Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Microsoft's Surface is hot!

Microsoft just unveiled its Surface, a ground-breaking technology and a new user-interface evolution. It's a touch-based screen that lets users use hand gestures, touch, and/or physical object to interact with the surface computer. Sounds too good to be true right? And coming from Microsoft? All I can say is wow! Great times for technology indeed. Now Apple has the multi-touch digital phone and Microsoft has the surface computer, whats next? Well the next level should be, how we can all benefit from this technology.

What does it bring to the table, no pun intended, for Filipinos especially local programmers? The answer is - it will bring tremendous opportunity for all of us! One of my friends reaction when he first saw the video is "thanks Microsoft! invent more technologies so that programmers like us have future jobs". Well its a bit stretch, but he did raised a good point. And Philippines, being one of the countries where technology is being applied in a rapid pace, from cellphones to televisions to computers, it will just be a matter of time before touch-based devices will flood the market. I say, good times indeed.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Of Rails and other Programming Languages

Recently I chatted with a colleague of mine from work. Here is the excerpt of our conversation.

  • Stefan: Have you seen this?
  • Jan2x: Nope! Wait… It has nothing on it?
  • Stefan: Well… I planned to use that site where my friends will post their pictures. And I will use Ruby on Rails for it.
  • Jan2x: Really now? But do you know how to code in Rails? You’re a Perl guy!
  • Stefan: I have books here and Rails is cool!

After a few days

  • Jan2x: Hey did you know that Rails was created by a Danish? (Well Stefan is a Danish)
  • Stefan: I know! So are C++ and C#.

Well I look it up at and low and behold, Denmark produces some of the greatest software developers on Earth. And I was wondering, what are the other nationalities that created or spear-headed some of the most influential programming languages. And with the help of wikipedia again I found out that…

  • PHP – created by another Danish
  • Ruby – created by a Japanese
  • C, Java, Perl and BASIC – created by the Americans
  • Python – created by a Dutch

Absent from this list are the Chinese and the Indians? Do you know any programming languages or frameworks created by these two IT powerhouses? And where are the Filipinos? I’m hoping that a Filipino could really make something revolutionary and could make an impact in the computer science world, now that we are already recognized as a software outsourcing destination. If that day will come well count me in!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ubuntu on Dell: will you buy one?

I think hell just freezes over, who would have thought of all PC makers out there it will be Dell that will pre-install Ubuntu Linux on some of its products, I was clearly surprised. After the dust has settled the real question is, will you buy one? Let's be realistic for awhile, Dell caters mostly to the American market, but if given a chance will Filipino flock computer shops in search for Dellbuntu? My answer, no.

Although there have been an increase in buying branded pcs in the last years, Filipinos still tend to buy those el-cheapo pcs - e.g. custom-made and brandless - why? because it cost cheaper, a lot cheaper, and how about support? they don't need it, a call from one of their friends and voila their computers are as good as new. If we can't even buy Chinese PC brands, how much more the Dell brand. And to make matters worst, piracy is so rampant here in the Philippines that no average Filipino will never ever try Linux. Don't get me wrong, I have tried different Linux flavors, but when you have Microsoft Windows for PHP 100 (roughly $2) it is a very tough battle. Hopefully those local Linux user groups will advocate more on Linux usage, especially Ubuntu which is geared towards the average juan.

Sidenote: If you have been using Linux, kindly share your experience with it. Thanks.