Inspired on two Brazilian stories involving cryptography, I decided to take a closer look into personal encryption. One from the fraudulent banker that could never be convicted because all the evidences were in his encrypted desktop computer. The federal police were never able to crack it. The other one was a forgotten laptop with major corporate secrets. The company? Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company and one of the top oil companies in the planet. Petrobras said that the secrets were safe: the strong encryption would hold any eyes from looking inside.

Imagine if suddenly someone steals your computer. Aren’t you going to be crazy?! Your personal photos, family stuff, work notes and free access to email and banking from the machine.

Note: I am talking about only encrypting the hard drive, so it is only useful for avoiding losing data in case of someone stealing your computer. Nothing else. Simple but efficient.

About 2 years ago, I discovered an open source product that I loved: Truecrypt. It promised total protection for people like you and me. Being open source also adds much trust: not only I will not be locked with a single provider, but the method could be tested and commented by hundreds of eyes.

My desktop is unbreakable ever since. With powerful processors we have today, it is easy to turn all disks encrypted. Even the main Windows and Linux hard drives are protected. So if a theft steals my PC, I will lose the hardware but not the software. The information inside is unreachable. Even for USA government 😉 Ever. Hear that Obama? Ever!** **And the performance drop is unnoticeable. Amazing. I’m a happy customer.

On whole in the wall I was always worried but never dealt until: my smartphone. No need to say that it is probably the most vulnerable hardware that we own (we carry it everywhere) and it is full with important information. Easy to lose it somewhere or to be robbed. The information can be shared thru the world. Finally I tried on my beloved Galaxy S3. One thing I knew I would gave to give up is the convenience of easy and fast access to my phone; entering a strong passwords all the time, because the whole point of the encryption is to lock other people out! For some, it it just a too heavy burden. For me it was not. A small price to pay.

While the encryption of the memory card was excellent, using it on the main phone’s memory compromised too much the performance. Odd. From boot to app switching, the lagging response was irritating. After two weeks, I had to revert it. Immediately it started to respond. I’m now gathering some strength to try this again. I’m going to read more to see what I did wrong. I know it is worthy.

Do you scramble your digital life or it can be read in plain view?

2012.09.02

In less than an year, I’ve bought my 3rd, **3rd!, **smart phone.

This time was a personal mistake: I lost my last phone inside the public bike’s baggage compartment. I was sooo pissed. The son of a bi*** that took the bike later removed the GSM chip and then I was unable to track it back. Even a application installed remotely was not able to reveal the position of the phone in order to let me to retrieve it. It took me so much effort to get it back that I finally decided: I’m going to buy another phone. I had to decide if it would be a smart phone or a simple one. But frankly, this is the kind of thing that you do not see any use if you never used, but after having one you know the use. You get addicted to this phones. So next stop was choosing one. After some thought, I decided to buy the very hipped Samsung Galaxy S3.

Samsung Galaxy S3

The white version is simply gorgeous. Very good looking phone. The ICS (Ice Cream Sandwhich) was already installed with a very nice selection of preinstalled apps. Nothing like the old Motorola from T-Mobile and those crap German stuff. Samsung gave it a real love and personality. While the S Voice, the voice command app, is not very good, the calendar one is very beautiful and handy. I like it a lot. The Samsung app store does not add any value from the Google Play, but it does not hurt either. I’ve never had an Apple’s iPhone, but comparing to my friends that have one, I absolutely prefer the Samsung Android. First is the hardware: S3 have a amazing camera and camera memory (it can take several several several photos in sequence), it’s faster, with NFC (but here in Brazil is not used at all) and expandable storage thru memory cards. On the software side, S3 uses the latest Android, ICS, and have the whole flexibility of Google environment. Also, as already said, the Samsung software is fairly good

I was really upset about losing my last phone. Who wouldn’t? But I’m definitively happier with the new one Note 2012 11 19: Last night Jelly Bean update has been delivered! The butter initiative to make the UI more responsible seems to work (however it is not revolutionary faster, no). All the eyes go to Google Now: the new search app is now very very voice driven. It gives nice answers several daily questions with a nice card concept.

2011.09.01

Due my personality, I’m generally a very active and anxious person. Loads of ideas come into my mind every day. I struggle to keep focus on what is important, what I’m currently working.

To “gain” time, I like to listen to podcasts or audiobooks while I am working on something. It is fine when the work is repetitive, and you can free your mind by putting your body into an autopilot, separating mind from body. You can even see your physical existence, like you are dead and see your corpse. It requires training but by perfecting this technique allows you to do multiple things at the same time.

However, for tasks that require both concentration and creativity, identifiable sounds get in the way. Some words triggers some brain switches that makes my attention to direct to stuff that is not the work. And takes a lot of time to force my mind to concentrate back into productive tasks. Listening to music triggers the same switches.

I don’t recall the exactly place where I found about that rain sounds are relaxing. Its kinda of common sense, but to deliberately listen to rain is not. Investigating the internet i discovered a web site that is so simple that is great: rainymood.com. It keep a infinite loop of a pure relaxing rain recording. With the eyes closed, you could easily feel sad and introspective, with a immense need of a good book and an blanket by just freeing your mind with this hypnotic music. An equivalent solution exists for my Android phone, with Rain Sounds. When the sleeping time comes, it makes a lot easier to put this on and lay down in bed. The sleep comes much sooner. Much calmly. Much rainy.

As an alternative, I’m also a Grooveshark.com recurrent user, BUT, basically listening to the ambient radio station, which have a selection of music that are essentially instrumental, no identifiable patterns and never raise the music energy to the point that is bring our attention. Since Grooveshark is not -currently- blocked on my company, it is a great place to avoid the external noise and focus in the work. With your ears locked, it is time to kill some to-do tasks using martial arts like GTD/pomodoro.