All posts by Daniel Jaramillo

NI Week – Day Three

Sorry for not posting sooner about the last NI Week day. I didn’t really spent much time there, since I only attended the morning keynote. It was given by Jeff Clarke, Senior Vice President of Dell Computer Corporation.

The main point in the keynote was ‘Standardisation’. When a technology becomes a standard, its cost drops significantly, the performance improves and more choices are available. At the end everyone benefits from standard technology.

A mouse that years ago was a revolutionary device is now a days a standard technology.

Unfortunately, there are many examples that show that not always the best technology available becomes the standard.

You can watch the three keynotes here.

NI Week – Day two!

Yesterday the Robolab mentoring went pretty well. I was assigned to a group of guys from an Ohio company called Inoveris that produces digital media (CDs, DVDs, …) and a professor. They were the Robolab challenge champions at NIWeek 2004, so I thought that they were not going to need much help from me. But since the laptops we got to build our programs were iBooks I got in charge of writting the software because I was familiar with the OS. Out of 6 missions, we were able to complete 4 in the 3 hour time slot we got. We picked the easiest missions and our software and hardware was actually very simple. We didn’t use touch or light sensors, only the motors and timing. Let’s see how things work out tonight.

This morning I went to Las Manitas again and then headed to the convention center for the keynote. Later I attended to a session called ‘Extreme Home Automation’ which made me think about doing some cool ‘home improvements‘ and then attended to a session showing how LabVIEW was taking advantage of three of the main features in Tiger OS X: Spotlight, Dashboard and Automator. I can see the Spotlight integration very useful, to quickly find VIs.

Now I’m back at work, but I’ll go to the convention center again this afternoon to cheer for my team in the Robolab challenge.

The Robolab contest was very fun and my team did very well. We ended up in 5th position.

Tomorrow is the last NI Week day and I think I’m only going to attend to the keynote.

NI Week – Day One

I always thought it was very cool when people go to a conference and daily log their activities. So I’m going to try to do the same.

I woke up early today and went with my sister, Marcos, Alejandro, Andres and Raffaele to Las Manitas Mexican restaurant to have breakfast. Then we headed to the convention center and got good seats to see the keynote.

The keynote was very cool with very nice demos. The one I liked the most where a Compact Fielpoint system controlling 3 inverted pendulums. Another very cool one was a bearing sorting machine using Vision and Motion products.

Then I went to a presentation from the and they got me really interested into open source development. Perhaps I could try to create a LabVIEW based application, and put it out there as an open source project.

I had lunch with the Integration Services group at PF Changs, and now I’m here waiting to hear a presentation called: Designing Plug-in User Interface Modules in LabVIEW.

Later at 4pm my group will be giving a presentation so I’ll be there as backup.

And at 5:30pm I’m going to be working as a RoboLab mentor for the RoboLab challenge. I hope that works fine.

Shocking news!

Not exaclty the kind of shocking news you’ll expect:

Yesterday, there was a big thunder storm in Austin. I was at work during it and it didn’t seemed too bad. When I got home, I sat in front of the TV and suddenly noticed that it was smelling like an electrical component was burning. I got closer to the TV and the smell got stronger. It was my AIWA amplifier! I turned it on, but it wasn’t generating any sound. Then I figured that my internet router probably went down during the storm, so I go and check it and both the cable modem and the router where off and the plate that covers the electrical outlet broke in pieces… damn!

Then I try to open the garage door: guess what? doesn’t open either! fuck!

Then I start feeling a bit warm, but noticed that the AC compressor outside was working. So I get closer to the vent that sucks the air and feel no sucking at all. This is too much! the internal AC fan seems to be broken as well! Crap!!!!

Finally I walk close to the subwoofer, and notice the power light is off… shit! is dead too!

I already went to time warner and exchanged the cable modem. Also called the AC repair guys and they can only help me next monday. I hope they fix it as part of the warranty. If not, I’ll have to call the home insurance to see if they cover all the stuff that got fried on friday!

To make things worse: It is saturday and I’m at work doing testing for a go-live installation.


Cable modem
Replaced it with a new one at Time Warner for no cost (you already knew that), but the new modem didn’t worked. Today the TW technician went to my place and fixed the cable. The cable and the filter were fried too.
Cost: None

Wireless router
Looked for the Airport Express and you could get one for about $100. Then I looked at and found an offer for another Linksys router for $35 (after 10% discount + $10 mail-in rebate) . Airport Express is a nice gadget, but I don’t think I need one. The router is on its way.
Cost: $35

After surviving the weekend without AC, finally a technician went to my home today and fixed it. The controller board and the motor controller were both replaced. The pieces were under warranty but they charged me $224 for the labor. 🙁
Cost: $224

Garage Door
Went to Home Depot and a nice model costs $150 + $100 for installation. 🙁
Cost: $250

Receiver and Subwoofer (and DVD player maybe)
The receiver and the subwoofer both died. The DVD player seems to work, but I could not operate it with the remote. I think the infrared receiver is broken. Unfortunately, many features can only be set using the control. If that’s the case, I’ll probably have to replace the DVD player too.
Cost: Receiver ($150), subwoofer ($70), DVD player ($100)

Total estimated loss: $829 🙁

Second Update

Last night a bought a new receiver. It is a very nice one that Cetrulo recommended me. The brand is Onkyo and the model is TX-LR552(S). According to Cetrulo it uses a very good digital amplifier from Tripath.

The best part is that the receiver was on sale at Frys. It’s price tag was $399, but I only payed $149!

Colombia 2 Р1 M̩xico!

This weekend I went with Carlos, Ruben and Marcos to Houston to watch the match between Mexico and Colombia for the Gold Cup 2005 quarter finals.

It was a very fun weekend: on saturday evening we ate very good BBQ and drink some screwdrivers. Later that night we went to Bar-Rio (same club I visited last time I went to Monterrey) and finally we went to David’s place and helped him out with his apartment decoration.

On sunday we had brunch at Miguelitos (a Venezuelan restaurant) and I had arepas stuffed with shreded meat an ‘guayanés’ cheese and a chicken empanada with coffee. And then we headed to the Reliant Stadium to watch an epic game between Colombia vs México.

On a side note, the NI-Eagles soccer team lost pretty badly this weekend, which mades us (Jerónimo, Chaparro, Marcos and me) feel a bit guilty for not being there, but also good because I guess the Eagles really need us!

And the quote of the day came this morning from Boris (official NI-Eagles goalkeeper):

Chaparro’s email: “…BTW, I apologize again for not making it to the game this past Sunday.”
Boris reply email: “Daniel is forgiven. The Mexicans are not. Driving out of town to watch your team lose is inexcusable.”

Check Marcos’ comments about the trip to Houston.

Pictures available here, here and here.

Coffee Overdose

I just got back from a concert of Café Tacuba at the studio where the Austin City Limits tv show is recorded. This program has been showing life music performances from different bands for 30 years.

It was a private (and free) show for about 300 lucky people that even got invited (not my case) or made a long line (that’s me!).

Café Tacuba - Austin City Limits

This is the second time I see Tacuba in concert. About a year ago, they performed at La Zona Rosa with Control Machete and Ely Guerra.

And you think that is enough Tacuba?

You are wrong. I’m going to see Tacuba again tomorrow at Stubbs!

Austin City Limits hand stamp

I love the Live Music Capital of the World

Just got back from the second concert at Stubbs… just fucking amazing!

“No me hubieras dejado esa noche… porque esa misma noche encontré un amor”

Paranoia de aquello imposible que tal vez fuere…

Esta joya me la encontré viendo archivos viejos en mi computadora del trabajo…

Paranoia de aquello imposible que tal vez fuere…

No se, todo comenzó como una idea, un hito sin flujo. Los retrazados lo pedían a gritos, sin embargo nadie podía contener la inercia de tanta vanidad. En aquel dia las campañas y aquellos seres inanimados que insinuan sonidos y gritos desmedidos, pensaron que todo seria de una vez por todas diferente. Pero se equivocaban. La maldita metafora seguía inmutable y nada parecía cambiar. Todo seguía inerte, tanto como el primer dia… el día en que todo comenzó a carecer de sentido.

Según el invierno, aquel no podía ser otra cosa que lo que nunca quiso ser. Es decir, todo lo que se había tejido al rededor suyo, no era más que una máscara de su propia emancipación. No era para menos. Estaba loco y no podía ver más allá de sus narices.

De allí que nunca se volvieron a escuchar sus quejidos y lamentos. De allí que prefiere sentarse en esa banca del parque a contemplar atardeceres y basura caminante, en vez de estar en medio de su propio suburbio intelectual. Y no es para menos… y no es para menos.

Abril 16 de un año cualquiera, a las 6 menos cuarto de la tarde…

Y se concluye: Demasiado trabajo y estrés te convierten en un idiota…

100% de acuerdo con la conclusión.

Happy Birthday to me!

I’m happy to celebrate one more year on earth. And I’m very thankful because this year was full of good things and memories, some of them stamped in this blog: I’m doing great at work, I got my permanent resident (green) card, Jeronimo, Alex Muleiro and Diego got married, I bought a new PowerBook and a Drum Set, Nacional got its 8th championship, I went to Colombia on easter, my sister moved to Albany and my brother to Valencia, NI Eagles was promoted to first division, … can’t complain!

I’ll do my best to keep this next year as exciting as the one that ends today…

Thanks to everyone who sent me an email, a greeting card, gave me a phone call or left a comment in my blog! Also thanks to my friends that showed up at Habana. All I can say is that I had a really great birthday!

Check the pictures from Habana.