iPhone $100 rebate

After the open letter from Steve Jobs announcing a $100 rebate to everyone that bought an iPhone prior to the price dump, here are the instructions on how to get the rebate.

Basically, you need to provide your AT&T phone number and the iPhone’s serial number, then you’ll get a code (electronic store credit) that you can use at the Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store.

Read more about iPhone:

DIY iDisk

I don’t know anyone that uses the iDisk functionality from .mac and likes it.

Everyone complains that it’s wayyy too slow, including me. It even makes your computer to “run slower” (whenever you open Finder for instance). It’s easy to understand why it makes your computer run slower: iDisk is a remote drive. Even if you use the iDisk syncing capabilities it’s still slow, since it tries to connect to .mac frequently for synchronizing.

The solution is simple: Make your own version of iDisk and use a faster server than .mac’s. I personally don’t like the idea of having a remote drive, I prefer to have a local directory and synchronize it with my server instead. Just for the record, I have a server always connected to the internet and 3 other computers that I need to sync with. I change files from that directory on all the computers and I want all the computers to be synced.

One year ago I was looking for this type of solution and back then, the best thing I found was rsyncbackup. It works fine except that if you delete a file in one of the computers it doesn’t get deleted on all the other ones. It actually appears again on the server that you just deleted from, after a sync. Since I usually don’t need to delete files from that directory this solution worked fine and I never researched again to find a better one.

Last week there was a thread on Slashdot about this. I liked two of the solutions presented there (or at least these two caught my eye):

Although Dropbox looks promising, I like to control my own stuff so I decided to install Unison. For short, it works perfectly. It does everything I need and it doesn’t have the problem I have with rsyncbackup. It does the job efficiently and it’s very flexible. You have a lot of different options for what to do in case of a conflict.

The installation and configuration is really simple. Just follow these steps (start with the client or read step 5):

  1. If you have macports installed, just execute port install unison. If not, download it from the site and install it.
  2. If you used macports, then create the file ~/Library/Application\ Support/Unison/mydisk.prf with your settings. Since I like learning by example here’s an example that I created for you.
  3. To sync just run: unison mydisk -silent in one of the client computers. (-silent to not output anything to stdout)
  4. Add a cron to run it every hour. If you’re running Linux you might want to take a look at incron.
  5. Run the steps 1 through 4 on every computer you want to synchronize. When installing the server you only need the step 1.

Have fun!

Airlines 2.0

Since I’m in a mood to talk about airlines, I guess that in a near future our experience onboard is going to change for better.

A couple of days ago, I read on Slashdot that the new Airbus A380 (from Singapore Airlines) is going to run Linux on every seat. Earlier this month boingboing posted a story about the experience on the first flight from Virgin America.
Office tools, bigger screens, Wireless, ethernet ports, USB Ports, games such as Doom, Messaging tools (chat between passengers), proper (smoother) lighting and noise-canceling headphones are some of the things that can make your flight more pleasant.

There are also other useful things on the way, such as the use of cell phones onboard and during the flight. After all this, I guess that only Internet connection and faster planes will make the time go faster. πŸ™‚

I’m back… and US Airways sucks…

After 30 days overseas I’m back home and married. Of course that vacations always run fast independently on how long they are. What didn’t pass by fast were the flights.
For the first time in my life I flew with US Airways. I left on the 27th of July, 3 members of my family a week later and a group of 12 (Family&Friends) two weeks later. It’s impressive that we all had a very bad experience with this airline.

I arrived there almost 5 hours late (and they made me do one more stop than scheduled), the 3 other family members arrived 2 hours late (and also with one more stop than scheduled) and the other 12 were split into different flights (they even split families). Some arrived 5 hours late, some 17 hours.

I thought that on my way back things would be different but I was so wrong. I arrived almost 12 hours late. The transatlantic flight was delayed hour by hour until we left, almost 12 hours after the scheduled time. We were told that the plane had a problem and that they were fixing it. When they finally fixed it and brought the plane to the gate, the captain starts into an argument with the maintenance team and refuses to pilot that plane. Meanwhile the entire crew got illegal (7h after the scheduled depart time) and they had to call a new crew team. Well, I could go on and on, but the point is that even when they have problems they don’t know how to deal with them.

  • At night the airport gets really cold (because the AC keeps working and the airport is not crowded anymore). Among the passengers there were small children and people that were cold. There were people asking for blankets at 1 am, but we only got them at 4am.
  • There were people saying that they didn’t want to go on that flight anymore (because of the engine problems) and that they wanted to stay in a hotel and fly the following day, but they only gave us that option at around 4am, after the crew got illegal and the police and the FAA came. Yes the things ran out of control in a way that the police and the FAA came to talk with us.
  • They were stupid enough to tell the passengers what was the problem with the plane (carboretor) and that the captain started into an argument with the maintenance team and refused to pilot the plane. Would you feel comfortable for flying on such plane after this? If FAA didn’t came and explained everything to the passengers I guess they wouldn’t have any passengers on that flight.

Well, they did the very basic things such as meals vouchers, hotel and flight rebooking for those who refused to fly. And when I arrived home I had an email from them apologizing and they gave me a $300 voucher. Of course that’s not enough, they hold us for 12 hours, hour by hour, I missed one day of work and after everything of course I don’t want to repeat my experience.

In one month, everyone that I know that flew with them had lots of problems. One colleague from work arrived in the US 3 DAYS LATE! Yeah, they didn’t have her name on the booking list (although she had the receipt/reservation from US Airways) and all the flights were booked until the 3rd day.

If you are going to fly in a near future, be aware of the airline you choose.

[Update: I’ve just found this interesting article on USAToday about the same thing.]

Stop smoking and save!

I found the following advertisement in my Bank‘s Investment Magazine.
Basically, what it says is that if you stop smoking and save the money, in 10 years you can buy a motorcycle, in 20 years a car, and in 30 years a boat.

You would save 2.9EUR/day and invest the money. They use an annual interest of 7.25%. The reference price for the bike is 15k EUR, for the car 47k EUR and for the boat 112k EUR.

Stop smoking and start saving… πŸ™‚

Yahoo! open Hack Day

Happy to know that I’ll be there

Hack Day: London, June 16/17 2007

Now, I need to book the flights and that’s it, I think…
Oh, I might need to book the hotel for the first night too, since I should sleep for a looonnng time the first night.. πŸ™‚
I’m really looking forward to be part of this amazing experience. I’ll keep you updated! πŸ™‚